Category Archives: Norfolk Women’s County Cup

Cup Final Special – Mulbarton Belles Ladies v Norwich City Women

Wednesday 19th May

Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final

sponsored by Harrod Sport

It’s been over 440 days since the last one but it’s great to be covering a Cup Final match once again. The FDC the venue for his evening’s Final for the Norfolk Women’s County Cup seeing newly formed Mulbarton Belles Ladies playing just their 7th competitive fixture taking on Norwich City Women.

  The Covid pandemic of course the reason for so many games and finals being lost, football returning after the 3rd lockdown ended towards the end of match seeing alot of league football being declared null & void. Norfolk FA making the decision to play their county cup competitions, including the women’s cup, receiving a sponsor for the first time Harrod Sport.

 Norwich City Women making it to the final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup for the 1st time since 2014. Norfolk’s leading female side competing in the FAWNL South East Division One dominated the competition from it’s inaugural year in the 2010/11 season winning the cup 4 season’s in a row. A period away from the competition followed, before the club returned 3 season’s ago going to to make it all the way the the final last time out where they were due to face back to back winners Wymondham Town Ladies at Carrow Road only for the season to be curtailed due to the pandemic. Norwich have had a few season’s of transition finding themselves at the wrong end of the league but now under new management and with a new home at The Nest, a wonderful sporting venue newly built on the outskirts of the city are hoping to begin a new era by lifting some silverware.

 In complete contrast are Mulbarton Belles Ladies are the new kids on the block, didn’t play their first competitive fixture till 1st November 2020 and have due to the lockdown played just 6 in total. A new side reaching the final but for several Mulbarton players not the first County Cup final they’ve experienced. The original Mulbarton Belles team folding a few years back, the club was approached last year by a group of players who had fallen out with their previous club, thing’s getting messy then, the players just wanting to play football and being prevented from doing so, didn’t want to be broken up. An EGM was eventually called and although some clubs were unhappy with the decision Mulbarton Belles Ladies were allowed to join the league entering NWGFL Division One, just two matches were played however before the November lockdown hit with the NWGFL season being declared null & void after that, a temporary competition the Challenge Cup taking up the remainder of the season. The Mulbarton players taking part in a number of challenges during lockdown to raise money for charity. Know they face there toughest challenge yet with there opponents competing three leagues above.

Road to the Final

  The Norfolk Women’s County Cup returning after lockdown, Mulbarton Belles Ladies taking part in the 1st Round at home, fought out a 0-0 draw with Division Two title contenders Stalham Town Ladies eventually progressing on penalties. Mulbarton were at home again in the 2nd Round taking on fellow Division One side, Fakenham Town Women, captain Rebekah Lake on target scoring 5 goals as Mulbarton went on to win the game 10-1 to set up a quarter final tie away to ERWFL Premier Division side Wroxham Women. A tough match with Mulbarton the underdogs however they were to find the back of the net scoring the only goal of the game to book their spot in the semi-finals were they were once again at home taking on another Division One side Sprowston Athletic Ladies who themselves were mounting a strong challenge at the top end of the table before the season was curtailed. Lake putting Mulbarton 1-0, their opponents got it back to 1-1 to send the game to penalties. For the 2nd time in the competition Mulbarton came out on top in the shootout winning 3-1 to make it through to the final after just 6 competitive matches as a side.

Mulbarton celebrating after winning the penalty shootout to reach the County Cup Final (photo credit Hardy Scott Photo’s)

Norwich City Women along with ERWFL Premier Division sides, Wroxham Women and Cup holders Wymondham Town Ladies received a bye through to the quarter finals of the competition. The draw throwing out a tough tie as Norwich were drawn at home to play Wymondham, the pair due to met in the final the previous season, Women’s Football East went along to watch was a strong display from Norwich who pushed Wymondham back from the off getting players forwards whilst limiting the threat their opponents carried up the other end. For all the chances Norwich created Wymondham defended strongly and it wasn’t till late in the game another driving run from Ellie Smith forced an error seeing an own goal scored that in the end proving to be enough to send Norwich into the the semi finals. There they were drawn at home once more taking on the 2018/19 finalists King’s Lynn Town Ladies. Norwich strong in the final third once again, clinical as they wrapped up the game 7-0. Aimee Durrant scoring a hat-trick, with Natasha Snelling also on target for a brace, along with one for Ellie Smith and Megan Todd from the penalty spot to see Norwich reach back to back finals and this time getting to play.

The venue for this evenings final the FDC Bowthorpe ‘The Field of Dreams’ restrictions easing spectators are once again permitted, each club offered an allocation of tickets that were eagerly snapped up. Covid protocols in, the staff at the FDC as eager to welcome fans back as anyone else. A large grass pitch a small seated stand and snack hut on one side. The weather bright a nice evening the heavy showers we’ve suffered of late not forecast. 

Mulbarton Belles Ladies

Mulbarton Belles Ladies starting XI – Cara Anderson, Olivia Mungham-Gray, Melissa Belsey Vicky McNorton, Megan Belsey, Laura Hedtke, Alice Smith, Sophie Jermy, Ellie Hunter, Bryony Knights & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs – Morgan Devine, Annaliese Smith, Meg Anderton, Millie Cursons & Julie Robathan.

Norwich City Women

Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn Nichols, Anna Larkins, Alice Parker, Kate Parsons, Izzy Collins, Millie Daviss (C), Ellie Smith, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley, Megan Todd & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Jordan Arnoup, Brooke Osbourne, Reeanna Cook, Leilah Gooding & Jess Harper.

(roll on roll of substitutes)

   An huge lose for Mulbarton going into this evenings final having lost Alice Ladbrooke who suffered a broken bone in her leg during the semi-final against Sprowston Athletic Ladies, a midfielder with huge experience. The teams lining up around the centre circle before kick-off to firstly honour a minutes silence in memory of those lost to Covid during these traumatic times and 9 year old Jordan Banks from Blackpool who was tragically  killed by a lightning strike during a coaching session last week. This followed by a minutes applause thanking those in the NHS.

 

 It’s Norwich to get the final underway kicking off 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Mulbarton lined up opposite wearing black and blue vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. Norwich send the ball long out to the left for Kathryn Stanley to attack, full back Melissa Belsey can let it run out of play for Mulbarton. Norwich quickly on the offensive playing the ball on looking to get runners through left and right, Aimee Durrant racing clear coming inside from the right, the ball skips off the surface allowing goalkeeper Cara Anderson to claim inside her box.

Anderson needing to be on her toes right from the off as Norwich midfielder, Ellie Smith grabs hold of the ball on halfway and bursts forwards into the right channel before sending it on for Durrant ahead of her, she in turn sweeps a long diagonal ball into the area, Anderson taking it into her gloves on the bounce as Megan Todd comes barrelling in. Melissa Belsey cutting the ball out at the back for Mulbarton clears it out to Ellie Hunter on the left side, turns looking to get up the pitch, as her captain Rebekah Lake providing a run ahead of her, can’t find her as Norwich’s Anna Larkins steps in to win the ball back into Smith put on for Durrant on the right, Olivia Mungham-Gray challenging for Mulbarton.

Ellie Smith bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Smith lively for Norwich, a feature of her game as she collects the ball in midfield and drives forwards with it, into space plays has Stanley coming across the top of the area, Megan Belsey lunging in to deny her the ball. Norwich stay on the right winning the first corner of the game. Fired in across the face of goal referee Cameron Saunders spots a Norwich push and awards Mulbarton the free-kick. Laura Hedtke getting hold of the ball central for Mulbarton links up with Alice Smith bringing the ball on, spreads play to Hunter on the left attempts to play it through for Lake in attack, Norwich’s Kate Parsons is tight on her ensures she doesn’t get the ball. Play is quickly turned around Smith with a strong run moving right a cross cut back along the top of the area, Vicky McNorton intercepting for Mulbarton, the defence busy in the opening five minutes, Norwich quick out of the traps. 

 GOAL! Norwich regaining possession in the middle, captain Millie Daviss with Smith close to her bringing the ball clear moving right lays it on for Durrant already on the move able to take the ball in her stride charges down to the by-line doing well to get inside her marker before flashing a dangerous ball into the six yard box Todd running in throws herself at the ball as it evades the keeper and sends it into the back of the net 0-1.

  An early blow for Mulbarton their defence under pressure from the off conceding a 6th minute goal, Norwich are straight on the attack getting another corner on the right, players up from the back the delivery long headed back in across goal, Mulbarton have players defending the post the one on the right getting a head on the ball the defence scrambling it clear. Can’t get any momentum going forwards the ball quickly back with Norwich out on the right Durrant’s cross lands on the roof of the net.

  If she can get the service Lake is as good a striker as anyone at making a run on goal, closely watched by Parsons, moves to the right as Hedtke sends an early pass up to Sophie Jermy who puts it into the channel, Lake escapes off Parsons shoulder after the ball, gains momentum as it bounces allowing goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn Nichols to get her gloves around it before Lake can reach it. Releases it quickly helped on Norwich line up a strike from distance 35 yards out left side, hitting the advertising boards beside Anderson’s goal. 

Natasha Snelling has the ball at her feet for Norwich in a central position 25 out, no one closes her down lines up the shot, slips however as she goes to strike the ball, screwing her effort wide off target. With Stanley, Todd, Snelling and Durrant coming on well in attack, Smith carries a threat for Norwich able to get on with the ball from midfield difficult to track isn’t allowing Mulbarton any time to settle at all. Mungham-Gray especially occupied with Durrant on the right the defender doing well stepping in to deny her on a couple of occasions. Smith surging on towards to top of the area lays it into Durrant, close to her right the winger attempting to return the pass into Smith’s run into the area, Megan Belsey with a solid piece of defending for Mulbarton.

 

   Opportunities for Mulbarton to get forwards rare, Smith getting it out to Hunter on the left she sends a crossfield ball up to Jermy coming central from the right 20 yards out hits it her her effort blocked, rebounds back down to Smith who hits it from a long way out, Izzy Collins cutting the shot out for Norwich. Hunter on the ball left for Mulbarton shifts it getting on up the line Lake coming over to her side offering the passing option, Hunter checks inside looking to get inside Larkins, Collins coming across to support the full back winning the challenge for Norwich. Stanley is caught offside as Mulbarton step out well at the back. 

Mulbarton’s Ellie Hunter

  Todd powers her way through the middle bringing the ball on stopped by McNorton. Parsons delivers a fantastic long pass from the back over the top for Snelling to chase, Anderson from a good starting position able to get to the edge of her area to see the ball safely into her gloves. Smith with space on the ball attempts to put it on into the right channel for Lake to attack, turns Parsons angling to get a yard on her, Parsons though lunges into the tackle taking the ball away from the striker. Collins at the back for Norwich into Smith left fires it into Snelling top of the area left come lays it off for Stanley making the run on the left flank, turns inside heading into the box, Melissa Belsey tackling well for Mulbarton denying an opportunity on goal.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

  Smith charges into space with the ball right side has Snelling attacking the near post plays the ball looking for her, Megan Belsey with the striker sliding in to take the ball for Mulbarton, can’t get it away however Norwich getting a throw on the right Durrant inside for Larkins getting upfield she whips a cross in from the top corner of the area flashes wide across the Mulbarton area, Stanley racing in far post can’t quite get there as it evades the goal by the merest of fractions. Norwich on top, Mulbarton can’t get any respite, even when they do win a free-kick Norwich are quick to win it back and turn play around Smith putting an early ball in for Durrant central getting clear of the defence once again however Anderson comes well to take at the top of her area. 

  The woodwork comes to the rescue for Mulbarton as Durrant 25 yards plus out right side attempts the strike fired in well on the angle over Anderson, smashes against the bar and spins out to the left. Megan Belsey called into action does well against Snelling as she drives at the area from a central position off Todd’s pass. Norwich using the width well Stanley left firing a dangerous ball into the area is just behind Snelling at the far post, Durrant out right looks to retrieve checks inside but doesn’t get the better of Mungham-Gray. 

Mulbarton’s Olivia Mungham-Gray holding off Norwich’s Aimee Durrant

   Norwich with a corner on the right side a pinpoint delivery fired into the six yard box met firmly by Parsons who sees her header driven up to smash down off the crossbar. Mulbarton scramble it out of their box but it comes straight back a shot fired wide left of the D. Both the Belsey twins, McNorton and Mungham-Gray are battling to keep Norwich at bay in defence for Mulbarton the FAWNL side coming forwards in waves it’s a question of how much pressure can be soaked up can’t get the ball up to Lake. Larkins up with Durrant on the right the ball fired into the area comes to Stanley wide of the far post lay it off for Smith charging in towards the top of the area her low strike comes straight into Anderson. Mungham-Gray defends on Smith as the midfielder attempts to skip into the area making a right channel run as Snelling brings the ball on through the middle.

