Sunday 15th December
FAWNL South East Division One
A trip west to St Neots this Sunday to watch a game from FAWNL South East Division One, Cambridge United WFC taking on Leyton Orient WFC.
A highly competitive league once again, Ipswich Town Women’s young guns leading the way as we head towards the end of the year, but the Suffolk side has a host of sides hot on their heels well positioned to challenge for the top, amongst those Leyton Orient WFC in 4th just 4 points off the leaders.
Cambridge United WFC find themselves at the wrong end of the table, 2nd bottom with just 5 points on the board so far this season winning just one league match. Not the start they wanted as they moved to a new home this season, St Neots Town FC hosting their first team and Development sides games now aswell as their new training base. The loss of several key players during the summer hasn’t helped with a few more departures the squad found itself battling for points. Have yet to keep a clean sheet this season whilst frustratingly the majority of their defeat have been by a single goal margin.
Wanted or not Cambridge United WFC have had an enforced lay off of six weeks without a league game, this though has seen others pulled into the battle at the bottom, A chance to get others back from injury notably midfielder Amber Cantwell. Returning to action last weekend was always going to be a tough ask away to leaders Ipswich who had scored 28 times during Cambridge’s down time come into their final match of 2019 off the back of a 5-0 defeat.
This afternoon’s match is also Leyton Orient WFC’s first in the league for over a month, albeit for different reasons as the London club has been involved in several cup competitions, reaching the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup were knocked out by Southern Premier Division side Portsmouth FC Women last weekend. A strong start to the league season now an established side in South East Division One have lost just the one game so far this season up in 4th amongst the sides challenging the leaders themselves. Otesha Charles amongst the goals for Leyton Orient early in the season top scorer with 14, was unavailable for today’s match.
Knew yesterday as the men’s league game had fallen foul to a waterlogged pitch the game was under threat this Sunday, St Neots Town FC though boasts a large 3G pitch beside the main stadium. The game switched to that pitch the stadium itself situated in a new development on the outskirts of St Neots. The 3G pitch fairly new offering plenty of width and space around it. The weather bright but chilly calm, a few clouds around but no chance of rain the low sun behind one end would cause problems during the match for the players.
Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Liz Pamplin, Abi Davies, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Jemma Moore, Albany Hodgson, Gisela Otten, Amy Howlett, Emma Jenkins, Amber Cantwell & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Jessicer Thsibanga & Chloe Armstrong.
Leyton Orient WFC starting XI – Latoya Smith, Cheryl Anderson, Jasmine Auguste, Leyre Bastyr, Ria Collins, Egle Trezzi, Lisa Holmback, Francesca Ali, Sophie Le Marchand (C), Hayley Barton & Ellie Stenning. Subs – Connie Montiel-McCann, Michelle Young, Pinja Piira & Allison McCann.
A change of ends at the coin toss with Leyton Orient captain Sophie Le Marchand opting to have the sun at her sides backs in the first half. Cambridge then to get the first half underway, wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks, Leyton Orient in an all blue kit, The ball closed down quickly by both sides straight away not getting out of the middle third Leyton Orient with a throw in on the right trying to make in roads behind their opponents defence.
The ball staying that side Cambridge get a throw on halfway, into Amber Cantwell she brings it down well turning to pass to striker Kelley Blanchflower central, she sees Amy Howlett breaking away down the right wing into space puts a great diagonal pass into her run takes it on before whipping a cross into the box the ball won and cleared by Leyton Orient’s Cheryl Anderson. A lively start to the game energy from both sides snapping in to make challenges Cambridge coming out on top in the early 50/50 exchanges.
Hayley Barton gathering the ball into her feet for Leyton Orient left side plays the pass infield into Egle Trezzi she spreads play up the left for Le Marchand to attack driving on towards the box, Abi Davies tackles for Cambridge to regain possession. Leyton Orient quick to get the ball back a cross fired into the area from the left side, Ellie Stenning up to challenge for it central knocks it down for Le Marchand to hit top of the box left side struck well the ball races wide across goal.
