Sunday 25th November
ERWFL Division One
A return to league action on Women’s Football East with a game from the top of ERWFL Division One, travelling down to Essex to watch 2nd placed Bowers & Pitsea Ladies take on league leaders Stevenage Ladies Reserves.
Bowers & Pitsea Ladies a new name in the league this season but an established side having joined forces with a new club make the name change after previously been known as Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies
A 5 point league for Stevenage Ladies Reserves who won the ERWFL Division One South title last season. Ineligible to take promotion to the Premier Division as a reserves side ERWFL Division One the highest level they can reach, have started this season strongly too in what is a single Division One league this season starting with 13 sides but now sadly down to 12 following the withdrawal of Ipswich Wanderers Ladies. 4 straight league wins to start the season for Stevenage before suffering a 5-0 away defeat to newly promoted Newmarket Town Ladies. That their only loss in the league to date however a 100% record since sees them in a strong position at the top of the table. Daniela Martucci leading the goal scoring charts with 11 goals.
Is an ever changing picture below Stevenage in the race to catch them at the top of the table a cluster of sides separated by just 4 points with from Bowers & Pitsea in 2nd down to Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies in 7th and 8th & 9th placed King’s Lynn Town Ladies & Histon Ladies both have games in hand get a run going and both could yet threaten. 3 of the newly promoted sides starting well all amongst those tussling in the top half, St Ives Town Ladies, Newmarket Town Ladies and Essex side Lawford Ladies. Hutton Ladies with Vicky Kinsman leading the attack have started well too.
Bowers & Pitsea Ladies unbeaten in their last 3 league games collecting 7 points get out in front of that pack this their 3rd game in a week having played last Sunday and then again on Thursday night taking on Charlton Athletic in the quarter finals of the Bostik Cup going down to a 7-1 defeat. Back to the league this time Sunday meeting Stevenage for the 2nd time this season a narrow 3-2 loss in the reverse fixture. Proving to be a league were anyone can beat anyone on their day.
The Len Salmon Stadium the venue for today’s game a few changes since the last time I visited a brand new pitch, a state of the art 4G playing surface, Bowers & Pitsea always having a wide pitch the new pitch installed in September a good size railing all around two small seated and covered stands, a new dugouts, the first part of a planned redevelopment of the stadium that will see a new clubhouse, function room and changing facilities built. Very much a community club the ladies side now a part of that community. Final weekend in November a chilly and overcast afternoon, don’t need the hat on yet but it won’t be long.
Stevenage warming up on the new playing surface at The Len Salmon Stadium
Bowers & Pitsea starting XI – Charlotte Stephens (C), Courtney Fraser, Natalie Strange, Jennifer Lyttle, Taylor Parrish, Taylor Adcock, Sabrina Campbell, Georgia Fraser, Danielle Styles, Emma Mackie & Sophie Dowman. Subs – Alesi Harris, Rebecca Cochoran, Eloise Ives, Ebony Moore & Louise Daly.
Stevenage Ladies Reserves starting XI – Keri Green, Hayley Wood-Thompson, Amelia Keown, Amy Notschild (C), Shona Chitate, Steffany Cowell, Sherrie Evans, Rebecca Brooker, Gemma Biggadike, Hannah Marshall & Emily Schofield. Subs – Naomi Sleator, Sydney Webb, Louise Sollis & Daniela Martucci.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s Bowers & Pitsea to get the first half under way wearing red shirts with white and red vertical stripes down the front, red shorts and red and white hooped socks. Stevenage in an all blue kit with white trim. The home side moving the ball out to the right looking for Danielle Styles, Amelia Keown stepping in the make the challenge for Stevenage at left back. Stevenage counter attack Steffany Cowell getting hold of the ball in central midfield driving forwards out to Hannah Marshall on her right she lifts the ball over the top with Emily Schofield running through toward the box shoots early her effort lacking any pace as it runs safely through to Bowers & Pitsea goalkeeper and captain, Charlotte Stephens.
Bowers & Pitsea’s, Sabrina Campbell challenging Stevenage’s Rebecca Brooker
Georgia Fraser attacking left side for Bowers & Pitsea looks to make ground is stopped by right back Hayley Wood-Thompson, Fraser getting back to the ball wins her side the first corner of the game, swung in near side lands on the roof of the net. Bowers & Pitsea are pushing players forwards defending a high line the diagonal ball left to right almost has Styles in behind on the right, Keown getting a vital header to clear the ball.
