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Cup Final Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final

Thursday 10th May

 Back to Cambridgeshire for more Cup Final action this Thursday evening. To the Glassworld Stadium in Histon to watch this season’s Women’s Invitation Cup Final once again being contested between Cambridge City Ladies & Cambridge United WFC who have held an iron grip on the trophy for a number of seasons.

   A league between the sides coming into tonight’s final they have never been closer in terms of position within the women’s football pyramid, Cambridge City Ladies finishing 2nd in their debut season in the ERWFL Premier Division just a point behind Champion’s Billericay Town Ladies. An indifferent season in the league for Cambridge United WFC in FAWPL South East Division One currently laying in 7th place in the table with 2 league games left to play. 

  Cambridge United WFC beating Cambridge City Ladies 5-1 in last season’s final. The two sides enjoy a bit of rivalry with a number of ex-United players now back with Cambridge City. Both rearing to get going the game having been originally scheduled to be played a month ago the awful weather that has blighted much of the 2nd half of the season putting pay to the game back then. Cambridge United into a 6th successive final have won it for the past 5 season’s once again sponsored by S-Tech Insurance who have supported girls & women’s football in Cambridgeshire for 12 years. 

Road to the Final

  A bye for the holders in the 1st Round of the Invitation Cup. It was another wet and cold day for Cambridge City Ladies as they clinched a 5-1 win at home against Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side, ICA Sports Ladies. 

  Into the quarter finals, Cambridge United were drawn away to Championship North side Wisbech St Mary Ladies. There higher league status shining through as they comfortably progressed to the last 4 with a 12-0 victory. A trickier tie on paper for Cambridge City Ladies in their quarter final tie at home to ERWFL Division One North side, Histon Ladies. Cambridge City though was also comfortable winners going through the the last 4 with a 7-0 result.

  Home ties for both sides in the semi-finals up against the two sides who would eventually finish as Champions and runners-up in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership saw them both in action just last evening St Ives Town Ladies and Newmarket Town Ladies. A 3-0 win at Mildenhall Town FC for Cambridge United as they beat Newmarket Town 3-0 to reach another final. Cambridge City reaching a 2nd successive Invitation Cup Final with a narrow 1-0 win over St Ives Town Ladies.

Histon’s Glassworld Stadium the venue once again for the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final. The pitch having seen a lot of football over the season it Histon Ladies and their Reserve side amongst those using it. A big pitch with plenty of room on the flanks to exploit one main stand over looking the pitch with covered terraces and seating all around. Much better weather this time around cooler than it has been sunny and cloudy no rain forecast. 

Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Tee Mhunduru, Sarah Mosley, Lauren Tomlinson, Amy Reed, Becca Fay (C), Anna Kanz, Stacey Fullicks, Charlotte Gillies, Laura Mills, Grace Stanley & Bella Simmons. Subs – Carla Penny, Emily Reed, Bronte Rapley, Lucy Hurst & Ellie Cullum.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Bright (C), Charlotte Crisp, Laura Baker, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt, Lauren Cartwright & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Amber Cantwell, Gabrielle Whitehurst, Teonie Peyton & Lauren Gibson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Strong line-ups for both sides, normally both are abbreviated to Cam in my notes that’ll confuse everybody however so from here on it it’s City and United. It’s United to get the game underway wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks with City wearing white shirts, with black shorts and white and black hooped socks. United playing the all into striker Kelley Blanchflower breaking forwards at the start her ball on for Amy Howlett on bursting down the right, she fouls her opponent trying to get inside to cross the ball.

   City break forwards the ball coming on through the midfield Anna Kanz with Stacey Fullicks, the diagonal ball sending Grace Stanley in behind of the left cuts inside and fires a cross into the area Bella Simmons arriving at the near post getting in front of her marker and putting her head on the ball directs it wide of the goal. Right from the off it looks like it’s going to be a feisty contest between the pair. 

Grace Stanley on the attack for Cambridge City, Emma Jenkins in defence for Cambridge United

  United get the ball down into the right channel win the first corner of the game. A good delivery into the area the ball falling for Bright at the far post her strike charged down the rebound racing out to Amy Howlett positioned 25 yards out her shot back in claimed by City goalkeeper, Tee Mhunduru. 

  City build on the right Simmons coming across to offer support for Charlotte Gillies, receiving the ball Simmons shoots from the top right corner of the area her low effort gathered by United goalkeeper Savannah Smith covering her near post. City pressure United at the back bodies forwards win their first corner of the game over on the right the ball played into the middle of the area headed clear by United’s Laura Baker. 

  Both sides are using the width getting their wide players involved in the action early on United breaking forwards the all into Blanchflower shifted on for Howlett her cross squared in along the top of the area Lauren Cartwright stooping into the header directs the ball in towards goal, Mhunduru right behind the ball takes it into her arms. Lauren Tomlinson at left back for City gets across to take the ball away from Blanchflower as the United striker is played in through the middle.

  Fullicks felt the full force of a Baker tackle in last season’s final and the pair come together again this time around a Baker having broken up a City attack lunges in as Fullicks picks up possession. A painful one for the City midfielder, Baker with a talking to from the referee. Fullicks after treatment is okay to continue. A free-kick for City inside the United half the ball played up into the area cleared by Kayleigh-Anne Burt.

Laura Baker about to tackle Stacey Fullicks

 A purposeful attack by City Simmons running at the United defence with the ball her shot blocked by Emma Jenkins top of the area the rebound travelling on into the box Laura Mills wants it runs on, United captain Laura Bright with a great sliding tackle to take the ball away from her. A competitive game Blanchflower running into the channels to get onto the ball a cross into the area from the right long to the far side Faith Hewitt with the shot can’t keep the ball down. 

 Charlotte Crisp with the ball through the middle for United plays it on for Blanchflower she spins away from City captain Becca Fay breaking into the box, Amy Reed coming across to challenge and deny a shooting opportunity. Carrie Bennett tackles Gillies as the City winger comes infield with the ball on the right. City press forwards Mills seeing her shot from 20 yards out right side of the area blocked the ball looping away to Stanley on the left side her header back in met by Bright the ball doesn’t go far fired back in low for Simmons six yards out her near post strike gathered by Smith.   

Cambridge City Ladies captain, Becca Fay

Entertaining the crowd are getting behind the sides, flowing football United clearing a City cross into the box one end, breaking it forwards up the other rapidly Howlett seeing her cross claimed by Mhunduru the centre of her goal. Sarah Mosley getting her head on the ball to clear for City as Howlett surges down the right again. Smith comes racing out of her area as City release Stanley through the middle charging forwards the goalkeeper slices her clearance, luckily for her Stanley momentarily looses sight of the ball players racing back, the winger picks it back up left corner of the area Smith getting back on her goes to ground the ball struck against her United able to nullify the threat.

Cambridge City Ladies, Grace Stanley

   An injury to Bright bring’s a chance of respite for both sides. Bight is allowed back on after treatment. United attack the ball fired into Blanchflower 40 yards out a drop of the shoulder and she is away in behind the City defence shooting early drills a swerving shot in Mhunduru going for it misses the ball though wide of the post. A free-kick out wide right corner for United after Howlett is fouled, the delivery long Mhunduru taking it high beyond the far post releases it quickly Mills away on the right, Gillies with her the ball crossed in Jenkins slicing the clearance, Smith coming pounces on the ball.

   GOAL! The stalemate is at last broken as United score the opening goal of the game. Have a free-kick out wide on the left inside the City half the ball is sent in long towards the far post Blanchflower closing in lets it run on for Howlett to her right a solid connection to smash her shot back across the goal and in 0-1.

Amy Howlett opens the scoring for Cambridge United WFC

The goal firing United up they press on looking for another Tomlinson winning the ball from Cartwright moving to the right. PENALTY! City looking for a quick response build on the right get an opportunity from the penalty spot as Gillies is brought down just inside the area by Burt lunging in try and take the ball from the winger. Simmons placing the ball on the spot runs in and strikes the ball Smith beaten the ball running low past her strikes the base of the post and cannons out to the left.

Cambridge City Ladies midfielder, Anna Kanz

 A spell of City pressure late in the first half Kanz winning the ball played on for Fullicks she combines with Gillies going forwards the cross in too close to the keeper Smith claiming the ball. Gillies with more good running down the right Bennett defending the corner conceded, into the area Burt clears. City come close again to levelling the score Tomlinson getting forwards with the ball into the United half a diagonal ball launched into the area a pointblank header for Simmons six yards out an excellent catch by Smith quick reactions a couple of yards between attacker and goalkeeper Smith gets a firm hold of the ball. 

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-1 Cambridge United WFC

  Plenty happening in an exciting and entertaining first half, pretty even between the sides, United getting their noses in front. City far from out of it creating plenty of opportunities running at the United defence. A penalty missed, Simmons looking a real threat in attack for City. Just one goal in it United know they have plenty of work ahead if they are to keep hold of the County Cup. 

Laura Mills on the attack for Cambridge City

The floodlights on for the 2nd half, City get the 2nd half underway, lose the ball United putting it out to Hewitt on the left wing she crosses into the area Fay clearing for City. 

GOAL! A couple of minutes gone in the 2nd half and City are back on level terms players breaking forwards Gillies on for Mills inside the area right side falling she cuts the ball back towards the six yard box Simmons on it near post sends the ball across the keeper and over the line 1-1. 

Gillies gets back to support Mosley as Hewitt looks to get in behind her on the left for United. Gillies playing the ball long for Simmons to go after she is brought down 30 yards out right side of the United goal. The delivery long to the far post a glancing header from Simmons touches a United player as it runs out for a corner. The ball into the area defended by United. Hewitt with the ball left side again her early cross in toward Howlett right of the D she shoots first time the ball wide. United make a change Cartwright coming off, Amber Cantwell coming on. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Laura Baker

  Mosley defending as Baker looks to put the ball into Blanchflower the United striker aiming to spin in behind. City have the advantage a strong spell have United penned around their penalty area. 

 GOAL! Having levelled the scores City go on to take the lead in the Invitation Cup Final of the net. Breaking up a United attack Gillies brings the ball forward through the middle sliding the ball on for Simmons her touch taking her away from her marker and shooting from the top of the area her low effort runs into the back of the net just inside the post 2-1.

United make a substitution Lauren Gibson on up top for Blanchflower. City are looking strong having started the 2nd half well renewed energy as they press on wanting another. Bennett charging down a shot from the right from Gillies as she takes the ball on down the wing has a second go past the full back this time but not Smith who claims at her near post. Gillies and Simmons look to combine centrally, Jenkins coming in to win the ball for United. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Emma Jenkins

City are on top Mills coming on with the ball into the right channel crosses from the byline the ball flashing across the face of goal runners coming in but no one can get a touch on the ball. A free-kick in a dangerous position for City right of the D 25 yards out Mosley on the ball curls in a shot towards goal Smith jumping up the ball smashes against the crossbar dropping down to the left a shot fired in, Smith already on the ground making the save on her goal line. 

Cambridge City Ladies, Stacey Fullicks

  Bright having taken a knock needs to come off for United, Teonie Peyton coming on goes into a position wide left. City’s tails are up they are dominant sense they can get more goals pulling the United back line out of shape. Gibson is pulled back as she attempts to get on through the middle a free-kick for United. Jenkins over it a good delivery in towards goal bouncing in front of Mhunduru she lays claim to the ball even as Hewitt lunging for it almost connects. A double change for City, Kanz and Stanley coming off, on come Carla Penny and Ellie Cullum. Reed winning the ball at the back for City as United look to play the ball over the top for Gibson.

Faith Hewitt on the attack for Cambridge United WFC

 GOAL! City extend their lead pressing forwards the ball on the right numbers up pressing United top of the area the ball played across to the left side in front of goal, Gillies right corner inside to Cullum she helps it on to Simmons left side her dipping shot flying into the back of the net 3-1.

A Cup Final hat-trick for Cambridge City Ladies, Bella Simmons

City bring on Bronte Rapley in place of Mosley with less than 10 minutes left to play. Fullicks back to help out at the back as Peyton gets free on the left prevents the cross coming in. Gabrielle Whitehurst comes on for United replacing Hewitt. Howlett getting back gets the ball back to Smith as Penny threatens to run in on goal. Reed with another good defensive tackle as United try to bring the ball on through the centre. Peyton with the ball deep in the left cuts the ball back in towards the byline Mhunduru concerned the ball though landing on the roof of the net. 

Fullicks is struggling with a knock comes off Emily Reed coming on for City. Blanchflower back on for United, Crisp off. Burt getting the ball back safely to her keeper as City press in attack through the middle. Reed wins the challenge against Blanchflower as Baker sends the ball on into her after winning it on halfway. Blanchflower’s ball lifted on strikes Fay in the back as the defender turns 20 yards from goal. City bring off Simmons in the closing minutes Lucy Hurst on. Look comfortable United rushing their passes in their bid to try and get a goal back late on. Lively late on emotions running high City closing everything down. City celebrate everyone running onto the pitch as the final whistle blows and they win this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final.

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 3-1 Cambridge United WFC

  A strong 2nd half performance from Cambridge City getting themselves back on level terms early on. Went on to become deserved winners dominating the game pressing the ball defending strongly and building quickly through the middle. Simmons could have had a hat-trick in the first half instead waited for the 2nd half 3 well taken goals too to comeback from being a goal down after the 1st half. Cambridge United’s long hold on the Invitation Cup coming to an end were outplayed 2nd half.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Picking this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match is fairly straight forwards although their were plenty of other good performances from Cambridge City too, Amy Reed good in the back line. Charlotte Gillies a threat on the right supported by Laura Mills. Stacey Fullicks strong in the midfield. Scoring a hat-trick in a Cup Final though is pretty special and for that and the constant threat she posed Cambridge United all game the award goes to Bella Simmons.

Cambridge City Ladies 2017/18 Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Winners

Congratulations to Cambridge City Ladies winning the 2017/18 Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup.

  My thanks to everyone who assisted me this evening and good to catch up with a everyone not many games left to watch now.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Enfield Town Ladies

Sunday 29th April

A game from FAWPL South East Division One this afternoon on Women’s Football East back to Mildenhall Town FC for one last time this season to watch Cambridge United WFC take on Enfield Town Ladies.

 A change of venue unfortunately Cambridge United WFC as they were scheduled to play at The Abbey Stadium. The pitch deemed unplayable the game switched back to their usual home ground at Mildenhall, that pitch looking in fantastic condition considering the stage of the season at the amount of games played on it. A new metal fence fitted alongside the pitch too since my last visit. 

Today’s contest between the sides currently sitting 8th and 9th in the table. The A10 derby the sides have enjoyed many close contests over recent seasons. Cambridge United WFC have been in the top half of the table for much of the season, a transitional season with several new players haven’t captured the form from last season inconsistent haven’t picked up the points where they should recently dropping down the table as others below them find form at the end of the season, all very close in the middle of the table.

  Enfield Town Ladies themselves have had an up and down season losing games early on have since stabilised and  like Cambridge their results have varied in the bottom half of the table well clear of the danger zone. Playing their penultimate game of the season can’t finish any higher than 9th. Enfield are one of several sides I haven’t been able to get to watch a game this season so will be good to see them today

  The Mildenhall pitch a credit to the club especially with The Abbey Stadium pitch unfit. Described it several times before a slope from on goal mouth to the other. Plenty of width on offer. What’s happened to the weather? This time last week needed the suncream, not it’s back to being wet and miserable. Overcast a chilly a few spots of rain around. A monsoon heading our way tomorrow…wonderful…

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Bright (C), Charlotte Crisp, Laura Baker, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt, Lauren Cartwright & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Carolyn Sarafian, Gabrielle Whitehurst, Lauren Gibson & Mollie Coupar.

Enfield Town Ladies starting XI – Kerrie Marlborough, Sheryce Slater, Cally Browne, Laura Elias, Claire Ford, Holly Brandon, Rhiannon Bassett, Olivia Martin, Regan Coleman (C), Lisa Kline & Katherine Long. Subs – Beth Dempsey, Andrea Hunyadi, Kally-Anne Westgarth & Katrina Martin.

  It’s Enfield to kick-off the 1st half wearing white shirts with blue shorts and blue and white hooped socks with Cambridge attacking up the slope lined up opposite wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts black shorts and socks. The ball pinging around in the middle as both sides close the ball down quickly, Cambridge’s Laura Baker knocking it on through the middle for Kelley Blanchflower to run onto peeling away to the right, closed down she takes on the early shot looking to lob the ball in towards goal lacking height and power Enfield goalkeeper can gather safely.

   Cambridge regain possession in the centre Charlotte Crisp with the forwards pass Lauren Cartwright picking it up 20 yards out screws a rising shot wide of the target from 20 yards out. Katherine Long nicks in on Cambridge captain Laura Bright to take the ball in behind heads for the box, Bright quick to recover doesn’t let Long get a shot away stepping into the tackle to win the ball. 

Enfield Town Ladies, Katherine Long

  Cambridge push forwards the ball out to Blanchflower who has moved out to the left turns inside her ball into the area for Cartwright she lays it back to Faith Hewitt outside the area her ball for Amy Howlett to the right just a little too heavy inside the box, Howlett goes after it fires the ball back into the area, the shot is hit the ball heading towards goal Marlborough with the instinctive save stooping to parry the ball back out into bodies in front of her a 2nd shot comes in Marlborough making another reactive save to push the ball away to the left. 

Amy Howlett on the attack for Cambridge United WFC

 Lisa Kline bringing the ball on inside right lays it on for Coleman ahead of her Bright coming across wins the challenge. Cambridge come forwards on the left the ball played across field Emma Jenkins coming on through the middle helping it on for Howlett breaking clear on the right her cross into the box Blanchflower looking to get on the end of it Claire Ford defends for Enfield putting the ball behind for the corner kick. Long defending at the far post heads the ball clear for Enfield. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Emma Jenkins

  Enfield with a counter attack Coleman with the ball on the left her pass inside to Long, all of 30 yards out takes a pop at goal, doesn’t trouble Savannah Smith in the Cambridge goal. Smith creates her own trouble not long after a miscued kick from a pass back by Kayleigh-Anne Burt at the back on her left presents the ball straight to Kline, top of the area she looks to take a touch to round the keeper, Smith dives at her feet snatching the ball from the attacker. The match being played at the god tempo both sides exploiting the width on offer. 

