Sunday 8th October
Today’s match report features another game from this season’s FA Women’s Cup, 3rd Round Qualifying with Wymondham Town Ladies hosting Newmarket Town Ladies this Sunday afternoon. A personal milestone too with this being the 300th match report I’ve written since beginning the SWF Blog back in 2013, loved every minute of it so far and looking forwards to today’s action.
A place in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup up for grabs today history will be made for which ever side achieves it. Newmarket Town Ladies having got as far in the competition as they ever have before in a great vein of form. So too are Wymondham Town Ladies and they have enjoyed the FA Women’s Cup in previous seasons too beating FAWPL opposition along the way a chance to reach the 1st Round Proper this time around.
Wymondham Town Ladies are plying their trade in the ERWFL Division One North his season as the regional leagues 2nd tier has split into 2 divisions. Finished 3rd in the one league Division One last season after winning promotion as Norfolk Women’s Division One Champions. Will be aiming to top the table this time around achieve promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division. Manager Alex Guy is assisted by Luke Worley this season and will know plenty about today’s opponents having been Newmarket Town Ladies 1st team coach last season. Joining him from Newmarket are midfielder Kristin Hummel and striker Nadine Basson. Alice Ladbrooke joins the club having been with Acle United Ladies. Brooke Moreno is another new signing along with defender Lauren Kett, who impressed a number of opposition coaches with her performances for Thorpe United Ladies last season.
Wymondham Town Ladies began their FA Women’s Cup campaign with a 4-0 away win against Norfolk Women’s Division One side Sprowston Ladies. Onto 2nd Round Qualifying were drawn at home to play Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side St Ives Town Ladies won through comfortable 7-1 to reach 3rd Round Qualifying drawn at home to face Newmarket Town Ladies who they knocked out of the competition in 1st Round Qualifying last season winning 7-2 away from home.
Have followed Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side, Newmarket Town Ladies progress in the competition in the previous 2 qualifying rounds making history as they won their 1st ever game in the FA Women’s Cup being Histon Ladies in 1st Round Qualifying 4-2, then making more history in 2nd Round Qualifying at home coming back from 3-0 with 15 minutes left to win the tie 4-3 in extra-time and progress. Having twice beaten sides in the ERWFL Division One North they were drawn away to a 3rd in 3rd Round Qualifying. A tough contest but come into the game unbeaten in league and cup. Have a new signing of their own Millie Bales who starts up front for them this afternoon.
King’s Head Meadow the venue for today’s FA Women’s Cup tie. The bar and clubhouse overlooking to pitch on entry a Sunday Carvery on offer before the game. Newmarket bringing plenty of support to the game a good atmosphere building. A good sized pitch a little bobbly always looks a heavy pitch but is deceivingly well drained. Overcast but quite mild no rain forecast a light breeze. After missing last weekend due to illness I was keen to get some action in.
Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Lauren Kett, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Brook Cheal-Ferris, Rachel Cossey (C), Kristin Hummel, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kayleigh Holloway, Nadine Basson & Laura Wiseman. Subs – Laura Watson, Alice Collins, Laura Nicholls, Brooke Moreno & Alice Ladbrooke.
Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Jess Linger, Jennifer Gray, Yasmin Woodfield, Beth Woodfield (C), Antonia Smith, Chloe Slater, Laura Bailey, Abbi Griffin, Brooke Wickens & Millie Bales. Subs – Dominika Szary, Cindy Ponder, Ellie Marshall, Sarah O’Rourke & Lauren Deller.
It’s Newmarket to get this afternoon’s FA Women’s Cup tie underway kicking off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts and black shorts with red and black hooped socks. Wymondham look to press Newmarket on the ball inside their own half, the visitors break the ball played up the left wing new signing Millie Bales running onto the ball down to the byline cuts the ball back sending it into the crowd gathered at the top of the area, Chloe Slater connects sending a low drive in towards goal, goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan diving to her left pushing the ball around the post to concede the corner. The corner comes in central Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey gets her head on the ball clearing it towards the top of the area dropping to Newmarket’s, Laura Bailey she strikes a shot over the crossbar.
