Category Archives: County Cups

Cup Final – Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies v Ipswich Town Ladies

Monday 9th May and onto the Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final being played at Portman Road home of Ipswich Town FC a special night and occasion for the two finalists Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies & Ipswich Town Ladies continue below to read the whole match report from the Supporting Women’s Football Blog.

Cup Final Report – Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies v Ipswich Town Ladies

 
  The Cup Finals keep on coming on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog. A Monday night final this time around the Suffolk Women’s County Cup between Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies and Ipswich Town Ladies. A special night for both sides too as the Final is being played at Ipswich Town FC’s Portman Road Ground.

  A huge league difference between the 2 sides Ipswich Town Ladies playing in the FAWPL South East Division One whilst Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies play 5 leagues below in Norfolk Women’s Division Two. Both sides have enjoyed a positive season.

  Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies won’t be playing in Norfolk Division Two next season, have achieved promotion to Division One. Winning the Division Two Title going undefeated in the league all season this just there 2nd season as a club the Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final is their 1st final. A special occasion one the whole squad will relish and live long in the memories playing at such a prestigious venue.

  Ipswich Town Ladies have been buzzing since the announcement the final was going to be played at Portman Road, an opportunity to wear the clubs colours and play on their famous pitch. A positive end to a season that started off with a little trepidation manager Ralph Pruden seeing several of his squad depart or become unavailable to play for the season. A rebuilding job to a degree has gone to the opposite end of the scale with players coming in in high numbers, 2016 has seen Ipswich Town Ladies league from improve dramatically and are likely to seal a top half finish in the league. Plans are in place to start a Development team to support the 1st team next season.  

  Road to the Final
 
  Both sides received a bye in the 1st Round of the competition. In the 2nd Round Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies were at home playing Suffolk Women’s Division sides Leiston St Margarets Ladies won comfortably 14-1 to advance to the quarter finals. Drawn at home again were to face Suffolk Women’s Division side again, Brantham Athletic Ladies only they never showed up Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies awarded the home walk over. Played at a neutral venue Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies took on ERWFL Division One East side, bury Town Ladies for the right to play at Portman Road. Played at Walsham Le Willows the game ended all square at 1-1 after 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra-time followed, Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies scoring the goal to take them through to the final to face a tough challenge in Ipswich Town Ladies.
  No seeding in the competition, current Suffolk Women’s County Cup holders, Ipswich Town Ladies found themselves with a very difficult opponent in the 2nd Round drawn at home to fellow FAWPL South east Division One side, Lowestoft Town Ladies. Came away from the game with a 4-2 win to progress to the quarter finals and a short away trip to eventual Suffolk Women’s Division Champions, Copleston Ladies. Racked up a double figure scoreline beating them 12-1 to advance through to the semi-finals taking on ERWFL Premier Division side AFC Sudbury in a repeat of the previous seasons final. The semi-final between the 2 sides ended goalless after 90 minutes and headed into extra-time. Roxanne Small scoring the all important goal that would see Ipswich Town Ladies win and get the opportunity to play at Portman Road.
 An impressive venue in the centre of Ipswich itself Portman Road is a good sized stadium one of the most famous football grounds around. Over 30,000 capacity the Cobbold Stand running along one side of the ground was open to fans tonight it’s 2nd tier overlooking the large pitch looking in extremely good condition despite the advanced stage in the season. A mini heatwave had descended over the weekend and it was still bright and warm as the 2 sides warmed up on the pitch, a few clouds around the threat of rain later. Referee Mary Harmer had recently been in the middle for the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final the 1st female official to do so, now she was leading the 2 sides out officiating in the middle for the Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final, assistant referee Emily Heaslip from Bury St Edmunds combines her refereeing career with a playing career was on the field for Millwall Lionesses in FAWSL 2 at the match I attended on Sunday.
  

 Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies starting XI – Shauna Brunton-O’Neill, Kylie Butler, Maria Palmer, Sue-Lyn King, Sam Brown, Nikki Wigg (C), Jodie Fewkes, Gemma Farman, Sophie Martin, Jody Wells & Selina Rowland.
 subs – Sianne Davies, Sarah Meades, Jordan Harris, Peta Belson & Lisa Sissens

 Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Leanne Smith, Jaz Ball, Coral Young, Sian Fagg, Aimee Harrison, Lindsey Smith, Amanda Crump (C), Roxanne Small, Hollie Clement, Libby Dixon & Molly Hall.

 subs – Jo Fox, Sophie Welton, Jade Henry & Cassie Craddock.

(roll on roll off substitutes)
  Ipswich had added a few players from Lowestoft Town Ladies to their squad earlier in the season, prominent members of the squad during the latter part of the season, defender Marcie Prettyman plus attackers Zoe Cossey and Natasha Thomas were all cup ties for the game and ineligible for the Final. Was a clash of kits in their semi-final at Walsham Le Willows both sides playing in blue, Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies to don the red shirts from the host mens side. Onto the final and again both sides usually play in blue. Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies didn’t need a change of colours this time around playing in their all blue kit with a white collar and right shoulder. Ipswich wearing their away colours white shirts and socks with red trim and black shorts. Kirkley & Pakefield get the final underway.
   Ipswich win the ball right from the off and send it long into space on the left channel the ball running through into the Kirkley & Pakefield area gives goalkeeper Shauna Brunton O’Neill an early feel of the ball. Striker Selina Rowland is fouled inside the centre circle inside the Ipswich half the free kick to be take by Gemma Farman is put up towards the Ipswich penalty area, defender Lindsey Smith gets the ball clear. Ipswich look to get the ball on the move quickly spreading play long out to the left side Hollie Clement getting onto the ball looks to push on with the ball drive towards the area is tackled by Kirkley & Pakefield’s centre back Sue-Lyn King.
  Molly Hall leading the line for Ipswich comes deeper to get onto the ball nodding it on with her head to Clement racing away on the left carrying the ball on lifts it in towards the area, Brunton O’Neill gets her gloves firmly around the ball. Roxanne Small playing wide on the right for Ipswich in tonight’s final wins her side a corner on the right. Brunton O’Neill comes for and misses the inswinging ball dropping far side for Clement she look to link up with Small the ball is send back out to the right to corner taker Ipswich captain Amanda Crump lifts a high bll in towards goal dropping under the crossbar, Brunton O’Neill is back in position to call for and claim the ball.
   Ipswich come again Clement seeing alot of the ball early on races free of everyone squares the cross into the Kirkley & Pakefield area with the outside of her boot, rolls along the six yard line just beyond Libby Dixon making the central run. Ipswich have a corner on the right the inswinging ball aimed towards the far post is cleared off the line and Kirkley & Pakefield counter attack, Jodie Fewkes bringing the ball up the field right sends the pass long looking for Jody Wells making the run through the middle, Ipswich goalkeeper Leanne Smith comes racing out to the edge of her box and making the blocking save just as Wells connects with the ball.
Hollie Clement opens the scoring for
Ipswich Town Ladies in the Suffolk
Women’s County Cup Final
   GOAL! 10 minutes on the clock and Ipswich get the 1st goal of the final. The ball is played out to the left side once again with Clement getting support from Small the two linking up the ball is played inside to Clement who turns in to the area coming across the face from the left side curls her shot over Brunton O’Neill to see it into the back of the net 0-1.
 
 
  More joy for Ipswich down the left side the ball fed out to Dixon peeling away into the channel, taking on players cuts back inside running along the face of the Kirkley & Pakefield area gets a shot away drags it wide of the near post. 
  GOAL! any pre match nerves as dispelled for Ipswich as they add another goal just 3 minutes after taking the lead. The build up is down the right side the cross is played in early from deep curling in towards the near post area, Hall making the run to get into the six yard box gets a firm header on the ball sending it home 0-2.
 