Enfield Town Ladies captain, Regan Coleman

  Howlett with the run forwards the pass on for Blanchflower, Ford in to tackle the Cambridge attacker. Cambridge retain possession in the final third winning a corner on the right. A good delivery into the box Holly Brandon winning the ball for Enfield. Enfield look to build an attack Cambridge win it back turn play around quickly Bright on for Cartwright turning in behind, Laura Elias getting back on her to slide in and tackle. 

  Cambridge are playing well getting forwards win a corner on the left a good delivery in by Hewitt claimed high by Marlborough unchallenged at her near post. Elias with the tackle to take the ball away from Blanchflower on the right channel as Cartwright attempts to play her in on goal. Howlett looking to keep the ball in on the right is tackled by Cally Browne the ball out for a throw in. Cambridge press Enfield at the back the ball worked around the top of the area. Hewitt with a shot on the left 20 yards out falls wide of the near post.

  Enfield chances are rare a spell of possession brings them a corner on the right the ball attacked near post knocked down into the area as Cambridge defend then are awarded a free-kick. Burt defends well up against Kline as high ball is played up to her through the middle. Cartwright on the ball brings it on through the middle, Blanchflower moving right ahead of her helps the ball on for Howlett the cross in too close to the keeper Marlborough gathering at her near post. Hewitt breaking on the left receives a crossfield pass 20 yards from goal attempts to slide Blanchflower in on goal the attacker can’t quite reach it before Marlborough can claim it.

Cambridge United WFC defender, Kayleigh-Anne Burt

Enfield are restricted to shots from distance, Long’s effort charged down by Burt 25 yards out. Sheryce Slater with good defensive work at right back to get her head on the ball stop Hewitt from running in clear behind her. A good contest between Blanchflower in attack for Cambridge and Ford in defence for Enfield, Ford stands off Blanchflower this time as she shifts the ball outside the area left side gets a shot it bouncing wide across goal out the far side. Kline gathers the ball on the right as Enfield attack Carrie Bennett tackles her, Kline retains the ball coming inside Burt closes her down to deny her a shot on goal.

Claire Ford, defending for Enfield up against Kelley Blanchflower

  Elias with a good tackle inside the box as Howlett crosses the ball in from the right looking for Cartwright. Late into the 1st half Cambridge continue to attack Hewitt inside to Blanchflower played on to Howlett right side coming inside Browne puts in the blocking tackle right on the edge of the area, Howlett wriggles free with the ball taking it past her her strike at goal is grabbed by Marlborough. A late free-kick for Enfield inside the Cambridge half a fair way out but that doesn’t stop Slater taking on the shot her effort over.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 0-0 Enfield Town Ladies

    Goalless at the break. Cambridge with an impressive 45 minutes have created most of the chances attacking well. Not using the ball as well as they could in the final third perhaps should have the lead but at 0-0 Enfield are very much still in the game have worked hard at the back defensively haven’t been able to retain the ball going forwards the game played at a high tempo. Will the chances be taken 2nd half.

  Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway attacking down the slope no changes for either side. Kline with an early opportunity to get on the attack for Enfield on the right receiving the ball from Rhiannon Bassett up the line her cross in won by Bright for Cambridge. The home side counter attack Baker on for Blanchflower her pass inside to Cartwright outside the area, Elias with the tackle for Enfield. A corner kick to Cambridge on the right a good delivery in as players crowd the near post goes long across goal Cartwright there can’t provide the telling touch to divert it over the line. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Lauren Cartwright

  Careless at the back form Cambridge attempting the back pas on the left side again Burt getting the ball back to the keeper, out wide the return ball intercepted by Coleman, Burt quickly on her forced to lunge in concedes the free-kick a dangerous position wide of goal, Slater forwards to take it her ball in across the six yard box Bright stepping out puts her head on it to clear for Cambridge. Get the ball up the other end win a corner on the right taken quickly Browne intercepts the ball turning it behind for a 2nd corner. 

Enfield Town Ladies, Sheryce Slater

  Enfield attack the ball on by Martin into Long right for Kline, Bennett clearing the ball, Long retrieves and is fouled another free-kick for Enfield right side Slater comes forwards to take once again a good ball into the area Long up highest heads the ball towards goal straight at Smith the goalkeeper takes the ball down into her body. 

 GOAL! An hour played and the dead lock is broken Cambridge taking the lead the home side with a rapid attack have Enfield stretched at the back the ball on through the middle for Blanchflower, top of the area Slater gets across to get her head on the ball knocking it away to the right Blanchflower goes after it is clipped in the process and although she stays on her feet the referee blows up pointing to the spot a penalty to Cambridge. Baker to take it. Coolly sends it low to the keepers left into the bottom corner of the goal 1-0.

Laura Baker, scores from the penalty spot for Cambridge United WFC

   Crisp is fouled on the left as she brings the ball on a free-kick to Cambridge players up as Hewitt sends the ball into the area Marlborough able to claim at her near post. Cambridge regain possession winning a throw on the right high up the pitch then get a corner the ball played into the six yard box is knocked out to the edge of the area Burt lashes a shot back in the ball charged down the rebound coming to Crisp her strike blocked at pointblank range as Enfield defend. 

  Ford with more good defensive work up against Blanchflower as she almost gets through on goal through the middle. A change for Enfield, Elias comes off Andrea Hunyadi on. Crisp with the pass out to Hewitt plays it on for Blanchflower moving left ahead of her, the cross in cut out by Brandon. A shot out of nothing for Enfield from 20 yards out drops wide of the near post as Long and Kline converge on the ball. A warning for Cambridge that for all their attacking play they lead is a slender one. 

Holly Brandon on the ball for Enfield Town Ladies

  Blanchflower takes the ball on down the left turning inside evading the challenge getting into the box closing in on goal opens up her body to send a shot wide over the keeper, not wide enough as Marlborough is able to pluck the rising ball out of the air. Enfield are pressing more forwards now Hunyadi in midfield getting the ball into Kline on the right, Burt tackling. Kline strong on the ball again the pass inside from the right into Long she chests it down 25 yards out looking to turn and shoot Jenkins gets across to take the ball away from her. Coleman sending the loose ball wide of goal.

   A double switch for Enfield, Browne and Bassett coming off, Beth Dempsey and Kally-Ann McGrath coming on. 10 minutes left on the clock Mollie Cougar being readied for Cambridge to replace Blanchflower up top. Cougar with an immediate impact picking the ball up from a throw on the left takes the ball on into the box the challenge against her deflecting the ball straight into the path of Crisp 20 yards out left of the D the ball not troubling Marlborough. 

Enfield’s Andrea Hunyadi and Cambridge’s Lauren Cartwright challenge for the ball

  Enfield are gaining a little momentum late on sensing they can get something in the closing stages push forwards. Cambridge caught in two minds defend what they have or go for a 2nd goal. Brandon winning the ball at the back on for McGrath she is tackled by Bennett the full back for Cambridge then getting fouled. Enfield on the attack late on win a free-kick on the right wide the ball played into the area plenty forwards Long heading the ball on another touch before Ford sends her header in towards goal Smith catching the ball, the final action of the game as Cambridge win the game 1-0 to secure the 3 points.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 1-0 Enfield Town Ladies

   A good performance from Cambridge deserving of the 3 points creating plenty of opportunities going forwards unlucky not to be leading at half-time finally broke the dead-lock after an hour awarded a penalty and Baker stepping up to score. A narrow lead however and Enfield were never out of the game and one clinical chance might have been all they needed to take something from the game. Cambridge defending from the front turning play around quickly. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award goes to Cambridge’s Kelley Blanchflower. Led the line well ready for the ball whenever Cambridge turned play around, running into the channels and bringing others into play. Keeping the Enfield defence busy for the whole time she was on the pitch and winning the all important penalty.

Well it wasn’t The Abbey but good to go back to Mildenhall none the less. My thanks to Enfield for their help with the team details this afternoon. Less than a month of the season left, could say I’m winding down but I’d be lying, the next game will soon be around.

Match Report – Ipswich Town Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Sunday 25th February

A trip down into Suffolk today to watch a match from the FAWPL South East Division One. with 4th placed Ipswich Town Ladies taking on Cambridge United WFC in 6th.

  Been a while since I’ve been to the Goldstar Ground, home of Felixstowe & Walton FC and Ipswich Town Ladies now into their 2nd season as a regular at the venue. Always good to to see a club advertising the presence of a female side at their club too upon entry.

  A good season for Ipswich Town Ladies have been in an amongst the top 4 all season, at one point with Leyton Orient WFC and Milton Keynes Dons Ladies looking to push AFC Wimbledon Ladies all the way for top spot. A defeat at Leyton Orient WFC denting their own title hopes earlier in the season AFC Wimbledon have since moved on to take a commanding lead at the top of the table going 11 points clear. Ipswich Town Ladies have games in hand on the leaders but even with maximum points know only a slip up from AFC Wimbledon will let them back into the race now. things ca change however and Ipswich Town are aiming to finish the season as high as they can having won 8 of the 13 games they have played so far. Have Ipswich Town Talk helping with the media and they are doing a fantastic job helping promote them and adding to their exposure.

  Cambridge United WFC were in Ipswich’s position last season challenging for the title. This time around with alot of changes at the start of the season haven’t reached those heights are currently 6th in the table with the even record of 5 wins 5 draws and 5 losses from the 15 they have played very tight in the middle of the South East Division One table a late run of form could yet propel them up the table threaten the top 4, whilst keeping an eye on the sides below who fancy their chances of a top half finish. 

   Both sides are the leading women’s football sides in their respective counties and are going strong to once again retain their County Cups usually a close game between the sides. A win for Ipswich Town Ladies moves them up a place into 3rd.

  The last time I was here the new clubhouse and changing rooms were just a building site the foundations barely laid. The finished product is very impressive. The main building housing the bar and kitchen plenty of food and drink to chose from hot and cold. The changing rooms adjoining is an excellent environment for the Ipswich Town Ladies players to call home. Through the clubhouse out onto the pitch nice and wide surrounded by housing lost ball in gardens a highly likely occurrence. Promised to be a very cold weekend so I was fingers crossed Sunday morning the game would be on the Sunday was high in the sky however doing it’s best to warm thing’s up still bitterly cold bright and dry it was a good footballing afternoon. 

The new clubhouse at Felixstowe & Walton

Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Sian Fagg, Jacqueline Ball, Nicole Pannifer, Lindsey Cooper, Harriet Petley, Cassandra Craddock, Amanda Crump (C), Zoe Cossey, Sophie Welton, Natasha Thomas & Miagh Downey. Subs – Jordan Arnoup, Jade Henry & Gemma Moore.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Carolyn Sarafian, Laura Baker, Lauren Cartwright, Faith Hewitt, Amber Cantwell, Laura Bright (C) & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Michaela Dortch, Teonie Peyton & Lauren Gibson. 

It’s the visitors to kick-off the 1st half, Cambridge wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks with Ipswich lined up opposite their backs to the sun wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. A lively start to the game both sides looking to press the ball sees the ball lost by either side, Faith Hewitt looking to get clear down the left the ball out for a throw up the other end Miagh Downey is released into space down the left but can’t keep the ball in play. 

  Ipswich from a throw in left side work the ball in a neat triangle inside the Cambridge half before the final ball is sent in on the diagonal into the box , an easy gather for Cambridge goalkeeper Savannah Smith making her 2nd appearance since joining from Milton Keynes Dons Ladies. Cambridge win a free-kick wide right on halfway as Amber Cantwell is upended the ball played long up into the area won by Cambridge captain Laura Bright playing up top along side Kelley Blanchflower this afternoon the ball knocked out into the midfield the first time strike looks to be on Ipswich are quick to converge and regain possession.

Ipswich’s Cassie Craddock with Cambridge’s Laura Baker

   Cassie Craddock gets hold of the ball in the midfield for Ipswich moving right plays it forwards for Sophie Welton up the line she runs on with it cutting her cross back towards the top of the area, Ipswich captain Amanda Crump jumping to head the ball the looping ball angling towards the goal, Emma Jenkins gets behind it to head the ball away from danger. The tempo is very fast time on the ball at a premium Cambridge press winning the ball can’t keep it for long before Ipswich get back at them a little scrappy at times. Ipswich win a throw on the right side inside the Cambridge half between them Welton and Downey win a corner kick.

  GOAL! Coming up to 15 minutes on the clock Ipswich open the scoring from the corner kick Crump the taker a good delivery inswinging into the middle of the six yard box, Smith gets her gloves to the ball knocks it away the ball falling towards the top of the area Natasha Thomas has lost her marker, coming onto the falling ball strikes it first time the ball evading everyone and flying into the back of the net 1-0.

Natasha Thomas puts Ipswich Town Ladies into the lead

   The ball is sent forwards through the middle Blanchflower making a run across the Ipswich defence peels away in behind after it, Sian Fagg comes racing out to the edge of her area sliding in to claim the ball before the Cambridge striker can reach it. Bright and Blanchflower combine as Cambridge regain possession through Laura Baker the ball on by Bright left side Blanchflower in behind crosses into the area the ball going long Cantwell retrieves over on the right help from Jenkins the ball is fired back into the area the header won by Ipswich’s Lindsey Cooper. 

   Bright and Blanchflower with more good combination play in attack for Cambridge, Bright playing the ball on down the left makes a forwards run into the centre as Blanchflower squares the ball into her the ball is struck early 20 yards out swerves away from goal. Hewitt with a clever pass into Blanchflower who controls on her chest back to goal Lauren Cartwright makes the midfield run going beyond her Blanchflower putting the ball into her, taking it into the area left of goal Jac Ball and Hannah Petley close Cartwright down prevent her getting a shot away. 

Ipswich Town Ladies, Hannah Petley

  Welton has swapped sides with Zoe Cossey now on the right she is picked put by Petley bringing the ball out from the back, Cossey checks her run coming inside towards the top right corner of the area her shot/cross goes wide out at the far post. Cossey takes a knock for her efforts as she tracks back well to tackle Bennett as the full back goes past Hewitt on the overlap getting the return pass blocking the cross Bennett catches Cossey in the ankle the winger getting the free-kick.

Faith Hewitt with the ball for Cambridge United WFC

   A wide pitch both sides are looking to cross the ball in more than one cross ending up behind the goal. Runs through the middle are limited, Baker and Cartwright for Cambridge and Craddock and Crump for Ipswich doing a good job breaking up play. Cossey has a go picking up the ball wanting to run with it Hewitt chases her infield and slides in to win the ball. Downey comes deep to receive the ball a good turn and pass out to Cossey on the move down the right screws her cross onto the roof of the Cambridge net. Cambridge are unhappy with so of the refereeing decisions Blanchflower appearing to have her shirt tugged as she tries to spin in behind to attack the box, The referee having a word with the Cambridge bench.

Cambridge United WFC’s, Kelley Blanchflower

    Cambridge press on down the right with the ball Bright with Cantwell win the visitors a corner kick the ball is played out towards the top of the area met by Hewitt her strike is sent high over the crossbar. Cartwright is fouled as she brings the ball forwards taken short into Cantwell right she wins a throw put into Bright she holds the ball up rolled back into Cantwell her cross lifted into the box is won by Cooper. 

Keep your eyes on the ball

   Late into the 1st half is an even game quality in the final third lacking the hard pressing game continues in midfield, a 50/50 ball is won by Cambridge goes long forwards Blanchflower is onto it running clear of the Ipswich defence into the box right of goal Fagg comes running out sliding in brings Blanchflower down the referee points to the spot, PENALTY! Fagg is carded as Cantwell places the ball on the spot. Looks to place the ball to the keepers left, Fagg reads it however and throwing herself to the left makes a comfortable looking saves holding onto the ball.

Ipswich Town Ladies, goalkeeper Sian Fagg

 The opportunity for Cambridge to level the scores gone the game continues at a furious pace the ball from one end to the other possession lost too easily. Cantwell shes the ball played into her path as she makes a forwards run can’t bring it under control as Fagg closes her down to claim. Kayleigh-Anne Burt with the forwards pass for Bright on for Blanchflower a throw won on the left Cambridge get the ball into the Ipswich area, the home defence scramble it away Cambridge reclaim the ball come on again left side Hewitt on for Bennett the cross in towards the near post, Petley meeting the ball sees it skip up off her body to land onto the roof of her own net. A good delivery from the corner on the left the ball flying across the six yard box Carolyn Sarafain coming in at the far post can’t quite get on the end of it. 

Half-time Ipswich Town Ladies 1-0 Cambridge United WFC

   A narrow lead for Ipswich at half-time 1-0 thanks to Natasha Thomas. A fast paced first half but overall scrappy the tempo affecting play to a degree no one with any time to settle on the ball. Both managers frustrated few chances in the final 3rd the midfield has seen alot of the action fairly even very finely balanced with the 2nd half to come. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Carrie Bennett

  No changes for either side at half-time as Ipswich get the 2nd half underway. Cambridge with an early opportunity to put the ball into the Ipswich box winning a free-kick out wide on the right. Jenkins to take, sends the ball long towards the far post Cartwright with a good jump gets her head to the ball but can’t get enough on it to deflect it in towards goal runs wide out of play for the goal kick. Cambridge have started the 2nd half the better making progress on the left win a corner the delivery towards the top of the area flicked in towards goal, Fagg claims the ball inside her six yard box. 

