Tag Archives: FAWNL South East Division One

Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Wednesday 29th September

FAWNL South East Division One

A spot of midweek football action on Women’s Football East to take in a local derby match from FAWNL South East Division One an all Cambridge affair as Cambridge City Ladies host rivals Cambridge United WFC.

The pair coming into the match having both made a positive start to the FAWNL South East Division One season. Once one club with what is now United becoming Cambridge Women FC who went on to become an established sides within the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid. Now joined with Cambridge United FC, whilst a new Cambridge City Ladies was re-established and made a rapid rise through the pyramid themselves to reach the FAWNL South East Division One themselves 2 seasons ago.

  Cambridge City with a strong policy on bringing youth through much of their squad has been with the club playing for various youth sides with the club having 3 adult teams with a Reserves and Development side also competing in the FAWNL Reserve league and ERWFL Division One North respectfully. Ollie Drake taking over as 1st team coach this season joined by Paul France with Tim Rapley formerly 1st team coach assisting too. A 1-3 home loss to Hashtag United Women on the opening day City bounced back well recording back to back wins away to Harlow and Stevenage to move up into the top half of the table there they have remained adding a further 4 points to lay 6th with 10 going into tonight’s derby match. Have a largely settled squad bringing in a couple of experienced players defender Jess Evans and former Ipswich Town captain, Amanda Crump who made 216 appearances for the club scoring 72 goals. Derby day often bringing out the best in City they have proved a difficult opponent for United since joining them in South East Division One.

  A change in the management team for Cambridge United WFC too with former St Ives Town Ladies manager, Darren Marjoram coming in to join 1st team coach Ben Yeomans. The pair joined by Liz Pamplin who made 500 appearances for Cambridge United. Attacking player Ruth Fox, midfielder Abbi Griffin and goalkeeper Kira Markwell all following marjoram from St Ives to Cambridge United with midfielder Laura Baker returning along with defender Anna Re. Defeat on the opening day too for United before the club went on to win 4 on the bounce 3 in the league and one cup game. Up to 4th in the South East Division One table at one point were brought back down to earth with a bump last weekend with a heavy 6-0 defeat at home to Hashtag United Women. Have several out with injury including Fox who damaged her elbow at the weekend having led the line well so far scoring 5 goals one behind Emma Jenkins who has netted 6 so far. A versatile squad with several players comfortable in several different positions.

  The Demcom Stadium the venue for tonight’s derby match home to Ely City FC, situated behind a new Cinema and restaurant complex on the outskirts of Ely. Once the home of United too, now hosting City’s home games whilst they wait for Cambridge City FC’s new home in Sawston to be built. The pitch looking superb these days the ground seeing improvements ongoing. The grass surface offers plenty of width a mild evening, dry the floodlights taking full effect as the teams walk on onto the pitch.

Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson (C), Ceri Flye, Amy Reed, Bronwyn Mulheron, Jess Evans, Ellie Cullum, Hannah Bodily, Charlotte Gillies, Karly Tolentino, Amanda Crump & Grace Stanley. Subs – Erin Davies, Lauren Tomlinson, Lauren Saunders, Zynia Delglyn & Georgia Clarke.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Kira Markwell, Anna Re, Abi Davies, Grace Waygood, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Gisela Otten, Laura Baker (C), Emma Jenkins, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt & Laura Mitchell. Subs – Carrie Bennett, Libby Fraser, Amy Houghton, Charlotte Crisp & Niamh Day.

 

Done a few of these before so it’s City vs United from this point, with City kicking off the first half wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. United wearing Amber shirts with Black shorts and socks. City play it back into midfield, United immediately in to close down, put out to the right back the ball fired long looking for the run of Charlotte Gillies out wide, bounces on through into the box giving United goalkeeper, Kira Markwell and early feel of the ball. 

  The tempo quick from the off neither side wanting the other to settle on the ball, Karly Tolentino moving out wide left for City getting hold of the ball Unite full back Anna Re sliding in to defend the ball out for a throw in. City take it quickly the ball dropped into the feet of striker Grace Stanley controls and sends it in central for Tolentino, leaning back into her shot from the top of the D sends the ball over the bar.

United get the ball left into Emma Jenkins, fouled full back Abi Davies races forwards in support taking the ball on past her sending it into the box for Laura Mitchell leading the line for United tonight, left of goal can’t turn as she is closed down by City defender, Ceri Flye the ball behind for the 1st corner of the game. Challenges flying in Gisela Otten has hold of the ball for United in the middle spreads it wide for Jenkins moving forwards left side, Flye getting across her to shield the ball playing it back to her captain and goalkeeper, D=Sarah Hudson to clear upfield. 

 Certainly has a derby match feel about it both sides not holding back, clearly up for it challenges committed, referee Laura Van-Leir is in for a busy game. Gillies breaking with the ball right side whipping on a low cross towards the near post cut out by Kayleigh-Anne Burt for United a corner conceded, the delivery dealt with comfortably at the near post. Is a little scrappy no one allowed any time to dwell on the ball, both sides looking to get the ball out wide. Re right side on for Howlett then Hewitt beyond her Jess Evans getting amongst them defending for City.

  City unhappy as a seeming advantage is halted for a free kick to the hosts on halfway, the ball clipped out to the left Tolentino flicking it beyond Re running towards the area coming inside from the left sees her attempt on goal blocked by United centre back Grace Waygood. Tolentino out left causing a few problems for United early on taking the ball to the by-line her cross into the six yard box cut out by Burt, coming back to Tolentino her 2nd attempt is cleared by Waygood. City counter attack with purpose Cullum with the ball on up to Stanley in attack central 25 out clips it out to Gillies bursting forwards on the wing right side in space hits the ball on the run smashing her shot wide of the near post.

United pushed up as they attack risk getting hit on the counter, Evans playing the ball out from the back, is a vital interception by Waygood to prevent Stanley breaking in clear behind. Markwell with a confident claim chest high at her near post as Tolentino whips the ball in as she reaches the by-line. The action is end to end no let up as one side defends immediately looks to get the ball into their attackers. United captain Laura Baker sending the pass out to Jenkins left side gathers the ball, taking on the defence twisting left and right before firing a diagonal ball into the d looking for Mitchell, Evans getting in ahead of her to clear for City. 

  Hudson from a free-kick at the back plays in a dangerous bouncing ball left side that United fail to deal with bouncing up for Stanley to attack, hooks an attempt towards goal from 20 yards out sends the ball over the bar. Re defending at the back for United sends a straight pass forwards into Mitchell turns on the ball firing it out to Jenkins advancing left side cutting inside, Flye steps out to meet her with a good tackle to win the ball back for City. Both United full backs looking to get on join the attack, Davies left supporting Jenkins with Re on the right playing the ball on for Mitchell, flicks it on for Faith Hewitt in behind takes the ball down to the by-line inside the box firing in a cross, Mitchell attacking it, Evans going with her lunging in to beat her to the ball.

  Davies is fouled getting forwards for United wide left, Jenkins takes on the shot from the angle, the ball brushing the roof of the net on its way over. Crump drifting into space on the left takes the ball on plays a squared pass into Stanley left of the D, before she can dig it out to shoot, Re gets back to lunge in challenge and clear up the pitch. The foul count is totting up both sides as guilty as each other, the benches as fired up as the players. Decisions going against both. United’s Otten in the middle on for Mitchell central, is closed down by Evans as Hannah Bodily comes away with the ball looking for Tolentino left side, Re closing her down quickly to get United back on the front foot. 

Cambridge City Ladies, Amanda Crump

  Otten sends the ball out to Howlett on the left puts it into the box for Mitchell right of goal, is quickly closed down by the City defence, the ball cleared out to their right is latched onto by Davies who strikes it from all of 40 yards her effort racing wide at the near post. United getting the ball forwards well Baker sending a shot over the bar from outside the area as she runs onto Mitchell’s knock down from a cross on the left. City break Cullum finding Tolentino left side, Waygood there to block for United as she attempts to play the cross into the box, then Burt throws out a leg inside the six yard box to concede a corner. The delivery looping high towards the far post falls to the floor players scrambling for it pops loose for Baker, calmness in the eye of the storm as she shows great composure to dribble the ball out of the area rather that launch it upfield.

   For all the toing and froing between the sides neither keeper has been tested yet. Baker passing the ball out to Howlett right side looks to go down the line, Amy Reed staying on her for City sliding in to make the tackle. Re pushed up winning it straight back for United the visitors getting the ball in towards the top of the area, Evans and Flye closing the door on Mitchell. Reed does well again against Hewitt as United’s No10 looks to get in around behind her on the right. City sitting deeper than United are inviting pressure ready to counter attack their defence proving hard to get around. Waygood and Burt making sure nothing gets past them at the other end. 

  Gillies on the right for City letting loose with a strike from all of 25 yards, Markwell well position back on her line taking a comfortable catch for United. City getting a free-kick wide right the ball put into the area Markwell comes and punches away, United don’t get far as City press regain possession turn play around Tolentino knocking the ball to her left into the path of the advancing Cullum on the run strikes a low shot in on the angle, Markwell back on her line down smartly at her near post to save pushing the ball behind for a corner kick. 

The 1st half drawing to a close has been played at a high tempo both sides pushing the attack looking lively although defenders have had the upper hand. Crump can certainly unlock the door with a pass an almost does so as she thread it through for Stanley, Burt is on hand to throw out a leg make an important stop for United. United upset as Howlett is the first player to receive a yellow card in the game the resulting free-kick seeing City advance on the left for a moment Stanley looks to have gotten in behind Burt, however both Re and Baker are round on the cover to defend halt Stanley’s progress with Tolentino ready to provide the run into the box.

  The free-kicks continue to add up both benches letting their frustrations known. Mitchell pushed in the back 30 odd yards out to the right presenting United with an opportunity to bring players forwards Baker over the ball looking to place it at the far post attacked the ball is knocked to the ground coming for Burt her eyes light up the ball barely leaving her foot however the City defence have charged it down. 

  City advance down the right Gillies bombing forwards squares her cross along the top of the area, controlled by Tolentino left of the D plays it to Stanley on the right side quick to get her strike away the shot rising is much to her frustration straight at Markwell in the United goal.

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

  Plenty of action in the 1st half both sides wanting to press the attack as quickly as possible has been scrappy at times but a committed battle with both sides no wiling to let the other settle on the ball. Fouls given away City have invited United on somewhat allowing them to keep it tight at the back willing to counter attack, neither side though carving out a clear cut chance inside the box.

 No changes for either side at the break as United get the 2nd 45 underway, the ball out to Jenkins on the left a deft cross lifted into the area cleared by Flye, United press hard in midfield Otten then Baker the ball played into Jenkins top of the D, turns and shoots, rising Hudson throwing her gloves up making a good save knocking the ball wide and behind for a corner. The delivery into a congested near post well defended. United with a 2nd corner press the advantage at the start of the 2nd half, City struggling to get the ball into their opponents half.

 United with a free-kick on the right City defending the initial ball, Re regains possession laying it on down the wing for Baker, on the angle drills a cross into the near post, Jenkins closing in on the keeper as Hudson back on her line looks to see the ball into her gloves, under pressure from the United attacker the ball is spilt, Jenkins gets her foot on it looks certain the score (think several amongst the United bunch thought she had) the ball though comes back off the post and City manage to scramble it away to safety.

  United starting the brighter 2nd half a free-kick won inside the City half on the left, Baker sending the delivery into the area met centrally by Jenkins sends her header over the crossbar. Mitchell running at the City defence wins a corner. Defended by Reed at the near post a 2nd corner awarded, goes long this time over over one in the six yard box Burt retrieves far side attempts to lift back in deflected behind for a 3rd corner. Right side long United appeal for handball as City bring the ball away but nothing doing. Bodily putting a diagonal ball out to the left for Reed to attack, Re halts her progress for United. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Laura Mitchell

  City get hold of the ball centrally Bodily passing to Stanley the striker clipping the ball out to the right for Gillies, taking the ball into her stride checks inside her marker driving for the box before firing in a low strike to the near post, Markwell across her goal down low to make a comfortable save. United suddenly dropping off their intensity City press the ball in the final 3rd Crump putting a looping ball in, Burt getting in ahead of Tolentino. 

  The visitors regain possession centrally Otten on for Jenkins central has support to her right from Mitchell who in turn finds Howlett wide right taking the ball in behind lifts a cross towards the penalty spot, Mitchell rises to meet it a glancing header the ball falling wide of the far post Jenkins after it, Mulheron in ahead of her defending for City. The game opening up now City have Gillies on the ball right as Stanley knocks it down into her path, an early cross into the box has Crump breaking in behind, Markwell focused as she drops onto the ball claiming it as Crump arrives on her. 

Cambridge United WFC and WF East sponsored Amy Howlett

 City winning a free-kick in the middle lifted in towards Stanley top of the D, flicks the ball on well with Crump running in on the follow-up, Markwell seeing it late getting behind it taking the ball on the bounce. 

  GOAL! The dead lock is broken and it’s a superbly hit shot too. United winning the ball out on the right central the pass taken early driven in with pace towards Jenkins free outside the box right of the D. Turns and shoots the ball struck well arrowing straight on the rise before Hudson before she can react into the back of the net 0-1.

Emma Jenkins fires Cambridge United WFC into the lead

  An hour played and it’s United who have the lead, City getting straight down the other end from the restart Gillies winning a corner. The delivery in central drops dangerously inside the six yard box, United scrambling it away to safety. A change for City, Erin Davies retuning to the club on for Crump in attack. Baker coming back to slide in and tackle Stanley as she looks to battle her way in behind Burt 25 yards out. United working hard doubling up at times to thwart City as they build in attack the hosts frustrated.

  United attack with Davies getting on to support Howlett drifting right a corner won City defend the cleared from the top of their area City break Tolentino on the ball left side sends a ball into the box Markwell though can see it out for a goal kick.

 It’s rare to see especially at this level in the women’s game however it’s the first sin bin I’ve witnessed this season after Stanley is sent off for 10 minutes for City after a long talking too from the referee over a disputed corner/goal kick. United making their 1st change of the match bringing on Niamh Day for Hewitt in attack. The substitute involved straight away as a loose City ball from the ball falls to her centrally. Drives forwards moving into the right channel before laying it on for Mitchell ahead of her into the box Hudson comes to reach it first her kick striking Mitchell rebounds behind for a goal kick. 

City making a change Lauren Tomlinson coming on for Reed. United press the attack Baker on for Mitchell right of the D lays her attempt wide of the target. Otten getting the ball back for United forwards into Mitchell central back to goal upended, advantage played as it comes straight to Howlett beside her blasts her shot in low driven wide of the near post. United pushing on with their player advantage. 

  Stanley is allowed back on City back up to full strength. A focal point in attack is picked out straight away left of the D controls into her feet turns laying a diagonal ball into the box from the left Tomlinson racing forwards, Markwell sees her coming races off her line to close the angle throwing herself into the save Tomlinson getting her strike over her the ball clearing the crossbar too.

  GOAL! No sooner have City created a chance at one end United go down the other end and double their lead. Day winning a corner on the right. Players come forwards crowding the six yard box, angled in near post is a bullet header by Otten as she stoops to meet the ball powering it into the back of the net from close range, is engulfed by her teammates as they rush forwards in celebration 0-2.

  Less than 10 minutes left to play City trailing 2 nil win a free-kick on half way played up towards Tomlinson inside the D turns well into a shot, United’s defence prepared the ball charged down. City have to push forwards time is against them now, United are tiring a corner won on the right, Stanley up well knocking the ball down two United players go to block both stay down as the ball is cleared. City make a change bringing off Bodily late on, on in her place Zynia Delglyn. Less than 4 minutes plus stoppage time left to play.

  City pressing the ball high Davies right on for Gillies attacks a cross flashing in low through the six yard box, Markwell down on it late stops it but hasn’t claimed it, Waygood getting there 1st to clear for the visitors. A nervy end to the game United sitting back inviting City to come on Davies with a shot from 20 yards out, put straight at Markwell. 

  GOAL! Into stoppage time and City pull a goal back to set up a nervy finish to the game, Getting bodies forwards on the left in attack the ball is angled in centrally, picking out Stanley left of the D 20 out sees it across her body and hits it well to rifle a strike in high across the keeper into the corner of the net 1-2.

Grace Stanley getting a goal back in stoppage time for Cambridge City Ladies

  Maybe too little too late with the clock rapidly running down Cullum frustrated as she gives away a foul on Jenkins United with a free-kick. Baker wanting to get it into the corner, United end up giving a foul away themselves with Jenkins booked. Baker in with a strong challenge to win the ball after two City defenders end up tackling each other. One last throw of the dice as City have a free-kick in their own half Hudson on it everyone else in the United box, played in is a firm defensive header to put it clear as the final whistle goes and United celebrate winning the 1st Cambridge derby of the season.

 

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 1-2 Cambridge United WFC

  A highly entertaining game, very much a derby match, strong tackling but played in relatively good spirits throughout (at least I thought so) Committed wasn’t time for anyone to settle on the ball. United with a good start to the 2nd half getting the break through taking the lead on the hour. Adding a 2nd late in the game. City never out of it came back to score a goal in stoppage time but couldn’t find another as United take the 3 points and climb above them into 4th spot in the table. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Was a battle out there at times and a few performances to mention. Firstly for City, Ceri Flye made several important tackles in defence as did Jess Evans. Going forwards Charlotte Gillies looked a threat out on the right all game with some good runs. Whilst Tolentino moved well in attack left side. For United, Gisela Otten and Laura Baker were strong in the middle, Baker also tracking back well. Anna Re was busy at right back both defending and getting forwards to set attacks going. The award though goes to Emma Jenkins her work rate was superb making herself available throughout the game good positional play and a well struck goal to open the scoring.

