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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.

 

Cup Final Report – Isleham United Ladies v ICA Sports Ladies

Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final

Wednesday 16th May

One more women’s final left to be played in Cambridgeshire a trip to Newmarket Town FC’s, Bloorie.com Stadium this evening for the Junior Invitation Cup Final between Isleham United Ladies and ICA Sports Ladies.

Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side, ICA Sports Ladies aiming for a Cup Double after winning the League Cup two weeks ago. Up against fellow Premiership side Newmarket Town Ladies, ICA Sports Ladies were the underdogs, putting in a strong performance as their opponents never got into their stride. This time around taking on lower league opposition in the Junior Invitation Cup, ICA Sports Ladies are themselves the favourites but will be only to aware that doesn’t count for anything if you don’t perform in the game. A Cup Double though the perfect way to end their season.

A Cup Final appearance and a shot at winning silverware too for Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South side Isleham United Ladies. Know themselves they face a tough test in this evenings final but have earned the right to be there. League form hasn’t been good this season have saved the best for their cup run to this evenings final. Close to Newmarket the club has brought plenty of support along to the final.

Road to the Final

  Peterborough based ICA Sports Ladies receiving a bye in the 1st Round of the Junior Invitation Cup. Isleham United Ladies were drawn at home to fellow Championship South side, Burwell Tigers. Amy Ellis and Lily Turner both scoring twice with Annabelle Marsh and Livi Caffarelli getting a goal a piece in a 6-1 win. 

  Onto the quarter finals Isleham United Ladies were once again at home taking on another Championship South opponent Cambridge Rangers. Louisa Harwood, Nicole Bailey an a brace for Vicky Beeton putting Isleham through to the last 4 of the competition. ICA Sports at home in the quarter finals up against Histon Ladies Reserves who they had knocked out of the League Cup via a penalty shootout. That wasn’t needed this time around a brace for Carmen Herridge putting them through the last 4.

   The semi-finals saw to close games played. Isleham United Ladies again on home soil up against Newmarket Town Ladies Reserves also from the Championship South, A brace for Lily Turner along with a goal for Rachael Turner seeing Isleham edge the result 3-2 to reach the final. ICA Sports Ladies were drawn away to fellow Premiership side Cambridge City Ladies Development. Just the one goal scored in the match ICA Sports clinching a place in a 2nd final, Jessica Farchica with the all important goal. 

The game originally scheduled for last month postponed due to heavy rain. The weather better this time but the heat has vanished a chilly breeze making it feel very cold, cloud cover above. The venue for this evenings final Newmarket Town FC. Playing on their new state of the art cork based 3G pitch. The bar and kitchen open a goo sized crowd gathered to watch the game.

 Isleham United Ladies starting XI – Claire Knibbs, Holly Partner, Sophie Antonucci, Becky Shields (C), Sarah Rouse, Zoe Luddy, Jessica Farchica, Megan Purnell, Donna Nicholls, Rhian Leonard & Lorna Hart. Subs – Carmen Herridge, Lindsey Short & Cara Clarke.

 ICA Sports Ladies starting XI – Kathleen Tilbrook, Kate Theobald, Olivia Menton, Livi Caffarelli, Donna Woodcock (C), Vicky Beeton, Annabelle Marsh, Lily Turner, Louise Harwood, Amy Ellis & Laura Todd. Subs – Jade Flack, Anita Butters, Rachael Turner, Shona Kelly & Nicole Bailey.

 (roll on roll off substitutes)

The teams lining up before the final

ICA Sports to get the Cambridgeshire Junior Invitation Cup Final underway kicking off 1st half wearing royal blue shirts with a white and navy band across the upper chest. Royal blue shorts with blue and white hooped socks. Isleham lined up opposite wearing green shirts, black shorts and socks. ICA Sports putting the ball long to the left early on Isleham able to see it out for a goalkick as Donna Nicholls gives chase

 ICA Sports put pressure on the ball prevent Isleham getting out of their half win a throw high on the left the ball worked in towards the top of the area, Livi Caffarelli defending for Isleham. Breaking up an ICA Sports attack Isleham bring the ball away on the left, Lily Turner carrying it forwards plays the pass inside to Vicky Beeton as she crosses over halfway, the midfielder sending the pass on out to the left with Amy Ellis providing the run taking the ball down to the byline sends a cross flashing in along the face of the ICA Sports goal, Laura Todd closing in on the far post isn’t too far away from connecting with the ball.

  Isleham bringing the ball on again right side this time the ball sent in towards Todd making a run into the area near side, Becky Shields, ICA Sports captain going with her heading the ball putting it away to the right Isleham retrieving the cross swept in goalkeeper Claire Knibbs claiming the ball. ICA Sports break through the centre the ball pushed on through to attacker Lorna Hart in behind strikes the ball from 25 yards out pulls her effort wide of the post. 

Becky Shields winning the header for ICA Sports Ladies

 

 Following a corner on the left ICA Sports have bodies forwards as they squeeze possession back from Isleham Jessica Farchica closing in on the top of the area seeing her shot charged down goes after the rebound out to the right getting hold of the ball holding off a challenge turned well to get inside attack the goal near post, goalkeeper Kathleen Tilbrook making a great save at her near post, the ball scrambled behind for a corner kick. Caffarelli with another good defensive challenge to deny Zoe Luddy for ICA Sports as she breaks beyond the midfield played in by Hart central.    

