Sunday 17th October
Norfolk Women’s Division Two
A short trip along the A47 this Sunday for a top of the table clash from Norfolk Women’s Division Two, with newly formed KLSC Women, 3rd in the table hosting early league leaders, Gorleston FC Ladies.
Has been a turbulent time for the county leagues across the region as the country itself emerges from the COVID pandemic that has affected the past two seasons. Norfolk seeing alot of changes within the women’s county league a host of new side joining had hoped to go with 3 divisions of 10 which in the end was reduced to 8. This proving unpopular with several clubs and with further sides withdrawing the decision was made to go with 2 divisions of 11 on the eve of the new season. Again not to everyone’s liking but with alot of chances within alot of clubs too I feel it will take a season or two to settle down again. Have been some eye watering results across both leagues with in itself reflections the difficulties the league has faced.
KLSC Women are one of the new sides joining the NWGFL this season. KLSC (King’s Lynn Soccer Club) Women were only created in April with former Lynn Ladies players Lisa Wilson and Louise Coggles approaching the club to set up a new women’s club within the King’s Lynn area. Lynn Ladies originally set-up in 2014 going on to join with and become King’s Lynn Town Ladies now competing the the ERWFL Premier Division the 5th tier of the women’s game. Norfolk is a large county and a good portion of it is still badly under represented in women’s football, with only King’s Lynn in West Norfolk meaning long trips to Fakenham, Thetford or March in Cambridgeshire the only other viable options for players in the area. The formation of KLSC Women giving King’s Lynn a 2nd club which is excellent for a town of this size.
KLSC Women making an excellent start to the season too, assembling a squad with a good blend of experience and youthful talent a few former Lynn Ladies players amongst them. Winning 6-1 away to another newcomer Loddon United Ladies in their opening fixture. There home debut saw them fire 12 past Red Rose Ladies whilst they were held for a point in a 3-3 draw away to newcomers Shrublands Ladies last time out. Taking them to 3rd in the table unbeaten after 3 played. Josie Turner starring in front of goal in Lynn Ladies fledging years, returning to KLSC Women has netted 9 goals so far in those 3 matches!
Gorleston FC Ladies are themselves a new side of sorts with just one player captain Leanna Muffett remaining at the club form the previous era with much of that squad moving on to become Caister FC Ladies. A rebuild of sorts for joint managers John Barrett and Keegan Snell. Have a very young squad with more coming through to join. Playing at Emerald Park home of Gorleston Town FC are well backed by the men’s club. Have made an excellent start to the season like KLSC Women scoring plenty of goals along the way too. Starting off with a 9-4 result at home to Red Rose Ladies. Were held to a 1-1 draw against local rivals Shrublands in the following match before going on to pick up a great 5-3 win at home to another side likely to be challenging at the top this season UEA Women. A dominant 10-0 win away to Bulldogs Ladies seeing Gorleston go top of the table unbeaten in their 4 games played to date with Becky Waters top scoring on target for 8 goals in those matches.
Back to the beginning for KLSC Women in more ways than one as the club returns to Lynn Ladies original home, West Lynn Social Club on the other side of the Great Ouse Rivers from King’s Lynn itself. The Community Sports and Social Club featuring a clubhouse and bar with the main playing field beyond. Shielded by a high embankment it can nevertheless get pretty cold out there on a match day during the winter. Has been along while since I’ve been here to see a match. The pitch a good size plenty of width good grass cover a little bobbly. The weather pretty miserable overcast with the chance of a shower or too forecast during the game.
KLSC Women starting XI – Bryony Russell-Smith, Ruby Faulkner, Lisa Wilson, Viktorija Burkauskaite (C), Courtney Burch-Bailey, Millie Bareford, Kelsey Ramm, Tilly Sands, Chloe Edwards, Josie Turner & Ellie Panks. Subs – Georgia Hill, Saskia Johnson & Nicole Dockerty.
Gorleston FC Ladies starting XI – Nicole Leech, Chloe Bailey, Jenifer Martins, Maddie Furbank, Sienna Saunders, Leanna Muffett (C), Megan Bartlett, Mara Fernandes, Marianna Lino, Becky Waters & Kelsi Adams. Subs – Hannah Halfnight & Sammy Greenland.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It’s Gorleston to get the match underway kick-off first half wearing an all green coloured kit, with KLSC lined up opposite wearing red and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and black and red hooped socks. The away side putting the ball back into their defence to play upfield, KLSC are quick to press the ball out on the left Josie Turner stealing in to win the ball off the full back runs in behind driving into the area from the left, Nicole Leech in goal for Gorleston having to rush out to close her down making a blocking save with her legs as she slides in to stop Turner’s shot. An early warning for Gorleston.
