A dramatic final day to the league season in the ERWFL Premier Division with the top two going head to head in a title showdown. Haringey Borough Women have been in the top two all season, starting the season strongly tussling the top position between themselves and Bedford Ladies. Bedford played out their fixtures on 40 points Haringey with games in hand could catch them. So to could Acle United Ladies who with games in hand on everyone were as far down the table as 8th just 6 weeks ago a remarkable run of 8 straight wins seeing them go a point clear of Haringey going into this weekends fixture the final league match for both as Acle travelled down to play Haringey at Coles Park… winner takes all.
Match Report – Haringey Borough Women v Acle United Ladies
For both the ERWFL (Eastern Region Women’s Football League) Premier Division title would see them promoted to the FAWPL for the 1st time. The scenario for a final day title decider has been on the cards for a few weeks and followers of my other women’s football venture Women’s Football East will have read the possibilities on the weekly Round-Up’s. As it took shape the scenario said if either side were to win all of their remaining matches then they would be crowned champions.
Haringey Borough Women have been in the top two in the Premier Division, along side Bedford Ladies the two sides got off to a flyer, Haringey winning their 1st 4 opening league games, Bedford went 8 unbeaten winning 7 before Haringey ended that run. Since then the pair have shared the lead at the top of the table. When Bedford played out their fixtures ending top on 40 points, Haringey knew they could catch them with 2 games left back on 37 points winning against Histon Ladies last weekend took them top on goal difference.
An established side in the ERWFL, Steve Browne took on the ladies side bringing in several new faces to rejuvenate the side, very sadly he passed away over the New Year losing his battle with cancer. The team he had left behind in very good shape vowing to go and win the league for their former manager. Only met Steve Brown once back in 2015 when I saw Haringey play for the 1st time away to Brentwood Town Ladies. Was only too happy to help me out asking about his side, he told me they were young but full of talent once they settled as a team would do well in the league. As well as a potential league title it may yet be a double having also reached the final of the League Cup where they will face Division One Champions, Cambridge City Ladies.
A remarkable run from Norfolk side, Acle United Ladies at the end of the season as low as 8th place just 6 weeks ago! A good start to the season were right behind the leading pair of Bedford and Haringey, falling victim to a few postponements along with cup matches were getting behind in their league games falling down the Premier Division table as a result, in 8th place that was when as other games were played the potential title decider was on the cards.
A big day for both sides. No doubt alot of excitement mixed up with alot of nerves… and that’s just me!
Easy on paper have to deliver on the pitch more often than not the side with games in hand on the leaders slips up, easy to have your eyes on the game at the end of the road drop points as a result before hand. Acle United didn’t however each game won seeing them climb up the table moving into 2nd at the weekend 2 points behind Haringey, a midweek 3-1 away to Histon Ladies saw them lead the Premier Division table for the 1st time this season and Acle wanted to stay there.
The venue for today’s game Coles Park home to both Haringey Borough FC aswell as the women’s side. North London parking was at a premium outside the ground the carpark inside home to a bustling market. Doesn’t clear until 2pm. Risked parking in a permit holders area but told wardens were on patrol I returned to retrieve the car quicker than the traffic warden I spotted about to cross the road. Was allowed into the ground, the market traders only to helpful to assist me find a space. Their is a clubhouse with bar and refreshment booth situated beside the stadium itself. The changing rooms under the large mainstand offered covered seating with a good view over the pitch a good sized artificial surface recently put in. A nice sunny day a few clouds but the suncream was applied with the coat left in the boot of the car.
Haringey Borough Women starting XI – Cherkish Young, Brooke Hills, Shaydean Gorman, Roisin Cormack (C), Robyn Reardon, Shernelle Francois, Morgan Lundberg, Anele Komani, Shanice Nourrice, Klesha Darroux & Julia Carruthers
subs – Roxanne Eshun, Stephanie Cooper, Karen Nicholls & Karla Parker
Acle United Ladies starting XI – Jody Wells, Anna Larkins, Luka Goodfield, Leah McGuire, Chloe Shields, Kate Pasque, Amber Rowland, Broghan Scully, Alice Ladbrooke, Meagan Todd & Rebecca Burton (C).
subs – Jade Copeman, Bryony Knights & Lauren Bullard.
A blow for Acle on the eve of the biggest game in the clubs history with Joanne Hooper, player coach, playing anywhere she’s needed most recently in goal damaging her MCL on crutches. Jody Wells normally a striker donning the gloves to today’s match. It’s the home side Haringey to kick-off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue trim and blue shorts. Acle lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts with black and white hooped socks.
Acle press Haringey on the ball right from kick-off the ball closed down and won by Broghan Scully on the right side pushes on with it before playing a diagonal ball up towards the top of the area with Megan Todd making the forward run, Haringey captain, Roisin Cormack gets across the attacker puts the ball out for a throw-in on the right. From the throw level with the top of the area Scully brings the ball inside again her target is Todd inside the box rolls the ball into her striking it first time sends the ball up over the crossbar.
A strong start from the visitors win a free-kick in the Haringey half as Kate Pasque is brought down as she makes a powerful run through the middle of the park. Right back Anna Larkins over the ball a couple of yards in front of the centre circle looks to send a shot in towards goal her flighted ball dipping late but doesn’t trouble Haringey goalkeeper, Cherkish Young as it flies over her crossbar.
|Kate Pasque takes the ball forwards for Acle United Ladies|
Haringey have a potent attack with strikers, Klesha Darroux and Julia Carruthers scoring 19 goals each so far this season. Darroux moves out into the left channel to receive the ball bursting forwards, Larkins gets back on her sliding in to put the ball out for a throw. Taken quickly played into Carruthers she looks to get into the box knocking the ball past Leah McGuire as she goes into challenge can’t catch up with the ball before it runs out of play.
