Tag Archives: Beccles Town Ladies

Match Report – Cup Final Special

Sunday 5th May

Norfolk Ladies League Plate Final

Sprowston Athletic Ladies v Beccles Town Ladies

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

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

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

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

 Road to the Final

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

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

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

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

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

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

(roll on roll off substitutes)

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

Rebecca Kirby winning the tackle for Sprowston.

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

Sprowston Athletic Ladies, Laura Jenkins

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

Katie Fray attacking for Sprowston Athletic Ladies

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

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

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

Beccles Town Ladies, Lucy Robbens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beccles Town Ladies, Emily Coe

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

Melissa Besley looking to get in behind for Sprowston

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

Beccles Town Ladies, Chelsea Caplin

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

Beccles Town Ladies, Fran Heaney

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

Sprowston Athletic Ladies, Rachel Bussey

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

Full time Sprowston Athletic Ladies 0-0 Beccles Town Ladies

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


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

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

Bethan Owen on the ball for Beccles Town Ladies

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

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

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

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

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

Full time Sprowston Athletic Ladies 0-0 Beccles Town Ladies


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

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

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

Sprowston Athletic Ladies 2018/19 Norfolk Ladies League Plate winners

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

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

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


Match Report – Beccles Town Ladies v Chelmsford City Ladies

Sunday 26th August

FA Women’s Cup Preliminary Round

  An early start to the FA Women’s Cup this season. The Road to Wembley beginning in August with a record number of entrants to the competition that saw 53 ties drawn for the Preliminary Round more than ever before. Women’s Football East travels to Beccles this Sunday to watch one of those new entrants, Beccles Town Ladies take on Essex side, Chelmsford City Ladies.

An early start to the season for several clubs which has led to difficulties in player availability some clubs forced to withdraw. Is a magical competition that throws up many memorable and intriguing ties over the season. Regionalised in the early rounds clubs can still make journey’s longer than they are accustomed to and test themselves against higher league opponents.

  This time last year Beccles Town Ladies hadn’t even played a competitive fixture. The Suffolk side joined the Norfolk Women & Girls Football League (NWGFL) last season. A memorable debut season in Division Two saw the club clinch promotion as runners-up losing just the one league game along the way. Beginning the new campaign in Division One their season begin’s with their 1st ever game in the FA Women’s Cup. New signings made over the summer the side is still getting to know one another on the field.

 The visitors today Chelmsford City Ladies, travelling up to Suffolk from Essex the club plays in the Essex Women’s Premier Division, where more often than not they have been amongst the sides challenging for the title. Injuries to a number of players last season made for a difficult season, a mid-table finish nonetheless have built over the summer and are confident to once again be amongst the top sides challenging for the league title. A home tie against ERWFL Premier Division side, AFC Sudbury Ladies awaits today’s winner in First Round Qualifying next Sunday.

 Heading east for today’s game I was just in front of the wet weather that was sweeping in from the west to cover pretty much the entire region come the afternoon. Beccles Town Ladies play their home games at Beccles Town FC the football ground part of a larger sports facility on the outskirts of Beccles, housing a cricket, bowls and rugby. The football ground has seen some recent upgrades. Is a large pitch with a lush cover of grass, wide space to exploit. A small covered stand with some seating (very much needed today) a tea hut beside. The rain light before the game the heavens pretty much opened the minute the two sides took their positions either side of the referee for the handshakes.

Beccles Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Millie Fisher, Marie Carter, Megan Vincent (C), Poppy Wilson, Victoria Ottey, Francesca Heaney, Lucy Robbens, Bethan Owen, Chelsea Caplin & Taylor Whiting. Subs – Darcie Keiley & Caitlin Harvey.

Chelmsford City Ladies starting XI – Kin Ripton, Holly Gurnett, Broghan Lambert, Aimee Gannon, Gaby Freedman (C), Rosie Coe, Shannon Kelly, Adele Munday, Niki Medici, Georgia James & Lisa Overall. Subs – Laura Kendle, Charlotte Palmer & Monique Black.

