Sunday 27th January
ERWFL Division One
Back to the football after having weeks rest, a trip down to Hertfordshire this Sunday to watch a game I’ve had pencilled in the diary for a while from ERWFL Division One, Hertford Town Ladies v Bishops Stortford Ladies.
The Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) having two divisions steps 5 & 6 of the women’s football pyramid. 12 teams contesting the Premier Division, 12 teams contesting Division One, back to a single division this season having been split North & South last season. Started with 13 the league has sadly lost Ipswich Wanderers Ladies due to lack of numbers, sadly a feature that is affecting women’s football across the board right now.
Today’s sides at the wrong end of the table Hertford currently the bottom side, Bishops Stortford 10th. Followed each other into the ERWFL winning the Beds & Herts Women’s Division One title, Hertford in 2015/16, Bishops Stortford the following season. Two sides that rose rapidly through the county leagues have hit the buffers somewhat since joining the ERWFL
Hertford showing signs they are starting to turn the corner, Danny Barley taking over as manager towards the end of last season. Have a new home venue Wodson Park Sports Centre. A multi-sports complex next to Ware FC. Looks a impress partner to become associated with and plans are afoot for Hertford to be renamed in time for the new season. Have a grass pitch surrounded by a running track and access to a 3G pitch too. Had suffered due to lack of numbers have addressed that balance a new crop of players coming in to bolster the squad Rhianna Patmore, Chloe Ring, Georgia Turville, Megan Sende and Dempsey Favell amongst the new arrivals. Got their 1st league point on the board last Sunday a very good result a 1-1 with unbeaten St Ives Town Ladies at home.
Bishops Stortford are struggling for committed players right now and are continuing to fulfil fixtures despite not being able to always field a starting XI, injury adding to that too. Just the 10 last week away to Newmarket Town Ladies, a commendable performance taking the lead but eventually lost 4-1. Together from youth level and successful they rose all the way through the age levels into women’s football, there as can often happen with a youth side climbing into women’s football there are loses to university. Since then Bishops Stortford have struggled to get results 3 points on the board so far.
It’s a windy one and very chilly with it, the hats on for the first time this season and I’ve brought the umbrella but how I’m going to hold it down if it does start raining I don’b know gloomy and overcast. Fingers crossed the rain stays away. The main pitch deemed too wet due to the overnight rain the game to be played the 3G pitch, a good size room for spectators down one side. The Sports Park offering the usual facilities.
Hertford Town Ladies starting XI – Ellie Morris, Zoe Garvey, Megan Sende, Rhianna Patmore, Christie Seakens (C), Lauren Barnard, Georgia Turville, Chloe Ring, Olivia Worsfold, Katie Williams & Donna Watts. Subs – Nicola Davey, Karen Staples, Carly Snell, Dempsey Favell & Clare Pavett.
Bishops Stortford Ladies starting XI – Teigan McHale, Matilda Attridge, Rebecca Bull, Chloe Haken, Samantha McComish, Brogan McHale (C), Heather Martin, Poppy Kelly & Hollie Tate.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
As you can see from above straight away the visitors are at a huge disadvantage, arriving late not much time to prepare have just the 8 to take to the field with one on the way. Hertford with their new additions have twice the number available. The 3G pitch on a elevated position the hollowing wind is assured to play a huge part in the game a to some regards be something of a leveller. Bishops Stortford to get the game underway wearing blue and white vertical striped shirts blue shorts and socks with Hertford lined up opposite wearing sky blue shirts with a navy band across the front, navy shorts and socks.
Bishops Stortford playing into the wind first half, Brogan McHale playing the diagonal ball out to Poppy Kelly attacking right drives at the Hertford defence, Megan Sende standing her ground putting the tackle in at left back. Bishops Stortford quick to close down Matilda Attridge into win the ball onto McHale, a great pass long to the right for Kelly crosses early, won by Rhianna Patmore at the back for Hertford. Kelly lively early on gets her head down prepared to run at players wins a throw in. Play across to the left side the pass inside to McHale given time shapes to shoot 30 yards out the ball wide of the upright.
The wind at Hertford’s back isn’t necessarily helping forwards balls for the attackers running on difficult to chase down aiding the Bishops Stortford defence. Chloe Haken blocking a ball inside box for Bishops Stortford sees Hertford with a corner right side the ball crossed into toward the near post high for Donna Watts to try and bring down and turn and shoot, won’t come down Bishops Stortford see the threat away. Hertford unsure where best to exploit their opponents lack of numbers possession football very difficult with the wind press Bishops Stortford into their own half the 8 doing well enough in the opening exchanges.