  Love a midweek derby match even if it 2am when I’m typing this. An entertaining game non stop action two sides that were committed from the 1st minute to the last. My thanks to both clubs for their help this evening.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Enfield Town Ladies

Sunday 22nd August

FAWNL South East Division One

 A trip to St Neots Town FC this Sunday for another slice of action from FAWNL South East Division One, a meeting between to familiar foes once the A10 derby as Cambridge United WFC host Enfield Town Ladies.

  The pair both founding members of the FAWNL (or FAWPL as it was originally known) share a good rivalry that has seen some closely fought matches over the years, Enfield more often than not taking the points in recent seasons. Both looking to emerge from the COVID pandemic that saw the past two season’s drastically affected with renewed optimism in a league that is only getting stronger year on year.

  Cambridge United WFC now settled at their new home at St Neots Town FC, the clubs facilities allowing the 1st and Development team to train and play together. The site featuring the main stadium with a grass pitch alongside a 3G pitch to play and train on. A change in management for the 1st team this season with the club appointing Darren Marjoram as 1st team manager to work along side Ben Yeomans as 1st team coach. Marjoram was previously at St Ives Town Ladies building the women’s side seeing numerous promotion over 6 years taking them all the way to the ERWFL Premier Division. Liz Pamplin also joining the coaching team retiring from played after making 500 appearances for the club.

  Three players follow Marjoram from St Ives to join Cambridge, highly rated goalkeeper, Kira Markwell, midfielder Abbi Griffin and Ruth Fox, the attacking midfielder returning to the club having improved during her time at St Ives. Also returning to the club, midfielder Laura Baker having had spells with Watford and today’s opponents Enfield, vastly experienced, tough tackling and a great passer of the ball. Defender Anna Re also another new edition to the squad. Baker, Re and Fox all starting in Cambridge’s season opener away to Actonians last Sunday with Griffin on the bench. A tight game goalless at the break a single goal was to settle it in the 2nd half headed home by Rochelle Shakes to see the 3 points go to Actonians.

 Enfield are a club in the heart of the community, the women’s section now boasting 4 senior teams the 1st team showing signs it could push on began challenging for a top 3 spot in the FAWNL South East Division One pre-COVID. The club bringing in a host of new faces over the close season with manger, Billy Highton adding Jade Dempster to the coaching team as first team head coach. Goalkeeper Grace Taylor joining having most recently been with fellow South East Division One side,  Kent Football United. Brionne Fowle and Jessie Carpanini from the youth set-ups at Arsenal and Chelsea respectfully. Kelsey Mugford from Spurs, winger Leah Littlechild from MK Dons. Crystal Palace duo, Che Thomas and Diana Tobe. Forward Alana Munro former captain of Watford Development and Katie O’Leary who has vast experience playing at a higher level with Spurs, London Bees and most recently Watford Ladies.

  10 new faces in all with 7 of those making their Enfield debut on the opening day of the season last Sunday at home to London Seaward (previously known at Leyton Orient WFC) despite creating a host of chances seeing a number of saves made Enfield trailed at the break to an early goal from London Seaward’s new signing Abbey Dell. Alana Munro with her first goal for the club scoring early in the 2nd period to see Enfield draw in their opening fixture.

 St Neots Town FC’s, Premier Plus stadium the venue to todays game the grass pitch looking fantastic, a great playing surface. A seated covered stand one side housing the changing rooms and clubhouse. Covered terracing behind both goals. The weather remains nothing to shout about in August, relatively cool with cloud cover threatening rain throughout, one shower coming prior to kick-off, wetting the pitch. The sun doing it’s best to provide some warmth when it pokes through the clouds.

A great playing surface at St Neots Town FC

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Lauren Webb, Anna Re, Carrie Bennett, Amy Haughton, Grace Waygood, Abbi Griffin, Laura Baker (C), Laura Mitchell, Emma Jenkins, Ruth Fox & Sam Khan. Subs – Charlotte Crisp, Faith Hewitt, Gisela Otten, Natasha Collins & Amy Howlett.

  Enfield Tow Ladies starting XI – Grace Taylor, Danielle Smith, Jessie Carpanini, Sheryce Slater, Rachel Kosky, Brionne Fowle, Mollie Kmita (C), Leah Littlechild, Klesha Darroux, Katie O’Leary & Alana Munro. Subs- Rebecca McShane, Rebecca Evans, Olivia Syson, Jade Dempster & Hollie Holt.

  Thankfully the showers clear moments before the players walk out onto the pitch, Laura Baker captaining Cambridge today with Mollie Kmita wearing the armband for Enfield. It’s the hosts to kick-off the first half Cambridge wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. Enfield opposite wearing white shirts with blue shorts and socks. Baker looks to play the ball long to Emma Jenkins bursting forwards on the left the pass cut out by Enfield full back Jessie Carpanini the ball dropping back into the middle of the park, Brionne Fowle snapping in to close down the ball firing a through ball on for Alana Munro to chase, Cambridge goalkeeper. Lauren Webb needing to come rushing out of her box early on the clear the danger.

  For a moment Enfield are celebrating thinking they have taken an early lead winning the ball centrally played rapidly out to Katie O’Leary peeling away into space on the right fires an early ball into the area met well by Alana Munro central sticking out a leg to divert it wide of the keeper high into the back of the net, the celebrations cut short however by the assistants raised flag.

  A good start to the game from Enfield taking the game to Cambridge looking to use the width of the pitch spreading the play. Grace Waygood at the back intercepting a through ball meant for Munro. Ruth Fox bringing the ball on for Cambridge left side attempts to send a ball in behind for Jenkins to attack, Carpanini reading it well for Enfield in defence. Players on both sides closing down the ball already shaping up to be a good contest Laura Mitchell right for Cambridge takes on her marker looks to send it up the line for Sam Khan to run onto, Rachel Kosky in on the Cambridge striker quickly to regain the ball. 

Enfield defender, Rachel Kosky

 Enfield are quick to get counter attacks going constantly looking to spread the play catch Cambridge on the back foot, out to O’Leary on the right has support from Klesha Darroux the pair linking up well as O’Leary flights a cross in towards the far post, Leah Littlechild coming in from the left free in the area attempting to strike the falling ball on the volley sees her effort sliced wide of the post. Littlechild is posing a real threat attacking down the left wing for Enfield driving forwards with the ball whips a dangerous cross into the six yard box, O’Leary and Darroux in to attack it, Webb keeps her eye on the ball taking it high in her gloves.

Cambridge goalkeeper, Charlotte Webb

   Khan battling her way forwards on the ball wide right does well to win her side a corner. The delivery long going beyond the far post is retrieved and driven in towards goal on the angle, Grace Taylor dropping on it low at her near post to claim. Taylor sends the ball long from her kick looking to set up a counter attack, Carrie Bennett winning a vital header to ensure Enfield don’t get in behind to mount an attack on the hosts goal. Littlechild has pace running with the ball at her feet another dangerous delivery into the area is intercepted by Grace Waygood, fellow centre back Amy Haughton launching it clear. 

Brionne Fowle bring the ball on for Enfield

  Cambridge getting to grips with the tempo Enfield imposed on the game early on Baker winning it central, Abbi Griffin sending a pass out to Jenkins on the left, puts a ball into the area too close to the keeper Taylor gathering at her near post. Littlechild doing well making ground on the left attempts to lay it back to Kmita, Baker sliding in on her to win the tackle. Littlechild keeps coming on the left squaring a ball in towards the top of the area Darroux having made a run left side back to goal attempts to lay it off for the advancing Kmita to strike from 20 yards out, her effort pulled wide across the goal.

  Attacking right making ground win a corner after a succession of throws, players up from the back. The ball whipped into the six yard box goes through everyone centrally dropping to Haughton at the far post, getting her foot under the ball scoops the ball up in towards goal, Taylor flinging an arm up the ball landing in the roof of the net a 2nd corner awarded this time from the left. Goes long again coming out to Haughton once again further out this time strikes the ball on the volley sends her shot wide. A spell of pressure from Cambridge inside the Enfield box.

  Fox bringing the ball on through the middle moving left pushed on into Jenkins returned to Fox as she goes past her looks to put it into Laura Mitchell feet as she makes a central run towards goal, closed down under challenge nevertheless gets a shot away 25 yards out blazed over the bar. Some strong tackles being made, Fowle on Baker this time seeing Cambridge with a freekick inside their opponents half Haughton on it putting it up towards the top of a congested 18 yard line, Kosky rising well to head the ball out of danger.

Jessie Carpanini carrying the ball out of defence for Enfield

   Both sides attacking the game flowing Griffin with the through ball looking for Jenkins getting around the back from the left, a little too much on it allowing Taylor to gather. 

  GOAL!  20 minutes played and the deadlock is broken. The ball with Cambridge won in the middle played out Fox making a run left side has support from Jenkins the ball returned to her as she looks to dribble it on into the area, a determined run into the box closing down on goal composes herself and lifts a shot wide past Taylor and into the back of the net to score her 1st goal at this level 1-0.

Ruth Fox firing Cambridge into the lead

  Enfield look to get on the offensive straight from the restart Kmita into Munro she spreads play to the advancing Littlechild on the left taking the ball on down the line attempts to get inside Anna Re to cross the ball, Re stays on her well keeping the winger wide before diving into tackle managing to win a goalkick off Littlechild. Carpanini getting forwards on the right making good progress on the ball, Jenkins needing to get back to help Bennett, deflects Carpanini’s cross falls straight to O’Leary top right corner of the area strikes her shot over the bar.

Enfield’s Katie O’Leary

  Cambridge are deep at ties as they defend, working well as a unit however the outlet up top isn’t easy to find and all to often Enfield regain possession to mount another assault, clinical ball’s through the middle at a premium though. Clouds starting to build again threatening more rain as Enfield win their first corner of the game to be put in from the right. A congested six yard box is ignored with the short option taken Danielle Smith her cross though is quickly charged down, Enfield keep the pressure on play spread to the left Littlechild surging to the by-line coming inside lifting a ball into the six yard box, Webb claiming it well for Cambridge. 

Danielle Smith coming forwards for Enfield

 Enfield pushing on Darroux with support from O’Leary on the right, Bennett tackling a throw conceded, pressure relieved as Jenkins wins a free-kick. Littlechild on the left has Cambridge racing back to defend their box as the ball is fired into the penalty spot, straight to Griffin who whips it clear. A blow for Enfield as they are forced into a change, Kmita struggling having taken a knock needs to come off on in her place, Rebecca Evans. 

Enfield’s Klesha Darroux

  The ball won centrally by Cambridge hooked up to Khan up top 25 yards out left of the D a good knock down to lay it into the path of Mitchell to the right, is quickly closed down by Kosky getting a low shot away lacks the pace to trouble Taylor as she dives to get her gloves around the ball. Cambridge with another corner on the left a high ball whipped into the six yard box Khan jumps well comes close but can’t get anything on it however a touch far side sees another corner awarded. Another dangerous ball in dropping loose inside the six yard box chaos ensures, Mitchell getting a foot on the ball close in the effort blocked Enfield manage to scramble it away.

Cambridge’s Laura Mitchell

  Carpanini on the ball left attacking for Enfield lifts a pass on for Munro making a right channel run in behind is looking to take the shot on the volley as the ball drops down before her, difficult but a good attempt as the shot is drilled wide. Enfield coming hard late in the 1st half O’Leary right on for Darroux wide her cross cut out by the backtracking Baker, Carpanini going after it in the corner, Bennett sliding in on her to defend for the hosts. 

  Strong appeals from Enfield for a penalty late in the half as they win a free-kick some 35 yards out central. Kosky having a strike on goal her shot hitting the wall, the ball deflected to the left Carpanini racing onto it taking it wide into the box Jenkins out to close her down, Carpanini’s cross blocked by Jenkins going behind, Enfield arms up claiming it struck her hand, the impact hand or not at such close range a penalty unlikely to be given. That the last action of an action packed first half.

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

  Cambridge with the narrow advantage at the break going in 1-0 to the good thanks to Fox’s goal midway through the first half. Enfield starting the brighter working the ball across the pitch well spreading play took Cambridge awhile to get to grips with their opponents, eventually settling into the game it became a good contest, players from both sides working hard to close the other down some strong tackling but each side giving as good as they got. Fox making a great individual run into the box to put Cambridge ahead. Enfield have had opportunities although both keepers haven’t been called into action too often. Enfield finishing the half strong, Cambridge defending well.

  Still all to play for however with just a single goal in it as Enfield get the 2nd period under way.

 GOAL! A perfect start to the 2nd half for the visitors as they pull the scores level straight from the restart. The ball played back to O’Leary in the middle she clips her pass long out to Littlechild breaking forwards on the right, insolating Re, her challenge on the full back seeing her burst in behind clear to strike in a shot on the angle powering the ball high across the keeper to make it 1-1.

Leah Littlechild celebrating after levelling the scores for Enfield early in the 2nd half

  What ever plan Cambridge had discussed at half-time is in the bin. Enfield having equalised are straight on the front foot, tails up win a corner on the left put in towards the near post low, players from both sides attacking it can only describe it as a scramble Cambridge managing to clear the danger. A frantic start to the 2nd half Cambridge have little time to settle Enfield looking to get the ball into their wide attackers, Bennett lunging in to tackle on the left. Haughton stopping Littlechild as she comes on from a central position. 

Amy Houghton tackling Leah Littlechild

  Khan is doing well with the ball at her feet holding it up forcing Enfield into the tackle more often than not bringing  throw deep or a corner. A throw on this occasion dropped into Jenkins feet on the left attempts to skip on into the area before Slater charges her cross down. Re clipping a diagonal ball into Mitchell on the right, Fowle in to head it back upfield. Jenkins is left on the ground dazed as the ball struck at pace hits her hard, a head injury play is paused treatment needed. Is okay to continue but is definitely going to feel that one in the morning. 

  Enfield have look dangerous on the break throughout the match O’Leary with the armband now up to Littlechild away in behind into the box on the left slides in on the shot, Webb down well before her to stop the ball, play stopped though by a raised flag. Khan fouled by Fowle 30 yards out in a central position. Jenkins over the free-kick takes on the strike over the bar doesn’t trouble Taylor. Fox gets clear on the right in behind checks back to put in a cross with her left foot just behind Khan central, still attempts to spins on the ball send it onto Jenkins in beyond her the move not quite coming off. 

Emma Jenkins for Cambridge holding off, Enfield’s Jessie Carpanini

  Slater comes across well at the back to slide in on Khan as she threatened to break in behind to cross on the left a corner conceded. The corner count mounting for Cambridge, this one defended near side a 2nd corner awarded put long this time Haughton retrieving it managing to win a further corner on the left as the ball is charged down. An inswinging back whipped across the face of goal Fox coming in at the back post appeared to slip otherwise she might well have made contact with the ball. 

  Littlechild left side fires a cross in near side looking for O’Leary, Haughton defends well shielding the ball allowing Webb to gather. Enfield make their 2nd change of the match Darroux the player off replaced by Olivia Syson. Khan pulling out wide close to the touchline has momentum against her as she wraps her foot around the ball attempting to put in a cross, turns into a dangerous ball threatening to swerve in under the bar, Taylor though is back on her goal line and reaches up calmly to pull the ball down to safety. 

Laura Baker for Cambridge taking the ball on from Anna Re

  Cambridge make their first change of the game bringing on Amy Howlett for Mitchell. Fowle lines a shot up from all of 30 yards out right of the D swerving through the air Webb has plenty of time to set herself for the save dropping low to her left to smother the shot. 

  Enfield come close to taking the lead in the game Littlechild a constant threat coming on from the left making a run into the box as Smith gets forwards the cross fired into the near post Webb down at Littlechild’s feet as the winger looks to sent it past her from close range, Webb getting her fingertips on the ball is stranded on the ground as the ball is deflected towards goal, I’m standing in the other half and it looks to be heading in when Bennett racing in appears out of no where the left back sliding in to make a dramatic goal line clearance to keep the scores level.

Cambridge’s Carrie Bennett with a superb goal line clearance (picture taken at an earlier game)

  Baker’s bruise count is rising as she takes another painful one on the ankle, giving as good as she gets Cambridge as a collective are working hard to regain possession, Enfield continue to look to move the ball O’Leary and Littlechild carrying the biggest threats the game stretched at time has taken alot out of the players Re is struggling with a knock is replaced at right back by Charlotte Crisp for Cambridge. Baker scooping a pass up over the top for Howlett sprinting clear on the right into the box, Taylor though is out to it first. 

   Another change for Cambridge, Faith Hewitt coming on for Griffin in the middle. No let up in the action two committed sides who feel they can win it. Khan seeing the ball into her feet 25 yards out left of the D looks to turn and strike the ball, Slater in to close her down charging down the ball. Khan’s last action of the game as she is replaced by Gisela Otten the move seeing Howlett join Fox up top. 

Cambridge captain, Laura Baker sliding into win the ball

 

  Baker gathering the ball into her feet in the centre of the park goes on a surging run towards the box looking to charge her way through the Enfield defence, Kosky lunging in to deny her a shot edge of the area the ball deflected right into the path of Howlett she strikes the ball goalwards riding it lands on the roof of the net. 

 Enfield with another change Littlechild the player taken off replaced by Jade Dempster. The clouds have been darkening the rain starts to return as the game moves into the final 10 minutes, the contest is on a knife edge could go either way, both sides feeling they can score. O’Leary right holding up the ball as Smith looks to get on in support, Howlett doing the defending for Cambridge. Block. Block. Block! The Cambridge defence throwing themselves at the ball inside the box as Enfield push on Fowle advanced with two of the strikes from close range. A final change from Cambridge the rain falling heavily now, Natasha Collins on for Haughton at the back. 

