Levy Green Whites produce a cup upset to book a semi-final spot


Leverstock Green Ladies Whites are through to the Senior County Cup semi-finals after a 4-2 win over a Hoddesdon side who play two divisions above them in the football pyramid.

Levy started well and took the lead inside a minute through Anna Novelli, and she made it 2-0 just three minutes later.

Hoddesdon hit back, but Levy earned the win with further goals from Frankie Novelli and Mia Hickey.

Playing in their first competitive game since January 12, and at the sixth time of asking, this County Cup quarter-final match finally took place.

Leverstock faced tough opposition but they wasted no time in taking the game to the home side when Cally Salter battled through a couple of challenges immediately from the kick-off to set up Novelli who fired home to give Levy the lead within 30 seconds of the start.

Amazingly, Novelli doubled lead less than three minutes later when she hunted the ball down to create and dispatch her second chance of the game against a shell-shocked Hoddesdon outfit.

Levy Green continued to press and create further opportunities and should really have extended the lead on more than one other occasion before Hoddesdon began to regain some composure and get a foothold in the game.

After a period of intense end to end action Hoddesdon finally got their breakthrough when Levy failed to clear their lines and the home side capitalised on this indecision to reduce the lead to 2-1 after 24 minutes.

Just four minutes later, however, the two-goal Levy Green advantage was restored when a Hoddesdon clearance fell to Frankie Novelli on the right hand flank and in a moment of inspiration she hit the ball on the half-volley from all of 30 yards into the far left-hand corner of the goal.

With half-time looming, Green once again gave their hosts encouragement when a sloppy clearance gifted Hoddesdon a second goal after 42 minutes and saw the teams go into the half-time break with Levy holding narrow 3-2 advantage.

Unsurprisingly, Hoddesdon began the second period fired up and dominated the game for large spells of the opening 20 minutes of the half.

It was a tough challenge for the young Levy Green players to deal with, but deal with it they did and, after settling back into the game, they began to get more possession of the ball.

Mia Hickey capitalised on some Hoddesdon indecision to drive into the box, and just as it looked like the keeper had done enough, Hickey managed to spin with her back to goal to fire home and give Levy Green an unassailable 4-2 lead.

The last 20 minutes were fiercely competitive and as tempers flared the referee began to issue some yellow cards.

But with each and every one of the Levy Green players putting in a shift they saw the game home to earn a semi-final against the Leverstock Green Ladies 1st XI at Pancake Lane next Sunday.

Cally Salter was awarded player of the match, but special praise goes to all of the girls for the huge workload they got through in both attacking and defensive duties.