Sunday 30th September
Suffolk Women’s Division
A game from the Suffolk Women’s Division this Sunday afternoon, a trip to Brantham to watch Brantham Athletic Ladies versus Walsham Le Willows Ladies.
A clash between two sides I haven’t seen play in a while. Both with ambitions to contest for the title. Won by Brantham Athletic Ladies close neighbours, East Bergholt United Ladies last season also doing the double will be strong favourites once again.
A much larger Suffolk Women’s Division this season increasing in number to 13. Seven new sides, Brettvale Ladies, Brightlingsea Regent Ladies, Chantry Grasshoppers Ladies, Needham Market Ladies, Haverhill Ladies Reserves and University of Suffolk all new whilst Alresford Colne Rangers switch having previously competed in Essex. More teams meaning more games which was something the league sorely needed.
Early days in the league, East Bergholt United have started well 3 games in winning them all so to a 100% record for new side Needham Market Ladies. Leiston St Margarets Ladies getting stronger each season also have 2 wins from two as does Brantham Athletic Ladies, a 4-1 home win over Alresford Colne Rangers on the opening day were in action at home in midweek winning 8-1 over league newcomers Brettvale Ladies. Striker Kirsten Hutchings scoring 5 in midweek already has 8 goals on the board this season.
Walsham Le Willows Ladies are another sides capable of challenging at the top of the league joining 2 seasons ago the core of the ex Bury Town Ladies squad. Haven’t necessarily had a favourable time with their fixtures. last season were always playing catch up having no kicked off their league campaign until the 22nd October. An earlier start this time around although awarded a home win on the opening day are unbeaten with 3 games gone at the start of the season winning away to Woodbridge Town Ladies, drew 3-3 with Alresford Colne Rangers last Sunday, 3rd in the table travel to 5th placed Brantham Athletic this afternoon.
Brantham Leisure Centre the venue for today’s game, the large clubhouse over looking the pitch from on goal, home to Brantham Athletic FC a small stand along one side of the ground the pitch in good condition a reasonable size. An overcast day, cloudy a light drizzle possible starting to cool as we end September.
Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Zoe Adams, Shanice Leeks, Monique Peters, Emily Boore, Shannon Giles, Lucy Elmes, Lucy Dunnett (C), Jessica Ryan, Jodie Sharp, Kirsten Hutchings & Danielle Harvey. Subs – Sophie Crabtree, Rebecca Prime, Hollie Murray, Merlin Watson & Toni Mott.
Walsham Le Willows starting XI – Charlotte Osborne, Julie Brind, Shelley Cocksedge, Claire Ellis, Jemma Long, Kate Sandlan, Lisa Pratt (C), Mia Banbury, Zoe Klimcke, Chelsea Page & Laura Brame. Subs – Katie Grimwood, Steph Hanratty & Kirsty Pollard.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s the visitors, Walsham Le Willows to get the 1st half underway wearing yellow shirts with a red quarter over the left shoulder, red shorts and yellow socks. Brantham wearing blue shirts with a pair of diagonal lines across the front, blue shorts and socks. Brantham win the ball straight away the push forwards through the centre has Kirsten Hutchings interested, Claire Ellis standing in her path winning the ball back for Walsham Le Willows at centre back. The ball played forwards into striker Laura Brame held up then played out wide right as Julie Brind breaks forwards, Jodie Sharp putting in the tackle to send the ball out for a throw-in.
Hutchings peeling right taking the ball out wide looks to cut in back in towards the area with Danielle Harvey making the run in behind for Brantham, Charlotte Osborne in goal for Walsham Le Willows reading it can gather before Harvey can reach it. Hutchings with support on the right from Jessica Ryan this time the pair winning a corner. Sharp to play the ball in a good height on it coming in near post, Ellis getting her head on it to send it away to the left, gathered by Brantham a high ball played back in towards goal Osborne can see it drop wide of her goal.
Brantham with a confident start to the game press forwards captain Lucy Dunnett with a strong run forwards looks to play in Sharp bursting up the left wing, Brind doing well to close her down and defend for Walsham Le Willows. Ryan winning a throw high up the pitch on the right the ball into Hutchings turns and fires the ball in towards goal from the angle, Osborne behind it to catch.
Good pressing from Zoe Klimcke catching Brantham in possession in the final 3rd the ball on for Brame to chase, Monique Peters staying with her able to shield as goalkeeper, Zoe Adams comes sliding in to claim the ball. Klimcke on the ball right side on for Brame the Brantham defence momentarily stretched the striker taking the ball to the byline, puts the ball in Chelsea Page the only Walsham Le Willows player there making a run far post in from the left, the ball stopped by Shanice Leeks ahead of her, trapping the ball between her feet digs out the clearance.