Going to be a wet one out there this afternoon

Both sides used to roll on roll of substitutes the FA Women’s Cup is different only 3 substitutes each in the 90 minutes. Raining heavily it’s Beccles to kick-off the 1st half, wearing white shirts with black shorts and socks. Chelmsford lined up opposite in their claret strip. The hosts look to make progress into the Chelmsford half straight away the ball fed through the middle knocked on into the box an early claim of the ball for Chelmsford goalkeeper Kim Ripton.

  Play condensed in the middle of the park, defences from both sides cutting out any forward balls. Victoria Ottey and Francesca Heaney in midfield for Beccles look to combine through the middle bringing the ball forwards the pass out to the left for Chelsea Caplin to chase is instead won by Chelmsford right back Holly Gurnett. Ottey onto the ball again forwards into Heaney on for Taylor Whiting in attack the Beccles forward placing her shot from outside the box wide of goal.

Beccles Town Ladies captain, Megan Vincent

 Chelmsford come forwards the ball played out to Georgia James peeling out into the channel, Beccles captain Megan Vincent at centre back comes across to make the tackle prevent James getting into the box with the ball. Niki Medici takes the ball on down the left wing for Chelmsford her low cross squared into the box intercepted and cleared by Beccles, Poppy Wilson. 

Chelmsford City Ladies, Georgia James

  Whiting is forced off the ball as she makes a run for the top of the box having be played in by Lucy Robbens in midfield for Beccles, Gaby Freedman the Chelmsford captain with the challenge. The first real chance of the game falls to the hosts, Heaney charging a ball down on the right sprints beyond the full back and sends a dangerous low cross along the six yard box, evading Ripton comes straight to Whiting at the far post looks to send the ball back across goal into the bottom corner, instead it flashes wide across the face of goal out for a goalkick.

Chelmsford Niki Medici with Beccles, Bethan Owen

  The weather a far cry from the heatwave enjoyed earlier in the summer, conditions miserable the rain falling heavily, both sides are struggling to get in full flow, Shannon Kelly backed up with Coe in midfield for Chelmsford tries twice to get James and Lisa Overall in attack in on goal as the attackers attempt to get in behind, Wilson and Vincent winning the ball on both occasions. Millie Fisher challenging Adele Munday and winning the ball as the Chelmsford midfielder attempts to get in behind.

  James wins Chelmsford the first corner of the match on the right side the ball into the box cleared at the near post. Chelmsford attack the ball forward into Kelly right inside the Beccles half sends the pass on with James making a run, Wilson stays with her putting in the tackle inside the D, the deflected ball falling to Medici coming on from the left strikes the ball in across the goal face drops wide of goal. 

Chelmsford City Ladies, Niki Medici puts in a ball towards the area.

  James is starting to peel of the Beccles centre backs out into the channels to find room, the Chelmsford striker pushing the ball out to Medici on the left takes the ball on before sweeping a cross into the area, Wilson the first to it to clear for Beccles. Both sides with a spell of sustained pressure Chelmsford mounting an attack the Beccles centre backs cutting out the final pass. Beccles counter attack numbers forwards Heaney with Whiting ahead of her on the right, Aimee Gannon intercepting her cross at the top of the box, Robbens races in to steal it back looks to release Caplin on her left, Ripton able to gather the ball.

Bethan Owen on the attack for Beccles Town Ladies

  Bethan Owen finds a Chelmsford goal kick coming straight to her 25 yards out controls and sends the ball into Whiting ready to turn in behind central to goal takes a shot her low effort saved by Ripton on her penalty spot as she goes to ground. Heaney has a shot from the edge of the area as she gets forwards to support the attack for Beccles from midfield left side, Ripton claiming the ball safely at her near post.

  It’s Overall’s turn to make a run into the channel giving chase to a ball popping free after pinging around in the midfield, Wilson has the pace to catch up with the Chelmsford attacker putting in the tackle concedes a corner kick. Medici to play the ball in from the left cut out near post the deflected ball dropping to Kelly outside the box, taking the shot on the half volley, her curling effort is straight into the arms of Beccles goalkeeper Chloe Pearce.

