The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 05/05/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 5th May

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

The final day of the league season in the Beds & Herts Women’s football leagues this Sunday with just the League Cup and Chris Renshaw Cup Finals to come. Things settled in Division One with Hemel Hempstead Town Ladies winning the title 3 points clear of 2nd placed Northwood Ladies with St Albans Ladies who Hemel Hempstead will meet in the League Cup finishing 3rd. Joining St Albans on 32 points in 4th are Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires with a big win on the final day to mark a fine fist season playing in Division One. Leading for a good spell early on Welwyn have more than held their own in a competitive league following promotion from Division Two. At home to Sharnbrook WFC who have tailed away towards the end of the season Welwyn secured the 3 points courtesy of a 7-1 win.

Promoted as champions of Division Two along with Welwyn, Garston Ladies 2nd XI had a difficult start to life in the higher league bottom for a long spell simply not playing games had alot of catching up to do but a terrific run of form at last getting games played they have stormed up the league to seal a 6th placed finish winning 6 of their last 8 league matches. Away to Houghton Athletic Ladies who have been solid in mid-table on the final day the sides sharing 8 goals between them, Garston edging Houghton out to win the game 5-3. Charley Kelsey netting twice for Garston to put her on 15 goals for the season. Ruby Jager top scorer with a goal has 18. Holly Jury and Lauren Berryman also on target with a goal each. Emily Wilson with 15 goals for Houghton scoring in their final game along with Shakeela Hussain and Coral Beary with her first goal. Garston’s 2nd XI with one more game to play this Sunday at 11am The Chris Renshaw Cup Final against counterparts Garston Ladies 1st team.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

One game left to play in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two and having secured a 2nd placed finish in the league and promotion to Division One, Hitchin Town Ladies were away to Wheathampstead Wanderers Ladies on the final day. Have enjoyed a strong season at the top for much of the campaign a big win to finish the campaign. Captain Emma Chaffey edging out Louise Gash to the top goalscorer position netting a hat-trick to finish on 18 goals, Gash with a brace not far behind with 15. There was a brace to in the final game for Rebecca Day her first goal of the season with Lauren Wyatt and Natalie Thompson also scoring a goal each in a 9-0 win. 

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

All set up for a dramatic final day of the season in Beds & Herts Division Three with the top 3 all with a chance to win the title. Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses top of the pile at the start of the day a point clear of both AFC Dunstable Ladies Development and AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Ladies. 

 Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses with just the 2 losses all season away to 3rd placed Kempston & Bedford in their last game. Kempston & Bedford with a strong finish to the season to put themselves right back in the title picture including back to back wins against Dunstable. Those Dunstable’s only defeats too having drawn 0-0 on the opening day going on to win their next 12 league matches to lead the way in their debut season in women’s football. The title out of their hands going into the last game needed the other result to go there way so long as they did there job away to Biggleswade United Ladies. 

AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Ladies also making their debut in women’s football enjoying a good start and finish to the season whilst also reaching the semi-finals of both the Bedfordshire Women’s County Cup and League Cup. Giselle Randall’s goals powering Woburn & Wavendon to the top of the league, she was on target for 2 more in the final game to put her on 39 for the season. It wasn’t enough as Woburn & Wavendon lost to see them finish up in 3rd spot with Kempston & Bedford winning the game 5-2! Chloe Urbanowicz with the goals early on in the campaign setting the tone for the season on the scoresheet with her 19th of the season. Kayleigh Humphries and Abigale Young both getting a goal a piece along with a first goal for the club for Chloe Hulett and Emily Kay. Kempston & Bedford finishing above Woburn & Wavendon.

That result seeing the Beds & Herts Division Three title go to AFC Dunstable Ladies as they got the win they needed against Biggleswade United Ladies. Bianca Vassell putting Dunstable into the lead late in the first half. Biggleswade not letting Dunstable have it their own way however as they came back to level the scored 7 minutes into the 2nd half. Helen Coster with the goal. Dunstable getting there noses back in front 10 minutes later with Vassell scoring her 2nd of the match her 34th overall. This time they held on in what was bound to be a nervous finish to clinch the 3 points to become Champions!

AFC Dunstable Ladies Development, Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three Champions. (photo credit AFC Dunstable Ladies Development)

 Congratulation’s to AFC Dunstable Ladies Development on winning the Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three title.

The Round-Up – Essex 05/05/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 5th May

Essex Women’s Premier Division

A great first season playing in the Essex Women’s Premier Division for Leigh Ramblers Ladies having be promoted last season their debut in women’s football their young squad having gone on to clinch the league title and become champions. Losing on the opening day of the season, never looked back going on a long winning run in the league to climb to the top of the table before rivals at the top Frontiers Ladies managed to halt their progress slightly with a 2-1 win in the league those though the only defeats 13 wins seeing the title won with a game to spare. Title celebrations looking unlikely though at half-time this Sunday as Leigh Ramblers found themselves trailing 2-0 at half-time away to Southend United Ladies. Emily Pert thier top scorer netting both the goals to move onto 19 for the season. Leigh Ramblers coming back well in the 2nd period to not only level but go on to win the game 3-2. Amy Jacobs scoring her 17th goal of the season with a brace too from Molly Giles her first goals for Leigh Ramblers this season. 

Champions! Leigh Ramblers Ladies winning the Essex Women’s Premier Division title (photo credit Leigh Ramblers)

Congratulation to Leigh Ramblers Ladies on winning the Essex Women’s Premier Division title. They now await confirmation to see if they will join the ERWFL and successive promotions. A potential double on the cards to meeting Harlow Town Ladies Development in the League Cup Final.

Harlow Town Ladies Development themselves also a young squad enjoying a tremendous season in Essex Women’s Premier Division. Starting the season well to get up amongst the top two back to back wins over Chelmsford City Ladies seeing them back into 3rd and now two points behind 2nd placed Frontiers Ladies. 7-2 at home against Chelmsford in their first league encounter Harlow were the away side this Sunday. Another convincing win this Sunday the goalscorers a week ago Ellie Nicholls with a hat-trick and Hannah Smith top scorer with 4 to her name. Both amongst the goals again this Sunday Smith hitting another 4 to move to 37 for the season a brace for Ellie Nicholls taking her to 23. Plenty of other names amongst the goals this season for Harlow too with a new name appearing on the scoresheet every other week, Tegan Burling this time making her 3rd appearance for the side scoring her first goals a brace in an 8-2 win. Shannon Kelly and Georgia Sleep with the goals for Chelmsford. A game in hand for Harlow this Friday no easy task at home to Southend United Ladies then they meet Frontier Ladies on Sunday for what will be a decider for who clinches runners-up spot.

Essex Women’s Division One

Just the one league match played in Essex Women’s Division One as sides look to complete their fixtures. Hutton Ladies Reserves having secured 4th position in the table go to within 2 points of 3rd placed Rayleigh Town Ladies both with one game to play after they won away to Leigh Ramblers Ladies Reserves this Sunday. Hutton enjoying a good first season back in the league goals from Baylie Kingsnorth her 10th of the season along with goals for, Danielle Hindley, Cassandra Piejko and Rachael Agombar. Hutton winning the game 4-1 their 14th win of the season.

The Round-Up – ERWFL 05/05/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 5th May

ERWFL Premier Division

Harlow Town Ladies were at home this Sunday playing their final match in their debut season in the ERWFL Premier Division, their confidence buoyed by a midweek 3-2 win away to 2nd placed Royston Town Ladies. The visitors to the Harlow Arena 3rd placed Acle United Women, travelling for Norfolk with an injury hit squad the bare 11 with manager Rebecca Burton named as substitute. Despite that it was the visitors from Norfolk who drew first blood taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes. Harlow coming back into it quickly to equalise. Acle retaking the lead in the 34th minute with Grace Birchall running in to make it 2-1. Birchall extending Acle lead with a couple of minutes left in the first half. Time for Harlow to pull a goal back scoring a volleyed goal from a  free-kick.

Acle United Women’s Grace Birchall

  Acle leading 3-2 at half-time Harlow with a fast start scoring a 3rd goal in the 52nd minute to see it all square at 3-3. A competitive tussle there was late drama, two minutes of normal time left and Harlow were reduced to 10 goalkeeper Charlie Orwell sent off adjudged to have handled the ball outside the area. Birchall going on to complete her hat-trick to put Acle back in front in the 93rd minute. Harlow pressing on attacking the crossbar struck in the 96th minute the rebound was headed back over the line to see the sides share the points in a dramatic 4-4 draw. The point sees Acle level on points with Royston in 2nd both with a game to play. Harlow’s goalscorers, Chloe Bassett, Bethany Chambers and a brace for Poppy Binding. Currently in 5th spot are assured a top half finish.

Norfolk Women’s County Cup winners, Wymondham Town Ladies travelled down to Essex for their final game of the season in the ERWFL Premier Division. Promoted along with Harlow Town Ladies have enjoyed a successful campaign securing a 4th placed finish in the league. Brentwood Town Ladies their opponents slipping down the table after making an encouraging start to the season. A close game the point looked like they were going to be shared the winning goal scored in the 88th minute, Freya Symonds making her debut for Wymondham striking the ball into the top corner to see the game won.

Bedford Ladies and Peterborough Northern Star Ladies were meeting each other for the 3rd time in a month on Sunday, the previous games in Peterborough, Bedford knocking the hosts out of the league cup with Peterborough winning their league encounter a week later 1-0. Another close game between the pair this Sunday at Bedford. The hosts coming away with all 3 points winning the game 2-1.

ERWFL Division One

ERWFL Division One Champions, St Ives Town Ladies travelled down to Essex this Sunday to play thier penultimate game of the season still unbeaten in the league. Georgia Stancombe with a tap in scoring her 15th goal of the season for St Ives to put them in front. Hutton coming back to level the scores to see the game finish 1-1. Bad news for St Ives however as they lose goalkeeper Kira Markwell to injury a vital part of a back-line that has conceded just 10 league goals all season. Women’s Football East extends their best wishes to Kira Markwell for a full and speedy recovery.

   Clinching runners-up spot Bowers & Pitsea Ladies travelled up to Cambridgeshire for their final game of the season. Taking on Histon Ladies. Histon playing in the League Plate Final this Sunday against Newmarket Town Ladies taking the lead in the 34th minute Sophie Lanham’s goal the difference between the sides at half-time. Bowers & Pitsea scoring early in the 2nd half to level the scores and see the game finish 1-1. Georgia Fraser with the goal finishing top scorer on 18 goals. A great first season under the Bowers & Pitsea name ERWFL Division One runners-up aswell as silverware lifting the Essex Women’s Trophy.

  Stevenage Ladies Reserves won their final game of the season to end the campaign in 3rd spot in the ERWFL Division One table. Were at home to Hatfield Peverel Ladies, 2nd bottom in the table also completing their fixtures. A hat-trick form top scorer Emily Schofield giving her 23 for the season and a goal for Katherine Taylor seeing the hosts win 4-2. Currently 3rd can be caught by 4th placed Newmarket and King’s Lynn Town Ladies in 5th. Jasmine Cox and Michelle Hodgson on the score sheet for Hatfield Peverel a tough first season playing in the ERWFL, although thing’s have gotten better late in the season to build encouragement for the new season have suffered from a lack of goals just 16 scored in the league.

  King’s Lynn Town Ladies finishing the season strong climbing up to 5th in the table have 3 games left to play too on 32 points could yet challenge for a top 3 spot. An away trip this Sunday to take on Lawford Ladies. Goals from Tiffany Forshaw, Becky Russell, Olivia Baker and Emma Corbyn seeing the Norfolk side travel back home with all 3 points in the bag winning the game 4-0.

The Round-Up – FAWNL 05/05/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 5th May

FAWNL Southern Premier Division

 The final day of the season across the whole of the FAWNL. Title and relegation places already decided going into the game n the Southern Premier Division the pressure off the top two as they met on the final day a late push from Cardiff City Ladies seeing them briefly threaten champions, Coventry United Ladies but getting the job done that threat was short-lived. A trip to Wales in their final fixture Coventry at Cardiff the sides sharing a goalless draw at half-time it was the hosts who drew first blood 2nd half Cardiff taking the lead. Coventry coming back to level the scores Bethan Merrick scoring her 7th goal of the season to see the points shared in a 1-1 draw.

