Fleetwood Town Juniors U16 Lionesses win the U16 Girls Youth Cup
Fleetwood Town Junior U16 Lionesses were crowned the U16 Girls Youth Cup champions after defeating Bury FC Foundation U16 Tigers 2-1.
In a game full of frenzy and emotion, an exceptional performance from Honey Harrison won the game for Fleetwood, as she bagged a goal and an assist in the final. It was a wonderful display of attacking skill, producing great amounts of quality in a game of huge importance.
A vibrant atmosphere welcomed the two sides as they exited the tunnel, with both sets of fans passionately supporting their chosen team.
Both finalists were extremely well matched in the early stages, producing a high tempo, end to end game. The importance of the fixture was clear to see, as neither side managed to settle especially quickly and assert dominance over the game.
Despite this, as the game unfolded, chances came thick and fast. Bury’s Hannah Murray was unable to convert a good chance from the edge of the box, before Brook Mulhollen saw a long-range free kick rattle the crossbar.
On the 32 minute-mark, however, the deadlock was broken. A high press from Fleetwood forced a mistake from a Bury defender, allowing Harrison to run through and become one on one with the goalkeeper, where she calmly slotted the ball into the net.
The finish was fantastic, and it inspired Fleetwood to finish the half very strongly. Their attack was relentless, putting the Bury defence under great pressure. It was to no avail, however, as Bury remained firm and kept it at 1-0 to half time.
After the second half commenced, Bury possessed a much larger threat as their wingers, Kallie Weaver and Hannah Murray, were proving very difficult to deal with. They received much more service and attacked the Fleetwood back line with great intensity.
This change eventually paid off, as a moment of brilliance from Murray saw the lead disappear. Picking the ball up on the left-hand side, she dribbled impressively through the Fleetwood half before sliding the ball under the keeper and into the net.
In an impressive show of resilience, however, Fleetwood defied the setback and answered back very quickly. A quick and direct run from Harrison saw her in the Bury penalty area; she passed the ball across the box to Emerald Parker who easily found the bottom corner.
The lead was always under threat as Bury never allowed their heads to drop. The final 10 minutes were not too dissimilar to a basketball game, but Fleetwood managed to hold on. The travelling Fleetwood crowd, the staff and the players erupted with joy upon hearing the final whistle.
FT: Fleetwood Town Juniors U16 Lionesses 2-1 Bury FC Foundation
Fleetwood Town Juniors U16 Lionesses are the new champions of the U16 Girls Youth Cup.
Report by Joe Edgar.read our digital programme here