Barking & Dagenham girls defend title to secure treble
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 June 2019
Barking & Dagenham's district girls' squad made it back-to-back London League titles with a 3-1 win over Wokingham, which also secured an historic and unprecedented treble, in their last match of a long season.
Goals from Ellie Mai Morgan, Kayla Grain and Violette Sharpe in their 32nd fixture this term clinched the points against rivals who would have been crowned themselves if successful.
And manager Chris Wilding said: "This is a very special group of girls who have everything they had to get over the line.
"Our early games in this competition were a bit patchy but when the challenge was laid before them, they really stepped up. A 100 per cent record in their last four games, against some of the best teams in the country, says it all.
"Three of the squad will still be eligible to play for the side next season. let's hope they can do it all again!"
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Miquellah Meade shot wide after beating three defenders, while Kaltrina Ibrahimi's effort was tipped away. And Ibrahimi and Morgan had other attempts blocked after good work by Grain, while Morgan ran clear but fired just past the post.
The pressure told 10 minutes before the break when Meade pounced on a loose goal kick and forced a fine save from the keeper, with Morgan converting the rebound for her 17th district goal - on her record 52nd appearance.
But South East Cup winners Wokingham levelled as Mei Wang saved from Samantha Sehejpal, but was beaten by a stunning Jess Harris free-kick.
Ibrahimi was thwarted by a smart save just before the break, as Elishah Mintah-Adarkwah was forced off during the interval after a fine first-half display.
Grain dropped back as Lili-Mae Elsey moved to the right and a foul on Meade gave Grain the chance to see her free-kick deflected in by a defender.
Frida Ferrer pulled a first-time shot wide of Wang's goal, before a long kick from the keeper reached Sharpe, who fired home her fourth goal of the season with five minutes left to add the title to their Southern Counties Cup and Essex 7-a-side crowns.
Barking & Dagenham: Mei Wang, Miquellah Meade, Ellie Mai Morgan (all Henry Green), Elishah Mintah-Adarkwah, Kirsten McNaughton (George Carey), Violette Sharpe (Gascoigne), Kayla Grain (Richard Alibon), Lily-Mae Elsey (Northbury), Kaltrina Ibrahimi (William Ford).