Sunday 21st January
Having seen no live action last weekend I was keen to get a game in this Sunday, the weather forecast however meant that was likely to be a challenge. Had a game in mind that I was pretty sure would beat the weather over others and held out as the games started to fall one by one. Hit the road heading to Newmarket hoping to see the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership game between Newmarket Town Ladies and Cambridge City Ladies Development.
Over night rain followed by freezing conditions with snow and sleet preceding rain for Sunday afternoon a pretty gloomy forecast a pitch inspection at The Ridgeons Stadium at 1:15pm saw a light dusting of snow covering the pitch but okay to play an all weather surface state of the art cork based it was in good shape. More importantly the ground provided cover for spectators. Game on. I was a bit early for kick-off as I didn’t know it had been put back to 3pm but seeing’s as I’d written zero pre-match notes this wasn’t time wasted.
Netherton United Ladies currently lead the way in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership the Peterborough based side getting off to a great start winning their 1st 7 matches, have 27 points from 11 games played in total. 2 defeats giving hope to those chasing who all have games in hand 2nd placed St Ives Town Ladies who can overhaul Netherton yet should they win their 4 games in hand having played 7. So to have today’s opponents Newmarket Town Ladies in 3rd place at home to 4th placed Cambridge City Ladies Development.
Newmarket Town Ladies are on 16 points from their 7 played having won 5 with a draw and a loss so far in this campaign, amongst the front runners to challenge for the title this season a run in the FA Women’s Cup playing a factor in the number of league matches they have yet to play. A busy 2nd half to the season looms are in the quarter finals of the Suffolk Women’s County Cup and have reached the League Cup semi-finals too. Like St Ives Town they can catch Netherton if they collect maximum points from their games in hand. A win today moves them into 2nd position in the table.
Cambridge City Ladies Development are into their 2nd season having won promotion to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership in their debut season with the Championship South title. A strong youth set up at Cambridge City the 1st team currently 2nd in the ERWFL Premier Division the Development side has several players setting up into adult football from youth level aged 16. Like Newmarket have played just the 7 league games so far with 3 defeats and 4 victories to date the latest last weekend seeing them come back from 3-2 down against Cambridge University Women to win the match 6-3, with 16 year old Yasmin Crow scoring her 1st senior hat-trick.
The Ridgeons Stadium the venue for today’s match, as mentioned earlier boasting a state of the art artificial playing surface. A clubhouse (a warm one too) hot drinks and food available. A small seated mainstand covered along with further covering in front of the clubhouse along side the pitch. Still out in the elements a bitterly cold day, the snow stopping before kick-off a bit of rain in the air with a biting wind that would grow stronger as the afternoon progressed. Good job I love the game or I’d have stayed at home.
Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Jess Linger, Brooke Wickens, Yasmin Woodfield, Beth Woodfield (C), Laura Bailey, Chloe Slater, Antonia Smith, Abbi Griffin, Lauren Deller & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Ellie Marshall, Cindy Ponder, Dominika Szary, Sarah O’Rourke & Cassandra Carvalheiro.
Cambridge City Ladies Development starting XI – Jenny Jamieson, Tegan Wyman, Eline Sorbye, Ellie Todd, Gemma Clare (C), Kayleigh Whitehead, Rachel Pearce, Molly White, Lucy Hurst, Yasmin Crow & Ellie Cullum. Subs – Aneila Luxford, Erin Fox, Rachel Littlewood, Amy Ozakpinar & Laura Mills.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s Cambridge to kick-off the match wearing white shirts with black upon the shoulders, black shirts and black and white hooped socks. Newmarket lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts with blue shorts and yellow socks. An array of gloves worn too by both sides very cold out there. Despite the earlier snow fall and general wetness the pitch is in great shape no signs at all of players losing their footing. Newmarket press in the middle winning early possession of the ball Chloe Slater with the diagonal ball out to Lauren Deller over on the left wing the ball knocked on down the line she can’t keep it in play.