GOAL! ICA Sports score the opening goal of the game taking an early lead as they did in the League Cup Final. The ball played on down the left Nicholls with Megan Purnell getting on her pass slide on into the box Hart timing her run perfectly getting onto the ball and picking her spot left of goal sends the ball past the keeper into the back of the net 0-1.

Lorna Hart opens the scoring for ICA Sports Ladies

ICA Sports look to build on their lead Hart going towards the ball played out to the right holding it up well outside the Isleham area before shifting it inside to fire a cross along the six yard box, two ICA Sports players at the far post Purnell one of then, controls and spins into a shot, the ball charged down. Isleham get the ball clear, ICA Sports regain central and turn play around, Farchica moving with the ball towards the top of the area is stopped by Caffarelli.

  Isleham make a double change Olivia Menton and Kate Theobald off on come Anita Butters and Rachael Turner. Caffarelli with a fantastic tackle on Hart to stop the attacker as she looks to force her way past her into the box. Todd comes off for Isleham, Nicole Bailey coming on. Annabelle Marsh breaks forwards for Isleham as they build through the middle the ball out to her on the left side, Holly Partner getting back on her to tackle for ICA Sports. Lily Turner getting up to support Marsh latching onto the ball delivering a cross into the area the ball claimed by Knibbs.

Isleham United Ladies, Livi Caffarelli

Caffarelli winning the ball at the back for Isleham is fouled as she tries to carry it out from the back. Hart moves away into the right channel as Luddy plays the pass from the middle out to her the attacker turning her marker as she enters the box and making a driving run towards the near post tries to lift a shot over the keeper with the outside of her boot, Tilbrook holding onto the ball for Isleham. Rhian Leonard moving over to the left for ICA Sports looks to have gotten clear in behind as a clearance rebounds off her from Caffarelli, the defender showing great pace however recovers well getting back on her inside the box sliding in to take the ball away for a corner. 

Her knees taking a bit of a battering upon the artificial surface Caffarelli comes off after treatment on the pitch, Menton coming back on going to left back as Ellis drops back into the defence. Ellis called into action straight away defending well up against Hart as the ball is fired low into her from the left. Carmen Herridge has come on to join the attack for ICA Sports Ladies replacing Purnell. Herridge attacking the ball top of the area left channel, Ellis closing the ball down for Isleham.

Isleham United Ladies, Amy Ellis

   Purnell isn’t of for long as she replaces Leonard for ICA Sports. Isleham captain Donna Woodcock defending up against Hart inside the box as Herridge moving to the right sends the cross back into the area. The corner conceded the ball put into the mix from the right is clear by Isleham falling to Purnell positioned inside the D her 1st time strike is well wide of the mark. Sarah Rouse defending for ICA Sports as Isleham’s Bailey looks to get in behind through the middle. 

Carmen Herridge with the ball for ICA Sports Ladies

Caffarelli back on for Isleham straight away wins the ball back form Hart as she looks to find a crossing position on the left. Isleham launching a counter attack Lily Turner showing a good turn of pace bringing the ball on up the left wing covering alot of ground the ball squared across the face of the ICA Sports area, Ellis pressing the defender on the ball steals possession and turning into the box fires a shot in towards goal, Knibbs getting down makes a great save. Woodcock with a fine recovering tackle as Purnell latches onto a poor kick out from the back looking to get herself into the box.

GOAL! The half -time whistle approaching ICA Sports extend their lead attacking down the left the ball cut inside brought into the area and stabbed in near post Herridge on the end of the cross spinning into the shot and sending the ball past the keeper and over the line 0-2.

Half-time Isleham United Ladies 0-2 ICA Sports Ladies

  2-0 the half-time lead for ICA Sports Ladies have dominated play without really getting into their stride. Largely down to the fact Isleham have pressed the ball really well, winning several vital challenges at the back preventing ICA Sports getting one on one with the keeper. Have attacked themselves with limited success but after conceding an early goal haven’t let the game get away from them, ICA Sports managing to double their lead on the stroke of half-time.

Onto the 2nd half both sides making a goalkeeper change at the beginning of both playing an outfield player in the position. Knibbs is replaced by Hart, Tilbrook replaced by Bailey. The floodlights on for the 2nd half it’s Isleham to get thing’s underway. ICA Sports put pressure on the ball straight away getting it on win a corner on the right. 

  Isleham get the ball forwards Shona Kelly and Todd also on for Isleham the ball out to the left for Lily Turner runs with the ball before sending a cross into the area, Hart taking the ball into her body at the near post. Lily Turner fed the ball on the left takes it on once again sweeping a cross into the area Rouse defends for ICA Sports with Rachael Turner closing in from the right flank. An encouraging start to the 2nd half for Isleham Beeton taking a shot at the ICA Sports goal from distance the strike wide. Pressing the ball well all over the pitch. Antonucci defending for ICA Sports at left back as she gets in between Rachael Turner and Beeton as they look to link up attacking down the right.

Beeton getting forwards into the area as Isleham get bodies forwards ends up fouling Rouse as she gets control of the ball. Rouse with a good piece of defending at the top of her area as Lily Turner attacking down the left sends the ball in across the area, Todd looking to try and bring it down, Rachael Turner closing in the ICA Sports central defender winning the ball. Up the other end Isleham need to be wary of getting hit on the break Farchica on for Herridge, she tries to muscle he way through into the box Caffarelli defending for Isleham.

Isleham United Ladies, Laura Todd

  Lily Turner with the ball attacking for Isleham left side cuts inside 30 yards out Kelly in support takes on the shot the ball gathered by the keeper. Claire Knibbs joining the action up top for ICA Sports. Knibbs with a run into the right channel fed the ball from the wing, shifts the ball well between her feet inside the D before sending a shot skipping off the surface in towards goal Bailey making a good reactive save with her feet. Farchica winning the ball in the middle slides it on for Knibbs looking to attack the Isleham box, Ellis with a good tackle conceding the corner. 

