Category Archives: Match Reports

Match Report – King’s Lynn Town Ladies v Wroxham Women

Sunday 17th November

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

 A game from the 2nd Round of this season’s Norfolk Women’s County Cup this Sunday for Women’s Football East, the venue The Walks Stadium to watch King’s Lynn Town Ladies v Wroxham Women.

 Plenty of action across the county to take in this weekend the first official Women’s Football Weekend where fans of all ilks are encouraged to come watch a game of women’s football. A county cup weekend for many with several tasty looking ties thrown up. None more so than today’s fixture between two sides who have ambitions for reaching the final itself.

 King’s Lynn Town Ladies reaching the final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup last season for the 1st time in their history. An historic day too in that it was the first time the County Cup final had taken place at Norwich City FC’s Carrow Road stadium played in front of a record crowd. A tough draw for King’s Lynn Town Ladies in the 2nd Round of this season’s competition but then the club only needs to look back to there recent successes in the competition and a memorable 2nd Round defeat to Norwich City Ladies (the highest league placed side in the Norfolk) a couple of season’s ago. Playing in ERWFL Division One North this season beginning to find some form are playing higher league opponents once again.

 Wroxham Women a new name to women’s football in Norfolk but a familiar side the new guise for Acle United Women making the switch this season to join  forces with Wroxham FC as the clubs first women’s side, plying their trade in the ERWFL Premier Division, a strong league are amongst the title challengers aiming for promotion to the FAWNL. Like King’s Lynn will fancy their chances in the County Cup finalists two seasons ago, winners as Acle back in the 2014/15 season. The higher league placed sides not seeded in the County Cup meeting they can meet early on sees Wroxham pitted against King’s Lynn this time around but again as Acle faced Norwich City Ladies at this stage last season beating the FAWNL to go on eventually knocked out in the semi-finals by Wymondham Town Ladies. Currently 2nd in the ERWFL Premier Division table, Grace Birchall leading the attack with 27 goals already this season.

 Another opportunity for King’s Lynn Town Ladies to showcase their football at The Walks Stadium home of King’s Lynn Town FC, the large stand overlooking the pitch housing the clubs facilities, the cafe open a bar along with the changing rooms. Covered terracing opposite, a large pitch a good nick, the rain dying down earlier in the week to leave the game safe. A dull overcast sky above but any rain should stay away until later.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Bryony Robinson, Chloe Witt, Georgia Freeman, Shanice Burch, Charlee Griffith, Emma Corbyn, Becky Russell (C), Rachel Skinner, Tegan Wheeler, Deva Rawlings & Tiffany Forshaw. Subs – Lily Porter, Katie Ward & Jodie Hopkins-Duckhouse.

Wroxham Women starting XI – Amy Bell, Anna Larkins (C), Olivia Mungham-Grey, Victoria Pleavin, Chloe Shields, Ciera Flatt, Naomi Cooper Kayleigh Holloway, Mary-Anne Hoy, Lauren Bullard & Grace Birchall. Subs – Kirstie Kindred, Leanne Symonds & Grace Parker.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Wroxham to get the 1st half underway wearing their away colours orange shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. King’s Lynn line up opposite wearing blue coloured shirts and shorts with yellow trim and yellow and blue socks. Played back to the defence Wroxham look to play it forwards on the right Grace Birchall looking to get the ball down and take on the King’s Lynn defence, the tackle seeing the ball out for a throw. King’s Lynn captain Becky Russell carrying the ball on through the middle looks to release Rachel Skinner on the right her early ball crossed into the box headed clear back to Skinner to play in another high ball this one caught by goalkeeper Amy Bell.

Grace Birchall bringing the ball on attacking for Wroxham Women

  A pacy start to the game both sides closing the ball down quickly looking to get going. Newly signed Ciera Flatt joining Wroxham last week plays the ball from the middle out to the right Kayleigh Holloway on down the line to cross into the box the ball headed clear of the area, Wroxham regather a strike fired in from distance on the right, caught high by King’s Lynn goalkeeper Bryony Robinson. 

 King’s Lynn get on the attack the ball threaded through to Chloe Witt getting forwards on the right taking defenders on gets in behind squaring a cross into the box the ball just behind striker Tiffany Forshaw, the Wroxham defence clearing at the far post. Wroxham come on the right a throw won deep in the corner put back up the line to Mary-Anne Hoy level with the top of the area fires a ball in central Flatt can’t take in her stride runs on through to Birchall positioned left of the D 20 yards out curls a low shot in, lacking power Robinson down to gather is right behind it. 

Wroxham Women’s Mary-Anne Hoy

  Wroxham settling quickly, Naomi Cooper in the middle with a strong challenge to win the ball her pass aiming for Holloway breaking right comes inside tackled by King’s Lynn defender Georgia Freeman. Forshaw coming high to get hold of the ball strong against the Wroxham centre backs plays the forwards pass out to Emma Corbyn getting away on the right on behind crosses early no one in the box however to met the ball Wroxham able to bring it forwards. Forshaw getting on down the left wing doing well to win a corner. The ball played in to the near side defended.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies, Georgia Freeman

  Wroxham build through the middle a direct attack Hoy with the ball on almost has Birchall making the run ahead of her through on goal, a great tackle from Shanice Birch at the top of her area to deny her. Very competitive no one settling on the ball passes played quickly both sides looking to exploit the width. Wroxham get numbers forwards as Holloway and Lauren Bullard combine on the right the ball in cleared straight to Cooper tries her luck from distance a powerful shot low races wide across goal. 

Charlee Griffiths heading the ball clear for King’s Lynn

 Russell latching onto Bell’s clearance from 35 yards out central strikes it on the half volley rushed the shot bends away from goal wide past the left post. A lively game both sides up for it a good atmosphere, Charlee Griffiths stepping up to intercept as Cooper tries to send Birchall through on the left. Skinner driving on down the right for King’s Lynn in attack her cross into the middle of the box, Witt furthest forwards to attack it can’t get enough contact headed away at the far post back to Skinner on the right closing in on the area her shot charged down. 

  A respite in the play a Wroxham player down injured. Some strong tackles from both sides two fully committed sides Tegan Wheeler having her ear bent by the referee. Birchall played through the centre in on goal gets a shot away past the rapidly closing Robinson but before it can reach it’s target the whistle blows for offside. Russell taking the ball on down into the right corner gets King’s Lynn a throw in, the further good player brings the hosts a corner the ball in defended near side by Wroxham won back on the left, the visitors defence out well to catch the King’s Lynn attacker offside.

Tiffany Forshaw sliding into the tackle for King’s Lynn

 Forshaw getting on down the left played in on the ball a strong run holds off her marker coming inside to blast in a shot on the angle a fierce drive rising across the goal face cannons down of the upright into the path of the advancing Corbyn coming at her quickly an instinctive slash at the ball, slices it wide, Wroxham scramble the ball clear. Up the other end Hoy shoots over from 22 yards out for Wroxham. The visitors win a free-kick wide right the ball lifted in towards the near post Russell back defending for King’s Lynn heading the ball up into the air put wide of goal Birchall quickest to react latching onto the ball fires it in low a blocking  save by Robinson before her defence gets it away.

Forshaw carrying a threat attacking on the left for King’s Lynn a powerful runner with the ball at her feet aims to put Corbyn in central the ball won and cleared put straight back to Forshaw left of the box shoots firing the ball wide. Russell comes away with the ball right side fires it in on the angle, Bell down low in front of goal pushes it away in front of her straight at the on rushing Skinner, the block coming in as she pulls the trigger the ball cannoning back off her over the bar.

Wroxham’s Hoy challenging King’s Lynn’s Deva Rawlings

  Holloway and Birchall switching flanks the former now on the left wins her side a corner, taking it the ball is cleared back to her, shifts it as she takes it up the line before driving in a shot towards the near post through bodies Robinson is across to cover the angle gathering the ball. On the opposite side Birchall gets her head down pushes on with the ball down the line before whipping in a dangerous ball on the angle, Robinson up at her near post to push the ball behind for the corner. On the right an inswinging delivery headed away by Griffith. Birchall straying clear through the centre shoots early the ball right of the D put wide across goal. Wroxham make a change, Kirstie Kindred on in attack replacing Bullard. Holloway on the attack left for Wroxham lifts a cross into the box Flatt racing forwards can’t quite take it in her stride but deflected the ball runs behind for a corner on the right.

GOAL! 5 minutes left to play in the first half and Wroxham open the scoring players congregating at the near post the ball flighted into the pack is knocked on central comes straight through to Flatt unmarked in the middle of the box, takes a touch before smashing the ball home into the the back of the net Robinson left stranded 0-1.

Wroxham Women’s Ciera Flatt

King’s Lynn look for an immediate response getting a cross into the Wroxham box from the right Forshaw attempting the header close in can’t quite get the required contact. King’s Lynn press the attack left side winning a corner kick in near side headed clear gathered by Russell outside the box turns inside before shooting looks off target heading wide across goal but into the six yard box a dangerous ball almost turned past Bell by her own defender makes a timely grab.

GOAL! Forshaw has already fired one warning shot across the Wroxham bows and injury time fast approaching in the first half fires her side back level receiving a good pass from Birch at the back out to her on the left side all of 30 yards out on the angle strikes the ball hard over the keeper and into the goal beyond to make it 1-1. The Walks letting out a roar of celebration.

Tiffany Forshaw on the ball bringing the scores back level for King’s Lynn late in the 1st half

   A lively end to the half Skinner away on the right for King’s Lynn wins a throw high up the pitch put into Wheeler dragging the ball inside her cross cut out Wroxham break Birchall away with the ball on the right then Kindred racing into the the area, dispossessed, Birchall onto the ball to shoot, Robinson holding onto the ball.  

Half-time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 1-1 Wroxham Women

 A lively first half, between two committed sides fast paced highly entertaining two late goals seeing it level at 1 goal each at half-time. Both sides creating opportunities looking a threat going forwards, no one given much time on the ball, a few strong tackles throw in a great first 45 minutes of football and both sides will fancy their chances of getting the win 2nd half. 

King’s Lynn to get the 2nd half underway don’t think any changes have been made at half-time Rawlings playing the ball from the middle long up to Forshaw, crossed in cleared by Pleavin for Wroxham. King’s Lynn with a strong opening to the 2nd period up on the right Russell on the ball top of the area right can’t find a way through closed down plays it back across to Skinner central gets her foot up to strike the ball the shot 20 yards out bouncing inside the ball caught cleanly by Bell. Forshaw attacking left has support from Wheeler, Shields lunging in makes the tackle for Wroxham before she can get inside to shoot.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies, Tegan Wheeler

  Wroxham captain Anna Larkins at right back kept busy by Forshaw steeping ahead of he King’s Lynn attacker to intercept a diagonal pass put in from midfield. Russell coming on to link up with Forshaw crosses early aiming for Witt making a near post run, Larkins gets across her to defend for Wroxham. King’s Lynn pressing the advantage at the start of the 2nd half the ball worked inside played into Forshaw to strike 20 yards out right of the D put wide of the post.

  Birchall brought down somewhat brutally as she charges forwards with the ball, strong tackling a feature of the game, both sides guilty however but both getting on with it not making a fuss, part of the fast paced nature of the game. King’s Lynn making a change Witt coming off on comes Jodie Hopkins-Duckhouse. The free-kick taken by Birchall claimed at the near post by Robinson an infringement bringing play back for a free-kick to King’s Lynn. Wroxham with a throw high on the left the ball gathered by Birchall struck on the angle narrowly over the bar.

Kayleigh Holloway bringing the ball under control for Wroxham Women

  Kindred in attack helping the ball on to Holloway getting free on the right into the box a mazy run on the ball blasts a shot in towards goal, Robinson with the parrying save. An open game now the result wide open, Skinner sending the ball on for Rawlings making a central run, Cooper back to defend for Wroxham. Russell right looks to send Forshaw through central, Bell winning the race to intercept the ball. Griffith with a superb tackle to deny Birchall an opportunity to get through into the box. Cooper is covering alot for ground in the middle of the park for Wroxham winning the ball back sends it on for Hoy who in turn threads it in behind for Birchall to chase too much on the pass allows Robinson to get out to claim. 

Wroxham Women’s Naomi Cooper

Kindred bringing the ball on right in attack for Wroxham squares her cross along the top of the area finding Birchall left side 20 yards out stretching as she shoots the ball in lacking the pace to evade the keeper. Cooper with a crunching challenge in the middle to get the ball for Wroxham out to Larkins right down the line for Holloway dribbles into the box one drag back too many as she attempts to get a clear shot Birch with the lunging tackle to take the ball. Lily Porter joins the game for King’s Lynn in place of Skinner. Birchall out to Larkins on the right the full back travelling forwards the give and go attempted with Holloway out wide, Larkins not catching the shot as she looks to hit it first time from distance.

  Changes for both sides, Grace Parker on for Mungham-Grey at the back for Wroxham, Katie Ward on for Corbyn for King’s Lynn. 

  GOAL! King’s Lynn take the lead in the County Cup tie with 15 minutes to play a fantastic strike from the captain too, the ball out left put in on the diagonal towards Forshaw top of the D, controls and lays it back for Russell to hit first time from all of 40 yards out rifled in on target a powerful hit over Bell before she can get anything on it 2-1.

Becky Russell firing King’s Lynn into the lead with a superb strike

 Wroxham make a change straight away with Leanne Symonds on for Hoy. Holloway driving inside from the right is tackled by Freeman, the defender down injured the trainer called on a pause in play can’t continue, hobbles off, Witt sent back on Forshaw now dropping into defend at full back. Tensions starting to rise challenges still robust time starting to run out. Griffith and Flatt tangle a free-kick to Wroxham wide right curled out at the far post put in by Birchall. 

  Wheeler advancing for King’s Lynn moving right with the ball out to Witt keeps with her getting the return pass inside to Russell to hit from distance, the shot held by the keeper. 

  GOAL! From a throw in on the right inside the King’s Lynn half Wroxham get a late equalising goal, Birchall gathering the ball into her feet turning infield heading towards the area sends the cross in central missed by Cooper, met by Flatt beyond her 20 yards out on target parried up into the air in front of her by Robinson, Kindred quickest to pounce close in to knock it past her and over the line 2-2.

  A blow for King’s Lynn conceding late on they respond well unleashing an all out offensive on the Wroxham defence pushing forwards Witt seeing a shot charged down 20 yards out. Larkins putting a clearance straight into the path of an advancing attacking the ball rebounding off her straight into Bell’s gloves. King’s Lynn press the attack Wroxham’s defence stand firm the final whistle blows the tie heading into extra-time.

Full time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 2-2 Wroxham Women

Extra-time

  Light beginning to fade the floodlights coming on at The Walks, Wroxham to get the 1st period of extra play under way two 15 minute halves for either side to try an find a winner or the tie will be settled on penalties nothing to separate the sides so far. Birchall away on the left taking the ball into the area top corner foot through the ball blasts high and wild, goes down with injury looks in alot of pain, trainer and stretcher on after a pause in treatment Birchall denies the latter but can’t continue helped off the pitch Bullard races on to replace her. 

 Symonds with a half chance inside the box for Wroxham a defensive clearance put straight into her struck on the half volley fired wide. Cooper still full of running for Wroxham across to win possession looks to send Holloway through right side, Forshaw defending for King’s Lynn. Kindred bringing the ball on for Wroxham central lifts it forwards for Symonds in behind 20 yards out attempts to lob the advancing keeper the ball over her falls wide of goal. 

  Wroxham getting forwards Cooper winning the ball central passing to Bullard in towards the box the defence forced to clear as Robinson can’t get there coming out from goal. Off the resulting throw right Holloway fires in a cross close to the near post, Griffith in front of Symonds defending for King’s Lynn. Symonds forwards on the left inside to Kindred top of the box helped onto Holloway right side her ball in cut out and cleared struck back in from distance the shot racing wide of target. 

  Ward brought down by Shields sliding in just outside the box as she comes inside from the right. The free-kick in a dangerous position past the wall low narrowly wide of the post. Wroxham with one final attack in the 1st period of extra-time Kindred on for Cooper racing through the middle the King’s Lynn centre backs sliding in together to stop her run the ball deflected out to Symonds getting forwards left side controls and curls in a shot towards goal played straight into Robinson gloves. 

Half-time extra time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 2-2 Wroxham Women

King’s Lynn to get the 2nd period of extra play underway 15 minutes left for either side to find what they hope will be the winning goal. Penalties looming. Forshaw moving back into an attacking role up top. Flatt on the ball for Wroxham 30 out looking for a position to shoot moving across goal before cutting back to unleash a shot goes wide as Flatt falls injured. Up gingerly is able to continue. Kindred with Flatt on the right attacking for Wroxham, King’s Lynn win the ball attempt to break quickly the ball forwards intercepted by Parker out to Holloway right comes inside tackled by Griffith. 

  Alot of energy expanded players on both sides tiring but no one giving up still a fully committed affair an intriguing game. King’s Lynn attacking left Forshaw taking the ball on towards the corner of the box, the ball loose Shields sliding in to win the brings Forshaw down. A free kick for King’s Lynn put in on the keeper, Bells claiming well, runners either side of her ready to pounce should the ball be spilled. King’s Lynn with a corner on the right flighted in towards the six yard box Parker up at the near post to clear. Hopkins-Duckhouse gathering 35 yards out right takes on the distance strike the ball caught by Bell. 

  Ward’s crossing from the right sees the ball deflected behind for a corner kick to King’s Lynn. The delivery finding its way through to Forshaw central inside the box turns into the shot blazes over. Ward retrieves the ball on the left of the area a Forshaw sees a shot blocked following a strong run on the right side put back in across goal cleared by Cooper. Into the closing minutes both sides tired now, determined not to concede whilst trying find a way through. The final whistle blows however and who advances into the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup will be decided on penalties!

Penalties

 I hate penalties as I’ve told you before a monumental effort from both sides but nothing to separate them after 2 hours of football now 5 spots kicks each and then if necessary sudden death.

  King’s Lynn up for the 1st penalty captain Becky Russell to take taken well a confident penalty high to the keepers left. 1-0.

  Cooper to take Wroxham’s 1st penalty, hit with power low to the keepers right 1-1.

  Hopkins-Duckhouse up next taking King’s Lynn’s 2nd penalty. Missed the ball fired over the bar 1-1.

  Wroxham captain Anna Larkins to take their 2nd penalty Robinson diving the right way the ball placed well into the bottom corner 1-2.

  Forshaw up next for King’s Lynn a confident strike fired low into the bottom right corner 2-2.

  Flatt up next for Wroxham she sends her strike over to see it remain all square after 3 penalties each 2-2.

  King’s Lynn’s 4th penalty taker is Emma Corbyn scores it as she plays it wide of the diving keeper 3-2. 

  Parker up next for Wroxham, again Robinson goes the right way the penalty well hit wide of her dive 3-3.

  Ward with the 5th penalty for King’s Lynn agony as she sees it fly over the crossbar. 3-3.

 A chance for Wroxham to win the shoot-out, Bullard up to take the 5th penalty has to score places it low past the keeper into the corner of the net and wheels around in celebration her teammates racing to join her. 4-3.

 Ecstasy for Wroxham, heartbreak for King’s Lynn at the end of the shootout a cruel way to lose a match but it needs to be decided on the day a huge effort from the hosts a real contest more than matched Wroxham. On top for large spells of the game coming back from a goal down to lead only to concede late on. A fully committed contest. The aim of #WomensFootballWeekend to showcase the women’s’ game and it certainly was at The Walks a great advert for the sport watched in front of a good sized crowd. King’s Lynn Town Ladies love a game at The Walks. It’s Wroxham Women though who advance to the quarter finals.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match a few contenders as is more often the case and entertaining match. Stand out performers for both sides, Becky Russell with a superb strike to fire King’s Lynn into the lead with a strong performance in midfield. An excellent goal too for Tiffany Forshaw to bring the scores level late in the first half a constant threat in attack on the left strong on and off the ball reading the game well. The award though goes to a Wroxham player thought Naomi Cooper was tremendous operating in midfield today lost count of the number of tackles she won get about the pitch making some well timed runs setting up several attacks.

 What a game was fantastic entertainment at The Walks this afternoon, a fully committed contest that neither sides deserved to lose a great advert for women’d football in Norfolk and beyond, look forwards to the quarter final draw. My thanks to both clubs for all their assistance today.

Match Report – Thorpe United Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies

Sunday 10th November

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 A top of the table clash from Norfolk Women’s Division One this Sunday on Women’s Football East, two sides defending a 100% winning start meeting for the 1st time this season as defending champions, Thorpe United Ladies host Bungay Town Ladies.

  Bungay themselves Division One champions the season before, leading the way with 6 wins from 6 so far, Thorpe keeping pace in the defence of their title with 5 wins from 5. Aren’t the only side with a 100% winning start with newly promoted Tavern Ladies in the mix too.

 Division One expanded in size this season up to 11 sides following an influx of new sides and a new to even up the two divisions. A strong start with 3 sides all with 100% records, Sprowston Ladies with 12 points from their opening 6 games well placed to capitalise should anyone slip up. One of those 100% records will fall this afternoon.