  Hall with a chance moments later to double her goals tally, the cross whipped in from the left by Clement cutting along the face of the box drops to her inside the area looks to stab the ball up into the roof of the net, Brunton O’Neill moving along her goal line saves at close range, well placed snatches the ball down and claims it. The play is all with Ipswich, Kirkley & Pakefield having conceded 2 goals inside the opening 15 minutes are battling hard not to concede again, Clement left side again takes the ball on into the area looks to fire it across the six yard box to pick out Crump far side, King defends against the ball coming to the edge of the area 1st Dixon then Hall see efforts blocked.
  Few chances are coming for Rowland and Jody Wells up top for Kirkley & Pakefield. Rowland tries to hold the ball up when she can. 20 yards out back to goal the ball is played long into her feet, has Wells in close proximity lays the ball into her path, takes on the early shot the ball spins away from goal. A light drizzle has started to fall with 20 minutes played. Wells takes on a long range shot from wide left coming in near post Smith has the shot covered. 
Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies, Jody Wells
  Clement on the ball on the left side for Ipswich drives forwards before cutting back inside and taking on the shot, Brunton O’Neill diving forwards pushes the ball away, comes to the feet of Hall who sees her shot blocked runs back to Dixon who goes for goal the shot lifted over the bar, must have took a knick on the way through as a corner kick is signalled. Goes long to the far post area attacked the ball is turned behind for a goal kick.
  Coral Young is fouled by Kirkley and Pakefield’s Kylie Butler wide on the left halfway inside the half, Crump over the ball plays it high into the area, Sian Fagg with the crowd moving into the area to meet it gets her head on the ball puts the attempt straight at Brunton O’Neill who gets hold of the ball. Change for Kirkley & Pakefield Sam brown coming off with Jordan Harris coming on. 
Amanda Crump sends her free kick up into the Kirkley & Pakefield area
  GOAL! Closing in on the half hour mark Ipswich add a 3rd goal, Dixon the scorer. Kirkley & Pakefield have enjoyed a brief spell of possession inside the Ipswich half when the offside trap is sprung, Dixon getting clear on the right with Kirkley & Pakefield having pushed up is clear hesitates fro a moment half expecting to be pulled up no flag no whistle on she goes, Brunton O’Neill comes rushing out of her area, stays on her feet no risking the foul, Dixon cleverly nudges the ball to evade her leaving her clear to send the ball rolling into an empty net 0-3.
 
  Clement free on the left comes again sends the cross in along the six yard box again with Dixon in the middle just evades her again runs through to Hall beyond close range lifts her shot up over the crossbar. Young takes a throw on the left  down the line for Dixon the cross fired into Hall in the middle of the area, no room to turn towards goal lays it back out the opposite way rolling into the path of Crump coming to meet it outside the box connects well the shot loops up and is narrowly over the crossbar. 
  GOAL! A brilliant individual goal scored by the captain as Crump picks up the ball from Clement in the centre inside the Kirkley & Pakefield half carries it forwards taking it around two players, shifting it left then right closing on the edge of the area lifts the shot in sending the ball into the right corner of the goal to score0-4.
 
  A little over 5 minutes of the 1st half left to play and the heavens open heavy rain driving across the pitch. 
  GOAL! 3 minutes left of the 1st half and Ipswich score a 5th goal another brilliant solo run from Crump as she gets hold of the ball on the left side, in behind carries it all the way to the edge of the area before unleashing a shot left of the D sending the ball across goal into the opposite side to score her 2nd of the game and Ipswich’s 5th 0-5. 
 
Amanda Crump races clear in the pouring rain to score her 2nd goal of the game
  Late in the 1st half Ipswich continue to press forwards Dixon with a shot from 25 yards out sends the attempt over the crossbar, ha another go closer in this time outside the box a low drive through bodies towards goal, Brunton O’Neill dives to her right pushing the ball wide, the whistle blows bringing the 1st half to a close.
Half-time Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies 0-5 Ipswich Town Ladies
  A tough 1st half for Kirkley & Pakefield as Ipswich Town Ladies have been the dominant side for much of the half, getting players in behind and driving through the middle, their movement too much to handle at times, any early nerves settled with 2 early goals gone on to add 3 more to be fully in control of the final at Portman Road.
  Change for Kirkley & Pakefield at the start of the 2nd half Butler off, Peta Belson on. Ipswich get the 2nd half underway. A repeat of the start of the 1st half the ball going long an early claim for Brunton O’Neill. Dixon goes on a driving run with the ball on the left for Ipswich before whipping the shot across the area runs wide across goal.King concedes the corner kick as she deals with a cross sent in from the left by Clement looking to pick out Dixon. The corner left is taken short moved up to the top of the area is squared into the feet of Clement shoots sending the ball through a crowd of bodies, Brunton O’Neill can see it and gets down at her post to save.
  GOAL! 5 minutes into the 2nd half and Crump gets her hat-trick the build up on the left side Fagg out to Clement onto Crump moving forwards to receive the ball travels with it into the box closing in on the six yard box isn’t challenged and drill the shot across goal and in. 0-6.

A Cup Final hat-trick for Ipswich Town Ladies captain Amanda Crump
  Despite the rain now falling their is a good atmosphere inside the stadium 375 in attendance both sets of fans vocal, Kirkley & Pakefield’s younger supporters enjoying themselves have been giving their side encouragement all game. A rare chance for the Norfolk Division Two Champions as the ball is sent long Rowland getting clear has half a yard on the Ipswich defence, looks to hit the shot on the half volley lifts it in towards goal caught off her line, the ball isn’t high enough to loop over Smith, still she needs to make sure it stays off target throwing herself to her right pushes it out for a corner kick. Hall back to defend for the corner heads the ball clear onto Clement who carries it on.
  Double switch for Ipswich with Lindsey Smith and Dixon coming off, Cassie Craddock and Jade Henry coming on to join the action. Bringing the ball out from right back Jaz Ball plays it up the line for Henry, inside the Kirkley & Pakefield half turns inside with the ball before squaring it to Craddock left of the D sends a low shot in towards goal lacs the pace to trouble Brunton O’Neill who gets down to claim. 

 Ipswich build up another attack right side, Henry bringing the ball on fired into Crump furthest forwards attacking the near post area plays it on for Hall who plays the ball back to Craddock running from the centre of midfield to meet it 25 yards out gets too much on the shot lifts it high over the bar. Harris puts the ball out for the corner preventing Hall getting onto the end of a Small cross put in from the left. Nikki Wigg rises to head the ball away from the six yard box for Kirkley & Pakefield falls to Clement outside the box goes for the shot a fierce drive that smashes down off the crossbar before Kirkley & Pakefield scramble it away. 

Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies
captain Nikki Wigg
  Kirkley & Pakefield bring on Lisa Sissen for Martin, Ipswich bring on Sophie Welton and Jo Fox for Ball and Small. The Ipswich substitutes getting into the action straight away, Fox at the back right side up to Welton ahead of her plays it up the line for Henry, puts the early cross into the box with Crump coming towards the all looks to turn the ball across the keeper and in, Brunton O’Neill gets down and holds onto it. 
  Moments later the ball is with Welton in the centre of midfield drives forwards towards the area, Brunton O’Neill rushes out to close her down makes the block/save edge of her area, the ball is loose, Henry racing onto it 20 yards out drills the shot in is narrowly wide of the post. King makes an important intercept cutting out a Clement through ball from the left side intended for Henry making a central run to get inside the area.
   Is all Ipswich, despite their best efforts and the encouragement from their fans Kirkley & Pakefield just can’t get any meaningful possession, Wells and Rowland are staying up top always ready to attack if they can get the ball. Henry in the middle 25 yards out lays the ball out to Welton moving into space on the right side the cross comes in going long beyond the far post Hall coming in jumps to head the ball off target.
   Clement on the left puts the ball inside for Hall running onto the ball outside the box the shot is sent in back peddling Sissen clears the ball off her goal line. Free kick wide left Crump over the ball a good way out but hits it hard the ball smacking down off the crossbar once more down into the area Kirkley & Pakefield battle to defend the shot eventually hit wide by Henry right side.Hall comes off for Ipswich with Dixon returning to the field. A double switch for Kirkley & Pakefield Farman and Belson off Brown back on along with Sarah Meades. 
  Once more Ipswich strike the woodwork the ball is sent in from the left by Clement plenty of power behind it from the top of the area flies across the face of goal smashing off the far post back into the six yard area the ball is nodded over the line, the goal won’t stand as the linesman on this side Bradley Fisher has his flag raised.
  GOAL! The Ipswich bombardment eventually tells as they find the back of the net for a 7th goal. Attacking on the left the ball is played into the area for Welton finding herself in space on the edge of the six yard box shoots, Brunton O’Neill does well to get across her goal line and get something on the ball, but not enough as it squeezes past her and rolls over the line 0-7.
 
  Brown does well under pressure inside her area to deal with a high ball stood up into the area with Dixon closing her down. Young and Clement come off for Ipswich with Lindsey Smith and Ball returning, the latter in a more advanced role on the left. The cross bar is struck again this time as Henry lets loose from 30 yards out the ball clipping the goal frame and going out for a goal kick. 

  GOAL! The game moves into the 89th minute having been under siege for much of the half Kirkley & Pakefield have put in a defensive shift concede one more time as Welton attacks on the left breaking the ball inside towards the area hits the shot across goal lifting the ball up over the keeper and in 0-8.

  Sianne Davies comes on for Kirkley & Pakefield late on replacing Rowland. Ipswich put the ball into the back of the net again doesn’t count as the offside flag is raised. King gets in the way to block a viscous strike from Henry in injury time, the rain finally stops falling and with it the final whistle blows and Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate winning 8-0 to retain the Suffolk Women’s County Cup.

   Scoring 8 goals Ipswich Town Ladies could have had more on the night the goal frame hit on several occasions too, dominated a tough ask for Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies plying their trade 5 Division’s lower. A fantastic achievement to get through to the Final and play at Portman Road an experience they will never forget, clap their fans at the end who never stopped encouraging them were in good spirits at the end despite the heavy loss.

Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies piling on goalkeeper Shauna Brunton O’Neill in
good spirits at the end of the Final.

  An experience too that Ipswich Town Ladies will never forget playing at and winning the Suffolk Women’s County Cup, sure they’d love to do it again. Fantastic from all involved at the Suffolk FA who worked to get the game played here.

Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate lifting the trophy.
    
Suffolk Women’s County Cup Winners 2015/16 Ipswich Town Ladies

  A great night out for everyone, thanks to Suffolk FA and the stewards at Portman Road for their help tonight.

Cup Final Report – Cambridge United WFC v Great Shelford Ladies

 

Cup Final Report – Cambridge United WFC v Great Shelford Ladies

 
   Trip to Histon FC this Thursday evening to watch the final of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final sponsored by S-Tech Insurance between Cambridge United WFC and Great Shelford Ladies.

  Something of a regular fixture these days as the 2 leading sides in women’s football in Cambridgeshire contest the final for the 4th consecutive season, Cambridge United WFC, (or Cambridge WFC as they were previously) winning the trophy on each occasion. A rearranged final having been originally scheduled for 2 weeks ago, heavy rain before the match left standing water on the pitch and unsafe travelling conditions led to the match being unfortunately called off.

Road to the Final
 
  Contrasting season’s for both sides, Cambridge United WFC had a poor start to the season failing to pick up a win and going out of the FA Women’s Cup, turned thing’s around going on an 8 match unbeaten run to climb up the FAWPL South east Division One table have finished top half with their best points haul in the league. Defending the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup entered the competition in the 2nd Round a home win was awarded against opponents Fulbourn Bluebirds. 
  Were on the road in the quarter finals away to Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side Newmarket Town Ladies, played at Newmarket Town FC, Cambridge United WFC were far too strong on the day winning the game 9-0. On the the semi-finals and a good test as they were drawn against Cambridge City Ladies young guns hoping to win the Premiership title in their 1st season at that level. Cambridge United WFC won the game 6-2 to reach the final once again.
  Playing in the league below Cambridge United WFC, in the ERWFL Premier Division it has been a tough season for Great Shelford Ladies have been near the bottom of the table all season unable to get a decent run of games in in a stop start season, as they look to bring in a few younger players to build for the future.
   Were away to Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship North side March Town United Ladies in the 2nd Round won the game 4-1 to make the quarter finals and a home draw against Premiership side Bar Hill Ladies. Won the game 5-1 to advance through to the semi-finals. Faced another Premiership side away from home with title ambitions ICA Sports Ladies who had beaten higher league opponents in the quarter finals knocking out Riverside Rovers Ladies in a penalty shoot out. No upset this time around with Great Shelford Ladies winning 3-1 to set up another final with Cambridge.

  The venue Histon FC just off the A14, a good sized non-league stadium with great facilities a large main seated stand overlooking the dugouts, A bar situated at the back. Hot and col refreshments below. Covered stands all around which was just as well as the weather although dry at the start of the game was going to get very wet later, dark clouds filling the sky the wind starting to pick up as the two sides walked out onto the pitch.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Lucy Du Plooy, Laura Bright (C), Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Baker, Hannah Goodchild, Laura Mills, Becky Taylor, Faith Hewitt & Paige Logie.
subs – Tahnee Perfect, Carrie Bennett, Isabella Simmons, Monique Christian & Nicola Geoghan.

Great Shelford Ladies starting XI – Laura Gilbey (C), Katie Sims, Katie Webb, Cindy Ponder, Claire Creek, Sophie Lanham, Alison Wright, Jordanne Sillitoe, Sophie Hopkin, Kate Saunders & Rachael Pearce

subs – Natalie Shenton, Abigail Davies, Claire Andrews, Sophie Ugur & Chloe Houston.

 (roll on roll off substitutes)
   It’s Great Shelford to kick off the 1st half of the final wearing claret shirts with sky blue sides and sleeves against Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and amber socks. Jordanne Sillitoe is on the ball early played in down the right wing, driving forwards is stopped by Cambridge’s Lucy Du Plooy at left back. 
Winning a free kick on half-way a chance for Great Shelford to play it long into the Cambridge area, Cindy Ponder to put the ball in, goes into the box bouncing Cambridge goalkeeper Verity Crook calls for it and claims. 
  Emma Jenkins is released into space on the right as Cambridge go forwards, Faith Hewitt putting her in to attack, bringing the ball on whips in an early cross long across the Great Shelford box, were Becky Taylor who previously played for Great Shelford is racing in, can’t quite get there to turn the ball home as it runs out of play for a goal kick. On the right side again Laura Mills carries the ball down the flank squaring a cross in towards Paige Logie coming over to receive the ball inside the box, lays it back to the face of the area with Laura Baker running in meets it hitting the shot 1st time sees her effort run wide across the goal.
  Cambridge win a free kick on the left side inside the Great Shelford half the ball played high into the box is sent back out Cambridge get hold of it a strike from distance comes in, goes high and wide, a corner kick is signalled the ball taking a deflection on the way out. Mills on corner duty plays the ball into the centre of the box, Great Shelford’s Alison Wright rises to head the ball away.
 Cambridge are finding space for their wide players to attack have the Great Shelford defence back tracking, Ponder and fellow centre back Claire Creek are dealing with most thing’s flung into the so far. In the centre Wright get’s her foot on the ball and carries it forwards a surge into the Cambridge area, captain Laura Bright gets across to put in the tackle and win the ball putting it out for a corner kick. Played long from the left goes over everyone gathered inside the six yard box out for a goal kick. 
  The wind has been getting stronger and in comes the rain as it starts to fall Baker nods the ball forwards in the midfield getting free plays the ball out to Mills wide right, driving up the pitch cuts back inside trying to take the ball beyond Ponder into the area to shoot the central defender stands firm winning the ball. Taylor coming forwards into the Great Shelford half sends the ball over the top with Mills racing forwards ahead of her meets the dropping ball on the volley drives wide.
  GOAL! 25 minutes into the 1st half the chances have been building for Cambridge as the open the scoring, the ball is played forwards from midfield into the area, bouncing as it comes in Mills is looking to get onto the end of it, comes through to goalkeeper and captain Laura Gilbey, inside her six yard box under challenge manages to pluck it out of the air but drops it as she falls to the ground, the ball spilling out to the left, Baker is up with her and getting onto the end of the ball taps it home 1-0.
 
