Wednesday 29th September
FAWNL South East Division One
A spot of midweek football action on Women’s Football East to take in a local derby match from FAWNL South East Division One an all Cambridge affair as Cambridge City Ladies host rivals Cambridge United WFC.
The pair coming into the match having both made a positive start to the FAWNL South East Division One season. Once one club with what is now United becoming Cambridge Women FC who went on to become an established sides within the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid. Now joined with Cambridge United FC, whilst a new Cambridge City Ladies was re-established and made a rapid rise through the pyramid themselves to reach the FAWNL South East Division One themselves 2 seasons ago.
Cambridge City with a strong policy on bringing youth through much of their squad has been with the club playing for various youth sides with the club having 3 adult teams with a Reserves and Development side also competing in the FAWNL Reserve league and ERWFL Division One North respectfully. Ollie Drake taking over as 1st team coach this season joined by Paul France with Tim Rapley formerly 1st team coach assisting too. A 1-3 home loss to Hashtag United Women on the opening day City bounced back well recording back to back wins away to Harlow and Stevenage to move up into the top half of the table there they have remained adding a further 4 points to lay 6th with 10 going into tonight’s derby match. Have a largely settled squad bringing in a couple of experienced players defender Jess Evans and former Ipswich Town captain, Amanda Crump who made 216 appearances for the club scoring 72 goals. Derby day often bringing out the best in City they have proved a difficult opponent for United since joining them in South East Division One.
A change in the management team for Cambridge United WFC too with former St Ives Town Ladies manager, Darren Marjoram coming in to join 1st team coach Ben Yeomans. The pair joined by Liz Pamplin who made 500 appearances for Cambridge United. Attacking player Ruth Fox, midfielder Abbi Griffin and goalkeeper Kira Markwell all following marjoram from St Ives to Cambridge United with midfielder Laura Baker returning along with defender Anna Re. Defeat on the opening day too for United before the club went on to win 4 on the bounce 3 in the league and one cup game. Up to 4th in the South East Division One table at one point were brought back down to earth with a bump last weekend with a heavy 6-0 defeat at home to Hashtag United Women. Have several out with injury including Fox who damaged her elbow at the weekend having led the line well so far scoring 5 goals one behind Emma Jenkins who has netted 6 so far. A versatile squad with several players comfortable in several different positions.
The Demcom Stadium the venue for tonight’s derby match home to Ely City FC, situated behind a new Cinema and restaurant complex on the outskirts of Ely. Once the home of United too, now hosting City’s home games whilst they wait for Cambridge City FC’s new home in Sawston to be built. The pitch looking superb these days the ground seeing improvements ongoing. The grass surface offers plenty of width a mild evening, dry the floodlights taking full effect as the teams walk on onto the pitch.
Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson (C), Ceri Flye, Amy Reed, Bronwyn Mulheron, Jess Evans, Ellie Cullum, Hannah Bodily, Charlotte Gillies, Karly Tolentino, Amanda Crump & Grace Stanley. Subs – Erin Davies, Lauren Tomlinson, Lauren Saunders, Zynia Delglyn & Georgia Clarke.
Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Kira Markwell, Anna Re, Abi Davies, Grace Waygood, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Gisela Otten, Laura Baker (C), Emma Jenkins, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt & Laura Mitchell. Subs – Carrie Bennett, Libby Fraser, Amy Houghton, Charlotte Crisp & Niamh Day.
Done a few of these before so it’s City vs United from this point, with City kicking off the first half wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. United wearing Amber shirts with Black shorts and socks. City play it back into midfield, United immediately in to close down, put out to the right back the ball fired long looking for the run of Charlotte Gillies out wide, bounces on through into the box giving United goalkeeper, Kira Markwell and early feel of the ball.
The tempo quick from the off neither side wanting the other to settle on the ball, Karly Tolentino moving out wide left for City getting hold of the ball Unite full back Anna Re sliding in to defend the ball out for a throw in. City take it quickly the ball dropped into the feet of striker Grace Stanley controls and sends it in central for Tolentino, leaning back into her shot from the top of the D sends the ball over the bar.
United get the ball left into Emma Jenkins, fouled full back Abi Davies races forwards in support taking the ball on past her sending it into the box for Laura Mitchell leading the line for United tonight, left of goal can’t turn as she is closed down by City defender, Ceri Flye the ball behind for the 1st corner of the game. Challenges flying in Gisela Otten has hold of the ball for United in the middle spreads it wide for Jenkins moving forwards left side, Flye getting across her to shield the ball playing it back to her captain and goalkeeper, D=Sarah Hudson to clear upfield.
