Category Archives: FA Women’s Cup

The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 10/02/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 10th February

FA Women’s Cup

The weather effecting a large percentage of the women’s football fixtures last weekend with the FA Women’s Cup being no exception with 50% of the fixtures from the 4th Round postponed at the beginning of February, those fixture arranged to be played this Sunday the rain threatening a few but all of the 8 remaining ties were played, the 5th Round already drawn the winners knowing who they would face in the last 16 of the competition. 5 of the 8 ties involving sides who play or have played in the leagues covered by Women’s Football East.

  It was a plum away draw in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup for FAWNL Southern Premier Division side, Milton Keynes Dons Ladies, a 1-0 away win against Nottingham Forest Ladies of the Northern Premier Division seeing them up against FAWSL side, Liverpool FC Women. Kept the scores level for the first half an hour before a quick fire double from Laura Coombs and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk with her 10th goal of the season saw the FAWSL side take a 2-0 lead.

  2-0 up at the break Liverpool were creating chances the lead extended on the hour when centre back Leandra Little headed the ball home for her first Liverpool goal. New signing Jemma Purfield making her debut scoring moments later her left foot strike making it 4-0. Ashley Hodson coming on for Liverpool in the 67th minute making her return after 9 months out injured, marked her return with a goal scoring with 10 minutes left, with Purfield adding a 6th goal for Liverpool in the final 5 minutes to see them safely through to the last 16 with a 6-0 win.

An all Championship tie in the 4th Round saw Lewes FC Women travelling to Dartford FC to play Millwall Lionesses who were without a win so far this season. A close game that got feisty towards the end Lewes pressing. Cards shown amongst them a red for Lewes Amy Taylor sent off in the 84th minute. The game looked to be heading into extra-time a late corner for Millwall the ball on the left played high into the box players forwards amongst them Grace Neville clear on the far side of the area meets the ball on the half volley rifling a shot into the back of the net and sending Millwall through to the 5th Round and an away tie against Liverpool with the clubs first victory of the season.

   Cardiff City Ladies from the FAWNL Southern Premier Division were making the long trip up to the North East to take on Championship side Durham FC Women in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup. The welsh side falling behind within the opening 10 minutes as Abby Holmes nodded home at the far post to score her 1st goal for Durham. A chance for Cardiff to level from the penalty spot Kylie Nolan brought down inside the box up up take the spot kick her attempt saved by Durham keeper Megan Borthwick. Nolan recovering to score the equalising goal in the 23rd minute. 1-1 with a couple of minutes remaining in the first half Beth Hepple latching onto a shot after the ball is cleared off the line from a Sarah Wilson effort to see Durham retake the lead.

  2-1 at half-time Sarah Robson was introduced to the action by Durham and made a immediate impact getting a goal in the 50th minute to extend the Championship sides lead. Further chances fell the win not made fully secure until the final 10 minutes with Zoe Ness scoring a late brace to see Durham run out 5-1 winners and progress to the last 16 where they will be making a long trip themselves to take on FAWSL side Bristol City WFC.

   A late switch of pitches saw the game between Loughborough Foxes Women of the FAWNL Southern Premier Division and Sheffield United Women of the FA Women’s Championship go ahead. Jodie Bartle returning to the side for Loughborough after a 3 month injury lay off. A lively start both goalkeepers called into action Alethea Paul firing Sheffield into the lead with 14 minutes played. Sam Tierney then striking the crossbar for the visitors. Amy Burle in goal for Loughborough making some good saves to keep Sheffield’s lead down to a single goal at the break. The Championship side creating chances doubled their advantage within the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half Sami Veatriki scoring to make it 2-0. Sheffield defending their lead to book their place in the last 16 with a trip to Aston Villa Ladies awaiting.

   It when all the way to penalties in the game between Charlton Athletic Women and Huddersfield Town Ladies in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup on Sunday. Both sides currently 2nd in their respective leagues, Charlton doing very well in their debut season in the Championship, Huddersfield in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division. Charlton taking an early lead in the match with Kit Graham finding the back of the net in the 6th minute. Charlotte Gurr adding Charlton’s 2nd in the 34th minute. The hosts enjoying the better of the 1st half Lily Agg seeing two goals ruled off for off-side. Charlton further extending their lead midway through the 2nd half with Graham getting on the scoresheet for her 2nd goal of the afternoon. 

  Charlton 3-0 up with the game closing in of the final 15 minutes, Huddersfield mounted an extraordinary comeback to send the game into extra-time two quick goals setting up a nervous end to the game with Brittany Sanderson making it 3-1, Laura Elford lobbing the keeper moments later for 3-2. The come back complete with 5 minutes left on the clock captain Katie Mallin with the goal to send the game into extra-time. No further goals added the sides heading into a penalty shootout. Huddersfield’s Laura Carter saving Charlton’s 2nd penalty her teammates all with successful spot kicks to win the shootout 5-4 and send them into the last 16 with an away trip to FAWSL’s West Ham United Women.

  The 5th Round games being played this coming Sunday 17th February below the draw in full:- 

Liverpool FC Women v Millwall Lionesses

Bristol City WFC v Durham FC Women

Reading FC Women v Birmingham City Women

Chelsea Women v Arsenal Women

Manchester United Women v London Bees

West Ham United Women v Huddersfield Town Ladies

Aston Villa Ladies v Sheffield United Women

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies v Manchester City Women

The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 03/02/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 3rd February

FA Women’s Cup

It was another weekend where the weather tried to take centre stage yet again over half the fixtures across the East and beyond falling by the way side. Snow and frozen pitches the feature. Nevertheless their were some big games played and none more so than in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup. February beginning with the sides from the FAWSL and Championship entering the competition 16 ties across the country six taking place that feature sides currently playing in the leagues on Women’s Football East and those that have progressed to the Championship and FAWSL itself.

The 4th Round action beginning on Saturday with FAWSL leaders Manchester City Women drawn at home to Watford FC Ladies playing in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. Manchester City dominating the chances first half but frustrated Watford going in at half-time the score goalless. The hosts patient kept going getting closer the deadlock eventually broken just past the hour with Nikita Parris putting them into the lead, the England international doubling Manchester’s advantage just 7 minutes later. The win secured in the final five minutes Pauline Bremer finally getting on the scoresheet out for a lengthy period with injury, hit the woodwork and had a goal ruled off for offside in the first half scoring the 3rd goal for Manchester to see them advance.

 It was the FA Women’s Cup where the match action on the website came from this weekend a road trip south of the Thames to watch AFC Wimbledon Ladies from FAWNL South East Division One take on FAWSL side Bristol City WFC. Some 35 league places between the sides the biggest gap between sides in the last 16. Wimbledon  reaching this stage having previously beaten higher league opponents in the previous two rounds Portsmouth FC Women and Hull City Ladies playing in the Southern and Northern Premier Divisions. Bristol a tough test with the FAWSL now a fully professional league.

A good crowd of 500 in attendance Wimbledon playing at Carshalton Athletic FC on a 3G surface. Bristol getting off to a flyer taking the lead after just 12 seconds! A diagonal ball finding new signing Abi Harrison on the left she ran in behind taking the ball into the box and shooting to score her first goal for the club. The post kissed moments later Wimbledon were on the back foot goalkeeper Edie Kelly carrying an injury pulled off some fantastic save it was all Bristol camped inside their opponents half on 23 minutes the lead was doubled, Poppy Pattinson getting in behind left side a cross put along the face of goal met by Katie Robinson at the far post for 2-0. In midfield Carla Humphrey and Poppy Wilson were playing well for Bristol combined for their 3rd on 36 minutes Wilson beating two players top of the area to get into a scoring position and fire the ball into the back of the net.

Bristol’s Carla Humphrey leaping clear of the tackle

A 3-0 lead for Bristol at half-time their opponents no registering a shot up the other end needed to show more positive intent 2nd half. Did so the game more open Bristol comfortable though defending their lead. Captain Jess Trimnell with a shot from distance wide across goal for the hosts, Bristol seeing Kelly tip s long range shot over her crossbar. Wimbledon drawing the 2nd half 0-0 saw their historic cup run come to an end, Bristol safely negotiating the first hurdle.

 It was an all Championship tie in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup a London derby too with Crystal Palace Ladies hosting league leaders Tottenham Hotspur Ladies. In great form with plenty of attacking options in their squad Tottenham creating opportunities took the lead in the 40th minute with Jessica Naz capitalising on the follow up to score after Rianna Dean’s strike was pushed out by the keeper. The lead doubled deep into first half injury time with full back Ashleigh Neville putting the ball into the back of the net. A 3rd goal coming 10 minutes into the 2nd half with midfielder Coral Haines sending the ball home Tottenham advancing to the 5th Round.

  Three goals too for the winning side in the match between West Ham United Women of the FAWSL at home to FAWNL Northern Premier Division leaders Blackburn Rovers Ladies. The visitors taking an early lead with Natasha Flint capitalising on a mix-up to put Blackburn into the lead in the 14th minute. West Ham drawing the scores level right on the stroke of half-time with Adriana Leon scoring to make it 1-1. That how it remained going into the final 20 minutes, Brianna Visalli striking to put West Ham in front in the 72nd minute. That goal quickly followed by a 2nd of the game for Leon to make the lead more comfortable for West Ham and see them into the draw for the 5th Round.

   It was a double header in Crawley with two games from the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup on Sunday, starting off with Brighton & Hove Albion WFC of the FAWSL hosting Manchester United Women for the FA Women’s Championship. A close first half between the sides seeing them drawing 0-0 at the break. The deadlock broken 6 minutes into the 2nd half with Lauren James getting the goal to put the visitors in front. Bright awarded a penalty, Manchester United goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain pulling off a fantastic save to keep the lead intact the tie settled in injury time with James getting her 2nd of the game to put Manchester United through to the 5th Round.

  The was followed by Crawley Wasps Ladies versus Arsenal Ladies, 33 places between the sides Crawley Wasps riding high in FAWNL South East Division One with a 100% record Arsenal in the hunt for the title 2nd in the FAWSL. A great crowd of 1500 in attendance. Captain Kim Little firing Arsenal into the lead getting herself in the box to fire a low shot into the back of the net. 16-year-old Ruby Grant one of five debutants starting for Arsenal doubling their lead. 2-0 to the good at half-time. Frankie Gibbs pulling off some great saves to deny Arsenal from going further ahead. Grant getting her 2nd and Arsenals 3rd saw the woodwork deny her hat-trick but a further chance fell her way and see celebrated her 3rd goal wrapping up a 4-0 victory for Arsenal. Like AFC Wimbledon Ladies a great FA Cup run for Crawley Wasps Ladies.

  The draw for the 5th Round of the FA Women’s Cup made yesterday the last 16 know who they will face with several ties postponed taking place this coming Sunday, the 8 ties to be played Sun 17th February are as follows :-

Liverpool FC Women or Milton Keynes Dons Ladies v Millwall Lionesses or Lewes FC Women

Bristol City WFC v Durham Women FC or Cardiff City Ladies

Reading FC Women or Keynsham Town Ladies v Yeovil Town Ladies or Birmingham City Women

Chelsea Women v Arsenal Women

Manchester United Women v London Bees

West Ham United Women v Charlton Athletic Women or Huddersfield Town Ladies

Stoke City Ladies or Aston Villa Ladies v Loughborough Foxes Women or Sheffield United Women

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies v Manchester City Women

Match Report – AFC Wimbledon Ladies v Bristol City WFC

Sunday 3rd February

FA Women’s Cup

Longest journey of the season to date this Sunday a road trip south the watch the FA Women’s Cup 4th Round match between AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Bristol City WFC.

