Thursday 29th March
Brentwood Town Ladies v C&K Basildon Ladies
Aveley FC the venue this evening for the final of the BBC Essex Women’s County Cup between Brentwood Town Ladies and the current holders C&K Basildon Ladies.
Winners of the Essex Women’s County Cup for the past 3 successive season’s 4 wins over all C&K Basildon Ladies are aiming for a record equalling 5th win in the competition formed back the 1994/95 season. C&K Basildon’s opponents for this evening’s final are Brentwood Town Ladies from the ERWFL Premier Division making their 1st ever County Cup Final appearance.
Last season fellow ERWFL Premier Division side, Billericay Town Ladies took C&K Basildon Ladies all the way to extra-time before the FAWPL Southern Division side went on to win their 3rd County Cup in a row. The will be an incentive to Brentwood Town Ladies as they face a tough test against a side in good form playing 2 leagues higher. Currently 6th in the ERWFL Premier Division, Brentwood Town Ladies form has varied this season a poor run earlier in the season seeing them slip down the standings. A change in the management team saw Paul Prosser taking over at 1st team manager. A run of good results has followed including their County Cup success’s. Have also formed a new Reserves side this season competing in Essex Women’s Division One, after a slow start the side is now in a rich vein of form in third position right amongst the title challengers.
C&K Basildon Ladies have improved year on year as, promoted to the FAWPL Southern Division, have not only consolidated their status at that level but progressed up the table reaching the top of the league itself earlier in the season to date their highest league position in the women’s football pyramid. Currently 2nd in the table a point behind leaders Crystal Palace Ladies and have two games in hand. They too have a Reserves side their Development team currently 3rd in the FAWPL Reserve Southern Division.
Road to the Final
Both sides were given a bye in the Essex Women’s County Cup to the quarter final stage along with Billericay Town Ladies, Writtle Ladies and Colchester Town Ladies all from the ERWFL Premier Division. A tough tie for Brentwood Town Ladies in the quarter final draw away to local rivals Billericay Town Ladies a bit of competition always guaranteed between the sides it was Brentwood Town Ladies who were celebrating after the final whistle reaching the semi-finals with a 2-0 win. C&K Basildon Ladies were handed a home tie against Colchester Town Ladies and progressed without kicking a ball as the ERWFL side had unfortunately folded earlier in the season.
Into the semi-finals and Brentwood Town Ladies were at home this time up against fellow ERWFL Premier Division side Writtle Ladies this tie going all the way. The sides drawing 2-2 after 90 minutes and beyond the tie headed into a penalty shootout Brentwood Town Ladies emerging 4-2 winners to reach their 1st ever County Cup Final. C&K Basildon Ladies were also at home in the semi-finals and were at last kicking a ball in the competition hosting Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies from ERWFL Division One South who had come all the way through from the initial Preliminary Round. C&K Basildon Ladies finishing the game the stronger running out 9-0 winners to reach their 4th successive final.
A new venue for this evenings Essex Women’s County Cup Final, Aveley FC’s brand new stadium. An impressive looking modern main building housing the changing rooms, a very large clubhouse and bar along with fully equipped kitchen. Seating in front of the main building with a balcony inside the clubhouse/bar over looking the pitch too. A smaller seated stand opposite the pitch an all-weather 3G surface another 1st for the Essex Women’s County Cup Final. A wet journey down from Norfolk, thankfully the rain had stopped by the time I arrived at the ground, plenty of parking outside. Overcast by thankfully any rain would stay away for the match.
Brentwood Town Ladies starting XI – Kelly Walker, Amy Vernon, Emma Hooker, Nicole Manning, Chloe Wilkinson, Jess Mills, Danielle Butler (C), Drew Allen, Laura Wheeler, Georgia Holdaway & Marie Barker. Subs – Angela Arnold, Rachel Stittle, Ashley Debnam, Abigail Maynard & Zoe Hinton.
C&K Basildon Ladies starting XI – Nikita Runnacles, Laken Duchar-Clark, Ellie Manning, Hayley West, Danica Revell, Kerry -Anne Stimson, April Bowers, Zoe Rushen (C), Angela Addison, Jay Blackie & Therese Addison. Subs – Jamie-Lee Bamford, Tilly Deacon, Amy Nash & Karissa Rodney.
