Sunday 12th May
ERWFL League Plate Final
Histon Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies
Another cup final double bill this Sunday a trip to Hertfordshire for the ERWFL Finals Day. First up kicking off at 11am the League Plate Final this season being contested by Histon Ladies and Newmarket Town Ladies.
Hutton Ladies winning the ERWFL League Plate previously, celebrating back to back wins having successfully defended the trophy last season beating Stevenage Ladies Reserves. A new name on the trophy this season.
Histon Ladies are an established side within the ERWFL, this their 3rd season playing as Histon having previously been known as Great Shelford Ladies. The link up with Histon seeing a pathway created between Histon’s youth sides through to adult football. Backed up by a Reserves side play at The Glassworld Stadium. Two league games left after today’s final are comfortable in mid-table in what has been a very competitive league this season, currently 8th can still gain a position or two.
Newmarket reaching a cup final in their debut season in the ERWFL. Joining this season suffering an opening day loss then found thier feet to go on a run of 6 games unbeaten to climb the table and put them in amongst the top 4 sides, amongst the title challengers for a while have tailed off currently 4th will secure that position at least with a win in their final league game of the season next Sunday a top half finish guaranteed. Winning through to a cup final capping off a successful start to life playing at regional level. Plans in place for a new development side next season. Winning through to the final the club knew they would be without a number of key players for the game today away for various reasons.
Road to the Final
The Division One sides knocked out of the League Cup itself in the 1st and 2nd round going on to contest for the League Plate. Straight to a quarter final. Histon were drawn away to league newcomers Hatfield Peverel Ladies the Essex side 2nd bottom in the table, goals form Sophie Lanham and Georgina Huse securing a 2-0 win for the visitors. Newmarket were also on the road taking on Hertford Town Ladies. Goals form Beth and Jodie Woodfield along with a brace from Abbi Griffin seeing Newmarket through to the last 4 courtesy of a 4-1 win.
Two tough looking games in the semi-finals with 4 sides all fancying their chances of reaching the final. Histon away to 3rd placed Stevenage Ladies Reserves, drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes of play the game heading into extra-time. Histon coming up with the winning goal to reach today’s final. Newmarket Town Ladies at home to Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies, who they had beaten in the league at Hoddesdon just the week before coming back win the game 3-2 with a last gasp winner form young striker Annabel Cuthbert. Newmarket having the better of their opponents in the semi-final with goals from Jess Linger and Cuthbert sending them through to the final winning the game 2-0.
The ERWFL Finals Day once again being played at The County Ground, Letchworth. The stadium seeing some redevelopment, prominently a new playing surface the pitch now 3G. The bar area also upgraded a new cafeteria serving hot and cold drinks. The main seated stand along one side of the pitch. The weather fantastic still, clear blue skies and warm. The 3G pitch new holding alot of rubber.
Histon Ladies starting XI – Keeley Robinson, Lucy Julian, Kaya Haq, Briannah Baker, Tessa Shaw, Alison Wright, Georgia Day, Kayleigh-Jo Castell, Katie Seagrave, Rebekah Finch & Sophie Lanham (C). Subs – Rebecca Lenton, Kirstie Smith, Kirsty Geal & Danielle Briggs.
Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Dominika Szary, Holly Dryland, Olivia Orme, Beth Woodfield (C), Olivia Cafferelli, Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Sarah O’Rourke, Laura Bailey & Annabel Cuthbert. Subs – Lauren Deller, Molly Agnew Hannah Rogers & Eleanor Mcleish.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Dominika Szary back on goal for Newmarket having missed the semi-final with Hoddesdon through suspension. Newmarket with the kick-off 1st half getting the final underway wearing yellow coloured shirts with blue shorts and blue and yellow hooped socks. Histon opposite wearing red shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball charged down straight away by Histon, Georgia Day on Newmarket’s Jess Linger the deflecting all the way back to goalkeeper, Keeley Robinson for an early feel of the ball.
Both sides closing down the ball forwards by Histon defended by Newmarket played on through the middle for Annabel Cuthbert getting hold of it looks to take players on driving towards the box the Histon defence converging to close her down full back Lucy Julian in to clear the ball up field. Sarah O’Rourke seeing the ball into her feet inside the Histon half plays a great diagonal ball on into the area for Cuthbert making a run, latches onto the shot Robinson down to make the parrying save the ball back to Cuthbert sends it back in towards goal the Histon keeper saving as the ball comes off the post.
Attacking intent from both sides Histon captain, Sophie Lanham in attack moving out to the right winning her side a corner kick. The delivery defended near post back to the taker the cross long kept in past the far post by Kayleigh-Jo Castell put back up the line the ball put into the top of the area defended. Kaya Haq coming on from left back for Histon with a fantastic diagonal pass long to Katie Seagrave bursting in behind on the right wing takes on the shot early 25 yards out the ball whistling over the crossbar. Histon gaining momentum in the final 3rd winning the ball high put forwards into Lanham right off goal 25 yards out has a shot the low strike gathered by Szary back on her line.
