Category Archives: Match Reports

Match Report – Ipswich Town Women v Portsmouth FC Women

Sunday 5th January 2020

Women’s FA Cup

 First game of the New Year, a new decade in fact a trip down into Suffolk to watch a game from the 3rd Round of the Women’s FA Cup, Ipswich Town Women leading FAWNL South East Division One taking on higher league opponents Portsmouth FC Women.

 The winners of today’s tie going on to potentially face FAWSL opposition as the clubs from the top tier and Championship below enter the competition. Ipswich looking to reach the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history.

  Having a fine season to date leading the way in FAWNL South East Division One 4 points clear at the top of the table unbeaten winning 8 of their 9 matches played so far. A host of sides in the hunt to chase them down can’t afford to let their foot off the gas. Starting 2020 with a cup tie against higher league opposition will fancy their chances. Ipswich are currently the dominant force in women’s football in Suffolk and that looks unlikely to be contested for some time with manager Jo Sheehan having previously looked after their U21s side bringing in a host of new talent to boost the 1st team and their is plenty of talent coming through as not just I but anyone who has seen them in action will testify. 

 A well organised and committed media team established to promote the women’s side the Tractor Girls are building a solid fan base with numbers in attendance up. Their local derby with Norwich City Women seeing over 700 in attendance earlier in the season. A good crowd building before today’s match have played 3 games in the Women’s FA Cup to date entering in 2nd Round Qualifying, beating ERWFL Premier Division side Royston Town Women 7-0. A 6-1 home win against Norwich followed, with another home win 5-0 agianst fellow league side AFC Basildon Women following in the 1st Round Proper. A trip to the South Coast to face Southern Premier Division basement side Chichester City Ladies in the 2nd Round came home with a 6-0 to set up today’s home clash with Portsmouth.

  Portsmouth FC Women a long established side in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. A side capable of beating anyone on their day. Their form up and down this season with just 7 league games played so far have games in hand on everyone in the league 4 wins and 3 losses so far. Have saved their best form for the cup reaching the quarter finals of the FAWNL Cup including a couple of extra-time wins. The Southern Premier Division sides entering the competition in the 2nd Round, Portsmouth were at home to FAWNL South East Division One opposition a tricky tie on paper with Leyton Orient WFC on the pitch Portsmouth were comfortable running out 6-1 winners. 

 Felixstowe & Walton FC’s Goldstar Ground the home of Ipswich Town Women a newly build clubhouse and changing room facility leading out to the pitch beyond. A bar and kitchen serving hot food and drinks available. The pitch a good side well used fairly bobbly in places. Offers good width. An overcast day with some light rain in the air prior to kick-off none forecast. 

 Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Nikita Runnacles, Paige Peake, Lindsey Cooper, Lucy Egan, Anna Grey, Sophie Peskett, Blue Wilson, Amanda Crump (C), Abbie Lafayette, Eloise King & Natasha Thomas. Subs – Lucy Williamson, Nicole Pannifer, Eva Hubbard, Maddie Biggs, Zoe Cossey, Ellie Rossiter & Molly Sutherland.

  Portsmouth FC Women starting XI – Hannah Haughton, Rebekah Tonks, Laura Ingram, Jazz Younger, Danielle Rowe, Jade Bradley (C), Mia Adaway, Katie James, Hayley Bridge & Charmaine True. Subs – Mel Burns, Amelia Southgate, Tamsin De Bunsen & Molly Clark.

 Mia Adaway making her full debut for Portsmouth this afternoon wearing their all purple away kit as they switch ends at the coin toss, Ipswich to kick-off the first half wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Referee Stacey Fullicks leading an all female officiating team this afternoon. Portsmouth pressing in midfield the ball put on down the right progress made before Lucy Egan puts her foot in to win the ball back for Ipswich the hosts playing the ball up to Natasha Thomas leading the attack for Ipswich on halfway her header under challenge seeing the ball knocked on for captain Amanda Crump to chase, Laura Ingram defending that side for Portsmouth putting the ball out for a throw.

 A lively start from both sides neither settling on the ball passes rushed, Charmaine True in attack for Portsmouth playing the ball out to Eilidh Currie breaking into space on the left to the byline whips a high ball into the box comfortably taken above her head by Ipswich goalkeeper, Nikita Runnacles. Currie getting some joy out wide left for Portsmouth finding space again puts a squared ball across the top of the Ipswich area the ball cleared by Lindsey Cooper. 

 The visitors pushing forwards joy on the flanks, Ipswich winning it back unable to get an attack going Jazz Younger stopping their advance on halfway keeping Portsmouth inside their opponents half. True coming out to the right flicks the ball inside for her captain Jade Bradley, a superb crossfield ball to send Ingram away with the ball on the left taking it on, Crump with the sliding tackle to halt her advance for Ipswich the ball out for a throw. 

Laura Ingram carrying the ball forwards for Portsmouth FC Women

Ingram with the ball at her feet on the attack for Portsmouth down the left sends it on for True back to goal 25 yards out looks to spin in behind her marker, Paige Peake in close challenges to prevent the attacker getting into the box beyond. Ipswich taking longer to settle have seen little of the attack in the opening quarter hour standing firm at the back as Portsmouth come on. Crump is brought down on the right giving Ipswich a chance to put players forwards as they are awarded the free-kick. Peake over the ball plays it in towards the crowd at the top of the box far post running in, headed goalwards but high onto the roof of the net. 

Natasha Thomas and Jazz Younger challenge for the ball

Portsmouth giving free-kicks away their bench unhappy as decisions go against them. Peake over another set-piece out wide the ball played long into the box, controlled well and cleared by Younger for Portsmouth. Ipswich finding a bit of momentum going forwards Abbie Lafayette going out to the left taking the ball on pace before sending in a dangerous ball across the face of goal Sophie Peskett running in far post pressure on the defender who slices the ball behind for a corner kick. An inviting delivery from the corner players up no one can get a telling touch. 

Blue Wilson bringing the ball down for Ipswich

Portsmouth launch a rapid counter attack True deep on the right into the box with the back heel out Currie making a central run 20 out has support coming from Bradley on the overlap to her left rolls the ball into her path, Peskett running back sliding into the tackle for Ipswich before Bradley can unleash a shot. All action, challenges coming in from both sides pace can’ take your eyes off it for a second. Causing both sides to rush their passes a little no one taking their time on the ball. Currie coming back to defend for Portsmouth as Crump with support from Peskett and Thomas looks to make ground on the right. Crump brought down again another free-kick awarded Peake to play the ball in towards the top of the area the ball knocked down runs wide for a goal-kick.

Portsmouth captain Jade Bradley shielding the ball

  Adaway races forwards for Portsmouth on the left into space as Currie finds her with the pass taking it into the corner cuts back to cross the ball finding the side netting. Hayley Bridge on the ball right for Portsmouth over halfway puts the pass infield for Bradley 30 yards out pulls the trigger her shot falling wide of the far post. Peskett picks up the ball for Ipswich right taking players on skips past one into space turning inside is closed down before she can get a cross away. 

Sophie Peskett on the attack for Ipswich Town Women

An even contest both side cancelling each other out somewhat, Portsmouth taking the ball on down the right wing, James with support from Bridge getting a corner kick. The ball put into the box played back to the taker her 2nd cross in cleared by Crump central. Portsmouth keep coming another corner the ball cleared straight to Bridge passed into Rowe inside the D she sends in a curling shot the ball confidently caught by Runnacles. Half and hour played. Thomas for the majority of the match so far has been close guarded by the Portsmouth defence, moving out to the left as Ipswich build in attack the ball rolled into her turns well to get inside attack the box shooting the ball flying wide across goal. The fouls mounting up Anna Grey the first player to go into the referees book with 36 minutes played.

GOAL! Ipswich send players forwards as they win a free-kick wide on the left inside the Portsmouth half. Peake coming over to take plays in a fantastic delivery racing through the six yards box players running to try and meet it, Thomas closest, the ball finding it’s way through everyone into the bottom corner. No doubt about the scorer as the Ipswich players race over to congratulate Peake the defender with her 7th goal of the season.

Paige Peake opens the scoring for Ipswich Town Women

Portsmouth frustrated pressing the attack Ipswich battling well to close the ball down Adaway seeing an effort charged down, Currie’s left wing cross long at the far post with James racing in. Currie again on the ball a driving run into the final third Ipswich coming back on her to crowd her off the ball. Would talk about someone else but Currie dominates the notes right now a determined run with the ball central is finally brought to a halt by Ipswich’s Blue Wilson 25 yards from goal. Currie with a crack from distance moments later 30 yards out the shot held by Runnacles.

