The featured match on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog this Sunday was from the FA Women’s Cup. The 3rd Round Proper where Cambridge United WFC flying high in FAWPL South East Division One were looking to continue their history making run taking on FAWSL 2 side Aston Villa Ladies as they enter the competition playing their 1st competitive match of the season.
Match Report – Aston Villa Ladies v Cambridge United WFC
The 3rd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup is as far in the competition as Cambridge United WFC have ever gotten. Are enjoying a very good season to date leading the FAWPL South East Division One for much of the season, dropping to 2nd only because their game last weekend was postponed allowing Milton Keynes Dons Ladies to take over at the top. The attention today however is firmly on the FA Women’s Cup, already enjoying a fantastic run, making it through 4 rounds to get this far.
Have been drawn out of the hat at home in all of their other FA Women’s Cup games, starting in 3rd Round Qualifying against Norfolk side Wymondham Town Ladies, who had dumped them out of the Cup only 12 months previously. Have grown as a side since then and a influx of new players to bolster the squad saw them win the game comfortably 3-0. Onto 4th Round Qualifying and Cambridge were taking on fellow FAWPL South East Division One side, Stevenage Ladies again they progressed with a 3-0 to make it to the 1st Round Proper. Were drawn at home to FAWPL Southern Division side, QPR Ladies in form they beat the side bottom of the league above them 3-1. Southampton Women’s FC were their opponents in the 2nd Round Proper a side on a similar rise to Cambridge but playing a league below Cambridge were too strong on the day winning 4-0. Now drawn away for the 1st time in the competition away to Aston Villa Ladies. Two leagues between the sides.
For FAWSL 2 side, Aston Villa Ladies this is their 1st competitive match of the season as they prepare for the new one off Spring Series next weekend. Have reached the quarter finals in the previous 2 season’s in the FA Women’s Cup. Have a new home for this season moving from Sutton Coldfield up the M42 to The Lamb Ground home of Tamworth FC. The Conference North have a new state of the art 3G pitch a surface the Aston Villa Ladies players will be used to having played on an artificial surface back at Sutton Coldfield. The area around Tamworth has a large Villa following and the Ladies side are hoping optimistic more fans to come watch them in action. Have retained the services of much of last season’s squad and are a club willing to bring their youth players into the 1st team, Mollie Rouse doing well last season, Lucy Shepherd and Lucy Porter step up to the 1st team squad this season all all England Youth Internationals along with Alice Hassall who has joined the club having been with Notts County Ladies last season.
The Lamb Ground is a nicely laid out stadium. A large carpark outside. Not too far from the town centre. The new 3G pitch looks excellent, surrounded by stands on all sides, one large seated stand on one side with the opposite side and one goal end offering covered terracing the other goal end terraced. A clubhouse and bar. Sutton Coldfield always did a good cheeseburger so I’m glad Aston Villa Ladies have found a new ground that serves up one just as good. A little chilly, but it was dry a pretty good day for football.
Aston Villa Ladies starting XI – Chloe Beattie, Lucy Porter, Alice Hassall, Elisha N’Dow, Jade Richards, Chloe Jones, Maddy Cusack, Mollie Rouse, Amy West, Bethan Merrick (C) & Tash Baptiste.
subs- Katy Moran, Alys Hinchcliffe, Lucy Shepherd, Kerri Welsh & Chloe Dale.
Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Chloe Bennett, Mollie Kmita, Laura Bright (C), Laura Baker, Dawn Mallett, Danielle Puddefoot, Becky Taylor, Laura Mills & Nicole Perschky.
subs – Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Hollie Jardine, Paige Logie, Evie Gallop & Rosie Kmita.