Chelmsford City Ladies, Aimee Gannon

  Chelmsford are awarded a free kick wide on the right inside the Beccles half, players go forwards into the box as the ball is played in James allows the ball to run past her near post as she pulls her marker with her the ball rolling on is met by Coe who strikes it 1st time her powerful strike driven wide. Beccles bring the ball on Heaney carrying in on through midfield her past setting up Whiting for a shot outside the area right of the D pulls the effort wide of the right post.

Beccles Town Ladies. Francesca Heaney

 Ripton with a good take to claim the ball low inside her box and Owen dinks a ball in over the top for Beccles. James manages to shake off the attentions of her marker in the centre spinning clear to the left has space to run into but opts for the early strike 20 yards out on the angle doesn’t get enough on the ball to threaten Pearce’s goal the keeper gathering the ball. Medici with the ball left side squares a cross along the face of the area, Overall meeting the ball her strike is charged down by Vincent. 

  Late into the 1st half Chelmsford have a corner on the right the ball played in low near side is turned in towards goal by Freedman, Vincent blacking and clearing the ball for Beccles. Overall is flagged offside and Chelmsford attack in the closing moments of the half going slightly too early as Coe threads a pass through the middle.

Half-time Beccles Town Ladies 0-0 Chelmsford City Ladies

  A goalless 1st half, wet and horrible conditions have contributed to the stalemate neither side getting control of the ball for very long, quality lacking at times is still very early in the season for both sides Beccles creating slightly more in the final third but defences on top so far.

  A change for Beccles at the break with Darcie Kelly joining the action, the rain still persistent as Chelmsford get the ball rolling for the 2nd half. The visitors on the attack straight away Munday with a strong run on the ball down the left fires a cross in hard into the six yard box evades everyone near post Carter getting in front of Medici defends as she comes on far post the ball deflected straight into the path of Overall she opens up her body in an attempt to get the ball around the keeper, can’t as Pearce claims the ball into her midriff.

Beccles Town Ladies, Poppy Wilson

  Chelmsford have started the 2nd half strongly getting forwards the ball is played to Overall drifting right her early cross in cut out by Wilson, the ball back into the middle regained by Chelmsford Kelly out to Overall who has stayed right her early cross into the near post James under challenge gets a shot away blasts the ball straight at Pearce.

 GOAL! The bright start to the 2nd half from Chelmsford sees them take the lead in the cup tie James and Overall have been trying all sorts up top to find room in behind the Beccles centre backs both peeling into the channels combine for the opening goal well worked as the ball is put into James out wide left she whips a cross in towards the near post Overall has made a run near post in evading her marker to get her head on the end of the ball sends a looping header up over Pearce from the top of the six yard box to drop into the back of the net 0-1.

Chelmsford City Ladies, Lisa Overall scorer of the opening goal

  Overall almost has a 2nd goal moments later as she charges down the ball on the right outside the box and from the corner of the area attempts to lob the keeper, Pearce back on her line however is well positioned to bring the ball under control. Beccles relieve the pressure sending a long ball forwards allowing it to bounce Chelmsford don’t have it, almost sets Whiting away in the left as she goes after it Gannon sliding in has to concede the throw, taken quickly Whiting plays the ball in from the byline her cross in cut out by Ripton as the keeper goes to ground at her near post.

  Another change for Beccles one substitute for the other as Harvey withdraws, Caitlin Harvey coming on to join Whiting in attack. Coe in to win the ball in the centre of midfield plays it forwards into Overall outside the box she looks to divert the ball towards goal with the outside of her boot off target running wide she and Pearce have a coming together as the keeper slides in on the ball. Treatment needed but Pearce is okay to continue. Medici with a deft ball on the left into the area James attacking it, Vincent in across the attacker wins the ball.

Chelmsford City Ladies, Adele Munday

  Caplin is played in by Ottey left side charges forwards but lacking options is marshalled off the ball by Gurnett. Munday brings the ball on for Chelmsford right side lifts the ball on for Overall positioned top of the Beccles area gets a shot away over the defence looking to lob the keeper back on her line once again awkward for Pearce she does well to get a fist on the ball punch it away to the right. 

