The Ladies squad yesterday made Academy history by reaching the semi-finals of the ECFA National Cup, making them the first EDSV team to ever reach the final four.

In six seasons, the provision has always enjoyed cup runs; however, there seemed to be a quarter-final hoodoo after previously reaching the last sixteen on four other occasions, only to suffer defeat.

Going in to yesterday’s fixture, it would be fair to suggest that the girls were slight underdogs. Travelled to compete against the very impressive Reading Women JMA squad was never going to be an easy day at work, and it was clear to see that hard graft was going to be needed from the first whistle as Reading piled on the pressure straight away with a string of chances.

After a high tempo start from both teams, the Elites began to take the ascendancy with some solid passages of play.

A few half chances fell the girl’s way before a moment of brilliance proved to be the difference between the two teams. The ball made its way to Eliza Diaz who fashioned herself a yard. The following shot could only be described as a canon as it crashed against the bar and bounced down in to the six-yard box. It proved not to be a ‘nearly’ moment however as the onrush of defenders and forwards saw a scramble and the ball trickle over the line and become the first and only goal of the game.

Reading continued to plug away to rectify the deficit; however, the defending of the Elites outweighed the home sides attacking attempts and they couldn’t find a way through.

Not to be without further chances, the EDSV girls had three good opportunities to extend their lead but the early goal proved to be enough as the delightful sound of the final whistle rang out loudly.

Speaking with Ladies Academy Manager after the game, Nicol said she was ‘proud and pleased’ that the girls hard work had been rewarded. “We’ve not been without our fair share of negatives this season and it would have been very easy for the girls to have given up on a number of occasions; however, the togetherness of our girls is a large reason behind their success” stated Nicol.

Next up is home advantage against Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC), who are also enjoying an incredible season. Plying their trade in the ECFA West Midlands Category 2 League, NULC are yet to taste defeat as they have won all seven of their league games, and created a +24-goal difference on their way.

The semi-final date is yet to be confirmed; however, what we do know is two very good teams will be hoping for that place in the final, which will be played at Walsall FC on Monday 30th April.
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