Norfolk Ladies League Cup
Sunday 6th May
On to the 2nd of today’s Finals in Norfolk the Ladies League Cup, FC Sprowston Ladies newly crowned Champion’s of Norfolk Women’s Division Two taking on Bungay Town Ladies who are looking to retain the League Cup having won it for the 1st time last season.
The 2nd time a Sprowston side has featured in the Norfolk Women’s Finals day. FC Sprowston Ladies formed at the start of the season. The two sides are run as two different teams not a 1st & Reserves/Development. FC Sprowston Ladies building on a club that has a strong youth programme. Have dominated Norfolk Women’s Division Two this season with a 100% in both league and cup it looked as though they would go all the way to the League Cup Final with that record intact. But alas no they have been beaten once in the league this season by eventual runners-up Beccles Town Ladies who pushed them all the way. The league finished FC Sprowston Ladies are the Champions and come into the League Cup Final looking to do a double against a side that are thinking exactly the same thing!
Whilst FC Sprowston Ladies are the Norfolk Women’s Division Two Champion’s, Bungay Town Ladies are on the verge of winning the Division One title having a 3 point lead over 2nd placed Sprowston Ladies. A win in their final league game at home to Gorleston FC Ladies this coming Thursday would almost certainly see them become champions. Sprowston having 2 games left can still equal their points tally Bungay Town Ladies however have the advantage of a larger goal difference. Are keen to successfully retain the League Cup this afternoon.
Road to the Final
A bye in the 1st Round of the League Cup for FC Sprowston Ladies. Bungay Town Ladies began the defence of the League Cup with a huge 10-0 win at home to Division Two side Freethorpe Ladies.
10-0 was the winning score for FC Sprowston Ladies as they cruised into the quarter finals beating fellow Division Two side Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies in the 2nd Round. Bungay Town Ladies were away to fellow Division one side Wymondham Town Ladies Reserves won the game 6-1 to reach the last 8.
A much closer result for FC Sprowston Ladies in the quarter finals at home to fellow Division Two side Tavern Ladies the sides contesting a 7 goal thriller, FC Sprowston Ladies edging it 4-3. Bungay Town Ladies were at home to the young guns of Bure Valley Wildcats the Division Two newcomers on the wrong end of a 14-0 loss. Have since gone on to turn their season completely around with a strong finish.
Into the last 4, FC Sprowston Ladies were away to Stalham Town Ladies. Another close game a narrow 2-1 victory seeing FC Sprowston into the final. For Bungay Town Ladies it was a repeat of last season’s League Cup Final away to Thorpe United Ladies. 2-1 to Bungay Town in that final, it was another close one with Bungay Town edging it 4-3 to reach a 2nd successive league cup final.
If anything it’s hotter than the previous final the sun high in the sky. Retreated to the shady side of the ground to watch the game.
FC Sprowston Ladies starting XI – Joanna Pipe, Megan Belsey, Annika Skoog, Lois Irving, Katie Fray, Rebecca Kirby, Nicole Read (C), Melissa Belsey, Georgia Potter, Jo Davey & Harriet Gregory. Subs – Rosie Wickenden, Laura Jenkins & Charmaine Storey.
Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Jody Wells, Kelly Collins (C), Ella Swift, Charlotte Power, Ella Hindley, Teo Ilie, Selina Rowland, Nicky Hazell, Lauren Purling, Emily Leach & Samantha Walker. Subs – Arianna Lloyd & Eva Evans.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
FC Sprowston to kick-off the league Cup Final wearing orange shirts with black shorts and socks with Bungay lined up opposite wearing an all Royal Blue kit. An early attack for FC Sprowston the ball played out to Harriet Gregory moving into the right channel a low shot drilled in on the angle, the ball spinning off Bungay goalkeeper Jody Wells getting down at her near post the corner conceded. The ball played in towards the near post Bungay get the ball clear.
Centre back Katie Fray defends well up against Bungay attack Emily Leach as she has a run at the FC Sprowston defence after receiving the ball. Up the other end 3 Bungay defenders converge on Gregory as she makes a central run towards goal. Bungay press the attack Lauren Purling running up the right wing as Selina Rowland feeds her the ball whips a cross into the box, goes long the ball cleared by Megan Belsey for FC Sprowston.
Purling is clipped as she tries to get away on the right, the free-kick awarded halfway inside the FC Sprowston half. Leach to play the ball into the box the ball knocked down into the mix is pushed out to Rowland top of the area, shifts the ball to her right and shoots the ball angling into the top right corner, Joanne Pipe in the FC Sprowston goal with an excellent save to get the ball away for the corner.