  Robbens has been getting into more advanced positions for Beccles as the 2nd half has worn on and spinning clear of the centre backs 20 yards from goal as the ball is played across her from the right she swivels into a shot cutting the ball back towards goal swerving through the area is narrowly wide of the top corner nestling into the side netting. Lambert slides in to deny Harvey getting forwards for Beccles as she attacks down the right.

Beccles Town Ladies, Lucy Robbens getting clear of the Chelmsford defence

   James with a jinking run on the ball attacks for Chelmsford outside the box across the D, Overall tries to get inside the box for the cut back, Carter coming inside from the left slides in to claim it for Beccles. Gannon gets across Whiting as the Beccles forwards attempts to power her way through the middle after being played in by Robbens. A free-kick for Beccles on half way Vincent over it the ball played in towards the top of the area somehow manages to squeeze on through into the box Robbens is on it spinning onto the shot maybe gets a little too much power behind it as she fires it wide across the face of the Chelmsford goal.

   Chelmsford make a change, Medici the player coming off, Monique Black a direct swap for her on the left wing. Robbens onto the ball in the centre tries to release Caplin on her left, the winger run off the ball by Gurnett. Pushing forwards into the Chelmsford half Beccles come close once again Carter setting up Heaney as she surges forwards pulls the trigger from outside the area the ball racing low across the face of the Chelmsford goal Ripton can see it wide of her far post.

Francesca Heaney gets the better of Chelmsford’s Lisa Overall

   Robbens with a shot from 20 yards out as the ball is diverted into her, the ball straight at Ripton. Wilson brings the ball on from centre back for Beccles releases Caplin on the left cutting back inside a shot from 20 yards out skipping along the floor, Ripton gets down sharply to get her body behind the ball, a quick turn around by Chelmsford the ball played through the middle James evading the challenge top of the area into the box left of goal her shot held by Pearce as she dives to her right. 

Into the final 10 minutes and Beccles have their first corner of the game from the right in near post both Vincent and Ottey get something on the ball as it is diverted across the opposition six yard box, Gannon the one running onto it to launch it to safety for Chelmsford. 

 PENALTY! Late in the game from a corner kick up the other end Chelmsford are awarded a penalty, the ball played in near post is touched on and cut out in the middle by a Beccles arm the referee pointing to the spot even as Caplin attempts to clear the ball. A pause before taking it as Caplin has hurt herself and after treatment on the pitch she can’t continue carried off Beccles are down to 10 no more substitutes available. Time to take the penalty Coe with the ball places it on the spot for Chelmsford, runs in strikes the ball, sending it to the keeper right, Pearce has guessed right and diving gets her fists to the ball to make the save send the ball out to her right as her team mates rush in to congratulate her.

Beccles Town Ladies goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce dives to her right to save the penalty

  The ball isn’t out of play however regained on the left swung back in Pearce marshals her defence quickly giving herself room to defend her near post punches the ball down out to Kelly who curls a shot back in the ball bouncing wide of goal. James with another shot across the face of goal as Beccles throw caution to the wind in the closing moments of the match but the visitors hold out comfortably in the finish to claim a narrow victory that sees them progress into next weekend First Round Qualifying tie at home to AFC Sudbury Ladies.

Full time Beccles Town Ladies 0-1 Chelmsford City Ladies

  A close match in the finish Chelmsford City Ladies finding a moment of magic early in the 2nd half to take the lead in the tie and claim the win. Beccles Town Ladies with a good showing in their debit in the FA Women’s Cup defended well on the whole, Pearce with vital saves, gave a good account of themselves and but for better finishing might well have been victorious themselves. Credit to Chelmsford City however James and Overall worked hard all game to find openings trying many thing’s not deterred combining for the winning goal. Know they will get better too. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award, as ever a difficult one but one did stand out for me. Both sides contributing to an intriguing cup tie, Wilson and Vincent pairing up well at centre back for Beccles, Heaney with some excellent running in midfield too, Munday strong on the ball for Chelmsford, their attackers both did well and to that end have chosen Georgia James as she grew into the game and found room in the channels and ultimately set up the winning goal.

