Henman bags a brace as five-star Luton Ladies defeat Bedford in County Cup

Hatters reach semi-final after comfortable victory

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 10:00 am
Nicola Henman
Nicola Henman

Luton Town Ladies returned from their enforced four month break with a convincing 5-0 win over Bedford Town Ladies Reserves in the Beds FA County Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

Goals for Aurora Ryan, Jess McKay, Dionne Manning and a brace from Nicola Henman saw the Hatters into the last four of the competition.

The visitors started on the front foot, Henman seeing her effort coming back off the post inside eight minutes.

The Bedford keeper was forced into a couple of very good saves before Manning opened the scoring on 25 minutes, rounding the stopper and slotting home.

McKay saw her free-kick tipped on to the post, but it was 2-0 just minutes later though, debutant Charlene Moreton putting a corner on to the head of Henman to double Town’s advantage.

With just 10 minutes remaining until the break, there was still time for some more goalmouth action.

A Luton corner bounced around inside the six yard box before hitting the crossbar and going over.

On the stroke of half time Town did get their third though, captain McKay placing a first-time effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

The second period started slowly in difficult conditions and it took until almost the midway point for a fourth to arrive, Ryan rounding the keeper after taking a perfectly weighted through ball from Sheree Oliver into her stride.

There was still time for Henman to add a fifth, and her second, tapping into an empty net after another McKay effort came back off the post.

Luton had chances to add a few more to their tally, but some good defending and goalkeeping kept them out.

Ahead of the game, the Hatters announced two new signings with Rebecca Ferris and Moreton joining.

On Ferris, who came through the youth system and made several appearances for the first team previously, boss Nikki Baker said: “Bex was one of our most consistent players over the past few seasons and we missed her when she went to university.

“It’s great to have her back involved in the squad.”

Meanwhile Moreton has arrived from Bedford, as Baker added: “Wiggy is a player I have known about for a few years and she has played against us several times for other clubs, usually scored too!

“She has fitted in really well, I’m looking forward to seeing her in action.”

Luton host Colney Heath Ladies in the Challenge Cup this weekend.

The reserves won 3-1 at Houghton Athletic Ladies.

>> AFC Dunstable Women made a great start to their Eastern Women’s League Challenge Cup Group A campaign with a 5-1 win over Haringey Borough Women.

Lori Wilson-Phillips, Tia Steadman, Hannah Ring, Chelsea Jeffrey and Gemma Darvill were on target.

>> Houghton Athletic Ladies Saints were beaten 2-1 at AFC Dunstable Women’s Blues.