Jenifer Martins plays the ball on up the right for Gorleston looking to pick out Becky Waters, Lisa Wilson stepping across her to clear the ball for KLSC. Gorleston winning the ball back on the right up to Waters the break is on as she looks to thread it in behind for Kelsi Adams to go after in the middle, Courtney Burch-Bailey closing in to win the ball back for KLSC. Gorleston with a corner won on the right, Sienna Saunders up well at the near post heading the ball down towards goal, blocked inside the six yard box by KLSC before being scrambled clear.
A lively start to the game the ball being moved upfield quickly, Chloe Edwards pressing on the right for KLSC winning a throw high up the pitch, Tilly Sands capitalising to win a corner kick from it. The delivery goes long beyond the far post is fired back in through the crowded penalty spot out to Millie Bareford free out to the right opens up her body clipping a shot up over the bar. KLSC pressing the ball high, Ellie Panks with Sands bringing another corner on the right, Same delivery long beyond the far post controlled well by Edwards, the Gorleston defence moving quickly to close her down releases her shot the ball rising over the crossbar.
Mara Fernandes getting hold of the ball for Gorleston in the middle of the park threading a ball through for Adams up top,, KLSC captain Viktorija Burkauskaite and goalkeeper Bryony Russell-Smith almost get in each others way before Russell-Smith sliding in lays claim to the ball inside the area. Marianna Lion left side for Gorleston on halfway plays the ball inside for Megan Bartlett. Puts an ambitious ball forwards for Adams playing off the shoulder of the last defender after it has too much on it allowing Russell-Smith to gather before she can attack it.
A frantic start to the game has settled down a little, Gorleston beginning to see more of the ball. Fernandes tripped out on the left presenting Gorleston with a set-piece level with the top of the area. The ball flashing into the area headed clear, Wilson on for Turner the break is on, Muffett getting across to tackle. A clash of heads sees Sands on the floor in need of treatment. Assessed needs to come off to recover, on in her place, Saskia Johnson. Play resuming with a drop ball, Gorleston build in attack up to Adams, combines well with Waters looking for find a way through ends up fouling Burkauskaite.
KLSC push forwards a great diagonal finding Edwards out on the right takes the ball on towards the area, is pushed wide by Gorleston full back Chloe Bailey nevertheless turning her body to release a shot from the angle as she falls lifts the strike up over the bar. Passes going astray for both sides with neither giving themselves time on the ball. Is a fairly even contest KLSC pressing higher keeping Gorleston’s defence pushed back making it harder for them to get the ball up to Adams leading the attack. A throw on the right a clever touch from Bareford almost comes off as she looks to spin in behind, Bailey close enough to her to stick out a foot take the ball away from her.
Some decisions not going Gorleston’s way leading to a little frustration being shown, Fernandes with a talking to from the referee asking her t calm down. Gorleston get players up well in support of Adams outside the area. Martins on the right tucking inside latching onto a half clearance sending a shot in on the angle from 25 yards rolls wide beyond the far post.
Ellie Panks is a speedy player in the centre of the attack for KLSC a ball clipped over the top falling into her path takes it on well pushing for the area. Leech comes rushing out towards the top of her box looking to close the angle sliding in Panks gets the ball past the keeper her attempt bouncing wide of Leech’s left post.
Is certainly an action packed contest can’t take your eyes off it for long, Gorleston playing the ball through the middle up to Waters, her touch seeing her get the better of Burkauskaite out to close her down, spinning in behind, Wilson is round on the cover to put in a good tackle to regain possession for KLSC. The hosts coming right Edwards winning a throw, Ruby Faulkner up to take it combines well with Panks and Edwards the cross delivered into the Gorleston box, Maddie Furbank with a firm head to get it clear for the visitors.
Bareford picking up a knock for KLSC sees her coming off with Sands returning to the action. Gorleston also making a change bringing on Sammy Greenwood for Furbank. Sands straight back into the game on the ball 30 yards out not closed down whipping a shot in towards goal, dipping early straight into Leech’s arms. Panks’ pace causing the Gorleston defence a few issues the ball rolled into her path as she spins to the right centrally drives for the area, Saunders manging to get back across her doing enough as Leech is able to kick it up field.
Turner is using her experience well drifting about finding space out wide and infield, Martins and Muffett both defending against her. Martins taking the ball on up the right for Gorleston squares it across the top of the area for Fernandes she attempts to put Adams in on goal, a vital interception from Burkauskaite. tempers flaring up between Turner and Fernandes in the middle both recieving a yellow card for their efforts. Lino gets away on the left for Gorleston taking the ball in behind the full back attacking the area, Edwards going with her tracking back well to making the sliding tackle inside the area put the ball away for a corner. Burkauskaite winning the header in the box for KLSC.