  35 places and 3 leagues between the sides the biggest gap of all 16 ties in this Sunday’s FA Women’s Cup reaching the 4th Round stage where the big guns from the FAWSL & Championship enter the competition. AFC Wimbledon Ladies one of three FAWNL Division One sides to reach the 4th Round along side South East counter parts and league leaders Crawley Wasps Ladies and Keynsham Town Ladies 2nd in the South West league.

  AFC Wimbledon Ladies currently 6th in what is a hotly contested top half battle in South East Division One are relishing & excited for the what they know will be a tough test at home against a side from the top tier of women’s football. Have made history already reaching the 4th Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup beating higher league side Hull City Ladies from the FAWNL Northern Premier Division 3-0 away from home. Showing good form in the cup competitions are also through to the last 8 of the FAWNL Cup. This there sixth game in their historic cup run

 As Bristol Academy, Bristol City WFC were one of the founding members of the FAWSL and have seen the league undergo many changes in it’s relatively short history. The latest being the top tier of the women’s game going fully professional. Tanya Oxtoby’s side comfortably established in 5th position in the 11 side league. Has been a while since I’ve seen any FAWSL football, the clubs closer to home keeping me busy but have always had a soft spot for Bristol enjoyed many trips down to their Stoke Gifford Stadium home in the past. The standard has increased year on year and an intrigued to see how much it has risen.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies played their home matches at Carshalton Athletic FC. A 3G playing surface soon I guessed it would fair better with the previous few days inclement weather. A good size the stadium tucked away in a residential area. A large terraced stand along one side of the pitch another seated stand opposite a bar and large clubhouse, hot and cold refreshments a tidy layout with a decent sized crowd building. The weather quite good actually bright and sunny after a cold start blue skies.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies starting XI – Edie Kelly, Rosie Russell, Sian Kylie, Kelly Highman, Hannah Billingham, Becky Mclaren-Johnson, Jess Trimnell (C), Rebecca Sargent, Caroline Bisson, Georgia Heasman & Jenny Nagle. Subs – Megan Kowalski, Lindsey Clarke, Sarah Wentworth, Katie Stanley, Hannah Baptiste & Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins.

Bristol City WFC starting XI – Eartha Cummings, Gemma Evans, Heather Payne, Danique Kerkdijk, Julie Biesmans (C), Poppy Pattinson, Carla Humphrey, Poppy Wilson, Abi Harrison, Katie Robinson & Juliette Kemppi. Subs – Sophie Baggaley, Loren Dykes, Frankie Brown, Lucy Graham, Rosella Ayane & Jess Woodley.

Pre-match handshakes

It’s the visitors Bristol to get the game underway 1st half wearing red shirts and socks with white shorts, Wimbledon it their all blue kit, a bit of eager encroachment seeing the kick-off retaken.

  GOAL! The quickest goal of the weekend I suspect and certainly the quickest recorded in a match report on Women’s Football East. Bristol playing the ball out to the right back position the diagonal ball is long probing to the left Abi Harrison, Bristol’s latest signing making her first start picking the ball up into her run as she ghosts in behind into the area shapes to shot sending a low driven shot across the keeper and into the goal beyond, her 1st goal for Bristol, 12 seconds played 0-1.

Bristol City WFC’s Abi Harrison

Certainly not the start you want as the underdogs, a blow so early in the game no time to implement a game plan the visitors able to settle early a goal to the good. Wimbledon look to play the ball long for Caroline Bisson on the right hand side straight from the restart, Poppy Pattinson can see it safely out for Bristol. The visitors quick to counter the ball with Pattinson left side on for Poppy Wilson making a run forwards into the left channel, Kelly Highman getting across her run to see it out of play safely for Wimbledon. 

  Bristol on the front foot right from the off make ground on the right the cross flashes into the area, Highman gets a boot on it knocks it out to the top of the area comes straight to Wilson she connects with it sweetly the ball clattering off the post right back into Wilson path no time to control can only put the follow up over the bar. Bristol finding room on the flanks pushing Wimbledon back Carla Humphrey with the ball it her moves right before sending a cross into the box, Sian Wylie clears inside her six yard box for Wimbledon the ball picked up by Wilson 20 yards out her shot back in straight at Wimbledon goalkeeper Edie Kelly.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, Sian Wylie

  Most of the play inside the Wimbledon half, Bristol invited to come on Wilson combining with Humphrey in the middle the pass out to Katie Robinson breaking down the right, her attempt to cut inside stopped by Wimbledon full back Rosie Russell. A melee in the box ends up with goalkeeper Kelly down needing treatment, Humphrey’s cross from the right initially cleared by Highman, falls to Wilson can’t quite getting over the bouncing ball to  smash a clean shot in Wimbledon get it away.

  Bristol overload the right as they attack the ball squared inside across the top of the area helped on comes to Wilson her low shot driven in low held by Kelly. A rearguard action from Wimbledon early on standing off Bristol inviting pressure the FAWSL team able to let their full backs get forwards, captain Julie Biesmans and Danique Kerkdijk at the back able to pick their passes often the only themselves along with goalkeeper Eartha Cummings in their half. Another ball into the area from the right side, Kelly goes to ground as Juliette Kemppi closes her down the pair come together the keeper manages to hold onto the ball, as Highman gets around to cover behind. Kelly needs treatment but is okay to continue. 

Bristol City WFC captain, Julie Biesmans

  Bristol will be used to a high tempo game the ball squeezed decision making often forced a different story at the moment players looking up deciding what option to take willing runners left and right, Humphrey coming for the ball moving into gaps Wilson able to push on through the middle, Jenny Nagle leading the line for Wimbledon has little to feed on and is pushed back into her own half much of the time. Billingham jumps well inside the box to get her head on it and clear for Wimbledon as Robinson puts a ball in from the right. Kemppi fouled outside the box right of goal, Biesmans over the free-kick goes for goal her attempt still rising as it goes over.

   GOAL! 23 minutes played and Bristol’s dominant start to the game brings them a second goal, Harrison and Pattinson linking up on the left wing Pattinson running in behind with the ball fires a vicious ball across the face of the Wimbledon goal Katie Robinson arriving far post half a yard on her marker to smash the ball into the back of the net and make it 0-2.

Katie Robinson on the attack for Bristol City WFC

Gemma Evans with the ball at the back decides to go on a forwards run cutting inside on halfway laying the pass into Pattinson, her run forwards halted by Wimbledon’s Becky Mclaren-Johnson. A corner for Bristol right side taken short up the line the cross/shot driven in Kelly with an excellent fingertip save to take the ball up over the bar for a 2nd corner. Hannah Billingham heading clear for Wimbledon. Humphrey has the ball at her feet right of goal all of 30 yards out strikes it well her shot whistling wide across goal. 

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, Rebecca Sargent

  Bristol’s good start has silenced the crowd but there is a passion clear amongst those gathered and when they see their side getting stuck in they’re ready to will them on, Nagle putting the tackle in on half way to win the ball Rebecca Sargent looking to burst through with it stopped by Evans. Mclaren-Johnson winning the ball back as she is pushed onto her defence. 

  GOAL! Bristol get a 3rd goal their central midfielders combining Humphrey sending a great diagonal ball on for Wilson making a run towards the top of the box, beats two defenders effortlessly to get herself clear into the box, left of goal sends her shot racing across the keeper to nestle inside the side netting 0-3.

Poppy Wilson driving forwards with the ball for Bristol City WFC

   Wimbledon haven’t had much of the ball let alone in their opponents half Georgia Heasman trying to get forwards on the right but as quick as the Bristol full backs are to join the attack their wide players are back to help in defence. Bristol come left Harrison with the cross into the area for Kemppi looks to get turned for a shot Billingham in to close her down. Wimbledon captain Jess Trimnell plays the ball on for Nagle, Bisson in close support the crowd willing them on run into traffic the game open for a moment Bristol play it forwards Highman in to win the tackle. The biggest cheer of the day goes up when the referee takes a tumble.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, Jenny Nagle

  Late into the 1st half a rare attack for Wimbledon Nagle out to Heasman on the left Russell on the overlap gets forwards down the line but Bristol prevent the cross as the referee blows for half-time. 

Half-time AFC Wimbledon Ladies 0-3 Bristol City WFC

  As easy a first half as Bristol have ever played, have had the majority of the ball and that in the opponents half. Taking such an early lead settled any nerves they might have had have been able to get forwards at will since, rarely threatened in attack, created numerous chances and taking a goal lead into half-time. Wimbledon haven’t had a single shot at goal even created a chance, have defended deep stood off thier opponents, very unusual as they are usually a high pressing in your face side who are at their best on the offensive. The early goal no doubt not in he game plan but will need to do something be more positive in the 2nd half if they wish to get anything out of the tie. A big ask at 3-0 down. 

 

  A change at half-time for Bristol, Robinson picking up an injury replaced by Rosella Ayane. Wimbledon with a positive intent straight from the start kicking-off the ball forwards with Heasman, on to Nagle looks to hold it up is tackled. Mclaren-Johnson nipping in to win the ball back, Trimnell too. Give away a free-kick right the ball played in high his claimed well by Kelly. Wylie clearing a Bristol corner. Wimbledon get the ball forwards win a throw right side put into Trimnell who takes the shot on from distance plenty of power behind it Cummings can see it wide of her goal. 

AFC Wimbledon Ladies captain Jess Trimnell after Bristol’s Poppy Wilson

  Wilson with the ball out to Harrison running on left side her ball into the box picked up by Kemppi right of goal, Highman sliding in to take it away from the attacker before she can get a shot away. A more open game 2nd half Bristol still have more of the ball but Wimbledon quicker to close it down get players in support of Nagle. Mclaren-Johnson very proactive in the middle Sargent looking to get forwards. Bristol come right Heather Payne getting forwards in support of Kemppi the pass back to the full back the cross in towards Humphrey getting into a central position stoops into the header her looped ball on target but caught by Kelly. 

 Wimbledon make a change Nagle coming off up top to be replaced by Katie Stanley with an hour played. If Wimbledon do manage to get away on either flank the run is short lived Bristol have pace in abundance and put it to good use to recover the ball. Kemppi this time back to tackle and put the ball out for a throw. Stanley is tackled in the final 3rd Bristol counter quickly the ball left the cross in long gathered by Harrison right side looks to tie up Humphrey central connects well her shot arrowing in just swerving away from the top corner. 

Bristol’s Carla Humphrey leaping clear of the tackle

  Bristol make their 2nd change, Pattinson coming off on comes Scottish international Frankie Brown. Harrison puts the ball on for Wilson central she pushes on, Mclaren-Johnson in to tackle and win the ball well outside the box. Heasman comes off for Wimbledon on in her place Megan Kowalski. Bristol remain strong are still holding a high line getting down the flanks crosses left the right dealt with by the Wimbledon centre-backs. Bristol not afraid to go direct either when the opportunity presents itself breaking up a Wimbledon move outside their box the ball played up into Harrison on half-way controls well turning plays a great pass on for Humphrey breaking on in behind only a good starting position from Kelly denies her a chance as the keeper claims on the top of her area. 