It’s Basildon to kick off the final 1st half wearing and all red kit with Brentwood lined up opposite wearing navvy shirts and shorts with blue socks. The ball played out long to the left Angela Addison immediately on the move down that flank, along with her twin sister Therese operating down the right side in attack the pair have been a revelation since breaking into the 1st team earlier in the season. Plenty of pace Angela Addison sees her ball knocked on in to the area intercepted the rebound coming straight to Basildon captain Zoe Rushen 20 yards out shoots over from a central position.
Rushen comes forwards again in support of Therese Addison on the right getting past her inside the right channel into the area her low crossed squared across the six yard box, goalkeeper Kelly Walker diving onto the ball for Brentwood. Coming forwards with the ball Laura Wheeler plays it forwards into Drew Allen on the left for Brentwood has help on the inside from Georgia Holdaway receiving the pass takes the ball on looking to get in behind the Basildon defence fouls Basildon’s Danica Revell in the process the free kick going against her.
The Addison sisters are lively attacking down the flanks for Basildon on either side breaking forwards have the Brentwood defence pinned back, Therese’s cross from the right swerving over the crossbar. A coming together between Brentwood at the back between Emma Hooker and Amy Vernon as the ball is played long from Basildon up to Therese Addison sees the attacking running in clear behind, the ball skipping off the 3G surface Walker is able to advance towards the edge of her box and clear before the attacker can close her down.
Walker then produces a great save to deny Angela Addison scoring the opening goal as she breaks clear on the left side pushing on into the top of the area before firing in a fierce shot, angling in near post Walker beats the ball away sending it spinning away across the face of goal out for a corner kick. A good delivery from the corner coming in centrally Jay Blackie rising to meet it with her head 8 yards out on target is caught high by Walker in the Brentwood goal. A dominant start to the match from Basildon, Brentwood opportunities to attack are limited, Wheeler plays the ball over the top for Chloe Wilkinson in attack to try and chase down too much to do as the ball is gathered by goalkeeper Nikita Runnacles at the top of her area.
GOAL! 13 minutes on the clock and Basildon open the scoring a long range diagonal ball from midfield picking out Angela Addison breaking in behind the Brentwood defence coming into a central position controls the ball in the area 10 yards out before slotting a low shot past Walker to make it 0-1.
Basildon continue to press forwards a good ball from Blackie in the middle coming to receive the ball sends Therese Addison away on the right her cross going long across the six yard box. Blackie charges down Walker’s clearance as she comes out of her area to clear the ball the ball rebounding away to her right, no Basildon player is there to capitalise as Brentwood captain Danielle Butler gets back to hook the ball clear.
Ellie manning comes on from right back to help Therese Addison the ball played on for her the attacker taking on the Brentwood defence into the area lays the ball back towards April Bowers arriving at the top of the area opening up her body to shoot puts her effort wide across goal at the far post. Bowers is the furthest forwards again for Basildon moments later throwing herself at the ball crossed in towards the far post from the right can’t quiet connect with the ball inside the six yard box.
Brentwood are busy in defence, Nicole Manning making a vital interception inside the area, Marie Barker back to win the ball passes onto Wheeler she looks to get Holdaway forwards, Hayley West winning the tackle against her at the back for Basildon, a swift counter attack the ball into Kerry-Anne Stimson on for Angela Addison breaking down the left side a mazy run on the ball the Brentwood defence back pedalling, tries to set up her sister moving into a central position top of the area, Manning cutting the pass out.
The Addison sisters look to link up in attack once more both breaking away down either flank Therese putting the cross in earlier along the top of the box Angela with the knock on into the area Manning stays with her keeping her eye on the ball putting in the defensive block as the attacker goes to shoot the ball turned behind for the corner. An very good delivery from the corner on the left side an inswinging ball whipped in with pace Walker under pressure beating the ball away on her goal line before Basildon can pounce on the loose ball play is stopped with a Brentwood player down on the line.
A strong tackle by Wheeler on Blackie at the top of the area sees the Brentwood player win the ball after Ellie Manning gets forwards to cross into her from the right. Walker rushing out of her area slides into to win the ball from Angela Addison as the attacker bursts clear, does get the ball but takes Addison out too the referee awarding the free-kick. Rushen a dead ball specialist sends a shot from the angle in on goal Walker palming it up over her crossbar makes the save. The corner whipped in with pace towards the near post Angela Addison attempting the diving header can’t get anything on the ball as Brentwood scramble it clear.