It’s Cambridge to get this FA Women’s Cup 3rd Round tie underway wearing amber shirts and socks with black shorts with Aston Villa lined up opposite wearing claret shirts with sky blue sleeve and collar. white shorts and sky blue socks. Alice Hassall starts for Aston Villa on the right side of defence. The ball is played out to Cambridge right back Emma Jenkins early on sent down the right with striker Nicole Perschky making a run into the channel, turns inside to evade the tackle from Jade Richards puts the ball into the area just inside the area Danielle Puddefoot back to goal lays the ball back to Dawn Mallet 20 yards out running onto the ball hits it hard, Maddy Cusack throws herself into the shot blocking the ball.
|Cambridge United WFC’s, Danielle Puddefoot is fouled as she attempts to head the ball|
Aston Villa counter attack the ball played into captain, Bethan Merrick in the middle taking the ball forwards lays in on for Mollie Rouse ahead of her, she has Amy West bursting forwards from the left side to get into the area threads the ball into the box, West picks it up in her stride gets a shot away is gathered by Cambridge goalkeeper, Verity Crook at her near post. An open game from the start both sides looking to get the ball forwards with purpose. Laura Mills getting onto the ball down the right has 2 opportunities to put the ball into the Aston Villa box, both attempts cleared by Richards.
Hassall finds space on the right to get ahead of the attack, Chloe Bennett gets across to put the ball out for a throw before the cross can come in, the throw is taken quickly the ball pushed in field 20 yards out Rouse shoots from 25 yards out her strike sailing over the Cambridge crossbar. Mallett is fouled in the middle as she tried to get her head on an Aston Villa clearance. It’s Mallett to take the set-piece sends the ball up towards the area, the ball is headed out of the area, Mallett moves quickly to close the ball down 30 yards out winning it back gets a shot away pulls the low drive wide across the face of goal.
Merrick is finding space up top getting past the midfield to attack the Cambridge defence, getting into the box wins Aston Villa the 1st corner of the match. The ball is played in high in towards the penalty spot, jumping Richards can’t get her head on the ball drops to Cusack behind her heads the ball down into the ground, Crook getting down sharply makes a good save, can’t gather the ball, her defence scramble it away before anyone from Aston Villa can follow up. No one is allowed any time on the ball, Aston Villa stretching play Elisha N’Dow and Richards both prepared to carry the ball out from the back into midfield. N’Dow send the ball up towards Rouse just outside the Cambridge box getting her head on the ball turns it goalwards, lacks power flies straight into Crook’s gloves. A busy opening 15 minutes.
Mallett winning the ball in the middle has support from Becky Taylor she gets the ball wide to Mills on the right side taking it on turns inside to evade Lucy Porter’s challenge her ball into the area is cut out by the long leg of Richards as she lunges to stop it pushes the ball outside the area into the path of Laura Baker, meeting the ball on the half volley drills a hot in towards goal, Aston Villa goalkeeper Chloe Beattie is right behind it gets down to save the ball bouncing in front of her.
|Aston Villa Ladies, Chloe Jones|
GOAL! Cambridge give away a free kick inside the centre circle, Aston Villa send plenty of players up into the area the delivery is a good one from the set-piece the ball flighted in centrally, Chloe Jones top of the six yard box gets a glancing header on the ball taking it past Crook and into the back of the net beyond to score Aston Villa’s 1st competitive goal of the season 1-0.
Aston Villa very nearly double their lead just 2 minutes later only to be denied by the offside flag. The build up is with Jones and Cusack in the middle, Merrick makes the forwards run moving left towards the area pulls the trigger hitting a swerving ball in low towards goal, Crook is moving across to cover the post, adjusts fantastically to throw her body in the opposite direction get a palm to the ball killing it’s momentum is stranded however as it rolls across the face of goal, Tash Baptiste following up blasts the ball into the empty net, the celebrations cut short by the officials flag.
Certainly a competitive game, Cambridge will give as good as they get and Aston Villa aren’t shy. Cusack breaks up play in the middle on for Merrick, shoots from outside the box the effort straight at Crook the keeper holds on to the ball. Mallett is fouled by Cusack 35 yards out on the set-piece goes for goal puts her strike a metre over the bar.
|Bethan Merrick doubles Aston
Villa Ladies lead
GOAL! Closing in on half an hour played and Aston Villa double the lead Merrick has been all over the place in the 1st half so far and as Aston Villa build an attack on the left they win a throw the ball is played into Merrick turns and shoots from outside the area plenty of pace on the ball it is past Crook and into the far corner of the net 2-0.
Doubling their lead Aston Villa have Cambridge on the back foot unhappy with a few decisions and going 2-0 down the home side press the advantage Cusack getting forwards is fouled on the right 30 yards out. Merrick plays the free-kick long aiming for the pack attacking the far post over everyone, Hassall at the back keeps the ball in play lay it back for a teammate at the edge of the box not a clear view of who the shot comes in is straight at Crook, the keeper down smartly dragging the ball into her body.