 Thorpe United Ladies finding their form once again last season a force in women’s football since entering the league a strong youth set up seeing a new crop of young players join the squad last season. The squad bolstered going on to win the league title along with reaching the semi-finals of both the County and League Cup. More young players coming in this season, new signing too, Megan and Melissa Belsey from Sprowston Athletic joining the club along with Alice Ladbrooke returning from Wymondham Town Ladies. A new Reserves side formed this season to add to playing opportunities within the club has made a good start to life in Division Two  amongst the front runners early on.

  A League and Cup double for Bungay Town Ladies the season before last, like Thorpe an established side within the league. A transitional season last time around, losing players took a while to get going bringing new faces in young talent results improving as the season wore on. More new face coming in during the close season experience at a higher level, a fantastic pre-season, winning all their games the momentum carried on into the season itself. 6 wins out 6 to top the league early on, know it will be a competitive campaign with Thorpe and Tavern Ladies matching them so far. Saw Bungay earlier in the season in the Women’s FA Cup in a 15-0 demolition of Riverside Ladies, am not expecting anything like that this afternoon.

  The Thorpe Recreation Ground the venue for today’s game, home of Thorpe United Girls & Ladies. A large playing field boasting a number of full-size pitches, a couple of youth matches taking place too on an adjoining pitch. The new clubhouse with a bar and kitchen serving hot and cold drinks. The pitch well used a good size, had hoped to get away with no rain this afternoon but as the teams warmed up it started to fall, light but persistent rain would disappear around 20 minutes into the game itself, thankfully no wind so juggling an umbrella, camera and notepad not as difficult as it could have been.

 The players gathering around the centre circle before kick-off, today Remembrance Sunday a minutes silence observed for those who have fought and fallen in armed conflict around the world. Lest We Forget.

Thorpe United Ladies starting XI – Cara Anderson, Morgan Devine, Tash Levesley, Megan Belsey, Holly Peck, Laura Hedtke, Alice Ladbrooke, Melissa Belsey, Ellie Hunter, Sophie Jermy & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs – Molly Howes, Bryony Knights & Millie Cursons.

 Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Joanne Pipe, Kelly Collins (C), Hannah Jones, Charlotte Power, Lyndsey Adams, Charnelle Riggall, Selina Rowland, Nicola Hazell, Grace Storey, Samantha Penman & Leanne Smith. Subs – Porsha Renwick, Shannon Dade & Erin Galer.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Bungay to get today’s top of the table clash underway wearing their new kit, blue coloured shirts with a light green sash across the front, blue shirts and socks with green and white trim. Thorpe in their traditional pink coloured shirts, black shorts and socks. The ball played back towards the defence, midfielder Selina Rowland picking it up carrying the ball forwards over halfway sending it up the line for Samantha Penman to chase, Tash Levesley going with her for Thorpe the full back defending the ball put out for a throw. 

Thorpe captain, Rebekah Lake looking for a shooting opportunity early in the game.

 Thorpe captain, Rebekah Lake a constant goal threat has 12 goals already this season from 5 appearances, the ball played through the middle as she peels off the shoulder of the last defender, Hannah Jones doing well to get back against her shoulder to shoulder into the box right of goal, Bungay goalkeeper Joanne Pipe coming to close the gap sliding in both collide the ball spinning out to the left into the path of Thorpe’s Ellie Hunter she brings the ball under control before striking towards goal, Kelly Collins captaining Bungay round on the cover to intercept the ball and clear. 

Bungay Town Ladies captain, Kelly Collins

Bungay get up the other end the ball into the area, no shot on as Holly Pack wins it for Thorpe played out to the left wing Thorpe launch a rapid counter Hunter keeping the ball in play sending it on for Lake who has broken into space on the left plays it inside for the advancing Laura Hedtke through the middle, lines up a 25 yards strike, low in towards goal not troubling Pipe back on her goal line. Thorpe lively at the start of the match getting players forwards quickly when they have possession using the width of the pitch the ball on the right crossed in dangerously towards the near post, Pipe throwing herself up to keep the ball from creeping in pushing it behind for a corner.

   The high ball in from the right defended by Rowland, Bungay can’t get an attack going, Thorpe winning the ball back high up the pitch, keep the pressure on out to Melissa Belsey on the right wing another vicious cross whipped in near post, Pipe doing well to get herself in front of Sophie Jermy running in that side to punch the ball to safety. Bungay not settling well passes rushed no one taking time on the ball, Thorpe able to turn it around, competitive in the middle of the park, Alice Ladbrooke backed up by Hedtke not giving much away. Hunter on the left playing a one two with Jermy as she gets on down the wing, receiving the ball coming inside 20 yards out looking to go across the top of the box, dips her shoulder taking the ball inside to shot the ball narrowly wide of the left post.

Ellie Hunter getting on down the left for Thorpe United Ladies

  Jermy moving left with Hunter combining again,supported by full back Levesley the ball played back to her 35 yard out goes for goal, the ball on target dipping in front of Pipe, traps it well with her legs to bring it under control and claim on the bounce. Light raining falling up until now making it slick on top has finally stopped. Ladbrooke sliding in to regain possession inside the Bungay half setting up an attack out to Hunter taking it on down the left a cross fizzed in along the top of the area, Charlotte Power getting hold of it for Bungay. 

Charlotte power in ahead of Rebekah Lake to win the ball for Bungay

 The visitors have got little going in the way of attack so far in the match, kept on the back foot by Thorpe’s bright start, Rowland bringing the ball on a good threaded pass to find Grace Storey free on the right lifts it on into the box for Penman, Megan Belsey across putting in the challenge defending well for Thorpe the ball out for a throw. The ball continues to ping around, no one wants a 2nd touch it seems a little rushed at time passes not finding their mark. Melissa Belsey able to travel with it wide right inside for Jermy breaking forwards shoots early doesn’t get a clean strike the ball across the face of goal wide collected easily by Pipe. 

  Thorpe have the Bungay defence pushed back, the midfield needing to back up making it difficult when they regain the ball to get anyone up to support Leanne Smith and Penman in attack. The attackers combine as Smith takes the ball on with a marauding run on the left cutting the cross back inside to Penman inside the area her 1st touch seeing her beat her marker knock the ball on towards goal, but as the turns to give chase too much to do as goalkeeper Cara Anderson comes to gather for Thorpe. 

Samantha Penman bringing the ball out from the back for Bungay Town Ladies

  From a Bungay attacking opportunity off a throw on the left Thorpe win the ball and launch a fast counter attack, Jermy bringing the ball out playing it long for Lake always looking for an opening up top in space, bringing the ball inside closed down in front of the area, opts to cross instead of shot picking out Melissa Belsey far side on the right off the area, her 1st time effort blazed over. Thorpe coming on strong Hunter inside to Ladbrooke the ball knocked on through the middle into the box, Jermy looking to get onto the end of it, Bungay defending desperately, Lake getting a shot away from six yards out, Pipe down to make the save.

   Thorpe are using the width of the pitch well Hunter and Melissa Belsey staying close to the touchline the ball worked from left to right well, Jermy central finding pockets of space. with Lake always ready to burst forwards with the ball or to receive it, Lindsey Adams out to intercept on two occasions in quick succession for Bungay. Hunter from the left byline sending in a cross Lake running in far post unable to reach it, Pipe with an outstretched arm plucking the ball down a vital save with Jermy rushing in behind. 

Sophie Jermy bringing the ball under control for Thorpe United Ladies

  Adams once again across to head the ball clear from the box a Lake drives on down the right flank before attempting the cross. Hedtke up for a throw on the left high up the pitch for Thorpe swinging a dangerous ball low into the box, Power sticking a leg out to deflect it out of Lake’s path central before being cleared. Hunter put in clear on the left from a long ball out of defence races on before crossing a dipping ball into the six yard box, Adams cutting it out and launching clear for Bungay. 

Bungay Town Ladies, Lyndsey Adams

Bungay make a change a frustrating afternoon so far for Smith she is replaced by Porsha Renwick. Pipe sharp off her line out to win the race to claim the ball as Lake is put in behind from a lofted pass from Ladbrooke central. Bungay’s defence on the back foot, battling well Jones getting in front of Jermy to intercept a cross put in from the right. Thorpe make a change, Melissa Belsey coming off, on comes Millie Cursons, she goes out to the left side with Hunter coming right. 

  GOAL! 5 minutes left to play in the 1st half and all the pressure Thorpe have exerted brings them a goal. Lake hard to shake off the ball once she gets hold off it draws players towards her as Thorpe overload the right skipping inside into the area drives on towards the six yard box firing a cross in towards Cursons positioned central inside it, she shoots, close on Pipe manages to get something on the ball as she throws herself down by not enough to keep it out 1-0.

Ladbrooke fouled by Rowland top of the centre circle a free kick to the hosts players come forwards Hedtke to take lifted into the top of the area Riggall winning the header for Bungay, Rowland clears. Bungay make a 2nd change Erin Galer on for Storey on the right, Jones pushed forwards. Thorpe break Hunter right passing inside to Hedtke forwards into Lake she aims to thread it through into the box for the breaking Jermy, Pipe able to claim it. 

Thorpe ending the half strong a corner won on the right played up the line short for crossed in near post, Ladbrooke jumping can’t get a touch Rowland back on the post defending to clear for Bungay. A free-kick wide on the right to Thorpe, Hedtke to play into the area cleared by Riggall, the visitors attempt to break, Thorpe in well to break in down as they have all half. Levesley left on for Cursons to cross it caught by Pipe.

Half-time Thorpe United Ladies 1-0 Bungay Town Ladies

  A dominant 1st half display from Thorpe sees them leading at the break, just the 1 goal to show for all that dominance however, Pipe with some excellent stops to keep the score down, other chances not taken. Have hardly been troubled by Bungay in attack. Despite that Bungay battling have defended well often on the back foot struggling to get anything going forwards often starting from deep unable to get support up to their attackers. At 1-0 however they are far from out of the game and half-time a chance to regroup ad reorganise.

As well as serving the community as a sports ground, Thorpe Recreation Ground is a haven for dog walkers. Those attending the match and out for a stroll. The half-time entertainment provided by tiny jacket wearing Chihuahua with probably the squeakiest bark on the planet, not deterred by his size his little legs pumping after a much larger dog, his opponent unsure what to make of his cat sized attacker… it all ended peacefully.

Tash Levesley and Porsha Renwick battling for the ball

The overcast skies seeing the light fading fast as the teams entered the pitch for the 2nd half. Smith back on for Bungay Penman off. Thorpe to get the 2nd half underway attacking left, Power conceding an early corner. Thorpe take it short up the line the cross in from deep almost finds its way through near post. Bungay look to bring it out, Hedtke central in to win it back for Thorpe lifts it up towards the top of the area for Lake, the bounce not favouring the Thorpe captain she plays it instead out to Cursons free left side, her shot put over the bar. 

Thorpe United Ladies, Holly Peck

Thorpe beginning where they left off 1st half, Hunter attacking right putting it back central for Hedtke 20 yards out she plays it though to Lake left side of the area, Galer winning the challenge for Bungay a corner conceded. The ball cleared, comes straight back on Devine with a good ball forwards Lake with the opportunity won;t come down as she knocks it to the right, Pipe blocking as she slides in on the ball. Lake gathering the ball on the right played inside for Hedtke 25 yards out shoots over.

Morgan Devine looking for options after winning the ball back for Thorpe

Hunter gets hold of the ball on the right drives on down the line for Thorpe, Collins though stays on her well keeping pace and preventing the cross coming in eventually winning a goalkick. Bungay getting frustrated are far from done battling to find an opening Hazell left side has Smith running into space ahead of her the pass picking her down Smith looks to get on, Megan Belsey coming across to tackle the ball taken off Smith, Peck backing up as Renwick looks to pounce take it on into the area. The game starting to open up a little Thorpe need that 2nd goal. The hosts make a change Bryony Knights coming on to replace Hunter. 

Charnelle Riggall

Bungay starting to find a bit of rhythm Rowland and Riggall getting more joy through the middle. Rowland in to win it playing it up to Renwick, Peck preventing her turning in behind. Hazell left turns her marker well off a throw in plays it on to Rowland inside the box flashes a dangerous cross into the six yard box the ball cleared. Another throw won on the corner left side Smith gathering turning pushing on into the area, players closing her down it skips up for Renwick with her in the left to clip in towards goal with the outside of her boot, Anderson well placed to catch. 

Selina Rowland on the ball for Bungay Town Ladies

Bungay creating opportunities of their own taking more risks going forwards are further at risk of being hit on the break and Thorpe a quick to turn play around the ball long up to Lake already on the move left channel running with the ball into the area pulls the trigger, a brilliant save from Pipe throwing up a glove to tip the ball over the bar. The resulting corner in from the left knocked down inside the box a scuffed shot in on goal the ball trapped on the line and cleared.

Rowland looking to bring the ball forwards making a couple of strong runs without finding the final pass, the Thorpe defence under some pressure now Bungay fired up sensing they can get something from the game. Rowland on the left after the ball crossing from the byline, Smith sliding in near post, Anderson getting it away down to block. Thorpe bring off Devine to be replaced by Molly Howes with 25 minutes left to play. Smith sends a shot over from outside the ball as a ball is deflected into her path by Jones. 

  Smith off a quickly taken throw on the left puts it inside to Rowland top of the area, turns attempting to get inside to shoot, a lunging tackle from Ladbrooke denies her. Hazell out wide left takes on a shot from distance in on target Anderson back peddling getting her arms up to tip it away to the right. Bungay keep possession a low driven ball fired back in Anderson down to make another save the ball pushed away for the corner. In from the left inswinging Anderson in a crowded six yard box punching it away. 

Nicola Hazell gathering the ball for Bungay

Despite their earlier dominance Thorpe defending a 1 goal lead aren’t comfortable battling themselves now to keep their advantage intact. Lake strong on the ball bringing it forwards left side travelling at pace, Adams defending well for Bungay. Bungay bring on Shannon Dade for Riggall in the middle. Power intercepting a Thorpe through ball, looks to get Hazell away on the left, Ladbrooke regaining possession for Thorpe. Players committed forwards Thorpe counter played up to Cursons central 30 yards out her first touch pass setting up the advancing Lake moving across her into the area right side to shoot across goal, Pipe with another fantastic saving diving to her left arm out to push the ball behind. 

 The game end to end now the clock running down Bungay can’t clear from the resulting corner Thorpe put it back in Knights near side can’t fashion a shot forced to put it back out to the left the cross long this time Jermy up at the far post her header put cross goal. Bungay get the ball on through the middle Rowland forcing her way in behind clear for a moment looks to have the beating on the advancing Anderson as both slide in Rowland knocking it past the keeper but the power lost on the ball it rolls on to be safely cleared by the recovering Thorpe defence.

 Cursons into the Bungay box receiving a long diagonal ball from the left cuts across her shot firing the ball back across the keeper, Pipe with more acrobatics diving full stretch the push the ball behind her goal. A substitution for Thorpe before the corner is taken, Jermy off with Melissa Belsey back on. Lake remains a constant threat peeling away into the channels left this time racing on to shoot on the angle the ball held by Pipe low at her near post. Adams off late on for Bungay, Penman back into the action. 

  Into the closing minutes the light has almost gone very gloomy, Thorpe battling late on to hold onto their lead, keeping the ball well the youngsters encouraged to run it into the corner. A free-kick won slowing thing’s down Hedtke to play it into the box, headed up high by the Bungay defence play stopped a foul spotted. The ball played out the final whistle blows and Thorpe United Ladies end Bungay’s 100% winning start make it 6 wins out of 6 themselves.. ironically drop a place to 3rd in the table as the other 100% winning side Tavern Ladies go top win a big win against bottom side Freethorpe to claim top spot, all three sides on 18 points now, an intriguing title race that’s far from over.

Full time Thorpe United Ladies 1-0 Bungay Town Ladies

 1-0 win for Thorpe in the finish Millie Cursons goal late in the first half proving the difference. Thorpe dominant in the 1st half having just the one goal to show for it could and perhaps should have been leading by more. Started the 2nd half well, Bungay frustrated fired up coming strong with opportunities of their own to level the scores as Thorpe grew nervous uneasy will just a single goal lead. Dangerous on the counter though as the game opened up, Bungay had Joanne Pipe to thank producing some fantastic saves to keep it to 1-0. Couldn’t find an equalising goal in the finish and that would have been harsh on Thorpe who in the end had to earn the win. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few contenders, for Bungay huge credit to Joanne Pipe produced some quality saves to keep her side in the match throughout. For Thorpe, Rebekah Lake has had a few of these and rightly so a constant threat hard to shake off the ball and making great runs to get into scoring position setting up the winning goal. Sophie Jermy too early on especially finding pockets of space between defence and midfield, where Thorpe were strong, the notes will often help towards picking someone out and that is the case today, Laura Hedtke close but just beating her to the award Alice Ladbrooke. Won alot of challenges, breaking up play and setting up attacks.

Always a good rivalry between the two sides and had no doubt today would be a close fought game. 1 goal in it should have been more but kept the intrigue going to the end an entertaining fast paced contest, a good advert for women’s football in Norfolk. Thanks to both teams for the team details always appreciated.

Match Report – Fakenham Town Ladies v Tavern Ladies

Sunday 20th October

Norfolk Women’s League Cup

County Cup football this weekend on Women’s Football East with the Norfolk Women’s competition getting underway this Sunday. A trip to Clipbush Park to watch Fakenham Town Ladies v Tavern Ladies meeting in the 1st Round.

  Last season’s final played in front of a record crowd at Norwich City FC’s Carrow Road ground, Wymondham Town Ladies beating King’s Lynn Town Ladies to lift the county cup for the 2nd successive season.

Today’s clash between two sides promoted to Division One this season. Fakenham Town Ladies finishing runners-up in Division Two last season bouncing straight back up following relegation the previous season. Tavern finishing 4th in Division Two going up due to an influx of new sides joining the league this season one of a total of six sides moving up to the top division to ensure an equal distribution of teams.

  Fakenham bringing in several new faces over the summer to bolster their squad as they look to consolidate and push on in the top division. Players needing time to settle and gel a heavy loss on the opening day have bounced back since winning two of their last 3 league matches. Started last season with a 4-0 home win against Tavern, the aggregate score 5-5 though with Tavern finishing the season well and scoring plenty of goals winning 5-1.

  An excellent start to the new season for Tavern Ladies, the Dereham based side playing in Division One for the first time. A 100% winning start with 4 wins from 4 are one of three sides to have made a perfect start sharing the lead with Bungay Town Ladies and defending champions Thorpe United Ladies who they beat in last years League Cup to reach the final itself. Scored plenty of goals during that campaign most notably Atlanta Griffith and Katie Hart-Copsey scoring 74 goals between them, Hart-Copsey one of two players in the East of England last season to surpass 50 goals. Lucy Kean leading the goal scoring so far this season with 6 goals.

Clipbush Park the venue for today’s match the bar open serving hot and cold drinks leading out onto the pitch itself. A large pitch offering plenty of width a test for any teams fitness. A small seated stand on the opposite side of the pitch, covered areas behind both goals. An overcast day dark clouds around and unfortunately some light rain as the teams walked out onto the pitch.

Fakenham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Easter, Jemma Riches, Lauren Crundwell, Maddie Smith, Sian Sands (C), Celemence Anhour, Vicki Lubbock, Tash Patten, Holly Davies, Megan Spurrell & Sophie Lubbock. Subs – Rosie Smith

 Tavern Ladies starting XI – Zoe Gibbons (C), Emily Fusco, Roxy Bailey, Millie Bell, Cody Barnes, Nicole Costin, Atlanta Griffith, Meganne Smith, Katie Hart-Copsey, Sophie Fuller & Lucy Lean. Subs – Danni Lee & Nat Merry.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   It’s the hosts Fakenham to kick-off the first half wearing amber coloured shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and socks. Tavern lined up opposite in an all blue kit with white trim. The visitors quick to close straight from the off the ball closed down in midfield knocked out of play for a series of throws on the left.

Fakenham defender Maddie Smith putting in the tackle

   Fakenham looking to make ground on the flank, Tavern regain possession and counter Atlanta Griffith central with the long pass to release Meganne Smith away on the left she plays the ball into the middle for Sophie Fuller 30 yards out she flicks it on through the middle for Lucy Kean getting in between the Fakenham centre backs bearing down on the box, goalkeeper Chloe Easter has to come goes to ground looking to block Kean’s run the attacker taking the ball to her right past her and shoot at the open goal beyond, an early let off for Fakenham as the ball runs wide of the post.

Fakenham attack on the left can’t make any head way in behind the Tavern back line are awarded a free-kick wide on the left players forwards as Maddie Smith prepares to launch the ball forwards towards the area a good delivery near post Sophie Lubbock with a well timed run can’t quite get on the end of it as it runs safely through to Tavern goalkeeper, Zoe Gibbons. Tavern come left a throw in won high dropped into Griffith she spins to play the ball into the box, headed clear by Fakenham captain Sian Sands. 

