Sunday 26th May
ERWFL Division One
One more game to end the season a long campaign finally drawing to a close 99% of teams already finished for the season today’s game the only competitive fixture left in the East of England as King’s Lynn Town Ladies and Histon Ladies meet for their final game of the season in ERWFL Division One.
Far from a meaningless game for both as they can both gain a position with a positive result, Histon Ladies up into 7th spot and King’s Lynn Town Ladies can achieve a 3 placed finish with a win.
ERWFL Division One highly competitive this season, newcomers St Ives Town Ladies winning the title in their debut season nearly a faultless campaign too, King’s Lynn Town Ladies the side ending their long standing unbeaten league record standing since 2017 with a 4-3 win last weekend to set up a shot at clinching 3rd in the league. A strong 2nd half to the season with 6 straight league wins before today seeing the Norfolk side climb up from 8th in the Division One.
Histon Ladies likewise with a strong 2nd half to the season just 2 losses in their last 11 games, several battling draws in that run too level on points with 7th place Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies travelling to King’s Lynn in their final fixture of the season. Postponements and a cup run for both sides seeing their season’s go the distance.
Both sides reaching a cup final in that period too. King’s Lynn Town Ladies reaching the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final played at Carrow Road for the first time. Despite losing to Wymondham Town Ladies a day to remember for the club. Histon Ladies reaching the ERWFL Plate Final where they were narrowly beaten by Newmarket Town Ladies.
Riverlane Playing Fields the venue for today’s match, boasting several pitches the grass cover still good for the time of year a lack of rain… well before this afternoon making the ground hard underfoot. Clouds overheard the wind picking up rain forecast for Sunday afternoon it had arrived early raining when I arrived at the ground the wind picking up too would cause issues during the game, not the weather you want to see on the final day of the season.
King’s Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Ellie Prentice, Lisa Wilson, Chloe Burch, Albany Hodgson, Georgia Freeman, Becky Russell (C), Annie Rooks, Oksana Imanalijeva, Jodie Hopkins-Duckhouse, Tiffany Forshaw & Olivia Baker. Subs – Chloe Witt, Natalie Wright & Emma Corbyn.
Histon Ladies starting XI – Jennifer Jamieson, Lucy Julian, Kaya Haq, Georgina Huse, Tessa Shaw, Alison Wright, Georgia Day, Katie Seagrave, Annalisa Player, Rebekah Finch & Sophie Lanham (C). Subs – Amanda Binge & Bethany Fisher.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
A bank holiday weekend and the start of half-term both sides missing a few players, Histon in particular travelling with a small squad a few reserves amongst them. King’s Lynn to get the 1st half underway kicking-off wearing blue shirts with yellow shorts and socks. Histon opposite wearing red shirts with black shorts and socks. The visitors press the ball for the off forcing King’s Lynn to play it all the way back to goalkeeper Ellie Prentice to clear up field. That presents an opportunity for Oksana Imanalijeva to break down the left side for King’s Lynn squares a across in along the top of the Histon box, defender Tessa Shaw getting her head on it sending it on, Rebekah Finch too ball put into the path of Jodie Hopkins-Duckhouse coming on from the right for King’s Lynn she shoots from 20 yards out her strike over the bar.
Lucy Julian at right back for Histon does well defensively as King’s Lynn striker Tiffany Forshaw receiving the ball into her feet 25 yards out looks to turn get in behind. King’s Lynn press the attack a corner won on the left the delivery inswinging central punched on by Histon goalkeeper Jennifer Jamieson her defence clearing at the far post. The rain falling at kick-off beginning to fade a swirling wind taking it’s place dark clouds all around. Finch getting on the ball inside the King’s Lynn half looks to drive forwards through the middle eventually stopped by Georgia Freeman.
Alison Wright strong as she gets hold of the ball on the right holding off King’s Lynn’s Annie Rooks wins a throw high up the pitch, Julian up puts in a cross towards the near post a runner for Histon looking to get there, Freeman wins the race for King’s Lynn. Histon enjoying a spell of possession inside the King’s Lynn half attack right Julian up with play getting a cross in along the top of the area, met by Finch central first time her attempt racing wide of the near post.
Imanalijeva with plenty of pace bursts forwards left bringing the ball over halfway for King’s Lynn an early diagonal ball into the top of the area looking for Olivia Baker central, Jamieson out well off her line to close Baker down doing enough to put her off getting the ball away to the left. Kaya Haq at left back for Histon doing well as Hopkins-Duckhouse sends the ball on for Chloe Burch heading past her on the overlap.