Gorleston bring off Fernandes before her frustrations get the better of her and she sees red. Furbank coming back into the game. Soon after KLSC bring Bareford back on for Faulkner. Adams is getting isolated at times up top for Gorleston having to battle for possession in the final 3rd does well to wriggle free 25 yards out to drift in from the right to have a shot the effort charged down skips up to Muffett central looks to chip it over the defence, Burkauskaite up well to get her head on the ball.
Turner with another chance on goal is played in behind on the left by Ramm the ball dropping before her top of the area as Leech comes rushing out to meet her takes it early with the outside of her boot evading the onrushing keeper the ball rolls wide of the far post. KLSC pressing hard as the first half draws to a close Burkauskaite’s clearance low finding it’s way through to Panks central can’t quite take it cleanly moving out to the left six yards out fires a low ball in across goal Turner in there, Gorleston scramble it away coms out to Edwards on the right drills a shot back in is narrowly wide of the near post.
Turner is getting into some great positions up top Gorleston’s defence aren’t picking her out the ball dropping to her inside the D, the attacker has more time than she realises as she takes it 1st time not controlled the ball spins away wide of target. Sands tackling well to win the ball central lays it forwards for Turner outside the D, Turner is falling as she unleashes her shot making her lift it higher than intended over the bar. Furbank getting a crucial header on the ball inside the area as a cross his dropped in from the left, without her intervention Turner is free to walk the ball into the net.
Late at the end of the firs half Ramm doing well centrally with Sands out to Edwards on the right who flashes a shot on the angle wide across goal for KLSC. The hosts with rapid build up play through the middle Bareford onto Sands onto Turner right of the D shifts the ball between her feet to get inside releasing a shot as she spins the ball rolling a foot wide of the right post.
Half-time KLSC Women 0-0 Gorleston FC Women
A frantic first half comes to an end, despite scoring 46 goals between them before today it remains goalless at the break. KLSC though have created a number of chances right from the kick-off and could very well be 3 or 4 goals to the good. A little bit more composure maybe needed at times. There’s been more time on the ball than both sides have allowed themselves at times. KLSC starting well have remained on the front foot through out the half. Gorleston growing into the game haven’t got going in the final 3rd and can count themselves lucky to be level at the break. Both sides planning tackle changes at half-time. The umbrella going up for the start of the 2nd half with a few spots of rain around.
KLSC with the kick off 2nd half bringing on Nicole Dockerty for Panks the change seeing Ramm move up top. Gorleston bringing on Hannah Halfnight to join the attack coming on for Bartlett. Ramm looking to turn in the middle on the ball fires it out wide to Dockerty the substitute trying to getting in behind Muffett sending her cross behind goal.
As with the first half KLSC make a positive start think the have opened the scoring too as they build on the right Edwards into Turner top of the area right of the D, sees the ball onto her chest well, hitting the dropping ball on the turn, clipping it up into the air the ball smashes against the bar the ball dropping down into the box is then slammed into the back of the net but KLSC’s celebrations are cut sort by a raised offside flag.
Edwards is enjoying a good battle with Bailey on the right for KLSC, running with the ball at her feet drives a low shot in on the angle skipping up off the surface Leech goes down to save it the ball escaping her gloves accidentally knocks it out of play for a corner off her back. The delivery sent in towards the top of the area, Martins closes Turner do well to defend for Gorleston. The rain coming and going KLSC strong at the start of the 2nd period, Gorleston struggling to get the ball into their attackers. The hosts with a free-kick on their right into the box defended well by Gorleston’s Saunders at her near post.
Ramm plays the ball out to the right for Turner, looking to go on Bailey gets across her well shielding the ball for her keeper to clear. Opportunities rare for Gorleston, a reminder they are far from out of the game as Waters from the left fashions a shot out of nothing to send a dangerous shot in across the six yard box. Up the other end Turner with an ambitious effort attempting the overhead kick from the top of the area right of the D, sends it wide of Leech’s far post.
Gorleston win a free-kick some 30 plus yards out central Adams over the ball has an attempt on goal Russell-Smith rising the ball dropping narrowly over her bar. Changes for both sides on the hour with Gorleston bringing Fernandes back on for Waters. A double change for KLSC with Johnson and Burch-Bailey off. Faulkner back on along with Georgia Hill the move seeing Sands drop into the back line.
Russell-Smith out quickly to the top of her area to save bravely at the feet of Adams as Fernandes places a great ball in behind her defence. Sands cutting out a low cross from Gorleston’s Adams out to the right to concede a corner kick. The ball put in across the six yard box is knocked down into the six yard box falling straight to Lino, she can’t dig it out as KLSC rush to close her down the ball scrambled away to safety. Gorleston starting to get a foothold in the final 3rd
The visitors attack Fernandes on through the middle up to Adams the attacker managing to wriggle free of both Burkauskaite and Sands to push on towards the area. left of the D blasts a rising ball in towards goal, Russell-Smith sliding in getting her gloves up to make a fantastic save palming the ball away wide to the left. Gorleston quicker to the loose ball a shot is flashes wide across the six yard box.