  Bristol come on the cross low into the area Kemppi right of goal tries to bring it down and turn into the shot Highman sliding in makes the block, the rebound comes to Ayane her shot from outside the box blocked by Wylie as Bristol push bodies forwards. Stanley does well inside the Bristol half to win the ball support from Kowalski in front of the centre circle, her pass long finds Bisson running in clear on the right, Cummings has had little to do but is alert going to ground on the edge of the area to get something on the ball play however is halted by a raised flag.

Less than 10 minutes left a change for both sides, Hannah Baptiste coming on for Wimbledon replacing Trimnell. Jess Woodley on for Bristol replacing Harrison. Kelly with another fine finger tip save turning the ball up over her crossbar as a Bristol shot is driven in from distance. The corner right side a good delivery no one attacking it far post. Wimbledon mount an attack Bisson a threat on the right if she can get forwards a great ball fired into the six yard box Russell furthest forwards tries to get there, Kerkdijk getting in front of her clearing the danger for Bristol.

Bristol City WFC defender, Danique Kerkdijk

Woodley sees the ball into the back of the net for Bristol off a corner on the left, won;t count however as the officials flag is raised. Kelly sees a poor kick out land straight at Kemppi’s feet left of the area she takes a touch to get it out of her feet drags her shot wide of goal.

  Wimbledon with a throw right side comes on into the top of the Bristol area finds Kowalski she lays it back to Mclaren-Johnson her ball back in cut out spins to Stanley right of the D, her first time shot is dragged wide of the target. Bristol finish the game strong, mounting an attack the ball into Kemppi tackled by Highman then Billingham slides in to charge a shot down from Wilson. 

Full time AFC Wimbledon Ladies 0-3 Bristol City WFC

  A goalless 2nd period a much improved performance from Wimbledon, the damage down in the first half, Bristol able to sit off in the 2nd half with a 3 goal lead. Played well dominated without really being tested at the back, weren’t pressed when on the ball, case of choosing the right options and that was made easier by good movement and use of space in front of them. Training full time have the edge when it comes to fitness good on the recovery when needed.

  Wimbledon’s fine FA Women’s Cup campaign comes to an end, not how they would have wanted a great achievement getting this far in the competition history made, should make you hungry for more. The early goal certainly playing a part, hold out for the first 10/15 minutes the confidence grows you start to ask questions and with their passionate supporters ready to will them on…  

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time for today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Edie Kelly with some fine saves and Becky Mclaren-Johnson two stand out performers for Wimbledon this afternoon. Bristol were dominant for much of the game playing the game inside their opponents half. It’s a straight shoot-out between their central midfielders, Poppy Wilson making some great forwards runs joining the attack and getting in behind when Wimbledon were looking to keep it tight through the middle took her goal well. Carla Humphrey edging it however, finding some great space moving right with a useful range of passing, getting into some great attacking positions unlucky not to score herself is today’s Player of the Match.

Been awhile since I’ve travelled south of the Thames for a game, enjoyed it though even if the trip out of London wasn’t fun, halfway home decamped at a hotel to get the report written tonight. The Draw for the 5th Round to be make live on TV tomorrow evening, several ties postponed this weekend. Nice to see Wimbledon at home at last, a nice venue, a tasty bacon bap and a much needed cup of tea. My thanks for the clubs help with the teams today.

The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 06/01/19

Sunday 6th January

FA Women’s Cup

Happy New Year to you all! The first edition of The Round-Up for 2019 the action beginning with the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup. 10 ties across the country the competition seeing the sides from both the FAWSL and Championship enter in the 4th Round.

No sides from outside the FAWNL making it to this stage of the competition. 7 of the 10 ties featuring clubs playing in either the Southern Premier or South East Division One.

Coventry United Ladies leading the Southern Premier Division unbeaten so far this season were hosting Crawley Wasps Ladies, the leaders in South East Division One, with an equally impressive start to the season a 100% success rate so far. Two in form sides going head to head it was Coventry who opened the scoring attacking down the right a cross sent into the area put in at the far post by Amber Hughes in the 26th minute. Crawley hitting back with an instant reply Ariana Fleischman up the other end getting the final touch to level the scores. 1-1 at the break. Both sides creating opportunities in the 2nd period Megan Stow seeing an effort strike the woodwork for the visitors just past the hour dug in as Coventry pressed. Into stoppage time with the game heading into extra-time, Crawley found the winning goal, Darcey James heading in a Naomi Cole corner to see Crawley beat their higher league opponents to reach the 4th Round.

Northern Premier Division leaders, Blackburn Rovers Ladies are into the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup although it took a last minute winner to secure their place on the road away to Oxford United Women in the 3rd Round on Sunday. A fast paced 1st half between the two sides looked to be heading into the changing rooms goalless at half-time when deep into injury time Evie Gane tapped the ball home to give the Southern Premier Division side, Oxford the lead. Blackburn came back to level the scores midway through the 2nd half Natasha Flint finding the back of the net, then in the closing minute it was Flint on target worth her 2nd of the match to clinch the victory for Blackburn.

Had planned a trip to Nottingham this Sunday, circumstances against me however as Nottingham Forest Ladies stalwarts of the Northern Premier Division played host to Milton Keynes Dons Ladies newly promoted to the Southern Premier Division in the 3rd Round. A tight contest between the two sides, a single goal the winning margin, scored in the 2nd minute of 1st half stoppage time, Kim Farrow getting one on one with the keeper to put Milton Keynes Dons Ladies into the lead the visitors holding on to win and reach the 4th Round for the 1st time.

Milton Keynes Dons Ladies, Kim Farrow

It was a long trip up to the North East for Southern Premier Division side Watford Ladies as they took on Middlesborough Women from the Northern Premier Division in the 3rd Round of the Cup. Midfielder Danielle Scanlon with the early goal for the visitors seeing Watford 1-0 up after 7 minutes just 3 minutes later Watford were 2 goals to the good Helen Ward scoring. Both sides attacking chances coming Middlesborough pulling it back to 2-1 on 18 minutes through Emily Scarr. Just two minutes later Watford were back ahead by 2 goals with Ward netting for the 2nd time to make it 3-1. Eleanor Drake on the scoresheet for the hosts to reduce the deficit once again on the half hour. Watford when into the half-time break with their 2 goal cushion restored as Katie O’Leary scored to make it 4-2 in the 39th minute. The visitors having the better of the 2nd half as the home side pushed from a reply, Samantha Hailsworth making it 5-2 on the hour. Into the final 10 minutes and Ward scored twice more to claim 4 for the game and secure a 7-2 win for Watford.

Plenty of goals too between Billericay Town Ladies and Loughborough Foxes Women in the 3rd Round as the Essex side 2nd in South East Division One took on their higher league placed opponents. Billericay taking an early lead in the game Sam Pittuck volleying home in the 5th minute. Loughborough quick with the response levelling the scores within 3 minutes Rebecca Knight scoring to make it 1-1. 3 minutes later Loughborough were in front Rebecca Mcgrother with the goal. Amy Burle with a terrific save to deny Karissa Rodney a goal on the half hour soon after Mcgrother found the back of the net up the other end to put Loughborough 3-1 up. That the score at half-time Billericay started the 2nd half strongly pushing for a goal chances Burle saving once more. The game closing in on the final 20 minute Loughborough further extending their lead, Eva Rogers played through and sending the ball past the keeper to make it 4-1 for the visitors. Zoe Rushen pulling it back to 4-2 with 10 minutes left. Burle busy in the Loughborough goal, Rushen beating her for her 2nd of the game to set up a nervy final five minutes Loughborough holding out to win the game 4-3.

Cardiff City Ladies were hosting Bolton Wanderers Ladies from Northern Division One in the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup on Sunday. An early goal helping settle any nerves the Southern Premier Division side might have Cori Williams heading in from a corner in the 7th minute. Kylie Nolan with the final shot from a break making it 2-0 on 15 minutes. Those goals proving enough with Bolton unable to find a reply, Cardiff progressing.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies, 3rd in South East Division One were on the road in the FA Women’s Cup on Sunday taking on higher league opponents Hull City Ladies from the Northern Premier Division. A goalless 1st half between the sides, it was Wimbledon who enjoyed the better of the 2nd half Katie Stanley putting them a goal up just past the hour mark. Jordan Hoesli-Atkins doubling the visitors lead just 7 minutes later to put Wimbledon 2-0 up and with Hull pushing later on for a goal Georgia Heasman secured victory for Wimbledon scoring their 3rd goal in injury time.

In the other 3 3rd Round ties, Stoke City Ladies won 2-1 away to Derby County Ladies. Huddersfield Town Ladies were 4-1 winners at home to Leeds United Ladies and Keynsham Town Ladies doing well in South West Division One beat Flyde Ladies 2-1 at home.

The FA Women’s Cup 4th Round draw – ties to be played Sun 3rd February

Yeovil Town Ladies v Birmingham City Lades

AFC Wimbledon Ladies v Bristol City Women

Crystal Palace Ladies v Tottenham Hotspur Ladies

Millwall Lionesses v Lewes FC Women

Durham Women v Cardiff City Ladies

Everton Ladies v Chelsea Women

Leicester City Women v London Bees

Reading FC Women v Keynsham Town Ladies

Liverpool Women v Milton Keynes Dons Ladies

Loughborough Foxes Women v Sheffield United Women

Charlton Athletic Women v Huddersfield Town Ladies

Brighton & Hove Albion WFC v Manchester United Women

West Ham United Women v Blackburn Rovers Ladies

Stoke City Ladies v Aston Villa Ladies

Manchester City Women v Watford FC Ladies

Crawley Wasps Ladies v Arsenal Women

The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 09/12/18

Sunday 9th December

FA Women’s Cup

   Two ties from the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup this weekend, both falling foul to the weather last Sunday.                                                           Crawley Wasps Ladies have made a fantastic start to the season, a 100% winning record top of FAWNL South East Division One were handed a home tie against higher league opponents Chichester City Ladies, who themselves have enjoyed a brilliant campaign to date amongst the title challengers in the Southern Premier Division.

  The game moved to Worthing FC, played on 3G. Crawley’s good form continuing the hosts taking the lead in the 38th, Kemina Webber with the goal heading in from a corner. The advantage quickly doubled with a 2nd goal late in the 1st half again from a corner Darcey James with the header this time powering the ball into the back of the net. Crawley leading 2-0 at half-time. Chichester frustrated couldn’t find a reply in the 2nd half Crawley winning to march on in the FA Women’s Cup and an away trip to Southern Premier Division leaders, Coventry United Ladies to look forwards to in the New Year.

  Watford Ladies have an away trip up to the North East in the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup against Northern Premier Division side, Middlesborough Women in the New Year. Progressed with a narrow 1-0 home win to Buckland Athletic Ladies on Sunday. The South West Division One side giving a good account of themselves holding the Southern Premier Division side to a goalless score at half-time. The Watford goal coming with 20 minutes left on the clock, Katie O’Leary finding space inside the box to drive a low shot into the bottom corner.

