Match Report – AFC Sudbury Women v King’s Lynn Town Ladies

Sunday 4th September

ERWFL Premier Division

Back to the ERWFL Premier Division this Sunday after a midweek derby double from the FAWNL. A trip to Suffolk to the MEL Group Stadium to watch AFC Sudbury Women newly promoted to the league taking on Norfolk side King’s Lynn Town Ladies.

 The ERWFL Premier Division representing the 5th tier of the women’s football pyramid in the East of England. 12 sides competing looks to be a highly competitive league already with just 2 weekends played so far.

AFC Sudbury Women promoted to the league along with fellow Suffolk side Needham Market Women after clinching the Division One South title last season. Coming out on top of what proved to be an intriguing 5 way battle at the top. The league title part of a treble as the club also won the League Plate and lifted the Suffolk Women’s County Cup after a long period of dominance from Ipswich Town Women. A young squad striker Jess Allen top scorer last season with 21 goals, has moved on to America to play her football this season.

 Fully integrated with AFC Sudbury FC and their academy the women’s section features two women’s sides, with their Reserves also stepping up to the ERWFL this season playing in Division One South. Looking again to be one of the leading women’s clubs in the county. Lifting the County Cup last season a huge banner to wave in that regards, will be aiming to retain it this season as they look to establish themselves in the Premier Division. Unlucky on the opening day as they lost out at home to Stevenage FC Women, 3-2 with Evie Creaton netting both goals. A trip to Essex last Sunday playing early leaders Bowers & Pitsea Ladies, Sophie Jeffery scoring the only goal of the game to see Sudbury come home with their 1st 3 points of the campaign.

  King’s Lynn Town Ladies enjoying a strong debut season in the ERWFL Premier Division last year. Picking up some good results going on to finish comfortable in mid-table. That despite there being a change of manager through the season with Joe Simpson now at Wroxham stepping down. Alex Cook taking over as 1st team manager. Playing the majority of their games at The Walks stadium are themselves rapidly establishing themselves as one of the leading women’s side in the county. Supporting the Pandora Project, a local charity that offers advice and support to women and children affected by domestic abuse and will be wearing t-shirts promoting that initiative during their pre-season warm-ups.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies wearing their ‘Say No to Domestic Abuse’ t-shirts in support of the Pandora Project.

  A few changes of personnel over the close season with last season’s captain, Tiffany Forshaw, Zara O’Neill and Mary-Ann Hoy following Simpson to Wroxham. Forshaw one on the joint top scorers last season with 9 goals along side Ella Gavaghan who has also moved on and Amy Magnus. Have brought in Norwich development striker Samara Nche with midfielder Deva Rawlings returning to the club. Steph Powell a vastly experienced defender coming in towards the end of last season. Jodie Hopkins taking on the role of captain this season with Fran Peeling vice-captain.

AFC Sudbury’s, MEL Group Stadium the venue for today’s game, the artificial pitch a decent size seeing plenty of action. Hot and cold refreshments available on the way to the clubhouse and bar area with a seated stand beside the changing rooms behind. Covered standing behind both goals with a terraced stand on the opposite side between the dugouts my preferred position from which to watch the game. A pleasant afternoon bright and warm a little cloud cover but still otherwise. 

AFC Sudbury Women

AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Millie Carter, Jodie Donley, Ashtyn Newley, Ronni Harrison (C), Teigan McHale, Kate Edwards, Emily Smith, Phoebe Guiver, Alex Penny, Holly Kennard & Evie Creaton. Subs – Jess Egan, Alice Bartlett, Aliyat Lambe, Caitlyn Charles.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies

King’s Lynn Town Ladies  starting XI – Alice Collins, Sam Davies, Jodie Hopkins (C), Fran Peeling, Steph Powell, Kim Fairweather, Deva Rawlings, Lily Porter, Rachel Skinner, Oksana Imanalijeva & Amy Magnus. Subs – Tilly Sands, Olivia Skinner-Pelaz & Katie Ward.

 (roll on roll off substitutes)

A few players unavailable for King’s Lynn, including new signing Samara Nche and goalkeeper, Christina Vivas. Outfield player Alice Collins donning the gloves for todays match. The visitors wearing their away colours this afternoon and all pink kit with yellow numbering isn’t the easiest to read and am going to have to fall back on my knowledge of the squad as back up. Looks nice though. Sudbury with the kick-off first half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. The ball played back into midfield, Kate Edwards putting the pass long to Holly Kennard getting on on the left flank, working her way forwards her cross squared in low 20 yards out, intercepted and cleared by King’s Lynn’s Kim Fairweather.