The season not quite over for Coventry United Ladies as they take on Northern Premier Division Champions, Blackburn Rovers Ladies in the FAWNL Play off game. Taking place on Saturday 18th March at Bradford City FC’s, Valley Parade Stadium, kick-off 3pm.

Coventry United Ladies Bethan Merrick (photo credit Jeff Bennett)

 Chichester City Ladies were for a were top of the pile in the Southern Premier Division neck and neck with Coventry before falling away eventually overhauled by Cardiff strong run towards the end of the season to finish 3rd in the league. Ending with a trip to play Gillingham Ladies. Chichester’s, Laura Ingram adjudged to have committed a foul inside the box presenting Gillingham with the opportunity to score from the penalty spot the ball striking the post safely gathered, Chichester breaking and going on to open the scoring themselves, Ingram the player striking the ball on the volley to put the visitors 1-0 up. Gillingham fighting back to level the scores midway through the 2nd half the ball headed home from a corner by Farrand and into the final 15 minutes the hosts had the lead Gillingham going 2-1 up in the 77th minute Breon Grant with the goal. Chichester responding well getting it back to 2-2 in the 82nd minute with Kim Stenning putting a shot over the keeper to see the sides take home a share of the points.

  Oxford United Women assured a top 4 finish in the Southern Premier Division a solid first season back in the league after dropping down from FAWSL 2, now the Championship. A solid platform to build on for next season a trip to the midlands on Sunday for thier final game of the season taking on Loughborough Foxes Women who themselves promoted to the league this season have been strong in the top half of the table themselves more often than not this season just missing out with a 7th placed finish a draw on the final day. 0-0 going into the final 15 minutes top scorer Rebecca McGrother played into take the ball into the box and slot a shot wide of the keeper to score her 14th goal of the season, Oxford though getting straight up the other end to equalise, Emily Allen their top scorer played in to score her 19th goal of the season. The game finishing 1-1.

  5th and 6th meeting on the final day of the season with Watford Ladies hosting Plymouth Argyle Ladies. An early lead for the hosts Watford 1-0 up inside 10 minutes with Adekite Fatuga-Dada on the scoresheet to make it 1-0. Katie O’Leary coming off the bench in the 21st minute to replace Helen Ward scoring to make it 2-0 just 3 minutes later. 2-0 up at half-time the lead was further extended in the 56th minute with Alysha Stojko-Down scoring their 3rd goal. 3-0 and comfortable Plymouth though threatened a comeback Helen Bleazard pulling it back to 3-1 with 20 minutes left. Zoe Cunningham striking in the 82nd minute making it 3-2 setting up a nervous finish, Watford holding on for the win to finish 5th, whilst Plymouth promoted this season end with a top half finish.

  Milton Keynes Dons Ladies the other promoted side joining the league this season were at Newport Pagnell FC on the final day taking on C&K Basildon Ladies. The Essex side bottom of the league enduring a tough season playing thier last game under that name before a new beginning starts as AFC Basildon Ladies. Milton Keynes Dons retaining the Berks & Bucks County Cup beating Chesham United Ladies on Thursday night were looking to end on a high 0-0 in the first half they saved the goals until the final 15 minutes Leah Cudone one on one with the keeper putting them into the lead in the 75th minute. Into the final 5 minutes a corner won the ball cleared out to Louise Naylor to volley in their 2nd. Alice Hughes heading home from a free-kick to see the hosts 3-0 up with 2 minutes left time for a 4th goal Kim Farrow played through to score, the result seeing a place gained on the final day Milton Keynes up to 9th.

 A positive end to what has been another difficult season for QPR Women at the wrong end of the table, performances not always translated into points have been near the bottom all season. The 2nd bottom side at home to Portsmouth FC Women on the final day. Awarded a penalty in the 25th minute, Courtney Ward-Chambers stepping up to score it and put QPR into the lead. That the lead at half-time Portsmouth coming back to level the scores early in the 2nd half Alex Collighan making it 1-1. The game moving into the final 20 minutes QPR restored their lead top scorer Jo Wilson beating the offside trap to go on and put QPR 2-1 ahead, a battling finish seeing the 3 points won.

FAWNL South East Division One

Just passing through, Crawley Wasps Ladies have been the dominant force in FAWNL South East Division one the best side in the league following promotion haven’t looked back a long standing 100% record the one defeat as they were on the verge of clinching the title, a brief halt before becoming champions. A 1-1 draw away to Denham United Ladies in midweek a trip to play 5th placed Leyton Orient WFC in their final fixture. Darcey James putting the visitors into the lead in the 11th minute. Leyton Orient getting back on level terms just past the half hour with Lisa Holmback on target to make it 1-1. Crawley finding the winning goal with 15 minutes Naomi Cole scoring her 19th goal of the season to secure a 2-1 win.

Runners-up Billericay Town Ladies have also had a great first season playing in the FAWNL for the first time. The Essex side travelling to Norfolk on the final day to play Norwich City Ladies looking to avoid finishing 2nd bottom themselves with Denham closing the gap to just 2 points. Their home Plantation Park hosting the Norfolk Women’s Finals Day, Norwich’s final game of the season was at Fakenham Town’s Clipbush Park. Billericay having the best of the first half getting into a 2-0 lead. Millie Davies scoring to pull it back to 2-1 a late fightback from Norwich as striker Chelsea Garrett fired home an equalising goal then a 2nd to put Norwich into the lead. Sasha Diston heading in a 4th goal for Norwich to see them win 4-2 an secure their FAWNL status ending on a high!

Chelsea Garrett celebrating scoring for Norwich City Ladies (photo credit Brian Coombes)

 A fantastic season in FAWNL South East Division One for Enfield Town Ladies, a competitive tussle for 3rd spot they are the side to clinch it on the final day overtaking Actonians Ladies with a home win over rivals Denham United Ladies who were hoping for a positive result themselves to possibly catch Norwich City Ladies. Goalless between the sides at the break Enfield taking the lead on 57 minute with top scorer Molly Peters bringing up her 16th goal of the season to make it 1-0. A corner for Enfield in the 68th minute the ball cleared out of the box played back in Katherine Long onside turning to send the ball past the keeper sealing a 2-0 victory.

 Actonians Ladies slipping to 4th on the final day as they lost narrowly to AFC Wimbledon Ladies who have found their form late in the season taking 10 points from their final 4 matches to secure a top 6 finish. A 3rd straight win for Wimbledon coming away from home just the one goal in it with 2nd half substitute Becky Mclaren-Johnson scoring in the last 10 minutes for Wimbledon to seal the win. Actonians doing well after an indifferent start have grown and improved as the season has gone on and competed well in what has been a strong battle for position in the top half of the South East Division One table.

Cambridge United WFC were at home for their last game of the season and last at Mildenhall Town FC, the club serving well as their home in recent season’s off to St Neots next season.  Their opponents of the final day Ipswich Town Women, both hoping to capitalise on a results late on to push into the top half of the table. Cambridge in 7th taking the lead with Amy Howlett scoring to see the hosts leading 1-0 at half-time. Ipswich fighting back to level with 20 minutes left on the clock Zoe Cossey scoring from a header to make it 1-1. Cambridge restoring the lead moments later getting up the other end Mollie Coupar scoring her 13th goal of the season to make it 2-1. A chance to go further ahead ruled off by an offside flag. Ipswich coming back for a 2nd time to level the scores with 5 minutes left to play Natasha Thomas with her 12th goal of the season making it 2-2. Drama at the death with Ipswich striking to take the lead in the final minute Abbie Lafayette scoring on her senior debut. The 3-2 result seeing Ipswich leap frog Cambridge into 7th. One more game for Ipswich this Tuesday at Portman Road as they look to continue their dominance in the competition taking on Needham Market Women.

  Stevenage Ladies ending their season on a high with victory at home to bottom side Luton Town Ladies. Erin Pope heading them into the lead inside the opening minute. Amy Makewell doubling Stevenage’s advantage midway through the 1st half. A 2-0 lead at the break Stevenage going further ahead straight away in the 2nd period with Ellie Searle lobbing the keeper to make it 3-0.

Match Report – Cup Final Special

Sunday 5th May

Norfolk Ladies League Cup Final

Sprowston Ladies v Tavern Ladies

 A brief rest before moving on to my 2nd game from today’s Norfolk Finals Day, the League Cup itself this season being contested by Sprowston Ladies from Division One taking on Division Two side Tavern Ladies. 

  Before that however the Ladies 7’s final was also taking place this afternoon on the pitch behind the main stadium. A repeat of last season’s final with Costessey Sports taking on Hellesdon Belles. Costessey Sports winning the final 6-2 last season to make it back to back wins were looking for a 3rd successive triumph, the pair drawing 1-1 at half-time, Costessey Sports went on to score twice more in the 2nd half to win the final 3-1 a continue thier dominance in the competition.

   Easy to forget Sprowston Ladies are such a young side having done so well since joining the women’s leagues, alot of the squad together since early youth level have grown together as a team. Pushing Bungay Town Ladies all the way in the title race in Division One last season eventually clinching runners-up spot aswell as winning last season’s League Plate Final. A slower start to the season this time around some rebuilding to be done at the start of the season with a few players moving on to test themselves at a higher level.

  Bringing in youth as is their tradition the squad slowly gained momentum little to be done to stop runaway leaders Thorpe United Ladies, Sprowston nevertheless climbing the table to reach 2nd as they completed their league fixtures. Have since dropped to 3rd with Gorleston Ladies overhauling them to finish runners-up. At finals day yet again saving some of their best form for the League Cup. Victoria Leyer once again top scorer with 28 goals so far this season.

Dereham based, Tavern Ladies are firmly amongst the sides challenging for promotion in Division Two, in 2nd position tied on points with Fakenham Town Ladies who have a game in hand, both looking to finish 2nd in the league the pendulum swinging back and fourth with a handful of games left. Have been in great form after making a losing start, scoring plenty of goals along the way. 74 goals between attackers Atlanta Griffith and Katie Hart-Copsey. Griffith with 23 of those whilst Hart-Copsey has scored an incredible 51 goals to date. The only side to defeat league champions Taverham Women United on their way to the Division Two title. A great run to reach the League Cup Final including knocking out the Division One champions, Thorpe United Ladies.

Road to the Final

  A bye for Sprowston in the first round of the competition. Tavern Ladies were at their Scarning Playing Fields home taking on fellow Division Two side Bulldogs Ladies a comfortable 7-1 win seeing them progress.

  Sprowston beginning their league Cup campaign in the 2nd Round in the New Year away to fellow Division One side Aylsham Ladies who had shown great form in the first half of the season. There to watch as Sprowston put in a dominant performance to win the game 7-1 with both Amee Kennett and Leyer scoring a brace. Tavern were at home again taking on a fellow Division Two side, Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies, leading 2-0 at half-time Tavern added a further two goals 2nd half to reach the quarter finals.

  Sprowston at home to Division Two title chasers Fakenham Town Ladies, another dominant performance saw them leading 4-0 at half-time, Leyer scoring 5 goals in the match helping them on to a 10-0 victory. Tavern were at home for a 3rd time taking on Hockering Ladies the Division Two side reinstated to the competition after holders Bungay Town Ladies were removed from the competition having infringed the rules. Hockering struggling for numbers all season suffering a big loss with both Griffith and Hart-Copsey scoring 4 goals each on their way to a 12-0 win.

  Into the semi-finals Tavern looking the underdogs in a strong line-up. Sprowston young guns away to the even younger Taverham Women United. 3-1 to the good against the Division Two leaders at half-time, a hat-trick for Abby Hutchin along with another 4 goals for Leyer seeing Sprowston into a 2nd successive final winning the game 8-1. Tavern were at home again taking on Division One leaders Thorpe United Ladies a battling performance seeing the sides all square at 1-1 at half-time Tavern scoring late on in the 2nd half to win the game 2-1 and reach their first ever final.

 We’re still at Plantation Park so nothing has changed from the first game, the rain hasn’t come which is fantastic remaining chilly in the shade the pitch hard dust coming off the surface as the ball is struck. Tavern in particular bringing good support, their the more vocal at least.

Sprowston Ladies starting XI – Megan Lightfoot, Evie Tolson, Georgina Belton, Calista Tink (C), Hannah Roe, Ria Drake, Abbi Nobbs, Abby Hutchin, Millie rake, Amee Kennett & Victoria Leyer. Subs – Jade Mundford, Rebecca Basten & Chelsea Brister.

