We were met with a blustery day at The Grange, but we had the luxury of being able to select 14 players as some begin to return from injury.
The management really want to give the County Cup a go this season and from this stage onwards the opposition would be difficult. We have faith in this squad though and are capable of beating most teams on our day.
Settling into our standard 4-4-2, the difference between the last two weeks and today was massive. The work-rate was much higher and central midfield was much more solid as we had highlighted this area during the pre match team talk.
This was to be a game very much controlled by the strong wind which we had at our backs in the first half.
On 15 minutes we were to make the breakthrough with Megan S picking up a ball that Thrapston couldn't clear, stepped inside and from 20 yards steered the ball into the top corner evading the keepers diving effort.
Most of the action was centered in the midfield with neither side really dominating the game.
With a minute to go before the half time break, Netherton had a corner and a beautifully flighted ball by Shannon was diverted into Thrapston's net by one of their defenders with the slightest of touches and we were to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Half Time 2-0
We are under no illusions that the second half would be difficult into the strong wind. On 53 minutes Thrapston hit our post and we were able to scramble it clear for a corner. We weren't able to deal with a superb curling corner though and it found its way straight into the net to pull the scoreline back to 2-1.
On 55 minutes, Thrapston almost produced a replica of their first goal with the post saving the day for us again and we were able to clear for a throw-in this time.
It was the 71st minute before we made the first of our three allowed substitutions with Alice M coming on the replace the hard working Yaz, with us adopting a 4-5-1 formation to try and counter Thrapston's growing influence on the game.
We had a good chance for a third goal on 73 minutes after good work from Jenna on the right. She crossed in deep to the far post and Alice M was unable to get a clear head on the ball and the chance passed us by.
We were to make our final substitutions of 81 minutes to add some fresher legs, with Dita replacing Stacey at left back and Megan P replacing Georgina in central midfield.
Just 3 minutes later the game was level and it was to come from another dangerous Thrapston set piece. A whipped in free kick caused havoc in our 6 yard box, we were unable to get the ball clear and Thrapston pounced to create a nerve wracking final 6 minutes.
In added time, Alice received the ball out wide on the left and released a strong shot that the keeper was able to get down and smother and that was the end of normal time.
Full Time 2-2
No extra time in this cup format, so it was to go straight to penalty kicks.
The pleasing thing was when volunteers were asked for, plenty of ladies came forward with confidence. We had also worked on penalties prior to the Corby cup match and the philosophy was easy:
Penalty takers - place the ball into the corner of the net
Katie - Stay central, sooner or later one will come your way
Pen 1 - Alice M scores - Thrapston score 1-1
Pen 2 - Tash scores - Thrapston score 2-2
Pen 3 - Megan S scores - Thrapston miss 3-2 (great save from Katie who saves and then smothers it to keep it out)
Pen 4 - Jenna scores - Thrapston score 4-3
Pen 5 - Megan P confidently places the ball to the keepers left and this cup tie is over!
Final Score 2-2 (Netherton win 5-3 on penalties)
A magnificent effort today and so pleasing to see us get back to a much better performance all over the pitch.
Many notable performances today, Katie's penalty heroics, 5 strong penalties taken but the Player of the Match went to Natalie.