The home side have started the brighter pushing forwards Jordanne Sillitoe up front moving into space on the right receiving the ball whips a cross in along the face of goal from the byline is headed behind for a corner kick at the near post by Cambridge’s Eline Sorbye. The ball played into the area by Newmarket’s Jess Linger is headed back to her coming inside slices her low cross behind for a goal kick. Newmarket have possession on the right inside the Cambridge half a well worked triangle between Sillitoe, Abbi Griffin and Antonia Smith brings the home side a 2nd corner. Put in from the right headed out of the area falls to Chloe Slater 25 yards out Cambridge captain Gemma Clare goes in to block the shot goes wide.
GOAL! An early goal as Newmarket capitalise on their good start going 1-0 in the 7th minute. Pressing the ball high up the pitch the diagonal ball is put out to the left for Deller taking it on whips a great cross in towards the near post Griffin having made the run challenged by a Cambridge defender neither get any meaningful contact on the ball as it drops down inside the box Smith having made a midfield run is up with play first the ball and strikes it low across goal into the bottom corner. 1-0.
Newmarket are first to any loose pass and pressing the 2nd ball making it difficult for Cambridge to get out of their own half Laura Bailey with the tackle for Newmarket the ball knocked on picked up by Griffin 30 yards out takes on the strike a lobbed effort that has goalkeeper Jenny Jamieson scrambling across her goal the ball dropping just wide of the top corner. Cambridge look to send the ball long down the left for attacker Ellie Cullum to give chase, Yasmin Woodfield across from centreback for Newmarket to clear the threat putting the ball out for a throw.
Molly White wins the ball in the centre for Cambridge plays an early pass forwards for Yasmin Crow peeling away to the right up top taking the ball on into the box shoots her effort straight into Eloise Hope the goalkeeper back covering her near post claiming the ball. The action quickly switches to the other end the ball played out to Griffin wide right, Sillitoe already on the move into space in behind the Cambridge defence the pass picking her out into the area strikes the ball races wide across the six yard box.
Clare coming further forwards into the middle wins the ball for Cambridge sending it long drops to Cullum back to goal 25 yards out tries to see the ball down into her box and turn into the strike is closely marked by Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield who prevents any strike the ball spinning loose is played long as Newmarket launch a counter the ball out wide right the cross fired into the area Clare puts her foot through the ball to clear for Cambridge drops straight to Smith just outside the area her first time strike flying over the crossbar.
Hope is quick to come out of her box to clear the ball as White almost ties up Crow again with a good through ball. Kayleigh Whitehead wins the ball plays it on for Crow right side wins the away sides first corner of the game as Yasmin Woodfield puts in the challenge. A brilliant pass from Bailey up the other end for Newmarket the midfielder sliding the ball on into the area with Griffin providing the run Tegan Wyman going with her for Cambridge does well to deny her a shooting opportunity. Sillitoe comes close again as she puts a low shot across the Cambridge goal from the top of the area. A change for Newmarket at the back Yasmin Woodfield coming off Ellie Marshall coming on.
Newmarket bring the ball forwards down the right on for Sillitoe to chase down on the byline cuts her cross back along the face of goal evading Jamieson at the near post runs on no one gambling with a far post run, Cambridge can clear their lines. A piece of lax defending from Newmarket presents Cambridge with an opportunity in attack as White runs on through the middle getting hold of the ball, Hope comes racing out to meet her just outside the area going to ground the pair come together enough from the goalkeeper to stop a strike coming in the ball deflected to the right White goes after it plays the cross in Marshall back tracking blocks back to White lifts it over the central defender this time both Cullum and Lucy Hurst coming in from the left inside the six yard box won’t come down for Cullum to get a clean strike away Hurst can put her foot through the shot smashes it straight against Hope who makes a great stop from close range having gotten back into position.
