Becky Langley delighted to lift first trophy as Newcastle United Women manager
Written by Joseph Nelson
Newcastle United Women triumphed in the Bluefin Sport Insurance Women’s Cup final on Friday, retaining the trophy that they won in 2019.
An emphatic 5-1 victory over Wallsend BC Women ensured Becky Langley secured her first piece of silverware as manager of the Tyneside team.
"I'm over the moon," Langley said. "The season has been stop-start due to Covid and I'm thrilled that we got over the line and finished the season on a high."
With the 2020/21 season being curtailed in March, and their elimination from the Women's FA Cup in April, the County Cup represented the only remaining opportunity for the Lady Magpies to end the season with some reward.
Langley and her squad set their sights on success and the Newcastle Women's manager believes that hitting their target bodes well for the future.
She said: "It gives the girls a taste of silverware. They thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations and will definitely want that feeling again.
"The win on Friday is a benchmark for us in knowing how to grind out difficult results. This will help us in difficult fixtures next season."
The Lady Magpies had to show their resilience on Friday, finding themselves a goal down in the dying moments of the first half, with an injury to goalkeeper Laura Wareham placing striker Katie Barker in front of the net.
Despite a shaky start to the game, Langley and her staff were confident in the abilities of their number nine and her teammates.
"The injury to Wareham was very worrying," said Langley. "Of course an outfield player going in goal adds difficulty, but we knew Katie had played in goal before.
"For people who do not know Katie it would have looked very strange, considering her abilities as a striker, but we were confident with having her in goal."
Following half-time, Langley's squad blew their opponents away, winning 5-1 on the night.
"It was a case of deciding whether to sink or swim," she said. "We are delighted with the outcome."
Whilst praising Barker for being unselfish, Langley highlighted other standout performers from the County Cup final win.
She said: "Jess Foster was a constant danger on the wing and created many chances for us all evening. Another standout player was Rhiannon Gray, who was very brave in the way she stepped up for the penalty."
Easing of Covid-19 restrictions allowed fans to watch the Magpies from the stands with hundreds of spectators making their way to Whitley Park to cheer on their team.
Langley highlighted how influential it was to have spectators back in at the ground.
"The atmosphere and build up was exciting," she said. "Having fans back added to the pressure but having them behind us when we were building momentum was huge.
"The roar of the fans gave us many goosebumps moments, and they were key to our drive."
Newcastle United Women rounded off a second disrupted season with some silverware, an achievement that Langley and her squad can be extremely proud of.
Photograph courtesy of Colin Lock/@Tyneside_NUWFC
"It gives the girls a taste of silverware. They thoroughly enjoyed the celebrations and will definitely want that feeling again."