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Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies

Sunday 7th October

FA Women’s Cup

 The 3rd and final Round of Qualifying for this season’s FA Women’s Cup taking place this Sunday afternoon, 60 teams vying for a place in the 1st Round Proper of the competition, King’s Head Meadow the venue for today’s game, Wymondham Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies.

Both sides celebrating a league title and promotion last season and have hit the ground running at a higher level at the start of this season.

Wymondham Town Ladies promoted to the ERWFL Premier Division after clinching the Division One North title last season a year after joining the regional set-up. Are a side that enjoys the FA Women’s Cup have had a few memorable runs in recent seasons beating higher league placed sides along the way. Mid-table in the Premier Division after 4 matches played.

 Progress in the FA Women’s Cup has been good albeit frustrating as they have only played one competitive match having been awarded the win in both the Preliminary and 1st Round Qualifying after their opponents withdrew. Were at home in 2nd Round Qualifying taking on Essex Women’s Premier Division side Corringham Cosmos. There season already up and running Wymondham put the side playing 2 leagues below to the sword winning the game 17-1 to advance. A tougher test lies ahead today taking on a higher league placed side themselves.

  Billericay Town Ladies winning the ERWFL Premier Division last season to earn promotion to the FAWNL South East Division One. Coach Kim Coster able to bring in new players some with higher league experience to bolster the squad. As a result a fantastic start to the season, winning their opening 5 league matches keeping pace with fellow promoted side Crawley Wasps Ladies who also recruited well in the summer. A high scoring draw and final defeat on the road to Ipswich Town Women in midweek seeing that record end. Joining the FAWNL, Billericay entered the FA Women’s Cup in 2nd Round Qualifying, drawn at home to ERWFL Premier Division side Colney Heath Ladies at home progressed comfortably with a 9-1 win.

King’s Head Meadow, Wymondham Town Ladies home ground the clubhouse and bar overlooking the pitch. Hot and cold drinks available. The pitch in good condition recovering well following the heatwave earlier in the year. A bright sunny afternoon some cloud cover, music blaring from the home changing room getting the players fired up for this afternoon’s fixture.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Chelsea Clarke, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Carolyn Sarafian, Jorja Patterson, Rebecca Russell, Rachel Cossey (C), Kayleigh Holloway, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters. Subs – Lauren Kett, Mollie O’Callaghan, Olivia Gunn & Alice Ladbrooke.

Billericay Town Ladies starting XI – Alex Baker, Esme Lancaster, Lucy Jones, Nicole Farmer, Courtney Lumley, Lindsey Morgan (C), Zoe Rushen, Nancy Butler, Sophie Vale, Jay Blackie & Georgia Box. Subs – Anna Maria Raine, Kelsey Smith & Broghan Kelly.

Pre-match handshakes

It’s Billericay all in blue to take the kick-off 1st half with Wymondham lined up in red shirts with black shorts and socks. The Essex side looking to place the ball left for Nancy Butler to chase the pass too long out of play. Regaining possession in the centre of midfield Billericay, captain Lindsey Morgan bursting forwards, Wymondham’s captain Rachel Cossey with her back into the area defending as the ball is played forwards, the tackle won, Leah Newcombe seeing the ball safely back to goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan.

   Wymondham come away with the ball on the left played inside for Laura Nicholls, Courtney Lumley getting across her and playing the ball back to goalkeeper, Alex Baker to clear. Wymondham pressing Billericay at the start of the match, results in a break the ball played out to the right Nicholls with space to take advantage off takes the ball on puts the cross in early the diagonal ball just evading striker Hannah Waters central runs on for Rebecca Russell left of the D a chance to shoot scuffs the turf the ball low towards goal not troubling Baker as she drops to her right to lay claim to the ball.

  Bethany Fretwell coming out of the back line driving through the middle with the ball crossing halfway the centrebacks attempted forward pass through the middle just evading Waters as she tries to get in behind the Billericay defence. Billericay attack quickly  bringing the ball on through the middle Jay Blackie on for Zoe Rushen the pass out wide right into the path of Sophie Vale shoots from the angle 20 yards out, the ball racing wide of the near post. Wymondham get an attack going through the midfield, Cossey into Russell on into Waters play spread out to the right as Newcombe sees nothing but grass ahead of her taking the ball down the wing swings a cross into the area claimed by Baker at her near post.