Cambridge’s Lauren Cartwright looking to hold up the ball

  GOAL! Cambridge bright start to the 2nd half is undone as Ipswich get the ball up the other end quickly to double their lead. Cossey winning the ball at the back playing it long up towards Downey in the centre, the Cambridge defence looking to shield the ball as Smith comes racing out to lay claim to the ball. Downey is tenacious as she does well to get around her marker at the top of the area getting her foot onto the ball as she goes to ground pushing it past the advancing Smith and on into the back of the net beyond 2-0. 

Miagh Downey doubles the lead for Ipswich Town Ladies

   Hewitt is fouled in a dangerous position in front of the Ipswich area left of the D 25 yards out, Bright starting the 2nd half deeper in midfield to take goes for goal her effort on target lacking the pace or height to trouble Fagg. Baker is in an advanced position central as the ball is crossed into her from the right goes with the outside of her right foot attempting to play Hewitt in behind her ball going long runs out of play far post. Craddock with a good tackle wins the ball her pass out out to the right Downey gives chase sends her cross behind the Cambridge goal.

  GOAL! 15 minutes into the 2nd half and Cambridge pull a goal back. Players drifting over to the left side as Cambridge build good work from Blanchflower as she receives the ball holding it up before sending a cross in across the top of the area finding Cantwell unmarked 20 yards out makes no mistake as she meets the ball sending her shot angling into the back of the net past Fagg before the keeper can move 2-1.

Ipswich’s Nicole Pannifer with Cambridge’s Amber Cantwell

   Soon after Cambridge make their 1st change of the game bringing Sarafian off sending on Lauren Gibson the striker joining Blanchflower up top Bright who started the game in attack is now back in defence alongside Burt. A handball spotted by the referee as Cambridge attack on the right the free-kick awarded Baker over it as players come forwards from the back the delivery towards the far post the ball knocked down into the middle of the area Bright closest tries to put the ball back over her shoulder in towards goal is blocked rebounds to Gibson right of goal six yards out she gets a shot away too many Ipswich bodies to get through the shot it kept out. Ipswich counter getting the ball up the other end Thomas looking to get into the box left side, Jenkins going with her does enough to put her off checking back Thomas tries to pick out Welton far post Burt with the interception. 

  Cossey on the ball runs forwards taking it a long way before getting into a crossing position left side puts a high ball into the box the target again Welton running in gets her head on the dropping ball but can’t direct it on target. The game is stretched Cambridge after another goal Hewitt lays the ball on for Blanchflower left side her shot in towards the near post covered by Fagg. Downey has a chance to shoot from the top of the box, Smith behind it all the way catches safely. Blanchflower is down far side need treatment. Ipswich make their 1st change, Downey the player giving way. Jade Henry coming on up top. 

Zoe Cossey on the move with the ball for Ipswich Town Ladies

  GOAL! Closing in on the final 10 minutes Ipswich break to extend their lead the ball won in midfield by Crump comes to Thomas she takes it on evading a rash challenge has space to carry the ball into on the left, wide of the area checks her run has time to look up and sends a shoot angling in over Smith and into the goal beyond 3-1. 

Blanchflower needs to come off for Cambridge as they make their 2nd change Teonie Peyton taking her place. Jenkins is fouled as she looks to get forwards down the right. Wide of goal it’s the full back over it to take sent long towards the far post Ipswich have plenty back to win the ball and get the ball clear. Cambridge make their final change Jenkins coming off to be replaced by Michaela Dortch at right back. Ipswich make another change too Cossey coming off with Gemma Moore entering the field. The home side break quickly Thomas playing Welton in Cambridge recover quickly to win the ball back. 

Ipswich Town Ladies captain, Amanda Crump

  Not long left on the clock the game is scrappy Crump and Craddock breaking it up in the middle free-kick are given away by both sides some frustration on display. Ipswich make their final change Jordan Arnoup introduced Welton giving way. The substitute in to win the ball back as Ipswich finish strongly determined not to concede another goal. Cantwell takes a knock fouled down the right the ball played down the line Pannifer putting it out for the throw. One last attack for Cambridge the ball played into Gibson top of the area lays it back out for Cantwell wide right her long distance strike wide across the area.    

Full time Ipswich Town Ladies 3-1 Cambridge United WFC

   I really enjoyed this game even if ultimately it was a scrappy affair, two energetic and committed sides on display especially in the middle of the park. Few chances created and balls into the final third going to waste. The goals scored were nevertheless very well taken. Ipswich winning 3-1 in the end will be happy with the 3 points that lift them up to 3rd in the South East Division One table. Cambridge will be disappointed in the end the goals they conceded all could have been avoided. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Never gets any easier choosing the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. This afternoon being no exception a real battle in the middle of the park, no time afforded on the ball and although Craddock ran her close today’s award goes to the Ipswich captain Amanda Crump.

My thanks as always to both sides with their help with the team line-ups today although they are two sides who I know very well, always pays to check however. 

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Coventry United Ladies

Sunday 28th January

Finally after 4 attempts it’s GAME ON! Originally scheduled for December 10th last year Cambridge United WFC finally meet Coventry United Ladies in the last 16 of the FAWPL Cup.

The good old British weather putting pay to this fixture 3 times! Along with the Christmas break and Coventry United Ladies playing in both the FA Women’s Cup and County Cup has seen this game long delayed. Better weather at last this Sunday at Mildenhall Town FC as these two sides play for a place in the quarter finals of the FAWPL Cup an away trip to in form South West Division One side Plymouth Argyle Ladies waiting.

A test for Cambridge United WFC 6th in FAWPL South East Division One taking on higher league opponents this afternoon. A Determining Round played at the start of the season the winning sides entering the Cup competition Cambridge United WFC went on to beat fellow league side Enfield Town Ladies 2-0 to reach the 2nd Round. Manager Steve Edwards leaving the club after 4 years in charge of the 1st team since then. Reserves and former 1st team manager Kevin Hoover taking over whilst the club look for a successor. 

Coventry United Ladies looking as strong as ever at the start of 2018, 5th in the FAWPL Southern Division but with games in hand on the leading pair Charlton Athletic Women and Crystal Palace Ladies whilst still in contention in 3 cup competition’s the County, FAWPL and FA Women’s Cups. FAWPL Plate winners 2 season’s ago are unbeaten in 6 matches in both league and cup going into today’s tie.

Mildenhall Town FC the venue for today’s game like many others across the country has seen it’s far share of water these past few weeks, despite that looks once again in great condition if not quite a dried out as preferred this is the 52nd match to be played upon it so far this season. A sloping pitch from one goalmouth to the other, the sun bright in the sky beginning to fall behind one end. Positively tropical conditions as a pose to the freezing monsoon I endured during last weekends game, bright and sunny a strong breeze blowing across the pitch as the two sides emerged from the dressing room ready to go.

    Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Shayla Burgess, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Bright (C), Charlotte Crisp, Amber Cantwell, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt, Lauren Cartwright & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Laura Baker, Lauren Gibson & Gabrielle Whitehurst.

   Coventry United Ladies starting XI – Susan Wood (C), Alexandra Buck, Nikki Miles, Natalie Haigh, Maisie Jerrim, Laura Cooper, Helen Dermody, Jade Brook, Amber Hughes, Marie Gauntlett & Alison Hall. Subs – Elizabeth Steele, Jessica Lundie, Lucy Stead & Rosie McDonnell.

Good to see Carrie Bennett back in the starting line-up for Cambridge after suffering a nasty dislocated elbow on the final day of last season. Up front Kelley Blanchflower leads the line for the home side having been out for a period too with injury. For Coventry United Ladies, Nikki Miles is making her 130th appearance today. Cambridge wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks to kick-off the first half the sun in their faces with Coventry wearing red shirts with green shorts and socks attacking up the slope. 

The visitors press the ball right from the off Laura Cooper winning it in the middle the ball played out to Amber Hughes on the right her ball in cleared by the Cambridge defence. Maisie Jerrim takes a knock for Coventry as she goes up for the ball with Kelley Blanchflower as Cambridge play the ball long up towards her 25 yards from goal, going after the ball Blanchflower wins a free-kick central for Cambridge play stopped so Jerrim can receive treatment. Off the field Cambridge captain, Laura Bright comes forwards to take the free-kick around 25 yards from goal floats the ball in towards the far post players attack the ball, Coventry winning the header the ball clearing the area comes back to Bright she shifts it and shoots her effort wide of goal.

Amber Cantwell, attacking for Cambridge United WFC

Jerrim returns to the field for Coventry, Helen Dermody with the ball in the middle plays it on for Jade Brook ahead of her, Brook passes it on for Alison Hall at the top of the box right side puts a cross into the middle, Bright intercepts clearing for Cambridge. Coventry have started well players forwards, a shot comes in from distance, Shayla Burgess on loan from Watford in the Cambridge goal makes a very good save getting up to tip the ball up over her crossbar. The resulting corner played in from the right a good delivery from Dermody across the face of goal is headed clear by Bright for Cambridge.

GOAL! Coventry’s good start brings an early goal as they open the scoring in the 9th minute. Possession with Marie Gauntlett on the left side powers her way up the line holding off her marker whips in a great cross towards the near post, Hall arriving on cue to head the ball in across the keeper to make it 0-1.

Alison Hall scores the opening goal of the game for Coventry United Ladies

Brave goalkeeping from Burgess soon after prevents Coventry from doubling their lead regaining the ball from the restart push players forwards a good diagonal ball along the ground finds Hughes getting into the box behind the Cambridge defence, Burgess reacting quickly to slide in a smother the ball at the attackers feet. Hughes finding room out wide right again cuts inside sees her shot blocked by Bennett from outside the area. 

A strong midfield run from Brook as Coventry come forwards again a corner won on the right another good delivery from Dermody into the six yard box, the ball attacked and headed down towards goal, Burgess from close range making a fantastic double save, stopping the initial effort then blocking the rebound. The home side under pressure early on. Coventry have another corner right side this effort caught up in the breeze dropping near post defended by Cambridge out of the area dropping to Cooper 20 yards out puts her foot through the ball her effort blocked. 

Cambridge are struggling to settle early on find any meaningful possession as Coventry quickly move the ball around. Little for Blanchflower to work with up top the striker knocking the ball on as both Lauren Cartwright and Cantwell get beyond her into the box look to pressure Coventry, goalkeeper and captain Susan Wood able to kick the ball clear. Brook carries the ball forwards for Coventry getting a shot away from 25 yards out her low strike gathered cleanly by Burgess.

 

Kayleigh-Anne Burt bringing the ball on for Cambridge United WFC

Jerrim intercepts the ball at the back for Coventry as Blanchflower looks to square a cross from the left along the top of the area, up field for Dermody she tries to release Alexandra Buck on the right the full back fouling Hewitt as she tries to get around her. Not long before Coventry have the ball again moving it on Hall on the right swings a cross into the box, Kayleigh-Anne Burt winning it for Cambridge. 

Dermody starts and finishes another attacking move for Coventry bringing the ball up into the Cambridge half plays it out wide for Hughes on the move on the right wing her cut back along the top of the area met by Gauntlett who sends the ball on for Dermody continuing her run pulls the trigger her shot straight at Burgess the keeper holding onto the ball. 

Half an hour played and Cambridge have a great chance to pull it back to 1-1 Blanchflower putting pressure on the Coventry defence races onto the ball inside the box left of goal closing down Wood looks to lift the ball over the keeper sees her effort kiss the crossbar ad run out of play. Cambridge opportunities are restricted however as Coventry continue to press players forwards keeping Blanchflower isolated. Between the Bennett and Hewitt stop Hughes on the right getting a cross into the area. Cleared the ball soon comes back an early cross in from the right cleared by Burt at the near post. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Kelley Blanchflower

 A free-kick for Cambridge wide left on halfway as Amy Howlett is brought down. Bright on the ball a good delivery up towards Blanchflower at the top of the area, seeing the ball down across her body intends to turn and take it on into the area, Natalie Haigh reads her intentions and not getting too close comes across to put in the tackle. A free-kick up the other end in a dangerous position outside the D for Coventry as Brook is brought down. Cooper over the ball gets her shot in past the wall heading for goal Burgess shuffling across quickly is able to get her gloves on the ball push it away.

Cambridge United WFC’s, Charlotte Crisp

 Gauntlett on the ball for Coventry coming inside to receive the ball from the left splits the Cambridge defence with a great pass as Hall through the middle beats the offside trap, Burgess with a good starting position however is quickly out of her area to win the kick and clear for the hosts. Late into the 1st half Cambridge get the ball forwards Blanchflower taking it down into the left corner the ball played back up towards the top of the area Charlotte Crisp with the header down looking to put the ball into the path of Cartwright inside the box, the Coventry defence getting in front of her to shield the ball back to Wood. One last attack in the 1st half for Coventry Brook with the strike from 20 yards out sees her effort charged down by Burt.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 0-1 Coventry United Ladies

    A strong performance from Coventry in the 1st half. With much of the possession and certainly more chances they will be disappointed not to be leading by a larger margin. Conceding an early goal the game threatened to get away from Cambridge, some excellent goalkeeping from Burgess keeping the score down at 1-0 Cambridge are still very much in the tie however will need to have a much better 2nd half and find some meaningful possession on the ball having not settled at all in the 1st half. 

 No changes for either side at the start of the 2nd half, Cambridge with the kick-off as Coventry attack down the slope the sun settled lower in the sky. Coventry come forwards the ball played up to Hall on the right is clattered into going to head the ball is left in a heap as play goes on the ball taken down the line swung into the box claimed by Burgess at her near post.  Hall is back up on her feet.

Coventry United Ladies, Amber Hughes

Cooper with the diagonal ball to pick out Hughes making an attacking run down the right taking the ball on plays her cross in long to the far post attacked the header is narrowly over, either way play is stopped by an offside flag. Gauntlett running with the ball central lets fly from all of 35 yards out her strike sailing over the crossbar. Hall flings her arms up in the air inside the box wanting a penalty for Coventry as the ball into her is intercepted, the referee not interested.  

GOAL! As with the 1st half, Coventry score early to double their advantage in the 2nd. Play is over on the left side of the pitch as Coventry build an attack the cross played on towards the area Brook getting to the ball before Burgess can come to clear knocked past the keeper a defender attempts to get back to clear the ball but in vain as it rolls into the back of the net 0-2.

A change for the visitors Jerrim comes off at the back with Rosie McDonnell coming on. Going in on the left side of defence Miles moves forwards into an advanced position on the right, Hughes coming over to the left. Buck defends well against Blanchflower at the back for Coventry as Cambridge send the ball long for her to attack. Setting up a counter attack the ball helped on by Cooper is picked up by Hall 25 yards out hits a venomous shot in towards goal from 25 yards out the ball skimming the top of the crossbar. Burt clears with her head for Cambridge as Coventry get the ball in from the right wing. 

Laura Cooper on the ball in midfield for Coventry United Ladies

A good tempo to the game Coventry continuing to push players forwards a few strong challenges coming in. A corner right side for the visitors flung in near post a crowd up to attack the ball put wide of the post a goal kick the end result. 

GOAL! Coventry extend their lead 15 minutes into the 2nd half players up for a corner taken by Dermody on the right the ball cleared out to the left side, Coventry keep possession Cooper with the ball puts in a fantastic cross from the left up jump Haigh in the middle of the box to power her header into the back of the net, Burgess no chance to react 0-3.

Natalie Haigh makes it 3-0 to Coventry United Ladies

   Cambridge make their 1st change of the game, Laura Baker coming on for Cartwright. Good link up play between Miles and Hughes on the right the latter putting her cross wide beyond the far post. Baker with a strong tackle stops Gauntlett as the Coventry attacker looks to push on through the centre. Coventry have the ball in the back of the net but are denied a 4th goal by the offside flag following good build up play from Cooper out to Miles on the right the ball squared into the area Gauntlett running onto it puts the ball in just inside the post only for the effort to be ruled out.

Coventry’s Cooper and Cambridge’s Crisp challenge for the ball

    Blanchflower is taken down by Buck as she looks to bring the ball on into the Coventry half the set-piece in a central position Cantwell over it looks to lift the ball up into the box to be attack, runners closing Wood down she claims comfortably. A 2nd change for Coventry up top Jessica Lundie comes on to replace Hall in attack. 

   A brilliant save from Wood prevents Cambridge from pulling a goal back as the ball is played up field into the box the clearance runs straight along the ground into the path of the advancing Baker 25 yards out she hits it straight back in towards goal racing for the bottom corner Wood dives full stretch to her right to push the ball behind her goal. From the resulting corner on the left side it’s Brook who gets her head on the ball to clear for Coventry. Gauntlett passes the ball inside for Dermody to her left 25 yards out central her 1st time shot is charged down inside the box. 

GOAL! Cambridge have pushed up as they look to get players forwards are hit on the counter the ball cleared back up field Burgess comes racing out of her area to try and win the bouncing ball getting her head on it fall straight into Brook breaking forwards 40 yards out knowing there is a open goal lobs the stranded keeper sees the ball bounce down over the line 0-4.

Coventry United Ladies, Jade Brook

Coventry keep coming forwards putting Cambridge under constant pressure, Miles demanding the ball on the right getting onto space linking up well with Brook. Dermody comes close yet again with another strike from distance central her shot striking the crossbar. A free-kick giving Cambridge a chance to get the ball forwards, Bright’s ball is headed on by Baker into Blanchflower looking to turn into the box is again closely watched by Haigh.

Coventry United Ladies, Helen Dermody

   Not long left to play now Coventry make their final change Elizabeth Steele coming on to replace Hughes. Cantwell breaks forwards for Cambridge the ball in for Hewitt up the left wing her cross into the box looping up is over Blanchflower making a central run, Coventry clear. 

GOAL! Into injury time at the end of the game and Coventry score again, substitute Lundie putting the ball past Burgess from the left inside the box as she receives it from Gauntlett attacking down the right 0-5.

Coventry finish the game as strongly as they started it pressing numbers forwards to the final whistle winning the game 0-5 to set up an FAWPL Cup quarter final away to Plymouth Argyle Ladies. The tie scheduled for Sun 11th February.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 0-5 Coventry United Ladies 

   A dominant performance from the visitors today. Coventry getting off to a great start and keep up a superb all round team performance all game. Getting players forwards good runs on and off the ball causing Cambridge problems and cool at the back when their opponents were able to get forwards.