 GOAL! A feature of the game as Norwich double there lead the ball plays direct diagonally from the middle out to Durrant getting in behind on the right side Anderson coming out to close her down, Durrant gets there first this time, getting her foot up onto the ball to send it past the advancing keeper and bounce on into the goal beyond 0-2. 

Aimee Durrant putting Norwich 2 up

  Norwich’s Daviss plays the ball on for Stanley left the ball crossed into the area Smith central attacking it on the penalty spot, Megan Belsey with a last gasp tackle sliding in on her does enough, blocking the shot deflecting Smith’s attempt over. Mulbarton are attempting to get out of there area following a corner on the right, Collins getting it back to Larkins right crossing from deep falls to Parsons still up from the back at the far post 10 yards out gets up well putting power into her downwards header, on target Anderson with a fantastic save diving to her right to push the ball away. 

 GOAL! The clock running down in the first half there is no let up from Norwich, Smith with another powerful run from the middle onto the D put it inside to Stanley furthest forwards meets the pass with a clipped shot that sees the ball loop up and fly beyond the keeper to nestle in the back of the goal 0-3. 

 Norwich finish the half strong Smith getting on with the ball 20 out looking to put it into the path of Durrant travelling into the area, Megan Belsey making the challenge for Mulbarton.

Half-time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 0-3 Norwich City Women

  A strong first half performance from Norwich see them in a strong position leading 3-0 at the break. Right from the off were at the Mulbarton defence, there attackers providing strong runs left and right and through the middle. With Daviss sitting in midfield Smith has been able to come on at will the Mulbarton defence busy, little opportunity to get the ball into Lake up top cause a few questions up the other end. Alot of work put in by the Mulbarton defence would have taken alot out of them, hard to see their being any respite 2nd half. 

Laura Hedtke with the ball for Mulbarton

  A change for Mulbarton with Meg Anderton joining the action the floodlights starting to take affect the surface slick no with a coating of dew. Mulbarton getting the 2nd half underway. The ball put long to the right Lake having Jermy up with her lays it back for her to send into the box as lake spins in behind, Quinn-Nichols coming across can claim the ball on the bounce before anything can come of it. Norwich come up the right the ball on for Snelling clear for a moment (is in theory on a hat-trick having gotten credited for both Durrant’s and Stanley’s first half goals) attempts to lob the advancing keeper, however doesn’t get it wide enough allowing Anderson to pluck it down. 

Mulbarton captain, Rebekah Lake (phot credit Hardy Scott Photos)

  A mazy run from Durrant on the right, shifts the ball inside evading Mungham-Gray’s sliding challenge firing a cross into the box Smith arriving meeting it first time blasting her effort wide. Hedtke plays the ball on for Jermy, Lake comes to receive the pass, 30 yards out, attempts to peel around Parsons, but the ball is there for Alice parker to clear. Snelling advancing on the right as the ball is fed up the line, Megan Belsey sliding in to take the ball off her feet away for a throw. 

Norwich’s Natasha Snelling

Hedtke finding a little room in the centre fires it through for Lake to attack central, getting momentarily away from Parsons the centre back recovers well throwing herself into the lunging tackle to block the run of Lake deflect the ball away to the right. Norwich get bodies up on the left Parker sending it on for Stanley, Smith going with her powering towards the top of the area Melissa Belsey sliding into the tackle, grounded as Stanley is able to gather the loose ball send it back into the crowd Snelling is upended a penalty given.

 GOAL! Parsons comes up from the back to take the set-piece placing the ball on the spot, takes it confidently opening her body sending the keeper the wrong way to stroke a low shot home 0-4.

Norwich adding to their lead early in the 2nd half. Durant full of running on the left jinks inside looking to go beyond Mungham-Gray however the full back recovers lunging into the tackle taking it away from Durrant, Megan Belsey clearing from inside the box. Larkins up on the right lofts a cross in towards the near post, Anderson catching well not distracted by the onrushing Todd. Changes for Norwich as they bring off Todd and Durrant, Reeanna Cook and Brooke Osbourne. 

  Mungham-Gray with a timely interception as Smith prods it on for Norwich having drifted over to the right. Norwich with a corner on the right players up Cook putting it in near post goes through a mass of bodies out to the far side kept in by Snelling lays it up to the top of the area for Collins her diagonal ball in claimed well by Anderson. 

 GOAL! Norwich stretching the tiring Mulbarton defence now get away on the right Snelling taking the ball on in behind to the by-line before sending a looping cross in along the face of goal, Stanley arriving unmarked far post with a simple nod in from all of a foot out 0-5.

  On come Norwich as Daviss dispossesses Hedtke in the middle play out to Osbourne on the right, tries to pick out Snellings central run Melissa Belsey just about getting in front of her to defend take it out of the area. Smith seeing a goal ruled out for offside, as Parker plays it up the left for Stanley sees Smith on the move but the midfielder strays beyond the defence before the ball is played. Parker on for Stanley left side again keeps it in taking it on up the line checking back inside to evade the tackle lets fly from the angle 20 yards out her shot straight into Anderson. 

  Lake evades Parsons in behind her as Hedtke feeds her a good through ball central, Collins is quickly round on the cover getting shoulder to shoulder with lake easing her off the ball. Smith up on the right with Osbourne ahead of her, the pair link well before Smith puts it into the path of Snelling attacking right of the D, Megan Belsey back tracking lunging to deflect the ball up and away for a corner kick. Cook firing in a dangerous ball to the far post Snelling getting under the ball powering a header towards goal the Mulbarton woodwork claiming a hat-trick of it’s own as for the 3rd time a Norwich player sees an attempt at goal denied by the crossbar!

 Norwich bring on Jess Harper for Larkins. Annaliese Smith comes on for Mulbarton replacing Melissa Belsey. The pace of the game slowing with the changes Norwich have made, having used the pitch well with a healthy lead are content to let Mulbarton come on a bit hit them on the counter. Smith still full of running charging on for Norwich, Megan Belsey standing up to her inside the area blocking her effort, Smith getting a 2nd bite puts it straight at the keeper. Megan Belsey goes down suffering from cramp a pause in play follows. Daviss off for Norwich with Leilah Gooding being sent on. One Belsey twin replaces the other with Melissa returning to the action for Megan.

  Osbourne springing the offside trap on the right getting down the line checking inside allows Mungham-Gray the opportunity to tackle the corner conceded. Anderson can’t get it near post, the defence scrambling it away beyond as Stanley goes to attack it. 

 GOAL! A well worked 6th goal for Norwich with the game moving into the final quarter hour coming on up the left the ball on for Stanley into the area her momentum risking her taking he ball out of play performs the back heel sending it straight to the on rushing Snelling, defenders drawn to her the number 10 sends it straight back to Stanley who from the angle six yards out strikes it on the rise to loop up across the keeper and in at the far post 0-6. A cup final hat-trick for Stanley.

A cup final hat-trick for Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

  Mulbarton bring on Julia Robathan to replace Melissa Belsey. The substitute with the ball straight away playing it out wide to Anderton on the left sends a diagonal ball in towards the near post is intercepted by Gooding for Norwich. The game moving into the final 10 minutes Anderson to the top of her area gathering the ball in a both Snelling and Osbourne race in behind after a ball from Smith. Morgan Devine coming on for Mulbarton replacing Hedtke. Stanley hitting a shot on the run from 20 yards out in the right channel seeing it run wide. Her last action of the game as she comes off with Todd back on. 

  Lake keeps trying to get free up top, goes after a ball put on from Robathan down the right gets inside the full back into the box, too much on it however as Quinn-Nichols comes to collect near post. Norwich striking from distance put across the area takes a slight deflection the ball out for a corner kick.

 GOAL! Players up from the back the delivery fired in with pace from the left into the six yard box, the ball dangerous head height is met firmly by Parsons who powers the header home 0-7.

  Mulbarton have given it there all players are struggling now but still battling hard in defence, Todd through the left channel sending it on for Snelling, Smith and McNorton close in on her outside the area the ball deflected back to Todd behind she strikes the shot her goal bound effort pushed away well by Anderson diving at her far post. The game moving into stoppage time Parsons off with Daviss sent back on. Todd with on final strike on goal from all of 30 yards out held by Anderson.

Full time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 0-7 Norwich City Women

  The final whistle blows and 7 years since they last lifted the trophy Norwich win 7-0 to be crowned County Cup winners again. A strong performance right from the first minute stayed on the front foot throughout the front 4 dangerous a constant threat backed up by Smith in the centre. Taking an early lead were comfortable at 3-0 at the break carrying on where they left off in the 2nd half. A valiant effort from Mulbarton who were no match on the day battled hard in defence throughout. Reaching a cup final in your debut season a magical achievement.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances to mention can’t single out a single defender for Mulbarton they all battled hard putting in some vital challenges throughout had to soak up alot of pressure. Going forwards Norwich were strong relentless. Amy Durrant out on the right. Natasha Snelling through the middle. A close run thing in the end though, between two players, Ellie Smith’s runs from the middle proving impossible to stop, edging it though and agreeing with official award has to be Kathryn Stanley great movement off the ball got into some fantastic positions and took her hat-trick superbly.

Kathryn Stanley collecting the PoM award for this evenings final

Fantastic too to see a good crowd at a football match again 180 in attendance. The whole occasion run well by the staff at the FDC. Norwich City Women the 2020/21 Norfolk County Cup Winners. Congratulations.

Norwich City Women win the 2020/21 County Cup

  Great to be at a final once again has been too long, an enjoyable occasion all round. My thanks to everyone at the FDC for their help this evening much appreciated. Great to catch up with a few football friends too.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Wymondham Town Ladies


Sunday 2nd May

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

 Sponsored by Harrod Sport

 The football action on Women’s Football East this weekend comes from the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup quarter finals and a match that should have been the final last season as Norwich City Women take on Wymondham Town Ladies. 

This weekend seeing the whole of English football and several other sporting bodies taking part in a social media boycott until 23:59pm Mon 3rd May in protest against the growing wave of racism and discriminatory abuse directed at players and clubs alike. Asking as one for the social media giants to do more about it. Social media can be a fantastic way for football to engage with fans and certainly women’s football has become a leader in this but for a while now for a minority it has brought out the worst and needs to be addressed. Women’s Football East supports the boycott hence no coverage of this weekends game.

 A tie between two of the leading sides in Norfolk, both will fancy there chances of going all the way. The quarter final draw pitting them together as both enter the competition at this stage along with ERWFL Premier Division side, Wroxham Women. Wymondham Town Ladies back to back winners of the County Cup looking to keep up the defence of the trophy they held onto back in the 2019 final against King’s Lynn Town Ladies played at the first time at Carrow Road the home of Norwich City FC. The Covid pandemic seeing the competition ending before that final could take place last season. 

Norfolk FA pushing on with their County Cup competitions as most leagues have been declared null & void with football only able to return at the start of April due to a 3 month lockdown and too much of the season being lost. A boost for the women’s county cup too as it is sponsored for the first time Harrod Sport one of the world’s leading sports equipment manufacturers signing a 3-year deal to support the competition.

 Norwich City Women playing in the FAWNL South East Division One having reached the final last time out after a period away from the competition. Dominated the county cup early on in it’s inaugural season back in 2010/11 winning the trophy and defending it successfully for 4 seasons before stepping away. Returned three of season’s ago, reaching the final last time out before seeing the season curtailed. Like most leagues the FAWNL was declared null & void and whereas others have set-up temporary competitions to fill what weeks remain of the season the FAWNL didn’t leaving sides to organise post-season friendlies. Thus the County Cup presenting a great opportunity for Norwich to challenge for silverware something the club having been in something of a transition period hasn’t done for a while.

