Tag Archives: Luton Town Ladies

Match Report – Norwich City Ladies v Luton Town Ladies

Sunday 20th May

 It’s the final day of the FAWPL season, ending it with a trip to Plantation Park to watch Norwich City Ladies up against Luton Town Ladies in South East Division One.

  The last season in fact for the FAWPL with the women’s football pyramid being restructured from next season it will become known as the Women’s National League and there will be some restructuring amongst the teams that compete in those league too.

  Neither of today’s sides can improve on their final placing Norwich City Ladies will finish 2nd bottom in the FAWPL South East Division One table. Have unfortunately been struggling at the wrong end of the table for a few season’s now. Change potentially around the corner. Chairman and General Manager Mel Swift bringing in Grant Palmer to join the club as first team manager assisted by Carla Dickinson, following a successful spell developing and winning titles with Harlow Town Ladies. Since arriving in January results have started to pick up without necessarily picking up the points. Relegation a possibility will come down to the restructuring of the league and at present not known. 

  Luton Town Ladies are currently 5th in the FAWPL South East Division One can’t finish any higher although they can be caught by 6th placed Stevenage Ladies who are just a point behind ending their campaign away to Denham United Ladies. Have been a regular in the top half of the table over recent season’s finishing 4th, 4th, and then 5th last season in the league. Have brought a number of youth players up through the club to make the 1st team squad this season. Were in action in midweek at home to Cambridge United WFC coming back from a goal down twice to secure a point in a 3-3 draw.

 Plantation Park the venue home of Norwich United FC and Norwich City Ladies. A warm sunny May afternoon to end the season the pitch looking in reasonably good shape after seeing alot of football played upon it. Dry however and fairly hard underfoot. Offers plenty of width to. Campers behind the goals getting a ring side seat of the action.

 Norwich City Ladies starting XI – Eilish Brogan, Luka Goodfield, Vivian Moyo, Sasha Diston, Emily Moerkerk (C), Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss, Aimee Durrant, Summer Ward, Brooke Osborne & Chelsea Garrett. Subs – Hayley Turner, Natasha Snelling, Eliza McDonald, Paige Shorten & Laura Thacker.

 Luton Town Ladies starting XI – Grace Brooks, Rachel Kosky, Lucy Webster, Rachel Carter, Lucy Tape, Lisa Dixon, Zara Carroll (C), Dionne Manning, Jess McKay, Funmi Babalola & Nicola Henman. Subs – Natasha Fensome & Erica Bryon.

It’s Luton to kick off the match wearing orange shirts and socks with navy coloured shorts. Norwich lined up opposite in their yellow and green kit. A quiet opening to the game Luton putting the ball out to the right Norwich winning the throw in concede a free-kick on halfway, to the right the ball flighted in towards the off of the area the Norwich defence deals with it and sending the ball out to the right wing set up a counter attack Brooke Osborne travelling with the ball up the wing sending a cross in across the six yard box the ball dipping as it arrives at the far post so to is Norwich’s Aimee Durrant her touch flicking the ball up over the bar.

Millie Daviss bringing the ball on for Norwich City Ladies

   Luton play the ball up to Nicola Henman in attack holding it up plays the ball back to Lisa Dixon rolled into Zara Carroll the Luton captain attempts to play the ball over the top for Henman to run onto, too much weight on the pass runs out for a goal kick. Norwich captain, Emily Moerkerk plays the ball into Summer Ward moving away to the right, Lucy Webster in to tackle the ball out for a throw, high up the pitch Norwich get players forwards the ball into the area cut out by Lucy Tape for Luton, launch a rapid counter through the middle the ball fed through to Funmi Babalola into the left channel gets a shot away from outside the box her low effort running narrowly wide of the near post.

   Millie Daviss brings the ball on over halfway for Norwich central on to Chelsea Garrett her back to goal spins the ball away to her right Ward taking it on down the left as Durrant makes a central run into the box the cross squared into her run she shot is placed wide across the face of goal. Norwich build another attack the ball played out to Garrett peeling out to the right wing up the line cuts her cross back towards the top of the area, Carroll getting her foot around it to clear for Luton the clearance runs straight to Norwich’s Jodie Drake 30 yards out takes on the shot the ball skimming in towards goal, Luton goalkeeper Grace Brooks diving to her right claims it. 