An even start to the game both sides want to use the width the pitch offers. A throw in inside the Newmarket half for Wymondham on the right, Laura Wiseman 25 yards out flicks the ball on into the path of strike partner Nadine Basson her tough takes the ball on into the area right of goal shapes to shoot, Newmarket captain, Beth Woodfield throws out a leg to take the ball away from the striker, Basson retains possession turning puts the ball into Wiseman as she makes a run into the box connecting 1st time sends her shot over.
Wymondham make ground on the right wing, Kristin Hummel linking with Kayleigh Holloway between them they work a cross along the face of the Newmarket area, an instinctive strike from 16 year old Mollie O’Callaghan younger sister to goalkeeper Ashleigh to turn the ball towards goal from inside the D, racing along the ground the ball swerves away from the far post wide. Basson is looking lively for Wymondham in the early stages peeling away to the right is almost away clear as Hummel plays her in, good recovering from Newmarket left back Jennifer Gray to slide in and win the ball.
On the opposite flank Brooke Cheal-Ferris getting forwards for Wymondham sees her cross deflected up onto the roof of the Newmarket net a corner to the home side taken short up the line for Cheal-Ferris her driven shot from 25 yards is deflected behind for another corner, this time the inswinging ball is headed clear by Yasmin Woodfield. Bales looks to have plenty of pace in attack for Newmarket as she gives chase to a long cleared ball closing with Kett the defender looking to shield the ball as O’Callaghan advances from her area, right corner, Bales steals in between them both taking the ball wide tries to send a shot in towards the empty net beyond sees her attempt run wide at the near post.
The match is being played at a good tempo the ball rarely still, Mollie O’Callaghan left into Basson top of the area left of the D her snap shot is split by Newmarket goalkeeper Eloise Hope but thankfully for her runs narrowly wide of her near post the corner given. Newmarket defend and get the ball moving forwards quickly winning a throw in left side the ball is played into Laura Bailey in a central position, drives forwards looking to get into the box, 4 Wymondham players converge on her no way through.
Newmarket working hard are disrupting Wymondham’s flow their final touch a little wayward giving the visitors defence time to recover. Getting forwards on the left Bales getting in behind squares the ball along the top of the area into Bailey she in turn helps in on for Abbi Griffin coming inside from the right strikes the ball from outside the area, she shot racing wide across the face of goal.
GOAL! 19 minutes played and Wymondham take the lead the game end to end in the opening period a chance is taken building from the back Cheal-Ferris left on for Mollie O’Callaghan her pass forwards finds Wiseman breaking into the area left of goal, latching onto the ball Hope comes sliding out to meet her Wiseman takes the ball around the keeper and turns it into the empty net beyond to open the scoring 1-0.
Wymondham regain possession of the ball from the restart full back Leah Newcombe getting her foot wrapped around the ball on the touchline to send it up the right wing for Holloway her cross driven into the box is defended the cleared ball running straight back to her, Holloway tries again this time into Hummel outside the area she strikes the ball 1st time centrally the driven shot runs low and wide across goal. A great ball from Cossey from the right side sees Wiseman clear through the middle, her 1st touch far too heavy she rashly slides in to try and win the ball as goalkeeper Hope gets down low to claim. Hope is okay to continue after receiving treatment.
Wiseman with another opportunity to have a strike on goal making a left channel run into the area is played in from the wing wins the race to the ball with Beth Woodfield squeezing a shot away from the top of the six yard box, Hope makes a great save with her legs the ball deflected into the air just about cleared by Linger. Basson with a spin and shot from 25 yards out straight down Hope’s throat the goalkeeper palms the ball down safely as the game reaches the half hour mark. A good spell for Wymondham Holloway getting free on the right fires a cross along the face of goal Mollie O’Callaghan arriving far post tries to turn it back in towards goal, Both Beth Woodfield and Hope throw themselves at the ball between defender and goalkeeper one of them makes the save the ball behind for a corner. Another corner played up the line the ball into the box slices up off a defenders boot however Hope is well positioned to prevent the own goal.
