The Cup Finals continue on Supporting Women’s Football as just 24 hours after watching the Junior Invitation Cup Final it’s back to Cambridgeshire to the Glassworld Stadium in Histon to watch the Women’s Invitation Cup Final once again featuring Cambridge City Ladies and Cambridge United WFC.
This time round it’s the clubs senior sides going head to her in Cambridgeshire’s County Cup competition sponsored by S-Tech Insurance. I recent season’s Cambridge United WFC have dominated the competition along with familiar rivals Great Shelford Ladies having contested the Invitation Cup Final for 4 successive season, Cambridge United WFC coming out victorious each time, reaching a 5th final in a row have new opponents as, the rivalry no less intense however as Cambridge City Ladies reach the final for the 1st time.
Both sides enjoying a good season in their respective leagues Cambridge United WFC playing two leagues higher in the FAWPL South East Division One were leading the table for a good portion of the season, cup runs seeing them overhauled are currently in 4th place in a good position to challenge for a higher finish come the end of the season.
Cambridge City Ladies winning promotion as Cambridgeshire Premiership Champions last season recruited several players from Cambridge United WFC returning to the club they had started playing for at youth level as they began life in the next step of the women’s football pyramid the Regional leagues, have stormed to the title winning the league with 4 games to spare, earning promotion to the Premier Division as well as reaching the final of the League Cup. A strong youth set-up Cambridge City are ambitious and ultimately looking to challenge Cambridge United WFC as the dominant force in women’s football in Cambridgeshire which can only be good for the game in the county as a whole.
Road to the Final
Two in form sides they racked up the goals on their way to the final. Both receiving a Bye in the 1st Round. Cambridge City Ladies were at home to Championship South side Cambridge Rangers in the 2nd Round easing through with a 15-0 win. Double figures too for Cambridge United WFC away to Championship North leaders, March Town United Ladies winning 12-0.
Into the quarter-finals a 9-0 victory over Premiership side Park Ladies seeing Cambridge City Ladies through to the semi-finals. Cambridge United WFC bettered that score by the odd goal in 10 breezing past Championship South side Milton Ladies. A tighter affair for Cambridge City Ladies playing Premiership side St Ives Town Ladies, edging the result 4-3 to reach their 1st ever County Cup Final. Familiar opponents then for Cambridge United WFC in the semi-finals albeit under a new name as Great Shelford Ladies are now Histon Ladies, play their home games at the Glassworld Stadium. Cambridge United WFC winning comfortably in the end 6-0 to make it to yet another Invitation Cup Final.
The venue Histon FC’s, Glassworld Stadium home to a number of Cambridgeshire FA Finals this year once again. A big pitch with a main seated stand housing the changing rooms below and bar above, Covered terracing either at both goal ends with a smaller seated stand running the length of the pitch on the opposite side. A few dark clouds around by no rain forecast plenty of spectators coming in through the turnstiles.
Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Tee Mhunduru, Amy Reed, Izzy Broadbent, Becca Fay (C), Robyn Phillips, Emily Reed, Bronte Rapley, Sarah Mosley, Charlotte Gillies, Stacey Fullicks & Philippa Witherspoon.
subs – Saffron Henry, Emma Littlewood, Grace Stanley, Carla Penny & Bella Simmons.
Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Laura Bright (C), Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Baker, Becky Taylor, Laura Mills, Ashleigh Deacon, Sarah Wiltshire & Paige Logie.
subs – Carolyn Sarafian, Evie Gallop, Nicole Perschky & Liz Pamplin.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
|The two sides line-up before tonight’s final
As with last nights Junior Invitation Cup Final we have two Cambridge’s so to make life easier for us all it’s be City v United from now on. It’s City wearing white shirts and black shorts with black and white hooped socks to kick-off the 1st half. United lined up opposite in amber shirts and socks with black shorts. City get players forwards early to pressure the ball inside the United half, charged down centrally the deflection runs into the path of City’s, Stacey Fullicks sends it out to the right with Charlotte Gillies on the move taking the ball in behind cuts the ball inside to striker Philippa Witherspoon outside box right of the D, turns her shot in towards the near post lacking pace the ball is gathered by United goalkeeper, Verity Crook.
