Sunday 9th May
Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership
The football action on Women’s Football East this weekend comes from the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership with 2nd placed St Ives Town Ladies Development hosting Netherton United Ladies currently in 6th place.
Cambridgeshire the only county in the East to carry on with its playing season after the latest Covid lockdown as lifted at the end of March. Alot of football still to be played the FA extending the season to the end of June allowing clubs to get there fixtures in. Cambridgeshire featuring two Championship divisions a North and South with 7 and 8 sides competing respectfully and an 11 strong Premiership.
All three leagues being hotly contested at the top the Premiership no exception, with just 8 points separating current leaders Ketton Ladies and 9th placed Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds. The lead having been exchanged on several occasions throughout the season so far no one side has been able to break away at the top. Ketton are 2 points clear of 2nd placed St Ives Town Ladies Development both though have played 4 and 5 games more than 3rd placed Cambridge University Women who have lost just once this season, face 4th placed Leverington Sports Ladies at home this Sunday both on 20 points. 5th placed Whittlesey Athletic Ladies (formerly ICA Sports Ladies) have been strong too making a good start to the season. Whilst Netherton United Ladies in 6th and Peterborough Northern Star Ladies Reserves like Cambridge University have games in hand on those above.
St Ives Town Ladies enjoying a rapid rise through the women’s football pyramid the first team now finding their feet in the ERWFL Premier Division. Started a Development side in the 2017/18 season finishing 4th in the debut season in the Championship South. The following season were impressive as they won the league winning all but one of their 15 games. Into the Premiership growing to 13 sides in the 2019/20 season more than held their own comfortable in 5th spot before the Covid pandemic saw the season declared null & void.
The ongoing pandemic causing more disruption this season, the league put on hold has affected all sides in terms of progression but could hardly be avoided, most I think will bounce back all the stronger as the women’s game continues to see healthy growth. St Ives Town Ladies Development currently 2nd in the Premiership table with 21 points from 14 played. Poppy Lyons their top scorer with 10 goals from 10 appearances whilst Jade Carpenter has 8 goals from 12.
The Premiership title battle remains wide open and Netherton United Ladies are in a great position in 6th spot, 6 points behind leaders Ketton Ladies but have 4 games in hand. Have lost 2 of their 9 matches so far winning 5 of those. A good performance in the FA Women’s Cup partly responsible for Netherton having those games in hand. Claiming a memorable 5-4 win over Eastern region side Leigh Ramblers from Essex along the way. Are an established side in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership with an experienced squad, plenty of goal scorers in their ranks, Emily Johnson leads the way so far this season 14 from 11 appearances whilst Yasmin Green and Sasha Haw have 6 each.
The venue for today’s game the One Leisure Outdoor facility, boasting a number of sporting pitches, several grass football pitches along with the site accommodating, a cricket pitch, athletic track, astro hockey pitch and tennis courts amongst other sporting activities. All it did yesterday was rain as you all know was a little worried it might affect some pitches but the ground was so dry to begin with has done it more good than anything else. Today a total contrast up to 20 degrees, sunny but overcast a strong breeze building during the match.
St Ives Town Ladies Development starting XI – Faye Dunmore, Penelope Ford, Sophie Marjoram, Emily Stephenson, Georgie Astley, Molly Berryman, Jess Conyard (C), Tia Everdell, Fran Worrall, Angel Lyden & Poppy Lyons. Subs – Jade Carpenter, Arianna Andrade, Charlotte Hammond, Charlotte Noble & Elle Jefferson.
Netherton United Ladies starting XI – Ali Beel, Dita Upesjure, Amy Stanyon, Amber Parkinson, Jordan Sampson, Chloe Earth, Jess Perrin, Megan Strickland (C), Leah Stacey, Yasmin Green & Emily Johnson. Subs – Katie Barber, Ellie Hannon & Sasha Haw.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s the hosts St Ives to kick-off the 1st half, wearing black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks, Netherton lined up opposite wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts. The ball sprayed out long to the right from the off as Angel Lyden breaks forwards for St Ives down the flank the pass too heavy however goes out for a throw. Netherton are quickly on the offensive Jess Perrin taking the ball on up the left lays it on for Yasmin Green, she plays it infield as Perrin continues her run into the D, the St Ives defence closing the door no way through.
A positive start from Netherton on the front foot taking the attack to St Ives, Perrin and Green combining once again, the ball sent into the box defended well by Molly Berryman back for St Ives. Perrin attacking right wins the away side the first corner of the game. Put long to the far post is headed goalwards, but straight Georgie Astley cannoning off her head at close range, didn’t know much about it but certainly felt it. The ball cleared for a throw out to the left, is gathered by Emily Johnson gets her head down and drives for the by line before flashing a low cross along the face of goal, cleared by St Ives captain Jess Conyard at the far post, play stopped Astley needs treatment, but is okay to continue.
