Clapton CFC squeezed through into the semi-final of the Capital Women’s Cup but were made to work hard for it by a resilient Sutton United U23s side.
Although we beat them 5-0 on the first game of the season, Sutton have been improving every week of the season.
In the previous round they had knocked out higher division Dulwich Hamlet Reserves and grabbed draws in the league against high-flying Bromley, Headstone Manor and Comets.
The breakthrough came in the 40th minute, with Maria Mendonca teeing up Link, who evaded challenges from both the defender and keeper to slot it in. A typically faultless finish.
It was looking like a 1-0 win was going to be enough although Sutton were pushing for an equaliser. And with ten minutes to go, the goal came from the spot, with Sophia Demetriou scoring.
That was it for normal time, and we went straight to penalties. In an unusual move, the referee ordered the shoot-out to take place in silence and threatened to abandon the game if there was any noise from supporters.
Fortunately, the Sutton United coach assured the ref that their players were fine to play and the penalties could continue. CCFC fans were allowed to continue singing their support for the team.
With the goalkeeper for our two previous penalty shoot-outs, Polly Adams, unavailable for this game, it was time for a new hero to step up.
The travelling players and supporters – most making a four-hour round trip from East London to this Capital Women’s Cup tie in Banstead – were rewarded with a home tie in the next round. And it’s against the Sutton United first team, the best left in the competition.
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