Holly Davies plays the ball forwards as Fakenham bring the ball out for the back picking out Megan Spurrell breaking away on the right wing moving forwards Tavern get players across quickly three conversing to crowd Spurrell off the ball. Emily Fusco at right back for Tavern winning the ball brings it forwards aiming to release Katie Hart-Copsey on the wing, Sands with a timely interception to prevent her getting away. Tavern getting forwards well in numbers Fusco up field as Nicole Costin spreads play in the middle out to the right on for Hart-Copsey, slips on the wet surface as she goes to cross allowing Sands to get across to clear the danger for Fakenham. 

Megan Spurrell bringing the ball on for Fakenham Town Ladies

    Griffith showing great movement off the ball early on getting free on the left the ball put into her path she clips it inside for Fuller central, under challenge as she unleashes a shot form all of 30 yards the pace taken out of the ball runs safely through into the box for Easter to collect. Tavern get high on the left a throw won in the corner put into Kean back to the box close to the byline hooks the ball up and beyond her into the ball dropping central inside the six yards box, Fuller goes to attack it, Fakenham scramble clear, gathered by Meganne Smith wide of the area strikes the shot back in flies wide across goal.

   GOAL! The early pressure Tavern have applied seeing them open the scoring inside the opening 15 minutes closing the Fakenham defence down for the ball in front of their area snapping into the challenge it finds it’s way across to the right Hart-Copsey free putting her foot through the ball sending her shot racing past the keeper and in from 18 yards 0-1.

Katie Hart-Copsey with the opening goal of the game for Tavern Ladies

  Fakenham straight on the attack from the restart Vicki Lubbock driving forwards from midfield winning a throw on the right. Put into the box the clearance straight to Tash Patten her cross fired in striking Costin somewhat painfully deflected behind for the first corner of the game. The ball lifted into the six yard box cleared by Cody Barnes, Tavern looking to break, Maddie Smith preventing them from doing so.

Holly Davies getting hold of the ball for Fakenham Town Ladies

   Patten getting in close to charge down Fuller as she goes to shoot from the top of the area, the rebound fired in towards goal from distance, not troubling Easter. Tavern burst forwards Griffith taking the ball on sending it on to Fuller a flowing move she helps it on over the top for Kean to chase after, too much on the ball allowing Easter to come and claim first. Fakenham make a change, Lauren Crundwell off for Rosie Smith in defence. Maddie Smith wins the race as Fuller plays the ball in behind for Kean to go after.

Tavern Ladies, Roxy Bailey

  A few strong challenges coming in a physical contest Tavern using it to their advantage, Griffith getting about in midfield well supported by Costin, the latter winning the ball on for Fuller, Griffith running beyond her to the left the pass into her feet, Maddie Smith sliding in to tackle and regain possession for Fakenham. Bringing the ball on through the middle Clemence Anhour forwards Sophie Lubbock n attack heading it down to Davies on the left she looks to drive in behind, Fusco tackling for Tavern.

  GOAL! Fakenham level the scores get players forwards as Spurrell battles for possession on the left with Barnes, the defender lunging in to take the ball away from the attack gifting it to Vicki Lubbock who drives into the space opened up by Spurrell on the right 25 yards out on the angle strikes the ball well the ball coming in at pace rising to drop beyond the keeper into the back of the net 1-1.

Fakenham Town Ladies, Vicki Lubbock

   Half an hour gone Maddie Smith being kept busy by Kean defending against her at the top of the area as Tavern break forwards with intent Costin winning it in the middle. Griffith coming left squaring the ball inside for Costin 35 yards out forwards for Fuller, Sands stepping out of the Fakenham defence nips in to make the challenge. Kean gets in behind central as the ball is put over the top closing in on the box Easter coming to close her down the attacker manages to get the ball past her before they come together, no pace on the ball however off target as the Fakenham defence get back to clear.

   GOAL! Tavern are soon back in front, attacking Fuller on the ball cutting inside from the right outside the box brought down a free-kick awarded. Fuller herself to take the set-piece in a dangerous position. The ball hit well rising to clear the ball and over the keeper to creep in under the bar 1-2.

Sophie Fuller scoring from the free-kick to restore Tavern’s lead

   Fakenham come right win a corner kick. Sands to take a good delivery in near side Vicki Lubbock with a clever run to get in front of her marker puts her head on the ball her attempt wide of the post. Tavern play the ball on for Hart-Copsey getting free on the right sends a cross in along the six yard box, Maddie Smith getting in front of Kean at the near post to head clear. Fuller shooting from distance 20 yards out right of the D her effort stinging Easters gloves as she palms it down cleared before Kean can pounce.

GOAL! Tavern extend their lead, attacking down the right Hart-Copsey getting deep to the by line playing a pacy cross in towards the near post Easter their gets her gloves to the ball but doesn’t stick, the ball dropping to the ground Kean is coming in on the follow up on top of her getting her toe to the ball first to prod it past her into the goal beyond 1-3.

Lucy Kean with her eyes on the ball scores the goal to put Tavern 3-1 ahead

10 minutes left to play in the first period, Fakenham play the ball on through the middle into Sophie Lubbock she drives on into the Tavern box, Millie Bell in to make the tackle the ball out for a throw. Jemma Riches getting up the field for Fakenham from defence as the hosts mount an attack the ball squared into Vicki Lubbock top of the box right of the D she plays it forwards for twin sister Sophie making the near post run clear to shot a rising strike Gibbons across to cover the angle making the save pushing the ball behind for the corner kick. 

Fakenham Town Ladies, Celemence Anhour

This is where the note taking skills get put to the test, Fakenham up to attack the corner on the right Sands delivering towards the near post Vicki Lubbock coming to attack it, defended put back out to the right for Sands to cross in again dropping central into the six yard box missed, bouncing up at the far post an amber shirt rising to head the ball goalwards the ball striking the crossbar back down into a congested box a scramble ensures, Gibbons getting down to smother the ball.

Tavern continue to attack strongly getting forwards well whilst keeping it tight and organised at the ball. Fakenham finding it tough to break them down. Spurrell looking the most likely on the right a strong run on the ball getting in behind support from Sophie Lubbock struck low on the angle the ball taking a deflection on it’s way through taking it behind for the corner. Vicki Lubbock making some good runs to make herself available for the corner deliveries Tavern not picking her up once again as she moves towards the ball near side turns and sends a shot from 8 yards out over the bar.

Vicki Lubbock controlling the ball for Fakenham looking to play Megan Spurrell in on the wing

Good combination play between central midfielders Anhour and Vicki Lubbock through the middle for Fakenham make ground before Lubbock is stopped by Griffith top of her area for Tavern. Patten on the left getting in beyond for Fakenham to the byline skips pass a defensive challenge going on to cross the ball into the six yard box, Bell cutting it out for Tavern.

Half-time Fakenham Town Ladies 1-3 Tavern Ladies

  An entertaining first half played at a good pace, Tavern leading 3-1 having the better of the play creating more opportunities scoring early in the game, organised at the back getting forwards with pace closing down well physical. Fakenham creating chances themselves although not getting in behind the Tavern defence tough to break down. Getting it back to 1-1 Tavern coming back with a well taken free-kick gifted a 2nd goal to hold a two goal lead. Fakenham coming close to pulling a goal back on a couple of occasions hitting the bar with one. All to play for 2nd half.

Tavern to get the 2nd half underway. Fakenham with a change at the start of the half, Crundwell back on for Patten. Fakenham quick to close the ball down get it on down the right for Spurrell to attack winning a throw in, defended as Sophie Lubbock seeing the ball into her feet looks to turn and take the ball into the box. Fakenham lively at the start of the 2nd half Vicki Lubbock receiving of another throw right side top of the area driving inside to the byline looking to cross, Bailey preventing her from doing do lays it back outside to Riches 20 yards out a cross driven in low racing wide near side.

 Sophie Lubbock intercepting a poor goalkick top of the box goes to shoot charged down the effort loops up high into the air and drops wide of the Tavern goal for a corner. The delivery in close to the near post not attacked Tavern able to clear. Fakenham continue their early attacking 2nd half Sophie Lubbock moving wide right has Spurrell behind her Costin back to defend outside her box for Tavern. 

Nicole Costin playing the ball on for Tavern Ladies

  Tavern break the ball taken to the byline by Kean cut back towards the top of the area for Hart-Copsey, Vicki Lubbock back on her defending for Fakenham before she can get a shot away. Hart-Copsey over on the right a ball crossed into the box headed clear by Sands, up to Anhour in the middle forwards for Davies to attack central running on with the ball but no way through the Tavern defence. 

  GOAL! Having ridden out a strong spell from Fakenham at the start of the 2nd half Tavern extend their lead with 55 minutes played. The ball won back inside the Fakenham half on the left passed central into Griffith all of 30 yards out lets the ball run across her before striking it a good connection the ball flying in towards goal with power past the keeper before she can react and in 1-4.

Tavern Ladies, Atlanta Griffith

  Fakenham are getting a little frustrated in the final third good build up play the final ball won’t come more often than not collected by a blue shirt. Fakenham bring Crundwell off on the left side Patten back on. From a throw on the right Vicki Lubbock looks to drive on with the ball at her feet tries to pick out sister Sophie ahead of her in the box, Bell intercepting for Tavern. The visitors make their first change of the game, Danni Lee on for Meganne Smith goes into the defence.

  Play stretched now Fakenham taking more risks as they attempt to pull a goal back Kean sending the ball on for Hart-Copsey to run in behind central Rosie Smith getting back on her as the pair close in on the area does well to get across her see the ball back to her keeper. Sophie Lubbock chasing the ball as with Bailey in the left corner the striker pressuring to get the ball back up the line to Patten she strikes the ball goalwards from the angle can only put it into the arms of the goalkeeper.

Fakenham Town Ladies, Tash Patten

   Tavern continue to win the physical battle stronger to win the ball, nothing malicious is a good spirited game, a good contest. Hart-Copsey lifts the ball on for Griffith breaking through the middle, Rosie Smith getting cross to lung in to put the ball wide for the throw in. Tavern winning a corner as Fuller’s turn and hit from 20 yards out takes a nick to divert it wide of goal. The delivery in close to the near post defended. Tavern make another change Barnes the player off back on comes Meganne Smith.

   Vicki Lubbock nipping in to win the ball back central for Fakenham lay it forwards for Sophie Lubbock top of the area she shoots the strike put over the crossbar. Tavern turn play around in the middle quickly Kean threatening to get away through the middle 25 yards out Sands lunging in brings her down, the free-kick awarded, not the last defender as the whole Fakenham defence had turned in unison and Maddie Smith was close, nevertheless a yellow card shown to Sands and another set-piece in a dangerous position for Tavern.

  GOAL! Now I run the batteries in my camera to the limit knew it was nearly out, so now wasn’t the time to get the big red flashing battery symbol but there you go… happens once a game. Slightly further out to her goal in the first half Fuller is on the set-piece once again left of the D is another well struck shot a strong hit past the wall to land inside the left post and extend the visitors lead 1-5.

 A little under 10 minutes left to play Tavern with a commanding lead. Tavern playing well Hart-Copsey latching onto a poor goal kick 30 yards out central tries to lift a shot straight back in plays it off target. Fakenham aren’t giving up by any means looking to get forwards find a goal Spurrell central sees Sophie Lubbock making a move out to the left to get in behind Bailey the full back though reading the move steps across to intercept the pass clear it out to the right, Riches having bombed on for Fakenham getting hold of the loose ball drives a shot wide of the near post from 20 yards.

 Kean running on trying to get in behind the Fakenham defence as the ball is put long for her to go after heads it on in behind left of goal carries it on towards the box letting fly with a shot beating the advancing keeper sees her effort strike the side netting. Fusco winning the ball at the back gets a rush of blood to the head as she takes the ball forwards making it at the way to the top of the area before shooting a challenge deflecting it on pushed wide by Easter.

Tavern Ladies, Emily Fusco

   Fakenham come forwards going left good combination play between the Lubbock sisters as Davies chases the ball into the left corner put back up to the top corner of the box for Patten she takes on the shot a looping ball that dips late on the keeper, Gibbons across at her near post blocking with her legs the ball behind for the corner. 

Tash Patten taking on the shot for Fakenham Town Ladies

The corner ball in cleared by the Tavern defence. The visiting side getting forwards in the closing minute the ball across the top of the area, Meganne Smith brought down inside the D by the outstretched leg of Vicki Lubbock a last gasp free-kick for Tavern. Fuller on a hat-trick setting the ball down this one alot closer not always the easiest to strike has a go for goal the strike put over the bar the last act of the game Tavern winning 5-1 to advance in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup.

Full time Fakenham Town Ladies 1-5 Tavern Ladies 

  An enjoyable cup tie competitive between the two sides. Clear to see why Tavern have made such a good start to the season organised at the back getting forwards well, clinical with their chances. Fakenham no doubt disappointed but had chances of their own the final ball just not happening at times. Tavern winning the physical battle showing great movement and vision going forwards.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few notable performances to note from Fakenham first, Vicki Lubbock with some great ones on midfield creating both goal scoring opportunities for herself and teammates well backed up by Celemence Anhour who I believe was making her competitive debut in midfield along with Megan Spurrell in attack. For Tavern it was an all round team performance organised at the back breaking up play in the middle and breaking forwards well. There has to be one name alone though. Atlanta Griffith with some great movement on and off the ball the award goes to Sophie Fuller aside from two very well struck free-kicks provided some fantastic link up play between midfield and attack.

   An entertaining game both sides have come along way in the year and a bit a last saw them face each other. A competitive cup tie with Norfolk FA making the draw for the next round live on Wednesday evening on twitter at 6pm. My thanks to both sides for the team details much appreciated.

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Cambridge United WFC

Sunday 13th October

Women’s FA Cup

Another slice of Women’s FA Cup action this Sunday a trip to Plantation Park for the 2nd Round Qualifying game between Norwich City Women & Cambridge United WFC. 

  An all FAWNL South East Division One clash the clubs from that level entering the competition at this stage the game postponed from last weekend, where absolutely nothing survived in Norfolk last Sunday the county well and truly underwater. An East Anglian derby this afternoon and could potential be the same again in 3rd Round Qualifying of the Women’s FA Cup with today’s winners away to either Ipswich Town Women or Royston Town Women whose game also fell foul to the weather last weekend.

  The 2nd time Norwich and Cambridge have met in the space 4 days having meet in the league at Plantation Park on Wednesday evening, Vicky Lines with Australian side Capalaba FC most recently scoring her 1st goals for Cambridge putting them into the lead twice Norwich coming back to level twice to earn a share of the points with Natasha Snelling and Aimee Durrant scoring. Both sides keen to get points on the board in the bottom half of what is going to be a very competitive South East Division One.

  Changes for both sides over the summer. Norwich changing their name from Ladies to Women a new manager in place Greg Dimsey now head coach. Have lost a few established players particularly in defence have plenty of young talent coming fighting for 1st team places.

  Cambridge moving to a new home over the summer now base at St Neots Town FC both squads for training and games a new start have themselves lost a few experienced players a small squad again with youth coming through to battle it out for a place in the first team. 

  Plantation Park the venue for today’s match. Wet over night the ground came suffer from water logging so it was a case of hedging my bets to see if the game would beat the weather especially with games at either ed of Norfolk called off, but the rain wasn’t heavy and the pitch held up well. Would be soft underfoot and slick plenty of grass cover is a large pitch. The bar open serving hot and cold drinks, a  covered stand offering some protection from the weather light rain at kick-off.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Tigi Robson, Lauren Cullum, Eliza McDonald, Izzy Collins, Angelina Nixon, Reeanna Cook, Millie Daviss (C), Keunna Dill, Aimee Durrant & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Kathryn Stanley, Rosie George, Josie Jarvis, Jodie Drake & Megan Todd.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Liz Pamplin, Jemma Moore, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Albany Hodgson, Faith Hewitt, Charlotte Crisp, Amy Howlett, Emma Jenkins, Vicky Lines & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Gemma Croucher, Grace Camfield, Katie White & Chloe Armstrong.

Both sides missing players most notably striker Chelsea Garrett for Norwich and midfielder Amber Cantwell for Cambridge amongst others. Norwich wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts to kick-off the first half. Cambridge in their change strip white shirts with blue design on front blue shorts and white socks. Cambridge quick to close the ball down no head way for Norwich at the start forced to play it all the way back to defence look to go long down the right Aimee Durrant with the run, Carrie Bennett putting the ball out for the throw defending for Cambridge.

  Norwich come right again getting forwards the diagonal ball fired in with pace central met by Keunna Dill her tough taking it to the right looking to strike the shot Albany Hodgson there first to clear for Cambridge at the back. Cambridge counter the ball up to Emma Jenkins on the right up the wing into the corner Lauren Cullum staying with her for Norwich tackling to concede the first corner of the game. Players forwards for the back Cambridge captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt coming to the ball flicking it on with her feet towards the far post the clearance put high before being headed behind for a 2nd corner. Fired in low towards the near post with Vicky Lines making a clever run shoots close range blocked. Norwich clear a rapid counter away on the right side Durrant crossing early the ball into the area gathered safely by Cambridge goalkeeper Liz Pamplin.

    GOAL! A goal inside the opening 5 minutes, Norwich taking the lead Cambridge bringing the ball out from the back Norwich quick to press bringing the error the ball won in the final third fired across the top of the area into Dill left of the D her tough taking it inside central 25 out latches onto the shot struck well sends the ball up over the keeper and into the back of the net 1-0.

Norwich bright at the start of the game pressing centrally getting the ball forwards quickly a free-kick won on half way the delivery into the area defended the head sending the ball high to drop in behind, Durrant lively onto it but the angle against her the cross is put behind. Dill gets away on the left, Jemma Moore recovering well diving in with the challenge taking the ball away for the throw. Pamplin with an excellent save to deny Durrant as she attacks right taking on the shot early driven in across goal rising Pamplin throwing up and arm to push the ball behind for the corner kick. The delivery comes in central knocked down towards goal blocked, Burt then launching it clear. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Jemma Moore.

  Dill lively in attack for Norwich a good ball forwards into her from captain Millie Daviss, Dill getting in front of her marker central to swing her foot into the shot from 30 yards out in a central position, spinning as she strikes it Pamplin can watch it safely wide of her goal. Reeanna Cook and Daviss combine in attack for Norwich getting forwards Durrant the outlet wide right her ball in headed clear by Hodgson for Cambridge. 

Eyes on the ball, Cambridge United WFC midfielder Charlotte Crisp

  Norwich energetic at the start, Cambridge having soaked up the pressure well break the pass forwards seeing Amy Howlett away over halfway on the left races on towards the box coming inside one on one with the keeper commits Hope Armstrong into the dive attempting to block the ball as she travels right knocks it past her shoots trying to cut the ball back into the empty net the ball striking the base of the post. 

  GOAL! The post saving Norwich a moment ago, Cambridge getaway on the left in attack this time and score. Striker Kelley Blanchflower gathering the ball int her feet and driving up the left wing a powerful run on the ball taking it into the box to the byline getting away from a last ditch challenge to come back inside smashes her shot low across the goal to equalise 1-1. 

   Cambridge’s turn to exert some pressure in attack, Moore getting forwards on the overlap to support Jenkins. Lines across to help forces Norwich to give away the throw high up the pitch Moore has a long throw in her arsenal. The ball almost finds it’s way through across the six yard box Norwich struggle to clear eventually put out of the box gathered by Moore to loop a cross in from the right an inviting ball dropping far post Lines arriving late can’t quite get onto the end of it.

Cambridge’s Vicky Lines looking to find away through the Norwich defence

   Norwich look to attack building on the left Dill laying it on for Cook, Cullum racing on to stay with her the pair combining before Cook sends in a waist high cross towards the top of the area, Snelling stooping to head the ball goalwards can’t get enough power on the ball to trouble Pamplin. Ebbing and flowing is an even contest plenty of energy no one allowed time on the ball and the wet surface making the ball tricky to control at times. Cook surging on through the middle looking to get hold of the ball, Burt out of defence making a strong tackle to deny her. 

Izzy Collins clearing the ball for Norwich.

  A good understanding forming between Lines and Blanchflower in attack for Cambridge are playing off one another well Cambridge inviting Norwich on at times drawing their defence forwards are quick to exploit Lines putting Blanchflower away to carry the ball on into the area right side closing it on the six yard box hits it hard rising straight at the keeper nevertheless Armstrong does well to get her gloves up to make the save and take the sting out of the shot able to grab it before Blanchflower can capitalise on the rebound. 

Keunna Dill controlling the ball well on the touchline for Norwich City Women

  A fantastic piece of skill form Dill out wide to bring the ball down on her chest and keep in as it is fired long up to her, plays it inside to Snelling before spinning in behind Moore, Snelling looking to pick her out with the return ball. Moore does well to get back on the Norwich attack to slide in and win the ball back. The light rain that has been falling has stopped the sky looking mildly brighter. Faith Hewitt central plays it on well for Blanchflower beating the offside trap to run at the box, Eliza McDonald with her making the challenge top of the box the ball cleared by Armstrong. Is competitive in the middle Angelina Nixon an ex-Cambridge player lunging in to win the ball against Crisp playing it forwards for Snelling, Burt close in win the tackle for Cambridge.

