Sunday 19th August
The new season is here at last and the 2018/19 campaign promises to be an exciting and intriguing one. Can’t wait to get started after having a long and much needed rest over the close season. The action begins with a game from the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) Division One a clash between two newly promoted sides taking the step up from their respective county leagues, St Ives Town Ladies v Lawford Ladies.
A new look to ERWFL Division One this season as it reverts back to a single division, 13 teams contesting for a place in the Premier Division, including 4 new sides. Throws up alot of interesting games over the season, and is an opportunity for players to test themselves at a higher level.
St Ives Town Ladies join the ERWFL fresh from winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership title last season and are joined by runners-up Newmarket Town Ladies. A young side St Ives Town Ladies benefit from a strong pool of footballing talent in the area and along with the first team a development side was formed last season competing in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South.
After losing their opening game last season St Ives Town never looked back, going on to win all but one of their remaining games (that game drawn) to clinch the Premiership title just their 3rd season. Georgia Stancombe top scoring last season with 26 goals from 25 appearances. Manager Darren Marjoram has retained last season’s squad making a handful of new additions, striker Lauren Gibson local to the area played for Cambridge United WFC’s first team in the FAWNL (formerly the FAWPL) last season whilst Caitlin Jarman comes in from Histon’s U17s side. Both start on the bench today. Defender Emily Stephenson previously with Wisbech Town Ladies and Fran Worrall returning to the game after 5 years will also provide competition for places.
Lawford Ladies join the ERWFL from the Essex Women’s Premier Division along with last season’s champion’s Hatfield Peverel Ladies. Finishing 3rd last campaign had a potent attack with Daisy Canny and Jasmine Cox scoring 50 goals between them. Tyler Christou joining midway through last season added a further goal threat. Have retained the services of most of their squad too as they make the step up to regional football, Jessica Collinson is making her come back season after taking a few years break whilst Marta Filip is new to the game.
An earlier start to the season than both teams have previously been used to, the county leagues usually beginning in the 2nd weekend of September. Westwood Road the new home for the St Ives Town Ladies this season sharing the ground with the mens team. A wide pitch has recovered well from the rigours of last season and the heatwave that we enjoyed earlier in the summer. Hot drinks available aswell as a bar. Still benefiting from the hot weather although overcast this afternoon, becoming muggy later on before the sun finally broke through.
St Ives Town Ladies starting XI – Kira Markwell, Stephanie Ransome, Sasha Smith, Ellie Brown, Mollie Flack, Hannah Seymour-Shove, Anna Hicks, Tierney Coulson, Katie Stancombe, Amy Seymour-Shove (C) & Georgia Stancombe. Subs- Caitlin Jarman, Megan Stow & Lauren Gibson.
Lawford Ladies starting XI – Jamie Newsome, Hayley Chapman, Sheena Foley, Tyler Christou, Ella Boyden, Keeley Brickwood, Jessica Collinson, Jade Heath, Daisy Canny (C), Jasmine Cox & Erin Hornby. Subs – Gemma Issacs, Claire Gauntlett & Marta Filip.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
The season begins! Lawford to take the kick-off wearing green coloured shirts with white sleeves, green shorts and socks. St Ives lined up opposite in their home colours black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks. The visitors play the ball out to the left St Ives right back Stephanie Ransome winning the ball.
GOAL! Inside the opening minute the 1st goal is scored St Ives break, captain Amy Seymour-Shove running clear into acres of space on the left the diagonal ball finding her the winger takes the ball on into the area as players from both sides rush back into the area, Seymour-Shove plays the ball a deflection of a defender sees it deflected out of the area straight to Tierney Coulson 20 yards out connects with the ball her dipping strike flashing past goalkeeper Jamie Newstead into the back of the net 1-0.
An early setback for Lawford get on from the restart the ball out to Jasmine Cox on the left head down she takes on the St Ives defence before whipping a cross into the area, Mollie Flack clearing the ball for St Ives. Lawford come on again down the right side this time Daisy Canny sending a ball in towards the top of the area, Ellie Brown winning the ball for St Ives. Canny showing good pace and close ball control drives on down the right tackled by Sasha Smith the ball out for a throw before she can cross.
St Ives are moving the ball quickly Georgia Stancombe leading the line always poised to break in behind, Amy Seymour-Shove finding space on the left as midfielder Anna Hicks brings the ball on with purpose. Keeley Brickwood getting back to tackle Amy Seymour-Shove as she attempts to turn inside into the area for a shot. On the counter attack the ball is played high up to Erin Hornby in attack for Lawford the ball coming to Cox making a far post run her low cross into the six yard box intercepted by Flack.
Hannah Seymour-Shove picking the ball up deep for St Ives finds her sister Amy on the left her short pass in turn through the middle has Georgia Stancombe clear on goal momentarily, Brickwood showing great recovery skills once again gets back to tackle the forward on the edge of the box.
