Sunday 27th October
Women’s FA Cup
A trip to Ely City FC this Sunday to watch another match from the Women’s FA Cup the competition reaching 3rd Round Qualifying 24 ties taking place across the country with the winning sides advancing to the 1st Round Proper. Today’s game an all FAWNL South East Division One clash with Cambridge City Ladies hosting AFC Basildon Women.
Heavy rainfall once again on the Saturday leading up to the game, hit a number of fixtures more on the other side of the country, the East fairing better, a bright start to Sunday the game on. The Dencom Stadium home of Ely City FC the new home for Cambridge City Ladies this season as they reach their highest level since reestablishing a women’s side. Playing in the FAWNL South East Division One have enjoyed a rapid rise through the women’s football pyramid moving up from the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership and through the ERWFL in just 4 seasons. Collecting numerous other silverware along the way most recently winning the Hunts FA 125 year Premier Cup beating St Ives Town Ladies in midweek. Have a total of 3 women’s sides this season with their Development side promoted the the ERWFL this season off the back of a trophy laden season and a new ‘A’ side competing in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership.
History made last season too as Cambridge City reached the 1st Round Proper of the Women’s FA Cup for the 1st time in their history. Promoted to the FAWNL this season has been a tough start to life at this level just 5 points on the board to date from 7 played entered the Women’s FA Cup in 2nd Round Qualifying a home time against giant killers St Albans Ladies the Beds & Herts Women’s Division One side knocking ERWFL side Histon Ladies out in the previous round gave Cambridge City a scare going 2-0, the hosts fighting back to pull level the game all square at 3-3 after 90 minutes Cambridge getting over the line in injury time.
A new chapter of sorts in the history of Basildon, now AFC Basildon Women the Essex club like Cambridge City enjoyed a rapid rise through the woman’s football pyramid and collected a fair amount of silverware themselves as C&K Basildon Ladies, that ear coming to an end two seasons ago. Uncertain times for a while the club coming close to folding have forged a new beginning. Losing most of the 1st team the clubs Development side was more or less thrown in at the deep end to try and compete in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division a tough campaign finishing bottom the young squad learning alot about itself have grown.
A new beginning in FAWNL South East Division One a strong social media presence, Basildon have recruited well bringing in the likes of Poppy Binding from Harlow Town Ladies and Kelly Wealthall who has experience with West Ham United Women amongst others is a very young squad still learning it’s game most still teenagers. Comfortable in mid-table results a mixed bag early on showing great form so far this month winning 3 on the bounce in league & cup in October. A 4-0 away win against Cambridge City in the league back in September.
The heavy rain the day before threatening the game, a dry start to Sunday sun getting onto the pitch the game on. The pitch with a good covering of grass, very wet sticky underfoot. A large playing surface overlooked by a high seated stand above the changing rooms. The bar beside open along wit the kitchen serving hot drinks. New new cinema and restaurant park leading into the stadium that is one of a number of sporting venues close by. A warm day in the end the sun having a bit of heat in it could actually take the coat off… won’t be saying that for much longer. The clocks going back the night before it would be setting during the game a factor in the 2nd half especially.
Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Dominika Szary, Ceri Flye, Amy Reed, Robyn Phillips, Becca Fay (C), Hannah Bodily, Sofia Castiglione, Charlotte Gillies, Beatrice Fitzsimons, Laura Mills & Carla Penny. Subs – Lauren Tomlinson & Karly Tolentino.
AFC Basildon Women starting XI – Charlotte Bolland, Sophie Rhodes (C) Alex Bailess, Grace Gillard, Mollie Debell, Gemma Abela, Poppy Binding, Cerys Adams, Courtney Clarke, Kelly Wealthall & Hollie Turner. Subs – Sophie Spencer-Webb, Maddie Thomas, Amy Jacobs & Sarah Wilson.
Cambridge without strikers Megan Tonks and Shannon Shaw, in to the side comes Carla Penny who has enjoyed a great start to the season with the Development side netting 10 goals in 7 appearances. Basildon to get the cup tie underway, wearing an all light blue kit. Cambridge wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. Basildon lively from the off the ball long from the back up to Kelly Wealthall moving left tackled the ball out for a throw taken quickly the cross lifted up into the area, goalkeeper Dominika Szary catching comfortably for Cambridge.
Basildon getting players forwards with purpose a driven pass up the left with Courtney Clarke making a good run a well timed tackle from full back Ceri Flye. The visitors press the ball high, Hollie Turner almost away Szary out to the edge of her area to clear.