 I do love an FA Cup game, they can often throw up a surprise or two. Enjoyed my trip to Beccles despite the weather and my thanks to both the cricket club and football club for their help and hospitality today. I stayed dry that was a bonus. Best of luck to both clubs for the season ahead and thanks for the team details as ever.

Match Report – Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies v Beccles Town Ladies

Sunday 10th September

 This Sunday sees the start of the county league season right across the East, beginning with a game from Norfolk in Division Two between two new sides entering the league this season Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies at home to Beccles Town Ladies.

  Reverting back to two leagues this season with 19 sides competing altogether with 10 in Division One with most of last season’s Division Two sides moving up. 9 sides contesting this season’s Division Two including 5 new sides, FC Sprowston Ladies, Costessey Sports Ladies and Gorleston Rangers Ladies the other new faces along with today’s opponents.

Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies based in Coltishall making the step up from youth football this season a big challenge for a young squad of mainly 16 year olds taking the step up into women’s football. Norfolk itself has a strong youth set-up with many women’s sides having youth teams Bure Valley starting in the girls leagues have progressed as a team to this level finishing 2nd in their respective league last season.

  Beccles Town Ladies are a newly formed team this season securing an FA grant to help set-up the side joining Beccles Town FC, have also established a youth set-up too for player pathway in the future. Again another very young squad although they do have more experience at playing in the women’s league with several players amongst their squad having been with East Coast Ladies last year in their single season as a club playing in Division Three.

  The playing fields on Rectory Road in Coltishall the venue for today’s game. A small building housing the changing rooms beside the carpark leading onto the playing fields themselves. A large main grass pitch with two smaller training pitches marked out beyond. A good covering of grass a little bobbly width to exploit. A cooler September day overcast with a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch.

Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies starting XI – Willow Locke, Abi Clark, Carrie Last, Anya Sadler, Summer Waugh, Jade Starling, Hayley Demmen, Maisie Redhead, Becky Wood, Juliette Kelly & Charlie Cooper.

Beccles Town Ladies starting XI – Caitlin Harvey, Jordan Duke, Molly Greig, Megan Vincent (C), Millie Fisher, Chelsea Shorten, Chelsea Caplin, Vicky Ottey, Imogen Glaysher, Grace Storey & Lucy Robbens. Subs – Madi Cook & Emily Coe.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Late unavailability leaves Bure Valley with just the bare eleven for today’s game. Have a wide range of squad numbers picked by the players 1st time I’ve seen a 67 or a 71 worn on the back of a shirt at a game. It’s the home side to take the kick-off wearing navy blue shirts with a red and white band around the sleeves, navy shorts and red socks with Beccles lined up opposite wearing  white coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball is played long up the left wing for Juliette Kelly to chase the wind blowing in that direction it picks up pace the winger unable to keep the ball in play. Beccles build through the middle, Chelsea Shorten’s ball forwards cut out by Bure Valley’s Hayley Demmen. Regaining possession Beccles move the ball left Grace Storey makes a run into space down the left the pass finds her taking the ball on into the area squares the ball into towards the near post, Bure Valley goal keeper Willow Locke scooping the ball up into her gloves with Beccles, Jordan Duke bearing down on her.

A good start from Beccles getting forwards on the right Chelsea Caplin with support from Molly Greig the ball worked across the top of the box into Duke swivels into the shot, Bure Valley’s Summer Waugh blocking at close range the ball rebounds out to Beccles, Vicky Ottey she fires over from 25 yards out. Maisie Redhead gets the better of a 50/50 challenge inside the Beccles half for Bure Valley on the right has Charlie Cooper ready to receive the ball ahead of her, sees it into her feet as Becky Wood surges past her on the overlap the winger getting in behind as the ball is sent down the line just a little too much on the pass Wood can’t get her foot around the ball on the byline to swing a cross in runs out of play.