   One of those days for Cambridge never really got into the match early on as Coventry prevented them getting forwards, Blanchflower having little to feed on up top. Still keeping the score down to 1-0 in the first half gave them hope of getting back into it 2nd half ultimately not to be as their cup run is over. On to the next game.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

    Interesting one today for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match always a tough choice when you have such a good all round team performance Coventry were strong all over the pitch but particularly in midfield where their attacks often began Gauntlett and Hughes providing good runs left and right, Cooper and Dermody finding them on a regular basis, have all just been edged out by Jade Brook who made some purposeful runs forwards aswell as getting on the scoresheet twice making her today’s Player of the Match.

It’s nice to not feel like a block of ice after a game, roll on summer, my thanks to both clubs for their assistance today is always appreciated.

 

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Long Eaton United Ladies

 

Sunday 12th November

 Returning to the football after a well needed rest the action this Sunday from the FA Women’s Cup the qualifying rounds on to the 1st Round Proper of the competition at Mildenhall Town FC today to watch Cambridge United WFC v Long Eaton United Ladies.

FAWPL South East Division One side, Cambridge United WFC enjoyed a fantastic run in the FA Women’s Cup last season making it all the way to the 3rd Round Proper where they were eventually knocked out by FAWSL 2 side Aston Villa Ladies. Will be hoping for another good run this time around. 5th in the league have a much changed squad from last season several new faces in the side haven’t achieved the consistency of results from last season that saw them amongst the title challengers. 

  My 1st look at Derbyshire side, Long Eaton United Ladies now into their 2nd season in FAWPL Midlands Division One. Currently searching for a new 1st team manager struggled in the league early on losing 5 of their opening 6 games however have recovered recently finding form winning their last 3 matches in league and cup. 

  Both sides entering the competition in the last round, 3rd Round Qualifying faced fellow sides from their respective leagues, Cambridge United WFC  hosting Norwich City Ladies winning 4-0. Long Eaton United Ladies were also at home beat Leicester City Ladies 3-1 to advance into the 1st Round Proper.

  The venue for today’s game, Mildenhall Town FC the pitch as ever looking in fantastic condition, sloping from one goal to the other. A chilly day with a strong breeze blowing down the pitch, cloudy but no rain forecast. 

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Chloe Crook, Nettie Stillinger, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Carolyn Sarafian, Laura Bright (C), Laura Baker, Charlotte Crisp, Emma Jenkins Amy Howlett, Nuala Wayne & Lauren Gibson. Subs – Gabrielle Whitehurst, Lauren Cartwright & Amber Cantwell.

Long Eaton United starting XI – Lia Kellogg, Laura Robinson, Lucie Johnstone, Cala Thornton, Katherine Clarice (C), Amy Pashley, Chloe Dixon, Laura Sears, Jade Arber, Viki Adam & Cara Newton. Subs – Elle Rowson, Suzanne Hart, Jamie Kingham.

A minutes silence observed before kick-off like all matches across the country to mark Remembrance Sunday. It’s the visitors Long Eaton to kick off the 1st half with the wind in their favour. Wear an all navy blue kit. Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber and black shirts, black shorts and socks. A scrappy opening to the game Cambridge pressing Long Eaton in possession. A ball threaded through the midfield by Long Eaton’s Amy Pashley almost has striker Viki Adams through on the Cambridge goal, a great tackle from captain, Laura Bright playing in midfield she’s the home side regain possession Bright out to Amy Howlett right side her crossfield ball picking out Emma Jenkins on the opposite flank, knocks the ball forwards is stopped by Long Eaton’s captain, Katherine Clarice at the top of the area.

Jade Arber on the ball for Long Eaton United Ladies

The pressing from both sides sees a lack of goalmouth action in the opening minutes. Long Eaton closing Cambridge down in some cases a little to strongly a push in the back on Cambridge striker Lauren Gibson bringing the home side a free kick, a good way out wide right the ball up towards the box standing up in the wind Long Eaton head clear, attack down the other end Pashley running forwards the ball rolled into her uses the momentum to try a shot from distance with the strong wind behind her 35 yards out the effort sails over the Cambridge goal. 

  A free kick awarded to Long Eaton wide left in a good position as Jade Arber is fouled. An attempt at goal sees Cambridge goalkeeper Chloe Crook on loan from Tottenham Hotspur Ladies produce a great save the ball tipped onto the bar, bounces down back into play inside the six yard box right of goal a 2nd shot comes in Nettie Stillinger covering the post rushing out makes the block the rebound hit back in towards goal finds the side netting.

   A clever turn from Gibson as the pass is played into her by Charlotte Crisp the striker’s progress is then halted as she is clipped on the back of the ankle by Pashley the referee awarding the free kick. 35 yards out to the right Bright sends the ball up towards the area another wind affected delivery giving the Long Eaton defence time to get under the ball the visitors counter attack the ball put on for Adams running through the middle 30 yards out pulls the trigger her effort rolling wide across the goal. 

 Excellent hold up play from Jenkins keeping possession on the left side support from Carolyn Sarafain coming forwards to receive the cross a good delivery into the area Long Eaton goalkeeper Lia Kellogg coming confidently through bodies to claim the ball on the penalty spot. Up the other end Long Eaton build Chloe Dixon on for Cara Newton in attack, Arber has space to run into Newton picks her out her cross in sliced is angling towards Crook’s near post the keeper taking the ball high with Adam coming in. 

Emma Jenkins bring the ball on for Cambridge United WFC

The pressing game from Long Eaton along with the final ball not finding it’s target sees Cambridge getting a little frustrated, Baker receives a talking to by the referee committing another foul soon after results in her receiving a yellow card. Midway through the 1st half little goalmouth action. No one getting much time on the ball. A free kick for the visitors wide left quite away out with with the advantage of the wind the ball is put in towards the box Crook going for it gets a fist on the ball taking out one of her own players in the process at the far post the ball spins behind for the 1st corner of the game.

  GOAL! A good delivery from the corner finds Clarice central top of the area the ball at her feet not allowed to turn gets the ball back to the corner taker sent back in Cambridge defend near post the ball back out the the right side Long Eaton keep hold of it the cross whipped back in finds Arber unmarked inside the six yard box puts her head onto the ball knocking at down into the back of the net 0-1.

Jade Arber scores the headed goal to put Long Eaton United Ladies 1-0 up

 Howlett finding some space on the right gets up to the corner her attempted cross charged down by Long Eaton left back Lucie Johnstone brings the home side their 1st corner of the game, Baker to play in a good ball in central Nuala Wayne gets her head on the ball knocking it in towards goal too many bodies in the way the ball is launched clear. Long Eaton ready to break whenever Cambridge commit players forwards Arber left and Laura Sears right on the move to support the top two, Adam and Newton. A corner won on the right side. Delivered near post with Sears coming to meet the ball her header deflecting the ball towards goal is straight in to Crook’s gloves. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Amy Howlett

Long Eaton winning the physical battle are just getting there before Cambridge to most things adding to the home sides frustration. Arber with a great touch as the ball is played into her on the left side, for a moment looks like she might be away, Kayleigh-Anne Burt playing in the centre of Cambridge’s back three across on the cover quickly sliding in with a fantastic tackle to stop the winger. More good link up play between Long Eaton’s Adam and Newton out to Arber left the return ball to Newton looking to get into the box doesn’t quite come off. Keeping the pressure on a throw left side his worked in field to Dixon 25 yards out her shot screws away from target.

Long Eaton United Ladies, Chloe Dixon with Cambridge’s Laura Baker

  5 minutes left to play in the 1st half, Long Eaton working hard to prevent Cambridge any time on the ball win another corner, An inswinging ball, Crook punches well to get it away near post but is fouled doing so. Sarafian bringing the ball on for Cambridge into Jenkins, tacked by Laura Robinson the throw to the home side high up the pitch inside to Wayne allowed a bit of space 25 yards out left of the goal takes on the shot her strike running wide across the goal. 

  Pashley is fouled on the halfway line, with the wind goes for goal the ball over the bar. Cambridge push on late in the half Baker with the run on the ball into Gibson top of the area no room to turn Thornton sending the ball forwards for Long Eaton the break is on Newton with the ball right side two at the back for Cambridge, she takes on the shot from 30 yards out, not seeing Arber in acres of space to the left her strike racing along the ground wide across the Cambridge goal.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 0-1 Long Eaton United Ladies 

  Long Eaton go into the dressing room at half-time with a narrow 1-0 lead. A scrappy 1st half a proper cup tie, the visitors working hard to press Cambridge and with the wind to their advantage have exploited the conditions well. Chances have been few and far between Crook the busier of the 2 keepers, Cambridge yet to test Kellogg up the other end frustrated the final ball just not finding it’s mark. At 1-0 the tie is very much alive with another 45 minutes to come and the rest if needed.

A change in the weather 2nd half the strong wind that has been present throughout the 1st half no longer present as the clouds break up the sun making an appearance doing nothing to warm things up however. Cambridge attacking down the slope 2nd half to kick off the 2nd half no changes for either side. Newton gets hold of the ball for Long Eaton inside the opponents half driving forwards with the ball at her feet looking to get into the box is tackled well by Baker. Cambridge get the ball forwards on the right Howlett putting the ball in early to the middle Jenkins drifting inside with the 1st time strike 25 yards out puts the ball well over the bar. 

  Cambridge starting the 2nd half better getting more bodies forwards, Bright working hard in the middle to keep possession with the home side. Jenkins a hard player to get off the ball when she has it at her feet winning Cambridge a throw left side the ball played into he middle Sarafian with the shot from a long way out over the bar. Cambridge with a corner right side the ball put into the box, Burt closest tries to muscle her way through the Long Eaton defence they scramble it clear. Long Eaton soaking up the Cambridge pressure counter attack Sears getting free on the right wing inside for Pashley 25 yards out lifts her shot wide of the Cambridge goal.

Long Eaton United Ladies, Laura Sears

The sun setting low over one corner of the ground not helping Cambridge’s cause the home side with more of the ball in the Long Eaton half. Sears goes down after a challenge needing to come off close to the dug out does so but play goes on the sub not ready. Cambridge are attacking the ball swept in from the right Gibson going for it doesn’t get a touch through to Kellogg. Elle Rowson comes on for Long Eaton to replace Sears.

Cambridge make a double substitution, Crisp and Wayne coming off for Lauren Cartwright and Amber Cantwell. Cantwell is fouled out wide left Cambridge awarded the free kick. The shot is taken the ball hit over the crossbar. Jenkins spins in behind turning her marker on the left taking the ball in field an unorthodox piece of defending from Long Eaton’s captain Clarice as she falls over before Jenkins gets to her grounded the attacker runs straight into her the ball deflected away to be cleared. 

   A good run and pass from Cartwright to put Jenkins away on the left wing, Thornton coming across on the cover to put the ball behind for the corner kick. The delivery fired in with pace finds Cartwright 10 yards out the ball headed down towards goal cleared off the line, play is stopped however as the referee spots a foul on the keeper. Into the last 20 minutes of the game. Jenkins moving into a central position the ball rolled into her from the left flank 25 yards out strikes the ball sweetly angling towards the far post an excellent save from Kellogg diving to her right to push the ball away. 

Long Eaton United Ladies goalkeeper Lia Kellogg

   Long Eaton play the ball out from the back Adam into Rowson central into the Cambridge half her threaded pass finding Newton central at the top of the area puts her shot narrowly wide of the post with Burt closing her down. Pashley goes into the book for a foul on Cartwright. 35 yards out Baker over the ball goes for goal her curling strike safely taken by Kellogg. Both sides are showing frustration a difficult game with on one getting any time on the ball. Jenkins is yellow carded as she lets her emotion out. Cambridge make their final change Gabrielle Whitehurst coming on to replace Gibson. The cloud cover starting to return the wind is beginning to pick up once again.

Cambridge United WFC’s Kayleigh-Anne Burt

   Arber left side 25 yards out has a shot for Long Eaton her effort over but not by much. Bright pushed forwards now working with Howlett on the right wing the ball fired back into Bright inside the box six yards out right side of goal hits the 1st time shot another fantastic save from Kellogg down low to her right the ball deflected back into Bright to Howlett on the byline hits it back towards her but the flag is up for offside. Into the final 10 minutes of the game Cambridge pushing hard for an equaliser. Cantwell with a strike from distance another good save from Kellogg.  

Cambridge United WFC captain, Laura Bright

A card is shown to both Bright and Johnstone a free kick to Cambridge wide left Cantwell on the ball. Not much of the 90 left. Cambridge flood the box Cantwell’s delivery on the spot falls for Sarafain her header over the bar. Into stoppage time 4 minutes to be played. Cambridge break from a Long Eaton free kick the ball with Bright onto Howlett right the crossfield pass finding Jenkins left side taking the ball into the corner works free of her marker to send a testing ball in towards the near post Kellogg making another fine save under pressure with Cartwright coming in the corner conceded. The final whistle blows and Long Eaton go through to the 2nd Round Proper thanks to Arber’s 1st half goal.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 0-1 Long Eaton United Ladies

    A scrappy cup tie, Long Eaton working hard all over the pitch to win the ball a little stronger than Cambridge especially 1st half. Getting the goal and defending well on the whole 2nd half soaking up the pressure Cambridge tried to assert. Some fine saves from Kellogg keeping their narrow lead intact. A frustrating day for Cambridge one of those days where it looks like you’re never going to score their FA Cup run comes to an end this season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match 

    Games like this it’s hard to pick a single stand out performer a gritty hard working team effort from Long Eaton United Ladies everybody played their part from front to back line to press the ball the centrebacks giving nothing away through the middle, but although she had nothing to do in the 1st half her saves were crucial to keeping that 1-0 lead intact late in the 2nd half as Cambridge pressed on so this afternoons Women’s Football East – Player of the Match goes to Lia Kellogg.

  My thanks as always to both sides for their help today. Best of luck to Long Eaton United Ladies for the next round the draw to take place on Monday. 

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Milton Keynes Dons Ladies

Wednesday 11th October

A midweek trip to Mildenhall Town FC to watch a game under the lights from the FAWPL South East Division One with 6th placed Cambridge United WFC hosting 4th placed Milton Keynes Dons Ladies. 

Shaping up to be an interesting league at the top with the lead changing hands several times early on. Milton Keynes Dons Ladies amongst those looking to challenge for the title. Cambridge United WFC having had a lot of new faces come into the squad well placed to get amongst the top teams. Both sides in good form come into the game on the back of a home win in the FA Women’s Cup at the weekend.

  A bit of rebuilding going on at Cambridge United WFC as they look to bed in several new players, quality signings started the season with a 0-0 draw at home to newly promoted Leyton Orient WFC who have since gone on win 5 league games in a row to top the table. Cambridge were unbeaten in their 4 opening league game a win and 3 draws their unbeaten run coming to an end away to tonight’s opponents, Alice Hughes scoring a late winner for Milton Keynes. Cambridge bouncing back are 3 games unbeaten in league and cup since. Have further added to their squad bringing in goalkeeper Shayla Burgess on loan from Watford. Striker Kelley Blanchflower ex-Tottenham and West Ham brings experience and skill to the attack. Lauren Cartwright is another new addition to the squad from Watford making her debut at the weekend.

  Milton Keynes Dons Ladies are on a run of wins 5 in a row in league and cup going into tonight’s match beating Cambridge in that run too. Manager James Honeyman has brought in players with FAWSL 2 experience to strengthen the squad that finished runners-up last season defender Mollie Burgess ad midfield Dawn Mallett who had a spell at Cambridge last season. Most recently the club as signed another Cambridge player, attacker Laura Mills moving on scored at the weekend in the FA Women’s Cup for her new club.

As ever the pitch at Mildenhall Town FC looked immaculate sees plenty of action is well maintained sloping from one goalmouth to the other. A hint of rain in the air a breeze keeping the clouds moving quite mild and fingers-crossed in stayed dry.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Shayla Burgess, Nettie Stillinger, Carolyn Sarafian, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Bright (C), Laura Baker, Lauren Cartwright, Amy Howlett, Emma Jenkins, Amber Cantwell & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Faith Hewitt & Lauren Gibson.

 Milton Keynes Dons Ladies starting XI – Savannah Smith, Leanna Doyle (C), Vicky Holland, Sasha Newsome, Mollie Burgess, Charley Clarke, Dawn Mallett, Charly Wright, Alice Hughes, Amelia Hazard & Laura Mills. Subs – Sammy Gillings, Kerry Newman & Lauren Goodier.

Its Milton Keynes in their all white away lit to get the 1st half underway attacking down the slope. Start at a furious pace pushing players forwards to join Laura Mills in the central attacking role. A through ball has her in behind right side to attack, Shayla Burgess comes racing out to the edge of her area to meet her sliding on the ball is knocked past her, no pace on it however the Cambridge defence recovering can get to the ball Kayleigh-Anne Burt clearing it out to the right wing. Milton Keynes regaining possession Alice Hughes firing a cross into the area the ball bouncing across the six yard box is claimed by Burgess.

Cambridge are penned back in their own half early on Milton Keynes committing numbers forwards, pressing the ball well in the middle of the park, Charley Clarke with a strong challenge gets hold of the ball drives forwards puts the ball into the path of Hughes wide right the cross fired into the box taken cleanly by Burgess. 

Milton Keynes with a free-kick on half-way left side Charly Wright to play the ball in high into the box Cambridge get a head on the ball the clearance falling to Clarke outside the area lays the ball off to Hughes wide right closer she takes on the shot a vicious drive in towards goal, Burgess makes a fantastic save throwing herself up and tipping the ball wide across her goal conceding the 1st corner of the game. A good inswinging delivery into the middle of the six yard box from the left a good fist on the ball from Burgess to get the ball out of the area dropping to a white shirt the shot is taken on the volley the ball flying over the crossbar. 

