Kings Langley Ladies FC managed to put the last few troubled weeks aside to book their place in their first ever County Cup quarter-final after beating Broadhall Ladies 3-2.
Rachael Lee broke free after five minutes and, having beaten the keeper, saw her shot hit the post.
This spurred the visitors on, who saw home keeper Abbie Tarsey in defiant mood, thwarting their efforts.
After a fairly even 20-minute spell, Lee broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, being put through by Sophie Jackson.
That lead was to last until the half hour mark when Broadhall levelled, and then up to half-time it was a game of action at both ends.
Lee had a shot blocked, while Sam Walters’ follow up was saved, and just before half-time, the visitors struck the crossbar.
Kings regained the lead when Jackson combined to set up Lee again for her second, but right on the stroke of half-time the visitors levelled again.
The second half saw Langley lay siege to the visitors’ goal, with Lee, Jackson and Walters testing out the keeper and going so close to taking the lead.
Kim Nield saw her free-kick go close, but Langley didn’t have it all their own way though, with Nield and Jess Earthrowl marshalling the defence to deny Broadhall with some timely tackling.
With extra-time looming, Lee sealed her hat-trick to send Langley through to their first ever quarter-final appearance.
Illness and injuries saw only nine players able to compete, but they put in a gritty battling performance that had Mmnager Chris Walker full of praise.
“I am very proud of what the team achieved,” he said. “Everyone gave it their all, never stopped and even when Broadhall equalised twice, they kept going determined to get the win.
“I cant really single out one player after that display.”
“Hopefully the team can take this win as a major boost to their confidence and we can now push on into the second half of our season,” added Walker, who is looking for some new players to bolster the side.
They play in the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Women’s Football League, with games taking place on Sunday afternoons. Training sessions are usually held on Thursday evenings.
Players of any ability and experience are welcome, with the only criteria being that players must be over 16 to play in the league.
The team’s County Cup quarter-final against Hoddesdon Owls Ladies will be played this Sunday at High Street Green, Adeyfield, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7AR. The game kicks-off at 2pm, and Walker added: “We will need all the support we can.”