GOAL! A bright start from Basildon they are hit on the counter Cambridge working the ball forwards in an excellent move to take the lead. The ball cleared from the back into Carla Penny back inside her half on the right helps in on down the wing for Charlotte Gillies racing past her she plays it early central for Laura Mills running clear central bearing down on the area, opens up her body to put her shot past goalkeeper Charlie Bolland coming out to close her down to place the ball into the goal beyond 1-0. 3 minutes played.
Basildon are straight on the attack after the Cambridge defence pressed giving the ball away on right intercepted by Turner she flashes a ball across the face of goal, Wealthall racing in far post can’t quite get there.
GOAL! Doesn’t take long for Basildon to get back on level terms, players swarming forwards have Cambridge pushed back inside their area, the midfielders up supporting the attacking three, the ball is cleared straight to Poppy Binding 20 yards out right side of the D a clinical finish the ball driven hard and low to nestle in the back of the net 1-1 Basildon equalising within 2 minutes.
Basildon come on in attack Clarke a threat on the left side of attack looking to get in behind. The Cambridge defence making hard work of clearing the ball a rebound put straight into Turner she races free left side looks to play in Wealthall, Cambridge captain Becca Fay managing to get her foot of the ball first get it back to the keeper the clearance miscued, Basildon close down, Cambridge scramble it away. Basildon attack right side a low cross into the six yard box Fay managing to cut out Szary down to smother the ball.
GOAL! The game turned completely around in the space of 4 minutes Basildon coming from behind to take the lead the visitors pushing forwards numbers on the left the Cambridge defence drawn out a low cross driven in on the angle, the ball turned in at close range by Binding for her 2nd of the game at the far post 1-2.
GOAL! All action at the start of the first half no sooner have Basildon taken the lead then they score another the ball won in the middle of the park put forwards into the box right side with Turner making the run into her path under challenge from Fay six yards out gets a shot away going to ground sending it past Szary to score. 1-3. Less than 10 minutes played.
Cambridge shell shocked look to get forwards play broken up in the middle by Cerys Adams Basildon quickly turn the attack around, Clarke, Turner and Wealthall all on the move, Wealthall central sees the ball fired into her, Fay getting back on hr tackling well before she can get a shot away. Binding linking with Adams plays a cross in for Wealthall positioned central inside the area, drags her shot wide of goal. Fluid play from Basildon passing quickly at the start of the game.
Mills tries a long one over the top for Penny, almost succeeds through behind the defence a good starting position from Bolland sees her out to wrap her gloves around the ball first. Gillies latches onto a ball on the right takes it on towards the area shooting on the angle looking to put it across the keeper, Bolland down well to make the save. Cambridge getting a little joy on the right with Gillies pace winning a throw the ball lifting into the area a firm header clear by Basildon defender Mollie Debell. Penny moving out to the left given the ball closes in on the area firing a cross in cut out and cleared by Grace Gillard. Cambridge recovering a little getting forwards Penny again unleashing a shot from 25 yards out safely held by Bolland.
Basildon remain a threat getting players forwards at will the front three pressing the Cambridge back line. Clarke central almost plays in Wealthall, then Turner, Robyn Phillips and Flye defending on both occasions for Cambridge the rebound coming to Clarke for a 3rd time she has a go for goal herself sending her 20 yard effort over the bar. Cambridge come left Beatrice Fitzsimons on for Penny played inside for Sofia Castiglione to strike from distance, Gillard blocking for Basildon.
GOAL! Less than 20 minutes played and another goal goes in as Cambridge pull a goal back, good work on the right from Gillies to win the ball managing to stay on her feet runs on into the box the angle closing as she bears down on the near post gets a shot away, Bolland looks to have it covered gloves down to take the ball… to her horror though it slips through her fingers and behind her into the back of the net 2-3.
Binding wriggling free on the right with the ball in behind whips a high cross into the six yard box dropped by Szary as she rises near post, no one there on the follow up the keeper able to grab it. Clarke strong to win the ball on the left wing gets in behind coming inside into the cross looking up to cross, Phillips sliding in well to get her foot on the ball take it away from the attacker. Strength to shown by Turner as she brings the ball down off a throw in on the left top of the area turns inside before sending a cross/shot wide across the face of goal.
Gillard at the back winning it for Basildon showing a great range of passes to put the ball up for the attacks twice getting Clarke away to take the ball on left side. A dangerous ball crossed in for Turner and Wealthall, Cambridge defence not making things easy for themselves as their clearances can only find a blue shirt. The pitch slick not easy to play on heavy with moisture. Turner getting the wrong side of Fay as Adams puts the ball on through the middle shoots from the top of the area beating the advancing Szary her effort running wide.