Laken Duchar-Clark with the ball on the right on for Bowers played into Rushen her shot from distance held comfortably by the keeper. Brentwood with a rare attack Jess Mills with the ball into Wilkinson has support coming from Barker she passes the ball out to Drew Allen on the left side looking to come in field now way past Ellie Manning as the full back puts in the challenge to regain possession of the ball. A caution for Mills as she blocks Angela Addison on the left the ball into the area defended by Hooker. Therese Addison takes on Vernon down the right getting the better of the full back wrong footing her top of the area gets inside pulling the trigger drags her low shot wide across the face of goal. Bowers with the ball for Basildon 30 yards out central goes to shoot her effort charged down is enough to deflect the ball narrowly wide of the far post a corner awarded.
GOAL! Closing on in on the last five minutes of the 1st half Basildon double their lead another good delivery from the corner a high ball played into the crowded six yard box a Brentwood head on the ball knocks the ball away from goal dropping to the edge of the area. Angela Addison eyes must light up as the ball is presented straight to her she strikes it sending a thunderbolt through the crowd into the back of the net beyond 0-2.
Angela Addison pressing with the ball turns inside from the left into the area her cross along the six yards box Blackie letting the ball run across her turns and shoots Allen back in defence blocking the ball it spins behind for the corner. Playing in short towards the top of the area the shot is taken the ball striking to post, players from both sides scrambling to get to the ball Walker has gone down with a knock the referee stopping play so she can receive treatment.
4 minutes of stoppage time to be played Basildon ending the 1st half as strongly as they started it pushing forwards, a cross squared in low from the left Walker misses her low catch at the top of her six yard box plenty of players in the area the ball pin-balling around as Brentwood put in the blocks a shot from Therese Addison squeezes through Walker recovering well back on her feet on her line saves with her legs the ball deflected away.
Rushen getting into the area sees her shot charged down by Vernon deflected away for a corner kick. The delivery in from the right going long across the top of the six yard box Angela Addison up to head the ball, Brentwood have the far post covered the defending the ball clear a late chance for Brentwood to break the ball played long Wilkinson giving chase, Runnacles having not had much to do in the 1st half alert and out to the edge of her area to gather the ball into her gloves.
Half-time Brentwood Town Ladies 0-2 C&K Basildon Ladies
A 2-0 half-time lead for Basildon have dominated the 1st half in attack, Brentwood have been defending well kept busy at the back keeping the scoreline down. Walker making some fine saves too. Haven’t created much going forwards with no attempts at goal pushed back into their own areas for large spells getting players up in support of Wilkinson in attack hasn’t been easy, the Addison twins posing a real threat on either flank for Basildon with Blackie, Rushen and Bowers though the middle all capable of creating something from distance if given room on the ball. At 2-0 however the final is far from being settled.
A double change for Brentwood at the break, Mills and Wheeler off 20 and 3 on for Brentwood but without a final team-sheet to confirm which number belong to which player I can tell you no more. Brentwood to get the 2nd half underway I’ve come across to the opposite side to sit in the mainstand for the 2nd half the venue impressive under the floodlights. Basildon with the early attack regaining possession of the ball in the middle Rushen on for Angela Addison breaking in behind on the left the cross fired in centrally Walker coming out slides in well to save at Blackie’s feet.
GOAL! Ins’t long before Basildon extend their lead however as 3 minutes into the 2nd half Angela Addison completes her hat-trick. A lovely flighted long pass by Rushen up towards Addison inside the area left side great control the attacker turning inside her marker before driving her strike past the keeper into the back of the net 0-3.
Brentwood are more than prepared to have a go at Basildon themselves when they can get forwards Barker receiving the ball in the middle brings it on before playing it forwards for Wilkinson she turns and drives at the Basildon defence, Revell standing her ground puts in the tackle. Holdaway trying to get a little more advanced to support Wilkinson 2nd half chests the ball down well moving to the left plays the ball inside West intercepting for Basildon the pass sent long with Angela Addison breaking away down the left touching in on into the area shoots putting the ball wide across the face of goal.
Manning takes the ball on down the right for Basildon crossing the ball in low towards Therese Addison positioned near post 3 yards out closely marked her touch wrong-footing the Brentwood defender she gets a shot away Walker with the instinctive close range save beats the ball away. Basildon continue their dominance pushing players forwards, Barker back sliding in to stop Bowers setting up Blackie. Manning on down the right away her cross put in early into the area Walker keeps her eye on the ball catching cleanly as Bowers closes her down.
A shot at goal for Brentwood as the ball is played inside Wilkinson letting fly from 25 yards out her effort dragged wide doesn’t trouble Runnacles. Stimson has been the holding midfielder for Basildon a rare foray forwards she sees her shot from 25 yards out charged down. A corner on the right for Basildon whipped in near post defended well Brentwood try to break but the ball is lost. Therese Addison back to goal outside the box sees the ball into her body turns well moving inside onto to her right foot to shoot, Walker making another excellent save.
