Tough cup final challenge for Stagettes against champions Long Eaton

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Mansfield Town Ladies face a stern test in the East Midlands Women’s League Cup Final when they face unbeaten champions Long Eaton United Ladies at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley ground on Sunday, May 22 (3pm).

The Blues, already promoted to the Women’s FA Premier League, are formidable opposition and will not want to lose that unbeaten record in the final game of the campaign as they go for the double.

In the league clashes this season, the sides drew 3-3 in a thriller at Grange Park before United won 2-1 at Mansfield.

Entry to the game is a £2 charity donation and, after the game Long Eaton will also be presented with their league trophy.

A final 4-1 home win over Rise Park Ladies saw United finish off their league season in style, ending with a record of played 18, won 16, drew 2 and lost 0 to finish on an impressive 50 points.

The Stags made the final in thrilling style with a last gasp winner after an intense 120 minutes of football saw them pip Bedworth United Ladies 4-3 at Ellistown.

In contrast, a depleted Blues travelled to Raunds Town and demolished them 11-0.

Stags ladies’ director of football Allan Woodfield said: “It will be a challenge but nothing we can’t overcome.

“We had two tight games with Long Eaton in the league and, in all fairness, we should have won the away game but for a late penalty decision.

“I believe we deserved to win that one and it could have been comfortable if we had put away some of the chances we had.

“Going into a cup final, it’s anyone’s game – we know that.

“I think we can deliver on the bigger stage. Our girls seem to thrive under pressure and the cup final will bring more pressure. So hopefully we can come away with the trophy.”

He added: “It looks like we’ll finish third in the league which is disappointing as we wanted that top spot.

“But it’s always a tough challenge when you come down and have to try to fight your way back up.

“The league is a hell of a lot stronger now then when we were previously in it.

“Teams like Bedworth, Long Eaton and Nettleham are all really good footballing teams who want to progress their game forward, which is nice to see.

“But it’s still disappointing for us not to do it this year and we will now start to get everything ready to try to do it next year.”

United Ladies manager Charlotte Healy said: “We are all so proud. We’ve found consistency and that’s been a major factor.

“Good results and performances breeds confidence and the players quickly developed a mind-set and belief that every time we set out, we were setting out to win the game. Now we focus again for our cup final.”