Early in the game Bungay have the bulk of the attack, Samantha Walker running onto the ball through the middle strikes the ball from the top of the D her effort running narrowly wide of the post. Lois Irving steps forwards turning to charge down Walker’s next strike the ball spinning away for a throw on the right. Melissa Belsey tracking Purling into the right corner defend conceding the corner kick. Walker to take the inswinging ball towards the far post Purling getting her header on target FC Sprowston have defenders back on the post the ball won and cleared.
Walker driving forwards into the box with the ball run wide to the byline right side cuts a cross/shot back in cut out by Pipe back to Walker sends the rebound back across the face of goal, Megan Belsey clearing at the far post. FC Sprowston are working hard at the back to deny Bungay the midfield pressing the ball, in attack Jo Davey pressures Charlotte Power at the back as she plays the ball back to the keeper. Gregory with a strike from distance put wide for FC Sprowston as she runs inside with the ball from the right.
Walker looks to be in the clear into the area from the left side as she is given the ball following a throw-in. Irving with a great burst of pace gets back on the striker closing her down as she shoots the ball tame as it is safely collected by Pipe. FC Sprowston captain Nicole Read winning the ball in the middle is fouled as she looks to carry it forwards. The set-piece dealt with by Ella Hindley at the back for Bungay. Purling is fouled on the right beside the box as she tries to bring the ball inside. Walker to fire the ball in across goal, FC Sprowston clearing the threat.
Purling is busy on the right at the start of the match getting forwards her cross from the byline cut back to the top of the area Walker behind it takes the shot on the volley sends the ball up over the bar. Bungay continue to dominate the attack, FC Sprowston working hard to defend aren’t getting the ball into their own attackers 25 minutes played. Nicky Hazell puts the ball in over the top of the FC Sprowston defence, Leach running into the area, Pipe out to claim well as she is closed down. Melissa Belsey sliding in to deny Purling a cross as she surges up the right wing.
Hazell bringing the ball on plays the pass inside from the left into Leach, Hazell bombs on into the area Leach sending her the return pass, Hazell putting it inside for Walker in the middle a clever flick to turn the ball goalwards, Pipe is well placed moving to grab hold of the ball. FC Sprowston attacks are few and far between getting forwards on the left win a free-kick on the byline a chance for players to come forwards, the ball played across the face of the goal dropping far post inviting no one can supply a final touch however as it runs wide.
Fray with the interception to stop Leach getting through on goal as Teo Ilie and Rowland combine through the middle for Bungay. Bungay keep pressing forwards Walker picking the ball up top of the area, left side drills a shot in the keeper beaten, the ball striking the base of the far post the ball rebounding out across goal Annika Skoog 1st to it for FC Sprowston clearing for a corner with Walker looking to close her down.
Skoog gets in front of Walker to get the ball back into Pipe as Rowland tries to play her in on goal. Into the last 5 minutes of the 1st half. Rebecca Kirby winning the ball for FC Sprowston in the middle plays it on for Georgia Potter on the right, Bungay captain Kelly Collins quick to close her down. Ella Swift getting forwards from right back for Bungay plays the ball forwards Rowland with the run, good defending from Fray as she closes the midfielder down.
Half-time FC Sprowston Ladies 0-0 Bungay Town Ladies
Goalless at the break, Bungay have had almost all of the attack and kept FC Sprowston penned in their own half for large portions of the game, have rode their luck a little chances going begging. For all that FC Sprowston as much as they are defending aren’t panicking, The defence coping with most intended through balls, Kirby and Read battling for the ball in midfield. A solid defensive base just can’t get anything going in attack. Bungay moving forwards well, Power and Hindley untroubled at centreback. Rowland and Ilie covering alot of ground.
It’s Bungay to kick off the 2nd half. Are on the attack straight away Rowland bringing the ball on through the middle out to Purling on the wing heads the ball inside towards the area with Walker closing in, Irving getting her head on the ball first to clear for FC Sprowston. Read closes down Rowland as she lines up to shoot from 25 yards out. Skoog strong up against Walker as she tries to break through the FC Sprowston defence on her right. Megan Belsey stepping forwards from the FC Sprowston defence to challenge Hazell as she drives forwards from the left.