GOAL! A positive start from Bowers & Pitsea it’s the visitors who hit them on the counter and open the scoring inside the first 5 minutes attacking down the right side the cross squared in low central is picked up by Schofield taking the ball on across the top of the area Stephens comes to close her down keeps herself big Schofield sending the shot through her legs to give Stevenage the lead 0-1.
Bowers & Pitsea push forwards from the restart Sabrina Campbell taking the ball on into the left channel on for Sophie Dowman ahead of her she slides the pass out to Georgia Fraser on the left wing she sends the cross in towards the near post, Amy Notschild captaining Stevenage getting back in defence to get her head on the ball clears. A few early refereeing decisions upsetting the Stevenage players. Schofield fed the ball through the middle has Rebecca Brooker looking to get away on the right, wins a throw in, the ball played up the line before a high cross is fired into the area, Jennifer Lyttle winning the header for Bowers & Pitsea.
Bowers & Pitsea’s, Jennifer Lyttle
GOAL! Bowers & Pitsea get themselves back on level terms attacking Campbell spots Styles run wide right sends the pass out to her, Keown gets back on her to put the ball out for a throw, deep, Bowers & Pitsea work the ball well from the throw-in the ball put back central comes straight back to Styles breaking into the box takes the ball on close to goal and from the angle six yards out smashes the shot into the back of the net 1-1.
The home side enjoying a good spell break forwards in numbers yet again, Styles played in on the right again, rides a challenge keeping her feet before sending a looping cross in central, Keri Green in goal for Stevenage taking the ball low, catches well on the edge of her six yard box with Fraser charging in. Campbell pressuring the ball on the left side wins a corner, taken short the cross taken from a high angle into the area Taylor Parrish drifting in central headers the ball over the crossbar. Georgia Fraser with a 30 yard attempt power on the shot Green diving low at her near post probably had it covered as it runs wide.
Bowers & Pitsea’s, Taylor Adcock
Taylor Adcock beating Sherrie Evans to the ball in the middle lays the pass on to Campbell, a power run with the ball out to Georgia Fraser left side her cross into the area claimed well by Green getting in front of Dowman’s run. Styles carrying a threat on the right for Bowers & Pitsea is in behind, Shona Chitate coming across to slide in and clear the ball for a throw. A corner on the left side as the home side attack the ball lifted in towards the top of the area central Dowman with the header, on target but too many bodies to get pass as the Stevenage defence head behind for another corner. Off the 2nd corner Styles putting a dangerous ball in across the face of the Stevenage goal a difficult one for the defence to deal with getting it out for a 3rd corner left side. Parrish up to head this one in the box for Bowers & Pitsea top of the area knocked back down towards the near post no-one can connect to turn it in.
Stevenage’s, Gemma Biggadike holding off Bowers & Pitsea defender, Natalie Strange
GOAL! Again Stevenage come up with a goal against the run of play to retake the lead getting up the other end a corner won on the right side players come forwards as Schofield prepares to take, Gemma Biggadike up high at the near side headers the ball down into the Bowers & Pitsea defender jumping with her comes back out to Cowell top of the area back out right to the corner taker Schofield from the angle she strikes the ball hard sending it arrowing in past the keeper 1-2.
Bowers & Pitsea make a change Eloise Ives joining the action, Emma Mackie off, Styles taking up a more central position.
GOAL! Stevenage get straight up the other end the ball on for Schofield to chase down in the area bouncing wide right of goal a race between her and Stephens, the goalkeeper appeared to get her gloves to the ball, as the pair come together Schofield up ended, the referee points to the spot a penalty awarded. Schofield herself to take a chance for a first half hat-trick makes no mistake sending the keeper the wrong way 1-3. Almost half an hour played.
A 1st half hat-trick for Stevenage’s Emily Schofield
Notschild getting back to help Chitate as Dowman plays a dinked pass over the top to get Styles in behind top of the area. A throw deep on the left the ball played on into the area Dowman doing well to get her head on it turns it goalwards but straight into Green. Natalie Strange with a long pas on for Styles moving out to the right channel, Chitate getting back on her making a good challenge to regain possession the ball into midfield helped on with Schofield running on Brooker to her left Courtney Fraser tackling the ball going for a throw.
