Tag Archives: AFC Sudbury Women

Cup Final Special – AFC Sudbury Women v Needham Market Women

Friday 6th May

Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final

Back down the A12 for my 2nd Suffolk cup final of the week. Following Tuesday’s SGWFL League Cup Final season climax won by Holland Ladies it’s the turn of the County Cup. The showpiece event in the women’s football calendar being played at The JobServe Community Stadium home of League Two side Colchester United FC between AFC Sudbury Women & Needham Market Women.

This evening’s prize

The competition dominated by Ipswich Town Women since the Suffolk and Norfolk County Cups became separate competitions in 2010. Have featured in 9 of the last 10 finals victorious in all including a 7 game streak before withdrawing from the competition as their excellent growth saw the club reach the 3rd tier of the women’s game. Several sides aiming to be as successful in Suffolk as the game continues to grow at pace and this evenings finalists chief amongst them. Both emerging as a leading force in the game, Needham Market Women winning the ERWFL Division One title to win promotion to the Premier Division the 5th tier of the women’s football pyramid. AFC Sudbury Women aiming to join them as they make a late charge to claim the Division One South title.

 Sudbury the only other side bar Ipswich to have won the Suffolk Women’s County Cup since it’s inception in 2010. AFC Sudbury Ladies as they were back then beating Brandon Town Ladies 5-0. Is a very different Sudbury side now, AFC Sudbury Women now fully integrated with the men’s club and academy with a Reserves side backing up the 1st team playing in the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division. Goal scorers throughout the side Jess Allen is leading the way with 17. ERWFL Division One South proving a strong league this season with new sides joining was a 5 way battle for the title for a long period Sudbury with games in hand remaining the dark horse now with their rivals having completed their fixtures in 4th Sudbury are 8 points behind leaders Cheshunt FC who have finished on 35 points. Sudbury with 3 games left will be Champions if results go their way. Are also in the final of the ERWFL Plate.

  Needham Market Women burst onto the scene reaching the County Cup Final in their debut season just 4 season’s ago. Like Sudbury are fully integrated with their men’s club and academy set-up. Establishing a Reserves side to back up the 1st team that has gone from strength to strength joining the ERWFL have gone on to win Division One North with ease this season winning 10 of their 12 league matches scoring gaols by the bucket load, Lina Nagib with 26 to her name from 20 appearances. Have recruited a few ex-Ipswich players adding valuable experience to the squad with both Molly Hall and Ellie Rossiter having prolific seasons with 19 and 16 goals respectfully. Lois Balfour too celebrating her fair share of goals on 16 too. Made their 2nd County Cup Final appearance last season again losing out to Ipswich. Now making back to back finals like Sudbury will be fancying their chances.

Road to the Final

The early rounds of any county cup competition can see some eye watering results as teams across all tiers are drawn together. In Sudbury’s case it was a walk over for both the 1st and 2nd Rounds seeing them into the quarter finals. Needham Market were at home to Mildenhall Town Women in the 1st Round back in September, Racked up the goals against the Cambs Division Two side winning 20-0. A similar score line in the Round as they were away to Halesworth Town Women bottom of the Suffolk Women’s Championship 22-0 this time around.

  Both sides were strong in the quarter finals as they came up against sides in the Suffolk Premier Division. Sudbury away to Brantham Athletic Ladies winning the game 10-1 to progress to the last 4, Georgia Sleep netting 4 goals. While Needham Market were 9-0 winners at home to Woodbridge Town Ladies with Molly Hall also on target for 4 goal. Into the semi-finals played at neutral venues Sudbury taking on a rejuvenated Haverhill Rovers Ladies. Luiza Silva on target to score a hat-trick seeing them into the final courtesy of a 3-1 win. Meanwhile Needham Market were taking on Sudbury’s reserve side in the other semi-final, Lina Nagib with a brace and Jodie Sharp with a hat-trick seeing the club into their 3rd final in 4 seasons winning 5-0.

 The JobServe Community Stadium, home of League Two side Colchester United FC the venue for this evenings final. Great to see more County Cup finals taking place at venues such as this, Portman Road also hosting the women’s finals previously. Has hosted a women’s county cup final before aswell as a Lionesses match. Situated just off the A12 with alot of parking the main stand open to fans with sections for both the Sudbury and Needham Market support the large grass pitch looking great. Suffolk FA putting on a fantastic event to showcase the game one of 6 finals being played here. The weather again warm and dry little chance of a shower.

 

AFC Sudbury Women

AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Millie Carter, Boni Shepherd (C), Ronni Harrison, Amber Provan, Teigan McHale, Kate Edwards, Phoebe Guiver, Isabella Crawford, Alex Penny, Evie Creaton & Jess Allen. Subs – Faith Candice, Sophie Jeffrey, Tye Smith, Kaylee Dodd, Luiza Silva.

Needham Market Women

Needham Market Women starting XI – Dani Clarke, Nicole Pannifer, Niamh Thomas, Laura Bloomfield, Ele Catchpole, Nicola Henderson (C), Abbie Fisher, Mia Etheridge, Ellie Rossiter, Lina Nagib & Lois Balfour. Subs – Eloise Ward, Paige Wakefield, Jo Brawn, Jodie Sharp & Molly Hall.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  The crowd in good voice before the match both sides with great support, it’s Needham Market to get this season’s County Cup final underway kicking off 1st half wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts, Sudbury lined up opposite in an all yellow kit. The ball played out to the right side with Ellie Rossiter looking to get forwards for Needham Market, Boni Shepherd defending, Sudbury’s captain seeing the ball out for a throw in. The ball contested over on the far side of the pitch as both sides jostle for possession in the early exchanges.

  Ex-Sudbury player, Mia Etheridge tackling to win the ball on the right sending it forwards for Lois Balfour to attack edge of the box, Teigan McHale getting the challenge in to win the ball back for Sudbury. Lina Nagib, through the middle with support from Etheridge and Abbie Fisher the ball spread out to the left wing as Niamh Thomas looks to get on from full back, cutting inside, Amber Provan comes to face her tackling to see the ball out for a throw. Good distance on it into Etheridge inside the box controlling the ball down into her feet looking to turn and shoot, Provan close on her getting her foot on the ball to send it out for another throw.

Amber Provan winning the header for Sudbury

  Needham Market making the brighter start going forwards with the ball Sudbury keeping a good shape readily regaining possession, Nagib battling her way through in the left channel eventually outnumbered, Ronni Harrison getting hold of the ball for Sudbury. Fisher central lays the ball back to centre back Ele Catchpole who sends a long diagonal ball out to the right Rossiter and Etheridge playing a one two finding no way through the Sudbury defence. Sudbury launch a quick counter offensive with a diagonal pass forwards finding Alex Penny running in behind clear on the right running on sends the cross into Jess Allen inside the box turns the ball goalwards, Needham Market goalkeeper, Dani Clarke down smartly to her right to save push the ball behind for a corner kick. Fired in with pace low at the near post Allen turning to strike it can’t get a touch as the ball runs on for Needham Market to launch clear.

   Both sides taking advantage of the pitches width Etheridge strong on the right moving forwards whipping a cross into the top of the Sudbury area is cleared by Harrison at the back. Pushing up almost to half way at times there is space in behind for Sudbury to exploit and they have pacy players in their side, Penny sending it on through the middle for Allen running clear into the left channel, Clarke has to come running out of her box to deal with the threat. Balfour plays a great pass on for Rossiter racing in behind through the middle into the box, McHale getting back to slide in and tackle as goalkeeper Millie Carter closes the gap, Rossiter amongst those appealing to referee Nick Ward but no penalty the ball out for a throw on the left.

  Catchpole playing the ball on for Thomas away on the left for Needham Market, Harrison closing her down the ball gone for a throw, good distance reaching the area, Provan up to head the ball away. 

 GOAL! On 10 minutes the deadlock is broken Sudbury’s turn to press a high line the middle of the park congested Kate Edwards winning the ball plays a fantastic ball in behind for Evie Creaton to run onto breaking clear in the left speedy travelling towards the box shoots on the angle the ball driven forwards, Clarke down sharply gets something on it but not enough to deflect it wide as the ball nestles in the back of the net 1-0.

Evie Creaton opens the scoring for Sudbury

Needham Market get on the attack from the restart captain Nicola Henderson on for Nagib left side a powerful run forwards getting into the box, slowed up by Harrison, lays it back to Balfour 20 yards out who curls a shot narrowly over the crossbar. Nagib looking to get the ball into her feet run at the Sudbury defence at every opportunity sends it across the top of the area picking out Balfour who sees her low shot blocked by McHale. Catchpole at the back with a timely interception as Harrison coming on up the right attempts the through ball to put Allen away in behind the defence.

GOAL! Sudbury double their advantage the ball won in the middle by Edwards her pass defence splitting pass sending Creaton clear as she breaks inside from the left closing in on the area left of the D, Clarke coming out to close her down makes a blocking save as Creaton’s shot shrikes her body, the ball spinning loose central, Allen is alert snatching onto it a stabs the ball goalwards 2-0.

Jess Allen firing Sudbury into a 2 goal lead

  A great start for Sudbury getting into a 2 goal lead inside the opening 16 minutes. Showing lots of energy Sudbury hustle the ball centrally put on for Penny on the right side, looks to driven on, Thomas tackling to deny her. Rossiter providing the outlet for Needham Market on the right wing pace runs on with the ball sending a shot in on the angle 25 yards out, Carter behind it with a safe pair of hands any spills and Nagib was closing her down fast. Penny taking the ball on right flashing a cross into the six yard box, a the ball sliced goalwards off a Needham Market boot, Clarke reacting instinctively down to save the ball. 

  Isabella Crawford finding Penny on the right, up against Catchpole looking to spin in behind the defender, Catchpole gets her tackle right to put the ball out for a throw. Penny is away in the clear on the right as a defensive clearance from Shepherd at the back finds her running on wide her shot/cross flies across the face of goal Clarke unconcerned. Harrison strong up against Nagib as she is put in on the left by Catchpole carrying the ball out from the back for Needham Market. 

  Rossiter out on the right springs the offside and takes the ball on towards the box, Shepherd recovering after her sliding in as she reaches the by-line to send the ball away for a corner. In from the right twice Sudbury defend putting it out for another corner the 3rd coming in more central, Catchpole under it inside the six yard box heading her attempt over the bar. Closing in on half an hour played Needham market press forwards Nagib out left crossfield to Rossiter on the right has Etheridge ahead of her takes the ball on slotting a cross into Balfour inside the area, Harrison seeing the threat emerging getting in tight on Balfour to stop her getting a shot away.