GOAL! Almost half an hour played at a furious pace and Basildon restore their 2 goal lead. Binding completing her hat-trick. Turner setting her up strong again shoulder to shoulder with Phillips left side into the box as she is fed the ball from midfield closing in on the byline puts a cross in along the face of goal, Binding at the far post a yard out, shows a cool head composure as players close her down to make sure the ball crosses the line 2-4.
Flye defends for Cambridge as she is outnumbered on the left by Wealthall and Turner the latter managing to get a cross in as Wealthall is dispossessed her cross cleared by Fay. Cambridge build from the back a good crossfield pass picking out Gillies clear on the right chasing on towards the area Mills available for the cross on the penalty spot the ball behind her lays it back towards Hannah Bodily to shot closed down the ball squared to her right for Castiglione to hit on the half volley sends her strike over.
Basildon win a corner on the left a dangerous ball put into the six yard box a glancing header takes it wide out to the opposite side a throw won on the right Basildon keep players forwards. Between them top of the area Binding and Adams send the ball on central Alex Bailess latching onto it 30 yards out smashes a shot wide of goal. Conditions slippy, Fay with a good recovering tackle central as Wealthall almost spins in behind her. Phillips with a pass back for the keeper to clear as Turner looks to out muscle her inside the box. Cambridge get the ball forwards Bodily into Penny up top seeing the ball into her body spins to put Gillies away on the right her cross unfortunate to land on the roof of the net.
Turner blasts a shot wide from 25 yards out. Gemma Abela attempts to play Wealthall in through the middle, Phillips with a leg out making a vital interception for Cambridge. The hosts build through the middle Mills combining with Gillies to put the ball on for Penny central, Bolland quick to the edge of her box to slide in claim the ball. Castiglione bringing the ball on for Cambridge late in the first half releases Gillies on the right shooting from the angle is straight into the keeper midriff.
Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 2-4 AFC Basildon Women
An all action first half comes to an end, glad too so I can have a rest my own fault I suppose for writing everything down but it also conveys the temp of the match a fast paced start 4 goals inside the opening 10 minutes. Basildon making a great start Cambridge though carving them open to take the lead. Straight back to level the Essex side racing into a 3-1 lead. The action never let up. Cambridge on he rack defensively Basildon putting them under pressure closing the ball down high up the pitch clearances rushed keeping the hosts on the back foot for long spells. Came back well to get it back to 3-2 Basildon creating opportunities restoring a 2 goal lead before half-time. A huge as to keep that pace up for the whole game. Cambridge you feel need the next goal if they are to get back into the game.
Basildon make a change at half-time Clarke looks to have taken a knock a threat on the left for the visitors 1st half is replaced by Amy Jacobs making her first appearance for the 1st team fresh from scoring a hat-trick for the Development side in their 3-1 win over Billericay Town Ladies Reserves in the County Cup last weekend. The sun sitting lower in the sky facing the goal Cambridge are defending 2nd half. Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway.
The hosts winning an early corner put into the box from the right the ball headed clear back out to the taker a second cross put in central in front of goal, Mills close on Bolland the keeper holding confidently under pressure. Debell bringing the ball on from the back for Basildon plays it to the right for Binding allowed to go on with the ball crossed in the clearance falling straight to Adams racing in central 25 yards out doesn’t catch it cleanly no power as it runs wide.
Gillies remains a good outlet for the ball on the right as Cambridge look to get forwards another superb crossfield pass seeing her race away shoots on the diagonal, Bolland drifting across to cover her near post getting her gloves up to palm the ball down into the ground and claim on the bounce. Szary up the other end called into action down low back on her line to save as Abela gets a shot away from the top of the area right off a throw in. Good work from Turner inside the area on the left close on goal puts across goal deflected behind wide at the far post for a corner kick.
GOAL! Basildon extend their lead early in the 2nd half 52 minutes on the clock the corner played into a crowded six yard box, Wealthall central with the stooping header driving the ball in from close range 2-5.
A blow for Cambridge they get on the attack looking for an immediate response Fitzsimons clever to get away on the left reaching the top of the area plays the ball long across the box with Gillies on the gallop right side looks to strike the ball on the bounce, skips up off the pitch coming into her as she puts her foot through it sending it up over the bar. Jacobs carrying the ball on left side slips Turner in to attack the area, frustrated complains she is held as Szary comes to smother the ball. Cambridge get a corner as they attack right side the ball cleared dropping towards Castiglione 25 yards out central takes on the first time strike, swerving through the air moves away wide of goal.