Cambridge United WFC captain, Kayleigh-Anne Burt

   Durrant on the right wing as Norwich push forwards, Cambridge dropping deep into their box the cross long gathered by Dill plays it central to Snelling, closely marked can’t turn to shoot holds up well though laying it back towards the top of the area for Nixon slight hesitation before shooting gives Hewitt the chance to dive in and charge the ball down. Howlett and Jenkins have switched flanks in attack for Cambridge, Howlett right now up with Lines forcing Norwich to concede a throw deep in their territory, Moore to put long into the six yard box bounces on through with no one getting a meaningful touch before being cleared far side. 

  Time running out in the 1st half Norwich on the attack. From a throw in left Dill plays it into the advancing Nixon left of the box her pass in central for Snelling 20 yards out a tame effort on goal, gathered cleanly by Pamplin. Dill brought down attacking left 30 yards out, Snelling on the set-piece long to the far post headed clear back out to the left Dill bringing it down fouled again another free-kick given.

 GOAL! Norwich retake the lead in the closing moment of the first half Durrant on the free-kick fizzed in with pace a good height Daviss six yards out getting her head on the ball to power her header down wide of Pamplin to score 2-1.  

Millie Daviss making it 2-1 to Norwich late in the first half

Half-time Norwich City Women 2-1 Cambridge United WFC

   Norwich retaking the lead at the death in what was a very entertaining and fast paced half. The rain easing up and eventually stopping. The hosts vocally cheered on well by their mascots Haddenham Rovers Colts U12s treated to fantastic contest so far. The sides fairly even overall play fast little time on the ball. Cambridge soaking up more pressure at times but counter attacking well. Norwich lively throughout looking to get forwards at every opportunity taking an early lead. Cambridge coming back well the post struck before equalising disappointed to concede late in the first half. 

Cambridge attack

Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway extra-time and penalties if needed. Blanchflower putting the ball on for Lines moving right, Cullum staying on her to get the ball away for the throw for Norwich. Norwich bring the ball on through the middle Daviss with Nixon onto Durrant away right a good cross into the box central Snelling moving towards the ball Burt on her shoulder squeezes a cut backed shot under the defender and she challenges, Pamplin central through reacts well to get down make the save.

Angelina Nixon on the ball for Norwich City Women

  Cambridge feed the ball forwards into Blanchflower, determined on the ball getting forwards, Cullum halting her progress the striker sends it across the top of the box with Jenkins racing forwards central her attempt charged down the deflection spinning away to the far post gathering by Lines to hit goalwards, Armstrong across at her post diving getting both gloves securely around the ball. 

Norwich goalkeeper, Hope Armstrong.

  Nixon breaking up a Cambridge attack sends the ball on for the advancing Cook, Crisp across lunging in to tackle the ball won back the game competitive in the middle. Hodgson with a vital interception at the back for Cambridge as Dill aims to send Snelling in behind as she peels away right. Norwich with a ball forwards fortunate as it finds its way through to Durrant top of the area her tough forwards looks to prod it back across the keeper, Pamplin down making a fantastic save with her legs to deny her. 

 GOAL! Cambridge come back to level the scores for the 2nd time in the match. The ball played out from the ball into Jenkins central he helps it’s on its way to Blanchflower pulling away to the left in space she drives on intent on finding her way into the box shoots on the angle pace on the ball races past Armstrong into the goal beyond to score her 5th goal of the season 2-2.

Cambridge United WFC striker, Kelley Blanchflower

   Norwich look for an immediate reply Dill with a burst of pace on the left side travelling to the byline a good ball cut back towards the top of the area, no one making the run however allowing Cambridge to build a move forwards. Norwich making the first change of the match McDonald the player coming off, Kathryn Stanley coming on. A move that sees her go left and Dill drop into central defence. A flowing one two between Nixon and Snelling as the midfielder breaks forwards to the top of the area sees Snelling put a shot wide from inside the area. 

Norwich City Women captain, Millie Daviss

  The game remains open neither side on top both looking like they can score. Daviss with a superb pass forwards to pick out Durrant on the right down the wing a cross flashed in missed by Snelling near post, Pamplin plucking it down central needed with Stanley racing in far side. A 2nd change for Norwich with Cullum coming off, on in her place Rosie George. Norwich pushing up a throw on the right finds Nixon on the byline turns well to play it back to Durrant six yards out shoots, Burt throwing herself into the challenge blocking the ball away for a corner kick. 

Emma Jenkins playing the ball for Cambridge with Norwich’s Aimee Durant closing in

  Cambridge make their first change of the game, Gemma Croucher coming on for Lines in attack. Stanley with a 25 yard shot as Nixon brings the ball on from midfield is tackled. The shot straight at Pamplin. Crisp passing the ball on for Blanchflower pulling away left gets behind Robson, the full back recovering well to lunge in to make the block as the striker shoots from the edge of the box. Norwich with a 3rd change, Snelling the player off on comes Josie Jarvis with the game entering the final 10 minutes.

  GOAL! Norwich have been competitive in the middle all game Daviss supported by Cook and Nixon the ball pressed and won put forwards into the path of Durrant right side of goal 25 plus yards out, strikes it well taken early up and down over the keeper to nestle in the goal beyond and give the hosts the lead late in the game 3-2.

Aimee Durrant playing the ball on scoring the winning goal for Norwich City Women

   Cambridge get on the offensive straight from the restart the ball with Hewitt central on for Jenkins right does well to hold it up in the corner a lack of support doing well to get throw, Blanchflower back to Moore who crosses high into the area Jarvis able to bring it away for Norwich. Cambridge make a change Katie White on for Howlett. Norwich getting forwards looking to keep the ball in the corner Durrant managing to force a corner. A good delivery into the box attacked by George near side can only put her header wide across goal.  

 Norwich frustrating Cambridge late on determined to keep them off the ball Daviss with a looping shot as she gets free right 20 yards out dropping down at a comfortable height in front of Pamplin to claim. Grace Camfield coming on in the closing moments for Cambridge in place of Jenkins. Norwich with renewed energy the winning post in touching distance snapping in to win the ball Stanley shooting over from 30 yards out. Durrant back to help in defence in the closing seconds as Cambridge try to force a path through on the right. The final whistle blows and it’s Norwich who advance in the Women’s FA Cup.

Full time Norwich City Women 3-2 Cambridge United WFC

  An away tie against East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town Women in 3rd Round Qualifying as they comfortably progressed against Royston this afternoon. The tie to be played Sunday 27th October. A late winner this afternoon and to be fair to both sides it could well have gone either way entering the final 15 minutes I felt that whoever scored next would go on to win the game you couldn’t have called it. Highly entertaining, competitive without any over the top challenges. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders once again. Kelley Blanchflower superb leading the attack for Cambridge strong and determined on the ball clinical in her finishing. For Norwich Aimee Durrant was excellent making fantastic runs to receive the ball always providing and outlet a well taken strike to win the game. Keunna Dill lively from the off a great strike to give Norwich the early lead offering a threat on the left. Midfield competitve all round a great contest to watch and coming out on top today’s award goes to Norwich captain Millie Daviss battle well breaking up play making it difficult for Cambridge to play through the middle.

  An entertaining game, always frustrated afterwards because I want more! The weather not dampening things too much. My thanks to both teams for the team details as always appreciated. 

Match Report – Harlow Town Ladies v Wroxham Women

Sunday 6th October

Women’s FA Cup

  FA Cup weekend a trip down to Essex this Sunday to watch a game from 2nd Round Qualifying of the competition Harlow Town Ladies setting the early pace in the ERWFL Premier Division hosting another potential title challenger Wroxham Women. 

   Some 48 ties set to be played this Sunday however with plenty of rain falling across the country overnight several games called of pitches waterlogged. Today’s venue the Harlow Arena with a 3G playing surface meant the match would survive.

  An intriguing tie in prospect Harlow Town Ladies starting the season well into their 2nd season playing in the ERWFL Premier Division have risen rapidly through the women’s football pyramid in recent seasons. Plenty of young talent to call upon backed up by a strong Reserves side last season, now just the senior side manager Dean Perrett bringing in several players to strengthen the squad and add experience with the likes of Hannah Porter, Nicole Farmer, Georgia Box and Amy Nash coming in having played higher league placed Essex sides AFC Basildon and Billericay Town in the past. Becky Shephard joining too a potent goal threat wherever she’s played most recently with Cambridge United WFC. Top of the ERWFL Premier Division in what will be a strong league once again. Unbeaten in 5 played with 4 win including a 4-1 away win over today’s cup opponents.

  Had hoped to see Wroxham Women in the previous round of the FA Cup but circumstances conspired against me. Wroxham are a new name for a familiar side in the ERWFL Premier Division having previously been Acle United Women enjoying plenty of success under that guise the time was right to move on Wroxham showing an interest in wanting to get involved in the women’s game the partnership boosting the club going forwards having come so close to winning the Premier Division in recent seasons and with it promotion to the FAWNL. Will be amongst the title challengers again having retained most of their squad whilst bringing in Victoria Pleavin from Norwich City Women, Kayleigh Holloway from ERWFL Premier Division rivals Wymondham Town Ladies and Bethany Bygrave a former Tasmanian Football of the Year. Currently 2nd in the ERWFL Premier Division table losing one of their opening 5 games as previously highlighted. Reached today’s 2nd Round Qualifying match wit a stunning comeback at home to local rival Wymondham 2-0 down with 9 minutes to go getting back to 2-2 with Amber Rowland slotting in the winner from the penalty spot.

 The Harlow Arena today’s venue, heavy rain falling for much of the journey games elsewhere getting called off, more or less stopped past Cambridge, dry by the time I arrived dark clouds still around but the sun trying to poke through. A bar and hot food available under the main seated stand with a covered terraced stand opposite. A 3G playing surface A fairly easy venue to get too with plenty of parking.

Harlow Town Ladies starting XI – Josie Burke, Nicole Farmer, Beth Chambers, Hannah Porter, Kaydee King (C), Fran Gamble, Chloe Bassett, Lucy Edmeades, Amy Nash, Becky Shephard & Liv Steele. Subs – Charlie Orwell, Harriet Lethbridge, Abbey Dell, Eve Doyle-Love, Ronnie Harrison & Jodie Sanderson.

Wroxham Women starting XI – Amy Bell, Anna Larkins (C), Victoria Pleavin, Grace Parker, Chloe Shields, Amber Rowland, Kate Pasque, Kayleigh Holloway, Naomi Cooper, Grace Birchall & Emily Leach. Subs – Bethany Bygrave, Kirstie Kindred. Olivia Mungham-Gray & Leanne Symonds.

 The teams into huddles before kick-off a cry of ‘AHOY!’ from Wroxham quickly followed by a roar of ‘HARLOW!’ from the hosts it’s Wroxham to get the 1st half underway wearing blue and white vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks with Harlow wearing red shirts with a white front, red shorts and socks. The ball pressed right from the word go Harlow in to close Wroxham little head way made by either side in the opening exchanges play congested in midfield. Wroxham with a throw right side gain ground without getting a cross in the ball played back left to run on for the keeper to gather, Grace Birchall in attack for Wroxham sharp races in forcing goalkeeper Josie Burke into a save down to take at her feet before she can pounce.

  Harlow with an opportunity to play a ball into the box players forwards as they win a free-kick 35 yards out as Fran Gamble is fouled bringing the ball on. On the left a good delivery in from Amy Nash flighted in towards the far post Amy Bell in goal for Wroxham with a solid punch of the ball to get it away. A good start to the game from Harlow players all over the park quick to close down and press the Wroxham defence. Nash with a great crossfield pass to find Lucy Edmeades on the right wing takes the ball on to the by-line sending a cross in collected cleanly by Bell at her near post.

  GOAL! Harlow’s good start capitalised upon with a goal a great strike from Becky Shephard to give the hosts the lead 6 minutes into the game. Picking up the ball central 35 yards out no one comes to close her down encouraged to shoot shifts the ball before letting fly the ball arrowing in past the keeper to make it 1-0.

Becky Shephard with the opening goal for Harlow Town Ladies

 Harlow press play turned around win the first corner of the game on the right delivered near post players up goes through everyone to drop across goal no one to attack far side Wroxham clear. Wroxham not seeing much of the attack early doors gain ground on the left wing the ball played inside for striker Emily Leach has to dig the shot out of her feet 25 yards out on target lacking the power to trouble Burke. 

  Harlow continue their high tempo pressing game getting players forwards passing quickly Nash putting Shephard away on the left wing into space squares in a cross along the top of the Wroxham area, Chloe Shields clearing for the away side the ball picked up by Gamble central drives in a low shot from 25 yards out, Bell down to push the ball wide. Harlow spreading play well Hannah Porter winning it at the ball has options up field Beth Chambers racing up the left wing from full back a good pass to pick her out lays it forwards for Shephard ahead of her the ball travelling quickly on the 3G surface Shephard despite a lunging dive can’t keep it in play. 

Amy Nash (under the flying pony tail) getting hold of the ball for Harlow Town Ladies

 Wroxham captain Anna Larkins playing right back reads the danger well across central to nip in front to win the ball from attacker Liv Steele as a great through ball from Gamble almost has her in on goal. Harlow quicker to the ball, Wroxham not getting any momentum frustrated on the back foot. Attacks broken up before they get going Harlow quick to turn play around Edmeades right with an early ball on into the area Nash having made a near post run looking to take the shot in through her stride a defender on her shoulder doesn’t connect with the ball. 

Harlow Town Ladies, Liv Steele

  Shephard challenging for the ball 25 yards out getting free on the left to chase down the wing fires a cross in central Shields defending again getting to the ball ahead of Steele in front of goal. Wroxham having to work hard to get anything going in attack, Amber Rowland in strong to win it central rolls it forwards into Birchall holding off her marker left side in front of goal spins well to lay the ball on for fellow attacker Emily Leach, Porter in to win the ball back for Harlow. 

Harlow Town Ladies, Hannah Porter

 Larkins down after a challenge from Steele play goes on with Wroxham in attack Birchall in the final 3rd on her own taking players on doing well to win a throw high on the right. Kayleigh Holloway receiving the ball off the throw dribbles on towards the area her low cross driven in cut out put behind by Chambers for Wroxham’s first corner of the game. The delivery put in high safely caught by Burke unchallenged on her line. 

  Harlow on the attack players breaking left and right as Gamble wins the tackle to break up Wroxham’s build up possession in the final 3rd Harlow have Wroxham penned in a cross played in cleared straight to Chloe Bassett right side of the area her shot fired in with power 25 yards out blocked the ball on the right whipped into the box deflected behind for the corner. The delivery in high near post Porter up heads it on down central Steele their doesn’t get a clean connection on her shot six yards out. Bassett with another shooting opportunity a few minutes later 25/30 yards out right sees her effort race wide across goal. Harlow with the upper hand quicker to everything.

  The hosts winning a free-kick wide right outside the box more or less a corner as Nash comes across to take players forwards captain Kaydee King amongst them gets a glancing header on the ball enough to deflect it back to Bassett waiting far side inside the box lines up to shot through bodies low back across goal narrowly wide of the post. Porter goes for a foray up the pitch no one from Wroxham challenging until she threatens to get in past the back line into the area itself. Bassett seeing the ball into her feet 30 yards out plays a great a ball on into the area for Edmeades to attack racing in from the right wing, just too much on it allowing Bell to come and claim. 

  Gamble fouled top of the circle inside the Wroxham half players go forwards the ball short wide to Chambers left side comes infield preparing to strike a fantastic block… probably not what referee Callum Dorling intended. A drop ball the result these no longer contested. Pleavin with a great intercepting tackle to stop Edmeades getting clear on the right for Harlow. Wroxham need to get something going in attack have soaked up alot of pressure the ball fired up to halfway Birchall doing well to stay on her feet after a tackle takes the ball forwards a strong run into the area draws defenders to her squares the ball to Leach unmarked central hit’s it hard, Burke with the blocking save to keep the ball out at close range the rebound taking the ball out of the area Naomi Cooper gather left to shoot from outside the box sends her shot over the bar.

Wroxham Women’s, Victoria Pleavin

Late into the first half Harlow becoming a little loose with their passing Wroxham applying a little bit of pressure Birchall with Porter on halfway a coming together that sees the defender down injured the advantage with Harlow though play goes on getting bodies up into the final third.

  GOAL! The attack broken up Wroxham send the ball long up to Birchall into the space Porter would have been occupying had she not still been down Birchall racing away from King to carry the ball with pace into the box right of goal Farmer almost getting there as she strikes the ball low and fast across the keeper into the bottom corner to level the scores 1-1.

Grace Birchall finishes into the bottom corner for Wroxham to level the scores

  Birchall celebrating is then shown a yellow card presumably for a foul on Porter prior the the counter attack. Harlow having been strong all through the first half have an opportunity straight from the restart to retake the lead direct play Shephard receiving the ball central in for Steele one on one win the advancing keeper top of the area looks to shot across Bell, the goalkeeper down saves well with her legs. The last opportunity of the 1st half going to Wroxham, Leach controlling the ball 25 yards out sending her shot wide across goal.

Half-time Harlow Town Ladies 1-1 Wroxham Women

  The scores all square at 1-1 at half-time. Harlow starting well and taking an early lead continued to dominate pressing Wroxham all over the pitch quicker to the ball and releasing players early didn’t add to that lead however and Wroxham having few opportunities took one late in the half to equalise, know there’s room for improvement. The scores level remains all to play for 2nd half.

Harlow out of the changing rooms early for the 2nd half no changes for either side the hosts getting the 2nd game underway the game to go to extra-time even penalties if needed has to be decided on the day. Harlow beginning as they started the first half on the front foot pushing deep into Wroxham territory winning a throw on the right.

 GOAL! Farmer looking to play the ball on the defence pressured right the ball cleared picked up by Bassett outside the box left of the D strikes her shot well, Bell static central the shot wide of her creeping inside the post 2-1. Harlow retake the lead.

Chloe Bassett with the strike to see Harlow retake the lead

   Harlow’s pressing game effective in on Wroxham’s defenders early making playing out from the back difficult the midfield forced deeper as a result. Bassett and Gamble breaking thing’s up effectively as they had for much the first half. Harlow attack overlapping on the left the cross in vicious across the face of goal long as Bell scrambles across her line Steele up on the right side into the box getting to the ball looks to smash her shot back in across goal. Bell with a superb save her momentum taking her one way to get back the other to flash out a glove to deflect the ball away from goal.

Amber Rowland with the ball for Wroxham

 A corner conceded on the left taken short by Harlow back to the taker coming higher to cross the delivery spot on King getting her head on the on the ball put straight at Bell for a comfortable save. Harlow on the offensive switch play Shephard running clear beating the keeper left in attack sees her shot come back off the far post. Wroxham respond an early change 2nd half Pleavin off with Kirstie Kindred on to join Leach in attack with Birchall moving left side Cooper dropping into defence. 

  Is a physical game between two competitive opponents. Larkins, Porter and King needing treatment in the first half, Pasque and Parker for Wroxham getting clattered in the 2nd period. A cruncher of a 50/50 between Cooper and Farmer sees both hurt. Birchall fouled left side top of the circle a chance to relieve the early Harlow pressure players go forwards with Parker over the ball a high ball into the area headed clear Harlow look to counter quickly left, Holloway doing the defending to stop the advance for Wroxham.

Grace Birchall looking to get into the box for Wroxham

 Larkins with a fantastic ball from the back to release Birchall away on the left the attacker keeping possession well cutting inside allowed to shoot on her stronger foot the ball swerving through the air moving wide across the face of goal wide. The substitutions and movement of players seeing Wroxham start to get a foothold in their opponents final third and for the first time in the game have a period of sustained possession in and around Harlow’s area a ball played on sees Birchall charging down King the ball cannoning up into the air inside the box, King keeping her eyes on it to launch clear. 

  Harlow make their first change Ronnie Harrison coming on to replace Farmer. The substitute with a great run forwards lays the ball on for Bassett breaking through the centre one on one with the keeper bearing down towards the area Bell commits to the floor diving left as Bassett looks to take the ball around her the goalkeeper, stretching out an arm managing to pluck the ball away from her feet. The danger now cleared players rushing forwards the ball loose gathered on the left Bell up but not set the shot fizzed in Larkins has got back to cover the goal successfully intercepts and clears the threat.

Wroxham Women’s captain, Anna Larkins

The game opening up as Wroxham take more risks in search of a 2nd equalising goal. Porter with an ambitious effort from over halfway dipping late as it come into the box Bell pushes away for the corner. The ball put into the box from the right defended the clearance straight to Gamble strikes a shot back into the crowded area takes a wicked deflection Bell however able to catch the sting taken out of the shot as the Harlow bench goes up collectively with shouts of “handball”… play continues.

