WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: St Ives Town Ladies chief upbeat following cup final defeat

The St Ives Town Ladies team beaten in the Hunts Women’s Premier Cup final on Tuesday are back row,

The St Ives Town Ladies team beaten in the Hunts Women’s Premier Cup final on Tuesday are back row, left to right, Ella Burnley, Abbi Griffin, Anna Hicks, Connie Liddiard, Emily Stephenson, Sasha Smith, Cherish Sibanda, Molly Berryman, front row, Chantelle Abraham, Mollie Flack, Hannah Seymour-Shove, Paige Jones, Tierney Coulson, Sophie Marjoram, Georgia Stancombe, Ruth Fox, Katie Stancombe and Katie Luddy. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town Ladies took plenty of positives from a heavy cup final defeat.

The local side were beaten 5-1 by higher-level Cambridge City in the Hunts Women's Premier Cup showpiece on Tuesday night.

Saints, who play in the Eastern Region Women's League Premier Division, fell behind after just six minutes and soon saw the deficit double following an unfortunate mix-up between defender Moillie Flack and goalkeeper Sophie Marjoram.

Saints then performed well for the remainder of the opening half but any thoughts of a comeback were dashed by three further City goals in the opening 11 minutes of the second period.

And while that salvo put victory beyond doubt for the City side from Division One South-East of the National Women's League, Saints did manage a deserved consolation after making a host of changes.

And two of the players introduced were involved in the goal as Katie Luddy superbly lobbed the City keeper from 20 yards after fine pressure by Ella Burnley forced a defensive mistake.

Ruth Fox twice went close to further goals for Saints with Abbie Griffin headed another excellent chance just over the bar.

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A number of smart saves from Marjoram also prevented further damage at the other end.

"Despite the scoreline we were able to take plenty of positives from the game," said Saints chief Darren Marjoram.

"It showed that, if we can be a little bit more clinical in front of goal, we will be more than a match for teams in our league and even the level above.

"It was also encouraging to see that players who were introduced through the game showed they could cope against higher-level opponents and also put them under increased pressure."

Saints were without a league fixture last weekend and that's also the case this Sunday. They return to action when travelling to Harlow Town Ladies on November 3.

The final of the men's Hunts Premier Cup competition takes place this Tuesday as St Ives Town and Yaxley meet at Hall Road, the home of Eynesbury Rovers (7.45pm).