Shoot-out agony for Ammies' girls

PUBLISHED: 18:33 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:00 10 June 2010

Exmouth Amateurs U13 Girls 1, Tamarside Girls 1 Devon Cup final (Tamarside won 9-8 on penalties): Drama, tension - this game had it all.

Exmouth Amateurs U13 Girls 1, Tamarside Girls 1 Devon Cup final (Tamarside won 9-8 on penalties): Drama, tension - this game had it all. After 80 minutes of pulsating football, Exmouth just came up short, losing in a penalty shoot- out against a Tamarside side packed with Plymouth Argyle players, writes Andrew Rawlings.

Tamarside dominated the early part of the game and Exmouth were indebted to keeper Katie Burnett, who made a series of great saves.

Defenders Natalie Volpini and Jessie Dunn were in outstanding form as Tamarside piled on the pressure.

The midfield trio of Holly Burdick, Laura Allen and Leah Rawlings worked tirelessly to deny their opponents space.

Striker Marika Ghiglia had to cover a lot of ground on her own up front, and it was her pace and strength that forced a fine save after she drove in a shot.

Exmouth then had a series of corners that fizzed across the goalmouth as they kept up the pressure.

Ghiglia broke the deadlock midway through the first half as she strode on to Volpini's through ball, held off her marker and fired home.

The second half started in the same fashion with Tamarside attacking.

Exmouth defended really well with new midfield trio Lara Spires, Sammy Griffiths and Emma Cooper pressing the ball and forcing Tamarside into long-range shots. Keeper Burnett was forced to make two fantastic tips over the bar.

Tamarside deservedly equalised midway through the second half to set up a superb ending to the game as both teams poured forward in search of a winner but neither could fashion a clear-cut chance.

Extra-time was probably Exmouth's best period of the game as they piled on the pressure. Tamarside's keeper made a fantastic double save as she brilliantly turned away Ghiglia's shot then bravely dived at the feet of Leah Rawlings to save the rebound.

Toni Brooks then made a great saving tackle as she tracked her runner into the box.

The last two chances were similar as Rawlings smashed in a free-kick that was headed away, then Volpini headed away a Tamarside free-kick.

The penalty shoot-out was as dramatic as the game, Tamarside finally winning 9-8.

This was a fantastic occasion to be involved in and both sides can be proud of their performance that was a great advert for girls' football.

From the entire Exmouth girls' squad and myself we would like to thank all the families for their wonderful support on the night.

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