Cantwell and Blanchflower combining once more the ball passed into the middle as Gisela Otten moves forwards plays a superb weighed pass out to Howlett on the move down the right taking on the full back gets inside to lift in a cross the ball too close to the keeper, Latoya Smith claiming high at her near post. Albany Hodgson does well tackling to prevent Leyton Orient bringing the ball out from the back keeping the pressure on in the final third for Cambridge.
Francesca Ali strong into the challenge winning the momentum for Leyton Orient sets Le Marchand away on the left, Cambridge’s defence pushed back. Barton latching onto a stray goalkick lets fly from the angle a long way out her shot over. Jemma Moore doing the defensive work for Cambridge seeing the ball out on the right for a goalkick as Anderson looks to play in Stenning. A even start to the game both sides competing well Cambridge have a throw left side into Blanchflower the Cambridge attacker turns well and looks to take the ball on a determined run into the area, stopped as Ria Collins goes into challenge the ball deflected out to the right picked up by Howlett who lashes it goalwards, Smith with a smart save a glove up at her near post to tip the ball on away across goal.
Stenning is brought down bringing the ball on through the middle for Leyton Orient a free-kick awarded, Barton over it a floated ball into the box Cambridge captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt up highest getting her head on the ball knocking it down outside the area falls to Lisa Holmback strikes the ball on the volley her attempt over the bar. Cambridge mount an attack Emma Jenkins winning the ball in the middle Cantwell and Blanchflower ahead of her a good one two the ball played out to Howlett right her shot saved by Smith.
Cambridge winning a corner the ball initially defended by Leyton Orient, it’s Hodgson again who prevents the visitors breaking in attack the ball staying in the final third Jenkins is fouled 35 yards out left side, she is up to take it herself goes for goal a curling ball falls wide of the right post. Trezzi battling for possession gets the ball forwards for Le Marchand left side her early cross defended by Cambridge’s Carrie Bennett. Barton does well for Leyton Orient attacking right to win a corner. The ball played in towards the top of the area Trezzi inside the D meets it first time her strike angling wide races past the far post.
Le Marchand left side in attack the ball fired up to her controls well on her chest to turn and strike the ball on the angle, read by Cambridge goalkeeper Liz Pamplin down to claim at her near post. Ali with good work in the middle for Leyton Orient looks to pick put Holmback making a run ahead of her, Moore stepping in the tackle and win the ball for Cambridge. Free-kicks being given away Hodgson brings down Holmback central, Trezzi puts her attempt over. Up the other end play is brought back after Cantwell is pulled down with no advantage. Hodgson to play the ball forwards, Leyton Orient defend, somewhat unfairly as far as Blanchflower is concerned protesting she was held down, her appeals waved away.
One too many for Hodgson as she is eventually booked after a long lecture from the referee. Left side Barton to float the ball into the box, Collins with the run the ball knocked on into the mix scrambled behind for a corner. Taken from the right a good delivery met by Collins 10 yards out a looping header goalwards straight at Pamplin catches it high. Leyton Orient started to get on top getting the ball into the final third well Ali on for Stenning 20 yards out across to Barton right side into the box, Cambridge closing down the hosts looking to attack quickly through the middle Ali in to break it up.
Leyton Orient’s Holmback getting her side a corner on the right played long to the far post the ball headed clear outside the area picked up by Leyton Orient’s Leyre Bastyr strikes in a low shot Pamplin diving makes the save. Stenning’s turn for a lecture from the referee as she goes into the book. Jenkins fouled for Cambridge on the left Hodgson on the delivery long to the far post runners attacking it Smith with the instinctive save at close range a scramble inside the box the ball coming out to Jenkins her shot blocked.
Jenkins on the left turning on the ball good work to get in behind swings in a cross along the face of the Leyton Orient area, Otten racing forward striking it 1st time the Dutch players effort racing narrowly wide. Plenty of energy being put in by both sides Barton bringing the ball on in attack left side looks to come infield taking it across the top of the area looking for room to shoot lets fly the ball taking a deflection off a Cambridge leg the sting taken off the shot Pamplin can safely claim. Leyton Orient pressing late on win a corner on the left put long across the six yard box, Ali beyond the far post heading it back across goal a vital clearance by the defender covering the post for Cambridge.
