Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Stourbridge FC Ladies

Sunday 28th November

Women’s FA Cup

 A trip to Ely City FC’s Demcom Stadium this Sunday for a match from the 2nd Round Proper of the Women’s FA Cup. A contest between two sides looking to create history in the competition to as Cambridge City Ladies take on Stourbridge FC Ladies.

   28 ties taking place this weekend with the potential of facing a Championship club in the 3rd Round an incentive for the winners as the 12 clubs from the games 2nd tier enter this season’s competition.

 Both of today’s opponents looking to create history of their own in the competition. Cambridge City Ladies own history relatively short but on its rise to FAWNL South East Division One have created some memorable moments in the Women’s FA Cup including last minute winners and knocking out higher league opponents, was there for some of those moments too! Cambridge City FC close to completing their new stadium in Sawston the women’s senior team now into their 3rd season in the FAWNL. The COVID pandemic not seeing as much football played as liked in previous seasons, have made a good start to the season this time around laying in midtable.

 Entering this season’s competition in 3rd Round Qualifying, Cambridge City Ladies were drawn away to ERWFL Premier Division side St Ives Town Women. Goals from Grace Stanley, Bronwyn Mulheron and Ellie Cullum along with a brace for Erin Davies securing a comfortable 2-0 win to reach the 1st Round Proper. A trip to the capital as the draw pitted Cambridge City against fellow South East Division One side London Seaward. Grace Stanley on target for a brace inside the opening 15 minutes putting Cambridge City in a strong position as they held on to the advantage to book their place in the 2nd Round. Grace Stanley amongst the goals following her return to the club after university, weighing in with 16 goals so far in all competitions. This the furthest Cambridge City have gone in the competition can they go one better today.

  Their opponents coming to the Demcom Stadium today full of confidence having been the giantkillers of the previous round as Stourbridge FC Ladies made history reaching the 2nd Round Proper for the first time with a memorable away win against FAWNL Northern Premier Division leaders Derby County Women. Courteney Murphy’s 40 yard lob in stoppage time seeing Stourbridge clinch a 2-3 win. Playing in the 5th tier of the women’s football pyramid Stourbridge FC Ladies currently sit top of the West Midlands Regional Football League Premier Division, winning 6 of the 7 games played so far, ahead of Sutton Coldfield Women on goal difference. Promotion to the FAWNL the prize for all the title winners in the 5th tier.

  A strong start to the season no doubt playing a part in their Women’s FA Cup run. Beginning in the 2nd Qualifying Round at home to Kidderminster Harriers LFC. Winning comfortably 6-1 to progress to 3rd Round Qualifying with a trip to Solihull Sporting Ladies were strong once again as they piled on the goals to win the game 9-1. Derby County Women no doubt the heavy favourites when the draw for the 1st Round Proper was made and an early goal for Derby saw them in front inside 2 minutes. Stourbridge responded well coming back with goals from Millie Rogers and Alex Nicklin seeing the visitors leading 2-1 at the break. Derby have assembled a strong squad and got themselves back on level terms with 16 minutes to play through Precious Hamilton. The game heading into stoppage time when Murphy’s lob saw Stourbridge create history as they knocked out a side two leagues above and reached the 2nd Round Proper for the first time. Their giant killing certainly getting plenty of media attention the job now though will be keeping everyone’s feet on the ground more history to be made… maybe.

Ely City Fc’s Demcom Stadium the venue for today’s game. Cambridge City encouraging supporters from the men’s club to come enjoy a ladies game a good crowd building, with Stourbridge laying on a coach for supporters too. Storm Arwen blowing through over the weekend, breaking wet and windy conditions across the country, several games called off as a result the pitch open to the wind holding out well no problems with an early inspection to confirm. A good size offering plenty of width. The main stand above the changing rooms with the clubhouse and kitchen serving hot drinks and food to one side. A bitterly cold day, time to get the hat out.

Cambridge City Ladies

 Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson (C), Ceri Flye, Lauren Tomlinson, Jess Evans, Bronwyn Mulheron, Hannah Bodily, Ellie Cullum, Amy Reed, Charlotte Gillies, Erin Davies & Grace Stanley.  Subs – Becca Fay, Zynia Delglyn, Phillipa Witherspoon & Freya Symonds. 

Stourbridge FC Ladies

 Stourbridge FC Ladies starting XI – Amie Preston, Meg Hadley, Keren Allen, Sophie Heaselgrave, Macey Turvey, Lili-Beth Brown (C), Alex Nicklin, Hannah Fishwick, Esme Moran, Cheryl Edwards & Millie Rogers. Subs – Louisa Butcher, Ruby Meeson, Courteney Murphy, Niamh Murphy, Ellie McGoven, Jess Bate & Gee Thacker.

Captain’s Lili-Beth Brown and Sarah Hudson with today’s match officials

It is the hosts Cambridge to kick-off the 1st half wearing white shirts with black across the shoulders, black shorts and black and white hooped socks with Stourbridge lined up opposite wearing red and white vertical striped shirts, red shorts and socks. The sun is low in the sky but unlikely to cause any problems for the players as the ball put up to the attackers, Megan Turvey heading the ball clear in defence for Stourbridge the pass long out to Esme Moran on the left side, Ceri Flye into her quickly to tackle and send the ball out for a throw in for Cambridge.

Macey Turvey heading the ball clear for Stourbridge

 The visitors straight at Cambridge pressing them for the ball out for a  series of throws on the left, Esme Moran looking to drive on for Stourbridge is challenged by Cambridge midfielder, Ellie Cullum. Stourbridge hustle Cambridge down the flank Millie Rogers winning a throw deep in the corner leading to the 1st corner of the game. Fired in low at the near post defended deflected away to the right. A diagonal pass back to the left finding Charlotte Gillies on the move taking the ball over halfway lays it into the right channel for Erin Davies to chase in attack, Sophie Heaselgrave at the back for Stourbridge getting there first to clear the danger for the visitors.

   A frantic start to the tie the ball closed down in the middle of the park, competitive, Stourbridge captain Lili-Beth Brown taking it forwards tackled by Jess Evans outside the area, Stourbridge a quick to win it back out to Cheryl Edwards on the right wing her cross flung into the area headed away at he far post by Flye. Moran fouled on the left presenting Stourbridge with a free-kick inside the Cambridge half the ball curled into the area, bouncing safely through to Cambridge goalkeeper and captain, Sarah Hudson. 

Cambridge City defender, Jess Evans

  A high tempo pressing game from Stourbridge in to close the ball down and immediately spring forwards in attack. Alex Nicklin getting on the ball powering forwards lifting it to Edwards right side, Lauren Tomlinson in ahead of her to carry the ball up the line for Cambridge sends it on for Davies moving into space on the wing, Keren Allen going with her as she runs for the ball, out for a throw in, Davies is down and looks to be in trouble. Looks to be her hamstring can’t continue Cambridge forced into an early substitution, is replaced up top by Phillipa Witherspoon.

Stourbridge midfielder, Alex Nicklin

 Play resumes with a throw to Cambridge on the left (as you’ve read before Tomlinson has an exceptional throw on her) the ball long for Witherspoon, her presence forcing Allen into conceding another throw in the corner. The ball put into the area, dealt with by Turvey. Cullum across on the left slides in on Allen as she looks to come forwards Cambridge with the throw, Sturbridge win possession back and set off on a counter through the middle out to Moran on the left pushing on towards the box her angle shot covered by Hudson at her near post. 

  Edwards on the right combines well with attacker Millie Rogers the pair winning a free-kick. Wide on the right Allen on the ball as players come forwards. pulls her delivery taking it away from the top of the box to drop near post and be easily taken by Hudson. Edwards in possession on the right as Nicklin makes a run through the middle the ball laid into her path the midfielder takes it on right into the area closing in on the by-line wraps her foot around the ball to send in a cross, Evans back with her sliding in to block take it behind for the corner.

  GOAL! The corner on the right sent in by Rogers into a crowded six yard box Hudson going for it does get there the ball dropping cleared back out to the right, the ball sent in across the face of goal Moran rising in the middle getting her head on the ball, Hudson with an arm up a reactive save might have gotten the merest of touches the ball rebounding back of the crossbar, Moran reacting quickest back to her to rise up and nod the ball past the keeper this time to score 0-1.

Esme Moran with the opening goal for Stourbridge

   Stourbridge open the scoring in the 14th minute any traces of nerves well and truly blown away. A bright start Cambridge on the back foot. Stourbridge straight back at their closing game in the middle Brown the Nicklin the pass out to Edwards free on the right, takes the ball down the line before whipping a ball into the near post area. Hudson able to claim unchallenged. Rogers is busy to top moving across the defence to make herself available taking the ball out to the right Evans going with her defends at the cost of a corner. A good delivery towards the pack gathering at the far post someone connecting with the header drilling the ball back wide across goal.

Stourbridge’s Keren Allen

Cambridge getting frustrated Stourbridge not giving them a moment to settle on the ball, can’t get it up to their attackers. Flye into tackle on the right up to Gillies tries an angled pass into Stanley top of the area, Turvey strong at the back winning the header. Decisions going against Cambridge not helping them build any momentum. Hannah Bodily beating Brown to the ball, Witherspoon fouling her marker as she looks to turn in behind. Gillies plays the ball out to Amy Reed getting forwards on the right Meg Hadley in to challenge as she looks to push the ball past her.

Cambridge’s Hannah Bodily battling with Stourbridge’s Alex Nicklin for the ball

   A trying spell for Cambridge, Stourbridge pressing well, decisions going against them, the visitors backing each other up well one loses it, the ball is quickly recaptured. Edwards drifting free on the right as play is drawn to the left, the ball across to her, Tomlinson stretching managing to cut it out. Witherspoon back to win the ball on halfway out muscling her marker looks to release Stanley up top, goes a little too early, the flag up against her. 

   Hannah Fishwick seeing the ball into her feet central top of the D, turns and unleashes a shot blocked at close range by Mulheron. Cambridge get the ball back on the left Tomlinson looking to run on with it, pace as Rogers goes with her. Turvey comes hurtling out of defence sliding in Tomlinson managing to avoid the challenge as Turvey cleans out Rogers (and the ball) for a throw. 

  Reed finding a little joy on the right for Cambridge taking the ball on takes on the shot angled in from all of 25 yards, Amie Preston in goal for Stourbridge has the near post covered. Edwards on the right for Stourbridge inside for Rogers holds the ball up well inside the box does well to win a corner. Cullum seeing the ball into her feet turns well lifting it up top to the right, Preston comes racing out of her area intending to clear miscues screwing it high into the air, the ball though not falling favourably for Cambridge as Heaselgrave clears. 

Stourbridge striker, Millie Rogers

  Cambridge cannot get a foot hold in the final 3rd Stourbridge fighting for everything, numerous free-kicks given away are leading to more frustration from the hosts. Nicklin into Rogers up to moving right to left across the top of the area twisting and turning looking for an opening. Put back out to midfield another free-kick going against Cambridge to the left, put into the top of the area defended headed behind for a corner on the right.

 GOAL! From the resulting set-piece Stourbridge go on to double their lead the delivery in from Rogers coming in close to goal, dangerous the defender at he near post going up attempting to head it up over the bar can’t get enough on it and instead sees the ball lands in the back of her own net. 0-2.

A little under 10 minutes left to play in the first half and it’s Stourbridge who open up a 2 goal lead. Aren’t letting Cambridge settle at all, Allen taking the ball down the right Bodily coming across to slide in and tackle halting her progress. Nicklin has been strong in the centre of the park through getting hold of the ball making forward runs, combining both as she takes it on to the right of goal surging on shifts inside from 20 yards out before striking a low shot wide of the far post.

Stourbridge goalkeeper, Amie Preston

 Preston not afraid to come running out of her area if necessity requires and sees Reed released on the right by Gillies out of her area getting there first to clear the ball for a throw in. Rogers moving out to the right as Allen plays the ball to her level with the top of the area passes inside to Edwards outside the D sees Nicklin coming on from the middle rolls it into her to strike on target towards the far post but no problem for Hudson across to take the catch. 

  Cambridge get forwards on the right Flye on for Reed deep angles a ball into the area a cross/shot racing across the face of he Stourbridge goal. Cambridge getting more bodies forwards now particularly Tomlinson on the left lays a ball with the outside of her boot into the middle for Cullum inside the D, can’t make anything of it before Turvey and Heaselgrave close her down. Cambridge pressing the ball better themselves now Cullum and Bodily higher up the pitch. Risk getting hit on the counter and that’s exactly what Stourbridge do the ball lifted forwards to Rogers finding space on the right in behind has room to travel, it’s Flye who recovered quickest getting across the box to challenge, Stourbridge forced back working the ball across the pitch to the left a cross hooked into the area headed clear by Evans. 

Cambridge’s Bronwyn Mulheron

  Into the closing stages of the first half Stourbridge break play over on the left the ball finding Rogers to the right of the D 25 yards out drifts inside with the ball looking to line up a strike lets fly, Mulheron jumping central to block the ball taking a wicked deflection of her turning it towards the far post Hudson with an awesome save has little time to react diving low to her right throwing herself full stretch to push the ball away. 

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-2 Stourbridge FC Ladies

  How vital a save in the closing stages of the first half from Hudson with that be for Cambridge who find themselves trailing at home 2-0 in the 2nd Round of the Women’s FA Cup. An excellent first half from Stourbridge however starting the game well high tempo quick to close Cambridge down on the ball not let their opponents settle. Both goals coming from corners have closed the ball down well whilst backing each other up. Alot put into the half will be interesting to see if they can keep it up. For Cambridge alot of work to do if they hope to get back into the tie. The early injury to Davies no doubt affecting their game plan have been frustrated decisions going against them haven’t really got going.

A change for Stourbridge at the start of the 2nd half with Jess Bates coming on at the back replacing Allen. The visitors to get the 2nd half underway defending a 2 goal lead. Both sides in to press the ball straight away, Fishwick tackling Gillies as she tries to get away on the right. Stourbridge come right getting a throw deep in Cambridge territory the resulting cross cut out inside the area by Gillies back to defend. 

Stourbridge continuing with their pressing game Nicklin winning the ball in the left channel seeing Rogers move into the area from the left the ball fed into her she opens her body to shoot, Flye lunging in across her taking a painful blow as she blocks to send the ball behind for a corner. The deliveries from corners a real threat for Stourbridge this one into the congested six yard box headed over but not before the referee blows up for a foul against Cambridge. 

Millie Rogers with Cambridge’s Ceri Flye

  Nicklin wins the ball for Stourbridge playing it across the top of the box for Fishwick on the left her cross swung into the box claimed by Hudson. Reed on the right for Cambridge taking the ball in moving in field, Turvey stepping up to close her down and halt her progress for the visitors. Rogers coming out to the left flank wide taking the ball playing the ball into the box left side as Fishwick closes in, taking a touch as the Cambridge defence come to close her down goes down, the bench immediately appealing for a penalty, not given. 

Phillipa Witherspoon winning the ball for Cambridge

 A visitors making a bright start to the 2nd half looking for a 3rd goal. Plays getting forwards a Nicklin moves on with the ball left channel taking it inside the box her initial effort blocked at close range keeps possession back to goal lays it out to Moran central clipped in from 20 yards out sees her effort come back off the crossbar! 

 Isn’t long after that, that Moran’s game comes to an end chasing after the ball as Cambridge attack on the right pulls up a problem with her left left needs to come off is replaced by Courteney Murphy. Cambridge get the ball back in the middle Cullum to Bodily out to Tomlinson bombing on down the left racing to the by-line flashing a cross into the near post, Preston behind it spills it momentarily before dropping on the loose ball. 

Cambridge City’s Lauren Tomlinson

 Nicklin central spreads play out to the left for Fishwick to drives forwards her ball played in central intercepted by Bodily forwards for Gillies, Brown in to close her down the ball out to Stourbridge’s right. Edwards with a strike, Flye behind it to block with her head a powerfully struck ball, Flye is down seeing stars for a moment. Stourbridge press forwards players up to join the attack as Murphy right lays it back to the wing to be crossed in Rogers top of the area near post swinging at it missing her kick, runs through to Nicklin beyond her her strike blocked, the rebound fired in collected by Hudson. 

   Cambridge matching Stourbridge with their pressing game the match more even now. Nicklin still the driving force in the middle, advancing on the right, held back no clear advantage play brought back for the set-piece. Murphy over it 25 yards out lifted into the mix, deflected over the bar, a corner signalled. The delivery into the six yard box dropping down into the mix scrambled away to the right Edwards sending a snap shot wide. 

  Tomlinson carrying a threat going forwards on the left for Cambridge releasing a diagonal ball early into the area, Preston getting there to catch as Witherspoon closes in. Stourbridge on the right with Edwards succeeds in winning a corner. Evans heading the ball away for Cambridge, Nicklin keeping it alive for the visitors out to Fishwick left side she is fouled. Cambridge making a change before the free-kick can be taken Zynia Delglyn on for Gillies. Murphy to clip the ball into the D, a push on a defender seeing Cambridge given a free-kick of their own.

   Cambridge come on with the ball left the cross fired in along the top of the D reaching Stanley to the right of goal, Hadley in to close her down and block the ball spinning away to Reed free on he right shoots her effort wide of the near post. Alot put in by Stourbridge are beginning to drop back as Cambridge press looking to find a way back into the game. Cullum winning the ball central out to Tomlinson left side taking it on shoots from distance an angled drive wide of the near post. Nicklin 25 yards out right of the D puts the ball across to the left for Fishwick moving down the line her cross is cut out for a corner. Cambridge getting plenty back to defend.

  GOAL! Cambridge getting players forwards well especially Tomlinson on the left has the ball at her feet play opening up as she gets down the line flashing a cross in low at the near post Preston down to meet it doesn’t get hold of it pushed out loose in the six yard box Stanley is quickest to react blasting the ball into the back of the net to pull a goal back for the hosts 1-2.

Grace Staley pulls it back to 2-1 for Cambridge City

  A little over 20 minutes left on the clock game on as Cambridge get a goal. Stourbridge go straight on the attack from the restart the ball out to Fishwick on the left her cross in blocked by Flye, the ball finding its way to Murphy top of the box her shot in headed away from a corner kick. Attacked at the near post by Edwards, Cambridge though get to cleared to safety. Delglyn fouled over on the right for Cambridge, Mulheron standing over the set-piece looking at her options as players move forwards. The ball whipped in near side Stanley moving towards it can’t quite get a touch as it bounces through to the keeper.

  The game opening up a contrast from the first half as Stourbridge attack on the left the ball slid on for Rogers left into the box where she is tripped the referee pointing to the spot. Penalty! Murphy placing the ball on the spot. Shoots aiming to place it to the keepers right, not enough height on it as Hudson goes the right way down to make the save and deny Stourbridge a 3rd goal. 

Sarah Hudson saving the penalty for Cambridge

  Both sides putting bodies on the line now in an effort to win the ball, Bodily in hard on Nicklin central to come away with the ball Fishwick blocked as she travels forwards on the left a free-kick awarded. Murphy sending it in headed away by Mulheron. Another change for Cambridge with Bodily the player coming off for Freya Symonds. Murphy goes in the book for a foul on halfway as Cambridge look to press with the clock ticking down. The goal changing things Stourbridge not prepared to commit so many forwards are tiring. Nicklin though with a turn and shot from distance that has Hudson worried for a moment before it lands safely on the roof of the net. 

Zynia Delglyn on the ball for Cambridge City

   Delglyn bringing the ball under control central on for Cullum in the middle looking to chip it over the defence for Stanley to burst onto, Preston though out smartly to the edge of her area to lay claim to the ball. Moments later Preston is off her line again coming out to block Tomlinson as she travels into the box from the left. Mulheron with a long ball forwards up to Stanley inside the D, Heaselgrave there seeing the ball back to her keeper, Cambridge appealing for a back pass not given. 

Stourbridge defender, Sophie Heaselgrave

 Tomlinson with an angled drive over the bar from 30 yards out on the left. Cambridge pushing hard have Stourbridge on the back foot for the first time in the game little tine left though to find an equalising goal and force the tie into extra-time. Stourbridge making a change bringing off Fishwick for Ellie McGoven with 5 minutes plus added to play. A vital interception at the back by Hadley as Cambridge sent a diagonal ball in from the left with Stanley looking to run in behind. Preston at her near post behind a shot fired in by Tomlinson on the left. 

  The host win a free-kick on the right 30 yards out, Stanley coming out to take it, sends it in central attacked well by Turvey getting a good head on it to clear the danger. Totally different game now Stourbridge holding on as Cambridge attack, Stanley with the ball at her feet the attacker moving across the D shoots the effort blocked… a hand ball spotted the free-kick outside the box. In low by Stanley blocked then cleared out to the right for a throw.

 

  The throw bringing a corner kick. Angled in at the near post Heaselgrave defending for Stourbridge. Another corner for Cambridge in deeper this time put over Stourbridge awarded a free-kick however as Flye picks up a yellow card. Stourbridge are looking to get the ball into the corners run down the clock with several minutes stoppage time being played. Rogers doing her best to hold it up. One last effort from Cambridge the ball long up to Witherspoon and Stanley, Heaselgrave has to defend for Stourbridge and does well as the final whistle blows and Stourbridge win to march on to the 3rd Round.

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-2 Stourbridge FC Ladies

 A memorable day for Stourbridge as they continue to make history in the Women’s FA Cup beating Cambridge 2-1 to reach the 3rd RoundStarted the game well pressing Cambridge for the ball not letting them settle on the ball working hard in the final 3rd. Taking the lead from a set play went on to add another before the break. May have been 3 as possibly game over if not for a brilliant save from Hudson. Cambridge never really getting going first half needed a big 2nd half if they were to find a way back into the tie. It was Stourbridge though who created more chances the crossbar struck and a penalty saved could have seen them in control. Cambridge dug in though battling to match Stourbridge pressing for the ball getting it back to 2-1 with 20 minutes left and from there had Stourbridge on the back foot a valiant effort as they tried to get it level Stourbridge working hard in defence, tiring from their earlier efforts. Dug in though to keep Cambridge out and win the game.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Moving onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Another tough on to choose a single player a few performances to mention first though. For Cambridge Sarah Hudson’s saves were crucial to keeping Cambridge in the tie. In defence Ceri Flye put her body on the line with so brilliant defending. Lauren Tomlinson on the left giving Cambridge attacking thrust in the 2nd half. For Stourbridge Esme Moran was a threat attacking on the left scoring the opening goal. In attacker Millie Rogers showed great movement holding the ball up well and made herself available throughout. Today’s award though goes to midfielder Alex Nicklin was impressive in the middle of the park, winning the ball leading the pressing game and made some fantastic runs forwards.

Another entertaining match from the Women’s FA Cup. Best of luck to Stourbridge for the upcoming draw for the 3rd round will be as interested as you to see who you get. Always nice to see a club from another part of the country. My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details today.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Stowupland Falcons Women v Brettvale Ladies

Sunday 21st November

Suffolk Women’s County Cup

 Another venture into Suffolk this Sunday to watch a game from the 2nd Round of the Women’s County Cup and a look at two new sides for the first time as Stowupland Falcons Women play Brettvale Ladies.

 The competition dominated by Suffolk’s leading women’s football side over the past decade with Ipswich Town Women winning the County Cup for the 7th successive season last time around their Development defeating Needham Market Women 6-0. Guaranteed to be a new name on the trophy this season with Ipswich withdrawing a side from the competition. That in itself seeing a huge shift in the County Cup as other established and up and coming sides within the county see there chances of reaching the final greatly enhanced.

 Stowupland Falcons Women an emerging force in female game entering a women’s side for the first time last season. The club aiming to become a leading force for grassroots football in Suffolk running 4 adult sides aswell as a strong youth section that has amongst it’s ranks an U11, U13 & U16 girls side. The original side entering in 2020/21 Stowupland Falcons U18 Girls joining as the SWGFL expanded to feature two divisions. Going straight into the Premier Division were laying 4th with 3 wins from their 7 games played before the COVID pandemic saw a season successive season curtailed. The league once again featuring two divisions sides withdrawing however sees the Premier Division reduced to 7 sides. A tough start for Stowupland losing their opening 3 matches have since rallied to draw, then win their first game of the season 5-3 at home to Brantham Athletic Ladies with new signing Kirsten Hutchings who has a strong goal scoring record within the league netting 4 goals.   