   

The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 02/12/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 2nd December

FA Women’s Cup

December begins with the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup, with the FAWNL Northern & Southern Premier Division sides entering the competition. Nine of those ties featuring sides from the Southern Premier aswell as those reaching this stage from South East Division One, no sides from the Eastern Regional league or below making it this far. Wet weather prior to Sunday’s matches seeing a few games affected across the fixture list including two FA Women’s Cup ties with Crawley Wasps Ladies v Chichester City Ladies & Watford Ladies v Buckland Athletic Ladies called off.

  Elsewhere there were a couple of upsets aswell as two further ties needing extra-time to seal the win. AFC Wimbledon Ladies from South East Division One causing an upset as they carried their recent good form into the FA Women’s Cup to knock-out Southern Premier Division side, Portsmouth FC Ladies on Sunday. Caroline Bisson scoring direct from a free kick in the 28th minute to see Wimbledon leading 1-0 at half-time. Closing in on the hour and Wimbledon doubled their advantage Bisson with the assist as Georgia Heasman fired the ball home to make it 2-0. Portsmouth unable to find a reply as Wimbledon booked a spot in the 3rd Round.

   Also causing a shock in that they knocked out higher league opposition in the FA Women’s Cup were, Keynsham Town Ladies. In great form this season however with a 100% record in the league 8 wins from 8, in South West Division One would have fancied their chances with a home tie in the 2nd Round up against C&K Basildon Ladies, the Essex side struggling for points at the wrong end of the Southern Premier Division. A high scoring game with the sides sharing 11 goals, C&K Basildon on the scoresheet for 3 of them couldn’t keep Keynsham out at the other end as they rattled in 8. Laura Williams with Keynsham’s first in the 16th minute. Kerry Bartlett is way out in front as top scorer for Keynsham with over 30 goals already this season from 14 appearances. Was amongst the goals once again in the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup scoring a 1st half hat-trick. Bartlett adding another on the hour, after Justine Radburn had found the back of the net for Keynsham’s 5th goal. Into the final 15 minutes of the game and Keynsham added two more goals Christina Vega Leandro and Ellis Hillman scoring in quick succession. Keynsham through to the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup with an 8-3 win.

  One 2nd Round tie saw an all South East Division One line-up with 2nd placed Billericay Town Ladies hosting bottom side Luton Town Ladies. The Essex side finding it tough to break down a young Luton side in the 1st half. 0-0 at the break. It was the visitors who would go on to open the scoring the the 2nd half, 12 minutes played Aurora Ryan charging down the goalkeeper, winning the ball and taking it past her to score. Karen Stephanou making just her 2nd appearance since joining Billericay over the close season from C&K Basildon scoring her first goal just 7 minutes later from inside the box to level the scores. 90 minutes up the sides drawing 1-1 the tie heading into extra-time. Broghan Kelly another new arrival for Billericay in the summer scoring her 1st goal for the 1st team to put the hosts into the lead, a great strike from outside the box. 3 minutes later Jay Blackie played through to run at the Luton goal and send the ball past the keeper to put Billericay 3-1 up and see them make more history in reaching the 3rd Round for the 1st time.

   Milton Keynes Dons Ladies were at home in the 2nd Round the Southern Premier Division side facing a potential tricky tie up against Southampton Women, riding high in 2nd spot in South West Division One. The hosts settling quickly with an early goal, Leah Littlechild crossing the ball for Leah Cudone to score inside the opening 5 minutes. The same combination with 7 minutes left to play in the 1st half saw Milton Keynes Dons double the lead Littlechild’s cross headed in by Cudone, 2-0 at half-time. The lead made more secure with a little under 20 minutes left Littlechild getting on the scoresheet herself adding a 3rd goal. Littlechild once more having a hand in the 4th goal too as she sent the ball into the box with 4 minutes left for Cudone to score and complete her hat-trick. 

Milton Keynes Dons Ladies, Leah Cudone

   Oxford United Women, 5th in the Southern Premier Division had to wait to find out who their eventual opponents at home in the 2nd Round were as the 1st Round tie between Cambridge City Ladies & Cambridge United Women was made to be replayed. City winning the 1st game 2-1 after extra-time the FA upheld a complaint by United about the smallness of their pitch sending it into a replay. At United’s Mildenhall Town FC home, the South East Division side winning the game 2-0 to set up the 2nd Round trip to Oxford. Ellie Noble firing Oxford into the lead on the half hour it was quickly 2-0 with captain Lauren Haynes on the scoresheet. Florence Fyfe adding a 3rd goal for Oxford soon after the restart. Oxford making a new signing leading up to this Sunday’s cup tie, Evie Gane rejoining the club after a spell with Aston Villa making her debut with a goal in the 65th minute to seal a 4-0 victory.

   Three ties from the 2nd Round played on Sunday featured an all Southern Premier Division line-up. Loughborough Foxes Women were hosting Gillingham Lades in the FA Women’s Cup the two sides having met in Kent a week ago the game ending all square at 2-2. There had to be a winner this time around, however that needed extra-time to be decided with the sides drawing 1-1 after the final whistle. Charlotte Broad having put Loughborough into the lead in the 19th minute. Gillingham getting back on level terms 20 minutes into the 2nd half with Alice Bussey on target. Rebecca Knight winning the game for Loughborough in the extra half hour netting twice in the 1st half of extra play, 3-1 the final score.

   Queens Park Rangers Women travelled west to Wales on Sunday to take on Cardiff City Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup, the 2nd Round tie all square at the break with QPR doing well to keep their opponents out. Cardiff eventually getting the break through in the 57th minute Grace Horrell new to the action the substitute making an immediate impact supplying the cross for Cori Williams to score. Cardiff with a strong 2nd half performance quickly found a 2nd goal Nia Rees getting one on one with the keeper to score. Gwennan Davies with a fantastic volleyed goal to make it 3-0 and open her account for Cardiff. Horrell on the scoresheet herself wrapping up a 4-0 win in stoppage time. 

  Lastly Southern Premier Division leaders, Coventry United Ladies were at home in the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup taking on Plymouth Argyle Ladies for the 2nd successive Sunday. Their previous trip one to forget for Plymouth as they were heavily beaten 9-1 in the league. A much closer score this time around. Coventry awarded a penalty, Chenise Austin sending a coolly struck low ball past the keeper to make it 1-0. Helen Bleazard played through to take the ball into the area struck the ball hard to find the back of the net to level the scores in the 17th minute for Plymouth. 1-1 the score at half-time. Coventry creating chances in the 2nd half retaking the lead through Amy Wathan 10 goal in 14 games now as she headed in a near post cross to make it 2-1 and see Coventry’s long unbeaten run continue.

  The draw for the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup made on Monday, the ties scheduled for the first Sunday of the New Year, 6th January the winners receiving £1000 are listed below:-

  Cardiff City Ladies v Bolton Wanderers Ladies or West Bromich Albion Women

Derby County Ladies v Stoke City Ladies

Huddersfield Town Ladies v Leeds United Ladies

Middlesborough Women v Watford Ladies or Buckland Athletic Ladies

Billericay Town Ladies v Loughborough Foxes Women

Hull City Ladies v AFC Wimbledon Ladies

Coventry United Ladies v Crawley Wasps Ladies or Chichester City Ladies

Nottingham Forest Ladies v Milton Keynes Dons Ladies

Oxford United Women v Blackburn Rovers Ladies

Keynsham Town Ladies v Fylde Ladies




The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 11/11/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 11th November

FA Women’s Cup

The FA Women’s Cup saw 15 ties drawn for this Sunday, the 1st Round Proper of the competition. An £850 prize for the winners with the FAWNL Premier Division sides set to enter in the next round. 5 of the 1st Round ties featuring sides covered by Women’s Football East. One of those falling foul to the weather, AFC Wimbledon Ladies away to New London Lionesses called off due to a water-logged pitch.

  It was action from the FA Women’s Cup too this weekend for Women’s Football East a return to the Trinity College Playing Fields to watch a local derby between Cambridge City Ladies from the ERWFL Premier Division hosting rivals Cambridge United WFC competing in the league above, FAWNL South East Division One. Cambridge City Ladies making history already reaching the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup, top of the ERWFL Premier Division hold a 100% winning record going into the game, saw a thrilling game in 2nd Round Qualifying as they came back to beat FAWNL South East Division One side, Leyton Orient WFC 5-4.

  A large crowd in attendance to watch Cambridgeshire’s leading women’s footballing sides go head to head. Certainly had the feel of a local derby, an intriguing watch the sides evenly matched first half ending goalless. A tense start to the 2nd half Cambridge City asserting some pressure substitute Bella Simmons forcing a fantastic save from Cambridge United goalkeeper Savannah Smith. Cambridge United broke with 15 minutes left captain Kelley Blanchflower out to the left wing sending a great cross into the area over Becky Shepherd making a central run, new signing Jade Bell meeting the ball at the far post sending it into the back of the net for her first goal for the club United leading 1-0. 

Sarah Mosley getting the ball up field for Cambridge City Ladies

  Cambridge City left it late against Leyton Orient to win the game, was another late strike to equalise right at the death and force the game into extra-time, Lauren Tomlinson with a long throw into the near post area, the ball not cleared popping out to Bella Simmons to smash the ball into the back of the net and get buried under her team mates in celebration. Into extra-time momentum firmly with Cambridge City, United rattled forced to make a keeper change, unhappy with some refereeing decisions, one of those a contributing factor to City going on to take the lead a well worked move from the throw-in down the line on the left, the cross in central top of the area Laura Mills finding a pocket of space meeting the ball firmly firing it into the goal, City lead 2-1! United couldn’t find a reply, Emma Jenkins coming closest late on seeing her close range attempt cleared of the line from a corner. Cambridge City winning to make it into the 2nd Round draw, where thy have been paired away to FAWNL Southern Premier Division side, Oxford United Women. 

Cambridge City Ladies celebrate their late equaliser goalscorer Bella Simmons in under there somewhere

   Luton Town Ladies from FAWNL South East Division One were hosting, Kent United Ladies from the  London & South East Regional Premier Division in the FA Women’s Cup, 1st Round Proper this Sunday. Like the Cambridge derby, the lower league side holding their opponents to a goalless draw at half-time. Midway through the 2nd half the dead lock was broken the visitors awarded a penalty, Elizabeth Waldie stepping up to score from the spot to put Kent United into the lead. Luton coming back to level with 15 minutes left to play Nicola Henman sending the ball home to make it 1-1. The game heading into extra-time with neither side managing to edge victory it was to be settled on penalties. Luton holding their nerve, Kent United missing theirs Luton make it to the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup where they have been drawn away to fellow league side Billericay Town Ladies.

  Billericay Town Ladies needing extra-time themselves to progress in the FA Women’s Cup and make history by reaching the 2nd Round of the competition. Were away to fellow South East Division One side, Norwich City Ladies. The hosts getting off to the great start opening the scoring with Chelsea Garrett making it 1-0 with her 10th goal of the season. Ellie Smith doubling Norwich’s lead to see them 2-0 up at half-time. Both sides though reduced to 10 before the half-time whistle. Billericay fought back in the 2nd half getting a goal back then levelling the scores to send the game into the added 30. The visitors down to 9 following a 2nd sending off, nevertheless managed to get their noses in front to lead 3-2. Held on as Norwich to ended the game with 9. A home tie with Luton Town Ladies in the 2nd Round the reward.

