Coventry City Ladies' Courtney Sweetman-Kirk believes the Sky Blues have had a great season...
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk now feels that Coventry City Ladies have the ‘’mark of a successful club’’, after they retained the Birmingham FA County Cup with a victory over Sporting Club Albion.
Helen Dermody netted her 10th goal of the season to put the Sky Blues ahead inside the opening five minutes at Damson Park, only for Ashleigh Neville to equalise late in the game. Both teams traded punches in extra-time, before Natalie Reay fired in after Albion had failed to clear from a corner.
However, the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division side provided a dramatic finale, as Robyn James fired in from point-blank range in the 120th minute to send the game to penalties. Goalkeeper Sue Wood was the hero in the shootout, saving the first and final kicks to win 4-3 on spot-kicks and lift the FA County Cup for the second year in succession.
The Sky Blues also defeated Knowle, Coventry Development Ladies, Leafield Athletic and – last year’s finalists – Aston Villa, along the way.
Sweetman-Kirk said: "It feels great to retain the cup. I feel that winning a cup at any level is one thing but to retain it takes a lot more effort and demonstrates the mark of a successful club.
"The win ranks very highly and retaining the cup was very important for the whole club. Now we have to focus and better our league position from last year, which was another aim at the start of the season and still looks more than possible."
On the night, the Sky Blues struggled to engineer the type of football that has rewarded them with three consecutive league wins over Charlton Athletic, Barnet and Cardiff City in recent weeks, but it was very much a case of the result taking precedence over the performance.
The Sky Blues now face a busy week as they return to league duties. They take on high-flying Leeds United this Sunday (12th), before gracing the Villa Park turf to take on their local rivals two days later (Tuesday 14th, with a 7pm kick-off).
The club finish their league schedule in a little over two weeks, with a home tie against struggling Portsmouth.
Both home fixtures will take place at the DCS Stadium, home of Stratford Town Football Club, and will kick off at 2pm.