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Brentford Women v Dorking Wanderers Women

Capital Cup Final

April 23rd 2023

1pm KO, Bedfont Sports FC

A Third Cup Final In Three Years...

This Sunday the Dorking Wanderers Women will be looking to defend their Capital Cup trophy as they travel to Bedfont Sports FC to face league promotion rivals Brentford.

Founded in 2020, Wanderers have reached the final of the competition at the end of each season they have competed in so far. Defeated on penalties by New London Lionesess in June 2021 at Hendon FC, Wanderers did manage to go one better the following year to win their first silverware. In front of a good crowd and lively atmosphere at Meadowbank, Charlie Blunt's close range finish 5 minutes before half-time was ultimately enough to settle a competitive, hard fought contest.

This term Lou Cooper's side have defeated Badshot Lea, Reigate, Welling United, Richmond & Kew and London Seaward Reserves on their route to the final, scoring 23 goals in the process and conceding just 2. A total of 12 different players have netted for Wanderers in this year's competition; Gemma Shepherd with the highest individual tally of 4 goals, striker partner's Cherelle Khassal and Katie Butts each finding the net 3 times, as has central midfielder Xayla.

Sunday's opponents Brentford currently lead the way at the top of the London & South East Regional Divison One with 32 points from 16 games played. With last year's finalists Clapton and Denham United occupying the spots in between, Wanderers currently reside in 4th place on 27 points but have at least two games in hand on the sides above them.

Back To Winnings Ways Last Sunday..

After a run of 3 games without a win, including defeats against Hackney Women and Whyteleafe, Wanderers got back to winning ways emphatically last Sunday afternoon at Meadowbank, seeing off then-leaders Clapton Community 5-2.

It was not the ideal start for Wanderers as the London based side opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock through Marta Casanovas, but Gemma Shepherd quickly cancelled out the effort as many minutes later to level the scores. It was a frantic closing ten minutes to the opening half as Shepherd scored again to get Wanderers in front, fellow striker Charlotte Keenan then quickly extending the lead after getting on the end of a corner ball. Teju Callisto reduced the lead for Clapton before a quality strike from Alice Bowles from outside the box restored the two goal advantage just before the whistle. With twenty minutes to go Shepherd earned herself the match ball by winning and scoring a penalty, and that's how the score remained from there.

The Captain's View...

Captain and goalkeeper Jenna Morris shares her thoughts ahead of Sunday's final...

"For the third season in a row, we’ve reached the final of the Capital Cup. A cup final is a special occasion for any player at any level. To have reached the final 3 years in a row is something of an achievement we are proud of. It’s testament to the hard work this group of players and the management team have put in, and we want to use the experiences of previous cup finals to spur us on in this one.

We have an enormous amount of respect for Brentford. Like Dorking, their men’s setup has backed the Women’s team well and are building. Brentford always try to play football and have a clear system, set of principles and way of playing and they are tough opponents. We know we will have to be at our best, but I have full belief in everyone in this team. We’re looking forward it.

There really is no other feeling like it in football than winning a trophy, it’s ultimately what you look back on in the years to come and judge yourself by. It will be a hugely proud moment for me to lead the team out in a cup final, and I want the girls to enjoy the occasion, as they don’t come round often. It will be a fascinating game, if we play the way we can and deliver what we have been working on all season in training, I know we have an excellent chance of lifting the trophy once again.”

Tickets for Sunday's final are available via the link below, priced at Adults £5, Concessions £3 and U16's Free.

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