Sunday 26th September
Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three
Love to travel up and down the leagues across the East to do my bit to help promote the game feature as many sides as I can on Women’s Football East. Today’s game coming from Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three with a look at two sides I haven’t seen in action before with Deeping United Ladies taking on Burwell Tigers Ladies.
Cambridgeshire was the only county league ( in fact of any league across the East) to press on with their season last time out as the COVID pandemic saw a 3rd lockdown that wasn’t lifted until the end of March. Was a monumental effort by all to get the league season completed. Were the first league too to get there league structure in place for the start of the 21/22 season a slight change, still 3 divisions but no longer a Premiership with a Championship North & South below, instead Division’s One, Two & Three. The former format favouring location over ability the sides now set out hopefully to better reflect there ability which will in turn aid development of a club. Of course new sides entering can vary in terms of strength.
The season just a fortnight old the 10 strong Division Three has barely got going with half the sides having played 2 matches very early days. It’s today’s visitors, Burwell Tigers who are setting the pace early on with 2 wins from 2.
Today’s hosts Deeping United Ladies started the season with a 4-0 loss at home to newcomers, Peterborough United Foundation, bounced back well however to turn the result around winning 4-0 away to another new sides Willingham Wolves Ladies last weekend to climb up to 5th. Hannah Chapman on target to score a hat-trick, has been the clubs leading goal scorer since Deeping United joined the league in 2019. COVID seeing their debut season null & voided, withdrew from the competition after the season resumed in March last time out, good to see them return for the 2021/22 campaign their ambition to challenge for the top three. Are the most Northerly club within the area covered by Women’s Football East just over the border in Lincolnshire.
Burwell Tigers Ladies situated north of Newmarket to the north east of Cambridge begin their 5th season together. Have had it tough since joining the league finishing bottom twice in a row in their 1st two seasons. Signs they were improving in the season’s affected by the COVID pandemic and have made an excellent start to the 2021/22 campaign with 2 straight wins to set the early pace at the top. Both 2-1 wins home and away against new comers Chatteris and Cambourne who have both recruited players with experience in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership. Like Deeping with the new league format will be aiming to push on up the table.
The venue for today’s game the village of Baston the match being played on Brudenell Playing Fields as a pose to Deeping United Ladies usual home ground Deeping Rugby Club. Would have headed there had I not seen the club’s tweet regarding today’s game. Burwell didn’t however and did head to the Rugby Club, thankfully they were contacted and arrived in due course. Was a hot and muggy late September day little rain this week the pitch looked firm and very uneven, the goalmouths in particular showing plenty of wear and tear.
Deeping United Ladies starting XI – Lauren Miller, Katy Fowkes, Ellie Barnes-Brown, Katie Clarke, Karen Wayman, Gemma Johnson, Holly Fasulo, Caroline Sutherland (C), Grace Sipson, Lauren Wyer & Lilia Gosden. Sub – Sophie Wallace.
Burwell Tigers Ladies starting XI – Hannah Dewey, Jess Davenport, Rachel Moore, Yas Ryles, Abi Scott, Nat Eddison (C), Elisa Heinamaa, Megan Mead, Sarah Bentley, Sam Freeman-Porter & Kerry Dyer. Subs – Tilly Jones & Lauren Wilkinson.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Up to a half dozen players missing for Deeping including last weekends hat-trick hero, Chapman with the squad stretched only one named on the bench. Burwell able to name two substitutes. A change of ends before kick-off, the sun high over one end of the playing fields a factor, Deeping goalkeeper Lauren Miller facing it as the hosts prepare to take the kick-off 1st half wearing an all grey kit. Burwell opposite wearing orange shirts and socks with black shorts. A hot day a drinks break agreed upon during the half the game gets underway.
The middle of the park in congested straight away as Burwell close the ball down, tackles flying in the ball popping around as both sides look to get it under control, Elisa Heinamaa finding a pocket of space turning to send a long diagonal pass out to the right wing as Megan Mead moves forwards taking the ball on whips an early ball in towards the near post, Kerry Dyer making a move towards it as Miller comes rushing out of her six yard box to lay claim to the all for Deeping.