  Cambridge relieve the early pressure Milton Keynes have put them under the ball played up field Kelley Blanchflower chasing the Milton Keynes defence forces an error as the ball played forwards falls goes straight to Emma Jenkins operating in a left side attacking role tonight, 25 yards out goes to shoot doesn’t get a good connection the ball running wide of goal. 

  Wright, Clarke and Mallett all press forwards from midfield to join the attack for Milton Keynes whenever they have the ball making it difficult for Cambridge to get out of their half  the game played at a furious pace, a few out of control tackles being made decisions not being made by the referee in the middle upsetting the Cambridge bench. Hughes breaking clear of her marker on the right plays an early cross into the area coming to Mills the attacker lets the ball run across her as she holds off her marker knocking it on for Amelia Hazard inside the box with her, leaning back into the shot as the ball comes to her Hazard sends her effort high and wide of the top corner.

Another out of control tackle infuriates the Cambridge bench but such is the pace of the game little time to dwell the ball up the other end it’s the Milton Keynes benches turn to protest at another down the other end. Burt with a headed clearance as Hughes puts another cross from the right into the box following good work from Clarke in the middle. Cambridge play the ball out from the back Lauren Cartwright into Jenkins then Amy Howlett, Blanchflower making a run into the left channel ahead of her receiving the ball takes in on down the line evading a tackle on the byline comes back up the line to the top of the area taking on the shot is gathered on the bounce by Milton Keynes goalkeeper Savannah Smith covering her near post.

GOAL! Almost 20 minutes played in the 1st half and Milton Keynes high tempo start brings them the opening goal winning a free-kick wide on the right inside the Cambridge half players come forwards from the back loading the area is a great ball in Hughes escaping her marker inside the six yard box gets her head on the ball knocking it past Burgess into the back of the net to score 0-1.

Cambridge look to get forwards from the restart Amber Cantwell’s ball played into the middle from the right intercepted by Sasha Newsome at the back for Milton Keynes. Laura Baker with a strong challenge brings the ball on trough the middle sending it forwards is knocked on almost putting Blanchflower in on goal through the middle her 1st touch too heavy Smith with a good starting position is able to gather. The goal scored Milton Keynes are sitting back as a unit the midfield not looking to get up field with such intensity. Howlett strikes the ball on the half volley left side 30 yards out as Jenkins gets forwards on the wing her shot off target.

  Both sides demanding more from the referee Cambridge win a free-kick inside the Milton Keynes half top of the circle, captain Laura Bright to play the ball into the box, headed clear by Mollie Burgess for Milton Keynes, Cambridge regain possession, Hazard working hard to win the ball back on the right as Cantwell looks to link up with Blanchflower. The game continues to be lively Cambridge growing a little frustrated. A throw in on the right Baker with a one two with Nettie Stillinger the full back takes the ball in field driving into the middle fires it forwards into the area with Jenkins making a left side run into the box, closing in on the keeper she forces the error Smith spilling the ball running behind for the corner. 

Possession for Cambridge in and around the Milton Keynes area however there is little room in front of them Milton Keynes keeping a disciplined shape not leaving the slightest pocket for a shooting opportunity. Launch a counter attack the ball with Mallett in the centre she surges forwards Mills ahead of her peels right the pass finding her inside the box shoots 1st time her effort lacking pace is straight and Burgess the Cambridge goalkeeper behind the ball dropping forwards to claim.

Clarke is booked for a robust challenge as she attempts to prevent Cambridge bringing the ball out from the back. Getting forwards on the right side Stillinger cuts inside and fires a diagonal ball into the area Smith just about has the ball in her gloves as the challenge comes in from the left side on her the ball knocked out of her hands the referee awards the free-kick in the keepers favour.

Mallett comes on for Milton Keynes with the ball through the middle sends the pass out wide to Wright moving down the left wing she fires the ball in towards Mills positioned inside the box seeing the ball into her body work it out to Mallett closing in on the top of the area right of the D shot shoots pulling her effort wide across goal. Late into 1st half stoppage time Cambridge work the ball up the left Blanchflower moving into space on the left channel again puts a great ball into the box runners there near and far post it’s Mollie Burgess in between the Cambridge attackers that wins the header 2 yards from goal to clear the threat for Milton Keynes.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 0-1 Milton Keynes Dons Ladies

 1-0 lead for Milton Keynes who started the game at a furious pace pressing bodies forwards attacking Cambridge keeping them pinned in their own half eventually bringing the goal then with the lead have settled back keeping a solid shape not committing so many forwards ready for the counter attack. Cambridge having the ball but not doing much with it little room in behind the fast pace of the game hasn’t allowed them to settle down but with just a 1 goal lead all to play for 2nd half.

No changes for either side as Cambridge get the 2nd half underway attacking down the slope now the breeze has picked up but still very mild. A relatively quiet opening to the 2nd half compared to the 1st Cambridge looking to build down the left Milton Keynes captain Leanna Doyle breaking up the attack. The visitors get forwards Mills picking up the ball as she comes over the the right turn looks to feed the pass central into Mallett as she makes a good forwards run Stillinger sliding in tackles well to stop the midfielder getting into the box with the ball.

  Cambridge coming onto Milton Keynes more in the 2nd half as the visitors are prepared to sit deep soak up the pressure. Blanchflower receiving the ball from Jenkins on the left side drives towards the box looking to plough her way through the Milton Keynes defence, Newsome tackling wins the ball back. A free-kick awarded to Cambridge inside the D numbers forwards is taken quickly passed to the right the shot comes in Smith right behind it can gather cleanly. 

 GOAL! For all Cambridge’s positive endeavours at the start of the 2nd half they are hit on the counter attack Milton Keynes getting up the other end to score and double their lead. The ball played up into the Cambridge half, bouncing Sarafian comes to get the ball moving into the middle is challenged by Hazard the attacker winning the ball, sends in through to Mills who has made the run into the space vacated by the left back driving forwards into the box right of goal shoots putting the ball across the keeper and into the far corner of the net 0-2.

Not long after going 2-0 up Milton Keynes make a change bringing of Hazard sending on Lauren Goodier to join Mills in attack. Normal service resumed as Milton Keynes sit back invite Cambridge onto them. A good run from Blanchflower getting free on the right receives the ball takes on the shot running along the ground is straight at Smith. Cartwright getting further forwards screws a 25 yard shot wide of target. Howlett with the ball right side crosses the ball into the box Blanchflower letting the ball roll across her body turns and sends a looping ball in towards goal on target but a save catch for Smith. 

Cambridge make a substitution Sarafain coming off as Cambridge go to 3 at the back bring on another attacker striker Lauren Gibson who scored twice in Cambridge’s 4-0 FA Women’s Cup win on Sunday. Milton Keynes bring on Sammy Gillings the defender going into right back as Newsome moves forwards into a midfield role. Further forwards Newsome wins the ball higher up the pitch plays it forwards for Mallett ahead of her Goodier breaking into space wide right Mallett plays the ball onto her Goodier taking the ball on inside the area right of goal Stillinger recovers the ground sliding in to take the ball away from Goodier behind for the corner kick. A inswinging delivery into the middle of the area Cambridge head clear.

  Baker is cautioned after diving in to try and regain the ball after losing possession. Cambridge are able to get forwards but finding it tough to break down the wall of white shirts in front of them. Cantwell to deliver the ball into the area from a free-kick won on the right wing. Newsome back to defend gets up highest to head the ball behind for the corner. the game moving into the last 15 minutes Cambridge’s Blanchflower is down struggling a little after treatment comes off Faith Hewitt joining the action. 

Mallett is tugged back as she threatens to counter attack for Milton Keynes the free-kick in a central position 40 yards out the shot is attempted a dangerous ball looping in towards goal dropping fast but no enough to creep under Burgess’ crossbar just over. Milton Keynes make a 3rd substitution Mallett coming off Kerry Newman coming on with around 8 minutes left. Gibson breaking down the right with the ball sends the cross in square to the near post defended the ball drops for Baker top of the box, rushing to shoot before being closed down slices the ball wide of target. 

It’s all Cambridge in the final minutes pressing forwards Milton Keynes looking composed and comfortable. Cantwell inside to Bright the ball played wide for Howlett on the right down the line sweeps the cross into the area Smith confidently claims it with Gibson rushing in.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 0-2 Milton Keynes Dons Ladies

  A good result for Milton Keynes winning the 3 points away from home with a superb performance from start to finish. Came with a game plan and sticking to it with a disciplined and solid shape. Started at a breakneck tempo pushing forwards getting the goal they desired then prepared to sit back from then on soak up the pressure not committing too many forwards from then on in. Just went Cambridge looked to be getting on top 2nd half Milton Keynes hit the home side on the counter and presented with the chance Mills took it well. Move onto 16 points stay 4th in the FAWPL South East Division One table as both Ipswich Town Ladies in 3rd and AFC Wimbledon Ladies taking over top spot also won this evening just 2 points separating the top 4 however the battle for top spot come the end of the season will be very interesting. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Tonight’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match goes to Milton Keynes Dons Ladies, Sasha Newsome thought she was excellent in the heart of the defence with great position and timing of challenges then pushed into midfield later on helped disrupt Cambridge’s build up play through the middle.

Good to get a game in under the lights after missing a few. Thanks to both clubs for their help tonight. 

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Leyton Orient WFC

Sunday 20th August

 The new season is here! The 2017/18 season gets underway in the FAWPL and looks like it is going to be as competitve as ever. Starting the season with a game from FAWPL South East Division One at Mildenhall Town FC to watch Cambridge United WFC who finished 4th in the league last season host newly promoted Leyton Orient WFC.

The past two seasons the league has been won by a runaway leaders Gillingham FC Ladies last season and Crystal Palace Ladies going unbeaten the season before. With no side coming down from the FAWPL Southern Division, South East Division One looks tighter this year. Milton Keynes Dons Ladies slight favourites to finish top there are a host of sides below them who could mount a strong challenge and most sides on their day are capable of beating anyone else. It’s what makes the league so exciting.

  Is a much changed Cambridge United WFC side going into the start of the 2017/18 campaign a few players moving to rivals in the league or taking a break from the game. Goalkeeper Verity Crook hanging up her boots. Are without defender Chloe Bennett for the start of the season as she is still recovering from the dislocated elbow she suffered at the end of last season as well as attacker Becky Taylor who was impressive for the club last season scooping most of the end of year awards out long term with an ACL injury.

  Have brought in goalkeeper Chloe Crook on loan from Tottenham Hotspur Ladies however injury sees her out of today’s league opener. Striker Nuala Wayne returns to the club as does Nettie Stillinger after a spell with Lowestoft Town Ladies. Charlotte Crisp also returns after university having been briefly with the club before. Creative midfielder Amber Cantwell steps up to the FAWPL after constantly impressing for Wymondham Town Ladies. Emma Whitter also joins the striker bringing a wealth of experience with her after spells with FAWSL 2 sides London Bees and Millwall Lionesses. Another new addition with plenty of FAWPL experience is Amy Howlett having played for Charlton Athletic Women aswell as two spells with Ipswich Town Ladies. Lastly joining the club after impressing on trial is Ruth Fox who was with Hitchin Belles last season. A new look side manager Steve Edwards hasn’t set any targets for this season a squad with plenty of potential to develop.

Leyton Orient WFC step up the the FAWPL after winning the London & South East Regional Premier Division title last season finishing 8 points clear at the top winning 16 of their 18 league games with only the one defeat. Have retained pretty much all of the squad that won promotion last season including top scorer Sophie Le Marchand who scored 39 goals during the 2016/17 season. One new addition with Hannah Porter joining from FAWPL Southern Division side C&K Basildon Ladies. Face a stern test as they play their football at a higher level with 3 successive away games against the sides that finished 4th, 5th and 6th.

Cambridge United WFC return to Mildenhall Town FC after playing their home matches their last season taking advantage of an excellent playing surface, the pitch looks as good as ever, Mildenhall Town FC winning promotion to the Bostik North Division. A sloping pitch from one goal mouth to the other some ground improvements made following promotion addition toilet facilities and turnstiles. A good sized clubhouse and hot drinks and refreshments available. A warm August afternoon to start the season a few dark clouds above but no rain forecast.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – MacKenzie McGranor, Emma Jenkins, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Nettie Stillinger, Laura Bright (C), Charlotte Crisp, Amber Cantwell, Laura Mills, Amy Howlett, Emma Whitter & Lauren Gibson. Subs – Nuala Wayne & Ruth Fox.

Leyton Orient WFC starting XI – Naomi Ogunde, Francesca Cagetti, Hannah Porter, Danielle Griffiths (C), Connie Montiel-McCann, Egle Trezzi, Vanessa Wilson, Hayley Barton, Leyre Bastyr, Ella Meadowcroft & Jasmine Campbell. Subs – Olympia Diamond, Belen Ripoll-Douton, Natalie Colangelo & Chanel Richards.

 Both sides are have players unavailable at the start of the season Leyton Orient are with striker Le Marchand away on her honeymoon aswell as last seasons player of the year Ellie Davies. Cambridge have MacKenzie McGranor keeping goal in the absence of Crook and with their Reserves side making their bow in the ERWFL Division One North today can only pull a limited number from that squad with just the two subs on the bench. 

It’s Leyton Orient to get the 1st half underway wearing an all blue kit with Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber and black vertical stripped shirts, black shorts and socks. Leyton Orient attacking down the slope look to thread a ball through the middle of the Cambridge defence who are playing 3 at the back the ball is won by Nettie Stillinger for Cambridge plays a good ball out to Laura Mills operating on the  left over half way carries the ball in field towards the area before dinking it up over the Leyton Orient defence with Amber Cantwell breaking forwards from midfield getting onto the end of it shoots early firing the ball back across the keeper runs wide of the far post.

Amber Cantwell attacking for Cambridge United WFC

Leyton Orient are awarded a free kick wide on the right around half way the ball played up towards striker Jasmine Campbell 30 yards from goal looks to turn and hit a shot, Stillinger closes her down putting in the blocking tackle to deny the strike. A good temp at the start Leyton Orient pressing Cambridge on the ball win a series of throws in their opponents half without finding a telling ball into the area.

Cambridge captain Laura Bright playing in front of her defence plays a great ball forwards for the strikers to chase, Lauren Gibson who had a great season with the Reserves last season stepping up to the 1st team gives chase left of goal into the area, Connie Montiel-McCann lunges into the challenge to win the ball take it away from the attacker before she can latch onto it. Off the resulting throw in on the left the ball is back with Gibson tries her luck from distance a dipping ball on target goalkeeper Naomi Ogunde parries it behind for a corner kick at her near post.

  The corner taken from the left comes in high far post area Gibson jumps up to try and win the header, Hannah Porter up with her the ball goes behind the final touch off the defender a corner awarded this time from the right, Laura Mills across to take it the ball comes into the area half cleared Kayleigh-Anne Burt up from the back for Cambridge retrieves and gets it back to Mills who drives on towards the by line cutting the cross square in towards the near post Bright closest goes to attack it a Leyton Orient defender slides in to make the challenge Bright goes down another corner is signalled this one cleared by Leyton Orient.

Good build up play from Cambridge on the right the ball played into Emma Whitter holds it up as Cantwell gets forwards centrally the pass played into her crosses it out to the left with Amy Howlett available inside the box gets her head to the ball but can only place the ball straight into Ogunde’s gloves. Hayley Barton takes the ball on down the right wing into the corner crosses it in towards the near post Burt defending wins it for Cambridge. Vanessa Wilson out to Leyre Bastyr finding a little space on the left for Leyton Orient fires the pass into the feet of Campbell outside the box tries to turn but is closely marked by Cambridge’s Emma Jenkins who wins the ball back. 

  Cambridge a temporarily down to 10 with Mills off receiving treatment. Leyton Orient press the advantage Bastyr onto the ball left looks to play Campbell in behind the ball is won back but Leyton Orient don’t left Cambridge get far closing down win a free kick outside the box right of goal 25 yards out Barton to take gets the ball around the wall on target but lacking enough pace as McGranor moves across to safely collect. 

Leyton Orient’s, Jasmine Campbell

  Building some momentum Leyton Orient regain possession in the middle the ball is played in behind into the area seeing Ella Meadowcroft one on one with the keeper right of goal McGranor comes out sliding in to block does enough to put the striker off the ball isn’t clear however Meadowcroft goes after it, Stillinger getting back to win and clear for Cambridge. The action is from one end to the other Leyton Orient attacking right Barton crossing into the box, Cambridge launch clear turns into an excellent ball for Mills giving chase into space on the right looks to curl a cross into the area sees the ball come back into play off as it strikes the near post. Leyton Orient get it up field as Mills stays down after the attack needing further treatment is able to continue.

Egle Trezzi finds the pitch open up in front of her as she brings the ball on time to play the ball she puts in in over the top of the Cambridge defence for Barton moving inside from the right into the area she hits it across the box for Bastyr coming in from the left connects with the header, McGranor scrambles across her goal but can see the ball drop safely a foot wide of the post. Cantwell brings the ball forwards for Cambridge before checking her run and playing the pass to Howlett on the left puts the ball into the area from a deep position, Ogunde claims the ball well as Gibson comes leaping in looking to get onto the end of it. Leyton Orient launch a rapid counter attack Porter on for Bastyr her ball played across the top of the area Barton right of the D launches onto it sends her shot high over the bar.

Cambridge’s Amy Howlett

Cambridge are awarded a free kick on half way right side the ball fired up towards the top of the box, Leyton Orient captain Danielle Griffiths gets a foot on the ball but can only push it out of the area Cantwell is onto it under challenge shifts the ball to her right gets a shot away the ball racing wide of the post from 22 yards. Is shaping up to be a physical encounter both sides prepared to stand their ground Gibson turns and plays the ball out wide right Mills gives chase getting it crosses early low comes in central Howlett tries to get onto it, Griffiths is their 1st to win the tackle and cancel the threat. 

