On Thursday 10th January the winners of Southend United Community & Educational Trust’s local schools tournament, Shenfield High made the trip to Millwall to represent the Blues in the regional final of the EFL Girls Cup...
The winner of the regional round goes through to the next group of games and then the winners of that competition will eventually play in the final at Wembley.
Shenfield started well with a convincing 2-0 win over Gillingham, and then picked up another 3 points against Millwall and QPR.
This saw the girls go top of the group with 3 wins in 3. This put them as favorites to go through to the semi-finals.
This form saw them win the reverse group games as they glided past Gills, QPR, and Millwall and remained unbeaten and end the group stages conceding just one goal!
The semi-final was tough with the best teams in the competition left to beat, Blues, who faced AFC Wimbledon had a challenging fixture ahead of them. The game started with little action at either end, but a moment of magic from one of the girls saw an opportunity open and Southend punished the Wombles with an acute finish from a very tight angle.
The goal boosted Shenfield's confidence and they continued to play well, bagging themselves another goal before full-time, earning a place in the final which meant they would take on Gillingham, who had beaten Crawley Town on penalties.
The Girls had already faced Gills and knew how to beat them. But this was the toughest game of the day, both teams consistently attacked and defended well.
The game was very close and it was still 0-0 coming into the closing stages of the match.
To Blues' disappointment, Gillingham scored from a goal-kick. The keeper stepped back and scooped a long-range ball towards Southend's goal only for it to bounce just out of the reach of our keeper.
The girls couldn’t find a way back despite attacking several times. This saw our EFL Girls Cup journey, unfortunately, come to an end.
SUCET Community Officer April Smith said, “The EFL Girls Cup is a great opportunity to showcase the amazing talent that schools across South Essex have to offer in girls football and we only hope this grows further within the community and footballing world!”
Well done to Shenfield High, you worked phenomenally well all through the tournament and are a credit to your school and to the football club.
If your school would like to get involved in next years girls cup contact April on 01702 341351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.