Needham Market’s Mia Etheridge

   Allen pressing the Needham Market back line steals the ball 25 yards out and bursting in behind right of goal flashes a cross in Clarke down on it well with Creaton running in far post. Nagid sends Rossiter away with the ball on the right for Needham Market running on her touch into the box a little heavy as Carter comes to save sliding in Rossiter leaves the ground with a somewhat reckless challenge feet up as she attempts to get the ball Carter holding onto it despite being hurt in the collision. Play paused whilst she recieves treatment but is up and okay to play on. 

  Needham Market’s build up play is slower than Sudbury’s giving them time to get back into their positions whereas when Sudbury regain possession they are rapid in their counter play with Creaton, Allen and Penny all breaking. Provan winning it at the back for Sudbury clipping the ball into Allen 30 out who sends it through to Creaton running in behind her left she plays an early cross out to the right looking for Penny, this time though their progress is halted by the offside flag.

GOAL! 5 minutes left to play 2nd half and a much needed goal back for Needham Market, as Nagib ploughing her way forwards is fouled halfway inside the Sudbury half. Fisher on the ball looks to go for goal a long way out but connects well getting the ball up and down dipping dangerously for Carter back on her line, the ball smashing down off the crossbar into the six yard box with players closing in, Catchpole getting her head to it as it bounces up to turn home 2-1.

Abbie Fisher’s free-kick on its way to hit the crossbar

Ele Catchpole with the header to pull a goal back for Needham Market

  Sudbury aggrieved feeling it wasn’t a foul in Nagib in the first place. Attack on the left Guiver on for Creaton, drives on tackled by Pannifer for Needham Market. Rossiter bringing down a crossfield ball on the right well moving forwards top of the area strikes a vicious shot wide across the face of goal. The game moving into stoppage time in the first half Needham Market encouraged by their goal getting forwards scrapping for the ball left with Fisher supporting Nagib lifted on into the area for Balfour her attack halted by a raised flag.

Needham Market striker, Lois Balfour

  Balfour with good hold up play on the left shielding the ball has Thomas racing forwards on the overlap puts the pass into her path taking it on Thomas moves inside, looking to get around Harrison, the full back flicking out a leg to win the ball back. 

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 2-1 Needham Market Women

  A good contest so far a 2-1 lead for Sudbury at the break with a good start inviting Needham Market on finding gaps in behind to get their attacking players in on goal opening the scoring on 10 minutes a 2nd added on 16. The ball hotly contested throughout Needham Market on the back foot finding some joy on the right with Rossiter with Nagib too running at the defence needed the next goal and found it with 5 minutes left to play in the half, setting it up nicely for the 2nd 45.

  Sudbury to get the 2nd half underway, no changes for either side as of yet the ball played left Edwards with the ball, on for Creaton but comes to nothing.

GOAL! A fantastic start to the 2nd half… if you’re a Sudbury fan as they win the ball back in defence left side Shepherd on for Creaton racing away on the wing travelling into the box fires a cross into the six yard box, Allen her target, up against Catchpole the defender challenging the ball deflected out to the right and is blasted into the back of the net by Penny to make it 3-1!

Alex Penny puts Sudbury into a 3-1 lead early in the 2nd half

  A blow for Needham at the start of the 2nd half, restart the game going left Nagib with Balfour, the Sudbury defence keeping a solid shape. Allen getting to the by-line on the left with the ball is challenged by Pannifer eventually winning a corner. The ball put into the area, Clarke comes a long way out of her six yard box has to get something on it a fist knocking it down away to the right a shot blasted back in to the angle is blocked. Needham Market make a change early in the 2nd half bringing off Pannifer, with Jodie Sharp on. 

  Sudbury have looked to be more energetic right from the start and a lively at the start of the 2nd half. Creaton attacking on the left has Allen up with her on her inside squares the ball to her goes into the box, Bloomfield, closing her down to defend for Needham Market. Henderson in the middle passing the ball out to Rossiter on the right has Sharp with her pace going past her taking the  ball on as she drifts infield. Sharps cross fizzed into the six yard box his headed clear at the far post landing right of the D, Rossiter is arriving to curl a low shot in towards goal can only find Carter who saves comfortably. 

Needham Market’s Ellie Rossiter

  Shepherd defends against Rossiter on the right a throw high up the pitch, helped on into the box the cross comes in but no one attacking it as Carter catches unhindered. Bloomfield with a great ball forwards for Rossiter on the right wing travelling with it Shepherd back with her forced to concede a corner. In from the right the delivery is met by Etheridge at the near post her header put wide. Half chances created for Needham Market, Sudbury make their first change bringing on Kaylee Dodd for Shepherd, Edwards donning the armband. 

 Nagib holding off challenges turning inside from the left to centre attempts to find Rossiter on the right, Sudbury giving away the throw. Needham Market winning a free-kick inside the Sudbury half similar to the one they had first half. Fisher on it again and again she goes for goal well struck this time though Carter can see it drop safely wide of her left post. Sudbury looking to keep it solid at the back not willing to break as often that said when they get an opportunity they’ll take it Edwards putting Allen on left cuts inside as Needham Market get bodies back into their box her shot cut out by Etheridge. 

  The game stretched opens up as Creaton is sent away on the left towards the area Clarke comes rushing out to charge her down the ball landing in the middle, Guiver taking on the shot from distance with the Needham Market goal exposed, Clarke though back peddles enough stretching up her arm to push the dropping ball down to the right Dodd latching onto it seeing her strike charged down. Sudbury win a corner on their right curled in over the penalty spot Edwards rising at the back post can’t get a touch.

  Nagib as picked up an injury and is struggling for Needham Market, a blow can’t continue, helped off far side, attacker, Jo Brawn comes on. Sudbury too with another change Tye Smith on in attack replacing Allen. 20 minutes left to play players tiring, more changes with Molly Hall coming on, an attacker for a defender with Thomas coming off. Smith straight away flagged offside as Guiver with Edwards look to turn play around in the middle of the park. 

  Hall on halfway with a good flick on for Etheridge right cuts inside looking to get in behind her marker, Penny doing well against her getting the ball back for Cater to clear. Luiza Silva comes on for Sudbury replacing Guiver. Smith with the ball turning in from the right attacking the box her shot sliced away to the left Penny looking to chase it down, not before Bloomfield clears. Needham Market looking for a goal pushing players on gaps at the back, Edwards finding Creaton dropping deep for the ball left, Henderson across to tackle for Needham Market, Etheridge then winning her side a free-kick wide on the right in the corner. Fisher over to take flashed into the six yard box headed outside falling to Rossiter hits the shot takes a deflection robbing it off it’s venom as Carter scoops it up into her gloves. 

   Sophie Jeffery on for Sudbury as the game moves into the final 10 minutes replacing Creaton. A double substitution for Needham Market, Catchpole and Balfour off replaced by Paige Wakefield and Eloise Ward. Sharp over on the left now bombing forwards looks to thread the ball in for Brawn, Carter racing out to the edge of her box getting to the ball first. Faith Candice comes on for Sudbury replacing Harrison at the back. Penny defending top of the D as Brawn looks to turn on the ball. Needham Market pressing on in search on a goal, Sudbury back soaking it up. Sharp getting on left side overruns the ball. 

  The clock ticking down alot of tired legs out there Needham Market leaving gaps as they risk pushing players on, Smith with fresh legs ready to run on with the ball turn the Needham Market defence. Playing in Jeffery to her right, Bloomfield defends for Needham Market. Guiver back on for Edwards late on with stoppage time about to be played. Guiver is fouled 20 yards out left of the Needham Market box trying to bring a ball down from a throw in. Penny on the ball goes for goal her effort landing on the roof of the net. 

  Needham Market come left Henderson with Sharp on for Brawn wide sees her cross charged down. Shepherd back on for McHale in the closing stages for Sudbury. One last attack for Needham Market, Hall laying the ball out to Sharp on the left wing makes a run into the box, Sharp down the line to cross in low Hall meeting it close in near post turns it goal wards, Carter dropping on it smartly, snatching it into her body as Hall follows up. That’s it the final action of the game as the final whistle blows players from the bench rush on to celebrate Sudbury’s victory.

AFC Sudbury Women celebrate at the final whistle

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 3-1 Needham Market Women

  An entertaining final between two strong sides. Sudbury the better on the night solid with plenty of energy taking the lead inside 10 minutes 2 up just 6 minutes later. Looked dangerous on the counter throughout. A goal back five minutes from the end of the first half giving Needham market encouragement going into the 2nd half, the worst possible start however as Sudbury raced into a 3-1 lead and from there looked to keep a good shape and limit opportunities for Needham Market who will feel they didn’t play their best this evening created some chances, Sudbury though had the quicker build up play and threat in attack.

 Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match and this is not an easy one at all several great performances out there. A few of note to mention, firstly Needham Market. Ele Catchpole making a number of vital tackles at the back getting the goal to narrow the gap at the break. Lina Nagib strong with the ball at her feet driving on, looking to set up chances. Ellie Rossiter carrying the biggest threat out on the right always available with some pacy running. For Sudbury the side was solid from back to front Millie Carter in goal, Teigan McHale and Ronni Harrison in defence with some great tackles and cover play. Kate Edwards winning the ball in the middle with the front three lively throughout, Jess Allen central with Alex Penny on the right both scoring. Pipping them all too it though the award goes to Evie Creaton. With some incredible runs took the game to Needham market right from the start and helped set the tone ran herself into the ground always ready to get on the attack.

Congratulations to AFC Sudbury Women on winning the 2021/22 Suffolk Women’s County Cup. Still plenty to play for yet this season.

 Both sides back in action again on Sunday with Sudbury in league action at home to Billericay Town Women Development and Needham Market at home to Barking FC Women in the ERWFL Challenge Cup.

 An enjoyable trip to Colchester (admittedly the journey home wasn’t so good with both the A12 and A14 shut but I got home in the finish). A fantastic attendance with 566 fans treated to a great event. Full credit to Colchester FC and Suffolk FA. Thanks for all you help this evening much appreciated. I suspect this is the beginning of a long rivalry between AFC Sudbury Women and Needham Market Women and there with be many more exciting games to come.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – AFC Sudbury Women v Barking FC Women

Sunday 3rd April

ERWFL League Plate

A trip down into Suffolk this Sunday to watch another match from the quarter finals of the ERWFL League Plate, with AFC Sudbury Women taking on Barking FC Women for a place in the last 4.

The Plate competition featuring the sides from ERWFL Division’s One North and South. Involvement in other cup competitions seeing this quarter final delayed the winners of today’s game be at home to fellow Division One South side Leigh Ramblers. With Whittlesey Athletic Ladies of Division One North against Hutton Ladies from Division One South.