 Brettvale Ladies joining the league in the 2018/19 campaign have already ticked off a County Cup final appearance. Reaching the 2019/20 final where lay like so many others were beaten by Ipswich Town Women’s young development side 7-0. The final delayed due to the COVID pandemic Suffolk FA ensuring the game was played the following season. Brettvale recruiting a strong squad with plenty of playing experience within Suffolk and the regional set up above. COVID no doubt affecting the clubs development as it has for alot of clubs. Have made an excellent start to this season’s campaign winning all 4 of their league matches to lay 2nd in the table a point behind Holland Ladies. Stacey Teager top scorer with 4 goals in 4 league appearances, Laura Tuley with 3 goals from 4. 

Todays venue the Stowupland Sports & Social Club. The pitches beyond the clubhouse and changing rooms. A large area featuring numerous grass pitches with an area turned over to cricket in the summer. Today’s pitch featuring a picturesque scene off a church behind one goal. Rain blowing through dark clouds before kick-off blustery and chilly, not deal as I’d have preferred to be close to the hedge on the far side for some protection but that would have meant looking into the low sun which would pose problems for those playing too. The wind blowing from one goal mouth to the other also a potential factor to weigh up. 

Stowupland Falcons Women

Stowupland Falcons Women starting XI – Abbi Goodenough, Emily Bates, Milly Gant, Abby Durrant, Ebonie Calvert (C), Kim Edwards Evie Bloom Ella Edwards, Amelia Skeggs, Laura Brame & Sarah Harrison. Subs- Kirsten Hutchings & Simona Bieniauskaite. 

Brettvale Ladies

 Brettvale Ladies starting XI – Ellie Bird, Rachel White, Chloe Wilson, Danielle Lynch, Kirby King, Claire Turnbull (C), Coral Young, Sheryl Nokes, Harriet Young, Georgia Lindon & Laura Tuley. Subs – Aimee Berry, Rachel Linsdell, Kristie Turner & Sophie White. 

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s the visiting side Brettvale to kick-off the first half wearing a navy and sky blue coloured shirts, navy shorts and sky blue socks with Stowupland opposite wearing yellow shirts with blue shorts and socks. The ball played back into the defence out to Rachel White on the right sends t up the line for Georgia Lindon to hunt down, full back Milly Gant coming across to challenge put the ball out for a throw in. 

Milly Gant moving in to tackle Brettvale’s Georgia Lindon

   Tentative early exchanges the ball moving quickly players from both sides closing down play spread out to the right Stowupland on the move with Laura Brame taking the ball up the line her cross into the box dealt with by Brettvale defender Danielle Lynch. Brettvale play the ball out from the back White on for Lindon right side squares the ball central for her captain Claire Turnbull 30 yards out before spinning in behind Turnbull threading a superb ball into the area for Lindon to attack, Stowupland’s captain tracking across to tackle Lindon before she can unleash a shot inside the six yard box. Players all concerned about balls coming in from the right with the sun in their faces.

Stowupland’s Kim Edwards

   Laura Tuley from the angle off a throw on the right tries an ambitious effort on goals her attempted shot running wide beyond the far post. Brettvale are looking to release Lindon on the right at every opportunity, has pace the ball lifted into her twists inside pushing towards the area, Gant closing in to put in the challenge the ball out for a throw. The visitors work the ball free from the set-piece to lift a cross into the box, Stowupland keeper Abbi Goodenough getting her gloves on the ball. A good tempo being set the ball never still Turnbull clipping a diagonal ball into Lindon right side, Gant once again defending the hosts breaking out from the ball Amelia Skeggs with a long pass out to the right, defended a throw won in the corner. From it a cross is delivered into the area Kirby King up to head the ball near post, with Stowupland’s Sarah Harrison drifting in behind.

   Brettvale are awarded a free-kick wide on the right, Harriet Young over the ball played in towards the top of the area attacked turned in towards goal low on target but pops up straight into Goodenough’s gloves. Coral Young seeing the ball into her feet central for Brettvale flicking it out to the left channel for Chloe Wilson 20 yards out has a stab at goal the shot sent wide. Gant travelling with the ball left side on for Harrison to attack up the line, White comes sliding in to take the ball away from her for a throw. On the opposite flank Emily Bates comes on support from Skeggs and Evie Bloom the ball crossed into the Brettvale box King with the defensive header to clear. The ball hotly contested in the middle, Kim Edwards tackling Young to regain possession.

 The hosts applying pressure in the final 3rd winning a corner on the right. The delivery short into the box near side flicked into the six yard box, Brettvale struggle to get it away from the moment as Stowupland get players in amongst them, Harriet Young eventually lifting it high upfield. Wilson on the left for Brettvale storms forwards with the ball, Bates getting in shoulder to shoulder easing her off the ball. Brame getting into the right corner with the ball turns inside Sheryl Nokes lunges in to take the ball out for a throw. Stowupland get a cross into the area from it, King needing to get her head on the ball once more near post to deny Harrison an opportunity running in central.

Brettvale defender, Kirby King

  Calvert with a vita interception at the back for Stowupland as Tuley gathering the ball in midfield looks to send Lindon through in behind. Tuley drifting out to the right holding the ball up is  fouled as she looks to spin in behind her marker the visitors awarded a free-kick. 

Harriet Young over the free-kick

 GOAL! Harriet Young over the ball close to the touch-line half way inside the Stowupland half players up from the back lining up to make runs into the box, Young struck well rising up into the air a dangerous ball into the box, the sun at her back could well pose problems for those facing the ball including the goalkeeper, is a fantastic ball in however and dropping Goodenough goes up for it but is beyond her reach and it dips under the bar and lands in the back of the net for Young’s first goal of the season 0-1.

Harriet Young’s free-kick goes in over the keeper.

18 minutes played and the visitors take the lead. Stowupland look to make ground on the left from the restart, the notepad collecting some Suffolk mud as I use it to stop the ball running out of play. Brame on the turn shifts the ball between her feet fouled as she looks to put Harrison away into the box no advantage play brought back for the free-kick. A similar position from where Brettvale scored moments ago. The delivery launched high into the box allowed to drop amongst bodies at the far post, players from both sides scrambling for it, Brettvale come away with it up into Tuley spreads play right for Lindon, doesn’t get far before Gant is back on her to tackle.

 A change for Stowupland, Harrison off for Kirsten Hutchings in attack. Brettvale have increased their urgency in the final 3rd getting runners on from midfield to support the attack, Coral Young into Tuley central, Abby Durrant closing in to challenge top of the D. Ellie Bird coming out quickly to the edge of her area to catch the ball cleanly as Hutchings right channel look to hook it on from an Evie Bloom cross on the wing. Bird’s opposing number Goodenough racing out to the top of her area to clear as Turnbull lays the ball though for the advancing Coral Young. 

  Hutchings coming for the ball right sees it rolled into her path shooting early on the angle a low drive racing wide through the six yard box. Brettvale make a change Wilson coming off on comes Aimee Berry. Stowupland win a set-piece on the right side of the area, Skeggs to take long to the far post headed out to the top of the area not clear, Calvart goes after it seeing her strike blocked the ball angling away for a throw. 

Amelia Skeggs bringing the ball on for Stowupland

 Gant into Ella Edwards central out to Skeggs moving left takes on an ambitious effort from all of 30 yards out the shot racing wide low across the Brettvale area. Brettvale continue to press in numbers forcing the Stowupland defence deep into there box, defend well but getting out is tricky with so many back. White regaining possession into the middle play put out to the left Berry forwards riding a challenge the cross in cleared, play stopped with a Stowupland player down on the far side. 

Brettvale’s Kirby King with Stowupland’s Ella Edwards

 Bloom can’t continue and is carried off the pitch, on comes Simona Bieniauskaite slotting into the left back position. 10 minutes left in the first half. Brettvale press the attack Nokes on the left outside the area allowed to come inside with the ball sees two strikes at goal blocked at close range the 2nd by one of her own players. Ella Edwards up the right for Stowupland crosses into the Brettvale area Harriet Young rising to head clear for the visitors. 

  This being the 451st game I’ve done a report for and the 1st tie this has happened, haven’t seen many players sin binned as it is so to see two go off in quick succession is a first! It all starts with Tuley gathering the ball into her feet on the left moving on Bieniauskaite getting on her shoulder the two battling for the ball go over, the free-kick going in favour of Stowupland, Tuley isn’t happy voices those complaints and is shown a yellow and sent to the side lines. As this is happening the referee clearly hasn’t liked what Coral Young has said and she two is shown a yellow and sent to the sides lines two! Brettvale down to 9 for the next 10 minutes of the game. 

Sinbinned Coral Young and Laura Tuley to sit out the game for 10 minutes

 Brettvale quickly regrouping into two banks of four to see out the half. Stowupland have the player advantage can they make it count. Brame on the right up the line wrapping her foot around the ball is headed clear of the box by Lynch. Brame coming out to the left flicks it on for Hutchings central, turns towards the area, straight into Lynch who holds her off, clearing the ball for a throw on the left. When they can Brettvale are looking to run the ball into the corners eat up time Nokes on the left winning a corner, the visitors naturally don’t commit too many forwards. Durrant with the simple clearance. Brame through the centre for Hutchings inside the D, Bird comes racing out to meet her as King slides into challenge, Hutchings managing to stay on her feet, between defender and goalkeeper though the threat has been averted.

Half-time Stowupland Falcons Women 0-1 Brettvale Ladies

  A narrow lead for Brettvale at the break as they hold on at the end of the half with 9 players. An exciting tie played at a fast tempo the ball rarely still. Few clear cut chances though the final ball more often than no favouring the defence. Both have been solid throughout. A well struck free-kick the difference between the sides. Brettvale getting players forwards well forcing the Stowupland defence deep which has made counter attacking difficult. A single goal in the tie though all to play for in the 2nd half.

Brettvale’s 8 outfield players lining up for the 2nd half

Brettvale starting the 2nd half as they left the 1st with 9 on the field with the 10 minute penalty yet to be completed. A substitution though seeing Kristie Turner on for Lindon on the right. Stowupland unchanged. The sun low in the sky now unlikely to pose a problem the wind biting now and cloud beginning to grow darker as the hosts get the 2nd half underway. Brettvale forming two walls of four frustrating Stowupland who are rushing their passes when perhaps they can pause a little on the ball. Turnbull getting hold of it in the centre out to Berry on the left, Bieniauskaite closing her down.

Brame central collecting the ball into her feet holding off a challenge before spinning well to her left to release Hutching on the right wing her cross shot on the angle landing on the roof of the net. Hutching in the middle plays the ball out to Bates to the right, Turnbull coming across to slide in and tackle. Stowupland with a corner on the left driven in low near side deflected out to the top of the area a snap shot charged down by Brettvale. Brame trying to bring the ball down around the D set up a shot  can’t get it away before Lynch can get back on her to block. A rainbow forming in the sky beside the black cloud tells me rain in imminent.

Brettvale’s Danielle Lynch moving in to block Laura Brame’s incoming shot

More drama as another yellow card is shown and Brettvale coach Andy Parton is asked to vacate the area for 10 minutes for dissent having called for a hand ball. On the pitch however Brettvale are back to their full complement having kept Stowupland at bay with just 9 on the field. Tuley up to positioned left of the D 20 out as Berry makes a run with the ball across the D lays the ball into her feet, turns, Durrant close in blocking her shot. A few spots of rain starting to fall

Ella Edwards on the ball for Stowupland carrying it on through the middle playing the pass into Hutchings to the right drives on into the box, Lynch going with her blocking her cross to divert the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece fired on low at the near post turned behind for a goal kick.

Stowupland captain, Ebonie Calvert

Penalty! Brettvale have a throw on the left high up the pitch put into Tuley’s feet back to goal outside the box, is strong turns getting into the area, where she is tripped by Calvert before she can get a shot away the referee pointing to the spot. Tuley placing the ball to take it. gets plenty of power behind the ball but too much height as she shot cannons down off the crossbar and a foul is spotted before anyone can go after the rebound.

Laura Tuley’s penalty hitting the crossbar

The rain falling heavily now a pain as I need the umbrella, but a notepad, camera, umbrella and wind are a bad combination the umbrella escaping for a moment needing rescuing the joys of grassroots football. The game has developed into a series of free-kicks given away by both sides as they look to hustle the ball. Turnbull in particular getting about the pitch to break up play.

Brame looking to combine with Hutchings up top the latter moving about not staying on one defender for long. Ella Edwards with a good pass into Brame central looks to shift to the right move in behind to shoot, is quickly closed down by both Coral Young and Turnbull.

Brettvale captain, Claire Turnbull

 GOAL! Not long after they are awarded one penalty Brettvale get an opportunity from the spot again. Off a throw in high on the left the ball launched into the box left side, Brettvale players immediately appealing for handball the decision in their favour the referee pointing to the spot for a 2nd time. Kristie Turner to take it this time, keeping it low placing it wide into the bottom corner as the keeper dives the right way 0-2.

Kristie Turner doubling Brettvale’s lead from the spot

Brettvale doubling their lead midway though the 2nd half, Stowupland get straight on the attack from the restart the ball up the right a throw won into Hutchings she spins inside turning into the box sending a cross through the six yard box no one there Lynch able to clear for Brettvale. Quick to get up the other end the ball crossed into the Stowupland box headed behind for a corner by Calvert. The set play driven in near post attacked, deflected behind for a goal kick.

 

Turner with a strike from distance on the angle some 30 yards out races wide across goal. Tuley soon after from a similar angle 25 yards out driven on low has Goodenough scrambling across her goal diving must have gotten fingertips to it as it runs wide a corner awarded. from the left dropping down in the six yard box at the far post squirms free for Tuley unmarked 10 yards out sends her 1st time strike over the top.

  GOAL! Stowupland get themselves back into the game pulling a goal back 5 minutes after falling 2 behind. Gant with a fantastic ball forwards from the left into Brame 30 yards out left of the D turns and lobs the advancing keeper to score 1-2.

Laura Brame pulls it back to 2-1 for Stowupland

 The goal giving Stowupland renewed confidence as they push players forwards hustling the ball in the final 3rd. Hutchings nicking it off the full back spinning in behind on the right squares it central for Brame, who helps it on looking to put it on a plate for the advancing Kim Edwards, Turnbull putting in a superb tackle to take the ball away to the left, Skeggs forcing a throw in the pressure staying on Bates moves in central with the ball seeing a shot blocked from 20 yards out.

Stowupland’s Milly Gant

 Gant in a central position from a deep position lifting a long ball in towards the far post, Bird scrambling across her goal dropping on it far post. Nokes left on for Berry, takes on Bieniauskaite the full back forcing her wide preventing a cross coming in. as the game moves into the final 15 minutes. Coral Young 30 yards out passes to Harriet Young on her right 30 yards out allowed time and space to line up a strike sends her effort over the bar. 

 

  Turnbull winning a free-kick for Brettvale after a strong run on the right outside the box, fired in at an inviting height through the six yard box Berry closing in at the far post can’t quite get anything on it. The ball still in play retrieved by Berry her cross in central Turnbull laying it off for Coral Young to clip over. 

 GOAL! Brettvale are awarded a free-kick inside their own half. Lynch over the ball as players go forwards. Is a miscue not the ball she intended but even as she lambasts herself it turns into a fantastic assist for Tuley. Intending to play it high to the right instead it is scuffed low central nevertheless catches the defence flat footed the ball in behind Tuley inside the D alert latching onto it taking it left turns back inside onto her right opening up her body to lift the ball past the keeper into the top corner 1-3.

Laura Tuley scores to give Brettvale a 3-1 lead

Less than 10 minutes on the clock Stowupland make a change bringing Harrison back on for Bieniauskaite. Light is fading fast as Stowupland win a corner on the left goes long put back in on the right by Skeggs cleared by King, out to Lindon on the right drives on into the area before giving away a foul against Gant.

 GOAL! Stowupland committing players forwards as they look for a goal are hit on the break the ball cleared out of defence into Turnbull in the middle releases it early for Tuley in attack to have a clear run at the box closing in on the keeper producing a clinical finish shooting low to place it in the bottom corner 1-4.

Two quick fire goal seeing Brettvale take control of the tie with less than 10 minutes left. Stowupland keep up their attacking play the ball pushed into Brame in the left channel turns inside king coming to close her down. A triple switch for Brettvale sees White, Harriet Young and Tuley replaced by Wilson, Sophie White and Rachel Linsdell. Ella Edwards fouled as she looks to make progress on the right for Stowupland the hosts with a free-kick inside for Bates central goes forwards is tackled 25 out by Linsdell, then a shot his blasted wide from distance.

  Into the final minutes Stowupland pressing a free-kick right side in from deep Sophie White heading it clear at the far post. Seconds left as Linsdell gets it out to Lindon on the right powers her way into the box before being tackled by Gant. The final whistle blows and Brettvale progress to the Suffolk Women’s County Cup quarter finals.

Full time Stowupland Falcons Women 1-4 Brettvale Ladies

  An entertaining cup tie that sees Brettvale progress with a 4-1 win, 2 late goals ensuring the result after a brief fightback from Stowupland after they got it back to 2-1. A even contest for much of the 1st half with both sides quick to close the other down few chances created Brettvale with the narrow lead at the break ending the half and starting the 2nd with 9 on the pitch, their game management then was superb with Stowupland failing to take advantage. A missed penalty but a 2nd opportunity taken from the spot midway through the 2nd half. Stowupland though pulling it back to 2-1 for a little while it was certainly game on before Brettvale took control with two quick goals from Tuley to ensure the result.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances of note to mention first though. For Stowupland, Milly Gant had a excellent game at left back, certainly an area Brettvale were looking to exploit they got little joy with Gant putting in some good tackles. Laura Brame showing good movement and positioning linking up the attack and midfield well. For Brettvale, Kirby King was excellent in defence with a number of vital headers and tackles. Laura Tuley up top late on with two clinical finishes. The award though goes to Brettvale captain, Claire Turnbull was strong in the middle throughout and getting about the pitch to make tackles and break up play. Organised the team well when they were forced down to 9.

  Every game is different and that’s why I love it! An entertaining cup tie from Suffolk. Seeing two new sides for the first time although I have to say plenty of familiar faces. My thanks to both sides for their assistance today as always it is much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Norwich City Women

Sunday 14th November

FA Women’s Cup

 This season’s FA Women’s Cup reaches the 1st Round Proper with the sides from the FAWNL Premier Division’s North & South entering the competition. Overall 108 sides meeting this weekend across the country. Women’s Football East at on of those ties on #WomensFootballWeekend a local derby too as Wymondham Town Ladies take on Norwich City Women.

 Wymondham Town Ladies currently top of the ERWFL Premier Division aiming for promotion to the FAWNL to join today’s opponents Norwich City Women in South East Division One. On paper not alot separating the sides. Wymondham have in recent seasons enjoyed their FA Women’s Cup campaigns knocking out higher league opponents on a few ocassions. Making a strong start to their ERWFL season winning all 4 of their opening league matches to top the table, suffered 2 straight defeats at the end of September but haven’t looked back since.

Going on a run now at 6 straight wins in league and cup beginning in 2nd Round Qualifying of the FA Women’s Cup away to Haverhill Rovers Ladies, striker Hannah Waters scoring 4 times as Wymondham cruised through to the next round with a 10-0 victory. Faced a long away trip in 3rd Round Qualifying to Essex to face ERWFL Division One South title contenders, Leigh Ramblers Ladies, a hat-trick for Natasha Youngs seeing Wymondham reach the 1st Round Proper with a 5-1 win. Currently 6 points clear at the top of the ERWFL Premier Division with Hannah Waters top scoring with 12 goals from 12 appearances close behind young striker Francesca Catchpole who has 10 from 12 appearances showing her potential after returning from a serious ACL injury before joining the club. Long term injuries a blow Wymondham has had to deal with all too regularly over recent seasons but the squad has remained resilient throughout, just the one out long term at the moment defender Betty Fretwell.

Saw Norwich City Women on the opening day of their FAWNL South East Division One campaign and they won’t want reminding of that game. Suffering a heavy loss to title contenders Billericay Town Women. Were missing several first team regulars that day and despite a difficult start to the season rallied well with a positive run to gain 7 points from 3 games to pull clear of the bottom of the table. Alot of work to do still if they are to avoid relegation but are in touching distance with the mid-table sides above. Entering the FA Women’s Cup in 3rd Round Qualifying were drawn away to fellow league side Harlow Ladies for a 2nd successive trip to Essex the 1st seeing Norwich 3-0 up in the league only for Harlow to mount an incredible comeback to win the game 4-3.

No such drama the the cup however as 1st half goals from Ellie Bishop and a goal from new signing Freya Fuller on her debut secured a 2-0 win. Fuller joins from Billericay Town Women. Norwich recruiting a trio of Wymondham players over the close season with defender, Chardonnay Johnston, midfielder, Mollie O’Callaghan and attacker Freya Symonds all joining along with goalkeeper Yaz Walford from Royston. Like Wymondham play on an artificial surface at The Nest.

Ketts Park, Wymondham Town Ladies home ground. The community and recreation facility newly build on the outskirts of the town. An all weather artificial main pitch with playing fields beyond. The clubhouse serving hot drinks. A viewing area for spectators along one side of the pitch marked out with various sized pitches catering for all age groups. An overcast day a few spots of rain in the air before kick off, fetched the umbrella but it wasn’t needed.

 Remembrance Sunday everyone pausing for a moments silence before the match.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Mary Croft, Leah Newcombe (C), Lauren Kett, Aimee Stretch, Jenifer Codman, Katie Knights, Becca Russell, Natasha Youngs, Francesca Catchpole & Hannah Waters. Subs – Jess Luff, Hayley Kindred, Rachel Cossey, Chelsea Clarke, Jess Hawkins, Laura Nicholls & Lyla Studd.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Bryony Williams, Anna Larkins, Jess Harper, Kate Parsons, Chardonnay Johnston, Millie Daviss (C), Jodie Drake, Freya Symonds, Kathryn Stanley, Megan Todd & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Mollie O’Callaghan, Katie Appleton, Rosie George, Samara Nche, Leilah Gooding, Freya Fuller & Ellie Bishop.

A switch of ends as Norwich get the tie underway kicking off the first half wearing their yellow and green kit. Wymondham wearing red shorts and shorts with black socks. The visitors sending a long diagonal ball out to the left for Kathryn Stanley to attack, dealt with by Wymondham captain, Leah Newcombe at right back for a throw, taken quickly a cross sent into the box from deep, into the gloves of Wymondham goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce. 

  Norwich come through the middle pushed out to Megan Todd pulling right 25 yards out looks to lift it into the box for Natasha Snelling, Lauren Kett defending for Wymondham heading the ball clear. Katie Knights central for Wymondham passes to Natasha Youngs on the left her diagonal ball forwards aimed towards Hannah Waters up top, turning towards goal is pushed out to the right Kate Parsons coming across for Norwich to put in the challenge the ball going away for a throw in the corner. Wymondham working it back up the line before sending the cross in Bryony Williams in goal for Norwich calls and comes to claim the ball.

Wymondham’s Hannah Waters with Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

   Norwich getting on the front foot Freya Symonds getting hold of the ball in midfield going on before playing it forwards to Snelling pulling away to the left her first touch taking her inside moves across the top of the area 20 yards out sending it into Todd’s feet she clips a shot in towards goal looping up comes down off the crossbar! Both sides up for the contest the ball keenly contested in the middle, Symonds closing in on Mary Croft to steal the ball in behind losing her footing can’t capitalise before Wymondham regroup.

Freya Symonds bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Wymondham put the ball into Waters feet back to goal 30 yards out holds it up turning attempting to thread it in behind for Francesca Catchpole making the run, a timely interception by Norwich centre back Chardonnay Johnston. Newcombe at the other end does well defensively heading a sweeping diagonal ball away as Norwich send it in from the right. Symonds finds herself up with the attack central as Todd plays the ball into her inside the D, playing the return ball to Todd she looks to go around the Wymondham defence to the left into the area before unleashing a shot running along the ground lacking the pace to trouble the keeper.