Eilidh Currie on the ball for Portsmouth FC Women

Portsmouth coming on at the end of the first period Currie pulling up in frustration as she is caught offside, just, as Rowe plays a great through ball in behind the Ipswich defence. The visitors seeing the woodwork struck in injury time True having latched onto a misplaced goalkick sending in a looping strike from 20 yards out the ball cannoned off the bar.

Half-time Ipswich Town Women 1-0 Portsmouth FC Women

  A fast paced first half comes to an end with Ipswich holding a narrow advantage, Paige Peake’s 37th minute goal the difference between the sides. Both sides slow to settle Portsmouth finding momentum in attack getting forwards, space out wide Currie in particular finding joy in the left, Nikita Runnacles hardly tested however. Likewise Hannah Haughton up the other end for Portsmouth. Ipswich taking longer to settle hardly had any attack early on defended well, closing down free-kicks given away eventually taking advantage of one to score. Competitive, Portsmouth frustrated just a single goal in it however all to play for 2nd half. Extra-time and penalties if required.

  No changes for either side at the break the Portsmouth getting the game restarted on the attack, Adaway getting forwards on the left to support Currie, Peskett back to help Peake the pair preventing a cross coming in. Currie comes again on the left sending in a low cross the ball deflected behind for a corner kick. Put in high the ball cleared Eloise King aiming to send Lafayette away Portsmouth recovering to prevent the break. 

Ipswich’s Abbie Lafayette looking to close down Portsmouth’s Jade Bradley

  Ipswich build through the middle Wilson the Crump out to Lafayette she releases Grey bursting away into space on the left, Younger coming across puts in the challenge for Portsmouth the ball sent out for a throw. Ipswich from the throw the ball to King’s feet plays it central for Crump a brilliant chip over the top sees Thomas in behind left into the box fires in a vicious ball across the six yard box attacked far post, a corner the result despite Portsmouth protests for a foul on their defender. The corner swung into the box headed clear. 

Ipswich Town Women’s Natasha Thomas

 Ipswich lively at the start of the 2nd half have Portsmouth on the back foot pressing the attack looking for a 2nd goal, Grey, Lafayette and Crump all making good runs. Run the risk of being caught out the other end, Rowe working hard on the ball in the middle for Portsmouth sending it forwards for True making the run, Cooper reading it at the back giving herself room to intercept and clear for Ipswich. Peskett’s turn to get on the attack for Ipswich a surging run with the ball on the left runs into traffic. 

Anna Grey looking to turn in behind for Ipswich

 King links up with Thomas in attack for Ipswich rolling the ball on for Thomas to take on into the box makes a run towards the far post Thomas left putting a pacey cross through the six yard box defended at the far post Ipswich quick to retrieve Crump putting it inside with King free, her shot charged down. Ipswich winning a corner on the right the ball pinging around inside the box Portsmouth struggling to get it clear Ipswich unable to latch onto a shot. The hour fast approaching and Ipswich make the first change of the match King the player coming off in attack to be replaced by Maddie Biggs.

Eloise King racing after the ball for as Ipswich break

 Haughton with a fantastic save for Portsmouth, as Peskett right robs the ball from Currie and charges in behind to shoot on the angle her low driven shot deflected wide across goal as Haughton gets down to it at her near post a corner awarded. Ipswich on top Portsmouth respond with their first change of the match, Molly Clark on for Adaway. Lafayette plays the ball up to Biggs and Thomas in attack for Ipswich 20 yards out the pair combine Thomas with the lay off, Biggs with the turn left of the D screws her shot wide. 

Danielle Rowe in the thick of the action for Portsmouth FC Women

Peake winning the header at the back for Ipswich as Bradley getting room in the middle plays it up to for Currie left side. Thomas on the ball central for Ipswich turns playing it on for Biggs to run in on goal one on one with the keeper, commits Haughton to the dive takes the ball around her to the right as players race back to cover the goal, the angle tight Biggs sets herself to strike, Tonks on the line making a superb block for Portsmouth, Thomas closing in on the loose ball, is scrambled away.

Rebekah Tonks saving on the line for Portsmouth

Into the final 20 minutes play getting a little stretched, both sides needing a goal Ipswich to give themselves breathing room albeit a little and Portsmouth to get back on level terms, despite being frustrated throughout the match confident they will come back. Amelia Southgate entering the game for Portsmouth in place of Bridge. A minute later Tasmin De Bunsen comes on for the visitors replacing James. Wilson goes into the book for Ipswich. Clark with a shot from all of 40 yards out drops wide of the Ipswich goal.

 

Currie a constant threat out left for Portsmouth gets away on the ball taking it on towards the box preparing to pull the trigger Peake gets back on her to make a brilliant last ditch tackle to put the ball out for a throw. The game into the final 8 minutes. Ingram pushing on for Portsmouth in the latter stages Lafayette back to help in defence for Ipswich the pace of the match showing no let up. Ipswich determined as Portsmouth commit more players forwards Bradley on for De Bunsen has support with Ingram right her cross into the box just over the jumping Clark in the middle. 

 True left side gathering the ball turns to run at goal shooting on the angle an comfortable save at her near post for Runnacles. The visitors on the attack in the closing minutes, Ipswich making a change in the 89th minute Zoe Cossey on for Thomas. Ipswich with a free-kick in stoppage time Peake with the ball in Lafayette central inside the box almost clear to nod home, Haughton with the ball firmly in her grasp. Younger sent up top in attack at the death Ipswich though keeping the ball up the other end the final whistle blows and the hosts celebrate wildly as they make history reaching the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history.

Ipswich celebrate at the final whistle

Full time Ipswich Town Women 1-0 Portsmouth FC Women 

 A fantastic result for Ipswich Town Women beating Portsmouth 1-0 to reach the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time. Paige Peake’s 37th minute goal proving the difference over a tough 90 minutes. Portsmouth for their part never at any moment out of the game just couldn’t find that telling goal that could have sent the tie into extra-time. despite soaking up alot of Ipswich pressure early in the 2nd half as the hosts looked to build on their narrow lead. Well contested fast paced, little time to settle on the ball, lots of free-kicks given away but no malice shown through out. A great advert for the game. A fantastic crowd of 368 there to watch the game.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match a few contenders as always and a difficult decision. For Portsmouth, Danielle Rowe was outstanding in the middle covering plenty of ground to win and keep hold of the ball set up attacks, out of the left Eilidh Currie a constant threat, Jazz Younger and Rebekah Tonks in defence. A great all round team performance from Ipswich battled at times got forwards well, Amanda Crump in the middle with some good challenges and runs. Anna Grey too getting forwards in attack. The award though goes to Paige Peake scoring the winning goal of course but some fantastic ball in from her set-pieces aswell as several fantastic challenges in defence.

  Congratulation to Ipswich Town Women on their historic win all ears now on the draw for the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup live on Talksport radio tomorrow at 5pm. A great game to start the decade many more to come thanks to everyone for their help today.

 

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Leyton Orient WFC

Sunday 15th December

FAWNL South East Division One

A trip west to St Neots this Sunday to watch a game from FAWNL South East Division One, Cambridge United WFC taking on Leyton Orient WFC. 

  A highly competitive league once again, Ipswich Town Women’s young guns leading the way as we head towards the end of the year, but the Suffolk side has a host of sides hot on their heels well positioned to challenge for the top, amongst those Leyton Orient WFC in 4th just 4 points off the leaders. 

 Cambridge United WFC  find themselves at the wrong end of the table, 2nd bottom with just 5 points on the board so far this season winning just one league match. Not the start they wanted as they moved to a new home this season, St Neots Town FC hosting their first team and Development sides games now aswell as their new training base. The loss of several key players during the summer hasn’t helped with a few more departures the squad found itself battling for points. Have yet to keep a clean sheet this season whilst frustratingly the majority of their defeat have been by a single goal margin. 

  Wanted or not Cambridge United WFC have had an enforced lay off of six weeks without a league game, this though has seen others pulled into the battle at the bottom, A chance to get others back from injury notably midfielder Amber Cantwell. Returning to action last weekend was always going to be a tough ask away to leaders Ipswich who had scored 28 times during Cambridge’s down time come into their final match of 2019 off the back of a 5-0 defeat.

