A huge game this Sunday in the ERWFL Premier Division a final day title showdown with the top 2 meeting in their last fixture a point between them as 2nd placed Haringey Borough Women host Acle United Ladies.
For both the ERWFL (Eastern Region Women’s Football League) Premier Division title would see them promoted to the FAWPL for the 1st time. The scenario for a final day title decider has been on the cards for a few weeks and followers of my other women’s football venture Women’s Football East will have read the possibilities on the weekly Round-Up’s. As it took shape the scenario said if either side were to win all of their remaining matches then they would be crowned champions.
Haringey Borough Women have been in the top two in the Premier Division, along side Bedford Ladies the two sides got off to a flyer, Haringey winning their 1st 4 opening league games, Bedford went 8 unbeaten winning 7 before Haringey ended that run. Since then the pair have shared the lead at the top of the table. When Bedford played out their fixtures ending top on 40 points, Haringey knew they could catch them with 2 games left back on 37 points winning against Histon Ladies last weekend took them top on goal difference.
An established side in the ERWFL, Steve Browne took on the ladies side bringing in several new faces to rejuvenate the side, very sadly he passed away over the New Year losing his battle with cancer. The team he had left behind in very good shape vowing to go and win the league for their former manager. Only met Steve Brown once back in 2015 when I saw Haringey play for the 1st time away to Brentwood Town Ladies. Was only too happy to help me out asking about his side, he told me they were young but full of talent once they settled as a team would do well in the league. As well as a potential league title it may yet be a double having also reached the final of the League Cup where they will face Division One Champions, Cambridge City Ladies.
A remarkable run from Norfolk side, Acle United Ladies at the end of the season as low as 8th place just 6 weeks ago! A good start to the season were right behind the leading pair of Bedford and Haringey, falling victim to a few postponements along with cup matches were getting behind in their league games falling down the Premier Division table as a result, in 8th place that was when as other games were played the potential title decider was on the cards.
A big day for both sides. No doubt alot of excitement mixed up with alot of nerves… and that’s just me!
Easy on paper have to deliver on the pitch more often than not the side with games in hand on the leaders slips up, easy to have your eyes on the game at the end of the road drop points as a result before hand. Acle United didn’t however each game won seeing them climb up the table moving into 2nd at the weekend 2 points behind Haringey, a midweek 3-1 away to Histon Ladies saw them lead the Premier Division table for the 1st time this season and Acle wanted to stay there.
The venue for today’s game Coles Park home to both Haringey Borough FC aswell as the women’s side. North London parking was at a premium outside the ground the carpark inside home to a bustling market. Doesn’t clear until 2pm. Risked parking in a permit holders area but told wardens were on patrol I returned to retrieve the car quicker than the traffic warden I spotted about to cross the road. Was allowed into the ground, the market traders only to helpful to assist me find a space. Their is a clubhouse with bar and refreshment booth situated beside the stadium itself. The changing rooms under the large mainstand offered covered seating with a good view over the pitch a good sized artificial surface recently put in. A nice sunny day a few clouds but the suncream was applied with the coat left in the boot of the car.
Haringey Borough Women starting XI – Cherkish Young, Brooke Hills, Shaydean Gorman, Roisin Cormack (C), Robyn Reardon, Shernelle Francois, Morgan Lundberg, Anele Komani, Shanice Nourrice, Klesha Darroux & Julia Carruthers
subs – Roxanne Eshun, Stephanie Cooper, Karen Nicholls & Karla Parker
Acle United Ladies starting XI – Jody Wells, Anna Larkins, Luka Goodfield, Leah McGuire, Chloe Shields, Kate Pasque, Amber Rowland, Broghan Scully, Alice Ladbrooke, Meagan Todd & Rebecca Burton (C).
subs – Jade Copeman, Bryony Knights & Lauren Bullard.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
A blow for Acle on the eve of the biggest game in the clubs history with Joanne Hooper, player coach, playing anywhere she’s needed most recently in goal damaging her MCL on crutches. Jody Wells normally a striker donning the gloves to today’s match. It’s the home side Haringey to kick-off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue trim and blue shorts. Acle lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts with black and white hooped socks.