  Standing in Norwich’s way however are the current holders Wymondham Town Ladies, back to back winners the club has risen through the pyramid of women’s football in Norfolk to become one of the leading sides. Reaching the ERWFL Premier Division, were in a strong position at the top of a competitive table before sadly seeing the season end. The ERWFL setting up a Challenge Cup competition to fill the gap, teams form both divisions drawn into 4 groups with the winners going on to compete in a finals day featuring semi-finals and final aswell as a 3rd place play-off match. Wymondham drawn into what would be the group of death if you follow the leagues along side fellow Premier Division sides St Ives Town Ladies, Colney Heath Ladies and Luton Town Ladies along with Division One North side Needham Market Women. 2 wins and a draw including a 2-1 win against Luton Town Ladies last time out putting Wymondham in a strong position to finish top of their group with just Needham Market Women to play. Have been playing competitive football which may just give them an edge over Norwich 

The Nest the venue for today’s quarter final. The new home for Norwich City Women who were keen to get involved with the project from the very start. Was still being build the last time I was here one a very wet and windy day for Norwich’s semi-final with Wroxham back in 2020. Progress has been rapid. A new state of the art facility constructed, with cafe clubhouse and function room leading out onto a new 3G playing surface. Situated on the outskirts north of the city past the airport, features multi-sports pitches and is aiming to become another leading community sports facility within the county. A better day weather wise this time round a few clouds around but otherwise sunny and pleasant.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols, Anna Larkins, Alice Parker, Kate Parsons, Izzy Collins, Millie Daviss (C), Ellie Smith, Megan Todd, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Brooke Osbourne, Reeanna Cook & Jess Harper.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Chelsea Clarke, Leah Newcombe (C), Lauren Kett, Chardonnay Johnston, Katie Knights, Jennifer Codman, Freya Symonds, Natasha Youngs, Rebecca Russell & Hannah Waters. Subs – Laura Nicholls, Francesca Catchpole & Mary Croft.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Good to see players returning from long term injuries featuring with Megan Todd in the starting line up for Norwich and Chardonnay Johnston starting in defence for Wymondham having both suffered from ACL’s. It’s Norwich to kick-off the game wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts and shorts with black socks. The ball put out to the right for Aimee Durrant to have an early run at the Wymondham defence is soon closed down the ball cleared up field.

Aimee Durrant brings the ball forwards for Norwich

Hannah Waters leading the attack for Wymondham, is looking to break in behind the Norwich central defence the ball threaded through for her to gather 30 yards out, she is closely marshalled by both centre backs, Kate Parsons in to tackle with Izzy Collins around on the cover the ball won back Norwich look to push players on captain Millie Daviss on the ball in the middle of the park playing the pass out to Kathryn Stanley moving into the left channel knocks it forwards but can’t get the better of Wymondham right back and captain Leah Newcombe.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

   Newcombe defends again moments later as Daviss playing a give and go with Alice Parker on the left attempts to run in behind a throw conceded inside the Wymondham half , into Todd’s feet she turns and drives towards the box, shoots left of the D takes a deflection off a defender sending it behind for a corner kick. The delivery long from the left towards the far post his headed over. Dropping deep at times Wymondham are allowing Norwich to come on with the ball, Todd dribbling the ball on combining with Natasha Snelling up top winning a throw. 

Norwich’s, Megan Todd

 Parker and Anna Larkins at right back have space to run into as Wymondham drop everyone bar Waters into their own half. The game cagey at times passes rushed, Wymondham anting to play out from the back Norwich’s attacking players closing down well snapping at the ball, Stanley putting Newcombe under pressure, Chardonnay Johnston closing in challenging to prevent her taking the ball on into the area. Freya Symonds getting hold of the ball on through for Waters, Collins and Parsons however staying tight on her, finds no way through.

Norwich attacker, Natasha Snelling with Wymondham defender, Chardonnay Johnston

   An opportunity for Newcombe to get out from the back on the right for Wymondham crosses the halfway line before delivering a high diagonal ball into the top of the Norwich area, Collins heading it to safety for the hosts. Norwich moving the ball quickly, passes not always finding there mark, the energy high, Todd and Stanley making forwards runs to support Snelling up top, Wymondham defending deep are keeping a solid shape, no one able to find a way through. Larkins puts a high diagonal cross into the box, Todd furthest forwards on the penalty spot getting her head on the ball, loops it up towards goal, Wymondham goalkeeper Chloe Pearce with a confident take under her bar. 

Wymondham’s Hannah Waters with Norwich’s, Kathryn Stanley

   Space for Natasha Youngs to run into playing on the right for Wymondham as she is fed the ball from Rebecca Russell in the middle takes it on, Parsons racing across to close her down, takes the ball as Youngs checks back inside. Having soaked up some pressure Wymondham are beginning to find some joy on the flanks, Chelsea Clarke left side playing the ball long towards the top of the area with Youngs providing the run her shot blocked by Parker on the edge of the box. Katie Knights playing the ball on for Symonds as Wymondham build from the back play spread to Youngs out wide right whips a cross back in across the top of the Norwich area, Russell racing into the D, the ball taken off her toes by the defence. 

Wymondham’s, Rebecca Russell

  Pearce is forced into making a quality save as out of nowhere a long distance strike in fired into the area bouncing up off the 3G surface threatens to creep in under the bar, Pearce back peddling tipping it up over her crossbar. Swung into the area Parsons up highest near side looks to head it on across the area, Snelling gathers it but is forced out of the box by the Wymondham defence. 25 minutes played a pause as Symonds receives treatment inside the Norwich area.

  Stanley is brought down by Newcombe giving Norwich a free kick 30 yards out on the left. Parker to deliver. Played into the far post Todd looks coming round the back stretching can’t get there. Looking to play out from the back almost costs Wymondham a moment later as Pearce’s ball rolled to the top of the area is pounced upon by Stanley nipping in ahead of the defender takes it inside into the D, striking it well a curling effort flying towards the top corner, Pearce recovers well however as she dives across at full stretch to make the save beating the ball away to the right.

Wymondham goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce

  With Parker and Larkins able to come forwards at will for Norwich they have plenty of bodies inside the Wymondham half, Ellie Smith linking with Daviss in the middle, Jennifer Codman stretching a legs cutting out the pass intended for Snelling 20 yards out. Stanley travels with the ball through the middle, pushed onto Snelling she sees Parker making a run of the left the diagonal ball fizzed into her, Parker can’t quite get the intended touch to knock it inside and behind Newcombe as the full back reclaims possession. Durrant takes aim from 25 yards out on the right her shot taking a wicked deflection favours Pearce however the keeper getting down low to claim on her line. 

Wymondham’s Jennifer Codman

 Norwich allowed to come on have been forcing the pace of the game, get caught out as Codman releases Youngs on the right has Waters ahead of her moving into the right channel takes the ball on into the corner turning to send it in towards the top right of the box the ball behind Russell however, Norwich regain possession and are straight on the offensive Todd playing in on for Smith she has Daviss up with her, the Norwich captain spreading play out to Parker surging on down the left pots Stanley bombing into the box crosses, Lauren Kett stepping up to take hold of the ball carry it clear of the box for Wymondham to relieve the pressure.

  Waters is isolated in attack for Wymondham at times but always a willing runners and a constant threat pulling off the shoulder of the last defender, so far she has been well marshalled by Parsons and Collins at the back for Norwich. Russell looking to get on in support whenever she can finds herself up into the final 3rd left of the D, Symonds making a run to her right squares it to her, Parker closing her down defending well for the hosts. Todd comes left on the ball has Stanley in front of her rolls the ball into her path, knocks it inside looking to escape Newcombe but can’t as the full back lunges to take the ball from her feet before she can line up a shot.

Norwich centre back, Izzy Collins

 Wymondham make the first change of the game having taken a knock earlier on it’s Symonds who comes off with Mary Croft coming on. Both Parsons and Youngs are hobbling after the Wymondham winger goes in to make a strong tackle. The game paused again as Youngs needs treatment. Norwich with more of the ball but aren’t really making it count, Wymondham aren’t leaving any gaps at the back, but starting from so deep a position they are finding it hard to get anything going in attack can’t find Waters who has started coming back to get hold of the ball.

Ellie Smith bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Norwich come right the ball squared into the D, Snelling with the back heel helping it on for Parker behind her her tough taking it into the box, shoots bodies in front of her is deflected through to the keeper. Smith joining the attack from midfield adding to Norwich’s threat is upended outside the box but doesn’t get the decision. Norwich with a corner kick however in the right load the six yard box a sweet delivery played in Pearce does superbly under pressure to claim the ball. 

Wymondham goalkeeper Chloe Pearce with a confident take inside a crowded box.

Croft charges down Stanley at the top of the D as the Norwich attacker looks to put her foot through a dropping ball fired in from the right.   Wymondham with a chance to put the ball into the box late in the first half as they are awarded a free-kick inside the Norwich half in the right, Johnston over it aims for the far post runners coming in drops in front of goal, Youngs takes a swing at it is blocked by a Norwich body spinning away to the left. A coming together between Knights and Smith the free-kick given in favour of the visitors a talking too for Smith receives a yellow card but talks herself into further action as she is sin binned. Just the 2nd time it’s been recorded on WF East (and incidentally the first time was for a Norwich player in the County Cup too).

Norwich’s Ellie Smith bemused as the decision goes against her.

 Norwich to end the half with 10 on the pitch, Clarke to play the free-kick wide left forwards into the area bounces through to Youngs at the far post not easy to get under control rising stabs it goalwards, a block put in before goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols grabs it. 

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Goalless at the break. Norwich with more of the ball have had Wymondham under pressure at times but have yet to create many clear cut opportunities, the best coming from a Wymondham error. Have been able to press the attack get bodies forwards closing down the back line forcing the midfield back leaving Waters isolated up top. Passing has been somewhat loose though that first touch not quite there. Wymondham have kept a solid shape pushed back have left no room in behind for the likes of Todd, Durrant and Stanley. Whilst soaking up the pressure have looked for opportunities creating a couple of half chances themselves. A cagey game it might take an error to give one side the advantage all to play for 2nd half.

  Norwich of course still down to 10 with Smith still sin binned as Wymondham get the 2nd half underway. Norwich quickly regain possession Durrant on the right flashing a ball in to the D, spotting the run of Stanley on the opposite side, the ball bouncing just behind her. Parsons slides in with a strong tackle to take the ball away from Waters as she attempts to knock it on into the box from inside the D on the right. Snelling gathering the ball on halfway drives on with the ball, making ground is eventually hauled down Norwich awarded the free-kick, flashed into the far post on the angle Pearce back peddling is able to claim it unopposed.

Norwich’s Kate Parsons

Parsons with the ball at her feet tries her luck with a long distance strike all of 40 yards out, skipping along the ground finds it way through to the keeper. Clarke checking inside from the left sweeps a diagonal ball into Waters central bringing it down turns straight into Collins. Knights gives herself the room to adjust and make the tackle as Durrant drives on from the right looking to get into the box.

Wymondham make a 2nd change Laura Nicholls coming on to replace Youngs in the right. An early opportunity to run with the ball at her feet right side squares it across the D into Waters, Parker on the cover around to defend for Norwich. Smith returns to the action for Norwich back up to their full compliment get up the right to win a corner. Headed clear at the far post cleared out to the left a shot comes flashing back in on the angle to land in the side netting. Norwich make a change bringing off Durrant, send on Reeanna Cook. Parker smashes the ball in from the angle sees her effort charged down.

Wymondham’s, Freya Symonds

Russell takes the ball on through the middle nudges it on for Waters who plays it back to the advancing Codman she puts her foot through the shot, on target skips up in front of Quinn-Nichols who saves smartly with her feet having so far seen little action. Norwich quick to get up the other end looking sharper with there passing now, Smith looking to get on the offensive through the middle almost steals through into the box, Clarke taking it away from her, Smith on the rebound however sends a shot wide. The additional runs made from midfield starting to stretch the Wymondham defence gaps starting to open up everyone back finding it tough to get out of there half.

  Waters leading the line for Wymondham remains a threat, the visitors comfortable soaking up pressure ready to break, the passes sent forwards Waters a willing chaser, Collins needing to get across to clear 30 yards out. Knights with a talking as she brings down Smith charging on with the ball central. A few strong challenges creeping into the match neither side wanting to give the ball away. Daviss with a hand ball presents Wymondham with a free-kick in a dangerous position central 25 yard out. Croft placing the ball, the wall does its job as the ball is deflected through to the keeper. 

Wymondham’s, Mary Croft

 Russell gets forwards up to support Waters inside the D, Parsons defending well for Norwich clears the threat. Pearce with another solid take from a corner for Wymondham despite the close attention from Todd. Kett stretching cuts out the ball top of her box as Smith surges into the D from the left, a shot flashed in from the other flank goes wide. Kett hurt going for the ball stays down. Needs treatment, a blow as she can’t continue, Symonds returns to the field. The clock ticking down moving into the final 15 minutes.