ERWFL Division One South has been highly competitive at the top all season with 5 sides all in contention for the title for months and with 4 of the top 5 now with 2 games left looks certain to go all the way. Cheshunt FC Women in pole position behind Herts Vipers, with Barking FC Women and Leigh Ramblers Ladies 3rd and 4th respectfully both mathematically still in it but more likely to be one of the top 2 or today’s hosts.

AFC Sudbury Women currently 5th in the ERWFL Division One South table, have been playing catch up for most of the season with games in hand on their competitors an now with the top 4 all with 3 left Sudbury have 5 left with 3 games in hand the simple equation is win them all and they are champions the gap 8 points to leaders Cheshunt it could well be Sudbury’s away trip to Cheshunt in two weeks time will go along way to deciding the title. The women’s setup very much a part of AFC Sudbury as a whole with 40 players  in the academy playing for both the 1st and Reserve team. The senior woman side also reaching this season’s Suffolk County Cup final where they will play Needham Market Women for the trophy at Colchester United FC on Friday 6th May. Plenty still to play for in what is sur to be an exciting end to the season.

Success already this season for Barking FC Women as they were victorious in the final of the Essex Women’s Trophy last weekend, defeating Stanway Pegasus Ladies 2-0.

Barking FC Women, celebrating winning the Essex Women’s Trophy last weekend (photo credit Barking FC Women)

  Amongst the influx of new faces joining the ERWFL this season. A relatively new name although Barking has featured a side in the ERWFL previously. This one having previously been Collier Row Tigers who dominated the Essex Women’s Premier Division in the season before and during the pandemic. Those who remember when I still wrote the Round-Ups will know that Laura Bunton featured heavily in the goals scored for Collier Row and the same continues under the Barking badge, runaway top scorer in the league so far netting 31 goals in just 17 appearances helping Barking to a solid debut at regional level.

AFC Sudbury’s MEL Group Stadium the venue for today’ cup encounter. The artificial playing surface overlooked by the new clubhouse and seated stand with kitchen hatch. Another stand opposite with a mix of terracing and seating at the front. Covered viewing areas behind both goals. The weather again very good, mild, if a little cool in the shade. Some cloud around by no chance of rain, perfect playing conditions. Pot Kiln Primary girls todays mascots led out onto the pitch by the Sudbury players, as part of their matchday experience. Sudbury very much looking to grow the support and participation of girls into the game in Suffolk and beyond.

AFC Sudbury Women

AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Millie Carter, Faith Candice, Eboni-mae Shephard (C), Ronni Harrison, Teigan McHale, Kate Edwards, Bella Crawford, Luiza Ferdinand Da Silva, Alex Penny, Kaylee Dodd & Jess Allen. Subs – Evie Creaton, Ash Newley, Phoebe Guiver, Georgia Sleep & Amanda Short.

Barking FC Women

 Barking FC Women starting XI – Amy Lewington (C), Juliet Thomas, Lauren Taylor, Rachel Daltrey, Rebecca Killington, Rebecca Gajewska, Kiera Colthart, Grace Holt, Emma Harrison, Sarah Finch & Laura Bunton. Subs – Mia Zorbas.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A few players missing for Barking today, including regular captain, Daisy Cook with just the one substitute on the bench. Sudbury with a full bench to pick from. Sudbury to get the cup tie underway kicking-off 1st half in a all yellow kit with Barking lined up opposite wearing an all blue kit. The ball put back into Bella Crawford in midfield Barking immediately press the ball contested comes back to centre back Teigan McHale to send long upfield to the right with Alex Penny running down the Sudbury right the ball though safely in the gloves of Barking goalkeeper and captain, Amy Lewington.

  Play compact in the middle with both sides squeezing the ball, Keira Colthart looking to thread a ball through for Laura Bunton up top, runs out for a goal kick. Kate Edwards picking up the ball in the middle for Sudbury drives forwards with it tight to her feet, is fouled top of the D, no advantage as the ball spins away to the left, brought back for the set-piece. Luiza Ferdinand Da Silva over the ball, takes on the shot sending her effort up over the crossbar. Sudbury get players up the pitch pressing the Barking defence in possession, Ferdinand Da Silva on the left with a great diagonal ball clipped into the box over the defence for striker Jess Allen brings it down before sending in a low strike on the angle, well held by Lewington.

    Penny running away with the ball down the line on the right fires a cross in knee height towards the near post, Allen with the touch looking to turn into the shot her effort blocked by Barking’s Rachel Daltrey. Sarah Finch taking the ball on from Juliet Thomas on the right for Barking sends it on for Bunton peeling into the right channel, strong on the ball moving into the box, Sudbury’s Ronni Harrison going with her lunging in to make the blocking tackle deflecting the ball behind for a corner. The corner driven in near side, Barking’s Rebecca Killington coming on to meet it turning the ball behind at the near post.

Juliet Thomas clearing the ball for Barking

  Thomas stealing in on the ball right side getting on up the pitch with Finch the pair exchanging passes before Finch pulling wide lifts a cross into the box, easily gathered by Sudbury keeper, Millie Carter. Edwards in the middle with Ferdinand Da Silva who sends a cross field ball out to the right for Penny to take in her stride moving down the line whips a cross into the six yard box, Kaydee Dodd arriving centre of goal not able to get a telling touch as the ball bounces wide. Ferdinand Da Silva top of the box right driving a shot wide as the ball is clipped high into her from the right.

 GOAL! Opportunities coming for Sudbury it is the hosts who concede the opening goal on 11 minutes, Barking’s midfield 3, Rebecca Gajewska, Colthart and Grace Holt working the ball well between them sending it long up to Bunton shifting into space on the left takes the ball on before shooting on the angle her strike fired in across the keeper nestling in the bottom corner 0-1.

Laura Bunton opens the scoring for Barking FC Women

  Thomas doing well on the right winning the ball for Barking gets up the pitch in support of Holt, going into a 50/50 challenge with Sudbury captain Bonni Shephard the right back comes off the worse going down in some discomfort. A pause in play so she can receive treatment. Is up tentatively as allowed back on as play resumes. Shephard defending on Finch as Colthart central winning the ball stabs on from the left into her, forced wide, Shephard keeps on her tackling to put the ball out for a throw in. 

Sudbury captain Bonni Shephard

 Following a Sudbury corner, Thomas is down again struggling with her injury Barking forced into an early change bring on Mia Zorbas in a straight swap at right back. Allen peeling off the back of the Barking defence into the area right of goal latching onto the ball and striking it over the bar on the angle. A competitive opening 20 minutes, a little frantic at times Sudbury seeing more of the ball in the final 3rd. Zorbas in a contest with Dodd on the left has to stab the ball out for a throw as Dodd battles to get in behind. 

  Edwards linking up with Shephard on the left moves inside going on towards the area before being tackled by Barking’s Killington. Sudbury pressing the ball well forcing errors from Barking keeping the ball inside their opponents half. Shephard left lifts it on for Dodd to run down into the corner, keeping the ball moves back to fire in a low cross near side, cut out by Gajewska then put out for a corner kick. Put in to the near post cut out by Zorbas comes back to the taker to lift back into the box  knocked back central at the far post Ferdinand Da Silva coming on can’t get a touch before Barking scramble it away.

Keira Colthart in the middle for Barking

 GOAL! Edwards out on the left flanks keeping the ball in play getting on down the line crosses into the box, Finch looking to cut it out not getting it away the ball cleared beyond her charged down by Ferdinand Da Silva left of the D, lifts the ball into Allen right side her touch knocking the ball down into her feet inside the six yard box to prod pass the keeper and level the scores 1-1.

Jess Allen levelling the scores for Sudbury

  Edwards making some strong runs on the ball through the middle for Sudbury taking the game to Barking, passes to Dodd on her left her cross lifted into the six yard box claimed by Lewington. Sudbury coming on in numbers Allen’s cross cleared straight to Ferdinand Da Silva out to Penny right side her cross scooped up landing on the roof of the net. Another pause for treatment, Sudbury making their first change Ash Newley on for Ferdinand Da Silva who has taken a knock.

Barking’s Rachel Daltrey

   Play brought back for a free-kick for Barking after Colthart is fouled in the middle. The ball floated up into the area Bunton up well to head the ball down to her left for Finch to take on moving towards goal the blocking tackle again comes in defecting the ball out for a corner. Goes long through everybody at an inviting height. Sudbury come right on for Allen driving on cuts the ball back to the top of the area, Edwards picking it up powers into the box forced out right to the by-line nevertheless screws a cross back in along the face of goal, cleared. Sudbury creating plenty of opportunities going forwards winning the ball back in the middle.

 GOAL! Sudbury pressing the ball on the right winning a corner with 10 minutes left to play in the 1st half. The ball fizzed in with pace near side, Crawford there to met it turning the ball goalwards, neither Zorbas back on the line for Lewington can keep it out as it squeezes in between them 2-1.

Bella Crawford putting Sudbury into the lead

  Barking players voicing their frustration with a few decisions going against them, the referee having words. Edwards over a free-kick 25 yards out to the left of goal. Goes for the shot on target bouncing once Lewington set right behind it can see safely into her gloves.

GOAL! 3 minutes after taking the lead Sudbury add a 3rd goal. Allen out on the right side winning the ball high driving forwards with it into the box striking it low and hard towards goal, Lewington with an instinctive save with her legs the ball spinning away to the right, straight to Allen who makes no mistake the 2nd time 3-1.

  Sudbury finishing the half strong confident coming back from a goal down to lead 3-1 have a throw in high on the left Edwards into Allen left of the D some 20 yards out, her shot swerving as it rises towards Lewington the goalkeeper knocking it down and falling onto the ball. Bunton hasn’t seen much of the ball operating up top Holt finding her on the right sends a cross in on the angle looking for Finch running in from the left, Teigan McHale cutting the ball out for Sudbury.

Rebecca Gajewska on the ball for Barking

  Finch on the left now striking a shot on the angle from 20 yards out rising, taken high by Carter in the Sudbury goal. Edwards with Dodd on the left looking to play a one two get into the area Zorbas cutting it out putting the ball behind for a corner kick. The set-piece delivery dropping inside the six yard box a stooping head turning it goalwards is blocked on the line cleared out wide left to corner taker Penny lifts a high ball in towards goal, dangerous threatening to drop under her cross bar Lewington back on her line taking the ball down.

Sudbury’s Kaylee Dodd

  Penny into the corner with the ball on the left putting a cross into the area helped on across goal, comes back in off the far post before being scrambled away. Edwards with a fantastic cross field pass out to Penny on the right taking it in her stride sends her first time strike over the bar. Barking with few opportunities to get into the Sudbury box Emma Harrison on the right taking the ball on has Bunton ahead of her turning inside from the line to power into the area attempts to find Colthart making a central run, McHale with another timely interception.