 Harlow with a 2nd change, Steele coming off on comes Abbey Dell. Dell involved straight away getting forwards with the ball on the left crosses into the box for Shephard unable to turn and get a shot away. Gamble smashing a 25 yard strike over the bar as she latches onto a clearance. Bassett next to line up a strike from distance for Harlow, the attempt straight at Bell. Wroxham counter Birchall moving wide Harrison defending well for Harlow. Chambers getting forward left side for Harlow played on by Bassett central shoots from the angle the ball over the crossbar.

  A free-kick for Harlow in a dangerous position central 30 yards out, players forwards King over the ball going for goal a curling effort past the wall hasn’t the high a comfortable take for Bell. Dell nip in to win the ball for Harlow central her low strike put straight at the keeper. Wroxham come forwards right side Holloway carrying the ball on 30 yards out coming in field, Kindred taking the ball to hit a shot from distance runs wide of the left post. 

  GOAL! Wroxham equalise for the 2nd time in the match the ball played up toward the top of the area, Burke down at the feet of Leach the ball popping up and beyond, Leach staying on her feet to run on and send the ball into the empty net beyond 2-2. A little over 10 minutes left to play.

  The game opened right up both sides going for it Wroxham sending it long the bounce leaving the Harlow defence static high up as Birchall latches onto the ball races away down the left coming back inside as Harlow get back to defend their area taking the ball across the top of the area no opening for a shot cuts back looking to put in Kindred the pass behind her, lunging to try and retrieve it brings down King the free-kick given. Wroxham making another change Leanne Symonds coming on in place of Leach. 

  Harlow advance on the right with Dell putting Edmeades away her cross along the top of the six yard box dealt with by Larkins at the far post with Chambers running in from wide. Larkins called into action again, Bell high in her box as Shephard comes on central closing in on the keeper her shot partially saved as Bell takes some of the power of it as it strikes her legs through them on target Larkins round to cover the goal clears the ball up field. Neither side wanting extra-time looking for a winning goal Shephard fizzing a shot from wide left across the face of goal. 

 A throw conceded deep in the corner on the right t Harlow, Gamble with Dell winning a corner the ball n deep smashed goalwards blocked. A player down needing treatment, Pasque okay to continue after a pause in play. Harlow rallying late on moments left on the clock a free-kick won on the right Edmeades to put in towards the far post  Shields defending to head the ball clear for Wroxham. 

Full time Harlow Town Ladies 2-2 Wroxham Women

  The game goes to extra-time an additional 30 minutes for either side to find a winning goal. Wroxham coming back well 2nd half after conceding an early goal, the game opening up Bell with some vital saves with Harlow stretching the defence at times. 

Extra-time

  Wroxham to get the first period of extra-time underway. Harlow getting hold of the ball Shephard away left passes inside for Nash 25 yards out has a shot the ball pushed down by Bell, before diving onto it wit Dell rushing in on the follow up. 

  A marauding run from Birchall right side taking the ball and players on, comes inside across the top of the area looks to set up Kindred central, Birchall though is hauled over as she releases the ball the referee blows up, close to being a penalty instead  a free-kick a foot out inside the D.

 GOAL! Birchall over it a packed area in front of her strikes it low and hard the ball taking a wicked deflection that Burke can do little about as it races wide of her into the back of the net 2-3. Wroxham leading for the first time in the match. The goal stands despite Harlow complaints the ball was moving as it was struck the breeze strong blowing across the pitch.

  Birchall gathering the ball into her feet on halfway drives on into the area taking defenders with her to the right turning well to leave 3 behind to line up a shot, no powers behind the ball Burke down to gather. Dell with a great turn and hit from 30 yards out Bell behind it but spilt throws herself down to smother it with Chambers racing in. 

  A free-kick for Harlow in half-way the delivery high into the area dealt with by Parker the ball looping back out of the area spinning as Nash goes to hit it causing it to swerve and drop wide of goal. Harlow make a change with Harriet Lethbridge coming on for Nash. A corner won on the right for Harlow the ball in creeps over everyone near side falling for Porter central volleys over must have taken a nick as another corner is awarded. 

 Harlow pressing the attack the crossbar struck cleared for a corner. Porter off the field for a change of shirt, having collected a bloody nose earlier in the game. The corner taken another near post delivery attacked put across goal cleared Lethbridge to play back in Bell taking it well with Shephard close in. 

  Shephard sees her shot outside the box blocked by Pasque, handball indicated a free-kick to Harlow inside the D more or less identical to the one that led to Wroxham’s goal. Shephard to strike it hard and low bodies in the way this time to block the ball rebounding out of the area straight to a Harlow shirt a rising shot coming in on target Bell must be unsighted with so many in the box produces a fantastic save throwing herself back to glove the ball away to the right, a corner for Harlow.

 GOAL! The pressure from Harlow pays off players stay up field the delivery this time long across the face of goal beyond the far post King getting her head on the ball to knock it down towards goal a scramble on the line to get the ball away but in vain as the goal is given 3-3. The first half of extra-time finishes with the tie all square once again. 

A header from Kaydee King levelling it up for Harlow in extra-time

 Harlow to get the 2nd period of extra-time underway. Edmeades played through to attack on the right into the box an opportunity to shoot opts instead to square the ball across goal Larkins stepping up to intercept and clear. Harlow regaining possession a snap shot fired over. Dell winning a corner for Harlow, Parker defending for Wroxham sees it put back to taker Edmeades another opportunity to cross deep King up far past a glancing header wide. 

  Wroxham making a change Olivia Mungham-Gray coming on for Kindred. Birchall away in the right her cross in deflected by King thankfully straight to Burke in the goal beyond. Cooper fouled by King central a free-kick 25 yards out Birchall to strike her effort gloved down and held by Burke. 

  GOAL! Time running down in the 2nd period of extra-time Harlow are pushing players on swarming around the Wroxham  box the ball at the feet of Gamble 20 yards out to the left of the box fired in to nestle in the back of the net and put the hosts back in front 4-3. 

Harlow Town Ladies, Fran Gamble

   Wroxham behind late on have to come forwards Harlow though have a late rush of energy to close the ball down and keep momentum with them. Shephard taking the ball into the corner. Holloway breaking late for Wroxham no way through as she tries to pick out Birchall, Harlow solid at the back the final whistle goes and players rush onto the pitch to celebrate.  

Harlow through to the next round of the Women’s FA Cup, the draw later this Monday. Deserving of the win overall despite making thing’s harder for themselves doing the job in extra-time. On the front foot early in the game getting the goal should probably have gotten more 1st half credit to Wroxham to come back to equalise late on. An early goal 2nd half for Harlow seeing Wroxham come on more and enjoy a better period of attack getting back on level terms to force extra-time and then take the lead themselves. Harlow keep coming though and King headed in to make it 3-3 the hosts prepared to have a strike from distance all game seeing one beat the keeper late on through Gamble to win the tie.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Grace Birchall in attack and Amy Bell with some superb saves doing well for Wroxham. Harlow showing good movement and energy across the pitch, Amy Nash creating several opportunities strong in central midfield, Chloe Bassett close but edged out by Fran Gamble who had a fantastic game in the middle breaking up play getting forwards well and spreading play scoring the winning goal.

A enjoyable cup tie knew it could well be a close one and was, entertaining and the rain held off. My thanks to both sides for the team details as always much appreciated.

Match Report Special – Kick Cancer Cup 2019

Thursday 26th September

Kick Cancer Cup 2019

 Delighted to be covering a match report of a different variety on Women’s Football East, a special date in the women’s footballing calendar in Cambridgeshire now entering it’s 5th year the Kick Cancer Cup.

  A charity match between Sam’s XI and an S-Tech XI League representative side, raising money for two very worthy causes, the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) and the Arthur Rank Hospice.

  Invited to write a match report last year only too happy to cover it again having been a spectator at previous games. The Kick Cancer Cup set up by the aforementioned Sam, Samantha Isaacson with support from many friends and family. Sam was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2015, both charities playing a large role in helping her with her ongoing treatment. In all that time has continued to play for her club Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds outfield or in goal. Sam has helped raise nearly £50,000 so far for charity.

  The Kick Cancer Cup contested between Sam’s XI and an Cambridgeshire S-tech XI assembled from the clubs playing with the Premiership and Championship in the county 17 clubs in total represented. The S-Tech XI having had the better of Sam’s XI in the first 3 years of the Kick Cancer Cup. Sam’s XI winning the game for the first time last year 3-2 will be determined to make it back to back wins. 

  Plenty to be organised, cake stall, raffle, food and bar all available the venue Histon FC’s Glassworld Stadium the pitch a good size nice and wide in very good condition. Rain earlier in the week stayed away most of the day leaving a pleasant night for football. Musical entertainment from Holly Jean Sings before the match, a singer/songwriter from Cambridgeshire. The Cambridge Dynamite Cheerleaders putting on a display prior to kick-off with band 15:48 providing the half-time entertainment. A good sized crowd building as the two squads prepared for the game.

Sam’s XI squad – Samantha Issacson, Dominika Szary, Emma D’Costa, Abi Molloy, Sarah Bodger, Jess Anderson, Seema Grewal, Nat Wells, Kirstie Smith, Georgia Astley Tyler, Nikki Cowan, Emma Place, Laura Mills, Kayleigh Whitehead, Jo Woods, Emma Clark, Jenna Hulme, Katie Luddy, Krissie Taylor, Olivia Clark, Naomi Weir, Stacey Fullicks, Michelle McCormack, Ebony Rule, Marie Stubbings, Stacey Kemp, Vicky Houchin, Joeli Kirby & Tash Applegate.

Sam’s XI Management Team – Vicky Neal & Kevin Knock.

Sam’s XI squad 

S-Tech XI squad – Beth Goodman & Fran Kavanagh (Ketton Ladies), Peggy Keeler & Steph Swinyard (Cambourne United), Libbie Read & Ruth Telfer (Cambridge Rangers), Louisa Harwood & Kat Silver (Isleham United Ladies), Caitlin McGeown & Cherish Sibanda (St Ives Town Ladies), Evie Jakes & Leah Harper (Newmarket Town Women), Jess Farchica & Carmen Herridge (ICA Sports Ladies), Alexi Waters & Eleanor McLeish (March Town United Ladies), Melissa Collins & Jasmine Luckett (Mildenhall Town Ladies), Fran Piltsch & Nikki Hancock (Park Ladies), Sydney Davies & Amanda Binge (Histon Ladies), Kayla Dortch & Charley Ireland (PNS Ladies), Hannah Lock & Jess (Cambridge City Ladies), Georgina Parrett & Katie Cooper (Netherton United Ladies), (Kat Clocherty & El Morgan (Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds), Amy Newell and Chloe Stanborough (Leverington Ladies), Beth Harding & Ella Terri (Haverhill Rovers Ladies).

S-Tech XI Management Team – Katie Critchley & Liz Pamplin.

The S-Tech XI representative squad 

  Large squads for both sides and substitutes happening on mass, didn’t even try to keep track of them, everyone playing their part in the event.

  The S-Tech XI to get tonight’s charity match underway kicking off 1st half wearing grey coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Sam’s XI wearing blue shirts a white upper part, black shorts and blue socks. The ball put back into defence sent long at the start out to the right Georgina Parrett making the run, Jess Anderson deals with the ball at the back for Sam’s XI on the immediate counter attack the ball forwards Marie Stubbings racing in behind, the ball safely gathered by Katie Cooper keeping goal for the S-Tech XI.

  GOAL! An early goal capping a lively start to the game, the S-Tech XI attacking on the left wing the ball high slid forwards into the run of Hannah Lock sliding in to get to the ball before the defence sends in past goalkeeper Samantha Issacson across the face of goal and in of the opposite post to opening the scoring 0-1.

 

Hannah Lock being congratulated after scoring the opening goal 

  Laura Mills advancing with the ball down the right for Sam’s XI lays it forwards with Stubbings bursting through the middle, just a little too early the flag up against her. Both sides looking to get forwards quickly S-Tech clear on the right a cross/shot fired along the front of goal out past the far post. Parrett looks to put Peggy Keeler in as the full back goes past her in attack, Anderson across to win the challenge. The ball fed through the middle into Stubbings top of the D she looks to pass the Katie Luddy up with her, Beth Goodman close in defending against Luddy to set up an attack for the S-Tech XI, Parrett lively on the right early on. 

  GOAL! Sam’s XI come back to level the scores turning play around defending the ball put on over halfway with Stubbings latching onto it off like a hare baring down on the area into the box closing in on the six yard box can’t be caught opens her body to send a low shot under the keeper before she can get down to save 1-1. 10 minutes gone.

  GOAL! No sooner have they got back on level terms then Sam’s XI concede, Chloe Stanborough playing in centre midfield of the S-Tech Xi taking the ball on travelling a pace right side before cutting back and strike the ball well form 25 yards out the ball racing across the keeper into the bottom corner 1-2.

Chloe Stanborough

  Sam’s XI push on in attack Krissie Taylor up with Stubbings top of the area outnumbering Keller, the defender nevertheless cool under pressure keeping her eyes on the ball not letting either it get away from her before clearing for Parrett to bring up field. Mills always ready to take players on attacking down the right wins a throw deep. Keeler the first change of the match coming off with Caitlin McGeown joining the S-Tech defence. McGeown called into action straight away the ball in from the right evading the crowded near post area runs across goal, Taylor ready to pounce inside the six yard box McGeown nipping in in front of her to win the ball and clear.

 

 Issacson with a fantastic save down low at her near post to deny Parrett a goal as she slides in to push the ball goalwards inside the area. The ball put long for Sam’s XI, Stubbings controlling well bringing it on to the top of the S-Tech area, the opposition defence closing her option Stubbings lays it back to the advancing, Vicky Houchin she leans into a shot from 25 yards out the ball looping towards goal not troubling Cooper. A free-kick on halfway for the S-Tech XI, Goodman over it, decides to try her luck sending a high ball towards goal, drops behind for a goal kick. 

  Taylor combining with Stubbings as they advance for Sam’s XI through the middle, McGeown coming in field tackling to regain possession. Great running from Mills on Sam’s XI right wing getting deep squared a cross in intercepted and cleared near post by S-Tech’s Steph Swinyard. S-Tech quick to launch a counter offensive Stanborough on for Fran Kavanagh to race clear right channel into the area one on one with the keeper, Issacson stays big to make the blocking save as Kavanagh shoots.

   I’m getting little opportunity to put the pen down the action one end the the other Stubbings forever a threat ready to burst in behind, Cooper making the decision to race out of her box in an attempt to reach the ball before Stubbings can shoot, the ball put past the keeper, rolls agonisingly wide of the far post. Half and hour played sees a change en masse think Cooper’s still the only one out there a new team for both sides with 15 minutes of the half left. A free-kick on halfway right for the S-Tech XI, Beth Harding on it the ball towards the top of the area headed on into the area hooked clear by the Sam’s XI defence a counter on Stacey Kemp making the central run shoots from all of 30 yards out, Cooper back peddling towards her goal able to gather the ball.

   GOAL! Sam’s XI taking full advantage of all the new additions to the action bringing it back to 2-2. Stacey Fullicks building a career as a referee these days marking her return from a 4 week injury lay off with a playing cameo tonight on the ball for Sam’s Xi left side lifts the pass on for Tash Applegate in attack coming over to receive the ball a good touch and turn sees her escape her marker to make for the area, the keeper coming out to challenge a 50/50 challenge off her legs Applegate off balance staying on her feet after the ball deflected in behind and sends a shot from inside the six yard box to score 2-2.

  The new look Sam’s XI bright as they push on Fullicks keen to get forwards on the left, Harding sliding into the tackle forcing her wide, Fullicks keeping possession to cross can only find the side netting. Sam’s XI press the advantage winning a corner, the ball in towards the far post claimed confidently by the keeper. Another corner finding it’s way to though to Fullicks inside the area looks to dig the ball out of her feet between the Harding and Davies get the ball clear. The ball won back in midfield threaded through to Applegate left of the D 20 yards out strikes a swerving shot in on target, Cooper saves.

 A strong end to the 1st half for Sam’s XI have their opponents on the back foot, Applegate continuing to look for an opening. Joeli Kirby with a driving run into the box her ball forwards charged down. Kat Clocherty battling for the ball central for the S-Tech XI almost releases her attackers late on Sam’s XI new keeper gathering the ball.  

Half-time Sam’s XI 2-2 S-Tech XI

  Honours even at half-time all square Sam’s XI coming back to level thing’s up twice, the game wide open with another 45 minutes to play. Still drawing after that and it goes to penalties. Half-time entertainment underway, a fantastic crowd in attendance over 500 people great to see and a great atmosphere. Emma Place on for Nat Wells at the start of the 2nd period for Sam’s XI who restart the match, S-Tech quickly pressing the ball getting away on the right a throw won deep, the ball helped on into the area cleared, Sam’s XI breaking left side the ball lifted on Kemp getting a shot away to beat the advancing keeper but play brought back with an up raised flag.

  Jo Woods defending outside the area for Sam’s XI as Clocherty looks to play in Amanda Binge. Possession won back in midfield by the S-Tech XI forwards to Binge wins her side a corner. Harding offering herself for a short corner on the left the ball crossed in ventral top of the box Clocherty getting a shot away the ball running wide. Fullicks lining up a strike from distance wide left she’d the ball fall wide of the near post. Eleanor McLeish making a good run across her opponents defence left to right as the ball is played over the top controls well to unleash a shot back across goal from 25 yards out the strike rolling wide of the far post. 

  Good work between Kirby and Seema Grewal combining right side for Sam’s Xi sees Kemp away to attack centrally, challenged the ball out for a throw. The trio with more good work passing the ball between them to make ground up the pitch succeed in finding Fullicks on the clear wide left. Fullicks driving infield strong on the ball taking it into the box the angle tight her shot blocked, the ball lose at the near post Applegate latching onto it sees another block coming in deflected out of the box a distance shot falling behind the goal.

  A free-kick wide right for Sam’s XI, Applegate over it a good delivery into the area headed clear, Kirstie Smith latching onto it 20 yards out her shot rising over the crossbar. Pressure from Sam’s XI a strong start to the 2nd half. Play stopped though with a player down, Applegate unable to continue after lengthy treatment, good to see her back in action her game ending. S-Tech XI changing their goalkeeper with El Morgan coming on. Soon after play resumes Kirby with a strong dribbling run into the opposition area tackled before she can get a shot away.

  The 2nd change en masse now as the game enters the final half hour. Is an entertaining contest a large pitch both sides looking to get in behind, the crowd enjoying the occasion. Jess Farchica bringing the ball on from the back for the S-Tech XI, has ICA Sports team mate Carmen Herridge ahead of her she rolls it on for Melissa Collins the ball taken wide into the corner a great cross flashes in across the six yard box dangerous but no one can get a touch to turn it towards goal. Leah Harper taking the ball forwards central S-Tech regaining some momentum, rolled into Collins, tackled top of the box. 

  Kayla Dortch in to win the ball in midfield passes forwards for McLeish aiming to get away left, the keeper out to the corner of her area able to claim safely. The game moving into the final quarter hour. More changes for Sam’s XI, Stubbings back on the field. Herridge linking up with Kat Silver on the left a throw won taken quickly Herridge looking to carry the ball inside makes for the box Molloy in to challenge win the tackle for Sam’s XI. Harper getting in behind on the left into the area closed down lays it back to Herridge, Georgia Astley Tyler getting back on her to challenge has a free-kick given against her. 

Samantha Issacson

  Grewal doing the defensive work as Harper races away with the ball on the left. Issacson coming on for the final minutes of the game in attack. Harper lively for the S-Tech XI winning a late corner, fired in low into a crowded six yard box at the near post a shot blasted goalwards, Grewal defending the post blocking on the line, another scramble for the ball mayhem before the keeper can get down to smother the ball. Molloy clearing a Jasmine Luckett sees a shot charged down, the S-Tech side pushing for a late winner, Dortch with a strike from distance save in the keepers gloves. The final whistle blows the game going to penalties.

Full time Sam’s XI 2-2 S-Tech XI

 Penalties

  S-Tech to get the shootout underway the ball struck low and accurate into the bottom left corner 1-0.

  Michelle McCormack up first for Sam’s XI, opens her body to sends a pacy low drive wide of the keeper 1-1.

  S-Tech’s 2nd penalty struck high evading the diving keeper to nestle into the back of the net 2-1.

  Sam’s XI, 2nd penalty touched onto the post by the keeper diving at full stretch advantage S-Tech 2-1.

  The advantage gone straight away S-Tech’s next penalty hit central not having the height or power to beat the keeper 2-1.

 A chance for Sam’s XI to level things up Issacson to take their 3rd penalty struck well low into the bottom corner 2-2.

  McLeish up to take S-Tech’s 4th penalty hit well to the keepers right to make it 3-2.

   Luddy to take the 4th penalty for Sam’s XI confident to make it 3-3.

  Farchica strikes her penalty low to the left of the keeper, guessing right is down to save at full stretch 3-3.