Norwich defender, Chardonnay Johnston

  Norwich making some positive attacking runs at the start of the game Snelling playing it across the top of the area into the path of Todd who strikes a shot over from 25 yards out. Norwich’s captain Millie Daviss central playing a ball out to Anna Larkins moving up field on the left she crosses into the middle picking out Stanley 30 yards out, has a shot the ball loops into the box dropping straight into Pearce’s gloves. Is a little lively on the tackle front both sides giving away freekicks.

Wymondham midfielder, Jenifer Codman

  Jenifer Codman central sees Newcombe on the move down the right the ball put out to her play the diagonal ball forwards early as Waters comes across, Parsons quick to respond going with her tackling for Norwich before Waters can fashion a strike. Catchpole getting onto the ball on halfway allowed to travel with the ball lets fly from all of 30 yards out the shot wide of Williams goal. Players looking to take the ball on through the middle a feature as Stanley gets hold of it for Norwich spots Snelling drifting in behind the defence attempts to lift it through to her, Kett getting her foot up to make a timely interception.

  Kett across to defend against Snelling on the right conceding a corner. The delivery flashed into the box headed clear by Becca Russell for Wymondham. Look to counter on the left, Jess Harper getting across to snuff out the danger. Todd moving to the right with the ball at her feet has Stanley in support the pair exchange passes, Todd trying to get into the area is tackled by Wymondham’s Croft. Appeals from the Wymondham bench for a penalty as Parsons comes across to challenge Waters inside the box the protests waved away. 

  Two fairly evenly matched sides the game open space for both to exploit Norwich counter quickly Stanley on the move with the ball through the middle looking to go all the way is stopped by Aimee Stretch defending for Wymondham. End to end Wymondham play the ball through the middle up to Waters back to goal holding off her marker plays it back to Katie Knights who lifts it out to Catchpole on the left, Larkins coming to close her down the ball out for a throw. 

Lauren Catchpole coming away with the ball for Wymondham

 Russell on the left bringing the ball forwards plays the pass into Waters she turns well to make a run into the box, Parsons coming to challenge lunges across Waters to block her strike. Snelling is moving well across the final 3rd for Norwich making her harder to mark drifting to the left looking to get on the end of a diagonal ball, Newcombe goes up with her to win the header clear for Wymondham. Waters gathering the ball inside her own half plays it forwards looking for Youngs, stretching as she attempts to get hold of the ball run in behind appears to caught her foot in the pitch going down is clearly in distress play is stopped for her to receive treatment. Tentatively gets back to her feet and is okay to continue.

 Waters is the target up top for Wymondham whenever they attack, either to hold the ball up or turn the defence, Parsons more often than not keeping close to her. Waters does well to flick the ball to her left spin in behind going on looking to dig the ball out of her feet inside the d get a shot away, allows the Norwich defence to get back on her en masse to clear. Symonds fouls Knights giving Wymondham a free-kick inside their opponents half. Croft playing the ball up for Waters top of the area parsons winning the header for Norwich.

  Wymondham bring the ball on from the back Croft into Knights pushes it out to the right with Waters moving into the channel to receive, Parsons sliding in to tackle the loose ball latched onto by Catchpole 25 yards out goes for goal her strike sent over the bar. Harper playing the ball on down the right for Snelling to chase in the corner, Stretch comes across to slide in put the ball away for a throw. Jodie Drake in midfield for Norwich with an ambitious strike from all of 30 yards out right side runs wide across the area. 

Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

 A throw deep on the left for Wymondham Waters turning putting it inside for Codman who turns looking to feed in Youngs behind her, Johnston lunging in to challenge winning it back for the visitors. Stretch with another important interception through the middle as Daviss attempts to thread the ball through for Snelling. The tempo is high both sides moving the ball quickly attacking players providing good passing options not always finding there mark. Croft from a throw left picking out Russell shifts inside sending a diagonal ball into the D, won well by Parsons at the back.

Becca Russell with the ball for Wymondham

   Symonds on the drive central for Norwich plays the pass to rake on her left forwards it goes to Snelling central turns her effort on goal blocked spinning away behind for a corner kick on the right. A little under 5 minutes left to play in the first half.

 GOAL! The delivery sent in long attacked at the far post dropping central Russell trying to bring it down slices it away to the right, corner taker Larkins gathering it on the edge of the box, goes on checks then spins right to whip a dangerous ball in low through the six yard box, Parsons is there at the far post lunging in to divert the ball into the back of the net to score her first goal of the season 0-1.

Kate Parsons opens the scoring for Norwich

  Norwich gaining the lead with the clock ticking down in the first half. Clashes in the middle seeing both sides getting free-kicks. Catchpole needing treatment can continue. Careless at the back from Norwich sees Catchpole taking advantage looking to get away Parsons has closed enough to throw her off her stride get back possession. A neat triangle in attack on the right from Norwich between Todd, Symonds and Snelling before Croft sticks out a foot to take the ball.

 Norwich finishing the half strong Symonds up in the final 3rd central holding the ball up spinning left to clip it into Todd on the right down the lone flashes a low cross into the six yard box Snelling meeting it at the near post lifting her shot over.

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 0-1 Norwich City Women

  Norwich scoring late on in the first half holding a narrow advantage at the break. Has been a contest between two evenly matched sides so far. Competitive in the midfield both looking to get the ball forwards quickly, Norwich in particular looking to make runs through the middle get support into the attackers. The crossbar hit early one by Norwich both keepers though have been little troubled, defences challenging and intercepting well for the most part. Still very much in the balance as the teams come out for the 2nd period, extra-time and penalties both available should the scores be level after 90.

  No changes for either side at the break as Wymondham get the 2nd half underway, put back to the defence Norwich are quick to close the ball down Stanley in on Newcombe stealing possession to skip in behind sends in in field for Snelling who in turn spots Todd running into the box from the right lifting the ball in towards the far post high Todd leaping can’t quite get her head to it as the ball runs out for a goal kick. 

Norwich’s Megan Todd

  What happens next is a serious test on my memory and note taking skills as all chaos breaks out in the Norwich box. Wymondham play the ball out from the back into Catchpole she sends it forwards into Waters back to goal lays it off to Russell coming on left, played out further to the advancing Croft who whips a shot in on the angle a powerful strike it kisses down off the cross bar into the six yard box, Youngs is close to it shoots her effort blocked by a defender, then Waters sees another effort blocked at close range the loose ball back to Youngs her 2nd attempt on target rising Williams throws herself back to punch the ball away her save giving the defence the advantage to scramble the ball away… at least that’s what I think happened!

  GOAL! No sooner have Wymondham scared the life out of the Norwich defence the visitors get up the other end to score and double their lead. Todd on the right winning a corner off Stretch. Is a good delivery from Larkins. Through the middle too high for those jumping to attack it central drops at the far post met by Snelling who slots it into the back of the net 0-2.

Natasha Snelling scoring Norwich’s 2nd pictured with Wymondham’s Mary Croft

  Newcombe comes forwards with the ball on the right for Wymondham getting in beyond Larkins to lift a cross into the box, Parsons is under it clearing with a firm header. Codman moving out to the left playing the pass inside for Russell to clips a shot in from 25 yards out, low is claimed by Williams. Kett is booked for Wymondham as she comes across to foul Todd as the Norwich attacker surges for the box. The free-kick on the right corner of the area played short into Drake right of the D, her strike at goal racing in low wide across the six yard box out beyond the far post.

Wymondham captain, Leah Newcombe

   Norwich look a threat on the counter attack Snelling coming for the pass central spinning the ball into Todd’s path on the right, Kett getting across her well shielding the ball before playing it back to her keeper to clear. Wymondham make the first change Catchpole coming off with Chelsea Clarke the player coming on on the left. Knights is brought down in the middle a free-kick to Wymondham launched into the box, Williams keeping her eye on it catching cleanly with Kett closing in.

  A moment of controversy, although I’m just saying that for dramatic effect, Waters getting hold on the ball inside the left channel escaping her marker driving towards the box left of the D, Parsons gets back on her the two coming together Parsons bringing Waters down, from where I’m standing and most of the crowd agree it’s inside the box and as the referee blows up are surprised to see it’s a free-kick outside the area. Parsons recieves a yellow card. An interesting one but I have a mate at work who’s a referee and he will always say who was the referee positioned and in this instance much closer to the incidence than most of the crowd. Nevertheless it’s a free-kick in a dangerous position from Wymondham and Russell is over it. Gets her shot in over the wall the keeper beaten the ball comes back down off the crossbar for a 2nd time.

Becca Russell’s free-kick striking the crossbar

  Symonds continues to make strong runs through the middle for Norwich playing the ball onto Todd central who in turn plays it to Snelling on the left her touch taking it inside a little too heavy allowing Croft to step out and clear for Wymondham. The hosts take the ball on down the right winning a corner kick the delivery lifted into the six yard box, Williams coming through bodies has to claim it and does well to get her gloves on the ball. 

  Parsons across to the right channel slides in to foul Waters presenting the hosts with another set-piece. Players forwards lining up at the far post as Russell lifts a high ball into the box. Williams sees it all the way taking a clean catch as players close in on her. 

  A 2nd change for Wymondham sees Laura Nicholls coming on up top for Youngs. Norwich’s Daviss into Stanley racing forwards central plays it out to Todd on the right wing taking it on down to the by-line checks back laying it back to Harper to cross in from deep her ball into the area dealt with by Stretch for Wymondham. Williams out smartly to the edge of the box to slide in a claim the ball as Knights’ pass threatens to release Waters. Nicholls plays it on for Waters who returns the pass to Nicholls right as she goes on put inside for Codman she opens up her body sending a through ball into the area right side, Williams down onto it before Waters can pounce.

Wymondham’s Katie Knights

  Changes for both sides, Norwich with a double substitution bringing off both Drake and Stanley, on come Mollie O’Callaghan and Freya Fuller. Wymondham’s 3rd change sees Rachel Cossey replacing Codman. The Norwich substitutes combining right away as Fuller holds the ball up well out left before sending the pass inside for O’Callaghan 30 yards out has time to look up and take on the shot plenty of power on the ball however Pearce sees it all the way drifting across her goal to take into her midriff. 

  The game remains open Wymondham committing players on looking for a goal, Norwich ready to break on the counter. Todd out on the right drives forwards into the box taking the ball all the way to the by-line doing well to keep it in play squeezing a cross into Snelling at the near post, the attacker can’t get her feet sorted out in time to release a shot as Kett comes in to close her down and clear the ball back with Norwich on the right struck back in low on the angle the effort blocked.

  Knights on for Waters has Nicholls to the right as Wymondham attack, Newcombe round behind her on the overlap the cross squared inside Russell closing in can’t quite take it in her stride allowing the visitors to clear. Symonds pulls up suffering from cramp alot of tired bodies out there alot being put into the game. Waters has been closely watched by Parsons all afternoon the game entering the final 10 minutes. The Wymondham striker working hard throughout to find an advantage battles her way into the area from the left winning a corner. An inswinging delivery, Williams is there to catch cleanly once again. Nicholls is shown a yellow as she pushes Symonds over Norwich with the free-kick Symonds can’t continue comes off to be replaced by Leilah Gooding. The set-piece flung into the far post hooked clear.

   Cossey and Waters link up out on the right in attack for Wymondham the cross flung into the near post just behind Nicholls trying to pull it across her to get a shot away, Johnston gets across to challenge. Clarke forwards on the left for Wymondham squaring a ball into the top of the area Knights stealing in to take the ball inside and send a shot up over the crossbar. Wymondham pushing players on late in the game Cossey with Newcombe forwards on the right the cross sent into the box looping up, Waters rising central can’t get her head on the ball.

 The hosts with a corner on the left driven in near side headed back out to the left Newcombe inside to Clarke 25 yards out left of the D, smashes a low shot wide of the far past. Late pressure for Wymondham another corner on the left in low near side Russell attempting to flick it on cut out and cleared. Gooding in hard on Newcombe a free-kick for Wymondham on the right.

 Russell lifting it into a crowded six yard box headed away Fuller attempting to bring it away on the left, Newcombe tackling to get it back for Wymondham crosses the ball in can’t quite find Knights stealing in at the near post out for a goal kick. The final whistle blow and it’s Norwich who celebrate as they advance to the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 0-2 Norwich City Women 

  An entertaining contest between two evenly matched sides. Norwich scoring twice from a set-piece either side of the break to win the tie. Wymondham coming close with two efforts off the woodwork but overall neither keeper was overly tested. Was a strong battle in the middle of the park with the defences on both sides doing well to limit clear cut chances in front of goal. Fouls given away cheaply by both sides although it was never played with any bad spirit. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Rarely an easy decision, as always a few performances of note to mention. For Wymondham, Hannah Waters worked tirelessly up front trying to create openings and passing options for her teammates. Becca Russell doing well in the middle winning several challenges trying to link with the attack. For Norwich it was a solid performance right down there spine. Waters the threat up front for Wymondham, Kate Parsons stayed on her throughout the game putting in challenges and forcing her out of the middle. Freya Symonds was dynamic in the middle thrusting forwards with the ball and often getting an attacking play on the move. The award though goes to attacker Natasha Snelling showed great movement throughout drifting left and right allowing others to burst forwards and created several opportunities. Scoring the 2nd goal.

  Another enjoyable game from the FA Women’s Cup and an entertaining local derby between two sides that will no doubt lock horns in crucial games in the future. Like Norwich I look forwards to the draw for the 2nd Round Proper. My thanks to both sides for the team details as always.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Ipswich Town Women v Southampton FC Women

Sunday 7th November

FAWNL Cup

 Another venture into Suffolk this Sunday to watch a heavy weight clash as the top two in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division, Ipswich Town Women and Southampton FC Women both with a 100% winning start to the season meet for the 1st time this season drawn together in the 1st Round of the League Cup.

 A fabulous start to the season for the pair who are newly promoted to the FAWNL Southern Premier Division, Ipswich Town Women making it 10 straight wins to start the season with a 5-0 away win away at Plymouth Argyle Women to open up a 9 point lead at the top of the table. Their young and upcoming talent getting alot of rave reviews from rival clubs as they began breaking into the first team. Gaining thier experience in the WSL academy league, looked strong in both the COVID affected seasons in FAWNL South East Division One and when the FA announced some upward movement for the 21/22 season Ipswich saw themselves promoted.

  Youth very much remains the foundation of the side. With several England youth internationals amongst the squad. Have added two players to the squad with a wealth of experience playing in the FA WSL and Championship, goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill most recently with London Bees, so too midfielder Bonnie Horwood who I remember well as part of the Lincoln Ladies squad that got me hooked on women’s football in the first place. 38 goals scored in those 10 victories with just 3 goals conceded. Zoe Barrett and Natasha Thomas leading goal scorers with 6 each so far. Thomas moving past 100 goals for Ipswich now a tremendous achievement and has attracted interest from clubs playing in the Championship, Thomas though would like the be playing in the Championship with Ipswich which is very much the target. In recent seasons the club has worked hard to grow it’s fanbase and a number of Ipswich fan groups have become established aiding to promote the club. Have unfortunately lost their captain Blue Wilson for the season after she sustained an ACL injury earlier in the campaign.

The Championship too very much the ambition for Southampton FC Women. Many surprised that the club hasn’t already been accepted into the 2n tier of the women’s football pyramid though the earlier applications process with the Premiership club investing heavily into their women’s side. Like Ipswich strong in the FAWNL South West Division One during the COVID hit season’s was right for them to also be promoted to the Southern Premier Division. Matching Ipswich’s fantastic start winning 7 out of 7 so far recent postponements seeing them loose ground on the Suffolk side.

 Ex-England Women’s assistant manager Marieanne Spacey-Cale is Head Coach, a strong playing squad has been assembled including Northern Irish internationals, Laura Rafferty and Ciara Watling, New Zealand striker, Katie Rood amongst others including captain Shannon Sievwright spent several seasons in the Southern Premier Division with local rivals Portsmouth and latest signing Alice Griffiths from Bridgwater United Women. Scoring 40 goals in the league so far whilst conceding just 1 in 7. Ella Pusey leading the goal scoring charts with 13 goals. 

The Goldstar Ground the venue for today’s cup clash home to both Ipswich Town Women and Felixstowe & Walton FC. The stadium seeing alot of improvements in recent season a new clubhouse housing the changing facilities with a bar area and kitchen hatch serving hot and cold food and drinks a good variety too. A large seating area leading out to the large grass pitch. A good crowd in attendance early on testament to the lengths Ipswich have gone to to promote their women’s side. A bright sunny if chilly afternoon, a light breeze with some cloud around.

A minutes silence held before the game leading up to Remembrance Sunday

Ipswich Town Women starting XI – Sarah Quantrill, Paige Peake, Lucy Egan, Abbie Lafayette, Eva Hubbard, Summer Hughes, Kyra Robertson, Bonnie Horwood (C), Natasha Thomas, Eloise King & Maddie Biggs. Subs – Leonie Jackson, Maria Boswell, Lucy O’Brien, Zoe Barrett & Sarah Brasero-Carreira.

Ipswich Town Women

 Southampton FC Women starting XI – Kayla Rendell, Milly Mott, Shelly Provan, Rosanna Parnell, Laura Rafferty, Shannon Sievwright, Phoebe Williams, Ciara Watling, Georgie Freeland, Alisha Ware & Ella Pusey. Subs – Sara Luce, Kirsty Whitton, Caitlin Morris, Lucia Kendell & Katie Rood.

Southampton FC Women

It’s the hosts Ipswich to get the cup tie underway wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Southampton line up opposite wearing red and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and white socks. The ball played back into defence sent long upfield out to the left for Eva Hubbard to attack, the ball dealt with by Southampton full back Milly Mott out for a throw in. The ball quickly closed down in the middle fired up to Natasha Thomas 20 yards out left of the D heads it to the left into the path of Hubbard who takes it on to the by-line attempting to slide a cross in, Mott comes back on her sliding in to deflect the ball behind for a corner kick. Fired into the six yard box Southampton defend heading it back out to the left, the return cross blocked the visitors rush out to close Ipswich down forcing them to play it all the way back to their keeper.

   Paige Peake winning the ball on the right for Ipswich sweeps a long diagonal ball infield up towards the top of the D, Laura Rafferty winning the header at the back for Southampton launching it clear. Southampton get the ball through on the left for Ela Pusey to go after, Peake sliding in to put the ball out for a throw in the corner dropped into Ciara Watlings feet the ball controlled put up towards the top of the area for Shelley Provan 25 yards out curls a shot in across the area the ball dropping onto the roof of the net.

Southampton’s Ciara Watling with Ipswich captain, Bonnie Horwood

  A cagey opening both sides moving quickly against the other to close down the ball the midfield hotly contested, Phoebe Williams winning the tackle playing it on for Watling her squared ball looking for Pusey intercepted by Ipswich’s Lucy Egan. Fouls being conceded clumsy from Williams on Kyra Robertson in the circle. Abbie Lafayette to play the ball forwards, no one connecting top of the area the ball safely through to Southampton goalkeeper, Kayla Rendell. 

Ipswich’s Summer Hughes

  Egan inside the box with a firm defensive header to clear for Ipswich as Mott plays a free-kick in from deep on the left. Is tense scrappy at times neither side wanting to give anything away attacking moves broken up before they can get going. Provan has space ahead of her as she calls for the ball off her goalkeeper taking it on down the left fires a dangerous diagonal ball into the box for Pusey to attack, Egan doing really well in defence up against her to clear for Ipswich.

 

  Thomas looks to link up with Summer Hughes on the right for Ipswich, Robertson coming across offering support outside the box, Rosana Parnell stepping out of the back line to disrupt the attack for the visitors play compacted as both sides close in on the ball centrally. Hughes is played onto the ball attacking on the right driving forwards is forced wide by Provan out to the touchline does well to wriggle inside and put it into the centre for Maddie Biggs outside the D, taking the ball across the area only has one intent getting a half a yard of space to unleash a shot, does so connecting with the ball on the spin clips a rising shot wide of the far post.

Southampton defender, Laura Rafferty up with Ipswich attacker Maddie Biggs

  Moving out to the left, Pusey looks to bring down Provan’s forward pass and spin behind Egan who has tracked across with her, the defender tugging her shirt brings Pusey down Southampton awarded the free-kick. Ipswich reset defending the ball into the area. The hosts attack on the left an good ball form Thomas fired in across the area, Biggs closing in beyond the far post stretching for it, Provan throwing herself into the block the ball deflected behind for a corner kick. The delivery from Horwood long beyond the far post cleared back out to the right Horwood to put back in Rafferty getting her head on the ball to defend before the loose ball inside the area is attacked, Southampton getting the free-kick to end the attack.

Southampton’s Georgie Freeland

   Pusey sweeps the ball out to Georgie Freeland running down the right for Southampton down the line her cross blocked by Lafayette, a throw in conceded, Southampton shifting the ball inside to lift a cross into the box can only find the head of Egan who sends it clear for Ipswich. It’s a little to intricate at times the two sides cancelling each other out at times as they try to pass there way through an often congested midfield. 

Southampton’s captain, Shannon Sievwright

 Southampton captain Shannon Sievwright getting hold of the ball as she moves out to the left charging forwards runs into trouble the challenge taking the ball away from her is quickly regained by Alisha Ware behind her takes it on to the by line back up the pitch for Sievwright her angled cross flighted into the six yard box caught cleanly by Ipswich goalkeeper, Sarah Quantrill. The foul count is rising, niggly disruptive fouls rather that malicious though. The game fragmented with neither side finding a gap to exploit. 

Ipswich’s Eva Hubbard

 Hubbard up the line left side for Ipswich into the corner holds onto the ball as Mott comes to close her down doing well to win a corner kick. An inswinging ball in from the left, above head height inviting is plucked down well in her gloves by Rendell is a crowded six yard box. The ball played up to Pusey laid back for Mott on the flank in turn on for Freeland advancing down the wing, goes to cross early, Lafayette in turn out quickly to close her down and block. A pause in play as Biggs is down for Ipswich needing treatment a chance for both sets of coaches to relay instructions to their players.

 Sievwright starting to drive on from the middle more looking to give Southampton further options in attack, her forwards pass cut out by Peake at the back for Ipswich. Horwood is covering alot of ground in the middle for Ipswich looking to win the ball break up Southampton’s play. The ball played into Robertson on through the middle for Hughes she drives on towards the area eventually stopped by Parnell. Williams into Pusey has Watling advancing on her right lays the ball forwards, Quantrill out to close her down the ball sliced away for a throw. Mott doing well as she spins inside, her cross though dropping behind the goal.

  Pusey with a push in the back on Egan Ipswich with a free-kick inside the circle, Peake to play it forwards Thomas rising to try and head it on right of the D as Biggs breaks into the area, Rafferty clearing for Southampton the visitors with a quick break with Freeland on the right winning a corner kick. Played in under the bar Quantrill does well to get her fist on the ball punch it away clear on the right Horwood collecting played forwards won back lifted into the middle the Ipswich defence stepping out well catching Freeland offside. 

Paige Peake looking for a pass for Ipswich

  Ipswich come on through the middle pushed into Thomas 25 yards out left channel her crossfield pass picking out Hughes on the right back inside for Horwood who in turn slides a great diagonal ball into the box for Biggs to attack far post, Mott doing great defensively for Southampton closing Biggs down to come away with the ball. A good passage of play from Ipswich. Hughes taking the ball on down the right back for Horwood central attempting the return ball into the area for Hughes, Provan gets across her to shield the ball out for a goalkick. 

Southampton’s Shelley Provan

  Ware on the the left working back to win possession for Southampton as the 1st half moves into 4 minutes added time. Horwood on for Robertson through the middle out to Biggs drifting left, Freeland across to make the challenge for the visitors. A late chance to take the lead in the first half as Southampton play a hopeful ball upfield allowed to bounce sees Egan under pressure right of the D as Pusey rushes in after the ball, Quantrill comes rushing out to the top of her area Pusey stretching her leg prodding the ball past the keeper as she and her defender collide, the ball rolling narrowly wide of the near post. Egan down needs treatment before she can continue.

 

  Southampton ending the half strong Provan getting forwards on the left her cross deflected off Hughes to win a corner. The ball played up towards the top of the area intercepted by Lafayette, does get it away as Southampton lift it back high into the box, Peake getting her head on it to clear for Ipswich as the half-time whistle blows.