 GOAL! Into first half stoppage time, Barking’s defence dwell on the ball outside their area, Allen charging it down after it in behind as it deflects into the box right of goal, blasts it past the keeper into the back of the net to score her hat-trick 4-1.

A 1st half hat-trick for Jess Allen

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 4-1 Barking FC Women

  A late blow for Barking at the end of the 1st half, going into the changing rooms trailing 4-1 despite scoring the opening goal on 11 minutes. A cagey start from both sides Sudbury taking a little while to settle, were getting players on well pressing the ball and forcing errors from Barking who have been a little slow to move the ball. Hit with an early injury blow, Thomas needing to come off had looked a threat supporting Finch on the right. Bunton with a clinical finish to open the scores. Sudbury coming back to level midway through the 2nd half going onto score 2 quick goals to take the lead Allen with a 1st half hat-trick making it 4-1 in stoppage time. A mountain for Barking to climb if they are to get back into this tie and you feel the next goal scored has to be theirs.

  Thomas still showing signs of discomfort is unlikely to make a return meaning Barking will have to press on with the 11 they have on the pitch, having seen Sudbury before they like to rotate players regularly in the 2nd half and being a young side have plenty of energy in reserve. Barking to get the 2nd period underway. Back into the middle played out to Finch on the left, Faith Candice winning the ball back for Sudbury. 

Sudbury defender Faith Candice

  Allen on the right pressing the ball forcing a corner kick to be conceded. The ball sent long through the area reclaimed far side lifted in to the far post Dodd meeting it knocking it down towards goal striking the base of the post, play stopped however with an offside flag. Barking sloppy at the back at the start of the 2nd half as Sudbury press hard Dodd on the left nicking the ball firing a cross into the area cut out by Taylor. 

GOAL! 47 minutes played and Sudbury add to their tally the ball with Crawford in the middle presented to Edwards ahead of her takes the ball on stealing in through the defence bearing down on goal one on one with the keeper has time to pick her spot and calmly slots it to her left into the bottom corner to score 5-1.

Kate Edwards with a goal early in the 2nd half for Sudbury

  A huge blow to Barking at the start of the 2nd half their task becoming all the more harder. Finch on the left looking to move the ball is tackled by Candice sliding in, comes off the worst down for a moment needing treatment but is okay. Newley central for Sudbury races on with the ball lifting it on for Dodd who with a great touch brings it down attempts to thread it in behind for Allen peeling away right, just a little too much for her to win the race with Lewington coming out to claim.

   Holt on the move through the middle with the ball for Barking laying it on for Bunton into the area, Ronni Harrison getting across the attacker to shield the ball out for a goal kick. Dodd on the right playing a one two with Newley who continues her run down into the corner with the ball checking back on the by-line to fire in a cross towards Allen at the near post she sends it in across goal, Lewington down low with a smart save.

Ronni Harrison winning the ball for Sudbury

   Barking continue to battle for possession in the middle are frustrated, Colthart riding a challenge on for Bunton 20 yards out unleashes a shot, lacking power runs through safely to Carter in goal. Bunton is a busy player in attack getting about the back line opportunities limited so far pulling away to the right blasts a shot behind on the angle from 25 yards. Taylor from the back for Barking on to Finch left whips a cross into the box, Ronni Harrison there to clear for Sudbury unopposed. The break is on a diagonal ball finding Allen top of the D shoots early but can’t place it wide of the keeper.

Barking’s Sarah Finch

   A heavy collision on the touch line between Dodd and Killington. The Sudbury winger coming off the worst down with a bloody mouth. A sore one needs to come off let it get seen to, Evie Creaton coming on in her place. Allen moving left cutting the ball wide into Penny she takes it on into the area unchallenged, firing in a shot sees her effort come back off the base of the post. Sudbury keep coming forwards Zorbas defending for Barking in the corner before Penny finds Newley right of the D her shot sent wide.

Sudbury’s Ash Newley

  Barking attack Colthart with Bunton on the right on for Finch back to Bunton her shot deflected wide at the near post for a corner kick. A change before it’s take for Sudbury Georgia Sleep on for Candice, going up front Allen somewhat miffed at being moved to the right side. The corner in from the right comes to Gajewska can’t get it down into her feet in time before her shot is charged down the ball cleared. 

GOAL! Allen right playing the ball on for Sleep gets the better of Killington to break into the area right of goal her shot rising on the angle smashing against the crossbar coming down to the left side with Penny arriving unmarked to push the ball into an empty net to make it 6-1.

Alex Penny on the score sheet for Sudbury

  Time for another change from Sudbury as they bring on Phoebe Guiver for Crawford. Zorbas fouled Penny out on the left a free-kick for Sudbury 25 yards out. Allen over the ball takes on the shot angled in Lewington punches it down and scrambled to smother the falling ball. Sudbury coming on at will Barking struggling to clear there lines keep possession in the middle. A diagonal ball lifted into the area from the left finds Allen running in far post sends her first time effort wide as it clips the upright.

GOAL! Sudbury are able to come on at will Edwards with Newley in the middle on for Allen right of the D inside to Sleep who lays it out to Penny wide she in turn lifts it up towards the right post with both Sleep and Allen providing the run falls to Allen to slot home for her 4th of the match 7-1.

 GOAL! Soon after much to Barking’s dismay Sudbury go on to add another. The ball with Barking in the middle pressed hits the referee unable to avoid it. A drop ball the result Sudbury putting  on to Penny left channel she plays a diagonal pass in behind for Allen running in on goal right side smashes her strike in over the keeper to score 8-1.

Jess Allen bringing the ball down

  20 minutes left to play Sudbury on a high Barking reeling conceding 8 goals still look to be positive Finch with Bunton on the left side of the D tries to pick out Harrison running through the middle, can’t quite pick her out the ball cleared. Edwards stealing in on the ball top of the area taking it to the by-line right cutting it back to Sleep on the penalty spot her shot in low held by the keeper. 

  The hosts break through the middle up to Allen with Sleep in attack Sleep on into the box one on one with the keeper tries to pick her spot Lewington with a superb save with her feet to deny her. Barking moving the ball well in burst short passes but lacking a cutting edge. Crawford and Dodd ready to return for Sudbury with Edwards and Penny coming off. 

GOAL! Pressure high up the pitch from Sudbury all game, brings them a 9th goal. Attacking left the ball cut out in the box by Taylor is closed down pinging back and forth rebounds through to Allen clear on the right side the smash a shot in low across the keeper for her double hat-trick 9-1.

  A free-kick to Barking top of the circle Emma Harrison decides to have a crack at goal put through on target Carter takes it on the bounce central even as Bunton rushes in on her. Carter then out to her right side to slide in and claim at the feet of Bunton as Emma Harrison sends the ball on. Guiver with good foot work playing the ball out to Sleep left inside the box Zorbas getting across her well to see the ball back to her keeper. Allen with help from Guiver on the right drives on before flashing a cross into the box just behind Sleep central. 

Evie Creaton

Guiver shifting the ball between her feet again playing a one two with Allen on the wing getting the return ball 20 yards out curls a shot in caught by Lewington. Dodd 25 yards out left of the D allowed time to shoot sees her effort come down off the crossbar. Sudbury dominating play through the middle Newley into Sleep inside the D Daltrey tackling the ball running behind for a corner. Sudbury making another change with 7 minutes left to play McHale coming for for Amanda Short.

Barking’s Rebecca Killington battling for possession with Sudbury’s Evie Creaton

  Taylor with a vital interception at the back as Sudbury break left the diagonal ball meant for Allen racing clear in behind. Lewington holding onto a shot at her near post driven in by Dodd out wide. Guiver outside the box getting hold of the ball working it well between her feet before skipping inside and driving a low strike wide of the goal. 

GOAL! Guiver makes it double figure moments later as a tired Barking don’t clear their back line latching onto it left of the D Guiver controls shifting the ball before curling a shot wide of the keeper 10-1.

  Penny comes back on for Sudbury to see out the closing minutes replacing Allen. Finch dropping back to assist the defence late on Taylor on the left as Barking come on the right Emma Harrison with Bunton ahead of her crosses into the box Taylor looking to get hold of the ball tackle by Short. Edwards and McHale back on replacing Ronni Harrison and Shephard. Sudbury regularly bringing on fresh legs Barking with none to bring on. Emma Harrison left for Barking getting the ball down off a throw in sees her shot blocked by McHale. 

  Finch at the back defending well against Sleep as she looks to turn and shoot after seeing the ball into her body off cross on the left. A inswinging cross claimed well by Carter in the Sudbury goal as Holt feeds Bunton in down the left. Into stoppage time Guiver lively on for Sleep left into the box, Zorbas and Finch defending for Barking.

A double hat-trick for Sudbury’s Jess Allen

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 10-1 Barking FC Women

  Full time and a big win for Sudbury sees them progress to the last 4 of the ERWFL League Plate to face Leigh Ramblers Ladies at home date to be confirmed. A dominant display 2nd half having led 4-1 at the break and early goal 2nd half killing off and Barking hopes of a come back goals coming at regular intervals afterwards with fresh legs coming on against an 11 who were tiring. Coming on at will took advantage of a dispirited opponent to hammer home the advantage giving them plenty of confidence going into their final games. No doubt this isn’t the Barking side that has acheived so much this season a brutal defeat can only regroup and go again.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A good all-round performance from Sudbury a few performances to mention. Firstly for Barking, Kiera Colthart worked hard in the middle to try and win the ball get it into Bunton up top. Sarah Finch on flanks with some useful runs when she was able to get forwards. For Sudbury Teigan McHale was assured at the back. Kate Edwards in midfield was sensational with some great ball winning tackles and driving runs forwards. The award though goes to double hat-trick scorer Jess Allen. Was a constant threat in attack peeling of the defence and finding goal scoring opportunities a first half hat-trick putting Sudbury in control of the game. Carried on in the same vein 2nd half albeit moving to the right of attack didn’t slow her down as she went on to add 3 more goals some great finishes.

  An enjoyable trip to the MEL Group Stadium, a warm welcome from a club who is trying hard to give their female players the opportunities they deserve in the game. My thanks to both for sides for their help with the team details always appreciated, plenty of goals in this one after to extremely rare 0-0’s.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – AFC Sudbury Women v Herts Vipers

Sunday 31st October

ERWFL Division One South

 A road trip down south this weekend into Suffolk to watch a game from ERWFL Division One South for the first time this season with AFC Sudbury Women hosting one of the leagues newcomers Herts Vipers.