Certainly has a derby match feel about it both sides not holding back, clearly up for it challenges committed, referee Laura Van-Leir is in for a busy game. Gillies breaking with the ball right side whipping on a low cross towards the near post cut out by Kayleigh-Anne Burt for United a corner conceded, the delivery dealt with comfortably at the near post. Is a little scrappy no one allowed any time to dwell on the ball, both sides looking to get the ball out wide. Re right side on for Howlett then Hewitt beyond her Jess Evans getting amongst them defending for City.
City unhappy as a seeming advantage is halted for a free kick to the hosts on halfway, the ball clipped out to the left Tolentino flicking it beyond Re running towards the area coming inside from the left sees her attempt on goal blocked by United centre back Grace Waygood. Tolentino out left causing a few problems for United early on taking the ball to the by-line her cross into the six yard box cut out by Burt, coming back to Tolentino her 2nd attempt is cleared by Waygood. City counter attack with purpose Cullum with the ball on up to Stanley in attack central 25 out clips it out to Gillies bursting forwards on the wing right side in space hits the ball on the run smashing her shot wide of the near post.
United pushed up as they attack risk getting hit on the counter, Evans playing the ball out from the back, is a vital interception by Waygood to prevent Stanley breaking in clear behind. Markwell with a confident claim chest high at her near post as Tolentino whips the ball in as she reaches the by-line. The action is end to end no let up as one side defends immediately looks to get the ball into their attackers. United captain Laura Baker sending the pass out to Jenkins left side gathers the ball, taking on the defence twisting left and right before firing a diagonal ball into the d looking for Mitchell, Evans getting in ahead of her to clear for City.
Hudson from a free-kick at the back plays in a dangerous bouncing ball left side that United fail to deal with bouncing up for Stanley to attack, hooks an attempt towards goal from 20 yards out sends the ball over the bar. Re defending at the back for United sends a straight pass forwards into Mitchell turns on the ball firing it out to Jenkins advancing left side cutting inside, Flye steps out to meet her with a good tackle to win the ball back for City. Both United full backs looking to get on join the attack, Davies left supporting Jenkins with Re on the right playing the ball on for Mitchell, flicks it on for Faith Hewitt in behind takes the ball down to the by-line inside the box firing in a cross, Mitchell attacking it, Evans going with her lunging in to beat her to the ball.
Davies is fouled getting forwards for United wide left, Jenkins takes on the shot from the angle, the ball brushing the roof of the net on its way over. Crump drifting into space on the left takes the ball on plays a squared pass into Stanley left of the D, before she can dig it out to shoot, Re gets back to lunge in challenge and clear up the pitch. The foul count is totting up both sides as guilty as each other, the benches as fired up as the players. Decisions going against both. United’s Otten in the middle on for Mitchell central, is closed down by Evans as Hannah Bodily comes away with the ball looking for Tolentino left side, Re closing her down quickly to get United back on the front foot.
Otten sends the ball out to Howlett on the left puts it into the box for Mitchell right of goal, is quickly closed down by the City defence, the ball cleared out to their right is latched onto by Davies who strikes it from all of 40 yards her effort racing wide at the near post. United getting the ball forwards well Baker sending a shot over the bar from outside the area as she runs onto Mitchell’s knock down from a cross on the left. City break Cullum finding Tolentino left side, Waygood there to block for United as she attempts to play the cross into the box, then Burt throws out a leg inside the six yard box to concede a corner. The delivery looping high towards the far post falls to the floor players scrambling for it pops loose for Baker, calmness in the eye of the storm as she shows great composure to dribble the ball out of the area rather that launch it upfield.
For all the toing and froing between the sides neither keeper has been tested yet. Baker passing the ball out to Howlett right side looks to go down the line, Amy Reed staying on her for City sliding in to make the tackle. Re pushed up winning it straight back for United the visitors getting the ball in towards the top of the area, Evans and Flye closing the door on Mitchell. Reed does well again against Hewitt as United’s No10 looks to get in around behind her on the right. City sitting deeper than United are inviting pressure ready to counter attack their defence proving hard to get around. Waygood and Burt making sure nothing gets past them at the other end.
Gillies on the right for City letting loose with a strike from all of 25 yards, Markwell well position back on her line taking a comfortable catch for United. City getting a free-kick wide right the ball put into the area Markwell comes and punches away, United don’t get far as City press regain possession turn play around Tolentino knocking the ball to her left into the path of the advancing Cullum on the run strikes a low shot in on the angle, Markwell back on her line down smartly at her near post to save pushing the ball behind for a corner kick.