Hopkins-Duckhouse attacking right the ball crossed inside to Forshaw outside the box she looks to tee up captain Becky Russell whose shot from 25 yards out is over the crossbar. Histon doing well in the early part of the game to close the ball down high up the pitch and disrupt King’s Lynn as they look to play it out through the middle. Julian with a vital interception a Forshaw attempts to play Imanalijeva in behind on the left. Katie Seagrave taking the ball on down the right wing fouled on the corner of the box a free kick awarded. Haq forwards to take it. Goes for goal her attempt skimming the top of the King’s Lynn crossbar on it’s way over.
Histon launch a rapid counter attack the ball won back as King’s Lynn attack left numbers committed forwards the ball fired up central into the run of captain Sophie Lanham strikes it on the run early outside the area before she can be challenged the ball racing wide of the right post a touch off a King’s Lynn player spotted somewhere a corner given. Haq to take it a great ball in inswinging evades everyone at the near post, Hodgson beyond not expecting it low clearing the ball off her goal line for another corner, this one long Wright getting her head to it a good distance out the ball dropping wide of goal.
Lisa Wilson bringing the ball on for King’s Lynn plays it forwards for Imanalijeva her pace taking her in behind to cross the ball cut out by Seagrave, back with Imanalijeva she wins a throw deep in the corner. Histon regain possession the ball at the back a mis-kick form Julian presents the ball to Imanalijeva to steal in behind on the left and fire a cross into the six yard box, Haq in to close Baker down as she looks to attack it the ball running onto Hopkins-Duckhouse free beyond she shoots wide a nick off a Histon body spotted a corner awarded. Georgia Day central for Histon sliding in to win the ball as Russell attempts to play Baker in through the middle.
GOAL! The game moving past the opening half hour and the dead lock is broken, King’s Lynn attacking Forshaw making a run to the left receiving the ball taking it into the box closing in on goal fires a shot in near post, Jamieson instinctively putting a leg out to block can’t keep it out 1-0.
King’s Lynn push forwards Hopkins-Duckhouse on for Baker central lays the ball off for Forshaw left as she turns in behind, Forshaw putting the cross back in along the top of the area cleared by Shaw. The rain falling heavily once more the umbrella up the notes in even more disarray than usual. King’s Lynn on the left Russell forwards to support Imanalijeva the cross in from deep over Hopkins-Duckhouse central falls to Baker beyond she shoots wide back across goal.
Wright with a good ball on up the right for Seagrave to take on, Wilson sliding in to tackle the ball out for the throw. Wright tries her luck from a long way out just in front of the centre circle the Histon midfielders shot bouncing wide of goal.
GOAL! Late in the first half and a blow for Histon as they concede a 2nd goal. Comes from a free-kick, King’s Lynn’s Rooks fouled in front of the centre circle players forwards to line up along the top of the area as Russell stands over the ball, flighted in the ball attacked the header sending it on past the keeper into the back of the net, Chloe Burch the player running away in celebration scoring, her first of the season 2-0.
King’s Lynn with a strong end to the first half Russell getting ahead of Forshaw who heads the ball on throw the middle, the shot sent over from 20 yards out. Forshaw then peeling away to the left into space as Imanalijeva plays the ball into her feet strikes on the angle the shot running wide across the face of goal. Prentice has to get there rushing out of her area to get to the ball as Seagraves takes off after it played forwards on the right a throw bringing a corner. Freeman up to head it away to the left, fired back in central Hodgson this time heading the ball over her crossbar for another corner.
Half-time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 2-0 Histon Ladies
King’s Lynn head into the changing room at half-time leading the game 2-0 the goals coming late in the half, have created the better opportunities without being clinical. Histon though staying out will feel unlucky to be 2 goals down after a battling performance first half working hard to close King’s Lynn down, disrupting their build up play early and strong in the middle the defence making some important tackles.
The rain has stopped for a while dark clouds remain, as the players gather for the 2nd half the wind still strong. A double change for King’s Lynn with both full backs off at the start of the 2nd half Wilson and Burch off, Chloe Witt on at right back, Natalie Wright on too taking up a midfield role in front of the defence with Rooks moving to left back. Histon to get the 2nd half underway. King’s Lynn press the ball won central on for Hopkins-Duckhouse she sends a diagonal ball long out to the left for Imanalijeva bringing it down well goes for the cross/shot the ball put over.
King’s Lynn begin the 2nd half strong pushing forwards a corner won on the right Russell to play the ball in defended by Lanham. Histon look to get on through the middle Wright breaking up the attack on to Russell taking the ball on, Georgina Huse in to tackle for Histon. Wright winning the ball once more on for Hopkins-Duckhouse is brought down central caught in the back is in alot of pain needing treatment. Not at all comfortable as she comes off a change thought about before she is allowed back on to see if it can be run off.
GOAL! King’s Lynn’s positive start to the 2nd half brings them an early 3rd goal. Wright making in impact having come on getting hold of the ball in the middle playing it forwards to Baker she slides it on through to Forshaw peeling away in behind into the area left of goal she pulls her foot back to strike firing the ball across goal into the bottom corner 3-0.