Campbell strong on the ball coming on with it for Bowers & Pitsea 30 yards out hits a tremendous strike in towards goal, Green no chance the ball smashing down off the crossbar into the six yard box, Stevenage clear. Lyttle winning the ball at the back played forwards high for Styles back to goal 20 yards out controls well before flicking it on for Ives going past her on the overlap, Keown doing well getting out to her to make the tackle for Stevenage a corner conceded. The ball into the area over the heads of Strange and Fraser, Wood-Thompson clearing it behind for another corner at the far post
GOAL! A great ball delivered into the area finds Georgia Fraser sneaking in unmarked central meeting the ball low turning it goalwards the shot racing in through a crowded six yard box to nestle in the back of the net 2-3.
GOAL! Two quickfire goals see Bowers & Pitsea right back on level terms as they score from another corner ball, on the left side the delivery long towards the far post defender Parrish rising unchecked far side 12 yards out sends a looping header up and in towards goal to drop under the crossbar and in 3-3.
Taylor Parrish heading home Bowers & Pitsea’s equalising goal
Five minutes left to play in a fast paced and exciting first half the sides all square at 3-3 Styles making a nuisance of herself through the middle the ball on into the area Chitate doing well to defend close on her Styles grounded still managing to get a shot away little power on it as Green picks it up. Campbell central slides the ball on for Dowman in behind shots from the top of the area wide, but wouldn’t have counted anyway the flag up against her.
GOAL! A complete turn around from Bowers & Pitsea, 3-1 down the take the lead late in the first half. Chitate caught in possession at the back 25 yards out Styles closing in to steal the ball bursts in behind into the area closing in on the goalkeeper, Notschild can’t get to her as Styles fires the shot past Green to claim her 2nd of the match 4-3.
Chances have dried up for Stevenage late in the first half a rare opportunity to put the ball forwards a free-kick left side 30 yards out, Biggadike over it the delivery flighted in towards the far post Stephens can see it drop wide of her goal. Schofield pushing on with the ball central has Biggadike out to her left. top of the area is forced wide good defensive work from Ives. Biggadike getting a cross into the area, Lyttle dealing with in for Bowers & Pitsea.
Half-time Bowers & Pitsea Ladies 4-3 Stevenage Ladies Reserves
7 goals scored in the first half an exciting 45 minutes has flown by, Bowers & Pitsea with a positive start falling behind to an early goal. Continued in that same vain getting forwards well levelling the scores but again against the run of play Stevenage did well get score two quick goals to go 3-1 up. Bowers & Pitsea kept creating chances and capitalised from 2 corners to level the scores. Styles firing them into the lead late in the half. 4-3 I’d be surprised if it stayed that way 2nd half.
Hannah Marshall looking to get forwards for Stevenage
Stevenage to kick-off the 2nd half, have made a change Daniela Martucci carrying a slight injury on in attack, Biggadike off. Ebony Moore on in midfield replacing Adcock for the hosts. Bowers & Pitsea winning the ball central early on lift it forwards for Styles to try and bring down top of the area, Notschild getting in close on her to take the ball. Bowers & Pitsea build from the back Georgia Fraser bringing it on left sees Styles peeling out wide ahead of her sends her the ball the cross driven in towards the near post Dowman heading it down towards the top of the box with Campbell racing in meeting it first time her strike is deflected wide and behind for the corner.
GOAL! Bowers & Pitsea extend their lead early in the 2nd half attacking through the middle the ball fed into the run of Dowman bearing down on the box is about to be closed down, has Styles to her right slips her the ball and she sends the shot in across the keeper to score her hat-trick 5-3.
Danielle Styles completes her hat-trick for Bowers & Pitsea
Stevenage are doing their best to push the Bowers & Pitsea defence back, Evans putting the ball on for Martucci, Parrish intercepting. Bowers & Pitsea counter break Fraser left puts the ball into the area Styles opening up her body sends the shot crashing into the side netting. Schofield operating more to the left of attack 2nd half gets the ball forwards squares it into Martucci top of the area, she looks to turn in behind but is quickly closed down. Wood-Thompson looks to get forwards for Stevenage into the area, Courtney Fraser defending for Bowers & Pitsea.
Stevenage’s, Daniela Martucci
Martucci central holding the ball up well outside the box lays it off for Evans to run onto a strike 20 yards out driven in low Stephens well placed in goal gathers safely for Bowers & Pitsea. The home side continue to pressure the ball well inside their opponents half, giving Stevenage little room to create as they try and up the tempo. Green sending the ball long from a kick out of the gloves finds Marshall running into space on the right crosses early the ball dropping central for Martucci, the striker not quite able to get the ball under control.
