Sunday 30th October
NWGFL League Cup
With a busy weekend ahead only a game close to home would do this weekend and luckily there are plenty to be found with a trip up the A47 to King’s Lynn this Sunday to watch some action from the 1st Round of the Norfolk Women’s League Cup with Division Two leaders, KLSC FC Women taking on Division One side, Sprowston FC Women.
Today’s 1st Round League Cup tie delayed by a week due to Sprowston FC Women’s involvement in this season Women’s FA Cup. The NWGFL (Norfolk Women’s & Girl’s Football League) having two senior cup competitions with the sides knocked out in the early rounds of the League Cup going onto contest for the League Plate.
Today’s clash featuring two sides with the potential to go all the way in the competition. KLSC FC Women (King’s Lynn Soccer Club) entering their 2nd season. Have started the season brilliantly in NWGFL Division Two, leading the way with 5 wins from 5 to stand 5 points clear at the top of the fledgling table looking to push on from their 3rd place finish in their debut season. The club formed by ex-Lynn Ladies players, Lisa Wilson and Louise Coggles giving King’s Lynn a 2nd women’s football club within the town benefitting West Norfolk which still remains light on numbers of women’s sides within the county. A change of management at the start of the new season with Ellie Bennington stepping up from a coaching role last season to manage the side.
Striker Josie Turner highly prolific in front of goal for Lynn Ladies in their early years before their merger with King’s Lynn Town FC returning to the new KLSC FC Women set-up finishing top scorer netting 21 goals last season, has hit the ground running this season too netting 11 goals so far in the 5 league wins with Ellie Panks on 5 goals and Chloe Edwards on 4 respectfully in a total of 29 goals scored by KLSC FC Women so far this season. Firmly amongst the favourites for the Division Two title, they will face a strong challenge from newly formed Aylsham FC Women also making a 100% winning start along side Gorleston FC Ladies with another newcomer Blofield United Ladies currently 2nd also making an unbeaten start. Attention now though turning away from the league as KLSC get their cup campaign started.
Very much a revamped squad for Sprowston FC Women this season with 11 new faces within their 18 strong squad going into the 2022/23 campaign having seen several players move on with others going to university. Having become an established side within the NWGFL over recent seasons with a strong youth section, the rebuild squad once again laying it’s foundation in young players, new captain an goalkeeper Ellie Hambrook playing for Norwich previously along with midfielder Mollie O’Callaghan who made a name for herself in the county playing for Wymondham Town Ladies before moving to Norwich. Wymondham Town Ladies very sadly no more with Sprowston snapping up two of their promising recruits to add to their squad attacking players, Lyla Studd and Nyah White.
A loss and a win so far in Division One a run all the way to 3rd Round Qualifying in the Women’s FA Cup albeit with a bye in the previous two rounds with teams pulling out a heavy loss away to ERWFL Premier Division side Royston Town Women ending their FA Cup campaign, nevertheless with the improved prize money on offer this season the club has earned a tidy amount that will go along way to cover running costs for the season ahead.
KLSC FC Women playing their home matches at he King’s Way Playing Fields on Edward Benefer Way to the north of King’s Lynn. A familiar venue although I haven’t been hear for a few seasons the grass pitches well used by the local sides in the area. The furthest pitch from the changing rooms in use today a stiff wind blowing across the open field making it impossible to run out the tape to cordon off the playing area a rope called for instead. The clocks going back this weekend the leaves starting to fall now dotting the pitch, still mild for the time of year the wind though adding some bite, the earlier rain blowing through should be dry for the match.
KLSC FC Women starting XI – Selina Raines, Caitlin Jacob, Rhiann Ellis, Courtney Burch-Bailey, Millie Bareford, Kesley Ramm, Taeya Mayes, Josie Turner (C), Chloe Edwards, Trinity Tokaji & Ellie Panks. Subs – Viktorija Burkauskaite & Lucy Clarke.
Sprowston FC Women starting XI – Ellie Hambrook (C), Bailey Curtis, Courtney Leggett, Madison Lee, Lois Irving, Olivia Leggett, Lilly-Ann Winney, Rosie Milligan, Nyah White, Lois Wright & Anais Winney. Sub – Charlotte Wickenden.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Both sides light on substitutes going into the game with only 2 for KLSC and 1 on the bench for Sprowston. KLSC also searching for a new goalkeeper having lost theirs to King’s Lynn Town Ladies recently, Selina Raines donning the gloves for today’s game. It’s Sprowston to get the cup tie underway kicking off the first half wearing orange shirts and socks with black shorts, with KLSC lined up opposite wearing red and black vertical stripped shirts, red shorts and red and black hooped socks. The ball played short midfield, KLSC immediately close it down forcing it back to the defence, Madison Lee sending a long clearance up the right wing for Nyah White to chase down, Caitlin Jacobs getting in to make the challenge for KLSC the ball out for a throw high up the pitch.