Norwich right back, Anna Larkins

 GOAL! The deadlock is broken at last as Norwich press the attack, Smith who has been more proactive going forwards in the 2nd period attacking central with Snelling 20 yards out, she spots Larkins racing clear down the right fires the ball into her path taking it on Larkins smashes a diagonal ball in to the near post the defence back tracking Smith moving across Knights gets her head on the ball a glancing touch aiming to put it into her keepers gloves, coming at her quickly Pearce can’t get it under control and to her despair pops out behind her into the back of the net 1-0.

  Norwich ecstatic as they take the lead a cruel goal for Wymondham to concede. The hosts come on from the restart catching Wymondham at the back as Smith steals in to take the ball of Croft outside the box moves to her right shooting on the angle, Croft recovers well to get in the block, Norwich claiming handball but it clearly struck her backside. The rebound falling to Daviss 25 yards out left of the D sends a shot back in swerves wide of the post. 

Laura Nicholls getting forwards to support Hannah Waters in the Wymondham attack

 Smith is everywhere at the moment moving to the right has Larkins with her exchange passes Smith down to the by-line is clumsily brought down. Players into the box for the free-kick put in at an inviting height central, Snelling is up well to connect with the header sending it across goal, for a moment looks certain to score only for the ball to be cleared excellently by Johnston at the far post.

Natasha Snelling sends her header goalwards. Chardonnay Johnston clearing the ball off the line

  Wymondham looking to get more bodies up and around Waters now as they chase the game, Nicholls and Russell making good runs Symonds attempting to pick Russell out as she breaks into the right channel, but can’t take the ball on in behind as she is dispossessed by Collins. Up the other end Todd breaks in behind to the by-line on the right dragging the cross in to the near post Pearce well placed to gather in front of Snelling. The Norwich no10 with a great chance to double to score-line moments later as a cross is played into the box from the left, seeing it drop in front of her Snelling opens up her body to strike the ball back across goal, sees her effort race wide of the post. Francesca Catchpole comes on for Wymondham to join Waters in the attack with Knights off. Norwich bring on Brooke Osbourne for Kathryn Stanley.

Norwich win a free-kick on the right played short to Smith she flashes a cross into the area, Johnson with a strong header to launch clear defending for Wymondham. Parsons firing a shot over the top from distance as the hosts prevent Wymondham getting the ball out of their half. Stanley back on for Norwich late on replacing Todd puts the ball on for Snelling right side, Croft defending clips the attacker to give away a foul. Norwich fail to make the most of the opportunity.

Natasha Snelling on the drive for Norwich

 Time is running out for Wymondham to get themselves a levelling goal, Clarke has time and space left side 30 yards out lets out a cry of frustration as her shot flashes wide. Into the closing moments of the match Wymondham attacking Clarke picking up the ball on the right has time to line up her cross, players rushing on as she sends a diagonal ball in takes a deflection turning it across goal to the far post Nicholls coming in behind sliding onto it inside the six yard box turns it goalwards but lacks the pace to beat Quinn-Nichols getting down low to stop it. Parker picking up a knock in the attack coming off for Norwich, Jess Harper comes on. One last attack for Wymondham a hand ball spotted 25 yards out giving the visitors a free-kick, Clarke over it sends it goalwards on target, Norwich clear the threat over as the final whistle blows.

Full time Norwich City Women 1-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Norwich coming out on top in the finish scoring the winner in the final 15 minutes to send them through to the last four of the County Cup. Strong in the first half, improved in the 2nd launching a constant barrage at the Wymondham defence, getting players forwards from both the middle of the park and wide positions keeping there opponents penned in the final 3rd. Passing sharper moving the ball well. Again clear cut opportunities rare largely due to the Wymondham defence, battled well keeping tight, too deep maybe but left no room in behind. Waters isolated up front is a deadly as anyone in a one on one situation, Norwich defending from the front limiting the balls Wymondham could play into her. A single goal in the end enough to decide it, on the balance of play Norwich deserved the win, nevertheless was a cruel way to lose a game for Wymondham.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Time to choose today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Once again not an easy choice. Wymondham worked hard as a defensive unit with Leah Newcombe making several tackles to deny Norwich on the left. Rebecca Russell getting forwards with some good positioning whenever she could to support Waters in attack. The attack from Norwich was lively showing great movement and runs, Kathryn Stanley especially first half testing the Wymondham defence. Megan Todd and Natasha Snelling combining well. Whilst at the back Kate Parsons and Izzy Collins kept close tabs on Waters all game. The award though goes to Norwich’s Ellie Smith putting herself about in the first half came into her own 2nd half making some dynamic runs from midfield and applying more pressure to the Wymondham defence.

  Norwich will be at home for the semi-final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup there opponents will be King’s Lynn Town Ladies finalists last time out back in 2019 after they emerged 4-3 winners away to Dereham based side Tavern Ladies. The other semi-final will be an all county league affair with NWGFL side Sprowston Athletic Ladies who beat division two opponents 4-0 at home to rivals Mulbarton Belles Ladies who produced a shock in the quarter finals beating ERWFL Premier Division side Wroxham Ladies 1-0 away from home. Both games due to be played next Sunday 9th May.

 Better weather this time at The Nest. Is a great facility, an intriguing game to watch unfold, cagey took a late goal in the end. My thanks to everyone at the The Nest for their help today.

by Darren Gilham

The Round-Up – 16/02/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 16th February

 The first multi-competition edition of The Round-Up last season after Storm Dennis played havoc with the fixture lists once again this weekend. A total wipe out of matches the weekend with Storm Ciara blowing through. 12 games in all to report on from Sunday featuring sides competing in the leagues covered by Women’s Football East. 

Women’s FA Cup

 Starting with the biggest game of the week a dream tie in the Women’s FA Cup 5th Round for Ipswich Town Women, a historic run taking the Suffolk side into the last 16 of the competition, the lowest ranked side to get this far playing in the fourth tier up against the current holders and FAWSL leaders, a tough test but an occasion to be savoured Ipswich’s history making run drawing national attention in the media.

 Manchester City starting well against Ipswich the visitors fielding a young side with 7 17 year olds in their side. Defender Lucy Egan with a couple of vital blocks in the opening 18 minutes, Manchester City taking the lead in the 19th minute breaking away from an Ipswich corner Laura Coombs striking the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-0. Ipswich goalkeeper Nikita Runnacles saving with her legs to deny, Norfolk born Lauren Hemp a goal 2 minutes later. Pauline Bremer amongst the goals for Manchester City this season firing the hosts into a 2 goal lead midway through the first half rounding the keeper to score. Jess Park shooting from the edge of the area seeing Manchester City leading 3-0 on the half-hour. That the score at half-time. 

Ipswich striker Natasha Thomas up against Manchester City & England captain Steph Houghton (photo credit @RossMediaUK )

   Ipswich with plenty of travelling support for the match spirits high everyone enjoying the occasion. Manchester City out of the blocks quickly in the 2nd period Bremer with an early chance before adding her 2nd of the game in the 49th minute. Ipswich fighting plenty of energy put into closing the ball down Manchester City kept on their toes a professional performance extending the lead in the 57th minute a ball put across the face of goal Georgia Stanway sliding in to score. Bremer netting completing her hat-trick in the 64th minute. Manchester City stepping it up as Ipswich tired Stanway with her 2nd of the game to make it 7-0 two minutes later. Into the final 15 minutes and Park is slid through on goal to net her 2nd of the match wrapping up her hat-trick 3 minutes later her distance strike finding the top corner. Stanway becoming the 3rd Manchester City player to score a hat-trick as she finished from distance from a clearance with 3 minutes to go to see the match won 10-0. A large defeat in the end for Ipswich but a massive gulf between the sides Manchester City a side to be inspired by. Ipswich’s fantastic FA Cup journey coming to an end putting the club firmly on the map plenty still to play for this season challenging for the title in FAWNL South East Division One straight back to it this Wednesday with as big a game away to Norwich City Women in the East Anglian derby.

FAWNL Cup

Another big game in the FAWNL Cup competitions for Milton Keynes Dons Women this weekend at home taking on Northern Premier Division side Stoke City Women in the semi-final this Sunday. A 2nd successive season for Milton Keynes reaching the last 4 of a national competition. League Plate semi-finalists last time out, have saved their best performances for the FAWNL Cup this season dogged in defence going through on penalties in earlier rounds, up against a Stoke City side in good form. The Stadium MK offering some protection from the elements that would certainly play apart in other matches surviving the afternoon, Stoke starting well putting the ball into the Milton Keynes area he home defence standing firm the sides goalless at the break. Abby Hunt firing Stoke City into the lead in the 57th minute the visitors going 2-0 5 minutes later courtesy of a powerfully struck 25 yard free-kick from Hollie Gibson. Milton Keynes looking for a reply seeing a goal ruled out for offside. Milton Keynes breaking with 15 minutes left a shot fired inches wide. Alison Hall smashing a shot against the crossbar for Stoke City with 3 minutes left, a 3rd goal not required 2-0 enough to see Stoke City into this season’s FAWNL Cup final where they will face either Sunderland AFC Ladies or Southampton FC Women the pair meeting in their semi-final this coming Sunday.

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

 Two games surviving Storm Dennis in Norfolk at the weekend and both big ones as the semi-finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup took place. Women’s Football East braving the elements to watch one of those matches Norwich City Women taking on Wroxham Women. Played at The Nest north of the city the weather rubbish very wet and windy the pitch holding out well however the game on. A fairly even start to the game both sides testing the other creating opportunities joy on the flanks. Wroxham taking the lead just past 20 minutes, captain Anna Larkins put away down the right her ball in on the angle parries down across goal by Norwich goalkeeper Hope Armstrong, top scorer Grace Birchall sliding in at the far post to score from close range. Norwich quick to respond the ball put forwards quickly through the middle their top scorer Chelsea Garrett breaking in behind the defence, goalkeeper Amy Bell starting to come can’t get there is caught in no mans land as Garrett lobs her from outside the box to make it 1-1. No sooner are Norwich level then they take the lead themselves Aimee Durrant putting a free-kick from the right into the box a shot from the left charged down the rebound falling to Garrett top of the box rifles it home for her 2nd of the match. A devastating spell from Norwich as they go on to score twice more in quick succession Durrant causing problems wide right her cross into the six yard box bringing an own goal, then putting pressure on defender and goalkeeper as they get to close to each other at the top of the area steals in to rob the ball and walk it into the empty net.

Natasha Snelling with a late double to help send Norwich through to the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final

 Norwich leading 4-1 at half-time scoring 4 goals in 6 minutes, Wroxham coming out fighting at the start of the 2nd half as they look to pull a goal back quickly Norwich solid at the back defender Lauren Cullum clearing a ball off the line. The game entering the final 10 minutes midfielder Jodie Drake lining up a strike from 35 yards out struck well to seal the win 5-1 it was the catalyst for another Wroxham collapse as they suffered a repeat of the 2nd half. Keunna Dill on in the 2nd half free on the left away down the line squaring a ball along the face of goal Natasha Snelling arriving for the tap in. 6-1 quickly became 7-1, a corner taken short Sian Douglas with a well struck shot on the angle driving the ball home to score her first goal for the club. Dill racing away again shooting over Bell seeing her shot strike the bar coming back down not gathered Snelling latching onto it to score her 2nd of the game. Norwich through the the Norfolk Women’s County Cup final, getting the opportunity at long last to play at Carrow Road. The whole game report can be found below this post.

  Norwich’s opponents in this season’s Norfolk Women County Cup final will be back to back winners of the competition Wymondham Town Ladies as they made it a fourth county cup final appearance in a row winning away to Sprowston Ladies at the weekend. Sprowston the only county league side to make it this far in the competition amongst the top sides in Division One putting on a spirited performance against a Wymondham side despite being hampered by injuries throughout the season scoring plenty of goals. Vice captain Leah Newcombe at last making her return to the field after being out since last season’s cup final. Goals from Freya Symonds, Katie Knights, striker Hannah Waters and her first for the club from defender Lauren Kett seeing Wymondham through to a fourth successive final 4-0. The County Cup Final to be played on Sunday 19th April kicking off at 11am at Carrow Road.

