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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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