From the resulting throw in Sprowston get the ball down to whip a low cross in towards the near post missed by the KLSC defender going to clear runs on to striker Anais Winney, not expecting the ball to come to her tries to dig a shot out from under her feet, Selina Raines making the save at close range gathering the ball.
GOAL! The perfect start for the visitors as they get themselves into the lead inside the opening two minutes Olivia Leggett battling for the ball in the middle taking it forwards before lifting it on into the path of Anais Winney pulling off the defence right of the D closing in on the area before sending a shot arrowing in across the keeper 0-1.
KLSC look to get on the attack as they regain possession at the back the ball sent long out to the right for Trinity Tokaji running onto space on the wing taking the ball on Sprowston centre back Lois Irving going with her, timing her tackle to take the ball off Tokaji’s boot before she can work room for a shot. Josie Turner getting hold of the ball in midfield pulling right and unleashing a shot from distance, 30 yards out the shot held by Sprowston goalkeeper and captain, Ellie Hambrook.
Irving getting her foot up well to intercept the ball at the back for Sprowston put on through the middle with Turner on the move looking to run in behind. White bringing the ball on up the right side for Sprowston firing a vicious cross in on the angle, intercepted by KLSC’s Rhiann Ellis cleared across her goal out to the right, Rosie Milligan up with Lois Wright on the left side retrieving the ball turning inside to attack the goal, her shot fired in at the near post straight at Raines.
Sprowston lively at the start the early goal rocking KLSC a little, the visitors getting players forwards well up and around the final 3rd. Millie Bareford on the ball for KLSC playing the diagonal pass out to Chloe Edwards on the left flank. Looking to travel with the ball her progress halted by Sprowston’s Bailey Curtis. With Sprowston pushing up at times their is the opportunity to get the ball in behind, KLSC though struggling to time the pass more often than not running on out of the attacking players reach, the offside flag catching KLSC out too.
Lilly-Ann Winney, wearing different coloured boots to her twin sister Anais or I’d be hard pressed to tell them apart, like the Lubbock twins who play for Fakenham carrying the ball on through the middle drifting right sending the clipped pass on for White hurtling up the wing, her cross driven in behind the KLSC goal. Sprowston pressing the KLSC back line forcing errors leading to a corner kick on the right. An inswinging delivery curls over the crossbar and out for a goalkick.
KLSC giving away a few free-kicks Irving over one wide on the right on the half way line plenty forwards for Sprowston, the ball won by Bareford top of the area. KLSC looking to release Tokaji running on down the right, Irving clearing for a throw. High up the pitch put into the mix top of the Sprowston area, players nipping at the ball on both sides KLSC applying a little pressure the ball not falling kindly as Sprowston scramble it away. Sprowston attacking on the right White skipping inside knocking the ball into the area, cleared drops to Lilly-Ann Winney right of the D 20 out scoops her shot wide of the right post.
Turner with the ball centrally for KLSC looks to release Tokaji out on the right flank, getting hold of the ball release it quickly into the middle, intercepted by Lee, the defender giving away a corner. Players up into the box the delivery dropping invitingly into the six yard box, Sprowston, get it clear put long the break on as the visitors attack right, Jacob doing well for KLSC getting across to put in the tackle stop the attack.
Sprowston make a change bringing off Milligan, with Charlotte Wickenden abandoning line running duties to enter the playing field. Hambrook quickly out of her area to come clear the threat as Taeya Mayes plays a great long ball on for Ellie Panks to chase through the middle. Panks moving out to the left to support Edwards as she carries the ball on for KLSC, Curtis moving out to hold the pair up the ball played back into midfield for Mayes, tries her luck from distance not quite connecting with the whole of the ball her low strike running safely through for Hambrook to gather.
KLSC have struggled to find their rhythm in the game so far Ramm on the ball central looking to get thing’s going playing a great ball forwards into the path of Panks running into the left channel, the attacker driving on into the box, Curtis and Lee closing her down the KLSC forward winning her side a corner kick. KLSC making a change before the corner is taken it’s Panks coming off to be replaced by Viktorija Burkauskaite. The delivery whipped in towards the near post cleared by Curtis for Sprowston falling 20 yards out to Mayes to strike on the half volley, frustrated as she can only pick out the keeper, Hambrook holding onto the shot.