Good hold up play by Newcombe on the left touchline rolls the ball back to Betty Fretwell her long ball forwards rights Basson free on the right strikes the ball early the shot narrowly over. Newmarket send players forwards as they are awarded a free-kick inside the Wymondham half, Linger to take sends the ball in towards the top of the area cleared to the right possession is regained by Slater she lifts the ball in towards goal threatening to loop in over the keeper, O’Callaghan throws herself up and getting a glove on the ball diverts it wide of her far post. Linger has another opportunity to play a set-piece inside the Wymondham half 40 yards out as Griffin is upended. This time goes for goal a good delivery looping up and down destined for the top corner if only it was half a yard to the right.
Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 1-0 Newmarket Town Ladies
An enthralling 1st half in this FA Women’s Cup tie, a narrow lead for Wymondham Town Ladies could have been 3 or 4 had they taken their chances however Newmarket have had their chances too and could have taken an early lead a competitive and even contest Wymondham getting more of the ball later on. One goal in it the tie is still wide open.
No changes for either side at half-time as Wymondham get the 2nd 45 minutes underway. The home side on the attack straight away Mollie O’Callaghan putting the ball forwards for Wiseman looking to break into the area, is a great tackle from Beth Woodfield to deny her a shooting opportunity. Mollie O’Callaghan with a chance to go for goal herself as she catches Linger in possession on the left side winning the ball pushing on comes inside finding room outside the area to shoot the ball racing in towards goal, Hope dives full stretch to her left, the ball turns away from goal and evades both the keeper and her goal beyond.
Holloway with a powerful run on the ball right side squares the cross into the area Wiseman near side 10 yards out turns the ball in towards goal, putting it straight into Hope’s gloves. Pressure from Wymondham with the ball right side worked into the middle, Cossey sees 2 shots blocked in quick succession. Play is getting a little frantic rushed passes going astray. A corner for Wymondham as Basson’s clever flick on plays Mollie O’Callaghan to her right into the box, Beth Woodfield tackling gives away the corner. The cross eventually comes in from deep long Fretwell jumping can’t control her header.
Closing in on the hour mark Newmarket make a double substitution bringing of Smith and Bales send on Cindy Ponder and Lauren Deller. Newmarket get players forwards the ball with Wickens on the left she plays the ball into Bailey making a central run into the area, stretching for the ball she stabs it goalwards, rising the ball is played straight at O’Callaghan the goalkeeper claiming the ball.
GOAL! Newmarket level the scores, getting players forwards attacking the ball is played into the box from the right the referee spots an infringement and points to the spot awarding the visitors a penalty kick. Up steps Linger to take opts for power and placement sending the rising ball to the left of the diving O’Callaghan 1-1.
Wymondham respond by making a substitution bringing off Basson up front send on Laura Nicholls to join Wiseman in the attack.
GOAL! Newmarket turn the game around on it head 6 minutes after getting back on level terms go on to take the lead. Ponder is fouled inside the Wymondham half 30 yards out as she looks to bring the ball forwards. The free-kick awarded Newmarket’s set-piece specialist Linger comes forwards to take. A great connection sends the ball up over the wall and dipping late flies in over the keeper to land in the back of the net 1-2.
A great run on the ball from Griffin right side moments later getting past two Wymondham players making it into the box is stopped by the challenge from Kett putting the ball away for the corner. Wymondham make their 2nd change bringing on Alice Ladbrooke for Hummel in the middle of the park. Nicholls hasn’t quite got her bearings since entering the game flagged offside on a couple of occasions as Wymondham threaten to break. Gets a shot away from inside the box right side as Wiseman goes on a run with the ball down the right puts the cross into her path lunging at the ball forces a good save from Hope with her legs at the near post.