The rain falling heavily as Natasha Collins is introduced to the action for Cambridge

  GOAL! The substitute plays a vital role in the next passage of play as Cambridge go on to regain the lead in the closing minutes of the game both side undoubtedly tiring Fox snapping into a challenge right side battling to win possession of the ball, Collins going past her on the overlap Fox digs the ball out of her feet lifting it into Collins path wide wraps her foot around the ball sending in into the six yard box chest height both Howlett and Jenkins bursting forwards through the middle Taylor diving towards the ball under challenge she and Jenkins collide a 50/50 challenge deflects onto Howlett to turn the ball into the goal beyond 2-1!

  Cambridge go wild in celebration the goal given, alot going on inside the box however as both Taylor and Jenkins are down injured, trainers from both sides on. Enfield players surrounding the referee protesting their keeper was fouled. Takes a while to sort out does the goal stand… it does. Jenkins has taken another heavy blow to her jaw uncertain if she can continue and Cambridge have used all their subs. Taylor still down certainly can’t continue and a replacement goalkeeper is needed the gloves brought on for Dempster to wear. Taylor is up on her feet at least good to see. Jenkins will battle on. Play resumes, Dempster not ready however. Hollie Holt coming on in place of Taylor. 

The game restarts with 5 minutes of injury time. Enfield certainly feel aggrieved have been unhappy with a few decisions made throughout the game now find themselves 2-1 down with minutes left. Get on the attack Cambridge setting their stall out to defend Otten tackling Fowle as she comes on through the middle. A free-kick in the closing moments deep on the left Enfield push everyone up the ball to b launched into the box put in far post attacked knocked down towards goal Webb though can fall forwards onto it at her near post to nullify the threat. The final whistle blowing and it’s Cambridge who celebrate winning their 1st 3 points of the season.  

Full time Cambridge United WFC 2-1 Enfield Town Ladies

  Was a really good contest between two committed sides in truth it could have gone either way. Cambridge defending well throughout battling at times taking the lead in the 1st half. Enfield starting well passed the ball well spreading play with necessarily having a cutting edge through the middle. A strong end to the 1st half was an even better start to the 2nd getting straight back on level terms. Chances for both sides some strong tackling, not played with any malice however, Bennett’s goal line clearance proving crucial as it was the hosts who went on to find the winning goal late in the game. Will do wonders for player confidence, Enfield head back to home knowing it could have so easily been 2-1 the other way, have little recovery time however as this is the 1st of 3 games in 8 days are at home to FAWNL newcomers Harlow Town Ladies on Wednesday evening before travelling to Norwich next Sunday. Cambridge are away to Harlow themselves next Sunday. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this weekends Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Boy this is a tough one a strong all round team performance from Cambridge. Let’s start with Enfield, great movement throughout from Katie O’Leary giving those behind her a ready outlet to pass the ball. So too Leah Littlechild on the left a constant threat throughout the match making several dynamic runs on the ball taking her goal well. Rachel Kosky strong at the back winning the ball. All round Cambridge put in a solid team performance wasn’t pretty at times but battle hard as a unit back to front winning the ball, Carrie Bennett’s goal line clearance as good as any goal. Amy Haughton making a number of strong tackles at the back. Emma Jenkins on the left of attack. Ruth Fox is improving all the time took her goal well. Edging them out I think though today’s award goes to Laura Baker was strong in the middle of the park putting herself about and often the catalyst for Cambridge’s attacking play.

  Was a good contest the action never stopped between two committed sides a great advert for the league no doubt. My thanks to both sides for helping me out with the team details as always much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham.

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Billericay Town Women

Sunday 15th August

FAWNL South East Division One

 It’s great to be back and can happily say I’m ready and raring to go looking forwards to what I hope will be a long and hopefully disruption free campaign. Starting the new season in Norfolk with a trip to The Nest in Horsford to watch the FAWNL South East Division One season opener between Norwich City Women and Billericay Town Women.

 With the previous two season’s being voided due to the ongoing COVID pandemic it has been a tough and frustrating time for all in the football community. The actions taken of course to try and limit the spread and ultimately save lives. Thought go out to those we’ve lost and those who have lost a loved one. The vaccine programme bringing hope that we can get back to some kind of normality. The women’s game at grassroots level in need of it this period hampering the development and progress of a number of sides, like myself will be hoping for better times ahead.

 The FA Women’s National League (FAWNL) going from strength to strength nevertheless, some shifting upwards within the pyramid seeing clubs promoted this season, Ipswich Town Women moving up from South East Division One to the Southern Premier Division signing many players up to a professional contract. Two sides joining South East Division One with Harlow Town Ladies and QPR Women joining from their respective regional Premier Divisions, sees 13 sides contesting South East Division One this coming season. The talent pool getting larger as the women’s game grows, clubs making some exciting and experienced signings the league will be stronger than ever.

Norwich City Women are long established as the leading women’s side in Norfolk have played in the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid since the FAWNL or FAWPL as it was previously known was founded in 2014, members of the South East Combination prior to that. A new home for Norwich last season as they moved to The Nest a newly built sporting facility on the outskirts of the city. Along with that a trophy won after a long lean spell as they regained the Norfolk Women’s County Cup. Will be looking to use that as a springboard to push on up the South East Division One table having been at the wrong end of it for a few seasons. A trio of new signings made ahead of the new season with Mollie O’Callaghan, Freya Symonds and defender Chardonnay Johnston all joining from ERWFL Premier Division side, Wymondham Town Ladies. Goalkeeper Yasmine Walford also coming to Norwich having previously been with Royston Town Women. A few players also stepping up from the academy.

Essex side, Billericay Town Women acheived promotion to the FAWNL in 2018 after clinching the ERWFL Premier Division. Building in stature in recent season’s have become one of the leading sides for women’s football in the county. Essex Women’s County Cup holders have developed strong ties with Billericay Town FC which has seen the club attract a strong, talented squad that hit the ground running in the FAWNL pushing for the title right from the off. The pandemic dented those title ambitions but they remain firmly on track. Scott Chickelday taking over as 1st team manger from Kim Coster. Have kept most of the squad together whilst recruiting some new faces including left side attacking player Shannon Drewe from Millwall and most recently Mia Lockett who has impressed on trial from Tottenham. Billericay’s 1st team backed up by a Reserves and a Development side.

  The venue for today The Nest, the new home of Norwich City Women. The new built sporting facility boasting  a new artificial pitch next to a modern clubhouse and changing rooms featuring a cafe serving hot food and drinks overlooking the pitch with numerous grass pitches beyond. Restrictions lifting a decent number turning out to enjoy the match. The weather a little indifferent, cool under the dark cloud dotted around, warm when the sun manages to peek through. The Nest close to the airport, several plans and helicopters taking off over the ground.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Yasmine Walford, Leah Harper, Ellie Bishop, Chardonnay Johnston, Kate Parsons, Millie Daviss (C), Jodie Drake, Leilah Gooding, Samara Nche, Kathryn Stanley & Freya Symonds. Subs – Amy Durrant, Izzy Collins, Natasha Snelling & Katie Walker.

 Billericay Town Women starting XI – Amy Mullett, Lucy Jones, Kerry Stimson, Ellie Jeffkins, Courtney Lumley (C), Jay Blackie, Georgie Morton, Zoe Rushen, Shannan Drewe, Mia Lockett & Logan O’Shea. Subs – Danica Dougal, Leonie Bezant, Ruby Sealey, Mayzee Seymour & Freya Fuller.

  A change to the rules this season still a squad of 16, but now instead of 3 substitutes all 5 can be deployed. Billericay travelling with a full squad the front three, O’Shea, Lockett and Drewe making their competitive debuts. Norwich beginning the season with injuries to some key players whilst others are unavailable. Walford making her debut in goal whilst their are first competitive starts for Symonds and Johnston. The captains come to the middle Billericay to kick-off the first half wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts, Norwich lined up in their yellow and green kit.

The 2021/22 is underway, Billericay looking to get the ball out wide Norwich in to close down smartly. Jay Blackie in central mid-field for Billericay gets hold of the ball knocking it forwards played through for Lockett to break central, Kate Parsons reading the pass for Norwich the centre back getting across Lockett to prod the ball back to her keeper for Wolford to launch clear. Passes going awry early door as both sides work to hustle the ball, Norwich clipping a ball on up the right wing won well by Billericay’s Kerry Stimson on halfway, plays a great diagonal pass out to Drewe making a run left side who in turn played it early into the middle for Lockett to attack inside the D, full back Ellie Bishop sliding in well to defend for Norwich. 

  GOAL! Just 4 minutes into the game and we have the 1st goal of the season featured on Women’s Football East and it is something of a controversial one. Billericay are gaining momentum out on the flanks attacking right O’Shea in space, the defence in ahead of her to take the ball Norwich lay it back to their keeper inside her six yard box Wolford bringing it onto her left foot looks to shift it to clear on her right, Lockett is rapidly on her in to challenge for the ball the pair tangle, Wolford appearing to bring down Lockett the ball loose Zoe Rushen is on hand to slide onto it take it over the line… at the same time the referee blows her whistle. I think everyone thinks it’s a penalty and most likely a sending off for Walford. However after taking her time and consulting with the assistant on that side a goal is awarded 0-1 Rushen credited with the goal.

Zoe Rushen with her 1st and Billericay’s of the season.

  An early blow for Norwich, but it could have been alot worse had their keeper recieved her marching orders. Both captains called over by the referee as both sides want clarification on what happened before the game resumes. Billericay are beginning to impose themselves on the game short quick passes at the back keeping the ball moving before looking for a runner on the flanks, Drewe and O’Shea looking to go forwards the latter winning a corner on the right taken short into Rushen played back to the corner taker the cross sent in to the top of the area knocked inside for Rushen to latch onto shoot on the angle, the ball put straight into the keeper Walford having her near post covered. 

Norwich’s Kate Parsons winning the header with Billericay’s Mia Lockett

  Kathryn Stanley getting into some space on the left for Norwich comes inside before rolling it back into Bishop behind her the full back placing it central into Jodie Drake 30 yards out attempts to pick out forwards Symonds who is tightly marked inside the D the ball rolling harmlessly through for Billericay goalkeeper, Amy Mullett to deal with. Rushen central for Billericay looks to have put the ball on a plate for Lockett in attack central, outside the box, is a superb recovering tackle from Parsons as she dives in to take the ball away from the strikers feet. 

  O’Shea has pace to burn on the right side of attack for Billericay, the ball won on the middle of the park she is constantly ready to receive it, Bishop being kept busy tracking her the visitors hustling Norwich giving the hosts no time to settle on the ball. Likewise Drewe on the left picked out well by Rushen, touch and go racing on down the wing fires it into Lockett making a near post run, looks to see it across her and turn into the shot, Johnston getting close enough to put her off then clear. 

  GOAL! 18 minutes played Billericay push players forwards quickly Lockett getting in behind making a left channel run laying it back towards the top of the area that sees Georgie Morton get hold of the ball a strike a low straight ball hard to race past the diving keeper inside the near post 0-2. 

Georgie Morton scores to double Billericay’s lead

 GOAL! No sooner have the visitors gotten into a 2 goal lead they make it 3. Norwich are guilty of dallying on the ball at the back, left side Drewe closes down to tackle and win the ball taking it on in behind into the area, shooting on the angle to fire the ball wide of the keeper into the bottom corner of the net 0-3. Drewe with a goal on her Billericay debut.

Shannan Drewe opens her Billericay account to make it 3-0 (photo credit Nicky Hayes)

  Norwich are on the back foot, Billericay full of confidence closing the ball down all over the park, getting out wide quickly, Parsons needing to close down Lockett she skips inside from the right. The hosts unable to get the ball into Symonds up top can’t get anyone close to support her. Moreton and Blackie putting in good tackles to get Billericay back on the offensive. 

 GOAL! Chaos in the box as Billericay surge forwards Drewe with the ball on the left sending a cross flashing in across the six yard box to the far post O’Shea close in attacking it knocks in back down across the face of goal, Norwich don’t clear. sliding in one of Billericay’s attacker sends a shoot racing goalwards strikes the under side of the cross bar dropping down into the six yard box where O’Shea quickest to react to tap the ball over the line for her first of the season 0-4.

  25 minutes played and Billericay have a firm grip on the game, Norwich rocked and struggling to regroup as Rushen 30 yards out left of goal drags a shot wide. Bishop on the ball for Norwich looks to play it long for Stanley on the move, Ellie Jeffkins at the back deals with the threat comfortably for the visitors. A chance for the hosts to get players up into the box as Moreton gives away a free-kick inside their half. Leah Harper from the right clipping it into the box, Rushen back to defend gets a good header on the ball to clear for Billericay.  

 O’Shea races away in behind on the right of attack for Billericay goes inside before flashing a cross/shot along the goal face Norwich clearing at the far post. Rushen central with another pinpoint pass to find Lockett moving left into the box wide of goal looks to check inside create a better shooting angle, Parsons does fantastically well for Norwich getting in on her to make a strong but fair tackle. Walford the busier of the two goalkeeper down at her near post to gather as a shot is rifled in. Moments later comes out to the top of her area well to make a blocking save against Lockett closing in from the left. 

  Bishop recieves the first yellow card of the game as she slides in to bring down Lockett centrally as the striker drives towards the box giving Billericay a free-kick in a dangerous position. 20 yards out to the left side of the D, Lucy Jones over it goes for goal blasted in Walford doesn’t react the ball smashing against the fence behind her goal. No doubt Norwich are rattled at conceding 4 goals on the back foot can’t get anything going in attack, Billericay playing their part not letting anyone settle on the ball, lack of movement hindering the outlet ball being found, Symonds often alone up top marshalled well by the Billericay defence. 

Billericay defender, Ellie Jeffkins

  Stanley played in by Leilah Gooding central puts a good crossfield pass into Samara Nche on the right, has Symonds making a run into the channel ahead of her, Blackie and Morton  combining to slow her down and regain possession, Drewe picked out on the left, Harper sliding in to halt her advance. Parsons with another last ditch crunching tackle on O’Shea as she threatens to burst into the box as Drewe sets her up from the left. Billericay continue to press on the left Drewe wide firing a dipping ball in Parsons can’t get high enough to clear near post the ball though drops wide of the far post.  

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-4 Billericay Town Women

  A dominant first half display from Billericay to get their season of to a fine start taking an early lead if somewhat in controversial means, nevertheless capitalised strong in the final 3rd quick on the ball scoring two more in quick succession before adding a 4th whilst keeping Norwich quiet at the other end the host yet to trouble the keeper have seen little action in the final 3rd. Backs to the wall the hosts have a mountain to climb if they hop to salvage anything from the game half-time a chance to regroup if they are you think the next goal has to be theirs’s and it will have to come early on.

The hosts making a change at the break with Aimee Durrant coming on for Nche on the right side. No changes for Billericay as Norwich get the 2nd period underway win a corner on the right side early on bring players up from the back, the delivery in near post headed on by a defender onto the roof of the net for a 2nd corner, again from the right is dropped in centrally headed clear by the Billericay defence.

 GOAL! The break on the ball pushed up to Lockett bursting on through the middle takes it on into her stride has Drewe breaking on the left rolls the ball on into her feet the left sided attacker moving the ball on into the area before stroking a shot wide of the keeper and in 0-5.

  The perfect start to the 2nd half for Billericay, the worst case scenario for Norwich. Billericay full of confidence getting forwards at will O’Shea with her pace breaks forwards central with Lockett to her right picks her out the ball into the box claimed by Walford at her near post. Norwich rocked, have been on the back foot throughout, Drake sliding in to get the ball back Gooding clips into Durrant right side attempts to drive on, Jones putting in the tackle for Billericay. 

Norwich’s, Aimee Durrant

  Blackie with the forward pass into Rushen outside the box, shifts the ball between her feet 20 yards out before releasing a shot, blocked it skips up for Lockett to chip over the keeper and into the goal beyond but it won’t count as her celebrations a cut short by a raised offside flag. Durrant getting hold of the ball is looking to get up to support Symonds feeds the ball into her path out on the right Symonds has to go it alone no one in the box, pushing on Lumley closes her down to make the tackle regain possession. Harper with a rare opportunity to get forwards from the back for Norwich on the right delivers an early cross into the box, Mullett can claim it high unchallenged inside her six yard box. 

Jay Blackie controlling the midfield for Billericay

 Drewe shifts the ball between her feet left side looking to skip past one player, going down the line rides another tackle before squaring the ball into the area from the by-line Walford down inside her six yard box to lay claim to the ball. 

  Remains high tempo from Billericay, Norwich with no respite as Jones powers forwards on the left making it to the by-line before hooking a cross into the near post O’Shea attacking in close on the goalkeeper, takes a deflection off Walford on its way wide giving the visitors a corner. Taken short before being sent long to the far post where no one can get a touch on it before it runs out of play.

 Billericay make their first change on 55 minutes bringing off Morton on in her place comes Leonie Bezant to make her debut. The visitors remain rapid in their build up play Rushen on to Lockett who turns and shoots right outside the D the effort straight at Wolford in the Norwich goal. Daviss on the overlap with Symonds for Norwich just too much on the final ball allowing Billericay to clear. O’Shea wins the ball high up the pitch right side turns and strikes a shot in on the angle from 25 yards out, well struck but Walford sees it all the way.

  Drewe closing in on the top of the box left side sends a cross in along the 18 yard line, Lockett goes to strike it first time her effort is blocked by the Norwich defence. The visitors are attacking at will Lockett picking it up central has Rushen breaking on towards the area passes the ball, Rushen checks back playing it back to the advancing Bezant, she attempts to thread it through for O’Shea central, cut out by Johnston deflects to Drewe left side her cross sent in towards the far post is attacked by Lockett but she can’t get anything on the ball. Drewe’s last action of the game as she is replaced by Ruby Sealey who goes to the right of attack Lockett coming left.

 GOAL! Billericay continue to get forwards at will O’Shea finding space around the top of the box it is Rushen with the assist in the final 3rd central clipping a diagonal ball into O’Shea on the move in space clipping a shot over the keeper from the top of the area for her 2nd of the match 0-6.