Half-time Ipswich Town Women 0-0 Southampton FC Women

  Certainly a cagey affair almost like a game of chess at times with neither side willing to concede an inch of space to the other. Cancelling each other out the ball hotly contested especially in the middle Southampton happy to sit deep and defend leaving no room to run into that has probably limited the amount of players they can get forwards with pace on the counter. Fragmented with niggly fouls disrupting play a half of few chances and you’d expect as much with only 4 goals conceded so far between the pair. Neither goalkeeper called into action to make a save. How to unlock the door is a question I’m sure both coaches will be pondering at the break.

  Ipswich making a change at half-time with King coming off to be replaced by Zoe Barrett. Southampton to get the 2nd half underway. Win an early free-kick in the middle, Players up into the box played forwards Parnell getting her head on the ball but not controlled as Ipswich clear. Biggs looks to break left for Ipswich into the box shifts inside, Rendell coming towards the ball able to claim low. Ware links up with Provan on the left for Southampton before crossing into the Ipswich area Peake winning the ball for the hosts. The 2nd half starting as the first finished neither side getting a foothold. Little room available on the flanks for Ipswich to take advantage off Mott and Provan giving little away. 

 Barrett left avoiding Provan’s sliding challenge gets hold of the ball shifting infield plays it central for Egan 25 yards out space opens up before her she sets her sights clipping a shot narrowly over the crossbar. Horwood continues to work hard covering the ground regaining possession inside the Southampton half on for Barrett her over the top ball cleared. Biggs out on the right with a shot on the angle 25 yards out sent wide across the six yard box. 

Zoe Barrett on the attack for Ipswich

  Barrett has made an impact since coming on for Ipswich getting hold of the ball and looking to take players on left side receiving off Horwood in the middle powers her way to the by-line Mott getting back at her to put in the tackle regain possession bring it out from the back for Southampton. Into midfield Sievwright out to Pusey peeling away to the right, can’t get past Lafayette. 

Southampton’s Milly Mott getting the better of Ipswich’s Zoe Barrett

  Ipswich enjoying a good spell on the ball getting forwards the ball coming through the middle, Southampton stretched, as Thomas looks to link with Robertson as they advance on the box, Robertson putting it into Thomas to her left, inside the box, Mott in with a firm tackle taking the ball away from Thomas across the top of the area, Parnell getting there just ahead of Robertson who goes down, leading to appeals for a penalty from the Ipswich fans gathered behind the goal, nothing doing a little bit of afters between Robertson and Parnell the Ipswich midfielder not happy continues her complaints leading to her being shown a yellow card by the referee.

Ipswich’s Kyra Robertson

  Rafferty bringing the ball out from the back for Southampton out to Ware on on the left she gets her head down drives at the Ipswich defence, 3 players converging on her she is crowded off the ball. Sievwright over a free-kick in the middle of the Ipswich half clipped up into the box, Quantrill calls for it and claims comfortably. A change for both sides sees Ware come off for Lucia Kendell in attack for Southampton. Lucy O’Brien enters the field for Ipswich replacing Biggs.

Phoebe Williams heading the ball for Southampton

  Barrett getting hold of the ball left driving on does well to get in behind Mott pushing on towards the area, Parnell comes across well on the covers to tackle send the ball out for a throw in. Taken quickly worked inside top of the area the shot taken on the spin pulled wide of the near post. Is a good contest between Mott and Barrett as the Ipswich attacker pushes on down the left momentarily away Mott recovering quickly to get back on her to challenge for the ball, set up a counter, Williams to Pusey over halfway an ambitious effort bouncing wide of the goal. 

  Watling out on the left now with Kendell through the middle with Pusey, has possession on the flank good close control shifting left then right looking for a crossing opportunity closed down can only win her side a corner. Southampton have tried a few short corners throughout the game with little success, this one put up the line crossed in from deep, attacked, Quantrill though isn’t fazed as she gets up well to catch. Freeland shifting the ball inside 20 yards out shapes to shoot, Egan out to close her down putting in the block for Ipswich.

 

  Ipswich away on the right Hughes with the ball into the box for Thomas central to attack, Mott up with her the pair coming together Thomas knocking the ball downwards towards the near post Rendell snatching it up into her gloves. Mott staying down needing treatment on an injured neck but is okay to continue. It continues to be a tense affair both sides still working hard to close the other down, Watling high on the left winning a throw, taken headed on across goal, retrieved out on the right a shot driven in low across the face of goal, taking a nick off an Ipswich player as a corner is awarded.

Natasha Thomas and Alisha Ware battling for the ball

  Freeland on the left has Kendell making a run ahead of her to the right knocked into her path Kendell attempts the back heel intending for Freeland to run onto it nip in behind the Ipswich defence into the box, a good idea… only Horwood reads it like a book and intercepts for Ipswich. Southampton with a corner on the right played long to the far post headed back across to the near side dropping down into the mix bodies everywhere the ball is scramble away. Very nearly an own goal from Ipswich as Southampton attack on the left Watling attempting the cross, Ipswich defending the head deflecting the ball up and away across the face of their goal has Quantrill scrambling across her line nudges it wide beyond the far post.

 Southampton building some momentum in the final 3rd with a little under 15 minutes to play. Another corner on the right put long once again well past the far post the ball nodded down struck towards goal. Ipswich have the posts covered the defender on the right post rushing out to block the shot.

  GOAL! The deadlock is broken in the 79th minute, as Southampton keep the ball up on the left Provan advancing into Kendell outside the area, left of the D isn’t closed down allowed to turn into a right foot strike and curl a wonderfully struck ball rising and curling across the diving Quantrill to find the top corner from 25 yards out 0-1.

Lucia Kendell scores to break the deadlock in the 79th minute for Southampton

  Ipswich get straight on the attack from the restart, Robertson onto Thomas right side drives on with the ball  into the box angles a ball into the six yard box the Southampton defence back tracking en masse Mott with the clearance. Mott getting up the pitch as Pusey sends the pass out to her on the wing, the ball deflected back to Freeland she strikes it in towards goal on the angle, Quantrill at full stretch getting up to tip the ball away from under her crossbar. 

  A double change for Ipswich as they break off Egan and Robertson for Maria Boswell and Sarah Brasero-Carreira. Southampton make a change in attack bringing off Pusey for Katie Rood. 

  No sooner has Quantrill made a brilliant save at one end then Rendell is called into action to do the same at the other. Brasero-Carreira with an immediate impact seeing the ball into her feet right side of the area 25 yards out strikes her shoot hard angling in towards goal looking sneak under the bar Rendell throw herself up getting a glove on the ball to tip it onto the roof of her net keep her side in front. 

Southampton goalkeeper, Kayla Rendell

  For a moment from the resulting corner everyone thought Ipswich hand equalised as the ball is attacked at the far post by Thomas a yard out, dropping down is just the wrong side of the post before being cleared another corner awarded however. This one defended well at the near post. Ipswich press on looking for a reply the clock ticking down Horwood out to Brasero-Carreira down the right wing whips a cross in along the top of the six yard box, Thomas jumping in the centre can’t quite get her head on it. 

  The game entering stoppage time, 4 minutes to be played. Southampton get the ball into Watling drifting inside from the left charging towards the area, Quantrill out to close her down does enough to put Watling off as she stabs the ball past her no power on the ball as the defence get back on the cover to clear the ball. Ipswich come right the ball in central to Barrett top of the six yard area under pressure from Mott, blazes her attempt over the bar. 

  Rendell is shown a yellow card late in the game for Southampton for time wasting. Lafayette too as she cynically takes out Freeland as she attempts to get by her on the right flank. Seconds left Horwood hasn’t stopped running plays the ball on for Brasero-Carreira 25 yards out central spins off her marker and lets fly, Rendell though moving across her goal can see it safely wide of her left post. The last of the action, a single goal settles it as Southampton advance in the FAWNL Cup.

Full time Ipswich Town Women 0-1 Southampton FC Women

  Have to say there was a moment there where I thought this tie was going to all the way to a penalty shootout… and that would have been as hard to call as the final result. A single goal enough to settle it in the end and no surprise really. Can clearly see why these two are where they are at the top of the Southern Premier Division. Neither wanting to blink first as they met for the 1st time this season. A cagey affair, both sides cancelling each other out somewhat, not wanting to give the other an inch made it a bit fragmented and scrappy at times but nevertheless an intriguing contest. Both with chances to win the game the keepers both making an excellent save. Southampton probably wouldn’t have had too much to complain about if it had been them defeated by a single goal. As it was that all important strike belonged to them and it meant alot. The two sides meeting again in just a fortnights time in the league as Ipswich travel down to the South Coast.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. It’s another tough one to single out an individual players both sets of players putting everything into the game. Lucy Egan strong at the back for Ipswich whilst Bonnie Horwood was immense in the middle of the park getting about the pitch to disrupt Southampton’s play and win possession back. Georgie Freeland moving well on the flank coming inside to make herself available for Southampton. The visitors defending deep especially 1st half allowing no way through were solid, Rosana Parnell with a number of vital challenges, the award though goes to full back Milly Mott. Ipswich looking to get momentum on the left Southampton’s right back found herself with alot to deal with and throughout the game was equal to the task.

  An enjoyable trip to The Goldstar ground a really impressive crowd of 619 in attendance for the match showing how well Ipswich Town Women have grown there fanbase no doubt inspired many in the process. Are the leading force by some distance for women’s football in Suffolk. Easy to see why both sides are where they are and where they want to be will no doubt continue to be an intense title battle throughout the season. A pleasure to see both in action. 

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – AFC Sudbury Women v Herts Vipers

Sunday 31st October

ERWFL Division One South

 A road trip down south this weekend into Suffolk to watch a game from ERWFL Division One South for the first time this season with AFC Sudbury Women hosting one of the leagues newcomers Herts Vipers.

 Tier 6 of the women’s football pyramid seeing an influx of new sides following the previous two seasons disruption due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. The ERWFL aiming to reach it’s full capacity in the near future as the county leagues below continue to expand. A total of 7 sides promoted to the regional set-up this season with 4 of those joining ERWFL Division One South, Essex sides, Billericay Town Ladies Development and FC Barking Women along with Hertfordshire pair Cheshunt FC Women and Herts Vipers.

  A great start to life in tier 6 for 3 of those sides with Herts Vipers, Cheshunt and Barking 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectfully in the table. With just 5 points separating the top five right now with Essex side Leigh Ramblers Ladies setting the pace. All five of those sides losing just the one match so far so the league looks  like the title race will be hard fought. 

  AFC Sudbury Women currently in 5th spot in the ERWFL Division One South table having played 5. With 3 wins an draw and one loss. Started the season strong with 7 points from their opening 3 fixtures. Defeat in the FA Women’s Cup and their 1st loss of the season at home to Barking following before Sudbury returned to winning ways at Suffolk rivals East Bergholt at the start of the month. An extended period without a game return to action with successive home fixtures against 2nd place Herts Vipers followed by leaders Leigh Ramblers next weekend. 

 Phoebe Guiver currently top scorer with 4 goals so far this season with both Alex Penny and Jessica Allen having 3 goals apiece. AFC Sudbury with an academy set-up for both boys and girls with the Women’s 1st team backed up by a Reserves sides playing in the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division. AFC Sudbury as a whole looking to push the women’s game forwards including giving experience to young female referees, one running the line for today’s match.

Herts Vipers burst onto the scene at the beginning of the 2019/20 season entering a women’s side in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three. Right from the off the squad assembled looked too strong for that division surging to the top of the table off the back of a number of high scoring wins. Didn’t get to celebrate a title win however as COVID came along to see the season ending null & void. Were promoted straight into the Beds & Herts Women’s Premier Division the following season whilst setting up a new Development side. Again were making good progress with Nicole Jancey in particular scoring plenty of goals which would see her go on to play for London Bees in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. The 20/21 season of course following the same fate as the previous season the Beds & Herts league adapting their season into a mini-league formant where Herts Vipers went on to win Group A alongside fellow Premier Division sides, Oakland Wolves Ladies, Hemel Hempstead Town Ladies & Garston Ladies.

  Applying for promotion to the ERWFL regional set-up Herts Vipers are an ambitious club and have started life in tier 6 very well winning their opening 3 matches. A draw and first defeat of the season at home to Hutton following before they bounced back to win 3-1 at home to Billericay Town Women Development a fortnight ago. Making history too in the FA Women’s Cup beating East Bergholt 4-3 last weekend to reach the 1st Round Proper of the competition where they will be at home to FAWNL South East Division One side Stevenage FC Women. Kelsey Millen top scoring so far this season with 5 goals with, Georgia Royall, Rachel Wall and Natalie Powell hot on her heels with 4 goals each.

The MEL Group Stadium the venue for today’s match, the weather as much of a factor for determining today’s game as anything else. An artificial pitch inside the main stadium with a training pitch beside the carpark. A new build clubhouse with seated stand along side one side of the ground another terraced stand on the opposite side, covered areas behind both goals. A wide pitch, plenty of volunteers about the place getting the stadium ready for the clubs upcoming televised FA Cup clash against Colchester United. Heavy rain moving across the region to start the day leading to several postponements. Forecast to clear by early afternoon had stopped by the time I arrived at the ground and the sun was forcing it’s way through which with the clocks going back this weekend would pose an issue setting behind one goal.

AFC Sudbury Women

 AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Becky Platt, Jodie Donley, Amber Provan, Teigan McHale, Bonni Shephard, Kate Edwards, Phoebe Guiver (C), Bella Crawford, Evie Creaton, Alex Penny & Jess Allen Subs – Brandi Whymark-Broyd, Georgia Thorpe, Emily Smith, Tye Smith & Georgia Sleep.

Herts Vipers

  Herts Vipers starting XI – Sasha Tucker, Rebecca Edge, Ciara Meeking, Eva Ramsey (C), Rebecca Scott, Katie Moule-Betell, Sarah Payne, Georgina Royall, Kesley Mullin, Natalie Powell & Rachel Wall. Subs – Maisie Threadgold-Smith, Danielle Cliffe, Chloe Clay & Ellie Stammers.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Bright sun by the time kick-off arrived behind one goal is definitely going to pose an issue as the game draws on. Sudbury with the kick off in the 1st half wearing an all yellow kit with Herts Vipers lines up opposite in an all light grey strip. The ball lofted forwards cleaned up by Herts Vipers centre back and captain Eva Ramsey, play spread out to the left the forwards pass infield for the advancing Sarah Payne, looks to thread it through into the box for Rachel Wall, Becky Platt quickly out of her six yard box to gather for the hosts.

  Herts Vipers making a positive start to the game the ball fed up the right for Natalie Powell to run onto wins the visitors and early corner, players coming up into the box the delivery by Kesley Millen whipped invitingly across the top of the six yard box is Powell rising at the far post narrowly missing the header. 

  A high line defensively for Herts Vipers, striker Jess Allen caught offside as the hosts attempt to move out quickly from the back. Millen winning the ball on halfway for Herts Vipers passes it forwards early with both Wall and Powell after it as Teigan McHale finds herself under pressure heading for her own goal, keeps her composure though playing it safely back to her keeper, Platt launching it up the pitch. Herts Vipers get players up to support Georgina Royall on the left inside to Payne 25 yards out shoots on the angle the ball skipping along the surface gathered by Platt covering her near post.

Herts Vipers Katie Moule-Betell

  Powell runs in behind on the right side, Bonni Shepherd getting back on her forcing the attacker wide, holding the ball up Millen gets down the line in support the ball laid back to her she attempts to return it to Powell making a move into the box the pass too heavy runs out of play. Payne links up with Powell central 30 yards out the ball put out to the right as Millen bursts forwards towards the area her shot blocked by Jodie Donley. Herts Vipers keep the pressure on in the final 3rd won back on the left Wall turns 25 yards out striking the ball on the angle in low towards goal, Platt behind it once again.

Kelsey Millen attacking for Herts Vipers

  Herts Vipers are applying pressure to the Sudbury defence early in the game, Powell central hooking the ball over the top for Wall to go after Platt comes racing out to meet her Wall attempts to chip the ball over the keeper can only put it straight into her gloves. 

  GOAL! For all their bright start to the game Herts Vipers are undone on 10 minutes as captain Phoebe Guiver plays the ball through on halfway from Allen to run onto driving forwards central bearing down on the box getting inside the centre back sets her sights slotting the ball low past the standing keeper before she can react into the back of the net 1-0.

Jess Allen opens the scoring for Sudbury

   A mix up at the back almost presents Herts Vipers with a quick reply as Powell goes after a hopeful pass long into the box right of goal with both centre back and goalkeeper coming for it, Platt out of position rapidly back peddling as Powell gets hold of the ball on the by line the angle very much against no one else in the box plants the ball into the side netting. Powell a threat up top getting away on the right off a throw in the Herts Vipers attacker cutting it back towards  Wall top of the area right side of the D, looking to turn into the shot as the ball run across her doesn’t get a clean connection the ball deflected off a defender out to Powel who fires it back in on the angle, Platt down to get behind it make the save.

Natalie Powell attacking for Herts Vipers

   Alex Penny taking the ball on down the left for Sudbury whipping a dangerous cross into the six yards box headed clear by Herts Vipers, Rebecca Edge. Up the other end Powell latches onto a poor goal kick taking the ball out to the right wrapping her foot around the ball flashed in across the penalty spot, Payne has gambled breaking from midfield arriving the cross narrowly beating her. The ball being hotly contested in midfield, Guiver winning it plays an early ball forwards for Allen, the raised flag halting her progress. The wind picking up behind Herts Vipers back hindering there forward play ball running on form both Payne and Millen.

Sarah Payne looking to win the ball for Herts Vipers

   The visitors pressuring the Sudbury defence, Amber Provan gets it clear, on for Guiver right side she sends it long for Allen making a run into the right channel takes on the shot early 30 yards out blazes her effort over the bar. Guiver influential in the middle of the park is down having picked up an injury, is unable to continue Sudbury making the change bringing on Emily Smith with Kate Edwards taking the armband.

    Powell is upended wide on the right Herts Vipers awarded a freekick. Millen over the ball angled in towards the far post runners closing in the ball knocked back down across goal comes back out to Millen on the right clips a high ball back into the area dropping down at the far post Platt gets up well to claim high taken a blow as she is clattered into. A pause in play as the goalkeeper recieves treatment but is okay to continue.

Sudbury’s Alex Penny

 

 Penny forwards on the left for Sudbury has help from Allen the pair pressuring the Herts Vipers defence forcing a corner kick. Put in from the left, Shepherd hooks it in towards goal from the top of the area, the ball headed clear inside the six yard box. Wall fouled on the left presenting Millen with another set-piece opportunity 30 yards out, plenty of pace on her strike racing through the area, Wall closing in far side can’t reach it as it runs wide of the far post. 

Herts Vipers attacker, Rachel Wall

 A change for Herts Vipers with Ellie Stammers coming on up top for Wall. Teigan McHale winning the ball at the back for Sudbury plays it upfield for Allen moving out to the left wing, looks to take it in behind, Ramsey getting across to slide in on her put the ball out for a throw in. Shepherd getting up on the left to support Penny on the wing the pass inside looking for Edwards well placed 25 yards out, Payne throwing out her leg to intercept for Herts Vipers. 

  Millen finds herself out on the eft running onto the ball left of the D prods it on into the box for Powell to see into her feet, Shepherd close on her the striker attempting to turn get inside her marker, Shepherd doing well to prevent an attempt at goal knocking the ball away runs back to Millen who has moved back to the right takes on the strike from distance Platt saving pushing the ball out to her right. 

  GOAL! Half an hour played and the hosts go onto double their lead similar to the opening goal it is a fantastic pass from midfield by Edwards opening up her body too release Allen in attack taking the ball on in behind the defence to run at the box can’t be caught and once again keeps composed to slot it low under the keeper to score 2-0.

Jess Allen through on goal to score her 2nd for Sudbury

  Herts Vipers respond with a double change, bringing off Powell and Royall on come Chloe Clay and Danielle Cliffe. Rebecca Edge with a crucial tackle on Allen as she moves into the left channel seeing the ball into her feet looking to shift and spin in behind Edge timing her challenge perfectly to come away with the ball. 

  Allen is put through on goal central for a third time by Edwards running over halfway, out pacing the defence bearing down on the area, goalkeeper Sasha Tucker out quickly to the edge of her area getting down low to make the blocking save as Allen attempts to slot it past her, denying Allen her hat-trick. The second goal denting Herts Vipers confidence, giving an obvious lift to Sudbury as they close the ball down higher up the pitch, Crawford onto Edwards plays it forwards for Allen peeling away into the left channel shooting from outside the box, Edge blocking her effort deflected to Crawford 25 yards out right of the D her attempt at goal put over the bar.  Katie Moule-Betell brings the ball forwards for Herts Vipers playing it on for Millen right side taking it on into the area hasn’t many options doing well to win a corner. 

Herts Vipers, Ellie Stammers

  Millen playing a good ball into the six yard box, an inviting height, Stammers up well centrally can’t direct her header on target. Into the final 5 minutes of the first half Rebecca Scott challenging for the ball in the middle for Herts Vipers on for Payne who looks to thread it through for Clay inside the D, McHale intercepting for Sudbury. Allen bats the offside flag for Sudbury for a moment looks to be away but Ramsey recovers superbly to slide in take the ball away from her before being fouled herself. 

  Millen getting a throw deep in the Sudbury half played into Stammers turning on the by-line in near post Clay attacking it, doesn’t get hold of the ball, hurt as she turns needing treatment. A frustrating half so far for the visitors the final ball just not happening. Creaton taking the ball on down the right for Sudbury moves infield pushed on to Allen, turns but runs straight into Edge who tackles well for Herts Vipers setting up an immediate counter attack finding Millen on the right plays it on early through the middle with both Stammers and Clay after the ball the wind though favouring the advancing goalkeeper as Platt gets to it first. 

  Creaton powers on with the ball right side for Sudbury strikes the shot in on the angle, Tucker down to her left with a sharp save the ball pushed away across goal, for a moment Allen looks certain to turn the ball into an empty net but can’t get the ball down before the Herts Vipers defence get back on her to scramble clear. Sudbury finishing the half strong, Edwards on for Creaton comes inside from the right clipping a shot over from 20 yards out.

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 2-0 Herts Vipers

  Arguably Herts Vipers have created more chances but it’s the visitors who find themselves trailing 2-0 at the break. The difference being Sudbury and particularly Allen have been clinical with their finishing when through on goal. Sudbury have dropped deep inviting Herts Vipers on at times but that has left room for Allen to run into whenever play is turned around. Frustration too for Herts Vipers as the final ball evades them. A confident start pressure early on a blow to concede. The 2nd goal seeing Sudbury grow in confidence finishing the half the stronger. You feel Herts Vipers need to score early in the 2nd half to get themselves back into the match.

  No change for either side at the break. The sun dipping low in the sky now the Herts Vipers defence with have that to content with too in the 2nd half. The visitors to get the 2nd half underway. Herts Vipers sloppy from the restart giving the ball away inside their own half out to Creaton on the right pressing forwards coming inside turning into the box, Ramsey tackling for Herts Vipers before Edge scrambles the ball away. 

Herts Vipers captain, Eva Ramsey

 Creaton flagged offside moment later as Sudbury close the ball down, Edwards winning it in the centre. Cliffe left links up with Moule-Betell for Herts Vipers central looking to lift the ball forwards, Edwards snapping in on her to regain possession for the hosts. Payne bringing the ball on has Millen ahead of her central pushing the pass on Millen reverses the ball putting it into Stammers left of the D, head down drives for the box, Provan standing up against her defending well for Sudbury.

  GOAL! Denied her hat-trick in the first half it doesn’t take long for Allen to claim it at the start of the 2nd half, the ball played out from the ball by Sudbury finding Creaton free on the right she helps it on quickly central in behind the Herts Vipers defence, Allen out paces Ramsey in the race for the ball taking her shot early smashing it high into the back of the net 3-0. 

A hat-trick for Sudbury’s Jess Allen pictured with Herts Vipers Ciara Meeking

  Platt saving at her near post off Cliffe as the Herts Vipers player gets a shot in close to the by-line on the right. The game becoming a little feisty free-kicks being given away as both sides try and close the other down on the ball, no one afforded any time to settle on the ball. No doubt Herts Vipers are frustrated. Creaton looks to plough her way through the Herts Vipers defence from the right but is stopped by Ciara Meeking. Creaton then gets back well to defend on Cliffe as she attempts to take the ball on down the right off a midfield pass from Scott. 