Balls that are played in behind would create problems on another day but the wind again makes these balls difficult to run down. Heather Martin coming back to win the ball for Bishops Stortford as Zoe Garvey brings the ball on from the back on the right for Hertford. Hertford come close to opening the scoring the ball fired in low across goal, Teigan McHale wearing the gloves today making a smart save with her leg at the near post of Chloe Ring, the ball loping up comes at Katie Williams quickly gets a touch the ball falling wide of the post.
GOAL! The hosts open the scoring launch an effective counter attack, Lauren Barnard carrying the all on through the middle a threaded ball through to Watts moving right into the area McHale coming out to close the angle the striker shoots McHale saving with her legs going to ground, the rebound coming straight to Ring following Watts into the box from the right sends the ball back in across the empty goal and I think the ball is over the line at the far post even though Williams sliding in makes sure 1-0.
Hertford look to press the advantage Olivia Worsfold puts a low ball in from an the right intercepted by Haken. Ring getting into the area twists and turns wins a corner the ball in from the right cleared out of the box falls to Garvey 25 yards out tries to lift it in over the goalkeeper, drops short into her arms. Worsfold sees a pass wide left into her feet left of the D turns into a shot the low ball running straight to McHale to claim low. A change for Hertford Georgia Turville off on comes Carly Snell.
Bishops Stortford defending for the majority in their own half have the ability to hit on the counter do just that the ball won the pass played early for Kelly bursting away on the right is clear goalkeeper Ellie Morris comes running out of her area to close her down, Kelly gets her shot away beating the keeper the ball heading for the goal beyond strikes the base of the near post. Calls for a foul as McHale is brought down outside the Hertford area, none given Hertford counter, the through ball for Ring clear right side Teigan McHale coming to close the angle Ring shoots the keeper getting her leg in the way of the ball sees it spin away across the face of the six yards box Watts getting a touch the ball spins away from goal wide.
Up the other end Broghan McHale is still down needs treatment, the wind is really hollowing now is bitterly cold. A few strong challenges coming in Kelly bundled off the ball. Hertford attack as Christie Seakins brings the ball forwards Worsfold looking to combine with Watts up top the wind ruining the move. Hollie Tate arrives Bishops Stortford have 9 on the field. A flowing attack from Hertford’s attacks Watts with it right 20 yards out plays it inside for Worsfold inside the D she lets it run on for Williams coming in left side hits a fierce shot in on the angle McHale making a great one handed save to palm the rising ball behind for the corner. Broghan McHale off for repairs has a bloody knee, vaseline applied she’d back on.
GOAL! The lead is doubled, from the set-piece the delivery good from the corner falls to Williams far post shapes to shot is blocked at pointblank range the ball spinning away to the to left hand corner of the area straight to Snell catches it well lashing the ball into the back of the net 2-0.
A committed performance from Bishops Stortford’s 9 players are getting a few knocks for their efforts, Rebecca Bull the latest needing treatment. Hertford are enjoying the majority of the possession but no one is being afforded any time on the ball. Samantha McComish breaking up a Hertford attack. McHale combining with Kelly up front the latter forcing her way through in behind left the ball squared into Haken can’t turn as she is quickly closed down inside the D. Calls for a penalty as Snell appeared to be body checked inside the area but the appeals are waved away.
Half-time Hertford Town Ladies 2-0 Bishops Stortford Ladies
The half-time whistle blows and Hertford head into the changing rooms leading the game 2-0. Not good conditions for playing football the wind playing a huge part, have gotten the goals putting themselves into a good position to build on 2nd half know the wind will be against them 2nd half should see the through balls hold up better. Have the player advantage to which will be a factor as their opponents begin to tire. Bishops Stortford for their part have done very well a shortage of numbers everyone needed to step up to the plate and has, in their own half for much of the game came close to getting a goal themselves, pressed well and wind will be in their favour 2nd half.
Changes at half-time with Nicola Davey and Dempsey Favell on the field for Hertford at the start of the 2nd period the hosts to get us underway. A little lull in the wind but it won’t last long. Bishops Stortford win the ball come away on the left a driving run first by Kelly then picked up by McHale she is dispossessed outside the area the ball though coming to Martin, she has a shot 20 yards out the ball held by Morris in the Hertford goal. Tate is fouled going forwards McHale encouraged to have a go from 30 yards out the ball deflected wide for the corner. The visitors making an encouraging start to the 2nd half.
