A football team from Bexhill narrowly missed out on qualifying for the BT Sport Women’s Pub Cup final.
A team of players from Bexhill United Ladies FC, representing The Wheatsheaf Inn at Little Common, was edged out on penalties in the semi-final at Manchester City Academy on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Wheatsheaf Inn topped their group with an unbeaten record to set up a semi-final against a team from Solihull for the opportunity to play in the final at St James’ Park, home of Newcastle United.
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After playing the group games on a variety of academy pitches, the semi-final was played on the Academy Stadium pitch, which was recently used for the England Women versus Canada international friendly.
The Wheatsheaf Inn went 1-0 up early in the first half through Lucy Knight only to be pegged back just before the break. The Wheatsheaf Inn fell behind to a penalty after the restart, but levelled with a spot-kick of their own, converted by Knight, moments later.
There was no extra-time, so the tie went straight to penalties. At the end of a long and tiring day for both teams, Solihull won 2-1.
Despite falling at the last hurdle, it was a fantastic experience for The Wheatsheaf Inn players.
The first ever Women’s BT Pub Cup - a nationwide grassroots tournament - featured 32 teams, and started with regional qualifiers at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Crystal Palace FC, Blackburn Rovers FC and Sheffield United FC.
The Wheatsheaf Inn successfully came through the qualifier at Palace’s Selhurst Park ground. After topping their initial group, they were edged out on penalties by The Swan Inn (Essex) in the final.