12:00 8th May 2017
Second string claim championship with 4-1 win...
STOKE City Ladies Reserves have wrapped up the FA Women’s Premier League Reserve Midland Division title following a 4-1 victory over Cardiff City.
The triumph rounds off a superb season for the reserves but they were made to work hard for it in the sunshine at Community Drive.
Rachael Ball opened the scoring on the stroke of half time following good work on the wing by Sophie Taylor. Taylor’s pull back was perfect for Ball who benefitted from a helping hand by the goalkeeper to spark jubilant scenes.
Second placed Cardiff were out of the title race but arrived in the Potteries hoping to spoil Stoke’s party and they equalised 10 minutes into the second half through Jasmine Turner.
Lesser teams could have crumbled after that setback but Stoke bounced back almost immediately with Emily Curteis continuing her fantastic form in front of goal with a strike from the edge of the area.
Stoke knew that a win would guarantee a top placed finish in the league and that victory was all but secured when Kerri Brown’s clearance from her own half bounced over Cardiff keeper Molly Facey and into the back of the net in the 69th minute.
There was still time for one more goal - Ella Pemberton delightfully volleying Ball’s corner beyond Facey.
The three points ensured an eighth win on the bounce for the reserves and shows the tremendous strength in depth at the club.
Deserved title winners, Stoke dropped just 10 points all season, scoring 60 goals in their 18 matches.
Stoke City: Langstone, King, Garner, Jones (Robinson 80), Sale-Hancock, Brown, Taylor (Limb 61), Pemberton, Curteis (Iddenden 74), Swanwick, Ball. Unused: Kolbuck, Ridgway.