GOAL! Cambridge break late into the first half Howlett away into space on the right Blanchflower with her getting the edge on the defence in the middle the ball from Howlett rolled on into her path right of the D into the box Blanchflower pulls the trigger early to fire her shot low past Smith before she can properly set herself 1-0.
Time in the first half for Cambridge to mount one last attack Jenkins fouled somewhat painfully a free-kick awarded 40 yards out central, Hodgson on it tries her luck from distance on target Smith moving across her goal needed to keep her eye on it but drops before it an cause her trouble brings it down safely.
Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-0 Leyton Orient WFC
A narrow lead for Cambridge at half-time, Blanchflower slotting the ball past the keeper late in the first half. A fairly even contest, lively players competitive across the pitch. Several robust challenges nothing malicious however the game played in good spirits. Cambridge gaining confidence Leyton Orient building well creating opportunities nothing clear cut yet though.
No changes for either side at half-time. The sun very low now light starting to fade, Leyton Orient to get the 2nd period underway Cambridge defending a 1-0 lead. Davies at right back for Cambridge dealing with a high ball forwards. Leyton Orient pressing from the off in the 2nd half Trezzi supporting Le Marchand left side the pair getting a throw in deep, put into Le Marchand edge of the box she heads it on into the centre, Burt getting it clear for Cambridge. Up the other end Collins putting in the tackle defending against Jenkins as she looks to break for Cambridge.
Le Marchand gathering the ball wide left turns infield 30 yards out is lining up a strike, blocked by Otten as she throws herself into the block in front of her. Leyton Orient press the attack left side a cross whipped into the area nodded out by Moore central falling straight to Stenning right of the D her shrike back blocked by Burt deflected out to the left Trezzi latching onto it firing a shot in on the angle Pamplin down at her near post to save.
Cambridge quick to get up the other end win a corner on the right, the ball into a crowded six yard box, Smith rising well amongst the melee to punch down the ball still in play inside the box, Auguste blocking Cambridge force a 2nd corner. The ball cleared Cambridge win it back inside the Leyton Orient half Blanchflower and Jenkins combine the latter seeing her shot from 20 yards out blocked. Blanchflower picking out Howlett getting away on the right her low cross cut back across the six yard box snatched into her body by Smith.
A lively contest still very even, Cambridge can’t afford to sit on a 1 nil lead. Le Marchand providing a good outlet in attack for Leyton Orient on the left Trezzi picking her out with the pass, Davies sticking out a foot just taking the ball away from her as she looks to turn in behind. Leyton Orient’s Holmback right puts the ball into the box for Le Marchand who checks back before shooting a curling effort headed over by Burt for a corner. The corner defended the ball dropping for Holmback right of the D, her shot sliced falls wide of goal.
Barton bringing the ball on through the middle looks to put Le Marchand through on goal as she breaks central, right side Burt stays on her making a fine tackle inside the box to take the ball away from her. Auguste has a go from distance 30 yards out well struck but not troubling Pamplin in the Cambridge goal. Leyton Orient continue to press breaking quickly right in attack the ball launched into the area Stenning and Le Marchand the runners, Stenning near post looking to shoot on the volley does quite get enough on the ball helping it on towards goal Pamplin is down on it bravely as Le Marchand goes over her.
The visitors continue to knock on the door Barton with great work on the ball getting inside the box to shoot from the right her attempt headed away in front of goal by Davies. Trezzi putting the ball forwards for Stenning in the box heads it down for Auguste bombing on from the left her run blocked keeps possession to win a corner. Cambridge look to break Cantwell stooped by Bastyr a good challenge to deny her. Blanchflower patient leading the line for Cambridge ready to go should the ball be presented to her.
GOAL! That patience rewarded as Cambridge get the ball out from the back long into her making a run left channel getting free to attack the keeper rushing out to met her corner of the area Blanchflower lifting the ball over Smith, wheeling away in celebration even before the ball has bounced into the empty net beyond 2-0.