  The Great Shelford defence breached Cambridge keep coming a powerful run from Logie moving into space on the right, turns and plays the ball across the face of the Great Shelford box Hewitt gets her foot over the shot to turn it towards goal, runs straight through to the gloves of Gilbey. A mazy run from Mills on the ball sees her come inside her shot from outside the box charged down by Ponder. 
  Great Shelford’s attackers haven’t had much opportunity to link up 1st half getting hold of the ball inside the Cambridge half, Katie Saunders plays the ball out to Rachael Pearce on the left pushes on then looks to put the ball square into Sophie Hopkin coming through the middle can’t quite take the ball on as it just evades her allowing Cambridge the chance to clear. Double change for Cambridge, Isabella Simmons and Tahnee Perfect coming on for Hewitt and Goodchild. 
  Wright is up inside the Cambridge box for a free kick sent in from halfway pulls away right trying to bring the ball down with defender Kayleigh-Anne Burt on her, squeezes a shot away, too many bodies to get through, takes a deflection sending it behind for the corner. Comes in central Crook comes and claims unchallenged. Again Wright is brought down as she tries to carry the ball forwards through the middle of the park, 30 yards out Sophie Lanham takes this one goes for goal gets the ball past the wall, runs wide of goal.
  Taylor attacks up the left for Cambridge pushing on has Logie available inside the box coming out towards the ball, Taylor plays it into her Logie hits the shot on the turn looking to put the ball high into the back of the net, Gilbey has come to close her down gets her gloves on the ball to push it out of her area. 
  Late on in the 1st half, Hopkin gets free into space on the right a chance to take the ball on into the Cambridge box, entering the area evades Bright and shoots, coming across to cover her central defensive partner Burt makes a great block to deny the goal scoring opportunity. Change for Great Shelford late on too Lanham coming off and Sophie Ugur coming on.
Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-0 Great Shelford Ladies
   Cambridge lead one nil at the break, Laura Baker with the goal. A slender lead, they have had plenty of attacks, getting down the wings and could have had more. Great Shelford will be happy to have kept the scoreline down have worked hard to defend found it difficult to pose a threat up the other end. Cambridge get the 2nd half underway.
  Sillitoe has been looking to take on players every time she has the ball at her feet get’s fouled by Du Plooy this time free kick awarded wide right around 25 yards out. Saunders is over the ball, plays in a great delivery towards the far post Great Shelford have two runners coming in, the ball lands favourably for the defender in between them and the ball is headed away. 
  Simmons has been lively in attack for Cambridge since coming on 1st half, seeing shots blocked from outside the area. The ball is played into her in a central position this time from the left side, going for the shot the ball takes a wicked deflection spinning away for a corner kick. Put in to the plays coming to attack the near post is met by a Cambridge head the ball turned across goal goes over the crossbar.
 Bright is booked as she fouls Wright halfway inside the Cambridge half, the ball is played high into the Cambridge area, calls for hand ball as the ball drops for Burt then runs out of play, the crowd and Great Shelford bench have a better angle to see it than the referee on the other side of the play who awards a goal kick. 
  A shot from Taylor coming into the box from the left following good play between Simmons and Logie in front of the Great Shelford area rolling the ball into Taylor’s path she shoots the ball held by Gilbey. Perfect coming forwards lays the ball into Mills out on the right sends the cross in to the area, Taylor the target, Ponder gets her head on it 1st behind for a corner.
Paige Logie
  GOAL! Mills to take the corner plays it in to the near post area the ball is headed away by Great Shelford outside the box Cambridge retrieve play the ball back out to Mills who stands the ball up into the area, near side again the ball is met by Simmons headed on into the six yard box where it is met by Logie who heads home from close range to make it 2-0.
 
   Great Shelford make a double change Chloe Houston and Abigail Davies coming on for Hopkin and Katie Sims who is struggling with an earlier knock. Carrie Bennett comes on for Du Plooy for Cambridge.
 
Laura Baker scoring
twice in the final
  GOAL! Cambridge extend their lead as they get bodies forwards have Taylor on the ball surges down the left wing, looking to get around the player in front of her and turn into the area, doing so squares the ball along the face of the box with Baker timing her run to perfection hitting the shot 1st time angles low and accurate inside the post squeezing past the diving keeper. 3-0.
 
 Cambridge corner on the right the ball put high into the box Gilbey jumps to catch it looses it as she is knocked to the ground, Logie gets hold of the lose ball inside the six yard box, looks to smash it goalwards, Great Shelford block the ball landing for Gilbey to pull into her body, gets the decision this time around. Mills bursts into the Great Shelford area as the ball is played long, hits the shot on the run, Gilbey gets down sharply makes the save pushing the ball out to the left, Ponder is back help out and gets the ball up the field.
  Logie comes off for Cambridge as they bring on Monique Christian. Ponder comes off for Great Shelford, Andrews going back on. Cambridge win a couple of corner kicks that sees the ball headed over the cross bar then put wide of goal. As the rain starts to fall heavily across the ground, Cambridge bring off Burt and Baker send Goodchild and Hewitt back into the action. A fantastic run by Sillitoe on the ball carrying it half the length of the pitch darting inside to run at the Cambridge area, goes to shoot the ball blocked by Goodchild. 
 More changes as the game goes into the final 10 minutes, Wright and Ugur off, Lanham and Pearce return to the pitch. Simmons and Hewitt both see shots from outside the box charged down by Creek and Webb. Jenkins getting forwards has a go from further out the ball is gathered by Gilbey. Closing minutes and a touching gesture from Cambridge late on named amongst tonight’s substitutes Nicola Geoghan is brought on replacing Taylor. Geoghan has unfortunately had to retire from the game having sustained a concussion early in the season and following doctors advice has decided to hang up her boot, highly thought of at the club she will be greatly missed on the field. 
  Hopkin back on for Great Shelford almost steals in behind the Cambridge defence but Crook has seen the threat and is out of her area early to close the ball down launch it clear. Last chance of the match falls of Geoghan up in attack the ball squared across the face of the area, she and Gilbey slide in for it Gilbey managing to claim the ball. That signals the end of the game and Cambridge celebrate retaining the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup in the pouring rain. Their 1st trophy as United.
  Were the dominant side on the night created plenty of chances although Great Shelford did well to keep the scoreline down to 1-0 at half-time had few chances to score themselves. Will be hoping for better thing’s next season although they won’t be doing it as Great Shelford Ladies. Histon FC will be their new home as they are to become Histon Ladies adopted by the men’s club helps to ensure a lasting future for the club.
Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup winners, Cambridge United WFC
 Congratulations to Cambridge United WFC  on retaining the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup once again. My thanks to Cambridgeshire FA’s Chris Abbott for his help tonight.

