Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final
Friday 27th April
Cup Final action this Friday from the FDC, Field of Dreams Acle United Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup.
A contest between two sides currently at the top of their game in Norfolk. Both with an ambitious young manager at the helm, Bradley Mingay for Acle United, Alex Guy for Wymondham Town Ladies.
Acle United Ladies winners of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup in 2014/15, a currently 3rd in the ERWFL Premier Division, amongst the title challengers games coming thick and fast at the end of the season. Two cup finals to contest the Norfolk Women’s County Cup this evening, have also reached the final of the ERWFL League Cup coming up on Sunday 13th May against AFC Dunstable Ladies.
Wymondham Town Ladies are in their 2nd successive Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final and are looking to make it a double this season having already clinched the ERWFL Division One North title and promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division. Are unbeaten in the league drawing just the one of their 17 games so far and with just one game to play will be aiming to go the season without defeat. Scoring plenty of goals too Laura Nicholls top scorer with 40 goals this season to date. Hannah Waters joining the club midway through the season making an impact to with 22 goals from 15 appearances.
Road to the Final
Acle United Ladies received a bye in the 1st Round of the competition, whilst in contrast for Wymondham Town Ladies it was a repeat of last season’s final with a home draw against Thorpe United Ladies a 3-1 win for Wymondham knocking the County Cup holders out at the 1st hurdle. Onto the 2nd Round both Acle and Wymondham drawn away to Norfolk Women’s Division One opposition. Comfortable wins for both Acle putting 7 goals past Gorleston FC Ladies whilst Wymondham scored 8 without reply against Stalham Town Ladies.
Frustration in the quarter finals for Acle after seeing their tie away to Aylsham Ladies previous County Cup Finalists postponed twice they were eventually awarded the away win to progress to the last 4 of the competition. Wymondham were already scoring plenty of goals when they were drawn away to Fakenham Town Ladies a crushing 15-0 win seeing them through to the semi-finals. Acle away to King’s Lynn Town Ladies who had seen off Norwich City Ladies at The Walks, Acle edging the result on the day 2-1 to reach the Final. Wymondham were drawn away aswell in the semi-final taking on Norfolk Women’s Division One leaders Sprowston Ladies. Unbeaten in the league and scoring plenty of goals Wymondham did so again a 7-0 win seeing them into their 2nd successive final. After missing out on the trophy last season Wymondham have added determination to lift it this time around.
The venue for this evening’s final The FDC, Field of Dreams in Bowthorpe. Did wonder if we would see a game as the rain had been falling all day and heavy at times on the way there. However Norfolk FA declared the game on a slight concern about one goal mouth by the rain easing slightly. Not much cover beside the ground a small seated stand but despite the miserable conditions a good number had turned out most of the opinion this was going to be a good contest against two good sides.
Acle United Ladies starting XI – Cyan Fullbrook, Anna Larkins, Naomi Cooper, Kate Pasque, Chloe Shields, Amber Rowland, Ceira Flatt, Lauren Bullard, Megan Todd (C), Kirstie Kindred & Laura Holden. Subs – Brogan Scully, Erin Wilson, Rhianne Brister, Grace Birchall & Leah McGuire.
Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Leah Newcombe, Chelsea Clarke, Bethany Fretwell, Lauren Kett, Rachel Cossey (C), Alice Ladbrooke, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kayleigh Holloway, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters. Subs – Brooklyn Cheal-Ferris, Alice Collins, Jorja Patterson, Rose Glendinning & Louise Hamilton-Rout.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Acle centre back Kate Pasque a doubt before the game having pulled up early in the previous league match away to Royston Town Ladies last Sunday, however coming through the warm-up okay was okay to start. Lauren Kett at the back for Wymondham, starred for Thorpe United in last season’s County Cup Final success. Wymondham to get the first half kicked off wearing red shirts, black shorts and red and black hooped socks. Acle kitted out in white and black vertical striped shirts black shorts with black and white hooped socks. The rain briefly absent.