  Sudbury turn play around left side on to Allen up top she squares it to Creaton on her right the winger looking to come inside, goes with a left footed strike from inside the D the be swerving away from the far post. A little bit of rain in the air as Herts Vipers on the back foot press to get the ball, Payne looking to release Millen coming inside from the right, Platt though quickly off her line to slide in and take the ball on the edge of her area. Herts Vipers make a change with Cliffe coming off, Wall returning to the action.

 GOAL! Creaton’s shirt pulled the hosts awarded a free-kick wide on the right players sent up into the box as the set-piece by Creaton comes in the ball looping in under the bar Herts Vipers fail to deal with it at the far post knocked across the face of goal a scramble ensues bodies flying in from both sides, deflected towards goal, Tucker gets her gloves around it  on the ground hooks it away but by then it has already crossed the line, possibly and own goal, Donley with a touch claiming it for Sudbury 4-0.

  A huge blow for Herts Vipers conceding a 4th goal. Sudbury on top leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb if they hope to get anything from the game. Powell returns to the action for Herts Vipers replacing Payne. Meeking with a good ball forwards from the left up the wing for Wall, getting down the wing squares it into the box but behind Powell as McHale intercepts and launches clear for Sudbury. Herts Vipers taking risks pushing players on trying to pressure Sudbury at the back, Clay nipping in to take the ball outside the D, Edwards is back on her sliding in to tackle before a shot can be unleashed.

  The ball being hotly contested in the middle pinging back and forth deflects favourably for Allen up top after it, Edge comes round on the cover with a good challenge. Sudbury with a corner on the right defended at the near post behind for a 2nd corner. Dropping at the near post Tucker comes to catch, the ball kicked out of her gloves, she is smartly down to smother it inside her six yard box. The game opening up suddenly the Sudbury defence drawn out Clay seizes the opportunity lifting it over the top for Powell to chase looks to be one on one with the advancing keeper but for McHale her recovers her ground excellently sliding in with a well timed tackle.

Sarah Payne bringing the ball out for Herts Vipers

  Clay is caught hard on the ankle by a mistimed tackle out on the left, play brought back with no advantage for the free-kick. Clay though is in alot of pain, after lengthy treatment has to come off carried off the pick by her coaches. Royall coming back on. Edge on the set-piece long up into the area, Platt calls and coming through bodies claims well. A double change for Sudbury with Creaton and Allen coming off in attack. On come Georgia Sleep and Tye Smith. The low sun is making viewing difficult behind the Sudbury goal. Shepherd sliding in to block on Millen as she breaks into the box from the right a corner conceded. Donley defending for Sudbury.

Sudbury’s Tye Smith with Herts Vipers Katie Moule-Betell

  Sudbury are content to sit back invite Herts Vipers onto them the visitors with Scott on the ball out to Millen on the right, Shepherd out to her tackling to give away the throw. The hosts regaining possession off the throw moving the ball on up the left Sleep with the cross in along to top of the box cleared by Edge. Frustrations increasing the referee showing a card to the Herts Vipers bench as Crawford is fouled by Meeking on the right. 

  Millen driving inside from the right pushed into Wall inside the box plays it back to Moule-Betell to strike over from 25 yards out for Herts Vipers. The visitors pressing Stammers on the right plays it central for Royall top of the area heads it into the box, Platt down on it before Powell can pounce. Scott central out to the right for Stammers has support form Millen the pair exchanging passes before Stammers flashes a shot over the bar. Sudbury making a change with a little under 15 minutes left to play Georgia Thorpe coming on for Crawford. 

 Stammers getting down to the by-line well sends a cross along the face of goal only no one has gambled for Herts Vipers. McHale halting Millen’s progress as she looks to power her way through the Sudbury defence. Brandi Whymark-Broyd coming on in defence for Sudbury late on replacing Donley. Edwards out to Tye Smith on the left taking the ball on towards the box looses possession but quickly regains it squaring it inside for Sleep, Ramsey in well to defend for Herts Vipers. 

Seems no matter what Herts Vipers try nothing will fall their way in the final third 2nd balls more often than not claimed by a Sudbury shirt. Payne comes back on for Meeking. Whymark-Broyd defending in the box for the hosts against Powell as Stammers crosses from the right. Scott central on for Stammers she spins the ball away to the advancing Millen’s on the right from a tight angle smashes a strike in Platt throwing herself at the ball a sharp safe tipping the ball up and away to the left. Herts Vipers pushing on winning a corner on the left defended for a 2nd corner, Shepherd clearing that behind at the near post for a 3rd corner. This delivery longer to the far post headed down into into the mix blasted over the bar from 10 yards out.

  Late in the game Sudbury continue to soak up the pressure as Herts Vipers push on trying all they can to find a goal. Whymark-Broyd sliding into a challenge to stop Stammers advance. The ball inside the box pinging about a tackle, Platt picks it up, judged to be a back pass Herts Vipers are awarded a late indirect free-ick inside the box. Left of the goal 10 yards out Millen on it to tee up Edge. Sudbury slow to get players into there wall, gaps as Edge runs onto Millen’s nudge hits it hard through the fragmented wall giving Platt no chance as it’s hammered home for a late consolation goal 4-1. 

Rebecca Edge with a late consolation goal for Herts Vipers

  Too little too late the clock ticking down, Sudbury make a change bringing Creaton back on for Tye Smith. The home defence frustrated at conceding so late in the game the ball out on the right as Herts Vipers attack Millen fouled picking up and injury is brought off there’s seconds left no sub is made as the ball is played upfield to Sleep the final whistle blows and the 3 points go to Sudbury.

Kate Edwards contesting the midfield for Sudbury

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 4-1 Herts Vipers

  A convincing win in the finish for Sudbury who climb above Herts Vipers on goal difference into 2nd in the Division One South table. A poor start to the 2nd half from Herts Vipers seeing Sudbury capitalise to double the 2 goal advantage they had at the break. After that the Suffolk side was prepared to sit back and soak up the pressure ready to hit on the counter attack. The defence all making crucial tackles. A frustrating afternoon for Herts Vipers who I am sure can play better. Created opportunities making a good start to the game. A sucker punch from Sudbury to take the lead. Allen clinical for her hat-trick. Rarely did Herts Vipers open up their opponents.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances to mention first. For Herts Vipers, Rebecca Edge made a number of crucial tackles in defence and carried the ball out from the back well. Kelsey Millen on the right looked a threat and looked to set up a number of opportunities for the attackers. Overall it was a solid all round team performance from Sudbury hard to single a player out. Jess Allen of course was clinical in her finishing to net her hat-trick. Creaton was a constant threat on the right. Teigan McHale with some fantastically timed tackles at the back. The award though goes to midfielder Kate Edwards enjoyed the battle in midfield getting after the ball rising up after being handed the armband, played a number of excellent forwards passes.

 Another enjoyable trip to the MEL Group Stadium. I can see how much the club is looking forwards to their FA Cup encounter with Colchester and I wish them all the best of luck. Good to see both sides in action. Been wanting to tick Herts Vipers off the list for a while but like always this only means another side I want to see again. My thanks to both sides for giving me the team details as always much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – King’s Lynn Town Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Sunday 24th October

 Women’s FA Cup

 Back to King’s Lynn this Sunday for a game from the Women’s FA Cup as the competition enters the 3rd and final qualifying round with 170 sides competing for a place in the 1st Round Proper. Amongst those ERWFL Premier Division newcomers King’s Lynn Town Ladies as they host Cambridge United WFC at The Walks Stadium.

  The FAWNL Division One sides entering the Women’s FA Cup in the final qualifying round, with this year featuring a record number of entries. Teams looking to make history in what is very much regarded a pinnacle competition within the game.  

 King’s Lynn Town Ladies making their debut in the ERWFL Premier Division this season. The squad responding well after winning just a point from their opening 3 matches going on to win 3 of their following 4 matches including a 4-0 home win against title contenders Wymondham Town Ladies to climb up to 5th in the table. successive 2-2 draws away to Colney Heath Ladies and at home to Luton last weekend with Alexa Hunter scoring in the 100th minute to see the points shared. Alexa Hunter amongst the goal scorers too as King’s Lynn Town Ladies won their opening game in the Women’s FA Cup against Suffolk Premier Division side Brettvale Ladies in 2nd Round Qualifying. Amy Magnus also scoring in a 5-1 away victory with Rachel Skinner, Aimee Ford and Oksana Imanalijeva all scoring their first goals of the season. 

 Cambridge United WFC entering the FA Women’s Cup at the 3rd Round Qualifying stage looking to build on what has been a great start to their league campaign in FAWNL South East Division One. Under the new manger Darren Marjoram assisting head coach Ben Yeomans the club are up to 5th in the league and whilst it looks as though the title fight will be between Essex rivals Hashtag United Women and Billericay Town Ladies, Cambridge United lay 2 points behind 3rd placed AFC Wimbledon Ladies. Injuries have seen the whole squad tested and players that have been brought in have responded well to make selection a headache at times. Battled hard against 2nd placed Billericay last time out goalless at the break and trailing by a single goal going into the final 10 minutes before a quickfire double sealed a 3-0 win for Billericay. 

The Walks Stadium

The Walks stadium the venue for today’s FA Cup tie home to The Linnets, King’s Lynn Town FC is now the home ground for the ladies side too. The ERWFL a decent standard of football a great opportunity for the club to expand it’s fanbase within the town. The large mainstand can be seen from picturesque green space beside the ground leading into King’s Lynn’s town centre. A covered terrace on the opposite side with a cafe serving hot and cold food and drinks. A good crowd building, the sun bright over the mainstand, likely to cause some interference to the players during the game. Otherwise dry with a chilly breeze.  

King’s Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Christina Vivas, Chloe Burch, Samantha Davis, Tiffany Forshaw (C), Shanice Burch, Alexa Hunter, Zara O’Neill, Lily Porter, Rachel Skinner, Amie Ford & Amy Magnus. Subs – Amy Bell, Amy Cropley, Kimberley Fairweather, Ella Gavaghan, Jodie Hopkins, Frances Peeling & Catherine Day.

 Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Kira Markwell, Abi Davies, Carrie Bennett, Gisela Otten (C), Grace Waygood, Amy Houghton, Alysha Stojko-Down, Amy Howlett, Laura Mitchell, Emma Jenkins & Ruth Fox. Subs – Grace Joslin, Albany Hodgson, Charlotte Crisp, Abbi Griffin & Niamh Day.

A rarity at this  level with both sides naming a substitute goalkeeper on the bench. captain Laura Baker and full back Ana Re out with knocks for Cambridge, Alysha Stojko-Down previously with Watford FC Women making her first start for the club in midfield along side Amy Houghton with Gisella Otten named as captain. The tie seeing too two players sponsored by Women’s Football East this season going head to head, Amy Howlett for Cambridge and King’s Lynn Town Ladies captain, Tiffany Forshaw, a pleasure to be sponsoring both.

  King’s Lynn in an all blue strip to take the kick-off with Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Played back into the middle where Alexa Hunter sends it long over the top for Amy Magnus to chase the ball bouncing harmlessly through to Kira Markwell giving the keeper an early feel of the ball. The ball kicked up field touched on to Laura Mitchell out right for Cambridge outside the area plays it central for Fox, no way through lays it out to Emma Jenkins to her left, tries to get into the area is tackled well by Shanice Burch for King’s Lynn.

  King’s Lynn making a lively start to the game the ball closed down in the centre Skinner on for Hunter lifted forwards, Markwell seeing the ball into her gloves safely. Cambridge advance quickly down their right flank Mitchell carrying the ball to the by-line whipping in a low cross not dealt with at the near post escapes into the middle of the six yard Jenkins there to strike the ball from close range, King’s Lynn goalkeeper Christina Vivas with a superb save down low before Jenkins getting her gloves up sharply to parry the ball away.

King’s Lynn goalkeeper, Christina Vivas

  Cambridge pressing forwards right again a corner won, fired in low inside the six yard box scrambled clear drops to a Cambridge player 25 yards out right of the D hit first time dropping beyond the far post Vivas across to smother the ball. Players nipping in to try and win the ball, a touch scrappy at the start with King’s Lynn keen not to let Cambridge settle on the ball the visitors trying to make use of the width offered, Mitchell and Jenkins available wide with Amy Howlett coming through the middle to support attacker Ruth Fox. Jenkins left on halfway lays it back to full back Carrie Bennett who attempts to dink it forwards for Fox spinning off the last defender, Shanice Burch reading the pass intercepting the ball for King’s Lynn.

King’s Lynn defender, Shanice Burch

  Alysha Stojko-Down comes out to the left with he ball at her feet for Cambridge on for Jenkins who whips in a cross. Tiffany Forshaw with the header inside the six yard box to clear the danger for the hosts. Zara O’Neill tracking back for King’s Lynn as Cambridge break down the right in well positioned to cut out Mitchells cross as she tries to set up Howlett inside the D. Jenkins moving left for Cambridge looks to get in behind a good recovering tackle by Chloe Burch for King’s Lynn as she slides in to take the ball away for a throw. A lively opening 15 minutes King’s Lynn battling to win the ball can’t keep hold of it for long before Cambridge turn play around. 

  A pause in play whilst Forshaw recieves treatment but King’s Lynn’s captain is okay to continue. As Chloe Burch gets forwards on the right for King’s Lynn linking up with Amie ford ahead of her with Amy Magnus drawing the Cambridge centre backs with her, Ford attempting to lay the ball back into Magnus’ path, Jenkins tracking back puts in the challenge to regain possession for the visitors before they can make the attack count. Amy Houghton central for Cambridge spotting Howlett moving clear into a gap on the left looks to get her head down take the ball on, Shanice Burch coming across to slide in take the ball away from her for King’s Lynn.

  Cambridge with another chance to open the scoring Fox picking the ball up centrally 35 yards out knocking it on for Howlett inside the area right of goal, looks to turn the ball across the keeper the ball bouncing up inside the six yard box Vivas throwing herself to her right getting down in time to make the save. Magnus ends up fouling Grace Waygood at the back for Cambridge as the pair tussle for possession after Hunter wins it centrally. Rachel Skinner getting a shot away for King’s Lynn on the right off a throw in dropped into her 20 yards out clips the ball on into the area, straight at the keeper however Markwell holding onto the ball.

King’s Lynn’s Amy Magnus battling with Cambridge’s Grace Waygood

  Abi Davies playing the ball on for Mitchell down the right for Cambridge checks inside before sending in a cross the ball cut out and put behind for a corner kick. The delivery played into a congested near post area, the ball attacked, referee Andrew Wilson spotting a foul King’s Lynn awarded the free-kick. King’s Lynn with an opportunity to break on the right as Magnus gets hold of the ball centrally, Ford bursting on down the flank, pushed wide Ford turns well laying the ball back to Magnus 25 yards out, time and space to line up a shot fires the ball in towards goal, on target but not troubling Markwell. 

Amie Ford on the attack for King’s Lynn

  Cambridge continue wrestle the ball back form King’s Lynn centrally spraying play out to their wide players Mitchell away on the right cuts it back for Houghton top of the area right side, struck on the run her shot races wide across goal. The game opening up as Skinner finds some space out on the right Magnus knocking it out to Ford she sends it on for Skinner who pivots well to lay the ball inside the box for the advancing Magnus, gets her foot to the ball pushing it wide of the near post. 

  A good battle developing between Magnus and Waygood, the King’s Lynn attacker using her body well to try and turn in behind the centre back inside the D, Waygood in turn recovering superbly to lunge in take the ball away from Magnus’ feet allowing fellow centre back Otten to launch clear. Shanice Burch putting in the block on Howlett right of the six yard box as she looks to turn into another shot from a Mitchell cross. Cambridge pressing outside the box the pressure bringing a corner kick. Put in near side King’s Lynn struggle to clear it the ball coming back out to the corner taker blasted back in on the angle, Vivas down smartly at her near post the save.

Amy Howlett looking to get hold of the ball for Cambridge

 Otten playing a long pass out from the back to find Jenkins on the left bringing it down well shifts in field running towards the D, is body checked Cambridge awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position. Jenkins over it goes for goal lifting the ball high over the wall drops onto the roof of the net. Cambridge seeing more of the ball forcing King’s Lynn back making it hard for the hosts to get going up top, Houghton on for Stojko-Down lines up a strike from 20 yards out, her effort charged down by Forshaw,

Cambridge’s Alysha Stojko-Down

 Lily Porter gets forwards for King’s Lynn as they get bodies forwards moving right has support from Ford the ball rolled into her path she attempts to cross on the run the ball spinning inside favourably for the goalkeeper to claim. King’s Lynn coming close to taking the lead themselves coming from a mix up at the back from Cambridge, Otten and Markwell getting to close top of the area as the keeper comes for the ball with Magnus harrying, Otten attempts to play it out only for Magnus to nick it off her toes take it into box and shoot towards the rapidly back peddling Markwell, the rising ball a fraction of an inch over the bar!

Rachel Skinner trying to get on with the ball for King’s Lynn

 

  King’s Lynn enjoying a purple patch at the end of the first half pushing players on Skinner and Ford closer to Magnus up top. Skinner brought down in the middle a free-kick the ball played forwards into the area Magnus looking to take it down right of goal an arm comes across her as she tumbles over. Strong appeals for a penalty but nothing doing a corner nevertheless. The ball played in along the top of the six yard box Markwell coming amongst bodies attempts to punch it away knocked up into the air the keeper grabs it on the deck as King’s Lynn attacks the ball try to knock it out of her hands, for a moment tempers flare up but the incident is quickly dealt with before anyone can get themselves into trouble.

Cambridge goalkeeper, Kira Markwell coming to glove the ball away

Half-time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 0-0 Cambridge United WFC

  An interesting first half goalless at the break. Cambridge with two very good chances to open the scoring whilst King’s Lynn had a good shout for a penalty turned down late in the first half whilst narrowly sending a shot over the bar. The FAWNL South East Division One side with the majority of the attacking play forcing King’s Lynn to defend deep making it hard for the hosts to get the ball to stick with their attackers up top. Cambridge using the width well with both Mitchell and Jenkins finding space right and left. Niggly tackles disrupting play, King’s Lynn will want more of the same in the 2nd half hoping they can keep Cambridge out whilst fashioning a chance of their own.

 

  No changes for either side at the break rarely move from my position during a game but in this instance decided to relocate to the opposite side with the sun setting lower in the sky. Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway.

 GOAL! The perfect start to the 2nd half for the visitors as Cambridge get bodies forwards to open the scoring. Play out on the left Jenkins back to Bennett allowed space to come out sends it low into Fox central, controls well shielding the ball back to goal shifts it to her right turning into the strike the ball rising plenty behind it, Vivas throws herself back attempting to save not sure if she gets a touch or not the ball though coming down off the crossbar bouncing inside the six yard box, Howlett rushing in from the right on the follow up quickest to the ball connecting with it solidly to smash the ball into the back of the net 0-1.

Amy Howlett opens the scoring for Cambridge

   A positive start to the 2nd half from Cambridge a blow for King’s Lynn. play resumes tackles flying in the ball out of play over on the right. Jenkins winning a free-kick for Cambridge on the left level with the top of the area, flighted into the box, headed clear by O’Neill, the ball dropping for Stojko-Down to smash from distance her strike blocked, deflected in behind Markwell able to get down to grab the ball as Magnus closing in goes over her.

Midfielders, Alysha Stojko-Down and Zara O’Neill battle for possession

  Cambridge pushing on Fox picking up the ball deep on the right powering her way forwards down to the by-line before playing it back to Howlett top of the area right of the D she in turn laying it off for Mitchell closing in her powerfully hit strike angling away from the near post. Ford plays the ball on for O’Neill for King’s Lynn central she drives forwards is brought down, to the right of the circle 40 yards out, O’Neill to play the ball into the box attacked inside the six yard box, Markwell though gets down to smother the loose ball.

  Both Waygood and now Otten are continuing to enjoy a good battle with Magnus up top for King’s Lynn. Magnus getting the free-kick this time against Otten 40 yards out. Forshaw on the set piece, her attempt at goal landing on the roof of the Cambridge net. King’s Lynn making a change with Ford coming off, Ella Gavaghan sent on to join Magnus up top. 

  The game opening up as King’s Lynn press on looking for a reply they are left exposed at the back, Fox taking advantage as she is played in making a move to the left getting in behind Chloe Burch the full back attempting to get back on her before she can get into the box slides in an brings the attacker down.

Chloe Burch bringing down Cambridge’s Ruth Fox

  GOAL! Cambridge with a free-kick outside the box left side, Mitchell coming across to take as players group around the top of the area right side ready to attack the delivery. Mitchell lays it on a plate putting in a great ball across the six yard box, players rushing in Stojko-Down the first to the ball to drive it home to make it 0-2 and score her first for Cambridge.

The build-up to Alysha Stojko-Down scoring her 1st and Cambridge’s 2nd goal.

  Waygood coming across to defend win the ball off Skinner as she gets the ball into her feet and drives on down the wing. Cambridge winning the ball centrally Houghton linking with Stojko-Down on for Howlett peeling away on the right striking the ball early on the angle sends it wide through the six yard box. Fox leading the attack for Cambridge finding space to run into now seeing the ball into her feet well spins in behind running for the area 30 yards out, Shanice Burch recovering brilliantly to catch Fox sliding in has to get her tackle right and does connecting with the ball to force it out for a corner on the left.

King’s Lynn’s Ella Gavaghan with Cambridge’s Grace Waygood

  Taken short between Jenkins and Mitchell, the latter turning for the by-line inside the area flashing a ball through the six yard box no one connecting, Fox retrieving beyond the far post is closed down by Forshaw the danger cleared. Magnus almost put through inside the box on the left escaping her marker as the diagonal ball comes in, Markwell close in deflects the ball behind for a corner, Cambridge defending at their near post. Jenkins moving left inside for Stojko-Down clips it on into the area looking for Fox, too close to the keeper though Vivas takes on the bounce.

Emma Jenkins looking to turn outside the box for Cambridge

  Jenkins and Fox combine on the left the ball squared into Fox by Jenkins top of the D left side who in turn lifts the ball in towards goal, straight at Vivas the keeper claims it cleanly. Houghton is fouled on halfway right side for Cambridge the set-piece played on up the line leading to a corner being won on the left. Before it is taken Cambridge make a change bringing off Stojko-Down for Abbi Griffin who is returning from a recent injury. 

   GOAL! A strong 2nd half from Cambridge so far and with the game moving into the final 15 minutes the visitors go on to extend their lead from the corner kick. Attempting the same move that didn’t come off minutes ago the ball is put short into Mitchell spinning towards the by-line wrapping her foot around the ball fires it across the face of goal finding Fox beyond the far post she lashes it back across to score and make it 0-3.

Ruth Fox breaking in attack for Cambridge scoring the visitors 3rd goal

   King’s Lynn make a chance bringing on Jodie Hopkins. Almost makes an immediate impact as the hosts win a free-kick to the left the ball drops into the box Hopkins running through almost heading getting her head on the ball as Markwell comes to punch it away to safety. Magnus with a strike from distance some 30 yards out to the left Markwell seeing it run wide at her far post. Hopkins too with a strike from distance moments later that only succeeds in picking out Markwell. A change at the back for King’s Lynn with Forshaw coming for, on comes Frances Peeling. 

Amy Houghton winning the ball for Cambridge

   Griffin is brought down in the middle by O’Neill. The visitors making a 3rd chance with Houghton taken off on comes ex-King’s Lynn player Albany Hodgson. The set-piece taken put out to Jenkins on the left as Bennett races on to support her, doubling up on Chloe Burch both see a cross blocked inside the area first by Shanice Burch then O’Neill before Skinner clear it up field. Fox showing good control with the ball close at her feet turning to lay in on for Jenkins left of the D leaning into her shot places it wide of goal. Pushing on looking for a goal King’s Lynn are tiring risking gaps opening up at the back Davies allowed to charge on right side flashing a cross behind. 

