Sunday 25th September
Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Two
Onto the 2nd game from this Sunday’s double header from Cambridgeshire as the action turns to the league and the opening game in Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Two for both Swavesey Spartans Ladies an newcomers Lakenheath Casuals Ladies. A few minutes up the road from Willingham.
The Cambridgeshire Women’s Football league with a new sponsor this season the Alan Boswell Group. The county league seeing a good growth over the past few season’s with a number of new sides entering. Now featuring 3 Divisions, 1, 2, and 3 with 31 sides.
Swavesey Spartans Ladies entering an adult side in the 20-21 season in what was formerly the Championship North enjoying a solid debut season finishing in mid-table. Pushing on in 2021/22 looking like they might pose a threat to those chasing the title getting off to a strong start winning 3 of their opening 4 games, form varying after that winning 8 of their 14 league matches to finish 4th. Lindsey Gassner top scoring with 15 goals. Swavesey Spartans FC is a club with a very strong youth section for both boys and girls with youth sides for the girls entered in U18, 16, 14 & 12 this season. Players moving on and a couple of serious injuries picked up pre-season affecting the side as they ready themselves for a new season.
Lakenheath Casuals Ladies are a new name to the league this season but a familiar side as the bulk to the squad were Mildenhall Town Women last season. Moving to Lakenheath this season a familiar part of Suffolk for myself having lived close to the airbase for work after leaving college for 5 years. Lakenheath taking on a women’s side an opportunity for the game to grow in the area. Starting their season last Sunday at home to another newcomer Ipswich Exiles Ladies in the first round of the Suffolk Women’s County Cup with goals from Annalise Brown, Charlotte Nash, Cassandra Carvalheiro and and penalty from Lauren Deller seeing the sides tied 4-4 going into a penalty shootout. Lakenheath eventually going on to lose 4-2 to make an early exit.
A short trip from Willingham to Swavesey the game taking place on the Recreation Ground situated on the high street in the centre of the village a play area boosting a large and well used grass pitch a wide open space with the Pavilion to one corner of the pitch housing the changing facilities. The weather still pleasant carrying on from the earlier game with bit more cloud cover and a slight breeze blowing across the pitch. looks a hard surface to play on.
Swavesey Spartans Ladies starting XI – Kira D’Arcy, Leah Edwards, Ellie Barnes, Liberty Ashdown, Emilia Robinson, Sophie Morrow, Hannah Parish, Emma Smart (C), Kaylee Collier, Kelly Stevenson & Tegan Collier, Subs – Anthea Blackwood & Georgia Wilson.
Lakenheath Casuals Ladies starting XI – Maranda Santiago, Alejandra Valle-Lopez, Jess Bowman, Christine Cullen, Niketa Carter, Cassandra Carvalheiro (C), Jasmine Luckett, Alex Milner, Annalise Brown, Caroline Limas & Sara jane Langford. Sub – Alicia Olmos.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Both squads stretched at the start of the season with just 3 substitutes between them as they begin their league campaign. Lakenheath to get the game underway wearing green coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Swavesey wearing light blue shirts with navy short and socks. A slight adjustment for Lakenheath at the start with Alicia Olmos sent on with Alejandra Valle-Lopez missing the start. The ball played out to the right, Kelly Stevenson looking to get hold of it for Swavesey, Jasmine Luckett closing her down for Lakenheath to get the ball into attacker Sara jane Langford her shot from outside the box blocked spinning away for a corner. Valles-Lopez returning the earliest sub ever on Women’s Football East as Olmos gives way to continue to receive the instructions her coach was trying to pass on before kick-off.
The corner for Lakenheath curled into towards the near post, Swavesey’s captain, Emma Smart there to meet in rising to get a firm header on the ball to clear. Swavesey come right the ball out to Kaylee Collier winning a throw high up the pitch Sophie Morrow sending a cross in along the top of the area cleared by Valles-Lopez for Lakenheath. Annalise Brown with pace on the right attacking for Lakenheath powers on her cross cut into the top of the area her target Langford, Liberty Ashdown stepping in to get it clear for Swavesey at the back. Ashdown closing down Luckett 25 yards out as Caroline Limas aims to lay the ball into the midfielders path as she breaks forwards.