Johnson getting hold of the ball left side cuts inside before being brought down 25 yards out a free kick awarded, Leah Stacey over it for Netherton sends her delivery in towards the far post, players closing in but none can meet it as it runs out of play. Amy Stanyon getting forwards from defence for Netherton on the right delivers a cross into the area, is headed behind for a corner kick by St Ives Penelope Ford.
GOAL! Netherton open the scoring within the opening 10 minutes of the match from the corner kick the ball fired into the six yard box from the right goes long gathered by Johnson beyond the far post fires the ball back into the six yard box central captain Megan Strickland is there stooping to head the ball wide of goalkeeper Fay Dunmore to score her 1st goal of the season 0-1.
Netherton capitalising on a bright start, St Ives look for an immediate response from the restart get straight on the attack, Angel Lyden bursting into space on the right wins her side a corner. The hosts get players forwards into the Netherton half, Sophie Marjoram allowed time to cross from deep on the right sends in a dangerous ball to the near post, goalkeeper Ali Beel has the angle covered but spills the ball, Poppy Lyons breaking into the six yard box first to it smashes it at close range Beel making the blocking save. The game beginning to open up Netherton look a threat on the counter attack, Stephenson wins it at the back for St Ives hoping to turn play around her long ball over the top, Lyons is caught offside as the away defence step up well.
Tia Everdell coming back to receive the ball powers her way through the midfield riding a challenge before angling a through ball on for Lyons making a left channel run, too much on it sees Beel off her line win the race for the ball. Perrin is making some great runs through the middle for Netherton, Green and Johnson providing good movement ahead of her. Emily Stephenson making a couple of vital interceptions at the back for St Ives. Up the other end Lyons is looking to put pressure on the Netherton defence one on one with Jordan Sampson tracking back into the area left of goal, holds the ball up checking back to lay off for Fran Worrall, she strikes it on the angle from all of 25 yards out her shot racing wide of the near post.
Netherton break from a St Ives corner, Perrin away with the ball at her feet makes ground on the right, Lyden tracks back with her doing well to slow her down as Stephenson closes in to make the tackle. Brings Netherton a corner kick on the left flashed into the six yard box is turned goalwards but with little power, Dunmore in the right place to claim it. Stacey travels with the ball central into the St Ives half sends it onto Johnson to her right attacks the area, Stephenson defends well for St Ives.
Netherton getting the better of the midfield battle at the moment are keeping St Ives penned in pushing bodies forwards, Sampson getting upfield on the right seeing her cross charged down. Lyons coming back into the middle to win the ball takes it forwards well, has Worrell and Lyden breaking ahead of her, Netherton once again spring the offside trap. Katie Barber is on the field for Netherton in an advanced position top of the area looks to break in behind the defence, Stephenson closing in takes the ball away from her toes.
St Ives get a throw in inside the Netherton half on the right, bodies forwards the crossfield ball is played into Berryman 20 yards out central lays it forwards for Conyard right of the D, Berryman continues her run past Conyard is given the return pass, puts her foot through the ball her shot blasted in at the near post Beel get’s a glove to it the ball behind for a corner kick. Fired into the mix in front of goal from the right s a brief scramble before Amber Parkinson launches it away. Netherton threaten another break however Green is flagged offside. St Ives play the ball left Lyons running into space behind into the box Beel coming to close her down, the ball knocked past her wide of goal, Lyons after it the angle is tight, defenders running back to cover the goal, the shot is fired into the side netting.
GOAL! A chance to level at one end for St Ives, is punished as Netherton get up the other end to score and double their lead, attacking on the right the ball played on for Johnson, is met by Stephenson slices the clearance the ball deflected on behind her looks to be running out for a corner except Johnson hasn’t given it up running to catch in collects on the by line lifting a cross in along the face of goal, Stacey has gambled through the middle getting their to meet it first time lifts her effort up to strike the crossbar, rebounding down does well on the follow up to adjust her feet and deflect the ball past the keeper 0-2.
Half an hour played St Ives bring the ball out from the back on their right Marjoram playing a diagonal ball inside for Lyden up top, Parkinson with her defends for Netherton outside the box. The away side look to counter through the middle, Berryman strong breaks the move up for the hosts. Sampson with Dita Upesjure on the left for Netherton play a good triangle going forwards with Johnson ahead of them, the striker attempting to storm inside Marjoram the full back putting in a timely tackle to regain possession.
Lyden inside for Berryman she brings the ball on through the centre before spreading play out to the left, Worrell chasing the ball to the by line flashing in a vicious cross along the face of the Netherton goal no one gambling however, Lyden closest at the far post retrieves it in the corner before launching a cross into the box, a handball spotted by referee Jack Badcock a penalty awarded to the hosts.