Tavern Ladies starting XI – Zoe Gibbons, Emily Fusco, Danni Lee, Roxy Bailey, Lydia Hooper, Millie Bell (C), Nicole Costin, Meganne Smith, Lucy Kean, Atlanta Griffith & Katie Hart-Copsey. Subs – Natalie Merry, Jordie Head & Gemma Higgot.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

 Sprowston to get the League Cup final underway kicking off the 1st half wearing orange coloured shirts with black across the top and shoulders, black shorts and orange socks. Tavern lined up opposite with an all blue kit with white trim. Sprowston look to play the ball out to the right, Nicole Costin straight in to win the ball for Tavern cutting the ball out playing it on to Hart-Copsey in attack, Sprowston captain Calista Tink marking her winning the ball.

Victoria Leyer on the attack for Sprowston Ladies

   Atlanta Griffith bringing the ball on through the middle for Tavern looks to send it on for Hart-Copsey pulling away to the left, Georgina Belton across to intercept for Sprowston. Costin with a strike from distance the ball bouncing up off the hard surface, grabbed by Sprowston goalkeeper, Megan Lightfoot. A higher tempo to the game straight away from this mornings match, Tavern taking the game to Sprowston, Griffith with some forceful runs early on has support from Lucy Kean to her right playing the ball to her the cross into the box is long. 

  Abby Hutchin with a strong run with the ball bringing it on covering alot of ground the ball put on into the area for Leyer stopped form shooting by Tavern’s Roxy Bailey pushing her wide Leyer managing to squeeze a cross into the six yard box the ball headed clear. Sprowston win a corner on the right Tink up from the back meeting it near post turned goalwards Tavern with bodies in front of goal scrambling it clear. Hart-Copsey moving left to get onto the ball plays it in field to Griffith 25 yards out she has a shot the ball in comfortable for Lightfoot. 

Atlanta Griffith carrying the ball forwards for Tavern Ladies

 Tink lunging into the tackle blocks Griffith as she gets in to shoot right outside the box. Both sides closing down and press the attack one the ball is won. Nobbs tackling playing the ball up to Leyer in attack, Lydia Hooper putting a foot in to take the ball away from her. Leyer prepared to take players on gets the ball from Amee Kennett on the left bringing it in field lets fly from 20 yards out her effort racing wide across the Tavern goal.

Sprowston Ladies captain, Calista Tink

  Leyer holding the ball up 25 yards out sends it on up the line left for Kennett, Emily Fusco preventing the cross for Tavern. Griffith on the ball attacking right for Tavern 20 yards out squares the cross inside to Hart-Copsey struck first time the shot lacking pace gathered by Lightfoot. The Tavern strikers combining again, Griffith on the right bringing the ball on inside to Hart-Copsey once more shoots from the angle, Lightfoot down at her near post to save. 

Tavern Ladies captain, Millie Bell

  Leyer racing into space on the right channel in behind into the box goalkeeper Zoe Gibbons out to close her down, the Sprowston attacker getting her shot away Gibbons with minimal contact on the ball slowing it down enough as it runs on towards goal to allow Hooper running back to clear the ball off the line. Tavern under pressure Sprowston get bodies forwards on the right winning a corner the ball put in near post headed on by Tink met by Kennett at the back post she smashes a shot in high Gibbons saving tipping the ball over.

  GOAL! From the resulting corner the lead is gained, Tink the target once again the ball sent in towards the near post the defender glancing it on into the middle dropping into a crowded six yard box the ball is driven in towards goal hitting the hoardings behind the net bounces back out, Sprowston after a brief moment of hestitation celebrating the goal, Georgina Belton with the telling touch. 1-0. 20 minutes played.

Sprowston Ladies, Georgina Belton

A change for Sprowston Millie Drake coming off on comes Chelsea Brister. Griffith continues to make threatening runs through the middle played on by captain Millie Bell strikes from 25 yards out a swerving shot caught well by Lightfoot. Belton pushing on up the right for Sprowston the ball crossed into the area Leyer making a near post run, Hooper winning it for Tavern. A nasty looking fall for Kean in the middle as she goes down under challenge landing heavily on her back jars her neck play immediately stopped the trainer rushing on. A pause whilst she is assessed up gingerly looked painful sensibly is brought off for further assessment, Jordie Head the player coming on.

 Hooper and Bailey combine to dispossess Leyer as she tries to force her way through the middle into the box the ball cleared to the right Sprowston keep it alive Kennett to cross in Leyer hooking a shot over from 8 yards out. Rebecca Basten on for Sprowston for Ria Drake. Leyer given time and space 20 yards out to tee up a strike central the ball racing in low pushed away by Gibbons diving to her right. Nobbs onto Hutchin the ball put over the top for Leyer to burst in behind Bailey recovering well to get back across her so shield the ball into her keeper. Tavern doing well competitive, Griffith forwards shooting from distance safely held by Lightfoot, Tavern having nothing inside Sprowston’s box yet with Tink marking Hart-Copsey well.

Tavern Ladies, Lydia Hooper

 Belton brought down by Bell getting on cutting inside from the right a free-kick 25 yards out, Hannah Roe forwards to take, an ambitious effort trying to get the ball to loop in over the keeper near post the ball instead dropping wide. Brister winning a corner right for Sprowston met again by Tink coming near post the attempt turned wide. Costin tracks Hutchin as she tries to get away on the right tackling to regain the ball.

Nicole Costin

 Hutchin upended by Smith central late in the first half a change before it’s taken Smith coming off Kean back on. Mayhem in the box from the free kick put up towards the top of the box Tink heading it down into the middle Leyer latching onto it inside the six yard box left of goal, Gibbons down at her feet the ball almost squeezing through Gibbons plucking it off the line, cleared straight to Brister positioned at the opposite post shoots Gibbons still grounded with a fantastic save throwing herself towards the ball getting a arm up to parry it away, the defence scrambling the ball clear. 

Sprowston’s Chelsea Brister with Tavern’s Danni Lee

 Danni Lee cutting out a ball played inside for the right to prevent Leyer getting into the box. Nobbs winning the ball in the middle on for Leyer 30 yards out has a go the shot held by Gibbons.

Half-time Sprowston Ladies 1-0 Tavern Ladies

  A narrow lead for Sprowston at half-time 1-0 up, could and probably should have had more but for heroic goalkeeping from Gibbons looking solid through the middle Tink, Nobbs, Hutchin and Leyer in attack all doing well. Tavern playing their part however competitive battling for the ball getting forwards whenever they have the ball Griffith with some great runs shots from outside the box not troubling Lightfoot so far. Tavern to get the 2nd half underway the ball put to the right, Tolson closing Fusco down the ball pressed early the ball ending up behind for a goalkick Tavern break as the ball is played long up top for Hart-Copsey to chase, Roe in to tackle the ball wide for a throw in.

Abby Hutchin with Tavern’s Lucy Kean

  Griffith up on the right does well to win Tavern a corner the ball delivered from the right by Hart-Copsey won by Tink for Sprowston inside the box. Getting forwards Hutchin on the ball right plays it inside to Leyer top of the area hooks her first time strike wide of the near post. Kennett bringing the ball forwards left with the diagonal ball central for Leyer 25 yards out, pushed wide by Bailey nevertheless gets a cross away into the box with Tolson after it Gibbons rushing forwards their first to kick clear. 

Leyer lively in attack keeping the Tavern defence on their toes Nobbs putting the ball on into her run, Hooper defending concedes the corner. Players up for the corner ball angled towards the top of the area a shot driven in blocked by Costin comes back out meet by a Sprowston attack the ball sent over the bar. Leyer pressing the defence the ball outside the box running int Tolson central pokes a shot wide of the left post. 

Tavern’s Nicole Costin with Sprowston’s Abby Hutchin

  A free-kick to Tavern on the left into Griffith central has support from Kean getting forwards on her left sending her the pass Kean checks back inside getting a shot away from outside the box. Lightfoot behind it saving comfortably. Sprowston with a corner left taken short the cross put in from the top of the area Tink with the near post run, Hooper going with her blocking her shot. Bell brought down central a free-kick to Tavern, Costin to send it up into the area, Tink winning the header. Sprowston pushing for a 2nd goal Leyer in particular as she drives into the area from the left, checks her run to try and find a half yard to unleash a shot, Bailey putting her body on the line to block. 

  The referee playing the advantage as Kean coming on is fouled by Tink, the ball rebounding in behind Hart-Copsey after it left shooting from the edge of the box a deflection seeing the ball put wide for a corner kick. Sprowston winning the header at the near post the ball sent over the bar. Tavern working hard in defence to keep the scoreline down whilst Costin and Kean try to get on to support Griffith and Hart-Copsey in attack. Belton is down having taken a knock to the ankle cannot continue helped off the field on comes Jade Mundford. 

Tavern’s Katie Hart-Copsey with Sprowston’s Rebecca Basten

  Head on the right for Tavern getting forwards with support from Fusco wins a throw high up the pitch, Griffith then getting Tavern a corner kick. Hart-Copsey making a near post run meeting the ball to hook it towards goal, Lightfoot back on her line claiming the high ball. Hutchin picking up the ball deep allowed to drive on through the middle almost squeezes through in on goal, Bailey in to tackle sends the ball behind. Natalie Merry coming on for Tavern replacing Bell. The game entering the final 15 minutes still just the one goal in it. 

  Costin winning the ball on the right plays it central on for Griffith, Basten closing her down winning the tackle for Sprowston. Millie Drake back on for Sprowston replacing Roe. Costin bringing the ball on right Fusco past her on the overlap receiving the ball crosses into the box, Basten beating Hart-Copsey to the ball. Kean pushing forwards with the ball getting into the box, closed down plays the ball back to Griffith top of the box she strikes a shot up over the bar. 

Sprowston Ladies, Abbi Nobbs

  Leyer carrying the ball on right coming inside, Merry sliding in to tackle and win the ball for Tavern look to get the ball up field, Nobbs cutting it out. Fusco’s momentum coming forwards sees her collide with Kennett on halfway a free-kick for Sprowston left Nobbs putting the ball on Tolson breaking clear into the box left Gibbons coming out to close her down, the shot past her defenders racing back Hooper with the clearance. A corner on the left Tavern defend the ball played forwards a late change for Tavern with Gemma Higgott on for Lee little time to make an impact as Sprowston prevent Tavern getting out of their half to see the final whistle blow and celebrate winning this season’s League Cup. 

Full time Sprowston Ladies 1-0 Tavern Ladies

  An entertaining final played at a good tempo both sides committed, Tavern contesting the ball trying to find a reply in the 2nd period having gone a goal down in the first half. Sprowston limiting their opportunities, not able to find a 2nd goal themselves 2nd half half and make the result more comfortable. Sprowston having the better of the chances, Leyer in particular a threat in attack. Tavern with a creditable performance edged out by a single goal.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   A second Women’s Football East – Player of the Match to give this afternoon, several notable performances from both sides. Atlanta Griffith with some great runs with the ball a threat for Tavern, Nicole Costin with some fine tackles in midfield too. For Sprowston Calista Tink strong in defence keeping a close watch on Hart-Copsey especially first half a threat up the other end in the box too. Victoria Leyer pushing forwards in attack always willing to take players on. Abby Hutchin with several storming runs on the ball. The award however goes to Abbi Nobbs the unsung heroine of the side solid in the middle winning the ball and happy for others to take it on in attack, ready whenever possession breaks down.

Congratulations to Sprowston Ladies on winning this season’s Norfolk Ladies League Cup

Sprowston Ladies, 2018/19 Norfolk Ladies League Cup winners

 Another enjoyable day watching the Norfolk Ladies League Plate and Cup Finals, my thanks to everyone for there help this afternoon, the clubs and committee members much appreciated.

Match Report – Cup Final Special

Sunday 5th May

Norfolk Ladies League Plate Final

Sprowston Athletic Ladies v Beccles Town Ladies

 An early start to day this Sunday with a trip east along the A47 to Plantation Park for this season’s Norfolk Women’s & Girls Football League Finals Day. Three games in total, the action kicking off at 10am with the League Plate Final this season being contested by Sprowston Athletic Ladies and Beccles Town Ladies.

