Carlisle United Ladies win Cumberland FA Cup

Carlisle United with the Cumberland FA Cup.

Carlisle United lifted the Cumberland FA Women’s County Cup on Friday evening with victory over Penrith AFC Ladies, in front of a record crowd for the final at Brunton Park.

United’s Chelsie Browbank came closest in the early exchanges, hitting the post from an acute angle, before Melissa Mallin drifted a free kick just wide of the Penrith right-hand post.

Carlisle survived a 39th-minute goal-mouth scramble to take the lead moments later, as Georgia Smethurst and Kerri Mallinson combined to find Stacey Harkness-Grant, who caught Penrith ‘keeper Michelle Jones off her line with a 40-yard strike.

Sharina Robinson was close to doubling the advantage from distance soon after the interval and Carly Stevenson could only hit over the bar when well placed on 78 minutes.

At the other end Penrith were working hard to force extra time and missed a gilt-edged chance 7 minutes from time when clean through on goal only to hit well wide of the mark.

That left Player of the Match and United Captain, Sharina Robinson, to lift the Cup into the air for the third time in four seasons.

Carlisle Manager, Tracy Gannon, said: “I’m so so proud of the girls’ performance tonight. They battled hard for the whole game and supported each other throughout. We knew it was going to be tough, especially on that size of pitch but the girls coped with it really well. Despite the tiredness through the volume of games leading up to the Final, they excelled themselves again.”

The Cumberland FA Women’s County Cup was being played at Brunton Park stadium for the first time since 2004 and saw a record crowd of 403 in attendance.