Leyton Orient WFC captain, Danielle Griffiths

A corner on the right for Leyton Orient as the 1st half moves into the last 5 minutes comes in near post put behind looks a goal-kick however another corner is awarded this one comes in deeper is cleared out of the area falls to Porter 30 yards out central looks to strike the ball in towards goal a Leyton Orient attacker is offside as the ball bounces through obscures McGranor’s view for a moment but seeing it late gets across to make the save palming the ball initially before gathering.

Meadowcroft brings down Burt as the defender looks to carry the ball out from the back from the resulting free kick the ball is played long up to Gibson back to goal who helps it on with her head for Whitter to her right the striker peeling away finds some space driving into the area shapes to shoot back across the keeper gets it to close to Ogunde who drops low to make the save.

Cambridge’s, Emma Whitter with Leyton Orient’s, Francesca Cagetti

Into 1st half stoppage time a corner for Leyton Orient on the left played in long is attacked far post Campbell up gets hurt as she knocks the ball down into the six yard box, for a second it looks like Bastyr can latch onto it before Mills stabs the ball away to safety. A break as Campbell receives treatment is okay however and shows it as the game resumes retrieving the ball from the top of the Cambridge area bringing it under control and hitting a shot straight into McGranor.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 0-0 Leyton Orient WFC

 A competitive 1st half to start the season defences have been busy on both sides and for most of the 45 minutes doing well chances limited both defending deep chances to run in behind few. Mills getting some joy from Cambridge on the right. Competitive and physical newly promoted to the higher level Leyton Orient will have gained alot of confidence as both sides head into the dressing rooms.

Cambridge attacking down the slope get the 2nd half underway. The sun blazing high in the sky. Leyton Orient press right from the start preventing Cambridge getting the ball out of their half. Play broken up little attacking in the opening exchanges. The visitors are given a free kick wide left is a great delivery into the area McGranor comes leaping into the crowd in front of her looking to punch the ball away misses it as it flies over everyone and bounces wide at the far post. 

Leyton Orient’s high tempo and pressing taking advantage of a sluggish start to the 2nd half from Cambridge. Barton playing the ball into the box from the right Stillinger in to win it from Meadowcroft. Winning a corner on the left Griffiths to take for Leyton Orient plays it down the line for Porter to cross in, Bright winning the ball launches it clear turns into a good ball as the counter attack is on Mills furthest forwards picks it up goes on a dribbling run pulling the trigger from outside the box her shot held well by Ogunde. 

Leyton Orient’s Hayley Barton

The Leyton Orient defence are keeping a good shape Whitter is closely marked by Cagetti not giving her room to turn in behind when the ball is played into her feet. Campbell heads the ball on for Barton who in turn puts it into the box for Meadowcroft can’t get her shot away, Stillinger regain possession but fails to get rid of it as Leyton Orient continue to press. Crisp is forwards for Cambridge in position central outside the D as the ball is rolled into her from the right, Wilson goes to ground tackling to win the ball before a shot can be lined up.

  Whitter comes deeper to win the ball strong on the ball slides it into Cantwell going forwards looks to pick out Gibson ahead of her, Cagetti is quick to close her down win the ball. The ball played forwards both Cambridge strikers get their heads to the ball a one two with the ball in the air moving towards the box before Gibson takes on the shot top of the box in low but without pace gathered by Ogunde. Cantwell surges forwards into space with the ball through the middle plays it forwards for Whitter to chase ahead of her has half a yard on Cagetti into the box left of goal looks to poke it across the keeper towards the far post succeeds but sees her effort run narrowly wide.

Whitter is getting frustrated she and Cagetti are talked to by the referee. Burt bringing the ball out from the back wide left sends t on for Howlett her diagonal ball into the D needs to be kicked clear by the onrushing keeper as Whitter threatens to get onto the end of it. Leyton Orient make the first substitution of the match Meadowcroft coming off up top to be replaced by Belen Ripoll-Douton. 

Cambridge’s Kayleigh-Anne Burt

Crisp wins the ball on for Cantwell who drives forwards plays the pass up to Whitter has Gibson to her right headers the ball down into her taking it on Gibson crosses into the box far side Cagetti wins the header before Howlett. Leyton Orient don’t get the ball away however Cantwell gets it back and shoots from 25 yards her low shot put straight at the keeper. Another change for Leyton Orient, Olympia Diamond coming on for Wilson. Cambridge make a change too Nuala Wayne coming on for Gibson in attack. 

Cambridge’s Nuala Wayne with Leyton Orient’s Egle Trezzi

A few tired legs out there and a few tired challenges remains a physical contest the referee having a word with a few players without yet brandishing a yellow card. That changes when Diamond new to the action dives in somewhat rashly on Howlett in the middle of the park over competitive it didn’t look pretty but Howlett just dusted herself down and it’s a yellow card for Diamond. Bastyr drives towards the box with the ball left side is marshalled wide by Jenkins, wriggles free and fires a cross in no one attacking far post as the ball runs wide.

Bright with a good pass picks out Howlett free on the left gets forwards rolls the ball into Whitter top of the area left side the striker turns intending to push through the Leyton Orient defence towards goal is closed down by 3 defenders no way through the ball deflected clear of the area drops to Crisp bursting forwards she shots wide from 25 yards. The midfielders last act of the game as Cambridge bring her off and send Ruth Fox on. 

Cambridge United WFC captain, Laura Bright

Late into the game Leyton Orient with a free kick inside the Cambridge half on the right as Whitter tangles with Barton. Griffiths on the ball plays it up towards the far post misses by McGranor falls to Campbell closed down quickly inside the six yard box Burt is clattered goes down play stopped so she can receive treatment is okay. McGranor is floored as she and Campbell come together in the box following a late corner for Leyton Orient the foul given the goalkeeper is okay to continue. 

  Leyton Orient make their final change as the game moves into the closing minutes bringing Trezzi off in midfield send on Natalie Colangelo. Cambridge switch to a back four in an attempt to find a late winner push forwards without getting in behind the visitors defence the final whistle blows and both sides share the points in their opening game.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 0-0 Leyton Orient WFC

  Overall probably a fair result a good start to the game from Cambridge creating openings, Leyton Orient were solid and grew into the game started the 2nd half the better pressed hard and both sides might well have claimed the win but the longer it remained 0-0 it looked the most likely result. A point on the board for both sides. Cambridge with alot of new faces in their side looked comfortable enough a few thing’s to work on but a solid defensive performance overall. Leyton Orient will be happy with the point always important for any newly promoted side to put in a competitive performance early on to settle them down build confidence were like Cambridge solid defensively giving little away and their pressing game brought opportunities up the other end.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A tough one today for Women’s Football East, Player of the Match defensive on top so it has to be a defender Stillinger made some good tackles for Cambridge, Bright ahead of the back three was influential on the ball too. For Leyton Orient, their captain Griffiths put in a good performance but I have to pick one so today’s Player of the Match goes to Francesca Cagetti good positioning and some clever defending on show too.

Good to get back in the groove feels odd writing the match reports here instead of on the SWF Blog but I’ll get used to it the season has started a competitive game if no goals I’ve missed it.

Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

On to the 2nd cup final in two days was another trip to Cambridgeshire for the Supporting Women’s Football Blog to watch Cambridge City Ladies and Cambridge United WFC go head to head once again this time the senior sides in action in the Women’s Invitation Cup Final at Histon FC’s Glassworld Stadium.

Cup Final Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

 
  The Cup Finals continue on Supporting Women’s Football as just 24 hours after watching the Junior Invitation Cup Final it’s back to Cambridgeshire to the Glassworld Stadium in Histon to watch the Women’s Invitation Cup Final once again featuring Cambridge City Ladies and Cambridge United WFC.
  
  This time round it’s the clubs senior sides going head to her in Cambridgeshire’s County Cup competition sponsored by S-Tech Insurance. I recent season’s Cambridge United WFC have dominated the competition along with familiar rivals Great Shelford Ladies having contested the Invitation Cup Final for 4 successive season, Cambridge United WFC coming out victorious each time, reaching a 5th final in a row have new opponents as, the rivalry no less intense however as Cambridge City Ladies reach the final for the 1st time.

  Both sides enjoying a good season in their respective leagues Cambridge United WFC playing two leagues higher in the FAWPL South East Division One were leading the table for a good portion of the season, cup runs seeing them overhauled are currently in 4th place in a good position to challenge for a higher finish come the end of the season.

  Cambridge City Ladies winning promotion as Cambridgeshire Premiership Champions last season recruited several players from Cambridge United WFC returning to the club they had started playing for at youth level as they began life in the next step of the women’s football pyramid the Regional leagues, have stormed to the title winning the league with 4 games to spare, earning promotion to the Premier Division as well as reaching the final of the League Cup. A strong youth set-up Cambridge City are ambitious and ultimately looking to challenge Cambridge United WFC as the dominant force in women’s football in Cambridgeshire which can only be good for the game in the county as a whole. 

Road to the Final
 
  Two in form sides they racked up the goals on their way to the final. Both receiving a Bye in the 1st Round. Cambridge City Ladies were at home to Championship South side Cambridge Rangers in the 2nd Round easing through with a 15-0 win. Double figures too for Cambridge United WFC away to Championship North leaders, March Town United Ladies winning 12-0.
  Into the quarter-finals a 9-0 victory over Premiership side Park Ladies seeing Cambridge City Ladies through to the semi-finals. Cambridge United WFC bettered that score by the odd goal in 10 breezing past Championship South side Milton Ladies. A tighter affair for Cambridge City Ladies playing Premiership side St Ives Town Ladies, edging the result 4-3 to reach their 1st ever County Cup Final. Familiar opponents then for Cambridge United WFC in the semi-finals albeit under a new name as Great Shelford Ladies are now Histon Ladies, play their home games at the Glassworld Stadium. Cambridge United WFC winning comfortably in the end 6-0 to make it to yet another Invitation Cup Final.
  The venue Histon FC’s, Glassworld Stadium home to a number of Cambridgeshire FA Finals this year once again. A big pitch with a main seated stand housing the changing rooms below and bar above, Covered terracing either at both goal ends with a smaller seated stand running the length of the pitch on the opposite side. A few dark clouds around by no rain forecast plenty of spectators coming in through the turnstiles.

  Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Tee Mhunduru, Amy Reed, Izzy Broadbent, Becca Fay (C), Robyn Phillips, Emily Reed, Bronte Rapley, Sarah Mosley, Charlotte Gillies, Stacey Fullicks & Philippa Witherspoon.
  subs – Saffron Henry, Emma Littlewood, Grace Stanley, Carla Penny & Bella Simmons.

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Laura Bright (C), Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Baker, Becky Taylor, Laura Mills, Ashleigh Deacon, Sarah Wiltshire & Paige Logie.

  subs – Carolyn Sarafian, Evie Gallop, Nicole Perschky & Liz Pamplin.

(roll on roll off substitutes)
The two sides line-up before tonight’s final
 As with last nights Junior Invitation Cup Final we have two Cambridge’s so to make life easier for us all it’s be City v United from now on. It’s City wearing white shirts and black shorts with black and white hooped socks to kick-off the 1st half. United lined up opposite in amber shirts and socks with black shorts. City get players forwards early to pressure the ball inside the United half, charged down centrally the deflection runs into the path of City’s, Stacey Fullicks sends it out to the right with Charlotte Gillies on the move taking the ball in behind cuts the ball inside to striker Philippa Witherspoon outside box right of the D, turns her shot in towards the near post lacking pace the ball is gathered by United goalkeeper, Verity Crook.
   United counter attack quickly the ball played on by right back Emma Jenkins up the right wing with Laura Mills ahead of her already on the move, with plenty of pace in her legs Mills takes the ball on down the line sending the ball into the box as she tries to turn, City goalkeeper Tee Mhunduru has to keep her eye on the ball on her goal line as it swerves through the air landing on the roof of the net. United press down the left awarded a free-kick, Sarah Wiltshire over it sends the ball in towards the centre goal, Mhunduru right behind the shot claims the ball without challenge.
   A few challenges coming in early on resulting in free-kicks being given away one on half-way for City, captain Becca Fay to play the ball up into the area, United captain Laura Bright gets her head on the ball to clear it wide right, Gillies looks to get hold of the ball but gives away a free-kick. A fast tempo at the start of the game both sides looking to use the width of the pitch.
 GOAL! 7 mins played and United take the lead in the Invitation Cup Final Paige Logie up front for Cambridge after a ball sent up field picks it up on the right of the box flashes a cross along the City box no one central is gathered by Ashleigh Deacon on the far side drives forwards getting past players into the box taking the ball to the line crosses low towards the near post, Logie is there to met it her touch taking the ball past the keeper up onto the crossbar the ball crashing down into the back of the net 0-1.
 
  GOAL! One goal is quickly followed by another a United press the ball in the middle the ball is with Becky Taylor bringing it forwards right of the pitch has Mills to her right making the run rolls the ball into her feet fires in a vicious ball across the goal face, Mhunduru can’t get anything on it as it runs through to the far post Deacon arriving on cue to send the ball in to score 0-2.
Paige Logie opens the scoring
in the Invitation Cup Final for
Cambridge United WFC
  Down by 2 quickfire goals inside the opening 10 minutes the last thing the lower league placed side needs as City find themselves on the back foot. look to get forwards for a immediate response Sarah Mosley playing the diagonal ball out to Gillies getting forwards on the right, lays the ball inside to Witherspoon her 1st time strike from outside the box is charged down by United’s Bennett. The loose ball retrieved by City is threaded through the middle Fullicks into the box a Taylor tackles they both go down, the referee waves away the penalty appeals, play stopped as Taylor still down requires treatment. 
  50/50 balls contested all over the pitch no one is afforded any time on the ball, Fullicks lines up a strike from distance her 30 yard effort straight at Crook. Wiltshire into the box with the ball on the right turns inside looks to curl a shot into the far corner, too central is taken high by Mhunduru. Attacking with the ball on the left the ball is squared into Mills coming central, outside the box turns the ball goalwards with the outside of her foot looping up drops safely int Mhunduru’s gloves. 
  Good running from Gillies on the right for City wins her side a corner kick, the ball floated into the area is knocked back out towards the right lifted back into the area long Mosley has it at her feet pulls the trigger her shot charged down by Jenkins spins behind for a corner on the left, the ball in towards the far post headed clear by Bright. Taylor gets forwards for United on the right side tussles with Izzy Broadbent for the ball gets control before sending a cross long towards the far post Wiltshire gets her head on the ball puts it wide. 
  A driving run from Wiltshire on the ball as she is given it from a throw-in closing in on the area strikes the ball her shot held by Mhunduru. Logie link up with Jenkins on the right a high ball lofted into the area, Mhunduru takes it high with runners closing in. Fullicks pushes forwards through the middle looking to power her way into the area, is tackled by Kayleigh-Anne Burt the ball going away for a throw right. Bronte Rapley plays the ball left into Fullicks pushing forwards her ball goes long into the box Gillies closing in Crook come and sliding in claims the ball at the attackers feet.
  Gillies breaking forwards down the right carries the ball on before crossing the ball skims off the crossbar back into play, Jenkins reaching it before City can put another ball in towards goal. City make a change Witherspoon coming off with Grace Stanley coming on taking up a forwards position. Logie is brought down in the middle players go forwards as Bright plays the ball up towards the near post, no one able to get a shot in nor clear the ball is turned wide of goal a corner awarded. From the right Taylor flicks the ball on across goal, Amy Reed winning it and clearing for City.
  Mosley on the move with the ball central on for Gillies to her right back inside for Stanley is closed down by Laura Baker, runs back to Emily Reed for City lifts the ball into the box with Fullicks looking to get in round the back, Crook makes the call claiming the ball high in the air. Half and hour played United press forwards Baker looking to roll the ball into the path of Wiltshire making a run towards the area, defender Robyn Phillips intercepts for City. 
  A double switch for City as they bring on Saffron Henry and Carla Penny for Amy Reed and Mosley. City have possession in the final 3rd Gillies on the right lays the ball into Fullicks on her inside, Baker comes sliding in to make the challenge Fullicks is caught on the ankle as she tries to evade the tackle. Left on the ground, Baker is yellow carded another referee might have shown a different colour. Fullicks in alot of pain can’t continue and is carried off the pitch on comes Bella Simmons, City’s top scorer this season so far with 21 goals. Fay over the free-kick 22 yards out goes for goal puts her shot over.
   Baker travelling with the ball has Wiltshire ahead of her lays the ball on Wiltshire has Mills out wide right passing her the ball looks to turn inside Broadbent challenges and winning the ball puts it out for a throw. United retain possession Baker central has Wiltshire ahead of her again closer to goal this time puts the threaded pass into the box, Mhunduru comes sliding in to gather the ball at Wiltshire’s feet. Wiltshire and Taylor play a one two outside the box looking for the return past inside the box, Phillips gets in front of the striker to win the ball back for City.  A strong end to te 1st half from United, Taylor pressing forwards with the ball lifts it up over the City defence into the box with Wiltshire after it, closed down under pressure puts her shot wide of the post.  
  GOAL! Deacon wins United a corner kick on the left as her cross from inside the box is charged down, players crowd the six yard box as Mills comes over to take the corner, with her right for is a fantastic inswinging ball flies past the goalkeeper at the near post the City defence desperately try to clear off the line but can’t keep te ball out of the back of the net hard to tell from where I was standing whether it was already over the line or not but Mills’ ball was on target sure she’ll claim it 0-3. 
 
Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-3 Cambridge United WFC
A third goal for United right on the stroke of half-time puts them in firm control of the Invitation Cup Final, another blow for City rocked early in the half by 2 quickfire goals took them a while to get back into the game, a competitve contest United not giving much away at 2-0 going into the break City would feel an early goal 2nd half puts them right back in it. 3-0 a tougher prospect to overcome against a United defence that doesn’t give too much away.
  A change for United at the start of the 2nd half striker Nicole Perschky on for Baker the change seeing Logie who can play in any position in the spine of the team taking up a deeper midfield role. It’s United to kick off the 2nd half on the attack early the ball put out to the right Perschky looks to play it in central to Wiltshire closed down the corner is conceded. Played in with pace towards the near post City defend putting the ball behind for a 2nd corner. The ball flicked on near side, City claim it and go on the counter attack getting the ball into Gillies up top head down tries to mow her way through the middle, too much traffic is tackled by Bennett. 
  Jenkins gets forwards on the right Mills ahead of her plays the ball in, Mills knocks it forwards in towards the area her touch to heavy gives Fay time to close her down win the ball. City knowing they need an early break through if they are to find anyway back into the Final pressure the United back line, Simmons has the pace to close down Bright as she tries the shield the ball the ball back to Crook the clearance down’t go far the ball with Stanley out right moves into the area lays the ball back towards the top of the box, Simmons is wrong footed can’t adjust quickly enough as the ball come at her to get a shot away. 
  GOAL! 12 minutes played in the 2nd half and City get the goal they needed is a brilliant individual goal too from Gillies is given the ball in a central position 30 yards from goal runs at the United defence looks to shift the ball left, then takes it right wrong footing Bennett ahead of her opening up a window to shoot lets fly the ball arrowing into the top corner, little Crook can do about it 1-3.
Cambridge City Ladies
Charlotte Gillies
 
  Taylor is covering plenty of ground in the midfield for United getting forwards with the ball shifts it left playing in Deacon on the run looks to fire the central pass into the box with Mills coming into the area from the right reaching the ball is denied a shot on goal flagged offside. City make a change Witherspoon coming back on for Simmons up front. Good control from Perschky bringing the ball down onto her chest in the top right corner of the box lays it into Taylor making the run to the top of the area, her low shot is scooped up of the floor by Mhunduru right behind the ball. 
  Emily Read comes off for City, Rapley coming back on as Stanley wins her side a corner kick on the right side played in towards the far post drops to the floor inside the six yard box a block sends the ball back out to the right picked up by the corner taker Rapley her attempted cross back in is blocked by Deacon another corner. Comes in towards the far post for a 2nd time knocked down centrally by Henry is cleared by Burt.
 GOAL! Pressing for another goal City concede a 4th goal in the 64th minute giving away a free-kick inside their half the ball is played high up into the area, Perschky running forwards the ball dropping over her shoulder, has Deacon with her stretches he right leg out meeting the ball on the bounce taking it up wide of the keeper and into the goal beyond to score her 2nd of the game 1-4.
 
Mills running onto the ball on the right plays the cross into the box Perschky looks to flick it on comes to Taylor 8 yards out meeting the ball sends her shot over the crossbar. Witherspoon makes room for a shot 25 yards out central, goes straight at Crook who collects as it bounces inside her six yard box. United have Wiltshire in possession plays the pass into the right channel for Mills drives a cross in near post Perschky making to run, Mhunduru gets hold of the ball. 
Logie comes forwards with the ball, Wiltshire ahead of her makes a move from left to right across the top of the City box, Logie rolling the ball into her path, Wiltshire turns the all in towards goal, straight at Mhunduru the goalkeeper drops forwards to gather. Stanley comes off for City, Mosley returning to the action. Gillies twisting and turning on the ball right side gets the ball inside to Mosley outside the box sees Penny making a far post run, lifts the ball into the area to close to Crook who sees the danger gets across Penny to win the ball. 
  The game moving into the final 20 minutes both sides still showing lots of energy City counter attack as Broadbent wins the ball at the back played on from Penny into Witherspoon 20 yards out left of the D she shots her strike flying wide of the post. Bright plays the ball long up towards the area, Perschky  can’t quite bring the ball down into her strike but carrying on into the area has it left of goal flashes the ball into the six yard box, Fay clearing with Mills coming on far side. 
  Witherspoon moves right to get the ball for City level with the top of the box plays in back into the middle for Rapley has Mosley inside the box right of goal plays the ball into her feet, back to goal Mosley holds off the United defence turning right looks to shot the ball deflected behind for a corner on the right. Into the middle of the box, Taylor clears for United. A double change for United, Logie and Deacon rested with Evie Gallops coming on along with Baker. 
  City come on again the ball central into Witherspoon has Bright on her shoulder as the two race for the box, Witherspoon is brought down by Bright inside the D the free-kick a foot outside the box. Rapley on the ball gets it up over the wall starts to dip as it heads towards the top corner but not by enough as it flies over the bar. United make a change at the back Burt coming off, Carolyn Sarafain comes on. Wiltshire with the ball running towards the City area lets fly from the edge of the box her strike smashing against the crossbar. Deacon returns to the field in place of Taylor for United, Stanley back on for City replacing Phillips. as the game moves into the closing stages 
 GOAL! Into stoppage time and United extend their lead Wiltshire pushing on with the ball is brought down 20 yards from goal a dangerous position she picks herself up to take the free-kick, is a great strike heading towards the top corner initially an excellent save from Mhunduru as diving across she takes off gets both gloves around the ball falling however she drops the ball and Deacon racing in is first the ball to bury it into the back of the corner and claim a Cup Final hat-trick 1-5. Not long after the final whistle blows and United celebrate having retained the Invitation Cup once again.
A Cup Final hat-trick for Cambridge United WFC’s Ashleigh Deacon
Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-5 Cambridge United WFC
 An enjoyable final watched in front of a good numbered crowd. Two early goals for United putting them in total control of the game took City a little while to recover momentum only to concede a 3rd right on the stroke of half-time. Gillies gave then home with a superb goal to make it 3-1 before United went on to extend their lead. Deacon scoring in injury time to get her hat-trick the icing on the cake. Two Cup Final wins for United in the space of two days, two losses for City who shouldn’t be too downhearted real progress made this season.
SWF Blog – Player of the Match
 
 A few contenders for the SWF Blog – Player of the Match tonight. Charlotte Gillies with a great performance for Cambridge City, a Cup Final hat-trick for Ashleigh Deacon however tonight’s Player of the Match goes to Becky Taylor a strong all round midfield performance plenty of energy and vision helping out at the back when needed bringing other into play going forwards. 
Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Winners, Cambridge United WFC
Congratulations to Cambridge United WFC on winning this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup, two cups in two nights for the club.
 My thanks once again to Chris Abbott from from the Cambridgeshire FA for his help again tonight.

Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies Development v Cambridge United WFC Reserves

  Two cup finals in midweek covered by the Supporting Women’s Football Blog both in Cambridgeshire and both featuring Cambridge City Ladies and Cambridge United WFC. First up on Wednesday it was the sides Development and Reserves sides going head to head in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final.

Cup Final Report – Cambridge City Ladies Development v Cambridge United WFC Reserves

 

  The midweek football on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog comes from Cambridgeshire, two Cup Finals this evening and Thursday. The action this evening from the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final with new side Cambridge City Ladies Development in their 1st ever final taking on Cambridge United WFC Reserves the current holders of the trophy. 

 Tomorrow the senior sides from both clubs meet in the Women’s Invitation Cup Final both competitions sponsored by S-Tech Insurance who have supported women’s and girls football in Cambridgeshire for 12 years now.

  A potential league and cup double on the cards for Cambridge City Ladies Development a new side formed this season have won the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South undefeated so far this season with a game left to play. With a strong and growing youth section the Development side a natural progression with players aiming for the 1st team that itself is enjoying a very successful 1st season at regional level.

  A 4th successive Junior Invitation Cup Final appearance for Cambridge United WFC Reserves having won the final on the previous 3 occasions. Are also through to the League Cup Final as they were last season and are aiming to win both trophies this time around. Challenging for the title in the Women’s Premiership too.

  Road to the Final

  Both sides were handed a Bye in the 1st round of the Junior Invitation Cup. Into the quarter finals, Cambridge City Ladies Development advanced without kicking a ball handed a walkover against Riverside Rovers Reserves. Cambridge United WFC Reserves beat Fulbourn Bluebirds from the Championship South 4-1 to reach the semi-finals.
  
 Cambridge City Ladies Development played fellow Championship South side Cambridge Rangers in the semi-finals winning the match 7-1 to reach their 1st ever Cup Final. Was a repeat of last seasons final in the other semi-final with Cambridge United WFC Reserves playing Championship North side Wisbech Town Ladies, won the game 3-1 to reach the final once again. 
  The venue for this evenings final, Ely City FC has been a year since I last visited the ground, just off the A10 a new business development is taking shape in the former entrance to the multi-sports facility housing not only the football club, but also rugby, squash and golfing facilities. Several food outlets as well as a cinema are proposed for the sight a new road leading to the football club already built. A dry start to April the pitch looked hard bobbly in places. A few dark clouds around with a brief shower before the match the temperature starting to drop as the floodlights took effect.

  Cambridge City Ladies Development starting XI – Josie Cambridge, Lucy Hurst, Tegan Wyman, Gemma Clare (C), Amy Ozakpinar, Rachel Pearce, Erin Fox, Grace Stanley, Ellie Geoghan, Megan Tonks & Anna Wilson.
  subs – Rachel Littlewood, Kayleigh Whitehead, Erin Walusimbi & Aniela Luxford

  Cambridge United WFC Reserves starting XI – Sarah Carroll, Emily Ingle (C), Holly Northfield, Liz Pamplin, Carolyn Sarafian, Tahnee Perfect, Gabrielle Whitehurst, Lucy Gateson, Teonie Peyton, Ebony Rule & Lauren Gibson.

   subs – Ellen Green, Kirsten Burt, Emma Roberts, Claire Kilmartin & MacKenzie McGregor

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Tonight’s prize
   Two Cambridge’s playing it’s a challenge writing notes and to make thing’s easier for those reading the report too I’ll refer to the sides as City and United from now on. It’s United to get the final underway kicking off 1st half wearing amber shirts and socks with black shorts, City opposite wearing white shirts with black across the shoulders, black shorts and black and white hooped socks. United press early the ball won by Gabrielle Whitehurst in midfield played out to Teonie Payton making a run down the right wing taking the ball down the line wins a corner kick, the ball is delivered towards the top of the area City’s Rachel Pearce to it first sends the ball up field.
  An open start both sides looking to use the full width of the pitch, from a throw on the right inside the City half striker Lauren Gibson looks to drive inside towards the box, is tackled by Tegan Wyman at left back the ball played on City counter Ellie Geoghan up the left is stopped by United’s captain Emily Ingle the a ball rolled into midfield helped on as Gibson looks to get in behind the City defence, goalkeeper Josie Cambridge is out quickly to reach the ball first. Gibson is played through as she comes across to the right to receive the ball unleashing a low shot from just inside the box, Cambridge behind it makes the save.
City captain, Gemma Clare challenging United striker Lauren Gibson for the ball
  United are beginning to see a little more of the ball keeping City out of their area the defence winning any through balls, bringing the ball down the right Peyton’s long crossfield ball is gathered by Lucy Gateson looks to take it down the line, tackled by City’s Lucy Hurst the ball out for a throw in taken quickly United win their first corner of the match the delivery in towards the top of he area, up from the back Liz Pamplin gets a glancing header on the ball knocking it down into the six yard box, City win the scramble to launch it clear.
  City are left perplexed as they break forwards the ball from Pearce into attacker Megan Tonks 20 yards out is brought down by United’s Carolyn Sarafian with Geoghan in behind on the overlap stealing in on the ball the referee plays advantage it comes to nothing and City feels play should have been brought back for the free-kick. City build another attack the ball from left to right across midfield Grace Stanley running into space on the right takes the ball on into the box, United’s Holly Northfield gets back on her the pair tussle for the ball inside the box right corner, Stanley rolling the ball around the full back to get in behind is adjudged to have fouled Northfield.
  Gibson closes the ball down on the right from a throw in getting hold of the ball travels into the area hitting the shot on the run, plenty of pace on the ball, goalkeeper Cambridge saves instinctively with her feet. Keeping possession in the final 3rd United eventually win a corner kick. High into the middle of the area, Stanley heads the ball out of the area for City, falls to Peyton outside the box closed down quickly gets a snapshot away the ball flying wide of the near post. 
 
Cambridge City goalkeeper Josie Cambridge
warming up before the match
   Bringing the ball on through the centre of midfield Stanley threads a great pass into Tonks up top in behind takes the ball on into the area, looking to shift the ball onto her favoured foot to take a strike, gives Northfield the opportunity to nip in to get her toes on the ball nullify the threat for United. 
  GOAL! The opening goal of the Final comes midway through the 1st half, United pile players forwards as they attack with purpose with Gibson having come over to the right side the ball down to the touchline is cut back in towards strike partner Ebony Rule unmarked inside the box opens her body up taking the shot looking to put the ball across he goalkeeper, Cambridge gets a glove on the ball but pushing it away into the centre of the six yard box, Payton is quickest to react reaching the ball and smashing it home to give United the lead 0-1.

  Peyton winning the ball at the back for United sees her deflected clearance fly over the top with Gibson alert after it running clear of the City defence, heading for the box, Cambridge is out quickly sliding in to stop the ball getting beyond her. City make a change, Amy Ozakpinar coming off at the back, Anelia Luxford coming on. Soon after Erin Walusimbi comes on for City in place of Erin Fox. 
 

Cambridge City’s Rachel Pearce

Pearce rolls the ball on into striker Anna Wilson pressuring the United defence she squeezes the ball into Tonks to her right shooting from outside the area her strike is blocked the deflection coming to Walusimbi on the right pushes on into the box her cross turned behind for a corner. A good delivery in towards the penalty spot it’s United’s Pamplin who wins the header. Geoghan comes off for City, Rachel Littlewood coming on. Gateson bringing the ball on down the right flashes a cross along the face of the City area comes all the way through to Peyton who takes on the shot from distance, Cambridge is right behind it to hold comfortably.

  United very nearly double their lead a long ball played on through the middle, Gibson closes City captain Gemma Clare down as she looks to control, tries to head the ball back to her advancing keeper Cambridge gets too close Clare under pressure knocks the ball past her the ball heading towards goal the City defence win the race to clear the ball off the line. A corner on the left conceded City are down to 10 as Walusimbi is sent to the dugout to deal with a plaster on her nose. Kayleigh Whitehead being readied for a substitution comes on even as United take the corner, Clare dealing with the ball inside the box played out for a throw in. 

 
  GOAL! Moving into the last 5 minutes of the 1st half United double their advantage, Gibson having been a constant outlet for the ball in the game receives the ball played across from the left as United come forwards knocking it down into space in field, Whitehurst runs clear striking the ball from 25 yards out her shot whistling past the keeper into the back of the net 0-2. 

  The City bench aren’t happy the referee stops play to have a word. Walusimbi returns to the action replacing Hurst late on. City are very nearly undone for a 3rd goal as the defence looks to shield the ball played on by United as it trickles towards the edge of the box for Cambridge to pick up has her gloves on the ball just as Rule nips past the defence to take it from her, clear on goal play however is brought back by the officials. 
   A strong end to the 1st half from United breaking down the right the ball squared in towards Gibson outside the D hits the shot on the turn as the ball comes into her the strike looping up over the crossbar. Tahnee Perfect breaks with the ball through the middle rolling it on for Gibson peeling off the shoulder of the last defender shoots from the top of the box the ball sent wide of the near post.

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies Development 0-2 Cambridge United WFC Reserves

  A good 1st half from United having the bulk of the attack, getting the ball forwards Gibson a threat through the middle, Peyton too on the wing firing herself up with a bit of banter with the crowd. Up the other end their defence as snubbed out any threat winning the final ball little for goalkeeper Sarah Carroll to deal with. 2-0 always an interesting score United good for it as is often the case the next goal will be crucial.
  It’s City to get the 2nd half underway looking for a positive start. Littlewood with a run on the ball into the left channel her cross into the area cleared by Sarafian. A diagonal ball played long up into the United area is headed clear falling to Pearce outside the area, won’t sit kindly as she looks to bring it under control adjust for a shot, is closed down the chance gone. Gibson goes after a heavy through ball running out to the left gathering on the line, Cambridge has come out to the edge of her box that side seeing the striker will reach the ball before it runs out of play, the angle is against Gibson as she tries to put the ball wide of the keeper runs wide behind the goal beyond.
  City have started the 2nd half well more energy getting extra bodies forwards to put pressure on the ball. Pearce plays the ball on through the centre for Tonks, closed down outside the box as she goes to strike the ball spins across to Littlewood on the left plays the ball back across the top of the area, Perfect wins the header knocking the ball outside the box comes at Wyman quickly tries to connect with the ball 1st time slices her effort away from goal. 
  Up top for United, Gibson and Rule combine well both pressuring the ball Gibson almost playing Rule in behind, Clare with the tackle to stop her running clear. Awarded a free-kick wide right City send the ball up into the area, again it’s Perfect who wins the header clearing for United. 
Cambridge United WFC Reserves striker
Lauren Gibson

 GOAL! Cit’s positive start to the 2nd half is undone as United extend their lead in the 5th minute. breaking up at attack through the middle from City the ball from defence is played long up into Rule 30 yards out back to goal controls well his close support from Gibson to her left rolls the ball into her Gibson’s first touch gives her a yard on her marker as they race for the area, Cambridge coming out to meet her Gibson knocks the ball to the right taking her by the keeper clear to shoot putting the ball home off the inside of the post from 10 yards 0-3.

  City attack from the restart the ball into Stanley moving left drives into the box looks to fire the ball across goal deflected off a defender the ball comes into Wilson at pace can’t adjust to turn it towards goal. Wyman plays the ball on for Littlewood to attack on the left side squares the ball along the top of the area looking to pick out Wilson, Whitehurst gets back to tackle the striker before see can line up a shot. 

 A throw for United on the right Gibson helping the ball in as Rule makes the run in behind takes the ball on into the area, Walusimbi trying to get across lunges in a wild attempt to win the ball, Rule caught could have gone to ground, doesn’t keeping control of the all sends her shot across the keeper, the ball striking the base of the far post, still in play cleared for a throw on the opposite side a long ball is swept in towards the near post, Cambridge coming towards it makes the claim.