Oksana Imanalijeva gets hold of the kick out of the back from Sudbury goalkeeper, Millie Carter 35 yards out looks to try and release Amy Magnus in behind the defence, Teigan McHale getting her foot on the ball putting it back to her goalkeeper to clear. Rachel Skinner taking the ball on right side for King’s Lynn, Magnus across offering support, Jade Donley getting a challenge in to take the ball away for Sudbury. The hosts looking to break quickly early on looking for Kennard on the left at every opportunity, Sam Davies up against her defending for King’s Lynn,

Ronni Harrison, captaining Sudbury steps out of the back line to tackle King’s Lynn midfielder Lily Porter as she attempts to make ground through the middle. Sudbury’s manager, Luke Mallet wanting his side to get the ball out to the right side as they come left once again, Evie Creaton in attack taking the ball into the left channel backed up by Phoebe Guiver exchange passes before the crossfield pass is whipped across the top of the King’s Lynn area, Alex Penny out on the right latching onto it blasting a shot goalwards, Collins behind it to save at her near post.

A fairly even start to the game, players from both sides snapping in to win the ball, a few late challenges but this is more from players releasing the ball quickly than anything else. Sudbury getting the ball out to both flanks now with Kennard and Penny looking to get on. Porter threading the ball into Magnus top of the D, attempts to flick it past Harrison close in on her, Ashtyn Newley around on the cover well getting her foot on the ball to help out her captain. Cleared up the left Sudbury break forwards Kennard racing onto the ball taking it on travelling all the way into the box goes down looks like a push Sudbury are certainly questioning it but the referee waves play on seeing a touch to win the ball.

King’s Lynn midfielder, Lily Porter

Magnus seeing the ball into her feet well right channel spinning the pass out to Skinner wide right turning into the area as Skinner crosses for King’s Lynn, McHale clearing the ball for Sudbury. Kennard winning a throw for Sudbury high on the left inside to Creaton she looks to put Kennard in as she runs into the area, Davies tackling well for King’s Lynn. 10 minutes played and Sudbury are finding some momentum quicker to the ball playing it out to their wide players Penny crossing in wide right, Collins claiming at her near post. Both Kate Edwards and Emily Smith in the middle playing the diagonal ball out to the wide players for Sudbury.

Sam Davies with Evie Creaton

Fairweather on for Porter she sends the ball through to Skinner right side, taking the ball on looks to plough her way through the Sudbury defence is eventually outnumbered. Imanalijeva up on the left getting King’s Lynn a corner. Is a teasing delivery in  across the six yard box everyone drawn near side drops far post and out of play.

GOAL! King’s Lynn frustrated after play is brought back for a free-kick wide left close to half way with McHale clipped coming forwards, with Sudbury making no headway in attack. McHale to play the ball in as players go up into the box a great delivery angled in across goal, King’s Lynn’s defence getting a head on it knocking it back down to the top of the box right side 25 yards out, comes to Penny gets her foot up over the ball to lash a powerfully hit ball in back across goal into the back of the net 1-0. 

Alex Penny opening the scoring for Sudbury

Sudbury getting their noses in front with 15 minutes on the clock. King’s Lynn certainly not happy, quickly concede another set-piece on the edge of their box to the left, played in across the penalty spot captain Jodie Hopkins getting hold of it to clear beyond the far post. Another rash challenge giving Sudbury another free-kick a little further back from where the opening goal came from. McHale putting the ball into the box right of the D, a scramble to clear before it pops up for a Sudbury body to smash goalwards driven wide of the far post.

Sudbury captain, Ronni Harrison

 

The goal giving Sudbury confidence are looking sharper to the ball popping about in midfield the rebound comes on for Kennard drifting central from the right 20 yards out gets control shifting it inside, Fran Peeling coming out to close her down, blocking the shot well for King’s Lynn.

King’s Lynn’s Fran Peeling setting up to block Holly Kennard’s attempt on goal

Plenty happening King’s Lynn losing it going forwards put up field rapidly, dropping into the top of the area Collins getting up to claim it as Creaton closes her down, coming together as Collins drops the ball escapes her gloves, Creaton instinctively attacking it, play stopped with Collins down hurt. The goalkeeper okay to continue after treatment. Magnus again seeing the ball into her feet well spinning inside off her marker presenting the ball at the feet of Imanalijeva inside the D, shifts it to her eft before pulling the trigger, not a strong hit, runs through safely to Carter to collect.