United counter attack quickly the ball played on by right back Emma Jenkins up the right wing with Laura Mills ahead of her already on the move, with plenty of pace in her legs Mills takes the ball on down the line sending the ball into the box as she tries to turn, City goalkeeper Tee Mhunduru has to keep her eye on the ball on her goal line as it swerves through the air landing on the roof of the net. United press down the left awarded a free-kick, Sarah Wiltshire over it sends the ball in towards the centre goal, Mhunduru right behind the shot claims the ball without challenge.
A few challenges coming in early on resulting in free-kicks being given away one on half-way for City, captain Becca Fay to play the ball up into the area, United captain Laura Bright gets her head on the ball to clear it wide right, Gillies looks to get hold of the ball but gives away a free-kick. A fast tempo at the start of the game both sides looking to use the width of the pitch.
GOAL! 7 mins played and United take the lead in the Invitation Cup Final Paige Logie up front for Cambridge after a ball sent up field picks it up on the right of the box flashes a cross along the City box no one central is gathered by Ashleigh Deacon on the far side drives forwards getting past players into the box taking the ball to the line crosses low towards the near post, Logie is there to met it her touch taking the ball past the keeper up onto the crossbar the ball crashing down into the back of the net 0-1.
GOAL! One goal is quickly followed by another a United press the ball in the middle the ball is with Becky Taylor bringing it forwards right of the pitch has Mills to her right making the run rolls the ball into her feet fires in a vicious ball across the goal face, Mhunduru can’t get anything on it as it runs through to the far post Deacon arriving on cue to send the ball in to score 0-2.
|Paige Logie opens the scoring
in the Invitation Cup Final for
Cambridge United WFC
Down by 2 quickfire goals inside the opening 10 minutes the last thing the lower league placed side needs as City find themselves on the back foot. look to get forwards for a immediate response Sarah Mosley playing the diagonal ball out to Gillies getting forwards on the right, lays the ball inside to Witherspoon her 1st time strike from outside the box is charged down by United’s Bennett. The loose ball retrieved by City is threaded through the middle Fullicks into the box a Taylor tackles they both go down, the referee waves away the penalty appeals, play stopped as Taylor still down requires treatment.
50/50 balls contested all over the pitch no one is afforded any time on the ball, Fullicks lines up a strike from distance her 30 yard effort straight at Crook. Wiltshire into the box with the ball on the right turns inside looks to curl a shot into the far corner, too central is taken high by Mhunduru. Attacking with the ball on the left the ball is squared into Mills coming central, outside the box turns the ball goalwards with the outside of her foot looping up drops safely int Mhunduru’s gloves.
Good running from Gillies on the right for City wins her side a corner kick, the ball floated into the area is knocked back out towards the right lifted back into the area long Mosley has it at her feet pulls the trigger her shot charged down by Jenkins spins behind for a corner on the left, the ball in towards the far post headed clear by Bright. Taylor gets forwards for United on the right side tussles with Izzy Broadbent for the ball gets control before sending a cross long towards the far post Wiltshire gets her head on the ball puts it wide.
A driving run from Wiltshire on the ball as she is given it from a throw-in closing in on the area strikes the ball her shot held by Mhunduru. Logie link up with Jenkins on the right a high ball lofted into the area, Mhunduru takes it high with runners closing in. Fullicks pushes forwards through the middle looking to power her way into the area, is tackled by Kayleigh-Anne Burt the ball going away for a throw right. Bronte Rapley plays the ball left into Fullicks pushing forwards her ball goes long into the box Gillies closing in Crook come and sliding in claims the ball at the attackers feet.
Gillies breaking forwards down the right carries the ball on before crossing the ball skims off the crossbar back into play, Jenkins reaching it before City can put another ball in towards goal. City make a change Witherspoon coming off with Grace Stanley coming on taking up a forwards position. Logie is brought down in the middle players go forwards as Bright plays the ball up towards the near post, no one able to get a shot in nor clear the ball is turned wide of goal a corner awarded. From the right Taylor flicks the ball on across goal, Amy Reed winning it and clearing for City.
Mosley on the move with the ball central on for Gillies to her right back inside for Stanley is closed down by Laura Baker, runs back to Emily Reed for City lifts the ball into the box with Fullicks looking to get in round the back, Crook makes the call claiming the ball high in the air. Half and hour played United press forwards Baker looking to roll the ball into the path of Wiltshire making a run towards the area, defender Robyn Phillips intercepts for City.