Bethany Fretwell driving forwards for Wymondham Town Ladies

    A good tempo to the game the first 10 minutes flying by, Blackie picking the ball up deep for Billericay inside for Rushen out to Esme Lancaster getting on down the right side, tackled by Kayleigh Holloway, Wymondham try to counter, Morgan breaking up play. A great save from O’Callaghan to keep it at 0-0 as Billericay press forwards, Blackie strong on the ball passing it to Vale has Rushen further out playing her in she shoots angling in blocked by Fretwell in front of goal the rebound back to Rushen her 2nd attempt heading for the top corner, O’Callaghan getting a glove up to the ball turning it wide and out for a corner across her six yard box.

Billericay Town Ladies, Sophie Vale

  A good delivery from Rushen on the corner left side a high tempting ball in central, Blackie rising highest gets a connection her header taking the ball wide of goal. Vale on the ball left taking it inside on to Georgia Box top of the area, turns into Fretwell, quickly joined by Carolyn Sarafian no way through the attack breaks down the ball cleared out to Newcombe left side her pass up to Waters central has Nicholls on close support the pair try to combine Waters lifting it into Nicholls looks to get beyond her into area Nicholls with a deft header trying to knock the ball down into her feet, Baker can get hold of it first for Billericay.

Jay Blackie tackling for Billericay Town Ladies

   Lucy Jones comes forwards for Billericay on the right a good challenge from Newcombe as the full back tries to get inside her. Newcombe fouled on halfway a chance for Wymondham to send players forwards for a set-piece Fretwell on the ball sends it long towards the far post, the home side getting a corner out of it. A good ball into the box an in-swinger coming in central Baker getting her gloves on the ball palms it down into the six yard box, Jorja Patterson reacting quickest for Wymondham her shot straight into Baker’s gloves.

  Frustration evident from Billericay as decisions appear to be going against them more than their opponents, they are pushing on well in attack threatening to get into good scoring positions, Blackie in particular finding space to run into, Bulter and Vale providing great options left and right. Win a corner left side Box controlling the ball spinning it out to Vale closing in on the left her ball into the area deflected behind. Blackie coming for the ball put in near side this time gets away to head the ball goalwards her effort over the bar.

 GOAL! Billericay open the scoring in the 20th minute, win a free-kick in a dangerous position outside the area. The build-up involving Blackie and Rushen the ball into Vale outside the box is brought to the floor. Rushen’s reputation proceeds her, wrote her name down before I even looked to see who was taking it, is a dead ball specialist and this is well within her range a yard outside the area right of the D. She runs up strikes the ball sweetly heading top corner, O’Callaghan can’t get to it 0-1.

Zoe Rushen’s free-kick opens the scoring for Billericay

  Nicholls finds herself back in the box for Wymondham making two superb tackles on Jones as she gets inside the area looking to support Butler as she receives the ball on the left. Wymondham get forwards down the right side win a corner, players up attacking the ball an inviting delivery fired in across the penalty spot no-one can find a telling touch. 

   A great move from Billericay starting with Lancaster at the back on into Morgan central, Blackie bursting down the left channel into the area Morgan sliding the ball into her she squares the ball across the six yard box Rushen central closely marked can’t get a touch runs on for Box at the far post opening up her body to strike the ball, fires the shot straight at O’Callaghan the goalkeeper saving as she shifts across her goal. 

  Play switched from Wymondham left to right Newcombe getting a corner. The ball played short into her free on the right from the set-piece sets a high ball in towards the far post, Russell jumping between two Billericay defenders the ball striking her shoulder drops down in front of goal grabbed by Baker before anyone can pounce. Waters nips in to win the ball off Jones as she brings in out from the back cutting inside bearing down on the area Lumley with a good burst of pace getting back on the cover to win the ball back for the visitors. 

   Billericay come very close to doubling their lead quick to hit Wymondham on the counter attack players looking for channels of space Box this time pulling away to the left as the ball is lifted up to her, O’Callaghan rushing out to the edge of her box the Billericay striker taking the ball past her an open goal beyond she opens up her body setting herself sends the ball on players rushing back across goal Chelsea Clarke getting back in the nick of time clearing the ball before it can cross the line, the corner conceded.

