A top of the table clash from Norfolk this Sunday a trip west along the A47 to watch the Women’s Division One encounter between 3rd placed Kings Lynn Town Ladies taking on 2nd placed North Walsham Angels Ladies.
Both sides were formed in the 2014/15 season and have both enjoyed 2 progressive seasons since. Kings Lynn Town Ladies are now affiliated with the men’s side renamed at the start of the season having been Lynn Ladies previously playing their football in West Lynn, earning promotion to Division One in their debut season a 5th place finish in the top league in Norfolk last season. The union with Kings Lynn Town FC has seen them strengthen over the close season with a good pre-season including a 2-2 draw with a West Ham United Ladies Development side at The Walks where they will be playing their County Cup matches this season. Suffered a heavy defeat on the opening day of the season away to current Division One pace setters Thorpe United Ladies. Have recovered since going on a 5 match winning run to sit in 3rd place in the table one of those wins away from home against today’s opponents a 4-2 win at the end of September.
One of only two defeats in the league for North Walsham Angels Ladies so far this season since earning promotion from Division Two last season. A young side hungry for success, have started the season well. 18 points from 8 played to sit 3 points behind leaders Thorpe United Ladies the other side to have beaten them this season edging North Walsham out in a 4-3 win. Are the leagues top scorers having netted 46 goals from their opening 8 games with an average of 5.75 goals per match. Sisters Luci and Hope Middleton both scoring plenty of goals for the side.
Both sides winning by double figure scorelines last Sunday to collect the 3 points, not expecting a 0-0 today. The venue for today’s match the Riverlane Playing Fields in Gaywood in Kings Lynn a multi-sports facility 2 football pitches plus other amenities. Alot of rain around yesterday however with a dry but overcast Sunday to follow the game was on plus an opportunity to squeeze in the last round of Xmas shopping.
Kings Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Cristina Viva Artacho, Vikki Budulyte, Antonia Flack, Millie Wilson, Albany Hodgson, Taylor Sarchet, Bethan Jones, Natalie Bunton, Becky Russell, Shelley Woods (C) & Josie Turner.
subs – Emma Woods, Lisa Wilson & Oksana Imanalijeva.
North Walsham Angels Ladies starting XI – Cyan Fulbrook, Sian Wager (C), Rosie Filby, Bethany Childs, Hannah Roe, Alicia lacey, Lauren Yarham, Rachel Bussey, Hope Middleton, Alice Wardle & Luci Middleton.
subs – Emily Farmer & Robyn Johnson.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
The pitch for today’s game is fairly short, North Walsham have kick-off 1st half wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks with Kings Lynn lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts with blue shorts and socks. The visitors go on the attack from the off Rachel Bussey into Lauren Yarham through the middle looks to play the ball over the top through the middle of the Kings Lynn defence with Luci Middleton making the run across the centre backs to get in behind, Albany Hodgson playing at centre back for Kings Lynn gets her head on the ball to clear the threat.
Luci Middleton on the ball down the right forces the throw deep in the Kings Lynn half the ball is cleared by Taylor Sarchet falls for North Walsham’s Alicia Lacey a summer signing from Aylsham FC Ladies sends the ball in towards the top of the area with Yarham looking to run across the D, a meaty challenge from Hodgson gets the ball away upending Yarham in the process play continues, a counter attack from Kings Lynn the ball played upfield helped on by captain Shelley Woods playing it over the top for Josie Turner to chase into the area forces North Walsham into conceding the 1st corner of the match.
Minutes into the game and it clear it’s going to be played at a fast tempo the Kings Lynn corner comes to nothing the ball back with North Walsham is soon up the other end a chance out of nothing the ball running long into the box goalkeeper Christina Viva Artacho sliding in to gather the ball looks comfortable with Luci Middleton closing in, the ball is split loose beyond the keeper Middleton gets after it right of the goal leaning back as she tries to place the ball into an empty net doen’t get a good connection with the ball falls wide into the side netting.