  A chance to win it for Sam’s Xi the 5th penalty hit high the goalkeeper diving to push the ball away to send the shootout to sudden death 3-3.

  Beth Goodman to take S-Tech’s sixth penalty however she has to make a dash to the dug out to grab her boots, new tactics as she ties her laces before the spot, does the trick as she blasts the ball home! 4-3 (may well be the new routine should Ketton Ladies face any penalty shootouts during the season).

   Joeli Kirby up to take Sam’s XI has to score, agony as the keeper saves high to see the S-Tech XI win the 2019 Kick Cancer Cup.

  A penalty shootout win for the S-Tech XI to win back the Kick Cancer Cup, truth though everyone’s a winner out there playing the game for a great cause regardless of the result. 

The S-Tech XI representative side 2019 Kick Cancer Cup winners.

  A hugely enjoyable night, fantastic football despite all the changes everyone enjoying themselves a crowd of over 500 in attendance and I’m sure lots raised for charity. Congratulations to everyone playing, officiating and organising the event. Grateful to write a report, hopefully everyone is where I thought they were. Thanks to Stacey Fullicks and Liz Pamplin for getting those all important numbers and too Gary Reed for letting me use his pictures for the report.

Match Report – March Town United Ladies v ICA Sports Ladies

Sunday 15th September

Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership

 First taste of county league action this season and we begin in Cambridgeshire a game from the Women’s Premiership, March Town United Ladies v ICA Sports Ladies.

 The 3rd weekend in a row a side from Peterborough has featured in a match report. ICA Sports Ladies the visitors this time around. An large influx of new sides entering the county leagues in Cambridgeshire this season sees the Premiership swell from 8 to 13 sides with a new single division Championship consisting of 15 sides. 

  March Town United Ladies one of the sides sitting out the opening weekend, begin their campaign this Sunday, now an established side in the Premiership finishing comfortably in what proved to be a competitive tussle in mid-table. Now part of a 13 strong Premiership alot more football to be played 6 new sides those promoted starting well March will be looking to make an impact.

  A runners-up finish in the Premiership for ICA Sports Ladies last season, competing within the Peterborough area a hotbed for women’s football, the club both male and female has a very strong youth section always looking to bring players through. Like March well established in the league will be aiming to be as competitive as last season push for the top end of the table. Started their season with a win, although only just letting a 6-2 lead at home to Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds slips to clinch it 6-5 at the final whistle. 

 Didn’t get to see either side in action last season, and it has been a while since I’ve visited March Town United Ladies, GER Sportsground. Boasts the 2nd oldest wooden football stand in existence set back from the pitch, the venue having hosted greyhound racing in the past. A new clubhouse leading into the ground on one corner, the bar and kitchen open for hot drinks. An historic ground, a good sized pitch. A hot and humid day, close with some cloud cover, the sun hot when it breaks through.

March Town United Ladies starting XI – Toni Sharpe, Kayleigh Churchyard, Megan Webb, Louise Billingham, Claire Newton, Megan Tombs, Alexis Waters, Adele Munday (C), Emma Searle, Abigail Grist & Eleanor McLeish. Subs- Naomi McGarvie.

ICA Sports Ladies starting XI – Claire Knibbs, Cara Clarke, Jessica Farchica, Becky Shields (C), Sophie Antonucci, Zoe Leddy, Hannah Murphy, Sarah Rouse, Donna Nicholls, Piper Hebditch & Carmen Herridge. Subs – Tessa Morrison.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Both sides short of numbers naming just 1 substitute each, players unavailable and missing through injury. ICA Sports without their goalkeeper, Claire Knibbs donning the gloves. ICA Sports opting to switch ends at the coin toss with the high sun a factor facing down on one goal. March to get the game underway wearing yellow shirts, black shorts and socks. ICA Sports lined up opposite wearing blue shirts and shorts with blue and white hooped socks. The visitors press from the off forcing a throw left the ball put up the line Donna Nicholls fresh from scoring an opening day hat-trick bursting forwards putting the March defence under pressure gets inside to let loose a shot from 30 yards out her attempt well wide.

   March bring the ball out fro the back Megan Tombs left and Abigail Grist right making runs wide looking for the crossfield pass, the ball played left Tombs bringing it down is challenged by Cara Clarke possession regained for ICA Sports. March win the ball back central forwards with Eleanor McLeish coming inside from the left taking aim from outside the area her shoot low gathered by Knibbs. March with another crossfield pass find Grist breaking in behind right side taking the ball to the byline her cross cut out by Sophie Antonucci for the first corner of the game.

Abigail Grist attacking for March Town United Ladies

  GOAL! An early goal as ICA Sports break from March’s corner kick the ball cleared up-field Nicholls racing away clear on the left drives in field towards the area, the March defence racing to get back plays in central to Carman Herridge, wants to return it to Nicholls but is closed down instead has a 2nd option racing up to support Hannah Murphy receiving the lay off 25 yards out connecting well to fire in a shot past goalkeeper Toni Sharpe before she can set herself. 0-1.

Hannah Murphy (right) opening the scoring for ICA Sports Ladies

  ICA Sports leading within the opening 5 minutes are looking sharp early on breaking quickly Sarah Rouse breaking up a March attack, Nicholls frustrated as she goes a fraction to early the flag raised against her as Murphy central looks to put it on over the top for her. March captain Adele Munday getting hold of the ball looks to carry it through the middle her determined run ended by Rouse. 

 GOAL! The visitors quickly find themselves race into a 2 goal lead. Nicholls a real threat attacking on the left gets away in behind this time pace on the ball travelling into the box left side into the six yard box time to way up her options players racing in central opens up her body to shoot a close range, the ball finding it’s way through the goalkeepers legs as she shapes to block. 0-2.

Donna Nicholls doubles the lead for ICA Sports Ladies

  A great start for ICA Sports 2 goals to the good inside 10 minutes looking lively the ball won high up the pitch play turned around quickly forcing their opponents into rushing their passes. Murphy brought down central 30 yards out players forwards as Nicholls stands over the set piece into the area, headed clear, March unable to break ICA Sports straight back at them, the pass into Nicholls her ball forwards long. March struggling to get any sustained possession early on. A change for ICA Sports Piper Hebditch has taken a slight knock on the right, Tessa Morrison coming on. 

Carmen Herridge holding the ball up

  Murphy attacking for ICA Sports right channel on for Herridge takes the ball on into the area Louise Billingham going with her for March the centre back winning the challenge, the ball gathered by Morrison wide right her cross long across the box Nicholls on it far side shapes to shoot across the keeper, Sharpe with an excellent save throwing out a glove to push the ball away. A slight delay then as for the 2nd week running somebody as left a present on the pitch the duty of clearing it up once again falling to the manager. An appropriate time for a drinks break is hot out there (enjoy it while it lasts).

   ICA Sports on the front foot again from the restart Murphy seeing Nicholls making her move left sides aiming to put the ball over the top, too close to the keeper this time. Munday looks to get things going for March through the middle a strong run forwards Clarke stays with her as they head for the box, Munday getting a shot away 25 yards out runs wide of the goal. ICA Sports caught offside March defender Claire Newton on the free-kick plays a fantastic ball into her opponents half in front of the area Munday bringing it down into the feet of fellow midfielder Emma Searle she lifts a shot over the bar from 25 yards out. 

  March finding their feet growing into the game but ICA Sports remain a threat ready to break on the counter should they commit too many forwards. The ball cleared by the March defence after a spell of head tennis in the final third, Murphy free 35 yards out meeting it on the volley aiming to lob the keeper her strike dropping short safely caught by Sharpe. March make a change Naomi McGarvie coming on for Billingham, the substitution seeing Alexis Waters drop into the back line. 

March Town United Ladies captain, Adele Munday

  Munday back helping her defence as Nicholls looks to put the ball over the top for Herridge running central. Waters winning the race to the ball getting a vital touch inside the area to clear for a corner as Murphy looks to get on through the middle. The ball from the corner put in near side met by an ICA Sports head turned goalwards dropping straight at Sharpe on her line cleanly gathered. 

  Megan Webb brought down getting forwards on the right for March the free-kick 30 yards out Searle over in floated into the area near post, Jessica Farchica tracking the runner to clear behind for a corner. The initial ball cleared back to the corner taker a 2nd cross fired in central into McGarvie back to goal attempts to control and turn to shoot closed down before she can. March enjoying a period of possession within the ICA Sports final 3rd Munday linking up with Searle, another free-kick given on the right deeper this time Newton forwards to take a fine delivery to the back post a March head meeting it falls wide of the post six yards out. Grist winning a corner right ICA Sports defend Herridge on it looking to break central is obstructed by Waters referee Ian Reynolds awarding the free-kick

 GOAL! From the resulting free-kick ICA Sports go on to extend their lead Nicholls over it players forwards into the ball a good floated ball in central captain Becky Shields rising highest to meet it her header taking the ball out to the left where Murphy has strayed unmarked to collect and blast a shot in across the keeper 0-3.

   ICA Sports remain sharp as the first half draws to a close another free-kick given on half-way the ball up towards the top of the area defended by Webb for March. ICA Sports keeping possession right Morrison playing it into the area the March defence stepping out well to leave Herridge offside. Searle with a powerful run on the ball through the middle for March Farchina on her shoulder 20 yards out does enough as the midfielder shoots does get the touch she wanted the ball tame as it is gathered by Knibbs. 

  Moments left in the first period Nicholls alert running in central catches Newton in possession outside the area takes the ball on Sharpe running out to meet her, Nicholls touch taking the ball wide of the advancing keeper momentum taking her wide of goal as she enters the six yard box, Newton haring back to get on the goal line Nicholls again weighing up the options as Sharpe back to closes the angle, Nicholls has Herridge steaming in lays the ball into her path 3 yards out central an opening goal begging manages to send the ball running wide across the face out beyond the far post. 

Half-time March Town United Ladies 0-3 ICA Sports Ladies

  The end to an otherwise dominant first half from ICA Sports, an early lead quickly doubled seeing them on the front foot. Preventing March getting any momentum going closing the ball down well, Hebditch and Nicholls looking to break wide in support of Herridge through the middle, Murphy with some excellent runs to with Rouse and Luddy protecting in midfield. March struggling to get up to the pace of the game, Munday and Searle trying to get things going through the middle, Knibbs though largely untested so far. Alot for March to do if they want to get anything from the game.

Adele Munday and Sophie Antonucci going to win the ball

  Changes for both sides at the start of the 2nd half, Hebditch back on, playing right. Billingham back on to at left back in place of Webb. ICA Sports to get the 2nd half underway. Attacking left Munday across to win the ball back the ball played long to Tombs pushing on down the left she plays another crossfield pass long for Grist attacking right down to the corner finds her way inside Antonucci to play the ball with the outside of her boot across the six yard box, McGarvie meeting it in the middle under challenge fires the ball wide across goal. 

March Town United Ladies, Claire Newton

 A positive start to the 2nd half from March sees a sot fired over from distance. Newton defending at the back chasing back with Nicholls as she looks to get onto the ball. Nicholls remains a threat on the left holding the ball up, Newton and Billingham doubling up on her, she ducks inside to lift a cross into the box the flag up against Hebditch on the right. Munday with a strong challenge getting the ball on for March to Grist right side looking to take the ball on checks back to square across the top of the area with McGarvie making a run so too Rouse in front of her intercepting.

Newton and Sarah Rouse collide

   March looking better at the start of the 2nd half, ICA Sports though with a 3 goal lead can sit back a little. Murphy still prepared to get forwards attacking right shooting from 25 yards out the ball wide at the near post. Rouse putting the ball on from a throw inside her half up to Murphy she see Nicholls ready to go right the flag up against her a close call but just too soon. 

GOAL! March pull a goal back from an free-kick given against ICA Sports inside their own half, Newton on it plays another good delivery in towards the top of the area the ball knocked down central collected by Searle controls moves across the D to the right shift before unleashing a shot put across the keeper strikes the inside of the far post and nestles inside the back of the net 1-3.

Emma Searle pulls it back to 3-1 for March Town United Ladies

   The game more competitive between the pair now March matching ICA Sports earlier intensity. A push in the back spotted against Herridge ICA Sports with a free-kick wide right, Nicholls sends it deep Murphy with a late run, getting onto the end of it her touch pushing it out from her feet puts her shot wide across the face of goal. ICA Sports starting to pick up the pace slow at the start of the first half push players on Luddy getting forwards into a shooting position outside the box 20 yards out fires the ball straight into the keeper. 

  Billingham kept busy by Nicholls on the wing the ICA Sports attacker not finding it so easy to get away 2nd half, far from out of it however. A drop ball as Murphy plays the ball against the back of the referees head trying to launch it forwards. Drop ball not contested this season Shields sends it forwards for Murphy having run up field left side into the box Tombs defends conceding the corner. 

  Combination play on the right between Nicholls and Hebditch on the right before a shot comes fizzing in across the six yard box Sharpe down smartly to push the ball away out to the left, ICA Sports keeping possession the ball flung in headed clear drops to Farchica 25 yards out her attempt back in falling wide of the mark. Lively now the sun hidden by clouds cooling things down. The March defence drawn to the ball a miscued clearance playing it on for Herridge allows the striker to set Nichols away in behind Billingham, Newton does well to get across a tackle to clear for a corner. The delivery long cleared at the far post.

 GOAL! ICA Sports restore their 3 goal lead a throw inside their own half put forwards well by Rouse up to Herridge in attack opens her body to spread play wide left with the ever lively Nicholls bursting forwards clear to race on into the area closing in on goal send her strike in low Sharpe down can’t get there in time as it evades her to cross the line 1-4.

Donna Nicholls scores to restore ICA Sports 3 goal lead

  A drinks break called changes made with Webb back on in place of Churchyard for March and Morrison back on for ICA Sports replacing Hebditch. Grist’s clearance over the clubhouse the ball lost on the road beyond. Grist taking the new ball forwards down the right covering plenty of grass into the corner doing well to win a corner.

ICA Sports Ladies, Sarah Rouse

GOAL! From the corner March score again comes in near side towards the top of the area defended but sliced on across the top of the D, Searle meeting it left 20 out hits it hard and straight through bodies finds its way in 2-4. 15 minutes left to play.

  Nicholls brought down attacking left right on the edge of the area. Taking the free-kick the ball lifted in across goal safe in the hands of Sharpe, March look to counter quickly the ball carried over half way by Munday forwards for McLeish, Shields getting across her as the pair enter the area to safely marshal it back to her keeper. Newton stepping forwards out of the defence well intercepts as Nicholls aims to thread a ball through the middle for Herridge. Herridge herself attacking top of the area receiving the pass from Murphy finds herself crowded off the ball by Waters and Webb.

  ICA Sports upping their intensity once again as they push on late on the game winning a corner on the right put into the box headed towards goal cleared off the line by Newton I think. Herridge after a long ball sent forwards on the right wing collects on the byline the game stretched players out of position Nicholls coming in field clear at the top of the area, Billingham recovers in the nick of time to race across to lung in and intercept the ball. Grist coming off for March with Churchyard back on.  

GOAL! ICA Sports score a 5th goal late in the game counter with the ball up to Nicholls left beating the offside trap plays the diagonal ball into the box for Herridge providing the run right of the D, she shoots early putting the ball across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

 March look for an immediate reply Searle fouled brought down central as she and Munday combine well again in attack. The set-piece 25 yards out McLeish to take, doesn’t get the height on the shot to trouble Knibbs. Into the final 5 minutes. Murphy stealing in behind the March defence on the right shoots over the bar. ICA attack Antonucci getting forwards with Rouse played inside to Luddy in to attack, Waters challenging, Luddy gets a 2nd bite shooting across goal, Sharpe down pushing the ball wide collected right Morrison sends a strike back in cannons off the bar. ICA Sports ending the game on the front foot as the final whistle blows.

Full time March Town United Ladies 2-5 ICA Sports Ladies

  Two wins from two for ICA Sports Ladies sees them topping the table albeit very early in the season. Played well on the front foot early 2-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes adding a 3rd goal before half-time. Pressing well, looking to turn play around quickly with willing runners in attack, Rouse and Luddy confident in front of defence. March struggling in the first half in contrast on the back foot going in 3 down at half-time. Responded well 2nd period the game opening up competitive all over the pitch 2 goals pulled back. ICA Sports always lively on the counter biding their time scoring 2 more goals as play became stretched.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. A few contenders but in the end in came down to two. Hannah Murphy linking up the midfield and attack well passing wide with options available and making some good runs herself to get into scoring positions scoring 2 goals. Ahead of her though is Donna Nicholls, lively right from the first minute looking to get in behind and drive at goal, scoring 2 goals herself clinical and a danger when taking a free-kick.

  An enjoyable first county league game to start the season, glad to have caught up with both sides, have no doubt the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership will be highly competitive this season. My thanks to both teams for the team details today always appreciated.

Match Report – Peterborough Northern Star Ladies v Colney Heath Ladies

Sunday 8th September

ERWFL Premier Division

  A return trip to Peterborough this Sunday to watch my first game of the season from the ERWFL Premier League with Peterborough Northern Star Ladies hosting early leaders Colney Heath Ladies. 

  The standard within the league improving year on year is highly competitive at this level and rarely disappoints in entertainment. Several sides have recruited well over the summer and could will be intriguing to find out who winds up on top. Both of today’s opponents enjoy a good relationship and support from within the wider club. 

  Peterborough Northern Star Ladies moving across to join the ERWFL (Eastern Region Women’s Football League) last season having previously been with the East Midlands regional set-up. A strong outfit pushing towards the top of the league they were among the front runners early on before injuries and lack of numbers took their toll towards the end of the season. A need to recruit and strengthen the first team, they have brought in several new additions with the likes of Kayla Dortch, Kimberly Fairweather, Gabrielle Smith, Eleanor Spendelow and Leah Cudone coming in. The first team backed up by a Reserves side playing in a 13 strong Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership this season. A last gaps goal seeing them lose 3-2 at home to Luton Town Ladies on the opening day. Bounced back with a 3-0 win away to newly promoted St Ives Town Ladies last time out.

  Colney Heath Ladies have made a fantastic start to the season winning their opening two league games scoring 17 goals in the process to top the ERWFL Premier Division one of 3 sides still with a 100% record. A great performance in the Preliminary Round of the Women’s FA Cup last Sunday saw them win 3-1 away to fellow Premier Division side Bedford Ladies. Now entering their 3rd season playing at this level have consolidated well and will be looking to push on. A terrific start last season however they fell away badly losing their manager. Paul Gleeson coming in thing’s began to pick up towards the end of last season, have recruited over the summer too with the likes of Jordan Goddard, Rachel Spendlow, goalkeeper Amy Butler and Samaira Khan joining. 

  The Branch Bros Stadium, Peterborough Northern Star Ladies home ground to the northern end of the city easy to get to. Two large grass area with pitches either side of the main pitch overlooked by the bar and clubhouse on entry. A burger van open to serve hot food and drinks. The pitch with a thick covering of grass two small seated stands available either side of the dugouts. A pleasant day a few dark clouds around but no rain forecast keeping the temperature down, the sun bright when it does poke through.

Peterborough Northern Star Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson (C), Evie Driscoll-King, Samantha Davies, Kayla Dortch, Bronwyn Mulheron, Chanade Henderson, Gabrielle Smith, Leah Cudone, Katie Steward & Emma Pollard. Subs – Frances Peeling, Alexa Hunter, Kimberly Fairweather, Eleanor Spendelow & Georgia Coulson.

Colney Heath Ladies starting XI – Lucy Hancock, Samantha May, Catalina Costas, Annie Hickey, Kelly Glynn, Christina Freestone, Sheree Oliver (C), Samiara Khan, Adi Milton, Charlene Moreton & Rianne Townsend-Brown. Subs – Mel Godino & Rachel Sherlow.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Four of the 12 sides in the ERWFL Premier Division play in a black and white strip, Royston, St Ives Town and today’s opponents. Peterborough with home advantage wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, with black shorts and black and white hooped socks lining up as Colney Heath wearing an all blue away kit prepare to kick-off the match. Pressure from the hosts straight away forcing Colney Heath back towards their own box Katie Steward in to pinch the ball central sees it run on in behind Emma Pollard giving chase moving away from goal the angle against her as she gets her foot around the ball her attempt wide of the near post.

Emma Pollard looking to head the ball on for Peterborough

   Peterborough starting brightly Steward in possession on the right controls well before turning inside to fire a cross in along the six yard box no one attacking it central, goalkeeper Lucy Hancock able to gather at the far post. Christina Freestone on the ball central plays it out wide left for Samaira Khan, 5 goals for the winger since joining the club looks to take the ball on tackled by Peterborough’s Evie Driscoll-King the ball out for a throw. Taken quickly inside the Peterborough half attacker Charlene Moreton coming towards the ball heading it on over the top for Rianne Townsend-Brown she sends it wide to her right with Adi Milton looking to get inside her fullback, strong running into the box, goalkeeper and captain Sarah Hudson out well to close her down makes the blocking save at her feet. 