Essex Women’s County Cup

 County Cup semi-final action too in Essex this weekend again the only games to beat the weather and had a feeling if any would it would be these both played on good 3G pitches kicking off later in the afternoon. The competition dominated by Billericay Town Ladies and AFC Basildon Women in recent season’s Basildon first and recent Billericay have lifted the trophy locking horns in recent finals. Both playing in FAWNL South East Division One, Basildon rebuilding somewhat have found their feet in the league making up a strong top half of the table joined by Billericay. Drawn to meet in the semi-finals this time around both fancying their chances on recent form. Played at Aveley FC a 4:30pm kick-off no clear cut chances for either side in the opening 15 minutes. Basildon opening the scoring in the 21st minutes Jodie Osborne flicking the ball over the keeper to make it 1-0. The visitors getting themselves into a 2-0 before the half hour Kelly Wealthall with the tap in following great work on the ball from strike partner Holly Turner. Billericay coming back at Basildon Zoe Rushen seeing a shot saved, Therese Addison with an effort blocked on the line late in the half Basildon going into the changing rooms 2-0 up. 

Action from this weekends semi-final (photo credit Nicky Hayes)

 Another block on the goal line denying Rushen a goal early in the 2nd half Basildon going on to take a 3-0 lead 15 minutes into the 2nd period Turner with a well struck shot. Basildon adding a 4th goal 5 minutes later with Poppy Binding tapping home to put the visitors into a strong position with 25 minutes to play. Billericay getting a goal back straight away Hannah Smith making it 4-1. Billericay pushing later on shots saved Addison firing in a free-kick with 3 minutes left a consolation as Basildon were celebrating at the final whistle reaching the County Cup Final again 4-2. 

 History to be made in the other Essex Women’s County Cup semi-final with Bowers & Pitsea Ladies at home to Collier Row Tigers both looking to reach the final for the first time. Bowers & Pitsea doing well in their first season in the ERWFL Premier Division not underestimating their lower league opponents Collier Row Tigers top of the Essex Women’s Premier Division unbeaten dropping just 2 points so far this season whilst scoring plenty of goals and keeping it tight at the other end conceding just 11. Weather condition poor wet and windy scrappy at the start few clear cut chances created. Goalless at half-time Collier Row Tigers proving a tough opponent Bowers & Pitsea battling to get the opening goal wouldn’t come the game going to extra-time. A further half and hour of play seeing no goals added the semi-final to be settled on penalties. Some well taken penalties it was Bowers & Pitsea who were celebrating at the finish going through to the final 6-5 in the shootout. The Essex Women’s County Cup Final to be played on Thursday 9th April a 7:45pm KO at Aveley FC.

Essex Women’s Trophy

 Another semi-final played at the weekend in Essex in the Trophy competition and better news for Billericay Town Ladies in this one played earlier in the afternoon at Aveley FC with their Reserves side beating Essex Women’s Premier Division side Beacon Hill Rovers Ladies 3-0 to reach the final. Amelie Johnson scoring the opening goal of the game. Becky Gallagher striking to put Billericay 2-0 ahead Leigha Bradding-Butler netting the 3rd goal. Billericay’s Reserves will face either Hutton Ladies Reserves or Lawford Ladies in the final their semi-final falling foul of Storm Dennis will try again this coming weekend.

Suffolk Women’s Division

 There were just four league matches that survive at the weekend and just the one match in Suffolk. Bury Town Ladies keeping up their title charge as they move into 2nd spot ahead of Brettvale Ladies on goal difference with a double figure win at home against bottom side University of Suffolk Women the visitors short of a full side up against a Bury Town side full of goals players contributing throughout the side. Julie Brind top scorer netting a hat-trick at the weekend moving her onto 22 for the season. Mia Bambury into double figures too now scoring at the weekend on 10. Kirsty Pollard with a brace goals too for Sophie Hemming and Norma Locker. Katie Walker with another goal has 2 form 2 appearances with Georgia Parker scoring her first goal of the season. 

Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership

 Again in Cambridgeshire Storm Dennis wreaked havoc with the fixture lists on Sunday with just one match played in  both the Premiership and Championship. In the Premiership it was a poignant game for St Ives Town Ladies Development away to Netherton United Ladies. Sad news this weekend with the sad news that one of their founding players Charlene Martin passing away losing her battle with bowel cancer. Can only offer my condolences and thoughts to her family and friends and those at St Ives was an inspiration to so many.  

 The club coming together to play at the weekend travelling to play Netherton United Ladies. A late winner in stoppage time seeing the 3 points go to Netherton, Yasmin Green scoring from the penalty spot for the hosts earlier in the game, Tash Applegate scoring for St Ives Town. Katie Barber finding the back of the net in the 93rd minute giving Netherton the win, moves them level with St Ives Town on 16 points in what is a very congested mid-table in the Premiership a number of sides pushing for a top 4 finish there is still alot of football to be played.

Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship

One game played in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship at the weekend rough conditions too for Cardea Ladies as they hosted 2nd placed Mildenhall Town Ladies at the weekend the opening half an hour seeing no goals. Charlotte Nash putting away her 10th goal of the season for Mildenhall seeing the visitors open the scoring. 5 minutes later were 2-0 up with Nadine Basson on target with a goal. A flurry of goals coming late in the first half 10 minutes left to play Courtney Coles pulling it back to 2-1 for Cardea. Nash scoring her 2nd of the game restoring Mildenhall’s 2 goal lead, Coles with her second bringing it back to 3-2 at half-time. Mildenhall ramping it up 2nd half to ensure the 3 points. Top scorer Katie Hayes scoring her 19th goal of the season on the hour, Jasmine Luckett with her 5th of the campaign 5 minutes later along with a brace in the final 15 minutes from Rachel Pearce seeing the game won 7-3 moving Mildenhall to within 4 points of leaders Cambridge Rangers Women.

Beds & Herts The Chris Renshaw Cup

A couple of matches too surviving Storm Dennis in the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League. Division One side Hitchin Belles hosting Division Two leaders AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Ladies in the quarter finals of The Chris Renshaw Cup. The visitors in good form at the top of the table Hitchin Belles bottom of the Division One table Kempston Ton & Bedford College tight at the back conceding just 6 goals in the league keeping Hitchin out on Sunday in the cup progressing through to the semi-finals of the competition winning 4-0 with both Charlie Mullins and Chloe Urbanowicz scoring a brace. AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College will now be at home to fellow Division Two side Garston Ladies Vintage Purples in the semi-finals date to be announced.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

As AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Ladies were advancing through to the last four of The Chris Renshaw Cup they were also knocked off the top of the Division Two table on goal difference by Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses as they won big at home to bottom side Wheathampstead Wanderers Ladies at the weekend. Charlotte Bedford opening the scoring for Woburn & Wavendon in the first minute. Laura Taylor seeing them 2-0 up inside 5 minutes. Jess Katsinas adding to the scoreline with a goal 5 minutes later Woburn & Wavendon with a strong opening to the game were 4-0 up with 15 minutes played Kelly Randall scoring her first goal of the season. Katsinas with her 2nd of the match putting them 5-0 up. Taylor netting 2 goals in 3 minutes to complete a first half hat-trick seeing Woburn & Wavendon leading 7-0 at half-time. More goals in the 2nd half with Emily Wall getting her first of the season on the hour. Bedford and Randall on target for their 2nd goals of the game each. Lucy Boyle another to celebrate her first goal of the season in the final 10 minutes. Jessica Greaves at the death sealing a 12-0 win. Woburn & Wavendon going top of goal difference but still incredibly tight at the top of Division Two with 3 points separating the top 4.

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Wroxham Women

Sunday 16th February

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

Storm Ciara blew through the country last weekend wiping out the women’s football fixtures lists and hot in it’s Storm Dennis arrived promising another weekend of disruption this time around, a case of leaving it to the last minute to see what games might hold out, Norwich City Women announcing their game was on it was a short trip to The Nest in the north of the city to watch their Norfolk Women’s County Cup semi-final clash against Wroxham Women.

 The Norfolk Women’s County Cup final played at Norwich City FC’s, Carrow Road ground for the first time last season the trophy won for a 2nd successive season by Wymondham Town Ladies, the holders were looking to make it 4 county cup final appearances on the bounce as they took on Sprowston Ladies in the other semi-final match beating the weather this weekend. Carrow Road to host the final once again this season a huge opportunity for both today’s opponents. 

  Norwich City Women dominating the County Cup in Norfolk at the start of the decade withdrew from the competition for a couple of season’s returning to compete a couple of seasons ago falling in the early stages on the previous two ocassions against King’s Lynn Town Ladies and Acle United Women last season now Wroxham Women. Norfolk’s leading league placed sides competing in FAWNL South East Division One are in a period of transition to a degree bringing in alot of youthful players with a strong experienced spine within the squad. Striker Chelsea Garrett amongst the goals this season has 18 to her name so far. Reaching a Carrow Road final would be a dream come true.

  Wroxham Women are a new name for an experienced side making the move from Acle United an established side in the ERWFL Premier Division a league below the FAWNL South East Division One. Have been warmly embraced and supported by Wroxham FC as they look to push on further within the women’s football pyramid. Have a striker too prolific in attack this season Grace Birchall leading the line netting 27 goals already this season from just 12 appearances. Have been frustrated by postponements in recent weeks today’s game thier first competitive action since the 19th January. Injuries to affecting the squad whilst new players coming in are ineligible to play in today’s game.

  The Nest in Horsford to the north of Norwich close the the airport the venue for today’s semi-final. Norwich playing here a few times are keen advocates for seeing the side fully developed building work ongoing in very early stages has the potential to add to good sporting facilities already dotted about the county. Had this game earmarked early on but the weather forecast meant I daren’t commit until late on and with the rainfall heavy over night had my doubts but the game was on still with rain falling all the way still wasn’t convinced, wind blowing too, very unpleasant as I headed out to the pitch, but passing inspection by the officials was in surprisingly good shape holding up well with no standing water. A good walk from the clubhouse hot drinks available. No cover wind strong and rain sweeping across not ideal playing conditions. Women’s football supporters have a tendency to appear out of nowhere 5 minutes before kick-off and a surprising number had braved the elements. Wroxham bringing a small but hardcore following who were in loud voice singing throughout the match.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Brooke Osborne, Lauren Cullum, Tigi Robson, Kate Parsons, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss (C), Rosie George, Aimee Durrant, Natasha Snelling & Chelsea Garrett. Subs – Keunna Dill, Abbigail Tate & Sian Douglas.

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

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Working out how best to wield an umbrella, notepad and camera without a stand to hide in the wind was blowing the rain across the pitch so having at my back worked well abandoned the umbrella altogether with the rain lightening up somewhat the wind still strong would be a factor in the game along with a slick pitch. Norwich licking off the game wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Wroxham lined up opposite wearing blue and white vertical striped shirts, with blue shorts and socks. The ball played back to the defence launched forwards, Wroxham goalkeeper, Amy Bell getting her gloves on the ball early on. 

   Bell’s kick out of goal high carried by the wind, difficult to bring under control Norwich regain possession the ball put out long on the diagonal to the left Rosie George on the flank, checks back playing it inside the ball lifted towards the box dealt with by the Wroxham defence. The early exchanges scrappy conditions difficult the wind swirling across the pitch. Wroxham make ground on the right getting forwards the cross standing up in the wind Grace Birchall inside the box can’t bring under control, the visitors pressure in the final third drawing the foul a free-kick out wide, players up from the back into the box, the ball delivered towards the near post Lauren Bailey attacking it for Wroxham can’t direct her effort on target wide behind goal. 

  Norwich play the ball out from the back a push in the back on captain Millie Daviss as she looks to head the ball on from halfway, referee Stuart Jessop playing the advantage as the ball is gathering into her stride by Natasha Snelling running on puts it through the Wroxham defence for Chelsea Garrett breaking in behind, Bell quickly out of her area winning the race for the ball launching it up field. 

Naomi Cooper playing the ball on for Wroxham Women

 Wroxham getting joy on the right captain Anna Larkins getting forwards to support the attack with Naomi Cooper a dangerous ball whipped in close to the near post cut out by Norwich’s Lauren Cullum. Wroxham quick to close down Norwich as they look to carry the ball out from the back. The wind playing it’s part ball running on for Wroxham as they attack, Norwich counter Jodie Drake sliding in to win the ball on half way forwards into Garrett’s feet, turns sees Snelling making a run the forwards past carrying too mach weight allowing Bell to come and claim. Garrett with a strike on the volley from 25 yards out racing wide of the left post.