Billericay Town Ladies, Georgia Box

   GOAL! A brief reprieve for Wymondham however as from the resulting corner they do concede a 2nd goal. The delivery from Rushen on the money Blackie with two efforts from corners already making no mistake this time making the near post run her bullet header driving the ball into the back of the net 0-2. 

Billericay Town Ladies, Jay Blackie

  Wymondham attack looking for the immediate response. Waters picking up possession tries to drive on trough the middle, the Billericay defence needing 3 bites at her get the ball away to safety. Nicholls moving out to the left taking the ball into her feet plays the diagonal ball early on for Waters breaking off the last defender in behind into the box Baker coming stays big making the blocking save. Newcombe getting brought down to the ground more than most Wymondham have another free-kick on halfway, Fretwell to delivery forwards runners far post area the ball sent in towards goal Baker saving confidently. Holloway with a mazy run out on the left for Wymondham cutting inside 20 yards out crosses into the area Waters central Lumley with the interception. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Leah Newcombe

  GOAL! Into the final 5 minutes of the 1st half and Wymondham are awarded a penalty Nicholls played on through the middle taking the ball on towards the box, Baker coming to close her down stays big Nicholls going down as she tries to put the ball pass her, the referee pointing to the spot. Worse to come for Billericay as Baker is shown a red card, sent off for the 1st time in her career. The rules changing this only a yellow card by the offender if it was deemed to be an genuine attempt to play the ball. Nicole Farmer quick to take up the gloves stand in goal for the penalty, Nicholls to take sets herself to open up her body and play the ball high to the right scores to make it 1-2. 

Laura Nicholls on the ball for Wymondham Town Ladies.

  Billericay down to 10 attack right from the restart Bulter free on the left surging on into the area rides a sliding tackle herself as she looks for options cutting it back for Rushen outside the box central her venomous strike blocked by Sarafain. Into the closing moments of the first half Wymondham press on Russell out to Holloway, Lancaster blocking her run. 

  GOAL! Wymondham capitalising on their advantage at the end of the 2nd half to pull the score all square, have a throw out on halfway left side the ball dropped into Sarafian she turns and lines up a shot from distance a high ball in lobbing the newly arrived keeper dropping over her into the goal beyond 2-2. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Carolyn Sarafian

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-2 Billericay Town Ladies

  The game turned completely on its head in the final 5 minutes, Billericay looking good for their 2-0 lead pushing on likely to get more, Wymondham getting it back to 2-1 from the spot in what some may feel was a controversial decision to red card the keeper. The home side taking advantage however scoring and Sarafain testing the new keeper from long range seeing Wymondham level it up at 2-2 moments before the half-time whistle. Cup football for you… create an entirely different outlook for the 2nd half. Billericay needing half-time to regroup gather themselves. Wymondham back in it needing to keep their feet on the ground a player advantage yes 2nd half but will need to remain composed.

   A change for Billericay at half-time having seen the 1st half out Farmer returning to the centre of defence, Vale giving way as new signing Brogan Kelly, usually a striker taking on the role of goalkeeper for the 2nd period. Wymondham to get the 2nd half underway. The ball won by Billericay played out to Butler left side a strong run, Russell getting back to put in the tackle win possession for Wymondham. Despite being down to 10 Billericay have started the 2nd half well, Rushen with a long range strike from 30 yards out flashing wide across the Wymondham six yard box. 

  Russell moving left on for Waters to chase down the wing, Lumley across to clear for Billericay. Farmer winning the ball as she challenges Waters attacking through the middle cleared into the middle Billericay picking out Morgan getting forwards crossed into Butler inside the box the ball getting stuck under her feet digging a shot out O’Callaghan throwing herself into the dive the ball past her but also the post. Jones cutting inside from the left on for Morgan placed central 25 yards out aims to loft the ball over the Wymondham defence with Box breaking in behind the touch too strong the striker can’t reach it. 

Billericay Town Ladies, Nancy Butler

   Billericay come close to retaking the lead a rapid counter right side Box carrying the ball on sends a cross racing in along the front of goal Butler far post close in, is it a save by O’Callaghan a strike against the woodwork or both I can’t tell but it’s not in the heavy sighs of relief from the home crowd behind me say it was close. The game sees no let up in tempo Billericay might be a player down but they are trying to get forwards at any opportunity, Wymondham launch a counter right side the ball into the channel Waters after it shoots on the angle 20 yards out the effort sailing over the bar.

