Lancaster City Ladies are through to the LFA Women’s County League Challenge Cup Final after a 7-2 win over Penwortham Town Ladies Reserves.
Hat tricks from Sarah Haslam and Jody Campbell were huge in securing their place in the final, in which they will play against Horwich St Mary’s Ladies.
The Dolly Ladies enjoyed a strong start to the game, with Jody Campbell putting them ahead in the first few minutes after connecting with Kayleigh Young’s cross from the left.
Ellie Parkinson was playing just her third game for Lancaster City on dual registration with Fleetwood Town Wrens Ladies and was excellent on the left-hand side, constantly winning the ball, making clever forward passes and being crucial to the build up to goals. She had an opportunity to make it 2-0 but her chipped effort was just too high.
Penwortham started threatening towards the end of the first half with the Lancaster defence, player of the match Emma Boothman especially, and goalkeeper Lucy Askew holding firm to deny the visitors from a series of set plays and crosses.
All in all, it was a decent enough first half display from Lancaster but nowhere near as dominant as they have been in previous weeks or, for that matter, they were in the second half of this game.
After the break, the Dolly Ladies really upped the ante. A corner delivery came off a Penwortham defender and Sarah Haslam was there to score a tap in.
Kayleigh Young produced a great pass for Jody Campbell, who weaved her way past the Penwortham defence and rifled the ball into the net.
After a brief spell of pressure from the away side, the Dolly Ladies got their fourth. Parkinson made a great run down the left-hand side and delivered an inch perfect cross for Sarah Haslam to once again convert from close range.
Penwortham got a consolation mere seconds after Lancaster’s fourth. Laura Woods hit a speculative effort from about 25 yards out and Askew was helpless to stop it.
Lancaster’s top goal scorer Kayleigh Young got her 45th goal of the season to make it five for the home side, curling the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Young had an opportunity to bag a brace but was denied by the Penwortham keeper, who could only parry it into the path of Sarah Haslam, who got her hat trick and her 22nd goal of the season.
Lucy Askew spilled a cross and Kathryn O’Boyle was there to get an insignificant goal for the away side.
Jody Campbell completed her hat trick in magnificent fashion with an incredible free kick from some distance and an acute angle to round off the goalmouth action.
Campbell, who last week picked up the Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year last week at the club’s awards evening, spoke to Beyond Radio post-match to reflect on the game and the season as a whole.
“I didn’t feel like I had my best game but we came and got the win. We tried different formations today and we had a mixed side again because of injuries in the team and players going on holiday.
“It just shows the massive squad we’ve got and how good a squad we’ve got to come and do a job.
“This season has been brilliant, we didn’t expect this – we just thought we would be learning as we went along and we didn’t think we’d be winning every home game. We wanted promotion and that’s what we got, we’re just hoping for that title now.”
Lancaster City Ladies are still awaiting confirmation from the LFA with regards to their one remaining league game against Kendal Town Ladies which has now been postponed several times.
It remains to be seen whether it will eventually be played or given as a walkover for the Dolly Ladies. They are already promoted but three more points would crown them league champions.
Lancaster City Ladies will face Horwich St Mary’s Ladies – who finished second in the Division 1 South East - at Leyland County Ground in the final of the LFA Women’s County League Challenge Cup, with the provisional date of the game being Sunday, June 4.