The Cup Finals keep on coming on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog. A Monday night final this time around the Suffolk Women’s County Cup between Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies and Ipswich Town Ladies. A special night for both sides too as the Final is being played at Ipswich Town FC’s Portman Road Ground.
A huge league difference between the 2 sides Ipswich Town Ladies playing in the FAWPL South East Division One whilst Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies play 5 leagues below in Norfolk Women’s Division Two. Both sides have enjoyed a positive season.
Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies won’t be playing in Norfolk Division Two next season, have achieved promotion to Division One. Winning the Division Two Title going undefeated in the league all season this just there 2nd season as a club the Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final is their 1st final. A special occasion one the whole squad will relish and live long in the memories playing at such a prestigious venue.
Ipswich Town Ladies have been buzzing since the announcement the final was going to be played at Portman Road, an opportunity to wear the clubs colours and play on their famous pitch. A positive end to a season that started off with a little trepidation manager Ralph Pruden seeing several of his squad depart or become unavailable to play for the season. A rebuilding job to a degree has gone to the opposite end of the scale with players coming in in high numbers, 2016 has seen Ipswich Town Ladies league from improve dramatically and are likely to seal a top half finish in the league. Plans are in place to start a Development team to support the 1st team next season.
Road to the Final
Both sides received a bye in the 1st Round of the competition. In the 2nd Round Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies were at home playing Suffolk Women’s Division sides Leiston St Margarets Ladies won comfortably 14-1 to advance to the quarter finals. Drawn at home again were to face Suffolk Women’s Division side again, Brantham Athletic Ladies only they never showed up Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies awarded the home walk over. Played at a neutral venue Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies took on ERWFL Division One East side, bury Town Ladies for the right to play at Portman Road. Played at Walsham Le Willows the game ended all square at 1-1 after 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra-time followed, Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies scoring the goal to take them through to the final to face a tough challenge in Ipswich Town Ladies.
No seeding in the competition, current Suffolk Women’s County Cup holders, Ipswich Town Ladies found themselves with a very difficult opponent in the 2nd Round drawn at home to fellow FAWPL South east Division One side, Lowestoft Town Ladies. Came away from the game with a 4-2 win to progress to the quarter finals and a short away trip to eventual Suffolk Women’s Division Champions, Copleston Ladies. Racked up a double figure scoreline beating them 12-1 to advance through to the semi-finals taking on ERWFL Premier Division side AFC Sudbury in a repeat of the previous seasons final. The semi-final between the 2 sides ended goalless after 90 minutes and headed into extra-time. Roxanne Small scoring the all important goal that would see Ipswich Town Ladies win and get the opportunity to play at Portman Road.
An impressive venue in the centre of Ipswich itself Portman Road is a good sized stadium one of the most famous football grounds around. Over 30,000 capacity the Cobbold Stand running along one side of the ground was open to fans tonight it’s 2nd tier overlooking the large pitch looking in extremely good condition despite the advanced stage in the season. A mini heatwave had descended over the weekend and it was still bright and warm as the 2 sides warmed up on the pitch, a few clouds around the threat of rain later. Referee Mary Harmer had recently been in the middle for the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final the 1st female official to do so, now she was leading the 2 sides out officiating in the middle for the Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final, assistant referee Emily Heaslip from Bury St Edmunds combines her refereeing career with a playing career was on the field for Millwall Lionesses in FAWSL 2 at the match I attended on Sunday.
Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies starting XI – Shauna Brunton-O’Neill, Kylie Butler, Maria Palmer, Sue-Lyn King, Sam Brown, Nikki Wigg (C), Jodie Fewkes, Gemma Farman, Sophie Martin, Jody Wells & Selina Rowland.
subs – Sianne Davies, Sarah Meades, Jordan Harris, Peta Belson & Lisa Sissens
Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Leanne Smith, Jaz Ball, Coral Young, Sian Fagg, Aimee Harrison, Lindsey Smith, Amanda Crump (C), Roxanne Small, Hollie Clement, Libby Dixon & Molly Hall.
subs – Jo Fox, Sophie Welton, Jade Henry & Cassie Craddock.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Ipswich had added a few players from Lowestoft Town Ladies to their squad earlier in the season, prominent members of the squad during the latter part of the season, defender Marcie Prettyman plus attackers Zoe Cossey and Natasha Thomas were all cup ties for the game and ineligible for the Final. Was a clash of kits in their semi-final at Walsham Le Willows both sides playing in blue, Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies to don the red shirts from the host mens side. Onto the final and again both sides usually play in blue. Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies didn’t need a change of colours this time around playing in their all blue kit with a white collar and right shoulder. Ipswich wearing their away colours white shirts and socks with red trim and black shorts. Kirkley & Pakefield get the final underway.