  Duke very nearly releases Greig through on the Bure Valley goal as she does well to flick on a long ball fired into her 25 yards from goal. Bure Valley’s Anya Sadler stands up to Grieg as she looks to power her way through the central defender tackling to regain possession of the ball. Jade Starling with the ball for Bure Valley bringing it forwards through the middle pushes it on for Cooper ahead of her outside the area runs at goal stabs the ball forwards towards goal no pace on the attempt Beccles goalkeeper, Caitlin Harvey drops forwards to claim the ball. 

Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies, Jade Starling

 Bure Valley win the 1st corner of the game an inswinging delivery is headed clear of the box by Robbens, Beccles launch a swift counter attack Duke picking up the ball inside her own half drives forwards making a central run has Caplin free to her right tries to pick her out, Bure Valley’s Carrie Last recovering the ground well to intercept the ball at left back. Imogen Glaysher halts a Bure Valley attack on the left the ball moved forwards quickly Storey getting a throw in deep on the left played inside to Robbens turns and shoots placing the ball wide of the near post.

GOAL! Breaking up an attack at one end Bure Valley go straight up the other end to score the opening goal of the game closing in on the quarter hour mark, Sadler playing it forwards. Cooper has it left side is allowed to gain alot of ground without being challenged moving inside as she close in on the box lets fly sending the ball wide across the keeper and into the bottom far corner to score 1-0.

Beccles attack from the restart Storey with the ball left side puts the ball into Robbens inside the D her shot is deflected by Sadler behind for the corner kick. Defending the corner Bure Valley are pushed back Beccles with the ball around the final third but finding no final ball. Robbens fed the ball inside the box left of goal seeing er shot/cross running wide across the six yard box. A break on for Bure Valley, Kelly with plenty of pace in her legs with the ball left Cooper up with her the ball fed into her as Kelly looks to go on, the Beccles defence stopping the pass the ball running wide of Kelly for a corner kick. A good delivery into the six yard box a Bure Valley head on the ball knocking it down but straight into the gloves of Harvey.

GOAL! 7 minutes after falling behind Beccles get themselves back on level terms, Storey is proving a handful on the left a willing runner picking up the ball from Duke after Sadler stops an attack through the middle. Storey tries to pick out Robbens inside the area left corner is challenged the ball running on takes a deflection off a defender turning in inside towards goal Robbens reacts quickest after it the angle tight inside the six yard box fires the ball across goal and into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

 Demmen with the challenge on halfway plays the ball on for Abi Clark she threads a pass into Wood sprinting in behind on the right for Bure Valley she crosses early into Cooper central top of the box the striker dragging her shot wide of the far post.

GOAL! Bure Valley take the lead for the 2nd time in the match launching a rapid counter move Beccles over committing in attack as Kelly races forwards with the ball wide left has crossing options racing forwards Cooper closest with Redhead right behind her picks out Cooper and on the turn outside the area she fires her low shot into the bottom corner 2-1 as the 1st half passes the midway mark.

2 goals for Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies, Charlie Cooper

  Has been a competitive game so far but clean and played in good spirit. Good running on the ball from Duke on the left evading a tackle comes in field looking to send the ball on across the area, Waugh has read the threat and moving towards her is well placed to cut the ball out. Bure Valley have been playing deeper than Beccles now starting to push up field more as a unit. Last bringing the ball on through the middle releases Wood on the right with a well times pass her cross whipped in along the top of the area is headed away by Ottey, is picked up by Kelly on the left a ball fired into the box is launched out falling centrally a shot looped back in towards goal claimed high in the air by Harvey.

  Duke travelling with the all surges into the Bure Valley box moving left of goal the angle closing as she shoots from six yards out straight at Locke covering her near post gloves the ball down and collects cleanly. The wind starting to pick up as the 1st half draws to a close Duke has her legs taken from her just outside the D, with no advantage on offer referee Paul Gibson brings it back for a free-kick to Beccles. Robbens over it can’t keep her shot down the ball flying over. Robbens then wins the ball off the resulting goal kick 20 yards out rolls in on for Greig just inside the box putting her foot through the ball on the turn pulls the strike wide of the post.