 Tier 6 of the women’s football pyramid seeing an influx of new sides following the previous two seasons disruption due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. The ERWFL aiming to reach it’s full capacity in the near future as the county leagues below continue to expand. A total of 7 sides promoted to the regional set-up this season with 4 of those joining ERWFL Division One South, Essex sides, Billericay Town Ladies Development and FC Barking Women along with Hertfordshire pair Cheshunt FC Women and Herts Vipers.

  A great start to life in tier 6 for 3 of those sides with Herts Vipers, Cheshunt and Barking 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectfully in the table. With just 5 points separating the top five right now with Essex side Leigh Ramblers Ladies setting the pace. All five of those sides losing just the one match so far so the league looks  like the title race will be hard fought. 

  AFC Sudbury Women currently in 5th spot in the ERWFL Division One South table having played 5. With 3 wins an draw and one loss. Started the season strong with 7 points from their opening 3 fixtures. Defeat in the FA Women’s Cup and their 1st loss of the season at home to Barking following before Sudbury returned to winning ways at Suffolk rivals East Bergholt at the start of the month. An extended period without a game return to action with successive home fixtures against 2nd place Herts Vipers followed by leaders Leigh Ramblers next weekend. 

 Phoebe Guiver currently top scorer with 4 goals so far this season with both Alex Penny and Jessica Allen having 3 goals apiece. AFC Sudbury with an academy set-up for both boys and girls with the Women’s 1st team backed up by a Reserves sides playing in the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division. AFC Sudbury as a whole looking to push the women’s game forwards including giving experience to young female referees, one running the line for today’s match.

Herts Vipers burst onto the scene at the beginning of the 2019/20 season entering a women’s side in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three. Right from the off the squad assembled looked too strong for that division surging to the top of the table off the back of a number of high scoring wins. Didn’t get to celebrate a title win however as COVID came along to see the season ending null & void. Were promoted straight into the Beds & Herts Women’s Premier Division the following season whilst setting up a new Development side. Again were making good progress with Nicole Jancey in particular scoring plenty of goals which would see her go on to play for London Bees in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. The 20/21 season of course following the same fate as the previous season the Beds & Herts league adapting their season into a mini-league formant where Herts Vipers went on to win Group A alongside fellow Premier Division sides, Oakland Wolves Ladies, Hemel Hempstead Town Ladies & Garston Ladies.

  Applying for promotion to the ERWFL regional set-up Herts Vipers are an ambitious club and have started life in tier 6 very well winning their opening 3 matches. A draw and first defeat of the season at home to Hutton following before they bounced back to win 3-1 at home to Billericay Town Women Development a fortnight ago. Making history too in the FA Women’s Cup beating East Bergholt 4-3 last weekend to reach the 1st Round Proper of the competition where they will be at home to FAWNL South East Division One side Stevenage FC Women. Kelsey Millen top scoring so far this season with 5 goals with, Georgia Royall, Rachel Wall and Natalie Powell hot on her heels with 4 goals each.

The MEL Group Stadium the venue for today’s match, the weather as much of a factor for determining today’s game as anything else. An artificial pitch inside the main stadium with a training pitch beside the carpark. A new build clubhouse with seated stand along side one side of the ground another terraced stand on the opposite side, covered areas behind both goals. A wide pitch, plenty of volunteers about the place getting the stadium ready for the clubs upcoming televised FA Cup clash against Colchester United. Heavy rain moving across the region to start the day leading to several postponements. Forecast to clear by early afternoon had stopped by the time I arrived at the ground and the sun was forcing it’s way through which with the clocks going back this weekend would pose an issue setting behind one goal.

AFC Sudbury Women

 AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Becky Platt, Jodie Donley, Amber Provan, Teigan McHale, Bonni Shephard, Kate Edwards, Phoebe Guiver (C), Bella Crawford, Evie Creaton, Alex Penny & Jess Allen Subs – Brandi Whymark-Broyd, Georgia Thorpe, Emily Smith, Tye Smith & Georgia Sleep.

Herts Vipers

  Herts Vipers starting XI – Sasha Tucker, Rebecca Edge, Ciara Meeking, Eva Ramsey (C), Rebecca Scott, Katie Moule-Betell, Sarah Payne, Georgina Royall, Kesley Mullin, Natalie Powell & Rachel Wall. Subs – Maisie Threadgold-Smith, Danielle Cliffe, Chloe Clay & Ellie Stammers.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Bright sun by the time kick-off arrived behind one goal is definitely going to pose an issue as the game draws on. Sudbury with the kick off in the 1st half wearing an all yellow kit with Herts Vipers lines up opposite in an all light grey strip. The ball lofted forwards cleaned up by Herts Vipers centre back and captain Eva Ramsey, play spread out to the left the forwards pass infield for the advancing Sarah Payne, looks to thread it through into the box for Rachel Wall, Becky Platt quickly out of her six yard box to gather for the hosts.

  Herts Vipers making a positive start to the game the ball fed up the right for Natalie Powell to run onto wins the visitors and early corner, players coming up into the box the delivery by Kesley Millen whipped invitingly across the top of the six yard box is Powell rising at the far post narrowly missing the header. 

  A high line defensively for Herts Vipers, striker Jess Allen caught offside as the hosts attempt to move out quickly from the back. Millen winning the ball on halfway for Herts Vipers passes it forwards early with both Wall and Powell after it as Teigan McHale finds herself under pressure heading for her own goal, keeps her composure though playing it safely back to her keeper, Platt launching it up the pitch. Herts Vipers get players up to support Georgina Royall on the left inside to Payne 25 yards out shoots on the angle the ball skipping along the surface gathered by Platt covering her near post.

Herts Vipers Katie Moule-Betell

  Powell runs in behind on the right side, Bonni Shepherd getting back on her forcing the attacker wide, holding the ball up Millen gets down the line in support the ball laid back to her she attempts to return it to Powell making a move into the box the pass too heavy runs out of play. Payne links up with Powell central 30 yards out the ball put out to the right as Millen bursts forwards towards the area her shot blocked by Jodie Donley. Herts Vipers keep the pressure on in the final 3rd won back on the left Wall turns 25 yards out striking the ball on the angle in low towards goal, Platt behind it once again.

Kelsey Millen attacking for Herts Vipers

  Herts Vipers are applying pressure to the Sudbury defence early in the game, Powell central hooking the ball over the top for Wall to go after Platt comes racing out to meet her Wall attempts to chip the ball over the keeper can only put it straight into her gloves. 

  GOAL! For all their bright start to the game Herts Vipers are undone on 10 minutes as captain Phoebe Guiver plays the ball through on halfway from Allen to run onto driving forwards central bearing down on the box getting inside the centre back sets her sights slotting the ball low past the standing keeper before she can react into the back of the net 1-0.

Jess Allen opens the scoring for Sudbury

   A mix up at the back almost presents Herts Vipers with a quick reply as Powell goes after a hopeful pass long into the box right of goal with both centre back and goalkeeper coming for it, Platt out of position rapidly back peddling as Powell gets hold of the ball on the by line the angle very much against no one else in the box plants the ball into the side netting. Powell a threat up top getting away on the right off a throw in the Herts Vipers attacker cutting it back towards  Wall top of the area right side of the D, looking to turn into the shot as the ball run across her doesn’t get a clean connection the ball deflected off a defender out to Powel who fires it back in on the angle, Platt down to get behind it make the save.

Natalie Powell attacking for Herts Vipers

   Alex Penny taking the ball on down the left for Sudbury whipping a dangerous cross into the six yards box headed clear by Herts Vipers, Rebecca Edge. Up the other end Powell latches onto a poor goal kick taking the ball out to the right wrapping her foot around the ball flashed in across the penalty spot, Payne has gambled breaking from midfield arriving the cross narrowly beating her. The ball being hotly contested in midfield, Guiver winning it plays an early ball forwards for Allen, the raised flag halting her progress. The wind picking up behind Herts Vipers back hindering there forward play ball running on form both Payne and Millen.

Sarah Payne looking to win the ball for Herts Vipers

   The visitors pressuring the Sudbury defence, Amber Provan gets it clear, on for Guiver right side she sends it long for Allen making a run into the right channel takes on the shot early 30 yards out blazes her effort over the bar. Guiver influential in the middle of the park is down having picked up an injury, is unable to continue Sudbury making the change bringing on Emily Smith with Kate Edwards taking the armband.

    Powell is upended wide on the right Herts Vipers awarded a freekick. Millen over the ball angled in towards the far post runners closing in the ball knocked back down across goal comes back out to Millen on the right clips a high ball back into the area dropping down at the far post Platt gets up well to claim high taken a blow as she is clattered into. A pause in play as the goalkeeper recieves treatment but is okay to continue.

Sudbury’s Alex Penny

 

 Penny forwards on the left for Sudbury has help from Allen the pair pressuring the Herts Vipers defence forcing a corner kick. Put in from the left, Shepherd hooks it in towards goal from the top of the area, the ball headed clear inside the six yard box. Wall fouled on the left presenting Millen with another set-piece opportunity 30 yards out, plenty of pace on her strike racing through the area, Wall closing in far side can’t reach it as it runs wide of the far post. 

Herts Vipers attacker, Rachel Wall

 A change for Herts Vipers with Ellie Stammers coming on up top for Wall. Teigan McHale winning the ball at the back for Sudbury plays it upfield for Allen moving out to the left wing, looks to take it in behind, Ramsey getting across to slide in on her put the ball out for a throw in. Shepherd getting up on the left to support Penny on the wing the pass inside looking for Edwards well placed 25 yards out, Payne throwing out her leg to intercept for Herts Vipers. 

  Millen finds herself out on the eft running onto the ball left of the D prods it on into the box for Powell to see into her feet, Shepherd close on her the striker attempting to turn get inside her marker, Shepherd doing well to prevent an attempt at goal knocking the ball away runs back to Millen who has moved back to the right takes on the strike from distance Platt saving pushing the ball out to her right. 

  GOAL! Half an hour played and the hosts go onto double their lead similar to the opening goal it is a fantastic pass from midfield by Edwards opening up her body too release Allen in attack taking the ball on in behind the defence to run at the box can’t be caught and once again keeps composed to slot it low under the keeper to score 2-0.

Jess Allen through on goal to score her 2nd for Sudbury

  Herts Vipers respond with a double change, bringing off Powell and Royall on come Chloe Clay and Danielle Cliffe. Rebecca Edge with a crucial tackle on Allen as she moves into the left channel seeing the ball into her feet looking to shift and spin in behind Edge timing her challenge perfectly to come away with the ball. 