Alice Collins going to claim the ball with Sudbury’s Evie Creaton closing in

Penny fed the ball on the left, doing well riding a couple of rash tackles the advantage played as she drives on into the area firing in a shot close on the angle Collins with a sharp blocking save at her near post the ball spinning out on across the six yard box Creaton after it stretching annoyed as she turns it wide of the far post.  Sudbury stretching their opponents Smith with a great pass wide for Penny to bomb on right side her cross in missed by Collins near side, Creaton retrieving the ball beyond the far post looks to turn inside back to goal, Fairweather getting a foot in to clear taking a painful blow in the process.

 

Creaton linking up with Penny on the right as the pair come forwards for Sudbury exchanging passes before Penny strikes one over from the angle outside the box. King’s Lynn on the back foot finding it difficult to get their attackers into the game. Sudbury with possession at the back a sloppy ball from McHale off her goalkeeper in the six yard box is presented straight to Skinner 20 yards out right of the D, charges into the box, McHale charging forwards to put in the blocking tackle the hosts very nearly gifting an opportunity to their opponents. .

Sudbury living dangerously, the ball out on the left lost as Hopkins gets up with Imanalijeva to pressure he full back, Imanalijeva turning goalwards powering on into the area, Carter coming missing the ball as it is fired in across the six yard box, Magnus closing in but comes to Donley to put her foot through it her attempted clearance striking the on rushing Magnus could go anywhere for Sudbury’s sake it rebounds wide of the right post for a goalkick. Half an hour played Sudbury very sloppy at the back messing around in possession putting themselves under pressure another loose pass from the box snatched by Porter 30 yards out fed into Magnus right of the D turns aiming to plough a hole though the defence, McHale solid in her challenge as she comes to block.

Teigan McHale in to win the ball for Sudbury

The game opening up Sudbury with a rapid break the ball cleared up to Kennard takes the ball on though the middle, Collins coming to close her down lifts her shot from all of 20 yards over the advancing keeper, drops over her to strike the base of the post spinning inside across goal, Collins scrambling back to lay claim to the ball before it can creep over the line. King’s Lynn gift possession straight back to Sudbury laid into Kennard left on the left into the box, closes in on goal smashes it in low, Collins with a sharp save down to block the ball cleared away for a corner. Played in long clear beyond the far post. 

King’s Lynn goalkeeper, Alice Collins

Imanalijeva in the middle lining up with Skinner inside right giving her back the return pass as she drives on through the middle. Hopkins bursting down the left flank to get into the box, Newley doing the defending for Sudbury. Peeling on the ball going on into midfield for King’s Lynn playing a good ball on into Imanalijeva 20 yards out left of the D, tries to lay it on into the path of Magnus breaking into the box right side, Carter alert quickly out to snatch the ball into her gloves. King’s Lynn have changed formation getting more players Imanalijeva finding a pocket of space between midfield and defence sees a pass from Rawlings into her clips it on into the box for Magnus making the run in behind left of goal wants to strike the ball as it drops across her, Donley racing round on the cover going to clear collides with Magnus as Carter gathers the ball. 

Sudbury’s Ashtyn Newley

 Skinner with the ball 30 plus yards out cuts inside looking for an opening strikes the ball on the run with the outside of her boot the effort bouncing wide of Carter’s left post. Is a physical encounter, Sudbury especially not happy with some of the challenges. Rawlings striking a shot wide from distance for King’s Lynn as Porter and Magnus pressure the defence right side. Guiver with a clever turn on the ball central looks to send Penny through on the right is a vital interception from Hopkins at the back. 

A little over 3 minutes left in the 1st half Sudbury have been guilty of giving the ball away in their final 3rd this is giving King’s Lynn opportunities they shouldn’t have had as they look to find a reply. Skinner getting forwards nicks the ball off McHale in the box as she attempts to play it out, the attacker driving for goal closing in on Carter at the near post pulls the trigger, Carter getting down quickly getting hold of the ball well. King’s Lynn knocking on the door late in the 1st half Hopkins up on the left catching the ball on the turn a half volley from 25 yards out that drops wide of Sudbury’s goal. 

King’s Lynn’s Rachel Skinner

 Sudbury with a late corner on the right put in by Penny, cleared behind for a 2nd corner this one put back to the taker, Penny playing it back in Guiver at the far post, the ball not cleared sent wide. A late charge from Sudbury Kennard over on the right now with Guiver squared inside for Edwards, lining up a shot on goal, Fairweather rushing out to charge the ball down.