GOAL! 15 minutes in and St Ives go on to double their lead, Lawford losing their shape a little as Anna Hicks comes on through the middle with the ball has Amy Seymour-Shove free ahead of her on the left rolls the ball on for her the winger taking on to the top corner of the area time to set her sights sends a curling effort in towards goal across the face in drop inside the top corner and make it 2-0.
Hicks tries her luck from outside the area as the ball is played into her from a throw in the right, opening up her body for the strike her low effort is straight at Newstead the keeper gathering. St Ives build an attack on the right Katie Stancombe, with Ransome the ball on for Georgia Stancombe drifting across to support drills a shot in from the angle the ball behind at the near post. St Ives are dominating as Lawford struggle to get an attack going Canny running into traffic on the right.
GOAL! Isn’t long before St Ives go 3 up, Georgia Stancombe this time finding room in behind on the left cuts inside into the box evading a challenge getting central strikes the ball from 8 yards out, Newstead do low sharply initially makes a great stop the ball however rebounds straight back to Stancombe and composed the striker lifts the ball over the stranded keeper to score 3-0.
St Ives are on top in the game pressing forwards at will Katie Stancombe on the right with the run forwards her cross squared across the top of the area finds Amy Seymour-Shove position left of the D, sends her shot narrowly wide of the far post. Canny is looking the most likely to get anything going for Lawford up front the ball rolled into her by Jessica Collinson she twists and turns heading towards the St Ives box right of goal finds room for a shot but drags her effort wide off target.
Coulson with a menacing run forwards past two players before trying to set up Amy Seymour-Shove on the left the ball runs out of play. Jade Heath stepping in to challenge Georgia Stancombe breaks up an attack outside the box. St Ives come on down the right Katie Stancombe bursting forwards cuts the pass back for Georgia arriving inside the D her low shot is straight at the keeper.
Sheena Foley with the ball into Heath rolled forwards into Hornby getting an early cross into the box, Cox is making a far post run, Brown cuts the ball out before it can find her. Foley comes back to tackle Hicks as she makes an attacking run through midfield for St Ives. A triple change for the home side, Amy and Hannah Seymour-Shove along with Coulson coming off to be replaced by, Caitlin Jarman, Megan Stow and Lauren Gibson.
GOAL! An inspired change by manager Darren Marjoram (maybe?) well the substitutions make an immediate impact, Hicks on the ball carries it over halfway her pass picking out Jarman breaking away on the right side she fires a cross in towards the near post where Gibson has timed her run perfectly to meet the ball and fire it over the keeper at close range 4-0.
Lawford have struggled to get to grips with the St Ives attackers and the home side are on the attack once again Georgia Stancombe receiving the ball into her body has Hicks making an overlapping run to her left 30 yards out, Tyler Christou, stays with the midfielder making a good challenge inside the box as Brickwood gets back to help her out and clear the ball.
Late into the 1st half and Canny is adjudged to have been brought down as she attacks on the right the free kick 25 yards out Hornby to play the ball into the area aiming far post St Ives put the clearance straight into Collinson positioned at the top of the D, coming at her quickly her reactive strike is placed wide of goal.
Half-time St Ives Town Ladies 4-0 Lawford Ladies
A dominant first half display from St Ives as they begin life in the ERWFL, taking a 1st minute lead have been in full control of the half throughout creating numerous chances and scoring a further 3 goals. Space has been easy to come by Lawford struggling to get to grips have lost their shape on several occasions, need to sharpen up for the 2nd half or risk being over-ridden, a far from ideal start to their season, still 45 minutes to try and put it right.
Lawford make a change at the start of the 2nd half Claire Gauntlett on for Hayley Chapman, goes into central midfield along with Hornby who drops into a deeper role 4 at the back. It’s St Ives to get the 2nd half underway. Canny and Cox operating closer together up top Gauntlett adding strength to the midfield for Lawford attempts to roll Canny in turning inside the Lawford captain is tackled by Brown. The visitors getting at St Ives in midfield early in the 2nd half breaking up play Cox coming back to challenge Hicks for the ball.
Canny wriggling free as she attacks down the left sends a cross into the six yard box, goalkeeper Kira Markwell with little to in the 1st half takes the ball comfortably. Hicks coming on with the ball for St Ives has Jarman in space on her right sends an early cross into the area, Newstead doing well to gather the ball at her near post under challenge from Gibson. Moments later Gibson almost finds the back of the net as she is fed the ball inside the box left of goal squeezing it past the advancing keeper, her defence is back though able to reach the ball and bring it safely away.