  Allen is put through on goal central for a third time by Edwards running over halfway, out pacing the defence bearing down on the area, goalkeeper Sasha Tucker out quickly to the edge of her area getting down low to make the blocking save as Allen attempts to slot it past her, denying Allen her hat-trick. The second goal denting Herts Vipers confidence, giving an obvious lift to Sudbury as they close the ball down higher up the pitch, Crawford onto Edwards plays it forwards for Allen peeling away into the left channel shooting from outside the box, Edge blocking her effort deflected to Crawford 25 yards out right of the D her attempt at goal put over the bar.  Katie Moule-Betell brings the ball forwards for Herts Vipers playing it on for Millen right side taking it on into the area hasn’t many options doing well to win a corner. 

Herts Vipers, Ellie Stammers

  Millen playing a good ball into the six yard box, an inviting height, Stammers up well centrally can’t direct her header on target. Into the final 5 minutes of the first half Rebecca Scott challenging for the ball in the middle for Herts Vipers on for Payne who looks to thread it through for Clay inside the D, McHale intercepting for Sudbury. Allen bats the offside flag for Sudbury for a moment looks to be away but Ramsey recovers superbly to slide in take the ball away from her before being fouled herself. 

  Millen getting a throw deep in the Sudbury half played into Stammers turning on the by-line in near post Clay attacking it, doesn’t get hold of the ball, hurt as she turns needing treatment. A frustrating half so far for the visitors the final ball just not happening. Creaton taking the ball on down the right for Sudbury moves infield pushed on to Allen, turns but runs straight into Edge who tackles well for Herts Vipers setting up an immediate counter attack finding Millen on the right plays it on early through the middle with both Stammers and Clay after the ball the wind though favouring the advancing goalkeeper as Platt gets to it first. 

  Creaton powers on with the ball right side for Sudbury strikes the shot in on the angle, Tucker down to her left with a sharp save the ball pushed away across goal, for a moment Allen looks certain to turn the ball into an empty net but can’t get the ball down before the Herts Vipers defence get back on her to scramble clear. Sudbury finishing the half strong, Edwards on for Creaton comes inside from the right clipping a shot over from 20 yards out.

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 2-0 Herts Vipers

  Arguably Herts Vipers have created more chances but it’s the visitors who find themselves trailing 2-0 at the break. The difference being Sudbury and particularly Allen have been clinical with their finishing when through on goal. Sudbury have dropped deep inviting Herts Vipers on at times but that has left room for Allen to run into whenever play is turned around. Frustration too for Herts Vipers as the final ball evades them. A confident start pressure early on a blow to concede. The 2nd goal seeing Sudbury grow in confidence finishing the half the stronger. You feel Herts Vipers need to score early in the 2nd half to get themselves back into the match.

  No change for either side at the break. The sun dipping low in the sky now the Herts Vipers defence with have that to content with too in the 2nd half. The visitors to get the 2nd half underway. Herts Vipers sloppy from the restart giving the ball away inside their own half out to Creaton on the right pressing forwards coming inside turning into the box, Ramsey tackling for Herts Vipers before Edge scrambles the ball away. 

Herts Vipers captain, Eva Ramsey

 Creaton flagged offside moment later as Sudbury close the ball down, Edwards winning it in the centre. Cliffe left links up with Moule-Betell for Herts Vipers central looking to lift the ball forwards, Edwards snapping in on her to regain possession for the hosts. Payne bringing the ball on has Millen ahead of her central pushing the pass on Millen reverses the ball putting it into Stammers left of the D, head down drives for the box, Provan standing up against her defending well for Sudbury.

  GOAL! Denied her hat-trick in the first half it doesn’t take long for Allen to claim it at the start of the 2nd half, the ball played out from the ball by Sudbury finding Creaton free on the right she helps it on quickly central in behind the Herts Vipers defence, Allen out paces Ramsey in the race for the ball taking her shot early smashing it high into the back of the net 3-0. 

A hat-trick for Sudbury’s Jess Allen pictured with Herts Vipers Ciara Meeking

  Platt saving at her near post off Cliffe as the Herts Vipers player gets a shot in close to the by-line on the right. The game becoming a little feisty free-kicks being given away as both sides try and close the other down on the ball, no one afforded any time to settle on the ball. No doubt Herts Vipers are frustrated. Creaton looks to plough her way through the Herts Vipers defence from the right but is stopped by Ciara Meeking. Creaton then gets back well to defend on Cliffe as she attempts to take the ball on down the right off a midfield pass from Scott. 

  Sudbury turn play around left side on to Allen up top she squares it to Creaton on her right the winger looking to come inside, goes with a left footed strike from inside the D the be swerving away from the far post. A little bit of rain in the air as Herts Vipers on the back foot press to get the ball, Payne looking to release Millen coming inside from the right, Platt though quickly off her line to slide in and take the ball on the edge of her area. Herts Vipers make a change with Cliffe coming off, Wall returning to the action.

 GOAL! Creaton’s shirt pulled the hosts awarded a free-kick wide on the right players sent up into the box as the set-piece by Creaton comes in the ball looping in under the bar Herts Vipers fail to deal with it at the far post knocked across the face of goal a scramble ensues bodies flying in from both sides, deflected towards goal, Tucker gets her gloves around it  on the ground hooks it away but by then it has already crossed the line, possibly and own goal, Donley with a touch claiming it for Sudbury 4-0.

  A huge blow for Herts Vipers conceding a 4th goal. Sudbury on top leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb if they hope to get anything from the game. Powell returns to the action for Herts Vipers replacing Payne. Meeking with a good ball forwards from the left up the wing for Wall, getting down the wing squares it into the box but behind Powell as McHale intercepts and launches clear for Sudbury. Herts Vipers taking risks pushing players on trying to pressure Sudbury at the back, Clay nipping in to take the ball outside the D, Edwards is back on her sliding in to tackle before a shot can be unleashed.

  The ball being hotly contested in the middle pinging back and forth deflects favourably for Allen up top after it, Edge comes round on the cover with a good challenge. Sudbury with a corner on the right defended at the near post behind for a 2nd corner. Dropping at the near post Tucker comes to catch, the ball kicked out of her gloves, she is smartly down to smother it inside her six yard box. The game opening up suddenly the Sudbury defence drawn out Clay seizes the opportunity lifting it over the top for Powell to chase looks to be one on one with the advancing keeper but for McHale her recovers her ground excellently sliding in with a well timed tackle.

Sarah Payne bringing the ball out for Herts Vipers

  Clay is caught hard on the ankle by a mistimed tackle out on the left, play brought back with no advantage for the free-kick. Clay though is in alot of pain, after lengthy treatment has to come off carried off the pick by her coaches. Royall coming back on. Edge on the set-piece long up into the area, Platt calls and coming through bodies claims well. A double change for Sudbury with Creaton and Allen coming off in attack. On come Georgia Sleep and Tye Smith. The low sun is making viewing difficult behind the Sudbury goal. Shepherd sliding in to block on Millen as she breaks into the box from the right a corner conceded. Donley defending for Sudbury.

Sudbury’s Tye Smith with Herts Vipers Katie Moule-Betell

  Sudbury are content to sit back invite Herts Vipers onto them the visitors with Scott on the ball out to Millen on the right, Shepherd out to her tackling to give away the throw. The hosts regaining possession off the throw moving the ball on up the left Sleep with the cross in along to top of the box cleared by Edge. Frustrations increasing the referee showing a card to the Herts Vipers bench as Crawford is fouled by Meeking on the right. 

  Millen driving inside from the right pushed into Wall inside the box plays it back to Moule-Betell to strike over from 25 yards out for Herts Vipers. The visitors pressing Stammers on the right plays it central for Royall top of the area heads it into the box, Platt down on it before Powell can pounce. Scott central out to the right for Stammers has support form Millen the pair exchanging passes before Stammers flashes a shot over the bar. Sudbury making a change with a little under 15 minutes left to play Georgia Thorpe coming on for Crawford. 

 Stammers getting down to the by-line well sends a cross along the face of goal only no one has gambled for Herts Vipers. McHale halting Millen’s progress as she looks to power her way through the Sudbury defence. Brandi Whymark-Broyd coming on in defence for Sudbury late on replacing Donley. Edwards out to Tye Smith on the left taking the ball on towards the box looses possession but quickly regains it squaring it inside for Sleep, Ramsey in well to defend for Herts Vipers. 

Seems no matter what Herts Vipers try nothing will fall their way in the final third 2nd balls more often than not claimed by a Sudbury shirt. Payne comes back on for Meeking. Whymark-Broyd defending in the box for the hosts against Powell as Stammers crosses from the right. Scott central on for Stammers she spins the ball away to the advancing Millen’s on the right from a tight angle smashes a strike in Platt throwing herself at the ball a sharp safe tipping the ball up and away to the left. Herts Vipers pushing on winning a corner on the left defended for a 2nd corner, Shepherd clearing that behind at the near post for a 3rd corner. This delivery longer to the far post headed down into into the mix blasted over the bar from 10 yards out.

  Late in the game Sudbury continue to soak up the pressure as Herts Vipers push on trying all they can to find a goal. Whymark-Broyd sliding into a challenge to stop Stammers advance. The ball inside the box pinging about a tackle, Platt picks it up, judged to be a back pass Herts Vipers are awarded a late indirect free-ick inside the box. Left of the goal 10 yards out Millen on it to tee up Edge. Sudbury slow to get players into there wall, gaps as Edge runs onto Millen’s nudge hits it hard through the fragmented wall giving Platt no chance as it’s hammered home for a late consolation goal 4-1. 

Rebecca Edge with a late consolation goal for Herts Vipers

  Too little too late the clock ticking down, Sudbury make a change bringing Creaton back on for Tye Smith. The home defence frustrated at conceding so late in the game the ball out on the right as Herts Vipers attack Millen fouled picking up and injury is brought off there’s seconds left no sub is made as the ball is played upfield to Sleep the final whistle blows and the 3 points go to Sudbury.

Kate Edwards contesting the midfield for Sudbury

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 4-1 Herts Vipers

  A convincing win in the finish for Sudbury who climb above Herts Vipers on goal difference into 2nd in the Division One South table. A poor start to the 2nd half from Herts Vipers seeing Sudbury capitalise to double the 2 goal advantage they had at the break. After that the Suffolk side was prepared to sit back and soak up the pressure ready to hit on the counter attack. The defence all making crucial tackles. A frustrating afternoon for Herts Vipers who I am sure can play better. Created opportunities making a good start to the game. A sucker punch from Sudbury to take the lead. Allen clinical for her hat-trick. Rarely did Herts Vipers open up their opponents.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances to mention first. For Herts Vipers, Rebecca Edge made a number of crucial tackles in defence and carried the ball out from the back well. Kelsey Millen on the right looked a threat and looked to set up a number of opportunities for the attackers. Overall it was a solid all round team performance from Sudbury hard to single a player out. Jess Allen of course was clinical in her finishing to net her hat-trick. Creaton was a constant threat on the right. Teigan McHale with some fantastically timed tackles at the back. The award though goes to midfielder Kate Edwards enjoyed the battle in midfield getting after the ball rising up after being handed the armband, played a number of excellent forwards passes.