Sarchet plays the ball up the pitch for Turner out on the left making the run forwards has Woods making a run inside her plays the ball into her feet takes on the shot from the top of the box the ball racing wide across the face of goal. On the opposite flank Becky Russell comes on with the ball looking to drive into the box, North Walsham’s Bethany Childs gets across her puts the ball out for the corner. The set-piece is played long beyond the far post Turner heads the ball down towards goal, keeper Cyan Fulbrook stops it but doesn’t collect running loose inside the six yard box, Bethan Jones latches onto the ball tries to hit it goalwards, is deflected wide out to Turner still at far post sends her shot wide of the post.
|Kings Lynn Town Ladies, Taylor Sarchet
Kings Lynn continue to press forwards getting width the ball played on for Natalie Bunton on the right whips in an early cross with Turner the target in a central position inside the box looks to see the ball across her hit it on the turn, closely marked by North Walsham’s Hannah Roe the defender reads it gets her foot onto the falling ball pushes it clear of the area. Jones plays the ball on for Vikki Budulyte getting forwards from right back on the right sends the ball up the wing for Bunton driving on with the ball sends a diagonal ball in towards to near post Turner sliding in to reach it is beaten by the North Walsham defence.
A few tempers are getting frayed out there on the field players from both sides unhappy with challenges and some afters that aren’t needed nor being picked up by the referee. Sarchet getting hold of the ball in the middle of the park for Kings Lynn plays it forwards the long pass picking out Turner on the moves through the centre 20 yards out goes to shoot early pulls the ball wide of the North Walsham goal.
GOAL! 12 minutes on the clock and Kings Lynn having started the game well get themselves into the lead. Sarchet and Jones get the ball up the pitch out with Woods on the left side lines up a shot from distance 30 yards out sends the ball in towards goal looping up and dropping, Fulbrook gets her gloves up to the ball but can’t keep it out as it drops over the line to make it 1-0.
Fulbrook reacts quickly as Kings Lynn get back on the ball from the restart play it long for Bunton on the move to get into the box from the right side, the North Walsham keeper winning the race to the ball sliding in to clear with her shins. The afters are continuing still nothing is being done, the crowd is starting to get involved too. Russell pushing up on the right with the ball sends in a low cross along the six yard box, no one coming in through the middle Woods from the left is 1st to it far post a tame shot however is easily gathered by Fulbrook.
|A competitive encounter all over the park
A good through ball by Lacey releases Hope Middleton on the left is in behind the Kings Lynn defence carries the ball on into the box looking to come inside to shoot, Budulyte gets back on her sliding in does enough to prevent Middleton shooting, retaining possession turns back out of the area moving across the D gets a shot away the ball charged down by the Kings Lynn defence. Good pressing from Luci Middleton on the right side squares the ball into the middle with Yarham quickest to the ball, turns inside hits a shot from outside the box races wide across the goal out for a goal kick.
GOAL! 20 minutes into a busy 1st half and Kings Lynn double their lead have players forwards from a previous attack the ball is won in the middle played out to the left side Turner and Woods are out on that side the ball is fired low into the area Sarchet has it at her feet back to goal at the near post lays it back out of the area directly to Russell who has her leg pulled back ready to recieve the ball hits the shot in towards goal skiping along the ground sneaks inside the post Fulbrook diving in vain 2-0.
North Walsham are rattled losing a bit of composure feel they aren’t getting the decisions. So to however do Kings Lynn, players on both sides needing to calm down, not getting phyiscal hands on mind, both sides just feeling something needs to be done and isn’t and the person being asked the question is the referee. Yarham is putting alot into the midfield contest ingoring a kick on the knee continues to make a run through the middle almost releases Luci Middleton in behind only for her to be stopped by the offside flag.
GOAL! North Walsham pull a goal back 5 minutes after going 2-0 down pushing forwards the ball is sent forwards cleared back out to the middle, Lacey picks it up gets a lot of power on the ball as she drills it through the middle with Luci Middleton the target in between the Kings Lynn defence lined up along the top of the box, a defender lunges sticking out a leg to try and cut out the ball instead it deflects up off the leg into the area, Middleton breaking in behind is after it running right of goal sends her shot past the keeper into the back of the net 2-1.
|North Walsham Angels Ladies
Kings Lynn make a change, Oksana Imanalijeva coming on for Bunton on the right. Is involved in the action straight away as Kings Lynn are awarded a free kick on the right inside the North Walsham half the ball played up into the box by Hodgson is headed out of the area by Lacey, comes back to Russell outside the box on th right plays it inside to Imamalijeva inside the D stabs a 1st time shot in towards goal the ball running along the ground straight into Fulbrook who sees the ball up into her gloves.