   Cambridge bring Fox off late in the game sending on Niamh Day up top. Cambridge win a corner as Bennett left puts the ball on for Jenkins to cross into the six yard box picking out Howlett her snap shot deflected behind. Right side the delivery floated in high Griffin rising well near side to get her head on the ball drilling a header down across goal, Waygood closing in at the far post goes for it the ball squeezing wide past the post.

Rachel Skinner attacking for King’s Lynn

  Skinner moving across the final 3rd getting a little joy on the right pressing on squares a ball in centrally, cut out by Hodgson before Gavaghan can latch onto it. Hopkins tackling to stop Cambridge breaking keeping the attack alive shoots from 20 yards out her effort over the top. Hunter gets hold of the ball in the middle battling her way through shoots from all of 30 yards out, frustrated as her effort only finds Markwell back on her line.

King’s Lynn’s Jodie Hopkins with Cambridge’s Gisella Otten

  Griffin plays the ball on central for Day to break in behind, Peeling getting across to slide in and tackle take the ball away from her before she can reach the box line up a strike. 

King’s Lynn’s Frances Peeling tackling Cambridge striker, Niamh Day

  The game into stoppage time Cambridge strong throughout the 2nd half pressing forwards with Mitchell right side players arriving in the box, the cross coming in Skinner has covered alot of ground to get back heading the ball clear inside the six yard box with Day behind her.

Full time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 0-3 Cambridge United WFC

  A strong 2nd half performance from Cambridge seeing them win the match 3-0 to advance to the 1st Round Proper of the Women’s FA Cup. Getting the half off to the perfect start rocking King’s Lynn back with an early goal. Continued to dominate throughout getting on well and exploiting the space further as King’s Lynn pushed up looking to get play into their attackers. Few opportunities for King’s Lynn 2nd half Cambridge always having Mitchell and Jenkins available out wide Fox too enjoying more freedom in the middle. The 2nd and 3rd goals coming from set plays Cambridge getting the job done. Looking strong as a team unit as they have for much of the season so far. King’s Lynn battling hard in the first half might well have taken the lead themselves with a couple of chances but couldn’t match Cambridge 2nd half.

 Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Firstly a few performances of note to mention starting with King’s Lynn. Amy Magnus worked hard leading the attack making live uncomfortable for  the Cambridge centre backs. Shanice Burch with a number of crucial tackles at the back. Amie Ford finding space on the right trying to get up with Magnus. As they have done already twice this season Cambridge make it very difficult to single out an individual for the POM award as they put in a shift as a team. Nevertheless Alysha Stojko-Down and Amy Houghton both played well in central midfield with Laura Mitchell making great runs on the right. Today’s award though goes to attacker Ruth Fox, led the line well with some good positional play and control enjoying more freedom 2nd half either going forwards on her own or bringing others into play scoring the 3rd goal.

  Another enjoyable afternoon at The Walks my thanks as always to the clubs and Gary Reed for helping me out with the team details and for the assistance offered by everyone at the stadium. 

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – KLSC Women v Gorleston FC Ladies

Sunday 17th October

Norfolk Women’s Division Two

 A short trip along the A47 this Sunday for a top of the table clash from Norfolk Women’s Division Two, with newly formed KLSC Women, 3rd in the table hosting early league leaders, Gorleston FC Ladies.

Has been a turbulent time for the county leagues across the region as the country itself emerges from the COVID pandemic that has affected the past two seasons. Norfolk seeing alot of changes within the women’s county league a host of new side joining had hoped to go with 3 divisions of 10 which in the end was reduced to 8. This proving unpopular with several clubs and with further sides withdrawing the decision was made to go with 2 divisions of 11 on the eve of the new season. Again not to everyone’s liking but with alot of chances within alot of clubs too I feel it will take a season or two to settle down again. Have been some eye watering results across both leagues with in itself reflections the difficulties the league has faced. 

 KLSC Women are one of the new sides joining the NWGFL this season. KLSC (King’s Lynn Soccer Club) Women were only created in April with former Lynn Ladies players Lisa Wilson and Louise Coggles approaching the club to set up a new women’s club within the King’s Lynn area. Lynn Ladies originally set-up in 2014 going on to join with and become King’s Lynn Town Ladies now competing the the ERWFL Premier Division the 5th tier of the women’s game. Norfolk is a large county and a good portion of it is still badly under represented in women’s football, with only King’s Lynn in West Norfolk meaning long trips to Fakenham, Thetford or March in Cambridgeshire the only other viable options for players in the area. The formation of KLSC Women giving King’s Lynn a  2nd club which is excellent for a town of this size.

KLSC Women making an excellent start to the season too, assembling a squad with a good blend of experience and youthful talent a few former Lynn Ladies players amongst them. Winning 6-1 away to another newcomer Loddon United Ladies in their opening fixture. There home debut saw them fire 12 past Red Rose Ladies whilst they were held for a point in a 3-3 draw away to newcomers Shrublands Ladies last time out. Taking them to 3rd in the table unbeaten after 3 played. Josie Turner starring in front of goal in Lynn Ladies fledging years, returning to KLSC Women has netted 9 goals so far in those 3 matches! 

   Gorleston FC Ladies are themselves a new side of sorts with just one player captain Leanna Muffett remaining at the club form the previous era with much of that squad moving on to become Caister FC Ladies. A rebuild of sorts for joint managers  John Barrett and Keegan Snell. Have a very young squad with more coming through to join. Playing at Emerald Park home of Gorleston Town FC  are well backed by the men’s club. Have made an excellent start to the season like KLSC Women scoring plenty of goals along the way too. Starting off with a 9-4 result at home to Red Rose Ladies. Were held to a 1-1 draw against local rivals Shrublands in the following match before going on to pick up a great 5-3 win at home to another side likely to be challenging at the top this season UEA Women. A dominant 10-0 win away to Bulldogs Ladies seeing Gorleston go top of the table unbeaten in their 4 games played to date with Becky Waters top scoring on target for 8 goals in those matches.

Back to the beginning for KLSC Women in more ways than one as the club returns to Lynn Ladies original home, West Lynn Social Club on the other side of the Great Ouse Rivers from King’s Lynn itself. The Community Sports and Social Club featuring a clubhouse and bar with the main playing field beyond. Shielded by a high embankment it can nevertheless get pretty cold out there on a match day during the winter. Has been along while since I’ve been here to see a match. The pitch a good size plenty of width good grass cover a little bobbly. The weather pretty miserable overcast with the chance of a shower or too forecast during the game.

KLSC Women recieving instructions from their management team prior to kick-off

 KLSC Women starting XI – Bryony Russell-Smith, Ruby Faulkner, Lisa Wilson, Viktorija Burkauskaite (C), Courtney Burch-Bailey, Millie Bareford, Kelsey Ramm, Tilly Sands, Chloe Edwards, Josie Turner & Ellie Panks. Subs – Georgia Hill, Saskia Johnson & Nicole Dockerty.

Gorleston warming up with King’s Lynn’s riverfront in view in the background

 Gorleston FC Ladies starting XI – Nicole Leech, Chloe Bailey, Jenifer Martins, Maddie Furbank, Sienna Saunders, Leanna Muffett (C), Megan Bartlett, Mara Fernandes, Marianna Lino, Becky Waters & Kelsi Adams. Subs – Hannah Halfnight & Sammy Greenland.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Gorleston to get the match underway kick-off first half wearing an all green coloured kit, with KLSC lined up opposite wearing red and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and black and red hooped socks. The away side putting the ball back into their defence to play upfield, KLSC are quick to press the ball out on the left Josie Turner stealing in to win the ball off the full back runs in behind driving into the area from the left, Nicole Leech in goal for Gorleston having to rush out to close her down making a blocking save with her legs as she slides in to stop Turner’s shot. An early warning for Gorleston.

Gorleston goalkeeper, Nicole Leech with a vital save in the opening minute

  Jenifer Martins plays the ball on up the right for Gorleston looking to pick out Becky Waters, Lisa Wilson stepping across her to clear the ball for KLSC. Gorleston winning the ball back on the right up to Waters the break is on as she looks to thread it in behind for Kelsi Adams to go after in the middle, Courtney Burch-Bailey closing in to win the ball back for KLSC. Gorleston with a corner won on the right, Sienna Saunders up well at the near post heading the ball down towards goal, blocked inside the six yard box by KLSC before being scrambled clear. 

A lively start to the game the ball being moved upfield quickly, Chloe Edwards pressing on the right for KLSC winning a throw high up the pitch, Tilly Sands capitalising to win a corner kick from it. The delivery goes long beyond the far post is fired back in through the crowded penalty spot out to Millie Bareford free out to the right opens up her body clipping a shot up over the bar. KLSC pressing the ball high, Ellie Panks with Sands bringing another corner on the right, Same delivery long beyond the far post controlled well by Edwards, the Gorleston defence moving quickly to close her down releases her shot the ball rising over the crossbar. 

  Mara Fernandes getting hold of the ball for Gorleston in the middle of the park threading a ball through for Adams up top,, KLSC captain Viktorija Burkauskaite and goalkeeper Bryony Russell-Smith almost get in each others way before Russell-Smith sliding in lays claim to the ball inside the area. Marianna Lion left side for Gorleston on halfway plays the ball inside for Megan Bartlett. Puts an ambitious ball forwards for Adams playing off the shoulder of the last defender after it has too much on it allowing Russell-Smith to gather before she can attack it. 

Mara Fernandes on the ball for Gorleston

 A frantic start to the game has settled down a little, Gorleston beginning to see more of the ball. Fernandes tripped out on the left presenting Gorleston with a set-piece level with the top of the area. The ball flashing into the area headed clear, Wilson on for Turner the break is on, Muffett getting across to tackle. A clash of heads sees Sands on the floor in need of treatment. Assessed needs to come off to recover, on in her place, Saskia Johnson. Play resuming with a drop ball, Gorleston build in attack up to Adams, combines well with Waters looking for find a way through ends up fouling Burkauskaite.

Kelsi Adams after the ball for Gorleston

   KLSC push forwards a great diagonal finding Edwards out on the right takes the ball on towards the area, is pushed wide by Gorleston full back Chloe Bailey nevertheless turning her body to release a shot from the angle as she falls lifts the strike up over the bar. Passes going astray for both sides with neither giving themselves time on the ball. Is a fairly even contest KLSC pressing higher keeping Gorleston’s defence pushed back making it harder for them to get the ball up to Adams leading the attack. A throw on the right a clever touch from Bareford almost comes off as she looks to spin in behind, Bailey close enough to her to stick out a foot take the ball away from her.    

Gorleston’s Chloe Bailey

 Some decisions not going Gorleston’s way leading to a little frustration being shown, Fernandes with a talking to from the referee asking her t calm down. Gorleston get players up well in support of Adams outside the area. Martins on the right tucking inside latching onto a half clearance sending a shot in on the angle from 25 yards rolls wide beyond the far post. 

Jenifer Martins takes aim from distance for Gorleston

  Ellie Panks is a speedy player in the centre of the attack for KLSC a ball clipped over the top falling into her path takes it on well pushing for the area. Leech comes rushing out towards the top of her box looking to close the angle sliding in Panks gets the ball past the keeper her attempt bouncing wide of Leech’s left post.

 Is certainly an action packed contest can’t take your eyes off it for long, Gorleston playing the ball through the middle up to Waters, her touch seeing her get the better of Burkauskaite out to close her down, spinning in behind, Wilson is round on the cover to put in a good tackle to regain possession for KLSC. The hosts coming right Edwards winning a throw, Ruby Faulkner up to take it combines well with Panks and Edwards the cross delivered into the Gorleston box, Maddie Furbank with a firm head to get it clear for the visitors.

 

  Bareford picking up a knock for KLSC sees her coming off with Sands returning to the action. Gorleston also making a change bringing on Sammy Greenwood for Furbank. Sands straight back into the game on the ball 30 yards out not closed down whipping a shot in towards goal, dipping early straight into Leech’s arms. Panks’ pace causing the Gorleston defence a few issues the ball rolled into her path as she spins to the right centrally drives for the area, Saunders manging to get back across her doing enough as Leech is able to kick it up field. 

Josie Turner chesting the ball down for KLSC

  Turner is using her experience well drifting about finding space out wide and infield, Martins and Muffett both defending against her. Martins taking the ball on up the right for Gorleston squares it across the top of the area for Fernandes she attempts to put Adams in on goal, a vital interception from Burkauskaite. tempers flaring up between Turner and Fernandes in the middle both recieving a yellow card for their efforts. Lino gets away on the left for Gorleston taking the ball in behind the full back attacking the area, Edwards going with her tracking back well to making the sliding tackle inside the area put the ball away for a corner. Burkauskaite winning the header in the box for KLSC.

Chloe Edwards getting back for KLSC to defend against Gorleston’s Marianna Lion

  Gorleston bring off Fernandes before her frustrations get the better of her and she sees red. Furbank coming back into the game. Soon after KLSC bring Bareford back on for Faulkner. Adams is getting isolated at times up top for Gorleston having to battle for possession in the final 3rd does well to wriggle free 25 yards out to drift in from the right to have a shot the effort charged down skips up to Muffett central looks to chip it over the defence, Burkauskaite up well to get her head on the ball. 

  Turner with another chance on goal is played in behind on the left by Ramm the ball dropping before her top of the area as Leech comes rushing out to meet her takes it early with the outside of her boot evading the onrushing keeper the ball rolls wide of the far post. KLSC pressing hard as the first half draws to a close Burkauskaite’s clearance low finding it’s way through to Panks central can’t quite take it cleanly moving out to the left six yards out fires a low ball in across goal Turner in there, Gorleston scramble it away coms out to Edwards on the right drills a shot back in is narrowly wide of the near post.

  Turner is getting into some great positions up top Gorleston’s defence aren’t picking her out the ball dropping to her inside the D, the attacker has more time than she realises as she takes it 1st time not controlled the ball spins away wide of target. Sands tackling well to win the ball central lays it forwards for Turner outside the D, Turner is falling as she unleashes her shot making her lift it higher than intended over the bar. Furbank getting a crucial header on the ball inside the area as a cross his dropped in from the left, without her intervention Turner is free to walk the ball into the net. 

 Late at the end of the firs half Ramm doing well centrally with Sands out to Edwards on the right who flashes a shot on the angle wide across goal for KLSC. The hosts with rapid build up play through the middle Bareford onto Sands onto Turner right of the D shifts the ball between her feet to get inside releasing a shot as she spins the ball rolling a foot wide of the right post. 

Half-time KLSC Women 0-0 Gorleston FC Women

 A frantic first half comes to an end, despite scoring 46 goals between them before today it remains goalless at the break. KLSC though have created a number of chances right from the kick-off and could very well be 3 or 4 goals to the good. A little bit more composure maybe needed at times. There’s been more time on the ball than both sides have allowed themselves at times. KLSC starting well have remained on the front foot through out the half. Gorleston growing into the game haven’t got going in the final 3rd and can count themselves lucky to be level at the break. Both sides planning tackle changes at half-time. The umbrella going up for the start of the 2nd half with a few spots of rain around.

   KLSC with the kick off 2nd half bringing on Nicole Dockerty for Panks the change seeing Ramm move up top. Gorleston bringing on Hannah Halfnight to join the attack coming on for Bartlett. Ramm looking to turn in the middle on the ball fires it out wide to Dockerty the substitute trying to getting in behind Muffett sending her cross behind goal.

Nicole Dockerty on the attack for KLSC

   As with the first half KLSC make a positive start think the have opened the scoring too as they build on the right Edwards into Turner top of the area right of the D, sees the ball onto her chest well, hitting the dropping ball on the turn, clipping it up into the air the ball smashes against the bar the ball dropping down into the box is then slammed into the back of the net but KLSC’s celebrations are cut sort by a raised offside flag.

  Edwards is enjoying a good battle with Bailey on the right for KLSC, running with the ball at her feet drives a low shot in on the angle skipping up off the surface Leech goes down to save it the ball escaping her gloves accidentally knocks it out of play for a corner off her back. The delivery sent in towards the top of the area, Martins closes Turner do well to defend for Gorleston.  The rain coming and going KLSC strong at the start of the 2nd period, Gorleston struggling to get the ball into their attackers. The hosts with a free-kick on their right into the box defended well by Gorleston’s Saunders at her near post.

  Ramm plays the ball out to the right for Turner, looking to go on Bailey gets across her well shielding the ball for her keeper to clear. Opportunities rare for Gorleston, a reminder they are far from out of the game as Waters from the left fashions a shot out of nothing to send a dangerous shot in across the six yard box. Up the other end Turner with an ambitious effort attempting the overhead kick from the top of the area right of the D, sends it wide of Leech’s far post. 

Gorleston captain, Leanna Muffett

  Gorleston win a free-kick some 30 plus yards out central Adams over the ball has an attempt on goal Russell-Smith rising the ball dropping narrowly over her bar. Changes for both sides on the hour with Gorleston bringing Fernandes back on for Waters. A double change for KLSC with Johnson and Burch-Bailey off. Faulkner back on along with Georgia Hill the move seeing Sands drop into the back line. 

Gorleston’s Marianna Lino

 Russell-Smith out quickly to the top of her area to save bravely at the feet of Adams as Fernandes places a great ball in behind her defence. Sands cutting out a low cross from Gorleston’s Adams out to the right to concede a corner kick. The ball put in across the six yard box is knocked down into the six yard box falling straight to Lino, she can’t dig it out as KLSC rush to close her down the ball scrambled away to safety. Gorleston starting to get a foothold in the final 3rd

KLSC goalkeeper, Bryony Russell-Smith

 The visitors attack Fernandes on through the middle up to Adams the attacker managing to wriggle free of both Burkauskaite and Sands to push on towards the area. left of the D blasts a rising ball in towards goal, Russell-Smith sliding in getting her gloves up to make a fantastic save palming the ball away wide to the left. Gorleston quicker to the loose ball a shot is flashes wide across the six yard box.

   GOAL! A great chance at one end for Gorleston to take the lead KLSC go up the other end to score. Players up from an earlier set-piece the ball is out on the right Edwards firing it into the six yard box Ramm has it at her feet, is closed down the ball deflected away to the right, comes straight to Sands who from the angle gets her foot up over the ball to lash it back in past the keeper into the back of the net 1-0.

Tilly Sands giving KLSC the lead

  The hosts with the lead with around 20 minutes to play in the 2nd half. Gorleston continue to feel frustrated as decisions go against them. Play scrappy at times, rushed, Lino aggrieved after being fouled on halfway no advantage play brought back. Sands defending at the back for KLSC. Turner drifting free in the middle picks the ball up off Bareford turning 30 yards out to have a strike on goal, Leech down to it palming the ball into the ground, loose Dockerty is racing in on the follow-up Leech doing well to make herself big does enough to see Dockerty place the ball wide of goal.

KLSC’s Millie Bareford

   Leech saving again with her feet denying Turner outside the box as she meets a low ball put in from the left. Into the final 15 minutes KLSC dropping back a little making their management team nervous. Adams continues to battle for the ball up top joined by Halfnight, Wilson lunging in to stop her getting into the box right side. A free-kick awarded to the host some 35 yards out as Bareford is fouled. Sands to play the ball in dropping on the penalty spot bouncing, players closing in Leech keeps her eye on it well to make a clean catch. 

KLSC captain, Viktorija Burkauskaite defending against Gorleston’s Hannah Halfnight

Lino comes off the worst from a challenge in the middle, struggling to regain her breath is brought off to recover with Waters going back on. Fernandes to play the ball forwards into the box, Sands doing the defensive work for KLSC. The hosts inviting Gorleston on more than they want to with the clock ticking down Martins advancing on the left sending a low cross into the box, Sands defends up against Adams before Burkauskaite launches clear. 

  Gorleston bring Bartlett back on with 7 minutes left for Martins as they look to get themselves back into the match. Is a nervous finish. Wilson carrying the ball out from the back as Halfnight looks to pick out Fernandes who has made a run through the middle. Possession lost Gorleston feed Halfnight in central sends it out to Waters on the right shifting inside she strikes the ball rom 20 yards her effort charged down. 

  Space opening up for KLSC to exploit if they can break Edwards consistent on the right throughout driving on flashing a ball into Turner near post the attacker not quite able to wrap her foot around the ball to put it by the keeper. Edwards carrying the ball on down the right again sends it forwards early for Turner to run onto as she travels into the box Leech comes out to close her down stays big, Turner attempting to put a low ball under her Leech saves with her foot deflecting the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece defended as KLSC don’t commit too many forwards the game into stoppage time. 

Full time KLSC Women 1-0 Gorleston FC Women

  A single goal enough to win it in the finish with KLSC collecting the 3 points to keep up there unbeaten start to left in the NWGFL. Stay 3rd but move level on points with Gorleston now 2nd with Caister keeping up their 100% winning start to the season top by 2 points. On chances created KLSC deserving of the 3 points starting on the front foot an early warning shot created a host of chances in the 1st period on another day leading by 3 or 4 but at 0-0 Gorleston were still very much in it Leech with some important saves struggling to get going in the final 3rd Adams isolated at times the game scrappy decisions frustrating the visitors too.

 All to play for 2nd half both making changes, KLSC thinking they’d gotten the break through denied by the flag. Were strong at the start of the 2nd half but further stops from Leech and missed chances meant if Gorleston could get an opportunity in front of goal themselves they might very well get into the lead. Russell-Smith making a vital stop KLSC going on to take the lead moments later. Sat back after that inviting Gorleston on both keepers called into action again the hosts though holding on despite a nervous finish. Dare say both sides will have learned alot more about themselves from this game than those previous.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. It’s not an easy decision once again a few performances of note to mention. Firstly for Gorleston, Nicole Leech did all she could in goal to keep the scores level for much of the game with some crucial saves especially in the opening minute. Mara Fernandes in midfield used the ball well and broke up play, a few thing’s going against her would have had a greater influence on the game. Kelsi Adams working hard up top leading the attack kept battling throughout. For KLSC, Millie Bareford has a good game in the middle picking up a couple of painful knocks for her efforts, tackling well. Josie Turner getting into some great positions in attack proving very hard to mark. Chloe Edwards was a constant threat attacking on the right and narrowly misses out to the goal scorer Tilly Sands playing in a number of positions during the game was creative on the ball in the middle linking up with the attackers and makes some important tackles when moved into the back line.

 An enjoyable return to West Lynn. An entertaining and action filled game from two new sides that have assembled a talented group of players that will both be challenging at the top of the league throughout the season. My thanks to both management teams for providing with the team details today. I know I’m long over due a visit to Emerald Park but the list of places to visit only gets bigger not smaller. 

by Darren Gilham

 

Match Report – Royston Town Women v Bowers & Pitsea Ladies

Sunday 3rd October

Women’s FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

A trip to Hertfordshire this Sunday to watch a game from the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Women’s FA Cup. An all ERWFL Premier Division clash between Royston Town Women and Bowers & Pitsea Ladies.

A record number of entries into this season’s competition, 120 ties pulled out of the hat for the 2nd Qualifying Round. For many it’s the first step to Wembley regardless of how long the journey might be. A historic competition that stirs up emotions. Last season’s competition still ongoing delayed due to the ongoing COVID pandemic the quarter finals played in midweek see FAWSL sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Brighton reach the last 4. For those sides competing today it’s the beginning of a new adventure.

An all ERWFL Premier Division clash between Royston Town Women and Bowers & Pitsea Ladies as both begin this season’s Women’s FA Cup having met already once this season with Bowers & Pitsea Ladies having home advantage in a 2-0 win.

That loss aside Royston Town Women have made an excellent start to the season in the league, winning 4 of their 7 games so far including a 5-1 midweek win at home to Haringey Borough Women that saw them climb up to 2nd in the Premier Division table. Emma Slater, Royston’s top scorer so far netting 7 times in 7 appearances whilst Bella Simmons, dual signed to Royston with Cambridge City Ladies has 5 goals to her name including a midweek hat-trick against Haringey. Also coming into the squad are 3 former Histon Ladies players, Becky Charter and Lauren Martin with Abby Laughlin also returning to the club. Matt Phillips formerly head coach at Histon joining Lewis Endacott’s coaching team.