  Driscoll-King putting in a good tackle to deny Khan again on the wing sends a great all up the right for Steward to chase, gathering the ball takes it on before wrapping her foot around the ball to launch a cross into the area, Hancock up well to claim it. Both sides looking to turn the play around quickly Milton almost succeeds in playing Townsend-Brown through central with a well flighted diagonal pass, the striker halted however by a raised flag. 

Kayla Dortch

 Khan stays onside from a free-kick won on the left played forwards the winger squaring a pacey ball along the top of the area finds its way through to Milton far side meets it first time with the outside of her boot the shot in angling away from goal. Peterborough mount a quick attack of their own from front to back the ball through the middle almost has Steward in top of the area but Hancock out well just about does enough to thwart her as her defence recovers to clear the ball. 

Catalina Costas holding of Peterborough’s Katie Steward

  Chanade Henderson getting hold of the ball in the middle for Peterborough plays a great ball forwards for Steward to attack in behind shoulder to shoulder with full back Catalina Costas the Colney Heath defender doing well to get a toe to the ball before Steward to send it wide of goal, then a controversial decision by the referee in the visitors opinion as goalkeeper Hancock goes out towards the ball is warned not to pick it up but does, Colney Heath complaining it wasn’t a back pass an indirect free-kick awarded against them wide of goal near the edge of the six yard box. A crowded penalty area the intention to smash it across the face of goal the Colney Heath defence charge it down and clear successfully.

Peterborough Northern Star’s Chanade Henderson

  An entertaining opening to the match both sides lively, Colney Heath with the slower start coming into it more as captain Sheree Oliver plays the ball forwards to Milton on the right possession retained, a cross lifted into the box, Khan central rising a tall player, can only get a glancing header the ball over at the far post. A delay in play then as a dogs mess is discovered on the pitch, happens at this level now an again. The task of clearing it up usually the home side managers (although I doubt Emma Hayes had this dilemma at Stamford Bridge this afternoon) Dean Steward managing Peterborough armed with a plastic bag clearing up the offending item and play can resume. 

  The free-kick scheduled to take place nearby as Driscoll-King plays a fantastic ball into the box, Hancock in amongst bodies on the penalty spot with a good punch getting it away. Hancock reacting sharply again moments later as a defensive error puts Leah Cudone in behind on the left of attack into the box the goalkeeper rushing out to gather top of the area. Peterborough upping the tempo attacking with more urgency in the last five minutes get control of the ball inside their opponents half Gabrielle Smith showing fantastic close ball control threading a pass forwards for Cudone playing in in to attack the box central Hancock coming to close her down Cudone looks to place her shot wide of the advancing keeper, not enough however as Hancock throws out and arm to stop the ball. 

  Hancock quick to set up the counter attack the ball up to Milton a threat on the right plays the ball on for Townsend-Brown in behind, the defence caught static, Hudson comes out towards her top of the area right of the D, Townsend-Brown sending the ball past her as the pair collide, Kayla Dortch back by then on hand can clear the ball if needed by can see it safely behind only just mind. Neither side on top, both looking like they will find the opening goal Peterborough regain possession central Smith finding her pass again to see fullback Samantha May outnumbered left side of the area as Cudone and Pollard burst forwards the shot fired in across goal into the bottom corner, the goal though doesn’t stand the flag raised against the pair. 

Rianne Townsend-Brown looking to get in behind the Peterborough defence

  Costas has picked up an injury for Colney Heath the full back struggling can’t continue bringing the first change of the match with Rachel Spendlow joining at right back. Peterborough have a corner on the right the delivery short as Cudone spots makes a run towards the ball turning to shoot from 20 yards out her strike over the bar. A mix-up at the back inside the six yard box from the Colney Heath defence sees Cudone latch onto the ball attempting to turn right side to get a shot away the blocking tackle sees the ball cleared falling to Peterborough’s Faith Horner she shoots 25 yards out the ball safely handled straight into Hancock’s midriff.

   Colney Heath attack right Milton winning her side a corner kick the delivery in central headed clear Cudone bringing it away left play a quality pass on for Steward breaking forwards right channel, Sherlow back with her lunging in to make the tackle top of the area to take the ball away from the attacker. 

  GOAL! Half an hour played and the deadlock is broken, Peterborough on the attack right side, Driscoll-King having made some good runs forwards previously allowed to go on bringing the ball inside from the top of the area hits it hard sending the ball angling in across the face of goal, finds its way past everyone to nestle into the back of the net 1-0. 

Evie Driscoll-King with the opening goal of the game

   A few robust tackles have been a feature of the first half, Freestone upended by Smith in the middle sees the Peterborough player warned. Peterborough enjoying the lions share of the attacking play now, Dortch’s defence clearance turning into a great ball forwards Steward after it looks to lay it off inside for Pollard to shoot, Annie Hickey reading it for Colney Heath the defender in to nick the ball and attempt to set up a counter attack, on to Freestone to Milton away on the right squares a cross in ear side Townsend-Brown going for it so too Dortch the defender sliding in to win the challenge inside the box. 

 Flowing football from Peterborough Henderson with Horner out to Steward right side a brilliant pass long in behind on the diagonal to pick out Cudone nipping into the box left, her first touch taking the ball out from her feet giving Hancock a chance to dive for it, grabbing it into her body Cudone hurdling over her. 

  GOAL! Out of nothing Colney Heath are back on level terms late in the first half. Milton who has carried a threat all through the first half doing well to win a corner on the right players forwards as Charlene Moreton goes across to take it, a fantastic inswinging delivery high, Hudson up for it near post misses the ball past her finds the underside of the ball to nestle into the back of the net 1-1.

Charlene Moreton scores direct from a corner to level the scores for Colney Heath

 The full back have swapped sides for Colney Heath, May over at left back now called into action to make a vital tackle inside the box as the ball is played on through the middle to send Steward away in attack the full back on her shoulder pushing her wide of goal lunging to make the tackle before Steward can unleash a shot. 

Katie Steward attacking for Peterborough Samantha May across to defend for Colney Heath

  GOAL! The game turned completely on its head then as moments after levelling the scores they break to score and take the lead. The ball left side lifted forwards a miscued defensive clearance seeing the ball fall in behind with Milton quickest on the right side latching onto it taking on the shot early from 25 yards out well struck Hudson with little chance as it flies over her into the back of the net 1-2.

  Finding themselves trailing with just a minute of the first half left Peterborough get on the attack good combination play between Driscoll-King and Steward on the right the cross played into the box Pollard right of the D, her effort blocked by Hickey. Peterborough closing the ball down with intensity with the half-time whistle imminent. 

 GOAL! Winning the ball inside the Colney Heath half their defence pushed up Dortch to Mulheron who plays a great ball forwards for Cudone to gather on the left the striker head down with one intent to get inside and take on the shot lets fly from the top of the area the ball angling in over the keeper into the top corner 2-2. The half-time whistle blows.

Leah Cudone scoring a superb equaliser to make it 2-2 on the stroke of half-time

Half-time Peterborough Northern Star Ladies 2-2 Colney Heath Ladies

 An entertaining first half of football, plenty of action, played at a good pace, chances created, a splash of controversy into the mix. Peterborough started well and created opportunities. Colney Heath coming back into the game Both sides making use of their wide players, Peterborough taking a deserved lead, Colney Heath with a fortunate levelling goal but no doubt about their 2nd a quality strike from Milton, Peterborough responding well to level the scores before the break Cudone with a superb strike to make it 2-2. Beautifully poised for the 2nd half.  

The sun starting to poke through more towards the end of the first half now bright and facing the goal Peterborough are defending 2nd half as they get the game restarted. Both sides making a change at half-time Kimberly Fairweather on in place of Smith for Peterborough, Melissa Godino replaced Khan in the wing for Colney Heath. Cudone out on the right attacking sends a driven shot in towards the near post the ball held by Hancock closing the angle. 

  Oliver bringing the ball forwards for Colney Heath up the right into Milton she cuts infield before firing a cross in towards the top of the area met by Moreton her 1st time effort rising towards goal sails over the crossbar. Mulheron picking up the first yellow card of the game for an ungainly tackle on Milton looking to get on 20 yards out on the right. Freestone over the set-piece floated into the area, claimed well by Hudson. A lively start to the 2nd half both sides closing down the ball.

Christina Freestone winning the ball in midfield for Colney Heath

  Townsend-Brown caught just offside as Colney Heath play the ball on through the middle. Peterborough a little sloppy with their passes in the middle, Oliver getting hold of it up for Moreton, Mulheron in to win the ball back. Hancock is having an assured performance in goal for Colney Heath takes a confident catch high above her head as Cudone lifts a cross in from the right. 

Sheree Oliver playing the ball forwards

  A 2nd change for Peterborough with Georgia Coulson coming on for Davies. Peterborough get a corner on the right the delivery in towards the near side punched back to the taker by Hancock, crossed back in dropping in the six yard box, players attacking it none can get a clean strike on the ball, Hickey wining it with a no nonsense clearance. Steward out on the right bursts in behind Hancock coming to meet her one on one Steward jinks left the right attempting to deceive the keeper before trying to shoot across her, Hancock saving once more. 

Peterborough enjoying more of the attack more Colney Heath happy to sit ready to hit on the counter. Oliver bringing it out on for Townsend-Brown, Milton the outlet ready to go on the right, Coulson intercepting the pass for Peterborough. Hancock continues to thwart the Peterborough attack again Cudone clever is through into the box looking to take the ball around the keeper, Hancock down to pinch the ball. Pollard lines up a strike from 20 yards her attempt drilled wide. Fairweather comes off for Peterborough on comes Alexa Hunter. Milton off for Colney Heath, Khan returning with Godino moving to the right. 

Bronwyn Mulheron

  Henderson allowed to travel with the ball 20 yards out goes to pull the trigger Hickey running out to close her down making the block. Into the final 20 minutes the game remains there for the taking. Pollard carries the attack on the right for Peterborough, May holding her up, Cudone joining in support the pair win a corner. The ball in cleared by Hickey, her header falling to Steward 25 yards out does connect with the shot lacks the pace to trouble Hancock. 

Kelly Glynn holding off Leah Cudone

  Colney Heath’s defence the busier a determination amongst them not to concede, Glynn clearing as Hunter almost feds Pollard into the box making a run left channel. Pollard’s last actin of the game as she comes off now to be replaced by Eleanor Spendelow. Cudone looking the most likely to score as she makes another purposeful run on the right her shot fired in low Hancock down to save the ball loose however in front of her Peterborough slow to follow-up as Colney Heath scramble it away. Cudone taking the ball on to the byline right side lifting a cross in central evading Hancock this time, Spendlow jumping in the middle can’t keep her header down. 

Samaira Khan tracking Frances Horner as she brings the ball on for Peterborough

  Mulheron sending a fine pass forwards for Steward breaking right of the D takes aim the ball on target can only pick out Hancock back on her line, The game entering the final five minutes, Colney Heath working hard in defence keen to remain unbeaten allow Peterborough to come on. Coulson playing the ball on for Hunter to release Henderson central, Hickey stepping out of the back line to defend for Colney Heath. Another change for Colney Heath, Coulson departing… Frances Peeling on. 

  Peterborough winning a couple of free-kicks on the right late on Cudone on the first, Hancock claiming. The 2nd taken by Steward with Horner coming for it, Hickey dealing with the threat for the visitors. Moments left Peterborough attacking late on Henderson off a throw left crossing along the top of the area Hunter touching it into the path of the advancing Driscoll-King smashes a ball in towards goal deflected central Spendlow central wrong footed adjusts well to get her head on it turn it back towards goal Hancock across at her left post to save.

Full time Peterborough Northern Star Ladies 2-2 Colney Heath Ladies

  The points shared in an entertaining game, all action from start to finish. No more goals added 2nd half but not for want of trying from Peterborough pushed hard in the 2nd half Colney Heath putting in a solid defensive display thwarting them. Little in attack from the visitors in the 2nd 45 did invite pressure but maintain their unbeaten start to the season with a few players out. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match 

  Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award not an easy one once again a few contenders certainly. Adi Milton carrying a threat on the right for Colney Heath especially first half scoring a fantastic goal. Lucy Hancock with a confident display in goal reading the game well. For Peterborough, Evie Driscoll-King with good defensive work at full back getting forwards well to linking with Katie Steward. Edging it though Leah Cudone attacking for Peterborough brings a wealth of experience to the side making forceful and clever runs on and off the ball creating chances and always looking to score. Took her goal beautifully. 

An enjoyable trip to Peterborough, the ERWFL Premier Division producing yet another entertaining game full of excitement. Competitive from the 1st minute. My thanks to both sides for their help with the teams always appreciated. 5 games into the season already can’t believe it.

 

Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Wednesday 4th September

FAWNL South East Division One

 Derby day and the first midweek match of the season for Women’s Football East making the trip to Ely City FC this Wednesday evening to watch Cambridge City Ladies take on Cambridge United WFC for the first time in the FAWNL.

  Cambridge City Ladies winning the ERWFL Premier Division last season part of a league and cup double to earn promotion to FAWNL South East Division One. The two sides once one before going their separate ways have met several times as Cambridge City rose back up the women’s football pyramid now joining United in the FAWNL. A strong youth set-up within the club their Development side winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership title last season joins the ERWFL Division One South, whilst the club is to boast a 3rd women’s side playing in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership. 

  Joining the FAWNL, Cambridge City Ladies have moved to a new home, Ely City FC whilst they await completion of their new ground at Sawston. A ground their opponents know well having played their as Cambridge Women before linking up with Cambridge United FC. Good facilities a new cinema and restaurant park build next to the spots stadiums situated just off the A10. Have signed goalkeeper Dominika Szary from Newmarket Town Women with Karly Tolentino and Beatrice Fitzsimons also joining. Sofia Castiglione back too after impressing in a handful of game for City before injury saw her out for a long period. Two losses from their opening two matches away to Leyton Orient and at home to Billericay Town Ladies see them without a point. Better in the FAWNL Cup where they won through to the competition proper beating Southern Premier Division side Chichester City Ladies.

  A new home too this season for Cambridge United WFC playing at St Neots Town FC, a new base for games and training for both their senior and Development side. Have lost a few players to other clubs over the close season a small squad with a determined attitude. A new beginning they too find themselves without a point on the board a narrow lose conceding in the final minutes of both their opening league and cup encounters. 2 errors costing them away to AFC Wimbledon at the weekend. A local derby to look forwards to is great for women’s football in Cambridge to see two sides playing as high as the 4th tier. Always competitive games against the pair.

The pitch looking well prepared as the lights start to come on, a good atmosphere building a good sized crowd taking shape. A hint of rain in the air day clouds around, a rainbow over the ground prior to kick-off. A breeze cooling things down. The bar and kitchen open hot and cold drinks aswell as pies on offer. 

Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Dominika Szary, Amy Reed, Lauren Tomlinson, Becca Fay (C), Ceri Flye, Hannah Bodily, Sofia Castiglione, Charlotte Gillies, Beatrice Fitzsimons, Karly Tolentino & Megan Tonks. Subs – Tee Mhunduru, Shannon Shaw, Robyn Phillips, Laura Mills, & Georgia Day.

 Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Abi Davies, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Emma Jenkins, Charlotte Crisp, Amber Cantwell, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt, Kelley Blanchflower & Mollie Coupar. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Verity Crook, Chloe Armstrong, Albany Hodgson & Chloe Smith.

  As per usual with these affairs where we have two clubs similarly named they become City and United from now on. It’s City to get the derby match underway, wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. United wearing amber coloured shirts with black sleeves black shorts and socks. City playing the ball back to there defence United close down quickly to put pressure on the ball, rewarded as Amber Cantwell gets hold of possession on halfway and drives through the middle with the ball reaching the area before Ceri Flye partnering captain Becca Fay in defence puts in the challenge the ball ending up safely gathered by Dominika Szary.

   GOAL! An early break through from United the pressing game continuing Cantwell again winning it central sending the pass on for striker Kelley Blanchflower she sees fellow attacker Mollie Coupar breaking away into the left channel rolls the ball into her path Coupar taking it on into the box left of goal closing in on the six yard box smashes a shot in under the keeper at the near post 0-1.

Mollie Coupar pressing Amy Reed for possession of the ball

   United have started well playing a high tempo, up for the game Blanchflower spreading play out wide right for Amy Howlett making her first appearance for United this season pushes on with the ball into the corner, tackled by full back Lauren Tomlinson to win the ball back for City. The hosts making progress wide left Karly Tolentino looking to create a shot from distance falling wide of the mark. 

 United bring the ball out Blanchflower up ended wide left inside the City half winning a free-kick. Cantwell over the ball, striking the two player wall deflected left Cantwell able to run onto it to fling a cross into the area, City struggling to clear as United pressure well. Flye busy at the heart of the defence doing well against Blanchflower as the United striker battles her way into the area, back with Szary looks to set up a counter, Charlotte Crisp breaking it up for United. 

Kelley Blanchflower with Cambridge City ladies captain Becca Fay

  Faith Hewitt playing the ball on up the left for United with Blanchflower providing the passing option, Flye going with her tackling to play the ball out for a throw. Crisp coming over to provide support on that side as Blanchflower controls from the throw the ball passed across the top of the City area, Cantwell there looking to get into a shooting position taking the ball wide pressed by Fay the shot miscued. United looking lively Carrie Bennett with the ball on for Hewitt left the ball high across the face of goal, picked up by Coupar far side another ball in across the face of goal, Szary able to lay claim to the 3rd attempt.

   City slow to settle United having given them little time on the ball, Sofia Castiglione on the ball in midfield looks t take players on doing well rides two tackles making ground before releasing Charlotte Gillies on the right, the winger’s ball into the area too close to the keeper at the near post Savannah Smith handling comfortably. City starting to find a foothold in the game Amy Reed winning it at the back an attack launched the ball forwards Megan Tonks with the lay off right into Beatrice Fitzsimons making a central run, her stab forwards almost finding it’s way through into the area for Tolentino cut out by the United defence.

   The game setting down somewhat, both sides wasting passes as they try to maintain a high tempo move the ball quickly no one wanting to keep possession slow things down, lively certainly has a derby feel about it. 

  GOAL! 22 minutes played and City get themselves back on level terms, a fantastic goal from Tonks, the City striker having a fantastic season with the Development side scoring 32 goals from 18 appearances on their way to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership title last season. Out wide left for City holding onto the ball strong gets inside her marker towards the top corner of the area striking the ball superbly the flight taking it across goal over the keeper into the back of the net beyond 1-1.

Megan Tonks up to win the header for Cambridge City Ladies

  United get forwards a free-kick awarded on the left Cantwell to play the ball in, headed clear inside the box central Crisp moving to intercept the loose ball latching onto the shot hit hard but wide of the goal from 25 yards out. Gillies looks to take on Bennett as she attacks right the United full back getting back at her to win the ball back before the cross can be made. United are away on the right Howlett with Coupar ahead of her, Fay drawn out of the middle to assist Tomlinson in the corner Coupar does well to get the ball back up the line to Howlett she passes central Crisp not afraid to have a crack from distance meeting it once again 30 yards the strike brushes the roof of the net on its way over. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Charlotte Crisp

  Passes continue to go astray starting to get a little scrappy, niggly challenges coming it, Cantwell on the end of a couple of the more robust ones. A driving shot from Castiglione from 30 yards out following good work from Tolentino on the left fall wide of goal. Tolentino showing great close ball control on the left high up the pitch twisting left then right looking to come inside before shifting and getting the ball in behind to cross flashed in Tonks gets something on it near post the ball brushing the chest of a defender for a moment looks like it could be an unfortunate own goal as it goes on across goal, Smith reacting well getting down to stop it.

Cambridge City Ladies, Karly Tolentino

   Castiglione bringing the ball on once more plays a good diagonal ball on for Gillies bursting on right side of the area, Bennett putting in the tackle playing the ball behind for a corner. The ball in towards the top of the area from the right cleared by Cantwell. Look to break the ball on down the right a strong challenge from Tomlinson seeing United awarded a free-kick in the corner. A good delivery in towards the near post Szary doing well for City up to make a confident claim.

  The tackles showing a bit more bite late in the first half Emma Jenkins partnering captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt in central defence this evening bringing the ball out from the ball brought down unceremoniously. Fitzsimons getting a warning from referee Chris Abbott. Moments later Cantwell is floored by Tomlinson as the United midfielder looks to break from a City free-kick, the full back shown the first yellow card of the game. Both benches not happy with decisions the game getting feisty late in the half a late throw on the left high for United played inside across the top of the area Blanchflower looking to see it across her body 20 yards out strikes it on the half volley, the ball already spinning the shot swerving away from goal behind the last action of the first half.  

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

  A good first half in the Cambridge derby, United making a fast start bright snapping into challenges and pressing City all over the pitch looking sharp taking an early lead. City taking a little time to settle, United’s intent slowing City able to get back into it get forwards Tonks with a superb strike to level the scores. Scrappy at times with passes rushed going astray, the half ending on and even note could go either way 2nd half.

  United to get the 2nd half underway, neither side making a change. The visitors going long to the left with Coupar on the move, strong holding onto the ball getting into a shooting position fires over the top from 25 yards out. 