   No drama for Crawley Wasps Ladies in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup as the leaders of FAWNL South East Division One maintained their 100% winning start to the season on Sunday at home to London & South East Regional Premier Division side, Queens Park Rangers Girls. Kemina Webber opening the scoring for Crawley Wasps in the 13th minute. Emma Plewa doubling the lead midway through the 1st half to see Crawley 2-0 up at half-time. Plewa adding her 2nd of the game 4 minutes into the 2nd half. Megan Stow with a superb 25 yard strike on the hour making it 4-0 to the hosts, Plewa wrapping up her hat-trick 5 minutes later. Ariana Fleischman scoring with 20 minutes left to see Crawley Wasps win the game 6-0. A home tie in the 2nd Round up against FAWNL Southern Premier Division leaders, Chichester City Ladies.

20 ties pulled out of the bag for the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup, scheduled to be played Sun 2nd December. The full draw listed below:-

Sheffield FC Ladies v Nottingham Forest Ladies

Long Eaton United Ladies v Hull City Ladies

Leeds United Ladies v Doncaster Rovers Belles

Huddersfield Town Ladies v Bradford City Women

Sunderland AFC Ladies v Fylde Ladies

Chester-Le-Street Town Ladies v Stoke City Ladies

Middlesborough Women v Stockport County Ladies

Bolton Wanderers Ladies v West Bromich Albion Women

Guiseley AFC Vixens v Derby County Ladies

Wolverhampton Wanderers Women v Blackburn Rovers Ladies

Keynsham Town Ladies v C&K Basildon Ladies

Loughborough Foxes Women v Gillingham Ladies

Billericay Town Ladies v Luton Town Ladies

Milton Keynes Dons Ladies v Southampton Women

New London Lionesses or AFC Wimbledon Ladies v Portsmouth FC Women

Oxford United Women v Cambridge City Ladies

Watford Ladies v Buckland Athletic Ladies

Coventry United Ladies v Plymouth Argyle Ladies

Crawley Wasps Ladies v Chichester City Ladies

Cardiff City Ladies v Queens Park Rangers Women




Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Sunday 11th November

FA Women’s Cup

 The 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup this Sunday afternoon and it’s a local derby for Women’s Football East returning to the Trinity Playing Fields to watch Cambridge City Ladies take on rivals Cambridge United WFC.

   A contest between the leading women’s football sides in Cambridgeshire, Cambridge United WFC playing in FAWNL South East Division One whilst Cambridge City Ladies compete just one league below the ERWFL Premier Division.

  They were once one at youth level, Cambridge Women forming and going on to rise through the woman’s football pyramid reaching the FAWNL, a merger with Cambridge United seeing them become Cambridge United WFC. Several players have since returned to Cambridge City who themselves are rising through the women’s football pyramid. Local rivals their most recent meeting seeing Cambridge City win the Invitation (County) Cup Final last season to end a spell of dominance from United.

  A runners-up finish for Cambridge City Ladies in their debut season playing in the ERWFL Premier Division, are looking to go one better this time around win the title and with it join the FAWNL themselves. Have made a perfect start a 100% in all competitions to date including making history in reaching the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup for the 1st time. 

  Began their FA Women’s Cup campaign back in the Preliminary Round with a away match against Newmarket Town Ladies a 2-0 seeing them draw at home to Cambridgeshire Premiership side Riverside Ladies in 1st Round Qualifying a crushing 14-0 victory setting up another home tie in 2nd Round Qualifying against higher league opponents, Leyton Orient WFC, Women’s Football East was there to watch the match a thriller 9 goals scored Cambridge City 2-0 down late in the 1st half came back to win an exciting 2nd half 5-4! A much different game in 3rd Round Qualifying an away trip to fellow ERWFL Premier Division side, Acle United Women. Laura Mills scoring the opening minutes, Cambridge City defending resolutely as Acle pushed hard for an equalising goal, held out and booked thier place in the 1st Round Proper.

   Cambridge United WFC are well established in the FAWNL South East Division One, those clubs entering the FA Women’s Cup in 2nd Round Qualifying. A home draw against ERWFL Premier Division side, Harlow Town Ladies, a comfortable 6-0 win over the Essex side setting up a 3rd Round Qualifying tie at home to fellow South East Division One side Stevenage Ladies. 2-0 up Stevenage came back late on to level the scores send the tie into extra-time, for there penalties Cambridge holding their nerve to win the shootout and reach the 1st Round Proper. 

 Despite alot of overnight rainfall, knew from previous experience the Trinity Playing Fields will hold out well, the pitch looking in good condition, a local derby alot of interest generated a good number arriving. Hot drinks available plus Cambridge City were laying on hot food for the afternoon. A good atmosphere building, sunny but cloudy a shower possible but unlikely.

Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Tee Mhunduru, Amy Reed, Lauren Tomlinson, Robyn Phillips, Becca Fay (C), Hannah Bodily, Sarah Mosley, Charlotte Gillies, Laura Mills, Erin Davies & Shannon Shaw. Subs – Bella Simmons, Anna Kanz, Emily Reed & Ceri Flye.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Vicky Neal, Fran Gough, Gabrielle Whitehurst, Amber Cantwell, Jade Bell, Becky Shephard, Faith Hewitt & Kelley Blanchflower (C). Subs – Charlotte Crisp, Zoe Lander, Steph Gale, Mollie Coupar & Liz Pamplin.

  A moment of remembrance before the match a poignant day, 100 years since Armistice Day that brought an end to World War I. The team captains laying a wreath on the centre circle before a period of silence… Lest We Forget.

Captains, Kelley Blanchflower & Becca Fay laying a wreath of poppies in Remembrance of Armistice Day

   There’s a buzz in the air a crowd eagerly gathered to watch surrounding the pitch, no point using  Cambridge from here on in, City v United. It’s City to kick-off the 1st half wearing white shirts with black across the shoulders, black shorts with black and white hooped socks. United lined up opposite wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball played out to the right side, Gabrielle Whitehurst winning the tackle for United the ball out for a throw.

   City attack the ball played out to Charlotte Gillies on the right cuts inside before lifting the ball over the United defence with Laura Mills making the run in behind, Savannah Smith in goal for United able to safely gather inside the box. Derby matches can see some robust and usually clumsy tackles early on and this one is not exception, United right back, Emma Jenkins getting clipped across the ankles, Mill sliding in bring down Jade Bell. The latter resulting on a free-kick wide right the ball into the area knocked on towards goal City goalkeeper claiming the ball as it runs into her six yard box. 

Charlotte Gillies on the ball for Cambridge City Ladies

  City attack on the left Shannon Shaw on for Mills, Jenkins getting in to tackle and put the ball out for a throw. Defending inside their area the ball moved quickly through the middle a United break, captain, Kelley Blanchflower with a powerful run on the ball, central, rides Hannah Bodily’s challenge before running in Robyn Phillips the City centreback regaining possession of the ball inside her box. A good tempo both sides pushing players forwards, United break left, Blanchflower running into the channel as Becky Shephard plays the ball forwards, Mhunduru out to the edge of her area quickly sliding in to claim the ball at the strikers feet. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Emma Jenkins

  United’s Amber Cantwell take the ball on through the middle laying it off to Faith Hewitt tries her luck from 30 yards out the ball swinging away from goal. Gillies fouled on the right, a low ball played into the area, Vicky Neal putting in a block before clearing, Jenkins committing the foul 25 yards out City with a chance to shoot. Erin Davies over the ball goes for goal the ball wide past the post takes a clips off a United defender on the way through, the corner given. Mills from the left the delivery long towards the far post, the header sending the ball behind for the goal kick. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Amber Cantwell with Cambridge City’s, Erin Davies

  Bodily looks to find space on the left as she comes forwards, Jenkins getting support from Bell dealing with the threat. A throw in, you know from the last report that Lauren Tomlinson has a long one in he armoury United winning the ball in the box, Neal clearing. End to end Shaw with Mills in attack for City, United break the counter attack bringing a free-kick 25 yards out left of the D. Jenkins to have a shot on goal, Mhunduru with a fantastic save diving to her right pushes the ball behind for the corner kick.

   Bell available on the right for United as they bring the ball forwards, Gillies looking lively on City’s right flank. The niggly free-kicks continue, United showing a little frustration. Good work from Cantwell in the middle winning the ball runs on the pass on for Bell she sends it on for Blanchflower coming over to the right her cross swung into the box cut out by City captain, Becca Fay. Hewitt’s turn to get the ball forwards for United, out to Bell on the right side, a strong tackle from Tomlinson to stop the attack.

Kelley Blanchflower ready to tackle Cambridge City’s Sarah Mosley

   A free-kick on halfway for City the ball played long up into the area, Neal backpedalling for United with the header on the six yard line the ball drops straight to the advancing Davies top of the area meets the shot on the volley her effort spins wide of the target. Shaw takes the ball forwards almost succeeds in playing Mills in behind instead the ball is cleared for a throw on the left. Tomlinson goes long the ball inside the area knocked on towards the near post, Smith catches it not put off by Davies attempting to get her head on it.

   Mills pulls away to the left wing on the ball down the line swings a cross into the area, Shaw lined up with the far post 12 yards out up to get her head on the ball knocked down, Smith with a slight stumble before getting down to push the ball away for the corner. In towards the near post headed behind for a 2nd corner from 3 yards out. The 2nd corner in from the right, met again near side deeper this time, Phillips sending the header wide.

   Shaw with a good run with the ball for City through the middle lays it out to Gillies getting forwards on the left, cuts inside the full back into the area shaping to shoot, Neal racing across gets the challenge in the rob her of the ball. Smith racing out of her area misses the ball as it is played long up to Shaw, the United defence back on the cover clearing the ball long before it can reach the goal. Amy Reed getting forwards from right back for City to the byline with the ball her cross in claimed at the near post by Smith.

Cambridge United WFC’s, Vicky Neal

   Fay receives the first yellow card of the game as she slides in to take out Bell right side. The ball from the resulting set-piece fired in towards the far post area, Mhunduru claiming well not put off by the runners coming in. Davies steals in to win the ball off the United defence right side spots Mills making a run in from the left tries to find her, Smith though can intercept the pass. Bell with a jinking run right side looks to get into the box, the City defence converging running her off the ball. Tomlinson breaking away on the left wing for City, Jenkins doing well up against her preventing the cross before defending and winning the goal kick.

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-0 Cambridge United WFC 

  An intriguing 1st 45 minutes, certainly has a derby feel about it two committed sides that have provided the crowd with an enjoyable game so far. Very good numbers in attendance and heard lots of positive comments too. Goalless neither side has gotten on top of the other, spells of pressure short lived, some lively challenges but not malice more niggly, it’s tense out there. An interesting 2nd half to come and extra-time… and penalties should they be required.

Sarah Mosley getting the ball up field for Cambridge City Ladies

   It’s United to kick-off the 2nd half the sun low in the sky in Smith’s eyes. City winning the ball in the middle come forwards Davies out to Mills on the left her early cross into the box met central by Shaw knocked down into the ground, Smith right behind it collecting safely. Whitehurst brought down in the middle United awarded the free-kick, Cantwell to put the ball up into the area, Phillips winning the header for City. Phillips defending again as United’s Blanchflower and Shephard look to combine on the right. 