This afternoon’s match is also Leyton Orient WFC’s first in the league for over a month, albeit for different reasons as the London club has been involved in several cup competitions, reaching the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup were knocked out by Southern Premier Division side Portsmouth FC Women last weekend. A strong start to the league season now an established side in South East Division One have lost just the one game so far this season up in 4th amongst the sides challenging the leaders themselves. Otesha Charles amongst the goals for Leyton Orient early in the season top scorer with 14, was unavailable for today’s match.

Knew yesterday as the men’s league game had fallen foul to a waterlogged pitch the game was under threat this Sunday, St Neots Town FC though boasts a large 3G pitch beside the main stadium. The game switched to that pitch the stadium itself situated in a new development on the outskirts of St Neots. The 3G pitch fairly new offering plenty of width and space around it. The weather bright but chilly calm, a few clouds around but no chance of rain the low sun behind one end would cause problems during the match for the players.

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Liz Pamplin, Abi Davies, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Jemma Moore, Albany Hodgson, Gisela Otten, Amy Howlett, Emma Jenkins, Amber Cantwell & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Jessicer Thsibanga & Chloe Armstrong.

  Leyton Orient WFC starting XI – Latoya Smith, Cheryl Anderson, Jasmine Auguste, Leyre Bastyr, Ria Collins, Egle Trezzi, Lisa Holmback, Francesca Ali, Sophie Le Marchand (C), Hayley Barton & Ellie Stenning. Subs – Connie Montiel-McCann, Michelle Young, Pinja Piira & Allison McCann.

 A change of ends at the coin toss with Leyton Orient captain Sophie Le Marchand opting to have the sun at her sides backs in the first half. Cambridge then to get the first half underway, wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks, Leyton Orient in an all blue kit, The ball closed down quickly by both sides straight away not getting out of the middle third Leyton Orient with a throw in on the right trying to make in roads behind their opponents defence.

The ball staying that side Cambridge get a throw on halfway, into Amber Cantwell she brings it down well turning to pass to striker Kelley Blanchflower central, she sees Amy Howlett breaking away down the right wing into space puts a great diagonal pass into her run takes it on before whipping a cross into the box the ball won and cleared by Leyton Orient’s Cheryl Anderson. A lively start to the game energy from both sides snapping in to make challenges Cambridge coming out on top in the early 50/50 exchanges. 

  Hayley Barton gathering the ball into her feet for Leyton Orient left side plays the pass infield into Egle Trezzi she spreads play up the left for Le Marchand to attack driving on towards the box, Abi Davies tackles for Cambridge to regain possession. Leyton Orient quick to get the ball back a cross fired into the area from the left side, Ellie Stenning up to challenge for it central knocks it down for Le Marchand to hit top of the box left side struck well the ball races wide across goal. 

Hayley Barton in to winning the ball for Leyton Orient

  Cantwell and Blanchflower combining once more the ball passed into the middle as Gisela Otten moves forwards plays a superb weighed pass out to Howlett on the move down the right taking on the full back gets inside to lift in a cross the ball too close to the keeper, Latoya Smith claiming high at her near post. Albany Hodgson does well tackling to prevent Leyton Orient bringing the ball out from the back keeping the pressure on in the final third for Cambridge.

Kelley Blanchflower and Amber Cantwell looking to get the better of the Leyton Orient defence 

  Francesca Ali strong into the challenge winning the momentum for Leyton Orient sets Le Marchand away on the left, Cambridge’s defence pushed back. Barton latching onto a stray goalkick lets fly from the angle a long way out her shot over. Jemma Moore doing the defensive work for Cambridge seeing the ball out on the right for a goalkick as Anderson looks to play in Stenning. A even start to the game both sides competing well Cambridge have a throw left side into Blanchflower the Cambridge attacker turns well and looks to take the ball on a determined run into the area, stopped as Ria Collins goes into challenge the ball deflected out to the right picked up by Howlett who lashes it goalwards, Smith with a smart save a glove up at her near post to tip the ball on away across goal. 

Leyton Orient WFC’s Ria Collins

 Stenning is brought down bringing the ball on through the middle for Leyton Orient a free-kick awarded, Barton over it a floated ball into the box Cambridge captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt up highest getting her head on the ball knocking it down outside the area falls to Lisa Holmback strikes the ball on the volley her attempt over the bar. Cambridge mount an attack Emma Jenkins winning the ball in the middle Cantwell and Blanchflower ahead of her a good one two the ball played out to Howlett right her shot saved by Smith.

Cambridge winning a corner the ball initially defended by Leyton Orient, it’s Hodgson again who prevents the visitors breaking in attack the ball staying in the final third Jenkins is fouled 35 yards out left side, she is up to take it herself goes for goal a curling ball falls wide of the right post. Trezzi battling for possession gets the ball forwards for Le Marchand left side her early cross defended by Cambridge’s Carrie Bennett. Barton does well for Leyton Orient attacking right to win a corner. The ball played in towards the top of the area Trezzi inside the D meets it first time her strike angling wide races past the far post.

Ria Collins and Emma Jenkins challenge for the ball

Le Marchand left side in attack the ball fired up to her controls well on her chest to turn and strike the ball on the angle, read by Cambridge goalkeeper Liz Pamplin down to claim at her near post. Ali with good work in the middle for Leyton Orient looks to pick put Holmback making a run ahead of her, Moore stepping in the tackle and win the ball for Cambridge. Free-kicks being given away Hodgson brings down Holmback central, Trezzi puts her attempt over. Up the other end play is brought back after Cantwell is pulled down with no advantage. Hodgson to play the ball forwards, Leyton Orient defend, somewhat unfairly as far as Blanchflower is concerned protesting she was held down, her appeals waved away.

 One too many for Hodgson as she is eventually booked after a long lecture from the referee. Left side Barton to float the ball into the box, Collins with the run the ball knocked on into the mix scrambled behind for a corner. Taken from the right a good delivery met by Collins 10 yards out a looping header goalwards straight at Pamplin catches it high. Leyton Orient started to get on top getting the ball into the final third well Ali on for Stenning 20 yards out across to Barton right side into the box, Cambridge closing down the hosts looking to attack quickly through the middle Ali in to break it up. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Albany Hodgson

  Leyton Orient’s Holmback getting her side a corner on the right played long to the far post the ball headed clear outside the area picked up by Leyton Orient’s Leyre Bastyr strikes in a low shot Pamplin diving makes the save. Stenning’s turn for a lecture from the referee as she goes into the book. Jenkins fouled for Cambridge on the left Hodgson on the delivery long to the far post runners attacking it Smith with the instinctive save at close range a scramble inside the box the ball coming out to Jenkins her shot blocked. 

  Jenkins on the left turning on the ball good work to get in behind swings in a cross along the face of the Leyton Orient area, Otten racing forward striking it 1st time the Dutch players effort racing narrowly wide. Plenty of energy being put in by both sides Barton bringing the ball on in attack left side looks to come infield taking it across the top of the area looking for room to shoot lets fly the ball taking a deflection off a Cambridge leg the sting taken off the shot Pamplin can safely claim. Leyton Orient pressing late on win a corner on the left put long across the six yard box, Ali beyond the far post heading it back across goal a vital clearance by the defender covering the post for Cambridge.

Francesca Ali’s header put back across goal

Cambridge’s Gisela Otten preparing to tackle Leyton Orient’s Lisa Holmback

  GOAL! Cambridge break late into the first half Howlett away into space on the right Blanchflower with her getting the edge on the defence in the middle the ball from Howlett rolled on into her path right of the D into the box Blanchflower pulls the trigger early to fire her shot low past Smith before she can properly set herself 1-0.

  Time in the first half for Cambridge to mount one last attack Jenkins fouled somewhat painfully a free-kick awarded 40 yards out central, Hodgson on it tries her luck from distance on target Smith moving across her goal needed to keep her eye on it but drops before it an cause her trouble brings it down safely. 

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-0 Leyton Orient WFC

  A narrow lead for Cambridge at half-time, Blanchflower slotting the ball past the keeper late in the first half. A fairly even contest, lively players competitive across the pitch. Several robust challenges nothing malicious however the game played in good spirits. Cambridge gaining confidence Leyton Orient building well creating opportunities nothing clear cut yet though. 

