Wednesday 30th August
My 1st midweek game of the season a trip down into Essex to watch a game another game from the ERWFL this time in the new Division One South and the opening fixture for both sides as Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies host Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies.
With 5 new sides joining the ERWFL this season Division One once again is split into 2 leagues a North and a South. The South containing 7 sides has only seen the one game played to date with newcomers Bishops Stortford Ladies leading the way with a 3-0 win away to Hertford Town Ladies on Sunday. The V Festival and player unavailability delaying the start of the season.
Two sides beginning their season tonight under the lights an 8pm kick-off. A new home for Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies this season playing at Bowers & Pitsea FC. Will be hoping for a better finish this time around having finished in 10th place in the single 11 strong Division One last season albeit on goal difference with 2 points separating the sides from 7th to 10th. Retain much of last seasons squad a young side. Charlotte Stephens joining after a spell studying abroad in America. Ebony Moore returning to the club after being with Hutton Ladies last season.
One of the few sides I haven’t seen play in the ERWFL to date, Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies struggled last season finishing bottom of the table. Much change at the club then with their previous manager Reece Buck leaving to take on a coaching role at FAWPL side Stevenage Ladies taking a good number of experienced 1st team regulars with him. Meant new joint managers Matthew Norton and Fraser Wood fielding a lot of younger players a steep learning curve results didn’t come but by all accounts the side improved strongly as the season grew. Have new signings ahead of the season with both Kristina O’Connell and Leah Dunnage returning from Stevenage. Chloe Makepeace and Sian Owens making their debuts tonight.
Bowers & Pitsea FC, Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies new home this season the non-league club investing in their pitch over the summer improving drainage and reseeding the grass it looks in great condition soft underfoot is a very large and wide pitch. A small covered seated stand on one side with covered standing behind one goal. Outside the pitch a large clubhouse and function room a wedding party in full swing. Car parking and plans in place to continue the improvements. A wet and miserable day the steady rain starting to die away remained dull and over cast however the pitch wasn’t affected at all.
Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies starting XI – Atlanta Fuwa, Courtney Fraser, Elysia King, Taylor Parrish, Taylor Adcock, Abbie Simmonds (C) Sydney Killick, Eloise Ives, Natalie Strange, Ebony Moore & Georgia Fraser. Subs – Danielle Styles, Kerri Thomas, Rhianne Holmes & Sophie Dowman.
Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies starting XI – Shannon Daly, Katie Kendle, Leah Dunnage, Charley Handley, Faye Holder, Chloe Makepeace, Robyn Jones, Kristina O’Connell, Charlotte Grogan, Sian Owens & Natasha Crick (C). Subs – Megan Davies, Stephanie Iaonnou, Summer Muir, Rachel Daltrey & Courtney Smart.
(Roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s Hoddesdon to get the game underway kicking off 1st half are wearing their regular colours red and navy vertical striped shirts, with navy shorts and socks. Little Thurrock wearing orange shirts with black across the chest and sleeves, black shorts and socks. Hoddesdon attack straight from the off Kristina O’Connell in the centre passing to fellow midfielder Robyn Jones she sends the ball forwards for captain and striker Natasha Crick to go after, a touch but closed down by Little Thurrock’s Taylor Adcock the ball is won outside the box. A rapid counter attack the ball with right back Elle King taking it forwards has her captain Abbie Simmonds making a determined run forwards into the box King rolls the ball into her path taking it to the byline she cuts the cross back across the six yard box racing across the face of goal no one coming in far post to turn home.
GOAL! 3 minutes on the clock and Little Thurrock take an early lead the tempo high at the start the full width of the pitch being exploited by both sides Little Thurrock pressing the ball Hoddesdon can’t get it away won back inside their half the home side’s attackers look to turn in behind the through ball picks out Georgia Fraser left side in the box strikes the ball in low and hard towards the near post beats goalkeeper Shannon Daly over the line for 1-0.
End to end at the start both sides expanding alot of energy early on keen to get the competitve action started at last. Little Thurrock attacker Ebony Moore is presented with a shooting opportunity as Daly’s goalkick comes straight to her 30 yards out from goal pushing the ball forwards looks to open up her body curl her shot around the keeper from 25 yards out sends her effort wide of goal. Georgia Fraser getting possession of the ball 25 yards out left of goal carries it into the area in a similar position to where she scored has another go this time Daly going to ground is right behind the strike makes the save.
Hoddesdon get players forwards pressuring the Little Thurrock midfield inside their half Chloe Makepeace wins the ball knocking it inside for Charlotte Grogan in space centrally 35 yards out lines up a shot lacks the pace to trouble Fuwa in the Little Thurrock goal. Little Thurrock are prepared to push more players on when they have the ball their defence coming to the half way line they keep Hoddesdon penned back enjoying more of the ball doubling up on the right Georgia Fraser on the ball in the corner sends a cross back towards the top of the area, Moore’s there good control back to goal lays it off for the advancing Sydney Killick she takes on the shot puts the ball over the crossbar.
