Foxes Academy Beat Anstey Nomads To Lift Women's County Cup

Rukanah Mogra
Two second-half goals from Amya Hammond-McLean and Romy Saunders were enough to crown LCFC Women Academy Westerby Group Women's County Cup champions.

Anstey Nomads Women 0 - 2 Leicester City WSL Academy U21s

In a tightly contested match between two brilliant sides, it was Louis Sowe’s Leicester City side who emerged victorious, after second-half goals from Player of the Match Amya Hammond-McLean and substitute Romy Saunders were enough to crown them winners of the Westerby Group Women’s Cup 2023/24.


Leicester City started off well, with full-back Libby Wooffindin trying her luck twice from outside the box but, on both occasions, it was caught comfortably by Holly Mayfield in the Anstey goal.   

Ten minutes later, Amya Hammond-McLean had a golden opportunity after midfielder Sarah Quinn whipped a dangerous ball into the box from the right-hand side but she scuffed at the chance - a let-off for the Nomads. 

At the half-hour mark, Anstey, having absorbed most of the Leicester City pressure, had an opportunity to go ahead when a lapse in communication between the Blues centre-backs after Morgan Bird’s long ball sent striker Monique Price baring down on goal, but skipper Kiera Bell got a vital touch to take it away. 

The best chance of the half came from a free-kick, which Anstey won 20 yards out after Analeice Wilkes was pushed in the back. 

Up stepped Morgan Bird, who struck a powerful effort goalward but, despite the deflection, Harriet Wayne in the Foxes net sprung acrobatically to her left and tipped it onto the post. 

Action from the first half

At the start of the second half, Leicester City took the lead. 

From kick-off, the ball was sent down the wing to Ella Jarowicki, who showcased her quality on the ball, spinning past Courtney Cropper on the right-hand side. She fizzed a pass across the box, which was helped on by Quinn and tapped in by Hammond-McLean.

Leicester City continued the pressure and searched for a second, this time with Mariela Dolan tricking her way in-field before Lucy Pugh played it off to Jarowicki, who dragged the shot wide from range. 

With 15 minutes to go, the U21s doubled their lead thanks to substitute Romy Saunders. 

Leicester City Women Academy celebrating their second goal

Poppy Groves picked the ball up in the middle of the park and drove forwards uncontested, and slipped it into Jarowicki, who deftly put it into the feet of Saunders. Making no mistake, she struck it first-time into the bottom corner past a rooted Mayfield. 

Cropper received a 40-yard pass from captain Megan Kenney, but her shot lacked the power needed to beat Wayne, who had an easy save to make. 

The Foxes had a chance to seal the deal after Groves’ quick free-kick sent Dolan into the box, and her clipped ball across was met by a charging Pugh, who put agonisingly wide.

The full-time whistle was met with applause for both sides for their participation in a good battle between two very deserving sides - but, ultimately, it was Leicester City’s WSL Academy U21s who came out on top, hitting twice in the second half to confirm their status as winners of the Westerby Group Women's Cup 2023/24.

The Player of the Match award was presented to Amya Hammond-McLean for her excellent display and her goal, which kick-started her team's charge to the trophy. 

Player of the Match Amya Hammond-McLean alongside Westerby Group Business Development Executive Jinal Sachdev (left) and County FA Football Development Director Sharon Reason (right)

Match Officials: Mark Pickering (Assistant Referee), Keith Scott (Fourth Official), John Carr (Referee) and Mark Platts (Assistant Referee)

Head coach Louis Sowe praised his side's performance and, in particular, the player of the match.

He said: “She [Amya] was a threat all game and was unpredictable in her movements and overall attacking play.

“The bar is now set really high [after winning two trophies], and we want to try and match that next season, or better it.”

Christy Feeley, manager of Anstey Nomads, was still proud of his side despite coming away with no silverware.

“I’m extremely proud of the girls. We rose to the occasion [despite being the underdogs] and gave it our best shot.

“I want every single girl in that dressing room to stay with us for next year. The transformation since I took over in January has been outstanding, now we have to go and build on that -  it’s all going the right way so far, but we’ve got to keep it ticking.”

Attendance: 357

Written by Rukanah Morga

Photography by Alexandra Johnson