Sophie Le Marchand bringing the ball down for Leyton Orient

No changes for either side at half-time. The sun very low now light starting to fade, Leyton Orient to get the 2nd period underway Cambridge defending a 1-0 lead. Davies at right back for Cambridge dealing with a high ball forwards. Leyton Orient pressing from the off in the 2nd half Trezzi supporting Le Marchand left side the pair getting a throw in deep, put into Le Marchand edge of the box she heads it on into the centre, Burt getting it clear for Cambridge. Up the other end Collins putting in the tackle defending against Jenkins as she looks to break for Cambridge. 

Le Marchand gathering the ball wide left turns infield 30 yards out is lining up a strike, blocked by Otten as she throws herself into the block in front of her. Leyton Orient press the attack left side a cross whipped into the area nodded out by Moore central falling straight to Stenning right of the D her shrike back blocked by Burt deflected out to the left Trezzi latching onto it firing a shot in on the angle Pamplin down at her near post to save.

  Cambridge quick to get up the other end win a corner on the right, the ball into a crowded six yard box, Smith rising well amongst the melee to punch down the ball still in play inside the box, Auguste blocking Cambridge force a 2nd corner. The ball cleared Cambridge win it back inside the Leyton Orient half Blanchflower and Jenkins combine the latter seeing her shot from 20 yards out blocked. Blanchflower picking out Howlett getting away on the right her low cross cut back across the six yard box snatched into her body by Smith. 

A lively contest still very even, Cambridge can’t afford to sit on a 1 nil lead. Le Marchand providing a good outlet in attack for Leyton Orient on the left Trezzi picking her out with the pass, Davies sticking out a foot just taking the ball away from her as she looks to turn in behind. Leyton Orient’s Holmback right puts the ball into the box for Le Marchand who checks back before shooting a curling effort headed over by Burt for a corner. The corner defended the ball dropping for Holmback right of the D, her shot sliced falls wide of goal.

  Barton bringing the ball on through the middle looks to put Le Marchand through on goal as she breaks central, right side Burt stays on her making a fine tackle inside the box to take the ball away from her. Auguste has a go from distance 30 yards out well struck but not troubling Pamplin in the Cambridge goal. Leyton Orient continue to press breaking quickly right in attack the ball launched into the area Stenning and Le Marchand the runners, Stenning near post looking to shoot on the volley does quite get enough on the ball helping it on towards goal Pamplin is down on it bravely as Le Marchand goes over her.

Jasmine Auguste looking to get in behind for Leyton Orient

 The visitors continue to knock on the door Barton with great work on the ball getting inside the box to shoot from the right her attempt headed away in front of goal by Davies. Trezzi putting the ball forwards for Stenning in the box heads it down for Auguste bombing on from the left her run blocked keeps possession to win a corner. Cambridge look to break Cantwell stooped by Bastyr a good challenge to deny her. Blanchflower patient leading the line for Cambridge ready to go should the ball be presented to her. 

 GOAL! That patience rewarded as Cambridge get the ball out from the back long into her making a run left channel getting free to attack the keeper rushing out to met her corner of the area Blanchflower lifting the ball over Smith, wheeling away in celebration even before the ball has bounced into the empty net beyond 2-0.

Striker Kelley Blanchflower puts Cambridge into a 2 goal lead

 25 minutes left to play Cambridge with a 2nd goal, Leyton Orient look for an immediate response Anderson with a strike from distance wide across the area. Howlett tracking back in defence to support Davies as Le Marchand looks to get the ball down and drive into the area. Alot of effort put in by Cambridge, Leyton Orient creating chances just aren’t getting the rub of the green in the final third. Play paused as Hodgson requires treatment but okay to continue the floodlights switched on getting very dull with the sun fallen below the ground. 

Leyton Orient captain, Sophie Le Marchand

  Cambridge winning a free-kick wide on the right level with the penalty spot Cantwell to take a well struck ball flying in towards goal smashes against the bar an out of play. Le Marchand strong on the ball puts it on for Stenning looking to get into the area, Moore diving in to make the tackle puts it out for a throw in for Cambridge. Blanchflower picking the ball up on halfway turns and looks to drive on with it towards the Leyton Orient area closed down 20 yards out the ball is played back towards Smith picking it up the referee blowing up for a foul handling from a back pass.

 GOAL! Cambridge with an indirect free kick inside the Leyton Orient box left of goal 8 yards or so out Cantwell and Jenkins close by Cantwell with the touch back to Jenkins to smash towards goal, through everybody finding its way into the back of the net putting Cambridge 3-0 up late in the game.

  The visitors straight on the attack Le Marchand left side winning a corner the ball put into a congested six yard box the flag up against Collins as she rises to head the ball. Leyton Orient make the first change of the game Holmback coming off to be replaced by Connie Montiel-McCann she goes to right back Anderson switching to the left.

Abi Davies bringing the ball out from the back for Cambridge

  Cambridge tiring but a call to arms to keep a clean sheet now the game into the closing 10 minutes Leyton Orient comes forwards Barton shooting from outside the box Pamplin down to her left making the save the ball out for a throw left Le Marchand inside the box turning to shoot wide across goal. Leyton Orient bring on Pinja Piira for Barton. Cambridge make their first change, Cantwell coming off to be replaced by Chloe Armstrong. A strike from distance from Cambridge Otten I think 30 plus yards Smith moving across her goal catching comfortably. 

   Armstrong back to defend well for Cambridge initially then commits a foul outside the box left side bringing down Ali. Trezzi on it goes for goal deflected off the wall spins wide across goal for the corner kick. Leyton Orient push on late in the game looking for a goal Cambridge battling at the back, Le Marchand played in by Piira on the left comes inside to shoot Pamplin unsighted as the ball finds it way through her defence with a great save getting down low to her right to push the ball away. 

  The visitors attacking right the cross put in across the top of the area, falls to Le Marchand left of the D strikes it on the half volley fired wide of goal. Into the final 5 minutes, Auguste and Le Marchand combine left side a throw in brings a foul and free-kick in the corner players forwards the ball sent in Moore injured as she goes up to defend for Cambridge play stopped a head injury. After treatment can’t continue brought off on in her place Jessicer Thsibanga. It just won’t happen for Leyton Orient in front of goal as they mount one last attack Auguste left on for Le Marchand puts in inside for Stenning to shoot outside the box her effort wide across the six yard box.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 3-0 Leyton Orient WFC 

  A massive 3 points won by Cambridge United WFC just their 2nd league win of the season enough to lift them 2 places up to 9th in the South East Division One table. Leyton Orient suffering just their 2nd league defeat of the season. A even game for the majority Cambridge capitalising on individual errors from Leyton Orient to score leading 1 nil at half-time needed a 2nd goal to take the pressure off Blanchflower taking her chances well a 3rd goal coming late on and from a defensive perspective a first clean sheet of the season. Plenty of chances created for Leyton Orient it just wasn’t to be their day in front of goal.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match several contenders once again. Picking out a few performances, Francesca Ali and Egle Trezzi in the middle for Leyton Orient, and Sophie Le Marchand really did deserve to be on the scoresheet having carved out several opportunities. For Cambridge the defence with an huge effort, Kelley Blanchflower with two well taken goals had her hand in the third too. Amy Howlett with some great runs on the right in midfield Gisela Otten with solid game but edging it for me is Albany Hodgson put in some good tackles and prevented Leyton Orient getting forwards on a number of ocassions.

 Another entertaining game from the FAWNL, an even contest Cambridge finding the goals to win the game. My thanks to both sides for their help with the team line-ups today. 

Match Report – Bowers & Pitsea Ladies v Luton Town Ladies

Sunday 8th December

ERWFL Premier Division

 Back on the road this Sunday, a trip down to Essex to watch a game from the ever competitive ERWFL Premier Division, Bowers & Pitsea Ladies v Luton Town Ladies.

Highly competitive in the ERWFL Premier Division this season, Harlow Town Ladies leading the way opening up a gap at the top with 9 straight wins unbeaten so far this season. Incredibly close behind with just 5 points between the sides 2nd to 9th in the table. The standard improving year on year. 