Essex Women’s County Cup Final

This Thursday the action on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog came from Thurrock FC for the final of the Essex Women’s County Cup, played between C&K Basildon Ladies the current holders and Writtle Ladies.

Cup Final Report – C&K Basildon Ladies v Writtle Ladies

 
 A trip down south into Essex tonight just off the M25 at junction 30 to Thurrock FC to watch this seasons Women’s County Cup Final between C&K Basildon Ladies & Writtle Ladies.

  C&K Basildon Ladies are the leading women’s football side right now. Newly promoted to the FAWPL Southern Division, have had a solid debut season, with one league game left to play are comfortably in mid-table. Are the current holders of the Essex Women’s County Cup beating Billericay Town Ladies 7-1 in last seasons final. Opponents Writtle Ladies are a side very much on the rise, formed 3 seasons ago have won successive league title in Essex then again this time around in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) Division One East with a 100% winning league record over those 3 seasons to date have to games left with the title in the bag.

Road to the Final
 
  As defending cup holders C&K Basildon Ladies were given a bye until the quarter finals of the competition where they were drawn at home to Essex Premier Division title hopefuls Hullbridge Sports Ladies, a comfortable victory on the day a 10-0 win easing them into the semi-finals where they we away to ERWFL Premier Division side Colchester Town Ladies, who did well to hold Basildon to a 0-0 during the 90 minutes to send the game into extra-time. Basildon went on to find the back of the net 3 times to reach their 2nd successive Essex Women’s County Cup Final.
  Writtle Ladies entered the competition in the 2nd round were at home to Silver End United Ladies promoted with them to the ERWFL Division One East as Essex Premier Division runners-up last season. Writtle were the stronger on the day recording a 3-1 win to progress to the quarter-finals where they were to face an away trip to ERWFL Premier Division side Billericay Town Ladies came out the wrong side of a nine goal thriller losing 5-4. Billericay Town Ladies went on to win the semi-final against local rivals Brentwood Town Ladies but were later removed from the competition for fielding an ineligible players against Writtle who were reinstated to the competition to face Brentwood Town Ladies themselves at home, the ERWFL Premier Division side at the time in a poor run of form, Writtle took full advantage winning 5-0 to find themselves in the final.
  The venue for tonight’s final Thurrock FC just off the M25 at junction 30, a large non-league ground plenty of parking the ground is overlooked by the Thurrock Hotel has a large covered seated stand on one side covered seating and terraces all around a clubhouse and bar. Refreshments hot and cold on offer. A large pitch with railing all around.
Turrock FC’s main stand overlooked by the Thurrock Hotel

  C&K Basildon Ladies starting XI – Sophie Blowers, Kerry Stimson, Karen Stephanou, Claire Lacey (C), Rebecca Smith, Hannah Porter, Katherine Huggins, Zoe Rushen, Amy Nash, Lily Mellors & Karissa Rodney. 
  subs – Nicola Carty, Laura Bryant & Kayleigh Xidhas

  Writtle Ladies starting XI – Rhianna Farr, Amy Simmons, Kayleigh Franklin, Lynette Jones, Leanne Stubbings, Mia Brisley, Hannah Mold, Abigail Fry (C), Georgina Tricker, Courtney Clarke & Sophie Vale

  subs – Beth Griffiths, Amelia Murphy, Faith Candice, Caroline Brown & Charlotte Walker.

(roll on roll of substitutes) 
  Writtle to kick off the final 1st half wearing green and white horizontal shirts, green shorts and socks with Basildon lined up opposite in an all red strip with white trim. Were without experienced centre back Stacey Little who required surgery on a fractured cheek bone sustained during last Sunday’s FAWPL Southern Division match away to Lewes Ladies. Basildon get hold of the ball from the kick off and look to play it out to Amy Nash attacking down the left side running into Writtle’s Kayleigh Franklin the ball goes out for a throw.
 A counter attack from Writtle sees them break down the left side, Amy Simmons playing the ball on for Sophie Vale moving out to the left he squares the ball into Georgina Tricker, just beyond her outside the box she keeps going trying to get into the box as the ball runs on for Courtney Clarke central, rolling the ball into the area for Tricker to chase, Basildon captain Claire Lacey puts in a great defensive tackle to win the ball. 
  GOAL! Playing higher league opposition the last thing you want to do early on is concede an early goal, however Writtle do exactly that as Basildon hit them on the break the ball going left is played on to Nash who puts it forwards rapidly with striker Karissa Rodney on the move to get in behind the Writtle defence can’t catch her as surges towards the area with goalkeeper Rhianna Farr starting to come, Rodney goes for the early shot, plenty of pace on the ball as she fires it past the advancing keeper into the back of the net 1-0.
 
   Rodney and Nash link up again a couple of minute later, Rodney providing the pass this time putting the ball into Nash as she reaches the Writtle area left side knocks the ball on a yard to open up the space for a shot puts her strike straight at Farr, who parries the ball down before gathering at the 2nd attempt. Basildon have Writtle on the back foot, Lily Mellors takes the ball off left back Mia Brisley and races forwards getting in behind has Rodney moving into the box plays the ball on the diagonal into her, looking to hook her foot over the ball to turn the shot on target, sees her effort smashed against the bottom of the goal post before rolling back out Lynette Jones clearing for Writtle.
   Writtle are looking to get forwards themselves, Vale with Simmons to the left, Tricker to the right with Clarke a little deeper are probing trying to find away in behind Basildon’s back line full-backs Kerry Stimson and Karen Stephanou more often than not challenging and winning the ball. When Simmons does get the better of Stimson tries to pick out Vale just on the edge of the box Hannah Porter get’s back from midfield to put in the challenge to reclaim the ball. At the other end the Writtle defence is busy as Mellors steals in behind on the right looks to pick out Rodney coming through the centre, Jones does well to get a foot in front of her to take the ball away from her concede the corner. Is played short with Stimson coming forwards to receive whipping the cross into the box Rodney rises turns her headed ball down towards the far stick Writtle block/clear off the line. 
  GOAL! Basildon go 2 goals up a strike from distance by Mellors who finds the ball presented to her from a kick out of the area, 25 yards out wastes no time pulling the trigger, good connection with the ball right side of the D lifts her shot over the keeper and into the back of the net 2-0.
 