Norwich City Ladies, Jodie Drake

  Risky from Norwich goalkeeper Eilish Brogan as she comes racing out of her box to close down Henman as she is put through on goal, does well however controlling the bouncing ball with her chest to take it away from the attacker before kicking it up field. A good tempo to the game certainly doesn’t have that end of a long season feel to it.

  Henman is causing the Norwich defence problems early on timing her runs well playing off the shoulder of the last defender, gets away on the left channel in front of goal, Sasha Diston doing well for Norwich recovering the ground lunging in to take the ball away from Henman out for the corner kick. A good delivery into the area from the left the inswinging ball take well by Brogan as she jumps for the ball with Henman coming in on her. 

Eilish Brogan claims the ball for Norwich City Ladies

 Drake with a good pass out to the right to pick out Osborne the Norwich winger taking it on evades a tackle getting in behind to send a cross in along the edge of the box Garrett meeting it far side sends her shot wide of goal. 

GOAL! Luton open the scoring and it’s Henman who gets the goal, a handful for the Norwich defence to deal with the ball played up towards her 25/30 yards from goal to the right sends a chipped effort up high into the air looping over Brogan the keeper caught off her line can’t get back as it falls into the back of the net 0-1.

Nicola Henman opens the scoring for Luton Town Ladies

GOAL! Straight away from the restart however Norwich get the ball up the other end and level the scores the ball lifted up towards the box bouncing as Brooks comes out towards the edge of her area, Garrett in behind challenging the keeper for the ball knocks it past her and taking it away to the right of goal gets her foot up over it to turn it back across the line to score, almost tumbles head over heels over the barrier behind the goal in the process 1-1.

The moment Chelsea Garrett gets past Luton goalkeeper Grace Brooks to equalise for Norwich City Ladies

  Brooks required treatment after the goal is okay to continue. Carroll playing the diagonal pass out to Jess McKay on the left she looks to cut inside is tackled by Norwich’s Luka Goodfield, Diston clearing the loose ball.

Norwich City Ladies, Luka Goodfield

GOAL! The goals keep coming a 3rd scored in as many minutes and it’s Luton who once again take the lead. Norwich are caught in possession high up the pitch as Luton press the ball, Henman stealing the ball on the right 25 yards out shifting it inside, players drawn across she sends the low cross in across the area McKay free at the far post 10 yards out opens up her body to divert the ball past Brogan to score 1-2. 18 minutes played.

Jess McKay score for Luton Town Ladies to restore their lead

A change for Norwich, Goodfield coming off on comes Laura Thacker. Henman strong on the ball threatens to get in behind once more, Diston doing well to get across her and play the ball back to Brogan to clear inside the box. McKay and Henman combine in attack on the left a give and go between the pair McKay coming infield lines up a shot from distance the ball screwing away from goal. Luton coming forwards with purpose looking to spread the play across the pitch inside the Norwich half. 

McKay into the box a similar position to which she scored the ball in from the right dropping the attacker striking it first time the shot spun wide of goal. Dixon winning the ball in the middle for Luton inside to Carroll her pass out to McKay away on he left crosses into the area Henman goes for it Diston challenging the Luton attacker getting a glancing header on the ball places it wide at the far post. Luton on top pushing forwards.

Norwich City Ladies, Sasha Diston

  Henman continues to hassle the Norwich defence supported by McKay on the right. Thacker with good defensive work for Norwich to get the ball back to her keeper. Babalola with support from Dionne Manning on the right the ball crossed in towards the top of the area headed on by the Norwich out to the left retrieved by McKay who sends a high ball into the box, Brogan taking it well as she falls forwards. Babalola steals in on the ball taking it off the Norwich defence playing it through for Henman she is flagged offside. 

GOAL! McKay is fouled in a central position 30 yards from goal, Luton send players forwards as Carroll places the ball. She goes for goal strikes the ball well, arrowing in towards the top corner Brogan flings herself at it in vain as it smashes down against the crossbar and down, scrambled away the officials though signal a goal scored and Luton extend their lead 1-3.