Bowers & Pitsea Ladies playing at the highest level the club has been at winning promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division last season following a 2nd placed finish in Division One collecting their first piece of silverware too the Essex Women’s Trophy. Going from strength to strength since becoming Bowers & Pitsea having previously been Little Thurrock Dynamo’s. The main club itself housing excellent facilities that ground undergoing redevelopment. The core of the squad made up of players who have been with the club since it started this season bringing in a few new faces to bolster the ranks, Donna Fletcher from Hatfield Peveral, also joining from Hatfield Peveral attacker Yasmin Cowley who scored plenty of goals for her previous club as Hatfield rose through the league injured for much of last season undertaking a scholarship in America come the end of the season. Danni Jennings and Megan Harley from Rayleigh Town Ladies also coming in  along with Sade Walters and goalkeeper Violet Hickman. 

 Made a promising start in the Premier Division winning three of their opening 4 matches a run of poor results followed but the club have improved getting back to winning ways back to back wins putting them back amongst the chasing pack well clear of the bottom. Announcing this week an addition to their management team, Terry Harrison coming to the club from Harlow to work along side Darren Fraser and Daniel Foord.  Brings with him coaches Scott Chickelday and Ray Wells as the club looks to kick on.

Luton Town Ladies suffering relegation from the FAWNL last season. Following a period of relevant success in South East Division One challenging for a top 4 finish on several ocassions. Lost a few experienced players blooding alot of young players. Continue to do so have a strong youth set-up with several doing well for the first team. Have brought in defenders Elly Wade and Tanya Blacksley to give experience at the back. Set the early pace in the Premier Division as they look to bounce back straight away. A run in the FA Women’s Cup seeing them fall away from the top, amongst the chasing pack have lost just the once this season. Jess McKay top scorer on 11 goals not available today. Missing a few other presenting opportunities for younger players manager Nikki Baker giving 16-year-old Ellie Sargeant her first start. The sides meeting already this season in the FA Women’s Cup, Luton winning 3-0.

The Len Salmon Stadium the venue for today’s match the ground undergoing redevelopment a state of the art 3G playing surface and surrounding barrier already installed plus seated stands either side of the dugouts. The new addition the main stand a new one being build. Covered seating above the new changing rooms with plans ongoing for more improvements. The old clubhouse with bar and large function room. The weather overcast but dry little threat of rain the sun low in the sky quite a strong wind blowing from one goal mouth to the other.

Bowers & Pitsea Ladies starting XI – Violet Hickman, Keira Adcock, Holly Moore, Donna Fletcher, Danni Jennings, Taylor Adcock (C), Yasmin Cowley, Courtney Fraser, Ebony Moore, Georgia Fraser & Megan Harley. Subs – Danielle Styles, Sade Walters, Sophie Dowman & Atlanta Fuwa.

 Luton Town Ladies starting XI – Kezia Hassall, Rebecca Ferris, Tanya Blacksley, Anne Folan, Elly Wade, Zara Carroll (C), Ellie Sargeant, Erica Byron, Olivia Abraham, Funmi Babalola & Rebecca Kane. Subs – Jade Horsley, Kelsey Gibson & Leah Tomlin.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  An accident on the M25 causing heavy delays affecting Luton’s journey kick-off put back 10 minutes. Luton switching ends at the coin toss to have the wind at their backs first half, Bowers & Pitsea to get the game underway wearing red and white vertical striped shirts, red shorts and socks. Luton in their all navy away kit. The ball pressed in the middle Luton gain possession play the ball out to the left wing, Olivia Abraham looking to take the ball on Keira Adcock across to defend gets fouled in the process winning a free-kick. 

Bowers & Pitsea bringing the ball on through the middle Yasmin Cowley on for Courtney Fraser she spreads play to the right, Ebony Moore looking to get in behind is tackled by Luton’s Tanya Blacksley. Bowers & Pitsea getting players up to press Luton in their final third, captain Taylor Adcock in to win the ball Ebony Moore almost through to the right can’t quite take the ball in her stride. Cowley fouled inside the Luton half a free-kick to Bowers & Pitsea players up as Donna Fletcher sends it in towards the top of the area the ball running through to Georgia Fraser right of the D, aims to turn into the shot Rebecca Ferris throwing out a leg defending for Luton, Bowers & Pitsea press the ball not cleared out to the right Taylor Adcock winning a corner taken short a shot blocked on the edge of the area, Bowers & Pitsea keep the pressure on the ball put across to Georgia Fraser left of goal curls a ball in towards goal, Kezia Hassell with a low catch claiming the ball in goal for Luton.

Olivia Abraham battling for possession of the ball with Bowers & Pitsea’s Keira Adcock.

A good start from the hosts closing the ball down well spreading play. Luton come forwards Ferris on the right putting the pass on for Rebecca Kane running into the channel, Danni Jennings going with her for Bowers & Pitsea putting in a great tackle to win the ball back. Jennings called into action at the back moments later for Bowers & Pitsea again against Kane as a fortunate deflection sees the attacker run in behind taking the ball into the area forced left by Jennings recovering well the defender preventing the cross. Luton beginning to find some momentum of their own Ferris forwards as the visitors attack making a run into the box as the ball is helped on Bowers & Pitsea goalkeeper Violet Hickman down bravely to save at her feet.

Taylor Adcock captaining Bowers & Pitsea bringing the ball on

Courtney Fraser with a long range shot struck 30 yards out off target as a defensive clearance is put straight to her. The wind behind then Luton have pace in attack with Kane and Funmi Babalola looking to make runs central and into the channels. Erica Byron getting forwards from a central position as the ball is fed through to her left side outside the box good close ball control jinks inside getting a shot away as she is closed down the ball put wide across the face of goal.

GOAL! 15 minutes gone and Luton open the scoring with a goal that is as route one as you’ll ever get. The ball in the hands on Hassell at the back launches it forwards wind assisted the Bowers & Pitsea centre backs both go for it and both miss bouncing on in behind Kane is clear to take it on into the box and set herself to send it wide of the keeper 0-1.

The tail wind strong and Luton are looking to use it to their advantage, a high clearance from Ferris on the right puts Kane away on the flank and she races after it, the angle against her as she strikes the ball on the volley her cross/shot put across the face of goal. Byron left side strikes a shot from 25 yards out the ball racing wide past the far post. Bowers & Pitsea build through the middle Taylor Adcock out to Ebony Moore right side down the line cuts it back for Georgia Fraser to fire in a diagonal ball low towards the near post Cowley with the run, Elly Wade defending for Luton.

Courtney Fraser playing the ball for Bowers & Pitsea

 Kane a constant threat in attack for Luton getting in behind after the ball put long on the left wraps her foot around the ball crossing the ball in towards the near post, Hickman able to get her gloves around the ball first not put off by Babalola running in. Folan defending for Luton, firstly stepping out from the back to break up a Bowers & Pitsea move through the middle, the 2nd time heading behind for a corner as the ball is crossed in from the right. The delivery from the corner over Fletcher jumping near post falls to Georgia Fraser no shot on lays it back to the top of the area for Courtney Fraser her ball fizzed back in collected by Cowley can’t dig it out of her feet to get a shot away before being closed down.

Luton’s Funmi Babalola challenging for the ball

  Abraham is brought down on the left attacking for Luton a free-kick awarded. Luton captain Zara Carroll a dead ball specialist to take out wide players forwards into the box she takes on the shot struck well the ball smashing against the crossbar dropping down into the area presented to Byron outside the six yard box her instinctive shot sent over on the volley.

Zara Carroll’s free-kick striking the bar for Luton

 The game quite open Bowers & Pitsea enjoying the better possession getting the ball forwards well the final ball lacking at times Luton keeping a good shape at the back. Kane in attack for Luton getting hold of the ball 25 yards out drives on twisting and turning to get into the area, Jennings getting back on her lunging in to make the tackle prevent her shooting the ball loose comes to Abraham to strike outside the area fires it wide across goal 

Rebecca Kane breaking in behind for Luton Town Ladies

 Half an hour gone and Bowers & Pitsea make the first change Fletcher coming off at the back to be replaced by Danielle Styles. Hassell kicking the ball long again bouncing on through Kane looking to get it under control, Jennings having given herself space to adjust getting to her to make the challenge and win the ball back. Megan Harley taking the ball on down the left makes ground winning a throw in in the corner, the ball headed on from the side of the area looping up, Hassell can claim above her head no one coming in, her resulting kick up field running on getting Luton a corner. 

Megan Harley bringing the ball forwards for Bowers & Pitsea

  Ellie Sargeant solid in the middle along side Carroll for Luton gets forwards running into space right as players are attracted to the left firing in a low cross Hickman down well at the top of her six yard box to pluck the ball into her body. 

