Mardell’s winner bags Eastern Region Plate for Royston
- Credit: Archant
Hannah Mardell’s winner won Royston Town Ladies the Eastern Region Plate in their final clash with Hutton Town.
On one of the hottest afternoon’s of the year the Crows deservedly lifted the Shield after a tense battle against the Essex outfit.
Royston went into the final as favourites and were quickly into their stride as they mounted a series of attacks led by leading goalscorer Jo Rutherford, Ashleigh Tuck and Grace Leslie.
Royston’s midfield trio of Heather Parete, Becky Fisk and player of the game Dani Lewis dominated the proceedings but Hutton, with five strung across the middle of the park, restricted the spaces for the killer pass and chances were few and far between.
When the chances did come Royston found the Hutton keeper in great form and even when she was beaten the crossbar came to her rescue on two occasions before the break and the teams went in level at 0-0.
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After half-time, and with the heat beginning to take its toll, both teams made maximum use of the roll on roll off system of substitutes to keep up the tempo of the game.
However, Royston always looked the most likely of the teams to score and on 70 minutes thought they had.
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Grace Leslie got on the end of a through ball and with a sublime chip sent the ball goal bound with the keeper completely beaten.
As the Royston players turned away to celebrate they could not believe it when the ball clipped the underside of the crossbar and somehow managed to spin away to safety.
It looked like it was not going to be Royston’s day, but they never lost their ambition to drive forward and were rewarded on 86 minutes.
Rutherford took an in swinging corner from the right and the ball once again hit the cross bar, but on this occasion it rebounded into the path of Mardell who netted the all important winner from six yards.