 Another enjoyable trip to the MEL Group Stadium. I can see how much the club is looking forwards to their FA Cup encounter with Colchester and I wish them all the best of luck. Good to see both sides in action. Been wanting to tick Herts Vipers off the list for a while but like always this only means another side I want to see again. My thanks to both sides for giving me the team details as always much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – AFC Sudbury Women v Newmarket Town Women

Sunday 1st November

ERWFL League Cup

Cup action this Sunday in the featured match on Women’s Football East with a trip down into Suffolk to watch a game from the 2nd Round of the ERWFL League Cup, AFC Sudbury Women v Newmarket Town Women.

  The two ERWFL Division One sides meeting at the Kings Marsh Stadium a little under a month since a dramatic game in the FA Women’s Cup that saw Newmarket edge Sudbury out 4-2 on penalties after the 90 minutes finished all square at 3-3. Victory today for either seeing them reach the last 16 of the ERWFL League Cup one o 4 sides from Division One to join the 12 Premier Division sides in the next round.

Has been quite a while since I last saw AFC Sudbury Women in action were still Sudbury Ladies in fact. Has been something of a rebuilding of the side since it was relegated from the ERWFL Premier Division. Playing in ERWFL Division One South this season having been in the North previously. AFC Sudbury football club featuring an academy for both boys and girls have been one of the leading forces for women’s football in Suffolk in recent seasons and Suffolk as a whole has seen a healthy grow for women’s football of late. A strong start to the season for AFC Sudbury Women despite a narrow 3-2 defeat on the opening day are 3rd in ERWFL Division One South are unbeaten since 5 league and cup matches if you don’t count the penalty shootout loss to Newmarket. Two league wins out of three lay 3rd in the table a point behind title contenders Millwall Lionesses and Hutton Ladies. Beat Suffolk rivals East Bergholt United Ladies 5-0 in the 1st Round of the League Cup. A new Reserves sides entering the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division this season.

That penalty shootout win part of a fantastic run for Newmarket Town Women in this season’s FA Women’s Cup beginning with a memorable win in the extra preliminary round over higher league opponents Wymondham Town Ladies form the Premier Division, again drawing after 90 minutes winning the resulting shootout. Advancing through two more rounds with wins against Bungay Town Ladies and Sudbury before the run was ended by FAWNL South East Division One side Norwich City Women. One of just six sides now competing in Division One North is a league where all six sides are capable of challenging for the title, have won one and lost twice in the 3 games played so far. A strong youth section within the club, with a Development sides several players have stepped up to the first team in recent seasons. Won 4-1 away to Division One South side Stevenage FC Women Development in the 1st Round of the League Cup.

The game being played at AFC Sudbury’s, King’s Marsh Stadium. The large 3G pitch surrounded on all sides a large newly built clubhouse and kitchen to one side with a covered seated stand, a terraced stand opposite with the viewing area’s behind both goals covered. Covid restrictions well in place. A youth game taking place as I arrived an hour before kick-off a nasty injury in the game seeing it running late delaying the kick-off for today’s cup clash. Alot of rain recently but I didn’t think the ground would be affected. Dull and overcast with a little rain in the air a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch would affect the flight of the ball.

AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Ciara Roberts, Faith Candice, Jodie Donely, Amanda Short (C), Brogan McHale, Maisie Goodwin, Megan Partridge, Georgia Thorpe, Amber Provan, Amy Thompson & Tye Smith. Subs – Teigan McHale, Hannah Stephenson, Rebecca Stephenson, Evie Creaton & Isabella Crawford.

Newmarket Town Women starting XI – Dominika Szary, Holly Dryland, Layla Weston, Beth Woodfield (C), Rebecca Towler, Jess Linger, Chloe Slater, Katie Webb, Katie Hayes, Gemma Moore & Annabel Cuthbert. Subs – Tash Patten, Kaitlin Elsey, Liv Caffarelli, Hannah Doyle & Megan Spurrell.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  The game eventually able to get underway a little after 2pm, it’s Newmarket to get the first half in their change strip as both sides wear yellow, the visitors in an all red kit today with Sudbury in their all yellow kit featuring an array of squad numbers from 3 to 57. Annabel Cuthbert playing the ball back to midfielder Chloe Slater she plays it long out to the left looking for the run of Katie Hayes, Sudbury full back Faith Candice in quickly to close her down prevent her skipping in behind her challenge taking the ball out for a Newmarket throw. A positive start from the visitors Newmarket pressing high closing the Sudbury defence down forcing a throw deep on the right.

 Newmarket’s Katie Webb fresh from riding her first winner at Leicester Races earlier in the week combines with Gemma Moore up the line on the right exchanging passes before Moore attempts to pick out Cuthbert making a near post run, the Sudbury defence blocking can’t get it clear Newmarket push numbers into the final third, Cuthbert central 20 yards out unable to get a Jess Linger ball down under control and hit on the turn as Brogan McHale closes her down for Sudbury, Slater pressing keeping the attack alive the ball played out to Layla Weston getting forwards on the right the full back sending in a cross from 25 yards out Cuthbert getting hold of it this time inside the area takes it to her right intending to shoot, Sudbury captain Amanda Short at centre back getting on her shoulder tackling to send the ball behind for a corner kick. 

Sudbury defender, Brogan McHale

   GOAL! Newmarket hammer home there fast start opening the scoring inside 4 minutes. The corner put in by Linger from the right defended by McHale at the far post, the hosts can’t break however as Newmarket are quick to close the ball down turn play around the ball played out to the left side nudged on for Cuthbert finding space inside the box top left corner, opens up her body to send a curling effort high across the diving keeper into the far corner of the net 0-1.

Annabel Cuthbert with the early strike to give Newmarket the lead

  Sudbury yet to have any meaningful possession inside their opponents half fire a warning shot across their bow straight from the restart the ball out to Amy Thompson running clear on the left has support from Tye Smith the ball put across the top of the Newmarket box, Georgia Thorpe running with it before putting her foot throw the ball from the top of the D, her shot straight at Dominika Szary, the Newmarket keeper catching it cleanly. Newmarket left back Holly Dryland finding herself in space strikes the ball across field as Webb makes the run on the opposite flank, picks her out superbly (if catching her on the side of the head and sending her sprawling was the intention) nevertheless having been poleaxed Webb is okay to continue. 

Newmarket’s Holly Dryland playing the ball forwards

  Newmarket regain possession in the middle Slater taking it on with Moore ahead of her peeling right attempts the diagonal ball into the box for Cuthbert, Candice intercepting setting up a Sudbury attack forwards for Maisie Goodwin taking it on plays it forwards towards Smith, Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield defending at the back, plays it long for Hayes away to the left her touch knocking it on gets in behind before checking back inside to take on the strike from the angle 20 yards out lifts her strike over the crossbar. A good battle shaping up in the centre of the park Linger winning it for Newmarket passes to Hayes out on the left, crosses early too close to the goalkeeper, Ciara Roberts with a confident claim high at her near post.

Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield clearing the ball ahead of Sudbury attacker Tye Smith

   Goodwin’s turn to get the better of the midfield battle coming away with the ball at her feet into the Newmarket half lays it on for Thompson left side, a clever touch seeing her take the ball in behind the Newmarket defence into the area but can’t win the race to the ball before Szary can come off her goal line lay claim to the ball. Newmarket continue to press the Sudbury defence on the ball McHale with limited options as she is closed down by Cuthbert outside the box turning back into the box the striker nipping in to take the ball off the centre back 8 yards out gets a shot away but is a tame effort along the ground Roberts down to smother it inside her six yard box. 

Gemma Moore looking to get away with the ball for Newmarket in attack

 Goodwin tracking back tackles Webb inside her box bringing the ball away plays a fantastic long range pass up to Smith in attack the striker getting hold of the ball looking to take on the Newmarket centre backs Rebecca Towler slowing her progress as Woodfield comes in to make the tackle. Candice stepping up wins the ball intended for Hayes from Dryland at the back space to run into has good vision to pick out the run made by Smith peeling off Towler’s shoulder to get into the box right of the D, pulls the trigger early her strike racing wide behind at the left post. 

Sudbury’s Amy Thompson

 Thompson with a powerful run with the ball on the left in attack does well to win Sudbury a corner kick. A cluster of players gathered at the top of the box Newmarket keeping 3 up to occupy the Sudbury defence. The delivery from the left in central Thorpe jumping nodding it down towards goal, Weston defending the post scrambling the ball away to safety. 20 minutes played the game starting to level out Sudbury finding more time on the ball have to stay alert, Jodie Donley doing just that at left back as Cuthbert coming deep to receive the ball into her feet turns brilliantly to send it forwards for Webb attempting to run clear on the right side, Donley cutting it out. 

Newmarket’s, Katie Webb

 Newmarket having make a fantastic start, unsettling Sudbury the hosts starting to get hold of the ball centrally, Goodwin tenacious supported well by Megan Partridge locking horns with Linger and Slater. Goodwin’s pass long for Thompson left plays it inside for the advancing Smith who in turn plays a diagonal ball into the area looking for Thorpe far side, running in with Dryland on her shoulder the Newmarket left back defending well. Thompson and Smith combining as they come forwards for Sudbury left side Thompson inside to Smith bombs on up the wing Smith picking her out gets into the area near post to receive the cross flashes a ball across the face of goal Thorpe running in far post can’ t quite get there. 

Newmarket’s Jess Linger and Chloe Slater combine to win the ball

 Partridge getting forwards to the edge of the area as Sudbury win a throw high on the right sees the ball rolled into her feet lets fly from 20 yards out right of the D fires her shot over the bar. Amber Provan nips in to regain possession for Sudbury 30 yards out, attempts to play in Thorpe to her right, goes on into the area, Dryland lunging in with and outstretched leg taking the ball away from her.

  GOAL! Newmarket double there lead on the half hour getting forwards win a corner on the left. Push players forwards into the box the delivery put in across goal into the six yard box Cuthbert, Webb and Slater all gathered at the far post the ball knocked down to the floor is loose for a second, Woodfield closest the quickest to react stabbing the ball in over the line at close range 0-2.