Irving taking on the set-pieces for Sprowston as the foul count grows, players up around the top of the area for the visitors, it’s Ramm however who lays claim to the ball for KLSC carrying out out from the back moving to the left playing it forwards for Turner looking to get on with Tokaji, Irving getting across to defend for Sprowston the ball out for a throw. KLSC getting into the game better now attacking coming right the ball inside with Ramm 20 yards out goes for goal her angled shot in held by Hambrook.
GOAL! However just as KLSC are starting to carry a threat in attack Sprowston break away to score a 2nd on the half hour with the ball fed on through the middle for Anais Winney pulling out to the left driving into the box under pressure from the KLSC defence gets her shot away firing the ball wide across goal. White stealing in unmarked at the far post to turn the ball home from close range to score her first goal for Sprowston 0-2.
Sprowston after the ball as the game restarts Olivia Leggett winning it putting the pass forwards turned out to the right for White who fizzes a ball in across the top of the area not dealt with by KLSC, Lilly-Ann Winney with the 1st time hit sending the ball looping up towards goal, comfortably caught by Raines. Turner operating through the middle further forwards for KLSC now recieves the ball into her feet her touch taking her right opts for the early strike on the spin 30 yards out her effort running wide past the far post.
White making some powerful runs on the right wing for Sprowston driving up the line getting in behind turning inside into the box leaning back as she pulls the trigger, Raines down at her near post has the angle covered. Frustrations boiling over Sprowston unhappy with a decision letting the referee know their views. Not having it a heated exchange between Olive Leggett and the official follows. Sprowston on the end of a few robust challenges. The 2nd goal giving Sprowston a renewed burst of confidence as they get players on well.
Turner lunging in with a strong tackle on Lilly-Ann Winney that leaves the midfielder floored needing treatment again players react the situation calmed down. The referee having a strong word with Turner as Winney recieves treatment. A lengthy pause play resuming with a free-kick to Sprowston wide left Courtney Leggett playing the ball up the line the visitors getting a corner kick. A teasing delivery played through the six yard box met at the far post the header turned wide.
Ramm drives forwards with the ball at her feet for KLSC left side lacks support as Curtis comes out to meet her the Sprowston defender tackling well to regain the ball. Sprowston continue to show their frustration with the referee as they are awarded another freekick on halfway. Irving over it to put a long ball in towards the top of the area, won well by Ramm looks to release it early for Tokaji racing away central, Hambrook though quickly out of her area to deal with the threat for Sprowston.
Into stoppage time at the end of the first half, Sprowston attacking through the middle Olivia Leggett with the pass to release Anais Winney up top charging for the box, Burkauskaite chasing back with the attacker lunging in to win the ball, times her tackle well taking the ball away from Winney before she can pull the trigger. A throw out on the left high up the pitch put on across the top of the area KLSC don’t get it away as Olivia Leggett snaps in to win the ball prodded out to Wright left of the D, skips into the area before getting her boot under the ball to scoop a shot in towards goal, Raines right behind getting her gloves firmly around the ball.
Burkauskaite with another last ditch tackle inside the area timed perfectly to deny Anais Winney another attempt on goal, as the forwards pass is lifted into box Winney looking to run onto it and shoot central, has a vicious spin on it however the bounce taking it away from the striker to the right of goal, giving Burkauskaite the vital second she needs as she lunges in a full stretch to take the ball away from Winney behind for a corner kick. Dropped into the six yard box Courtney Burch-Bailey gets it clear for KLSC.
Seconds left to play KLSC get the ball on rapidly through the middle with Turner looking to attack it driving at the ball, Hambrook rushing out to meet her top of the area does enough to stop Turner stealing in past her the ball loose though top of the box, Courtney Leggett and Tokaji throwing out a boot in an attempt to win it, Tokaji getting the telling touch sending the ball on past the keeper towards the goal, Curtis though is round on the cover to protect her goalkeeper intercepting the ball and clearing it forwards the rapid counter on as Wickenden finds White on the right flank driving on shoots on the angle straight at Raines covering her near post.
Half-time KLSC FC Women 0-2 Sprowston FC Women
A 2-0 lead for Sprowston at the break. The changing rooms a good distance away from the pitch the teams staying out on the field to receive instructions for the 2nd half. A perfect start for the visitors taking the lead inside the opening 2 minutes. On the front foot for a large portion of the 1st half taking the game to KLSC. The hosts rocked by the early goal in comparison taking a while to get into the game then just as they were looking to apply some pressure of their own got hit with a 2nd goal. Free-kicks given away much to Sprowston’s frustration they have looked a threat going forwards. KLSC’s best chance coming at the end of the half a goal pulled back then giving them confidence going into the 2nd half. 2-0 often a tricky score-line KLSC certainly not out of the tie but need to find a goal to put Sprowston under pressure.
