ERWFL Plate Final
Sunday 13th May
Another double bill of Cup Finals this Sunday from The County Ground in Letchworth from the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) this time around. The League Cup to come but first up it’s an 11:00am kick-off between Hutton Ladies & Stevenage Ladies Reserves for the League Plate Final.
Hutton Ladies the current holders of the ERWFL Plate after a 1-0 win over Colney Heath Ladies last season. Were the underdogs then and once again they will be seen as the underdogs as they take on fellow league Stevenage Ladies Reserves who having won the ERWFL Division One South title are looking to complete the double.
Hutton Ladies with one more league game to play finishing fourth in the ERWFL Division One South table. Have already claimed silverware this season lifting the Essex Women’s Trophy with a 2-1 win against Silver End United Ladies. A tough challenge against Stevenage Ladies Reserves in this season’s Plate Final but can use last season’s result as inspiration and the knowledge they were the side to eventually bring an end to the league champion’s 100% winning start to the season.
Stevenage Ladies Reserves have led the ERWFL Division One South table from start to finish winning their opening 10 games not conceding a single goal in that period either. Both records broken in February by today’s opponents Hutton Ladies in a 3-2 win. Stevenage Ladies Reserves have conceded just 9 goals in total from 18 league games this season whilst scoring 81 up the other end. Clinching the league title with 4 games to spare are looking to end the season with the double.
Road to the Final
The nature of the Plate, the sides knocked out of the League Cup in the opening rounds entering the competition. The Division One sides in from the North & South contesting the early Rounds of the League Cup.
Both sides receiving a bye in the 1st Round of the Plate. Into the quarter finals Hutton Ladies were away to Division One North side, Cambridge United WFC Reserves, the game all square at 90 minutes the sides drawing 2-2 it was Hutton who went on to score the winning goal in extra-time. Stevenage Ladies Reserves drawn at home to fellow Division One South side, Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies progressed to the last 4 of the Plate with a 3-0 victory.
Into the semi-finals and contrasting games for both sides Hutton Ladies at home were taken all the way to extra-time once again after a high scoring game with Division One North side, Histon Ladies 3-3 after the 90 minutes was up into the extra period Hutton getting themselves in front went on to add a 2nd goal to reach their 2nd successive final with a 5-3 win. Stevenage Ladies Reserves were at home in the semi-finals against fellow league side Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies and booked their place in the Plate Final with another 3-0 result.
The County Ground, Letchworth home of the Hertfordshire FA the venue once again for this season’s ERWFL Finals. The main seated stand housing the clubhouse and bar the changing rooms beyond. A nice wide pitch looking in very good condition with plenty of grass cover. The weather good, warm with the sun trying to get out cloud cover for the morning kick-off for the 1st of today’s matches.
Hutton Ladies starting XI – Krissie Glover, Nicola Walker, Rianne Dimmock, Hannah Page (C), Kelly Roberts, Amy Crumpler, Kaitlin Sugg, Keeley Walker, Lucy Critchell, Kate Lowen & Laura Allen. Subs – Patrizia Leo & Lucy Blurton.
Stevenage Ladies Reserves starting XI – Emily Goodacre, Holly Darling, Amy Notschild, Laura Henning, Stacey McConville, Becky Day, Sherrie Evans (C), Hayley Wood-Thompson, Hannah Marshall, Daniela Martucci & Emily Schofield. Subs – Naomi Sleator, Rebecca Brooker, Mary Lisle, Stef Cowell & Izzy McAree.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s Stevenage to get the ERWFL Plate Final underway kicking off 1st half wearing an all blue kit with red and white piping around the collar and sleeves of the shirts. Hutton kitted out in their all red kit with white across the shoulders of the shirts. Becky Day playing the all out into the right channel for Daniela Martucci to chase the Hutton defence can see it safely out for an early goalkick. Stevenage make progress down the left, Hutton goalkeeper Krissie Glover coming out of her area to kick the ball clear see’s striker Laura Allen after it to attack the Stevenage area, Amy Notschild across the get in front of her and clear the ball for a throw.