Lakenheath pushing up to halfway, risk the ball in behind as Smart goes in strong to win the ball sends it long out to the right with Kaylee Collier racing clear, Lakenheath central defender and player manager Christine Cullen getting across to force her into the corner an unfortunate slip seeing a corner conceded. An inviting ball flashed in across the face of goal bouncing in the six yard box however it catches everyone flat footed cleared out on the left side. Brown taking the ball on good skill on the ball doesn’t get rid of it before Swavesey’s Ellie Barnes gets back at her in the corner.
Tegan Collier in the centre of attack looking to pull off the last defender for Lakenheath, goalkeeper Maranda Santiago moving quickly to the edge of her area to slide in and get her gloves on the ball to neutralise the threat. Swavesey looking to exploit the space offered out wide with long balls sent out to the wings for Collier and Stevenson to attack. Smart clipping a pass long to the right, Santiago is again quick to get to the ball on the edge off her area as Kaylee Collier races forwards. Santiago is busy inside her area rushing to the outskirts to get hold of the ball a rushed clearance however sees her out of position as the ball drops to Smart on half way, she senses the opportunity clipping a ball forwards on target bouncing in front of goal Santiago can’t get back the ball bouncing up to come back off the crossbar.
Swavesey mount an attack on the right, Leah Edwards getting forwards from full back to support Kaylee Collier outnumbering Lakenheath’s Jess Bowman. Edwards getting hold of the ball taking it into the corner before whipping a cross into the near post Tegan Collier close in on goal attacking it, Santiago back on her line with a sharp grab to prevent the ball evading her a smart save. Swavesey winning a free-kick some 30 yards out in a central position, Smart over the ball, a clean strike of the ball isn’t too far over the crossbar. Alot of grass behind each goal ball retrieval a lengthy process.
Lakenheath battling for possession in a compact midfield, captain Cassandra Carvalheiro with Luckett and Limas in close support goes on as the ball is fed on through to Langford in attack top of the getting the ball down back to goal turns left has Carvalheiro bombing on to her right lays the ball into her feet leaning back as she shoots the midfielder sends her shot over from 18 yards
Santiago continues to race out to the top of her area to get hold of the ball as her defence keep high and Swavesey look to exploit the space in behind. Smart with a good range of passing in her locker looking to send Tegan Collier through on goal from midfield. Edwards coming on with the ball for Swavesey right side plays a diagonal ball infield takes a deflection of a Lakenheath defender to see Kaylee Collier away on the right heading for the box, Santiago rushing out to meet her getting hold of the ball before Collier can capitalise. Langford collects a painful blow to the face as Emelia Robertson goes to clear the ball on half way for Swavesey, stunned takes her a few moments to collect her senses but is okay to play on.
GOAL! 20 minutes on the clock an the deadlock is broken Smart putting the ball on for Kaylee Collier to attack right side heading for the box Santiago out to edge of her area to claim the ball sliding in outstretched pushes it wide as Collier collides with her this leaves the Lakenheath keeper grounded as the host push players on from the middle, one of those Hannah Parish running on to retrieve the ball wide, an open goal to aim for the angle against her however as the ball skips up off the surface does well to get her foot up over the ball to keep her attempt low as it curls in to the far corner of the goal 1-0.
Lakenheath making a change bringing Olmos on in attack for Limas.
GOAL! No sooner have Lakenheath conceded a goal, then they quickly fall further behind with a sucker punch the ball being hotly contested in the middle pops forwards for Tegan Collier beating the high line to run on towards the area, opening up her body to play the ball wide past the onrushing keeper from 20 yards out to send the ball home 2-0.
Luckett brings the ball on through the middle from Lakenheath sending it on out to the right for Brown breaking down the wing takes it all the way to the by-line before turning to cross, the ball curling out of play onto the roof of the net. Santiago furious as she is pulled up for handling the ball in a perceived back pass as Tegan Collier battles through into the box with Valles-Lopez the decision going the other way however with Collier the one penalised for offside. Luckett with Carvalheiro in the middle get Lakenheath moving the ball on for Olmos up top 25 yards out attempts to hook it on for Langford, Robinson getting her foot up to intercept the ball.
Brown wins Lakenheath a corner as she and Milner swap flanks, the delivery curled in to the near post attacked by Olmos, turned wide of a Swavesey shirt a 2nd corner awarded. Dropping in the six yard box scrambled clear by the hosts. Brown set away with the ball on the left takes it on into the corner as Carvalheiro rushes up to offer support the game stretched for a moment as Swavesey race to get back to defend Brown back for Carvalheiro to cross, Langford the target inside the box her cross stopped by Smart launching the ball up field.