Change’s at Bowers & Pitsea in the management department too. Darren Fraser and Daniel Foord bringing Little Thurrock Dynamo’s to the club to become Bowers & Pitsea Ladies the club has grown successfully. Fraser moving on whilst Foord is now ladies chairman aswell as looking after the media. John Levy now managing the 1st team assisted by Adam Sinclair. The ERWFL Premier Division not an easy league to get established in getting stronger year on year Bowers & Pitsea have made a solid start to the season pitching up some useful results. Sit comfortably in mid-table well placed to push on as the season progresses. Have a largely settled squad backed up by a Development side. Amber Amey coming in from Hutton Ladies whilst, Phoebe Keys and Talisa Bruton come up from the Development side.

Garden Walk the venue for today’s game home to Royston Town FC aswell as the women’s side. A large clubhouse and bar area serving hot and cold drinks. A small seated stand on one side of the pitch opposite the dugouts. The pitch itself looking immaculate the grass lush and green offering good width whilst sloping slightly from on end to the other. After a day of heavy rain yesterday the pitch has drained well, the weather much calmer today clouds around but the sun still ale to offer a little heat when it breaks through as we enter October.

Royston Town Women starting XI – Mia O’Brien, Fran Gough, Abby Laughlin, Tally Miles, Amy Cooper (C), Sammy Edgar, Georgia Miller, Charlotte South, Becky Charter, Emma Slater & Bella Simmons. Subs – Paris Coldicott-Stevens, Grace Georgiou, Anny Chambers, Hattie Bourne & Ellie Pickard.

Bowers & Pitsea Ladies starting XI – Violet Hickman, Natalie Strange, Phoebe Keys, Danielle Sillitoe (C), Katie Whitehead, Amber Amey, Sarah Wilson, Sophie Rhodes, Holly Moore, Talisa Bruton & Georgia Fraser. Subs – Danielle Styles, Courtney Fraser, Eloise Ives & Sophie Dowman.

A change of ends to begin the game with Bowers & Pitsea kicking off the 1st half wearing and all red strip with white trim and white across the breast of the shirt. Royston in their home colours of white shirts and socks with black shorts. Played back to Danielle Sillitoe in defence, Bowers & Pitsea’s captain sends it long out to the left looking for the run of Holly Moore, has the pace but so does the ball as it skips on along the surface enabling Royston’s Fran Gough to get across Moore and see it out of play for a goal kick. 

Bowers & Pitsea’s Sarah Wilson with Royston’s Fran Gough

 

   The ball quickly closed down in the centre of the park Bowers & Pitsea look for width again out to the right this time with Katie Whitehead getting up the pitch to support Talisa Bruton looks to get infield towards the box, Tally Milles getting in on her shoulder defending for Royston the ball running behind for a corner kick. Fired in central Royston captain Amy Cooper gets up highest to head it clear of the six yard box, Bowers & Pitsea reclaiming left side put back in central, Charlotte South blocking a shot at close range before a strike comes in off the deflected ball outside the box runs wide of the left post.

  Royston bring the ball up the pitch right side on for Emma Slater peeling out to the wing squares it inside for Bella Simmons outside the box right of the D, Sillitoe sliding in to cut the ball out puts it away for a throw. South links up with Simmons on the right for Royston laying the ball on into the area for Simmons to chase Phoebe Keys getting across the striker to guide the ball out for a goalkick. Bowers & Pitsea looking for runners right and left as they break up play in the middle. Cooper has to come across to deal with Bruton as she jinks her way inside from the right the ball cleared for a throw.

Bowers & Pitsea defender, Phoebe Keys

 Is competitive both sides putting in the challenges early on Bowers & Pitsea frustrating Royston harrying the defence, South unhappy as a decision goes against her presenting Bowers & Pitsea with a free-kick in a central position 30 yards out. Georgia Fraser over the set-piece the attacker having an attempt on goal the shot looping over the bar. Sammy Edgar clatters into Sophie Rhodes out wide right giving the visiting side another free-kick some 40 yards out. 

  GOAL! Sillitoe on the set-piece as Bowers & Pitsea load players into the box, is a fantastic delivery whipped in towards the fair post attacked well, Sarah Wilson at the back stick amongst those running in gets her head to the ball powering it past the keeper into the back of the net to score her 1st goal of the season 0-1.

Sarah Wilson opens the scoring for Bowers & Pitsea

  Tally Miles defending well at left back for Royston carrying the ball out from the back plays a one two with Georgia Miller in the middle before taking the ball on up the line sending a early ball into the box looking for Slater, Violet Hickman out of her six yard box early coming to claim the ball. Play a little stretched at times Bowers & Pitsea quick to get on the counter attack the ball won by Rhodes out to Bruton breaking away down the right drawing players to her Gough finds herself outnumbered in the box as the cross is fired in Georgia Fraser can’t reach it central in bounces through to Moore beyond the far post clips her half volley over the bar from 10 yards out. 

Royston’s Emma Slater

 

  Bowers & Pitsea have started the game well getting on the front foot, Royston haven’t really settled the Essex side using Moore and Bruton well on the flanks. Rhodes busy in the middle of the park breaking up play. South turning on the ball sweeping a pass out wide right to the advancing Charter crosses early the ball taking a deflection favouring the goalkeeper. Edgar battling for possession in the middle for Royston lays it into Miller who flicks it out to the right for South, attempts to thread it through for Slater, too much on it Hickman can come and gather. A vicious bounce on the ball inside the box as Moore attacks on the left for Bowers & Pitsea sides Mia O’Brien coming to close the angle deceived the ball looping over her turns relieved to see it run wide of her far post.

   Royston are getting frustrated some decisions going against them, Rhodes mopping up in the middle once again for Bowers & Pitsea rolls the ball back to her defence who are straight away looking to get their wide players on the attack. A throw inside the Royston half on the right for Bowers & Pitsea inside for Rhodes turns and puts a great diagonal ball in behind the defence for Georgia Fraser to attack, O’Brien sharp off her line to slide in and save at the attackers feet.

  GOAL! Midway through the first half and Royston come back to level the scores the ball played out of the back quickly to Charter on the left wing breaks forward well laying it inside for Slater to take on into the area, Hickman rushing out to close her down, saves well at close range blocking Slaters attempt the ball still alive in the area, Simmons racing in on the follow-up first to it strikes the ball Hickman on the floor throwing herself at it making another save the ball though dropping straight back to Simmons who keeps her composure to lift her 2nd attempt over the stranded keeper into the back of the net beyond 1-1. 

Bella Simmons (centre) getting Royston back on level terms

  Royston get straight back on the offensive after the restart attacking right, Keys winning it back for Bowers & Pitsea into the middle play turned around rapidly Moore away on the left Georgia Fraser breaking central as the winger gets to the by-line turning to flash a rising cross in near post Fraser meeting it on the volley around six yards out clipping her attempt over the bar. Neither side looking to dwell on the ball wanting to move it forwards quickly Royston finding Charter on the move left side has support from South inside she turns playing the ball along the top of their opponents area for Edgar on the right who sends it up the line for Gough making the overlapping run, Natalie Strange stepping in to win the challenge for Bowers & Pitsea. 

Charlotte South attempting to win the ball for Royston

  Whitehead getting up the pitch with Bruton right side a dangerous cross whipped in near post Georgia Fraser throwing herself at it can’t quite make contact. The game opens up suddenly one moment Bowers & Pitsea are on the attack with Moore on the left, O’Brien holding onto the ball put into the box is played out rapidly to Charter on the left, Slater providing a good left channel run seeing the ball rolled into her path strikes it on the angle Hickman down low saving well the ball loose though Simmons in on the follow up sees her strike blocked by the keeper this time the Bowers & Pitsea defence getting back to block another goal attempt. 

Bowers & Pitsea captain, Danielle Sillitoe

  Key fouls South out wide left a free-kick to the hosts, Edgar on it plays an inviting ball in long to the far post, Sillitoe doing well defensively for Bowers & Pitsea the ball carried out of the area by Rhodes the counter attack is on as the midfielder spreads play long to the left for Moore breaking away down the wing sending it through for Georgia Fraser, O’Brien quick off her line to the edge of the area to slide in and smother the ball. 

 Bruton gets herself into a central position taking the ball on travelling at pace looks to plough her way through the Royston defence, Laughlin holding her up, the ball rolls back to Rhodes closing in with Bruton, Cooper though stepping in quickly to charge the ball down as Rhodes goes to shoot. Bruton causing problems for Royston is central still attempting a through ball right to left for Georgia Fraser to run onto, O’Brien sharp out quickly to meet her once again. 

  Wilson in the middle for Bowers & Pitsea threading the ball through to Bruton inside the D, Cooper getting in a foot to stab the ball away for a throw on the right. Key playing a long diagonal ball out to Moore advancing on the right, an ambitious attempt striking the falling ball on the volley connects with it well enough the strike though whistling over the bar. Bruton on the right wrestles the ball off Gough at the back sends it inside for Georgia Fraser some 30 yards out a scuffed effort doesn’t trouble O’Brien running wide of her near post.

  Royston with a throw high on the left Laughlin into South puts it infield for Slater 25 yards out lays it back for Edgar to lift into the box to the right looking for Simmons who can’t quite get it down with her head to direct a shot on target. Royston attacking late in the first half on the left inside for Slater who lays it back central for Miller 25 yards out. leaning back into her shot puts it up over the crossbar. Whitehead bringing the ball on for Bowers & Pitsea right side crossing for Georgia Fraser central, Miles in ahead of her to head the ball clear for Royston.

Half-time Royston Town Women 1-1 Bowers & Pitsea Ladies

  A lively first half that has seen plenty of action certainly has a cup tie feel about it. Bowers & Pitsea starting the game well going on to open the scoring inside 10 minutes. Were on the front foot early on whilst Royston seemed to take a while to settle were frustrated at times as thing’s didn’t appear to go their way. The visitors using the width of the pitch quick to get attacks going. Royston coming back to level the scores though settling better the game open at times as both looked to get on quickly the hosts coming closest to having the lead, as it stands it remains all square with both sides creating opportunities. Has to be settled on the day either with a goal through open play or penalties. 

A change for Bowers & Pitsea at the start of the 2nd half with Courtney Fraser coming on for Katie Whitehead. The sun making a appearance at the start of the 2nd half low in the sky a potential problem for the team defending that end, Bowers & Pitsea goalkeeper, Hickman donning a cap as the players return to the pitch. Royston to get the 2nd period underway. The visitors getting hold of the ball with Strange at left back able to travel forwards into space on for Moore, is tackled by Cooper play quickly turned around put into the middle with Simmons on the turn putting it over the top for Slater, Hickman needs to come racing out of her box, just about wins the race getting her foot on the ball before Slater can nick it past her.

    South with the ball on the left passes inside to Edgar who in turn places it central for Miller to line up a low strike from 25 yards out angling in low Hickman dives to her left to make the save inside her six yard box turning the ball behind for a corner kick. Royston looking to get on the offensive early on in the 2nd half a throw left inside for South battles her way infield to pick out Miller top of the D she lays it back to Edgar who hits the shot 1st time blasting the ball wide of the right post. A double change for Royston with Miller and Laughlin coming off, on come Ellie Pickard and Paris Coldicott-Stevens who recently celebrated making her 100th appearance for the club.

Royston’s Paris Coldicott-Stevens

  Simmons in on the ball right of the box as Edgar wins it high up the pitch, whips in a strike on the angle always rising goes over the bar. South tussling for the ball does well to win a corner on the right for Royston following good work from Charter up the wing. In low towards the near post Wilson defends well for Bowers & Pitsea. Regained on the left by Charter players turning back towards goal as she whips a cross into the area Cooper up trying to get her head on the ball knocks it down, too close to Hickman who can snatch it to safety. 

 Royston with all the pressure in the 2nd half, Bowers & Pitsea pushed back, the ball put in from the left Simmons central gets a strike away defended comes out to the right another strike blazed in Hickman with a spectacular diving catch at her near post. Bowers & Pitsea finding themselves on the back foot at the start of the 2nd half.  The trainer on as both Moore and Rhodes are down. 

Becky Charter looking to send Emma Slater away for Royston

  Both up on their feet play resuming Wilson putting it out to the right Bruton racing forwards getting in behind fires in a shot on the angle driven in low races across the six yard box Moore closing in far side can’t get there as it runs out of play. Royston make another change bringing on Hattie Bourne for Gough. Rhodes central up to Bruton right of the D 20 yards out Georgia Fraser close to her, Miles in between both seeing the ball safely back to her keeper. Refereeing decisions still causing Royston some frustration as they feel they are not getting the rub of the green. 

 Bowers & Pitsea with a free-kick on halfway to the right of the centre circle. Sillitoe to play it up into the area Royston head it away drops to Rhodes outside the D her shot is charged down runs back to Georgia Fraser central leaning back into her shot sends a curling effort narrowly wide of the top corner. Rhodes last action of the game as she is replaced by Sophie Dowman.

  A busy few moments for Key in the Bowers & Pitsea defence as first she sees the ball back to her keeper as Slater gets on her bike in the middle. Then the defender makes a double block as both Slater and Simmons have a go from outside the box. With Royston getting players forwards much better in the 2nd period Moore is called into action at the back tracking back well to slide in and take the ball away from Charter as she gets past Strange. 

  Edgar plays a superb pass out to Charter getting clear on the right taking a run at the box Sillitoe gets across to put in the blocking tackle as she goes to unleash a shot. The ball running behind for a corner. A great delivery flashed in low to the top of the six yard box near side, Edgar digging out a goal bound effort, defended on the post by Wilson. Royston are quick to reclaim the ball out on the right Charter’s cross flying harmlessly through the six yard box as the game moves into the final 15 minutes. 

Royston’s Hattie Bourne

  Royston a pressing hard for a goal coming trough the middle Coldicott-Stevens then Edgar lifting an inviting ball in towards the top of the back on both occasions Sillitoe winning a vital header at the back for Bowers & Pitsea. The visitors away on the right Bruton with pace after the ball, O’Brien out to the top of her area sliding in to clear the ball out for a throw. Up on the right Bowers & Pitsea work the ball in central top of the area, a hand ball is spotted the referee pointing to the spot!

  GOAL! Royston disputing the decision arguing the infringement was outside the box the decision stands however. A penalty for Bowers & Pitsea, up comes the captain to place the ball on the spot a chance to fire her team into the lead with a little over 10 minutes to play, running up makes no mistake wrong footing the keeper to place the ball high to her left to score 1-2.

Danielle Sillitoe running in to score for Bowers & Pitsea

   A blow for Royston go straight on the attack from the restart, Slater bursting on winning a corner that frustratingly comes to nothing. Charter is causing problems on the right for Royston however Moore is tracking back with her constantly to slide in and defend putting the ball out for another corner. Comes in near side Miles getting something on it knocking it down into the middle, Amey fouled as she goes to defend Bowers & Pitsea with the free-kick. 

Holly Moore tackling Becky Charter

  Space opening up at the back for Bowers & Pitsea as Royston commit players forwards looking to get back on level terms Bruton away right firing in a cross/shot claimed by O’Brien. Simmons chases out to the right to nick the ball back of a defender turns back to attack the box flashing in a cross along the penalty spot picking out Slater falling back into the shot, sees her strike run wide of the right post. Cooper carries the ball out from the back for Royston before playing it on down the right for Simmons to the by-line her cross is plucked down confidently by Hickman. 

Royston midfielder, Sammy Edgar

  Royston piling forwards late in the game South battling to win possession right on for Charter who lifts a cross in to the far post attacked well by Edgar the ball seeming to take a deflection as it drops wide of goal, Edgar furious a corner isn’t awarded recieves a yellow card. Less than 4 minutes plus stoppage time left for Royston to find a goal. Bowers & Pitsea defending for their lives at times can’t get the ball to stick up top, Charter and South combining on the right before the cross is played into the top of the area Slater getting her head on the ball turns it over the crossbar. 

  A hand ball decision favours Royston this time out on the left a free-kick awarded 35 yards out a high ball played into the area is dangerous threatening to dip under Hickman’s bar, gloves up to claim it on her line as players close in the keeper falls to the ground keeping hold of it as Royston’s attack trying to get the ball over the line, the whistle blowing Royston claim the goalkeeper carried the ball over the line are dismayed when after consulting with the linesman the original decision that the goalkeeper was fouled stands.

 Into stoppage time Royston winning a corner send everyone up the delivery in to the far post hooked clear by the visiting defence, a strike from distance rattles back in wide of the left post. One last attack on the left for Royston, Coldicott-Stevens on for Miles breaking forwards, Courtney Fraser can get across her to guide the ball out safely for a goalkick.  

Full time Royston Town Women 1-2 Bowers & Pitsea Ladies

  The final whistle blows and it’s Bowers & Pitsea who celebrate as they win 2-1 to advance in the competition. Certainly had to put in a defensive shift 2nd half to keep Royston at bay. Scoring the all important goal with 10 minutes left to play. A proper cup tie Bowers & Pitsea getting off to a good start on the front foot early whilst Royston didn’t seem to settle find their rhythm the visitors taking the lead inside 10 minutes, Royston battling back to level midway through the first half both having chances to lead at the break. A different story 2nd half arguably Royston were the better side getting on the front foot straight away putting the Bowers & Pitsea defence under pressure. The Essex side stood firm however having few opportunities up the other end but when they had one they took it to get their noses in front and held on to claim the win. Royston will no doubt be hurting after that result a game they themselves might well have won just wasn’t to be their day decisions going against them adding to their frustrations. Bowers & Pitsea though advance in the cup and will be hoping for a home draw in the 3rd Qualifying Round scheduled to be played Sun 24th October. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, thought this was going to be a tough one but the notes I’ve taken present a clear winner. A few performances of note to mention first. For Royston, Becky Charter carried a strong threat on the both flanks throughout the game getting forwards and linking up with the attackers. Charlotte South got about the pitch battling for possession well, along with Sammy Edgar who put in a committed performance in the middle of the park. For Bowers & Pitsea, Talisa Bruton and Holly Moore caused plenty of problems on the wings whilst Sophie Rhodes was excellent in the middle especially 1st half. The award today though goes to Bowers & Pitsea’s captain Danielle Sillitoe a strong performance in the heart of the defence winning numerous balls, setting up the 1st goal and scoring the winning penalty.

An enjoyable trip to Hertfordshire today, an entertaining cup tie, could well have gone either way and shows what the ERWFL is all about even if this was a cup tie. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the team line-ups today as always much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Wednesday 29th September

FAWNL South East Division One

A spot of midweek football action on Women’s Football East to take in a local derby match from FAWNL South East Division One an all Cambridge affair as Cambridge City Ladies host rivals Cambridge United WFC.

The pair coming into the match having both made a positive start to the FAWNL South East Division One season. Once one club with what is now United becoming Cambridge Women FC who went on to become an established sides within the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid. Now joined with Cambridge United FC, whilst a new Cambridge City Ladies was re-established and made a rapid rise through the pyramid themselves to reach the FAWNL South East Division One themselves 2 seasons ago.

  Cambridge City with a strong policy on bringing youth through much of their squad has been with the club playing for various youth sides with the club having 3 adult teams with a Reserves and Development side also competing in the FAWNL Reserve league and ERWFL Division One North respectfully. Ollie Drake taking over as 1st team coach this season joined by Paul France with Tim Rapley formerly 1st team coach assisting too. A 1-3 home loss to Hashtag United Women on the opening day City bounced back well recording back to back wins away to Harlow and Stevenage to move up into the top half of the table there they have remained adding a further 4 points to lay 6th with 10 going into tonight’s derby match. Have a largely settled squad bringing in a couple of experienced players defender Jess Evans and former Ipswich Town captain, Amanda Crump who made 216 appearances for the club scoring 72 goals. Derby day often bringing out the best in City they have proved a difficult opponent for United since joining them in South East Division One.

  A change in the management team for Cambridge United WFC too with former St Ives Town Ladies manager, Darren Marjoram coming in to join 1st team coach Ben Yeomans. The pair joined by Liz Pamplin who made 500 appearances for Cambridge United. Attacking player Ruth Fox, midfielder Abbi Griffin and goalkeeper Kira Markwell all following marjoram from St Ives to Cambridge United with midfielder Laura Baker returning along with defender Anna Re. Defeat on the opening day too for United before the club went on to win 4 on the bounce 3 in the league and one cup game. Up to 4th in the South East Division One table at one point were brought back down to earth with a bump last weekend with a heavy 6-0 defeat at home to Hashtag United Women. Have several out with injury including Fox who damaged her elbow at the weekend having led the line well so far scoring 5 goals one behind Emma Jenkins who has netted 6 so far. A versatile squad with several players comfortable in several different positions.

  The Demcom Stadium the venue for tonight’s derby match home to Ely City FC, situated behind a new Cinema and restaurant complex on the outskirts of Ely. Once the home of United too, now hosting City’s home games whilst they wait for Cambridge City FC’s new home in Sawston to be built. The pitch looking superb these days the ground seeing improvements ongoing. The grass surface offers plenty of width a mild evening, dry the floodlights taking full effect as the teams walk on onto the pitch.

Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson (C), Ceri Flye, Amy Reed, Bronwyn Mulheron, Jess Evans, Ellie Cullum, Hannah Bodily, Charlotte Gillies, Karly Tolentino, Amanda Crump & Grace Stanley. Subs – Erin Davies, Lauren Tomlinson, Lauren Saunders, Zynia Delglyn & Georgia Clarke.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Kira Markwell, Anna Re, Abi Davies, Grace Waygood, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Gisela Otten, Laura Baker (C), Emma Jenkins, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt & Laura Mitchell. Subs – Carrie Bennett, Libby Fraser, Amy Houghton, Charlotte Crisp & Niamh Day.

 

Done a few of these before so it’s City vs United from this point, with City kicking off the first half wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. United wearing Amber shirts with Black shorts and socks. City play it back into midfield, United immediately in to close down, put out to the right back the ball fired long looking for the run of Charlotte Gillies out wide, bounces on through into the box giving United goalkeeper, Kira Markwell and early feel of the ball. 

  The tempo quick from the off neither side wanting the other to settle on the ball, Karly Tolentino moving out wide left for City getting hold of the ball Unite full back Anna Re sliding in to defend the ball out for a throw in. City take it quickly the ball dropped into the feet of striker Grace Stanley controls and sends it in central for Tolentino, leaning back into her shot from the top of the D sends the ball over the bar.

United get the ball left into Emma Jenkins, fouled full back Abi Davies races forwards in support taking the ball on past her sending it into the box for Laura Mitchell leading the line for United tonight, left of goal can’t turn as she is closed down by City defender, Ceri Flye the ball behind for the 1st corner of the game. Challenges flying in Gisela Otten has hold of the ball for United in the middle spreads it wide for Jenkins moving forwards left side, Flye getting across her to shield the ball playing it back to her captain and goalkeeper, D=Sarah Hudson to clear upfield. 

 Certainly has a derby match feel about it both sides not holding back, clearly up for it challenges committed, referee Laura Van-Leir is in for a busy game. Gillies breaking with the ball right side whipping on a low cross towards the near post cut out by Kayleigh-Anne Burt for United a corner conceded, the delivery dealt with comfortably at the near post. Is a little scrappy no one allowed any time to dwell on the ball, both sides looking to get the ball out wide. Re right side on for Howlett then Hewitt beyond her Jess Evans getting amongst them defending for City.

  City unhappy as a seeming advantage is halted for a free kick to the hosts on halfway, the ball clipped out to the left Tolentino flicking it beyond Re running towards the area coming inside from the left sees her attempt on goal blocked by United centre back Grace Waygood. Tolentino out left causing a few problems for United early on taking the ball to the by-line her cross into the six yard box cut out by Burt, coming back to Tolentino her 2nd attempt is cleared by Waygood. City counter attack with purpose Cullum with the ball on up to Stanley in attack central 25 out clips it out to Gillies bursting forwards on the wing right side in space hits the ball on the run smashing her shot wide of the near post.

United pushed up as they attack risk getting hit on the counter, Evans playing the ball out from the back, is a vital interception by Waygood to prevent Stanley breaking in clear behind. Markwell with a confident claim chest high at her near post as Tolentino whips the ball in as she reaches the by-line. The action is end to end no let up as one side defends immediately looks to get the ball into their attackers. United captain Laura Baker sending the pass out to Jenkins left side gathers the ball, taking on the defence twisting left and right before firing a diagonal ball into the d looking for Mitchell, Evans getting in ahead of her to clear for City. 