Charley Handley moves out of centre back to deal with the threat posed by Natalie Strange on the right for Little Thurrock the defender sliding in to tackle preventing the attacker getting a run into the box. Little Thurrock keep up the pressure in the final 3rd winning a corner kick on the right. King to take the set piece a good delivery long towards the far post Georgia Fraser up to head the ball knocking it down bounces wide.
Hoddesdon come forwards Jones knocking the ball on for Sian Owens attacking on the left wing making ground has support from Crick outside the box 25 yards out receives the pass plays in on for O’Connell who in turn plays it back to Grogan, twisting and turning the no 10 comes on before rolling the ball into Owens moving into position outside the D, she strikes the ball goalwards, Fuwa is behind it all the way claims comfortably.
Handley reacts quickly getting across to tackle Strange once again on the right as Georgia Fraser skillfully flicks on King’s 25 yard pass. Coming on again down the right a Little Thurrock win a free-kick outside the Hoddesdon box, players come forwards from the back as King sets the ball. The delivery towards the far post falls to the ground, Adcock is there for Little Thurrock 8 yards out latches onto the ball puts it wide across the goal. Up front on her own Crick is constantly looking to peel off the last defender get in behind whenever Hoddesdon mount an attack, does so as O’Connell threads the pass along the ground into her path moving right into the area pulls the trigger puts her shot straight into the keepers gloves.
A change for Little Thurrock with Danielle Styles entering the game midway through the 1st half. Little Thurrock are having more of the attack win a corner right another well delivered ball from King drops into the six yard box central Georgia Fraser lunges out to connect with the ball scoops it up over the crossbar. A change for Hoddesdon with Stephanie Iaonnou coming on for Jones. Iaonnou links up with Owens on the left side as Hoddesdon attack the pass inside for Makepeace she tries to feed Crick the ball as the striker enters the box from the right she is quickly closed down and crowded off the ball by 3 Little Thurrock defenders.
GOAL! Little Thurrock have had the better chances 1st half but with 40 minutes played Hoddesdon get themselves back on level terms. O’Connell with a great run on the ball driving through the centre plays it on for Crick making a run left to get into the box in behind, can she reach the ball before the keeper, Fuwa goes to ground, Crick gets a toe on the ball knocks it past her goes after it the angle going away from her gets the shot in with defenders rushing back the ball turned towards goal finds its way into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
The game restarts with Styles and Strange switching sides, Styles right now plays the ball on for Moore through the middle a race for the ball with Handley the central defender sticking out a leg to take the ball away from the Little Thurrock attacker. Daly with a good claim under pressure from Moore minutes later as Styles whips a high diagonal ball into the area.
GOAL! A goal out of nothing sees Little Thurrock restore their lead in the closing minute of the 1st half the ball is kicked out of the box by Daly into midfield won by Little Thurrock the pass picking out Styles on the right in space a long way out but aware the goalkeeper is out of position strikes the ball high towards goal on target backpedalling Daly can’t reach it as it flies over her and bounces into the goal 2-1.
Styles causing Hoddesdon a few problems since coming on. On the left side Strange puts the cross into the box Iaonnou inside the six yard box blocks a shot the ball rebounding out towards Abbie Simmonds 25 yards out central the Little Thurrock captain goes for goal the ball fired back in over the bar. Into stoppage time in the 1st half Little Thurrock are finishing strongly Simmonds bringing the ball on puts it into Styles ahead of her King seeing space to run into goes beyond her receiving the pass fires a cross into the area players from both sides attack the ball Handley winning it initially isn’t clear on the floor Little Thurrock’s Moore gets a shot away, Daly making the save at pointblank range the ball going away for a corner kick. Dealt with.
Half-time Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies 2-1 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies
A narrow lead for Little Thurrock at the break taking an early lead and creating further chances to extend their lead Hoddesdon have defended stoutly their defence kept busy. Both sides enjoying the space the pitch offers have put alot into the 1st half may tell 2nd half as legs tire. Hoddesdon with fewer chances and these shots from outside the box. Crick offering a threat up top with O’Connell making some useful runs in the middle getting it back to 1-1 only to concede soon after.
With roll on roll off substitutes in play and the dugouts being on the opposite side of the pitch to where I’m watching a good distance hard to keep track of all the comings and goings. 2 changes for Little Thurrock as they kick-off the 2nd half Moore and Killick are off with Kerri Thomas and Sophie Dowman on. Hoddesdon win possession Grogan playing the ball long for Crick the ball bouncing over Parrish, Fuwa is quickly out to jump and claim the ball before the striker can capitalise. Both sides counter attack, Hoddesdon with Crick after the ball Parrish clears, then up the other end Handley dives in to make a challenge gets hurt and the trainer is immediately called for. A lengthy pause in play however Handley somewhat gingerly is back to her feet and going off the field is soon allowed back on.