GOAL! Cambridge don’t keep Aston Villa at bay for long however as just 2 minutes after going 2 up the home side make it 3. Players are still up the pitch from the previous attack as Cambridge trying to get the ball up field lose it on the left side the ball is played on by West to Rouse down into the corner time to cross into the box, Mollie Kmita stretching as she attempts to intercept the ball can only knock it into the path of Cusack who left of goal smashes her shot back across the keeper and in score her 1st goal since 2014 to make it 3-0.
|Aston Villa Ladies, Maddy Cusack|
Cambridge are visibly frustrated at going 3 goals down are working hard to get the ball back, Aston Villa with good movement on and off the ball are just a fraction ahead of their opponents evading tackles and moving the ball on quickly. Afters between Baptiste and Crook as the keeper is clattered after claiming a Cusack cross from the right threatening to dip under her crossbar. The referee breaks up the flashpoint and books Baptiste. Perschky has had little service put into her up front for Cambridge when the ball is played over the top giving her something to attack she is ahead of the Aston Villa defence only to find Beattie moving up to the edge of her area to clear the ball before she can reach it.
Jones plays the ball into Merrick trough the middle helps the ball on laying it into the path of Baptiste moving across the D, left to right, latches onto the falling ball sending it angling in towards goal, Crook is well placed in her six yard box to get her body behind the ball. Another chance for Baptiste moments later as Aston Villa regain possession in the centre the ball played into her inside the D, works space for the shot drags her effort wide across the goal. Rouse moving out to the right with the ball has support from Hassall the ball is crossed into Baptiste just inside the area shoots puts the ball straight into Crook’s gloves.
|Cambridge United WFC’s
Cambridge are in danger of being overwhelmed late in the 1st half as Aston Villa keep coming forwards, Rouse sending the long range ball out to West on the left her cross is fired across the top of the area Baptiste latches onto it her shot blocked as Baker throws herself in front of her the ball racing back to Rouse who fires over from 25 yards out. Hassall is fouled as she brings the ball on down the right, Merrick plays the set-piece long towards the far post back pedalling Crook plucks the ball down keeping hold of it well as she falls under challenge from Richards.
5 minutes left in the 1st half Aston Villa have a corner on the right the ball is played short into Porter moving forwards unmarked from a defensive position takes the ball into the area taking on the shot drives the ball wide across the six yard box. Hassall surges down the right with the ball whips in a dangerous cross near post Cusack furthest forwards can’t connect, the ball cleared out of the area is won back rolled back across to Cusack outside the box she looks to send a shot wide of the keeper Crook dives to her right makes the save.
Cambridge launch a rare counter attack the ball Jenkins bringing the ball on sends it out to Perschky on the right side a clever turn to get room to cross the ball is angled high in towards goal, loops over Beattie dropping far post Taylor throwing herself at the ball can’t get anything on the ball to divert it into the net. Aston Villa are forced into a change late in the 1st half, Jones can’t continue Chloe Dale comes on to replace her.
|Becky Taylor scores early in the 2nd half for Cambridge United WFC|
|Cambridge United WFC captain, Laura Bright clears the ball|
|Aston Villa Ladies, Mollie Rouse|
|Alice Hassall scores on her
debut for Aston Villa Ladies
GOAL! Aston Villa keep coming and extend their lead in the 68th minute and it’s a debut goal for Hassall. Aston Villa bring the ball on down the left side West plays the ball into the box Cusack making a near post run squares the ball across the six box Baptiste overruns the ball as it races past her however Hassall is coming in from the right side meets the ball 1st time blasting it home to celebrate her 1st goal in claret and blue 6-1.
|Laura Mills looking to get on the attack for Cambridge United WFC|
|Maddy Cusack winning the header|
*UPDATE* The draw for the 4th Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup will see Aston Villa Ladies playing a local derby match away to Coventry United Ladies from the FAWPL Southern Division, who beat FAWSL 2 side Oxford United Women 2-0 in the 3rd Round. The tie scheduled to be played Sunday 19th February.