The ball pressed early on cut out at the back. Allen and Kate Lowen try to link up through the centre to attack the Stevenage defence the attempted one two cut out Notschild. The first corner of the game awarded to Stevenage, Hayley Wood-Thompson to play the ball into the box the ball half cleared Emily Schofield on the right hooks it back in towards go, Martucci closing in on it near post, Glover has it safe on her gloves first. Holly Darling slides in to deny Hutton’s Critchell as Crumpler plays the through ball to her on the left.
Stevenage counter attack breaking forwards Hutton back tracking conceding a corner on the left side Schofield to play it in Kelly Roberts with the stooping header near post defends for Hutton. The ball coming onto Wood-Thompson just outside the box left of the D, goes to strike the ball her effort charged down. Lowen and Allen are looking to combine once again through the middle for Hutton as Kaitlin Sugg plays the ball forwards, Notschild getting in between them to break up the attack.
Lucy Critchell finding room to run into on the left lifts a cross into the area, Stacey McConville clearing for Stevenage a rapid counter is launched the ball played on to Wood-Thompson coming away with the ball left side looks to put Hannah Marshall in behind on the opposite flank send the diagonal ball crossfield, Nicola Walker defending well for Hutton Ladies at left back. Working hard early on to break up Stevenage’s flow, Hutton are gaining encouragement from their play.
Bringing the ball on over half way Sugg send the ball forwards releasing Lowen through on goal as she bursts in behind the Stevenage defence, right of goal into the box, takes an extra touch, enough to allow goalkeeper Emily Goodacre coming towards her to slide in and save at the strikers feet. Stevenage press players forwards Schofield moving out to the right to gather the ball, Hutton captain Hannah Page gets across to challenge the striker 20 yards from goal. Roberts intercepting inside the box as Wood-Thompson looks to run in on goal from the left as a high ball from the right is fired into the Hutton area.
Stevenage haven’t settled Hutton are lively looking to close down everywhere on the pitch. A free-kick awarded to Hutton 35 yards out left of the centre circle players go forwards as Lowen plays the ball in long towards the far post, Sugg getting up highest sends her header into the back of the net Hutton celebrate thinking they have taken the lead, but no the flag is raised for offside it doesn’t stand. Another free-kick to Hutton same position only right of the centre circle this time Amy Crumpler to deliver this time long to the far post again headed down back across the six yard box, Rianne Dimmock there for Hutton but no opportunity to shoot as she is quickly closed down and Stevenage scramble the ball away.
Martucci spinning off her marker in the middle releases the ball into Schofield’s run on the left, sends a cross long the top of the six yard box, no one gambling for Stevenage. Hutton get it clear. A chance created for Stevenage on their left as Wood-Thompson goes to charge down a defensive clearance the ball spinning into the D, Page looking to control under pressure from Schofield the ball prodded into the area with Marshall coming onto it her shot straight at Glover the keeper making the save.
Hutton are battling for everything frustrating Stevenage in the process. Riding their luck at times Dimmock slicing her clearance the ball spinning favourably into the box for Glover to grab. Goodacre with an excellent save to deny Hutton from another set-piece similar to the earlier one on the left a little closer this time Crumpler goes for goal the ball arrowing in high on target central Goodacre throwing herself at the ball punches it over the crossbar.
All action the ball from one end to the other Dimmock sending a shot wide from a corner at the near post for Hutton. Laura Henning charging a Hutton ball down in half way brings in on fires a pass into Martucci back to goal inside the D she spins off her marker sending the ball on into the box Wood-Thompson arriving can’t quite bring it down on her chest to set up a shot the ball running wide. Hutton make a change, Walker coming off Patrizia Leo coming on the move seeing Critchell dropping deeper.
A free-kick wide right for Stevenage the ball played in towards the top of the box Martucci with a clever flick to send the ball on into the area, no one there however Glover can claim unchallenged. Keeley Walker snapping at the ball in midfield wins it from Day plays it on for Lowen right side she plays it on into the area near post Allen closing her down Goodacre stays composed claims the ball. Glover with a top class save at the other end to deny Schofield the ball played into the striker on with the ball she arrives at the top of the area Glover coming to close her down Schofield looks to prod the ball wide of her, almost succeeds Glover however manages somehow to get her foot in the way of the ball and deflect it away for a corner.