GOAL! Wymondham have been on the attack since going behind seeing crosses flashed across the box they capitalise on a piece of lax defending from Newmarket trying to control the ball inside their box the headers between two defenders then back to to keeper sees Nicholls pounce closing all three down steals in between defender and ball to get her head on it and put it past Hope into the back of the net beyond 2-2.
Newmarket make their 3rd and final change bringing off Gray at left back and sending on Ellie Marshall. A vital interception from Yasmin Woodfield at the back with play stretched she cuts out Holloway’s diagonal ball with Wiseman ready to run in on goal behind her. Griffin finding room to cross on the right her ball into the six yard box clawed down by O’Callaghan with Deller ready to pounce beyond her. Cossey struggling comes off for Wymondham, Brooke Moreno their final substitution.
The substitute making an immediate impact as she gets clear on the right driving for the corner wraps her foot around the ball sending a cross into the six yard box, falling for Nicholls she opts to go with the outside of her right boot ends up stabbing the ball directly into the keepers welcoming gloves. Up the other end Deller sends a shot wide across goal from 25 yards out as Ponder wins the challenge in the middle. Play continues to be stretched Newmarket starting to tire Wymondham win a corner on the left the ball in headed clear by Marshall, Mollie O’Callaghan gathers it outside the box puts her foot through the shot the strike deflected through to the keeper. Into the final 5 minutes of the match.
Wymondham finding space up front with Nicholls playing through the middle Wiseman drifting right late on. Mollie O’Callaghan plays the ball on for Nicholls 20 yards out right of goal shoots the ball racing wide of the near post. Attacking down the right Wymondham looking strong as the game moves into stoppage time Moreno with the cross in Linger inside her box gets her head on the ball sending it back out to the near post area, Nicholls is there for Wymondham, Hope realising the danger goes to close her down, Nicholls gets her header over the keeper, dropping Linger on the cover clears the ball off the line.
Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-2 Newmarket Town Ladies
All square at 2-2 after the 90 minutes are up the tie heads into extra-time. Sometimes you can live to eat your words and this is one of those times predicted it could go either way and certainly in the 299 match reports I’ve written before nothing like what was to follow has happened before, but then Wymondham looked to have more energy left as the game drew to a close. Onto extra-time.
All the substitutes have been used by both sides as Newmarket get the 1st 15 minute period of extra-time underway. Wymondham have possession get forwards down the right Moreno with an early cross the ball running across the area Holloway trying to close in from the left Hope can see the ball run wide.
GOAL! Wymondham get the early break through in extra-time the pushing players forwards the ball is played into Mollie O’Callaghan left side outside the box she gets a shot away the ball running across the six yard box strikes the far post and is turned into the back of the net 3-2.
GOAL! A hammer blow for Newmarket as they concede again in quick succession the ball regained by Wymondham played through the middle early Nicholls in behind is onside after the ball, Hope comes racing out to close her down, the Wymondham attacker winning the race for the ball stabs the ball past the advancing keeper inside the D and sees it roll into the back of the empty net beyond 4-2.
Newmarket suddenly look very tired, Wymondham on the other hand are re-energised snapping for the ball win it back from their opponents Wiseman with a drive from outside the area her shot held by Hope. A great ball forwards by Ladbrooke finds Nicholls her touch drags the ball out to the right firing a cross back in the ball looking for Holloway the winger is flagged offside.
GOAL! Wymondham extend their lead further as Wiseman is played in behind from another great ball from Ladbrooke. Has the extra pace to take her beyond the Newmarket defence into the box right of goal sends her strike across the keeper and into the back of the net 5-2.
GOAL! Moments later Wiseman scores again to claim her hat-trick the ball from Ladbrooke sending her through in behind again into the box keeps her composure to take the ball around the advancing keeper and slot it home for 6-2.
