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Barnet 0 Nottingham Forest 0
Barnet won 4-3 on penalties
att: 1,281; at Wycombe Wanderers F.C.
Barnet held their nerve in a penalty shootout to lift the Premier League Cup after 120 minutes could not separate them and Nottingham Forest.
Full back Sally Wade was the Bees hero, along with goalkeeper Cherie Rowlands who saved two spot kicks, as she tucked home the winning penalty for her side, who had played for half the match with ten players following the second half sending off of striker Stacey Sowden.
Barnet settled down the quicker of the two sides and put Forest on the back foot as they sought an early goal. The first chance came as Leanne Reidy headed the ball forward for Danielle Murphy to flick the ball over the Forest defence for Stacey Sowden who lifted her shot over Claire Wallhead but wide of the post.
Barnet continued to dominate the early stages, Eartha Pond was next to try her luck on goal with a volley that flew over the bar, after a Murphy corner had been half cleared. Pond drove a right foot shot over when a Vicky Boardman cross was headed into her path and Abbie Prosser fired wide following a corner.
Sowden forced a save from Wallhead after cutting in from the left but then Forest hit back with their first meaningful attack, Catherine Lawson sliding a pass which Gemma Rudman failed to cut out and Andi Bell's low cross was gathered at the near post by Cherie Rowlands.
Sowden almost got in behind the Forest defence from Murphy's pass but was crowded out at the near post by Catherine Stainthorpe but, after coming under pressure for most of the half, Forest created the best opportunity on the stroke of half time when Bell made her way to the goal line where she got past Wade's challenge and cut the ball across for Natalie Clarke around eight yards in front of goal but Rowlands blocked her shot at point blank range with her legs.
Barnet were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second half and won a free kick on the edge of the area for a foul on Sowden. Murphy drilled her shot past the wall and was denied by a fine diving save from Wallhead, the rebound fell for Sowden but her left foot shot missed the target.
Forest were starting to show more as an attacking force now and came within inches of breaking the deadlock. Rachael Murray unleashed a dipping 35-yard shot which struck the underside of the bar, bounced in front of goal and hit Rowlands in the back but did not cross the line before Barnet managed to scramble the ball away.
Rowlands then did well to punch away an inswinging Lawson corner under pressure, Jemma Connor-Iommi latched onto the loose ball but her shot was charged down.
Barnet were next to go close, Murphy played a long free kick into the Forest area where a firm header from Gemma Rudman hit the bar with Wallhead beaten.
Just as Barnet were starting to get on top again, they were reduced to ten players as Sowden was red carded following an incident on the goal line for aiming a kick at Carla Tomkins.
Forest sensed their chance and began to pile forward with impressive full back Ellie Gilliatt overlapping and causing a constant threat. They won a series of corners but Barnet stood firm with central defenders Reidy and Rudman in outstanding form. There was a scare as Rowlands spilled one kick from Lawson but she did well to recover and smother Bell's shot and the Bees scrambled the ball clear.
As the game moved towards injury time, another chance came Forest's way as Lauren Howard's cross was touched on by Lawson and on to Davies, who controlled but the angle was too narrow and her left foot shot sailed over the bar.
Extra time saw little change with defences still dominating at both ends and attempts at goal were mainly from long range.
Barnet grew in confidence again and went close as Dempster unleashed a 30-yard strike which flew inches past the far post. Both teams worked hard to find further opportunities but two desperately tired sides could make no further ground and the match drifted to penalties.
Connor-Iommi and Prosser netted the first kicks, then Rowlands dived to her left to save from Clarke. Murphy had the chance to put Barnet in front but lifted her kick over the bar, then Beth Bailey confidently found the net. Boardman levelled once again before Rowlands produced her second save, this time from Lawson. Trimnell slotted her kick into the corner, Wallhead herself powered home Forest's fifth, leaving Wade to step up for the winning kick. Wallhead got a hand to her kick but could not prevent the ball from going in, sparking wild Barnet celebrations.
Barnet: Cherie Rowlands, Jade Dempster, Sally Wade, Abbie Prosser, Leanne Reidy (sub Katie O'Leary 119mins), Gemma Rudman, Vicky Boardman, Danielle Murphy, Stacey Sowden, Jess Trimnell, Eartha Pond (sub Zoe Lance 76mins). Subs not used: Emma Davies, Davina Smith, Alex Keown.
Nottingham Forest: Claire Wallhead, Catherine Stainthorpe (sub Lauren Howard 82mins), Ellie Gilliatt, Carla Tomkins, Beth Bailey, Rachael Murray (sub Katie Waddell 60mins), Andrea Bell, Jemma Connor-Iommi, Catherine Lawson, Natalie Clarke, Suzanne Davies (sub Abbie Hinton 112mins). Subs not used: Lauren Howard, Eleanor Clarke, Mary Earps.
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