Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup
Thursday 3rd May
Another trip back to Ely City FC this Thursday evening for my 3rd final of the week. The Suffolk and Cambridgeshire League’s Cup Finals previously it’s the final of a new competition this time around the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup, with the top two in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South meeting in the final, Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds versus Histon Ladies Reserves.
A new competition introduced by the Cambridgeshire FA this season. Featuring the clubs playing the the Championship North & South. The sides drawn into a groups of 3/4 teams 2 groups representing each league each playing the other once with the overall group winner progressing into the semi-finals.
Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds with 3 wins from 3 topping Group A above Newmarket Town Ladies Reserves, Isleham United Ladies and Burwell Tigers. Having a great season are leading the way in the Championship South by 6 points over 2nd placed Histon Ladies Reserves who have 2 games in hand. Losing just the one league game so far this season look well placed for a return to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership.
Histon Ladies Reserves are new to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South this season… well sort of… as their squad is largely made up of the former Milton Ladies. Now part of the women’s set-up at Histon as the club establishes a strong platform for it’s girls youth sides to progress into adult football. Histon’s 1st team playing in the ERWFL. The club overall looking to become a strong rival to the Cambridge sides City and United.
Would have expected Milton if they had still been there to be challenging for the league title this season, and so it is the case as Histon Ladies Reserves. Lay 2nd in the Championship South 6 points behind Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds with 2 games in hand. Were drawn into Group B in the Division One Cup along side St Ives Town Ladies Development and Cambridge Rangers. A 1-1 draw with St Ives Town a 5-2 win over Cambridge Rangers seeing them top the Group and progress to the semi-finals.
Histon Ladies Reserves were involved in a 9 goal thriller at home to Riverside Ladies in the semi-final of the Division One Cup. A 4-1 lead to Histon in the 1st half, Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks with a hat-trick, Riverside battled back to score 3 goals in the 2nd half Histon getting an all important 5th goal to reach the final with a 5-2 win.
I was at the 2nd semi-final to watch Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds at home to Wisbech Town Ladies in the Division One Cup. The Championship North side taking the lead on 20 minutes through top scorer Sophie Gutteridge. Fulbourn battled back to lead 2-1 at the break with goals from Krissie Taylor and a volley from the edge of the box from top scorer Marie Stubbings. Sharon Pinner scoring in the 2nd half to put Fulbourn 3-1 up they held on to win despite Gutteridge pulling it back to 3-2 with 15 minutes left.
So it’s Ely City FC’s Ellgia Stadium for a 2nd night running. It hasn’t changed much in 24 hours. The weather still pleasant a little more cloud around tonight and more tractors on the road but I knew I couldn’t get away with it two nights running.
Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds starting XI – Samantha Issacson (C), Seema Grewal, Krissie Taylor, Sarah Bodger, Nikki Cowan, Jo Woods, Emma Clark, Sharron Pinner, Amy Smith, Katie Luddy & Marie Stubbings. Subs – Holly Hayes, Vicky Neal, Stacey Kemp, & Lucy Clarkson.
Histon Ladies Reserves starting XI – Danielle Busby, Lauren Threadgold, Kat Brown, Kirsty Smith, Sarah Freestone (C), Casey Kelly, Sam Cousins, Daniella Briggs, Abi Davies, Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks & Philippa Hayden-Evans Subs – Kirsty Jenkinson, Emma Gillespie, Amanda Binge, Becca McNally & Carly Dawson.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Three female officials for this evenings final with Stacey Fullicks fresh from helping Cambridge City Ladies secure runners-up spot in the ERWFL Premier Division in the middle assisted on the line by Dulcie Asher and Romana Bria. Andy Phillips the 4th official. Histon to kick off the Division One Cup Final wearing their blue away shirts with yellow trim, black shorts and socks. Fulbourn kitted out in pink shirts each with an individual message of motivation printed upon the back along with navy shorts and socks.
The ball played back and forth between the midfield’s Fulbourn spreading the play out to the right wing Amy Smith breaking forwards her cross gathered safely by Histon goalkeeper, Danielle Busby.
A corner for Fulbourn right side the ball in near post defended a 2nd corner awarded. A higher ball in this time Sharron Pinner up to head the ball down into the six yard box, Philippa Hayden-Evans back defending for Histon shielding the ball before it is cleared out to the left. A good start to the match from Fulbourn pressing forwards Jo Woods winning the ball in the middle playing the ball on to Marie Stubbings moving into the left channel, Lauren Threadgold defending for Histon preventing the cross coming in.