Pressure building late in the half by Lakenheath winning a corner on the right, Smart doing the defending near side the ball behind for a 2nd corner. Into Milner near side close to the by-line nevertheless a good turn to strike the ball over the bar. The visitors getting on well players up around the box but not getting the rub on the final ball with both Ashdown and Robinson strong in defence for Swavesey. Tegan Collier always ready up the other end to pull off the defence as Smart gets hold of the ball, Carter intercepting the pass at the back for Lakenheath.
Parish up on the right with Kaylee Collier forcing Lakenheath’s defence to make errors as they struggle to get the ball clear. Carvalheiro covering alot of ground for the visitors tracking back to get hold of the ball. Parish beating Carvalheiro to the ball 25 yards out stretching for it her scuffed ball cut across the top of the area Tegan Collier racing through onto it dragging her shot wide as Santiago comes racing out to close her down. Collier down having picked up a knock a few moments before is a concern but eventually up to see out the closing minutes of the 1st half. Smart coming on right side with the ball for Swavesey wrapping her foot around the ball her cross along the top of the Lakenheath area cleared by Carter.
Half-time Swavesey Spartans Ladies 2-0 Lakenheath Casuals Ladies
Despite seeing more of the ball it’s Lakenheath who find themselves trailing at the break, Swavesey with a quickfire double to lead 2-0. The hosts defending their box well not allowing Lakenheath to get inside winning the final ball. Looking a threat on the counter attack going long at times using the width and pace of both Collier’s. Lakenheath have been competitive getting the ball down through the middle, finding Brown out wide haven’t used it as well as they could have a blow to concede as they did. A 2 goal lead for Swavesey to defend in the 2nd half.
A double switch for the hosts at the start of the 2nd half with Tegan and Kaylee Collier off on Anthea Blackwood and Georgia Wilson to lead the attack. Lakenheath with a tactical change moving to 3 at the back bringing Limas back on for Bowman. The temperature starting to drop a little the breeze picking up in theory should favour Lakenheath in the 2nd half as Swavesey get the game restarted. Lifted on through for Wilson from midfield, too much on the ball safely collected by the keeper.
Ashdown getting across to move into challenge Brown as the Lakenheath wide player takes the ball right a corner conceded. Put long the ball cleared Swavesey look to counter quickly Ashdown racing on from the back as the ball is played up to Wilson on halfway, Cullen forcing her out wide. Lakenheath keeping a high line still adjusting to having 3 at the back space for Wilson to move into as Morrow with Parish get’s the pass forwards for the attacker to peel left turn towards the box, Santiago racing out to the top of her area saving the shot with her legs well.
Lakenheath pressing the ball bodies getting about in midfield coming to Limas central has support from Carvalheiro her flick on sending Olmos in behind to the left of goal, Edwards with a great recovery run to get back at her to lung in with the challenge stretching her leg out to take the ball from Olmos, the ball cleared to the right, Smart sending it back in over the crossbar. The clock stopped with referee Marcus Larham having a word with both captains and management having picked up an injury pulling a leg muscle treatment administered the game resumes.
GOAL! Lakenheath making a good start to the 2nd half getting the ball forwards winning a free-kick out wide on the right. Langford over it players crowding the box, a lovely delivery played low towards the near post, Milner ghosting in unmarked to get her foot on the end of it to turn into the back of the net from close range 2-1.
Lakenheath pulling a goal back with the game approaching the hour mark. Taking a gamble at the back, but with the extra body further forwards are pressing well with Carvalheiro in particular getting about the pitch to nip in to win the ball. Playing a high line held well as they catch Wilson offside just over half way. Limas coming right with the ball has Luckett and Brown up with her as the trio look to force an opening, Smart breaking play up for Swavesey. The ball coming straight back though as Luckett hooks a cross into the box, Carvalheiro running on attacking it near side Ashdown going with her to block her shot.
Stevenson bringing the ball on left for Swavesey as Morrow looks to provide a run forwards into the left channel, Carter defending for Lakenheath. Lakenheath on top putting the Swavesey defence under serious pressure Luckett spreading play to the right Brown with a strong run to the by-line flashing a teasing cross along the six yard box Carvalheiro clear central can’t quite connect runs to to Milner beyond the back post lifts her attempt over the bar.