Courtney Fraser is called into action at the back for Little Thurrock as Hoddesdon’s O’Connell makes a run with the ball centrally plays the pass on into the box with Grogan the furthest forwards the full back coming across on the cover to put the challenge in win the ball.
GOAL! Little Thurrock like they did in the 1st half score early to open up a 2 goal cushion. Georgia Fraser on the ball left side into the Hoddesdon half moves infield rolls it a across for Thomas, Styles is on the move right side looking for the ball to be passed into her run inside the area Thomas obliges Styles takes it on right of goal a tight angle drills a shot in near post Daly drops to make the save the ball squirms away from her and into the back of the net beyond 3-1.
Hoddesdon win their 1st corner of the game 10 minutes into the 2nd half the delivery inviting just over the head of Handley jumping in the centre of the six yard box. Simmonds heads the ball out towards the top of the area a shot is taken the ball sent wide of goal. Katie Kendle gets across to tackle Dowman as Georgia Fraser looks to send her clear on the left wing. Fraser comes off then with Eloise Ives rejoining the action. The energy levels remain high space is opening up here and their Hoddesdon break up a Little Thurrock attack Holder on for Kendle bringing it on right has Grogan ahead of her she turns with the ball and releases O’Connell grass in front of her tries an ambitious cross towards the far post with Crick trying to get on the end of it throws herself at the dropping ball but doesn’t connect.
Megan Davies is on for Hoddesdon in at left back Dunnage more central. Simmonds is off for Little Thurrock, Killick back on. The ball is moving up and down the pitch Adcock clears as Crick looks to chase a ball played through from Grogan. Dowman through the middle for Little Thurrock looks to attack the box looking to plough her way through Dunnage and Handley converge to close the door in front of her. Dowman isn’t put off though and with the ball at her feet again right of the D lets fly from 20 yards coming in fast and skipping off the surface Daly makes a great save knocking the ball up and over the ball as she falls forwards.
Handley clears the corner from the right at the near post. Summer Muir is sent into the game for Hoddesdon replacing Grogan moving into a central striking position Crick moving left. Kendle too is taken off with Rachel Daltrey taking up the right back position. Styles on the run with the ball for Little Thurrock right side sends the pass on for Dowman inside the box she turns and shoots Daly saving with the block a close range neither aware the offside flag was up against Dowman. Georgia Fraser comes back on for Little Thurrock.
Daltrey clears the ball off the goal line for Hoddesdon as a cross is whipped in from the right, Daly can only get her fingertips to the ball not enough to stop it flying goalwards the defender back on the cover. Play is stretched late on Jones returns to the field in place of Iaonnou for Hoddesdon.
GOAL! Little Thurrock strengthen their grip on their 1st 3 point haul of the season as they score a 4th goal. The build up right side a high ball in towards the near side of goal Daly parries the ball away the clearance played out falls straight to Georgia Fraser time to pick her spot takes on the shot sending the ball high into the far top corner of the net Daly unable to get back across her goal in time 4-1.
Changes thick and fast now for Little Thurrock Rhianne Holmes introduced with Moore also back on. Holmes at right back for Little Thurrock clearing an O’Connell cross flashed across the face of goal as Muir rolls her in inside the box. Not long left now Muir has given Hoddesdon’s attack a little more impetus late on Crick and O’Connell pushed on Little Thurrock with a 3 goal cushion dropping off a little.
GOAL! Possession with Hoddesdon outside the Little Thurrock area on the left side Muir linking up with Crick 30 yards out takes on the shot is a great strike flying across Fuwa’s six yard box the keeper turning to see the ball land in the back of the net as Crick becomes the 3rd player of the night to complete a brace 4-2.
One final attack with Little Thurrock and they almost steal in to score a 5th goal the ball sent long up into the area the bounce deceiving the keeper skipping up over her looks to be going on to creep inside the far post Dowman after it, so too is the Hoddesdon defence the ball hooked off the goal line once again.
Full time Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies 4-2 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies
Little Thurrock win the game 4-2 to begin their season with a win the 3 points putting them straight into 2nd behind Bishops Stortford on goal difference. A winning start at their new home played well for the win an early goal setting them on their way. Creating chances have plenty of attack minded players. Hoddesdon getting back into the game only to concede again. The visitors with fewer chances did well but were always on the back foot after conceding early goals in both halves 4-2 a fair reflection of the game and despite the the loss Hoddesdon should be encouraged by the performance, both the North & South Division One’s in the ERWFL will be competitve this season.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Tonight’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match goes to Little Thurrock Dynamos, Georgia Fraser. Good movement on and off the ball, timing her runs into the box and always available for the ball with two well taken goals.
A two hour trip home hence a later than normal match report but good to be on the road again. An enjoyable game under the floodlights tonight. My thanks to both teams for their help with the team line-ups.