Kelley Blanchflower looking to shake of Cambridge City Ladies, Robyn Phillips

   Shepherd’s run in behind halted through the middle the flag up against her following good work form Cantwell in the middle of the park. Carrie Bennett defending at left back stopping Gillies as she tries to cut inside her from the wing. City attack left side the ball played on for Shaw to chase, Gough on her shoulder running towards the box, Smith coming to kick the ball clear, smashes it unluckily against Gough, Shaw alert onto the rebound the keeper out of position she shots from the angle, Bennett racing back to clear if needed the ball striking the outside of the post and out of play.

Erin Davies attacking for Cambridge City Ladies

   Shephard gets into space on the left given the ball takes it on in behind her cross squared into the box along the top of the six yard box an awkward height for Bell nevertheless does well the get her leg back enough to get a kick in towards goal, lacking pace however Mhunduru diving it able to smother the shot. Gillies doing well on the right wing for City, support from Reed and Davies playing her in, inside the area, the United defence closing her down Gough winning the tackle. City make the first change of the game, off comes Mosley on comes Bella Simmons.

Amy Reed dealing with the ball for Cambridge City Ladies

  Gillies with a storming run down the right side plays the cross into the box United defending as Mills tries to turn it in at the near post. City have a corner on the right the ball into the six yard box comes at Simmons quickly can’t direct it in on target. City applying a little pressure now another cross in from the right flashing across the face of goal. 

   Smith with a fantastic save to deny City the opening goal, pressure around the 18 yards box the cross in central Simmons 10 yards out central shifts the ball well the goal looks there for the taking as she unleashes a shot, Smith throwing herself up to her right full stretch getting behind it gloving the ball away for the corner brilliant. The corner from the right long carries to Mills a the top of the area her strike goalwards charged down the rebound out to the left the cross put back in Smith with the catch.

   Bell coming out to the left has support from Hewitt down the line edge of the box, Phillips in with a good tackle to stop Bell turning inside. The ball staying that side United keep it Bell getting another opportunity to send a cross in, very nearly results in an own goal, Tomlinson running a with Blanchflower getting the first touch the ball turned goalwards inside her six yard box, manages to get to it to hook it up over the bar. 

Robyn Phillips tackling Cambridge United’s Jade Bell

  Hewitt with a strike on goal from outside the area as the ball comes out to her from the corner, takes a deflection sending it wide for another corner. Swung in under the bar Mhunduru up under challenge does enough to get the ball away from danger. Bell wins a throw on the right the ball played on into the area won by Phillips, City counter attack the ball up to Mills, Gough closing her down does well up against her. 

 GOAL! Closing in on the final 15 minutes and United break the dead lock, good running from Blanchflower coming out to the left side down the line, checks back inside before looking up and lifting a cross into the area the ball over Shepherd leaping in a central position falls to, Bell at the far post meeting it perfectly to volley back in towards goal and score, her 1st goal for United in only her 3rd appearance 0-1.

  United make a change straight after the goal, Charlotte Crisp coming on to replace Hewitt in the middle. City press the ball lifted up through the middle headed out to Gillies coming inside from the right onto the ball fires in a shot races wide across the face of goal. Blanchflower with a driving run bursting towards the area tackled by Reed as the game moves into the final 10 minutes. United make a 2nd change, Mollie Coupar on for Shepherd. Decisions continue to frustrate United, players letting their emotions show.

Cambridge United WFC’s, Gabrielle Whitehurst

  Gillies still full of running on the right, down the wing sends in and inviting cross low into the six yards box, Smith down low pushes the ball away from danger. City win a free-kick in the corner on the left, the ball high into the six yard box Smith up for it falls awkwardly under challenge, play stopped needs treatment. Jenkins booked for expressing her anger. Shaw gets onto the end of a cross put in from the left plants the ball wide of the near post.

 GOAL! Into stoppage time a throw in deep on the left the ball is put into a congested near post area pings around feet before popping loose back to a City shirt, a shot the ball lashed into the back of the net, City equalise, now you try to look for the scorer but she’s currently under the rest of her teammates as they bundle into celebrate 1-1. The goal scored by Bella Simmons.

Cambridge City Ladies celebrate their late equaliser goalscorer Bella Simmons under there somewhere

  Smith is struggling in goal for United, Pamplin being readied, carrying injuries herself including a broken finger but that won’t stop her. City pressure late on pushing for a winner, a free-kick on the right Reed to put the ball into the box cleared as the final whistle blows and the game heads into extra-time. 

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-1 Cambridge United WFC

  Extra-time

  Momentum firmly with City right now as the teams gather their composure for the extra period of play the sun low in the sky now. A blow for United, Smith cannot continue, Pamplin comes on in goal. United frustrated with the officials too. City to kick-off the 1st 15 minutes of extra play. Gillies winning the ball right side running on her cross high landing behind the goal. City come again right side this time win a throw inside the United half, Bell actually playing the ball off Tomlinson, the fans all knowing the decision is wrong so too the United bench, manager Kevin Hoover getting a talking to from the referee as he voices his complaints.

GOAL! From the throw-in City go on to score a well worked move Tomlinson’s throw down the line good the cross put in early towards the top of the area Mills making a good move getting herself into space inside the D, unmarked hits the ball well rifling it into the back of the net and moments from going out of the FA Women’s Cup, City are in front 2-1.

Laura Mills strikes in extra-time to put Cambridge City Ladies into the lead

  City looking confident have their tails up now the goal restoring energy levels, space opening up Gillies right her cross early long Mills far side turns it goalwards, Pamplin down low easily able to gather. Shaw turning inside with the ball from a throw in foul Cantwell as she tries to get into the area. Coupar winning the ball deep on for Blanchflower left takes on the shot early and attempted lob, doesn’t have enough height on it to worry Mhunduru.

  United pressing forwards room in behind as City counter the ball fed into Shaw, both Simmons and Davies into the area, the latter left side slices her shot wide. Gough defends well as Tomlinson forces her way forwards looking to get in behind her, Neal around on the cover to make sure the ball is cleared. Gillies on the right inside for Shaw she is tackled by Gough outside the box the ball coming back for Gillies she strikes it goalwards from 25 yards out lands in the side netting. 

  A brave save from Mhunduru as Coupar running with the ball left side into the middle sends Bell through into the area left of goal the City keeper rushing in to slide down at her feet the ball deflected away for a corner. The corner is fired in across the face of goal low, Jenkins gets onto it at the far post, a goal line clearance keeping the ball out.

Half-time extra-time Cambridge City Ladies 2-1 Cambridge United WFC

  The sun low in the sky now as United kick-off the 2nd period of extra-time 15 minutes to find a reply. The visitors press forwards Blanchflower with Coupar central moving left, Reed defending for City, Crisp gathers the ball on the wing the cross fired in central, Whitehurst stretching for the ball can’t quite reach it. 

  City break attacking on the right Gillies played on by Mills, Bennett doing well as she stands up against her. Zoe Lander on at right back for United replacing Jenkins. Blanchflower getting hold of the ball takes on 3 City plays manages to get n behind into the area left of goal looks to place the ball high past Mhunduru the City keeper doing well getting a glove to the ball taking it behind for a corner.

City make a change, Davies coming off on comes Emily Reed. Mills is booked for a late challenge on Cantwell on halfway. Neal looks to get in behind from the set-piece the flag up for a foul against her. Mhunduru comes for a free-kick into her six yards box on the right pushing the ball down and away gets hurt as she falls the decision going her way, needs treatment looks in pain but thankfully in up shakily and able to continue. Gillies booked late of for a clip on Neal’s heels. The free-kick defended, City counter the ball with Mills on the right wins a throw. No time left for a United counter, as City win 2-1 to reach the 2nd Round.

Full time extra-time Cambridge City Ladies 2-1 Cambridge United WFC

  A thrilling game, intriguing a great watch and a god crowd in attendance to see two committed and passionate sides go head to head in the FA Women’s Cup. It’s a relatively new rivalry but these two sides are destined to meet again plenty of times in the future. The momentum with City now and well deserved conceding late they demonstrated once again their ability to keep going keep pressing and got back on level terms late on. Taking the lead early in the 2nd half to win in extra time and keep their 100% record going. Will be eagerly awaiting the 2nd Round draw when the FAWNL Premier Division sides enter the competitions.

  Frustrating in the end for United, taking the lead but couldn’t hold out aggrieved at decisions before falling behind only adding to the case. Played their part in a passionate derby however and the game had the feel of a proper cup tie too and who can predict those?

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   On to this afternoons Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Several contenders in what was a really enjoyable game. Savannah Smith with an outstanding save for United, Kelley Blanchflower making some excellent runs using the channels well too. For City, Charlotte Gillies was lively in the right wing some great runs with the ball, bringing others into play, Shannon Shaw with some good hold up play in attack and Robyn Phillips terrific at centre back. Just ahead of those though is Laura Mills excellent in attack finding space on both flanks and through the middle, driving with the ball and a quality strike to win the game wins today’s award.

   A great game attracting plenty of interest a good crowd to witness an intriguing encounter between two of the best woman’s football sides in Cambridgeshire. Perhaps one of those rare games where I actually know who the players are, but it always pays to get those team sheets and my thanks as always to both clubs for helping me out. Wishing Cambridge City Ladies all the best for the 2nd Round draw.




The Round-Up – FA Women’s Cup 07/10/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 7th October

FA Women’s Cup

The 3rd and final Round of Qualifying for this season’s FA Women’s Cup took place this Sunday with 60 sides vying for a place in the 1st Round Proper of the competition. 8 of those ties involving sides playing in the leagues covered by Women’s Football East. 

  One ERWFL Premier Division side guaranteed a place in the 1st Round Proper with Acle United Women hosting Cambridge City Ladies, currently 3rd and 2nd in the Division respectfully. Cambridge City getting off to a great start Laura Mills scoring after a couple of minutes play. The visitors looking to add to their lead Acle keeping them out a 1-0 lead at the break. Acle pushing hard for the equalising goal 2nd half Cambridge City saved by the woodwork twice defending their and making history in the progress reaching the 1st Round Proper for the 1st time in their history.

   Also from the ERWFL Premier Division, Wymondham Town Ladies who have had some memorable moments in the FA Women’s Cup in recent season’s were hosting Billericay Town Ladies, the Essex side newly promoted to FAWNL South East Division One with a strong start to life at the higher level. It was to this game Women’s Football East headed on Sunday. A good start to the match from Billericay pressing the attack, awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the box, Zoe Rushen driving the ball into the top corner to give the visitors the lead, the lead doubled through a Jay Blackie header from a corner kick, two warning shots from previous corners no mistake on the 3rd a bullet header at the near post to make it 2-0.

  The game turned on it’s head with 5 minutes left to play in the 1st half, Billericay goalkeeper, Alex Baker sent off for bringing down, Wymondham’s Laura Nicholls as she ran through towards the top of the area. Nicholls scoring the resulting penalty. With Nicole Farmer taking over in goal Billericay looking to see the half out, Carolyn Sarafian tried her luck from distance on target over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to see Wymondham bring it back to 2-2.