 The Ladies League Plate competition introduced in the 2015/16 season sees the sides knocked out of the early rounds in the League Cup go on to contest the Plate, both of today’s opponents running foul of Taverham Women United knocked out of the Cup, Taverham’s young guns making a blistering start to playing in women’s football for the first time winning the Division Two title losing just one game along the way.

  A third successive finals day appearance for Sprowston this Sunday in their various guises over recent season’s. Reaching the in Plate final the 2016/17 losing to King’s Lynn Town Ladies. As FC Sprowston Ladies last season reached the final of the League Cup itself whilst winning the Division Two title, were taking on Bungay Town Ladies both sides entering the game looking for a league and cup double, a single goal scored in the 2nd half seeing Bungay win the trophy. Entering Division One, the club joining forces with Sprowston Athletic FC. Didn’t get off to a good start playing in the higher league losing their opening 3 games but since then have picked up some notable results and rising up the table an encouraging finish as they secured a top half position in the league.

  Promoted with FC Sprowston Ladies last season were Beccles Town Ladies making their debut in women’s football, pushing their opponents all the way in the title race. Life in Division One has been tough however finishing bottom have struggled with an awful injury list and long spells without a game, despite all that, the club continues to have a positive outlook. Is well supported by Beccles Town FC. Reaching their first ever final the club making the trip down to Wembley Stadium yesterday to watch the FA Women’s Cup, where they saw local girl, Lauren Hemp score for Manchester City Women as they beat West Ham United Women 3-0. 

 Road to the Final

    A bye for Beccles in the 1st Round of the Plate competition. Sprowston were away to Division Two side Gorleston Rangers Ladies a 6-1 victory seeing them comfortably through to the quarter finals.

  Another away trip for Sprowston in the last 8 of the Plate competition once more taking on Division Two opposition, Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies leading 2-0 at half-time Sprowston went on to win the game 5-1 with Melissa Belsey scoring a hat-trick. Beccles Town Ladies were at home taking on Bulldogs Ladies bottom of Division Two with Beccles leading heavily the game was abandoned due to a serious injury to Bulldogs captain Emma Johnson the game to be played again, Beccles comfortable winning 9-0 to book their spot in the last 4.

   An all Division One line-up in the semi-finals, Sprowston at home taking on Wymondham Town Ladies Reserves, a brace form Katie Fray plus a goal for Olivia Leggett seeing them through the the final with a 3-1 win. Beccles were away playing Aylsham Ladies in the semi-finals a goal in each half from captain Megan Vincent seeing Beccles into their first final.

Plantation Park the home of Norwich United FC once again the venue for the NWGFL Finals Day, home to Norwich City Ladies too and they were down to play their final game of the season at home against Billericay Town Ladies, that game switched to Fakenham Town FC’s Clipbush Park. The pitch at Plantation Park offers plenty of with a surprisingly good condition at the end of the season, not had the weather on it however a mild and very dry winter good grass coverage if anything perhaps a little hard and in need of some moisture. Dark clouds overhead heavy downpours a possibility hopefully not anything like Norfolk had the day before. Chilly the sun trying to make an appearance. The bar open with hot food and drinks on sale.

Sprowston Athletic Ladies starting XI – Tyla Cole, Hannah Taylor (C), Sophie Rose, Keri Boorman, Olivia Leggett, Katie Fray, Nicole Read, Rebecca Kirby, Rachel Bussey, Kate Morris & Laura Jenkins. Subs – Megan Belsey, Melissa Belsey & Monica Cass.

 Beccles Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Emily Coe, Elisha Maher, Megan Vincent (C), Poppy Wilson, Vicky Ottey, Fran Heaney, Lucy Robbens, Bethan Owen, Darcie Keiley & Eva Evans. Subs – Chelsea Caplin, Marie Carter & Poppy Fenn.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   It’s Beccles to get the Plate final underway kicking off 1st half wearing white shirts with black shorts and socks. Sprowston wearing orange coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Beccles play the ball on right for Bethan Owen to chase support from Elisha Maher coming on from fullback, Rachel Bussey tackling for Sprowston the ball out for a throw in. A bright start from Beccles have Sprowston penned back in their half the ball worked across the top of the area Fran Heaney out to Darcie Keiley left she gets a throw taken quickly Heaney turning to put a cross into the box from 25 yards out safely gathered by Sprowston goalkeeper Tyla Cole. 

Rebecca Kirby winning the tackle for Sprowston.

  Sprowston get up the left a throw high up the pitch, on into the area Laura Jenkins near side heading it on to the far post Kate Morris closing in, Beccles captain Megan Vincent in to win the ball put it behind for the 1st corner of the game. The ball played in by Rebecca Kirby long across the six yard box a touch far post deflecting in goalwards Beccles goalkeeper Chloe Pearce down making a reactive save the ball pushed out of the area a shot driven back in a nick deflecting it wide a corner signalled. Pearce coming for it near post misses it over her is blocked and cleared by the defender on the post. 

Sprowston Athletic Ladies, Laura Jenkins

  Katie Fray getting on the ball in the middle bringing it on for Sprowston sees Morris making a run away into the right channel picks her out Morris travelling on into the area, Vincent getting back at her to make the challenge the ball away for a throw. Eva Evans in attack for Beccles running onto the ball right comes inside looking to get into the area is pulled down a free-kick awarded Lucy Robbens to play the ball into the area the delivery cleared headed back out to the right Robbens taking a touch lining up a shot the ball charged down. 

Katie Fray attacking for Sprowston Athletic Ladies

  Fray breaking up a Beccles counter attack as captain Hannah Taylor gets forwards on the right her cross intercepted. Owen dribbling with the ball right wing cuts inside and shoots for Beccles the effort tame easily gathered by Cole. Players up for Sprowston as they win a throw high up on the right the ball put on for Morris getting her foot wrapped around it on the byline sends a cross back into the box, Keri Boorman attacking it from 8 yards out under challenge lifts a shot in across goal the rising ball hitting the crossbar. 

  Vincent with another timely interception sticking a leg out to prevent Morris running clear from Fray’s through ball. Sprowston starting to see more of the ball getting players forwards Taylor high on the right winning a corner. The ball from Kirby in towards the near post defended the clearance straight to Sprowston’s Nicole Read positioned inside the D controls before playing it to Fray to her right the midfielder brought down right on the edge of the box a free-kick awarded. Sophie Rose on it gets her shot past the wall but not Pearce beyond the ball straight into her midriff. 

 Vicky Ottey through the middle driving on with the ball has Evans ahead of her the striker playing it out to Keiley left, Taylor sliding in conceding the throw taken quickly Robbens away down the left her cross into the area long. Heaney getting back to help the defence an throw for Sprowston right pt inside for Morris a poke goalwards from the top of the area runs wide of the post. Poppy Wilson defending well inside the box as Jenkins left looks to get onto the end of a diagonal ball from the left by Fray. 

Beccles Town Ladies, Lucy Robbens

 Midway through the 1st half Sprowston beginning to get on top have Beccles penned back, Fray with support from Read in the middle breaking up Beccles attacks before they can begin. Kirby looks to play the ball on for Morris right get forwards to receive the cross in top of the area, close on Vincent looks to shift the ball take it in past her the defender reading it putting in the well timed tackle. Heaney getting forwards for Beccles her diagonal pass right looking for Owens stopped by Rose, Sprowston break forwards Morris with Kirby right side, Emily Coe managing to get enough on the ball to regain possession for Beccles. 

  Beccles make the first change of the game Chelsea Caplin on in attack replacing Evans. Rose doing well up against Heaney. The ball on left for Keiley a throw won played into the area Kirby inside the box up for the header the ball back to the keeper safe. A double change for Sprowston, Megan and Melissa Belsey coming on in place of Read and Morris. Olivia Leggett wining the ball at the back into Fray 40 yards out goes for goal catching the ball well doesn’t have the height to trouble Pearce. 

  Vincent although busy at the back is winning everything inside the box. Bussey cutting in field from the left drives a ball in towards the near post cut out by Wilson deflected behind for corner. Beccles making a change before it’s taken Ottey coming off, Evans back on. The corner defended Beccles struggle to get out the ball won back Kirby pushing on central checks and lays it back to Fray 25 yards out she hits it first time the shot straight at Pearce a comfortable save. 

  The ball played up the right for Melissa Belsey to chase with Coe the ball squared central to Leggett in a higher position with Megan Belsey at the back she looks to play it back to Fray to strike goalwards, Heaney sliding in denies the opportunity for Beccles. An injury late in the first half to Rose after on the pitch treatment need to come off Monica Cass coming on. Little goalmouth action Sprowston ending the half well pressing high Kirby getting on up the right, Coe tackling.

Half-time Sprowston Athletic Ladies 0-0 Beccles Town Ladies

  Goalless at the break neither keeper overly tested, Sprowston growing into the game on top for large spells have had Beccles penned back however their defence although the busier has coped well Boorman’s strike onto the bar their best chance so far. Are creating opportunities in attack and look the more likely to find the opening gal as it stands. Beccles not getting the ball into their opponents box too often have yet to trouble Cole in goal. 0-0 though you get the feeling at this stage there might just be one goal in it.

  Sprowston to get the 2nd half underway the ball out to the left Beccles defend Morris back on for Kirby. Jenkins up the wing into the right corner holding the ball up gets a throw the ball dropped into Bussey her cross fired in long across the face of goal, Melissa Belsey in at the far post can’t quite reach it. Pressing right the ball bouncing along the top of the area met by Fray on the volley her shot goalwards once more picking out Pearce. Coe getting outnumbered as Sprowston overload the right wing closes in to make a fine tackle to get the ball up field. Leggett picking up an injury has to go off for some treatment.

Beccles Town Ladies, Emily Coe

  Play resuming with a free-kick the stalemate continuing neither side looking like they are going to change the game with a goal. Vincent with a strong tackle at the ball the ball cleared through the middle on for Caplin she has a half a yard on the defence racing after the ball, Cole out of her area getting there first to clear. Sprowston having looked the more likely to score, Beccles having kept them out for so long are beginning to find a bit more going forwards Heaney influential on the ball central. Morris away right on for Melissa Belsey she cuts infield 20 yards out preparing to shoot Coe back to win the ball for Beccles.

Melissa Besley looking to get in behind for Sprowston

   A miscue at the back sees Melissa Belsey in behind left racing towards the box Maher back on her to slide in play the ball away from a throw. Sprowston with players up into the box for a corner kick on the right the ball fired in low towards Fray positioned top of the area she meets it first time lifting a shot wide across goal. Robbens comes off for Beccles on comes Ottey. Morris right squaring a cross into Leggett central 25 yards out her shot blocked by Vincent. Leggett comes off for Sprowston with Read back into the action. 

Beccles Town Ladies, Chelsea Caplin

 Read on the ball left up for Melissa Belsey nicks it off the defence running n behind into the area cutting inside before winning a corner kick. The cross played in put behind by Vincent for a 2nd corner on the left. Put in central a glancing touch sees the ball spin wide of the far post. Pearce sliding in to claim well top right of her box as Melissa Belsey plays the ball on. Heaney with a powerful run on the right taking the ball on lifts a cross into Caplin top of the area looking to control with her head and cushion it down for a shot, is closely marked by Megan Belsey tries to get in back to Heaney closing in from the right, Sprowston getting bodies back to defend. 

Beccles Town Ladies, Fran Heaney

   Fray through the middle on for Morris, Vincent sliding on to tackle the ball out to the right gathered by Melissa Belsey the cross sent in towards the near post Wilson getting a boot on it to send behind for the corner. Fray off for Sprowston, Leggett back on Poppy Fenn on for Keiley for Beccles. Evans off too with Robbens back on. Kirby returning for Sprowston Bussey off. The changes doing nothing to improve the tempo the neither side threatening to score cancelling each other out as Beccles defend Belsey in attack for Sprowston making some good runs played in by Leggett through the middle, Pearce racing out of her area clears. 

Sprowston Athletic Ladies, Rachel Bussey

Morris off for Sprowston, Bussey back on, Beccles on the attack Heaney brought down, Robbens on it right side delivers into the box Cole claiming the ball. Bussey on the ball right attacking for Sprowston gets into the area pulls the trigger her near post effort stopped by Pearce. Jenkins winning a corner on the left the ball put in towards the top of the area Read with the header the ball dropping wide of the right post. Into the closing minutes cannot see either side scoring. Pearce with a brave stop top of her area is hurt as she and Melissa Belsey come together the striker attacking the ball played in from the right. Pearce is okay up on her feet able to continue. A late corner for Sprowston right into the box, Vincent as she has done all game defending for Beccles.