ICA Sports Ladies, Donna Nicholls

  ICA Sports having started the 2nd half slowly are starting to build momentum winning a corner on the right the ball swung in near post attacked by Shields knocked on into the middle claimed by Bailey. Nicholls on the left for ICA Sports Antonucci getting up with her to support, Knibbs taking the ball on to the byline cutting a cross back in along the face of goal, Bailey able to gather for Isleham. Knibbs caught in an offside position a couple of occasions.

  Kelly cutting the ball out in the middle for Isleham sets up an attack Rachael Turner away on the right taking the ball to the edge of the box looking for Todd making a run near post gets her foot around the ball sends it wide into the side netting. Rachael Turner getting help from Beeton on the right wins her side a corner kick, a great delivery in towards the top of the six yard box near post Kelly there unmarked gets her head on the ball sends it up over the crossbar.

  Rouse intercepting at the back for ICA Sports brings the ball on before playing it out to Nicholls on the left, support from Knibbs, Woodcock defending for Isleham. Nicholls with the ball left side comes on a one two with Knibbs the final ball played into the area too heavy for Nicholls to run onto. Shields getting back well to push the ball into her keeper as Todd makes a strong central run for Isleham as the ball is rolled into her path. Changes for Isleham Butters back on Jade Flack also on for Todd up front. 

 Nicholls dropping her shoulder looks to take the ball inside from the left, Caffarelli closing her down for Isleham regaining possession. Bailey makes the save as Farchica gets herself forwards and into space for ICA Sports in attack top of the area looks to open her body curl the shot around the keeper, Bailey getting her gloves onto the ball. 15 minute left ICA Sports having to work to keep their 2 goal lead are starting to find spaces appearing at the back, Knibbs with some clever runs to draw players out.

  A free-kick right on the edge of the area for ICA Sports, Purnell rushing up to take it, gets her strike up and over the wall but Bailey is there in the right place to catch the ball. Rouse with the defensive header as Isleham send the ball long through the middle. Rachael Turner in behind on the right a low cross in along six yard box Hart scooping the ball up for ICA Sports. 

 GOAL! Isleham have down well 2nd half finally though their defence is breached for a 3rd time as ICA Sports make the scoreline more comfortable in the final 5 minutes of the game, Rouse getting forwards playing the ball on for Knibbs right side taking in towards the corner of the area fires a low shot across the keeper and into the bottom corner 0-3.

Isleham press the ball through the middle Harwood getting it on for Flack trying to force her way into the area, challenging the defender, the ball is squeezed through Harwood latching onto it sending her shot over the bar. Antonucci backed up by Rouse regains the ball inside the area as Beeton attacks it down the right. A late free-kick for ICA Sports halfway inside the Isleham half Purnell to flight the ball on into the area, attacked near post Bailey does well a corner conceded the ball landing on the roof of he net. The final whistle goes and ICA Sports win the final 3-0 and end their season with double cup success.

Full time Isleham United Ladies 0-3 ICA Sports Ladies

   An entertaining 2nd half to the game. Isleham United Ladies giving a good account of themselves attacked well 2nd half and for a spell looking the more likely to score. ICA Sports having to work for the win in the end. Took their chances well in the 1st half going 2-0 ahead a 3rd goal coming late on to make thing’s comfortable. An enjoyable final if very chilly. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Picking this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match it’s a close run thing between 2 players one for either side and both wearing the number 6 shirt. Have to pick one however those are the rules. Livi Caffarelli with some great defensive work at the back for Isleham United Ladies, contested every ball and make more than one tackle inside her box to prevent a shot being taken. Sarah Rouse takes the award up the other end for ICA Sports. Making some vital challenges winning headers. Composed as Isleham gained some confidence in attack in the 2nd period.

Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Winners 2017/18 ICA Sports Ladies

Congratulations to ICA Sports on winning this evening’s Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final and completing a Cup Double.

  My thanks to both sides for there help with the teams and describing the 3rd goal to as I completely missed it. Happens sometimes. Think that’s my finals over for the season but temptation might get the better of me.

ERWFL Finals Day – Acle United Ladies v AFC Dunstable Ladies

ERWFL Cup Final

Sunday 13th May

 Onto the 2nd of today’s ERWFL Final’s the League Cup. This season being contested by Acle United Ladies and AFC Dunstable Ladies. 

 Acle United Ladies in contention for the Premier Division title all season losing out in their penultimate game to leave them in 3rd position 3 points short of Champions Billericay Town FC. A busy spell at the end of the season games to be squeezed in a County Cup Final appearance too ending again in a close loss to Wymondham Town Ladies who will be joining them in the ERWFL Premier Division next season. Takes the shine of what has been another strong campaign one more shot at silverware though for the Norfolk side the ERWFL League Cup.

  Looking to stop them are Bedfordshire side AFC Dunstable Ladies finishing 6th in the ERWFL Premier Division this season haven’t matched the form of last season that saw them pushing the title challengers all the way. Have picked up some good results and one their day can beat anybody in the league. Ending their season with an opportunity to win silverware.

 Both sides short of a full squad coming into this afternoon’s final. Acle United losing the spine of their side with 3 players shown red in their final league game played against Cambridge City, adopting a new formation for the ERWFL Cup Final dubbed ‘The Christmas Tree’ formation.