Logan O’Shea on the attack for Billericay

  Billericay making another change this time at the back Jeffkins coming off with Danica Dougal going into a centre back role. Billericay comfortable both ends the defence under no pressure the full back pressing on to help the attack keeping a dispirited Norwich penned back. The hosts just looking for that spark that would at least give them something. Durrant on the right crosses in central Daviss in an advanced position taking it into her feet outside the area moves left then right looking for a way through, Dougal slowing her down before Lumley closes her down to win the ball. 

 A free-kick to Norwich wide right both sides guilty of giving needless fouls away as the game moves into the final 20 minutes. Durrant to play it into the area headed clear Billericay look to break left side, Lockett almost upended as a sliding challenge comes in manages to stay on her feet advantage played goes on Norwich get back as Parsons deals with the ball lifted into the box. 

Mia Lockett managing to keep on her feet after being tackled for Billericay

Into the final 20 minutes and a double change for Billericay as Jones and Rushen are replaced by Freya Fuller and Mayzee Seymour. A long diagonal ball clipped out to the left sees Norwich’s Stanley find her way in behind the Billericay defence into the box Mullett comes to close the angle Stanley looking to lift the ball past her the pair collide, Mullett pole-axed on the ground Stanley is after the deflected ball out to the left the angle tight digs a shot out but the visiting defence is round on the cover to clear on the line. Play stopped so the goalkeeper can receive treatment. Groggy but able to continue Mullett is clapped by the crowd as she gets back to her feet.

Winning the ball at the back Johnston sends it forwards for Durrant bursting into space on the right, Lumley getting across well from centre back to put in the tackle prevent Durrant going on. Both sides tiring challenges late leading to free-kicks late in the game, Lockett brought down 25 yards out on the left O’Shea playing it short to Blackie, closed down well by Drake up to Symonds clear on the right Mullett alert out of her area onto it launching back upfield. Norwich make a 2nd change Katie Walker coming no for Drake with 10 minutes left to play. The substitute combining with Symonds on the right as Norwich attack put in central Durrant never gets it under control as she drags her 25 yard shot wide of the mark.

GOAL! 7th heaven for Billericay as another player claims a goal on her debut and is a superb strike to boot as the visitors break attacking right side the ball squared inside 25 yards out Bezant on the end of it unmarked strikes the ball hard whipping it up and over the keeper to score 0-7.

A goal on debut for Leonie Bezant.

A change at the back for Norwich with Izzy Collins going it at centre back late on Johnston pushed up.

GOAL! Billericay make it a quick fire double to extend their lead further coming right a ball sent up into the area attacked near side by Bezant knocked up into the air Norwich can’t deal with the threat dropping pops out to the right straight into the path of Fuller who drills her volley in from close range 0-8.

Lockett picking up a yellow card in the closing stages as the foul count keeps rising. Norwich frustrated nothing they’ve tried has come off, Billericay adding goals late on keeping their energy levels high. Lumley getting forwards with the ball playing it into Rushen central turns into traffic, Parsons urging her side on. The game long settled however the visitors celebrating a convincing win to open their campaign.

Billericay captain, Courtney Lumley

Full time Norwich City Women 0-8 Billericay Town Women

  A convincing performance from start to finish for Billericay to get their season off to a fantastic start, on top right from the start with a somewhat controversial goal nevertheless got them on the front foot, don’t know how much it unsettled Norwich certainly the hosts struggled to get going Billericay strong in the final third their front 3 pushing on Drewe and O’Shea using the width well kept Norwich penned in. Scoring 3 goals in quick succession taking the game by the scruff of the net looked comfortable even untroubled in defence. An early goal 2nd half killing off any hope Norwich had of getting back into the match. Lively and energetic Billericay have laid down a marker to the rest of the sides in the division. An opening day to forget for Norwich never got going never got to grips with the midfield and never allowed any time on the ball couldn’t find an outlet ball. Can only look to put it behind them get on the training ground and regroup.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. No surprise it’s going to be a Billericay player the question is which one. Was a strong team performance the driving force being the attacking trio, Mia Lockett full of pace bursting forwards into space central setting up a number of chances. Likewise on the left Shannan Drewe with a strong performance on debut moving well out on the flank coming inside taking her two goals well. The award though goes to Logan O’Shea attacking on the the right was a handful for the Norwich defence throughout and constantly available as Billericay looked to get on the front foot throughout the match scoring two goals.

  It’s good to be back covering games and look forwards to many more this season. Always say I’ll try writing less but I never do. Women’s football is often action packed from start to finish. Never know what the report will look like just let the words flow. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the all important team details a contrasting day wish both all the best for the season ahead.

by Darren Gilham

 

Match Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Tuesday 29th September

FAWNL South East Division One

 First spot of midweek action on Women’s Football East this Tuesday evening and a derby match to boot, the first Cambridge derby of the season as Cambridge City Ladies host rivals Cambridge United WFC in FAWNL South East Division One.

  The games coming thick and fast with both sides in action on Sunday playing again 48 hours later. Have enjoyed a keen and some times contentious rivalry, the past seeing what is Cambridge United WFC now break away from Cambridge City to become an established force the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid. City getting their women’s side un and running enjoying a rapid rise through the pyramid to achieve promotion to the FAWNL themselves the season before last that one of course curtailed by the COVID outbreak, retain their place for the 20/21 campaign.

   A tough start to the new season for Cambridge City Ladies, beaten 4-0 at home on the opening day by Essex side Billericay Town Ladies. Were looking to make amends away to Norwich City Women this weekend had their chances coming back from 1-0 at half-time to level the scores before the hosts went on to win the game 3-1. Nothing in the board from their opening two games a derby match under the lights a good opportunity to get their season going.  With goalkeeper Dominika Szary leaving the club have recruited Sarah Hudson from Peterborough Northern Star Ladies. Another new signing also from Peterborough North Star is midfielder, Bronwyn Mulheron.

Cambridge United WFC got the new season off to a fantastic start with a 4-1 win at home to Norwich City Women. A trip down to Essex this Sunday to face Hashtag United Women (previously AFC Basildon Women) Like City they had their chances trailing 2-1 at half-time eventually losing 3-1. Have brought in a few new faces to add depth to the squad, attacker Samaira Khan scoring in both opening games, winger Laura Mitchell and centre back Grace Waygood amongst them. A good test of fitness for both sides with a game coming so soon after the weekend.

Ely City FC the venue for tonight derby match, now situated behind a large cinema, restaurant and bar complex on the outskirts of Ely off the A10. Now home for Cambridge City Ladies was once the home for Cambridge United WFC too. A wide grass pitch, an elevated seated stand above the changing rooms the clubhouse and kitchen along side. Hot drinks available. COVID regulations well observed. A pretty miserable day with rain in the morning, softening up the playing surface, a dry overcast evening with a touch of fog around. 

 Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson, Amy Reed, Lauren Tomlinson, Ceri Flye, Becca Fay (C), Bronwyn Mulheron, Sofia Castiglione, Charlotte Gillies, Freya Standing, Sarah Mosley & Karly Tolentino.  Subs – Shannon Shaw, Amie Fullwood, Grace Stanley, Libby O’Callaghan & Ellie Cullum.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Amy Butler, Charlotte Crisp, Carrie Bennett, Grace Waygood, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Gisela Otten, Albany Hodgson, Emma Jenkins, Amy Howlett, Laura Mitchell & Samaira Khan. Subs – Lauren Webb, Tori Lawless, Jemma Moore, Abi Davies & Ella Mercer.

  As with these derbies they’ll be City and United from now on. A late change for United seeing Tori Lawless picking up an injury in the warm up. Albany Hodgson starting alongside Gisela Otten in midfield. It’s City to get the 1st half underway, wearing their home colours, white shirts and black shorts with black and white hooped socks. United opposite wearing amber coloured shirt, black shorts and socks.  The ball put back towards the defence is lifted out long to the right with Charlotte Gillies making a run on the wing, Otten quickly across to tackle and send the ball out for a throw. 

 United’s first attack sees Laura Mitchell fouled wide right an early opportunity for the visitors to get players up into the box the delivery sent in headed away by City defender, Ceri Flye. Up on the left wing Freya Standing looks to get the ball and take on the United defence, captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt across to support Charlotte Crisp the ball regained, United push forwards the ball up on their right win a corner kick.

  GOAL! From the corner United catch City napping with a short delivery up the line the ball put back to the corner taker fired into the box on the angle at the near post is turned home by Otten at close range to open the scoring 0-1.

Cambridge United WFC’s Gisela Otten with the opening goal

  Very much a derby match the pace furious the no time dwelling on the ball both sides looking to get it forwards rapidly, Emma Jenkins with a run on the left side for United, drops her shoulder to come inside, Amy Reed getting her toe on the ball to take it away from her. Sent long up the right wing for Gillies City win a corner deep inside United territory this bringing their 1st corner of the match. The delivery in the area knocked down is pushed out back to the taker, played back in towards the top of the area Karly Tolentino latching onto it, jinks into the area right of the D putting her effort wide at the near post. 

   Jenkins succeeds in getting inside this time advancing up the left 20 yards out lines up a strike the ball put straight at Sarah Hudson back on her line. Amy Howlett is clipped as she comes to the right to receive the ball for United winning a free-kick 25 yards out. Crisp placing the ball down floated her delivery into the box near side attacked a glancing header deflecting it wide of goal a goal kick signalled. Good battles taking shape all over the park, Gillies and Standing on the flanks for City looking lively getting forwards rapidly when their defence regains possession. Jenkins and Mitchell likewise left and right for United, the full backs for both sides are going to have to stay alert. 

  Standing getting away on the left sees United exposed at the back space to run into fires a cross into the area Tolentino heading in down, Carrie Bennett around on the cover half clearing before the visitors are forced to concede a corner. The initial delivery cleared from the corner, City regain possession 30 yards out a powerful strike driven back in Amy Butler covering her near post with a comfortable save taking it high. Sofia Castiglione latching onto a loose pass from United inside their half right side rolls it forwards for Tolentino peeling off the shoulder of her defender in behind squaring the ball across the top of the area Standing arriving left side clipping her first time strike up over the bar. 

 Samaira Khan leading the line for United, is being closely marked by the City centre backs, coming out to the left managing to win a throw the ball touched on is crossed into the box, Howlett inside right of the D letting it come across her to strike a rising shot, not enough to evade Hudson who has come across the Howlett to put herself behind strike and claim comfortably. Standing and Gillies continue to cause problems for United, the latter coming inside as the ball is played up to Tolentino the pair playing a one too to put Gillies into space on the right flashes in a cross the ball swerving through the air seen safely wide at the far post. Can’t take your eyes off the action for a second and there aren’t too many seconds where there isn’t any action. 

  Khan winning a throw deep on  the left, drops it down to Jenkins who squares her pass inside for Otten getting forwards all of 30 yards out isn’t closed down takes on an ambitious effort her shot high, dipping significantly late on Hudson watching it though can see it drop over her crossbar. Very competitive with a few niggly fouls being conceded, very much a derby match the crowd playing there part too. Castiglione is getting hold of the ball winning it for City giving the hosts impetuous in their attacking play out for Gillies racing in to the corner on the right sending a cross in from the by line Tolentino getting across the defence spinning into a shot sends her attempt over the top. 

Cambridge City Ladies, Karly Tolentino

  Sarah Mosley blasting a shot wide from the best part of 25 yards out left side as the ball rebounds back to her with City marauding down the flank. Mitchell gets on down the right winning a corner for United, swung in near post City defending the ball comes straight to Jenkins outside the box, doesn’t need an invite to shot does and powers the ball wide of the mark. Burt up the other end clearing the ball from inside the area as Mosley threading a ball on for Gillies right sees a corner conceded. A proper derby 50/50 between Mosley and Otten on halfway, Otten getting it forwards for Khan, closely marked by Flye can’t get in behind.

   Leading the attack for City Tolentino is prepared to drop deep to receive with Gillies and Standing ready to race on behind to get onto the ball, Tolentino heads the ball on for Gillies right side her cross taken early racing across the top of the area looking to pick out Standing far side, Crisp getting in front of her to cut it out for United. Lauren Tomlinson winning the ball at left back as United come forwards brings it on flashing a cross inside for Standing 20 yards out left of the D, striking it goalwards Butler down low to collect it .Howlett nipping in to win the ball centrally for United looks to make ground, Bronwyn Mulheron going with her catching her to lung in take the ball away from her, Howlett still interested after the loose ball until Tomlinson racing inside from left back launches it upfield. 

 Castiglione lines up a well hit strike from 30 yards out, would have run wide of her left post Butler though diving has it safely in her gloves wastes no time in releasing it as United look to try and reassert themselves on the game. Albany Hodgson wins the ball centrally for United lays it on for Khan in attack, hasn’t had too much support around her with City keeping their opponents full backs occupied looks to go it alone driving at the City defence shifting to her right to open up space for a shot on target Hudson though right behind it. 

  GOAL! City mount a rapid attack down their left Tomlinson getting it back from Standing racing on with the ball down the line cutting inside smashes in a pacy ball to the near post Butler down smartly to glove the ball away, running out to the top of the area Standing after it is shoved to the ground the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Castiglione placing the ball on the spot, a coolly taken penalty sending the keeper the wrong way lifted to into the back of the net 1-1. City equalising with 10 minutes left in the first half.

Sofia Castiglione equalises from the penalty spot for Cambridge City Ladies

   City tails up now having pulled the scores level, Castiglione almost putting Gillie in behind on the right, Bennett reading the pass however sliding in to make a vital interception. Simmering a little bit, fouls given away arms raised in frustration passes going astray. United want to get the ball into Khan so she can turn and take on the City defence, Castiglione and Mulheron first to the ball. 

  GOAL! Just as City look to have the momentum United get forwards with a well played attack to restore their lead. Won by Hodgson central her pass lifted up to Khan to knock down to Jenkins running on to the left plays a good weighted cross into the area, Mitchell getting in from the right flank composed under challenge to strike her rising shot wide of the keeper to score 1-2.

Laura Mitchell, with Lauren Tomlinson restores United’s lead

  Otten coming across to the right sides stops Reed in her tracks as the full back wriggles free with the ball looks to advance down the wing. Castiglione putting her head on a ball put forwards by United knocks it down and carries it right into space before whipping a cross into the area, Burt clearing for United the final action of the first half.   

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 1-2 Cambridge United WFC

  An action packed first half, certainly has a derby feel to it, played at a fast tempo, plenty of energy expended by both sides, may well begin to show 2nd half with both sides having been in action on Sunday too. The perfect start for United taking the lead inside the opening 3 minutes from a corner. Took City a little while to get into their stride but have looked a constant threat attacking down the flanks forcing the pace, first to the ball. Equalising from the penalty spot. United showing great character in response restoring the lead minutes later to go in with a 2-1 lead at the break. Suspect City with come out of the blocks with all guns blazing at the start of the 2n half, United if they can can will be looking to nullify that threat with an early goal of their own.

  No changes at the break with United getting the 2nd half underway. Play the ball right as Mitchell runs on her first touch giving Tomlinson the advantage putting her foot in to clear the ball. Castiglione up for Tolentino in attack Gillies up with her, Burt in between the pair getting hold of the ball for United. Gillies full of running on the right for City, Waygood out to meet her this time clearing for a throw in. From the throw City launch a cross into the box, Burt heading it away for United. The visitors look to break the ball up to Khan is fouled 30 yards out from goal right side. Mitchell clipping the ball in towards the far post the ball attacked City scramble it away as Jenkins almost gets there. City hit United on the break, but the visitor get bodies back to slow the ball down

 Remains end to end, United struggling to get it to stick up top, not getting players in and around Khan, Fay on her tackling as she attempts to turn in behind her. Hodgson coming back to get the ball back as Standing aims to get onto a crossfield pass. Butler called into action saving low at her near post as Gillies drives in a shot on the angle from the right. City with the first change of the match Mosley the player off on comes Ellie Cullum. Otten picking the ball up from her defence plays it long towards the top of the area Mulheron lunging to intercept deflecting it to Tomlinson to get City moving on the left. Getting tense between the sides United certainly finding it frustrating the ball not running there way at the moment. Standing getting in behind left side for City puts the ball square in towards the near post Gillies racing into the area not picked up sending it wide.

  GOAL! City have looked the most likely to score there 2nd on 58 minutes attacking the ball right side clipped up to Gillies brings it down into her path driving towards the box drops her shoulder shaping to come inside, drags it away to her right into the area to create the space before smashing a venomous shot past the keeper into the back of the goal 2-2. 

City celebrate as Charlotte Gillies (no 7) equalises to make it 2-2

  City are doing well haven’t dropped the tempo at all the goal giving them renewed energy, Standing coming inside central as Tolentino knocks the ball into her run, her snap shot 20 yards out dipping safely held by Butler. The hosts first to the ball, United getting ragged with their passing, Howlett picking it up in the middle turns well evading a sliding challenge has Khan ahead of her looking to peel of Fay, the pass doesn’t pick her out as Fay intercepts. 

Gillies providing the outlet constantly on the right a looping diagonal ball from Mulheron picking her out takes it on before sending in a 20 yards strike on the angle, Butler down saving at her near post. Mitchell out wide right on for Khan looking to peel in behind Fay again the ball evading her this time Flye is across quickly in support to clear before Khan can strike the ball. 

 United make their first change Hodgson coming off with Abi Davies coming on. Mitchell getting on well right side closer to Khan now putting the ball up into the area the attacker backing up inside the box to break the ball down, slips as she attempts to turn inside with it. Khan fouls Tomlinson as she looks o send the ball upfield. The free-kick from distance evading everyone gathered inside the D, bouncing in as held by Butler beyond. Burt running across the top of her area puts on the blocking tackle on Gillies as she looks to hit it first time as the ball is rolled into her rom Cullum. A few tempers fraying getting a little heated between the sides United looking to be tiring as City retain their furious pace getting first to the ball, Castiglione winning a good share in the middle of the park now with some good passes. Khan going into the book after fouling Flye, joining Mulheron who was booked first half for City. 