An opportunity to pull a goal back before half-time. Everdell placing the ball on the spot, goes low to the right, Beel goes the same way diving to save the penalty! The ball pushed out to her right, it’s St Ives sharpest on the follow up Marjoram striking the ball back in on the angle Beel rising making another brave blocking save to deny the hosts. Netherton make another change Ellie Hannon coming on for Earth in the middle. St Ives make a change to bringing on Charlotte Hammond for Astley.
A corner won after the penalty on the right is defended at the near post a 2nd corner given this on cleared by Hannon. Netherton with a free-kick deep on the right Green playing it long Johnson up into the area Marjoram closest to her, neither can get hold of the ball as it pings between them before deflecting safely back into Dunmore’s gloves. St Ives send the ball from the middle into the left channel Upesjure finds herself exposed, outnumbered as Lyons and Lyden get after the ball top of the area however the full back keeps her composure does well to keep the attackers off the ball, nudging it behind for a corner. A cluster of players attacking the near post the ball is deflected up high across the six yard box dropping far post Lyons is there but can’t get a clean connection with her shot.
Late into the 1st half Perrin carries the ball on for Netherton rifles a ball into the box for Johnson making a run to the left, a good first touch checks to move inside central takes on the shot puts it straight at Dunmore who holds comfortably. Moments later Dunmore is called into action to make an excellent save for St Ives Johnson with the strike in a similar position to her earlier move skipping inside the box off Perrin’s pass, further out goes to put it in the far corner, diving full stretch to her left Dunmore throws out an arm to bat the ball wide of the post.
Half-time St Ives Town Ladies Development 0-2 Netherton United Ladies
A strong start to the game from Netherton saw them take the lead inside the opening 10 minutes of the game. Have looked strong in attack since Perrin providing some great runs, Johnson and Green lively up top. Took St Ives a while to get themselves into the game on the back foot began to create opportunities Netherton finding a 2nd goal to hammer home the advantage. Both keepers making excellent saves, Beel a double save from the penalty. Dunmore’s late save seeing the lead stay at 2-0, which as many more than myself is never an easy score line to defend.
Change’s for St Ives in the 2nd period, Jade Carpenter on for Berryman and Astley is back on in defence. Arianna Andrade was a late edition in the 1st half too for the hosts. Netherton get the 2nd period underway the cloud cover seeing the breeze picking up.
GOAL! The perfect start to the 2nd half for Netherton, are awarded a free-kick inside the St Ives half wide on the right, Green on the ball sends it high and long towards the far post players racing in to attack it, Perrin and Hannon close together, think Hannon got the final touch, smashing it home from close range, confirmed at the end of the game is her first goal of the season too 0-3.
Netherton 3 goals up within a minute of the restart extending their lead a further hammer blow for St Ives who now have a mountain to climb if they are to get back into the match. Perrin’s driving runs forwards continue to cause havoc, Johnson always an option ahead of her stretching the St Ives defence. Lyden a willing runner on the right for St Ives chasing the ball down into space flashes a cross in behind from the by line following good work by Lyons holding the ball up central.
Perrin traveling into the box from the left sees the ball into her body from Stacey out wide controls and hits it on the angle, Dunmore across her goal to close the angle making a comfortable save. Marjoram comes off for St Ives replaced by Hammond. Strickland with a deflected shot 20 yards out left of the D falls to Johnson out on the right takes on the strike am behind it so I can see it is going narrowly wide but Dunmore can’t take that chance gets a glove on it to send it wide behind for a corner. The delivery long to the far post Carpenter up well to head clear for St Ives. Doesn’t go far before a shot is flashed back in travels narrowly wide.
Everdell is covering alot of ground for St Ives coming back to win the ball and get up in support of Lyons in attack, goes forwards as Andrade brings it on left side receives the squared ball inside the Netherton half attempts to thread it through for Lyons central is read well by Sampson who steps up to intercept the ball. Hannon comes of for Barber for Netherton. Great work and more brave goalkeeping from Beel as Carpenter for St Ives lifts a pass over the top to the right for Lyden to attack, the goalkeeper out early to close her down Lyden smashes her shot at her at close range the keeper making two blocking saves in quick succession before scrambling to smother the ball.
Conyard defends for St Ives back to help Stephenson inside the D as 14 tries to get the better of the defender. St Ives make a change up top bringing off Lyons, Charlotte Noble joining the action. Everdell flicking the ball on through the middle playing it to Lyden out on the right chases it into the corner, Sampson goes with her the defender doing superbly to prevent Lyden getting free. Strickland attacking on the right for Netherton moves towards the area, Everdell tracking back well puts her foot in to regain possession.
More strong running on the ball from Perrin central lays it out to the right for Johnson into the area beating the advancing keeper the angle going away from her fires a shot in wide across the face of goal. Stephenson winning the ball at the back brings it on into the middle before sending it long for Lyden bursting free on the right 25 yards out releases a shot past the advancing keeper, so too however the wide of the far post.