Zara Carroll’s free-kick smashing down off the crossbar

Luton Town Ladies captain, Zara Carroll

Luton with a throw in on the left inside the Norwich half Dixon making the run in behind takes the ball to the byline before sending in a cross bouncing across the face of goal cleared at the far post. Luton pressing the ball well, McKay always ready to break in behind whenever the ball is played up to Henman. Henman herself charges down a clearance from Brogan top of the area, aims to get the loose ball turned in on goal, Brogan recovering well back pedalling is right behind the strike. 

  Late into the 1st half the ball with Norwich on the left a foul committed inside the Luton half a chance to send players forwards towards the top of the box, a good delivery into the area bouncing near post, Daviss getting in front of Tape, almost gets on the end of it, Brooks palming it away to her right.

Half-time Norwich City Ladies 1-3 Luton Town Ladies

  A strong first half performance from Luton after an initially flurry of goals taking the lead then conceding straight away, only to score again taking the lead again and dominating from that point on. Henman and McKay causing all sorts of problems for the Norwich defence as they pressed the ball high. Good movement on and off the ball supported by the midfield. Norwich with a couple of great chances themselves in the opening minutes of the match. After conceding the 2nd goal struggled to get the ball out caught in possession created a few of their own problems. Luton on course to secure 5th spot in the table.

Nicola Henman on the attack for Luton Town Ladies.

 Norwich to get the 2nd half underway. Drake has the ball in the middle wide to Ward out left taking the ball on sends a cross into the box Durrant with the run gets her head on the ball put straight at Brooks the keeper holding onto the ball. McKay getting forwards with the ball sends a cross into Henman positioned outside the box, Diston closing her down preventing her from attempting the lob. Thacker with a vital interception at the back as Dixon looks to play the ball on through the middle. 

Jodie Drake clearing the ball

  Norwich starting the 2nd half better getting forwards Osborne seeing a cross go behind for a goal kick on the right. Carroll carrying the ball on over the halfway line for Luton picks out Manning on the right with the pass as she makes a break forwards cutting inside towards the top of the box sends a low shot in towards goal, Brogan getting down gathers the ball into her body. 

Luton Town Ladies, Funmi Babalola

  Diston slides in on the hard ground to try and take the ball away from Babalola as she makes a run on the right 20 yards out, the defender is hurt making the challenge Babalola retrieves the ball on the byline sends a high ball in across the face of Brogan’s goal the keeper doing well under challenge to get up and claim the ball. Norwich temporarily down to 10 whilst Diston receives treatment Luton press on in attack the ball played into the top of the area cleared back to Webster having gotten forwards the full back slices a 25 attempt well off target.

  Diston comes back on but she is unable to continue, the substitution made on comes midfielder Paige Shorten. The tempo remains high Norwich gaining confidence, Shorten not afraid to strike the ball from distance central has a pop at goal from 30 yards out the ball dropping wide of the right post. Ward cutting inside with the ball on the left on to Shorten she dinks the ball over the top of the Luton defence for Durrant to chase, Brooks can reach it first. 

Luton come close to extending their lead Manning getting hold of the ball on the right turning in behind to sends a low cross in towards the near post Babalola arriving meets it first time drills the ball narrowly wide. A third change for Norwich, Drake comes off as Natasha Snelling in brought on to support Garrett in attack. A corner for Norwich on the right taken short the ball crossed into the six yard box, Brooks can catch unchallenged. 

Luton Town Ladies, Dionne Manning

  A powerful run by Henman driving on with the ball up towards the top of the box evades a tackle knocking the ball on into the area fires a cross diagonally across goal from the right. Babalola racing in far post can’t get to the ball as it runs out of play. A throw for Norwich on the left the ball inside to Snelling pushed on for Garrett to attack arriving top corner of the Luton area lets fly with a shot the ball angling in near post Brooks saves well beating the ball away to her right. 

Norwich City Ladies, Natasha Snelling

Norwich pressing for a goal risk getting caught on the counter attack Luton timing their attacks the ball played up to McKay clear on the left drives for the box inside Brogan does well to save sliding in at her feet to deny the attacker a shot. End to end Norwich attack coming right side the ball played into the area loops up and on towards Garrett peeling in behind at the far post shapes to shoot deceiving Brooks who dives to her right the ball instead prodded square to her left the keeper reacts brilliantly throwing out her trailing leg to stop the ball getting past her out for the corner. 