  GOAL! 35 minutes played and Luton double their lead, Byron making some useful runs from midfield forwards in the left as Luton build 25 yards out strikes the ball well, a looping shot that flies over the keepers head and into the back of the net 0-2.

Erica Byron doubling Luton’s lead

  Harley with a great ball forwards cuts inside Luton defend, Cowley regains possession central presses on closed down top of the area plays it wide to Ebony Moore who wins Bowers & Pitsea a corner. Whipped in central taken confidently by Hassall. Attacking right side a throw in high up the pitch Keira Adcock plays in Ebony Moore tuning inside the box to get a shot away drilled wide at the near post. Bowers & Pitsea enjoying a strong spell towards the end of the first half another corner won left side Georgia Fraser putting in across the face of goal met on the volley at the far post by Jennings send over. 

 Entering the closing 5 minutes of the first half Bowers & Pitsea on the attack Harley on the ball left side playing the pass on for Courtney Fraser making the run into the channel cuts inside well to deliver a cross central into Georgia Fraser her first touch wrong footing the defender giving her space to shot set to pull the trigger Carroll dives in get a foot in to block the ball. Bowers & Pitsea keep the pressure on a throw won deep on the left Georgia Fraser crossing in Cowley can’t get it under control cleared out to the top of the box Keira Adcock latching onto it her shot held by the keeper. 

Luton Town Ladies captain, Zara Carroll.

  Luton always ready to break hit Bowers & Pitsea on the counter Kane peeling off the defence onto a through ball to turn and strike left of the D, Hickman making a good save with her legs keeping the ball out. Carroll fouled bringing the ball forwards 35 yards out picks herself up to take it put in on target Hickman behind it palming the ball up clattering into the post as she pushes it away from the advancing attacker chasing in on the follow up. Okay after treatment. Bowers & Pitsea with one last attack in the first half Courtney Fraser winning the ball her pass forwards unable to fin Georgia Fraser running clear on the right, cleared straight to Cowley right outside the area can’t get a clean strike of the ball her scuffed shot gathered by the keeper.

Half-time Bowers & Pitsea Ladies 0-2 Luton Town Ladies

  Luton leading 2-0 at the break have created the better opportunities in front of goal using the wind to their advantage. Solid at the back Bowers & Pitsea unable to get in behind have enjoyed the majority of the possession looking to move the ball around get players forwards the final ball lacking at times and the clinical finish lacking. Trailing by 2 goals pressure late on to try and find a goal to narrow the advantage Luton always ready to hit on the counter attack.

 A change for Bowers & Pitsea at half-time Sade Walters on for Courtney Fraser. The light starting to fade and with it the wind as Luton get the 2nd half underway. Taylor Adcock putting her foot in to win the ball in the middle for Bowers & Pitsea passes the ball forwards for Fraser she looks to release Ebony Moore on the right in behind the ball running into the box, Hassell quickly out able to claim first for Luton. Bowers & Pitsea pushing forwards at the start of the 2nd half Harley’s shot from outside the box taking a deflection as it runs wide across the six yard out out for a corner. The delivery into a congested six yard box, Luton scramble it away to safety. 

Tanya Blacksley looking to clear the ball for Luton

 Bryon takes hold of the ball in attack for Luton right side has support from Babalola out wide plays her in she takes on the shot on the angle Hickman down in front of goal central pushing the ball wide past the far post for a corner kick. Folan putting the ball in over.

  Jennings busy at the back for Bowers & Pitsea winning the race with Babalola to take the ball as Kane flicks it on. Kane beating the offside trap runs in behind central into the box, Jennings with a great recovery to get back on her putting in a challenge six yards out to prevent the shot getting the ball back to her keeper. Cowley up the other end 30 yards out with time and space not closed down encouraged to shoot puts the ball wide. Up the other end Kane is played through central into the box gets a shot away Hickman sliding in to block saving well the rebound out favouring her defence to clear. 

Ellie Sargeant battling in midfield for Luton Town Ladies

  Sargeant on the ball for Luton spots Abraham moving on the left the pass into her feet the flag goes up as she strays offside. Play stopped for an injury as Sargeant and Holly Moore collide the latter coming off worse is okay after receiving treatment. A higher line from Bowers & Pitsea now as they look to get a goal back Kane finding room in behind as she moves across the field away to the right strikes a shot on the half volley on target fizzed in Hickman palms the ball up into the air taking the catch even as Byron closes her down on the line. Hickman catching well from another Kane ball in from the right as she moves across the back line to get in behind beating the flag. 

  Sargeant putting the ball on for Abraham breaking left her diagonal ball into Kane top of the area, Styles in to make the tackle win it for Bowers & Pitsea. Luton make a change with just over 20 minutes left to play, Abraham coming off on the left, coming on Jade Horsley to make her Luton debut. Sophie Dowman on for Bowers & Pitsea replacing Ebony Moore. Jennings with more superb work in defence for Bowers & Pitsea first defending against Kane as she looks to get away then standing up to block Babalola as she looks to drive on with the ball. The floodlights needed are switched on. 

Bowers & Pitsea’s Danielle Styles

 Horsley on the left picking out Kane as she makes the run ahead of her into the channel Holly Moore defending for Bowers & Pitsea. The hosts get forwards to win a corner the ball played in near post defended by Luton’s Blacksley. The game open both sides looking for the next goal Bowers & Pitsea to pressure Luton late on, the visitors to make the 3 points safe Luton’s Horsley adding pace to the attack runs into space on the ball whips a great cross in across goal Babalola racing in heads over from six yards out. 

  Carroll back to cut out a cross put in from the left, Harley getting a 2nd opportunity to put the all in lands on the roof of the net. Byron brought down in the middle a free-kick for Luton another opportunity for Carroll to put the ball forwards knocked down well by Kane central top of the area into the path of Babalola her shot from 20 yards out straight into the gloves of the keeper. Ebony Moore back on for Bowers & Pitsea with a good piece control central lays the ball back for Holly Moore to curl in a shot from 25 yards out doesn’t trouble the keeper the game entering the final 5 minutes.  

 The wind returning getting decidedly chilly too. Harley firing in a shot from range drops short controlled by Fraser turns to lay it back to Dowman top of the box leaning back her attempt put over the bar. 

GOAL! Into the final minute and Luton hit Bowers & Pitsea with a late sucker punch to kill off the game. Byron lifting a great pass forwards Kane having beaten the offside trap on several ocassions is offside this time but no flag raised continues her run carrying the ball to the top of the area right of the D puts her foot through the shot sending a fiercely struck low drive past the keeper 0-3.

2 goals for Luton’s Rebecca Kane

  From the restart Fraser takes on the long range effort in an attempt to catch the keeper off guard, falls short however Hassell gathering. Kane and Babalola combining in attack on the right winning Luton a corner kick, defended by Fraser, Bowers and Pitsea race forwards on the counter attack Holly Moore carrying the ball forwards on to Ebony Moore inside to Dowman 25 out lays it back to Holly Moore to hit first time the ball racing narrowly wide of the post. 

Full time Bowers & Pitsea Ladies 0-3 Luton Town Ladies

  Luton winning 3-0 to claim the 3 points lift them up the Premier Division table. A solid performance keeping it tight at the back waiting for their opportunities to attack, 3 clinical finishes to win the game. Tight at the back hard to break down. Bowers & Pitsea enjoying good spell of possession moving the ball well, just lacking in the final third, good opportunities created just not exploited. 

 Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, several contenders as usual. For Bowers & Pitsea no doubting has to be Danni Jennings put in a real shift at the back on hand on several ocassions to put in the vital tackle. Overall hard to single out an individual for Luton the defence solid keeping a good shape. Carroll in the middle and Kane up front with some good runs the award though goes to Erica Byron several timely runs through the middle setting up Kane for her 2nd goal and a superb hit for her goal.

Always competitive in the ERWFL the Premier Division a strong league this year. Good to get a trip down to Essex in been a while. Safe to say I haven’t missed the M25 though. My thanks to both clubs for the team details as ever much appreciated.

Match Report – Needham Market Women v Newmarket Town Ladies

Sunday 24th November

ERWFL Division One North

 League action this weekend on Women’s Football East, a game from the ERWFL Division One North, newly promoted Needham Market Women hosting Newmarket Town Ladies.