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 1-0 King’s Lynn Town Ladies

 Alex Penny’s strike on 15 minutes the difference between the sides at the break. The hosts growing into the game after a fairly even start. Taking confidence from the goal came on well finding their wide players Penny and Kennard strong going forwards right and left. King’s Lynn struggling to get any rhythm until the hosts became a little sloppy in their play mistakes at the back presenting opportunities, a change of formation seeing King’s Lynn get players on better half chances created. Sudbury with a strong appeal for a penalty turned down creating some good chances of their own unfortunate not to hold a bigger lead. At 1-0 though it remains very much everything to play for.

  Sudbury out for the 2nd half early appear unchanged. King’s Lynn with a double change with Davies and Fairweather the players off, Katie Ward going to right back on, along with Tilly Sands joining the attack. King’s Lynn to get the 2nd half under way the ball in the centre before being released to Skinner on the right, her early cross into the box dealt with by Harrison. King’s Lynn pushing on right side Magnus out wide with Skinner linking up the pass into Sands right of the D 20 yards out, takes on the shot angled in low towards goal Carter down to get her body behind the ball.

  A good start to the 2nd half from King’s Lynn coming right the ball swept into the area left side collected by Imanalijeva her touch seeing her shift inside looking to turn into the shot, the ball striking Harrison as she blocks, the referee pointing to the spot for penalty, Harrison adjudged to have handled the ball. 

  Magnus over the penalty a chance early in the 2nd half for King’s Lynn to level up the scores, hit low lacks the power to beat carter as she goes the right way makes the save. A let off for Sudbury with the half 3 minutes old, break down the left Kennard, Ward getting in to make the challenge as she attempts to push past her. The foul count is stacking up Sudbury not happy with some of the challenges. Harrison with a timely interception to stop Magnus stealing in on goal through the middle off a Porter through ball.

Millie Carter saves the penalty for Sudbury

  GOAL! Moments after King’s Lynn see a penalty saved to equalise then Sudbury get up the other end to double their lead attacking on the right Penny inside, Guiver pressuring the King’s Lynn defence on the ball, stealing possession inside the box right side strikes a rising shot in, Collins throwing her gloves up to block might have gotten a glancing touch the ball beyond her cannoning down off the cross bar dropping far post, Creaton attacking it, Collins across sliding down attempting to block stops her initial attempt the ball loose Creaton grounded does well to swing out a leg to cut the ball back over the line to score 2-0.

Evie Creaton double Sudbury’s lead

  A blow for King’s Lynn get on the attack from the restart, Rawlings on through the middle looking to pick out Magnus, Harrison blocking to stop her getting into the box. Carter alert to take the ball at her near post as Skinner flashes a cross in on the angle from the right. Hopkins on the move with the ball left for King’s Lynn up with Imanalijeva the crossfield pass cut out by Sudbury’s Smith. A change for Sudbury, Aliyat Lambe entering the pitch. Harrison continuing to frustrate King’s Lynn at the back as she cuts out another attempted ball through the middle.

King’s Lynn attacker, Amy Magnus

  An hour gone by no means a classic both sides sloppy at times, Sudbury guilty of over playing at the back, whilst King’s Lynn cannot find any rhythm at all, leaving them frustrated as decisions go against them. Smith on the ball through the middle for Sudbury forwards well for Creaton peeling off Powell at the back, racing on, Powell reading the move giving herself room to make the recovering run take the ball away from the striker. Kennard racing on with the ball left side getting all the way into the box closing in on the six yard box before Peeling gets across to clear behind for a corner, which is successfully defended at the near post.

Sudbury’s Emily Smith

  Penny over on the right racing onto a cleared ball from the back digging the cross out from the by-line, back across the top of the area is just over Creaton rising centrally cleared by the King’s Lynn defender beyond Sudbury immediately go up in protest claiming a handball, not a penalty in the referees opinion. Mallett getting a talking too for voicing his protests too loudly. McHale coming on down the line for Penny, Powell getting back on the right sided player to tackle put the ball out for a corner. The ball put into the six yard box headed back out to the right by Magnus, Penny back on it as Magnus’s momentum sees her close the winger down bringing her down just outside the box, earning her a yellow and a free-kick to the hosts. Same result though Penny’s delivery cleared by Magnus’ header for another corner. 

Aliyat Lambe

Olivia Skinner-Pelaz

Penny sending her corner arrowing in low to Lambe top of the area, no shot on lays it back to Penny wide her 2nd attempt cleared back to her in the corner where she sends a dangerous looping ball in across the face of goal dropping far post both Creaton and Kennard there bounces over. Sudbury livening up pressing the ball better winning in on the left of the box 25 yards out a shot racing in has Collins diving across her six yard box, the ball though runs wide of the far post. Kennard running at the King’s Lynn defence on the left rides one challenge then another, play brought back for the first challenge. An inviting ball in drops wide past the far post.