Both sides probing early on the ball knocked back and forth Wymondham play the ball up to Hannah Waters 30 yards out a speculative attempt from distance the ball landing wide of Cyan Fullbrook’s goal. Megan Todd wide on the right likes to get the ball at her feet and drive at players, strong cutting inside Lauren Kett comes across to put in the tackle win the ball at the top of the area. Acle build from the left at the back Naomi Cooper bringing the ball on forwards for Lauren Bullard, Amber Rowland moving across from midfield receiving the ball sends Bullard on in behind her cross put behind at the near post.
Close for Acle as the cross bar is struck early in the game a free-kick awarded in the centre of the Wymondham half, Rowland on the ball a good delivery up to the top of the area Todd the target right of the D gets up well, Ceira Flatt with a good run spinning clear of her marker, Todd’s header falling to her running into the six yard box at the far post catches the ball on the volley her strike smashing up against the bar, drops back into play Wymondham getting it clear.
GOAL! No sooner have Acle come so close to the opening goal Wymondham get up the other end and score. Winning a corner kick on the left side. The initial delivery in defended by Todd at the near post her header going back to the taker the ball shifted and crossed back in high Bethany Fretwell rising highest 8 yards out to get her head on the ball, Fullbrook jumping gets a glove up toward the ball as it smashed against the crossbar drops straight down into the middle of the six yard box straight to Laura Nicholls sends the ball over the line to put Wymondham into the lead 0-1.
Acle are soon on the attack after the restart looking for a quick response Todd with a powerful run with the ball on the right fires a cross in low towards the near post the shot bu Kirstie Kindred into the side netting. Laura Holden see’s the ball come straight to her as goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan miscue’s her goal kick the ball striking the Acle attacker 25 yards out right of goal she shoots for goal looking to put the ball wide across the keeper too wide the ball runs wide of the far post.
Flatt picks up the ball in midfield for Acle takes it on Rowland going with her as she plays the pass out to Bullard getting in behind wide left her cross put back into the middle for Rowland top of the area she brings it inside before unleashing a shot her curling effort rising goes wide of the far post. Wymondham counter quickly the ball put over the top see’s Nicholls running clear in behind, Fullbrook quickly out to the edge of the area to slide in claim the ball at her feet. A good tempo to the game a good sized pitch conditions are tricky but players are keeping their feet well enough as the rain begins to fall once more.
Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey is down injured in midfield and cannot continue she is substituted, Jorja Patterson coming on a direct swap. Todd bursts forwards down the right with the ball her low cross in defended Fretwell clearing the ball. Bullard winning a corner on the left as she and Cooper combine well on the left. The ball driven in low towards the near post is deflected into the side netting a goal kick given. A good contest the sides fairly evenly matched the ball played up to Hannah Waters inside the Acle area her knock down back to Kayleigh Holloway on the left her ball back in charged down by Todd.
O’Callaghan saves with her legs as Acle attacking down the right send a cross in long across the six yard box Bullard arriving far side with the shot towards goal. Holden and Kindred try to force their way through the Wymondham defence Kindred winning the ball pushes it into Holden she takes t on as Holden tries to get in behind the ball intercepted the deflection taking it away for a corner. The ball attacked near post defended a crowd going for the ball two players down in the aftermath.
Wymondham’s Alice Ladbrooke with the pass on to Mollie O’Callaghan left side, Anna Larkins with the challenge to break up the attack. Wymondham regain possession in the middle the ball out to the right the cross swung into the area Kate Pasque up to head it away, Alice Ladbrooke claiming the ball puts it forwards early as Acle look to clear the box, do so as Nicholls breaks clear on goal the offside flag halting her attack. Acle attack Cooper picking up possession on the left allowed to travel comes inside out for Bullard wide left her cross along the top of the area, Kindred meeting it her shot central inside the D played wide of the far post.