   Tricker attacks down the right flank for Writtle bringing the ball deep into Basildon territory sends the cross in dissecting the area heading far post, Simmons is closing down the space trying to get there to turn the ball home, Stimson is aware of her presence behind her and sends the ball on out of play for a corner kick. 
   A free kick for Basildon wide on the left inside the Writtle half the ball is played in towards the front post with Lacey up from the back the target, stooping to head the ball try and turn it on into the net, lifts her effort wide and over across the goal face. The game is relentless Writtle go forwards lose the ball, Basildon look a danger every time they counter attack Rodney and Mellors both getting in behind. Nash left rolls the ball to Zoe Rushen unmarked outside the box, gets the strike all wrong lifting it high and over for a goal kick. Rodney onto a Katherine Huggins ball in the middle finds an extra gear to race clear into the box, Farr comes and slicing towards her comes away with the ball in her possession.
  A great save and good sized slice of luck sees Farr keep Basildon from getting a 3 goal advantage. The move coming from what looks a nothing ball played long across field out to the right, chasing the ball to the by line, Mellors retrieves and send a cross in to the near post, Rodney has gambled and made up the ground, looks to help the ball on lift it across Farr who flashes a glove up to try and stop the ball parries it up turning it behind her a narrowly wide of the post, could have gone anywhere the corner is conceded. A great delivery from the set-piece the ball coming in with pace is met by Lacey drills her bullet header wide of the post.
  Writtle’s Brisley bringing the ball under control left lays it into Clarke in the middle of the park, spreading play out to Simmons on the wing she looks to play a high ball into the area for Vale and Tricker to attack, finds neither as Rebecca Smith heads clear. Writtle come again captain Abigail Fry getting forwards on right has Leanne Stubbings in support inside gives her the ball, closing down on the right side of the Basildon area sees her shot charged down. Free kick on half way from Writtle goes long looking for Simmons edge of the box can’t get her head on the ball, but Writtle get an unexpected corner as goalkeeper Blowers slices the back pass rolled into out behind goal. There are cries for handball as the ball fired in to the area is cleared by Stimson but the referee isn’t interested.
   Basildon bring the ball on Rodney with a shot from outside the box plants the ball straight at Farr. Mellors and Brisley go shoulder to shoulder into the area right of goal the Basildon attacker getting a shot away fires the ball wide across the Writtle six yard box. Half time is rapidly approaching.
  GOAL! Basildon get their 3rd goal of the match attacking down the left side an early release from Nash puts Mellors through in behind coming in from the left side this time enters the area, Farr comes towards her drops as Mellors pulls the trigger gets a glove to the ball turning it wide across her six yard box, Mellors goes after it reclaiming at the far post to turn the ball home. 3-0.
 
  Half-time C&K Basildon Ladies 3-0 Writtle Ladies
  Had just put in notes at 2-0 Writtle aren’t out of it were starting to create a few openings them conceded the 3rd goal on the stroke of half-time leaving them with alot to do if they have any hope of getting back into the match. Basildon have been too strong getting in behind repeatedly could have added more goals to their total 1st half and if the 2nd half continues like the 1st then you can only see them going to score more goals.
  It’s Basildon to kick off the 2nd half. Writtle press them forcing them to play the ball all the way back to their keeper, Blowers. Basildon attack the ball from Porter releasing Mellors she is forced wide by Jones out right side of the area Mellors tries to pick out Rushen inside the box, Brisley makes the interception cutting off the cross and playing the ball out of defence.
Basildon push at the start of the 2nd half, keeping hold of the ball around the Writtle box Hannah Mold makes a couple of defensive clearances as they try to lift the ball in. Rodney comes again right side bringing the ball on hits it on the run fires the shot straight at Farr who holds onto the shot.
  Huggins with a superb pass 20 yards out to put the ball on into the area left side for Nash to run onto, hits her shot goalwards again Farr is well placed gets everything behind the shot. Sustained possession from Basildon ends when Huggins goes for the strike 25 yards out Farr again claiming the ball. Rodney attacking with the ball at her feet down the right flank getting into the box stands the ball up towards the far post, Rushen rises 3 yards out headers the ball down, fantastic reactions from Farr going down to throw an arm out and tip the ball wide of goal for a corner kick.
  Writtle ride it out despite the pressure their 3 attackers are keeping disciplined staying up top waiting for the opportunity if the ball comes up to them. Fry offers Clarke an option on the right side going on with the ball squares the cross in towards Tricker coming into the area, can’t quite get the ball under her control gives Smith the chance to get on the ball and clear. Vale has a chance to strike from distance 25 yards out smashes a shot in straight at Blowers the keeper spills the shot runs back out towards the edge of her area she goes after it gets hold of it before the onrushing Simmons can pounce.
  Writtle are starting to do better, still risk getting hit on the break but are prepared to keeping players up the pitch have options whenever they win it back. Make a double change with Franklin and Vale coming off for Amelia Murphy and Caroline Brown. Murphy joining the attack get’s on the ball straight away in the middle of the park playing in on to Clarke ahead of her 20 yards out a turn and hit, must have got some swerve on the shot because Blowers starting to go one way adjusts well to get down and make the save to her left stopping the ball. 
   A corner for Writtle put in from the right side Lacey gets a good header on the ball taking it out of the area, Writtle reclaim on the right side Fry drilling a ball back in low Blowers calls and get’s her gloves firmly around the ball. Basildon launch a counter attack the ball fed into the run of Rushen left of the goal 25 yards out, Mellors and Rodney race on getting ahead of her, the Writtle defence attracted to them both no one closes Rushen down edge of the area has the time and space to hit a shot, comes at Farr at a good speed parries the ball up into the air, flicking the ball up and just onto the top of the cross bar and over. 
  Free kick for Writtle wide right outside the area, a shooting opportunity Clarke over it goes for goal hit long looking for the top corner far post but over. Double change for Basildon with Nicola Carty and Laura Bryant coming on for Stimson and Smith. Farr gathers a shot from Mellors fired in from the edge of her area. Basildon come on again Rodney travelling into space on the right whips the cross in along the face of the area through to Nash who shoots blasts the strike wide of the goal. Substitute Bryant plays the ball through the middle almost putting Mellors through Farr coming to the edge of her area just gets to the ball 1st. Rodney with the ball on the right again holds it up allowing Huggins to come call for the pass given the ball sweeps a cross in looking for the run of Nash far side of the six yard box tries to meet the ball on the volley misses giving Farr a chance to get down and save at her feet.
  A vicious strike at goal from the right from Writtle’s Clarke comes at Blowers quickly throwing up a glove pushes the ball out across goal to her left. Charlotte Walker is on for Writtle with Tricker rested after an earlier knock. Another strike from distance as Clarke goes for the top corner 25 yards out drops before it gets there coming at Blowers quickly she reacts putting the ball wide of the post for a corner. Tricker returns to the field with Simmons now rested. Writtle are doing much better now no signs they are tiring Fry playing the ball inside to Tricker 20 yards out her shot is a tame one rolling through to the keeper. Time is running out to get a goal however. 
  Murphy is played in through the middle running after the ball into the area can’t get there as Blowers comes and scoops the ball out. Another shot from Tricker on the right side of the area more height this time but put straight at Blowers. Nash attacking for Basildon as the game enters the final minute slices a shot well wide from the edge of the area running out to the right Mellors is still full of running keeping it in Rodney is available for the ball to be played back up the right side, lifts the cross into the area Rushen meeting it turns her header wide. 
  Late charge from Writtle in injury time Clarke in the drive with the ball through the middle gets plenty of power behind the shot swerve on the ball is coming straight for Blowers central in her goal, going to claim the ball almost evades her plucking it out of the air behind her keeping her clean sheet intact as the final whistle blows and Basildon celebrate winning 3-0 to retain the Essex Women’s County Cup
  A good battle played at a high tempo throughout, Basildon doing all the damage 1st half always in control with a 3-0 lead could have doubled it or more on another night had the chances. A much improved performance 2nd half from Writtle Ladies, 1st time I’ve seen them in action and clear to see why they have done so well climbing the leagues. 
C&K Basildon Ladies, Essex Women’s County Cup Winners
  Congratulations to C&K Basildon Ladies on winning the cup and my thanks to the staff at Thurrock FC and the Essex County FA for their help tonight. 

Match Report – Aylsham FC Ladies v Thorpe United Ladies

Sunday’s football action from the Supporting Women’s Football Blog, features the 2015/16 Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final between Aylsham FC Ladies & Thorpe United Ladies. Full match report below…

Cup Final Report – Aylsham FC Ladies v Thorpe United Ladies

 
  Trip the The FDC this Sunday to watch the 2015/16 Final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup between Aylsham FC Ladies and Thorpe United Ladies.