   It’s an intriguing encounter both sides giving it there all both feeling the next goal is theirs. Fretwell striking over from a free-kick after Newcombe is brought down once again. Blackie going into the referees book. Rushen getting forwards on to Box pulling away right wins a throw deep down the line. Rushen the target standing just inside the area into her feet keeps possession taking it higher before turning and sending in a shot the ball running wide across the face of goal. 

Zoe Rushen on the move for Billericay Town Ladies

  Butler left inside to Rushen 30 yards out wide for Blackie right her cross swung into the area claimed well by O’Callaghan. Billericay not enamoured by the referee today are aggrieved at further decisions going against them only adding to their resolve at this point however. Farmer with great defensive work through the middle as she deals with a difficult ball put forwards with Waters lurking behind her. Jones getting in behind on the left sends a high cross into the area taken by O’Callaghan with Box racing in central.

  GOAL! Wymondham take the lead with 20 minutes left on the clock, comes from a defensive error from Billericay forced by Waters the ball played on by Nicholls for her to attack left channel the defensive trying to see the ball back as Kelly comes for it top of the area Waters closing in on the pair as they all converge the ball popping free Waters pouncing leaning back to send the ball over both into the empty goal beyond 3-2.

Build up to the leading goal for Wymondham Town Ladies

   Nicholls and Waters combining again left side for Wymondham in attack, Farmer getting the challenge in to win the ball for Billericay Wymondham make their 1st change, Mollie O’Callaghan coming on for Holloway. Blackie with a powerful drive forwards on the right for Billericay cuts the cross square along the top of the area looking for Butler, her first touch too heavy, Sarafain in to close her down. Billericay make another change Butlers last action of the game as they send on Kelsey Smith.

  Billericay come forwards Blackie wide moving right put long to Morgan running left wins a corner as Newcombe tackles her. The delivery into the area drops down inside the six yard box a bout of ping ball occurs the ball scrambled clear out to the left retrieved by Rushen she shapes to send a shot back in her strike wide across the goal. Wymondham are on the back foot Billericay deciding attack is the only option a 3rd and final change from the visitors Lancaster coming of the defender replaced by Anna Maria Raine who takes up an attacking position on the right.

    GOAL! Billericay get back on level terms pressing bodies forwards in and around the Wymondham box a high ball is lifted into the box from the right side Morgan jumping the highest meets it well heading the ball back across goal over the keeper and in to equalise 3-3.

Billericay Town Ladies captain, Lindsey Morgan with Wymondham’s Kayleigh Holloway

   The game open now Wymondham push on lose possession Rushen playing it up early for Box running in behind, Fretwell doing well to close her down and get hold of the ball. Jones running onto a shot from distance the full backs effort charged down. Waters after a ball played into the Billericay area left side Lumley doing really well up against her in defence. Box on the attack right O’Callaghan coming the ball past her Box further out this time defenders racing back however they can see it wide across goal this time.

   The clock rapidly running down into the final five minutes of the game extra-time and if needed penalties looming. Blackie with a clever ball up top on for Box to attack top of the area Sarafian in to clear for Wymondham.

 GOAL! Billericay retake the lead the goal coming about with more controversy, the Essex side building momentum down the left the ball played into the area O’Callaghan going to stop it a collision the keeper grounded the ball running across the six yard box Rushen following it and wrapping her foot around it to turn it into the goal, everyone’s eyes on the referee, a goal is signalled everyone including Kelly in goal races over to Rushen to celebrate. 

Rushen with Wymondham Town Ladies captain, Rachel Cossey

   A delay after as O’Callaghan requires treatment is okay to continue Wymondham behind now with little time left to find a reply. Olivia Gunn joining the action for the home side late on. A free-kick wide right as Nicholls is clipped going forwards the ball send in far post Fretwell can’t get it back across goal end up off the pitch injured. Into stoppage time Billericay have the ball Box on for Morgan on the left experienced she takes it into the corner. Cool heads needed now Billericay seeing the game out get there winning 4-3 to make it into Monday’s 1st Round Proper draw.