A substitution for Acle Bullard coming off, Grace Birchall coming on. Rowland is fouled on halfway the free-kick played forwards early Fretwell does well under challenge to get the ball safely back to her keeper. Kindred wins the ball 25 yards out Rowland getting forwards to support her right side the ball passed out to Todd her cross fired in near post, two Acle attackers going for the ball put behind for the goal kick.
GOAL! Just over half an hour played and Acle get themselves back on level terms. Awarded a free-kick out on the right players forwards from the back is a very good ball into the six yard box O’Callaghan comes to punch the ball attacked by Todd it goes beyond her Pasque close behind bundles the ball over the line 1-1.
GOAL! Wymondham are soon back in front the goal coming from another set-piece a free-kick on half-way the ball played up to the top of the area a push in the back spotted a 2nd free-kick awarded in a dangerous position central right at the top of the D. Mollie O’Callaghan to take, she goes for goal her strike clipping the Acle wall the deflection sending it up and looping over Fullbrook into the back of the net 1-2.
Flatt comes forwards her pass on for Todd on the right the ball into the area intercepted deflected back to Todd who strikes it from 25 yards out her effort bouncing wide across goal taking a nick off a Wymondham player on the way through a corner given. Acle press late on in the 1st half winning another corner right side the delivery into Holden good hold up play she turns he cross back in landing on the roof of the net. Kindred spins in behind, Fretwell quick to recover comes back on her to slide in put the ball out for a throw top of the area. Patterson gets hold of the ball for Wymondham sends it forwards for Waters in the area up against Pasque the defender wins the challenge.
Half-time Acle United Ladies 1-2 Wymondham Town Ladies
An entertaining 1st half comes to an end Wymondham holding the narrow advantage could quite easily have been the other way around. Both sides coping with the conditions well are evenly matched and all 3 goals ave come from a set piece. More of the same in the 2nd half and the game could go either way, maybe all the way Acle having been involved in a penalty shootout the last time they were here.
Acle to get the 2nd half underway start the 2nd half brightly pressing forwards Rowland passing the ball left to Birchall her early diagonal ball into the area Todd closing in on the far post cant quite reach it. Flatt into Rowland as Acle come again she picks out Holden breaking away to the right her cross screws away behind at the near post. Birchall with the ball comes inside from the left digs a shot out from the edge of the area her strike racing wide across goal past the far post. Acle attacking with purpose at the start of the 2nd half, Holden with the ball 25 out Fretwell steps out of the back line to put in the tackle win the ball.
Todd with possession for Acle, Larkins races past her on the overlap drives a cross into the box Kindred has it at her feet looks to turn in behind Kett on top of her the defender winning the tackle. Todd takes the ball one cutting inside past one past two is stopped by Fretwell. Acle make a change Broghan Scully on for Flatt. Clarke intercepting the ball played up the line for Todd on the right. Larkins getting forwards on the right her cross going long Newcombe with the header to get the ball clear for Wymondham. A change for Wymondham Ladbrooke coming off, Brooklyn Cheal=Ferris on.
Wymondham have stood firm against the early Acle assault at the start of the 2nd half. Attacking up the other end on the left side Waters cutting inside with the ball is brought down. A little further out this time for O’Callaghan left corner of the area sends the ball in long towards the far post, Todd up to head the ball away to safety.
GOAL! Having weathered the storm Wymondham get forwards and score to extend their lead a good run from the back by full back Clarke as the ball won in the middle is spread out to Waters moving into the left channel, Clarke breaking into the box inside her the ball rolled into her sends it wide across the advancing goalkeeper at the top of the six yard box to make it 1-3.
Chasing the ball down on the right side Nicholls wins Wymondham a corner kick. The delivery in near post leaves a Wymondham player floored needing treatment. The Acle players rush to the bench to receive instruction. A change made Shields coming off at the back Erin Wilson coming on. Larkins moves inside to support Pasque, Cooper coming over to right back. Mollie O’Callaghan is struggling with injury needs to come off Ladbrooke is sent back on.