25 minutes left to play Cambridge with a 2nd goal, Leyton Orient look for an immediate response Anderson with a strike from distance wide across the area. Howlett tracking back in defence to support Davies as Le Marchand looks to get the ball down and drive into the area. Alot of effort put in by Cambridge, Leyton Orient creating chances just aren’t getting the rub of the green in the final third. Play paused as Hodgson requires treatment but okay to continue the floodlights switched on getting very dull with the sun fallen below the ground.
Cambridge winning a free-kick wide on the right level with the penalty spot Cantwell to take a well struck ball flying in towards goal smashes against the bar an out of play. Le Marchand strong on the ball puts it on for Stenning looking to get into the area, Moore diving in to make the tackle puts it out for a throw in for Cambridge. Blanchflower picking the ball up on halfway turns and looks to drive on with it towards the Leyton Orient area closed down 20 yards out the ball is played back towards Smith picking it up the referee blowing up for a foul handling from a back pass.
GOAL! Cambridge with an indirect free kick inside the Leyton Orient box left of goal 8 yards or so out Cantwell and Jenkins close by Cantwell with the touch back to Jenkins to smash towards goal, through everybody finding its way into the back of the net putting Cambridge 3-0 up late in the game.
The visitors straight on the attack Le Marchand left side winning a corner the ball put into a congested six yard box the flag up against Collins as she rises to head the ball. Leyton Orient make the first change of the game Holmback coming off to be replaced by Connie Montiel-McCann she goes to right back Anderson switching to the left.
Cambridge tiring but a call to arms to keep a clean sheet now the game into the closing 10 minutes Leyton Orient comes forwards Barton shooting from outside the box Pamplin down to her left making the save the ball out for a throw left Le Marchand inside the box turning to shoot wide across goal. Leyton Orient bring on Pinja Piira for Barton. Cambridge make their first change, Cantwell coming off to be replaced by Chloe Armstrong. A strike from distance from Cambridge Otten I think 30 plus yards Smith moving across her goal catching comfortably.
Armstrong back to defend well for Cambridge initially then commits a foul outside the box left side bringing down Ali. Trezzi on it goes for goal deflected off the wall spins wide across goal for the corner kick. Leyton Orient push on late in the game looking for a goal Cambridge battling at the back, Le Marchand played in by Piira on the left comes inside to shoot Pamplin unsighted as the ball finds it way through her defence with a great save getting down low to her right to push the ball away.
The visitors attacking right the cross put in across the top of the area, falls to Le Marchand left of the D strikes it on the half volley fired wide of goal. Into the final 5 minutes, Auguste and Le Marchand combine left side a throw in brings a foul and free-kick in the corner players forwards the ball sent in Moore injured as she goes up to defend for Cambridge play stopped a head injury. After treatment can’t continue brought off on in her place Jessicer Thsibanga. It just won’t happen for Leyton Orient in front of goal as they mount one last attack Auguste left on for Le Marchand puts in inside for Stenning to shoot outside the box her effort wide across the six yard box.
Full time Cambridge United WFC 3-0 Leyton Orient WFC
A massive 3 points won by Cambridge United WFC just their 2nd league win of the season enough to lift them 2 places up to 9th in the South East Division One table. Leyton Orient suffering just their 2nd league defeat of the season. A even game for the majority Cambridge capitalising on individual errors from Leyton Orient to score leading 1 nil at half-time needed a 2nd goal to take the pressure off Blanchflower taking her chances well a 3rd goal coming late on and from a defensive perspective a first clean sheet of the season. Plenty of chances created for Leyton Orient it just wasn’t to be their day in front of goal.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match several contenders once again. Picking out a few performances, Francesca Ali and Egle Trezzi in the middle for Leyton Orient, and Sophie Le Marchand really did deserve to be on the scoresheet having carved out several opportunities. For Cambridge the defence with an huge effort, Kelley Blanchflower with two well taken goals had her hand in the third too. Amy Howlett with some great runs on the right in midfield Gisela Otten with solid game but edging it for me is Albany Hodgson put in some good tackles and prevented Leyton Orient getting forwards on a number of ocassions.
Another entertaining game from the FAWNL, an even contest Cambridge finding the goals to win the game. My thanks to both sides for their help with the team line-ups today.