  Gillies running onto the long range free-kick taking it on before blasting it into the keeper at the near post from 25 yards. Gillies seems to be everywhere coming central onto the ball top of the circle opens up her body to strike the ball on target through bodies Butler must see it late does fantastically diving to her left pushing it wide behind for a corner. The set-piece defended well United digging deep rallying the ball cleared by Waygood the ball just won’t fall favourably as Howlett races on with Mitchell. Castiglione and Otten grappling for the ball in the middle of the park, Castiglione squeezing it on for Tolentino, 20 yards out shifts to her right sending in a shot Butler right behind it.

  Is a great watch tense City are pushing for a 3rd goal, United backs to the wall at times are rallying Mitchell pushed up to support Khan, Howlett and Jenkins are coming on too. Gillies across to the left Davies stays on her, Burt across to help tackling well the ball fizzed into Otten sprayed out to Jenkins making a run left side sends it on for Khan peeling off the defence the offside flag bringing the move to an end. The game stretched both sides now feeling it’s there for the taking, Cullum central attempting to pick out Gillies on the left, Davies staying with her cutting the pass out. 

 Khan is brought don attempting to get into the box from the right as Davies sends the ball on to her. Mitchell on the set-piece played along the top of the six yard box, cleared by the City defence. The break on City race on the ball central on for Gillies right channel has Reed in support on the overlap, strikes the ball sail over the bar. Otten is fouled inside the City half the free-kick taken quickly out to Jenkins away on the left her shot on the angle wide across the area taking a deflection for a corner kick.

  GOAL! The game entering the final 10 minutes has been an enthralling contest. United have ridden some strong pressure from City now with a corner on the right a chance to bring players forwards. The delivery whipped in chest height along the six yard box, congested deflected back to the top of the area Jenkins on it lays it back to the taker is frantic inside the box the ball coming out to Howlett 25 yards out right of the D, strikes the ball sending it looping high into the air, Hudson back peddling can’t get anything on it as it drops over her into the net beyond for United to take the lead for the 3rd time in the match 2-3.

Amy Howlett with Sarah Mosley makes it 3-2 to United

  Controversy as the goal is celebrated however as City have a player Tomlinson down inside the six yard box from the initial ball in City are furious claiming it was a head injury and play should have been stopped it wasn’t however and the goal stands. Tomlinson hurting her ankle in the finish receiving treatment. Frustration for City who had looked more likely to find a 3rd goal serves to display the emotion a derby can bring out in a side. City respond with a 2nd change bringing Grace Stanley on for Tomlinson. 

  GOAL! City pile players forwards as they get straight back in search for a reply with the clock running down, Fay travelling forwards into the United half is a long way out left side when she strikes the ball, if it was intentional it was well disguised a one in a million strike launched up high into the air dropping out of the night sky Butler back on her line can’t keep it out as it drops under the bar inside the top corner to make it 3-3!

  Game on! Both sides going for it United break Jenkins left inside for Otten attempts to thread it through for Khan, Flye clearing for City. United come on right side a cross lifted into the box over Khan central, Mitchell behind her can’t bring the ball down. Into stoppage time. The fouls racking up as first Crisp then Otten are brought down the latter getting a free-kick left side the delivery floated into the box Khan heading down looking for a runner far post City attempt to break the ball sent on into the area safe with Butler as the final whistle blows and the points are shared.

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 3-3 Cambridge United WFC

  Another fantastic derby game between United and City played at a furious pace, would have taken alot out of both sides, United’s fitness certainly tested by their opponents were on the back foot in the 2nd half as City came back to level the scores for a 2nd time. Looking good to take the lead themselves but United showed character to hold them and retake the lead for the 3rd time themselves. City coming straight back to level. The points shared, United will be frustrated having lost the lead 3 times, City themselves thinking maybe they should have nicked the win, certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game. Highly entertaining.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time to pick another Women’s Football East – Player of the Match a few contenders once again. For United Amy Howlett was finding space without getting the rewards. For City, Ceri Flye made several important tackles at the back, Freya Standing a threat on the left coming on, and Sofia Castiglione in the middle got onto top in the midfield came very close but is just edged out by Charlotte Gillies pace and energy on the wing linking up with Tolentino up top and made some terrific runs amongst the goals too.

All of the pictures used in this report produced by Gary Reed, does tremendous work helping to picture and promote the women’s game and I thank him for allowing me to use his photo’s

 An enjoyable 1st derby of the season, certainly a great advert for women’s football in Cambridgeshire. Appreciate the help with the team details as always from both clubs (although I do know most of these players pretty well by now) I have seen them several times now and know it’ll always be intriguing.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Norwich City Women

Sunday 20th September

FAWNL South East Division One

 The new season of FAWNL football starts this Sunday and once again Women’s Football East will be keeping a close eye on both the Southern Premier Division and South East Division One. The 24 sides unchanged from last season due to the COVID outbreak raring to get going once again the leagues promising to be more competitive than ever with some very strong new signing made. Begin the action with a trip to St Neots Town FC to watch Cambridge United WFC v Norwich City Women in South East Division One.

 The 20/21 season starting a month later than usual due to the virus that brought the previous season to an early end. A new season played with strict COVID regulations on place to maximise the safety of both players an supporters. South East Division One has seen several strong signings as the whole of the women’s football pyramid strengthens at both ends. The FAWSL just beginning it’s journey as a professional league at the top. Growth is happening too at the base in the county leagues with 3 new divisions created in the East alone this campaign. That in turn will only serve to strengthen the sides already there including the FAWNL sides competing in tiers 3 and 4.

  Another competitive season promised, two sides looking to improve this season in South East Division On are Cambridge United WFC and Norwich City Women. Cambridge United WFC moving to a new home at the start of the 2019/20 season moving from Mildenhall Town FC to St Neots Town FC. A move which brought both their 1st and Development sides together training at one facility. Lost a few players during the close season and made a slow start to the season. A change of manager saw Ben Yeomans step up to first team manager results beginning to improve before the season was brought to an abrupt end. Have brought in a few new signings over the close season. Attacker Samaira Khan impressing in the ERWFL with both AFC Dunstable and last season Colney Heath Ladies is dangerous in front of goal testing herself now in the FAWNL. Defender Grace Waygood joins having previously Spurs, so to winger Laura Mitchell who has represented Wales at youth level  and young attacker Ella Mercer.

  Norwich City Women too have found themselves at the wrong end of the FAWNL South East Division One table in recent seasons. Several managerial chances haven’t helped there progress. The Norfolk side bringing in Shaun Howe to lead the 1st team this season has a alot of talented youngsters with a mix of good experience . The league getting stronger with every season can hopefully find the winning formula to get them pushing up the table. Injuries to key players another factor hindering the side at times were dealt a blow in pre-season losing goalkeeper Hope Armstrong to an ACL injury. Have brought in Elli-Rai Quinn-Nicholls is a good replacement performing very well for Newmarket Town Women in the ERWFL last season. Defender Alice Parker returns to the club as does full back Anna Larkins, who captained Wroxham Women previously an accomplished defender has a good set-piece on her too.

 Needless to say both sides will be looking for and fancy there chances of achieving an opening day win.

  St Neots Town FC’s Premier Plus Stadium is situated on a new built estate on the outskirts of the town, featuring a small stadium housing the clubhouse and changing room with a seated stand overlooking one side of the grass pitch. An excellent 3G pitch set behind it. One good thing I suppose about this long lay off from football is the pitches have enjoyed a good rest too. The grass pitch looking superb. COVID restriction in place and well observed. The weather bright and sunny blue skies, drinks breaks needed but I did get a cup of tea before kick-off.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Amy Butler, Abi Davis, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Grace Waygood, Tori Lawless, Gisela Otten, Faith Hewitt, Emma Jenkins, Laura Mitchell & Samaira Khan. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Albany Hodgson, Jemma Moore, Charlotte Crisp & Ella Mercer.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nicholls, Alice Parker, Anna Larkins, Jordan Arnoup, Laura Thacker, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss, Josie Jarvis, Lauren Cullum, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Izzy Collins, Brooke Osborne, Rosie George, Abi Tate & Leilah Gooding.

  Norwich wearing their away colours, green shirt and shorts with yellow socks to get the first half underway. Lining up opposite Cambridge in their home colours amber coloured shirts with black vertical stripes down the front, black shorts and socks. Technically goalkeeper Amy Butler to is a new signing for the hosts having joined from Colney Heath last season and gotten just one game in before it all came to an end one the bench Liz Pamplin ready to make her 496th appearance for the club if called upon.

  The visitors playing the ball back to their defence, centre back Jordan Arnoup playing a long diagonal pass out to the left wing for Kathryn Stanley to attack, knocks it down the line, right back Abi Davies closing in to tackle and clear for a throw in for Cambridge. The hosts looking to get straight on the counter attack the ball up into midfield sent out to the left Emma Jenkins straying offside. A lively start to the game two sides keen to get going, Cambridge on the right Laura Mitchell pushing in through to Samaira Khan attacking the right channel, centre back Laura Thacker sliding in to push the ball away from her for Quinn-Nicholls to clear out to the wing, Mitchell after in gaining possession and lifting a high cross into the box attacking near post Khan rises we to meet it, the ball looping up to and on the roof of the net. 

Emma Jenkins looking to attack on the left for Cambridge United WFC

  Cambridge press on the right Mitchell driving on winning a corner kick. The delivery into the six yard box cleared back to the taker a second ball put in captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt up from the back getting something on it near side sending in goalwards the ball deflected away. Cambridge with intent early on the ball through the middle finding Jenkins left of the area brings it inside across the top of the area eventually getting a shot away blocked by Thacker comes back to Khan who flashes a shot over from the angle. Norwich mount an attack left side Stanley carrying the ball at her feet a determined run her pass forwards into the box looking for Natasha Snelling closing in on the near post , Grace Waygood close on her to defend the loose ball fired back in flashes wide of goal a corner awarded.

  GOAL! Norwich open the scoring from the resulting corner, the delivery played long to the congested far post the ball ending up knocked down into the six yard box in front of goal on a plate for Natasha Snelling standing a half yard out unmarked to turn over the line for Norwich’s first goal of the season 0-1 with 6 minutes on the clock.

Natasha Snelling opening the scoring for Norwich pictured with Cambridge’s Gisela Otten

  Norwich come on in attack getting numbers forwards Lauren Cullum with a cross field ball out to Snelling left of the area plays it wide to Stanley the pair attempting a one two, Stanley’s ball a little heavy Snelling doing well to retrieve on the by-line cuts it back towards the top of the area, Stanley can’t connect with the shot. The visitors regaining possession in the middle Josie Jarvis to captain Millie Daviss coming on sends a great low ball into the Cambridge area a deflection sending it wide for another corner. Another delivery put in invitingly to the far post however it clears everyone this time around. Cambridge gather far side and get straight on the counter the ball sent up the line for Khan looking to get in behind full back Alice Parker doing well tackling to take it away for a throw.

Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

   Is a fairly even start the tempo quick play turned around quickly exciting to watch Jenkins taking the ball clear on the left into space put through to Khan wriggling clear right of the D, sets herself to strike Quinn-Nicholls quickly out to close her down making a great blocking save. Won in the middle of the park by Gisela Otten for Cambridge looking forwards sees Jenkins making a run on the left her pass threaded through picking her out takes the ball into the box closing in on the keeper aiming to send a shot across her Quinn-Nicholls diving full length getting a glove to the ball stopping it, loose for a moment Jenkins after it, the Norwich keeper grabbing it to pull safely into her body.

  Daviss covering alot of ground in the middle for Norwich brings it forwards right side into the Cambridge half, passes it to Snelling 20 yards out right side of the area, Carrie Bennett getting in on her to tackle going to ground trapping the ball with her feet before being cleared. Norwich sitting deeper are inviting Cambridge on a bit getting players forwards in attack as Khan gets hold of the ball left side fizzes a ball into the penalty spot, Mitchell attempts to bring it under control shifts it between her feet looking to pull the trigger, Thacker getting a foot in to tackle is deflected out towards the top of the area Otten 20 yards out hitting it first time the ball cannoning off the crossbar.  

 GOAL! 20 minutes played and Cambridge draw the scores level. Khan making some good runs into the channels leading the line picked out on the right by Mitchell the ball at her feet drives into the box closing in on the keeper towards the near post opens up her body well to slot the ball past her into the back of her net to score her first and Cambridge’s of the season 1-1.

Samaira Khan scoring the equaliser on her Cambridge debut

  Is a lively game can’t take your eyes off it for a 2nd, Jenkins getting hold of a misplaced pass at the back for Norwich 25 yards out sends her shot back in straight at the keeper. Khan peeling away into the right is tackled by Parker. Norwich are looking very dangerous on the counter attack the midfield getting the ball out to the wings quickly, with Stanley left and Cullum right. Stanley this time getting half a yard on her marking firing in a shot on the angle 25 yards out flies over the keeper to smash down off the crossbar. The ball still in play to the right cut back into the box Daviss racing in tackled well by Tori Lawless tracking back from midfield.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss being challenged by Cambridge’s Tori Lawless

   Norwich strike the woodwork again moments later a loose ball 30 yards out struck with venom by midfielder Jodie Drake through everyone inside the Cambridge box Butler sees it late doesn’t move the ball thumping against her left post, One end to the other Cambridge advancing on the right a free-kick awarded a yard outside the box close to the by line players coming up from the back. Burt coming into space asking for it right side given it smashes in a shot low racing wide through the six yard box wide at the far post. Time for a drinks break is pretty warm out there and both sides are putting alot of energy into the game. 

Norwich City Women’s Jodie Drake

  Play resuming Cambridge get forwards winning  corner on the left, the ball played deep knocked up into the air by Burt, Quinn-Nicholls getting a merest of gloves on the ball as it comes down out to the right of goal a shot comes in flashed wide. Up the other end Butler with a great save down low getting good hands out to stop a shot fired in from six yards by Jarvis as Stanley plays her in. Waygood getting to the loose ball first clearing the danger for Cambridge. Fantastic combination play between Lawless and Otten in the middle for Cambridge, as Bennett makes a run left side Otten laying the ball into her she sends a looping pass long into the area for Khan to attack closing in on the keeper, Quinn-Nicholls stays big doing enough to see Khan plant her shot wide of goal.

Cambridge United WFC defender, Grace Waygood

  Snelling catches the Cambridge defence playing a high line is clear to attack the area, only a good starting position from Butler stops her the keeper able to get out and put her foot through the ball before Snelling can send a shot wide of her. Out for a throw on the right taken quickly, Stanley and Daviss link up for the visiting side the ball put in to the top of the area Otten back to win it for Cambridge this time is tripped by Stanley as she tries to bring it away. 

  Cambridge are looking dangerous on corners have a bit of height in their side now one won on the left after a driving run from Khan is put into the mix Norwich half clear, Burt has hung back inside the D the ball straight it her is fired in through bodies towards goals blocked and cleared by Larkins  on the post. Daviss is booked as she brings down Jenkins. The free-kick 35 plus yards out on the left taken by Lawless and flighted ball into the rea knocked down by Khan pushed into Otten top of the area lunging into the shot sends it over the bar. 

Cambridge United WFC captain, Kayleigh-Anne Burt

  Mitchell on the right taking the ball on well for Cambridge into the channel for Khan holding it up as Mitchell comes on in support the ball put across the area into Jenkins, Arnoup in to win it for Norwich put on into the middle the counter attack is on for a moment it’s two v two with Cambridge caught on half-way but Stanley can’t pick out Snelling as Waygood sticks a leg out to intercept. Waygood with a good ball on from the back picks out Jenkins running on left side, Larkins though gets back on her well coming across her to roll the ball safely back to her keeper to clear.

Norwich City Women’s, Anna Larkins

  Burt sliding in to tackle gets the ball back to Butler inside the D as Cullum and Stanley come together from the flanks to try and carves the hosts open through the middle. Khan with her weaker left foot does get enough power behind the shot as she tries to put it across the keeper inside the box following a good ball in from Mitchell on the right Quinn-Nicholls down to claim the ball.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-1 Norwich City Women

  An exciting first half comes to an end with the scores level at 1-1 could well have been 3-2 to Norwich if the woodwork counted both sides with some excellent chances. The game played at a very high tempo both sides attacking with pace and purpose getting players forwards. Norwich inviting Cambridge on somewhat the hosts showing good movement in the final third. Norwich dangerous on the counter attack, both keepers called into action making good saves beautifully poised for the 2nd half.

Norwich’s Lauren Cullum tackling Cambridge Tori Lawless

   A change for Norwich at the start of the 2nd half Abi Tate on to replace Thacker in the heart of the Norwich defence.  Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway. Play a little disjointed early in neither side getting to pace Larkins coming to tackle Jenkins as she is played in right side, Burt winning the ball at the back as Drake attempts to slide it through to Snelling. Jenkins is really putting in a shift for Cambridge on the left running on as Bennett sends her pass up the line, Arnoup comes across to support Larkins to close her off win the goal-kick.

Norwich’s Natasha Snelling with Cambridge’s Emma Jenkins

  Davis with a vital interception in the box for Cambridge as the ball in fired in from the wing early for Snelling to attempt to run onto. Jenkins getting hold of the ball left side brings it on Khan giving her the run to the left channel the pass along the ground into her feet Khan taking it on closing in on the advancing keeper, Quinn-Nicholls stays big again Khan knocking it wide of her goes to retrieve it on the by line cutting it back into the box Jenkins arriving to strike the ball blocked well by Tate. 