 George on the ball good close control coming inside from the left slides the ball through central for Snelling top of the area, going a fraction too soon the flag up against her. Kayleigh Holloway back in defence for Wroxham being kept busy by Norwich’s Aimee Durrant pushing on from the right. Wroxham hustling the ball inside the Norwich half Ciera Flatt combining with Birchall and Cooper win a corner on the right. the wind getting stronger the corner delivered towards the top of the box attacked by Bailey, Durrant with her challenging bringing the ball away for the hosts can’t make any headway.

Grace Birchall getting the better of Norwich’s Kate Parson’s

  George getting on with the ball left side checking inside 25 yards out puts in a low diagonal ball looking for Snelling in the middle, Chloe Shields misses it for Wroxham allowing the attacker to steal in behind, Bell diving as she shoots stabs her attempt wide of goal. Holloway defends for Wroxham playing the ball on well pushed through for Kirstie Kindred right channel plays it on for Birchall the wind taking it on allows Norwich goalkeeper to come and claim before Birchall can latch onto it. 

  An even match both sides finding openings creating chances looking for space, Garrett this time away into the left corner with the ball flashes a cross into the box Durrant near side can’t adjust her body to get a telling touch gathered by Drake out on the right turns back to cross low fires the ball into the side netting. Birchall with an audacious attempt from just beyond the centre circle turning as she receives the ball looking to catch Armstrong unawares the ball landing wide of goal. Space fro Holloway on the left inside the Wroxham half lines up a shot her curling effort dropping safely into Armstrong’s gloves.

 GOAL! The visitors open the scoring a strong attack on the right wing Larkins away in behind bursting on drives a rising sot in on the angle Armstrong flashes up a glove to keep in out deflects the ball across her goal face dropping at the far post Birchall sliding in puts it in from close range 0-1.

Grace Birchall putting Wroxham Women into the lead

 Norwich come straight on from the restart Daviss out to Durrant on the right takes the ball on looping a high ball into the area caught cleanly by Bell. Wroxham counter coming on down the right Lauren Bullard linking with Cooper a corner kick won. A difficult one for the keeper put in under her bar Armstrong deflects it out into her six yard box comes straight to Birchall, on her quickly an instinctive header sends the ball over the crossbar. 

Grace Birchall with the instinctive header put over the bar for Wroxham

 GOAL! Norwich get straight back on level terms the ball direct put through the middle sees Garrett race away in behind the defence, Bell starts to come but realises she can’t get there, can’t get back into position in time is caught in no mans land as Garrett clinical lobs the ball over her into the back of the net 1-1.

  A good contest between Birchall in attack and Kate Parson’s in defence for Norwich the Wroxham attack always looking to get away when the ball is played forwards. Norwich pushing on gaining some momentum Brooke Osborne travelling out from the back with the ball trying her luck from distance. Drake sending a shot wide. 

GOAL! On the attack Durrant is brought down on the right outside the box the ball played into the centre of the area evades everyone comes out to the left still inside the box a vicious strike fired back in charged down deflected straight to Garrett top of the area left of the D she smashes her shot home to score her 2nd of the game and fire Norwich into the lead 2-1.

Norwich City Women’s striker Chelsea Garrett (taken in sunny times) (photo credit Brian Coombes)

GOAL! No sooner have Norwich taken the lead then they race into a 3-1 lead, cutting Wroxham open on the counter attack Durrant with space to exploit on the right drives a fierce strike low into the six yard box Birchall lurking at the far post the ball is turned into the back of their own net by the Wroxham defence.

Wroxham make the first change of the game Kate Pasque coming on at the back for Bailey. Wroxham attack on the right Kindred on for Birchall turning inside the box is adjudged to foul Cullum as she goes past her. Tigi Robson cutting out a diagonal pass from Bullard as Wroxham build through the middle. 

GOAL! A devastating spell from Norwich sees them further extend their lead the ball played forwards the game somewhat stretched to the right Durrant closing down Shields at the back as Bell comes towards the right hand corner of her area wanting the ball, defender and goalkeeper close Durrant reads it and steals in on Bell to rob the ball and walk it into the back of the net beyond 4-1.

Aimee Durrant steal in to win the ball and put Norwich 4-1 ahead (photo credit Brian Coombes)

  Wroxham well and truly on the back foot tempers flare in the middle a foul leading to pushing and shoving, Flatt and Drake both shown a yellow card. Flatt letting her frustration out with a strike from distance 35 yards out the ball looping into the box caught by Armstrong. Daviss coming on for Norwich as they press the ball on the left side fires a 20 yard shot over the bar. At the back Cullum recovers well showing good pace to catch kindred as she almost gets away from her following a great through ball from Flatt.

  A mis-hit from George top of the area, Durrant able to latch onto it her shot in held by Bell. Wroxham counter attack quickly Bullard with a good ball through for Larkins away on the right her strike from the angle hitting the top of the crossbar.

Half-time Norwich City Women 4-1 Wroxham Women

  Norwich with a devastating 15 minute spell coming back from a goal down to lead at the end of the 1st half 4-1. A even contest up to that point both sides creating opportunities coping well despite the terrible playing conditions the rain light the wind strong throughout. Norwich capitalising on some Wroxham errors with a strong advantage to carry into the 2nd half, Wroxham with alot of work to do to get back into the game will need a goal back quickly in the 2nd half.

Wroxham to get the 2nd half underway no changes for either side that I can see, the skies are brightening a little the rain easing. Wroxham straight on the attack Birchall turning on the ball looks to release Kindred ahead of her, Cullum on her shoulder muscles her off the ball. Durrant with a ball on from the right aiming to get Birchall in on the box this time Armstrong out of her box to clear the danger. Wroxham starting the 2nd half well a high ball forwards headed clear by Parsons. Lots of high ball, no one getting hold of it Drake spreading play to Durrant on the right her cross in intercepted by Pasque for Wroxham.

Kate Parsons winning the ball for Norwich City.

Wroxham win a free-kick out wide on the left Holloway on the ball played short back to Larkins lets fly from 30 yards out looks wide from where I’m standing on halfway but maybe not as Armstrong dives to her right to glove the ball behind for a corner kick. The ball from the left into a crowded near post area put wide of goal a 2nd corner awarded. This ball dealt with by the head of Parsons. 

Wroxham’s Victoria Pleavin

 Victoria Pleavin brings the ball on from the back for Wroxham allowed to drive on comes into the middle before Norwich numbers force her off the ball. The rain has stopped at last just makes the wind feel stronger. Bell with a good claim in the middle of her six yard box as Norwich flung a cross in from the right. Norwich make their first change of the match Keunna Dill coming on for Durrant, George switching to the right side. Wroxham make another change too with Mary-Anne Hoy on for Pasque. Flatt carries the ball forwards for Wroxham a strong run putting it on for Birchall giving her a run into the left channel, Robson showing great pace to get back on her and put in the challenge.

Norwich City Women’s, Keunna Dill

Space opening up as Wroxham commit in attack Norwich playing the ball though the centre for Garrett she turns playing the diagonal ball to Dill in acres of space on the left takes the ball on into the box the angle closing fires in a low strike Bell saving fantastically with her legs the ball deflected behind for a corner on the left. 

 Chances at both ends Flatt up to Birchall left 25 yards out Bullard rushing on through the centre the ball put inside she robs it off the Norwich defence stealing into the box, the final shot tame in the finish easy for Armstrong going to ground to smother the shot. George away on the right for Norwich down the line fires in a low cross at the near post Garrett there turn into the shot puts it straight at Bell. Wroxham need to get back into the game Norwich ready to capitalise going forwards. 

Wroxham Women’s Lauren Bullard

Bullard through the middle again takes the ball round the grounded keeper top of the area, Parsons back on her to put the ball behind for a corner before she can get a shot away. The corner put in near side havoc in the box Armstrong beaten as the shot comes in, Cullum keeping it out on the goal line clearing for Norwich. Larkins defending up the other end for Wroxham as Garrett looks to send the ball on through the middle. Wroxham make a third change with Leanne Symonds coming on for Bullard. 

Kayleigh Holloway looking to get after the ball for Wroxham Women

  End to end Garrett stealing in on the ball in the final third robbing the Wroxham defence into the area the angles going away from her she sends in a fierce strike Bell saving with her legs again putting the ball behind for another corner. Norwich making a change before the corner is taken Abbigail Tate coming on for Osborne, Sian Douglas on for Garrett shortly after. Bell holding onto the corner the ball forwards Birchall fouled by Robson outside the box 20 yards out to the left takes on the shot herself fires over.

Birchall determined in attack getting away from Parsons letting fly from 25 yards out central her shot swerving through the air Armstrong diving full stretch to her right the ball narrowly wide of the post. The game entering the final 10 minutes.

GOAL! Drake winning the ball as she has done all game in the middle bringing it on right side 35 yards out striking the ball sending her shot in over the keeper to seal the win 5-1.

Norwich City midfielder Jodie Drake makes it 5-1

GOAL! A blow for Wroxham late in the game and they are delivered another sucker punch straight away possession lost in the middle the ball put out to Dill clear on the left taking the ball to the byline whipping in a pacey cross into the six yard box Norwich players racing in  Snelling there to turn the ball in from close range 6-1.

Natasha Snelling further extends Norwich’s lead

Norwich with a late burst of energy tails up push forwards Daviss getting on winning a corner kick on the right.

GOAL! The corner taken short up the line on the right fired in on the angle a powerful strike clearing the keeper to smash against the far post and deflect over the line across goal. Sian Douglas with the strike to make it 7-1 scoring her first Norwich goal.

GOAL! Wroxham blown away at the end of the match as Norwich go on to score an 8th goal. Dill a constant threat on the left since being introduced to the game put clear into space to run on central releasing a shot top of the area looping over Bell her shot cannons back of the cross bar, Bell off balance tries to claim, Snelling running in on top of her nicking the ball and running it on into the empty net. 8-1.

Wroxham come on minutes left beaten keep going in attack Birchall has run herself into the ground moves out to the right to receive the ball fires in a cross along the top of the six yard box, Cooper rushing forwards at the far post can’t quite get there. Flatt advancing through the middle putting the ball onto Birchall, Robson getting across her in the box seeing the ball back to her keeper. The final whistle blows up and Norwich City Women with a comfortable final score advance to the Norfolk Women’s County Cup final.

Full time Norwich City Women 8-1 Wroxham Women

  A game played in terrible weather conditions a credit to both sides for making a competitive contest out of it. An even start to the match chances for both sides Wroxham taking the lead, Norwich coming straight back to level the scores and a devastating spell saw them race into a 4-1 lead at half-time. Wroxham had to attack 2nd half and needed an early goal if they wanted to get back into the game Norwich defending well ready to hit on the counter going 5-1 up with 10 minutes to play a 2nd spell of destruction saw them hammer home the result taking them through to a Carrow Road final a truly special occasion for the club especially their senior players who have long deserved the opportunity. A disappointing end result for Wroxham but they matched Norwich for long periods of the game and created chances.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 On to this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few players to mention, firstly for Wroxham, Lauren Bullard with some superb passing and runs in attack. Grace Birchall too in attack worked tirelessly to create goal scoring opportunities. For Norwich, their defence was excellent as a unit, Lauren Cullum in particular, Rosie George out wide too, today’s award though goes to central midfielder Jodie Drake a strong performance in the centre of the park breaking up play making tackles and getting forwards well to support the attack plus scoring a well taken goal.

  Norwich City Women will player the holders Wymondham Town Ladies in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final after they beat Sprowston Ladies 4-0 this afternoon. The Final to be played on Sunday 19th April at Carrow Road an 11am kick-off, looking forwards to it already.

  Suppose it was good to get back to it after missing last weekend through Storm Ciara, enjoyed the football but certainly didn’t enjoy the weather, the notepad was well and truly soaked, along with the writer but both dried out now. My thanks to both sides for giving me the team details always appreciated.

The Round-Up – Norfolk 26/01/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 26th January

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

Beginning this weeks Norfolk Round-Up with the one remaining tie to be played in the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup, and it was a huge test for Norfolk Women’s Division One side as they faced FAWNL South East Division One side Norwich City Women. 3 leagues between the sides Norwich keen to make progress in this season’s County Cup after falling in the early rounds since rejoining the competition a couple of season’s ago. A home tie against Wroxham Women awaiting the winner. Norwich holding a 3-0 lead at half-time, prevented Sprowston Athletic from scoring whilst adding a further 3 goals to progress into the last 4 with a 6-0 victory. The goals spread amongst the side with 3 players netting their first goals for the side, Lauren Cullum, Hannah Claughton and Jodie Drake. Eliza McDonald and Reeanna Cook also getting on the scoresheet along with Aimee Durrant scoring her 8th goal of the season.