 A meeting between two sides that have several similarities, a young talented squad looking to make an impact. Needham Market Women just over a year old formed during last summer made a great start one of several new sides competing in an expanded Suffolk Women’s Division. Made a strong debut pushing eventual champions East Bergholt United Ladies all the way in the title race aswell as reaching the finals of both the League and County Cup. Moving straight up to join the ERWFL along with East Bergholt, the club setting up a new Reserves side to compete the the Suffolk Women’s Division, going well with a 100% record after 7 games played.

Freya Louis one of the youngest managers around looking after the 1st team and pretty much involved with everything to do with the club. Passionate about her role and loving it to the max, writes the Happy Gaffer blog in her spare time and most recently has set up the #WeAre twitter account with the aim to celebrate females in all roles within the game and to encourage more participation, to find out more go to and follow @UK_WeAre

 Stepping up to the regional set-up Needham Market into Division One split into two divisions this season North & South. Are in the North league along with East Bergholt, Cambridge City Ladies Development and Gorleston Ladies also new this season with AFC Sudbury, Histon, King’s Lynn and Newmarket seeing 8 competing. Has been a stop start season so far for Needham Market which can often be the case for ERWFL in the first half of the season. 3 league  games played so far yielding 4 points. Cup games dominating for the large part the early stage of the League Cup seeing the Division One teams divided up into 4 groups of 4 playing each other once with the group winners going on to join the Premier Division sides in the knockout stages, Needham Market topping Group C. Lois Balfour featuring for the first team today, prolific in front of goal for the Reserves so far this season with 28 goals from just 7 appearances.

Newmarket Town Ladies beginning their 2nd season playing in the ERWFL made a solid debut upon stepping up into regional league football, quickly found their feet in a highly competitive single division last season eventually finishing in fifth spot. On top of that won silverware as they reached the final of the ERWFL Plate beating Histon Ladies to lift the trophy. Reestablishing a Development side this season, Craig Boneham coming in to take charge of the 1st team as the club looks to push on once again. The ERWFL Division One North looking a strong league this season Newmarket have 7 points from their opening 5 games, young striker Annabel Cuthbert finding her form in front of goal early netting 16 goals so far this season from 10 played.

 Bloomfields the venue for today’s game home of Needham Market FC, it’s women’s sides part of a wider club and academy. The Hub cafe & bar was in construction the last time I visited now build dominating as you enter the ground the grass pitch beyond overlooking the 3G pitch where today’s game will be played. Two stories the ground floor home to the changing facilities, the upper floor housing a conference room and the cafe itself serving hot and cold food and drinks a balcony for viewing surrounding it. A smart looking set-up. A hive of activity very much a community feel to the place. Pity the weather was rubbish, dull and overcast, the rain though should stay away. A game taking place on the 3G on arrival would run into the next game causing a delay in kick-off so both sides can get warmed up properly.

Needham Market Women starting XI – Freya Louis, Jodie Sharp, Ashleigh Goddard, Maria Smith, Amy Dunn, Sasha Diston (C), Taylor Cooke, Amber Sparkes, Francesca Rainbird, Lois Balfour & Annie Northwood. Subs – Megan Stock.

Newmarket Town Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols, Rebecca Towler, Holly Dryland, Beth Woodfield (C), Chloe Slater, Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Laura Brame, Molly Agnew, Lauren Deller & Annabel Cuthbert. Subs – Yasmin Woodfield, Hannah Rogers, Jordanne Sillitoe & Layla Weston.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A few players missing for Needham Market only able to name the one substitute, manager Freya Louis donning the goalkeeping gloves today with 1st choice keeper Amber leeks out injured. Newmarket naming two 16-year-old Development players amongst their squad today Rebecca Towler and Layla Weston. Needham Market to get the first half underway wearing an all red kit with yellow trim. Newmarket lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. Back to the defence Newmarket quick to close down on the right forcing a throw, Needham market build again through the middle captain Sasha Diston bringing a wealth of experience to Needham Market having joined in the summer playing the ball forwards into Lois Balfour she lays it out to the left wing, Francesca Rainbird racing down the line fizzing in a cross towards the near post Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield racing in clearing despite goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols well placed to pick up.

   Newmarket bring the ball out from the back central forwards into attacker Lauren Deller, spots Molly Agnew making a run on the left putting the pas into her feet she takes it on Jodie Sharp, another of Needham Market’s summer recruits playing right back getting back across Agnew to defend and play the ball back to her keeper to clear. Woodfield plays a fantastic pass from the back out long to the rights to set Laura Brame away recently joining Newmarket was at Needham Market at the beginning of the season. Against her former club takes the ball in behind a good turn of pace letting fly from the angle her shot over the bar.

Newmarket Town Ladies captain, Beth Woodfield

 Brame played in again on the right after another superb ball from Woodfield at the back taking the ball on travelling into the box Maria Smith sliding on to tackle brilliantly for Needham Market the ball sent behind for a corner kick. The corner delivered near side Woodfield running forwards to meet it getting a firm header on the ball looming high into the air dropping over the goal. 

  Rainbird getting hold of the ball for Needham market left side threads a pass through to Annie Northwood in attack, joining from rival East Bergholt United scoring 40 goals last season. Northwood touching the ball looks to shift inside to get a shot away inside the box, well read and defended by Newmarket centre back Chloe Slater. Maria Smith with another fine piece of defending on Annabel Cuthbert central as Deller almost slides her through in behind, the ball put back to Louis to kick clear. Holly Dryland up on halfway as Newmarket lose the ball does well defensively to stop Needham market getting away on the wing. 

Holly Dryland in to win the challenge for Newmarket

 Needham Market win the ball back central put forwards into Amber Sparkes she plays the ball forwards with the outside of her boot scooping it over the Newmarket defence for Northwood getting in behind moving to the right into the area sends a shot in low across the keeper, Quinn-Nicholls down well throwing out a glove to push the ball wide of the far post for a corner. A god delivery in from the right through the six yard box, Diston the target gets no contact retrieved by Sparkes hooks the ball over her head back across the face of goal Diston inches away again. 

Needham Market Women’s Amber Sparkes

  Diston with a strike from distance off a throw in on the left side sets her sights from 40 yards out on target one bounce in the box, Quinn-Nichols catching safely right behind it. Newmarket pressing well showing good movement intercepting more than one mislaid Needham Market pass and getting it forwards quickly, Deller finding room coming for the ball, Brame and Agnew outlets on either flank. Nearly pays off as Agnew is played in right side squaring a cross into Cuthbert top of the area a great piece of skill to wrong foot the defence and get into the box, Maria Smith recovering fantastic to dive in make the challenge put the ball away for the corner before Cuthbert can pull the trigger.

Molly Agnew looking for a passing option as she gets hold of the ball for Newmarket

GOAL! Closing in on the opening 20 minutes and Newmarket open the scoring. From the corner kick put in from the right Woodfield making the run once again closer in across goal, forcing the error Diston getting her head on the ball to her dismay sends it into her own goal 0-1.

  Needham Market haven’t settled not giving themselves enough time on the ball in the early stages Sparkes gets hold of the ball 40 yards out and battles her way forwards riding a couple of tackles before shooting from the top of the box, the ball straight into Quinn-Nicholls back on her line. Sparks has Sharp making a run on the overlap right side puts her in taking it to the line sends in a cross along the top of the six yard box the ball cut out by Slater. 

Amy Dunn clearing the ball for Needham Market

  Sparkes showing intent in attack getting on for Needham Market a great pass forwards putting her in by Diston central Sparkes quick takes the ball into the area, right of goal has it in her sights Slater coming to close opts to take another tough into the six yard box wide of the post turns inside looking to knock it past the keeper and shoot, Quinn-Nicholls down at her feet makes the save. Needham Market creating opportunities now have a free-kick wide on the left the ball flighted in goes long Taylor Cooke hooking it back in across goal beyond the far post met first time by Northwood fired over. 

  Antonia Smith and Jess Linger working well together in the centre of Newmarket frustrating Needham Market as they look to play the ball though the middle, Rainbird always ready to break on the left for Needham Market almost in behind, Rebecca Towler getting in close to tackle and deny the cross. Louis races out of her area to get to the ball first as Cuthbert is played in behind by Antonia Smith getting forwards as Brame wins the ball. Amy Dunn coming to help Sharp on the right as Agnew receives from Deller in the middle. 