Road to the Final

  The ERWFL Premier Division sides entering the League Cup at the 3rd Round stage. Easy progress for both sides Dunstable receiving a bye into the quarter finals. Acle awarded the away win against King’s Lynn Town Ladies. 

  Onto the quarter finals a trip to Hertfordshire for Acle to take on Royston Town Ladies a 3-1 victory sending them through the the last 4 of the competition. Dunstable held home advantage in their quarter final against AFC Sudbury Ladies neither side able to find a goal in regular or extra-time it went all the way to penalties Dunstable emerging the winners 6-5 in the shootout.

  The last 4 and both semi-finals were hard to call. Close matches too, Acle at home to eventually League Champion’s Billericay Town Ladies. Knocked them out of the League Cup with a 3-2 result. 3-2 was also the winning margin for Dunstable as they travelled to Essex to take on Brentwood Town Ladies in the semi-finals. 

 The ERWFL Premier Division proving all season any side can beat another on it’s day. 

 The venue of course still the same the sun out properly for the League Cup Final this afternoon.

Acle United Ladies starting XI – Cyan Fullbrook, Anna Larkins, Chloe Shields, Naomi Cooper, Grace Birchall, Broghan Scully, Laura Holden, Lauren Bullard, Megan Todd (C), Kirstie Kindred & Rhianne Brister. Subs – Lauren Bailey & Rebecca Burton.

AFC Dunstable Ladies starting XI – Hannah Payne, Rebecca Langthorpe, Lauren Chimes (C), Elly Wade, Steph Fisher, Rachel Moffat, Shianne Swarres, Danielle Carty, Samaira Khan, Charlotte South & Charlene Moreton. Subs – Jodie Patterson & Rianne Townsend-Brown. 

(roll on roll off substitutes) 

  It’s Acle wearing black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks to get the League Cup Final underway. Dunstable opposite wearing an all blue kit. Dunstable get hold of the ball as Acle look to play it forwards Charlene Moreton playing the ball long, Samaira Khan played in behind on the right side a run down the channel into the area Cyan Fullbrook in goal for Acle comes to close her down, Khan evading her challenge takes the ball beyond her before sending a cross in along the face of goal, no one there for Dunstable, Acle get the ball clear. 

 GOAL! A chance for Dunstable at one end it’s a goal for Acle up the other. A brilliant individual goal from Acle captain, Megan Todd the ball sent up towards her on halfway from Fullbrook’s goal kick. On the left wing Todd brings it on over halfway carrying it forwards down the wing a powerful run all the way into the box not challenged closing in on goal scoops a shot up rising past the goalkeeper in past the near post 1-0.

Acle United Ladies captain Megan Todd setting off on her run to score the opening goal

   Shianne Swarres getting hold of the ball central for Dunstable across to Rebecca Langthorpe moving forwards from right back she passes the ball on for Khan on the wing, getting in behind she fires another cross along the face of the Acle goal. Dunstable finding a few gaps in the Acle back line early on. Langthorpe with the ball on the tries to send Charlotte South away through the middle, Chloe Shields getting across to intercept for Acle.

AFC Dunstable Ladies, Charlotte South

 Khan with a drive towards the Acle defence in the central is clipped as the ball spins away to the left, no advantage play brought back for the free-kick in a dangerous position in front of goal just outside the D. Danielle Carty on the ball goes for goal her effort up over the crossbar. Acle giving away free-kicks, Moreton on one inside the Acle half launched up towards the top of the area, Shields under it for Acle heading clear. Dunstable pressing forwards having more of the ball.

AFC Dunstable Ladies, Danielle Carty

  Todd the outlet for Acle as Anna Larkins wins the ball at the back up field into Laura Holding her pass on for Todd over on the right side another driving run forwards her shot fired in from outside the area with of Hannah Payne’s near post. Moreton hooks the ball forwards from inside the Acle half out to Khan on the right, Naomi Cooper defending for Acle at left back. Dunstable bring the ball on Moreton on for Khan central, Charlotte South supporting, Acle squeeze the ball at the top of their box regain possession. 

Charlene Moreton hooks the ball forwards for AFC Dunstable Ladies

  Rhianne Brister up front for Acle comes out to the right with the ball, support from Grace Birchall coming on past her, Dunstable captain Lauren Chimes challenging for the ball breaks up the attack. Larkins sending the ball up field from the back sets Todd up for a run in behind the Dunstable defence closing in on the box, Payne coming out towards her Todd goes to try and lob the keeper, get’s it past her Payne getting a touch on the ball however as it runs wide of her goal the corner signalled. A high ball in Todd the target far post is over her as she leaps up for it.

Acle United Ladies, Anna Larkins

  A give and go between Todd and Lauren Bullard on the left the ball crossed into the box just behind Kirstie Kindred she recovers laying it back for Todd, her strike charged down. Acle press the ball high win a corner kick the ball defended at the near post. Acle win another corner, Dunstable can’t get it clear the delivery going long out to the left gathered by Todd she tries to get past Langthorpe the corner won. The ball played in knocked back to the taker before being sent in high towards the far post Todd up to head the ball puts it wide. Dunstable make a change Khan the player coming off on comes Rianne Townsend-Brown. 

  Acle having a good spell starting to get hold of the ball and cause Dunstable problems Todd right squared to Kindred she sends the ball into Brister inside the box Payne makes the save as she comes charging out to met her blocking the shot. Payne comfortable as she moves across her goal to palm down Todd’s strike from distance. Holden with the pass inside to Bullard back for Broghan Scully plays it forwards onto Kindred who shoots from the top of the area Payne making a double save stopping Kindred’s strike then as Birchall heads the ball back towards goal gloves it wide for the corner. 