Brentwood get forwards the ball rolled out to Holdaway on the left her pass on for Allen she sends a squared cross into the area, Runnacles catching before Wilkinson can reach it. Walker is down injured looks painful as she stays down after colliding with Addison. Is a long pause in play as she receives treatment sadly cannot continue and has to come of Abigail Maynard the substitute goalkeeper onto the field. Play resumes Vernon with a fine tackle to stop Therese Addison on the right as she comes inside looking to take her on.
GOAL! Moving into the final 15 minutes Basildon extend their lead, Angela Addison the provider this time as she is put away clear on the left side plenty of pace she fires the ball into the middle of the area aiming for Blackie, who shows great composure to let the ball run across her opening up her body to turn the ball wide past the keeper and on into the bottom corner of the net for a 0-4 lead.
Brentwood go straight up the other end from the restart the game a little stretched showing a willingness to attack Runnacles has to make a save as the ball comes to Allen central 25 yards out has time to pull the trigger the ball arrowing in high on target Runnacles behind it tipping the shot up over her crossbar. The corner from the right going long and out at the far post. Brentwood come forwards Holdaway inside to Barker onto Wilkinson she tries to play Holdaway in behind on the left Manning stepping up to intercept the ball.
A difficult ball for Maynard to deal with up the other end the high ball flung into the box from the left the keeper doing well to pluck the ball down from under her crossbar, Vernon kicking the ball away for the corner.
GOAL! From the 81st minute corner Basildon extend their lead, the delivery from Manning again very good fired in along the top of the six yards box the perfect high for Rushen who gets up highest to put her head on the ball and drive it into the goal 0-5.
A triple change for Basildon follows the goal with Runnacles, West and Bowers off, on come goalkeeper Jamie-Lee Bamford, Tilly Deacon in defence and Karissa Rodney in attack. Basildon press on winning a corner on the right the ball into the six yard box headed clear by Brentwood, Revell onto the ball outside the area screws her 20 yard shot wide of goal. The Brentwood defence will have a few ball prints adorning their bodies come the morning as they put in a succession of blocks inside the box in their determination to prevent Basildon scoring as repeated shots are taken, Manning, Vernon and Allen all putting their bodies in the way of the ball.
Rodney with a chance to score for Basildon as the Addison sisters combine in attack Angela with the cross in long from the left Therese with the touch to square the ball back into Rodney central scoops the ball up over the crossbar from six yards out a deflection spotted a corner awarded. The keeper with a good save at close range from a Rodney shot at the near post.
GOAL! Into stoppage time a bit to be played with the injury to Walker and Basildon score a sixth goal breaking from a Brentwood attack Duchar-Clark with the interception plays the past long the Brentwood defence stretched Rodney away in behind on the left Angela Addison running central into the box the cross squared into her she stays on her feet as the challenge comes in digging the ball out of her feet and slotting it past the keeper for her 4th of the match, putting Basildon into a 0-6 lead.
GOAL! The lead is further extended 4 minutes into stoppage time a free-kick wide right outside the box as Vernon up ended Therese Addison. Rushen over the set-piece goes for goal the ball going long towards the far post plenty of pace on the ball finds in gap in the crowded six yard box and nestles inside the post 0-7.
Full time Brentwood Town Ladies 0-7 C&K Basildon Ladies
That’s it the final whistle blows and C&K Basildon Ladies win a fifth recorded equalling Essex Women’s County Cup Final a fourth successive County Cup win too. A dominant display right from the off getting players forwards. Brentwood knowing they would take some stopping battled well and defended well for large parts of the game but without being able to get the ball up the other end for any length of time the Basildon attacks were coming at them frequently. Some fine saves from Walker keeping the scoreline down was just 3-0 going into the final 10 minutes of the game. Basildon though are a strong side and have were composed and disciplined at the back.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
A fairly straightforward choice for this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Lively right from the start and full of running with or without the ball at her feet creating plenty of goal scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates, and scoring 4 well taken goals in the final of the Essex Women’s County Cup it is of course Angela Addison.
Congratulations to C&K Basildon Ladies on their record equalling County Cup success winning a 4th successive final. Ultimately a 7-0 loss but congratulation to go to Brentwood Town Ladies on reaching their 1st ever County Cup Final. An enjoyable trip to Aveley FC this evening.