Beth Woodfield (5) quickest to the loose ball to put Newmarket 2 nil up

 Sudbury ring the changes using all five substitutes as Evie Creaton, Hannah Stephenson, Teigan McHale, Isabella Crawford and Rebecca Stephenson enter the game coming on for Smith, Provan, Brogan McHale, Candice and Thompson. Other players moving position too the intent to cause an impact Sudbury are on the attack Creaton central onto the ball rolled out to Crawford on the right side firing in an early cross into the box, Woodfield tracking back clearing inside her own six yard box. Newmarket clear their back line left side long with Cuthbert moving into the channel does well getting the bouncing ball under control holding it up as team mates races forwards in support slipping inside lifts a cross into the area, Slater arriving on the penalty spot stooping to head the ball wants to loop it over the keeper, not easy and succeeds in dropping it into Roberts gloves instead.

   GOAL! The substitutes having the desired effect as Sudbury pull a goal back injecting pace into side clear there defence the ball played on into the middle Crawford racing onto it taking it on plays a superb ball through to Partridge leading the attack now having peeled into the right channel sees the ball into her run sets herself and lets fly from inside the box keeping it low races pass Szary into the back of the net 1-2.

Megan Partridge moving into attack pulls it back to 2-1 for Sudbury

 Sudbury have sharpened up are pressing Newmarket at the back as much as the visitors were to them at the start of the game forcing errors. Goodwin in the middle tackling to get another attack going comes left on for Creaton, looks to go on Weston getting back on her doing well to force her run away from goal Creaton still managing to square a cross into the six yard box, Szary at full stretch diving to get her gloves on the ball with both Partridge and Crawford coming in. 

  Newmarket bringing players forwards for a corner Sudbury defending look to break Thorpe outside the area getting hold of the ball taking it forwards covering alot of ground before sending it out to Partridge away to her right, 25 yards out comes back inside closing in on the area, strikes the ball her shot angling wide across the face of goal. Into the last 5 minutes of the first half. Teigan McHale blocking a cross fired into the box from the left fired in by Dryland as she goes beyond Hayes. The game intense both sides closing each other down looking for openings both defences being kept on their toes. Rebecca Stephenson bringing the ball under control centrally 25 yards attempts to thread it through for Partridge, Towler throwing a leg out intercepting outside the box.

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 1-2 Newmarket Town Women

  Newmarket with a fast start putting Sudbury under pressure at the back closing the ball down capitalising with an early goal. Unsettling the hosts took Sudbury a while to find their rhythm, before the game settled into a more even contest Newmarket continuing to create chances doubling their lead on the half hour. Sudbury responding with 5 changes, making an immediate impact pulling a goal back setting up an intriguing 2nd half.

Maisie Goodwin bringing the ball away in midfield for Sudbury

   Newmarket’s turn to ring the changes at the start of the 2nd half making 4 substitutions, on come Kaitlin Elsey, Tash Patten, Hannah Doyle and Megan Spurrell, replacing Webb, Moore, Hayes and Linger. Sudbury to get the 2nd period underway. Look to get the ball left, find no joy as Weston gets control of the ball plays it inside for Woodfield to launch upfield. Elsey peeling into space on the left for Newmarket in attack checks back inside to attack the box her cross cut out the loose ball gathered by Doyle 20 yards out central hits it hard, Short with the block. 

 The visitors pressing at the start of the 2nd half keep the pressure on in the final 3rd Doyle into the box left side shooting on the angle Roberts on her line down to make the save. Short does well inside her box defending against Elsey as the Newmarket attack looks to take her on entering the box left of the D.

  GOAL! Defending one end Sudbury get straight on the attack the ball out from the back wide to Crawford in space attacking right side plays a great diagonal pass into the box for Partridge making the run in behind advancing on the keeper, slots the ball along the ground wide of her to equalise early in the 2nd half 2-2.

Megan Partridge equalises for Sudbury early in the 2nd half

  Tash Patten is brought down in a dangerous position for Newmarket 25 yards out from the Sudbury goal the referee awarding a free-kick. With Linger off, it’s Slater on the set piece takes on the shot over the wall dips too soon making it a straight forward catch for Roberts. Minutes after equalising Sudbury are celebrating once again thinking they’ve taken the lead, almost a carbon copy of that goal today Crawford racing clear on the right sending the ball through to Partridge inside the box in behind the defence, the flag is up straight away however even before the ball nestles in the back of the net, the celebrations cut short.

  Crawford and Creaton lively on the right side for Sudbury, the former pushing on into the area from the wing, Towler coming across to slide in take the ball away for a corner. Defended Newmarket attempt to break, Sudbury close the ball down well centrally press the attack to win a corner on the right. Rebecca Stephenson with an inswinging delivery trying to use the wind to her advance goes long through the crowded six yard box to strike the far post, rebounded out towards the top of the area a shot fired back in is blocked spins away for a corner on the left. Another good delivery inswinging towards the near post, Szary with a good leap punching it away to safety.

  Patten with a risky but nevertheless good sliding tackle just inside the box against Partridge denies the attacking a shot on goal as the ball is send into her feet from the left. Sudbury with the brighter start 2n half keep the ball inside the Newmarket half Goodwin onto Rebecca Stephenson. A free kick awarded 30 yards out to the right of goal, Rebecca Stephenson on it blasts over. The host pressing well in the final 3rd win a corner on the left, the delivery long over everyone retrieve by Goodwin beyond the far post flashes a cross through the six yard box Partridge far post can’t get a telling touch runs through to the corner taker, Rebecca Stephenson shifting it onto her right foot inside the box shoots on the angle the ball bulging the side netting.

Sudbury’s Rebecca Stephenson coming forwards with the ball

 An hour played a lively contest between two battling sides no let up from either, Patten on the wrong end of a strong challenge in the middle, Slater to play the free-kick into the box taking a deflection on it’s way past goal winning Newmarket a corner. Elsey up attacking the far post can’t get her header on target. Sudbury ring the changes once again, Brogan McHale, Provan, Candice, Thompson an Smith back on for Goodwin, Partridge, Short, Thorpe and Donely. Newmarket making a change too Woodfield off at the back on comes Liv Cafferelli. The flood lights coming on as the light starts to fade. 

Newmarket’s Chloe Slater

  Newmarket get on the attack Slater on for Cuthbert getting clear in the middle running clear on goal opening up for her has Elsey running with her to the right opts to cross set her up the weight of the ball a little to heavy evading her. Patten having picked up a couple of knocks for Newmarket is replaced by Linger. The visitors get an attack going the ball out to Spurrell on the right peeling off the shoulder of the last defender into the box shoots low Roberts well placed to drop onto the ball make the save. A triple change for the visitors Newmarket bringing off Weston, Cuthbert an Slater, Webb, Hayes and Moore retuning to the action. 

  Creaton getting hold of the ball well for Sudbury causing Newmarket problems on the right sees the ball into her feet off a throw in turns inside to play in a cross to Smith centrally outside the area, Cafferelli getting in front of her well to win the ball back. Creaton skipping on past her marker right side sends a diagonal ball into the area long for Thompson far side, closing in on goal from the left, Szary closing down the angle down smartly to save low, her defence scrambling the loose ball away. 

GOAL! Into the final 20 minutes Sudbury have upped their game 2nd half pushing on in attack win another corner on the left, players gathering at the top of the area to make runs as Rebecca Stephenson places the ball, flights it in towards the near post six yards out, Creaton has snuck in unchecked leaping to nod the ball down into the ground and bounce up over the line into the roof of the net 3-2.

Evie Creaton scores to put Sudbury into a 3-2 lead

  It’s competitive there are some strong challenges out there a little niggle too creeping into the game. Elsey is hurt in one such challenge and needs to come off, Cuthbert retuning to the action as the game enters the final 10 minutes. Provan gets back well to tackle Hayes as she looks to gather the ball into her feet in attack on the left drive at the defence for Newmarket. The host win a free-kick in a dangerous position left of the D a yard outside the box, Rebecca Stephenson placing the ball, strikes it well racing in on target, a superb attempt, an equally superb save by Szary getting across her goal diving to her right throwing out a glove to palm the ball behind conceding the corner. 

  The corner defended Newmarket can’t get the ball forwards Sudbury are closing everything down working hard to regain possession. Hayes threatening to run in behind catching Sudbury with a high line, goalkeeper Roberts comes running out of her box to win the race and clear the danger. Szary at the other end has to come racing out to the top of her box to as a looping ball is played forwards, to risky to attempt handling it ha to get her head on the bouncing ball cleared but not far Crawford 30 yards out attempts to take advantage catch the keeper off her line the shot however off target dropping wide of the post. Dryland across to dive in halts a Sudbury attack as they press numbers on through the middle.

 Moments later Dryland pulls up looks like cramp but very painfully the Sudbury bench helping her off the pitch, Slater is sent back on with 5 minutes left to play. Rebecca Stephenson a threat in any dead ball situation Sudbury are drawing their fair share of free-kicks aswell as giving them away. This though is adding up to time lost as Newmarket frustratingly cant get the ball into their attackers late on. Creaton on the ball good close control as she dribbles towards the Newmarket area taking players on is clipped right on the edge of the area. Rebecca Stephenson placing it right of the D, strikes it early, Szary not set but the attempt is wasted racing wide past the left post. Stoppage time being played Rebecca Stephenson left rolls it on for Smith in attack, puts Cafferelli under pressure as she attempts to shield it back to Szary, the clearance put straight to Stephenson she strikes it wide across goal. Creaton holding it up in the corner as the final whistle blows.

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 3-2 Newmarket Town Women

  Sudbury come back from 2-0 down to win the game 3-2 in the 2nd half to reach the last 16 of this season’s ERWFL Cup. A highly entertaining contest between two evenly matched sides. Newmarket quick out of the blocks taking an early lead going 2 up on the half hour. Sudbury ringing the changes pulling a goal straight back to trail 2-1 at half-time scored early in the 2nd half and maintained there strong start to the 2nd period to go on and find the winning goal whilst doing well to limit Newmarket’s opportunities up the other end.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Again another tough one to decide, rarely are they easy, but that’s the nature of the game. A few contenders for Newmarket, Beth Woodfield was strong at the back making several important tackles as was Chloe Slater in the middle, getting forwards well too. For Sudbury Megan Partridge came into her own taking over in attack getting into some great positions, scoring twice to level the scores. Evie Creaton too with a great performance getting hold of the ball setting up numerous attacks and keeping the momentum with Sudbury scoring the winning goal. The award though goes to Maisie Goodwin had an excellent game in midfield, battling hard winning the ball and when she did having the vision and range of passing to find her attackers.

  If it is to be my last game for a while an excellent match to leave it one highly entertaining from the first minute to the last plenty of talent on display a great advert for the ERWFL. My thanks to both sides for the all important teams details as always much appreciated.