A change made Burch is back on for Hopkins-Duckhouse who can’t continue the substitution seeing Witt move further forwards on the right. Russell getting forwards more for King’s Lynn shoots from 20 yards out, caught by Jamieson as it dips in front of her.
GOAL! Forshaw like Russell getting forwards more at the start of the 2nd half finding space in behind having scored her 2nd of the game goes on to complete her hat-trick to put King’s Lynn into a 4 goal lead. The ball played on to her left side from a throw in up the line, she takes the ball in close to the area firing in a shot the ball across the face of goal striking the far post and deflected back in over the line 4-0. 33 goals for the season now for Forshaw.
A further blow to Histon who have been sluggish at the start of the 2nd half. The ball gathered by Seagrave she drives on coming inside, looking to play in Lanham, Hodgson in to make the challenge. The wind strong blowing the clouds over the ball standing up in the air. Forshaw almost has a 4th goal as she shes a shot central 20 yards out cannon back off the post as she is played in by Russell on the right.
GOAL! Histon get forwards a promising attack bringing them a goal attacking with pace on the right Seagrave putting the ball in towards the top of the area Wright bursting forwards to receive, Russell back with her lunging in to tackle the ball loose carries on central Lanham there to meet it strikes the ball past the keeper into the back of the net 4-1.
King’s Lynn make a change bringing off Baker in attack on in her place Emma Corbyn. Finch central fouled by Hodgson a free-kick for Histon Julian to play the ball into the area sent out to the left post area a good delivery no one on the end of it however as it runs out for a goal-kick. Witt playing the ball into the area right for Corbyn looking to control with her head bring it down to shoot Huse coming to close her down doing well in defence for Histon.
Amanda Binge comes on for Histon replacing Player on the left wing. Prentice saving well pushing the ball wide for a corner as Wright stealing in on the ball left side fires a shot in. The corner cleared, Histon regain possession in the middle looking better now Day combining with Finch, Wright played into the area right of goal sending a shot wide across goal. Forshaw looks to dink a ball over the top of the Histon defence for Corbyn, Jamieson can lay claim to it first. Jamieson saving with her legs moments later as Forshaw fires a shot in as Burch crosses from the right.
Imanalijeva out wide left bringing the ball on for King’s Lynn fires a cross in central, Corbyn and Witt making the same run evades both, Huse in to launch clear. Jamieson out to the edge of her area claiming the ball well as she slides in at the feet of Witt as she gives chase to an over the top ball. Binge needs to come off for Histon having picked up a knocking going in for a 50/50 ball with Burch earlier, Bethany Fisher joining the game.
The game has an open feel to it Histon better now pressing on trying to find a further goal risking more space to run into at the back, Forshaw and Russell both looking to exploit it for King’s Lynn Russell with a fierce shot from 25 yards out held by Jamieson at the 2nd attempt as it stings her gloves. The Histon keeper then holding onto a long range pop form Corbyn.
Histon with a free-kick won 30 yards out central Lanham over the ball, strikes it well going for goal on target, Prentice moving across her goal face saving well pushing the ball wide for the corner. The corner defended the header putting it back wide to the taker crossed back into the six yard box gathered by Prentice. Black clouds ominous now a heavy shower arrives as the game enters the closing moments into stoppage time. Play turned around quickly by Histon Lanham up to win the header on for Wright on behind central to run at goal, Prentice out at the top of her area puts her in a good starting position to close the angle as Wright opts to shoot early send the ball past her the keeper flashing put a glove making the save deflecting the ball wide of her goal.
Full time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 4-1 Histon Ladies
A heavy shower at the end of the game the final whistle blows and King’s Lynn have the win that sees them secure a 3rd placed finish in the league as they make it 7 straight wins to end the season. Winning 4-1 score twice in the 1st half having finally breached a stubborn Histon defence late on, capitalised on that with a strong start to the 2nd half to race into a 4 goal lead. Histon doing well 1st half unlucky to find themselves 2 goals down paid for a sluggish start to the 2nd half before getting a goal back and getting back into the match. The season over now for both plenty of positives to take into the new season.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
For the final time this season to choose the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Although Oksana Imanalijeva and Becky Russell performed well along with Natalie Wright making an instant impact introduced 2nd half their was really only on contender today that being Tiffany Forshaw the King’s Lynn striker showing great running and movement through out setting up chances for other is more often than not clinical in front of goal when she is the one receiving the ball, scoring a hat-trick.
That’s it then another season almost to a close the last game watched the last report written. Has been another enjoyable campaign albeit without a doubt the most challenging I’ve had to date. Not covered as many games as I would have liked, family issues, illnesses and my own health all playing a part. The football keeps me going however love it, a pleasure to do what I do. My thanks as ever to the clubs for the help with the teams today. We all need a rest. Enjoy.