GOAL! 10 minutes played and Newmarket get themselves an early goal. Awarded a free-kick central as the ball in picked up by Laura Bailey and she his barrelled over carrying it towards goal. Newmarket’s dead ball specialist, Jess Linger to take. Strikes the ball well on target Robinson getting something on it by not enough to keep the ball slipping past her and into the back of the net 1-0.
Straight from the restart Histon look to get on the offence, good footwork from Alison Wright central to evade a challenge and bring the ball on attempts to lift it over the top the flag up against Day inside the area. Holly Dryland goes on the overlap past O’Rourke on the right for Newmarket. Haq closing the full back down quickly tackling to prevent the return pass.
GOAL! Newmarket’s lead short lived as Histon come back to level the scores awarded a free-kick out on the right Seagrave fouled past the 18 yard line, Haq coming across to take it. Struck well in towards goal Szary can’t reach it as it dips under the cross bar and in at the far post 1-1.
Rebekah Finch seeing a poor kick out from goal fall to her the ball deflected on into the box gives chase, Olivia Orme back well pressure charging the shot down taking the pace off for Szary to collect. Histon pushing on up the right wing a throw won top of the area drops to Wright 20 yards out central shoots with her left foot dragging the ball wide of the near post. Seagrave showing great pace on the ball down the right for Histon a cross flashed into the near post cut out by Newmarket defender Olivia Cafferelli. A great response from Histon to going behind Wright strong in the centre.
A free-kick for Newmarket wide right Linger to play the ball into the six yard box, lifts it high, Robinson rising well to make the claim through a crowd is clattered upon landing as her defence scramble the ball away, but okay to continue after treatment. Szary up the other end out of her area rapidly to deal with a forwards pass that sees Lanham in to attack. O’Rourke with a great receive and turn inside the Histon half to put the ball on for Cuthbert racing in behind the Histon back line left of the D opens up her body to shoot across the keeper, to straight at Robinson at her quickly the keeper palming it away.
Cuthbert on the move again after a ball on the right wing, Briannah Baker sliding in to tackle catching Cuthbert the advantage played by referee Stacey Fullicks as she maintains her footing to run on past and cut a cross back into the area, Tessa Shaw sliding in to win it for Histon the ball coming out to Newmarket’s Chloe Slater top of the area she sends a shot over the bar. Baker booked for the earlier foul. Cuthbert spinning in behind as the ball is played into her feet left into the box, Robinson quickly out to close the angle slides in well to make the save at the attackers feet.
GOAL! Half and hour played and Histon go on to take the lead, have a free-kick inside the Newmarket half on the right played in from deep the ball into the six yard area not dealt with by the Newmarket defence popping out to Finch at the near post getting hold of it to turn unopposed and fire the ball home from close range 2-1.
Newmarket come forwards right side O’Rourke fouled a free-kick Linger on it the ball put on into the area, Robinson able to collect on the bounce. Histon push on through the middle the ball lost Slater with it out to Dryland making a run on the right wing the diagonal ball played into the top of the area early, Julian there to clear for Histon. Wright down in the middle having taken a knock on the ankle players from both sides taking on fluid whilst she receives treatment. Is a competitive game played at a good tempo.
O’Rourke putting the ball on for Dryland off on a run down the right wing her cross cut back along the top of the Histon area helped on into the centre for Antonia Smith making a run from midfield catching the ball strikes it well rising sees her effort smash down off the crossbar. Seagrave out right for Histon bursting forwards played on by Lanham her cross met and cleared by Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield.
Wright strong in the tackle central for Histon winning it 40 yards out as Slater looks to play it forwards for O’Rourke right side the past through for Lanham beating the offside trap, Szary with a good starting position out sharply to the edge of her area to claim the ball. Scrappy towards the end of the first have both sides rushing their passes, Bailey on the left attacking for Newmarket stopped by Shaw. Baker tackling Cuthbert outside the box as Linger threads a ball on. A late flag halting Smith as she breaks beyond the attack for Newmarket Bailey attempting the flick on.
Half-time Histon Ladies 2-1 Newmarket Town Ladies
Histon with the narrow advantage at half-time coming back from a goal down to lead 2-1 at half-time. A competitive match so far both slides putting alot on energy into it confident closing down a positive going forwards, chances for both sides to score more goals set-pieces unlocking both defences. Is warm out there midday fast approaching little cloud in the sky. The pitch carrying alot of rubber still slow the ball not racing on. Fairly evenly matched all to play for 2nd half.
Histon with a couple pf changes Danielle Briggs and Kirsty Geal on replacing Julian and Castell as they get the 2nd 45 underway. Molly Agnew on for Newmarket wide right in place of O’Rourke. Histon with the ball central played out to Seagrave attacking right into the area after it, Orme getting back on her to push her wide of goal, Seagrave managing to get a shot away nevertheless the ball safe on Szary’s gloves at her near post. Newmarket gain ground on the left Bailey turning back inside plays it central to Smith in an advanced position 20 yards out her shot lacking any power at it runs along the ground wide of target Robinson gathers.