Alex Penny with King’s Lynn captain, Jodie Hopkins

 20 minutes left on the clock Sudbury make another change with Jess Egan coming on for Newley. McHale putting in the tackle as Sands and Skinner look to combine right side for King’s Lynn. Imanalijeva off for the visitors, Olivia Skinner-Pelaz coming on. The game stretched at times as King’s Lynn taking a few risks get on looking to find Skinner on the right. Davies and Fairweather being prepared to come back on Rawlings and Magnus coming off. Penny finding space to run into on the right after a spinning clearance whips a ball in across goal Davies putting it behind for a corner. A great ball in from the left through everyone in the six yard box no one gambling at the far post. 

Oksana Imanalijeva

  King’s Lynn have a player down far side, Ward I think is struggling, Imanalijeva sent back on with a little over 10 minutes to play. 

 GOAL! The game is stretched players tired on both sides, Sudbury’s diagonal balls have been a threat all game, Kennard now over on the right side seeing a good delivery into her find inside the box, her control seeing her beat her marker, shift inside to shoot, rising into Collins quickly doesn’t get hold of it as it slips out of her gloves to run on into the goal behind 3-0.

Holly Kennard scores Sudbury’s 3rd goal, Caitlyn Charles in the background

  Straight on the attack, King’s Lynn out to Skinner racing forwards right shoots on the angle fired in low Carter saving low at her near post. A triple change from the hosts with Creaton, Edwards and Harrison coming off. Caitlyn Charles, Alice Bartlett and Newley the players coming on. Kennard full of running for Sudbury moving right with the ball her cross cut out by Peeling. A brief rest for Edwards and Creaton for Sudbury as they return to the field, Smith and Penny giving way.

 GOAL! Into the final minute of regular play Kennard racing clear to the by-line on the right has the legs to get to the ball flashing in a ball across the face of goal has teammates lining up to meet it inside the box, turned home from close range, Caitlyn Charles with the all important touch 4-0. On late so I don’t have a better picture of Charles than the one with Kennard above.

  Carter out well to claim at the feet of Skinner late on a King’s Lynn send it long to her on the right. Imanalijeva’s ball in from the right put behind by McHale for a corner. Carter with another acrobatic save off Skinner as the ball is blasted into her from the right turned behind for the corner. Carter up well to claim from the set-piece. 

Sudbury’s Jess Egan

  Deep into stoppage time King’s Lynn flat having conceding twice late on to see the game slip away. Sudbury continue to snap into their challenges, Imanalijeva coming on right side sending a cross into the area won well by Egan conceding a late late corner. Sudbury clearing push out celebrating as the final whistle blows.

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 4-0 King’s Lynn Town Ladies

  A 4-0 win lifting Sudbury up into 3rd spot in the early Premier Division table. Rode their luck at times and know it wasn’t their best performance, a bright start to get their noses in front in the 15th minute. Fell away first half with some poor play at the back giving King’s Lynn encouragement as they changed thing’s around. 1-0 at the break an early penalty giving the visitors a chance to level the scores early in the 2nd half, Carter saving, a further blow as they went on to concede a 2nd. Sudbury having an appeal for a penalty themselves 1st half with another strong shout 2nd didn’t get it but with their wide players a threat through out looked goo for their lead adding a 3rd and 4th goals late on to claim the 3 points. A disappointing afternoon for King’s Lynn struggle to get going find any rhythm that said created opportunities and weren’t totally out of the game until the final 10 minutes.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time for this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award, a relatively easy decision except for the fact there were two very strong contenders for it. A few performances to mention though. For King’s Lynn, Oksana Imanalijeva did well finding some good pockets of space between midfield ad defence and on another day she sets up a goal or two. Amy Magnus up top providing a good target to put the ball too got others into play with her hold up play. For Sudbury, Teigan McHale and Ronni Harrison put in some great challenges to stop King’s Lynn getting in behind. Emily Smith in midfield broke up play well shoeing a great range of passing. Evie Creaton strong in attack. It comes down to splitting two players for Sudbury, Alex Penny and Holly Kennard both where excellent on the flanks getting into good positions for the hosts taking the ball on and setting up openings both scoring too. Comes down to who got the most mentions in my notes and that is Holly Kennard well done.

  Another enjoyable trip over to the MEL Group Stadium, is a nice venue and improving all the time a warm welcome from the club. My thanks to both clubs for the help with the team details today. More ERWFL Premier Division action to come on Tuesday evening with a trip to the Lamex Stadium home of Stevenage FC as there women’s side host Colney Heath Ladies.

by Darren Gilham

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