Nikki Cowan cutting a ball out put in diagonally from the left as Histon’s Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks breaks forwards. Pinner linking up with Stubbings left side the cross played into the box the ball deflected gathered bu Busby. Histon get the ball forwards win a corner kick on the right the delivery long Seema Grewal dealing with it at the far post for Fulbourn launch a counter attack the ball played on for Smith on the right bursts forwards turning a cross in towards the box, Busby claims it at her near post.
The ball regained in the middle of the park Fulbourn’s Emma Clark into Woods played forwards for Katie Luddy support from Stubbings, Luddy shots her effort from outside the area blocked. Histon make an early switch Sam Cousins coming off, Kirsty Jenkinson coming on. Krissie Taylor gets forwards from left back for Fulbourn, Woods making a good run inside her Taylor playing the ball in towards her a clever flick to control the ball on the run knocking it past her into the area six yards out left of the goal shoots her strike racing wide across the face of goal.
Histon are beginning to settle, Daniella Briggs out on the left side bringing the ball forwards a wonderful ball sent into the area from deep travelling all the way to the far post Abi Davies running in clear on goal hits it first time her effort smashing against the base of the post spins back out into the six yard box a scramble for the ball Fulbourn manage to get it away. A high ball played on up the right a tricky one for Fulbourn’s Sarah Bodger gets her head on the ball only it lands behind her Davies alert for Histon darts around the defender and sends the cross back towards the top of the area for Hayden-Evans, her shot his charged down, the rebound coming to Briggs to her left she shoots wide.
No sooner have Histon rattled the woodwork at one end then Fulbourn get up the other end in a rapid fire attack and do the same, Luddy with the run in the centre onto the ball striking it from 20 yards out the ball rising as it flies in towards goal has Busby beaten cannons off the crossbar. The woodwork is struck for a 3rd time Histon on the attack the ball on the left the cross into the area Hayden-Evans central helps it on to Davies to her right her rising shot coming at Samantha Issacson in the Fulbourn goal fast gets a touch on the ball as it crashes against the bar, Fulbourn clear and go on the attack Stubbings playing the ball on for Smith on the right, Kat Brown dealing with the threat defends for Histon.
Fulbourn with possession Woods with an excellent tackle on for Stubbings, Luddy in support the ball played into her the shot skied over the bar. Grewal comes forwards for Fulbourn right side, Smith receiving the pass tries to turn inside Brown tackles regains possession. Clark gets the ball back for Fulbourn, Stubbings seeing the pass into her back to goal on the edge of the box, looks to turn a shoot, Histon’s captain Sarah Freestone has her closely marked.
Cousins returns to the pitch for Histon Casey Kelly coming off. Hayden-Evans breaks clear after the ball as Fulbourn are caught with a high line at the back running towards the box she shoots the ball saved confidently by Issacson. Stubbings is fouled by Freestone on the byline left of the area as she tries to force her way past the defender. The free-kick taken quickly Taylor forwards free top left corner of the area delivers a ball into the far post Pinner up and twisting as she heads the ball sends it goalwards, lacking pace Busby is well placed to claim the ball.
Issacson with another good save off Lemmon-Sparks as the attacker latches onto a poor defensive clearance. The shot in low Issacson diving to her left pushing the ball away from goal. Issacson is hurt making another save soon after the ball fired across the area from the right comes to Hayden-Evans closing in the far post can’t get her shot over the keeper as she goes to ground the ball struck against the keeper. Issacson is okay to continue. Fulbourn do make a change Vicky Neal coming on for Pinner. Neal in the action straight away with the defensive tackle to deny Davies a run into the area cutting in from the right.
Half-time Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 0-0 Histon Ladies Reserves
The first half ends goalless, has been lively and if the woodwork hadn’t been involved Histon would be leading 2-1 as it is honours even. Two evenly matched sides Fulbourn starting well have looked lively, Histon settling and posing a threat themselves both sides getting the ball out to their wide players. Issacson with a couple of important saves to Fulbourn. No telling as to who might come out on top 2nd half, extra-time and penalties haven’t been called for yet in any final I’ve been… yet.
A change for Fulbourn at the start of the 2nd half Stacey Kemp wearing the no 90 shirt on for Smith. It’s Fulbourn to kick off the 2nd period. Luddy out wide right wins Fulbourn an early corner kick the ball cut out and Histon look to counter attack through the middle Woods with the tackle to stop Histon getting beyond halfway. Woods with another strong tackle comes back to help on the right as Davies with Hayden-Evans, tries to play Kirsty Smith in as she makes a run towards the area, Woods coming with her.
Kemp bringing the ball on for Fulbourn central shifts it out to Luddy on the right her cross in to the area sees Taylor arriving strikes the shot 1st time, Busby with a good save parrying the ball away then is fouled as she moves in to claim it. Briggs with Lemmon-Sparks attacking left side for Histon the ball won back by Fulbourn played on through the middle, Kemp looking to get her head on it arriving in the box, Busby coming puts her fist through the ball punching it away as she goes over Kemp.