GOAL! A devastating spell from Wymondham as they go further ahead breaking from a Newmarket free-kick up to the top of their area the ball carried up the left players getting forwards, Cheal-Ferris fires the cross in going long across the face of goal Moreno is there far post to direct her header back across goal and in 7-2.
It’s all Wymondham, Ladbrooke winning everything in the middle. Holloway sees a shot from inside the box left side saved by Hope. Nicholls over runs the ball as she is sent clear through the middle.
GOAL! Wymondham have time in the 1st period of extra-time for one more goal cruel on a tired Newmarket defence as they give away a penalty the ball send diagonally across the park to Moreno arriving in the box from the right she looks to slide in on the ball, Marshall lunging into the challenge attempts to block her shot succeeds but in doing so her arm makes contact with the ball the referee points to the spot an opportunity for Nicholls to complete her own hat-trick in the game she makes no mistake sending her low shot to the keepers left 8-2. The 1st period of extra-time is over and Wymondham it’s fair to say are in full control.
Wymondham kick off the 2nd period of extra-time, Newmarket having put so much into the game are totally deflated.
GOAL! It’s another goal to the home side early in the 2nd period of extra-time. Nicholls claims her 4th of the match as she is fed through the middle has the energy to beat Woodfield to the ball as the defender does her best to hold her up Hope comes out to the edge of the area to close the pair down, Nicholls gets the ball past her to make it 9-2.
Griffin with possession of the ball finds the energy to have a run at the Wymondham defence left side too many bodies to beat is stopped by Fretwell. Nicholls moving out to the right has the ball at her feet cuts it back towards the top of the area O’Callaghan racing in sends her 1st time strike over the bar.
Hope makes the save as Wiseman gets clear running into the box right side looks to put the ball across the keeper, Hope gets down to grab hold of the ball. Ponder is has been struggling for a few minutes going down unwell, dizzy needs to come off Newmarket go down to 10 can’t be helped.
Holloway beats Hope on the left side of the box as the keeper comes out to try and stop her, putting the cross in to O’Callaghan she has an open goal to shoot at looks to place the ball, Woodfield recovers the ground to block the shot inside the six yard box.
Extra-time is over and Wymondham scoring a stunning 7 goals in the extra half hour win 9-2 to make history and advance to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup for the 1st time.
A devastating spell in the 1st period of extra-time to totally dominate the tie after an entertaining 90 minutes before. Clinical in their finishing where they weren’t during regular play. Had plenty of chances but weren’t taken. In the end had the energy levels to maintain their momentum going into the closing stages of the game and into extra-time. Another great comeback from Newmarket 1-0 down at half-time to go on to lead 2-1 in the 2nd half couldn’t hold on to the lead Wymondham came back and finishing the game stronger had the extra energy to overcome a rapidly tiring Newmarket whose own valiant run in this season’s FA Women’s Cup comes to an end. A very harsh scoreline in the finish but they can be inspired by their performances all against higher league opposition can carry that into their league campaign their aim to win the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
This never gets any easier picking the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match is another tough one, leaving the ground I still hadn’t picked one and sometimes it’s only when I go through my notes whilst preparing a match report do I come to a decision and in this case one player did stand out, so today’s Player of the Match goes to Wymondham Town Ladies, Laura Wiseman. A hat-trick in the end could well have claimed it in the 1st half of the game alone good runs and positioning to get herself into those scoring chances throughout the match.
300 match reports written and this one is as different as the 1st such an exciting game and so hard to predict that’s why I love it so much… think I’ve got a few more in me. My thanks to both clubs for their help today as always very much appreciated. The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup will be made on Monday.
*UPDATE* The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup has been made and Wymondham Town Ladies face an away tie against FAWPL South East Division One side Enfield Town Ladies who narrowly over came ERWFL Premier Division side AFC Sudbury Ladies 1-0 in 3rd Round Qualifying. Tie scheduled to be played Sun 12th November with a 1pm kick-off.