  Norwich are pressing on looking for a goal Ward on the left inside for Shorten good hold up play by the midfielder outside the area left corner turns inside well lifting the ball over the defence into the box Snelling stretching for it sends her shot over the bar, had it been on target wouldn’t have counted as she was offside. Norwich looking strong Luton soaking up the pressure.

GOAL! That pressure increases however as Norwich get the goal they have been pressing for, Snelling with the ball on for Daviss moving left on for Garrett out on the wing she takes the ball on down the line cutting inside to the byline getting in behind and from the angle drills in a shot towards the near post Brooks diving for it can’t get there the ball finds the back of the net 2-3 will a little under 10 minutes left to play.

Chelsea Garrett score a 2nd goal for the game for Norwich City Ladies

 Manning looks to get forwards for Luton as Carter wins the ball at the back for Luton on to Carroll out to the right Manning pushing on Moyo getting back with her tackles her to regain possession for Norwich. Tape getting her head on the ball to clear for Luton as Ward plays a ball in from the left. Shorten is brought down by Carroll in the middle top of the circle, Durrant over the ball a great delivery in Brooks takes it well high on her goal line. 

Not long left in the match Norwich have a corner everyone goes up including the keeper, the ball from the right goes long headed back across goal in towards the right post, Carter on her line to defend for Luton heading the ball away from danger. Luton have players back defending late on Carroll winning the ball gets it up to Babalola, possession lost Norwich push late on but can’t final a clinical final ball as Luton defend their lead and claim the 3 points on the final day and with it secure 5th place in the FAWPL South East Division One table.

Full time  Norwich City Ladies 2-3 Luton Town Ladies

  A competitive game to end the season for both sides gave it there all, Luton by far the better the 1st half taking a 3-1 lead. Sat back more in the 2nd half ready to launch a counter attack when on e presented itself Norwich improving 2nd half getting hold of the ball higher up the pitch and gaining confidence as a result creating chances pulling a goal back late in the 2nd half proved too little too late but a positive 2nd half to end their campaign. 5th place for Luton 4 seasons in a row now. Norwich 2nd bottom play the waiting game now to see whether they stay in the Division or drop down. An improved 2nd half of the season lots of positives to build on for next season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   This afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award goes to Luton Town Ladies, Nicola Henman proved a real handful for the Norwich defence especially in the first half playing off the last defender moving left and right to receive the ball supported well by McKay scoring the opening goal and setting up the 2nd.

My thanks to both clubs for their help today always appreciated.

 

Match Report – Luton Town Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

 Latest match report on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog, from Sun 3rd April

Match Report – Luton Town Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

   Sunday’s women’s football action comes from the Stockwood Park Athletics Stadium a match in the FAWPL South East Division One with Luton Town Ladies hosting Cambridge United WFC.

  A clash between 4th and 5th in the FAWPL South East Division One table, both clubs enjoying a good league campaign. Luton Town Ladies got off to a flyer unbeaten in their opening 6 league fixtures and were in amongst the top 3 for a good part of the season have fallen out of the race for the title in recent weeks losing crucial games against the sides battling for promotion. Finished 4th last season on 27 points, have gathered 31 points so far this season and with 4 games left will want to push on. Made probably the best signing in the league at the start of the season bringing in Natasha Fensome from local rivals Bedford Ladies. Was one of the best players in the league during the 2014/15 season, a talent that wouldn’t look out of place in the FAWSL, a goal scoring midfielder/attacker has scored 22 goals in all competitions for Luton Town Ladies so far this season.

  Totally the opposite start to the season for Cambridge United WFC, got off to a poor start failing to win any of their opening 8 league matches, the turn around came in October holding league leaders Crystal Palace Ladies to a draw the club then went on a unbeaten 8 match run that included 6 wins to propel them up the league table, smashing their previous seasons 20 point tally along the way, up to 3rd at one point had played more than others around them that has seen them drop to 5th place as games are caught up. On 29 points with 4 games to go will be looking to finish in 4th place too.