Changes for both sides at the break, Lucy Clarke coming on for KLSC replacing Edwards on the left. Milligan back on for Sprowston with Wickenden off with KLSC getting the 2nd half underway with the sun breaking through the clouds at last, doing nothing to cull the bite of the wind however. The ball played bac into the defence Jacob looking to get on left side is tackled by Lilly-Ann Winney. Bareford battling on with the ball central for KLSC is fouled 35 yards out to the left of the D. A free-kick early in the 2nd half for the hosts. Mayes over it has shown she’s got a decent strike on her 1st half lines up a shot fired in aiming for the far post Hambrook moving across her goal, can let it go, out wide beyond the upright.
Curtis in to defend against Turner inside the six yard box as a cross is fired in across goal the ball out for a corner kick. Left side Turner to send a low ball in across the six yard box, cleared back to the corner taker Turner shifting the ball inside before curling her shrike over the crossbar. Mayes down having taken a knock for KLSC out on the right in attack a pause in play but is up and able to play on. Milligan seeing the ball into her feet well spinning it on into the path of White moving forwards right side looking to get into the box, Burkauskaite coming to close her down winning the ball back for KLSC.
GOAL! Sprowston get players forwards attacking left side moving on towards the top of the area Wright up with Anais Winney and Milligan the cross inside to Milligan inside the box left of the D, gets her foot under the ball to lift her shot up to sail over the keeper and into the back of the net to extend Sprowston’s lead 0-3.
As with the first half it’s the perfect beginning to the 2nd for Sprowston as they score a goal early to move 3 goals clear. The visitors getting the ball back straight from the restart looking to attack as White is picked out on the right charging on players rushing in towards goal as she fires her cross in racing through the six yard box no one can get a touch. Turner looking to make herself available for the ball in attack is picked out by Bareford moving right, turns inside well driving for the Sprowston area getting a shot away from 20 yards out the ball racing wide of the near post.
Raines releasing the ball rom her gloves a fantastic ball forwards has Turner attacking it bouncing not dealt with by the Sprowston defence knocked out to Tokaji right side does well to win a corner. Turner to take it an inswinging ball drops onto the crossbar and out for a goalkick. Sprowston making a change White coming off for a rest, Wickenden back on with an hour played. Burch-Bailey making a vital challenge inside the box left of goal on Wright as the left sided attacker looks to battle her way through on goal a corner conceded. Wright to send the corner in a great ball into the six yard box Olivia Leggett rising to meet it heading the ball wide past the far post.
Sprowston getting forwards well Wickenden up with Anais Winney as they combine top of the rea before Winney bursts in behind right of goal to send a shot in across the face of goal, intercepted well by Burch-Bailey. Cleared out to the top of the area, Sprowston with bodies up to pressure the ball, a shot from distance with venom, Burch-Bailey blocking it feeling the full force needing a moment to recover.
Courtney Leggett over a free-kick out wide right for Sprowston, players coming forwards cueing up top of the area the delivery swept in, Ellis heading clear drops down to Olivia Leggett 20 yards out central, strikes a shot goalwards her effort flies over the crossbar. KLSC making a change with Edwards returning to the pitch replacing Tokaji on the right. Wright is fed in left side her cross driven into the top of the area Anais Winney squeezing a shot away as players rush in on the ball, Raines with a superb save as she drops sharply to her right to get down to glove the away to the left.
Sprowston keeping the attacking pressure on the ball fired into the area own into the six yard box, Anais Winney then Olivia Leggett attacking it unable to get a shot away as the ball is half cleared by KLSC falling to Lee outside the box her strike flashed over the bar. Bareford on the ball central for KLSC onto Turner played out to Edwards on the right as she takes the ball forwards up the line before delivering a cross through the six yard box met by Clarke at the far post looks to turn the ball goalwards, puts it straight into Hambrook moving well across her goal to close the angle.
Bareford busy in the middle for KLSC battling on the ball to get forwards coming out left lifts it onto Clarke top of the area left of the D, shifting the ball onto her left foot, sends a rising ball in towards goal, Hambrook across to her near post taking the ball comfortably above her head. KLSC finding some signs of encouragement. Sprowston though remain lively getting players forwards a free-kick won central Irving playing it long for Milligan pulling left blasts her shot into the side netting. Anais Winney coming off for Sprowston with White back on.