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 3-4 Billericay Town Ladies

   Treated to a 7 goal thriller in the finish, a good start from Billericay the higher league side going 2-0 up, felt they would go on to win comfortably at that point then came the sending off Wymondham drawing level from the penalty spot equalising on the stroke of half-time a real belief they could go on to win it from that point taking the lead with 20 minutes left Billericay had to work hard got back to 3-3 before winning the game themselves late on. That is simply the magic of the cup. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A usual a few contenders for this afternoons Women’s Football East -Player of the Match award. Leah Newcombe doing well for Wymondham at left back. For Billericay, Nicole Farmer with some good defensive work especially 2nd half, Nancy Butler on the left, Jay Blackie too getting into some great positions to receive the ball deep and set up others a threat from corners. Just edging it though is Zoe Rushen powerful on the ball her set-pieces a constant threat.

  5-4 the last time out in the FA Women’s Cup a 7 goal thriller this time around have been treated to some exciting fare so far this season, makes me hungry for more. My thanks as always for the help with today’s teams I know several but it always pays to have a team-sheet.

Match Report – AFC Dunstable Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies

Sunday 4th February

A trip to Bedfordshire this Sunday to watch a game from the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) Premier Division with AFC Dunstable Ladies hosting league leaders, Billericay Town Ladies.

   The ERWFL proving to be a very competitive league across all 3 divisions this season, any given team in the Premier Division capable of beating the other on the day. 10 sides contesting the league now following the sad withdrawal of both Lowestoft Town Ladies and Colchester Town Ladies both having struggled to find enough committed players at this level. That has see some points adjustment during the way. 

AFC Dunstable are currently in 7th place in the ERWFL Premier Division table, very tight in the middle of the table with just 3 points between 7th and 4th placed Writtle Ladies. A win today could take AFC Dunstable Ladies as high as 4th with the right result. Their form has yo-yoed this season like a few other sides in the middle of the table. More than capable of putting a good run together on the back of a strong league campaign last season that saw them push the top sides all the way eventually finishing 4th. Have brought in a few players form Offley & Stopsley Women who folded over the close season, Kelly Moss, Charlene Moreton and Rianne Townsend -Brown. A 2-0 win over Sharnbrook WFC last weekend saw Dunstable reach the semi-finals of the Bedfordshire Women’s County Cup.

  Billericay Town Ladies are often amongst the side competing at the top end of the table during recent times finishing runners-up for 4 out of the last 5 seasons. 6th last campaign began this season strongly setting the early pace matched by Essex rivals Writtle Ladies. Cambridge City Ladies promoted last season going on a great winning run to took over top spot for a little while before Christmas. Billericay have added a few new faces to their squad, Dempsey Favell joining from Harlow Town Ladies, whilst Lauren Bourne, Nancy Butler and Georgia Box were with Colchester at the start of the season. Box hitting the ground running at Billericay the striker scoring 10 goals from 8 appearance. Plenty of goals already in the side before her arrival with captain Lindsey Morgan netting 15 so far and Paris Smith top scorers with 22 goals. Opened up a 4 point lead at the top after coming back from 1-0 down at half-time against 2nd placed Cambridge City Ladies last weekend and with Cambridge not in action this Sunday an opportunity to open up a 7 point gap at the top.

The venue for today’s game, Creasey Park a council run sports facility home to several clubs, aswell as AFC Dunstable Ladies, AFC Dunstable FC and Dunstable Town use the ground. Is a very nice ground newly built offering several training pitches including a 3G surface aswell as the main pitch. A clubhouse with bar and hot food and drinks available laid out well the changing room adjoining leading out onto the main pitch a good size offering plenty of width a little worn in places has seen alot of action. Only been here before for night games so nice to see it it the daylight. A small seated stand, and a good sized carpark beside the ground. A few postponements in the area but the game was on frosty earlier wet before but the pitch had dried out well, chilly but the sun was doing it’s best.

AFC Dunstable Ladies starting XI – Hannah Payne, Jodie Patterson, Lauren Chimes (C), Elly Wade, Stephanie Fisher, Rachel Moffat, Danielle Carty, Charlotte South, Samaira Khan, Rianne Townsend-Brown & Charlene Moreton. Subs – Rebecca Langthorpe, Beth Stanton, Claudia Attenborough & Kelly Moss.