Hertford build on the right side a Ring pushing on in behind sends a cross in along the face of goal Williams arriving far side heads the ball wide. Favell with a great low ball through for Worsfold to go after bursting into the right channel, McHale comes early racing in intercept just gets there for the attacker, momentum keeps to keeper coming on gets a 2nd blocking tackle in as Ring is right behind Worsfold. The hosts starting to get a hold of the game push Bishops Stortford back into their own half once more. The visitors making she last gasp blocking tackles in and around their area, Bull, Attridge and Haken all called in to action.
GOAL! Hertford extend their lead a goal started ad finished by Worsfold the ball with her left side over halfway combines well with Favell breaking forwards the diagonal ball inside to her feet, Worsfold running on into the box receiving the return ball opens up her body to curl a low shot in McHale gets something in it but Worsfold gets a 2nd bite and makes no mistake 3-0.
Kelly carries a real threat with the ball at her feet for Bishops Stortford attacks right is stopped by Seakens outside her box the ball played on for Favell a flowing attack she turns the ball on into the area for Worsfold peeling into space between the defence shots McHale going to ground making another good save with her legs. Williams comes off for Hertford on come Clare Pavett. The hosts have Bishops Stortford penned into the final 3rd, the wind holding the ball up in the air as Snell lifts in on for Worsfold left side she gets it up across the six yards box Ring racing in sees her shot charged down. Sende with the ball looks to get in past Worsfold on the left Bull sliding in wins the ball. Ring comes off for Hertford on in her place Karen Staples.
Favell plays the ball on for Pavett left side her cross inside to Worsfold central lets it run on for Snell she unleashes a shot 25 yards out, gathered by McHale. The light is starting to fade and the wind is getting stronger, won’t sit on the corner spot for Martin.
GOAL! That though is the cue for someone to hold the ball still for the kick taker as Bishops Stortford are awarded a free kick all of 40 yards from goal the win at her back Bull over it has a go McHale laying beside the ball an outstretched finger holding it still, works as Bull catches it well the shot on target looping up and with the wind adding to the pace is over Morris before she can adjust 3-1.
Hertford continue to push players on Staples drifting out to the right sends in a cross/shot from the angle looping down at the near post a difficult on for McHale to deal with gets a glove to it turning it behind for the corner. The corner headed over by Davey. Into the last 10 minutes Bishops Stortford get some joy wide right winning a corner a great ball in across the six yard box by Martin isn’t attacked.
Broghan McHale onto a loose kick out from the keeper sends a shot back in low left of the D, Morris setting herself has it covered. A free-kick wide on the right for Hertford the ball driven into the area with pace Favell gets a bullet header on it central, Teigan McHale with a fantastic one handed save especially as her body shape is taking her the wrong way.
GOAL! Space opening up late in the game the light fading fast Hertford attack right Davey on for Favell, good hold up play 20 yards out turns her marker to get inside drives a cross into Staples in space to the right of goal, she smashes a shot in towards goal defenders racing across to block it takes a nick and that carries it past the keeper and in 4-1.
Not long left Hertford finish strong Favell on for Snell right side shoots from the angle the ball skipping up of the surface claimed by the keeper.
Full time Hertford Town Ladies 4-1 Bishops Stortford Ladies
4-1 to Hertford Town Ladies they win their first league game of the season 4 points from the last two games taking them off the bottom of the table. A promising start to 2019 as they look to rebuild and become a force in the league. Exceptionally difficult conditions today the wind just meant there was no opportunity to get the ball down and play which would have tired their opponents out quicker, always hard to against a side without 11 on the field they will work all the harder simply because they know the have to. Patience usually paying off though.
Full credit to Bishops Stortford a great effort from start to finish, 4-1 perhaps a little harsh one them, to start with 8 and keep their opponents from scoring a hat full of goals. The wind in their case suited them today the ball not going to stick to anyone. Great commitment shown and I’ve heard nothing but praise before seeing it for myself. If they can just get a few more committed to the cause they have got a fantastic core of talent to build with.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A tough day for playing football no doubt that wind just awful. Credit to Bishops Stortford for the work rate through out the side. For Hertford Carly Snell made a impact upon coming on scoring the 2nd goal, Dempsey Favell too influential in the 2nd half finding pockets of space bringing others into play. Today’s award however goes to Olivia Worsfold, her link up play excellent and always looking for opportunities up front for herself and others, the wind in her favour 2nd half she got herself into some good attacking positions and scored too.
Good job I love what I do, it was bitterly cold out there today that wind simply the worst cut right through you, glad to be in the warm this evening. Enjoyed it though I can never predict what I’m going to get and glad I don’t. My thanks to both sides for their help with the teams today much appreciated.