A throw for North Walsham deep on the right Wager playing the ball into Luci Middleton lays it back for Alice Wardle who sends an good cross into the box, Lacey arriving near post lifts a leg six yards out knocks the ball down into the ground Millie Wilson throwing herself at it takes the pace of the ball as it runs on for Vivas Artacho to save beyond. Up the other end Fulbrook saves at the near post as Woods drives in a shot from the left the ball not held by the keeper rebounds into the path of Turner, she is quickly closed down by Childs under challenge can’t get her shot on target.
|Alice Wardle on the ball for
North Walsham Angels Ladies
A double switch for Kings Lynn, Turner and Flack off, Emma Woods and Lisa Wilson on the switch sees Russell take up the central attacking role. Jones on for Shelley Woods on the left side rolls the ball on for Russell drifting that side shoots from the top of the box her low drove saved by Fulbrook diving at her near post pushing the ball behind for a corner on the left. Is a vicious ball flashed in across the six yard box bouncing at the far post Imanalijeva lunging at it can’t connect to turn it in.
Now anyone reading one of my match reports has probably guessed I write extensive notes, sometimes I preempt whether there is going to be a card shown write it in the notes, should/could have been 6 in the game so far and 2 of those would have equalled a red, that said no cards have been shown yet despite tempers continuing to flare and some poor challenges being shown, no doubt it has affected North Walsham more than Kings Lynn but both sides aggrieved the referee opting to have a word with the supporters instead.
GOAL! Right no the stroke of half-time Kings Lynn get the ball up the other end and score a 3rd goal. The ball is fed up through the middle into Russell making a run to get into the box left side of the goal, has Childs in front of her with Fulbrook coming off her line a mix up the two come together fail to clear the ball runs past them, Russell after it latches onto the ball and lifts it into the empty net beyond 3-1.
Half-time Kings Lynn Town Ladies 3-1 North Walsham Angels Ladies
Plenty happening in that 1st 45 minutes on and off the ball a committed contest both sides using the short pitch to full affect the play has been fast paced the tempo high little time for anyone on the ball, everywhere on the pitch players have been quick to close down, Kings Lynn starting the better getting into the lead, both sides getting under the others skins the home side dealing with it better ending the half 3-1 in front as both teams coaches wander onto the pitch to have a word with the referee at half time.
|Kings Lynn Town Ladies, Bethan Jones
A change in the sky at the start of the 2nd half the clouds breaking and the low setting sun blazing the sky amber behind one of the goals, which North Walsham with have at their backs 2nd half as they look to try and compose themselves and get back into the game. The visitors making a change at half-time Hope Middleton off, Emily Farmer on. Kings Lynn kicking off the 2nd half press forwards the ball with Russell on the right looks to play Shelley Woods in as she makes a run in behind into the box is marked well by Wager the North Walsham captain who clears the ball back out to the right the ball is played back into the top of the area Woods seeing it into her body turns to strike the ball goalwards doesn’t make a clean connection with the ball rolls safely into Fulbrook covering her near post.
Getting the ball forwards on the right side of the pitch North Walsham win themselves a corner kick, the ball is fired in near post Yarham making a run towards the ball flicks it on falls to Wardle top of the area, smashes the ball goalwards her strike charged down the ball picked up from deep a shot is sent back in well over the goal. Early possession inside the Kings Lynn half from North Walsham, Rosie Filby winning the ball playing it into Lacey who passes it out to the left winning a corner players go forwards the ball sent in near post both Luci Middleton and Lacey attack it, Lacey with the header puts the ball behind for a goal-kick.
|Kings Lynn Town Ladies, Emma Woods with
North Walsham Angels Ladies, Lauren Yarham
Lacey gets forwards from the middle as Luci Middleton picks the ball up in the centre of the Kings Lynn half looks to pass the ball into Lacey’s path as she looks to break into the box, Wilson does well at the back for Kings Lynn getting across to intercept the ball. Wardle is brought down 30 yards from goal in a central position a free-kick for North Walsham. Roe is over the ball takes on the strike getting the ball up and over the players lined up across the top of the area is straight at Vivas Artacho who claims hold of the ball.