Billericay Town Ladies starting XI – Robyn Strauss, Rachel Armstrong, Kirsty Knight, Hayley Piggott, Sally Appleton, Lindsey Morgan (C), Nancy Butler, Lauren Bourne, Lauren Knight, Dempsey Favell & Georgia Box. Subs – Hope Strauss.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   Billericay were without top scorers Paris Smith today, Hope Strauss an U18 player on the subs bench. Both sides have blue as their home strip, today Billericay were playing in their red away kit. It’s Dunstable to get the 1st half underway. Billericay press the ball straight from kick-off captain Lindsey Morgan bringing it forwards the ball played out wide right to Lauren Knight getting forwards her progress halted by Dunstable captain Lauren Chimes at left back. The visitors keeping possession inside their opponents half.

 Lauren Bourne and Nancy Butler combine on the left side for Billericay bringing the ball on down the line the cross swept into the box knocked down by Georgia Box at the far post into the path of Butler her low shot blocked by Stephanie Fisher at the back for Dunstable the visitors keep the ball inside the final 3rd a cross sent in long from the left Lauren Knight coming in right side sees her looping strike fly up onto the roof of the net. 

Billericay continue their good start Morgan busy in the middle of the park winning the ball sends the pass forwards for Box ahead of her the striker holding the ball up lays it back to Morgan 25 yards out she sends a shot in towards goal straight at Hannah Payne a comfortable catch for the Dunstable goalkeeper. Jodie Patterson brings the ball on for Dunstable up to Moreton central she looks to release Khan on the right Lauren Armstrong intercepts the ball.

AFC Dunstable Ladies, Jodie Patterson

Dunstable’s Danielle Carty bringing the ball in finds Rianne Townsend-Brown on the left driving on with the ball wins the home side the 1st corner of the game. A good delivery in from the left Samiara Khan get’s up highest near post puts her header wide of the goal. Butler plays the ball long up the pitch for Box moving into the right channel to chase down, Chimes sliding in to put the ball out for a throw in. Billericay work the ball across the top of the area, players drawn across Bourne his looking to get in behind, Khan doing well around on the cover to put in a vital tackle.  A good race on between Box and Dunstable centre back Elly Wade as Morgan plays the through ball on for her. the defender getting to the ball 1st plays it back to Payne to clear. 

GOAL! Billericay capitalise on their good start taking the lead 15 minutes into the game pressing forwards players racing to get into the area as Bourne carries the ball on down the left whips in a great cross along the six yard box met at the far post the shot comes in Payne makes an outstanding save to take the ball away across her goal back out to the left is knocked back out to towards the top of the area with Bourne latching onto it from 20 yards out smashes a stunning strike into the top corner no chance of stopping it 0-1. Bourne’s 1st goal for Billericay too.

Lauren Bourne opens the scoring for Billericay Town Ladies

Dunstable look to respond the ball played on through the middle by Charlotte South on for Khan coming central takes it on has Townsend-Brown making a run to her left rolls the ball on for her into the area left of goal goes to shoot, Kirsty Knight in the way making the block for Billericay the ball spinning behind for the corner. The ball played in towards the top of the Billericay box his headed over the crossbar.

 Morgan with a couple of efforts at goal for Billericay the 1st from a wide right position held low at the near post by Payne. The second as Sally Appleton plays the ball forwards from the back Morgan running onto it 20 yards from goal her strike right flashes wide across goal out at the far post. Payne with another top draw save for Dunstable this time however off one of her own defenders as Hayley Piggott getting forwards right side for Billericay puts a great cross into the box met by a blue shirt the header up heading goalwards threatening to dip under the ball Payne throws herself at it tipping it wide. 

An excellent save from AFC Dunstable Ladies goalkeeper Hannah Payne from one of her own players

 Butler receives the ball central from Morgan turns and plays it on for Dempsey Favell getting in behind the Dunstable defence a little too much on the ball allows Payne coming quickly off her line to get their 1st to clear the ball. A competitive game Appleton needed to come off to clean up a bleeding nose. Carty and Favell slid in for a 50/50 ball the Dunstable player aggrieved as the decision goes against her. A long ball played on is cleared by the Dunstable defence falls straight to Butler 30 yards out strikes the ball 1st time her effort swerving away from goal goes wide. 