 GOAL! City get forwards to take the lead early in the 2nd, bodies forwards as they attack possession on the left Tolentino playing the ball into the middle gathered by Fitzsimons who bursts on towards the area allowed to go on, goes to shoot a miscue the ball turns into a brilliant assist angled wide and on into the path of Tonks right of goal, the striker turning and sending a low ball past Smith before she can adjust 2-1.

   GOAL! All action at the start of the 2nd half as United get up the other end and draw level again almost straight away. Attacking right Howlett’s pass on for Coupar brings United a throw deep in City territory, put on into Blanchflower she turns and heads into the area close to the byline fires a ball in towards goal Szary down to it, a touch but escapes her grasp with Coupar on top of her bundling it over the line to score her 2nd of the match 2-2.

  The game has the early intensity back is a derby game, both sides feeling the game is there to win. United winning a corner right side the ball in towards the top of the area Burt running in to met it near post lifting her shot over. Both keepers called into action running out of there areas to clear first Szary then her kick forwards dealt with by Smith. Passes rushed the tempo remains high no one settling on the ball. City make the first change of the game Laura Mills coming on for Gillies going out to the right. 

Cambridge City Ladies, Lauren Tomlinson

  The substitution injecting some urgency into City’s attacking play the ball spread wide to Mills has Tonks out wide with her the ball crossed into the United box cleared, Reed getting forwards onto the loose ball shoots from distance the ball stopped in the six yard by her opposing right back Davies, a good first touch to bring the ball safely under control. 

 Cantwell with a tame effort that rolls safely through to Szary who sets up Mills on the counter pace taking it on the diagonal ball fired into the area read by Smith coming out to collect. city make a 2nd substitution 2 goals for Tonks her work done for the night she is replaced in attack by Shannon Shaw. The breeze starting to pick up. Cantwell will feel the aftermath of this game as she is bundled to the ground yet again, not deterred however.

Cambridge United WFC’s, Amber Cantwell

  United make their first change of the match in attack Blanchflower coming off to be replaced by Chloe Smith. Bodily plays a pass long on for Mills getting on down the right keeping wide well her cross into the box dangerous chested down towards goal by a defender for a moment looks like it might be an own goal gasps from the crowd, by Smith down quickly has it save pulled into her body.Mills adding impetus to the City attack the game wide open entering the final 15 minutes could go either way still. 

  United getting some momentum themselves Coupar with Hewitt, Howlett found on the right the ball in towards the top of the area fired in near post cut out by the City defence. Tomlinson strong on the ball as she battles to bring it forwards. Play from one end to the other Mills crossing from the right United heading the ball clear launching a counter attack, Crisp on for Smith plays the ball to Howlett right takes it inside into the box City conceding the corner. 

  Into the last 3 minutes of the match the ball in from the right cleared long, Davies picking it up for United lifts a high ball back into the area difficult for Szary to judge back on her line dropping late catches by spills for another corner. City dealing confidently Fay determined on the ball carrying it out from the back over halfway but cleared by United City with a throw left Tomlinson’s bionic arms sending it long into towards the top of the area, United winning the header attempt to counter Bodily breaking it up. 

  City mounting one last attack and come very close to claiming the 3 points late on Fitzsimons seeing the ball into her feet outside the United area right off a throw turns and unleashes a shot Smith diving to her left thankful to see the ball run narrowly wide of the post, City with a free-kick on halfway Castiglione to play it up into the United area, Burt dealing with it the final whistle blows.

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 2-2 Cambridge United WFC

  Honours even in the first Cambridge derby of the season, on the whole a fair result the points shared and both getting off the mark at last will be a relief. City making a slow start coming back to level after conceding in the opening minutes. Taking the lead early in the 2nd period only to concede straight away. A good watch the crowd entertained, often scrappy niggly at times the temp good what you’d expect from a derby match. Both sides will feel they could have won it and could well have gone either way.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Contenders from both sides, Ceri Flye doing a some great defensive work for City in the heart of defence. Sofia Castiglione too in midfield. Megan Tonks in attack scoring a great first goal levelling the scores then putting them into the lead early 2nd half. Mollie Coupar giving United the early advantage. Kelley Blanchflower with some great runs linking up the midfield and attack. Amber Cantwell edging it for me overall getting about the pitch great first touches and often a the heart of the action.

 Said I wouldn’t get up at 4am and write this but I can’t sleep with a game still rattling around the brain. An entertaining game if scrappy at times the two sides enjoying a good rivalry that will only grow and in doing so increase the interest for the women’s game in the county.  Updated with pictures for last evenings game courtesy of Gary Reed. Grateful to be able to use them Gary is a tremendous supporter of the women’s game and it’s a pleasure to feature his pictures.

 

Match Report – Riverside Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies

Sunday 1st September

Women’s FA Cup Preliminary Round

Cup action this Sunday on Women’s Football East, from the Preliminary Round of this season’s Women’s FA Cup and an opportunity to see two sides I haven’t seen play in a while as  Peterborough based side, Riverside Ladies take on Bungay Town Ladies from Suffolk.

  The Women’s FA Cup seeing more entries than ever as the game continues to grow across the country, an extra Preliminary Round already played there are 98 ties taking place this Sunday. Plenty of intriguing match ups too hard to settle on one always throws up some interesting ties.

  Has been a long time indeed since I last saw Riverside Ladies play getting on for 4 years I think. The club enjoying a rapid rise seeing them moving up to the East Midlands regional set-up and out of Women’s Football East’s coverage (can only do so much). Peterborough a hotbed for women’s football with several talented sides in the area, Riverside saw players leaving sometimes poached. Struggling dropped back into the Cambridgeshire Championship a rebuilding process, winning promotion back the the Premiership once again finished bottom as the team was hit once again, now rebuilding again as they prepare for another season in the Premiership the league strengthened now up to 13 sides will be a competitive league. Riverside have a strong youth set-up with U18s ready to step up to the senior side and U15 & U14 that bode well for future development. This Riverside’s first game of the season. 

  Bungay Town Ladies know the feeling of having their side raided for talent have often found themselves having to rebuild themselves. Playing in Norfolk Division One did the double just two season’s ago, last season proving more difficult with the squad suffering losses. Didn’t get to see them play last season much to my disappointment. Jody Wells now assisting manager Graham Purling have assembled a decent squad as they prepare for the new season in Norfolk, like the Cambridgeshire Premiership, Division One seeing an increase in size to 11 as new sides enter the league. Good results in pre-season 5 wins from 5 including a 2-1 win away to Northamptonshire side Corby Town Ladies in the extra Preliminary Round of the Women’s FA Cup.

  The venue for today the Queens Park Pavilion Playing Fields, in Yaxley south of Peterborough itself. A large side featuring two full sized and several youth sized grass patches. Plenty of parking the changing room block before the playing area itself. The surface dry offering plenty of width. Nowhere near as hot as last weekend temperatures down to 20 degrees a fair bit of cloud around some dark, warm when the sun could break through a breeze blowing, pleasant.

Riverside Ladies starting XI – Maxine Wren, Amelia Roberts, Abigail Baker, Elizabeth Walker, Tia Vacca (C), Abigail Baker, Jess Hill, Rachel Burbridge, Gabija Pavlova, Ines Monteiro & Kerry Camwell. Subs – Ella Gaston & Jodie Skells.

Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Joanne Pipe, Erin Galer, Leah Shephard, Charlotte Power (C), Katie Walker, Charnelle Riggall, Selina Rowland, Shannon Dade, Nicola Hazell, Leanne Smith & Imogen McGregor. Subs – Teodora Ilie, Samantha Penman, Tracey Livingstone & Lindsey Adams.

  Two sides playing in today’s tie who are used to roll on roll off substitutes, not so in the Women’s FA Cup with only 3 substitutes allowed in regular play. Riverside starting with the bare 11 have one substitute not available for kick-off another injured and only to be risked in necessary. Bungay able to name 4 substitutes the visitors have the kick-off first half wearing and all away kit with white trim. Riverside playing on purple coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. The hosts quick to charge the ball down Ines Monteiro charging it down in the centre taking the ball on through the middle stopped at the top of the area as Bungay’s centrebacks close the door. Bungay then caught offside trying to break with Riverside playing a high line.

   Leanne Smith getting control of the ball in the centre of the park for Bungay spreads play out to Nicola Hazell breaking into space on the left wing, taking the ball on up the line is tackled by Abigail Baker the ball out for a throw in as she attempts to cut inside. A long throw put in towards the edge of the area knocked down latched onto by Imogen McGregor her snap shot left of the D dragged wide of the near post. Rachel Burbridge puts the ball on over the top for Riverside, Monteiro looking to peel away in behind the full back just a little too early flagged offside.

Rachel Burbridge winning the ball for Riverside

  Bungay quick to turn play around as Hazell picks up possession on the left provides the ball for Smith this time coming on through the middle put on for McGregor racing into the box, Maxine Wren able to get hold of it first keeping goal for Riverside. Bungay are looking lively early on as they push on through the middle, Selina Rowland on for Smith up to McGregor top of the area looks to play in Shannon Dade getting forwards on the right her shot taking a deflection seeing a corner awarded. The ball in deep touched on safely into Wren’s gloves she looks to set up an attack Monteiro after ball fed into the left channel, Erin Galer defending for Bungay, the counter attack on played up to Dade right she drives forwards before unleashing a shot, Wren down safely gathering.

 GOAL! Play compacted at times in the centre of the pitch this allows Bungay to spring away in attack the pass through for Dade she is away taking it in right of goal 25 yards out lets fly with a shot similar to her effort moments ago only this time she puts the ball wide of the keeper into the bottom corner 0-1. 7 minutes played.

  An early lead for Bungay the hosts look for an immediate response, a good run forwards from full back Amelia Roberts gets her in behind to cross inside the area wrong footing the defence she looks to square the ball into the six yard box, too close to the goalkeeper as Joanne Pipe across to her near post claims the ball. Riverside continue to play a risky high line in defence catching Bungay offside almost turn it to their advantage as defender Elizabeth from just over halfway plays a inviting high ball in towards the top of the area the Bungay defence not dealing with it on the bounce Monteiro looks to be in the bounce her undoing too however as she can’t get her foot over the ball for a clean strike.

Amelia Roberts on the attack for Riverside Ladies

  Charnelle Riggall back playing again after being out for a long spell with the dreaded ACL in the middle today for Bungay puts a fantastic ball on for Hazell to chase puts a shot in across goal that is cleared by Riverside’s captain Tia Vacca. Bungay continue to press getting joy on both flanks Dade flashing another strike across the face of goal. 

 GOAL! Bungay double their advantage in 15 minutes winning a corner on the right, the delivery too high for the keeper to claim near post dropping into a congested 6 yard box several players go for it the ball stabbed home, Leanne Smith I think with the final touch 0-2.

  Riverside attack left Gabija Pavlova with great ball control taking the ball on lacks support as she is closed down. Bungay are winning the battle in midfield Riggall and Rowland with Smith prepared to bomb on, McGregor played tries to beat the keeper with a lobbed shot from 30 yards out the effort falling wide. Wren doing well for Riverside in the next Bungay attack coming out towards the top of her area with a good punch on the ball to deny McGregor a chance as Dade crosses from the right. Wren with more heroics in goal to deny Hazell a goal as she cuts inside from the left to have a strike inside the area Riverside’s keeper saving with her legs. 

Charnelle Riggall playing the ball for Bungay Town Ladies

  Bungay getting in behind as Riverside are caught up the pitch playing a good line at times catching their opponents offside on three or four occasions, Bungay are able to come on at will however McGregor providing some good runs in attack, Hazell and Dade left and right ready to go. McGregor attempting to lob the keeper once more sees another effort fall wide of the mark. Smith gets forwards into an attacking position as Hazell holds onto possession left side looking to get inside to shoot, Smith taking on the shot as the ball rolls lose a powerful shot has Wren diving the ball narrowly wide of her right post.

 GOAL! Smith sees Bungay into a 3 nil lead, the ball won somewhat painfully by Rowland in the middle of the park is put on into the path of Smith breaking forwards right she sends her shot wide of the keeper into the back of the net 0-3. 25 minutes played.

  Monteiro chases down a ball put into the right channel cutting in towards the top of the area the Bungay defence converge closed down she lays it off to Kerry Camwell a yard away, she hits it hard, Bungay captain Charlotte Power turning to block. The ball not clear out left side a shot comes in from distance wide of the post. On the counter Bungay look a constant threat Smith through the middle, McGregor ahead of head, the latter away in attack is forced wide of goal by Vacca still manages to squeeze a shot in on the angle rising taken down well by Wren. 

GOAL! Bungay are creating the majority of the chances and as Power brings the ball out from the ball unchallenged they add a 4th the pass on for McGregor in attack the drives on with it forced out wide again nevertheless the cross finds its way unopposed across the six yard box and Smith is there unmarked to bring up her hat-trick from close range 0-4.

GOAL! Moments later it 5, Bungay with no effort easily turning defence into attack burst forwards the ball fed on to McGregor the young striker having come close with a number of chances gets her goal, moving right of goal, her shot taking a deflection inside the area off the defender attempting to block, sending it beyond the keeper into the back of the net. 0-5.

  Katie Walker defends at the back for Bungay following a ball headed on from Camwell that has Monteiro interested as she breaks into the area the defender getting the ball back to Pipe in goal. Riggall plays the ball up to Hazell left side she sends an inviting ball in across the face of goal McGregor can’t get a touch far post, Dade in behind does her shot in saved well be Wren moving across her goal.

GOAL! Bungay are on top no doubt about it as a 6th goal is recorded, McGregor running clear in behind no-one goes with her has time to way up her options, pick a spot Wren exposed by her defence can do little about it as the ball is placed wide of her and into the back of the goal from the top of the area 0-6.

  What follows is brutal (look away now).

GOAL! In quick succession Bungay add not 1, but 3 goals to run rampant at half-time. Smith scoring her 4th of the match as she gets on to support McGregor in attack the strike making a nuisance of herself on the ball not challenged as she takes the ball out to the left, cuts it back into Smith top of the box she sends a looping shot up over the keeper to score 0-7.

Leanne Smith amongst the goals for Bungay Town Ladies in the 1st half

GOAL! Smith nets for a 5th time moments later Riverside losing their discipline totally not tracking her as she runs in behind with ease left of goal six yards out able to come back in across goal and pick her spot to slot home 0-8.

GOAL! Rowland gets in on the goal scoring for Bungay as they hammer home an already insurmountable advantage. Catching the defence static the midfielder is allowed to go on a natural goalscorer she gives the keeper no chance as she smashes the ball past her to score 0-9.

 Pipe forced into a late save at the close of the first half as Jess Hill from 25 yards out drives a low strike in towards goal.

  Half-time Riverside Ladies 0-9 Bungay Town Ladies

  Bungay in complete control a flurry of late goal making the task before Riverside impossible 9-0 down at half-time. The away side have been in control from start to finish getting players forwards at will the advantage in having played 6 games more than Riverside showing. The hosts shell shocked letting the scoreline get out of control a difficult 2nd half looms, what can be said. Got to go back to square on start all over again and try to build some positives.

  Riverside to kick-off the 2nd half. Bungay with a triple change, with Teo Ilie, Samantha Penman and Tracey Livingstone coming on for Riggall, Dade and Smith. Pavlova has come into a more central defensive midfield position for Riverside as they get the ball rolling. McGregor looks to get away in attack on the right, Vacca does well keeping with her to force her to attempt the cross in towards the top of the area then steps up well to leave her offside as the ball is returned.

  GOAL! Far from the start to the 2nd half Riverside would have wanted as they concede early, Livingstone looking to get away left inside the area winning a corner. Is a fantastic ball played in towards the top of the area by Bungay with Rowland rising unopposed left of the D, she plants her header across goal into the far corner for her 2nd of the game 0-10.

Bungay Town Ladies, Selina Rowland

GOAL! This game can be brutal at times an early goal 2nd half for Bungay quickly becomes 2 as they score an 11th. The ball fed out to the right sees Samantha Penman newly arrived to the action away to take the ball on into the area closing in on the six yard box ways up her options spots Livingstone running in far post squares the ball, no one with her Livingstone scores with a simple tap in 0-11.

  Riverside down to 10 as Camwell receives treatment. Vacca with some fantastic defending to stop Livingstone top of the area as the cross is swung in from the right. Camwell able to return. A quieter spell, much needed Riverside have been under the cosh but have had fleeting moments, they look like a side right at the start of pre-season the individual skill is visible but the team play needs alot of work. Hazell gets hold of the ball on the left whips a shot in towards goal for Bungay isn’t far over. 

GOAL! Bungay add to their scoreline and this goal is started and finished by Rowland to bring up her hat-trick albeit via an fortunate take from a misplaced goalkick, falling straight to the midfielder 30 yards out on the right she sends it on down the line for Penman ahead of her down the line Penman crosses the ball well, into the top of the area and who should be there but none other than Rowland, doesn’t get a clean connect on the ball but that works to her favours as the ball runs wide of the keeper into the back of the net 0-12.

  Glimpses of what they can do from Riverside, Pavlova in the middle breaking the attack up much better, Hill on the ball out to Roberts getting forwards on the right sending a great cross in near post Camwell getting in front of her defender with a great turn and hit firing over. Riverside are ready to make a change Walker coming off, as Ella Gaston enters the field.

Riverside Ladies, Gabija Pavlova

  Bungay getting forwards a corner won on the left the delivery into the six yard box a shot blocked a pointblank range as Livingstone shoots inside the six yard box. Deflected out to Penman right she fires a ball back across the face of goal McGregor flinging herself forwards can’t get a touch. The ball still in play gather by Hazell on the left wing she fires over frustratingly.

Ella Gaston looking to get forwards for Riverside Ladies

GOAL! Hazell gets her chance however moments later as Bungay are awarded a penalty, no doubt as Penman is tripped inside the box. Hazell placing the ball on the spot, goes for power hitting the ball hard rising is over Wren has no chance 0-13.

Nicola Hazell smashes the ball in from the penalty spot

  Wren saving soon after as Livingstone scuffs a shot inside the box having been fed in by Ilie. Head naturally have dropped Riverside finding it tough going, Wren spurring then on they know they have been soundly beaten smiles are good to see, keep going. A corner flung in from the left for Bungay Livingstone with the stooping header far post Wren behind holding onto the ball. Ilie looks to combine with McGregor and Penman on the right, Vacca and Heagren doing well in defence get the ball away for Riverside.

Tia Vacca on the ball for Riverside Ladies

 Wren with another save as Rowland moving out to the left plays it through fro Livingstone in the box McGregor close by feeds her the ball, Wren saving at close range going to ground. 

GOAL! Brutal for Riverside as they concede another very unfortunate too, a back pass played to Wren she goes to clear inside her area her kick seeing the ball spin straight up into the air. Livingstone closing in alive to it pressure the striker sees the ball on into the back of the net as Wren is hurt colliding with the post 0-14. 

 Their keeper up but injured Wren is hobbling maintaining good spirits. Hill getting back tracks back well to slide in and deny McGregor as she shoots inside the area the ball out behind for a corner on the right. 

GOAL! The goals keep coming for Bungay taken short the cross coming in for McGregor positioned top of the box right side she lashes a shot in towards goal, Wren unsighted by a defender attempting to block in front of her both miss the ball finding its way in 0-15. 

Imogen McGregor

  Riverside keep battling away are in good spirits despite the scoreline, can do little else might aswell be positive, Wren can hardly move in goal now having taken a knock, Livingstone played in by McGregor, Baker stays with her sliding in to make the tackle the ball loose Hazell latches onto the shot blasting over, it just won’t happen from open play for her today. Penman sending a shot wide across goal in the closing moments.

Full time Riverside Ladies 0-15 Bungay Town Ladies

   A brutal scoreline for Riverside as Bungay Town Ladies advance in the Women’s FA Cup. Out performed their opponents but can only beat what’s in front of them. In good form in pre-season and far advanced than Riverside it showed as they cruised to victory and into the hat for the draw for the next round of the competition where they will have their fingers crossed for a home draw for a change having played 8 out of their previous FA Cup matches away from home with long trips to Essex and Northamptonshire amongst those. Played well, moved the ball and looked sharper. Fair play to Riverside kept going did improve 2nd half despite conceding better passages of play, a result to forget no doubt so it doesn’t help that some bloke from Norfolk turned up to write about it. Got to put it to bed move on can see the talent, this result will hit the belief but it’s just one game.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Basically I’m going to discount the last hour of the match and focus on the opening 30 minutes. Early on Bungay got on top in midfield Charnelle Riggall and Selina Rowland winning the ball well, the driving runs and forwards passes of Leanne Smith making a huge difference plus 5 goals to her name giving her today’s award.

  These reports are hard to write, credit where credits due, Bungay played superbly but they themselves would admit they’d rather win a tight game 2-1. It is what it is however. I know Riverside can play better, they have featured in one of my favourite games on the old Supporting Women’s Football Blog afterall. Wishing both well for the new season ahead and thanks for the team sheets as ever.