GOAL! An early lead in the game for Brantham as they hit Walsham Le Willows on the counter attack, the ball played out to Hutchings on the right drives up the wing crossing square from deep, the ball into box central Harvey arriving unmarked is composed in front of goal side footing the ball taking it across the keeper to nestle in at the far post or her 1st goal of the season 1-0.
Walsham Le Willows respond well to falling a goal behind less than 10 minutes played Mia Banbury playing the ball out to Brind right side she passes inside to Brame top of the box the striker slipping in behind her marker, Emily Boore recovering excellently to get back at her and make a clean tackle inside the area the ball out for a corner. Boore on hand again to save the day from the resulting corner kick a great delivery in firmly headed it towards goal at the near post by Brind at the top of the box, the defender on the post making the goal saving block.
A throw right side high up the pitch for Walsham Le Willows inside to Brame takes it on across the area Page over on the left looking to play her in on goal Adams alert gets out and smothers the ball at the attackers feet. Hutchings with a driving run right channel lets loose a shot from distance runs wide of the near post. After a sluggish start Walsham Le Willows have livened up getting at Brantham higher up the pitch. Klimcke getting herself about in the middle finds Brind out wide right her early ball inside for Brame, Peters defending well for Brantham top of the area.
Adams with a good save to deny Brame in the box after more good work from Klimcke in the middle closing the ball down the rebound off her flying forwards Brame chasing it into the area left of goal shoots, Brantham’s keeper equal to it. Play is clustered in the middle Brantham pressed having trouble getting it away, Walsham Le Willows captain, Lisa Pratt tackling Shannon Giles. Lucy Elmes getting forwards with the ball for Brantham, Ryan to the right on for Hutchings, Ellis stepping in to put in the challenge.
A change for Walsham Le Willows, Page the player coming off on comes Steph Hanratty. Klimcke nipping in to steal the ball bursts forwards into the box,Boore needing to bites at the tackle does well pushing her wide before conceding the corner. Played in towards the top of the area a high delivery Dunnett jumping with Ellis behind her does enough to put the centre back off the ball sent out towards the far post area beyond goal, Pratt keeping it alive volleys over.
A brilliant save from Osborne up the other end Brantham are very good on the counter attack get bodies forwards quickly almost a carbon copy of the opening goal Hutchings out wide right playing the cross in Harvey unmarked in the centre of the area further out this time looks to pick her spot angle the shot up over the keeper, Osborne adjusting brilliantly to get a glove up to the ball palm it over the crossbar.
Good build up play from Brantham through the middle Dunnett, Giles and Elmes all involved up to Harvey heading the ball out to Sharp on the left, Kate Sandlan closing her down the ball out for a throw. Leeks gets forwards for Brantham as they press the attack players forwards Elmes to her right top of the area, the midfielder putting the return ball into Leeks inside the box stabs a low strike goalwards, Osborne down smartly to save.
GOAL! Right at the end of the first half Brantham double their lead, Hutchings threatening to do it in the 1st 45 beats the offside trap Walsham Le Willows with a high line in behind right of goal 20 yards out strikes the ball hard on the angle the ball racing across the keeper into the back of the net 2-0. Not long left to play the half-time comes to an end.
Half-time Brantham Athletic Ladies 2-0 Walsham Le Willows Ladies
A goal at either end of the 1st half giving Brantham a 2-0 advantage at half-time started the game the better capitalising with a goal. Walsham Le Willows coming back into it creating chances had a shot cleared off the line. Brantham too had further chances to go in further in front and 2-0 is always an interesting scoreline at half-time the old cliche the next goal is crucial…maybe.
Changes for Brantham at half-time, Harvey and Ryan coming off, Sophie Crabtree in attack and Becky Prime wide right coming on. The home side to kick-off the 2nd half. Won back by Walsham Le Willows, Brind making ground up the right squared into Brame holds it up can’t turn sees Klimcke central the ball played back to her shoots from distance the 30 yarder caught by Adams. Sharp coming forwards left side on for Crabtree, Sandlan defending up against her.
Giles getting forwards more no for Brantham, support from Elmes tries to get forwards Klimcke sliding in to win the ball back for Walsham Le Willows. Pratt with the ball on into Brame backing in holding onto it spots Hanratty breaking into space on her left plays the pass out to her, Peters central sprints out towards her covering the ground to lunge in with a boot to put the ball away for the throw. Walsham Le Willows make a 2nd change Kirsty Pollard coming on for Long, joins Brame up front in attack.