Ipswich win the ball right from the off and send it long into space on the left channel the ball running through into the Kirkley & Pakefield area gives goalkeeper Shauna Brunton O’Neill an early feel of the ball. Striker Selina Rowland is fouled inside the centre circle inside the Ipswich half the free kick to be take by Gemma Farman is put up towards the Ipswich penalty area, defender Lindsey Smith gets the ball clear. Ipswich look to get the ball on the move quickly spreading play long out to the left side Hollie Clement getting onto the ball looks to push on with the ball drive towards the area is tackled by Kirkley & Pakefield’s centre back Sue-Lyn King.
Molly Hall leading the line for Ipswich comes deeper to get onto the ball nodding it on with her head to Clement racing away on the left carrying the ball on lifts it in towards the area, Brunton O’Neill gets her gloves firmly around the ball. Roxanne Small playing wide on the right for Ipswich in tonight’s final wins her side a corner on the right. Brunton O’Neill comes for and misses the inswinging ball dropping far side for Clement she look to link up with Small the ball is send back out to the right to corner taker Ipswich captain Amanda Crump lifts a high bll in towards goal dropping under the crossbar, Brunton O’Neill is back in position to call for and claim the ball.
Ipswich come again Clement seeing alot of the ball early on races free of everyone squares the cross into the Kirkley & Pakefield area with the outside of her boot, rolls along the six yard line just beyond Libby Dixon making the central run. Ipswich have a corner on the right the inswinging ball aimed towards the far post is cleared off the line and Kirkley & Pakefield counter attack, Jodie Fewkes bringing the ball up the field right sends the pass long looking for Jody Wells making the run through the middle, Ipswich goalkeeper Leanne Smith comes racing out to the edge of her box and making the blocking save just as Wells connects with the ball.
|Hollie Clement opens the scoring for
Ipswich Town Ladies in the Suffolk
Women’s County Cup Final
GOAL! 10 minutes on the clock and Ipswich get the 1st goal of the final. The ball is played out to the left side once again with Clement getting support from Small the two linking up the ball is played inside to Clement who turns in to the area coming across the face from the left side curls her shot over Brunton O’Neill to see it into the back of the net 0-1.
More joy for Ipswich down the left side the ball fed out to Dixon peeling away into the channel, taking on players cuts back inside running along the face of the Kirkley & Pakefield area gets a shot away drags it wide of the near post.
GOAL! any pre match nerves as dispelled for Ipswich as they add another goal just 3 minutes after taking the lead. The build up is down the right side the cross is played in early from deep curling in towards the near post area, Hall making the run to get into the six yard box gets a firm header on the ball sending it home 0-2.
Hall with a chance moments later to double her goals tally, the cross whipped in from the left by Clement cutting along the face of the box drops to her inside the area looks to stab the ball up into the roof of the net, Brunton O’Neill moving along her goal line saves at close range, well placed snatches the ball down and claims it. The play is all with Ipswich, Kirkley & Pakefield having conceded 2 goals inside the opening 15 minutes are battling hard not to concede again, Clement left side again takes the ball on into the area looks to fire it across the six yard box to pick out Crump far side, King defends against the ball coming to the edge of the area 1st Dixon then Hall see efforts blocked.
Few chances are coming for Rowland and Jody Wells up top for Kirkley & Pakefield. Rowland tries to hold the ball up when she can. 20 yards out back to goal the ball is played long into her feet, has Wells in close proximity lays the ball into her path, takes on the early shot the ball spins away from goal. A light drizzle has started to fall with 20 minutes played. Wells takes on a long range shot from wide left coming in near post Smith has the shot covered.
|Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies, Jody Wells
Clement on the ball on the left side for Ipswich drives forwards before cutting back inside and taking on the shot, Brunton O’Neill diving forwards pushes the ball away, comes to the feet of Hall who sees her shot blocked runs back to Dixon who goes for goal the shot lifted over the bar, must have took a knick on the way through as a corner kick is signalled. Goes long to the far post area attacked the ball is turned behind for a goal kick.