GOAL! Lawford pull a goal back early in the 2nd half, breaking from a St Ives set-piece outside their area the ball is played long up to Cox up top, bouncing a tricky one for the St Ives central defence, Markwell comes rushing out to pressure Cox knows she can’t handle the ball her challenge sees the ball deflect away to her right inside the D, Cox is after it and twisting and turning holding the St Ives defenders at bay swings her foot through the ball to send it over the back peddling Markwell into the net beyond 4-1.
Katie Stancombe steals in to win the ball on the left as Lawford attempt to play it out from the back, Christou with a burst of pace getting back at her to make the challenge concedes a corner. Lawford defend have improved 2nd half look more solid. Foley sends the ball on for Heath breaking forwards however Markwell can get to the ball first. A double switch for St Ives Coulson and Hannah Seymour-Shove return to the action in place of Ransome and Georgia Stancombe, this sees Hicks drop into the back line.
Stow wins the ball in the middle brings it forwards looking to get Jarman away, Boyden closes her down to win the ball back for Lawford at left back. Boyden needed again as she makes a vita interception showing good control on the ball as it. Both sides make a change, Marta Filip enters the pitch for Lawford replacing Hornby, Amy Seymour-Shove is back on in place of Gibson. The game a little stretched end to end as Lawford look to see if they can pull another back, possession swinging back and forth Katie Stancombe having come over to the left slices a first time shot wide from the edge of the box.
Cox is fouled as she attacks centrally 25 yards out, takes the free-kick herself lines up a shot a curling effort on target but at a comfortable height never troubling Markwell who sees it early. At the other end Newstead produces a fine save to deny Hannah Seymour-Shove a goal as she sends in a low shot from a Katie Stancombe cross squared in across the top of the box, Newstead diving low to her right to push the ball behind.
GOAL! Both sides are wanting to attack and with the ball lost on halfway Lawford are on the back foot at St Ives break forwards in number, Katie Stancombe with the driving run on the right down the line cuts her cross back towards the top of the area, Hicks his there goes for it, but so to is Hannah Seymour-Shove closing each other down, Seymour-Shove right of the D snatches at her strike sending the ball angling wide across the face of the Lawford goal, is retrieved by Amy Seymour-Shove before it can go out and as Newstead goes to close her down at the far post the St Ives captain lays the ball inside for Coulson running in for the pass to drive the ball into the back of the net for her 2nd of the match 5-1.
GOAL! 5 quickly becomes 6 and it’s Coulson again as she completes her hat-trick, play stretched as Katie Stancombe breaks away clear on the right side sends a vicious cross in low across the six yard box, where Coulson his bursting through centrally to slide in and meet the ball turn it into the goal 6-1.
A blot of Coulson’s day follows soon after as she somewhat clumsily brings down Canny on halfway earning her the first yellow card of the match. Katie Stancombe comes off for St Ives late on Jarman heading back on. Boyden getting a good challenge in to stop Jarman getting in behind as Stow plays her in.
Georgia Stancombe looking to break in behind the Lawford defence is played through by Stow in the middle heading for the box she is brought down by Brickwood the free-kick awarded and a decision to be made by the referee. Far from a goal scoring opportunity with the keeper back on her line a yellow card is shown to the defender. Stancombe over the free-kick driven low into the box blocked the deflection comes straight to Coulson her snap shot fired in low on target is saved superbly by Newstead throwing herself to the right.
Newstead with another top draw save to deny Stancombe again a few minutes later as Coulson slips the ball through to her inside the area, clear of the Lawford defence Newstead gets down to stop her shot finding the back of the net once again.
Full time St Ives Town Ladies 6-1 Lawford Ladies
A fantastic start to the season by St Ives Town Ladies as the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership champions start life in the ERWFL with a convincing 6-1 victory. Scoring in the opening minute went on to dominate the first half leading 4-0 at the break, Lawford improved 2nd half got a goal back but St Ives had energy to burn and Coulson went on to score her hat-trick at make it 6-1. A confidence boosting start to carry into their FA Cup match against Corby Town Ladies next Sunday. A tough opening defeat for Lawford who can’t have too many complaints were pulled apart 1st half much better 2nd half and know they will have to sharpen up if they want to avoid similar results, certainly have the squad to do so.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
So for the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award of the season. The rules are still the same, there can only be one, which makes it very hard to decide sometimes but then I don’t have to make my choice until the match report is complete (although I do sometimes) a few contenders for St Ives today but overall I have picked Katie Stancombe excellent playing out wide be it left or right involved in setting up chances and of course goals.
It feels good to be back the season finally started I really do enjoy writing these match reports and that’s mostly down to the sport I have the privilege of witnessing. I did want to try and write less words but I’ve failed miserably in that regards haven’t I. My thanks to both teams for there help with the team details always appreciated and to St Ives for their generous hospitality, best of luck to both sides for the rest of the season.