Laura Brame playing the ball for Newmarket

  Balfour on the ball high on the right for Needham Market passing central for Diston getting forwards good work on the ball dinks it over the top into the area for Northwood great control with her first before shooting lifting the ball high but straight at Quinn-Nicholls, gloves up palms it down coolly. Cuthbert has been almost gotten away from the Needham Market defence on a few ocassions playing off the shoulder of the last defender, more often than not Maria Smith has been the defender making the vital tackle. The home sides turning play around quickly look to get Sparkes away central as she comes inside, Dryland getting her toe on the ball to deflect it away from her into the box for Quinn-Nichols to clear. 

   GOAL! Late in the first half Newmarket double their lead Brame running with the ball on the right in behind crosses into the box, Louis coming out to that side gets her fists on the ball, pushes it out of her area, but it well out of position as the ball falls straight to Deller 20 yards out puts her foot through the ball rifling it into the back of the empty net 0-2.

Lauren Deller fires Newmarket into a 2-0 lead

  Sparkes seems intent on taking the whole Newmarket defence on at once as she picks up the ball 35 yards out central forces her way forwards checking back inside the D, spots Rainbird to the left breaking in behind attempts to chip the ball to her, Woodfield getting hold of it clearing for Newmarket. 

 GOAL! Time almost up first half, Needham Market frustrated so far getting a late lifeline on the attack Balfour lifting the pass forwards for Rainbird racing on into the box, Quinn-Nichols to the ball first knocking in away from the winger, does claim however as Rainbird gets back on her to steal possession and roll the ball into the empty net beyond 1-2.

  On last attack for Newmarket Deller taking the ball on down the left, Sharp quick staying with her for Needham Market putting in a good challenge to win the ball back.

Half-time Needham Market Women 1-2 Newmarket Town Women

  2-1 to Newmarket at half-time, a late life line for Needham Market giving them something to take into the first half. Good chances created by both sides the goals however all coming from errors. An intriguing contest, Newmarket settling the quicker looking a threat out wide and Deller picking up the ball finding space. Needham Market frustrated passes not finding their marked have more time on the ball than they are giving themselves. The game still very much there for the taking.

  No changes at the break the floodlights coming on Newmarket to get the 2nd half underway. Sparkes on the attack straight away forcing her way forwards brought down 30 yards out winning a free-kick. On the set-piece herself goes for goal on target finds its way through but not troubling Quinn-Nichols. A positive start from the hosts on the offence driving forwards Sharp running in behind on the right delivering a low cross into the area takes a deflection sending it behind for a corner.

   GOAL! Needham Market straight back on level terms at the start of the 2nd half an inswinging corner falling into the six yard box takes an unfortunate deflection of a Newmarket defender sending it straight into the path of Diston close in to stab over the line and equalise 2-2.

Needham Market captain, Sasha Diston

  Needham Market fired up now coming forwards a fantastic through ball to set Northwood away into the area clear left of goal fires a low drive across goal, Quinn-Nichols down well to save pushing the ball wide well away from danger. Newmarket win the ball central Linger into Brame left forwards to Cuthbert making a run into the channel the striker carrying the ball inside looking for a shooting opportunity tackled by Dunn, the ball spins loose to Deller central her first time strike charged down. 

Jess Linger, Newmarket’s dead ball specialist

  Newmarket make a double change Towler and Agnew coming off on come Yasmin Woodfield and Jordanne Sillitoe. Linger a threat from any dead ball situation, over a free-kick 40 yards out, plays the ball into the box swinging towards the far post, Louis doesn’t catch the ball dropping wide of goal. Diston plays a nice crossfield pass 30 yards out left into Sharp advancing into the area on the right catching it on the volley blasts into the side netting. Needham Market make a change Sparkes the player off Megan Stock on comes over to left back with Goddard switching to the right Sharp pushed forwards. Goddard called into action right side straight away defending well as Cuthbert controlling the ball 25 yards out looks to shift and shoot. 

Needham Market’s Ashleigh Goddard

Anyone’s game at the moment Needham Market coming back well, both sides looking to get forwards. Sharp getting clear on the right into the corner does well to get a cross towards the top of the six yards box, think it’s Balfour racing in near post stooping into the header, sends the attempt wide across goal. Stock linking up with Rainbird bringing the ball out from the back the latter crossing along the top of the area Northwood receiving looks to tie up Balfour inside the box, Beth Woodfield in between the strikers intercepts the pass. Newmarket make another change Layla Weston coming on for Deller. 

Development player, Layla Weston on for her senior team debut for Newmarket

  Goddard shown the first yellow card of the game for a somewhat ungainly challenge on Cuthbert as she attempts to break into the box. The free-kick in a dangerous position 20 yards out left of the D, Linger over the ball takes on the shot, on target Louis with a superb save tipping it over the bar, is rather pleased with her effort. The resulting corner sees Slater almost steal in around the back to poke out a boot stab towards goal her shot blocked. Needham Market hit Newmarket on the counter Northwood carrying the ball down the left all the way into the area closing in on goal drags her shot wide of the near post. The game entering he  final 15 minutes Sharp causing problems for Newmarket on the right in attack a surging run with the ball towards the ball Slater tackling the ball behind for the corner. 

Needham Market’s, Jodie Sharp

 GOAL! Needham Market come back from 2-0 down to take the lead for the first time in the match. The corner from the right into a congested six yard box Quinn-Nichols up amongst bodies gets her fist on the ball knocks it down and straight at Rainbird back on the penalty spot an instinctive hit lifts her shoot back in an down off the underside of the crossbar 3-2.

  Newmarket respond straight away with a substitution, Hannah Rogers on Brame coming off. Needham Market lively getting players forwards Rainbird continuing to carry a threat on the left winning a corner. Diston making thing’s tick in the middle for Needham Market now coming inside of a throw in right side drags a shot narrowly wide from 20 yards out. The game open Needham Market on the attack, Newmarket still carrying a threat up the other end Cuthbert pushing the ball central for Sillitoe can’t get a clean connection as she throws herself into the shot. 

Newmarket come forwards Antonia Smith playing it on for Cuthbert on the left comes infield is challenged the ball deflected spins out to Sillitoe right comes inside top of the area into a shooting position a shot curled in low Louis diving to her right making the save.

GOAL! Needham Market get down the other end win a corner on the right the delivery in with pace attacked near side missed runs across goal, Balfour racing after it to retrieve left side turns an fires the ball in towards the near post, Northwood sticking out a leg meets the ball turning it into the back of the net to give the hosts a 2 goal cushion late in the match 4-2.

Annie Northwood battling for the ball with Antonia Smith.

Needham Market come forwards Balfour playing her pass out to Rainbird advancing on the left shoots towards the near post Quinn-Nichols down to make the save. Sharp on the opposite flank striking the ball on the run blasting it wide across goal. Time running out Needham Market starting to put everyone behind the ball Newmarket press forwards, Dunn and Maria Smith solid through out the game. 

Needham Market centre backs, Maria Smith and Amy Dunn

  GOAL! Into stoppage time a last gasp free-kick wide on the right for Newmarket Linger to delivery played long to the far post knocked down back across goal, defended on the line the block putting it straight into Sillitoe to smash home from close range pull a goal back 4-3. 

  No time left however for another attack the final whistle blows and Needham Market record back to back wins in the league to join Newmarket on 7 points.

Full time Needham Market Women 4-3 Newmarket Town Ladies

  A thoroughly entertaining match this afternoon, Needham Market coming back from trailing 2- to win the game 4-3. Newmarket having the best of the 1st half causing Needham market problems creating chances forcing errors. A vital goal coming late in the 1st period for Needham Market began the 2nd half strongly straight back on level terms. The game wide open for a spell, Needham Market taking the lead and getting a 2 goal cushion, Newmarket never out of it pulling one back late hadn’t enough time left to find another.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, several contenders out there. Lauren Deller for Newmarket scoring their 2nd goal, finding pockets of space between midfield and defence almost had Cuthbert in on goal on a couple of ocassions. For Needham Market I’ve mentioned the centre backs a few times, Maria Smith in particular with some great tackles first half to prevent Newmarket shooting. Jodie Sharp in defence but mostly in attack a threat on the right as was Francesca Rainbird on the left. Have gone for Sasha Diston overall strong in the middle the engine for Needham Market a good range of passing bringing others into play and winning the ball.

  An enjoyable trip to Bloomfields, an entertaining match, always competitive in the ERWFL, never disappoints. My thanks to both clubs for the team line-ups much appreciated.

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. (*A case of mistaken indentity Rawlings with her ear bent) 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.