Billericay Town Ladies captain, Lindsey Morgan

   Morgan taking the ball into the area for Billericay sees her shot blocked at close range by Wade another opportunity to put it in towards goal this time Fisher is in the right place to clear. Piggott with an ambitious effort from all of 40 yards out sees the ball fall just wide of goal. Charlene Moreton operating up front for Dunstable has been tracking back in order to win possession of the ball doing so has Khan making a break on the right wing the ball played up the line, Rachel Armstrong prevents her from getting a cross into the area. Counter attacking the ball played up to Morgan surging forwards into towards goal Box ahead of her right inside lays the ball back to her, Wade racing out charging down her shot. 

AFC Dunstable Ladies, Elly Wade

Dunstable make a substitution Beth Stanton coming on to replace Khan. Billericay press forwards Box picking up the ball 40 yards from goal sends it on for Favell looking to get onto it inside the box, Chimes coming around slides in to win the ball. Another change for Dunstable Khan’s stay on the bench short lived comes back on for Carty in the middle. Wade with another great defensive tackle gets across inside her box to prevent Morgan unleashing a shot as she is played on into the area. 

Billericay Town ladies, Georgia Box

  Billericay finish the half strongly getting on down the left the ball is fizzed inside towards Box the striker controlling well her 1st touch taking the ball in towards the area escaping her marker gives chase just a little too much on the ball again gives Payne time to get out to come kick the ball to safety. Dunstable break in the dying moment of the 1st half Khan with the ball right plays it into the centre with South getting up the pitch has Townsend-Brown to her left making a run into the area lets fly as she receives the ball, Billericay goalkeeper, Robyn Strauss coming to close the angle is able to hold onto the rising shot.

Half-time AFC Dunstable Ladies 0-1 Billericay Town Ladies

   A good 1st half from the visitors dominant on the ball leading 1-0 thanks to Lauren Bourne’s stunning 15th minute strike. More chances to extend the lead, Payne with some crucial saves the defence working hard for Dunstable keeping the lead down to just a single goal. Dunstable with little opportunity up the other end are far from out of the game as the sides emerge from the changing rooms for the 2nd half.

Changes for both sides at half-time, Rebecca Langthorpe on for Dunstable, Khan pushed up into an striking role alongside Moreton. Hope Strauss on for Billericay, replacing Armstrong. Operating wide right, Morgan dropping deeper, Favell into midfield Lauren Knight joining Box up front. Billericay to kick-off the 2nd half. The half getting off to a competitve start both sides looking to close the ball down quickly. Townsend-Brown getting away on the left for Dunstable her cross gathered at the near post by Strauss.

Billericay Town ladies, Dempsey Favell

 Lauren Knight putting the Dunstable defence under pressure as the ball is played into the corner on the right, Butler getting forwards to offer support Knight plays the ball to her then back to Knight her cross fired in towards the near post run Box threatening to nip in ahead of Payne coming towards the ball the striker getting a touch but only to take the ball out of play. Dunstable starting the 2nd half much better South getting the ball forwards into Khan back to goal right side has Stanton on the move on the wing the diagonal pass into her taking the ball on to the byline wins a corner kick. 

  Stanton getting forwards on the right again her cross fired in across the six yard box knocked out to Moreton positioned at the top of the area her strike charged down by Appleton. Dunstable good start has given them plenty of confidence are winning the 50/50 balls getting players into advanced positions, Billericay know they could do with a 2nd goal to quieten things down. Hope Strauss with the ball right plays it on for Butler making a run forwards her through ball into the box looking for Bourne, Payne reaching it 1st.

Nancy Butler passing the ball for Billericay Town Ladies

    Wade doing well at the back for Dunstable across to block Morgan’s cross the ball out for a throw Billericay have players forwards Morgan with another opportunity to put a cross in deeper this time cut out by Fisher coming back out to Morgan this time her cross flies across the six yard box Bourne coming in at the far post can’t quite get onto the end of it. The game is lively the action end to end Dunstable get forwards Khan picking the ball up has a run at the Billericay defence, Kirsty Knight putting the challenge in to win the ball take it away from the attack at the top of the box.