  Both Luton Town Ladies and Cambridge United WFC have reached the finals of their respective County Cup competitions.

  The venue for today’s match the Stockwood Park Athletics Stadium situated on the Stoockwood County Park in Luton a multi-purpose facility a large open green space very busy on what was a bright and sunny start to April, 3rd time lucky at reaching the venue bad weather saw the fixture postponed earlier in the year and last season traffic stopped me on the A1 and had to divert but still managed to watch Sandy Ladies in action instead. Here at last the football pitch as you can imagine is in the centre of a running track, seating over looking one side the clubhouse in the corner, under the flight path of Luton Airport planes coming and going overhead. 

  Luton Town Ladies starting XI – Hollie Staples, Rachel Carter, Jessica McKay, Rachel Kosky, Michelle Byrne, Shannon Pratt, Nicola Henman, Zara Carroll, Shanice Jiminez (C), Natasha Fensome & Joanne Rutherford.
  subs – Erica Byron, Kezia Hassell, Samiara Khan, Tamera Bayne & Abbie Luby.

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Tafadzwa Mhunduru, Emma Jenkins, Lucy Du Plooy, Laura Bright (C), Kayleigh Anne Burt, Tahnee Perfect, Hannah Goodchild, Laura Mills, Becky Taylor, Laura Baker & Paige Logie.
  subs – Carrie Bennett, Faith Hewitt & Isabella Simmons.

   It’s Luton to get the 1st half under way wearing orange shirts and socks with navy shorts. Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and amber socks. 1st team goalkeeper Verity Crook was unavailable which gave Cambridge’s Reserve side goalkeeper, Tafadzwa Mhunduru a chance to start between the sticks.

  The ball goes out for a Cambridge throw early on, taken on their right the ball is played into Hannah Goodchild in the centre then sent on to Laura Baker, she looks to play the ball into the Luton area with Laura Mills making the run on the right wing, the pass a little heavy gives Luton goalkeeper, Hollie Staples an early touch of the ball.Cambridge come again as Tahnee Perfect tackles to win the ball back in the centre of midfield sends the ball out to Mills on the right, takes the ball on into the corner looking for room to cross, doesn’t get it as Luton left back Jessica McKay stays on her challenges and puts the ball out for a throw.

Coming down the other end Luton win themselves an free kick out on the right 22 yards out, have their captain Shanice Jiminez over the ball, sweeps it in along the face of the area, Rachel Kosky up from the back can’t quite get control of the ball to turn it back into the box, is knocked on for Natasha Fensome on the far side of the area, takes the ball into the area looking for a way round Cambridge right back Emma Jenkins, can’t find room the ball running out for a goal kick.

  Luton get the ball back in midfield play the pass out to Fensome on halfway looks to take on Jenkins, Laura Bright, Cambridge’s captain comes across to help the ball is put out for a corner kick. Played in from the left is a high delivery in swinging towards the far post, Cambridge goalkeeper, Mhunduru goes up for it doesn’t make contact drops down far post the pace takes it out far side before anyone can connect to turn in. McKay wins the ball back from Mills an sets up a rapid counter attack for Luton putting Fensome in down the left, travelling with the ball goes for the early strike long way out sending the ball across goal, Mhunduru dives however the shot is off target going out the far side. A few over zealous tackles are coming in the referee content for now to have a word.

Free kick for Cambridge on halfway, Bright over the ball, Lucy Du Plooy, Cambridge’s left back makes a run up the left side as Bright plays it long to Becky Taylor attacking from that side wins the header, knocks it down for Du Plooy then peels off the Luton defence to get in behind, gets the ball back and flashes a cross along the Luton six yard box, spinning out of play before anyone can arrive to send it in.

  Luton are putting pressure on the Cambridge back line whenever they have the ball their forwards, Fensome left, Jiminez right and Joanne Rutherford through the centre closing the ball down and forcing the error to regain possession, but as yet neither goalkeeper has been forced into making a save. Jiminez slices a shot well wide as she latches onto a header from Kayleigh Anne Burt at the back. Throw for Cambridge on half way the ball put into Perfect onto Taylor left plays it central into Baker up to Paige Logie who holds the ball up long enough for Taylor to make a run to get into the area, tries to play her in, Staples has sharp to it and 1st to the ball. 

