Belles taste County Cup success

Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles celebrate their cup win. Photo: Lincolnshire FA.Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles celebrate their cup win. Photo: Lincolnshire FA.
Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles celebrate their cup win. Photo: Lincolnshire FA.
​Sleaford Town JFC U16 Belles have become county champions after a stunning win at Stamford’s Zeeco Stadium.

Belles saw off Moulton Harrox, who had only lost twice all season, by a 3-0 scoreline to become 2024 Lincolnshire FA County U16 Girls’ Cup champions.

Sleaford took the lead after 25 minutes. Jess Frick got on the end of a fine cross from the outside of Lily Burns’ foot and cut across the penalty area before seeing her shot saved by keeper Keira Webb, but Frick was on hand to bundle the ball over the line.

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Just 12 minutes later, Sleaford got their second. A phenomenal ball over the top from Marla Bell was met by Frick who got into the edge of the box and pulled the ball back for Emily Grove who took a touch and drilled a sublime shot into the bottom right corner to double Sleaford's lead.

The third goal then arrived midway through the second-half.

Ellie Parish floated in a good ball from a free-kick and Alisha Appleby got there before Webb to poke it past the Harrox keeper and into the bottom left corner.

That would be more than enough to see Sleaford become winners and a delighted boss Ricky Pledger couldn’t hide his pride when speaking to the Lincolnshire FA’s media channels after the game.

He said: “The girls played really well. We knew Moulton Harrox would be dangerous in playing the ball into their strikers so the plan was to try and shut that down as much as we could, then once we’d shut that down we were able to get control of the game, get into a good lead and just settle into it.

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"At half-time I said to the girls that Moulton Harrox would come out with fire in their bellies and we’d have to weather that storm, then once it calmed down to try and get forward and get the third goal which would kill the game.

"We’ve had a really good season – there have been some ups and downs as with most teams, but the fact we’ve come away with a County Cup win in our first year together is a credit to the girls and the confidence they’ve shown throughout the season.

"Sleaford is a huge community club with numerous teams at numerous age groups and the club put a great effort in to support the teams and coaches.”