Norwich centre back, Jordan Arnoup

 A scrappier start to the 2nd half alot of energy expanded in the first half neither side on top yet. Tate gives away a free-kick 30 yards out right side to Cambridge. Lawless over the ball dinks in a shot the ball caught low by Quinn-Nicholls on her line.  Tate sliding in moments later on Mitchell outside her box gives away another foul much to the visiting sides complaints that she’d won the ball. 

 GOAL! this one closer in 20 yards out right of the D, Mitchell and Jenkins over the ball as players comes forwards from the back to load the box. Jenkins with the dummy run, Mitchell striking it in across the area to the far post attacked Lawless emerging from the crowd to turn into the goal to give the hosts the lead on the hour 2-1.

Tori Lawless puts Cambridge into the lead 2nd half has enjoyed a good contest with Norwich’s Millie Daviss

  Cambridge coming on strong attacking tails up, Davis winning it in defence laying it down the line for Khan left side is brought down by Larkins bemused that she doesn’t get anything.

GOAL! Cambridge race into a 2 goal lead overlooking the attack on the right Khan fires a diagonal ball into the D, Hewitt making a great run is well placed to get a shot away hitting it sweetly to send in low swinging wide to the keeper’s right 3-1.

Faith Hewitt extends Cambridge’s lead

  Norwich respond with a double change, Rosie George and Brooke Osborne sent on in place of Cullum and Jarvis. Tate flying on with a sliding challenge once more is shown a yellow card as Cambridge are awarded a free-kick right of centre. Burt to play in in towards the top of the area, Norwich struggling to get the ball clear the hosts can’t capitalise. 

  GOAL! A moment of controversy a hot patch for Cambridge sees them score a 4th much to the visiting sides displeasure. Attacking the ball in to the top of the area Khan I think, Tate goes off her feet sliding in to win in doesn’t make contact with anything, referee Romana Bria has covered alot of women’s football and keeps up with play well close to the tackle the Norwich defence stop concerned I feel that having just been booked Tate might be in trouble, warns her to calm down. Whilst this is going on the ball is put out to the right Mitchell running on free into the area lays it across the face of goal for Jenkins to send it home far side 4-1.

  The Norwich players and bench aren’t happy as the goal stands, the referee though never blew the whistle an as players are told often you play to the whistle. Can see why Norwich stopped but play was never stopped. A hard goal to concede. Cambridge though with 3 goals in nine minutes have gotten themselves into a fantastic position. A crunching 50/50 tackle between Khan and Tate sees the Norwich defender down hurt and play stopped so she can be treated and drinks. 

 Tate is okay to continue Norwich with a chance to regroup. Stanley on the ball 30 yards out right side clips it into George top of the area she connects with the ball flashing her shot wide of the near post. The visitors get forwards winning a free-kick 30 yards out, Daviss an Snelling over the ball, it’s Snelling who takes on the shot up over the wall on target but caught high by Butler drifting across her line. Cambridge make a change Jenkins has ran herself into the ground makes way for Ella Mercer to make her Cambridge debut up front as Khan moves to the left. 

Norwich’s Abi Tate winning the ball from Cambridge’s Ella Mercer

  Lawless feeds a pass through to Khan on the left side she cuts it across the top of the area into the advancing Hewitt to clip her first time strike over the bar. Space beginning to open up as both sides begin to tire, Norwich see an attack break down Mercer making a run into space on the right for Cambridge Hewitt picks her out with the pass takes the ball onto into the box closing in on the keeper sends her shot high beating Quinn-Nicholls but has the angle covered well the rising ball coming back off the post. A second change for Cambridge Charlotte Crisp comes in on place of Lawless. 

  Their lead giving Cambridge renewed energy the hosts push on in attack Otten sending a 20 yard ball into Mitchell closing in n the box she shots her effort rising over the bar. Cambridge winning a free-kick on the right Crisp to play a diagonal ball invitingly into the box Tate rising well to head behind for a corner. The corner on the left in at the near post defended by George out behind for a 2nd corner. This one taken short put up the line before being delivered is deflected behind a goal kick awarded. The game heading into the final minute of normal time. Khan dragging a shot wide as she attacks on the right. 

  Norwich get up the other end George right cutting a ball in towards the top of the area Snelling there right of the D, both Burt and Waygood in to prevent her getting a shot away the ball cleared to the right Norwich keep up the attack another cross comes in Snelling with the shot a combination of keeper post preventing a goal. Cambridge continue to press the attack looking for another goal the ball threaded through into the box Mitchell right squaring it central for Khan her shot blocked at point blank range comes back to Mitchell who flashes a shot wide across the six yard box a corner awarded. The delivery into the six yard box headed over by Khan as the final whistle blows.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 4-1 Norwich City Women

  An opening day win for Cambridge United WFC beating Norwich City Women 4-1. A victory that will give them a great deal of confidence at the start of the season. A strong start to the 2nd half getting getting into the lead and quickly adding 2 more goals to get themselves into a strong position, were fluid in attack creating several chances, there midfield winning the ball more often in the 2nd period. Was a pretty even first half however, both sides attacking with purpose made for an exciting contest Norwich taking the lead, Cambridge coming back well to equalise. 3 goals in 9 minutes in the 2nd half changing the game. The 4th goal controversial no doubt. Cambridge deserved winners in the end. Norwich I suspect will be hit hard by that 4th goal but for an hour I thought the game could go either way looked very dangerous on the counter attack in particular.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, clearly the intent this season is not for it to be an easy decision. Several contenders once again. A few performances to mention, firstly Millie Daviss for Norwich, the amount of ground she covered was superb to try and break up Cambridge attacks. For Cambridge Tori Lawless worked the ball well making some great tackles and runs. Emma Jenkins made herself constantly available on the left side, with Laura Mitchell impressing on her Cambridge debut on the right. The award though goes to another Cambridge debutant Samaira Khan scored her first goal for the club and as the spearhead of the attack made some fantastic runs into the channels to receive a pass.

   A fantastic opening game from FAWNL South East Division One fast paced, between two determined sides, bodes well for the season ahead. As always my thanks and appreciation to both sides for the team info.

The Round-Up – FAWNL 08/03/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 8th March

FAWNL Plate

A much delayed quarter final tie for Watford Ladies the club finally playing their game against Chichester City Ladies after a month. Winning through to the semi-finals Watford faced another long journey this time to the North West to play Northern Premier Division side Middlesborough Women in the semi-final. That game suffering from postponement last Sunday the Southern Premier Division side haven’t played a league match since the final weekend of January. At last this Sunday the game was on better weather finally. Few chances created on the first period a close contest the pair going in all square at the break 0-0.

  The 2nd half starting in the same vein, Watford going down to 10 on the hour with goalkeeper Nina Wilson sent off for handling outside the area. 2nd half substitute Hattie Kettle going in between the posts. Watford with a good response after going down to 10, Alysha Stojko-Down shooting wide. The game into the final 20 minutes Watford get their noses in front a good ball to see Anne Meiwald through on goal her initial strike hitting the post is closing in on the follow-up to tuck away the rebound. Both sides down to 10 with 10 minutes left Middlesborough’s Rebekah Bass red carded for an off the ball incident. Watford push on in the final minutes a god chance on 87 minutes the game sealed in the 90th minute Megan Chandler in to win the ball outside the box with a fantastic strike to make it 2-0.

Watford will play West Bromwich Albion Women in this season’s Plate final the game taking place on Sunday 22nd March at Stafford FC.

FAWNL Southern Premier Division

Wet weather was to affect the FAWNL Southern Premier Division elsewhere with the games between Chichester City Ladies and Gillingham Ladies and Crawley Wasps Ladies v Keynsham Town Ladies called off. Two matches surviving. A mid-week victory for Oxford United Women 2-1 at home to Milton Keynes Dons Women saw them climb up above Plymouth Argyle Ladies into 3rd spot on goal difference, were back at home this Sunday taking on Portsmouth FC Women. Oxford opening the scoring in the 23rd minute pressure from the hosts around the penalty box the ball put into Kayleigh Hines 25 yards out an impressive strike clipping the woodwork in its way in to the top corner. Portsmouth coming on well both sides creating chances a gritty game at times the visitors back on level terms just past the half hour getting forwards the ball flashed in across the face of goal Hayley Bridge arriving at the far post to make it 1-1. Oxford with good chances to retake the lead however it was  level at half-time Oxford had to dig in at times as Portsmouth came on 2nd half both sides with opportunities in front of goal, the winner coming in the 75th minute ex-Portsmouth player Daisy McLachlan lashing the ball home after coming in at the far post. 2-1 to Oxford close the gap to 2nd placed Watford to a point albeit Watford have 3 games in hand.

Plymouth Argyle Ladies too closing the point to Watford to a point on 14 games the same as Oxford United Women, at home this Sunday hosting 2nd bottom side Hounslow Women. Plymouth getting forwards well chances coming opened the scoring just past the half hour winning a corner kick a low ball played in by Helen Bleazard, Ebony Dover laying it on for Lydia Huntley to slot past the keeper for her first goal of the season. The advantage doubled 2 minutes before the half-time whistle Bleazard playing Dover through to put her shot past the keeper. A 2-0 lead for Plymouth, a quickly reply from Hounslow Women at the start of the 2nd half getting it back to 2-1 straight away. Plymouth settling after that coming on in search of a third goal Hounslow battling well to keep them out keeping the scoreline tight but not able to find an equalising goal Plymouth finishing 2-1 winners.

FAWNL South East Division One

Battles shaping up at both ends of the FAWNL South East Division One table. The top half of the table competitive right from the start the tussle at the bottom livening up in recent weeks as sides attempt to get themselves out of trouble. A host of international call-ups seeing Ipswich Town Women leading the table not played another opportunity for AFC Wimbledon Ladies to return to within a point of the leaders, wouldn’t be easy though away to 6th placed Enfield Town Ladies at the weekend. Sarah Wentworth with her first goal of the season firing Wimbledon into the lead inside 5 minutes getting into box sending her strike up high into the net to make it 1-0. Enfield with a quick reply back on level terms just 6 minutes later captain Nuala McKevitt on the scoresheet from a corner. Chances coming for both sides Enfield hitting the crossbar. A cracking strike from Elizabeth Berkeley putting Wimbledon back into the lead in the 33rd minute. The visitors 2-1 up at the break. A bright start to the 2nd half Enfield awarded a penalty on 54 minutes, Beth Lumsden stepping up to put Enfield level at 2-2. Wimbledon straight up the other end to retake the lead Rosie Russell smashing the ball home from inside the box to make it 3-2 with her first strike of the season. The game into the final 15 minutes a fantastic run from Georgia Heasman before setting up substitute Helen Ogle to find the back of the net and put Wimbledon 4-2 up. The gap to Ipswich back to a point wit both having played 14.

AFC Basildon Women have won 6 in a row to climb up to 3rd spot in the South East Division One table were hosting 5th placed Leyton Orient WFC at the weekend looking to make it 7 straight league wins. Their opponents the last side to beat them in the league back in September a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture. Basildon on top in the first half unable to break the deadlock the pair going into the changing rooms goalless at half-time. A goal ruled out for offside for Basildon right at the start of the 2nd half. Basildon finally getting their noses in front midway through the 2nd half, awarded a free-kick, Poppy Binding’s strike getting a touch of the Leyton Orient defence on it’s way through to goal. Kelly Wealthall and Holly Turner both coming close to doubling the lead. The game into the final 15 minutes, Courtney Clarke down the left putting the ball into Turner inside the box for a composed finish to make it 2-0. Leyton Orient pressing but unable to find a reply as Basildon extend their winning run. 

Holly Turner finishing at the near post to put Basildon 2-0 up (photo credit Jason Clogg)

Billericay Town Ladies stay a point behind Basildon fourth in the South East Division One table with two games in hand as they won at ‘home’ to Actonians Ladies on Sunday, enjoyed an exciting match in the Women’s FA Cup at the start of the year. Postponed from last week rearranged for this Billericay winning more comfortably this weekend the game a Malden, Therese Addison sending the ball past the advancing keeper to open the scoring would go on to miss a penalty. Ellie Nicholls opening her Billericay account with her first senior goal. Hannah Smith also on target with her 6th of the season. Zoe Rushen celebrating a 2nd half brace going clear as top scorer once again on 13 goals. Billericay winning 5-0.

Crucial games to come at the bottom of the South East Division One table too, Cambridge United WFC winning 1-0 away to bottom side Kent Football United climbing above Stevenage FC Women and Norwich City Women into 8 position as they began a run of 4 games playing the sides down around them including the pair mentioned above a local rivals Cambridge City Ladies. At home this Sunday at St Neots Town FC’s Premier Plus Stadium were hosting Stevenage FC Women. The featured game on Women’s Football East this Sunday the full match report can be found below this post. Amy Butler making her debut in goal for Cambridge United. Both sides looking to exploit width get up the flanks Stevenage making a good start a couple of chances Ashleigh Deacon causing problems with her pace out on the right getting on with the ball her cross in cut out straight to midfielder Amy Josland at the top of the area hit it back in to open the scoring put Stevenage 1-0 on 19 minutes. Cam close again the woodwork struck, Cambridge United building momentum as the 1st half wore on getting at their opponents with good opportunities before the half-time whistle.

Cambridge’s Charlotte Crisp getting a leg up to block Stevenage’s Nicole Emmings strike on goal.

A narrow advantage for Stevenage at half-time, Cambridge United began the 2nd half well getting forwards quickly an early goal from Amy Howlett ruled out for offside. The hosts winning a corner a good delivery in from the left clearing the keeper near post Faith Hewitt meeting it beyond to nod in from close range. Cambridge United doing well, Stevenage frustrated 2nd half Cambridge United going on to take the lead with 20 minutes left getting forwards well with pace Hewitt on for Kelly Blanchflower to pick out Emma Jenkins left side her cross put into the box saved by Grace Brooks the ball pushed out towards the top of the area Blanchflower quickest to it latching onto the shot firing the ball home to score her 7th goal of the season. Stevenage looking for a reply pushed on but Cambridge United defended well to make it back to back wins and pull further clear from the 4 sides below.

A massive 3 points too for Cambridge City Ladies at the weekend as they won at home to Norwich City Women the 2nd bottom side moving to within two points of the Norfolk side as a result and just one behind Stevenage. Confidence high as Cambridge City beat Histon Ladies 6-0 in mid-week to win this season Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final. Norwich though getting off to a good start taking an early lead winning the ball high from a goal kick a diagonal ball finding top scorer Chelsea Garrett free in the box right of goal shot across the keeper to put the visitors 1-0 up, Cambridge responding well Charlotte Gillies with a good opportunity. Norwich coming close as Aimee Durrant almost broke free into the box stopped by goalkeeper Dominika Szary. The hosts getting back on level terms midway through the 1st half Gillies pace causing problems right side was played in central running on lobbing the keeper to score. Karly Tolentino with a good chance to put Cambridge City in front, got the goal minutes later as she scrambled the ball in at the near post from a corner on the half hour. Cambridge City leading 2-1 at half-time Laura Mills clear firing a shot over early in the 2nd half for the hosts Gillies on the move making it 3-1 on the hour shooting into the bottom corner from the top of the box. Norwich unable to create a clear opportunity up the other end Cambridge City now breathing down their necks have games in hand on both Norwich and Stevenage.

The Round-Up – FAWNL 01/03/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 3rd March

FAWNL Southern Premier Division

The weather once again playing it’s part with heavy overnight rain in places to end one of the wettest February’s on record fixture affected across all leagues a couple of games called off once again in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division to surviving however and at last Portsmouth had a game! Star first though with Yeovil Town Women who made the trip east to Kent to play Gillingham Ladies this Sunday, few clear cut chances early on the visitors taking the lead in the 1st half breaking well Chloe Lloyd playing in Sarah Wiltshire to score her 20th goal of the season. The game a little scrappy Gillingham coming close to a reply a strike put over the bar, Yeovil goalkeeper Beth Howard with a fine save the hosts getting themselves back on level terms ending the 1st half well. All square at the break Yeovil with a couple of great chances in the 2nd half getting themselves back into the lead, Chloe Lloyd’s free-kick sailing into the top of the net. Gillingham batting in defence as Yeovil sought to find a 3rd goal eventually grinding out the win 2-1 to lift them up to 3rd place in the Southern Premier Division table.

 Portsmouth FC Women were finally back in league action this Sunday having endured a terrible run of postponed fixtures playing catch up now last played a league match in the Southern Premier Division back towards the end of November last year. A frustrating period were on the road this Sunday away to Milton Keynes Dons Women who had climbed above them into 7th spot off the back of a 4-0 win away to Hounslow Women last weekend. Portsmouth rearing to go getting forwards well Milton Keynes goalkeeper Kiya Webb with a couple of saves in the first half the visitors scoring late in the first half with Jade Widdows intercepting the ball and the back and running in to strike home.

  Portsmouth 1-0 up going into the 2nd period doubling their lead just past the hour a strike from distance saved by Webb gloving the ball away to her left Widdows after it getting a shot away from close range the ball cleared off the line still alive in the six yard box Katie James on hand to smash the ball into the back of the net. A 3rd goal coming quickly after that 2 minutes later Portsmouth with good build-up play Hayley Bridge on the right with a great crossfield ball to pick out Rosie McDonnell’s run into the box to score. Webb with another fine save to prevent Portsmouth going further into the lead. Milton Keynes, Jade Bell denied up the other end by Hannah Haughton in goal. Portsmouth going on to add a 4th goal in the final 10 minutes with Widdows getting her 2nd of the game good work in the box firing her shot into the roof of the net fro a cross on the left. Portsmouth going back up to 7th in the table.