Full time Sprowston Athletic Ladies 0-0 Beccles Town Ladies

  The 90 minutes end goalless the Plate Final heading into extra-time neither side looked like getting what would have most likely been the winning goal, Beccles coming into the attack a bit more 2nd half another 30 minutes to see if the game can be won in open play or we head into the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Extra-time

  Assistant Paul Coe departing to referee the 7’s final a substitute made with the officials. Sprowston t get the 1st half of extra-time underway. Attacking left the ball played into the top of the area long finds Cass advanced on the far side her strike dropping wide back across goal. Leggett sends Melissa Belsey on through the middle shooting from outside the box lifts her attempt over the crossbar. 

Jenkins on the left cuts in field 25 yards out before shooting no power behind the strike safely gathered by Pearce. Robbens with the ball for Beccles on for Owen right inside to Ottey gives Owen the return ball shooting the ball deflected behind for a corner, cut out at the near post for a 2nd corner this one dropping central inside the six yard box Heaney on it back to goal tries to control and turn into a shot, Sprowston in to scramble it away. 

Bethan Owen on the ball for Beccles Town Ladies

  Sprowston come right from a throw the ball crossed into the near post a spot of head tennis sees the ball fall to Melissa Belsey 8 yards out stabs her shot wide. Keiley back on for Beccles. Sprowston getting forwards not finding the one clinical chance they need.

Half-time Sprowston Athletic Ladies 0-0 Beccles Town Ladies

  15 minutes left a goal now would surely win it but it’s hard to see who it will be, Beccles battling hard to keep Sprowston out have had few opportunities themselves. Beccles get things underway. Owen off Evans back on. The flag up against Evans as Robbens plays the ball forwards. Fray on the ball central for Sprowston bouncing into her won’t fall favourably as she looks to shoot 20 yards out Vincent an Wilson closing her down. Heaney getting forwards with support from Caplin goes right wins a corner can do little else well marked inside the box, the corner behind.

  Evans brought down on the right a free-kick for Beccles, Robbens with an inviting ball in for runners to attack, Read winning the race for Sprowston in front of everyone to head behind for the corner. A good delivery into the middle of the six yard box Ottey on it can;t get a shot away pushed back for Vincent to strike a low shot back in the ball cannoning off the base of the right post! 

  Morris tries to get away into the right channel the ball lifted on Vincent with Coe getting back to regain possession for Beccles. Sprowston make further changes late on attacking can’t get a shot in to trouble Pearce, the final whistle blows and after 2 hours of football it remains goalless the game to be decided by a penalty shootout.

Full time Sprowston Athletic Ladies 0-0 Beccles Town Ladies

Penalties

  I hate penalty shootouts (as I may have mentioned before) a game though has to be settled and so each team has five penalties each then if they remain tied it goes to sudden death.

  Beccles to take the first penalty Wilson on the ball goes for placement high but too close to the keeper, Cole saving. Kirby to take Sprowston’s first penalty scores a low strike hit with pace low into the bottom corner past the keeper diving to her left. Sprowston 1-0 Beccles.

  Ottey with Beccles 2nd penalty a composed strike driven low into the bottom corner to score. Bussey matching her strike to score Sprowston’s 2nd penalty. Sprowston 2-1 Beccles.

   Maher up to take Beccles 3rd penalty puts it into the air a comfortable save for Cole shifting left. Rose next for Sprowston her penalty flying over the bar. Sprowston 2-1 Beccles.

  Robbens up next for Beccles sends her penalty in past the keep low to the right to score. Jenkins up next for Sprowston her penalty converted. Sprowston 3-2 Beccles.

  Vincent up to take Beccles 5th penalty has to score and does to put the sides level at 3 each. Read with the opportunity to win it for Sprowston puts her head int her hands as she sees her high effort saved by Pearce the shootout heading to sudden death! Sprowston 3-3 Beccles.

  It’s goalkeeper Pearce to take Beccles next penalty her strike too close to her counterpart Cole with the save. Morris forwards from half way to take smashes her low strike into the bottom corner and turns away in celebration as her teammates race forwards having won the League Plate. Sprowston winning 4-3 on penalties.

 A cruel way to settle a match but the winning goal didn’t look likely to come from normal play Beccles battling hard at the back defending Sprowston coming on but not finding a clinical edge. The longer it went on at 0-0 the more likely it looked to stay that way, either side nicking it at the end would have been harsh, Beccles doing well to take Sprowston all the way to penalties. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Katie Fray performing well in central midfield for Sprowston setting up attacks and breaking up play. Melissa Belsey a threat in attack always looking to get in behind. Fran Heaney doing her best to get things going in attack for Beccles with some good runs getting hold of the ball. The award though goes to Beccles captain Megan Vincent a towering performance in defence putting in some vital and well timed challenges thwarting Sprowston on several occasions.

So at the 3rd attempt of asking on a finals day in Norfolk, Sprowston get their hands on the trophy, the League Plate took all the way by their opponents end the season with silverware.

Sprowston Athletic Ladies 2018/19 Norfolk Ladies League Plate winners

  Congratulations to Sprowston Athletic Ladies on winning the Norfolk Ladies League Plate. 

 A fine effort from Beccles Town Ladies whose season isn’t quite over as they enter the BT Sports Pub Cup, wishing them the best of luck and will keep a look out for thier progress.

  My thanks to both clubs for their help with the team line-ups a brief rest and some food before we go again with the League Cup Final.

 

The Round-Up – Suffolk 28/04/19

The Round-Up

Season End

Suffolk Women’s Division

A Round-Up on a Friday? What’s that all about? Well with it being a hectic start to the week the season in Suffolk finishing this Thursday evening I thought I’d wait and put it all into one final edition.

  Rewind the action to Wednesday 24th April, Needham Market Women having secured a 2nd placed finish in their debut season playing their last  league match of the campaign at home to Leiston St Margarets Ladies. A comfortable 4-0 lead for Needham market at half-time went on to score a further 3 goals 2nd half to end with a 7-0 victory. A fantastic first season for the club together achieving a runners-up finish pushing league winners East Bergholt United Ladies all the way, and 2 cup finals to look forwards too. Top scorer Francesca Rainbird scoring a hat-trick their were goals too for Isabel Chaplin, Nicola Henderson, Milly Carter an a first Needham market goal for Jemma Mortimer.

  Playing on Thursday evening Brantham Athletic Ladies were at home to Alresford Colne Rangers in their penultimate game of the season. A high scoring game between the sides had to settle for a share of the points scoring 3 goals each. Jodie Sharp, Sophie Crabtree & Shanice Leeks scoring for Brantham up to 3rd in the table, whilst Rae Clancy, Jo Harvey & Jasmine Warner scored the goals for 5th placed Alresford Colne Rangers in what would prove to be their final match of the season with Sunday’s opponents Coplestonians Ladies forfeiting the game.

  Onto Sunday, the final weekend of the season 3 matches played, with Woodbridge Town Ladies at home to Leiston St Margarets Ladies on Thursday. A 7-0 win for Needham Market in midweek as they prepared for Tuesday’s Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final their opponents and league champions for a 2nd successive year were ending their league season away to Leiston St Margarets. Annie Northwood, East Bergholt’s leading goal scorer this season on target for a brace in the game whilst their was a goal a piece for Stacey Teager, Cara Savage and Pippa King in a 5-1 win, East Bergholt impressive in the defence of their title losing just the one game. Looking to make it a 2nd successive league & cup double playing again on Tuesday against Needham Market in the League Cup Final.

  Brantham Athletic Ladies away to Walsham Le Willows Ladies in their final game of the season getting the points they needed to be assured of a 3rd placed finish winning the game 2-0 thanks to goals from Lucy Dunnett and Lucy Elmes.

  An impressive 2nd half to the season for newcomers Brettvale Ladies saw them end on a high with a crushing home win over bottom side University of Suffolk Women in their final game of the season. Tarnya McKew very much a part of their improved results the experienced striker scoring 8 goals in the match taking her to 27 goals from just 11 appearances. Brettvale winning the game 15-1 the rest of their goals spread out with Claire Turnbull, Danielle Lynch, Shaan Hayre, Georgia Lindon, Lucy Brown & Iris Gunnarsdottir all on the scoresheet along with Clara Gosling with her first goal for the club.

  A win for Brantham on Sunday meaning they could not be caught by 4th placed Woodbridge Town Ladies another new comer to the league this season having an improved 2nd half to the campaign picking up some great results to climb up the table, as high as 3rd at one point are the reason I’ve kept this Round-Up till the end of the week as they were playing their final game of the season last evening at home to Leiston St Margarets Ladies. Jenna Liverpool getting the goals for Woodbridge the clubs top scorer finding the back of the net for 2 more goals to end on 21 for the season with Kiera Hines also scoring in a 3-1 win to end the season, great form too with 9 wins from their last 10 league games. Leiston St Margarets Ladies finishing the season with 3 straight defeats nevertheless finish in 6th.

 Before Woodbridge & Leiston St Margarets brought the curtain down on the 2018/19 Suffolk Women’s Division season their was the League Cup to be decided Women’s Football East was their and below is the full report from the game. A larger league this campaign great to see the game growing within Suffolk the new sides all making an impact and will be interesting to see how they progress in the new season.

Tuesday 30th April

Suffolk Women’s League Cup

Needham Market Women v East Bergholt United Ladies

A 2nd final in 3 days with a trip down to Suffolk for their League Cup Final to be contested by league newcomers Needham Market Women and league champions and current holders of the cup East Bergholt United Ladies.

 The Suffolk Women’s Division seeing growth this season with a host of new sides joining the league 12 in total. Needham Market Women pushing East Bergholt all the way in the title race.

A great debut season for Needham Market Women coming together in the summer, the squad building several names familiar having been part of Bacton United Ladies and Coplestonians Ladies. Hit the ground running winning their opening 5 league games matching East Bergholt’s 100% winning start, their 1st league defeat of the season at home to East Bergholt losing narrowly 3-2 Needham market nevertheless bounced back well returning the compliment with a 3-0 win against East Bergholt at the start of March that though East Bergholt’s only defeat, Needham Market losing 3 in total clinching runner-up spot, more success too in the cup competitions reaching both the finals of the League and County Cup to be played on Tues 7th May at Portman Road against Ipswich Town Women. Plenty of goals within the squad over 120 scored Francesca Rainbird top scorer with 33 goals.

  East Bergholt United Ladies completing the double last season unbeaten that year on their way to the title. Their squad a blend of experience and youth players learning their game opted for another season season in Suffolk to further player development rather than move up to the regional league above. Just that one loss to Needham Market blotting their league record this season the other 21 games won. Have applied to the ERWFL for promotion along with Needham Market themselves. Annie Northwood, East Bergholt’s top scorer with 40 goals to her name this season. Both sides growing within the county which ultimately is great for the game with one side dominating for so long.

Road to the Final

 Big away wins for both sides in the opening round of the League Cup, Needham Market scoring 8 without reply against Brettvale Ladies. East Bergholt with over twice that total winning 19-0 against University of Suffolk Women.

Needham Market at home in the quarter finals of the competition taking on Leiston St Margarets Ladies a 5-1 win seeing them into the last 4. East Bergholt progressing without kicking a ball awarded the away win over drawn opponents Woodbridge Town Ladies.

 A strong line-up for the semi-finals of the League Cup contested by the top 4 sides in the league itself, Needham Market away to Alresford Colne Rangers, scoring twice Needham Market secured victory and a cup final appearance in their first season together. East Bergholt away to local rivals Brantham Athletic Ladies. Always a competitive game between the two sides East Bergholt came out on top to win the game 3-1 to reach a 2nd successive League Cup final.

  This evening’s final taking place at Hadleigh United FC. Traffic from Swaffham through Thetford and Bury St Edmund slow going arrived later than I like but nevertheless is a picturesque part of the county. The main carpark already full the gates to the overflow carpark open the field behind the stadium filling up rapidly. A good number already there, the bar open, hot food and drinks available, a small stand filling on the other side of the pitch. A warm evening dry and clear.