Acle press Haringey on the ball right from kick-off the ball closed down and won by Broghan Scully on the right side pushes on with it before playing a diagonal ball up towards the top of the area with Megan Todd making the forward run, Haringey captain, Roisin Cormack gets across the attacker puts the ball out for a throw-in on the right. From the throw level with the top of the area Scully brings the ball inside again her target is Todd inside the box rolls the ball into her striking it first time sends the ball up over the crossbar.
A strong start from the visitors win a free-kick in the Haringey half as Kate Pasque is brought down as she makes a powerful run through the middle of the park. Right back Anna Larkins over the ball a couple of yards in front of the centre circle looks to send a shot in towards goal her flighted ball dipping late but doesn’t trouble Haringey goalkeeper, Cherkish Young as it flies over her crossbar.
|Kate Pasque takes the ball forwards for Acle United Ladies
Haringey have a potent attack with strikers, Klesha Darroux and Julia Carruthers scoring 19 goals each so far this season. Darroux moves out into the left channel to receive the ball bursting forwards, Larkins gets back on her sliding in to put the ball out for a throw. Taken quickly played into Carruthers she looks to get into the box knocking the ball past Leah McGuire as she goes into challenge can’t catch up with the ball before it runs out of play.
Bringing the ball forwards Acle have captain Rebecca Burton available on the left side in space 25 yards out receiving the ball she is caught with a late challenge as she releases the ball, the referee plays the advantage as Todd latches onto the ball drives into the box, cuts it back towards the top of the area, doesn’t quite reach Alice Ladbrooke having made a good run as Haringey’s Robyn Reardon throws out a leg to intercept the ball and knock it out of her path. Burton feeling the challenge is up back on her feet after treatment.
Returns to the field left side just a Scully picks up the ball on halfway pushing infield passes the ball into Burton who lays it into the box for Todd making a central to left run, Young reacts smartly getting forwards to claim the ball before it can be knocked past her. Is a physical battle Haringey committing a few fouls early on giving away free-kicks. A frustrating start for the home side passes not finding their targets Acle benefiting.
GOAL! Acle capitalise upon their good start to the game scoring the opening goal in the 15th minute. The build up on the right side pressuring the ball winning it back played on by Scully, Todd moving into the box that side gets to the ball first sending it across the advancing Young into the back of the net 0-1.
|Megan Todd opens the scoring for Acle United Ladies
GOAL! The lead is short-lived however as Haringey find an immediate response looking to get the ball forwards from the restart Shanice Nourrice played in on the right is fouled 30 yards out by Pasque. Brooke Hills comes forwards from the back to take the free-kick sends a high ball in towards goal, coming in near post on target a difficult on for Wells goes to palm it over, slips through her gloves and despite a desperate lunge can’t keep it out 1-1.
|Defender Brooke Hills scores from a free-kick to make it
1-1 an immediate response for Haringey
The physical contest continues strong challenges coming in keeping the referee busy, so far letting things go. Acle press Ladbrooke 30 yards out latches onto a defensive clearance hits the ball on the half volley, Young quickly across to her left post can see the shot bounce wide. Nourrice on the attack with the ball on the right for Haringey, plays the diagonal pass forwards into Komani, collides with the onrushing Wells at the top of the box, the ball rolling into the net beyond, doesn’t stand however as the striker had moved too soon flagged offside a blow to the back for Wells needs treatment before she can continue.
Ready to take the resulting free-kick for the offside Wells’ ball find Burton on the move up top 25 yards out looks to drive forwards, Hills gets back on her just as she is about to pull the trigger the ball out for a throw deep on the left. Luka Goodfield comes forwards to take gets the ball given back to her going to the byline whips a high cross into the six yard box the ball is plucked down safely by Young.
Hills sends the ball into the path of Nourrice breaking down the right wing turning inside moving into the fires looks to fire the ball across the face of goal, McGuire cuts the cross out conceding the corner right side. A good delivery from the set-piece Wells does well in the middle of her six yard box gloving the ball away from a throw on the opposite side. Haringey make a change Shernelle Francois giving way for Roxanne Eshun.
Cormack is late with the challenge again bringing down Todd on the left as she is put in down the line by Burton giving away the free-kick outside the corner of the box it’s Burton to take sends it long towards the far post Todd is under the ball as she goes to jump, knocked back in by the defender beyond her however Pasque inside six yards out before the post gets her head on the ball nodding it down puts it straight into the goalkeepers gloves. Acle have a player down on the far side, it’s Scully looks in a lot of pain after a challenge can’t continue is replaced by Bryony Knights who joins Todd in attack up front.