A double switch for City as they bring on Saffron Henry and Carla Penny for Amy Reed and Mosley. City have possession in the final 3rd Gillies on the right lays the ball into Fullicks on her inside, Baker comes sliding in to make the challenge Fullicks is caught on the ankle as she tries to evade the tackle. Left on the ground, Baker is yellow carded another referee might have shown a different colour. Fullicks in alot of pain can’t continue and is carried off the pitch on comes Bella Simmons, City’s top scorer this season so far with 21 goals. Fay over the free-kick 22 yards out goes for goal puts her shot over.
Baker travelling with the ball has Wiltshire ahead of her lays the ball on Wiltshire has Mills out wide right passing her the ball looks to turn inside Broadbent challenges and winning the ball puts it out for a throw. United retain possession Baker central has Wiltshire ahead of her again closer to goal this time puts the threaded pass into the box, Mhunduru comes sliding in to gather the ball at Wiltshire’s feet. Wiltshire and Taylor play a one two outside the box looking for the return past inside the box, Phillips gets in front of the striker to win the ball back for City. A strong end to te 1st half from United, Taylor pressing forwards with the ball lifts it up over the City defence into the box with Wiltshire after it, closed down under pressure puts her shot wide of the post.
GOAL! Deacon wins United a corner kick on the left as her cross from inside the box is charged down, players crowd the six yard box as Mills comes over to take the corner, with her right for is a fantastic inswinging ball flies past the goalkeeper at the near post the City defence desperately try to clear off the line but can’t keep te ball out of the back of the net hard to tell from where I was standing whether it was already over the line or not but Mills’ ball was on target sure she’ll claim it 0-3.
Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-3 Cambridge United WFC
A third goal for United right on the stroke of half-time puts them in firm control of the Invitation Cup Final, another blow for City rocked early in the half by 2 quickfire goals took them a while to get back into the game, a competitve contest United not giving much away at 2-0 going into the break City would feel an early goal 2nd half puts them right back in it. 3-0 a tougher prospect to overcome against a United defence that doesn’t give too much away.
A change for United at the start of the 2nd half striker Nicole Perschky on for Baker the change seeing Logie who can play in any position in the spine of the team taking up a deeper midfield role. It’s United to kick off the 2nd half on the attack early the ball put out to the right Perschky looks to play it in central to Wiltshire closed down the corner is conceded. Played in with pace towards the near post City defend putting the ball behind for a 2nd corner. The ball flicked on near side, City claim it and go on the counter attack getting the ball into Gillies up top head down tries to mow her way through the middle, too much traffic is tackled by Bennett.
Jenkins gets forwards on the right Mills ahead of her plays the ball in, Mills knocks it forwards in towards the area her touch to heavy gives Fay time to close her down win the ball. City knowing they need an early break through if they are to find anyway back into the Final pressure the United back line, Simmons has the pace to close down Bright as she tries the shield the ball the ball back to Crook the clearance down’t go far the ball with Stanley out right moves into the area lays the ball back towards the top of the box, Simmons is wrong footed can’t adjust quickly enough as the ball come at her to get a shot away.
GOAL! 12 minutes played in the 2nd half and City get the goal they needed is a brilliant individual goal too from Gillies is given the ball in a central position 30 yards from goal runs at the United defence looks to shift the ball left, then takes it right wrong footing Bennett ahead of her opening up a window to shoot lets fly the ball arrowing into the top corner, little Crook can do about it 1-3.
|Cambridge City Ladies
Taylor is covering plenty of ground in the midfield for United getting forwards with the ball shifts it left playing in Deacon on the run looks to fire the central pass into the box with Mills coming into the area from the right reaching the ball is denied a shot on goal flagged offside. City make a change Witherspoon coming back on for Simmons up front. Good control from Perschky bringing the ball down onto her chest in the top right corner of the box lays it into Taylor making the run to the top of the area, her low shot is scooped up of the floor by Mhunduru right behind the ball.
Emily Read comes off for City, Rapley coming back on as Stanley wins her side a corner kick on the right side played in towards the far post drops to the floor inside the six yard box a block sends the ball back out to the right picked up by the corner taker Rapley her attempted cross back in is blocked by Deacon another corner. Comes in towards the far post for a 2nd time knocked down centrally by Henry is cleared by Burt.