Needham Market Women starting – Amber Leeks, Niamh Thomas, Megan Stock (C), Amy Dunn, Maria Smith, Elysia Young, Nicola Henderson, Amber Sparkes, Milly Carter, Francesca Rainbird & Lois Balfour. Subs – Jemma Mortimer, Josie Haward, Amy Trenter, Emily Steward & Jemma Wessels

 East Bergholt United Ladies starting XI – Kimberley Lynch, Harriet Meers, Jess Quinsee, Deben Faiers (C), Georgia Lockerbie, Millie Wilding, Charlotte McGrath, Jess Clarke Cara Savage, Stacey Teager & Annie Northwood. Subs – Katie Bruce, Pippa King, Charlotte Warren, Ellie Nitsche & Isla Romer-Lee.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

A good crowd building prior to kick-off the overflow carpark filling up it’s Needham Market to get this season’s League Cup Final underway kicking off 1st half wearing an all red kit with East Bergholt wearing green coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Pressing the ball straight away East Bergholt make ground on the left flank winning a couple of throws the final ball played long into the seen out for a goal kick by Needham Market captain Megan Stock. East Bergholt with the ball inside Needham Market’s half early on the ball played back to centre back Georgia Lockerbie she plays it long into the area safely claimed by Needham Market goalkeeper, Amber Leeks.

   Needham Market come left Francesca Rainbird driving on with the ball has support inside from Milly Carter 25 yards out she in turn plays it on central to striker Lois Balfour gets a shot away the ball racing low wide past the right post. Charlotte McGrath getting on the ball in the middle for East Bergholt passes to Cara Savage ahead of her the ball played into striker Stacey Teager she turns in behind her touch a little heavy, a race for it with the Needham market defence, Leeks coming for it but with Teager on her shoulder Amy Dunn clears it for a throw out left.

  Rainbird and Carter looking to get on up the left support from full back Niamh Thomas, Harriet Meers slowing down progress for East Bergholt. Keeping possession Needham market win a free-kick out wide 25 yards out the ball whipped in towards the near post dipping, goalkeeper Kimberly Lynch meeting it on the volley to launch clear of her area. Handball spotted in the middle a free-kick given to East Bergholt the ball put forwards runners after it the ball claimed by Leeks. Rainbird a threat from the start for Needham market on the left picking the ball up and prepared to take players on getting up the line attempts to play the pass inside to Balfour outside the box, Deben Faiers captaining East Bergholt with the interception at the back. 

  Savage right playing the ball forwards Annie Northwood giving chase in behind, Leeks racing out of her area gets to the ball first. Millie Wilding central for East Bergholt out to Northwood making a run into the left channel into the box checks inside before sending a shot over. East Bergholt have the ball left a throw in leading to a cross, Stock winning it at the back for Needham Market. 

  GOAL! East Bergholt making a promising start are hit on the counter Needham Market breaking to open the scoring in the 12th minute. Faiers having played the ball up to Teager in attack Needham Market deal with the bouncing ball putting it on for Rainbird breaking on the left with Balfour coming inside Rainbird shoots from 25 yards out a low ball heading towards goal, Lynch leaving the ball thinking it’s going wide of the near post, to her dismay it creeps inside the post to see Needham Market take the lead 1-0.

Francesca Rainbird with the opening goal for Needham Market Women

East Bergholt with a free-kick wide left inside the Needham Market half Jess Clarke to play it on into the area, Leeks getting her gloves on the ball a split second before being clattered into, down Needham Market’s defence are back quickly to scramble it away. Nicola Henderson combining with Balfour as the pair enter the East Bergholt half the through ball forwards finding Rainbird running clear the flag up against her having gone too early, close mind. 

  Again East Bergholt have a free-kick wide left similar to the previous Clarke lifting the ball long to the far post defended headed out of the area straight to McGrath a touch to set herself then let’s fly with a shot from 20 yards out, safely held by Leeks. Rainbird is the outlet for Needham Market looking to get the ball out left whenever they have possession, a pacy dribbler of the ball her run taking her into the area forcing East Bergholt to concede the corner. Played in from the left central inside the six yard box Lynch up well to get a glove up to clear the danger. Needham Market giving away several free-kicks the East Bergholt bench complaining. 

  East Bergholt getting a corner on the right the deliver dropping near post met turned goalwards Leeks with a reactive save stopping the ball on the line with her legs deflecting it back out to the left put back in the keeper catching it this time. Needham Market make the first change of the game Carter the player coming off on comes Josie Haward. East Bergholt get bodies forwards left a cross delivered into the box, Stock meeting it to clear, Wilding looking to reclaim it outside the box pushed over a free-kick. 20 yards out left of the D Wilding on it goes for the shot over the bar. 

  The ball played on up the right by Amber Sparkes, Balfour and Faiers in a race for it, Lynch out well to the right corner of her area to slide in claim the ball. A corner won on the right East Bergholt bring players forwards the 1st ball in defended near post back with east Bergholt on the right flank the 2nd ball in attacked by Teager and Lockerbie near post the ball headed over the bar. East Bergholt with their first switch of the game Katie Bruce on fr Savage. Build up play on the left McGrath over to support Clarke, Jess Quinsee bombing forwards from full back, Needham Market preventing a cross.

  Needham Market with a free-kick on the left played into the box, McGrath back defending heading the ball out of the area drops straight to Rainbird positioned top of the D, her shot whistling over the crossbar. Half an hour played a 2nd change for East Bergholt Wilding the player off on comes Charlotte Warren. Faiers and Lockerbie winning the ball as Needham Market look to get Balfour away in behind, Rainbird and Sparkes getting on up the wings. Another free-kick awarded Faiers adjudged to have brought down Balfour 30 yards out looked a tangle of legs. Balfour on the set-piece a great ball in on target, Lynch with a terrific save the merest of touches to tip the ball onto the bar and away behind for the corner. Lynch up at her back post making a confident claim from the corner.

Kimberly Lynch making the save

  Northwood with a shot 25 yards out left sends it wide across the box. Elysia Young putting the ball on for Rainbird to chase into the box keeping it in play Lockerbie gets across to tackle. Young into an advanced position supporting Rainbird attacking left the pass squared to Young looks to play Balfour into the box, Faiers reading it cutting the ball out for East Bergholt. 

 GOAL! Less than five minutes of the 1st half left to play East Bergholt break away to score the equaliser, McGrath getting hold of the ball on halfway with a fantastic ball forwards, the Needham Market defence static as Northwood breaks in behind no flag runs on into the box one on one with the keeper Leeks staying big, Northwood putting the ball wide of her left to find the back of the net 1-1.

  Rainbird full of running making a nuisance of herself pressing the east Bergholt defence 25 yards out the ball popping loose to Young getting forwards she sees a shot drop wide of the mark. Ellie Nitsche entering the game late in the first half for East Bergholt as they press the attack late on. The ball played right sees Leeks beaten as she comes for it the ball cleared away by the back tracking defence, light fading fast the half-time whistle blows. All square at the break.

Half-time Needham Market Women 1-1 East Bergholt United Ladies

  An entertaining first half a vocal crowd spurring both sides on the best attendance I’ve seen for a Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final, 400 plus. East Bergholt with the early pressure, Needham Market though with the early goal however. Working hard in defence East Bergholt getting more players forwards when they attack, Rainbird a threat on the left wing looking to create something more often than not. East Bergholt drawing level late in the first half. set up perfectly for the 2nd period, the lights on now.

 Needham Market with a change at the start of the 2nd half Emily Steward on for Balfour in attack. East Bergholt to get the 2nd half underway. Straight on the attack the ball pushed on through the middle Nitsche looking to race away in behind the Needham Market centre backs close Maria Smith putting in the challenge the ball scrambled away. East Bergholt pressing high the ball won inside the final 3rd lifted into the area right side six yards out Stock grappling with Teager to win the ball comes straight to Nitsche outside the box a shot struck back in pace and power smashes against the crossbar!

GOAL! East Bergholt capitalising on their fast start to the 2nd half the ball played in through the middle sees Nitsche burst clear of the defence this time carrying it into the area she slot a shot past the keeper to put East Bergholt into the lead. 2-1.

A sluggish start to the 2nd half from Needham market not switched on, Sparkes looking to get an attack going on the right, Quinsee in to make the challenge a corner conceded. Lockerbie defending the ball put in to the near post area. Young with the ball at her feet 20 yards out sees a shot charged down. A corner won for Needham Market on the left the ball defended near post back with the taker up the line top of the area rolled inside to Henderson she has a go driving a shot wide.

Needham Market’s Nicola Henderson

East Bergholt get Teager away left side to attack the box, Leeks out to meet her sliding in the ball not claimed Teager spotting Nitsche free 25 yards out central drags a shot wide. East Bergholt keeping a closer watch on Rainbird the ball not getting to her as much as it did in the first half. Clarke with Bruce and McGrath closing the ball down well further up the pitch. Lynch confident as she rushes out to the right of her box to slide in a claim the ball with Sparkes attacking.

East Bergholt United Ladies, Charlotte McGrath

Nitsche lively in attack causing Needham Market a few problems away on the right sends a ball into Teager top of the area catching it first time deflects it towards goal, straight at Leeks. Changes for both sides Carter back on for Needham Market. Isla Romer-Lee on for East Bergholt.  Dunn defending an East Bergholt free-kick played into the box. A fluid attacking move from East Bergholt as they come very close to adding a 3rd goal. Starting with McGrath central on to Nitsche linking with Teager 25 yards out the ball out to Romer-Lee int space right lays the ball back into the middle for McGrath driving on into the box she shoots putting the ball across the keeper runs narrowly wide of the post.

Romer-Lee cutting inside from the right passing to Nitsche she tries to pick out Teager at the far post, Thomas defending for Needham Market. McGrath with another storming midfield run into the box, Dunn shielding the ball out for the goal kick. An injury blow for Needham Market as Stock going up to win an aerial challenge, lands awkwardly appearing to twist her knee, clearly in alot of pain the trainer on straight away play stopped as she requires lengthy treatment, wearing a knee brace is in alot of pain. Up gingerly cannot continue Jemma Mortimer heading on to take her place in the back line. 

  A double change for East Bergholt, Wilding returning to the field along with Pippa King on for Teager. Carter linking with Rainbird as they get forwards on the left the latter crossing to Steward out towards the far post she looks to cushion it down for Carter central, the defence intercepting and getting it away for East Bergholt. King with the ball attacking left high into the box for Nitsche 8 yards out connects with the ball not enough on it to beat Leeks in goal. East Bergholt with alot more of the attack 2nd half, Needham Market pushed back defending just the one goal in it still. 

  Savage back on for East Bergholt, Jemma Wessels on in place of Carter for Needham Market. The final entering the last 10 minutes. A free-kick won on the left as Rainbird is brought down outside the area, Wessels on it plays the ball long to the far post Lynch up well reaching up to make the claim caught lands heavily but okay. East Bergholt counter attack Romer-Lee clear on the right a Needham Market commit players forwards busting into the area she puts the ball low across the keeper her shot coming back off the base of the post.

  Amy Trenter on for Needham Market. East Bergholt strong late on winning the midfield battle McGrath breaking it on. Northwood back on for Nitsche as Needham Market are forced back late on, Smith tackling to regain possession inside her box. Rainbird getting away left into the corner playing a cross into the area Faiers back in her six yard box winning the header. The final whistle blows and East Bergholt celebrate winning the League Cup and completing the double for a 2nd successive season.

Full time Needham Market Women 2-1 East Bergholt United Ladies

   An entertaining final watched by a passionate and supportive crowd a good atmosphere and close result between the sides. All square after the 1st half, East Bergholt had much more of the attack in the 2nd period pressing the ball higher and preventing the ball getting into Needham Markets attacking players scoring early in the 2nd half a 3rd goal would have made thing’s more comfortable but it din’t come, Needham Market though unable to find a clinical goal scoring chance up the other end. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances of note, firstly for Needham Market, Francesca Rainbird was a constant threat especially in the first half. Megan Stock captain marshalling her defence well making some important tackles. For East Bergholt Ellie Nitsche was a danger in attack pacy with great movement and positional sense. The award though goes to East Bergholt’s Charlotte McGrath the midfield superb throughout the game winning the ball centrally, setting up attacks some fantastic runs forwards.