FAWNL Plate

Plymouth Argyle Ladies were hosting West Bromwich Albion Women this Sunday in the semi-finals of the FAWNL Plate. West Brom the current Plate holders. Plymouth enjoying a strong season in the Southern Premier Division 5th in the table, went into today’s clash with 7 players out through injury and a further blow on the day with goalkeeper Ben Kyle going down with flu, captain Katie Middleton donning the gloves the depth of the squad tested, despite that Plymouth started well getting on the front foot chances coming Helen Bleazard twice hitting the woodwork, the visitors taking the lead Natalie Murray bringing the ball on down the right swinging in a cross looping beyond Middleton into the far corner. Plymouth awarded a penalty late in the first half Bleazard seeing her effort saved made amends moments late scoring in injury time to see the sides level at 1-1 at the break. The 2nd half very much end to end as both sides sought to find a winning goal Middleton with a good save to deny West Brom the game heading into extra-time. Jade Arber striking the Plymouth crossbar for West Brom as both sides desperately sought a goal, late heartbreak for Plymouth 5 minutes from a penalty shootout West Brom rattling the crossbar again, Nicole Nymoen sharpest to react onto the ball to score and send West Brom through to the final.

  West Brom now await the result of the other semi-final with Watford Ladies game away to Middlesborough called off due to the weather.

FAWNL South East Division One

A couple of matches falling to the weather too in FAWNL South East Division One both in Essex with the games at Billericay and AFC Basildon Women called off. League leader Ipswich Town Women switching to a different venue early on in the week to ensure their match against Enfield Town Ladies was on. Ipswich’s young side starting on the front foot seeing early chances blocked and held by the goalkeeper Sophy Stonehouse. Ipswich with more chances pressing on a shot sliced over, Stonehouse making a couple more good saves the visitors taking the lead in first half injury time with their first shot on target Tyra Mills finding the back of the net to make it 1-0 with her 5th goal of the season. Very tight in the top half of the table Enfield amongst those fighting for a top 3 finish Ipswich striking the crossbar early in the 2nd half came out firing again chances coming and going Stonehouse with more great saves in goal Enfield getting a 2nd goal with 11 minutes left on the clock Beth Lumsden firing in her 11th goal of the season. Wasn’t to be Ipswich’s day a goal wouldn’t come as they lose for the 2nd time this season to keep the title battle close. Better news despite the result for Ipswich as they see 6 players called up for England’s young lionesses.

Action from Ipswich v Enfield on Sunday (photo credit @MikeyTheTowner)

Leyton Orient WFC another of the sides involved in the battle for a top 3 finish in FAWNL South East Division One were hosting Stevenage FC Women. 5th in the table looking to close the gap to Billericay and Basildon above, Leyton Orient took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes Otesha Charles winning the ball high up the pitch finding Sophie Le Marchand in the box to shoot a score low past the keeper with her 17th goal of the season. An entertaining match both sides creating chances Stevenage captain Amy Makewell firing the visitors level netting for the 14th time this season. The scores level at the break. Ashleigh Deacon firing Stevenage into the lead early in the 2nd period Leyton Orient responding well coming on coming close before Charles brought them back level midway through the 2nd half beating a defender and rounding the keeper to put the ball into the empty net with her 16th goal of the season, the hosts retaking the lead 5 minutes later Danielle Griffiths striking the crossbar from a free-kick, Francesca Ali in on the follow up to score what would prove to be the winning goal 3-2.

A big game for both sides as Cambridge United WFC 3rd from bottom going into the weekend travelled to Kent to play bottom side Kent Football United in FAWNL South East Division One. A season defining period coming up for both sides struggling at the wrong end of the table Cambridge looking to pull away from danger. The visitors getting in front early on Emma Jenkins with the goal to put them 1-0 up. Kent came on well looking for a reply chances coming but none taken as Cambridge worked hard to ensure they kept a clean sheet 1-0 up at the break more of the same in the 2nd period Cambridge coming away with an important 3 points as they begin a run of 4 straight home fixtures 3 against sides around them in the table as they move up 2 places into 8th.

Emma Jenkins with the only goal of the match to win the 3 points for Cambridge United WFC

The Round-Up – FAWNL 23/02/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 23rd February

At last some games played across the country this weekend after the previous weekend’s were disrupted by Storm’s Ciara and Dennis respectfully. Another band of heavy rain threatened this weekend to seeing 11 matches in the East fall by the wayside, several clubs having alternative plans in place in order to get matches played.

FAWNL Plate

Beginning this weekend’s action with the FAWNL, and the quarter final tie in the Plate between Chichester City Ladies and Watford Ladies, postponed twice already the game this Sunday moved to the Front Lawn, Recreation Hub in Havant with a later kick-off of 5:15pm. Watford on the front foot from the start a header put wide inside the opening 5 minutes, at the other end Chichester denied by goalkeeper Nina Wilson. The early pressure from Watford seeing them take the lead in the 9th minute, Emma Beckett scoring as a corner ball falls to her and she strikes home. Captain Helen Ward rounding the keeper to put the ball into the empty net making in 2-0 a minute later. Watford dominant in the first half going further ahead on 25 minutes with Megan Chandler striking the ball from 25 yards out. A 3-0 lead to Watford at half-time. Watford still coming forwards 2nd half Chichester improving chances denied before Danielle Scanlon’s dangerous ball in deceived the keeper to put the visitors 4-0 ahead in the 63rd minute. Watford winning comfortably booking their spot in the last 4 of the Plate competition were they face another long trip this coming weekend in the opposite direction this time up to the North East to played Northern Premier Division side Middlesborough Women for a place in the final itself.

FAWNL Southern Premier Division

Two games falling by the wayside in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division, Oxford United Women’s trip to Gillingham Ladies and more bed news for Portsmouth FC Women with yet another call off just 7 games played in the league so far has been a highly frustrating spell for the club not able to get any momentum going and facing a fixture pile up later on.

Two matches played though in the division on Sunday, Yeovil Town Women hosting 4th placed Plymouth Argyle Ladies. Both goalkeepers called into action early on Yeovil creating good opportunities taking the lead late in the first half captain Annie Heatherson put through on goal to lob the keeper to make it 1-0. A narrow lead at the break Yeovil starting the 2nd half well penning Plymouth back  doubling their lead on the hour top scorer Sarah Wiltshire racing through on goal to lift the ball into the back of the net. Yeovil pressing for a 3rd goal the game heading into the final 5 minutes it finally came Jenna Markham coming on in the 73rd minute to make her first appearance for the senior side poking in the goal to ensure the 3 points. Yeovil up to 5th in the table close the gap to Plymouth to a point. Bunching up at the top of the Southern Premier Division again.

  A clear gap between the top 6 sides in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division and those in the bottom half of the table. Milton Keynes Dons Women moving up to 7th in the table above Gillingham and Portsmouth as they returned to league action this Sunday away to Hounslow Women after 3 successive cup matches. Taking on the 2nd bottom side Milton Keynes bouncing back from last weeks defeat in the FAWNL Cup semi-finals. Leah Littlechild set up by Jade Bell to put the visitors into a 10th minute lead. Jessica Driscoll heading in from a Jade Bell corner to double Milton Keynes lad in the 22nd minute the pair repeated the feat 6 minutes later to put Milton Keynes 3-0 up at half-time. Further chances created in the 2nd half Hounslow managing to keep Milton Keynes from adding to their tally up until the 90th minute, Bell with her fourth assist of the game Mollie Coupar scoring her first senior goal for the club.

FAWNL South East Division One

  A momentous past 7 days for Ipswich Town Women their memorable run in the Women’s FA Cup coming to an end away to FAWSL leaders Manchester City Women on Sunday. A history making run getting through to the 5th Round the 4th tier side suffering a 10-0 defeat a harsh scoreline, little time to dwell upon it however as they were back in action last Wednesday evening back to league action a game of no less importance the East Anglian derby away to Norwich City Women. Leading the FAWNL South East Division One table Ipswich having twice beaten Norwich this season starting well starting well remained dominant through out Norwich put to the sword Ipswich losing 10-0 three days earlier coming back to win 10-0 against their Norfolk rivals. 

Ipswich were at home to Stevenage FC Women this Sunday looking to pull 4 points clear of AFC Wimbledon Ladies at the top of the table. Ipswich starting well taking the lead in the 11th minute captain Amanda Crump threading the ball into the path of Eloise King inside the box the striker jinking and twisting on the ball getting free of the defence to smash the ball high into the back of the net. A 2nd goal coming just 6 minutes later Paige Wakefield smashing the ball in from 20 yards out the keeper parrying it away to the left Amy-Leigh Abrehart coming in on the follow up to fire home. Ipswich 2-0 up at the break creating chances lively. The hosts coming out of the blocks firing in the 2nd half a string of chances, one tipped over the bar, Stevenage blocking a 3rd goal coming on the hour Crump crossing to set up Abrehart once again inside the box her touch taking her inside to strike the ball past the keeper. Defender Lindsey Cooper putting Ipswich 4-0 2 minutes later a corner dropping into her feet inside the six yard box central digging it out to score. Natasha Thomas and Molly Sutherland introduced to the action for Ipswich the former playing in Abrehart her shot striking the post out across goal Sutherland arriving to score her first senior goal. Into the last 5 minutes of the match King with her 2nd of the match making it 6-0. Abrehart heading in from a corner kick in stoppage time to complete her hat-trick and secure a 7-0 win for Ipswich.

Amy-Leigh Abrehart scoring a hat-trick for Ipswich at the weekend (photo credit Ross Media UK)

A good week for AFC Basildon Women the Essex side beating their local rivals Billericay Town Ladies last Sunday to reach the final of this season’s County Cup competition faced them again on Wednesday evening in the league recording a 2nd successive win this time 4-1 with Kelly Wealthall scoring a brace to move up above them into 3rd spot in the FAWNL South East Division One table. Were looking to maintain that position as they hosted bottom side Kent Football United this weekend. Gemma Adela striking from outside the box to put Basildon in front inside the opening 15 minutes. Kent coming on a fairly even match Charlie Bolland with a fine save for Basildon inside the final 5 minutes of the first half, Kelly Wealthall set up by Courtney Clarke to make it 2-0 in the 44th minute a further blow for Kent with Basildon adding a 3rd goal before the half-time whistle Sophie Kelly with the through ball for Holly Turner to score.

Kent with good response at the start of the 2nd half pulling a goal back on 50 minutes. Basildon restoring their 3 goal advantage midway through the 2nd half Turner scoring her 2nd of the game. Kent again coming back to score 4-2 with 20 minutes left on the clock. Basildon coming back to go 5-2 ahead in the 75th minute Cerys Adams beating the offside trap firing in past the keeper. Turner getting her hat-trick in the 81st minute intercepting a back pass and rounding the keeper scoring from a tight angle. 6-2 the final score.

Norwich City Women put to the sword by their East Anglian rivals in midweek a heavy defeat hard to take taking the gloss of the club reaching the final of this season’s Norfolk Women’s County Cup 3 days earlier an 8-1 win against Wroxham. Can only pick yourselves up and move onto the next one a trip down to Essex at the weekend to face Billericay Town Ladies themselves suffering two successive defeats in league and cup to rival AFC Basildon Women. A great start to the game for Norwich taking the lead inside the opening 6 minutes, captain Millie Daviss’ long ball forwards picking out the run of Aimee Durrant central striking the ball well from the top of the area to make it 1-0. The lead however lasting just 3 minutes Billericay with a quick response to level the scores Zoe Rushen left firing a diagonal ball into the area finding Therese Addison racing in at the far post shooting before the keeper can get across to her. Billericay leading just 2 minutes later Addison again on the ball top of the six yard box no opportunity to shoot producing a great back heel to put the ball in across the goal Karissa Rodney running in to slot the ball home. Billericay with further chances to extend their lead denied by some fantastic saves by Norwich goalkeeper, Hope Armstrong.

Billericay leading 2-1 at half-time putting Norwich on the back foot getting bodies forwards, Armstrong called into action again the pressure from the hosts telling on the hour Kerry Stimson away on the left crossing the ball into the box Rodney racing in right side latching onto the ball to net her 2nd of the match. Durrant played in on goal again seeing Billericay goalkeeper Amy Mullet making a good save. Lucy Jones wrapping up a 4-1 win in stoppage time putting the ball in at close range following good build up play on the right.

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Ipswich Town Women

Wednesday 19th February

FAWNL South East Division One

Straight back up the A47 this Wednesday evening to watch Norwich City Women for the 2nd time in 3 days as they host the East Anglian derby agianst Ipswich Town Women.

  Norwich coming into the match fresh from securing their place in this season’s Norfolk Women’s County Cup final beating Wroxham Women with two devastating spells in each half to win 8-1. Back at Plantation Park this evening returning to league action up to 8th in the FAWNL South East Division One table pulling away from the scrap at the bottom of the table looking to end the season on a positive note push on to secure a mid-table finish. Tough going in the league in recent seasons towards the wrong end of the table have a good crop of talented youngsters to complement the senior players within the squad. Chelsea Garrett top scoring in fine form in front of goal this season with 20 goals. Jordan Arnoup resigned by the club last week makes her first start tonight good to see her back playing after a break from the game.

 Ipswich Town Women in action too at the weekend playing the biggest game in the clubs history away to FAWSL leaders Manchester City Women in the Women’s FA Cup reaching the last 16 of the competition the Suffolk side’s magical run brought to an end with a bump by the current FA Cup holders a clinical display seeing Manchester City win 10-0. That result in no way reflecting Ipswich’s season so far rising high at the top of FAWNL South East Division One with just one loss so far this season. The Women’s FA Cup dominating 2020 to date the league title the ultimate goal and with it promotion to the 3rd tier of the women’s football pyramid.

  A strong youth section playing in the FAWSL academy bearing fruit Ipswich’s senior side benefiting with a host of young players stepping up and performing well week in week out. Natasha Thomas leading goalscorer with 23 goals so far this season with captain Amanda Crump with over 200 appearances for the club now on 17 for the season. Haven gotten the better of Norwich twice this season already the East Anglian derby the perfect game for them to get over the weekends loss. A rapidly growing fan base with plenty making the trip this evening.

  Plantation Park the venue for this evenings game under the lights. The ground filing up nicely the main stand along one side of the pitch full. The weather terrible once again rain falling for several hours before kick-off the large pitch showing standing water would make for difficult playing conditions once again heavy going muddy the pitch having seen alot of action. The biggest crowd of the season without a doubt the carpark full a good atmosphere umbrella’s needed for those out of the cover of the stand.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Brooke Osbourne, Lauren Cullum, Jordan Arnoup, Laura Thacker, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss (C), Rosie George, Aimee Durrant, Natasha Snelling & Chelsea Garrett. Subs – Tigi Robson, Sian Douglas, Reeanna Cook, Josie Jarvis & Abbigail Tate.

 Ipswich Town Women starting XI – Lucy Williamson, Eva Hubbard, Ellie Rossiter, Lucy Egan, Paige Peake, Blue Wilson, Amanda Crump (C), Anna Grey, Zoe Cossey, Natasha Thomas & Eloise King. Subs – Nicole Pannifer, Maddie Biggs, Paige Wakefield & Sophie Peskett.

   Norwich wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts to get the game underway kicking-off first half. Ipswich lined up opposite wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. A late change to the starting XI for the visitors with defender Lindsey Cooper pulling up in the warm-up, Lucy Egan starting instead in the heart of the defence. Alot of surface water feet squelching in the mud as players make runs the early exchanges cagey ball forwards on the flanks a sliding tackle mis-timed seeing Ipswich awarded a free-kick out wide in the Norwich half on the left, Paige Peake to play the ball in a dangerous delivery almost catching out Norwich goalkeeper Hope Armstrong. 

  Norwich captain Millie Daviss coming across to slide into the tackle to stop Ipswich’s Zoe Cossey breaking away down the right. Ipswich lively from the off turning play round quickly looking to exploit the width. The hosts pushing up on the left Rosie George pressing the ball high, Ellie Rossiter denying the cross from Ipswich, full back Lauren Cullum up preventing Ipswich from counter attacking puts the ball on for Chelsea Garrett up top 20 yards out turns looking to feed the diagonal pass to Aimee Durrant making a run on the right, Lucy Egan heading clear for Ipswich. Players from both sides moving in quickly to close the ball down playing conditions awful with the rain still falling.

  Anna Grey with a pacey run away on the left side sends the ball into the box, Norwich clear. Up the other end Durrant showing a good turn of pace to as Jodie Drake wins the ball in the middle the ball put on finding Durrant racing on down the wing taking on the full back the angle against her as she delivers the cross into the side netting. Cossey keeping hold of the ball on the right skipping in field lays it into the middle for Blue Wilson who in turn switches play out to the left wing for Grey bursting on cuts inside before blasting a shoot outside the box over the bar. 

  Cullum races on with the ball left linking with George for Norwich the full back continues her run beyond George as she sends the ball on, runs into Rossiter top of the area the Ipswich full back winning the ball back. Laura Thacker stepping out of defence to challenge Natasha Thomas as the Ipswich attacker brings the ball forwards. A rash sliding challenge in the middle sees Wilson upended in the middle and the offender shown a yellow card. Peake on the set-piece her delivery into the box cleared for a throw. Ipswich getting a corner kick the ball cleared inside the area latched onto by Eloise King at the top of the area smashes the loose ball over.

  Thomas gathering the ball into her feet 25 yards out drives towards the Norwich area Thacker in to tackle the ball send wide out for the throw. Cossey dances away on the right wing turning in field sends a low ball towards the top of the area cut out by Thacker. The Norwich defence on the back foot as Ipswich build momentum winning the ball back inside their opponents half and looking sharp with good movement off the ball. Thomas drives forwards with the ball Brooke Osbourne across her to play the ball back for Armstrong to clear. Egan at the back for Ipswich bringing the ball on to halfway her pass finding grey surging on down the left a vicious cross put across the face of goal, Ipswich captain Amanda Crump furthest forwards can’t turn it in. 

 GOAL! 20 minutes gone and Ipswich’s pressure tells as they score the opening goal of the match. The ball fed through to Grey left channel breaks forwards with pace jinking inside pulling the trigger 20 yards out left of the D a powerful low strike Armstrong down can’t keep it out the ball nestling in the bottom corner 0-1.