AFC Dunstable Ladies, Elly Wade

  A lively contest the game played at a rapid pace. Scully over a free-kick top of the centre circle for Acle plays the ball up into the area, Payne taking the catch. Moreton coming to get hold of the ball for Dunstable plays it out to Carty on the move on the left shoots early sending the low ball racing wide of the near post. Swarres with good control in the middle playing the ball on for Carty on the left her cross into the box, South the target, Shields gets in front of her to defend for Acle. Larkins with a good tackle to stop Moreton as she comes on with the ball for Dunstable. 

  Steph Fisher putting in the tackle on Brister as Kindred looks to put the ball into her make the run in behind. Dunstable come forwards press the ball at the back Moreton getting the ball out to Carty on the right 25 yards out goes for the shot dipping Fullbrook can’t get to it as it strikes the crossbar. Dunstable ending the 1st half well. Elly Wade across to intercept the ball as Holden plays it on for Brister to chase out on the left. Bullard getting in behind Langthorpe on the right goes on into the box Langthorpe recovering well gets back on her is fouled by the attacker inside the box. 

  Acle with one last attack in the first half Todd on the left seeing the ball into her feet spins in behind running down the line cutting inside into the box fire a low cross along the face of goal, Chimes going to clear it smashes the ball against Kindred rushing in the ball loose Dunstable scramble it away.

Half-time Acle United Ladies 1-0 AFC Dunstable Ladies

  An entertaining first half to this season’s ERWFL League Cup Final. Acle scoring in the opening 2 minutes have held onto their 1-0 advantage both sides creating chances Dunstable striking the bar. The game far from settled yet.

  Changes for both sides, Lauren Bailey on at right back for Acle, Jodie Patterson on for Dunstable as well as Khan as they get the 2nd half underway. Getting a throw high up the pitch on the right. Into Moreton inside the pressuring the ball out to Khan she shoots Fullbrook dropping onto it at her near post. Todd driving forwards with the ball looks to get in on goal Wade coming back on her lunges in to take the ball away for the throw left side. 

Samaira Khan attacking for AFC Dunstable Ladies

  Acle starting the 2nd half well the ball on for Brister she pressure Patterson into conceding the corner. An inswinging delivery Payne is on it at the near post knocking the ball down Dunstable launch clear of their box. Acle make a change Birchall off at the start of the 2nd half coming on for Brister.

 GOAL! Birchall involved straight away as Acle go on to double their lead early in the 2nd half. Play spread from left to right Birchall going after it picks the ball up and surges on down the right evading a challenge cutting a cross back in the ball racing across the face of the Dunstable goal, Todd arriving at the far post smashing the ball home from close range 2-0.

  A free-kick to Dunstable as Khan is brought down trying to bring the ball inside from the right. The ball central Carty over it goes for the shot floating the ball in towards goal it cannons off the crossbar for a 2nd time. Acle counter attack Birchall in the clear on the right takes on the early shot as she closes in on the top of the area her attempt racing wide across the six yard box out the far side. Dunstable attack on the right Khan inside the area Shields defending as Fullbrook collides with her, Khan retrieving the ball as Dunstable get players forwards in support cut back to Carty to play the shot in towards the near post Fullbrook recovering has gotten back onto position to claim the ball. 

GOAL! Acle extend their lead as play becomes stretched, Todd breaking over halfway on the left a strong run with the ball squares it inside for Holden top of the area left of the D, picks her spot sending her shot in low past the keeper at her near post 3-0. 

  Townsend-Brown is played onto the ball by South coming left, Bailey with the attacker gets the challenge in Dunstable winning the corner. End to end Carty with a diagonal ball into the box from the right Shields heading away for Acle. Moreton plays the ball on into Townsend-Brown top of the area turns in behind her marker and delivers a low strike across the face of the Acle goal as the game moves into the final 20 minutes. 

Acle United Ladies, Laura Holden

GOAL! Acle go further into the lead taking control of the game Kindred with good work on halfway winning the ball, Todd latching onto it drives forwards, Holden ahead of her finding space Todd playing her in on goal Holden shoots from 20 yards out the ball striking the back of the net for her 2nd of the game 4-0. 

GOAL! Acle hammer home their advantage as Dunstable lose their shape Birchall spinning away plays the ball into Holden supporting on the right squared back to her Birchall sends a dipping shot in towards goal Payne making the save pushing the ball away lose inside the six yard box Kindred racing in on the follow up buries the shot 5-0.

  Acle looking strong now make a switch Holden rested, Brister back on. Dunstable go forwards South bringing it forwards put on for Moreton out to Townsend-Brown on the left sweeps a cross in early, Shields getting hold of it for Acle clears for the corner. 

GOAL! It’s a 6th goal for Acle Dunstable caught high up the pitch a great individual goal form Birchall. Getting onto the ball on the right as Larkins clears it up the line bursts forwards she evades Wade’s sliding challenge then shooting from the top of the area the ball races across the Dunstable goal and inside the side netting at the far post 6-0.

   A pause in play a player down a chance for a breather. play resumes.

GOAL! Dunstable pull a goal back Moreton the scorer as she gets into the area played in by Khan attacking on the right, her initial effort stopped Moreton with a 2nd bite at the cherry lifts the ball in over the keeper to score 6-1.