Coral Young is fouled by Kirkley and Pakefield’s Kylie Butler wide on the left halfway inside the half, Crump over the ball plays it high into the area, Sian Fagg with the crowd moving into the area to meet it gets her head on the ball puts the attempt straight at Brunton O’Neill who gets hold of the ball. Change for Kirkley & Pakefield Sam brown coming off with Jordan Harris coming on.
|Amanda Crump sends her free kick up into the Kirkley & Pakefield area
GOAL! Closing in on the half hour mark Ipswich add a 3rd goal, Dixon the scorer. Kirkley & Pakefield have enjoyed a brief spell of possession inside the Ipswich half when the offside trap is sprung, Dixon getting clear on the right with Kirkley & Pakefield having pushed up is clear hesitates fro a moment half expecting to be pulled up no flag no whistle on she goes, Brunton O’Neill comes rushing out of her area, stays on her feet no risking the foul, Dixon cleverly nudges the ball to evade her leaving her clear to send the ball rolling into an empty net 0-3.
Clement free on the left comes again sends the cross in along the six yard box again with Dixon in the middle just evades her again runs through to Hall beyond close range lifts her shot up over the crossbar. Young takes a throw on the left down the line for Dixon the cross fired into Hall in the middle of the area, no room to turn towards goal lays it back out the opposite way rolling into the path of Crump coming to meet it outside the box connects well the shot loops up and is narrowly over the crossbar.
GOAL! A brilliant individual goal scored by the captain as Crump picks up the ball from Clement in the centre inside the Kirkley & Pakefield half carries it forwards taking it around two players, shifting it left then right closing on the edge of the area lifts the shot in sending the ball into the right corner of the goal to score0-4.
A little over 5 minutes of the 1st half left to play and the heavens open heavy rain driving across the pitch.
GOAL! 3 minutes left of the 1st half and Ipswich score a 5th goal another brilliant solo run from Crump as she gets hold of the ball on the left side, in behind carries it all the way to the edge of the area before unleashing a shot left of the D sending the ball across goal into the opposite side to score her 2nd of the game and Ipswich’s 5th 0-5.
|Amanda Crump races clear in the pouring rain to score her 2nd goal of the game
Late in the 1st half Ipswich continue to press forwards Dixon with a shot from 25 yards out sends the attempt over the crossbar, ha another go closer in this time outside the box a low drive through bodies towards goal, Brunton O’Neill dives to her right pushing the ball wide, the whistle blows bringing the 1st half to a close.
Half-time Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies 0-5 Ipswich Town Ladies
A tough 1st half for Kirkley & Pakefield as Ipswich Town Ladies have been the dominant side for much of the half, getting players in behind and driving through the middle, their movement too much to handle at times, any early nerves settled with 2 early goals gone on to add 3 more to be fully in control of the final at Portman Road.
Change for Kirkley & Pakefield at the start of the 2nd half Butler off, Peta Belson on. Ipswich get the 2nd half underway. A repeat of the start of the 1st half the ball going long an early claim for Brunton O’Neill. Dixon goes on a driving run with the ball on the left for Ipswich before whipping the shot across the area runs wide across goal.King concedes the corner kick as she deals with a cross sent in from the left by Clement looking to pick out Dixon. The corner left is taken short moved up to the top of the area is squared into the feet of Clement shoots sending the ball through a crowd of bodies, Brunton O’Neill can see it and gets down at her post to save.
GOAL! 5 minutes into the 2nd half and Crump gets her hat-trick the build up on the left side Fagg out to Clement onto Crump moving forwards to receive the ball travels with it into the box closing in on the six yard box isn’t challenged and drill the shot across goal and in. 0-6.
|A Cup Final hat-trick for Ipswich Town Ladies captain Amanda Crump
Despite the rain now falling their is a good atmosphere inside the stadium 375 in attendance both sets of fans vocal, Kirkley & Pakefield’s younger supporters enjoying themselves have been giving their side encouragement all game. A rare chance for the Norfolk Division Two Champions as the ball is sent long Rowland getting clear has half a yard on the Ipswich defence, looks to hit the shot on the half volley lifts it in towards goal caught off her line, the ball isn’t high enough to loop over Smith, still she needs to make sure it stays off target throwing herself to her right pushes it out for a corner kick. Hall back to defend for the corner heads the ball clear onto Clement who carries it on.
Double switch for Ipswich with Lindsey Smith and Dixon coming off, Cassie Craddock and Jade Henry coming on to join the action. Bringing the ball out from right back Jaz Ball plays it up the line for Henry, inside the Kirkley & Pakefield half turns inside with the ball before squaring it to Craddock left of the D sends a low shot in towards goal lacs the pace to trouble Brunton O’Neill who gets down to claim.