Cambridge make a double change bringing off Penny and Phillips for Karly Tolentino and Lauren Tomlinson. Basildon make a change too bringing off Debell for Maddie Thomas. Castiglione plays the ball on for Fitzsimons getting away on the left her cross in close to the byline won by Gillard coming across to defend the near post. Th game more open in the 2nd period the tempo slowing a heavy pitch sapping energy. Basildon win a corner left side Cambridge clear Gillies taking it on right side up to Tolentino she crosses early, Bolland taking it high at her near post.
Abela threads a pass through the middle looking to put Turner away as she spins in behind, Fay reading in lunging to intercept the ball. Hands across foreheads everywhere to see against the setting sun a clash of heads seeing a pause in play. Both players up and okay Basildon get on the offensive Turner strong on the left shooting towards goal with the outside of her boot, Szary claiming well at her near post despite Wealthall closing her down. Basildon look a threat from set-pieces having already scored from one corner come close again as a ball from the right is played long to the far post a free header fired over.
GOAL! Just as I write that Basildon get a 6th goal from another corner, won on the left a fantastic ball in Basildon packing the box, Turner rising highest to head the ball from inside the six yard box her effort smashing against the bar falling straight to Wealthall to send across the line and score her 2nd of the match 2-6.
The game entering the final 15 minutes Basildon leading comfortably. Cambridge get forwards Gillies running down the right winning a corner. Wealthall back to defend clearing at the near post. Tomlinson defending well up the other end for Cambridge as Turner looks to peel away into the right channel, prevents her getting a shot away top of the area. The substitutes combine through the middle for Basildon Thomas bringing the ball on central on for Jacobs shoulder to shoulder with Tomlinson forced right manages to get a shot away across the keeper Szary moving to cover the angle adjusting fantastically to throw herself the other way and get a hand in the path of the ball to save.
Cambridge get up the pitch a corner won on the right taken short up the line to Flye, lays it infield for Fay to blast towards goal 20 yards out, on target blocked at the near post by Turner. Basildon make a third change , Binding coming off on comes Sophie Spencer-Webb. The game entering the final 10 minutes. Tomlinson strong to win the ball left side gets forwards in attack sends a dangerous cross into the six yard box, Bolland coming for it able to grab before Tolentino can latch onto it.
GOAL! Turner surging forwards with the ball a marauding run is brought down around 25 yards from goal right side, referee Stacey Fullicks awarding the free kick. Abela over it the sun at her back low in the sky. A brilliant strike sending the ball up to dip under the crossbar 2-7.
Mills picks the ball up 30 yards from goal left of the area head down drives forwards looking for a way through the Basildon defence Bailess closing her down to win it back for the visitors.
GOAL! Mills tenacity on the ball sees Cambridge get a goal late in the game carrying on forwards from midfield left side fires it through for Tolentino peeling away on the wing in behind shoots early on the angle to put the ball past the keeper and score 3-7.
Bodily fouled in the middle the advantage played as Tolentino gets hold of it on the left brought down outside the area Cambridge have the free kick. Castiglione over the ball fired in low Basildon clear falls straight to Flye shoots from distance central lacking pace off target Bolland able to move across her goal to claim. Cambridge press late on Tolentino right swinging in a cross close to the near post Bolland spills it, Rhodes close by heading it behind to concede a corner one last chance for Cambridge to pull a goal back Castiglione shoots over.
Full time Cambridge City Ladies 3-7 AFC Basildon Women
Basildon advance to the first round proper of the Women’s FA Cup beating Cambridge 7-3. Overall a convincing win a strong performance particularly in attack getting forwards quickly and with intent putting the Cambridge back line under pressure forcing errors. Coming back from an early set back going a goal down, to lead 3-1 with just 10 minutes played. Cambridge on the back foot responding well to get it back to 3-2 Basildon restoring their 2 goal lead in a fast paced 1st half. The 2nd somewhat slower but on top with an early goal scored 3 from set-pieces to lead 7-2. Cambridge pulling a goal back late on can have little complaints not at it defensively today. Despite that some fantastically well worked goals clinical when given the chance. Basildon full of confidence putting in a strong performance.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. For Cambridge Charlotte Gillies with a good game wide right a threat getting forwards offering runs the whole match. A good all round team performance from Basildon today, Poppy Binding scoring a hat-trick. Strong going forwards with pace and purpose the front three in particular. Courtney Clarke a threat on the left first half. Kelly Wealthall in attack edging it for me Holly Turner strong with the ball at her feet good movement on and off the ball.
Plenty of action to cover plenty to type up and that tends to be set by the tempo of the game itself. An enjoyable game to watch a fast paced first half settle down a little in the 2nd some great goals scored. My thanks to both sides for the team details always appreciated. The draw for the first round proper of the Women’s FA Cup to be make live on Talksport radio at around 6:15pm this Monday.