Early joy on the right in attack for Burwell as Heinamaa once again picks out Mead the ball at her feet is allowed to travel unchallenged into the area, shoots on the angle before Miller can set herself her shot evading the keeper is place wide beyond the far post. Deeping captain Caroline Sutherland plays a clipped ball out to the right for Grace Sipson to chase latching onto the ball checks inside before laying a cross in square 25 yards out her target Holly Fasulo in the centre, Burwell keeper Hannah Dewey alert to the danger out of her area rapidly to get her foot through the ball launch upfield for the visitors.
Right from the start Burwell are playing a high back line their defence pushed right up with their midfield making it very congested in the middle the ball bouncing around Burwell coming away with it looking for width on the left Mead winning a throw high up, support from Heinamaa a cross driven in cut out by Deeping’s, Katy Fowkes. Burwell’s captain, Nat Eddison winning the ball central on for Dyer in attack into the left channel, Ellie Barnes-Brown closing her down putting in a good challenge to regain possession.
Sam Freeman-Porter gathering the ball into her feet on the left for Burwell drives on sending the pass inside for Dyer to take forwards in behind the full back, Katie Clarke is round on the cover at centre back superbly for Deeping to intercept. Breaking in behind the Burwell back line is proving a challenge for Deeping, space to exploit behind if they do so, Karen Wayman and Fasulo look to combine through the centre, Yas Ryles defending well for the visitors. Is a good battle in the middle of the park between Heinamaa and Sutherland, Deeping’s captain clipping the ball out to the right hoping to set Sipson away, goes on the attack, Sutherland’s opposite number, Eddison tacking back to lunge in to take the ball away from Sipson’s feet.
Burwell with their higher starting position are able to get bodies up to join the attack quicker pressure the final 3rd, Freeman-Porter left squaring in into the D for Heinamaa, shifting the ball between her feet opens up her right side to take on the shot sends the ball angling wide of the post. Mead looks to have gotten away on the right almost into the area after the ball, Miller comes racing out to meet her sliding in just about beats the attacker to the ball to clear the threat. Is hot out there both sides are putting alot into the game already Mead up the right a looping cross into the box Dyer stooping into the header can’t direct it on target.
Clarke making a vital interception at the back for Deeping. So too up the other end as Abi Scott prevents Deeping’s Lilia Gosden getting past her in the middle off a Wayman through ball. Defences on top at the moment as Clarke does well again getting across Mead in attack to shield the ball inside the box nudge it back for Miller to clear.
Freeman-Porter takes the ball on up the left held up checks back has support from Heinamaa behind her 18 yards out rolls it into the middle for Eddison seeing in across her body lines up a shot, the ball charged down an arm spotted in the process the referee awarding a free kick outside the D central. Mead over the set piece is disappointed as she sends the ball high over the bar.
Fowkes does well in defence as Dyer gathers the ball into her feet and drives forwards into the right channel the deflected ball cleaned up by Clarke round on the cover once more. Heinamaa is getting into space further forwards influencing thing’s in the final 3rd makes a right channel run pressing in Clarke comes to close her down getting across her well giving her time to play the ball safely back to her keeper. Miller makes a brave save diving in at the feet of Freeman-Porter as she looks to have broken in behind off a diagonal ball played in from the right but it wasn’t necessary as the offside flag is up against her.
Barnes-Brown with a solid tackle on Freeman-Porter as the pair come together on the left. Scott comes out to close Sipson down right side as the attacker looks to break in behind on the right. Eddison getting on the ball central battles her way forwards holding of challenges before unleashing a shot from all of 25 yards out the ball placed straight into Miller’s gloves. Soon after a much needed drinks break is called.
Half-way through the 1st half, Burwell have had the bulk of the pressure in the final 3rd playing a high line keeping it tight in the middle have been able to get on the front foot quicker without really testing Miller in goal. Deeping have put in a shift at the back, knowing their opponents are playing a high line just haven’t found a gap in it yet. A change for Deeping as play resumes with Gemma Johnson off, Sophie Wallace coming into the defence.