The 1st half drawing to a close has been played at a high tempo both sides pushing the attack looking lively although defenders have had the upper hand. Crump can certainly unlock the door with a pass an almost does so as she thread it through for Stanley, Burt is on hand to throw out a leg make an important stop for United. United upset as Howlett is the first player to receive a yellow card in the game the resulting free-kick seeing City advance on the left for a moment Stanley looks to have gotten in behind Burt, however both Re and Baker are round on the cover to defend halt Stanley’s progress with Tolentino ready to provide the run into the box.
The free-kicks continue to add up both benches letting their frustrations known. Mitchell pushed in the back 30 odd yards out to the right presenting United with an opportunity to bring players forwards Baker over the ball looking to place it at the far post attacked the ball is knocked to the ground coming for Burt her eyes light up the ball barely leaving her foot however the City defence have charged it down.
City advance down the right Gillies bombing forwards squares her cross along the top of the area, controlled by Tolentino left of the D plays it to Stanley on the right side quick to get her strike away the shot rising is much to her frustration straight at Markwell in the United goal.
Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-0 Cambridge United WFC
Plenty of action in the 1st half both sides wanting to press the attack as quickly as possible has been scrappy at times but a committed battle with both sides no wiling to let the other settle on the ball. Fouls given away City have invited United on somewhat allowing them to keep it tight at the back willing to counter attack, neither side though carving out a clear cut chance inside the box.
No changes for either side at the break as United get the 2nd 45 underway, the ball out to Jenkins on the left a deft cross lifted into the area cleared by Flye, United press hard in midfield Otten then Baker the ball played into Jenkins top of the D, turns and shoots, rising Hudson throwing her gloves up making a good save knocking the ball wide and behind for a corner. The delivery into a congested near post well defended. United with a 2nd corner press the advantage at the start of the 2nd half, City struggling to get the ball into their opponents half.
United with a free-kick on the right City defending the initial ball, Re regains possession laying it on down the wing for Baker, on the angle drills a cross into the near post, Jenkins closing in on the keeper as Hudson back on her line looks to see the ball into her gloves, under pressure from the United attacker the ball is spilt, Jenkins gets her foot on it looks certain the score (think several amongst the United bunch thought she had) the ball though comes back off the post and City manage to scramble it away to safety.
United starting the brighter 2nd half a free-kick won inside the City half on the left, Baker sending the delivery into the area met centrally by Jenkins sends her header over the crossbar. Mitchell running at the City defence wins a corner. Defended by Reed at the near post a 2nd corner awarded, goes long this time over over one in the six yard box Burt retrieves far side attempts to lift back in deflected behind for a 3rd corner. Right side long United appeal for handball as City bring the ball away but nothing doing. Bodily putting a diagonal ball out to the left for Reed to attack, Re halts her progress for United.
City get hold of the ball centrally Bodily passing to Stanley the striker clipping the ball out to the right for Gillies, taking the ball into her stride checks inside her marker driving for the box before firing in a low strike to the near post, Markwell across her goal down low to make a comfortable save. United suddenly dropping off their intensity City press the ball in the final 3rd Crump putting a looping ball in, Burt getting in ahead of Tolentino.
The visitors regain possession centrally Otten on for Jenkins central has support to her right from Mitchell who in turn finds Howlett wide right taking the ball in behind lifts a cross towards the penalty spot, Mitchell rises to meet it a glancing header the ball falling wide of the far post Jenkins after it, Mulheron in ahead of her defending for City. The game opening up now City have Gillies on the ball right as Stanley knocks it down into her path, an early cross into the box has Crump breaking in behind, Markwell focused as she drops onto the ball claiming it as Crump arrives on her.
City winning a free-kick in the middle lifted in towards Stanley top of the D, flicks the ball on well with Crump running in on the follow-up, Markwell seeing it late getting behind it taking the ball on the bounce.
GOAL! The dead lock is broken and it’s a superbly hit shot too. United winning the ball out on the right central the pass taken early driven in with pace towards Jenkins free outside the box right of the D. Turns and shoots the ball struck well arrowing straight on the rise before Hudson before she can react into the back of the net 0-1.
An hour played and it’s United who have the lead, City getting straight down the other end from the restart Gillies winning a corner. The delivery in central drops dangerously inside the six yard box, United scrambling it away to safety. A change for City, Erin Davies retuning to the club on for Crump in attack. Baker coming back to slide in and tackle Stanley as she looks to battle her way in behind Burt 25 yards out. United working hard doubling up at times to thwart City as they build in attack the hosts frustrated.