Aimee Durrant on the scoresheet at the weekend against Sprowston Athletic with her 8th goal of the season for Norwich (photo credit Brian Coombes)

Norwich with now play Wroxham Women in the last four the game to be played on Sunday 16th February. Back to back winners Wymondham Town Ladies are away to Norfolk Division One side Sprowston Ladies.

Norfolk Women’s League Cup

Plenty of cup action too elsewhere in the county with the Norfolk Women’s League Cup reaching the quarter finals stage. A strong line-up in the last 8 of the competition too with the top 4 in Division One all still involved. All showing great form in the first half of the season with plenty of goals in heir squads. Current League Cup holders Sprowston Ladies were at home to at Bungay Town Ladies winners of the League Cup the previous season, 2nd and 3rd in the league. Victoria Leyer has been prolific in front of goal for Sprowston once again this season and was on target for two goals in the fist half for the hosts on Sunday to move her onto 29 goals from just 10 appearances, a goal to for captain Abby Hutchin seeing Sprowston leading Bungay 3-1 at half-time. Selina Rowland netting the goal for Bungay pressed for more goals in the 2nd period Sprowston though standing firm in defence going on to win and book their place in the last 4 of the competition. 

  Sprowston Ladies opponents in the League Cup final last season were Tavern Ladies then of Division Two. Now riding high in Division One were away to familiar opponents Fakenham Town Ladies had knocked them out of the County Cup earlier in the season. Tavern scoring plenty of goals a potent attack force with players joining from midfield, Fakenham battling hard in defence goalkeeper Chloe Easter pulling off a number of saves, Katie Hart-Copsey scoring in the first half to put Tavern into the lead her 13th goal of the season proving to be decisive enough to send Tavern into the League Cup semi-finals for the 2nd successive season.

  Elsewhere both Division One leaders Thorpe United Ladies and their Reserves side playing in Division Two were both in quarter final action in the league cup. High scoring games Thorpe United Ladies Reserves were hosting Division One side Long Stratton Women. Samantha Walker captaining the side doing well in front of goal this season on fire at the weekend to score a double hat-trick for Long Stratton helping the club to reach their first semi-final in 9 years. A brace from Emily Watts making her return to the side and one for Ellie Sostman seeing Long Stratton to a 9-2 victory. Rachael Wall on target for both goals for Thorpe United Reserves.

  Runaway leaders at the top of Division One with a 100% record from 11 played were away to Division Two newcomers Waveney Ladies in the quarter finals of the League Cup. Thorpe’s captain Rebekah Lake scoring a very large chunk of their goals this season bagging herself another 4 at the weekend against Waveney’s youngsters to take her to 35 for the season from 12 played. Thorpe running out double figure winners progressing to the last 4 of the competition with a 10-0 win, six other players celebrating a goal, Joanne Hooper, Ellie Hunter, Millie Cursons, Aneliese Smith, Alice Ladbrooke and Sophie Jermy.

Norfolk Women’s Division One

One match played in Norfolk Women’s Division One on Sunday with Wymondham Town Ladies hosting Thetford Town Ladies. The visitors finding a bit of form in the league in recent weeks taking 4 points from their last two match Thetford pulling further away from the bottom two going above Wymondham into 8th place in the table as they made it 7 points from 3 matches winning at the weekend 2-1. Natalie Woods scoring for Wymondham but a 6th goal of the season from Melissa Boulton and a first of the campaign for Abbey Comstock securing the win for Thetford who may yet push for a mid-table finish following promotion from Division Two last season.

Norfolk Women’s Division Two

Two games played in Norfolk Women’s Division Two on Sunday, Hockering Ladies getting back to winning ways in the league at the weekend following back to back defeat plus a heavy loss in the League Cup to Tavern Ladies. Were hosting struggling Red Rose Ladies the 2nd bottom side short on numbers a situation Hockering were familiar with in the past. Took advantage to rack up a double figure scoreline winning by 11 goals to nil Hockering back up to 5th in the table.

Very tight though in the middle of the Division Two table with Hockering ahead on goal difference over North Walsham Ladies now 6th ahead of Mulbarton Wanderers who they beat at home on Sunday. Mulbarton another side short on numbers, North Walsham themselves with the bare 11, goals from Kiera Brown and Rhiannon Holt helping the hosts to a 3-0 victory.

The Round-Up – Norfolk 19/01/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 19th January

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

Quarter final weekend for the Norfolk Women’s County Cup 3 of the 4 games played this Sunday with Sprowston Athletic Ladies game with Norwich City Women postponed. Current holders and back to back winners of the County Cup, Wymondham Town Ladies were at home taking on Division One leaders Thorpe United Ladies who themselves have enjoyed success in the County Cup in the recent past. Wymondham starting well Thorpe defending missed opportunities too Wymondham opening the scoring with the half hour fast approaching striker Hannah Waters sending the ball into the back of the net after her initial shot was saved. That lead to a flurry of goals for the hosts the lead doubled quickly with Jennifer Codman setting up Laura Nicholls to make it 2-0 just 3 minutes later, a 3rd goal scored just 2 minutes after that Nicholls on the scoresheet again heading home a Mollie O’Callaghan cross. 

  Wymondham leading 3-0 at half-time took full control of the tie early in the 2nd starting well scoring 2 quick goals after the restart to go 5-0 up. Waters with her 2nd of the match in the 48th minute latching onto a loose back pass. Combination play between Waters and Nicholls then leading to Freya Symonds sending the ball past the keeper to make it 5-0 in the 49th minute. Symonds scoring her 2nd of the game just 5 minutes later scoring at the far post from a Chelsea Clarke cross. Thorpe scoring a late consolation goal with 10 minutes left to play captain Rebekah Lake onto a ball over the top.

A 7 goal thriller between Tavern Ladies and Wroxham Women as they met in the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup on Sunday. Tavern hosting doing well this season in the league following promotion to Division One scoring goals a tough test on Sunday against ERWFL Premier Division side Wroxham. The visitors starting well early chances the pressure bringing the opening goal inside 6 minutes Naomi Cooper with a good run on the ball cutting inside to send a shot under the keeper. Tavern with less of the ball still a threat in attack keeping Wroxham alert at the other end chances missed by both Tavern coming back to level before half an hour was in the clock. Wroxham responding well straight back into the lead Cooper and captain Anna Larkins combining the cross turned in at the far post by Kayleigh Holloway. Cyan Fullbrook with a fantastic diving one handed save to keep Tavern from equalising again the hosts drawing level on the stroke of half-time. 2-2 at the break with Wroxham’s Kirstie Kindred striking the top of the woodwork in stoppage time.

Match action from Tavern Ladies v Wroxham Women (photo credit Wroxham Women)

 Into the 2nd half Tavern starting well both sides forcing the keepers into saves the lower league side taking the lead in the 50th minute going 3-2 up. Wroxham on the attack coming back to level themselves in the 70th minute Larkins and Cooper again combining on the flank the cross headed clear of the box falling straight to Chloe Shields to strike on the volley to make it 3-3. Wroxham finishing strong chances to retake the lead a corner in the 80th minute leading to a penalty being given for handball Lauren Bullard stepping up to score and make it 4-3. Wroxham into the draw for the semi-finals.

 To be made live on BBC Radio Norfolk on Friday evening also in the hat are Sprowston Ladies the Division One side winning at home to Division Two opposition Hockering Ladies. A 2nd heavy defeat for the visitors in cup competitions in successive weeks Tavern knocking them out of the League Cup, Sprowston racking up the goals this Sunday to win the game 15-0.

Norfolk Women’s Division One

Two matches beating the weather in Norfolk Women’s Division One featuring the sides bottom two. Positive results for both on Sunday. Bottom side Freethorpe Ladies were at home taking on Thetford Town Ladies. Has been tough for both sides following promotion to Division One this season and both knew it would be. Thetford’s recent form picking up earning some useful points a win against Taverham last weekend taking them out of the bottom two. Freethorpe working hard every game bottom haven’t got a point on the board after 10 played. That changed at the weekend as Freethorpe were celebrating earning their first point of the season. Olivia Sutton with her first goal of the season giving Freethorpe a first half lead. Thetford coming back to level the scores in the 2nd half to see it end 1-1. Rebecca White with the goal.

A tough season too for Taverham United Ladies following promotion as Division Two champions in their debut season dropping into the bottom two after being beaten 2-1 by Thetford last weekend. Were at home this Sunday taking on 5th placed Fakenham Town Ladies. Injury and illness affecting the visitors Taverham doing well to get their 3rd league win of the season go back above Thetford. Rebecca Sutton on target with her 8th goal of the season with Hannah Artis firing home her first of the campaign to see the match won 2-0.

Hannah Artis scoring her first goal of the season for Taverham United Ladies at the weekend.

Norfolk Women’s Division Two

Two games played in Norfolk Women’s Division One this weekend. Waveney Ladies moving up to 3rd in the league after grabbing a last minute winners last weekend in a dramatic game away to North Walsham Angles Ladies. Were on the road again this weekend taking on Horsford Women a less dramatic game with neither side able to breach their opponents defend they had to settle for a point each in a 0-0 draw.

That results sees Thorpe United Ladies Reserves climb above Waveney back into 3rd spot in Division Two on goal difference as they won at home to struggling Red Rose Ladies on Sunday. Red Rose short of a full side Thorpe were welcoming back Shanice Sutton returning to the pitch after a long lay off due to a nasty knee injury suffered at the back end of the season before last. Carried on were she left off scoring plenty of goals that season hit the ground running by scoring 4 on her first start back. A first of the season too for Kirstie Andrews. Mia Calver also on the scoresheet with a goal with Chloe Musson-Pipe netting a brace in an 8-0 victory.

The Round-Up – Norfolk 24/11/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 24th November

Norfolk Ladies League Cup

A cup weekend in the NWGFL with the Ladies League Cup reaching the 2nd Round stage. 4 ties played this weekend with 2 two called off and one never happening in the 1st place but read ob to find out why. Holders Sprowston Ladies playing in another Sprowston derby match were at home to Sprowston Athletic Ladies once again coming out on top. Leading 1-0 at half-time scored twice more without reply in the 2nd half to progress to the quarter finals with a 3-0 victory. Ellie Hall on target for a brace has 6 more for the season for Sprowston with Chelsea Brister also scoring.

  Division One side Fakenham Town Ladies were away to Division Two newcomers North Walsham Angels Ladies in the 2nd Round of the League Cup on Sunday. Both sides with the bare 11 available. Fakenham running out 4-1 winners to reach the quarter finals, Sophie Lubbock with a brace as 7 goals now since arriving at the club in the summer twin sister Vicky also scoring a goal with Jemma Riches putting the ball into the back of the net for her first of the season. Keira Brown with the North Walsham goal.

7 goals so far this season for Fakenham’s Sophie Lubbock

In the other two League Cup matches played at the weekend the ties went all the way to penalties, an all Division One clash saw Long Stratton Women hosting Thetford Town Ladies on Sunday. Katie Ransome putting Long Stratton into the lead. Thetford Town improving of late scoring the equalising goal in the 90th minute, last seasons top scorer Melissa Boulton off the mark this campaign making it 1-1. The tie heading to penalties Long Stratton edging the shootout 3-2 to make the last 8.

  Also going to penalties was the all Division Two tie between Waveney Ladies and Horsford Women. Meeting in the 2nd Round of the League Cup. Amanda Vincent with her first goal of the season putting Horsford into the lead. 1-0 up at half-time Waveney came back to level the scores in the 2nd half, extra-time following nothing to separate the sides into the penalty shootout Waveney scoring 5 out of 5 winning it 5-4 to progress.

Norfolk Women’s League Cup

This one snuck through the Women’s Football East net because I was convinced it was being played this coming Sunday and had Thorpe United not told me otherwise as their League Cup match was affected I wouldn’t have realised. However Taverham United Ladies were away to Hockering Ladies in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup their 2nd Round tie postponed due to the weather the Sunday before. Hockering improving this season in Division Two with a good result beating Taverham 8-2 to reach the quarter finals of the competition where they will once again be at home in the New Year taking on Sprowston Ladies.