Fulbourn are getting crosses into the Histon area, almost all are bread and butter claims for Busby. Histon like the 1st half are a little slow to get going momentum starting to build, an attack is launched players breaking forwards left side play switched out to the right Davies 25 yards out from goal sent a shot back in wide across goal. Taylor gets forwards on the left a one two with Stubbings, Taylor goes on her cross along the top of the area Luddy with the shot charged down by Freestone.
Cousins takes the ball on left side on for Hayden-Evans ahead of her, Neal with the challenge denying the attacker a run at goal. Play is stretched a good tempo, both sides moving the ball quickly. Hayden-Evans finds herself clear in on goal coming into the area from the right Issacson comes to close her down the ball past her into the side netting. Briggs with a driving run at the Fulbourn defence rides two challenges before being stopped by the 3rd. Grewal with a vital interception as Briggs looks to run onto a diagonal ball from Cousins in a central position.
GOAL! The deadlock is broken at last and it’s Histon who get their noses in front a spell of sustained possession, Fulbourn can’t get it away on the left side close to the byline the ball pinging back and forth Hayden-Evans, Lemmon-Sparks and Davies all challenging for the ball before Davies gets hold of it and turning the angle acute fires a shot in across goal to bury the ball inside the far post. Histon celebrate a flag is raised after consulting the officials let the goal stand 0-1.
Issacson well placed inside her goal to save the ball as Lemmon-Sparks moves into a shooting position 20 yards out from the right after receiving the ball from Hayden-Evans. Woods claiming the ball drives forwards lays the ball on for Stubbings right her cross in hooked clear by Freestone. Hayden-Evans and Davies both finding space in attack as Fulbourn push on looking for a quick reply. Taylor pulling up has to come off Bodger comes back on. Brown winning the ball for Histon as Stubbings looks to twist inside her into the box.
Woods with Luddy work the ball up the line for Stubbings her cross in cleared for a corner on the right. A short corner from Fulbourn the cross put in from a deep position, Clark running in to attack it near post Davies back defending does well for Histon. Lucy Clarkson intercepts for Fulbourn at the back as Lemmon-Sparkes sends a cross into the box from the left Davies closing in on the right. Carly Dawson comes on for Histon for Threadgold at right back with a little under 5 minutes left.
Fulbourn keep coming forwards risk leaving space in behind as they search for the equaliser. Davies bringing the ball on jinks left the right before striking the ball in towards goal her low drive gathered by Issacson. Lemmon-Sparks on for Davies as Histon break, Pinner blocking, Davies’ strike away for a corner. Bodger clearing the ball for Fulbourn, Kemp on it checks back inside Histon close her down scramble the ball away. Into the closing minutes of the match. Fulbourn are getting the ball into the area from wide positions Busby claiming it once again plucks a high delivery into the near post down into her body.
Luddy challenged on the right, a last gasp corner for Fulbourn everyone bar Issacson goes up for it the set-piece, the delivery in is played behind goal, the final whistle blows and Histon celebrate as they become the 1st ever winners of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup.
Full time Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 0-1 Histon Ladies Reserves
A single goal wins the final scored by Histon Ladies Reserves, Abi Davies in the 2nd half. An entertaining contest both sides lively, Fulbourn certainly had their chances. Good movement and competing well against a physical Histon side who themselves created opportunities finding space out wide. The woodwork struck 3 times in the 1st half, Histon looked to have the more direct threat in front of goal. Issacson denying a couple of strikes. Busby at the other end comfortable with anything Fulbourn played into the box from wide. Silverware for Histon Ladies Reserves in their debut season. The two sides are still competing for the league title a double still on however Fulbourn hold the advantage there.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
On to this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As the game wore on the number of potential candidates was slowly whittled down to just one. For Histon she posed a threat all game on the right getting forwards finding space, striking the woodwork twice in the st half and getting the all important winning goal in the 2nd half so the award goes to Abi Davies.
Congratulations to Histon Ladies Reserves on winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup.
That’s it 3 finals in 3 nights boy was I tired by the last one hence the later publishing I needed the sleep. Still I enjoyed it starting on Tuesday with the Suffolk Women’s League Cup then 2 finals in Cambridgeshire. a brief rest before the first one of two cup final doubles starting in Norfolk on Sunday. Back to Ely again tonight however not for football however but finally to get around to seeing Avengers Infinity War.. I very nearly avoided any spoilers but I’ve waited a week afterall and before you ask I’m not writing a report on that one. Thanks to everyone again for their help last evening.