Bringing the ball forwards Acle have captain Rebecca Burton available on the left side in space 25 yards out receiving the ball she is caught with a late challenge as she releases the ball, the referee plays the advantage as Todd latches onto the ball drives into the box, cuts it back towards the top of the area, doesn’t quite reach Alice Ladbrooke having made a good run as Haringey’s Robyn Reardon throws out a leg to intercept the ball and knock it out of her path. Burton feeling the challenge is up back on her feet after treatment.
Returns to the field left side just a Scully picks up the ball on halfway pushing infield passes the ball into Burton who lays it into the box for Todd making a central to left run, Young reacts smartly getting forwards to claim the ball before it can be knocked past her. Is a physical battle Haringey committing a few fouls early on giving away free-kicks. A frustrating start for the home side passes not finding their targets Acle benefiting.
GOAL! Acle capitalise upon their good start to the game scoring the opening goal in the 15th minute. The build up on the right side pressuring the ball winning it back played on by Scully, Todd moving into the box that side gets to the ball first sending it across the advancing Young into the back of the net 0-1.
|Megan Todd opens the scoring for Acle United Ladies|
GOAL! The lead is short-lived however as Haringey find an immediate response looking to get the ball forwards from the restart Shanice Nourrice played in on the right is fouled 30 yards out by Pasque. Brooke Hills comes forwards from the back to take the free-kick sends a high ball in towards goal, coming in near post on target a difficult on for Wells goes to palm it over, slips through her gloves and despite a desperate lunge can’t keep it out 1-1.
|Defender Brooke Hills scores from a free-kick to make it
1-1 an immediate response for Haringey
The physical contest continues strong challenges coming in keeping the referee busy, so far letting things go. Acle press Ladbrooke 30 yards out latches onto a defensive clearance hits the ball on the half volley, Young quickly across to her left post can see the shot bounce wide. Nourrice on the attack with the ball on the right for Haringey, plays the diagonal pass forwards into Komani, collides with the onrushing Wells at the top of the box, the ball rolling into the net beyond, doesn’t stand however as the striker had moved too soon flagged offside a blow to the back for Wells needs treatment before she can continue.
Ready to take the resulting free-kick for the offside Wells’ ball find Burton on the move up top 25 yards out looks to drive forwards, Hills gets back on her just as she is about to pull the trigger the ball out for a throw deep on the left. Luka Goodfield comes forwards to take gets the ball given back to her going to the byline whips a high cross into the six yard box the ball is plucked down safely by Young.
Hills sends the ball into the path of Nourrice breaking down the right wing turning inside moving into the fires looks to fire the ball across the face of goal, McGuire cuts the cross out conceding the corner right side. A good delivery from the set-piece Wells does well in the middle of her six yard box gloving the ball away from a throw on the opposite side. Haringey make a change Shernelle Francois giving way for Roxanne Eshun.
Cormack is late with the challenge again bringing down Todd on the left as she is put in down the line by Burton giving away the free-kick outside the corner of the box it’s Burton to take sends it long towards the far post Todd is under the ball as she goes to jump, knocked back in by the defender beyond her however Pasque inside six yards out before the post gets her head on the ball nodding it down puts it straight into the goalkeepers gloves. Acle have a player down on the far side, it’s Scully looks in a lot of pain after a challenge can’t continue is replaced by Bryony Knights who joins Todd in attack up front.
Darroux seeing the ball across her body 25 yard out skips in behind evading Shields tackle as she enters the box left of goal gets a shot away as the angle closes against her a good glove on the ball from Wells diving to her right to save the ball behind for the corner kick. Haringey finish the 1st half strongly, Anele Komani getting the ball out to Gorman on the right a handball spotted by the referee gives the home side a free-kick as the winger looks to play the ball inside. Hills to put the ball into the area Pasque heads clear for Acle. Keeping the ball in the final 3rd moving it right a deflection sees Carruthers in behind into the area on the right Wells comes rushing towards her blocks the strikers shot.
GOAL! Haringey push players forwards Carruthers on the ball right side is fouled by McGuire, the referee plays the advantage as Gorman has the ball goes on into the area the shot fired across goal goes long retrieved by Darroux on the opposite side she carries it towards the top of the area before turning back around and firing the ball back across goal into the bottom corner 2-1 to give Haringey the lead inside the final 5 minute of the 1st half.
Haringey end the 1st half with a free-kick just outside the box on the right, Darroux to play the ball into the six yard box Wells makes the save getting her gloves on the ball palming it down then claims it as it is headed back towards her.
|Haringey Borough Women’s captain, Roisin Cormack|
|Anele Komani on the ball for Haringey Borough|
|Haringey’s Klesha Darroux with Acle’s Anna Larkins|
|Wells saves Anele Komani’s initial strike but is unable to stop the followup going in|
GOAL! The game is sealed in injury time, Wells’ goal kick falling sort goes straight to Eshun 25 yards out in a central area moves the ball to her right and with the keeper out of position places it into the back of the empty net. 4-1.
A hammer blow for Acle they send everyone forwards nevertheless, Haringey defend, Cormack bringing the ball out plays it long for Carruthers arriving at the top of the box strikes the ball her powerful shot smashing against the crossbar, the last action of the match as Haringey celebrate at the final whistle. League Champions.
|Haringey Borough Women, 2016/17 ERWFL Premier Division Champions|