Stourbridge Ladies pulled off an FA Cup upset as they knocked out tier three side Derby County Women in the first round.
The Glassgirls beat The Ewes 3-2 with a 92nd minute winner from club captain Courteney Murphy to reach the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
Manager Andy Fisher said: “This group of girls are truly remarkable, I knew it all week that we had something in us to cause an upset because these girls are so special.
“I’m proud of every single one of them, even the ones who didn’t feature for us yesterday, they still had a huge impact and were fully involved with the day. For me the togetherness they shown was key.”
Stourbridge made it to the first round of the competition last season but they lost 3-0 to Wolves Women.
Derby were clear favourites to progress to the next round as they currently sit second in the FA Women’s National League, two divisions higher than Stourbridge who play in the West Midlands Regional Women’s Football League.
Fisher added: “It’s my proudest day to date as a manager, wolves a few seasons ago as well as Crusaders last season was special, but this, this is incredible. Nothing will beat what happened yesterday.
“The celebrations, the hard work, the togetherness and the players’ faces it’s something I will never ever forget.
“It was one of the biggest upsets in the FA Cup, Derby are exceptional and we believe we knocked out one of the best teams in the competition at this stage. That gives us the belief to go on.”
For most of the game the Glassgirls had to be organised and defend well as The Ewes piled on the pressure with attack after attack. But some outstanding saves from goalkeeper Amie Preston meant Stourbridge were still in with a chance on the counter. Which is exactly what happened…
Glassgirls captain Courteney Murphy had been out of action for six months prior to the clash with Derby due to an injury. She missed the final qualifying match against Solihull Sporting but was determined to be ready for this game.
Her 40-yard screamer in the 92nd minute secured her sides’ place in the hat for the second round and more importantly created history for the tier five side.
Fisher added: “I’m so proud of Courteney, she’s worked so hard these last few months to get back to match fitness and to see her score the winner yesterday topped off the day and again showed the togetherness of the team.
“In regards to the second round, we would love a favourable draw, a local derby against Lye Town would be great at home as it would bring in a huge crowd.
“But when it finally sunk in that we made the second round, I can’t believe it, we are in the hat and whoever we face, we will play our football. These are very exciting times for everyone at the club.”
Stourbridge suffered an early set back in the game as they conceded after two minutes, but they fought back just before half time to take a 2-1 lead into the break. In the second half Derby equalised and pressed for the winner in the closing stages, but it was Stourbridge who were victorious in the end.
The Glassgirls were due to find out their second round opponent on Monday November 15. The tie will be played on Sunday November 28.
The Glassgirls return to action on Sunday November 21, against Darlaston Town in the Birmingham County Cup at 2pm. The game will take place at: Hingleys, Bluebell Road, Cradley Heath B64 5NN. Adults can pay £1 to watch on the day, while U16s can attend for free.