This was the Women’s FA Plate Competition Final, which I attended because my very good friend’s daughter, Natalie Murray, plays for the Baggies, as West Bromwich Albion are known. I had been to watch her play in the semi final, against Gillingham, which WBA had lost, only to then find out that Gillingham had fielded ineligible players, allowing WBA an immediate route to the final. Liverpool had also lost their semi final, before being reinstated, due to their opposition, being disqualified, so it was set to be a very unique final!
WBA were already top of their league and had secured a final place in the Birmingham County Cup, so went into this match full of confidence.
It was a bitterly cold day and WBA took the lead within minutes of the kick off with a long range free kick from their captain Hannah George.
Liverpool Feds battled hard throughout and fought their way straight back into the game, with a scrambled finish by Molly Farley.
Jess Davies gave West Brom the lead again, just before half time. The WBA Manager, Louis Sowe, made some tweaks at half time and when the teams came out a revitalised West Brom really cut loose, scoring three goals from Laura Davies, Ria Elsemore and Natalie Murray to win the match comfortably, 5-1.
The final was well fought, entertaining and with some really high quality ball play and finishing. This was a real advert for the quality of the modern women’s game. WBA went on to secure promotion to the third tier of women’s football, by winning the league that season.