Luton’s Zara Carroll with Cambridge’s Tahnee Perfect

Another rapid counter attack Luton work the ball down the other end of the pitch with speed, Zara Carroll onto Jiminez on the right, plays in the early cross sending the ball long to the far post with Fensome having covered alot of ground to get there turns the ball on target dropping inside the post, Mhunduru dives to her right and turns the ball around for a corner kick. Cambridge deal with the initial corner send the ball up to halfway.

   GOAL! No sooner have Cambridge got the ball away from their box from the corner Luton get hold of the ball and sending it back out to the left win themselves another corner. A great delivery swept in across the face of the goal is turned goalwards at the far post headed back in at close range the Cambridge defender covering the post blocks the effort but falling as they do so can’t stop the rebound as it is ends up in the back of the net, Nicola Henman with the headed ball at the far post claims the goal as Luton take the lead 1-0.

  Chance for Cambridge to get straight back on level terms, Perfect playing a great crossfield pass out to Mills on the right gives her a chance to get behind McKay who has offered her little opportunity so far in the match, a good cross fired along the six yard line Logie is there well placed in the centre of goal looks to get her head on the ball turn it wide of Staples, sends it wide at the far post too. Players square up to each other on the far side of the pitch as another strong challenge goes unpunished.

Pressing with the ball in the Luton half, Mills lays the ball into Baker on the right side of the area, she is closed down by  Rachel Carter, the central defender bringing the ball out and setting up a counter attack passing to Shannon Pratt, she has Fensome ahead of her coming inside, given the ball she is allowed to travel along way with the ball, has the option to shoot, instead looks for Rutherford peeling away on the left side of the area tries to pick her out, has strayed half a yard offside.

   GOAL! Another free kick is given away in the middle as Henman fouls Perfect on halfway. Bright delivers the ball long up the right channel looking for Taylor who is peeling round the defence the ball squeezes through players to get to her in behind tries to cross the ball is deflected behind for a corner kick. Mills to take from the left is a fantastic delivery in swinging towards the middle of goal high, Staples goes up for it gets a finger tips to it, not enough as it drops down at the far post where Bright is arriving to bundle the ball over the line get Cambridge back on level terms 1-1.

Michelle Byrne on the ball for Luton Town Ladies


 Michelle Byrne hasn’t had too many opportunities to break from right back for Luton in the game, bringing the ball on over halfway delivers a high ball into the box with both Rutherford and Fensome charging forwards to get into the area, going long Fensome goes up with Bright as both look to get there head on the ball hits one or the others shoulder drops down inside the six yard box, Rutherford gets a foot to the ball trying to get around Burt, can’t get a meaningful touch the ball is gathered by Mhunduru. 

Half-time Luton Town Ladies 1-1 Cambridge United WFC

    Been a lively 1st half, play disrupted by a number of free kick, some robust challenges from Luton in particular but as yet the referee has been happy to keep his cards in his pocket. Luton have pressed the ball well and defending deep, Cambridge have found little opportunity to get in round the back. The full backs on both side having a busy game but for the large part winning the battle.
  Cambridge to kick off the 2nd half. Look for Mills wide right straight from kick off the ball runs long out for a goal kick. Luton play the ball out from the back, McKay sends the ball up the left for Fensome ahead of her, squares the ball early across the face of the area, catches Rutherford by surprise, improvises trying to side foot the ball on into the area, runs out of play on the right for a goal kick. Attacking down the right, Jiminez wins Luton a corner kick. The ball is delivered towards the near post area, Henman goes up for it getting her head on the ball lifts the shot over the crossbar. Fensome has taken up a higher attacking position joining Rutherford up top early in the 2nd half.
Luton Town Ladies, Jessica McKay
  Byrne on the right comes again for Luton up the pitch comes inside plays the ball on to Henman in the centre of the Cambridge half, looks to play the pass into Rutherford ahead of her back to goal, outside the area the striker is looking to hook the ball on into the area send it to her left, Bright is positioned well behind her to intercept the ball play it out into Goodchild to send long for Taylor on the left. Puts the cross into the area near side for Logie, good turn from the striker to deceive her marker, looks to play in Baker free on the edge of the area, the pass is short gives Carter a chance to get her foot on the ball 1st. 