Brown with some clever footwork on the ball taking it on right side squares a cross into the D, Olmos meeting it not making the contact she wanted the ball scuffed through to the keeper. Robinson and Ashdown working hard to get their tackles in as Lakenheath push on looking for the equaliser the ball quickly coming back as Milner and Brown swap flanks again. Olmos with another opportunity to unleash a strike inside the D drops narrowly wide of the right post. A corner given the faintest of touches from the keeper. Milner moving free at the near post getting onto the end of the corner delivery twisting to drill her header across goal, head in her hands as it cannons off the base of the far post.
GOAL! No sooner have Lakenheath come within inches of equalising then Swavesey hit them with a goal out of nothing as they get the ball up on the right a throw taken quickly seeing Wilson take the ball on into the area wide of goal to fire her shot across the keeper to restore the 2 goal lead 3-1.
No sooner has she scored then Wilson needs to come off, Tegan Collier returning to the pitch.
GOAL! The substitute making an immediate impact as the ball is won back played forwards into her right channel battling forwards riding a challenge on the edge of the area before hitting a sweet strike past the keeper to make it 4-1 taking the game away from Lakenheath just as they looked likely to equalise.
20 minutes left to play the game opening up now as Swavesey look to relieve the pressure their defence had been under by getting more players forwards. Collier’s pace likely to test the visitors back 3. Carvalheiro battling for the ball central turning in forwards for Langford the attacker taking the ball into her feet turning inside running for the box, unfortunate as Limas unintentionally gets in her way seeing the attack fizzle out. Lakenheath continue to get at Swavesey forcing them into errors a ball crossed in high for the right hit goalwards as it drops for Olmos inside the D. looping up Newton moving across her goal, doesn’t take it cleanly the ball evading her momentarily as she deflects it down onto the base of her post an is able to grab it on the bounce.
The game moving into the final quarter hour both side tiring with out the options to bring on from the bench. Collier spinning off Cullen on halfway left side taking on the early strike the ball bouncing harmlessly wide through the area. Milner chasing the ball on the right getting a cross into the area, Carvalheiro with the run near post winning a corner kick. Played into the box Parish clearing for Swavesey. Barnes out from the back to close down Langford as Carvalheiro plays the ball on left side blocking her shot. Kaylee Collier back on for Swavesey replacing Blackwood with around 5 minutes left to play. Swavesey look to get the ball up the pitch play stretched.
The ball cleared up to Tegan Collier in attack as she pulls free on the left, players breaking, Stevenson, Parish and Kaylee Collier racing forwards to support, Collier’s cross field ball finding Kaylee widest of the 3 playing it forwards into Stevenson right of the she turns on the ball sending it back across the top of the area into Tegan Collier left connecting 1st time turns her shot narrowly wide of the post.
Lakenheath tiring alot of effort put in frustrated to find themselves 4-1 down having pushed so hard for a reply in the 2nd half. Langford flagged offside. Valle-Lopez defending at the back as Smart looks for Tegan Collier in attack. The hosts with the energy late on a Smart plays the ball out to Kaylee Collier left side, Cullen going across to put in the tackle halt her progress.
Full time Swavesey Spartans Ladies 4-1 Lakenheath Casuals Ladies
Goals change games and they certainly did this afternoon. Lakenheath with a strong start to the 2nd half having changed formation taking the game to Swavesey pulling a goal back an looking likely to get it back level before being hit with another quickfire double from Swavesey midway through the 2d half to effectively take the game away from them. The hosts having to deal with so concerted pressure for a spell with a good workout for their first competitive game of the season, starting the new campaign with a win as for the 2nd game today the hosts win 4-1 what are the odds of that?
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A competitive game a few performances to mention. Firstly for Lakenheath, their captain Cassandra Carvalheiro was excellent run of running getting about the pitch to win the ball and made a few great runs into the box. Annalise Brown with good footwork on the ball a outlet out wide, while Niketa Carter made several important tackles at the back. For Swavesey, their caption Emma Smart use the ball well playing it forwards getting back well to help her side defend. Tegan Collier up top causing problems with her movement and pace scoring 2 goals. Both centre backs were superb, Emilia Robinson winning the ball well working well with her defensive partner to prevent Lakenheath getting through on goal, pipped to the award by Liberty Ashdown enjoyed an excellent game in defence reading the game well with some great tackling.
The 2nd game of the day done a busy Sunday with a double does of football from Cambridgeshire checking out 4 new sides for the first time as with the first game only wants me want to see them in action again. Credit to referee Marcus Larham for continuing having picked up an injury. My thank too to both sides for their assistance with the team details much appreciated. Decamped to Swavesey’s Travelodge to write up the reports, getting two done in one evening is certainly a challenge.
by Darren Gilham