GOAL! 20 minutes gone in the 2nd half and St Ives find a reply, Everdell with the goal getting forwards well sees the ball fired into her feet 30 yards out from goal to the left of the D, hr touch taking it inside sets her sights and with her right foot lifts her shot wide of the keeper into the right hand corner of the goal 1-3.
Netherton make a change Perrin coming off for Hannon. Andrade off for St Ives, Elle Jefferson on joining Noble in attack. The hosts with a free-kick on halfway Astley up towards the top of the area Noble onto it inside the D strikes it with the outside of her boot, Beel back on her line claiming it. Noble on the left firing a cross into the area, Parkinson dealing with it at the far post for Netherton. A long ball forwards sees Johnson through on goal checks inside to her right see her strike blocked, after the rebound fires it across goal, cleared at the far post by Hammond. Upesjure comes off for Netherton replaced by Sasha Haw who joins the attack.
Johnson finding space up top as the game wears on fires a first time strike across goal. Haw off a throw out on the left strikes a shot high over the bar on the angle. Noble getting some joy out on the left travels with the ball flashes it inside for Jefferson central, Sampson close on the attack winning the ball for Netherton. Sampson defending well for Netherton winning the ball again inside the D as Carpenter bringing the ball forwards looks to combine with Noble. The game moving into the final 10 minutes. Noble with a good touch turns the ball in behind the opposition defence on the left, 10 yards out flashes her shot wide across goal.
Perrin back on the field for Barber, the midfielder flicking the ball on for Johnson to attack into the box left side evades a sliding challenge going to to smash the ball at the near post Dunmore saving at point blank range beating the ball down before conceding the corner. Dunmore able to claim the corner unopposed at her near post as Netherton finish the game strong Johnson creating chances looking to get on the scoresheet. Lyons re-joins the game for St Ives, Everdell trying to pick her out the ball bouncing through the the keeper.
Perrin coming forwards has Haw beside her as the pair travel into the area unopposed have almost too much time to line up a shot, which is eventually blocked. Pace from Noble on the left attacking for St Ives whips a ball into the area trying to pick out Jefferson, Sampson there again to defend for Netherton. Green with Strickland central attempt to play a give and go, Strickland’s pass on into the area, a little too heavy allows Dunmore to get out to it first. Shortly after Strickland is played into space on the right looks to be through one on one with the keeper until Astley recovers brilliantly sliding into take the ball away from her feet.
Carpenter taking control of the ball central drives forwards has Noble and Jefferson ahead of her the pair looking to combine 20 yards out once more are thwarted by Sampson at the back for Netherton. Time running out for St Ives to pull a goal back apply late pressure to Netherton the away side defending well, Stanyon and Parkinson making good tackles getting the ball clear. The hosts with a last gasp corner on the right cleared long upfield.
GOAL! With St Ives committing in attack late on the ball is cleared long upfield, Stacey giving chase on the left taking the ball down in the area smashes her shot goalwards, Dunmore can only beat it away straight back to Stacey opens up her body to send her 2nd attempt wide of the keeper strikes the inside of the left post and deflects into the bottom right corner to see Stacey net her 2nd of the match and confirm the win for Netherton 1-4.
Full time St Ives Town Ladies Development 1-4 Netherton United Ladies
At the final whistle Netherton seal a 4-1 away win to close the gap to St Ives to a point, Netherton up to fifth as the Premiership table becomes all the tighter at the top with wins for Cambridge University Women seeing them go top, whilst Peterborough Norther Star Ladies Reserves go 3rd, just 3 points separating the top 6 now! Netherton deserved winners making a bright start to the game on the front foot taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes. St Ives with chances before the away side went 2-0 that the score at the break both keepers saving well, Beel keeping out a penalty. The perfect start to the 2nd half Netherton extending their lead. Looked comfortable had further chances Johnson alone could have had a hat-trick on another day. St Ives kept at it however pulling a goal back had opportunities to score further goals before Netherton ensured victory at the death.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Once again a few contenders no easy decision. Firstly for St Ives Tia Everdell was full of running covering alot of ground back to help the defence and going forwards. Whilst at the back Emily Stephenson make several vital challenges. For Netherton, Jordan Sampson wasn’t letting anything through he middle especially in the 2nd period as she made a number of crucial tackles to regain possession. Goalkeeper Ali Beel was excellent making a number of saves, including the penalty and coming to close the angle when called upon. Just ahead of both today’s award goes to Jess Perrin felt she set the tone early on for Netherton driving forwards with the ball got her side on the front foot making plenty of surging runs on the ball from the middle of the park.
Nice to get on the road again get out of Norfolk into Cambridgeshire for the first time in 2021. Great to catch up with a few football friends too. Appreciate all the help with the team details too.
by Darren Gilham