East Bergholt United Ladies, 2018/19 Suffolk Women’s League Cup winners (picture East Bergholt United Ladies)

  Congratulations to East Bergholt United Ladies on this evenings success and completing the double double.

  Arriving late at the ground I didn’t feel prepared but the help I got from both sides plus Mandy from the Suffolk Girls & Women’s Football league plus a cheeseburger put me at ease, a busy start to the week 2 finals in 3 days both thoroughly enjoyable however, tired now but next up it’s 4 finals in 4 days! As daunting as that sounds I’m really looking forwards to it. Thanks to all for their help this evening. 

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 28/04/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 28th April

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

 Hemel Hempstead Town Ladies are the Champions! Winning their final game of the season on Sunday away to Houghton Athletic Ladies to clinch the title playing their first season in Beds & Herts Women’s Division One edging out 2nd placed Northwood Ladies by just 3 points in the finish but with games in hand on the sides above them all season always knew what they had to do to get the job done. Charlene Turturici-Clarke netting a brace to take her into double figures for the season their were also goals for Lizzie Richardson and Bianca Hedgecock with top scorer Natasha McConville scoring her 22nd goal of the campaign and Eloise baker her first goal. Hemel Hempstead winning the game 6-2. Emily Wilson and Holly Thomson scoring for Houghton.

 Congratulations to Hempstead Town Ladies on winning the Division One title. One game left to play the League Cup Final where they take on current holders St Albans Ladies on Sunday 12th May.

Two more games played in Division One on the penultimate weekend of league matches in the Beds & Herts leagues. St Albans Ladies finishing 3rd ending their league campaign with a win, last season’s champions away to Garston Ladies 1st team on Sunday goals from Michaela Johnson, Ellen Slater and Molly Slade securing a 3-0 win.

Their strong finish to the season continues for Garston Ladies 2nd XI as they win a 5th league match in April to secure a 6th placed finish in Division One with a game to play. Were away to Sharnbrook WFC this weekend having beaten them 6-0 at home two weekends ago. Competed a double over their opponents scoring 6 once again with Megan Allaway and Ruby Jager both scoring twice along with a goal each for Charley Kelsey and Chloe Hazell. No clean sheet this time though with Sharnbrook scoring through Millie Scott to see the game finish 6-1.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

Hitchin Town Ladies were playing a must win game away to Letchworth Garden City Eagles on Sunday with the winner assured a runners up finish in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two. Hitchin Town with an early goal leading 1-0 within the opening 5 minutes captain Emma Chaffey striking the crossbar the rebound dropping to Many Cain-Murnane to put into the back of the net. Chaffey making it 2-0 midway through the first half her free-kick in off the keeper. The win secured in the final 15 minutes of the game with Chaffey scoring Hitchin Town’s 3rd goal to secure 2nd spot. Letchworth playing their last game of the season finishing in 3rd.

Royston Town Ladies Development completing their Division Two campaign this Sunday a 4th place finish secured travelled to play Evergreen Eagles. Finished on a high with a comfortable victory. Eve Chappell scoring twice her first goals for the side in only her 3rd appearance. 8-0 the winning score with 5 other players on target for a goal each, Kierra Gabriel with her 11th of the season. Olivia Sole, Jazmin Racher and first goals too for Ami Ellis and Lydia Webb.

Bedford Ladies Development and Wheathamstead Wanderers Ladies both winning at home at the weekend by a single goal, 1-0 wins against Welwyn Pegasus Azure and Watton Ladies respectfully.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

In Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three the title race is going all the way to the final day. AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Ladies beating leaders AFC Dunstable for the 2nd successive weekend to see them slip to 2nd and move to within a point of them in 3rd and 3 behind new leaders Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses. Goalless at half-time Kempston took the lead in the 53rd minute. Nicola Hollick equalising for Dunstable with 12 minutes left to play, Kempston coming back to retake the lead in the 83rd minute to win the game 2-1, Rachael Mumford and Kayleigh Humphries with their goals.

  Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses enter the final round of league matches top of the pile two points clear of Dunstable and 3 ahead of Kempston. Were away to Kempston Rovers Ladies on Sunday. Giselle Randall top scorer for the club scoring five goals to move to 37 goals for the season from 19 played. Laura Sephton also on target for a brace with Nikita Blackburn and Zoe Griffiths also getting a goal each in a 9-2 win. Meghan Dimmock and Sabrina Stramaglia scoring the goals for Kempston Rovers.

  Playing their final match of the season Stotfold Juniors Ladies end on a positive note finishing 6th in their debut season in women’s football with a 2-1 home win over 5th placed Biggleswade United Ladies.

  Three sides all with a chance of finishing top on the final day a huge game between 3rd and top with AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College Ladies hosting Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses, the 3rd placed side with a better goal difference need the win a point for Woburn & Wavendon enough to finish top. AFC Dunstable Ladies away to Biggleswade United Ladies will be hoping Kempston do them a favour so long as they can secure a win themselves on the final day.

Match Report – Cup Final Special

Tuesday 30th April

Suffolk Women’s League Cup

Needham Market Women v East Bergholt United Ladies

A 2nd final in 3 days with a trip down to Suffolk for their League Cup Final to be contested by league newcomers Needham Market Women and league champions and current holders of the cup East Bergholt United Ladies.

 The Suffolk Women’s Division seeing growth this season with a host of new sides joining the league 12 in total. Needham Market Women pushing East Bergholt all the way in the title race.

A great debut season for Needham Market Women coming together in the summer, the squad building several names familiar having been part of Bacton United Ladies and Coplestonians Ladies. Hit the ground running winning their opening 5 league games matching East Bergholt’s 100% winning start, their 1st league defeat of the season at home to East Bergholt losing narrowly 3-2 Needham market nevertheless bounced back well returning the compliment with a 3-0 win against East Bergholt at the start of March that though East Bergholt’s only defeat, Needham Market losing 3 in total clinching runner-up spot, more success too in the cup competitions reaching both the finals of the League and County Cup to be played on Tues 7th May at Portman Road against Ipswich Town Women. Plenty of goals within the squad over 120 scored Francesca Rainbird top scorer with 33 goals.

  East Bergholt United Ladies completing the double last season unbeaten that year on their way to the title. Their squad a blend of experience and youth players learning their game opted for another season season in Suffolk to further player development rather than move up to the regional league above. Just that one loss to Needham Market blotting their league record this season the other 21 games won. Have applied to the ERWFL for promotion along with Needham Market themselves. Annie Northwood, East Bergholt’s top scorer with 40 goals to her name this season. Both sides growing within the county which ultimately is great for the game with one side dominating for so long.

Road to the Final

 Big away wins for both sides in the opening round of the League Cup, Needham Market scoring 8 without reply against Brettvale Ladies. East Bergholt with over twice that total winning 19-0 against University of Suffolk Women.

Needham Market at home in the quarter finals of the competition taking on Leiston St Margarets Ladies a 5-1 win seeing them into the last 4. East Bergholt progressing without kicking a ball awarded the away win over drawn opponents Woodbridge Town Ladies.

 A strong line-up for the semi-finals of the League Cup contested by the top 4 sides in the league itself, Needham Market away to Alresford Colne Rangers, scoring twice Needham Market secured victory and a cup final appearance in their first season together. East Bergholt away to local rivals Brantham Athletic Ladies. Always a competitive game between the two sides East Bergholt came out on top to win the game 3-1 to reach a 2nd successive League Cup final.

  This evening’s final taking place at Hadleigh United FC. Traffic from Swaffham through Thetford and Bury St Edmund slow going arrived later than I like but nevertheless is a picturesque part of the county. The main carpark already full the gates to the overflow carpark open the field behind the stadium filling up rapidly. A good number already there, the bar open, hot food and drinks available, a small stand filling on the other side of the pitch. A warm evening dry and clear.

Needham Market Women starting – Amber Leeks, Niamh Thomas, Megan Stock (C), Amy Dunn, Maria Smith, Elysia Young, Nicola Henderson, Amber Sparkes, Milly Carter, Francesca Rainbird & Lois Balfour. Subs – Jemma Mortimer, Josie Haward, Amy Trenter, Emily Steward & Jemma Wessels

 East Bergholt United Ladies starting XI – Kimberley Lynch, Harriet Meers, Jess Quinsee, Deben Faiers (C), Georgia Lockerbie, Millie Wilding, Charlotte McGrath, Jess Clarke Cara Savage, Stacey Teager & Annie Northwood. Subs – Katie Bruce, Pippa King, Charlotte Warren, Ellie Nitsche & Isla Romer-Lee.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

A good crowd building prior to kick-off the overflow carpark filling up it’s Needham Market to get this season’s League Cup Final underway kicking off 1st half wearing an all red kit with East Bergholt wearing green coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Pressing the ball straight away East Bergholt make ground on the left flank winning a couple of throws the final ball played long into the seen out for a goal kick by Needham Market captain Megan Stock. East Bergholt with the ball inside Needham Market’s half early on the ball played back to centre back Georgia Lockerbie she plays it long into the area safely claimed by Needham Market goalkeeper, Amber Leeks.

   Needham Market come left Francesca Rainbird driving on with the ball has support inside from Milly Carter 25 yards out she in turn plays it on central to striker Lois Balfour gets a shot away the ball racing low wide past the right post. Charlotte McGrath getting on the ball in the middle for East Bergholt passes to Cara Savage ahead of her the ball played into striker Stacey Teager she turns in behind her touch a little heavy, a race for it with the Needham market defence, Leeks coming for it but with Teager on her shoulder Amy Dunn clears it for a throw out left.

  Rainbird and Carter looking to get on up the left support from full back Niamh Thomas, Harriet Meers slowing down progress for East Bergholt. Keeping possession Needham market win a free-kick out wide 25 yards out the ball whipped in towards the near post dipping, goalkeeper Kimberly Lynch meeting it on the volley to launch clear of her area. Handball spotted in the middle a free-kick given to East Bergholt the ball put forwards runners after it the ball claimed by Leeks. Rainbird a threat from the start for Needham market on the left picking the ball up and prepared to take players on getting up the line attempts to play the pass inside to Balfour outside the box, Deben Faiers captaining East Bergholt with the interception at the back. 

  Savage right playing the ball forwards Annie Northwood giving chase in behind, Leeks racing out of her area gets to the ball first. Millie Wilding central for East Bergholt out to Northwood making a run into the left channel into the box checks inside before sending a shot over. East Bergholt have the ball left a throw in leading to a cross, Stock winning it at the back for Needham Market. 

  GOAL! East Bergholt making a promising start are hit on the counter Needham Market breaking to open the scoring in the 12th minute. Faiers having played the ball up to Teager in attack Needham Market deal with the bouncing ball putting it on for Rainbird breaking on the left with Balfour coming inside Rainbird shoots from 25 yards out a low ball heading towards goal, Lynch leaving the ball thinking it’s going wide of the near post, to her dismay it creeps inside the post to see Needham Market take the lead 1-0.

Francesca Rainbird with the opening goal for Needham Market Women

East Bergholt with a free-kick wide left inside the Needham Market half Jess Clarke to play it on into the area, Leeks getting her gloves on the ball a split second before being clattered into, down Needham Market’s defence are back quickly to scramble it away. Nicola Henderson combining with Balfour as the pair enter the East Bergholt half the through ball forwards finding Rainbird running clear the flag up against her having gone too early, close mind. 

  Again East Bergholt have a free-kick wide left similar to the previous Clarke lifting the ball long to the far post defended headed out of the area straight to McGrath a touch to set herself then let’s fly with a shot from 20 yards out, safely held by Leeks. Rainbird is the outlet for Needham Market looking to get the ball out left whenever they have possession, a pacy dribbler of the ball her run taking her into the area forcing East Bergholt to concede the corner. Played in from the left central inside the six yard box Lynch up well to get a glove up to clear the danger. Needham Market giving away several free-kicks the East Bergholt bench complaining. 

  East Bergholt getting a corner on the right the deliver dropping near post met turned goalwards Leeks with a reactive save stopping the ball on the line with her legs deflecting it back out to the left put back in the keeper catching it this time. Needham Market make the first change of the game Carter the player coming off on comes Josie Haward. East Bergholt get bodies forwards left a cross delivered into the box, Stock meeting it to clear, Wilding looking to reclaim it outside the box pushed over a free-kick. 20 yards out left of the D Wilding on it goes for the shot over the bar. 

