University of East London women’s team are the new South Eastern Conference Cup champions after edging University of Kent 3-2 in an epic showdown on Wednesday.
With both teams boasting a 100% record, it was ultimately UEL who would come away with the spoils thanks to goals from Daisy Davies, Abbie Weaver and Otesha Charles.
After a measured start to the game, UEL drew first blood on 10 minutes when Davies got in behind Kent’s defence and slotted home. Kent then struggled to break down a stubborn UEL side, as they were restricted to efforts from range in search of an equaliser.
UEL almost doubled their lead before half time the ever dangerous Charles almost connected with a cross from the right. This was one of the few clear-cut chances in the first half and as such, UEL went into the break with a narrow one-goal advantage.
The second half went up several notches after a rather cagey first half; much to UEL’s favour. And they didn’t have to wait too long to double their lead. Bearing down toward the Kent goal, Charles saw her shot saved by Kent keeper Grace. However Abbie Weaver was on hand to capitalise from six yards out following the loose ball.
Charles should have made it three minutes later when she rounded the keeper, but she saw her effort roll agonisingly wide of the open goal.
Charles wouldn’t be denied however, and she did give UEL their third goal with a close-range finish following a direct, skillful run. Jay Blackie almost made it four, but her powerful shot from distance was pushed wide of the goal by the keeper.
Kent managed to pull a goal back on 75 minutes with forward Isobel Roche slotting home from just inside the area. The arrears would be reduced even further five minutes later when Roche was brought down leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Captain Hannah Samuels duly dispatched the resulting penalty to set up a grandstand finish.
However, despite a late push, Kent couldn’t find an equaliser as UEL saw out the remainder of the game, sealing the league & cup double in the process.
After the game Blackie spoke of the confidence her side had going into the final and during the game as well as the significance of their double-winning achievements. “I was confident. We conceded twice because of mistakes that we usually wouldn’t make, but I knew we had the quality to see it out.
“It’s history made. This result will really put our side on the map. At the start of the season, no one would have seen this coming.”
UEL will now turn their attentions to back-to-back league fixtures against London School of Economics, hoping to maintain their remarkable 100% winning record to add to their historic double.