FC Sprowston with a change Davey coming off, Laura Jenkins coming off in attack. The substitute getting hold of the ball straight away and having a run at the Bungay defence Hindley putting in the challenge to regain possession. Building through the middle Ille on for Rowland into Walker she turns and sets Leach up as she breaks in behind the FC Sprowston defence, shoots from 25 yards out her effort rising up over the crossbar. Despite the one sided nature of the game it is an intriguing contest FC Sprowston defending yes but doing so with confidence… and the longer they can keep Bungay out it’ll come down to whether they can create an opportunity up the other end.
Hazell with a powerful run forwards on the left sends a diagonal ball into the area, Fray the 1st to it for FC Sprowston. Rowland getting forwards to support Hazell on the left wing nutmegs her marker the ball on for Hazell cutting inside unleashes a shot curling in on goal, Pipe getting behind it with a comfortable catch. Read charges down Ille as the midfield lines up a shot 20 yards out. FC Sprowston make a change Davey returning to the pitch Potter coming off.
Megan Belsey with a double interception as Bungay try to play the ball through into the box from the left. Read with a great tackle inside the box to stop Leach getting a shot away as Walker squeezes the ball into her from the top left hand corner of the area.
GOAL! At last the deadlock is broken, Bungay finding the back of the net at last to take the lead in the League Cup Final. Rowland getting the goal bringing the ball on looking for options ahead of her right of the goal 25 yards out isn’t closed down the opportunity presenting itself she doesn’t hesitate puts her foot through the ball plenty of power behind the shot it flies past Pipe before she can react and into the goal beyond 0-1.
FC Sprowston work the ball from right to left off a throw in, Kirby getting forwards to support Jenkins the ball the ball helped across into Read, lays it forwards for Melissa Belsey breaking towards the box left side, Wells can come off her line to claim the ball. Potter returns to the action for FC Sprowston, Megan Belsey off. Bungay too make a switch Hazell coming off Arianna Lloyd coming on Purling moving over to the left wing.
Read get’s the ball forwards support from Melissa Belsey, Ille getting in on her to win the tackle. Ilie with a great run forwards slides the ball on for Walker, doesn’t connect cleanly with her snap shot, the ball running harmlessly into Pipe. Fray conceding the corner for FC Sprowston as Purling cuts into the area from the left. The delivery into the top of the area Read half clearing for FC Sprowston, Hindley looks to latch onto the ball strike from distance her touch limited Pipe can come to gather the ball.
Into the closing moments of the game FC Sprowston have a free-kick on halfway the ball up towards the area, Bungay comfortable in defence. The final whistle blows and Bungay Town ladies celebrate as they successfully defend the Norfolk Ladies League Cup.
Full time FC Sprowston Ladies 0-1 Bungay Town Ladies
Bungay Town Ladies eventually getting the goal 2nd half enough in the end to see them win the final. Dominating the attack no doubt had a earlier shot found it’s way into the back of the net they may well have gone on to score more. As it was they didn’t as alot of credit goes to FC Sprowston for the work they did defensively where on the back foot for much of the game but confident in their work ethic and ability. Created very little attack wise largely content to stop Bungay at the other end. Easy to see why they are Division Two Champion’s a hard side to break down. Bungay have players all over the pitch who can create an opportunity in attack or set up another could have easily gotten frustrated as the chances went begging but kept at it the chance finally coming. It was an intriguing contest.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Once again there were several contenders for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. A tremendous effort from FC Sprowston Ladies to keep Bungay Town Ladies at bay, Katie Fray working tirelessly in the heart of their defence. Teo Ilie covering alot of ground in the middle of the park for Bungay Town Ladies as too did her midfield partner, and her goal nudges her into pole position so today’s Player of the Match is Selina Rowland.
Congratulation’s to Bungay Town Ladies on successful retaining the Norfolk Women’s League Cup
FC Sprowston Ladies made them work for the win and kept the score at 0-0 for so long, collected their league title award after the match, congratulation’s to them too on a fantastic season.
Costessey Sports Ladies were victorious in the Ladies 7’s Final beating Hellesdon Belles 5-2 to lift the trophy. A special mention to for today’s match officials, Lorraine Catchpole, Julia Robathan and Shaun Catchpole officiating in both of today’s 11 a side finals Shaun Catchpole also in the middle for the 7’s Final.
A long but enjoyable day a cup final double sees me complete 8 games in the end in 11 days. Such as it is this time of the season. Not long left before the season finishes, another cup final double coming up next Sunday the ERWFL this time around. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the teams. To the NWGFL committee too for putting on a great occasion.