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Jasmine the unlikely penalty queen!
 Women's Football News 14 Mar 2008
 
Jasmine the unlikely penalty queen! - 14 Mar 2008 - Women's Football NewsThe magic of the FA Cup can conjure up all kinds of unlikely heroes and that was definitely the case in the Isle of Man Women's FA Cup at Balleira Road as Ramsey's goalkeeper Jasmine Abbrey - wearing the number 1 jersey for the first time - stopped three penalties in a penalty shootout, with the scoreline gridlocked at 1-1 after extra time, and secure their passage to the next round.
 
This was a match that had just about everything: drama, excitement, guts, determination and sportswomanship - the Michael Utd players lining up after the final whistle and shaking hands with their opposing counterparts.
 
Although the home side started promisingly, having more of the attacking possession, it was Ramsey who looked more threatening and striker Kealey Hawthorne led the forward line intelligently with her fleet footwork, always looking to work an extra yard of space, on one occasion lifting an effort over the bar and moments later after being put in the clear, her effort was denied by Kate Connell's knees.
 
Michael's best chance in the opening half came from a Jennie Davies free kick aimed at the near post and, from the resulting melee, came to nothing.
 
But Ramsey still came closest to scoring shortly after the interval. Another intelligent through ball saw Hawthorne rush clear from Jo Callister, her shot beat Connell only to the hit the upright. Green and white shirts surged forward, Davies charged through, taking an extra touch, but drove her shot straight at Abbrey.
 
After 75 minutes of endeavour from both sides, it was Michael who struck first. Following an interchange involving Liz Moore, the ball fell into Jenny Davies's path, her shot was slowed down by Abbrey's palms, but there was enough energy left for the ball to trickle over the line for only Michael's third goal of the season.
 
However, the lead only lasted for two minutes. Suzy Parker was scythed down by an onrushing Laura Davies in the Michael box and a penalty was awarded. Rebecca Colquitt squeezed her spot kick under Connell's horizontal body to level matters.
 
Sarah Bell and Hawthorne had a shots cleared off the line by Parker and Jo Callister respectively with Parker having deflected a shot that went wide with the last attack in normal time.
 
The match entered extra time and both teams continued to venture forward but they were missing the elusive cutting edge to find a winner, on each occasion a wall of blue and white and green and white appeared as a defensive steel wall.
 
The match therefore had to be decided by penalties. Parker lifted her effort over the bar while captain Davies struck first, driving her penalty into the top right. Hawthorne level matters for Ramsey but Haley Jones drove her kick down the middle for Abbrey to save. Colquitt made no mistake with her spot kick as Ramsey took the lead but Connell, like Jones, drove her attempt straight at her opposition counterpart. Alice Qualtrough confidently tucked home her effort to make it 3-1. Liz Moore aimed her shot at the top left, Abbrey got her hands onto it but spilled over the line to make it 3-2. Slinger could have wrapped up matters but forced her effort wide of the upright leaving Jenny Davies for a must-score penalty - shot tamely straight at the opposing keeper. The blue and white shirts deserted ranks and embraced their new heroine, disappearing under a pyramid of bodies.
 
In the league, Corinthians maintained full speed with their championship ambitions with a 7-0 win over Castletown. Jade Burden opened the scoring after five minutes with Sarah Kerford tapping home from three yards after Helen Thomas' assist. Steph Hall's glancing header into the far left corner made it three with Burden scoring again when her initial shot was blocked by a defender, slammed home at the second attempt. Hall turned provider for their fifth, crossing from the line and Burden was on hand to complete her hat-trick. Kerford's cross was met by Burden's near post header to make it 6-0 and Kerford's wizardry set up Burden to convert her fifth.
 
Rushen Utd put aside their recent problems and got back to winning ways with a 9-1 win over their southern rivals Colby. Leading 8-0 at half-time, Donna Harrison (3), Hannah Biggerstaff (2), Eleanor Gawne, Rochelle O'Toole, Katie Halsall and Hayley Cowin were on target for the Croit Lowey outfit while Nikki Cooil replied for the visitors. 
 
(Report and photo - Paul Hatton)

 
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