Eloise Ives after the ball for Bowers & Pitsea
Changes for both sides Dowman off for Bowers & Pitsea, Louise Daly on, Brooker off for Stevenage, on in her place Naomi Sleator. Moore bringing the ball down 25 yards out for Bowers & Pitsea a spin and a shot the ball held by Green in goal.
GOAL! Bowers & Pitsea open up a 3 goal lead Styles with her 4th of the match creating a goal out of nothing the ball out on the right a throw-in played back to her is a long way out but catches it well the ball clearing the keeper and striking the back of the net 6-3.
Wood-Thompson coming off for Stevenage, Sydney Webb coming on. Martucci with the ball at her feet outside the area lets loose a shot the ball just a foot over the bar. Georgia Fraser on the ball for Bowers & Pitsea cutting inside from the left closing in on the box lifts a shot up over the bar. Styles comes off for Bowers & Pitsea, Rebecca Cochoran going on up front. Courtney Fraser with a long ball from the left into the area pressure on the keeper, Chitate around on the cover to clear.
Bowers & Pitsea playing well getting forwards at will Courtney Fraser again on the left the ball in central Cochoran with support from Moore central tries to pick out Daly’s run on the right, Sleator intercepting for Stevenage. Chitate tackling Cochoran central as Georgia Fraser pushes forwards with the ball. Green taking the ball well at the feet of Daly as the cross field pass comes into the area from wide left. Campbell comes off for Bowers & Pitsea, Styles back into the action. A quiet spell the substitutions slowing things down.
Stevenage’s, Shona Chitate
Into the last 10 minutes Chitate with a crucial foot in to stop the ball as Ives heading the ball on almost sends Georgia Fraser in on goal. Biggadike back on for Stevenage left side lifts the ball into the area, Stephens gets her gloves firmly upon it with Martucci running in.
GOAL! Stevenage have picked up the pace in the last minute and the game has gotten a little stretched Schofield back into a more central role along side Martucci receiving the ball timing her run off the last defender perfectly bursts into the area and sends a low strike under the diving keeper to pull a goal back with 8 minutes left to play 6-4.
GOAL! Straight away Stevenage score another to set up a nervous finish to the match, and it’s Schofield again with her 5th of the match almost a carbon copy of the last goal, the ball breaking favourably into her path after a committed tussle in midfield the striker in behind with the ball at her feet baring down on the keeper one on one she sends the ball wide of Stephens to bring the deficit back to a single goal 6-5.
Bowers & Pitsea’s Natalie Strange
Their 3 goal lead in danger of being wiped out Bowers & Pitsea are suddenly on the back foot, steel themselves for the closing minutes, Strange with a vital interception at the back. Georgia Fraser breaks in behind for the hosts into the area Green coming out to meet her making a brave save at her feet the ball popping loose Fraser off balance with 2nd bite at it sends the shot over. A late fee-kick for Stevenage left side up into the box Martucci controls before sending a low shot in towards goal Stephens claiming in low at her near post.
Full time Bowers & Pitsea Ladies 6-5 Stevenage Ladies Reserves
It’s rare you’ll read about a 0-0 on here and today was certainly no exception treated to 11 goals this afternoon, a good contest at the top of ERWFL Division One. Bowers & Pitsea winning 6-5 the 3 points closing the gap on Stevenage at the top to just 2 points. A good performance from the host side and overall they were the better side for larger periods of the game, Stevenage not at their best at all know that but still found the back of the net for 5 goals, Emily Schofield now top scorer by my reckoning. The visitors with the early lead, Bowers & Pitsea responding were the better side only to fall 3-1 behind kept going and got the goals back ending u with a first half lead. An early goal 2nd half went 6-3 up. Two late goals from Stevenage setting up a nervy finish, never really got going will be disappointed. A thrill for the neutral but I was probably the only one there.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Time to pick this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Got to give Emily Schofield a mention it’ll be unfortunate if you ever score 5 goals in a match and still end up on the losing side. All of them well taken. For Bowers & Pitsea I thought Sabrina Campbell had an excellent game in the middle of the park as did Jennifer Lyttle at the back. Overall all though with her 4 goals and the constant threat in attack and the vocal encouragement she offered her team mates today’s award goes to Danielle Styles.
Always a warm welcome from Bowers & Pitsea, enjoyed my trip down this afternoon and entertaining game, 11 goals plenty to write but it’s the game that provides the contents I just put it into words. Pleasure seeing both sides again and thanks for the help with the teams always appreciated.