Whatever plan the hosts had come up with as play resumes suffers a blow as Wayman pulls up in the middle, holding her calf is forced to hobble off the pitch with Johnson put straight back on into the middle. The game scrappy after the restart Burwell winning a succession of throws out on the right. Lauren Wilkinson has come on for the visitors looks like it’s Dyer off in attack with Freeman-Porter pushed on.
Sipson looks the most likely to unlock the Burwell defence on the right takes the ball into her feet driving forwards carrying it in behind Gosden with a near post run as Deeping stretch the Burwell defence for the 1st time the cross angled in though too close to the keeper Dewey down to gather the ball into her arms.
Fowkes with a dinked ball over the top that sees both Gosden and Lauren Wyer burst clear for Deeping, Dewey though with a good starting position comes racing out of her area to put her foot through the ball. Mead over on the right moving forwards sends a looping ball into the box, Clarke meeting it with her head to put away for a throw in. Burwell getting players up into the area as the cross is worked into the area near side, Sutherland tracking back with Heinamaa, doing well defensively the ball loose in the area though a shot stabbed in across goal, Miller down to smother at at the far post.
Deeping press the ball in the middle closing down well before releasing it out to the right, Sipson latching onto it races away with the ball space ahead of her travels with the ball before whipping a squared ball in along the top of the area, is just behind both Gosden and Wyer. Burwell straight from Dewey’s kick out from the box winning a corner as Freeman-Porter gets onto the end of the bouncing ball right side goes to cross the ball, Fowkes blocking it deflected behind for the 1st corner of the game. Miller makes the call coming to punch the ball away before her near post.
Eddison gets up on the right offering Freeman-Porter support both seeing a cross blacked by Clarke and Wallace respectfully before winning a corner kick. Play remains congested in the middle it’s a energy sapping day but neither side is willing to concede the ball. Scott looks to be outnumbered at the back as Deeping look to cut a path through the defence but the defender comes out on top carrying the ball clear and laying it on for Freeman-Porter.
The ball out to the right Freeman-Porter pressing on into the area clips the ball up into the six yard box, is just over Heinamaa jumping central, falls to Wilkinson beyond the far post lays it outside to Eddison top of the D, opens her body to shoot her effort charged down, Fowkes clearing the ball behind for a corner kick which Deeping defend at the near post. Burwell are starting to apply more pressure in the final 3rd Heinamaa getting up to support the attack more, the ball out to the left the midfielder going into the corner looking to find her way round the defence, that is when, Barnes-Brown dives in attempting to take the ball away from her, catches her foot in the turf and immediately cries out in agony – play stopped straight away.
Isn’t pleasant Barnes-Brown is clearly in trouble not nice to see and a lengthy stoppage ensues at the end of the 1st half as she recieves treatment…. players from both sides sent for drinks the delay lengthening soon turning into an abandonment. Not a nice way to see a match finish but it does happen and twice in the same league it appears today with the game between Chatteris and Cambourne also abandoned. Players health though has to come first though and I certainly wish both the Cambourne player and Ellie Barnes-Brown all the best.
Half-time Deeping United Ladies A-A Burwell Tigers Ladies
A match abandoned the 1st time in 443 matches it’s happened during a game covered by Women’s Football East. It sadly does happen though. Still I feel both sides should get some sort of report if not a whole one. Was shaping up to be a close contest and would have been interesting to see how it would have gone. Might well have to try and see the rematch.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match have enough of a picture of the game to pick one out although I dare say other contenders would have shown themselves over the 90 minutes based of the 40 plus I did see, Both Nat Eddison and Elisa Heinamaa were strong in the middle for Burwell as was Sam Freeman-Porter in attack. For Deeping, Grace Sipson carried a strong threat on the right whilst Caroline Sutherland was making sure Heinamaa wasn’t getting an easy ride. The award though goes to Deeping defender, Katie Clarke made several vital tackles and interceptions whilst getting round on the cover well to support her teammates.
Was an enjoyable trip up the A15 today even if the game had a sad outcome, was a good contest between two committed sides. My thanks go to the management of both clubs for their support today in getting me the team details, the reports don’t work without them and it’s always appreciated.
by Darren Gilham