GOAL! 10 minutes into the 2nd half and North Walsham’s positive start to the 2nd half sees them pull a goal back. Breaking from the back the ball is played up the park quickly into the middle out to the left the early cross played long into the box stretching the Kings Lynn defence, Lacey making the run to get into the box through the middle arrives at the penalty spot throwing herself at the ball turns it past Vivas Artacho into the back of the net 3-2.
|North Walsham Angels Ladies,
Kings Lynn attack the ball is with Wilson on the left half way lifts the ball over the top of the North Walsham defence for Shelley Woods to chase taking the ball down the line works her way inside getting into the box evading a challenge before shooting aiming the ball in towards the near post the shot lacking power Fulbrook gas it covered near post. Russell taking the ball on out to the right side gets the pass in behind down the wing for Imanalijeva taking the ball into the corner looks to cross, Filby gets back on her to tackle put the ball out for a throw. Cleared back to the halfway line Kings Lynn are awarded a free kick, Hodgson puts the ball up into the D, Russell looking to bring the ball down can’t turn into her shot before Farmer gets it away from danger.
North Walsham make a change bringing Roe off and putting Hope Middleton back on as they look for an equalising goal. Lacey plays the ball up to Hope Middleton on the right side takes the ball inside evading a challenge sends the ball in towards Wardle making a far post run, Budulyte has tracked her and does well prevent her reaching the ball. Kings Lynn make a change sending Turner back on up front with Wilson coming off at the back with 20 minutes of the game left the lead still 3-2.
A card is shown with Hope Middleton yellow carded for a push in the back. The free kick in the middle of the park comes to nothing the ball won by North Walsham played long up the left with Filby getting forwards for the visitors driving inside towards the box manages to squeeze a shot away flying past the advancing Vivas Artacho into the side netting taking a deflection on the way for a corner kick the ball cleared near post by Kings Lynn.
Sarchet gets hold of the ball after coming out the better from a full on 50/50 challenge taking the ball on through the middle passes the ball on for Turner making a run into the box Fulbrook comes racing off her line to close her down Turner gets the ball past her but also wide of the goal beyond. It’s mid-December the light is beginning to fade quickly the sun falling below the horizon with 10 minutes of the game left to play. Luci Middleton is left a little dizzy on the floor as she gets a heavy touch on the ball trying to head it away.
Yarham picks up the ball in the middle plays it into Hope Middleton all of 30 yards out flicks the ball up and hits it on the turn bouncing in the box drifting away from goal Viva Artacho gathers. Launches it up field helped on one touch runs forwards into Turner breaking through the middle meeting it top of the box spins and pulls her shot away from goal. 5 minutes of the game left, Luci Middleton has dropped into the defence for North Walsham in the latter stages takes another knock as she and Woods challenge for the ball a painful blow to the jaw on landing.
GOAL! Into the latter stages of the game and with the play stretched North Walsham taking a few risks going forwards Kings Lynn having ridden out the pressure restore their 2 goal cushion. Counter attacking the ball played out to the right Imanalijeva and Russell link up before the ball is crossed into the box Turner making the run near side latching onto the ball and sending it across the keeper into the bottom corner 4-2.
Into injury time and possession is with Kings Lynn Russell holds the ball up on the left side off a throw in before turning and lifting it over the top into the box for Shelley Woods her strike is straight at Fulbrook who gets her gloves around the ball. Kings Lynn with a free-kick wide on the right inside the North Walsham half Jones plays the ball long into the box both Russell then Turner in front of her can’t get a touch to turn it home the flag up however as Turner strays offside. Doesn’t matter however as the final whistle blows at Kings Lynn Town Ladies win the 3 points.
Full time Kings Lynn Town Ladies 4-2 North Walsham Angels Ladies
A good result for Kings Lynn Town Ladies moving level on points with North Walsham with 18, have 2 matches in hand. Both 3 points of leaders Thorpe United Ladies. A strong 1st half display, dealt with North Walsham well as they pressed 2nd half after what was a difficult 1st half. Not the best game you’ll see by any stretch and it’s a pity as both sides can play better, got under each others skins today. A learning curve. Both Kings Lynn Town Ladies and North Walsham Angels Ladies are a rising force in Women’s football in Norfolk and ending 2016 well can only get better in 2017.
My thanks to both clubs for their help with the teams always appreciated, see you in the New Year.