Darroux seeing the ball across her body 25 yard out skips in behind evading Shields tackle as she enters the box left of goal gets a shot away as the angle closes against her a good glove on the ball from Wells diving to her right to save the ball behind for the corner kick. Haringey finish the 1st half strongly, Anele Komani getting the ball out to Gorman on the right a handball spotted by the referee gives the home side a free-kick as the winger looks to play the ball inside. Hills to put the ball into the area Pasque heads clear for Acle. Keeping the ball in the final 3rd moving it right a deflection sees Carruthers in behind into the area on the right Wells comes rushing towards her blocks the strikers shot.
GOAL! Haringey push players forwards Carruthers on the ball right side is fouled by McGuire, the referee plays the advantage as Gorman has the ball goes on into the area the shot fired across goal goes long retrieved by Darroux on the opposite side she carries it towards the top of the area before turning back around and firing the ball back across goal into the bottom corner 2-1 to give Haringey the lead inside the final 5 minute of the 1st half.
Haringey end the 1st half with a free-kick just outside the box on the right, Darroux to play the ball into the six yard box Wells makes the save getting her gloves on the ball palming it down then claims it as it is headed back towards her.
Half-time Haringey Borough Women 2-1 Acle United Ladies
A strong start from Acle saw them take the lead, Haringey finding an immediate response to level. Has been an open game a physical contest, and although both sides have tried using the width there’s been so much energy put into closing players down it has looked small at times. A narrow advantage to Haringey scoring late in the 1st half the game remains delicately balanced.
Acle to get the 2nd half started. Haringey have Francois back on in place of Lundberg. Burton plays the ball on for Todd drifting over to the right is fouled trying to knock the ball in behind. From the wide position Burton puts the ball long towards the far post area, it’s Reardon who gets her head on the ball to clear for Haringey.
Francois brings the ball forwards for Haringey through the middle before playing it up towards Darroux inside the box left of goal controls the ball well turning in behind with the keeper coming to meet her tries to lob her gets the ball over her, her effort dropping wide into the side netting. Larkins winning the ball inside the Haringey half on the right drives forwards squared the ball into the box Todd central, Cormack gets across her to win the ball.
|Haringey Borough Women’s captain, Roisin Cormack
Another opportunity for Larkins to skip in behind from a throw in on the right, puts a high ball into the box this time, Cormack is there once more to head the ball away, Haringey look to counter, Pasque breaks the attack up. A high temp start to the 2nd half both sides wanting the next goal. Haringey break forwards, Komani into Carruthers goes on through the middle, Darroux moving right into the box, Carruthers picks her out taking on the shot, Darroux’s strike whistles over the crossbar.
|Anele Komani on the ball for Haringey Borough
Komani is making so good runs with the ball in the 2nd half bringing the ball on committing players. Driving on looks to power her way into the area is brought down just outside left of the D. Steps up to take the resulting free-kick, gets her strike past the wall isn’t too far away as it flashes wide of the near post. Acle make a change Knights coming off for Lauren Bullard. Komani breaking forwards with the ball makes a run across the top of the Acle area looking for room to turn inside and take a shot, Pasque gets back on her to win the ball knocking it towards Larkins who sends it clear.
Burton holds the ball up well shielding it 20 yards from goal turns inside finding a yard of room to strike the ball her low drive skipping off the surface is gathered cleanly by Young. Both sides are putting alot of energy into the game. Good defending from McGuire inside the box as Carruthers gets hold of the ball on the left fires her cross into the middle looking to pick out Darroux, the Acle defending getting in front of her to win the ball. Carruthers attacking with the ball right side lets fly from outside the box puts her effort into the side netting.
|Haringey’s Klesha Darroux with Acle’s Anna Larkins
Pasque wins the ball for Acle rolls it on for Rowland ahead of her tries to lift it over the top of the Haringey defence with Burton getting in behind, Young coming towards the ball can claim it first. Larkins pushing on more 2nd half as Acle look to equalise sends a ball into the area, Todd goes up for it with Cormack the defender putting the ball out for a corner on the left.
