County U16 Girls' Cup Final 2024

Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles Crowned 2024 County U16 Girls' Cup Champions

Ricky Pledger's side claimed the County Cup crown in a dominant 3-0 display at the Zeeco Stadium

Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles have been crowned the 2024 Lincolnshire FA County U16 Girls' Cup champions following a fantastic display at Stamford AFC's Zeeco Stadium that saw them win 3-0 against Moulton Harrox U16 Girls.

Ricky Pledger's Belles claimed the title in front of a 200 strong crowd with a spectacular display worthy of any cup final.

Martyn Cundy's Moulton Harrox side began the game with the first half chance from Kara Butler's deflected delivery into the Sleaford box was pounced on by Constance Onyinah before ending up at the feet of Freya Cundy. Unfortunately for Harrox, Cundy wasn't able to get a shot away before Grace Smith smothered the ball to end the danger.County U16 Girls' Cup Final 2024

Seeing that Moulton Harrox were going to be a tough opponent, Sleaford began to push and get their footing in the game. Good runs from Alice May resulted her firing shots at the Harrox target, but unable to find a way past the resilient Keira Webb. Sleaford Town continued to pepper the Moulton Harrox goal for much of the opening minutes, but Keira Webb could not be beaten. But after 25 minutes, the Blue wall was finally broken after Jess Frick got on the end of a delicious outside of the foot pass from Lily Burns, before cutting across the box and striking at goal. The initial effort was saved by Webb but parried out into a dangerous area and Frick was there to bundle the ball over the line.

Now having the taste for goals, Sleaford didn't hold up and continued to push for a second. Emily Grove came close from a free kick after curling an effort at goal, which narrowly missed the target and landed on top of the net. Grove came close again minutes later after a mistake at the back resulted in her having the ball fall to her feet. She hit an effort from close range but Keira Webb did spectacularly well to get in the way and deny the number 9. 

Webb couldn't keep Grove out for long though and on the 37th minute, a phenomenal ball over the top from Marla Bell was met by Jess Frick who drove to the edge of the box and pulled the ball back for Emily Grove. She took a touch and drilled a sublime shot into the bottom right corner to double Belles lead and leave them 2-0 up at the half way mark. 

Moulton Harrox came out strong for the 2nd half and looked to strike early through Constance Onyinah who struck an effort from range on the half volley, though her attempt soared towards the Sleaford goal and sailed just over the bar. Holly Spillett drove up the right wing shortly after before attempting to deliver a ball into the box. Her delivery was however blocked and seen behind for a corner, which subsequently came to little. 

The game turned into a midfield battle, with Harrox stronger but still unable to break down Sleaford. The Belles continued to push forward, but hadn't created much in the way of clear cut chances in the second half. That was up until the 67th minute when Ellie Parish floated a good delivery from a free kick on the edge of the Moulton Harrox area, with Alisha Appleby able to meet the ball before Keira Webb was able to and poked it past the Harrox keeper, finding the bottom left corner and securing Sleaford's third of the night - and subsequently the County Cup title with it. 

Ricky Pledger, Manager of Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles, said: "I'm absolutely buzzing! The girls played really well today. We knew they were going to be really dangerous trying to play it into their striker's, so our plan was to try and shut that down as much as we could. From the way the game went, it was clear that was their plan and so once we were able to execute that and keep them quiet, we were able to take control of the game and get a good lead early on. 

We knew they were going to come out in the 2nd half hungry and with a bit of fire in their belly, so we said at half time that we've got to almost see out the storm a little bit. Once that started to calm, we then tried to push forward again and got that third goal. We knew once we got that, we'll kill it and see the game out."

Nicola Krajewska was presented the Player of the Match award from Lincolnshire FA's Area Delegate for North East Lincolnshire, Simon Leach. The Match Officials were Jak Kirkman, Jon Clayton, Sam Arnold, and Ryan Bussey. County U16 Girls' Cup Final 2024County U16 Girls' Cup Final 2024







The full image gallery, taken by Lincolnshire FA's Official Photographer - Ed Mayes Photography - can be viewed here

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