  There will be a new name engraved on the trophy too after today’s final as the competition moves into it’s 6th year. From it’s conception in the 2010/11 season the Norfolk Women’s County Cup has been dominated by Norwich City Ladies playing their football in the FAWPL South East Division One winning 4 finals in a row up until last season when they didn’t enter the competition that allowed a chance for a new name to lift the cup last season, Acle United Ladies playing in Eastern Region Premier Division. Now it will be won by a side playing within the county football league set-up in Norfolk itself with both Aylsham FC Ladies and Thorpe United Ladies playing in Norfolk Women’s Division One.

Road to the Final
 
  There were 3 ties to be played in the 1st round of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup with the rest given a bye to the 2nd round, played back in October Aylsham FC Ladies were handed a difficult looking 1st round tie at home to North Walsham Angels Ladies one of the title favourites in Division Two. Turned out to be a thrilling encounter with 12 goals scored during the 90 minutes level at 6-6 going into extra-time Aylsham FC Ladies found a bit extra and went on to win 9-6 to reach the next round. 
  In the 2nd Round were at home again taking on fellow Norfolk Division One side Long Stratton Ladies, much more comfortable this time around winning 4-0 to make it into the quarter finals. 4-0 was the winning scoreline again on home soil again as they were drawn against Norfolk Division Three side Toftwood Ladies. Home again in the semi-finals taking on Norfolk Division Two side Red Rose Ladies won 3-1 to reach their 1st Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final. An attacking side are rarely involved in low scoring games grinding out 1-0 wins isn’t their forte. Goals can come from anywhere in the side, but with 30 goals to her name in all competitions this season striker Abbie Charlton is one to watch. One of two finals for Aylsham FC Ladies this season as they have also reached the final of the Norfolk Women’s League Cup
   Thorpe United Ladies were also in action in the 1st Round an away drawn against the early pace setters in Norfolk Division Three, Harleston Ladies made short work of them racking up a 13-0 victory to progress to the 2nd Round. Different story in the 2nd Round drawn at home against fellow Division One side Wymondham Town Ladies, both sides amongst the favourites for the league title, Thorpe United Ladies edged the contest by a single goal to reach the quarter finals.
  At home again in the quarter finals drawn against Division Two side Stalham Town Ladies, progressed through to the semi-finals courtesy of a 5-0 victory to set up a repeat of last season’s final as they were drawn at home against Acle United Ladies. A tough test however Thorpe United Ladies celebrated at the final whistle again winning by a single goal to reach their 3rd successive Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final. Have made 3 final appearances to date and come so close last season missing out to Acle United Ladies in a penalty shootout will be determined to get their hands on the trophy and not another runner-up medal this time around their 3rd successive final appearance.

  The venue for today’s Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final, The FDC, Norfolk FA’s Football Development Centre, boasting a number of all weather pitches and the main grass pitch on which today’s final is to be played, a clubhouse and modern facilities on the outskirts of Norwich. The pitch itself looking in great condition a seated stand along one side for spectators a bright and sunny afternoon if a little chilly, good playing conditions all round as the two sides stepped out onto the pitch.

 
  Aylsham FC Ladies starting XI – Ania Vanston, Vikki Bird (C), Aneliese Smith, Alicia Lacey Becky Hibberd, Debbie Kelly, Lisa Ferdani Emma Gillespie, Leanne Woodward, Michaela England & Abbie Charlton.
  subs – Becky Hills, Sophie Burr-Walpole & Kiera Squires.
 
  Thorpe United Ladies starting XI – Kirstie Andrews, Nicole Read, Shannon Miles, Alice Ford, Cara Anderson, Jo Davey, Hayley Kindred, Charlotte Groves, Sharnie Boast, Rebecca Russell & Rebekah Lake (C).
   subs – Chelsea Clark & Natasha Evans.
(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Thorpe to get the 2015/16 Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final underway wearing pink shirts with black across the top of the sleeves, black shorts and pink socks with opponents Aylsham lined up opposite wearing orange shirts with a white and blue band across the front, blue shorts and orange socks. Right from the start Aylsham press Thorpe for the ball, Lisa Ferdani in the middle closing down the ball winning it and spreading play out to the left channel the ball is whipped across the Thorpe area, Michaela England coming in far side can’t quite get onto the ball to take it forwards, wins a throw on the right.
  Aylsham keep Thorpe penned in their own half at the start, Alicia Lacey and captain Vikki Bird dealing with anything sent long, having won the County Cup with Acle last time out Sharnie Boast now plays in the pink colours of Thorpe United, wins a 50/50 in the centre looks to release Rebekah Lake, Thorpe’s captain through the centre, Bird comes across to intercept. Aylsham try the same up the other end a good ball over the top right of the goal sees Abbie Charlton almost put though on goal into the area, Alice Ford gets across and lunging for the ball takes it away from the Aylsham attacker.

Aylsham’s Alicia Lacey challenging Thorpe’s Sharnie Boast for the ball
  Lacey is defending well early on and getting forwards on the ball for Aylsham, sending the ball long for Leanne Woodward ahead of her attacking space on the left she looks to come inside get into the area is tackled well by Thorpe’s Cara Anderson. Thorpe having ridden out the early pressure applied by Aylsham start to get hold of the ball, Boast through the middle has Charlotte Groves making a forward run ahead of her playing the  ball on Groves lays it out to Hayley Kindred attacking the right wing, sends a cross into the Aylsham box, is headed away by Bird, rolls back to Boast 20 yards out who goes for the shot, on target is straight into the gloves of goalkeeper Ania Vanston.
   Great chance for Aylsham to take the lead the ball played forwards for Charlton making the forwards run into the box right side of goal, has Anderson on her shoulder with Thorpe goalkeeper Kirstie Andrews advancing, Anderson gets out of the way as Charlton reaches the ball hits her shot into Andrews the ball spinning to her right in front of goal, won’t sit for Charlton who stretches to knock it down, on target, Anderson has gotten around her keeper and is back covering the goal line stops the ball and brings it away from goal. 

 
 
Sharnie Boast on the ball for Thorpe United Ladies
   Bringing the ball up over halfway for Thorpe midfielder Rebecca Russell sees the run Groves is making to get in behind the Aylsham defence plays the ball forwards, back spin on the ball stops Groves taking it into her stride lays it behind her to Boast who attempts the threaded ball through the Aylsham defence to play Groves in too much weight on the ball runs through to the keeper. Emma Gillespie get’s on to the ball for Aylsham in the middle a good pass up to Charlton looking to break into the area is timely intercepted by Anderson. 
  GOAL! The opening goal of the Cup Final goes to Thorpe a little over 15 minutes played. A free kick is given away wide left inside the Aylsham half, it’s Boast standing over the ball, good with a set piece plays a great ball into the area heading for goal, Vanston gets and glove up to stop the ball, but only succeeds in knocking it down into her six yard box, Thorpe have three players breaking away from the edge of the area and it’s Kindred who gets to the ball to knock it home into the back of the net to give Thorpe the lead 0-1.