GOAL! Into the final few minutes of the 1st half and Beccles get the scores back level. Robbens on the ball is awarded a free-kick wide left 5 yards inside the Bure Valley half push players on into the area with captain Megan Vincent to take the set-piece is a great delivery a high ball falling behind the defence at the far post Robbens gambling has snuck in behind and meeting the dropping ball sends it home to make it 2-2.

Beccles Town Ladies, Lucy Robbens with her 2nd of the game makes it 2-2

Beccles win another free-kick in a similar position in their next attack Vincent again over the ball doesn’t carry so far this time Starling amongst those gathered along the top of the box to defend gets up to head the ball clear. One last attack in the half for Beccles Duke linking up with Caplin as she bombs forwards the pair try the one two, Caplin’s ball into the area too close to Locke the goalkeeper gathering the ball.

Beccles Town Ladies, Megan Vincent

Half-time Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies 2-2 Beccles Town Ladies

  An entertaining 1st half of football between two young and energetic sides a good tempo and clean game. Beccles have had more of the attacking and chances however Bure Valley took the lead twice in the half only for Beccles to come back into it. Plenty of energy burnt Beccles can bring on subs 2nd half Bure Valley can’t will it prove telling roll on roll off substitutes are great for rotating players if a challenge to keep track off for someone writing notes. Is alot cooler at the start of the 2nd half the wind having more bite to it now and too the visitors advantage 2nd half.

It’s Beccles to kick-off the 2nd half have made 2 changes Madi Cook and Emily Coe on for Glaysher and Ottey. Coe at right back Cook in midfield with Shorten dropping into the back-line alongside Vincent. Their 1st attack brings them a corner on the left an inswinging ball whipped in is headed away by Sadler for a throw in. Wood with the ball wide right for Bure Valley comes inside looking for force her way into the box comes together with Vincent the defender winning the ball.

 GOAL! Beccles take the lead for the 1st time in the game early in the 2nd half Greig intercepting the ball outside the box a shot is fire back on blocked deflected across goal Caplin is there as the ball comes into her 10 yards out a little composure needed and delivered as she gets her boot under the ball lifting her shot up over the keeper and into the goal beyond 2-3

Jordan Duke scores to put Beccles Town Ladies into the lead

  Caplin combines with Robbens outside the box as Beccles quickly regain the ball after play resumes outside the area a one two Caplin dinks the ball over the Bure Valley defence looking to pick out Duke stealing in behind, Locke reacts too moving forwards stooping forwards is able to gather the ball before the striker can get there.

  Up the other end Harvey reacts just as quickly as Cooper is fed the ball by Last making another good run through the middle outside the area Cooper turns not expecting the goalkeeper to be on top of her standing big against her Harvey prevents the striker getting a shot away. Beccles are looking the stronger have more energy about their play. Wood is feeling unwell has to come off for Bure Valley seeing the home side having to continue with 10. Bure Valley find room on the left Kelly taking the ball on plays the pass inside to Cooper then goes on Cooper sending the ball on into her path inside the area left of goal Harvey comes near post to close the angle Kelly blasts her shot straight at the keeper who makes the save.

Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies, Juliette Kelly

  Caplin has a punt from 30 yards out left of the area the ball head height gloves to the deck and gathered by Locke. Caplin comes off then to be replaced by Ottey. Defending deep Bure Valley are battling hard at the back Demmen sliding in top of the area to deny Greig a shot as she goes to pull the trigger.

  GOAL! Beccles win a penalty. Play stretched Bure Valley a caught at the back as the ball is launched forwards Duke after it as it runs into space right heading towards the box Last has the pace to get back on her they come together inside the area Duke upended, the referee pointing to the spot, a delay in taking as Duke is still down in a lot of pain, needs time to recover is carried off Caplin having only just put her bib on sent back on. Robbens on a hat-trick to take the penalty, no mistake hits the ball hard keeping it low to the left of the keeper fired into the far corner 2-4.