Ipswich build up another attack right side, Henry bringing the ball on fired into Crump furthest forwards attacking the near post area plays it on for Hall who plays the ball back to Craddock running from the centre of midfield to meet it 25 yards out gets too much on the shot lifts it high over the bar. Harris puts the ball out for the corner preventing Hall getting onto the end of a Small cross put in from the left. Nikki Wigg rises to head the ball away from the six yard box for Kirkley & Pakefield falls to Clement outside the box goes for the shot a fierce drive that smashes down off the crossbar before Kirkley & Pakefield scramble it away.
|Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies
captain Nikki Wigg
Kirkley & Pakefield bring on Lisa Sissen for Martin, Ipswich bring on Sophie Welton and Jo Fox for Ball and Small. The Ipswich substitutes getting into the action straight away, Fox at the back right side up to Welton ahead of her plays it up the line for Henry, puts the early cross into the box with Crump coming towards the all looks to turn the ball across the keeper and in, Brunton O’Neill gets down and holds onto it.
Moments later the ball is with Welton in the centre of midfield drives forwards towards the area, Brunton O’Neill rushes out to close her down makes the block/save edge of her area, the ball is loose, Henry racing onto it 20 yards out drills the shot in is narrowly wide of the post. King makes an important intercept cutting out a Clement through ball from the left side intended for Henry making a central run to get inside the area.
Is all Ipswich, despite their best efforts and the encouragement from their fans Kirkley & Pakefield just can’t get any meaningful possession, Wells and Rowland are staying up top always ready to attack if they can get the ball. Henry in the middle 25 yards out lays the ball out to Welton moving into space on the right side the cross comes in going long beyond the far post Hall coming in jumps to head the ball off target.
Clement on the left puts the ball inside for Hall running onto the ball outside the box the shot is sent in back peddling Sissen clears the ball off her goal line. Free kick wide left Crump over the ball a good way out but hits it hard the ball smacking down off the crossbar once more down into the area Kirkley & Pakefield battle to defend the shot eventually hit wide by Henry right side.Hall comes off for Ipswich with Dixon returning to the field. A double switch for Kirkley & Pakefield Farman and Belson off Brown back on along with Sarah Meades.
Once more Ipswich strike the woodwork the ball is sent in from the left by Clement plenty of power behind it from the top of the area flies across the face of goal smashing off the far post back into the six yard area the ball is nodded over the line, the goal won’t stand as the linesman on this side Bradley Fisher has his flag raised.
GOAL! The Ipswich bombardment eventually tells as they find the back of the net for a 7th goal. Attacking on the left the ball is played into the area for Welton finding herself in space on the edge of the six yard box shoots, Brunton O’Neill does well to get across her goal line and get something on the ball, but not enough as it squeezes past her and rolls over the line 0-7.
Brown does well under pressure inside her area to deal with a high ball stood up into the area with Dixon closing her down. Young and Clement come off for Ipswich with Lindsey Smith and Ball returning, the latter in a more advanced role on the left. The cross bar is struck again this time as Henry lets loose from 30 yards out the ball clipping the goal frame and going out for a goal kick.
GOAL! The game moves into the 89th minute having been under siege for much of the half Kirkley & Pakefield have put in a defensive shift concede one more time as Welton attacks on the left breaking the ball inside towards the area hits the shot across goal lifting the ball up over the keeper and in 0-8.
Sianne Davies comes on for Kirkley & Pakefield late on replacing Rowland. Ipswich put the ball into the back of the net again doesn’t count as the offside flag is raised. King gets in the way to block a viscous strike from Henry in injury time, the rain finally stops falling and with it the final whistle blows and Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate winning 8-0 to retain the Suffolk Women’s County Cup.
Scoring 8 goals Ipswich Town Ladies could have had more on the night the goal frame hit on several occasions too, dominated a tough ask for Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies plying their trade 5 Division’s lower. A fantastic achievement to get through to the Final and play at Portman Road an experience they will never forget, clap their fans at the end who never stopped encouraging them were in good spirits at the end despite the heavy loss.
|Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies piling on goalkeeper Shauna Brunton O’Neill in
good spirits at the end of the Final.
An experience too that Ipswich Town Ladies will never forget playing at and winning the Suffolk Women’s County Cup, sure they’d love to do it again. Fantastic from all involved at the Suffolk FA who worked to get the game played here.
|Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate lifting the trophy.
|Suffolk Women’s County Cup Winners 2015/16 Ipswich Town Ladies
A great night out for everyone, thanks to Suffolk FA and the stewards at Portman Road for their help tonight.