GOAL! 2 goals in as many minutes for Ipswich as the ball is won back in the middle Wilson out to Grey on the left races away down the line firing in a cross towards the near post met by King her touch sending the rising ball inside the post to make it 0-2.

 The rain at last starting to ease can abandon the umbrella which makes note taking alot easier, just aswell a fast paced game despite the undoubtedly heavy pitch. Ipswich lively showing good energy Norwich on the back foot can’t get hold of the ball not allowed any time in possession. The visitors winning a corner on the right the ball swung into the area cleared by Arnoup. Grey continues to cause havoc on the left her heels clipped a free-kick given along with a yellow card. George looking to get forwards on the left for Norwich Rossiter in to tackle brings the ball on aiming to pitch out Thomas making a run through the middle Norwich intercept. 

GOAL! Half an hour gone and Ipswich’s dominance brings them a third goal Cossey with a mazy run with the ball on the left pushing on towards goal lays it on for King top of the D, meets it perfectly blasting a high shot into the back of the net 0-3.

 All Ipswich, Norwich not yet registering a shot on target Lucy Williamson in the Ipswich goal with very little to do. Norwich get hold of the ball inside the Ipswich half Daviss out to the right a high ball put early into the area headed down by Peake falls straight to the on rushing Garrett 20 yards out blasts over as she strikes the ball on the half volley. 

GOAL! Ipswich break forwards the ball put into the path of King left of the area a strong run forwards carrying the ball on puts the diagonal ball low across the box for Thomas out to the right strikes it back across goal from close range to put Ipswich into a 4 goal lead 0-4.

 Cossey running with the ball at her feet cutting inside shooting from the top of the area Armstrong down well diving at full stretch to push the ball wide behind for a corner. Ipswich with some dangerous deliveries from their corners in swinging towards the near post the ball headed down across goal cleared by Norwich at the back post. 

GOAL! Ipswich cut Norwich open to extend their lead further, players breaking on as Wilson gets hold of the ball into the ball delivers it towards the near post Cossey arriving lifting the ball over the keeper to score 0-5.

  Norwich struggling to get any foothold in the game, with five minutes left in the first half Osbourne makes ground on the right combining with Durrant the ball up the line wins her side a corner players up from the back but the delivery disappointing put behind. Durrant latching onto a loose ball 30 yards out does catch it cleanly frustrated as the ball races wide of goal. Crump and Wilson on top of the game in midfield for Ipswich the ball fed out to Grey bursting on down the left flank her cross flashed along the face of the Norwich goal. 

  Natasha Snelling able to get on in support of Garrett up top in attack for Norwich late in the first half combine well through the middle finding George up on the left her diagonal ball back into the box the flag up before anyone can look to chase it down. Snelling with the pass again giving Garrett a ball to chase up the left, Williamson coming out of her box to win the race clears the ball high into the trees shielding that side of the ground. Off the throw in Cullum drops the ball into Garrett’s feet inside the box she holds off her marker to turn inside and shot the ball dragged wide of the near post.

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-5 Ipswich Town Women

 A dominant first half display from Ipswich sees them with a comfortable 5-0 lead at the break. Have looked the sharper on and off the ball, plenty of energy keeping Norwich off the ball good runs down the flanks from Grey and Cossey keeping the Norwich defence pinned back, Wilson and Crump not letting much through the middle, Garrett leading the attack for Norwich isolated the hosts not settling on the ball at all alot of work still to do if they want to get anything from the game Ipswich will be looking to add to the scoreline.

  A change at the break for Ipswich Grey coming off on the left wing, Sophie Peskett coming on. Ipswich to get the 2nd half underway the rain hopefully stopped for the rest of the evening. The last thing Norwich would want was to concede an early goal 2nd half, very nearly do as a penalty is given away by Arnoup just inside the box as Peskett presses on looking to twist inside. Peake up to take it sets the ball on the spot opts for power he rising shot smashing the underside of the crossbar bouncing down inside the six yard box and scrambled clear by Norwich. 

  Cossey breaking on in attack wide right delivers a cross under challenge from the byline held by Armstrong down low at her near post. Not long after Cossey goes down off the ball play stopped, on field treatment but can’t continue an ankle injury is helped off the pitch on races Maddie Biggs. Norwich making a change too Osbourne coming off replaced by Tigi Robson at the back. The Ipswich substitute straight in to win the ball races on into the box  left side squared into the six yard box intercepted by Thacker behind for a corner.

 GOAL! Peake with another top drawer delivery from a corner inswinging under the bar a glancing header from Egan sending the ball over the line to put Ipswich 6-0 up scoring her first senior goal for the club in the process.

Peskett and Biggs both adding renewed pace and energy to Ipswich who remain charged at the start of the 2nd half not letting their opponents settle on the ball at all. Eva Hubbard closing down Durrant as she receives the slid pass from Drake in the centre. The Ipswich substitutes combine on the left as the visitors turn play around the ball brought on Peskett rolling it on for Biggs taking the ball inside top of the area Arnoup stepping out to prevent the shot Biggs forced to play it back to her midfield. 

Robson rising to intercept as Egan fires the ball forwards aiming to pick out Peskett moving on down the left wing. Durrant offering an option on the right her cross into the box easily cleared by the Ipswich defence. Thomas coming on right side winning Ipswich a corner. The delivery spot on once again in close to the near post congested as players go for the ball an infringement spotted played halted Norwich with the free-kick.

 King comes inside from the left pushing the ball into Peskett top of the area a curling shot looped over as she strikes it first time. Snelling getting on pressuring the Ipswich defence winning a corner kick. The visitors clear and look to break quickly Biggs no at all amused as she is flagged offside. Ipswich as a whole frustrated then as they are on the wrong end of what they feel are some questionable offside decisions with 25 minutes of the 2nd half played.  

 Armstrong racing out of her box to try and clear as Ipswich get away on the right King knocking the ball on past her into the area races after it, Arnoup recovering to get back on her the ball deflected behind for a corner kick. Ipswich making a final change before the corner is taken Paige Wakefield on for Wilson in midfield. A high ball put in towards the near post Armstrong coming through bodies gets a fist on the ball. Norwich with a rare counter attack get on down the right side Durrant’s cross into the box defended at the near post. George seeing the ball into her feet 20 yards out back to goal turns and lays it across the D to Garrett leaning into the shot screws her attempt wide.

GOAL! Ipswich winning a corner on the right side Peake to take her deliveries causing problems all night. The ball looped higher this time evading Armstrong as she jumps to save at the near post falls centrally inside the six yard box smashed home at close range by Egan a 2nd senior goal following hot on the heels of her first 7-0.

Reeanna Cook comes on for Norwich with 20 minutes left to play. 

GOAL! The ball given away in midfield by Norwich Biggs racing onto it speeding on towards the top of the box, King to her right prods the ball into her path and King strikes it low past the keeper to complete her hat-trick 0-8.

The Ipswich fans ecstatic calling for 10, Ipswich showing no let up, Grey and Cossey in the first half, Biggs and Peskett causing as many problems 2nd half. Durrant getting a little joy down the right for Norwich a deep cross landing in the roof of the net the hosts though very much on the back foot.

GOAL! A 9th goal soon added as Peskett brings the ball on from inside her half on the left allowed to go on cuts inside towards the top of the box the Norwich defence standing off her she strikes a fierce ball low across the diving keeper to score 0-9.

 Rossiter has picked up a knock needs to come off for treatment, Ipswich down to 10 temporarily. Norwich with a change bringing off Arnoup for Sian Douglas who scored her first goal for Norwich at the weekend. Durrant gathering the through ball from Snelling 25 yards out pushed on towards the box crowded off the ball by 3 Ipswich defenders. Rossiter back on for the visitors the game moving into the final 10 minutes. 

 A ball over the top for Peskett to go after on the left takes it on into the area looks for options rather than pulling the trigger herself her cross cut out for a corner by Thacker. The initial delivery headed out for a 2nd corner Peake’s 2nd delivery whipping in close again headed off the line by Norwich before being cleared. Peskett skips away on the left taking the ball on flashing a cross in along the six yards box the ball cleared falls to Wakefield who strikes it from 30 yards out a powerful strike smashes against the crossbar. 

  A fantastic cross field pass from left to right setting Durrant away to attack the box the angle against her strikes it early as she is closed down the ball landing in the side netting. Thacker defends for Norwich standing up to Biggs as she carries the ball on the loose ball fired in low Armstrong seeing it late down well to save pushing the ball wide of her goal Robson back to clear. 

GOAL! Into stoppage time and Ipswich get that all important 10th goal as the keeper comes and loses the race for the ball outside the area Thomas sharper taking it past her on the right and sending the ball on the angle into the empty net beyond 0-10. The final action of the game Ipswich with a crushing win against their East Anglian rivals.

Full time Norwich City Women 0-10 Ipswich Town Women 

  A totally dominant display form Ipswich’s youngsters getting into their strike early on the pitch wet and slick not deterring them lively on and off the ball making good runs out wide Wilson and Crump controlling the middle of the park 5-0 up at half-time, adding to their tally 2nd half 10 not the target I am sure but once it became apparent it might be on was a symbolic final scoreline after losing by 10 goals themselves just 3 days before against Norwich the icing on the cake. Can be little complaints from Norwich themselves totally out played on the night after collecting a big win themselves at the weekend. Little you can do but move on and try and put thing’s right next game. Ipswich remain top of the league but are certain to be pushed for the title all the way their young side looking good however. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Picking this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match not an easy task, clearly and Ipswich player but as a unit were impressive a strong togetherness working well on and off the ball. Anna Grey outstanding on the left in the first half opening the scoring. Zoe Cossey lively too. Sophie Peskett coming on 2nd half a constant threat going forwards. Paige Peake’s set-piece deliveries on the money all night. Blue Wilson controlling the midfield. The award nicked though by Eloise King, superb in attack 3 well struck balls to claim a hat-trick.

 Ipswich and Norwich poles apart tonight, may thanks as always for providing me with the team details.

 

The Round-Up – FAWNL 02/02/20

The Round-Up

Sunday 2nd February

FAWNL Southern Premier Division

 On the road this Sunday travelling to play 2nd bottom side Hounslow Women, FAWNL Southern Premier Division leaders, Crawley Wasps Ladies had the opportunity to further extend their lead at the top of the table with 2nd placed Watford Ladies due to play their FAWNL Plate quarter final, in the end one of several ties to fall foul to the weather. An 11th win of the season would see Crawley move 6 points clear at the top. Sian Heather opening the scoring for Crawley in the 12th minute tapping in from close range following goo work from Megan Stow out wide. The visitors denied a 2nd goal moments later. Hounslow battling hard as they fight to pull out of the bottom to with a couple of chances forcing a save from Crawley Wasps goalkeeper, Frankie Gibbs, Crawley themselves seeing the woodwork struck from a corner kick held a narrow 1-0 lead at the break.

 Crawley with a good beginning to the 2nd period doubling their lead 5 minutes after the restart Natasha Stephens squaring the ball for Charlotte Owen to make it 2-0. Kemina Webber introduced to the action in the 55th minute scoring Crawley’s 3rd goal midway through the half getting the final touch from a Rachel Palmer corner. Heather getting her 2nd of the match with 15 minutes to play went on to score a hat-trick with 10 minutes left putting away the rebound after Emma Plewa’s effort was saved. Crawley Wasps winning 5-0 to move 6 points clear at the top of the Southern Premier Division.

 Cardiff City Ladies, 3rd in the Southern Premier Division table made the journey to play Keynsham Town Ladies at the weekend the hosts recently resigning Kerry Bartlett whose goals helped the club to achieve promotion from South West Division One the season before. The visitors going in front in the 17th minute good build up leading to Carrie Jones slotting home to make it 1-0. That the advantage at half-time it was another superb team goal that lead to the visitors doubling their lead midway though the 2nd half Kylie Nolan applying the final touch. Cardiff seeing a penalty saved three minutes later to deny them a 3rd goal. A 2-0 win sees them close the gap to 2nd placed Watford to 3 points albeit having played 2 games more.

Reaching the semi-finals of the FAWNL Plate last weekend, Plymouth Argyle Ladies, returning to the good form shown earlier in the season after a poor run of results in the league, back to back cup wins were at home in the league this weekend taking on Kent side, Gillingham Ladies. Helen Bleazard firing a couple of efforts wide in the early exchanges the hosts winning a penalty in the 17th minute. Captain Katie Middleton putting it away to score her 5th goal of the season and put Plymouth into the lead. Bleazard continuing to test the keeper getting her goal on the half hour an absolute rocket struck in off the post to make it 2-0. That the lead at half-time Plymouth continued to probe for further goals 2nd half. Not all one way traffic Gillingham striking the woodwork from a free-kick Plymouth finishing strong couldn’t add to the scoreline a 2-0 win however seeing them climb back up to 4th in the Southern Premier Division table.

FAWNL Cup

 Milton Keynes Dons Ladies are enjoying another run in the FAWNL Cup competition’s this season. Reaching the semi-finals of the FAWNL Plate last season are into the quarter finals of the Cup itself this season battling their way through earlier rounds twice winning a penalty shoot out were against local rivals Chesham United in the last 8 this weekend meeting them for the 2nd time successive weekend having being them 5-3 last Sunday to reach the Berks and Bucks Women’s County Cup final yet again. Surrendering home advantage to Chesham United on the FAWNL Cup this weekend. The sides pretty evenly matched headed into the half-time interval goalless. Milton Keynes opening the scoring 11 minutes into the 2nd half adding another from a corner in quick succession, Jade Bell and Jessica Driscoll putting them 2-0 up, Chesham pushing for a reply the Milton Keynes defence standing firm keeping them out to reach the semi-final of a national cup for the 2nd successive season.

  Milton Keynes Dons will be at home to Northern Premier Division side Stoke City Women in the last 4 of the FAWNL Cup after they beat Huddersfield Town Women away from home at the weekend the tie to be played Sunday 16th February. Sunderland AFC Ladies also reaching the last 4 of the FAWNL Cup with a 4-0 win at home to Derby County Women. At home to in the semi-finals their opponents will be either Portsmouth FC Women or Southampton FC Women, yet another postponement for Portsmouth at the weekend the pair will play on Wednesday all being well.

FAWNL South East Division One

  An amazing past few days for Ipswich Town Women beating Huddersfield Town Women to reach the last 16 of the Women’s FA Cup last weekend and see them pulled out of the hat to play a dream tie away to holders Manchester City Women. Back to the league this weekend their cup heroics seeing them knocked off the top of the FAWNL South East Division One table by AFC Wimbledon Ladies. A squad full of confidence were back at home to face bottom side Kent Football United. Ipswich winning a corner early in the match the ball fired into the box cleared out to the top of the area straight to midfielder Blue Wilson inside the D sending in a lopping strike over the keeper to make it 1-0 inside 3 minutes scoring her first Ipswich goal in the process. Ipswich dominant creating a host of chances shots blocked on the line the visitors holding Ipswich at bay for half an hour before the lead was doubled Anna Grey cutting inside from the top of the box to send a shot into the far corner. Another goal disallowed for offside Zoe Cossey on hand to score from close range with five minutes of the 1st half remaining. 3-0 up at half-time it didn’t take Ipswich long to get back into their stride at the start of the 2nd half Eloise King on the hour finding the bottom corner to make it 4-0. Kent kept going the end numerous blocks as Ipswich looked to add to their tally but 4-0 it finished Ipswich returning to the top of the league.

  Cup exploits too for Billericay Town Ladies had seen them slip down the South East Division One table, in sixth at the start of the weekend is incredibly close in the top half of the table. Billericay played at The Len Salmon Stadium were hosting 2nd bottom side Cambridge City Ladies. The visitors holding Billericay to a goalless first half. Billericay getting the opening goal of the game in the 2nd period pushing players forwards a high ball into the box cleared low towards the top of the area Lucy Jones alert darting onto it to clip a rising shot into the back of the net. A similar move leading to the 2nd goal another high ball in from the right, not clear Zoe Rushen snapping onto it centrally to send a low shot wide of the keeper to make it 2-0. Billericay moving up 3 places into 3rd in the table off the back of their first league game since mid October plenty of cup matches in that time however.

Lucy Jones with the opening goal for Billericay on Sunday (photo credit Nicky Hayes)

Zoe Rushen on target to make it 2-0 to Billericay (photo credit Nicky Hayes)

 Plenty of goals too in the final game to bring you from the FAWNL this weekend. Both Stevenage FC Women and Norwich City Women keen to add points to the board to pull them away from getting sucked into the bottom two meeting at the weekend in South East Division One. Chelsea Garrett in good form in front of goal for Norwich this season firing the visitors into the lead in the 5th minute, adding a 2nd to make it 2-0 on 17. Gemma Biggadike lobbing the keeper to pull a goal back for Stevenage on the half hour following good work on the ball from Lucy Webster. Aimee Durrant restoring Norwich’s 2 goal lead in the 37th minute 3-1 up Stevenage responding well late in the half Nicole Emmings receiving the ball on half way seeing the keeper off her line trying her luck and scoring to make it 3-2. Erin Pope equalising for Stevenage in the 45th minute rounding a defender and shooting the initial shot saved in on the follow up to make it 3-3.

Norwich City Women’s striker Chelsea Garrett (photo credit Brian Coombes)

 All square at the break  Norwich straight back into the lead at the start of the 2nd half Garrett on target for her hat-trick. Both keepers called into action with fantastic saves Garrett scoring her fourth of the game in the 63rd minute putting Norwich 5-3 up with her 18th of the season. Stevenage pressing for a reply Norwich adding a 6th goal in the closing minutes Jodie Drake getting herself on the scoresheet to see Norwich return to Norfolk with 3 valuable points taking them above Stevenage into 8th.