United attack with Davies getting on to support Howlett drifting right a corner won City defend the cleared from the top of their area City break Tolentino on the ball left side sends a ball into the box Markwell though can see it out for a goal kick.
It’s rare to see especially at this level in the women’s game however it’s the first sin bin I’ve witnessed this season after Stanley is sent off for 10 minutes for City after a long talking too from the referee over a disputed corner/goal kick. United making their 1st change of the match bringing on Niamh Day for Hewitt in attack. The substitute involved straight away as a loose City ball from the ball falls to her centrally. Drives forwards moving into the right channel before laying it on for Mitchell ahead of her into the box Hudson comes to reach it first her kick striking Mitchell rebounds behind for a goal kick.
City making a change Lauren Tomlinson coming on for Reed. United press the attack Baker on for Mitchell right of the D lays her attempt wide of the target. Otten getting the ball back for United forwards into Mitchell central back to goal upended, advantage played as it comes straight to Howlett beside her blasts her shot in low driven wide of the near post. United pushing on with their player advantage.
Stanley is allowed back on City back up to full strength. A focal point in attack is picked out straight away left of the D controls into her feet turns laying a diagonal ball into the box from the left Tomlinson racing forwards, Markwell sees her coming races off her line to close the angle throwing herself into the save Tomlinson getting her strike over her the ball clearing the crossbar too.
GOAL! No sooner have City created a chance at one end United go down the other end and double their lead. Day winning a corner on the right. Players come forwards crowding the six yard box, angled in near post is a bullet header by Otten as she stoops to meet the ball powering it into the back of the net from close range, is engulfed by her teammates as they rush forwards in celebration 0-2.
Less than 10 minutes left to play City trailing 2 nil win a free-kick on half way played up towards Tomlinson inside the D turns well into a shot, United’s defence prepared the ball charged down. City have to push forwards time is against them now, United are tiring a corner won on the right, Stanley up well knocking the ball down two United players go to block both stay down as the ball is cleared. City make a change bringing off Bodily late on, on in her place Zynia Delglyn. Less than 4 minutes plus stoppage time left to play.
City pressing the ball high Davies right on for Gillies attacks a cross flashing in low through the six yard box, Markwell down on it late stops it but hasn’t claimed it, Waygood getting there 1st to clear for the visitors. A nervy end to the game United sitting back inviting City to come on Davies with a shot from 20 yards out, put straight at Markwell.
GOAL! Into stoppage time and City pull a goal back to set up a nervy finish to the game, Getting bodies forwards on the left in attack the ball is angled in centrally, picking out Stanley left of the D 20 out sees it across her body and hits it well to rifle a strike in high across the keeper into the corner of the net 1-2.
Maybe too little too late with the clock rapidly running down Cullum frustrated as she gives away a foul on Jenkins United with a free-kick. Baker wanting to get it into the corner, United end up giving a foul away themselves with Jenkins booked. Baker in with a strong challenge to win the ball after two City defenders end up tackling each other. One last throw of the dice as City have a free-kick in their own half Hudson on it everyone else in the United box, played in is a firm defensive header to put it clear as the final whistle goes and United celebrate winning the 1st Cambridge derby of the season.
Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-2 Cambridge United WFC
A highly entertaining game, very much a derby match, strong tackling but played in relatively good spirits throughout (at least I thought so) Committed wasn’t time for anyone to settle on the ball. United with a good start to the 2nd half getting the break through taking the lead on the hour. Adding a 2nd late in the game. City never out of it came back to score a goal in stoppage time but couldn’t find another as United take the 3 points and climb above them into 4th spot in the table.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Was a battle out there at times and a few performances to mention. Firstly for City, Ceri Flye made several important tackles in defence as did Jess Evans. Going forwards Charlotte Gillies looked a threat out on the right all game with some good runs. Whilst Tolentino moved well in attack left side. For United, Gisela Otten and Laura Baker were strong in the middle, Baker also tracking back well. Anna Re was busy at right back both defending and getting forwards to set attacks going. The award though goes to Emma Jenkins her work rate was superb making herself available throughout the game good positional play and a well struck goal to open the scoring.
Love a midweek derby match even if it 2am when I’m typing this. An entertaining game non stop action two sides that were committed from the 1st minute to the last. My thanks to both clubs for their help this evening.
by Darren Gilham