GOAL! A great chance at one end for Gorleston to take the lead KLSC go up the other end to score. Players up from an earlier set-piece the ball is out on the right Edwards firing it into the six yard box Ramm has it at her feet, is closed down the ball deflected away to the right, comes straight to Sands who from the angle gets her foot up over the ball to lash it back in past the keeper into the back of the net 1-0.
The hosts with the lead with around 20 minutes to play in the 2nd half. Gorleston continue to feel frustrated as decisions go against them. Play scrappy at times, rushed, Lino aggrieved after being fouled on halfway no advantage play brought back. Sands defending at the back for KLSC. Turner drifting free in the middle picks the ball up off Bareford turning 30 yards out to have a strike on goal, Leech down to it palming the ball into the ground, loose Dockerty is racing in on the follow-up Leech doing well to make herself big does enough to see Dockerty place the ball wide of goal.
Leech saving again with her feet denying Turner outside the box as she meets a low ball put in from the left. Into the final 15 minutes KLSC dropping back a little making their management team nervous. Adams continues to battle for the ball up top joined by Halfnight, Wilson lunging in to stop her getting into the box right side. A free-kick awarded to the host some 35 yards out as Bareford is fouled. Sands to play the ball in dropping on the penalty spot bouncing, players closing in Leech keeps her eye on it well to make a clean catch.
Lino comes off the worst from a challenge in the middle, struggling to regain her breath is brought off to recover with Waters going back on. Fernandes to play the ball forwards into the box, Sands doing the defensive work for KLSC. The hosts inviting Gorleston on more than they want to with the clock ticking down Martins advancing on the left sending a low cross into the box, Sands defends up against Adams before Burkauskaite launches clear.
Gorleston bring Bartlett back on with 7 minutes left for Martins as they look to get themselves back into the match. Is a nervous finish. Wilson carrying the ball out from the back as Halfnight looks to pick out Fernandes who has made a run through the middle. Possession lost Gorleston feed Halfnight in central sends it out to Waters on the right shifting inside she strikes the ball rom 20 yards her effort charged down.
Space opening up for KLSC to exploit if they can break Edwards consistent on the right throughout driving on flashing a ball into Turner near post the attacker not quite able to wrap her foot around the ball to put it by the keeper. Edwards carrying the ball on down the right again sends it forwards early for Turner to run onto as she travels into the box Leech comes out to close her down stays big, Turner attempting to put a low ball under her Leech saves with her foot deflecting the ball behind for a corner. The set-piece defended as KLSC don’t commit too many forwards the game into stoppage time.
Full time KLSC Women 1-0 Gorleston FC Women
A single goal enough to win it in the finish with KLSC collecting the 3 points to keep up there unbeaten start to left in the NWGFL. Stay 3rd but move level on points with Gorleston now 2nd with Caister keeping up their 100% winning start to the season top by 2 points. On chances created KLSC deserving of the 3 points starting on the front foot an early warning shot created a host of chances in the 1st period on another day leading by 3 or 4 but at 0-0 Gorleston were still very much in it Leech with some important saves struggling to get going in the final 3rd Adams isolated at times the game scrappy decisions frustrating the visitors too.
All to play for 2nd half both making changes, KLSC thinking they’d gotten the break through denied by the flag. Were strong at the start of the 2nd half but further stops from Leech and missed chances meant if Gorleston could get an opportunity in front of goal themselves they might very well get into the lead. Russell-Smith making a vital stop KLSC going on to take the lead moments later. Sat back after that inviting Gorleston on both keepers called into action again the hosts though holding on despite a nervous finish. Dare say both sides will have learned alot more about themselves from this game than those previous.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. It’s not an easy decision once again a few performances of note to mention. Firstly for Gorleston, Nicole Leech did all she could in goal to keep the scores level for much of the game with some crucial saves especially in the opening minute. Mara Fernandes in midfield used the ball well and broke up play, a few thing’s going against her would have had a greater influence on the game. Kelsi Adams working hard up top leading the attack kept battling throughout. For KLSC, Millie Bareford has a good game in the middle picking up a couple of painful knocks for her efforts, tackling well. Josie Turner getting into some great positions in attack proving very hard to mark. Chloe Edwards was a constant threat attacking on the right and narrowly misses out to the goal scorer Tilly Sands playing in a number of positions during the game was creative on the ball in the middle linking up with the attackers and makes some important tackles when moved into the back line.
An enjoyable return to West Lynn. An entertaining and action filled game from two new sides that have assembled a talented group of players that will both be challenging at the top of the league throughout the season. My thanks to both management teams for providing with the team details today. I know I’m long over due a visit to Emerald Park but the list of places to visit only gets bigger not smaller.
by Darren Gilham