GOAL! Pressing for another goal City concede a 4th goal in the 64th minute giving away a free-kick inside their half the ball is played high up into the area, Perschky running forwards the ball dropping over her shoulder, has Deacon with her stretches he right leg out meeting the ball on the bounce taking it up wide of the keeper and into the goal beyond to score her 2nd of the game 1-4.
Mills running onto the ball on the right plays the cross into the box Perschky looks to flick it on comes to Taylor 8 yards out meeting the ball sends her shot over the crossbar. Witherspoon makes room for a shot 25 yards out central, goes straight at Crook who collects as it bounces inside her six yard box. United have Wiltshire in possession plays the pass into the right channel for Mills drives a cross in near post Perschky making to run, Mhunduru gets hold of the ball.
Logie comes forwards with the ball, Wiltshire ahead of her makes a move from left to right across the top of the City box, Logie rolling the ball into her path, Wiltshire turns the all in towards goal, straight at Mhunduru the goalkeeper drops forwards to gather. Stanley comes off for City, Mosley returning to the action. Gillies twisting and turning on the ball right side gets the ball inside to Mosley outside the box sees Penny making a far post run, lifts the ball into the area to close to Crook who sees the danger gets across Penny to win the ball.
The game moving into the final 20 minutes both sides still showing lots of energy City counter attack as Broadbent wins the ball at the back played on from Penny into Witherspoon 20 yards out left of the D she shots her strike flying wide of the post. Bright plays the ball long up towards the area, Perschky can’t quite bring the ball down into her strike but carrying on into the area has it left of goal flashes the ball into the six yard box, Fay clearing with Mills coming on far side.
Witherspoon moves right to get the ball for City level with the top of the box plays in back into the middle for Rapley has Mosley inside the box right of goal plays the ball into her feet, back to goal Mosley holds off the United defence turning right looks to shot the ball deflected behind for a corner on the right. Into the middle of the box, Taylor clears for United. A double change for United, Logie and Deacon rested with Evie Gallops coming on along with Baker.
City come on again the ball central into Witherspoon has Bright on her shoulder as the two race for the box, Witherspoon is brought down by Bright inside the D the free-kick a foot outside the box. Rapley on the ball gets it up over the wall starts to dip as it heads towards the top corner but not by enough as it flies over the bar. United make a change at the back Burt coming off, Carolyn Sarafain comes on. Wiltshire with the ball running towards the City area lets fly from the edge of the box her strike smashing against the crossbar. Deacon returns to the field in place of Taylor for United, Stanley back on for City replacing Phillips. as the game moves into the closing stages
GOAL! Into stoppage time and United extend their lead Wiltshire pushing on with the ball is brought down 20 yards from goal a dangerous position she picks herself up to take the free-kick, is a great strike heading towards the top corner initially an excellent save from Mhunduru as diving across she takes off gets both gloves around the ball falling however she drops the ball and Deacon racing in is first the ball to bury it into the back of the corner and claim a Cup Final hat-trick 1-5. Not long after the final whistle blows and United celebrate having retained the Invitation Cup once again.
|A Cup Final hat-trick for Cambridge United WFC’s Ashleigh Deacon
Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-5 Cambridge United WFC
An enjoyable final watched in front of a good numbered crowd. Two early goals for United putting them in total control of the game took City a little while to recover momentum only to concede a 3rd right on the stroke of half-time. Gillies gave then home with a superb goal to make it 3-1 before United went on to extend their lead. Deacon scoring in injury time to get her hat-trick the icing on the cake. Two Cup Final wins for United in the space of two days, two losses for City who shouldn’t be too downhearted real progress made this season.
SWF Blog – Player of the Match
A few contenders for the SWF Blog – Player of the Match tonight. Charlotte Gillies with a great performance for Cambridge City, a Cup Final hat-trick for Ashleigh Deacon however tonight’s Player of the Match goes to Becky Taylor a strong all round midfield performance plenty of energy and vision helping out at the back when needed bringing other into play going forwards.
|Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Winners, Cambridge United WFC
Congratulations to Cambridge United WFC on winning this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup, two cups in two nights for the club.
My thanks once again to Chris Abbott from from the Cambridgeshire FA for his help again tonight.