Billericay Town Ladies captain, Lindsey Morgan with Wymondham’s Kayleigh Holloway

  A player advantage for the 2nd half Billericay needing to work hard continued to create openings the game end to end at times Wymondham took the lead with 20 minutes left Hannah Waters pressurising the ball as defender and goalkeeper closed in on one another top of the area the ball loose Waters sending it over both to make it 3-2. Billericay kept going determined to get back into it pressing forwards a ball lifted into the area captain Lindsey Morgan rising highest powering a header back across goal to make it 3-3. Closing in on the final whistle Billericay pounced to score the winning goal Rushen closing in on the keeper as she sets herself to gather the ball the pair coming together, Rushen after the loose ball across the face of goal turning it in the goal standing Billericay winning the game 4-3 to advance.

  One other ERWFL side left in the competition Histon Ladies from Division One, drawn away to Lincolnshire side, Nettleham Ladies newly promoted to FAWNL Midlands Division One. Two leagues between the sides Nettleham proving the stronger on the day enjoying a good first half after riding some early pressure from Histon an own goal putting the home side into the lead, goals from Lucy Farrow, Katie Thornley, Abigail Ringrose and a brace from Ellie Thompson-Moulding seeing Nettleham leading 6-0. A 2nd goal for Farrow along with goals for Holly Newman and Holly Wilson seeing Nettleham comfortably through to the 1st Round Proper.

   Luton Town Ladies were drawn at home in 3rd Round Qualifying taking on lower league side Oxford City Ladies this Sunday. Luton fielding a young side with 2 debutants took an early lead Aurora Ryan sending the ball past the keeper to score after 5 minutes. Oxford City coming back to level the scores midway through the 2nd half. Nicola Henman quickly restoring Luton’s lead heading home from a corner kick with Erica Bryon making it 3-1 on the half hour, Oxford City reducing the lead to 3-2. Luton leading at the break, 2 late goals in the 88th minute and stoppage time seeing Bryon complete her hat-trick and secure the win for Luton.

AFC Wimbledon Ladies also at home in 3rd Round Qualifying taking on lower league side Godalming Town Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup, Laura Quinn-Low netting twice in the space of 3 minutes late in the 1st half to see Wimbledon leading 2-0 at half-time. Sophie Manzi scoring to make it 3-0 with a little under 20 minutes left Caroline Bisson introduced to the action in the 64th minute making it 4-0 with quarter of an hour left to see Wimbledon safely through to the 1st Round Proper.

Norwich City Ladies were at home in 3rd Round Qualifying taking on fellow FAWNL South East Division One side, Enfield Town Ladies. Both coming into the match on the backs of good home wins in the league in midweek. Enfield beating Stevenage Ladies 4-0. Norwich 3-0 winners over Cambridge United. Norwich having by far the better of the 1st half going into the dressing room holding a 4-0 advantage. Chelsea Garrett celebrating a hat-trick, Laura Thacker scorer of the other Norwich goal. That lead successfully defended 2nd half to see Norwich advance in the FA Women’s Cup.

  FAWNL South East Division One leaders, Crawley Wasps Ladies were drawn away to Chesham United Ladies playing in South West Division One in 3rd Round Qualifying. Goalless between the pair at half-time Crawley Wasps getting their noses in front mid-way through the 2nd period Emma Plewa coming on in the 64th minute scoring just 3 minutes later. That the score going into the final minute of the match Plewa on target again to put Crawley Wasps 2-0 to the good, Megan Stow’s cross/shot flying into the back of the net in stoppage time sending Crawley Wasps on into the next round of the FA Women’s Cup.

The last of the FA Women’s Cup, 3rd Round Qualifying ties to bring you requiring a penalty shootout to decide the winner. An all FAWNL South East Division One affair at Mildenhall Town FC, Cambridge United Women hosting Stevenage Ladies. Kelley Blanchflower pouncing on a goalkeeping error to steal the ball take it past her and score to put Cambridge into the lead midway through the 1st half. 1-0 up at the break substitute Mollie Coupar with a strong header inside the area to double the advantage to Cambridge with 20 minutes left. Stevenage fighting back pushing forwards to find a reply brought it back to 2-1 then equalised close to the end of the 90 to force the tie into extra-time Amy Makewell and Ellie Searle with the goals. Neither finding the winner in the extra 30 the tie heading to a shootout Cambridge’s first penalty saved, Stevenage scoring their 1st two. The next two were missed however Cambridge converting their winning it on the 5th strike to go through to the next round.

 The First Round Proper draw made on Monday 15 ties pulled out of the hat still regionalised somewhat 5 ties will feature sides from the East those selected ties below:-

Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United Women

Norwich City Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies

New London Lionesses v AFC Wimbledon Ladies

Luton Town Ladies v Kent United Ladies

Crawley Wasps Ladies v Queens Park Rangers Girls

  Ties to be played Sunday 11th November a 1pm kick-off with the winners receiving £850.




Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies

Sunday 7th October

FA Women’s Cup

 The 3rd and final Round of Qualifying for this season’s FA Women’s Cup taking place this Sunday afternoon, 60 teams vying for a place in the 1st Round Proper of the competition, King’s Head Meadow the venue for today’s game, Wymondham Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies.

Both sides celebrating a league title and promotion last season and have hit the ground running at a higher level at the start of this season.

Wymondham Town Ladies promoted to the ERWFL Premier Division after clinching the Division One North title last season a year after joining the regional set-up. Are a side that enjoys the FA Women’s Cup have had a few memorable runs in recent seasons beating higher league placed sides along the way. Mid-table in the Premier Division after 4 matches played.

 Progress in the FA Women’s Cup has been good albeit frustrating as they have only played one competitive match having been awarded the win in both the Preliminary and 1st Round Qualifying after their opponents withdrew. Were at home in 2nd Round Qualifying taking on Essex Women’s Premier Division side Corringham Cosmos. There season already up and running Wymondham put the side playing 2 leagues below to the sword winning the game 17-1 to advance. A tougher test lies ahead today taking on a higher league placed side themselves.

  Billericay Town Ladies winning the ERWFL Premier Division last season to earn promotion to the FAWNL South East Division One. Coach Kim Coster able to bring in new players some with higher league experience to bolster the squad. As a result a fantastic start to the season, winning their opening 5 league matches keeping pace with fellow promoted side Crawley Wasps Ladies who also recruited well in the summer. A high scoring draw and final defeat on the road to Ipswich Town Women in midweek seeing that record end. Joining the FAWNL, Billericay entered the FA Women’s Cup in 2nd Round Qualifying, drawn at home to ERWFL Premier Division side Colney Heath Ladies at home progressed comfortably with a 9-1 win.

King’s Head Meadow, Wymondham Town Ladies home ground the clubhouse and bar overlooking the pitch. Hot and cold drinks available. The pitch in good condition recovering well following the heatwave earlier in the year. A bright sunny afternoon some cloud cover, music blaring from the home changing room getting the players fired up for this afternoon’s fixture.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Chelsea Clarke, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Carolyn Sarafian, Jorja Patterson, Rebecca Russell, Rachel Cossey (C), Kayleigh Holloway, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters. Subs – Lauren Kett, Mollie O’Callaghan, Olivia Gunn & Alice Ladbrooke.

Billericay Town Ladies starting XI – Alex Baker, Esme Lancaster, Lucy Jones, Nicole Farmer, Courtney Lumley, Lindsey Morgan (C), Zoe Rushen, Nancy Butler, Sophie Vale, Jay Blackie & Georgia Box. Subs – Anna Maria Raine, Kelsey Smith & Broghan Kelly.

Pre-match handshakes

It’s Billericay all in blue to take the kick-off 1st half with Wymondham lined up in red shirts with black shorts and socks. The Essex side looking to place the ball left for Nancy Butler to chase the pass too long out of play. Regaining possession in the centre of midfield Billericay, captain Lindsey Morgan bursting forwards, Wymondham’s captain Rachel Cossey with her back into the area defending as the ball is played forwards, the tackle won, Leah Newcombe seeing the ball safely back to goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan.

   Wymondham come away with the ball on the left played inside for Laura Nicholls, Courtney Lumley getting across her and playing the ball back to goalkeeper, Alex Baker to clear. Wymondham pressing Billericay at the start of the match, results in a break the ball played out to the right Nicholls with space to take advantage off takes the ball on puts the cross in early the diagonal ball just evading striker Hannah Waters central runs on for Rebecca Russell left of the D a chance to shoot scuffs the turf the ball low towards goal not troubling Baker as she drops to her right to lay claim to the ball.

  Bethany Fretwell coming out of the back line driving through the middle with the ball crossing halfway the centrebacks attempted forward pass through the middle just evading Waters as she tries to get in behind the Billericay defence. Billericay attack quickly  bringing the ball on through the middle Jay Blackie on for Zoe Rushen the pass out wide right into the path of Sophie Vale shoots from the angle 20 yards out, the ball racing wide of the near post. Wymondham get an attack going through the midfield, Cossey into Russell on into Waters play spread out to the right as Newcombe sees nothing but grass ahead of her taking the ball down the wing swings a cross into the area claimed by Baker at her near post.

Bethany Fretwell driving forwards for Wymondham Town Ladies

    A good tempo to the game the first 10 minutes flying by, Blackie picking the ball up deep for Billericay inside for Rushen out to Esme Lancaster getting on down the right side, tackled by Kayleigh Holloway, Wymondham try to counter, Morgan breaking up play. A great save from O’Callaghan to keep it at 0-0 as Billericay press forwards, Blackie strong on the ball passing it to Vale has Rushen further out playing her in she shoots angling in blocked by Fretwell in front of goal the rebound back to Rushen her 2nd attempt heading for the top corner, O’Callaghan getting a glove up to the ball turning it wide and out for a corner across her six yard box.

Billericay Town Ladies, Sophie Vale

  A good delivery from Rushen on the corner left side a high tempting ball in central, Blackie rising highest gets a connection her header taking the ball wide of goal. Vale on the ball left taking it inside on to Georgia Box top of the area, turns into Fretwell, quickly joined by Carolyn Sarafian no way through the attack breaks down the ball cleared out to Newcombe left side her pass up to Waters central has Nicholls on close support the pair try to combine Waters lifting it into Nicholls looks to get beyond her into area Nicholls with a deft header trying to knock the ball down into her feet, Baker can get hold of it first for Billericay.

Jay Blackie tackling for Billericay Town Ladies

   Lucy Jones comes forwards for Billericay on the right a good challenge from Newcombe as the full back tries to get inside her. Newcombe fouled on halfway a chance for Wymondham to send players forwards for a set-piece Fretwell on the ball sends it long towards the far post, the home side getting a corner out of it. A good ball into the box an in-swinger coming in central Baker getting her gloves on the ball palms it down into the six yard box, Jorja Patterson reacting quickest for Wymondham her shot straight into Baker’s gloves.

  Frustration evident from Billericay as decisions appear to be going against them more than their opponents, they are pushing on well in attack threatening to get into good scoring positions, Blackie in particular finding space to run into, Bulter and Vale providing great options left and right. Win a corner left side Box controlling the ball spinning it out to Vale closing in on the left her ball into the area deflected behind. Blackie coming for the ball put in near side this time gets away to head the ball goalwards her effort over the bar.