   GOAL! Busy in the midfield, Henman gets hold of the ball bringing in on plays the pass out wide right to Jiminez, she looks to play the early cross in towards the face of the Cambridge area Rutherford and Fensome are inside the D, Rutherford plays a good dummy ducking under the ball letting it fall to Fensome beyond, the no 10 takes the ball on into the area, Jenkins is with her does her best to force her wide of goal as she takes the ball out to the right the angle against her Fensome still manages to get the shot away cutting the ball back across goal, going down Mhunduru gets a glove to the ball but isn’t enough to stop it rolling over the line2-1 Luton retake the lead.

Natasha Fensome with the goal
to put Luton 2-1 up

Free kick for Cambridge wide right, Baker to take 20 yards out, sends it into the area with good height and pace, it’s Carter who rises highest to head the ball clear for Luton. Cambridge make a change bringing off Perfect, sending on Isabella Simmons to join the attack.

   Mass brawl! It had been bubbling up the tackles hadn’t been stamped on by the referee players have been snapping at each other it boils over in the middle, Baker and Pratt go for each other pushing, then everyone else rushes in, ugly scenes totally unnecessary don’t want to see it. Goodchild joins in is shoved to the ground by Carroll, Bright ends up on the ground too, everyone’s there takes the referee a minute to sort it out, going to be repercussions as he talks to his officials, case of what stood out in the melee. Carroll and Goodchild are called over the latter receiving a yellow card, Carroll is shown a straight red as Luton are reduced to 10. Tensions are high all over the park.

  Back to the football. Jiminez goes down in the middle looked innocuous but she appears to be in some discomfort and needs to come off. Luton make the change sending on Erica Byron. Shouts for a penalty from Cambridge as Mills plays a long pass down the centre of the pitch for Logie whose touch places the ball out wide right for Simmons to attack entering the area Carter lunges for the ball, Simmons goes over the ball travels out to Byrne further right, Carter having gotten to it 1st. Byrne clears the ball up the line, Cambridge win it back send it long again Carter needs to keep watch for Simmons closing in Staples as she sets herself to claim the falling ball inside her box. Cambridge bring on Faith Hewitt for Goodchild the move seeing Logie drop into a deeper role.

   Jenkins looks to play the ball across the park pick out Taylor on the far side the ball is intercepted by Luton but knocked down into the path of Baker 25 yards out, looks to lob the ball high into the area, ends up lobbing it over. Cambridge build another attack down the right side Jenkins bringing it on passes into Simmons on the centre sends the ball out to Mills on the wing and turns to head in towards the area. Mills holding the ball up on the wing has Jenkins up with her 20 yards out gets the ball back turns and rolls it into Simmons ahead of her, takes on the shot inside the D with the outside of her boot sending it in on target, Staples is well placed to make the save.

Cambridge United WFC right back, Emma Jenkins

Less than 10 minutes left Cambridge are pushing forwards a free kick on the right put into the area by Baker, once again it’s one of the 2 Luton centre backs who get’s their head to the ball Kosky this time the ball put out of play for a corner. Mills plays the ball long towards the far post, Burt sees her shot blocked at close range. Still the risk of a Luton counter with Rutherford staying up top as Cambridge pile players forwards the home side defend well bodies behind the ball no space available behind. Send the ball long Burt can only get a glancing header on the ball carries through to Rutherford edge of the area, Jenkins gets across in front of her to win the ball prevent the shot.

   Cambridge can’t find a way back into the match late on as the referee blows the final whistle and Luton win2-1 to take all 3 points to open up a 5 point gap over Cambridge to consolidate 4th spot in the table with 3 league games left to play. A scrappy game, competitive shame tempers boiled over but with passionate and committed players on both sides always likely. Two sides that will feel they have the platform to kick on and aim higher. 
Speaking to Luton manager Nikki Baker after the match she certainly feels Luton have had opportunities this season to improve on last seasons 4th placed finish push for the top of the table.

   Good to have finally gotten this match in, thanks to both sides for their help with the teams as always.