Hayley Kindred opens the scoring in the
Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final
 
   Thorpe break from an Aylsham free kick inside their own half wide right cleared away edge of the area, Jo Davey up to Lake is clear through to chase the ball down, Vanston coming out of her area just makes it to the ball 1st to kick clear. Russell then has an opportunity to play Lake in through the middle again deeper this time, Bird wins the race and puts in a goo tackle to win the ball, comes out to Kindred wide right takes it up the wing before whipping the cross in again Bird is well placed to head clear. 
  Change for Thorpe with Nicole Read coming off at right back and Chelsea Clark, she immediately gives away a free kick to Aylsham wide right with Bird the player on the ball set to deliver sweeps it in towards the near post, Andrews comes and lays claim to the ball. Ferdani plays the ball over the top to the edge of the Thorpe area, Andrews comes towards the ball, Charlton racing in steals in on it before she can get there leaving the keeper stranded, taking the ball on to the touchline, can’t get a shot away as Davey gets back on her to win the ball.
   Another free kick wide left for Thorpe a little closer than the one for the goal, Boast over the ball sends the shot in dropping near post Vanston saves well parrying the ball down then gathering. Groves charges forwards with the ball into the Aylsham half with Lake out to the right plays the ball up to her, holding it up well gives Kindred the chance to offer a passing option, plays the ball back to her, Kindred sends a high ball up into the area keeping her eye on the ball Vanston comes and claims well with Groves closing in the two collide the keeper getting the advantage.
   A free kick for Aylsham on the right just inside the Thorpe half, Charlton is over the ball, sends in a powerful strike, Andrews coming misjudges ad ends up under the ball as it sails over her can only turn, and catches the ball as it rebounds off the base of the far post back into her gloves. Thorpe let Bird carry the ball the length of the pitch before she is crowded off the ball on the edge of their area the break is on the ball launched up into the Aylsham half with Lake always the willing runner, Vanston comes out to meet her sliding in bravely at the edge of the box saves the ball trapping it between her legs.

Thorpe United Ladies captain, Rebekah Lake

   GOAL! Having come close to getting Lake in on goal, Thorpe eventually succeed as they force an error at the back from Aylsham, Groves taking the ball off Becky Hibberd as she rushes over to close the defender down on the left side of the attack puts the early diagonal ball in behind the centre backs with Lake on the move in between them, throws a foot forwards even as Vanston comes to try and reach the ball 1st a yard inside the box Lake get’s to it 1st this time, sends the ball over Vanston and on into the back of the net 0-2.Close to half-time there is 2 minutes added time in the 1st half.

Half-time Aylsham FC Ladies 0-2 Thorpe United Ladies
  A lively 1st half, competitive as expected from both sides, Aylsham started very well causing Thorpe problems closing the ball down and sending it into Woodward and Charlton early, the defences have down well for the most part, Bird and Lacey in particular for Aylsham, Anderson and Ford with some timely tackles for Thorpe. Two errors have led to the goals Aylsham have conceded. 2-0 down they are no where near out of it, the next goal is crucial.
   Aylsham have kick off 2nd half, in front of a good sized crowd that has come to watch the final. Aylsham’s Debbie Kelly plays the ball up to Ferdani the ball is sent up high into the Thorpe area is dealt with by Shannon Miles. Aylsham have an early free kick out on the left half way inside the Thorpe half the ball is sent into the area Andrews coming for the ball spills it comes out to Woodward on the left side inside the six yard box, doesn’t make clean contact with the shot is on target near post however Miles is the play who gets across to defend the post and kick the shot clear.
  Charlton is busy if the ball isn’t coming to her she will go looking for it, chasing back robs the Thorpe midfield turn and makes a surging run towards the Thorpe defence shots from 20 yards out the ball deflected off a defender running through to Andrews. Thorpe come down the left the ball rolled on into Boast comes inside and goes for the curling shot aiming for the top corner the shot drifts out beyond the far post. Double change for Aylsham as they bring off Kelly and England, Becky Hills and Sophie Burr-Walpole are introduced to the action. 

Aylsham FC Ladies, Abbie Charlton

  Kindred attacks down the right side for Thorpe wins her side a corner kick the ball is whipped it towards Boast coming from a deep position edge of the box towards the ball meets it on the half volley, the attempted shot is deflected behind for a 2nd corner kick. This time the ball is headed across the face of goal, no one far side to turn it home as it flies out for a goal kick. Strong run on the ball from Aylsham’s Gillespie 30 yards out plays the ball forwards for Woodward racing into the Thorpe area the ball is just the wrong side of her, does well to turn and catch it with her heel try to send it on across Andrews but also off target as the ball runs wide.

   Aylsham are pushing hard winning the ball if conceding a few free kicks as they look to get a goal back. Hills has made a difference since coming on attacking on the right side, a strong player hard to shake off the ball, takes the ball on coming inside driving for the box, Anderson stands firm offering no way through. A fantastic chance comes Aylsham’s way as they hit Thorpe on the counter attack Charlton and Woodward both timing their runs to perfection spring the offside trap as the ball is put over the top, the ball landing in Woodwards path, Andrews has to commit comes towards her, Woodward lifts her shot over her from the edge of the area and is left kicking the ground in frustration as she sees her shot sail over the crossbar.
Aylsham’s Becky Hills with Thorpe’s Shannon Miles
   Boast comes away with the ball from a 50/50 challenge has Lake ready to make the run ahead of her get into the box, Lacey is on the move even before Boast plays the ball and makes the interception. Going shoulder to shoulder with Burr-Walpole on the right Lake manages to get a shot away just inside the corner of the box, lacking any pace runs through to Vanston. Another powerful run in from the right from Hills for Aylsham she drives into the Thorpe area, Ford comes across and throwing herself in front of Hills makes the block as she goes to pull the trigger the ball deflected wide for a throw. 
  Woodward comes off for Aylsham with Kiera Squires coming on as they continue to press forwards, Burr-Walpole making ground up the left plays her cross in behind her attackers giving Russell tracking back a chance to clear the ball. Thorpe bring off Clark with read returning to the action. England is back on for Aylsham. Lake steals in to rob Aylsham of the ball and drives forwards into the box right side closing down the keeper, can only lift the ball straight into the keepers gloves.

Aylsham’s Lisa Ferdani goes to challenge Thorpe’s Charlotte Groves for the ball.
   Burr-Walpole carries the ball up the left side for Aylsham lifting her cross into the area everyone has gambled near post as the ball flues over every one landing far post no one is their to attack the ball with little under 10 minutes left to play. Can’t get hold of the ball, Thorpe’s Ford and Anderson getting onto the end of any through ball, Woodward returns to the field. Russell with the ball on the left side for Thorpe plays a great delivery into the box Lake is their under challenge with Smith manages to get a shot away puts it straight into Vanston’s gloves again. 
  Into injury time, Thorpe try to play it into the corner keep Aylsham quiet, but they’re having none of it, the ball is played back to Gillespie in the centre looks to play the long ball into the box for Woodward and Charlton to attack, bounces trough to the keeper. Thorpe get the ball up the other end and win a corner kick, don’t go short playing it into the area Russell gets her head to the ball but can’t direct the shot on target.
  Referee, Mary Harmer the 1st woman to officiate a Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final, blows the final whistle and Thorpe United Ladies beat Aylsham FC Ladies 2-0 to win the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final, finally collect the trophy in their 3rd successive final. It’s a big cup too can hold alot of champagne. An entertaining final, two fairly evenly matched sides Aylsham had their chances to score. Conceded two goals in the 1st half, Thorpe taking their chances well and defending well for the large part. Aylsham have another shot at silverware in two weeks time.
Thorpe United Ladies, Norfolk Women’s County Cup Winners
  Congratulations to Thorpe United on winning the Norfolk Women’s County Cup enjoy the celebrations. My thanks to Norfolk FA for their help today.

Match Report – AFC Sudbury Ladies v Bury Town Ladies

Action this Sunday from the semi finals of the Suffolk Women’s County Cup. A trip to The New Croft Stadium home of Haverhill Rovers FC to watch AFC Sudbury Ladies the current holders of the cup take on Bury Town Ladies link to the report of my Supporting Women’s Football Blog

http://supportingwomensfootball.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/match-report-afc-sudbury-ladies-v-bury.html