Cambridge make a double switch full backs Wyman and Sorbye coming off with Erin Fox and Aneila Luxford coming on. Whitehead with Pearce bring the ball on for Cambridge, White wanting the ball right side attempts to play it through for Crow, Brooke Wickens getting to the ball ahead of the attacker. Newmarket make a change Cindy Ponder joining the action on the half hour for Deller. Cambridge win the ball from a Hope goal kick the ball knocked on through the middle sees Cullum unmarked 25 yards out the ball coming to her unexpectedly her shot lacks any power is gratefully claimed by Hope.
GOAL! Newmarket double their lead the goalscorer Abbi Griffin the 18 year old making her 50th appearance for the club today. Newmarket bring the ball on with purpose left side played into Griffin in a central position just outside the box left of the D puts a low shot in towards goal, Jamieson diving to her right can’t quite keep the ball out as it squirms under her and on into the back of the net 2-0.
GOAL! Newmarket have been quicker to the ball all 1st half and are soon further ahead is another fantastic ball from midfield from Bailey splitting the Cambridge defence Sillitoe timing her run to perfection into the box can pick her spot Jamieson no time to close her down the ball is slotted low to her right to make it 3-0.
Cambridge make another double switch bringing on Rachel Littlewood and Amy Ozakpinar for Todd and White. Cambridge continue to be restricted in attack Newmarket defending a high line confident they can stop any threat getting in behind. Hurst looks to go beyond Cullum left side Linger tackling the winger breaking up the move.
Griffin latches onto the ball from a Cambridge throw in on the the right once again it’s Sillitoe ready to go makes the run into the channel the ball into her feet takes it on into the box closing in on goal, Jamieson has her near post covered and Ozakpinar gets across Sillitoe between them the ball is stopped spinning behind for a late corner. The ball played in towards the top of the area falls to Ponder her shot is straight at Jamieson the keeper with a comfortable save.
Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 3-0 Cambridge City Ladies Development
A good first half performance from Newmarket taking a 3-0 lead into the changing rooms, pressing the ball high and winning alot of 2nd balls getting players forwards and as a result limiting Cambridge’s chances going forwards. Difficult conditions to play in the pitch okay but bitterly cold with a biting wind getting stronger.
The sides are soon out for the 2nd half as the floodlights are switched on the gloomy sky starting to darken. Changes for both sides at the start of the 2nd period. Cambridge wheeling out the big gun have Laura Mills on the bench plenty of FAWPL experience is dual signed with Cambridge City with Milton Keynes Dons and takes up a midfield role in place of Whitehead. Marshall is off for Newmarket with Ponder dropping into defence. Sarah O’Rourke currently Newmarket’s top scorer with 12 goals is on up top along with Cassandra Carvalheiro and Dominika Szary. Slater, Smith and Griffin the players off. Newmarket get thing’s underway.
An early attack for the home side the ball played deep into the left channel with Sillitoe after it has support from Szary to her left the ball laid back to her plays the cross into the area falls just behind O’Rourke making a run at the far post. Cambridge get the ball forwards long from Pearce out to Littlewood on the left wing her early cross into the area headed clear by Woodfield.
Picking up the ball 25 yards out from goal Sillitoe jinks left then right knocking the ball on for O’Rourke to her right into the box, Jamieson making the save low at her feet the ball deflected wide O’Rourke after it tries to life the ball over the keeper, Jamieson producing a great save.
GOAL! A more even start however Newmarket go further ahead early in the 2nd half as the home side is awarded a free-kick wide in the right top corner of the area. Linger, Newmarket’s set piece specialist coming forwards to take goes for goal plenty of pace on the all across the area to nestle in the bottom corner 4-0.
Jamieson makes a fantastic stop with her feet to deny Newmarket a 5th goal moments later as possession is lost the home side getting the ball out to O’Rourke on the right her cross from the byline cut back into the area Carvalheiro with the run a good strike from close range Jamieson doing well to stop it. Luxford with the ball right side for Cambridge inside to Crow looks to pick out Fox getting forwards from the left, the through ball intercepted. Mills giving Cambridge a focal point in the midfield they are getting the ball forwards with more purpose and getting players up around her wanting the ball. Newmarket sitting back more have a comfortable lead.