Dunnett gets the ball under control bringing it forwards on for Sharp, the winger winning the home side a corner. A high delivery into the box won and cleared by Ellis. Klimcke brings down Giles wide on the right a free-kick in a good crossing position for Dunnett, aims for Leeks making a run near side, can’t quite get her head on the ball, Walsham Le Willows attempt the counter attack, Giles stopping the threat building on the left. Walsham Le Willows with a 3rd substitution Katie Grimwood on for Cocksedge.
Hutchings coming deeper to pick up the ball has Prime running past her on the right on the overlap, the ball played on Grimwood with Prime to her right, Crabtree closing in on her left does well to prevent the two linking up and getting through on goal. Leeks winning the ball at the back as Walsham Le Willows look to play in Pollard, the ball coming back to Brame she shoots from distance the strike lacking power easy for Adams.
Pratt wins Walsham Le Willows a corner as she volleys a ball into the area from the left. The delivery into the centre of the box cleared out to the left, picked up by Hanratty her ball fired back into the box out wide across the goal. 20 minutes left on the clock. Hutchings springing the offside trap once more the ball forwards bouncing a one on one with the keeper as Osborne comes out to the edge of the box, stays big as Hutchings connects with the ball the goalkeeper making the blocking save with her legs the ball still alive running out wide right Hutchings after it so to the keeper does enough to put Hutchings off as the striker looks to wrap her foot around the shot. The resulting corner coming to nothing.
GOAL! Moments later and Brantham do get a 3rd goal Hutchings involved again turns her marker brilliantly high up the pitch in behind running with the ball down the right channel, is a stroke of fortune next as she looks to find Crabtree making the run into the box left side the ball across the D missed by all 3 Walsham Le Willows defenders tracking back, through them all onto Crabtree she shoots low as Osborne gets down low to her right gets something on the ball but not enough to take it wide of the goal as Crabtree celebrates her first goal for Brantham this season.
Elmes on the ball for Brantham slides it through for Hutchings onside, Osborne with a high starting position to it first to kick clear top of her area. Hutchings looking to get away right side again Klimcke sliding in to make the challenge… stops on the ground clearly in alot of pain in front of the Brantham dugout they are quick to have play halted, Klimcke is in alot of pain looks like a knee injury a lengthy pause and rightly so, both sides aiding, a stretcher is brought out, it’s never nice to see Klimcke can’t continue. Cocksedge returning to the pitch.
Dunnett driving on with the ball out to Sharp now on the right side playing the ball on into the area is intercepted by Ellis. Giles on the overlap past Sharp receiving the pass sends a cross into the area headed behind for the corner. A tripe change for Brantham, Hutchings, Leeks and Peters all off on came Toni Mott, Merlin Watson, Hollie Murray. Into the final 5 minutes Walsham Le Willows win a corner off a set-piece a low ball driven into the area Brantham scramble it away.
GOAL! At the death Brantham counter and grab a 4th goal Sharp playing through the middle now runs onto a clearance into the Walsham Le Willows half running with the ball closing in on the area, Osborne coming out to close the angle commits to the dive Sharp playing the ball around her left of goal gets a shot away scoring before Ellis can catch her 4-0. The last action of the game Brantham ending strong making it 3 wins from 3.
Full time Brantham Athletic Ladies 4-0 Walsham Le Willows Ladies
Brantham go 3rd in the table one of 3 sides still with a 100% record have played a game less than Needham Market and East Bergholt. Started the game well an early lead adding a 2nd late in the 2nd half felt they were the better side 2nd half and got the 3rd goal the 4th coming at the death. Created more chances to score. Walsham Le Willows suffering there 1st loss of the season did well the get back at their opponents after conceding early the 2nd goal making things harder needed to pull it back to 2-1 to get themselves back into the game didn’t Brantham getting that all important 3rd goal.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, there were a few notable performances out on the field this afternoon. For Walsham Le Willows, Zoe Klimcke was excellent covering alot of ground winning some vital tackles. Cruel to see her injured like she was and I am hoping it’s not too serious and wish her a speedy recovery. Shannon Giles and Lucy Dunnett for Brantham along with Jodie Sharp on the wing but for her performance up front scoring the 2nd goal and setting up 2 more today’s Player of the Match award goes to Kirsten Hutchings.
An enjoyable trip to Suffolk good to catch up with both sides after so long, my thanks to both for helping me out with the squad details. It’s going to be interesting in Suffolk this season and I’m looking forwards to seeing how it all unfolds.