Stevenage bring the ball on possession on the right brings a corner kick the ball played into six yard box Sugg heading away for Hutton, out of the area Day with the looping header back in Martucci interested, Glover comes punching the ball away from the strikers head. Hutton get the ball forwards Walker on for Lowen a one tow with Allen the ball sent on for Lowen to chase right side McConville goes with her concedes the corner.
A late opportunity in the first half for Stevenage to take the lead, awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position left of centre Martucci with the right foot strike a superb effort the ball swerving as it flies in on target bring a magnificent save from Glover falling back as she throws her hand towards the ball the merest of touches diverting it onto the crossbar, rebounding back into play Hutton scramble away for the corner. Coming in from the right Glover is fouled as she comes for the ball right on the stroke of half-time.
Half-time Hutton Ladies 0-0 Stevenage Ladies Reserves
Goalless at the break one side with a goal disallowed the other striking the bar a really interesting contest and proof that the form book can go out the window in a cup final. Stevenage haven’t really settled yet into any rhythm, frustrated, Hutton have worked well right across their side to pressure the ball and break up attacks have created opportunities themselves as they have been encouraged by their performance. Defending well at the back Glover with a couple of crucial saves. Stevenage know they can play better and will no doubt look to come out strong in the 2nd half. Hutton if they can duplicate what they have achieved in the 2nd half will be hard to break down.
Hutton kicking off the 2nd half start confidently Critchell bringing the ball on from the left looks to take the ball infield is tackled by Notschild. Stevenage build on the right the ball fed on for Schofield turns inside towards the goal into the area her shot in towards the near post not troubling Glover. Walker with good work in the midfield for Hutton gets her pass on for Lowen right side holds it up before turning her marker and sending in a cross long towards the far post just out of Allen’s reach.
Stevenage get froward on the left Schofield moving into the channel has the ball squares it inside to Evans 30 yards out central time to line up a strike pulls the effort wide of the left post. Schofield is covering alot for ground up top getting into good crossing positions for Stevenage, the final ball more often than not collected by Glover. Critchell is yellow carded as she tugs back Wood-Thompson trying to get inside her from the right. The free-kick from a wide position sent over the bar. Stevenage make a change Darling coming off to be replaced by Izzy McAree.
Martucci with an opportunity to play the ball in towards goal from a set-piece left of goal 30 yards out as Hutton with away a free-kick, her strike wide at the near post. Day come on with the ball for Stevenage on for Marshall has Schofield on her left giving her the ball she is tackled by Dimmock as she charges at the Hutton defence. Hutton’s Walker intercepts a cross from the left from Marshall getting back as Evans breaks forwards through the middle.
GOAL! Seemingly out of nothing the deadlock is broken and it’s Hutton who take the lead the ball brought on though the middle Hutton have players forwards lined up across the top of the Stevenage penalty area the ball is played into Lowen inside the D she flicks the ball on sending it looping up high into the area, dropping towards goal Goodacre back on her line tries to palm it out from under her crossbar her glove caught in the net can’t get to it as it drops past her into the goal, Hutton take the lead, everyone converges on Lowen in celebration so I had to check afterwards to be sure it was her 1-0.
A valuable lead for Hutton. Stevenage look for a quick reply Day bringing the ball on the pass out to Martucci, Page coming across defending well for Hutton. Henning winning the ball as she moves forwards for Stevenage is allowed to travel with the ball has a pop at goal from distance her strike straight at Glover positioned central in the Hutton goal. Stevenage attack Evans getting the ball out to Schofield moving clear on the right a run at the Hutton defence cuts back inside getting into the box sends a fierce cross along the six yard box Martucci arriving far post meeting it sends the ball over the Hutton crossbar.
Marshall attacks on the left for Stevenage runs into too many bodies as Hutton close the gap in front of her. The ball cleared is picked up by Henning and fired back in Martucci with the shot puts the ball straight at Glover the keeper with a comfortable save. Hutton make a change Crumpler coming off on comes Lucy Blurton. Hutton continue to work hard to break up the play, Page and Roberts both getting to the ball first as Stevenage play it forwards for Martucci and Marshall to chase down.