  The ball played on up the right by Amber Sparkes, Balfour and Faiers in a race for it, Lynch out well to the right corner of her area to slide in claim the ball. A corner won on the right East Bergholt bring players forwards the 1st ball in defended near post back with east Bergholt on the right flank the 2nd ball in attacked by Teager and Lockerbie near post the ball headed over the bar. East Bergholt with their first switch of the game Katie Bruce on fr Savage. Build up play on the left McGrath over to support Clarke, Jess Quinsee bombing forwards from full back, Needham Market preventing a cross.

  Needham Market with a free-kick on the left played into the box, McGrath back defending heading the ball out of the area drops straight to Rainbird positioned top of the D, her shot whistling over the crossbar. Half an hour played a 2nd change for East Bergholt Wilding the player off on comes Charlotte Warren. Faiers and Lockerbie winning the ball as Needham Market look to get Balfour away in behind, Rainbird and Sparkes getting on up the wings. Another free-kick awarded Faiers adjudged to have brought down Balfour 30 yards out looked a tangle of legs. Balfour on the set-piece a great ball in on target, Lynch with a terrific save the merest of touches to tip the ball onto the bar and away behind for the corner. Lynch up at her back post making a confident claim from the corner.

Kimberly Lynch making the save

  Northwood with a shot 25 yards out left sends it wide across the box. Elysia Young putting the ball on for Rainbird to chase into the box keeping it in play Lockerbie gets across to tackle. Young into an advanced position supporting Rainbird attacking left the pass squared to Young looks to play Balfour into the box, Faiers reading it cutting the ball out for East Bergholt. 

 GOAL! Less than five minutes of the 1st half left to play East Bergholt break away to score the equaliser, McGrath getting hold of the ball on halfway with a fantastic ball forwards, the Needham Market defence static as Northwood breaks in behind no flag runs on into the box one on one with the keeper Leeks staying big, Northwood putting the ball wide of her left to find the back of the net 1-1.

  Rainbird full of running making a nuisance of herself pressing the east Bergholt defence 25 yards out the ball popping loose to Young getting forwards she sees a shot drop wide of the mark. Ellie Nitsche entering the game late in the first half for East Bergholt as they press the attack late on. The ball played right sees Leeks beaten as she comes for it the ball cleared away by the back tracking defence, light fading fast the half-time whistle blows. All square at the break.

Half-time Needham Market Women 1-1 East Bergholt United Ladies

  An entertaining first half a vocal crowd spurring both sides on the best attendance I’ve seen for a Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final, 400 plus. East Bergholt with the early pressure, Needham Market though with the early goal however. Working hard in defence East Bergholt getting more players forwards when they attack, Rainbird a threat on the left wing looking to create something more often than not. East Bergholt drawing level late in the first half. set up perfectly for the 2nd period, the lights on now.

 Needham Market with a change at the start of the 2nd half Emily Steward on for Balfour in attack. East Bergholt to get the 2nd half underway. Straight on the attack the ball pushed on through the middle Nitsche looking to race away in behind the Needham Market centre backs close Maria Smith putting in the challenge the ball scrambled away. East Bergholt pressing high the ball won inside the final 3rd lifted into the area right side six yards out Stock grappling with Teager to win the ball comes straight to Nitsche outside the box a shot struck back in pace and power smashes against the crossbar!

GOAL! East Bergholt capitalising on their fast start to the 2nd half the ball played in through the middle sees Nitsche burst clear of the defence this time carrying it into the area she slot a shot past the keeper to put East Bergholt into the lead. 2-1.

A sluggish start to the 2nd half from Needham market not switched on, Sparkes looking to get an attack going on the right, Quinsee in to make the challenge a corner conceded. Lockerbie defending the ball put in to the near post area. Young with the ball at her feet 20 yards out sees a shot charged down. A corner won for Needham Market on the left the ball defended near post back with the taker up the line top of the area rolled inside to Henderson she has a go driving a shot wide.

Needham Market’s Nicola Henderson

East Bergholt get Teager away left side to attack the box, Leeks out to meet her sliding in the ball not claimed Teager spotting Nitsche free 25 yards out central drags a shot wide. East Bergholt keeping a closer watch on Rainbird the ball not getting to her as much as it did in the first half. Clarke with Bruce and McGrath closing the ball down well further up the pitch. Lynch confident as she rushes out to the right of her box to slide in a claim the ball with Sparkes attacking.

East Bergholt United Ladies, Charlotte McGrath

Nitsche lively in attack causing Needham Market a few problems away on the right sends a ball into Teager top of the area catching it first time deflects it towards goal, straight at Leeks. Changes for both sides Carter back on for Needham Market. Isla Romer-Lee on for East Bergholt.  Dunn defending an East Bergholt free-kick played into the box. A fluid attacking move from East Bergholt as they come very close to adding a 3rd goal. Starting with McGrath central on to Nitsche linking with Teager 25 yards out the ball out to Romer-Lee int space right lays the ball back into the middle for McGrath driving on into the box she shoots putting the ball across the keeper runs narrowly wide of the post.

Romer-Lee cutting inside from the right passing to Nitsche she tries to pick out Teager at the far post, Thomas defending for Needham Market. McGrath with another storming midfield run into the box, Dunn shielding the ball out for the goal kick. An injury blow for Needham Market as Stock going up to win an aerial challenge, lands awkwardly appearing to twist her knee, clearly in alot of pain the trainer on straight away play stopped as she requires lengthy treatment, wearing a knee brace is in alot of pain. Up gingerly cannot continue Jemma Mortimer heading on to take her place in the back line. 

  A double change for East Bergholt, Wilding returning to the field along with Pippa King on for Teager. Carter linking with Rainbird as they get forwards on the left the latter crossing to Steward out towards the far post she looks to cushion it down for Carter central, the defence intercepting and getting it away for East Bergholt. King with the ball attacking left high into the box for Nitsche 8 yards out connects with the ball not enough on it to beat Leeks in goal. East Bergholt with alot more of the attack 2nd half, Needham Market pushed back defending just the one goal in it still. 

  Savage back on for East Bergholt, Jemma Wessels on in place of Carter for Needham Market. The final entering the last 10 minutes. A free-kick won on the left as Rainbird is brought down outside the area, Wessels on it plays the ball long to the far post Lynch up well reaching up to make the claim caught lands heavily but okay. East Bergholt counter attack Romer-Lee clear on the right a Needham Market commit players forwards busting into the area she puts the ball low across the keeper her shot coming back off the base of the post.

  Amy Trenter on for Needham Market. East Bergholt strong late on winning the midfield battle McGrath breaking it on. Northwood back on for Nitsche as Needham Market are forced back late on, Smith tackling to regain possession inside her box. Rainbird getting away left into the corner playing a cross into the area Faiers back in her six yard box winning the header. The final whistle blows and East Bergholt celebrate winning the League Cup and completing the double for a 2nd successive season.

Full time Needham Market Women 2-1 East Bergholt United Ladies

   An entertaining final watched by a passionate and supportive crowd a good atmosphere and close result between the sides. All square after the 1st half, East Bergholt had much more of the attack in the 2nd period pressing the ball higher and preventing the ball getting into Needham Markets attacking players scoring early in the 2nd half a 3rd goal would have made thing’s more comfortable but it din’t come, Needham Market though unable to find a clinical goal scoring chance up the other end. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances of note, firstly for Needham Market, Francesca Rainbird was a constant threat especially in the first half. Megan Stock captain marshalling her defence well making some important tackles. For East Bergholt Ellie Nitsche was a danger in attack pacy with great movement and positional sense. The award though goes to East Bergholt’s Charlotte McGrath the midfield superb throughout the game winning the ball centrally, setting up attacks some fantastic runs forwards.

East Bergholt United Ladies, 2018/19 Suffolk Women’s League Cup winners (picture East Bergholt United Ladies)

  Congratulations to East Bergholt United Ladies on this evenings success and completing the double double.

  Arriving late at the ground I didn’t feel prepared but the help I got from both sides plus Mandy from the Suffolk Girls & Women’s Football league plus a cheeseburger put me at ease, a busy start to the week 2 finals in 3 days both thoroughly enjoyable however, tired now but next up it’s 4 finals in 4 days! As daunting as that sounds I’m really looking forwards to it. Thanks to all for their help this evening. 

The Round-Up – Cambridgeshire 28/04/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 28th April

Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership

 Cambridge City Ladies Development are the Champions! Another county league title settled this season as they got the result on Sunday at home against Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds to win the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership title. Just a point needed in fact from their remaining 3 games, goals for Ellie Cullum, Rachel Littlewood, Bronte Rapley and a 31st goal of the campaign for Megan Tonks seeing Cambridge City win the game 4-0. A league and cup double secured now the aim the treble with the league cup final to come in a weeks time.

 Congratulations to Cambridge City Ladies Development upon their title success.

   March Town United Ladies close the gap to 4th placed Fulbourn back to a point with a game in hand winning at home on Sunday in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership up against Histon Ladies Reserves. A goal each from Naomi McGarvie and Eleanor Mcleish her first goal for March seeing them to a 2-0 win.

  March’s opponents in their final two games will be 3rd placed Cambridge University Women, 3 games left to play themselves can chase down 2nd spot with ICA Sports Ladies having finished their fixtures now just 5 points ahead. Cambridge University winning away from home against bottom side Riverside Ladies on Sunday. A 2-0 lead for the visitors at the break, didn’t have it all their own way 2nd half with Annie Posnett scoring twice for Riverside. Cambridge University matching that however to clinch a 4-2 win. Amanda Wainwright netting a brace along with goals for Lu Liu and Mariana Barona scoring her first goal for Cambridge University.

Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship North

The title race in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship North is still very much on and looks certain to go all the way to the final day with the top two meeting and 2nd placed Wisbech Town Ladies inflicting a first league defeat of the season upon leaders Ketton Ladies to close the gap back to 3 points with a game in hand. 12 straight wins for Ketton before this Sunday including a first league defeat over the season over Wisbech Town when the sides previously met in the league. 3 meetings between the sides in the league two to come both at Ketton including the last game of the season Wisbech travelled knowing nothing short of a win would do if they wanted to keep their ambitions of completing a double alive. Top scorer Sophie Swinden with her 41st goal of the season scoring for the visitors, Fran Kavanagh, top scorer for Ketton hitting her 46th goal of the season the score level at 1-1, Wisbech clinching the win with a late winner scored by Chelsea King. Their game in hand this Thursday against Hungate Rovers Ladies win it and they goal level on points with Ketton with both having 2 games left to play.

A dramatic game elsewhere in the Championship North with Pinchbeck coming back late on in their game away to 3rd placed Cardea Ladies to clinch the 3 points and move off the bottom of the table in the process. A 7 goal thriller, Pinchbeck drawing first blood an early lead scoring in the 6th minute. Cardea getting back on level terms with half an hour played Jessica O’Sullivan  with the goal. Laura Rudd then firing Cardea into the lead in the 38th minute to see the hosts leading 2-1 at the break. Rudd scoring her 18th goal of the season seeing Cardea into a 3-1 lead early in the 2nd period. Pinchbeck coming back into the game well to pull it back to 3-2 before a dramatic finish, just 3 minutes left when they scored to pin Cardea back to 3-3 the visitors going on to score the winning goal in the final minute of the match to take it 4-3. Courtney Walker and Rebecca Navarette both celebrating a brace each.

Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South

In the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South, 2nd placed St Ives Town Ladies Development kept their title ambitions alive winning away to Burwell Tigers Ladies this Sunday. Taking home the 3 points with a 5-1 victory close the gap to leaders Haverhill Rovers Ladies to 6 points with 2 games in hand. A huge game this coming Sunday as St Ives travel to Haverhill Rovers.

  A 2-0 away win over Burwell Tigers Ladies in midweek Isleham United Ladies were at home this Sunday playing their final league game of the season against Park Ladies. A brace from Lily Turner seeing Isleham drawing 2-2 with Park at half-time. Park with a much better 2nd half securing the win scoring a further 3 goals to see them consolidate 4th spot with a 4th win in 5 league games towards the end of the season a double header with St Ives Town Ladies Development to come. Sherrie Martin scoring a hat-trick for Park to put her on 17 goals for the season. Georgia Stimson with her first goal for Park and a penalty scored by Jemma Brown the other scorers.