  Hudson from a free-kick at the back plays in a dangerous bouncing ball left side that United fail to deal with bouncing up for Stanley to attack, hooks an attempt towards goal from 20 yards out sends the ball over the bar. Re defending at the back for United sends a straight pass forwards into Mitchell turns on the ball firing it out to Jenkins advancing left side cutting inside, Flye steps out to meet her with a good tackle to win the ball back for City. Both United full backs looking to get on join the attack, Davies left supporting Jenkins with Re on the right playing the ball on for Mitchell, flicks it on for Faith Hewitt in behind takes the ball down to the by-line inside the box firing in a cross, Mitchell attacking it, Evans going with her lunging in to beat her to the ball.

  Davies is fouled getting forwards for United wide left, Jenkins takes on the shot from the angle, the ball brushing the roof of the net on its way over. Crump drifting into space on the left takes the ball on plays a squared pass into Stanley left of the D, before she can dig it out to shoot, Re gets back to lunge in challenge and clear up the pitch. The foul count is totting up both sides as guilty as each other, the benches as fired up as the players. Decisions going against both. United’s Otten in the middle on for Mitchell central, is closed down by Evans as Hannah Bodily comes away with the ball looking for Tolentino left side, Re closing her down quickly to get United back on the front foot. 

Cambridge City Ladies, Amanda Crump

  Otten sends the ball out to Howlett on the left puts it into the box for Mitchell right of goal, is quickly closed down by the City defence, the ball cleared out to their right is latched onto by Davies who strikes it from all of 40 yards her effort racing wide at the near post. United getting the ball forwards well Baker sending a shot over the bar from outside the area as she runs onto Mitchell’s knock down from a cross on the left. City break Cullum finding Tolentino left side, Waygood there to block for United as she attempts to play the cross into the box, then Burt throws out a leg inside the six yard box to concede a corner. The delivery looping high towards the far post falls to the floor players scrambling for it pops loose for Baker, calmness in the eye of the storm as she shows great composure to dribble the ball out of the area rather that launch it upfield.

   For all the toing and froing between the sides neither keeper has been tested yet. Baker passing the ball out to Howlett right side looks to go down the line, Amy Reed staying on her for City sliding in to make the tackle. Re pushed up winning it straight back for United the visitors getting the ball in towards the top of the area, Evans and Flye closing the door on Mitchell. Reed does well again against Hewitt as United’s No10 looks to get in around behind her on the right. City sitting deeper than United are inviting pressure ready to counter attack their defence proving hard to get around. Waygood and Burt making sure nothing gets past them at the other end. 

  Gillies on the right for City letting loose with a strike from all of 25 yards, Markwell well position back on her line taking a comfortable catch for United. City getting a free-kick wide right the ball put into the area Markwell comes and punches away, United don’t get far as City press regain possession turn play around Tolentino knocking the ball to her left into the path of the advancing Cullum on the run strikes a low shot in on the angle, Markwell back on her line down smartly at her near post to save pushing the ball behind for a corner kick. 

The 1st half drawing to a close has been played at a high tempo both sides pushing the attack looking lively although defenders have had the upper hand. Crump can certainly unlock the door with a pass an almost does so as she thread it through for Stanley, Burt is on hand to throw out a leg make an important stop for United. United upset as Howlett is the first player to receive a yellow card in the game the resulting free-kick seeing City advance on the left for a moment Stanley looks to have gotten in behind Burt, however both Re and Baker are round on the cover to defend halt Stanley’s progress with Tolentino ready to provide the run into the box.

  The free-kicks continue to add up both benches letting their frustrations known. Mitchell pushed in the back 30 odd yards out to the right presenting United with an opportunity to bring players forwards Baker over the ball looking to place it at the far post attacked the ball is knocked to the ground coming for Burt her eyes light up the ball barely leaving her foot however the City defence have charged it down. 

  City advance down the right Gillies bombing forwards squares her cross along the top of the area, controlled by Tolentino left of the D plays it to Stanley on the right side quick to get her strike away the shot rising is much to her frustration straight at Markwell in the United goal.

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-0 Cambridge United WFC

  Plenty of action in the 1st half both sides wanting to press the attack as quickly as possible has been scrappy at times but a committed battle with both sides no wiling to let the other settle on the ball. Fouls given away City have invited United on somewhat allowing them to keep it tight at the back willing to counter attack, neither side though carving out a clear cut chance inside the box.

 No changes for either side at the break as United get the 2nd 45 underway, the ball out to Jenkins on the left a deft cross lifted into the area cleared by Flye, United press hard in midfield Otten then Baker the ball played into Jenkins top of the D, turns and shoots, rising Hudson throwing her gloves up making a good save knocking the ball wide and behind for a corner. The delivery into a congested near post well defended. United with a 2nd corner press the advantage at the start of the 2nd half, City struggling to get the ball into their opponents half.

 United with a free-kick on the right City defending the initial ball, Re regains possession laying it on down the wing for Baker, on the angle drills a cross into the near post, Jenkins closing in on the keeper as Hudson back on her line looks to see the ball into her gloves, under pressure from the United attacker the ball is spilt, Jenkins gets her foot on it looks certain the score (think several amongst the United bunch thought she had) the ball though comes back off the post and City manage to scramble it away to safety.

  United starting the brighter 2nd half a free-kick won inside the City half on the left, Baker sending the delivery into the area met centrally by Jenkins sends her header over the crossbar. Mitchell running at the City defence wins a corner. Defended by Reed at the near post a 2nd corner awarded, goes long this time over over one in the six yard box Burt retrieves far side attempts to lift back in deflected behind for a 3rd corner. Right side long United appeal for handball as City bring the ball away but nothing doing. Bodily putting a diagonal ball out to the left for Reed to attack, Re halts her progress for United. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Laura Mitchell

  City get hold of the ball centrally Bodily passing to Stanley the striker clipping the ball out to the right for Gillies, taking the ball into her stride checks inside her marker driving for the box before firing in a low strike to the near post, Markwell across her goal down low to make a comfortable save. United suddenly dropping off their intensity City press the ball in the final 3rd Crump putting a looping ball in, Burt getting in ahead of Tolentino. 

  The visitors regain possession centrally Otten on for Jenkins central has support to her right from Mitchell who in turn finds Howlett wide right taking the ball in behind lifts a cross towards the penalty spot, Mitchell rises to meet it a glancing header the ball falling wide of the far post Jenkins after it, Mulheron in ahead of her defending for City. The game opening up now City have Gillies on the ball right as Stanley knocks it down into her path, an early cross into the box has Crump breaking in behind, Markwell focused as she drops onto the ball claiming it as Crump arrives on her. 

Cambridge United WFC and WF East sponsored Amy Howlett

 City winning a free-kick in the middle lifted in towards Stanley top of the D, flicks the ball on well with Crump running in on the follow-up, Markwell seeing it late getting behind it taking the ball on the bounce. 

  GOAL! The dead lock is broken and it’s a superbly hit shot too. United winning the ball out on the right central the pass taken early driven in with pace towards Jenkins free outside the box right of the D. Turns and shoots the ball struck well arrowing straight on the rise before Hudson before she can react into the back of the net 0-1.

Emma Jenkins fires Cambridge United WFC into the lead

  An hour played and it’s United who have the lead, City getting straight down the other end from the restart Gillies winning a corner. The delivery in central drops dangerously inside the six yard box, United scrambling it away to safety. A change for City, Erin Davies retuning to the club on for Crump in attack. Baker coming back to slide in and tackle Stanley as she looks to battle her way in behind Burt 25 yards out. United working hard doubling up at times to thwart City as they build in attack the hosts frustrated.

  United attack with Davies getting on to support Howlett drifting right a corner won City defend the cleared from the top of their area City break Tolentino on the ball left side sends a ball into the box Markwell though can see it out for a goal kick.

 It’s rare to see especially at this level in the women’s game however it’s the first sin bin I’ve witnessed this season after Stanley is sent off for 10 minutes for City after a long talking too from the referee over a disputed corner/goal kick. United making their 1st change of the match bringing on Niamh Day for Hewitt in attack. The substitute involved straight away as a loose City ball from the ball falls to her centrally. Drives forwards moving into the right channel before laying it on for Mitchell ahead of her into the box Hudson comes to reach it first her kick striking Mitchell rebounds behind for a goal kick. 

City making a change Lauren Tomlinson coming on for Reed. United press the attack Baker on for Mitchell right of the D lays her attempt wide of the target. Otten getting the ball back for United forwards into Mitchell central back to goal upended, advantage played as it comes straight to Howlett beside her blasts her shot in low driven wide of the near post. United pushing on with their player advantage. 

  Stanley is allowed back on City back up to full strength. A focal point in attack is picked out straight away left of the D controls into her feet turns laying a diagonal ball into the box from the left Tomlinson racing forwards, Markwell sees her coming races off her line to close the angle throwing herself into the save Tomlinson getting her strike over her the ball clearing the crossbar too.

  GOAL! No sooner have City created a chance at one end United go down the other end and double their lead. Day winning a corner on the right. Players come forwards crowding the six yard box, angled in near post is a bullet header by Otten as she stoops to meet the ball powering it into the back of the net from close range, is engulfed by her teammates as they rush forwards in celebration 0-2.

  Less than 10 minutes left to play City trailing 2 nil win a free-kick on half way played up towards Tomlinson inside the D turns well into a shot, United’s defence prepared the ball charged down. City have to push forwards time is against them now, United are tiring a corner won on the right, Stanley up well knocking the ball down two United players go to block both stay down as the ball is cleared. City make a change bringing off Bodily late on, on in her place Zynia Delglyn. Less than 4 minutes plus stoppage time left to play.

  City pressing the ball high Davies right on for Gillies attacks a cross flashing in low through the six yard box, Markwell down on it late stops it but hasn’t claimed it, Waygood getting there 1st to clear for the visitors. A nervy end to the game United sitting back inviting City to come on Davies with a shot from 20 yards out, put straight at Markwell. 

  GOAL! Into stoppage time and City pull a goal back to set up a nervy finish to the game, Getting bodies forwards on the left in attack the ball is angled in centrally, picking out Stanley left of the D 20 out sees it across her body and hits it well to rifle a strike in high across the keeper into the corner of the net 1-2.

Grace Stanley getting a goal back in stoppage time for Cambridge City Ladies

  Maybe too little too late with the clock rapidly running down Cullum frustrated as she gives away a foul on Jenkins United with a free-kick. Baker wanting to get it into the corner, United end up giving a foul away themselves with Jenkins booked. Baker in with a strong challenge to win the ball after two City defenders end up tackling each other. One last throw of the dice as City have a free-kick in their own half Hudson on it everyone else in the United box, played in is a firm defensive header to put it clear as the final whistle goes and United celebrate winning the 1st Cambridge derby of the season.

 

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-2 Cambridge United WFC

  A highly entertaining game, very much a derby match, strong tackling but played in relatively good spirits throughout (at least I thought so) Committed wasn’t time for anyone to settle on the ball. United with a good start to the 2nd half getting the break through taking the lead on the hour. Adding a 2nd late in the game. City never out of it came back to score a goal in stoppage time but couldn’t find another as United take the 3 points and climb above them into 4th spot in the table. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Was a battle out there at times and a few performances to mention. Firstly for City, Ceri Flye made several important tackles in defence as did Jess Evans. Going forwards Charlotte Gillies looked a threat out on the right all game with some good runs. Whilst Tolentino moved well in attack left side. For United, Gisela Otten and Laura Baker were strong in the middle, Baker also tracking back well. Anna Re was busy at right back both defending and getting forwards to set attacks going. The award though goes to Emma Jenkins her work rate was superb making herself available throughout the game good positional play and a well struck goal to open the scoring.

  Love a midweek derby match even if it 2am when I’m typing this. An entertaining game non stop action two sides that were committed from the 1st minute to the last. My thanks to both clubs for their help this evening.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Deeping United Ladies v Burwell Tigers Ladies

Sunday 26th September

Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three

 Love to travel up and down the leagues across the East to do my bit to help promote the game feature as many sides as I can on Women’s Football East. Today’s game coming from Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three with a look at two sides I haven’t seen in action before with Deeping United Ladies taking on Burwell Tigers Ladies. 

   Cambridgeshire was the only county league ( in fact of any league across the East) to press on with their season last time out as the COVID pandemic saw a 3rd lockdown that wasn’t lifted until the end of March. Was a monumental effort by all to get the league season completed. Were the first league too to get there league structure in place for the start of the 21/22 season a slight change, still 3 divisions but no longer a Premiership with a Championship North & South below, instead Division’s One, Two & Three. The former format favouring location over ability the sides now set out hopefully to better reflect there ability which will in turn aid development of a club. Of course new sides entering can vary in terms of strength.

  The season just a fortnight old the 10 strong Division Three has barely got going with half the sides having played 2 matches very early days. It’s today’s visitors, Burwell Tigers who are setting the pace early on with 2 wins from 2. 

  Today’s hosts Deeping United Ladies started the season with a 4-0 loss at home to newcomers, Peterborough United Foundation, bounced back well however to turn the result around winning 4-0 away to another new sides Willingham Wolves Ladies last weekend to climb up to 5th. Hannah Chapman on target to score a hat-trick, has been the clubs leading goal scorer since Deeping United joined the league in 2019. COVID seeing their debut season null & voided, withdrew from the competition after the season resumed in March last time out, good to see them return for the 2021/22 campaign their ambition to challenge for the top three. Are the most Northerly club within the area covered by Women’s Football East just over the border in Lincolnshire.

Burwell Tigers Ladies situated north of Newmarket to the north east of Cambridge begin their 5th season together. Have had it tough since joining the league finishing bottom twice in a row in their 1st two seasons. Signs they were improving in the season’s affected by the COVID pandemic and have made an excellent start to the 2021/22 campaign with 2 straight wins to set the early pace at the top. Both 2-1 wins home and away against new comers Chatteris and Cambourne who have both recruited players with experience in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership. Like Deeping with the new league format will be aiming to push on up the table.

The venue for today’s game the village of Baston the match being played on Brudenell Playing Fields as a pose to Deeping United Ladies usual home ground Deeping Rugby Club. Would have headed there had I not seen the club’s tweet regarding today’s game. Burwell didn’t however and did head to the Rugby Club, thankfully they were contacted and arrived in due course. Was a hot and muggy late September day little rain this week the pitch looked firm and very uneven, the goalmouths in particular showing plenty of wear and tear.

Today’s squad for Deeping United Ladies (photo credit Deeping United Ladies)

 Deeping United Ladies starting XI – Lauren Miller, Katy Fowkes, Ellie Barnes-Brown, Katie Clarke, Karen Wayman, Gemma Johnson, Holly Fasulo, Caroline Sutherland (C), Grace Sipson, Lauren Wyer & Lilia Gosden. Sub – Sophie Wallace.

 Burwell Tigers Ladies starting XI – Hannah Dewey, Jess Davenport, Rachel Moore, Yas Ryles, Abi Scott, Nat Eddison (C), Elisa Heinamaa, Megan Mead, Sarah Bentley, Sam Freeman-Porter & Kerry Dyer. Subs – Tilly Jones & Lauren Wilkinson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Up to a half dozen players missing for Deeping including last weekends hat-trick hero, Chapman with the squad stretched only one named on the bench. Burwell able to name two substitutes. A change of ends before kick-off, the sun high over one end of the playing fields a factor, Deeping goalkeeper Lauren Miller facing it as the hosts prepare to take the kick-off 1st half wearing an all grey kit. Burwell opposite wearing orange shirts and socks with black shorts. A hot day a drinks break agreed upon during the half the game gets underway.

The middle of the park in congested straight away as Burwell close the ball down, tackles flying in the ball popping around as both sides look to get it under control, Elisa Heinamaa finding a pocket of space turning to send a long diagonal pass out to the right wing as Megan Mead moves forwards taking the ball on whips an early ball in towards the near post, Kerry Dyer making a move towards it as Miller comes rushing out of her six yard box to lay claim to the all for Deeping. 

    Early joy on the right in attack for Burwell as Heinamaa once again picks out Mead the ball at her feet is allowed to travel unchallenged into the area, shoots on the angle before Miller can set herself her shot evading the keeper is place wide beyond the far post. Deeping captain Caroline Sutherland plays a clipped ball out to the right for Grace Sipson to chase latching onto the ball checks inside before laying a cross in square 25 yards out  her target Holly Fasulo in the centre, Burwell keeper Hannah Dewey alert to the danger out of her area rapidly to get her foot through the ball launch upfield for the visitors. 

Hannah Dewey clearing the ball for Burwell

 Right from the start Burwell are playing a high back line their defence pushed right up with their midfield making it very congested in the middle the ball bouncing around Burwell coming away with it looking for width on the left Mead winning a throw high up, support from Heinamaa a cross driven in cut out by Deeping’s, Katy Fowkes. Burwell’s captain, Nat Eddison winning the ball central on for Dyer in attack into the left channel, Ellie Barnes-Brown closing her down putting in a good challenge to regain possession. 

Burwell captain, Nat Eddison with Deeping’s Holly Fasulo

 Sam Freeman-Porter gathering the ball into her feet on the left for Burwell drives on sending the pass inside for Dyer to take forwards in behind the full back, Katie Clarke is round on the cover at centre back superbly for Deeping to intercept. Breaking in behind the Burwell back line is proving a challenge for Deeping, space to exploit behind if they do so, Karen Wayman and Fasulo look to combine through the centre, Yas Ryles defending well for the visitors. Is a good battle in the middle of the park between Heinamaa and Sutherland, Deeping’s captain clipping the ball out to the right hoping to set Sipson away, goes on the attack, Sutherland’s opposite number, Eddison tacking back to lunge in to take the ball away from Sipson’s feet. 

   Burwell with their higher starting position are able to get bodies up to join the attack quicker pressure the final 3rd, Freeman-Porter left squaring in into the D for Heinamaa, shifting the ball between her feet opens up her right side to take on the shot sends the ball angling wide of the post. Mead looks to have gotten away on the right almost into the area after the ball, Miller comes racing out to meet her sliding in just about beats the attacker to the ball to clear the threat. Is hot out there both sides are putting alot into the game already Mead up the right a looping cross into the box Dyer stooping into the header can’t direct it on target.

Elisa Heinamaa getting hold of the ball for Burwell

  Clarke making a vital interception at the back for Deeping. So too up the other end as Abi Scott prevents Deeping’s Lilia Gosden getting past her in the middle off a Wayman through ball. Defences on top at the moment as Clarke does well again getting across Mead in attack to shield the ball inside the box nudge it back for Miller to clear.

  Freeman-Porter takes the ball on up the left held up checks back has support from Heinamaa behind her 18 yards out rolls it into the middle for Eddison seeing in across her body lines up a shot, the ball charged down an arm spotted in the process the referee awarding a free kick outside the D central. Mead over the set piece is disappointed as she sends the ball high over the bar. 

  Fowkes does well in defence as Dyer gathers the ball into her feet and drives forwards into the right channel the deflected ball cleaned up by Clarke round on the cover once more. Heinamaa is getting into space further forwards influencing thing’s in the final 3rd makes a right channel run pressing in Clarke comes to close her down getting across her well giving her time to play the ball safely back to her keeper. Miller makes a brave save diving in at the feet of Freeman-Porter as she looks to have broken in behind off a diagonal ball played in from the right but it wasn’t necessary as the offside flag is up against her. 

Burwell’s Sam Freeman-Porter

 Barnes-Brown with a solid tackle on Freeman-Porter as the pair come together on the left. Scott comes out to close Sipson down right side as the attacker looks to break in behind on the right. Eddison getting on the ball central battles her way forwards holding of challenges before unleashing a shot from all of 25 yards out the ball placed straight into Miller’s gloves. Soon after a much needed drinks break is called.

Half-way through the 1st half, Burwell have had the bulk of the pressure in the final 3rd playing a high line keeping it tight in the middle have been able to get on the front foot quicker without really testing Miller in goal. Deeping have put in a shift at the back, knowing their opponents are playing a high line just haven’t found a gap in it yet. A change for Deeping as play resumes with Gemma Johnson off, Sophie Wallace coming into the defence. 

 Whatever plan the hosts had come up with as play resumes suffers a blow as Wayman pulls up in the middle, holding her calf is forced to hobble off the pitch with Johnson put straight back on into the middle. The game scrappy after the restart Burwell winning a succession of throws out on the right. Lauren Wilkinson has come on for the visitors looks like it’s Dyer off in attack with Freeman-Porter pushed on. 

  Sipson looks the most likely to unlock the Burwell defence on the right takes the ball into her feet driving forwards carrying it in behind Gosden with a near post run as Deeping stretch the Burwell defence for the 1st time the cross angled in though too close to the keeper Dewey down to gather the ball into her arms. 

  Fowkes with a dinked ball over the top that sees both Gosden and Lauren Wyer burst clear for Deeping, Dewey though  with a good starting position comes racing out of her area to put her foot through the ball. Mead over on the right moving forwards sends a looping ball into the box, Clarke meeting it with her head to put away for a throw in. Burwell getting players up into the area as the cross is worked into the area near side, Sutherland tracking back with Heinamaa, doing well defensively the ball loose in the area though a shot stabbed in across goal, Miller down to smother at at the far post. 

  Deeping press the ball in the middle closing down well before releasing it out to the right, Sipson latching onto it races away with the ball space ahead of her travels with the ball before whipping a squared ball in along the top of the area, is just behind both Gosden and Wyer. Burwell straight from Dewey’s kick out from the box winning a corner as Freeman-Porter gets onto the end of the bouncing ball right side goes to cross the ball, Fowkes blocking it deflected behind for the 1st corner of the game. Miller makes the call coming to punch the ball away before her near post.

   Eddison gets up on the right offering Freeman-Porter support both seeing a cross blacked by Clarke and Wallace respectfully before winning a corner kick. Play remains congested in the middle it’s a energy sapping day but neither side is willing to concede the ball. Scott looks to be outnumbered at the back as Deeping look to cut a path through the defence but the defender comes out on top carrying the ball clear and laying it on for Freeman-Porter. 

Abi Scott winning the ball in defence for Burwell

  The ball out to the right Freeman-Porter pressing on into the area clips the ball up into the six yard box, is just over Heinamaa jumping central, falls to Wilkinson beyond the far post lays it outside to Eddison top of the D, opens her body to shoot her effort charged down, Fowkes clearing the ball behind for a corner kick which Deeping defend at the near post. Burwell are starting to apply more pressure in the final 3rd Heinamaa getting up to support the attack more, the ball out to the left the midfielder going into the corner looking to find her way round the defence, that is when, Barnes-Brown dives in attempting to take the ball away from her, catches her foot in the turf and immediately cries out in agony – play stopped straight away.

  Isn’t pleasant Barnes-Brown is clearly in trouble not nice to see and a lengthy stoppage ensues at the end of the 1st half as she recieves treatment…. players from both sides sent for drinks the delay lengthening soon turning into an abandonment. Not a nice way to see a match finish but it does happen and twice in the same league it appears today with the game between Chatteris and Cambourne also abandoned. Players health though has to come first though and I certainly wish both the Cambourne player and Ellie Barnes-Brown all the best.

Half-time Deeping United Ladies A-A Burwell Tigers Ladies

  A match abandoned the 1st time in 443 matches it’s happened during a game covered by Women’s Football East. It sadly does happen though. Still I feel both sides should get some sort of report if not a whole one. Was shaping up to be a close contest and would have been interesting to see how it would have gone. Might well have to try and see the rematch.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match have enough of a picture of the game to pick one out although I dare say other contenders would have shown themselves over the 90 minutes based of the 40 plus I did see, Both Nat Eddison and Elisa Heinamaa were strong in the middle for Burwell as was Sam Freeman-Porter in attack. For Deeping, Grace Sipson carried a strong threat on the right whilst Caroline Sutherland was making sure Heinamaa wasn’t getting an easy ride. The award though goes to Deeping defender, Katie Clarke made several vital tackles and interceptions whilst getting round on the cover well to support her teammates.

  Was an enjoyable trip up the A15 today even if the game had a sad outcome, was a good contest between two committed sides. My thanks go to the management of both clubs for their support today in getting me the team details, the reports don’t work without them and it’s always appreciated.

by Darren Gilham