Lowen receiving the ball as she breaks into the right channel looks to knock it past McAree, the Stevenage defender putting in the challenge to win the ball. Marshall left side fires a cross infield into Martucci position top corner of the Hutton box, shows great control to bring the ball down and swivel into the shot like so many others before it however the ball is straight into Glover positioned at her near post taking it low into her body. Hutton build an attack Walker on for Lowen central inside her is Allen playing the ball into her Walker has run on into the box Allen picking her out no shot on lays the ball back to Leo 25 yards out curls her shot up over the crossbar.
Leo with another shot at goal moments later as Hutton attack with Lowen on the right squared across the top of the area with Walker central helped onto Leo she fires her strike up over the bar from the edge of the box. Leo with a 3rd effort in quick succession as Allen and Lowen work the ball forwards Lowen attempting to get on the end of Allen pass into the box favours Leo left of goal blasts the ball straight at Goodacre a great blocking save at close range the ball lose Stevenage get it clear of their box. Allen with a dipping volley from outside the box as the ball is put into her from a throw on the left her effort caught easily by Goodacre.
Glover with another fine save to deny Day as she hits the ball back in towards goal after Schofield’s initial shot from the right. Roberts with the near post header defends for Hutton from a Stevenage corner from the left. Stevenage with the change Day the player coming off Stef Cowell coming on with around 10 minutes left on the clock. McConville bringing the ball on for Stevenage inside to Martucci, she plays it on for Schofield her touch taking her inside a run at the box is brought down inside the D by Dimmock. A free-kick awarded Schofield has picked up an injury. Stevenage make the change before the free-kick Schofield helped off on comes Mary Lisle.
The set-piece just a foot outside the box. Martucci on it, a good effort gets the ball up over the wall but also narrowly over the crossbar too. Wood-Thompson is off for Stevenage with 5 minutes left to play Naomi Sleator coming on. Lowen finding room with the ball on the right cuts inside along the top of the box moving across the D gets a shot away back across goal wide of the post.
Into the closing minutes of the match Hutton get a corner left side played in Evans puts it out near post for a 2nd corner this time Hutton try to hold it up in the corner. Stevenage regain possession fire the ball up to Martucci tries to turn inside run at the Hutton defence Page close on her winning the ball back. McConville with a late strike from distance is straight down Glover’s throat the keeper dropping down onto the ball. That’s it the final whistle blows and Hutton Ladies celebrate a 1-0 win to win the ERWFL Plate Final for the 2nd successive season.
Full time Hutton Ladies 1-0 Stevenage Ladies Reserves
An impressive performance from Hutton Ladies don’t think they even believed they could do it at the start of the match but just like last season they overcame the odds to win the trophy. Encouraged early on pressing the ball well and defending strongly gained the belief that they could get something going forwards themselves. The winning goal coming in the 2nd half, Hutton looked comfortable afterwards with the narrow advantage. Stevenage created chances and got players forwards just didn’t get the luck of the green today. Glover in the way of anything they threw at her. Miss out on the double and will no doubt feel disappointed but must remember they have dominated the league this season and are the League Champions.
Three trophys in two season’s for Hutton Ladies not a bad return at all.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
There were several contenders for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match in today’s final and I knew my notes were going to have to help me out on this one. It was a strong all round team performance from Hutton in today’s Plate Final. The defence superb, Dimmock, Page and Crumpler. Walker impressed in midfield. The last line of any defence is the goalkeeper however and for Hutton Krissie Glover was behind everything Stevenage put into her box made a number of crucial saves too during the game and she is the ERWFL Plate Final’s Player of the Match.
Congratulations to Hutton Ladies on winning today’s ERWFL Plate Final.
If that was the starter I can’t wait for the main course. Was a really entertaining final Hutton proving lightening can strike twice. My thanks to both teams for their help with the team line-ups. A little time to relax before the ERWFL League Cup Final kicks off.