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Ladies Reach Cup Final

Cassie Hyde

THIRTEEN was the lucky number for Stoke City Ladies as they powered their way into the Staffordshire FA Ladies Challenge Cup final at the weekend, writes James Knowles.

Hannah Keryakoplis’ five-goal haul helped her team to a memorable 13-0 win over Shenstone to set up a repeat of last year’s final against Sporting Khalsa. 

Keryakoplis was immediately involved in the action at Community Drive and hit the bar before heading the Potterettes into a sixth minute lead. 

Faye McCoy’s delivery for the opener was exquisite, and she was at it again shortly after when she whipped in a corner that was headed into the back of the net by captain for the day, Cassie Hyde. 

There was a lucky escape for Stoke when Holly Meehan cracked a shot against the post for the visitors but 30 seconds later City scored their third of the afternoon. Keryakoplis received a ball from Beth Roberts and her shot took a deflection past goalkeeper Charley Lee. 

Leanne Robinson was next to get in on the act, slotting home at the second attempt following Sophie Taylor’s low cross, before Keryakoplis completed her hat-trick by poking the ball over the line from a yard out. 

Robinson brilliantly swept home another Taylor cross and Keryakoplis scored her best goal of the afternoon on the stroke of half-time to make it 7-0. The forward jinked her way past a couple of defenders before unleashing a vicious shot that flew over Lee and into the back of the net. 

Keryakoplis scored early in the second half before having a well-earned rest for the remainder of the game and Shenstone dug in to keep The Potterettes at bay for over 25 minutes. But a flurry of goals in the final quarter of an hour allowed Stoke to equal their best ever scoreline at Community Drive. 

Emily Owen opened the floodgates - lashing home from a Nic Hudson cross - before Ella Pemberton rounded the ‘keeper to score her first goal of the season and then Faye McCoy powered in a penalty after Ashleigh Hayes was fouled in the area.

Former City goalkeeper Tilly Hall, now playing outfield, hit a shot against the woodwork for Shenstone before Holly Chipman rolled home a penalty and then set up Hayes to score with the final kick of the match.

The result extends Tim Dudding’s side winning run to 10 matches and they return to league action next weekend, making the trip to Bradford City.

Stoke City: Burnside, Taylor, Hyde, Bruton (Bowyer 56), Owen, Roberts (Hudson 46), Richardson (Pemberton 46), McCoy, Chipman, Keryakoplis (Hayes 56), Robinson.

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