The Round-Up – Norfolk 17/11/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 17th November

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

Straight into the counties on this weeks Round-Ups just a handful of matches happening in the higher leagues with a good proportion of those clubs taking part in their various county cup competitions this weekend.

Beginning the action in Norfolk the Women’s County Cup reaching the 2nd Round stage 8 ties drawn with a place in the quarter finals up for grabs. It was to one of those ties Women’s Football East headed this Sunday a trip to The Walks Stadium, home of King’s Lynn Town FC, King’s Lynn Town Ladies getting the opportunity to showcase their game their on what was the 1st #WomensFootballWeekend across the country. Reaching the County Cup final itself last season for the 1st time in their history King’s Lynn had been handed a tough opponent for the 2nd Round the ERWFL Division One side taking on Premier Division side Wroxham Women (formerly Acle United Women). Both sides aiming to reach this seasons final one would exit in the 2nd Round.

King’s Lynn like playing at The Walks, Wroxham settling the quicker both side playing the ball quickly half chances for both, King’s Lynn’s Tiffany Forshaw rattling the woodwork with a powerful strike out wide. Evenly matched King’s Lynn gaining confidence the deadlock broken late in the 1st period, Wroxham pressing the attack winning a corner the ball fired into the crowd gathered near post the ball knocked on into the middle straight to midfielder Ciera Flatt unmarked in the middle controlled the ball before rifling it into the back of the net. King’s Lynn getting joy out wide Forshaw a threat on the left seeing a ball form the back sent her way taking it on struck from wide again this time the ball flying over the keeper and in to see the sides level at the break.

  King’s Lynn making a strong start to the 2nd period pushing the attack chances made the better side Wroxham digging in ready to attack. A fantastic strike from captain Becky Russell putting the hosts into the lead with 15 minutes left to play, Forshaw top of the area laying the ball back for Russell 40 yards out to strike, a fantastic hit racing past goalkeeper Amy Bell to make it 2-1. Wroxham responding well King’s Lynn fighting to keep their lead intact the clock running down Grace Birchall picking it up on the right turning inside firing a ball into the top of the area 20 yards out missed by Naomi Cooper running on to Flatt to lift a high shot in towards goal, keeper Bryony Robinson saving parrying the ball up before her, loose their to be attacked Kirstie Kindred quickest to it the Wroxham striker forcing it past her and over the line to equalise and send the tie into extra-time. 

  The extra-period of play seeing a fantastic shift put in by both sides a hugely entertaining contest the whole game report can be found below this post. No further goals coming the exhausted sides going into a penalty shootout. A penalty put over the bar by both sides seeing it all square at 3-3 with one left each, King’s Lynn up again agony a 2nd miss the ball over meaning Lauren Bullard had the opportunity to win the tie for Wroxham a confident strike low into the bottom corner seeing the shootout won 4-3. Wroxham into the quarter finals.

Elsewhere in the 2nd Round of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup their were some huge one sides scorelines. The biggest win of the day coming for Norwich City Women. A 2nd Round exit in the previous two seasons in the County Cup were keen to progress this time and were handed a true mismatch in this season’s draw currently the highest ranked Norfolk side playing in the FAWNL were away to the lowest currently Bulldogs Ladies bottom of Division Two five leagues apart Bulldogs deserve much applause for taking on Norwich, who themselves were humble in victory the final score 21-0 to put them into the quarter finals.

A big win too for the back to back County Cup winners Wymondham Town Ladies the ERWFL Premier Division side keen to make it into a 3rd successive final were at home in the 2nd Round taking on Norfolk Women’s Division One side Long Stratton Women. Striker Hannah Waters firing Wymondham into a 10th minute lead, was 2-0 3 minutes later with Mollie O’Callaghan on target. Laura Nicholls making it 3-0 in the 23rd minute, Jennifer Codman heading in soon after for her first Wymondham goal. Waters with her 2nd seeing Wymondham comfortable leading 5-0 with half an hour gone. Goals from Mia Etheridge and Chelsea Clarke seeing Wymondham 7-0 up at half-time. The goals continued to come at regular intervals in the 2nd period. Nicholls with her 2nd of the game straight after the restart would go on to add a further 3 goals, a hat-trick in just 5 minutes. Rebecca Russell and Freya Symonds with a brace on the scoresheet. Etheridge with a 2nd goal. O’Callaghan netting a further 5 goals to claim a double hat-trick the final score 20-0. 

Gorleston Ladies newly promoted to the ERWFL Division One were hosting in form Tavern Ladies the newly promoted side with a 100% wining start to the league scoring plenty of goals, Gorleston finding themselves undone in the 1st half as Tavern raced into the strong lead. Gorleston with a mountain to climb 2nd half battled back to score twice with Mary Croft and Abigail Bell scoring a goal each but Tavern progressed into the quarter finals with a comfortable scoreline winning the tie 7-2 to knock out higher league opposition. Atlanta Griffith and Lucy Kean both scoring a hat-trick with Sophie Fuller also getting a goal.

Two 2nd Round ties falling foul to the weather at the weekend waterlogged pitches seeing the matches between Hockering Ladies and Taverham United Ladies and Thetford Town Ladies v Thorpe United Ladies called off. Thetford and Thorpe will try again tomorrow evening a 7;30pm kick-off at Thetford Town FC. Hockering an Taverham trying again this coming Sunday. 

Also through to the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup are Division One side Sprowston Ladies were at home to Division Two side North Walsham Angels Ladies in the 2nd Round. Progressing with a comfortable 5-0 victory.

  Sprowston Athletic Ladies from Division One were also at home to Division Two opposition in the 2nd Round of the County Cup taking on Mulbarton Belles. In an evenly fought contest Sprowston Athletic coming back from behind twice with their 2nd equaliser an absolute screamer from Lois Irving to win the game 3-2 in the 87th minute to send them through the the quarter finals.  

 The draw for the quarter finals made live on Twitter by Norfolk FA on Monday evening the ties to be played in the New Year Sunday 19th January:-

Tavern Ladies v Wroxham Women

Hockering Ladies or Taverham United Ladies v Sprowston Ladies

Norwich City Women v Sprowston Athletic Ladies

Wymondham Town Ladies v Thetford Town Ladies or Thorpe United Ladies

Norfolk Women’s Division One

There was one league game played in the county at the weekend with Fakenham Town Ladies hosting bottom side Freethorpe Ladies in Division One a brace for Sophie Lubbock securing the win for Fakenham their 3rd of the season enough to lift them above Sprowston Athletic into 6th spot.

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.

The Round-Up – Norfolk 20/10/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 20th October

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

 This season’s Women’s County Cup competition began in the county this Sunday with 3 ties played in the 1st Round of the competition. Wymondham Town Ladies winning the cup for a 2nd successive season last year played at Carrow Road for the 1st time in front of a record crowd. 

  Wymondham Town Ladies one of three sides progressing in the 1st Round without playing their opponents withdrawing on the eve of the season starting. Fellow ERWFL side Wroxham Women (previously Acle United Women) and Thorpe United both County Cup winners themselves in recent seasons also progressing.

  It was to one of the three ties played on Sunday that Women’s Football East travelled to a relatively short trip for a change up the road to Clipbush Park to watch Fakenham Town Ladies v Tavern Ladies. Both sides promoted to Norfolk Women’s Division One this season, Fakenham bringing in new players to bolster their squad with 2 wins from their opening 4 games. Tavern making an excellent start matching the leaders winning 4 from 4 to see a three way lead at the top between themselves Bungay Town Ladies and Thorpe United Ladies… at the start of the day read on to see a different picture emerge.

   Tavern starting the game strong pushing player forwards Lucy Kean beating the keeper in the opening minute only to send her shot wide of goal an early let off for Fakenham. Tavern continued to press closing the ball down opening the scoring inside 15 minutes, the ball pressured outside the Fakenham box coming onto Katie Hart-Copsey on the right side smashing a shot in from 20 yards out to make it 1-0. Tavern looking a threat going forwards restricting Fakenham getting forwards Megan Spurrell a threat on the right of attack the hosts getting it back to 1-1 midway through the 1st half, Spurrell holding the ball up on the right tackled the ball latched onto by midfielder Vicki Lubbock to drive forwards and shoot from distance to score. Tavern getting back into the lead quickly Sophie Fuller brought down outside the area in a dangerous position scoring from the resulting free-kick a superb strike to make it 2-1. Kean putting Tavern 3-1 ahead in the 34th minute Hart-Copsey’s cross spilt Kean coming in on the follow up latching onto the ball to prod home.

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

 

Tavern Ladies, Atlanta Griffith

Tavern leading 3-1 at the break. Fakenham came out strong at the start of the 2nd half. Tavern though organised at the back throughout. The visitors going further ahead through Atlanta Griffith the ball put into her 30 yards out struck sweetly arching in towards goal past the keeper to make it 4-1 in the 55th minute. A competitive game Tavern winning the physical battle Kean brought down attempting to run through on goal Tavern awarded the free-kick Fuller with another fantastic strike to put them 5-1 in front. A last gasp chance to make it a hat-trick of goals from free-kicks one given inside the D but close in the ball put over the bar. Tavern winning comfortably to progress. The draw for the 2nd Round of the Women’s County Cup due to be made live on twitter at 6pm this Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup 1st Round in was a much welcomed first win of the season for Taverham United Women. Last season’s Division Two Champions winning the title in the debut season in women’s football away to the current Division Two leaders Stalham Town Ladies who were undefeated going into the match. Taverham finding the form that gained them the title scoring 7 goals against their opponents to advance into the 2nd Round with a 7-1 victory.

  Plenty of goals too in the other 1st Round tie an all Division Two clash with newcomers North Walsham Angels Ladies at home to Horsford Women. A 9 goal thriller between the sides. it was North Walsham who emerged the winners edging out Horsford 5-4 to reach the 2nd Round of the County Cup.

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 Eluded to earlier in the Round-Up a three way tie at the top of Norfolk Women’s Division One is now a 4 way tie with new leaders topping the table on goal difference Sprowston Ladies winning their 4th game of the season going top with Bungay Town Ladies & Thorpe United Ladies not playing aswell as Tavern playing in the County Cup 1st Round. Have played two games more narrow losses to both Bungay and Thorpe earlier in the season back to back wins see Sprowston go top playing in the only match in Division One this weekend a Sprowston derby away to Sprowston Athletic Ladies. A strong first half from Sprowston Ladies leading 5-0. Both sides getting on the scoresheet with one goal each 2nd half. Sprowston Ladies winning 6-1. Striker Victoria Leyer on fire at the start of the season scoring 4 times in the match has an incredible 18 goals from 5 played now. Amee Kennett also getting a goal along with Millie Drake scoring for the first time this season. Rachel Bussey getting the 2nd half goal for Sprowston Athletic.

Norfolk Women’s Division Two

New leaders too in Norfolk Women’s Division Two with Thorpe United Ladies Reserves going top on goal difference over Stalham Town Ladies who were in County Cup action this weekend. Newly formed this season Thorpe United Ladies Reserves side began with a narrow 2-1 loss to Horsford Women have since gone on to be undefeated with back to back wins and a draw with leaders Stalham Town. A third win of the season coming this Sunday away to Hockering Ladies. The bare 11 for Hockering, Thorpe began strongly, in particular Alice Smith on target for her first goals for Thorpe netting a hat-trick inside the opening 20 minutes. Ellie Hunter making her first start for Thorpe scoring on her debut to make it 4-0. Georgia Dearden pulling a goal back for Hockering her first for the club. As good as it would get for Hockering, Thorpe going further ahead with Chloe Mussel-Pipe scoring to make it 5-1 along with Megan Jay netting her first Thorpe goal on the stroke of half-time. Joanne Hooper scoring for Thorpe midway through the 2nd half the final score 8-1 Emily Warnes on the scoresheet with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Newcomers Mulbarton Belles continue to be ravaged by injuries at the start of the season hampering them, are nevertheless battling on enjoying a positive start to life in Division Two, at home to bottom side Bulldogs Ladies at the weekend who themselves continue to struggle for numbers. The visitors getting themselves into a 1-0 lead at the break made Mulbarton work hard to get back into it the hosts coming back to level the scores winning the game late on 2-1 to win their 3rd game of the season lift them back up to 4th in the Division Two table, Emily Arnall and Ellie Wilson scoring the goals their first for the club.