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xxximgfnamexxxBarnet continued their Cup odyssey by gaining revenge for last season's defeat at the hands of Queen's Park Rangers in the Middlesex County Cup Final at Uxbridge on Wednesday.
The Premier League Cup winners and FA Women's Cup semi finalists were made to work hard for their 2-0 victory by a spirited Rangers team but the return to action of Stacey Sowden after her injury against West Ham proved very important. Her 57th minute opener was the 200th of her Barnet career in just 171 games and Gemma Rudman's 78th minute header sealed Bees' win.
Up until half time, Rangers had given as good as they got, forcing keeper Cherie Rowlands to make a fine save low to her right pushing Cherrelle Albert's goalbound effort wide of the post. Rowlands had to be alert on two other occasions, dashing from her line to foil Albert, who was a constant threat to the Barnet defence. Despite applying plenty of pressure, Barnet could not find a way past Rangers' alert defence before the break.
Barnet visibly upped the tempo in the second half and gave a warning early on as Rangers keeper Emily Bourne made a fine reaction save when Sowden burst clear and tried a lob from fifteen yards. Bourne was powerless to stop the next occasion that Sowden outpaced the defence, the Barnet striker reaching a through ball first, and rounding the keeper for her landmark goal.
Rangers never threatened as they had done in the first half and were under almost constant pressure for the rest of the match. Danielle Murphy's corners and clever Barnet movement had threatened the Rangers goal several times and, from a deep ball, Rudman stole in a add a second with a firm header. Sowden nearly added a third near the end but the result was never in real doubt from the opening goal onwards.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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