Lucy Robbens strikes her penalty into the bottom corner to complete her hat-trick

   GOAL! Beccles go on to extend their lead straight away getting the ball down on the right into the corner a free-kick is given away. Robbens on it taken quickly fired across the six yard box an extremely hard ball to defend races through to Storey waiting at the far post 2 yards out gets her foot on the ball turning it into the back of the goal 2-5.

  Two quickfire goals 20 minutes into the 2nd half to extend their lead by 3 goals has put Beccles in full control of the game. A blow for Bure Valley you can see the stuffing has been knocked out of them. Come forwards however Kelly winning a corner left, is played up the line to Last corner of the area she fires a cross through the six yard box, Starling far post flings a leg out can’t get a touch to deflect the ball goalwards. Duke has recovered from her knock and is sent back on for Greig up top.

A good if unorthodox save from Locke with her feet as Beccles play through the middle Storey inside outside the box stretching into the shot sending it wide of the keeper about to move to her right, readjusted instinctively sticking out a boot to deflect the ball away from her. Counter attacking Clark up the pitch right side on for Cooper a shot from outside area straight at Harvey gloving the ball down safely 15 minutes left to play. Hard work for Bure Valley now tiring but still willing to get forwards Kelly finding room left side wins a corner. Is headed clear by Vincent, on for Cook the midfielder pushed right doesn’t loose the ball fires it forwards for Caplin 25 yards out snatches at her shot pulling it away from goal.

Madi Cook brings the ball forwards for Beccles Town Ladies

GOAL! Play is stretched Shorten winning the ball at the back played forwards finding Robbens she sends a looping diagonal ball from the right in towards the area over the jumping centreback drops to Duke beyond running towards the area, Locke comes rushing out to meet her Duke getting a toe on the ball sends it creeping past the keeper and has just enough pace on it to cross the line before the Bure Valley defence can get there 2-6.

Robbens comes off for Beccles with Greig back on in the closing stages. Bure Valley come forwards Kelly still full of running takes the ball on cuts the pass inside to Cooper 25 yards out sets herself for a curling shot however as she has been all 2nd half Harvey is right behind it catches comfortably.

Beccles, Vicky Ottey tackling Bure Valley’s, Juliette Kelly

 GOAL! Beccles extend their lead late on have overloaded the left flank winning a throw pressure the ball comes to Caplin just outside the box left corner takes on the strike putting her foot through the ball flies across goal into the net bouncing out off the inside frame a moments hestitation for Caplin as there is concern it came back out off the post but it didn’t and the goal given Caplin runs away ecstatic in celebration having scored her 2nd of the match 2-7.

Chelsea Caplin striking to score Beccles Town Ladies 7th goal

  Bure Valley are showing their frustration but nevertheless keep going Demmen gets forwards space on the left wanting the ball rolled on for her by Cooper gets it taking it on has Cooper available for the cut back doesn’t get her foot wrapped around the ball enough plays it behind for the goal kick. One last attack for Bure Valley in stoppage time Cooper with the run right side of goal 25 yards out hits the ball hard her strike flashing wide of the far post the last action as the final whistle blows.

Full time Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies 2-7 Beccles Town Ladies

  Beccles Town Ladies win their 1st ever competitve game in Norfolk Women’s Division Two 7-2 taking them to the top of the league albeit early days. Coming out the better in the 2nd half scoring early then taking advantage as Bure Valley were down to 10. A competitive encounter an entertaining and lively 1st half ending 2-2. Beccles with more of the ball had the advantage of being able to rotate players 2nd half and as Bure Valley tired they found room to create chances. A good performance to start their season. Fair to say both sides are a little short of match sharpness. Bure Valley despite the scoreline at the end shouldn’t be too disappointed going forwards got a young talented squad it will only get better.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 This afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match was a fairly straight forwards choice today. Good performances from players on both sides but for consistency throughout the game I’ve chosen Beccles Town Ladies Lucy Robbens influential on and off the ball setting up chances and on the end of several herself scoring a hat-trick along the way.

Good to see two new young sides in action today. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the teams. Wishing both clubs the best for the season and will be interested to see how both progress.