Lincoln United Women are the 2023 Lincolnshire FA County Women’s Cup Champions after a Lincoln derby final at the Jakemans Community Stadium against Lincoln City Women.
Chris Funnell’s side won the cup for the first time in their history after an impressive 2-0 victory over The Imps.
Lincoln United’s Assistant Manager, Katie Davidson, told us after the game that she was “ecstatic” and “the girls thoroughly deserve it”.
“I’ve got to be honest; we were the better team. We fully deserved the victory. The girls are absolutely chuffed and as management, we’re absolutely over the moon! I thought in the first half we really dominated, we got our two-goal lead and missed the penalty – and had a couple other chances as well”.
“We went into the second half confident, but we knew they’d come at us in the 2nd, and they did. They shoved girls forward in fours and fives, but we defended so well. I thought Amy [Hood] showed so much quality as a keeper and the back four were brilliant”.
Lincoln United started strong and applied a lot of pressure to the Lincoln City back line from the get-go. Ellie Giliiatt hit an effort over the bar, and Betsy Thomas’ fancy footwork created space for her to hit a low driven attempt towards the City goal – but was saved by Poppy Irvine before rolling across the face of goal.
It didn’t take long for Lincoln United to find their opener, when Sally Cairns scored an absolute beauty that curled up and over the Lincoln City keeper [Poppy Irvine] and nestled into the back of the net just 12 minutes into the game.
United weren’t done there and applied even further pressure on the Lincoln City goal, and just 6 minutes later won a penalty after the attacking player was brought down on the edge of the box. However, Lauren Churcher’s strike was saved by Poppy Irvine in the bottom left corner and denied Lincoln United’s attempt to double their lead.
Lincoln City had their first strong chance at goal as Chantelle Robinson came one-on-one with United keeper, Amy Hood, who managed to snatch the ball away from Robinson’s feet and see off the City attack.
City tried desperately to test the Lincoln United defence, but they stayed strong and even a good Toni McHamilton cross was intercepted and dealt with swiftly.
34 minutes in and Demi Barai’s towering header was nodded in at the far post from a Lincoln United corner, and doubled their lead to put them firmly in the driving seat in the Lincoln derby.
City fought as hard as they could for the remainder of the 1st half, but they just couldn’t find a clear-cut chance to test Amy Hood. Chantelle Robinson flicked a headed effort into the Lincoln United box, but it couldn’t be met and was cleared away by The Whites.
An echo of 295 sirens ended the first half, as the UK government tested the new emergency alert on everyone’s mobile devices.
The 2nd half saw much of the same as the first from Lincoln United, who fought hard for more goals but just couldn’t add a third to their tally – despite some good chances being fed through for Tracey Duxbury-Mead who you feel really deserved a goal with the movement she was making throughout the second half.
Lincoln City threw everything forward to try and find a goal back into the game, and Lucy Farrow came agonisingly close for the Imps when space opened up for her inside the United box, but she dragged her chance wide of the post in what could’ve been a big goal for Lincoln City.
Nearly 10 minutes later, Toni McHamilton was slipped through one-on-one with Amy Hood – she tried to poke it past the Lincoln United keeper, but Hood got a hand to it to pull it back into grasp and end the threat.
Meanwhile, Ellie Gilliatt was running riot for Lincoln United, peppering the Lincoln City goal with headed chances and efforts from the edge of the box. However, most of her efforts weren’t quite enough to trouble Poppy Irvine too much. Though an 86th minute strike from inside the Lincoln City box was superbly saved by Irvine to deny Gilliatt a much-deserved goal.
Lincoln City just couldn’t find a way through the United defence, and it was Lincoln United who won the 2023 Lincolnshire FA County Women’s Cup Final for the very first time in their history.
Lincoln United’s Annie Ward was presented the Player of the Match award by Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam, and the match officials were Aimee Keir, Christopher Reeson, Craig Forbes, and Leanne Woodhead-Groves.
Photo Credit: Ed Mayes Photography