The game moves into the least 20 minutes Haringey still with the narrow 2-1 advantage. Coming forwards for Haringey Hills wins her side a corner kick. The inswinging ball drops over Wells falling into the six yard box beyond is cleared by the Acle defence, Carruthers latches onto it 20 yards out blasts the ball back in is blocked runs back to Francois, she shoots the ball through everyone on target, Wells has started to go to her right adjusts fantastically to get her foot on the ball to save, knocking the ball wide Larkins sends it up field.
GOAL! Penalty! Komani with a strong run on the ball going down the left turns inside to get into the area is fouled by McGuire, brought down the referee pointing to the spot. Down after the challenge with a little cramp, it’s Komani herself who is to take the spot kick. Runs up strikes the ball straight down the middle, Wells gets everything behind the ball makes the save pushing the ball back out Komani is quickest to react hitting the ball hard past the grounded Wells to make it 3-1
|Wells saves Anele Komani’s initial strike but is unable to stop the followup going in
A hammer blow for Acle as the game moves into the last 10 minutes, make a change Scully back on replacing Burton. Todd is clattered on the right, Larkins over the free-kick from a wide position looks to float it into the box near post for runners to attack, too close to Young the goalkeeper claims without challenge. Larkins finds herself the furthest forwards as Ladbrooke gets the ball up into the box the Acle full back getting in between Reardon and the advancing Young as they look to deal with the ball, gets a touch deflecting the ball wide, Bullard is their the ball just won’t fall for her to get a shot away before being closed down by Hills.
From a throw in from a deep position on the right, Larkins works the ball inside lifts a cross in towards the near post Todd gets up for the header places the ball wide of target. Eshun comes of for Lundberg late on for Haringey. Acle needing 2 goals in the last 8 minutes push forwards risk leaving space in behind. Todd fires a low cross in along the top of the area, Ladbrooke meets it first time her strike taking a deflection on it’s way through to the goalkeeper. Pasque has a go from 25 yards out drives her shot wide across the goal.
Bullard gets possession plays the ball out to Larkins on the move down the right cuts the ball back along the six yard box, Todd rushing in far post throws herself at the ball can’t connect. Komani on for Francois on the left going forwards plays the ball on for Carruthers, heading for the box, Wells comes sliding out to meet her, the striker getting the ball beyond the goalkeeper cuts it back towards the top of the box trying to pick out Darroux, Goodfield closes her down wins the tackle.
Acle get the ball up into Todd, driving on through the middle, Gorman gets across to challenge her as she enters the box. Eshun returns to the action in the closing stages for Francois. Komani still has pace to burn as the game moves into the final minute getting down the left plays it on for Darroux inside the box, Wells comes sliding in does enough to put the striker off as she knocks the ball forwards but can’t catch it before it runs out of play.
GOAL! The game is sealed in injury time, Wells’ goal kick falling sort goes straight to Eshun 25 yards out in a central area moves the ball to her right and with the keeper out of position places it into the back of the empty net. 4-1.
A hammer blow for Acle they send everyone forwards nevertheless, Haringey defend, Cormack bringing the ball out plays it long for Carruthers arriving at the top of the box strikes the ball her powerful shot smashing against the crossbar, the last action of the match as Haringey celebrate at the final whistle. League Champions.
Full time Haringey Borough Women 4-1 Acle United Ladies
Haringey Borough Women celebrate winning 4-1 to win the ERWFL Premier Division title coming out on top in a physical contest, played with plenty of energy a nervous start however going 1 nil down as Acle dominated the early exchanges. Pulled the scores back straight away before taking the lead themselves late in the 1st half. 2nd half Komani made alot of difference to the home sides her runs on the ball causing Acle problems as they pushed on looking to find a levelling goal conceding a penalty the late goal a making the scoreline a little harsh. Runner-up in the finish Acle United Ladies can be proud of the season they have had a great run to end the season and a highest ever league place finish.
Haringey in the top 2 all season clinch the title and promotion to the FAWPL a fantastic achievement with a cup final to come.
SWF Blog – Player of the Match
Today’s SWF Blog – Player of the Match award goes to Haringey’s Anele Komani a great midfield performance, especially in the 2nd half driving forwards on the ball looking to take on players, winning the penalty and scoring to give Haringey a valuable 2 goal cushion in the latter stages of the game.
|Haringey Borough Women, 2016/17 ERWFL Premier Division Champions
Congratulations to Haringey Borough Women on becoming ERWFL Premier Division Champions.
My thanks to both clubs for all their help today have watched some great football in the ERWFL this season, a couple of cup finals left to come.