 GOAL! Billericay open the scoring in the 20th minute, win a free-kick in a dangerous position outside the area. The build-up involving Blackie and Rushen the ball into Vale outside the box is brought to the floor. Rushen’s reputation proceeds her, wrote her name down before I even looked to see who was taking it, is a dead ball specialist and this is well within her range a yard outside the area right of the D. She runs up strikes the ball sweetly heading top corner, O’Callaghan can’t get to it 0-1.

Zoe Rushen’s free-kick opens the scoring for Billericay

  Nicholls finds herself back in the box for Wymondham making two superb tackles on Jones as she gets inside the area looking to support Butler as she receives the ball on the left. Wymondham get forwards down the right side win a corner, players up attacking the ball an inviting delivery fired in across the penalty spot no-one can find a telling touch. 

   A great move from Billericay starting with Lancaster at the back on into Morgan central, Blackie bursting down the left channel into the area Morgan sliding the ball into her she squares the ball across the six yard box Rushen central closely marked can’t get a touch runs on for Box at the far post opening up her body to strike the ball, fires the shot straight at O’Callaghan the goalkeeper saving as she shifts across her goal. 

  Play switched from Wymondham left to right Newcombe getting a corner. The ball played short into her free on the right from the set-piece sets a high ball in towards the far post, Russell jumping between two Billericay defenders the ball striking her shoulder drops down in front of goal grabbed by Baker before anyone can pounce. Waters nips in to win the ball off Jones as she brings in out from the back cutting inside bearing down on the area Lumley with a good burst of pace getting back on the cover to win the ball back for the visitors. 

   Billericay come very close to doubling their lead quick to hit Wymondham on the counter attack players looking for channels of space Box this time pulling away to the left as the ball is lifted up to her, O’Callaghan rushing out to the edge of her box the Billericay striker taking the ball past her an open goal beyond she opens up her body setting herself sends the ball on players rushing back across goal Chelsea Clarke getting back in the nick of time clearing the ball before it can cross the line, the corner conceded.

Billericay Town Ladies, Georgia Box

   GOAL! A brief reprieve for Wymondham however as from the resulting corner they do concede a 2nd goal. The delivery from Rushen on the money Blackie with two efforts from corners already making no mistake this time making the near post run her bullet header driving the ball into the back of the net 0-2. 

Billericay Town Ladies, Jay Blackie

  Wymondham attack looking for the immediate response. Waters picking up possession tries to drive on trough the middle, the Billericay defence needing 3 bites at her get the ball away to safety. Nicholls moving out to the left taking the ball into her feet plays the diagonal ball early on for Waters breaking off the last defender in behind into the box Baker coming stays big making the blocking save. Newcombe getting brought down to the ground more than most Wymondham have another free-kick on halfway, Fretwell to delivery forwards runners far post area the ball sent in towards goal Baker saving confidently. Holloway with a mazy run out on the left for Wymondham cutting inside 20 yards out crosses into the area Waters central Lumley with the interception. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Leah Newcombe

  GOAL! Into the final 5 minutes of the 1st half and Wymondham are awarded a penalty Nicholls played on through the middle taking the ball on towards the box, Baker coming to close her down stays big Nicholls going down as she tries to put the ball pass her, the referee pointing to the spot. Worse to come for Billericay as Baker is shown a red card, sent off for the 1st time in her career. The rules changing this only a yellow card by the offender if it was deemed to be an genuine attempt to play the ball. Nicole Farmer quick to take up the gloves stand in goal for the penalty, Nicholls to take sets herself to open up her body and play the ball high to the right scores to make it 1-2. 

Laura Nicholls on the ball for Wymondham Town Ladies.

  Billericay down to 10 attack right from the restart Bulter free on the left surging on into the area rides a sliding tackle herself as she looks for options cutting it back for Rushen outside the box central her venomous strike blocked by Sarafain. Into the closing moments of the first half Wymondham press on Russell out to Holloway, Lancaster blocking her run. 

  GOAL! Wymondham capitalising on their advantage at the end of the 2nd half to pull the score all square, have a throw out on halfway left side the ball dropped into Sarafian she turns and lines up a shot from distance a high ball in lobbing the newly arrived keeper dropping over her into the goal beyond 2-2. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Carolyn Sarafian

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-2 Billericay Town Ladies

  The game turned completely on its head in the final 5 minutes, Billericay looking good for their 2-0 lead pushing on likely to get more, Wymondham getting it back to 2-1 from the spot in what some may feel was a controversial decision to red card the keeper. The home side taking advantage however scoring and Sarafain testing the new keeper from long range seeing Wymondham level it up at 2-2 moments before the half-time whistle. Cup football for you… create an entirely different outlook for the 2nd half. Billericay needing half-time to regroup gather themselves. Wymondham back in it needing to keep their feet on the ground a player advantage yes 2nd half but will need to remain composed.

   A change for Billericay at half-time having seen the 1st half out Farmer returning to the centre of defence, Vale giving way as new signing Brogan Kelly, usually a striker taking on the role of goalkeeper for the 2nd period. Wymondham to get the 2nd half underway. The ball won by Billericay played out to Butler left side a strong run, Russell getting back to put in the tackle win possession for Wymondham. Despite being down to 10 Billericay have started the 2nd half well, Rushen with a long range strike from 30 yards out flashing wide across the Wymondham six yard box. 

  Russell moving left on for Waters to chase down the wing, Lumley across to clear for Billericay. Farmer winning the ball as she challenges Waters attacking through the middle cleared into the middle Billericay picking out Morgan getting forwards crossed into Butler inside the box the ball getting stuck under her feet digging a shot out O’Callaghan throwing herself into the dive the ball past her but also the post. Jones cutting inside from the left on for Morgan placed central 25 yards out aims to loft the ball over the Wymondham defence with Box breaking in behind the touch too strong the striker can’t reach it. 

Billericay Town Ladies, Nancy Butler

   Billericay come close to retaking the lead a rapid counter right side Box carrying the ball on sends a cross racing in along the front of goal Butler far post close in, is it a save by O’Callaghan a strike against the woodwork or both I can’t tell but it’s not in the heavy sighs of relief from the home crowd behind me say it was close. The game sees no let up in tempo Billericay might be a player down but they are trying to get forwards at any opportunity, Wymondham launch a counter right side the ball into the channel Waters after it shoots on the angle 20 yards out the effort sailing over the bar.

   It’s an intriguing encounter both sides giving it there all both feeling the next goal is theirs. Fretwell striking over from a free-kick after Newcombe is brought down once again. Blackie going into the referees book. Rushen getting forwards on to Box pulling away right wins a throw deep down the line. Rushen the target standing just inside the area into her feet keeps possession taking it higher before turning and sending in a shot the ball running wide across the face of goal. 

Zoe Rushen on the move for Billericay Town Ladies

  Butler left inside to Rushen 30 yards out wide for Blackie right her cross swung into the area claimed well by O’Callaghan. Billericay not enamoured by the referee today are aggrieved at further decisions going against them only adding to their resolve at this point however. Farmer with great defensive work through the middle as she deals with a difficult ball put forwards with Waters lurking behind her. Jones getting in behind on the left sends a high cross into the area taken by O’Callaghan with Box racing in central.

  GOAL! Wymondham take the lead with 20 minutes left on the clock, comes from a defensive error from Billericay forced by Waters the ball played on by Nicholls for her to attack left channel the defensive trying to see the ball back as Kelly comes for it top of the area Waters closing in on the pair as they all converge the ball popping free Waters pouncing leaning back to send the ball over both into the empty goal beyond 3-2.

Build up to the leading goal for Wymondham Town Ladies

   Nicholls and Waters combining again left side for Wymondham in attack, Farmer getting the challenge in to win the ball for Billericay Wymondham make their 1st change, Mollie O’Callaghan coming on for Holloway. Blackie with a powerful drive forwards on the right for Billericay cuts the cross square along the top of the area looking for Butler, her first touch too heavy, Sarafain in to close her down. Billericay make another change Butlers last action of the game as they send on Kelsey Smith.

  Billericay come forwards Blackie wide moving right put long to Morgan running left wins a corner as Newcombe tackles her. The delivery into the area drops down inside the six yard box a bout of ping ball occurs the ball scrambled clear out to the left retrieved by Rushen she shapes to send a shot back in her strike wide across the goal. Wymondham are on the back foot Billericay deciding attack is the only option a 3rd and final change from the visitors Lancaster coming of the defender replaced by Anna Maria Raine who takes up an attacking position on the right.

    GOAL! Billericay get back on level terms pressing bodies forwards in and around the Wymondham box a high ball is lifted into the box from the right side Morgan jumping the highest meets it well heading the ball back across goal over the keeper and in to equalise 3-3.

Billericay Town Ladies captain, Lindsey Morgan with Wymondham’s Kayleigh Holloway

   The game open now Wymondham push on lose possession Rushen playing it up early for Box running in behind, Fretwell doing well to close her down and get hold of the ball. Jones running onto a shot from distance the full backs effort charged down. Waters after a ball played into the Billericay area left side Lumley doing really well up against her in defence. Box on the attack right O’Callaghan coming the ball past her Box further out this time defenders racing back however they can see it wide across goal this time.

   The clock rapidly running down into the final five minutes of the game extra-time and if needed penalties looming. Blackie with a clever ball up top on for Box to attack top of the area Sarafian in to clear for Wymondham.

 GOAL! Billericay retake the lead the goal coming about with more controversy, the Essex side building momentum down the left the ball played into the area O’Callaghan going to stop it a collision the keeper grounded the ball running across the six yard box Rushen following it and wrapping her foot around it to turn it into the goal, everyone’s eyes on the referee, a goal is signalled everyone including Kelly in goal races over to Rushen to celebrate. 

Rushen with Wymondham Town Ladies captain, Rachel Cossey

   A delay after as O’Callaghan requires treatment is okay to continue Wymondham behind now with little time left to find a reply. Olivia Gunn joining the action for the home side late on. A free-kick wide right as Nicholls is clipped going forwards the ball send in far post Fretwell can’t get it back across goal end up off the pitch injured. Into stoppage time Billericay have the ball Box on for Morgan on the left experienced she takes it into the corner. Cool heads needed now Billericay seeing the game out get there winning 4-3 to make it into Monday’s 1st Round Proper draw.

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 3-4 Billericay Town Ladies

   Treated to a 7 goal thriller in the finish, a good start from Billericay the higher league side going 2-0 up, felt they would go on to win comfortably at that point then came the sending off Wymondham drawing level from the penalty spot equalising on the stroke of half-time a real belief they could go on to win it from that point taking the lead with 20 minutes left Billericay had to work hard got back to 3-3 before winning the game themselves late on. That is simply the magic of the cup. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A usual a few contenders for this afternoons Women’s Football East -Player of the Match award. Leah Newcombe doing well for Wymondham at left back. For Billericay, Nicole Farmer with some good defensive work especially 2nd half, Nancy Butler on the left, Jay Blackie too getting into some great positions to receive the ball deep and set up others a threat from corners. Just edging it though is Zoe Rushen powerful on the ball her set-pieces a constant threat.

  5-4 the last time out in the FA Women’s Cup a 7 goal thriller this time around have been treated to some exciting fare so far this season, makes me hungry for more. My thanks as always for the help with today’s teams I know several but it always pays to have a team-sheet.