  Townsend-Brown controlling the ball on the left cuts it back into the middle for Carty coming on, can’t quite get the ball under control before Acle recover and close her down. Bailey comes forwards for Acle, Wade tackling the ball away for a corner. Dunstable deal with the threat, try to get out Acle closing the ball down regain possession. Birchall with space on the left plays it inside for Todd 30 yards out time to line up a shot her effort bouncing wide out past the post. 

Rianne Townsend-Brown bringing the ball under control for Dunstable Ladies

  Birchall with the ball at her feet a great run central for Acle evading two challenges before sending a shot over the crossbar. Up the other end Dunstable strike the crossbar for the 3rd time in the game, South and Carty linking on the left the ball into Townsend-Brown positioned top of the Acle area curls a shot in towards goal sees the ball collide with the woodwork. Acle go on the attack the ball on for Brister left inside for Birchall sees Bailey clear coming in on right she strikes the ball sending it across goal past Payne a defender back on the line gets there in time to block the ball skipping up into her keepers gloves. 

Full time Acle United Ladies 6-1 AFC Dunstable Ladies

  The final whistle blows and Acle celebrate as they end their season with silverware winning the ERWFL League Cup with a 6-1 win over Dunstable. Created plenty of chances throughout the game and were clinical in front of goal. Todd getting them the early lead. Dunstable had good spells in the first half coming close the levelling the scores. A narrow advantage at half-time Acle doubled the lead early in the 2nd half and going 3-0 up two quickfire goals to make it 5-0 put them in complete control of the match. Dunstable getting a late consolation goal ended up striking the crossbar 3 times. Acle the stronger side in the 2nd half.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Now for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. The captain led by example for Acle and scoring a fantastic solo goal early on was a handful for Dunstable to deal with all match as she moved across the front line from left to right. Adding the 2nd goal and setting up numerous chance, the award goes to Megan Todd.

Acle United Ladies lift the ERWFL League Cup

Congratulations to Acle United Ladies on winning the 2017/18 ERWFL League Cup.

Acle United Ladies, 2017/18 ERWFL League Cup Winners

 An enjoyable day spent at Letchworth watching the ERWFL Final’s. Two entertaining matches. My thanks to both sides for their help with the teams and to the ERWFL committee members for all the hard work they put into the league itself. 

ERWFL Finals Day – Hutton Ladies v Stevenage Ladies Reserves

ERWFL Plate Final

Sunday 13th May

 Another double bill of Cup Finals this Sunday from The County Ground in Letchworth from the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) this time around. The League Cup to come but first up it’s an 11:00am kick-off between Hutton Ladies & Stevenage Ladies Reserves for the League Plate Final.

   Hutton Ladies the current holders of the ERWFL Plate after a 1-0 win over Colney Heath Ladies last season. Were the underdogs then and once again they will be seen as the underdogs as they take on fellow league Stevenage Ladies Reserves who having won the ERWFL Division One South title are looking to complete the double.

  Hutton Ladies with one more league game to play finishing fourth in the ERWFL Division One South table. Have already claimed silverware this season lifting the Essex Women’s Trophy with a 2-1 win against Silver End United Ladies. A tough challenge against Stevenage Ladies Reserves in this season’s Plate Final but can use last season’s result as inspiration and the knowledge they were the side to eventually bring an end to the league champion’s 100% winning start to the season.

  Stevenage Ladies Reserves have led the ERWFL Division One South table from start to finish winning their opening 10 games not conceding a single goal in that period either. Both records broken in February by today’s opponents Hutton Ladies in a 3-2 win. Stevenage Ladies Reserves have conceded just 9 goals in total from 18 league games this season whilst scoring 81 up the other end. Clinching the league title with 4 games to spare are looking to end the season with the double.

Road to the Final

  The nature of the Plate, the sides knocked out of the League Cup in the opening rounds entering the competition. The Division One sides in from the North & South contesting the early Rounds of the League Cup.

  Both sides receiving a bye in the 1st Round of the Plate. Into the quarter finals Hutton Ladies were away to Division One North side, Cambridge United WFC Reserves, the game all square at 90 minutes the sides drawing 2-2 it was Hutton who went on to score the winning goal in extra-time. Stevenage Ladies Reserves drawn at home to fellow Division One South side, Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies progressed to the last 4 of the Plate with a 3-0 victory.

  Into the semi-finals and contrasting games for both sides Hutton Ladies at home were taken all the way to extra-time once again after a high scoring game with Division One North side, Histon Ladies 3-3 after the 90 minutes was up into the extra period Hutton getting themselves in front went on to add a 2nd goal to reach their 2nd successive final with a 5-3 win. Stevenage Ladies Reserves were at home in the semi-finals against fellow league side Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies and booked their place in the Plate Final with another 3-0 result.

  The County Ground, Letchworth home of the Hertfordshire FA the venue once again for this season’s ERWFL Finals. The main seated stand housing the clubhouse and bar the changing rooms beyond. A nice wide pitch looking in very good condition with plenty of grass cover. The weather good, warm with the sun trying to get out cloud cover for the morning kick-off for the 1st of today’s matches.

Hutton Ladies starting XI – Krissie Glover, Nicola Walker, Rianne Dimmock, Hannah Page (C), Kelly Roberts, Amy Crumpler, Kaitlin Sugg, Keeley Walker, Lucy Critchell, Kate Lowen & Laura Allen. Subs – Patrizia Leo & Lucy Blurton.