Birchall plays the ball in from the left looking to put Holden through on goal, O’Callaghan can see the ball safely into her body. Todd with an attack on the right into the box the ball defended by Kett, deflected away. Holden with it on left is tackled by Newcombe top of the area. Holden is fouled by Kett 30 yards out Birchall placing the ball in a central position driving in low strikes the wall, then Clarke is fouled as she races out to clear the ball. Another injury Rowland taking the knock this time is taken off Flatt coming back on.
Cheal-Ferris cuts the ball out as Acle look to release Cooper into space on the right. Birchall bringing the ball down strikes it on the half volley form all of 35 yards out her effort not troubling O’Callaghan. Alice Collins comes on for Wymondham in place of Patterson with lass than 10 minutes left to play. Acle push forwards left side the ball into the area defended the deflection coming to Cooper on the right 20 yards out her 1st time shot put wide of goal..
Birchall with the run into the area from the left the ball gets caught in the turf preventing her from striking it early hold’s onto possession taking it to the byline firing a cross in along the six yard box behind Cooper she tries to knock it back inside for Holden can’t find her Fretwell launching the ball up field. Ladbrooke tracking back into the area as Acle break forwards in attack is well placed to put in the block, the ball deflected out of the area Fretwell comes out quickly to clear the threat.
A corner for Acle the ball as Holden wins the ball races forwards into the area Ladbrooke back there again to slide in to block put the ball behind. The delivery from the right into the middle Birchall getting to the ball looks to turn in towards goal, is shoved to the floor I’m right in line with it and it looks a clear penalty but the appeals are dismissed play goes on. More bad news for Acle moments later as they are reduced to 10 Flatt shown a red card as she commits a foul in the middle, poor judgement kicking the ball in frustration.
Wymondham make a change bringing on Louise Hamilton-Rout in the closing stages for Nicholls. Holloway giving way too Patterson back on. Birchall with run up the left tacked by Newcombe. The game moving into stoppage time 6 minutes added. Birchall fouled wide on the left players come forwards from the back, the delivery in towards the near post O’Callaghan taking it cleanly not distracted by the runners closing her down.
GOAL! Acle press forwards looking for a goal attacking right play stretched Birchall and Kett are both down left side inside the six yard box as the defender puts in the challenge, the ball cleared comes back out to Cooper on the right play goes on, Kett struggling to her feet plays Cooper onside as she manages to get across into a central position to block Cooper’s initial strike the rebound coming straight back to her she shifts it inside and buries the ball into the back of the net this time 2-3.
Kindred returns to the field for Birchall as Acle have seconds left to try and find another goal. Is frantic out there, there isn’t time however the final whistle blows and Wymondham are triumphant winning the Norfolk Women’s County Cup for the 1st time in their history.
Full time Acle United Ladies 2-3 Wymondham Town Ladies
A good contest between two strong sides. Wymondham with the narrow advantage at half-time weathering the Acle assault early in the 2nd half breaking away to extend their lead. Defended well on the whole Fretwell and Kett strong in the middle of defence. A late goal for Acle ending up a consolation. A hard game to call before kick-off the result could have gone either way in the finish. Wymondham having a fantastic season wining promotion now league and cup double. One more game to go in the league back in action in less that 48 hours away to Histon Ladies where they will want to end the season unbeaten I am sure. Acle are back in league action too on Sunday a long trip down to Hertfordshire to play Colney Heath Ladies. Have another chance for silverware with the ERWFL League Cup Final yet to come.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Several contenders once again for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, knew there would be. Megan Todd was excellent for Acle, Alice Ladbrooke strong in the middle for Wymondham as were their centre backs Lauren Kett doing well but like the Norfolk FA’s choice I’m going with Bethany Fretwell a very composed performance throughout the game.
Congratulations to Wymondham Town Ladies on there league and cup success.
Norfolk FA always put on a good final the staff always helpful and despite the awful weather a good number made the trip. An enjoyable game managed to keep my notepad dry somehow. 3 more finals coming up next week.