Stephanie Fisher clearing the ball for AFC Dunstable Ladies

Winning the ball at the back Wade looks up playing the ball into the middle his helped on out to the left side into the feet of Moffat taking the ball on down the wing fires a cross into the side netting. Moffat is replaced soon after with Carty returning to the field for Dunstable the home side sure they can find an equalising goal have the momentum. The ball is passed on into Khan peeling away to the right of goal in behind driving into the box Strauss comes racing out to close her down the attacker getting her shot past the keeper the ball heading towards goal the Billericay defence regrouping quickly are back on the cover Kirsty Knight clearing the ball off the line. 

Samaira Khan on the attack for AFC Dunstable Ladies

  Townsend-Brown with the ball left side sees her cross into the area cut out by Knight away for a corner, Dunstable on top with around 20 minutes left to play. Langthorpe is fouled as she brings the ball into the Billericay half. Carty over the free-kick in front of the centre circle a good ball lifted into the area dropping for South 8 yards out looks to see the ball down across her body turn into the shot, Kirsty Knight reading it closely marking her blocks the attempt. Billericay make a change Armstrong returning to the pitch in place of Favell. 

AFC Dunstable Ladies, Charlotte South

Carty seeing the ball down tries her luck from distance for the home side, on target Strauss is well placed in the Billericay goal to take the ball low into her body. Knight is shoved over by Khan as the Dunstable striker looks to get past her after the ball, despite winning the free-kick a few verbals from Knight booked see her booked. Billericay having to work hard to keep their lead in tack, Dunstable continue to press forwards. Dunstable with a free-kick inside the Billericay half Carty up into the box cleared Townsend-Brown has it left cuts the ball inside Carty forwards strikes the ball goalwards her shot looping up and dropping on target is taken high by Strauss.

 Is tense out there the game moving into the latter stages Dunstable on top in attack, Billericay defending well can’t get the ball into their own attackers to counter the game very much in the balance. Lauren Knight picking up the ball from a throw in on the right turns inside tries to get into the area, Langthorpe putting in the tackle to win the ball back for Dunstable. The home side with a late corner right side, put in near post Strauss comes in amongst the crowd to put the ball out for a 2nd corner delivered again to the near post a head puts in in at goal from close range, blocked saved or strikes the post I don’t know before being put behind for a 3rd corner as appeals for handball are made but nothing is given.

  Khan on the attack the ball passed to Townsend-Brown who sends it out to Chimes out wide her high ball into the area is met by South breaking clear of the Billericay defence her effort turned over the crossbar wouldn’t have counted to flag up for offside. An exciting 2nd half comes to an end the final whistle seeing Billericay hold on to their 1-0 lead to claim the 3 points that takes them 7 points clear at the top of the ERWFL Premier Division table.

Full time AFC Dunstable Ladies 0-1 Billericay Town Ladies

  A cliche I know but very much a game of two halves, with Billericay strong in the 1st half dominating the ball and creating plenty of chances scoring from one giving them a slender lead. A 2nd goal early in the 2nd half would have made things more comfortable, Dunstable coming out strong in the 2nd half regrouping and growing in confidence felt they could find an equaliser and it was Billericay who needed the strong defensive display in the end grinding out the win 3 point well earned.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   A game of two halves makes picking today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match as hard as ever several good performances out their Billericay dominating the 1st half Morgan strong in the middle along with Butler, Kirsty Knight at the back particularly 2nd half. Overall it comes down to a consistent display for the entire game and today that goes to a player from the losing side, Elly Wade for Dunstable Ladies reading the game very good positioning and marking, covering when needed is today’s Player of the Match.

 Fancied a game form the ERWFL today, the regional leagues are often overlooked but an integral part of the women’s football pyramid, plenty of good players on show producing good quality entertaining and committed football if you haven’t checked out the league before I’d highly recommend it. My thanks to both teams for their help with the teams today.

Match Report – Billericay Town Ladies v Acle United Ladies

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The Supporting Women’s Football Blog started 2016 off with a trip down to Essex to watch a match from the Eastern Region Women’s Premier Division, between title hopefuls Billericay Town Ladies laying 2nd in the table going into the match as they took on Norfolk side Acle United Ladies who had played just the one competitive match since the start of November 2015. A wet and windy, thoroughly miserable day the rain lashing down the match was played on a 3G pitch one of just a handful to survive the weather, a win for Billericay and they would retake the lead  in the table. Click on the link below to take you to all the match action

Billericay Town Ladies v Acle United Ladies