Stevenage Ladies Reserves starting XI – Emily Goodacre, Holly Darling, Amy Notschild, Laura Henning, Stacey McConville, Becky Day, Sherrie Evans (C), Hayley Wood-Thompson, Hannah Marshall, Daniela Martucci & Emily Schofield. Subs – Naomi Sleator, Rebecca Brooker, Mary Lisle, Stef Cowell & Izzy McAree. 

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Stevenage to get the ERWFL Plate Final underway kicking off 1st half wearing an all blue kit with red and white piping around the collar and sleeves of the shirts. Hutton kitted out in their all red kit with white across the shoulders of the shirts. Becky Day playing the all out into the right channel for Daniela Martucci to chase the Hutton defence can see it safely out for an early goalkick. Stevenage make progress down the left, Hutton goalkeeper Krissie Glover coming out of her area to kick the ball clear see’s striker Laura Allen after it to attack the Stevenage area, Amy Notschild across the get in front of her and clear the ball for a throw. 

Emily Schofield with the ball for Stevenage Ladies Reserves

  The ball pressed early on cut out at the back. Allen and Kate Lowen try to link up through the centre to attack the Stevenage defence the attempted one two cut out Notschild. The first corner of the game awarded to Stevenage, Hayley Wood-Thompson to play the ball into the box the ball half cleared Emily Schofield on the right hooks it back in towards go, Martucci closing in on it near post, Glover has it safe on her gloves first. Holly Darling slides in to deny Hutton’s Critchell as Crumpler plays the through ball to her on the left.

  Stevenage counter attack breaking forwards Hutton back tracking conceding a corner on the left side Schofield to play it in Kelly Roberts with the stooping header near post defends for Hutton. The ball coming onto Wood-Thompson just outside the box left of the D, goes to strike the ball her effort charged down. Lowen and Allen are looking to combine once again through the middle for Hutton as Kaitlin Sugg plays the ball forwards, Notschild getting in between them to break up the attack. 

Hutton’s Kelly Roberts, tackles Stevenage’s Becky Day as she s about to shoot

  Lucy Critchell finding room to run into on the left lifts a cross into the area, Stacey McConville clearing for Stevenage a rapid counter is launched the ball played on to Wood-Thompson coming away with the ball left side looks to put Hannah Marshall in behind on the opposite flank send the diagonal ball crossfield, Nicola Walker defending well for Hutton Ladies at left back. Working hard early on to break up Stevenage’s flow, Hutton are gaining encouragement from their play. 

Hutton Ladies, Lucy Critchell

  Bringing the ball on over half way Sugg send the ball forwards releasing Lowen through on goal as she bursts in behind the Stevenage defence, right of goal into the box, takes an extra touch, enough to allow goalkeeper Emily Goodacre coming towards her to slide in and save at the strikers feet. Stevenage press players forwards Schofield moving out to the right to gather the ball, Hutton captain Hannah Page gets across to challenge the striker 20 yards from goal. Roberts intercepting inside the box as Wood-Thompson looks to run in on goal from the left as a high ball from the right is fired into the Hutton area.

  Stevenage haven’t settled Hutton are lively looking to close down everywhere on the pitch. A free-kick awarded to Hutton 35 yards out left of the centre circle players go forwards as Lowen plays the ball in long towards the far post, Sugg getting up highest sends her header into the back of the net Hutton celebrate thinking they have taken the lead, but no the flag is raised for offside it doesn’t stand. Another free-kick to Hutton same position only right of the centre circle this time Amy Crumpler to deliver this time long to the far post again headed down back across the six yard box, Rianne Dimmock there for Hutton but no opportunity to shoot as she is quickly closed down and Stevenage scramble the ball away.

  Martucci spinning off her marker in the middle releases the ball into Schofield’s run on the left, sends a cross long the top of the six yard box, no one gambling for Stevenage. Hutton get it clear. A chance created for Stevenage on their left as Wood-Thompson goes to charge down a defensive clearance the ball spinning into the D, Page looking to control under pressure from Schofield the ball prodded into the area with Marshall coming onto it her shot straight at Glover the keeper making the save. 

Stevenage’s Hayley Wood-Thompson looking for options as she brings the ball forwards

  Hutton are battling for everything frustrating Stevenage in the process. Riding their luck at times Dimmock slicing her clearance the ball spinning favourably into the box for Glover to grab. Goodacre with an excellent save to deny Hutton from another set-piece similar to the earlier one on the left a little closer this time Crumpler goes for goal the ball arrowing in high on target central Goodacre throwing herself at the ball punches it over the crossbar.

  All action the ball from one end to the other Dimmock sending a shot wide from a corner at the near post for Hutton. Laura Henning charging a Hutton ball down in half way brings in on fires a pass into Martucci back to goal inside the D she spins off her marker sending the ball on into the box Wood-Thompson arriving can’t quite bring it down on her chest to set up a shot the ball running wide. Hutton make a change, Walker coming off Patrizia Leo coming on the move seeing Critchell dropping deeper. 

Stevenage Ladies Reserves, Daniela Martucci

  A free-kick wide right for Stevenage the ball played in towards the top of the box Martucci with a clever flick to send the ball on into the area, no one there however Glover can claim unchallenged. Keeley Walker snapping at the ball in midfield wins it from Day plays it on for Lowen right side she plays it on into the area near post Allen closing her down Goodacre stays composed claims the ball. Glover with a top class save at the other end to deny Schofield the ball played into the striker on with the ball she arrives at the top of the area Glover coming to close her down Schofield looks to prod the ball wide of her, almost succeeds Glover however manages somehow to get her foot in the way of the ball and deflect it away for a corner. 