Agnew getting on with the ball on the right wing for Newmarket to the byline sends a cross back up towards the top of the area, Wright tracking back superbly to win and clear for Histon. Cuthbert shoots wide across goal for Newmarket after getting into the area following good hold up play to spin in behind. Cuthbert charging on looking to get away through the middle in attack, Baker back on her with a somewhat clumsy challenge outside the area effective however as the ball runs behind for a corner. Robinson dealing with the corner for Histon. Geal bringing the ball on left side for Histon is closed down by Dryland and Woodfield.
GOAL! as with the first half Newmarket score again 10 minutes into the 2nd half building on a bright start getting the ball up into Cuthbert quickly a delivery in sent on from the right side Newmarket’s young striker getting free at the far post to stab a shot under the keeper and into the bottom corner to level the scores 2-2.
Dryland comes off having picked up an injury, Hannah Rogers sent on for Newmarket goes to left back, Orme over to the right. Geal storming on for Histon left wing fires a cross low into the area Cafferelli with the interception central for Newmarket. Smith fouling Lanham as she gets hold of the ball central top of the circle the ball forwards Newmarket defend. Bailey getting forwards with the ball Cuthbert providing the run ahead of her moving left, Baker stays with her. Smith central for Newmarket threads a pass on for Bailey getting to the top of the box left side gets a shot away a low strike racing wide past the far post.
Rogers getting on up the pitch left side for Newmarket a terrific ball played long into the area met at the far post by Agnew turned goalwards, Robinson across her goal seeing the ball fired straight into her. Woodfield coming to close down Wright as she attempts to turn and get a shot away from 25 yards out, Day playing in forwards into her. Histon bring off Finch with Kristie Smith coming on to join the attack. Slater gets on with the ball right with support for Bailey and Rogers the ball inside to Cuthbert a corner conceded on the right. Newmarket to play the ball in put in long to the far post for a moment looked like it had crept in under the bar but instead narrowly over and dropping behind the net. Newmarket press the attack the ball on seeing Cuthbert threatening to break in clear, Shaw back to defend tackling to concede the corner.
GOAL! The game entering the final 15 minutes and Newmarket get their noses back in front scoring direct from a corner the ball on the right played in by Rogers an inswinging ball under the bar Robinson goes for it but can’t get a telling touch as the ball flies over her into the far corner. 3-2.
Rogers on the left forwards for Bailey, Shaw getting across to slide in and put the ball out for a throw. Bailey getting forwards at will for Newmarket now as Histon frustrated cannot get the ball to stick in attack late on, Agnew forwards right of the D Bailey fires the pass into her Agnew dragging her shot wide away from goal. Newmarket make a change with Lauren Deller coming on in place of Smith. Bailey fouled by Shaw as she brings the ball on a free-kick for Newmarket wide left, Linger on it the delivery into the six yard box claimed well by Robinson.
Lanham takes a blow to the head as she and Cafferelli contest a ball lifted forwards into the box from midfield. Is brought off with Rebecca Lenton coming on. Bailey keeping the ball well up field for Newmarket running down the clock as Histon are desperate to get hold of it build an attack. Wright out to Seagrave over on the left gets forwards a cross driven in central early, Lenton the target, Cafferelli in front of her to regain possession for Newmarket.
The game entering stoppage time, Newmarket doing well to keep the ball up the other end working hard to force Histon into rushing their passes, their opponents can’t get anything meaningful in the final third. Briggs breaking with the ball on the right for Histon is fouled by Cafferelli. A change before the free-kick is taken, Finch back on the field. Briggs to take doesn’t make it count put behind near side. Newmarket send on another youngster 16-year-old Eleanor McLeish in the closing minutes for Agnew, a throw won on the right Newmarket play it down the line Bailey taking it into the corner. One last chance for Histon as Wright wins them a corner on the left, taken short however Newmarket clear their line quickly to see Histon’s attackers flagged offside.
Full time Histon Ladies 2-3 Newmarket Town Ladies
The full time whistle blows and Newmarket are the side celebrating winning the ERWFL League Plate Final 3-2 and winning an unexpected piece of silverware to cap a strong debut season in the regional leagues. An entertaining final played between two evenly matched sides, chances created the momentum shifting one way then the other, good spirits, hotly contested especially in midfield. Histon responding well to losing an early goal, Newmarket getting it back to 2 all before getting their noses in front with 15 minutes left and from then on in preventing Histon from getting any foothold up the other end.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award of the day. A few names to mention, Alison Wright superb for Histon strong in midfield winning the ball and getting passes on to the attack. Katie Seagrave a threat on the right especially first half. For Newmarket Annabel Cuthbert just 16 shows great movement and pace in attack, Jess Linger has a fantastic range of passes and a threat from any dead ball situation. The award however goes once again to the player who got it in the semi-finals Laura Bailey terrific on the left getting forwards, timely runs her link up play excellent and towards the end kept the ball well frustrating Histon.
Congratulations to Newmarket Town Ladies on winning the ERWFL League Plate Final.
An enjoyable first final of the day, between Histon and Newmarket, evenly matched a good contest, time for something to eat and a much needed cup of tea the 2nd game of the day not too far away.