GOAL! Cambridge pull a goal back on the hour coming forwards the ball played long into the right wing Crow giving chase evades a clumsy challenge in the corner before putting a great all into the six yard box centre of goal Littlewood having moved in from the left is there under the ball close with the keeper a glancing header taking it past her into the back of the net 4-1.
Cambridge come again soon after the restart the ball won at the back up the line Mills helping it on for Crow down the right her early diagonal ball into the box is a threat Hope has two runners closing her down the ball falling favourably in between them she is able to deal with the threat get it away. Newmarket make a change Slater returning to the pitch in place of Szary.
Carvalheiro makes a run across the top of the Cambridge area as the ball is squared into her from the left screws the shot up over the bar. Winning a corner on the left Newmarket bring players forwards the ball is defended near post behind for another corner this delivery aimed near post squeezes through sees a shot come in from inside the six yard box the defender covering the post for Cambridge making the block resulting in a 3rd corner this one taken short with Sillitoe coming for the ball she turns and strikes the ball from outside the box Hurst charging the ball down.
Hurst comes off for Cambridge with Sorbye coming back on with Newmarket winning a corner right side the ball getting through to Sillitoe at the near post her shot blocked by Cullum at close range. A run from Mills on the right side for Cambridge cuts the ball back in field for Pearce coming forwards her looping ball comes for Cullum in a central position outside the area aiming to get the ball down and turn and strike it Newmarket are quickly on her to nullify the danger.
A brave piece of goalkeeping from Jamieson with Newmarket hitting Cambridge on the counter the ball played low through the middle finding Carvalheiro running clear towards the box and one on one situation Jamieson comes rushing out sliding it to smother the ball at the attackers feet just inside the box, is hurt for her efforts but after treatment is okay to continue. Is a more even contest 2nd half Cambridge playing with a little more urgency starting attacks higher up the pitch enabling more players to get forwards. Newmarket defending a 3 goal lead can afford to sit back a little with around 15 minutes left to play.
Very cold out there, Jamieson comes racing out of her area to clear the ball with Sillitoe giving chase as Bailey plays it on. Newmarket push players forwards in the next attack the ball won on the left taken to the byline the cross whipped in across the six yard box dropping at the far post Griffin arriving throws herself at hit making contact with her boot the ball striking the post!
Deller returns to the field for Newmarket in place of O’Rourke. Todd and White are also back on for Cambridge. Bailey with a crossfield run cuts the ball back looking to play it over the top for Deller, Cambridge push up the striker caught offside. A free kick awarded to Cambridge in an inviting position right of the D, Pearce on the ball sends her shot up over the bar.
Bailey moving left with the ball squares her cross along the top of the area the ball cut out by Luxford. Late into the match Crow wide plays a ball into the area from the right Ponder heading it away, the home side counter attack the ball forwards into Bailey a great slide rule past sending Deller in behind, good positioning from Jamieson the keeper able to get out of her area and come to clear the threat before Deller can get hold of the ball.
Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 4-1 Cambridge City Ladies Development
A 4-1 win for Newmarket takes them into 2nd position in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership table on 19 points. The game won in the 1st half a dominant performance Newmarket starting the better closing the ball down higher up the pitch players making forward runs to cause Cambridge problems and go 3 goals in front, further extending the lead as Cambridge rallied in the 2nd half playing with much more confidence pulling a goal back a young and talented side that are only going to get better. Newmarket now 8 points behind Netherton with 3 games in hand.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
A good display from Newmarket especially first half getting themselves into a 3 goal lead a few contenders for today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, Griffin and Bailey both doing well, up top it was her runs and movement that caused Cambridge the most problems as well as pulling players out of position capping it off with a goal so have given it to Jordanne Sillitoe.
A credit to the players for braving horrible conditions to play today’s game bitterly cold a ball strike hurting just a little bit more. Played with plenty of energy and in good spirit. Freezing myself took a while to warm up but good to get a game in. My thanks to both clubs for their help today.