  A knock for United’s Ingle as they defend a City corner comes off to be replaced by Claire Kilmartin. A good tackle from City’s Wyman as Gibson brings the ball under control and looks to spin in behind off the full back to get into the box. Peyton brings the ball inside as she attacks down the right side rolled into Gibson her touch helps the ball on with Rule stealing in behind the City defence into the box puts her strike wide of goal. Another change for United with Payton giving way for Kirsten Burt.

 

 

Cambridge United WFC Reserves
Ebony Rule

GOAL! 25 minutes played in the 2nd half and United go further in front. Possession on the left from a throw in inside the City half Gateson and Gibson link up the ball played long in towards the far post Rule times her run perfectly arriving to head the ball in at the near post inside the six yard box 0-4.

 Tonks sees a shot from 20 yards charged down the ball deflecting wide to the left Littlewood winning a corner kick the ball flashes in through bodies gathered at the near post a snap shot far side swoops up over the bar. Ingle returns to the action replacing Sarafian at the back for United. Fox comes back on for City in place of Wyman. McKenzie McGregor also on for United Gateson the player off. A high ball played in from the left is chested down by McGregor as she comes across the D left to right knocking it on into the area, shoots wide as she is closed down. 

More changes late on Ozakpinar back on for Clare for City, Ellen Green replacing Pamplin. Fox skips past two players in the middle sending the ball through for Tonks, Ingle gets across her run shields the ball back into the keepers gloves as the game moves into the last couple of minutes.

 

 GOAL! Pushing forwards looking to find themselves a goal late in the game City are hit on the counter the ball won back and sent up field by Perfect into Rule in space 25 yards out turns and sends her shot in up over the goalkeeper to score her 2nd of the game 0-5.

 GOAL! Another goal soon follows as Gibson capitalises on some hesitant play at the back from City the ball closed by Gibson as the keeper starts to come between goalkeeper and defender Gibson closes down the ball knocking it wide of both into space inside the box and sends the ball into the goal beyond to score her 2nd of the game 0-6. 

Full time Cambridge City Ladies Development 0-6 Cambridge United WFC Reserves

 It’s Cambridge United WFC Reserves who celebrate at the final whistle winning comfortably 6-0  with a good all round team performance that gave their opponents little opportunity to make an impact in the final 3rd. A harsh scoreline for Cambridge City Ladies Development conceding 2 late goals as they became a little ragged looking for something up the other end. Cup Final runners-up and league Champions is a fantastic achievement for a side in it’s first season.
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

  A good all round team performance from Cambridge United WFC Reserves the SWF Blog – Player of the Match goes to striker Lauren Gibson, scoring 2 goals was a constant threat and outlet up front working the space in the channels well keeping the opposition defenders from bringing the ball out.
 Congratulations to Cambridge United WFC Reserves on another Junior Invitation Cup success.
Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Winners
Cambridge United WFC Reserves

  My thanks to Cambridgeshire FA’s Chris Abbott for his help tonight. A quick turnaround for all do it again tomorrow night.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Ipswich Town Ladies

This Sunday’s match report from the Supporting Women’s Football Blog comes from The Abbey Stadium, home of League Two side Cambridge United FC, another opportunity for the players of Cambridge United WFC to play at the ground following their merger last season. In league action in the FAWPL South East Division One looking to get back to winning ways having lost ground on the top 3 sides welcomed visitors Ipswich Town Ladies.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Ipswich Town Ladies

 
 The women’s football action this Sunday takes me to the Cambs Glass Abbey Stadium as Cambridge United WFC get another great opportunity to play at League Two side Cambridge United FC’s home ground taking on Ipswich Town Ladies in the FAWPL South East Division One. 

  Is great to see Cambridge United WFC back at The Abbey Stadium after their link up with the men’s club last season. An increasing number of mainstream Football League, Championship and even Premiership sides have or soon will be hosting their ladies sides which is great for the game and very encouraging. 

  Cambridge United WFC were the pace setters for a long spell in the FAWPL South East Division One before Christmas, runs in both the County Cup, reaching yet another final as holders and the FA Women’s Cup have seen them drop down to 4th in the table through lack of league games and Gillingham FC Ladies making up their games in hand keeping their unbeaten record in the league have taken over at the top. 2 draws and loss from their 3 league matches played in 2017 a win today would get them back on the tail of the top 3. Have seen a few departures of late players moving to other clubs. Welcome back Sarah Wiltshire wife of 1st team manger Steve Edwards returning to the football field a little over a month after giving birth to daughter Alexa-Rose as she looks to return to match sharpness for the start of Yeovil Town Ladies debut season in FAWSL 1.

  Ipswich Town Ladies were targeting a push for the top of the table themselves at the start of the season, with a large squad of players signed up started a new Development side this season playing in the Suffolk Women’s Division, topping the table unbeaten players have stepped up to the 1st team and been named in the County Representative squad. In the FAWPL South East Division One the results haven’t come for the 1st team down in 9th a strong finish to the season could yet propel Ipswich Town into the top half of the table and like Cambridge United have reached the Suffolk County Cup Final were they are also the defending cup holders.

  Know where the entrance is to the carpark behind The Abbey Stadium is now, arrived early the Main Stand open along with the Dion Dublin Suite. A bit of building work going on the last time I visited all complete now looks very nice purchased a cup of tea that I managed to spill down my jumper (I’m sure no-one noticed). A good playing surface at The Abbey Stadium a good size. The main stand behind the dugouts a two tier all-seater running the length of the pitch. A bright day warm the sun behind the stand however putting it in the shade few clouds around but no chance of rain.

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Laura Bright (C), Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Baker, Evie Gallop, Laura Mills, Ashleigh Deacon, Becky Taylor & Sarah Wiltshire.
  subs – Carolyn Sarafian & Gabrielle Whitehurst.

  Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Leanne Smith, Tamesha Blackwood, Eva Hubbard, Sian Fagg, Aimee Harrison (C), Lindsay Cooper, Laura Guyon, Amy Howlett, Hollie Clement, Sophie Welton & Natasha Thomas.

  subs – Joyce Mlambo, Roxanne Small, Jade Henry, Miagh Downey & Ellie Bird.

  With a few players missing and an important cup semi-final for Cambridge United WFC’s Reserves side also being played today they named just the two players on the bench. It’s Ipswich to kick-off the wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Cambridge lined up opposite wearing Amber shirts and socks with black shorts. Winning possession Cambridge attack down the left Ashleigh Deacon on the move wins a throw taken quickly played inside to Becky Taylor sends a high diagonal ball into the area looking to pick out Evie Gallop making a run central to get into the box, Ipswich goalkeeper Leanne Smith calls for the ball and catches it above her head.

   A quiet opening to the match both sides testing the other with probing balls down the wings the full-backs winning their challenges. Ipswich are awarded a free-kick 30 yards out to the left of the area a chance to bring players forwards load the box have a height advantage over Cambridge, Hollie Clement to play the ball in a good delivery towards the near post, Cambridge goalkeeper Verity Crook takes the ball well with players all around her.

 Deacon moves forwards played in behind by Gallop support from left back Carrie Bennett the ball is played into the area, Sarah Wiltshire having make the run looking to get on the end of the pass inside the box tackled well by Ipswich captain, Aimee Harrison the ball deflecting out to the right side is picked up by Cambridge’s Laura Mills who shoots from the angle her strike flying over the bar. Clement looks to thread the ball into Thomas as she looks to get in behind, Kayleigh-Anne Burt stepping across challenges winning the ball from the attacker.

Ipswich’s Tamesha Blackwood & Lindsay Cooper with
Cambridge’s Evie Gallop

 GOAL! 10 minutes into the game and Cambridge take the lead, the ball is played out from the back into the Ipswich half, Harrison cushions her headed ball down to the left, falls to Deacon, Cambridge react quickly, both Taylor and Wiltshire break forwards Deacon threading the ball through into Wiltshire’s run left side into the box, Smith comes rushing out as Wiltshire pulls the trigger the shot past the goalkeeper runs across the six yard box striking the far post and in 1-0.

  Ipswich break space in behind on the right for Natasha Thomas squares the ball into the six yard box is cut out by Cambridge captain Laura Bright at the back the clearance going to Amy Howlett right side dives the ball back across the face of the Cambridge goal, Sophie Welton far post can’t connect as the ball runs wide for a goal-kick. Laura Guyon takes the ball to the byline fro Ipswich right side turning it back in towards the middle of goal, right back Emma Jenkins stopping it getting beyond her, Crook gathering the ball into her body.

Ipswich Town Ladies, Natasha Thomas

  Harrison steps in to stop Wiltshire as she pushes forwards with the ball through the middle. Ipswich counter attack on the left the ball played into Thomas, appeals for handball as the cross is put into the area possession outside the referee Chris Abbott spots a foul with no advantage brings play back for the free-kick in a dangerous position 25 yards out, Clement over the set-piece gets the ball past the Cambridge wall into the area, Bright cuts in out on the penalty spot, Harrison squeezes it back to Sian Fagg top of the area her strike is blocked the ball spinning away to the right picked up by Howlett inside the area sends the cross back into the six yard box Bright intercepting for a 2nd time Cambridge clear their lines.

   Thomas plays the ball out to Howlett getting in behind the Cambridge defence on the right side driving inside towards the box shoots the rising ball palmed down and gathered by Crook at her near post. Mills out on the right for Cambridge gets in behind taking the ball down the wing puts a looping ball in towards the near post area 8 yards out Gallop arriving throws herself at the ball her diving head angling away across the goal and out beyond the far post. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Becky Taylor

  A good triangle between Taylor, Gallop and Bennett on the left side for Cambridge as the ball is brought on the final ball in towards the top of the area with Wiltshire making the run, Smith reacts quickly coming out to the edge of her box winning the race for the ball. Mills cuts the ball back towards the top of the area Gallop sees her strike charged down deflected behind for a corner. A high ball into the area from the right, Ipswich defender Lindsay Cooper gets up highest to head the ball out of the area.

Ipswich’s Thomas contests the ball with Cambridge’s Laura Baker

  An ambitious effort from Howlett, 40 yards out central position fires a dipping shot in towards goal, Crook falling forwards collects the ball on the bounce inside her six yard box. Fagg wins the ball from Wiltshire in the middle of the park plays the ball onto Guyon ahead of her space for Howlett to run into on the right Guyon picks her out the cross comes in Jenkins tracking back gets her head on the ball to clear. Thomas getting onto the ball is allowed to drive on towards the byline right side cuts the cross ball along the face of goal, Bright just about gets her foot in to kill the ball see it into her keeper with Clement free for a tap in at the far post.

  Bennett brings the ball forwards on the left infield to Wiltshire who sends Deacon through on that side on the move Deacon plays the ball back inside to Wiltshire arriving at the top of the area, falling back as she sees the ball across her body slices her shot sending it wide of the Ipswich goal. 

  GOAL! Ipswich get themselves back on level terms pushing forwards Howlett on the all attacking right plays the ball into the feet of Guyon top of the area, gets the return ball played into her feet as she continues her run into the box and sends her 1st time strike up and over Crook to land in the back of the net beyond with 10 minutes of the 1st half left 1-1.

Ipswich’s Amy Howlett makes it 1-1

 Mills driving forwards with the ball towards the Ipswich box unleashes a shot from 20 yards out getting down Smith gets her gloves behind the stinging shot, the ball striking a defender and running behind for a corner kick. A good delivery from the left side into the six yard box, Bright throws herself at the ball but doesn’t connect. Clement is over the ball for a free-kick to Ipswich inside the Cambridge half plays a high ball in towards goal, Crook on her line is phased by the blue shirt closing in as she takes the ball cleanly above her head.

  Cambridge launch a rapid counter attack Jenkins playing the ball on for Gallop moving into space on the right sends her cross long towards the far post over Smith, Taylor leaps tries to head the ball back across goal bounces on the line before skimming of the face of the far post cleared for a corner on the right. Into 1st half injury time breaking up an Ipswich attack Cambridge go forwards the ball played out to Mills on the move right side fires her cross in to Gallop coming near post looks to hit the shot on the turn straight into Harrison closely marking her.

 Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-1 Ipswich Town Ladies
All square at the break, Cambridge getting into the lead early the match settling into an even contest both sides finding space in behind in a open contest both looking to spread the play Ipswich getting back on level terms all to play for 2nd half.
  A change for Cambridge at the break with defender Kayleigh-Anne Burt coming off, Carolyn Sarafian taking her place in the centre of defence. Cambridge kick off the 2nd half. Played out to Mills on the right has Jenkins up with her plays the ball long into the area, Smith calls and claims. Fagg fouls Wiltshire in the centre of middle a free-kick awarded 30 yards out Wiltshire tests the keeper playing the ball in towards goal, Smith behind the ball jumps and claims well with players closing her down.
  Mills on the charge into space on the right cuts the ball back to the top of the box, Gallop looks to turn hit a shot goalwards, Taylor too close to get out of the way takes over takes the ball right looking for space to shoot, nothing on plays the ball back to Mills puts her strike wide at the near post. Cambridge have started the 2nd half brightly, Ipswich are a little flat. Deacon shifts the ball between her feet taking it down the line playing the ball inside to Gallop at the top of the area turns fires the shot in towards goal past the keeper races wide across the goal a deflection on the way through the corner is awarded.
Cambridge’s Emma Jenkins with Ipswich’s Hollie Clement
  The initial delivery cleared the ball comes back to Deacon rolls it into Wiltshire top left corner of the box fires in a cross towards the far post Taylor gets her head on the ball knocking it back across towards the opposite post Gallop closely marked by Blackwood can’t get her head on the ball. Jenkins getting forwards plays the ball in behind for Mills down the right puts the ball into the area early, Wiltshire stretching throws her leg at the ball puts the ball straight into the keepers gloves. Mills attacking right sees her cross go long collected by Deacon on the opposite flank rolls it into Wiltshire outside the box, comes inside unleashes a shoot Cooper heads the ball behind for the corner kick.
 GOAL! 12 minutes played in the 2nd half and Cambridge retake the lead capitalising on their positive start to the 2nd half. The corner is played in towards the six yard box a glancing header from an Ipswich player only succeeds in helping the ball on dropping to the floor several amber shirted players pounce the ball is turned over the line, the scorer Bright makes it 2-1.
 
Cambridge United WFC captain, Laura Bright 
  Thomas takes on a couple of Cambridge players in the middle before threading the ball on for Howlett right side looking to get in on goal is forced wide by Bennett, eventually winning a corner, players come up from the back the delivery is met by Cooper at the near post her header taking the ball in towards goal, Bright headers the ball away on the goal line, going out to the far side play is halted as Jenkins is fouled.
Ipswich Town Ladies, Lindsay Cooper
  Up the other end it’s Cambridge’s turn to bring players forwards into the Ipswich box for a corner a pacy ball in from the right Bright throws herself at it again a glancing header taking it out towards Deacon at the far post a couple of yards out shoots Smith dives gets enough on the ball to take it onto the post rebounds out into the middle of the six yard box Smith produces a fantastic save throwing herself to the floor to keep the ball out before it is launched out of the area.
  A free-kick for Ipswich on the left outside the Cambridge box Clement sends it long Harrison far side keeps the ball alive knocking in on for Thomas beyond her plays it back in field with Howlett racing in shooting from outside the box her attempt flashes wide across the Cambridge goal. Hubbard brings the ball in field from the left into Clement the ball rolled into Thomas inside the D, her strike at goal charged down by Bright.
Sarah Wiltshire scores a
hat-trick at The
Abbey Stadium
  GOAL! 20 minutes left on the clock and Cambridge go on to double their lead awarded a free-kick on the left outside the area as Deacon is fouled. Wiltshire to take the set-piece is a fantastic strike going for goal getting the ball up and over Smith who can do little about it as it drops under the bar and in to see Cambridge lead 3-1.
  Cambridge make a change before the restart Gabrielle Whitehurst coming on for Gallop.
 GOAL! Straight from the restart Cambridge go on to extend their lead as Wiltshire completes her hat-trick the ball won by Taylor on halfway links up with Mills who sends the ball forwards the knock down from the Ipswich defence falling to Deacon with Wiltshire ahead of her gets in front of her marker as the ball is rolled forwards into her feet and strikes a left foot shot from the edge of the box into the top corner 4-1.
 
 
  Ipswich makes a double switch Clement and Welton the players taken off, Jade Henry and Miagh Downey having finished her season with Colchester Town Ladies coming on both going up top. Thomas looks to play Downey in from the right straight away, Sarafain nipping in to take the ball from the attackers feet put the ball out for a throw in. Good link up play between Thomas and Henry moments later outside the area the ball played into Howlett coming into the area from the right shifts the ball inside to wrong foot Bennett gets a shot away, Crook makes a comfortable save. 
  Ipswich bring on Joyce Mlambo for Guyon late on in the game, plays the ball on for Howlett making the run to her right down the wing squares the cross in towards the near post is claimed by Crook the final whistle blows and Cambridge win the 3 points.
Full time Cambridge United WFC 4-1 Ipswich Town Ladies

 The win moving Cambridge onto 32 points for the season 3 points behind 3rd placed AFC Wimbledon Ladies and 5 behind 2nd placed Milton Keynes Dons Ladies have games in hand on both sides. A comfortable win in the end all square after the 1st half Cambridge the better side 2nd half, creating chances and scoring 3 goals their 1st league win of 2017 much needed especially in front of The Abbey Stadium crowd.  
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

  With 3 well taken goals today’s SWF Blog – Player of the Match is Cambridge’s Sarah Wiltshire, a hat-trick at The Abbey Stadium, no new mother has done that before.
 A good day out at The Abbey Stadium good to see Cambridge United WFC beck there again and hope to see more in the future. Managed to leave my wallet behind after the game so very grateful it was found and returned.