Burkauskaite defending on Wright for KLSC to concede a throw in the corner as White attempts the diagonal pass from the right. Clarke seeing the ball into her feet for KLSC on the left has Turner making a run ahead of her into the channel, attempting the forwards pass, Lee is quickly in to make the tackle for Sprowston stop Turner breaking in behind. Turner doing all she can to find a opening up top for KLSC pulls into the box off a throw high up the pitch on the left, a powerful strike, held well by Hambrook at her near post.
Milligan getting the ball down onto her feet 25 yards out driving a shot narrowly over the KLSC crossbar. Milligan finding space in the middle to get the ball into her feet and look to create an opening going forwards for the visitors spins away to release a pass forwards into Lilly-Ann Winney breaking into the area, Burch-Bailey back at her well for KLSC to dive in take the ball away for a corner. The game entering the final 15 minutes. A player down on the right for KLSC, Ramm having taken a knock can’t continue helped off the pitch Tokaji comes back on.
White with a burst of speed on the right flashing a cross into the KLSC six yard box, Milligan closing in can’t get the touch to turn it home. Curtis doing well at the back for Sprowston winning the challenge as Turner looks to knock the ball on into the area.
GOAL! *correction* Out of no where KLSC pull a goal initially thought it was Mayes with the shot and got conformation from the crowd hence I gave it to the wrong person. KSLC are up and around the Sprowston box pressing the ball when it comes to Turner who strikes it well from distance to send the ball rifling in low past a static Hambrook inside her left post a goal back for KLSC, 1-3.
GOAL! A goal back for KLSC with the clock ticking down at the end of the 2nd half, Sprowston with the perfect reply as they get the ball forwards straight from the restart into White catching the defence off guard to race into the box left of goal, Raines racing out to close the angle, White releasing her shot early to send it past the advancing keeper and into the goal beyond to restore the 3 goal cushion 1-4.
Less than 5 minutes of regular time left to play Anais Winney back on for Sprowston, Wright off. Burkauskaite defending for the hosts as White drives into the box from the left. Olivia Leggett from 25 yards putting a shot straight at the keeper. Wright back on for Wickenden as Lilly-Ann Winney curls a shot in from outside the box held by the keeper. Sprowston regularly rotating their attacking players as the tie moves into stoppage time. Olivia Leggett clipping a long pass out to Wright attacking wide right, she sends a shot rising over the KLSC crossbar. A coming together between Burch-Bailey and White leading to the visitors being awarded a corner in stoppage time.
GOAL! The tie won Sprowston nevertheless bring plenty off players up into the area to attack the ball as the corner is played in by Olivia Leggett, A teasing ball in across the penalty spot the ball attacked the header turned goalwards looping over the keeper to find the top corner, sadly for KLSC an own goal with Sprowston going 1-5 ahead at the death.
Full time KLSC FC Women 1-5 Sprowston FC Women
The game ends a 5-1 victory for Sprowston FC Women to see them into the 2nd Round of the NWGFL League Cup. Their new look side showing plenty of potential with a confident display to win comfortably against the Division Two leaders. Scoring an early goal setting them on their way adding a 2nd on the half hour mark to lead 2-0 at the break looked strong for their lead and capitalised with an early goal 2nd half to go 3 ahead. KLSC has their chances and would certainly have posed a threat had they pulled a goal back a good chance late in the 1st half worked hard, Sprowston carrying a strong attacking threat KLSC nevertheless found a goal to get something out of the tie only to concede straight away an own goal at the death probably undoubtedly harsh.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. It’s a tough one no doubt was a strong team performance from Sprowston. A few performances to mention though, firstly for KLSC FC Women. captain, Josie Turner always carried a threat looking to make something happened whether trying to get others on the ball or leading the attack. Courtney Burch-Bailey with some strong tackling at the back along with Viktorija Burkauskaite. For Sprowston, Lois Irving is the experience head in the defence and marshalled thing’s at the back well with some good positioning. Bailey Curtis too was excellent with some great challenges. Olivia Leggett strong in the middle of the park with Rosie Milligan showing some great movement and control of the ball. Today’s award goes to Nyah White was a threat on the right in attack straight from the whistle and got forwards with purpose scoring twice.
An enjoyable return to The King’s Way Playing Fields, great to catch up with both sides who produced another great showpiece for the NWGFL good luck to both in the competitions going forwards and thank you for the team details as always much appreciated.
by Darren Gilham