Peterborough Ladies 3, Hethersett Athletic Ladies 3(Hethersett won 6-5 on penalties)Hethersett Athletic Ladies defied all the odds to reach the semi-finals of the Eastern Region League Cup.

Peterborough Ladies 3, Hethersett Athletic Ladies 3

(Hethersett won 6-5 on penalties)

Hethersett Athletic Ladies defied all the odds to reach the semi-finals of the Eastern Region League Cup.

Injuries and illness saw Hethersett without several regular first team players.

Reserve team player Charlotte Swann came into midfield with Natasha Snelling making her first appearance of the season. The team travelled with just 11 players with only Kate Ellis over the age of 20.

In addition they suffered a number of injuries during the game with Amy Batch having to be taken to hospital with a bad foot injury.

Despite all this Hethersett carved out a very unlikely victory against a Peterborough team they had lost to 4-0 in the league earlier in the season.

It was 'edge of the seat' stuff as the game swung back and forth through 30 minutes of extra-time and a nerve-racking penalty shoot-out.

Hethersett started brightly and deservedly took the lead as Swann fired a 20 yard drive into the top corner.

Peterbrough began to take control and two goals gave them the lead. Hethersett came back before half-time with Stacey Annison smashing a long-range free kick home for the equaliser.

Peterborough tried to muscle Hethersett out of the game after the break with a player being booked for an ugly tackle on Kate Ellis. The home side regained the lead as Hethersett lost their concentration.

Batch then received a bad injury and was taken to hospital by ambulance, reducing the visitors to 10.

Hethersett continued to battle on and, with 10 minutes left, a corner was only half cleared and the ball fell for Emma Mulley to curl through a ruck of players into the far corner.

The extra 30 minutes saw Hethersett's work rate and dedication help them to match the home side. Both sides went close but the game went to a penalty shoot-out.

Emily Coates, Stacey Annison, Grace Birchall, Natasha Snelling and Georgia Adcock were all on target for the visitors, only to see Peterborough match them to make it 5-5.

The game needed a heroine and it came in the shape of Hethersett keeper Amy Bell. Firstly she tipped a Peterborough penalty over the bar and then calmly strode up to slot her own penalty home to give Hethersett what, for much of the match, had looked like an unlikely victory.

The team's commitment and enthusiasm saw them through to the semi-final of a competition they have won in the last two seasons. In the semi-finals they will play Billericay, Chelmsford, Braintree or Ipswich Wanderers.

Afterwards Hethersett manager Chris Bolderstone was full of praise for his team: “It was an incredible display as we battled with our backs to the wall for much of the game. We showed unbelievable levels of commitment and team spirit,” he said.

HETHERSETT ATHLETIC LADIES HEARTS: Hethersett consolidated their position at the top of Norfolk Women's League Division Two with a 5-0 win at home to Hockering. Hockering provided well organised opposition and became the first team this season to prevent Hethersett hot shot Hannah Waters from scoring. A very youthful Hethersett team had Ellie Preece making her senior debut in goal and Alicia Lacey also making her debut. The experience came in the shape of former first team players Hazel Shepherd and Lisa Ferdani. Hethersett had plenty of chances to make the scoreline more emphatic but were content with their display which saw Charlotte Fisher score twice with other goals coming from Vickie Swann, Alicia Lacey and Rhianne Brister.

HETHERSETT ATHLETIC GIRLS U14 put in a competent display against a hard-working Blofield side and won 4-1. They took the lead after eight minutes as Ella Stephenson slotted home from a narrow angle after good work from Sophie Rock. Rock made it 2-0 before half-time after being put through by Sophie Cooke. Blofield started the second half brightly and pulled a goal back from close range after a long shot had come back off the bar. Hethersett once again gained control and Stephenson made it 3-1 before combining with Rock for the latter's second goal of the game to complete the scoring.