 Stevenage bring the ball on possession on the right brings a corner kick the ball played into six yard box Sugg heading away for Hutton, out of the area Day with the looping header back in Martucci interested, Glover comes punching the ball away from the strikers head. Hutton get the ball forwards Walker on for Lowen a one tow with Allen the ball sent on for Lowen to chase right side McConville goes with her concedes the corner. 

  A late opportunity in the first half for Stevenage to take the lead, awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position left of centre Martucci with the right foot strike a superb effort the ball swerving as it flies in on target bring a magnificent save from Glover falling back as she throws her hand towards the ball the merest of touches diverting it onto the crossbar, rebounding back into play Hutton scramble away for the corner. Coming in from the right Glover is fouled as she comes for the ball right on the stroke of half-time.

Half-time Hutton Ladies 0-0 Stevenage Ladies Reserves

  Goalless at the break one side with a goal disallowed the other striking the bar a really interesting contest and proof that the form book can go out the window in a cup final. Stevenage haven’t really settled yet into any rhythm, frustrated, Hutton have worked well right across their side to pressure the ball and break up attacks have created opportunities themselves as they have been encouraged by their performance. Defending well at the back Glover with a couple of crucial saves. Stevenage know they can play better and will no doubt look to come out strong in the 2nd half. Hutton if they can duplicate what they have achieved in the 2nd half will be hard to break down.

Hannah Page, defending for Hutton Ladies

  Hutton kicking off the 2nd half start confidently Critchell bringing the ball on from the left looks to take the ball infield is tackled by Notschild. Stevenage build on the right the ball fed on for Schofield turns inside towards the goal into the area her shot in towards the near post not troubling Glover. Walker with good work in the midfield for Hutton gets her pass on for Lowen right side holds it up before turning her marker and sending in a cross long towards the far post just out of Allen’s reach. 

Keeley Walker for Hutton Ladies getting to the ball before Stevenage’s Becky Day

  Stevenage get froward on the left Schofield moving into the channel has the ball squares it inside to Evans 30 yards out central time to line up a strike pulls the effort wide of the left post. Schofield is covering alot for ground up top getting into good crossing positions for Stevenage, the final ball more often than not collected by Glover. Critchell is yellow carded as she tugs back Wood-Thompson trying to get inside her from the right. The free-kick from a wide position sent over the bar. Stevenage make a change Darling coming off to be replaced by Izzy McAree.

Stevenage Ladies Reserves captain, Sherrie Evans

  Martucci with an opportunity to play the ball in towards goal from a set-piece left of goal 30 yards out as Hutton with away a free-kick, her strike wide at the near post. Day come on with the ball for Stevenage on for Marshall has Schofield on her left giving her the ball she is tackled by Dimmock as she charges at the Hutton defence. Hutton’s Walker intercepts a cross from the left from Marshall getting back as Evans breaks forwards through the middle. 

 GOAL! Seemingly out of nothing the deadlock is broken and it’s Hutton who take the lead the ball brought on though the middle Hutton have players forwards lined up across the top of the Stevenage penalty area the ball is played into Lowen inside the D she flicks the ball on sending it looping up high into the area, dropping towards goal Goodacre back on her line tries to palm it out from under her crossbar her glove caught in the net can’t get to it as it drops past her into the goal, Hutton take the lead, everyone converges on Lowen in celebration so I had to check afterwards to be sure it was her 1-0.

  A valuable lead for Hutton. Stevenage look for a quick reply Day bringing the ball on the pass out to Martucci, Page coming across defending well for Hutton. Henning winning the ball as she moves forwards for Stevenage is allowed to travel with the ball has a pop at goal from distance her strike straight at Glover positioned central in the Hutton goal. Stevenage attack Evans getting the ball out to Schofield moving clear on the right a run at the Hutton defence cuts back inside getting into the box sends a fierce cross along the six yard box Martucci arriving far post meeting it sends the ball over the Hutton crossbar. 

Stevenage Ladies Reserves, Laura Henning

  Marshall attacks on the left for Stevenage runs into too many bodies as Hutton close the gap in front of her. The ball cleared is picked up by Henning and fired back in Martucci with the shot puts the ball straight at Glover the keeper with a comfortable save. Hutton make a change Crumpler coming off on comes Lucy Blurton. Hutton continue to work hard to break up the play, Page and Roberts both getting to the ball first as Stevenage play it forwards for Martucci and Marshall to chase down. 

Hannah Marshall with the ball for Stevenage Ladies Reserves

 Lowen receiving the ball as she breaks into the right channel looks to knock it past McAree, the Stevenage defender putting in the challenge to win the ball. Marshall left side fires a cross infield into Martucci position top corner of the Hutton box, shows great control to bring the ball down and swivel into the shot like so many others before it however the ball is straight into Glover positioned at her near post taking it low into her body. Hutton build an attack Walker on for Lowen central inside her is Allen playing the ball into her Walker has run on into the box Allen picking her out no shot on lays the ball back to Leo 25 yards out curls her shot up over the crossbar. 

Leo with another shot at goal moments later as Hutton attack with Lowen on the right squared across the top of the area with Walker central helped onto Leo she fires her strike up over the bar from the edge of the box. Leo with a 3rd effort in quick succession as Allen and Lowen work the ball forwards Lowen attempting to get on the end of Allen pass into the box favours Leo left of goal blasts the ball straight at Goodacre a great blocking save at close range the ball lose Stevenage get it clear of their box. Allen with a dipping volley from outside the box as the ball is put into her from a throw on the left her effort caught easily by Goodacre. 

Hutton Ladies, Patrizia Leo

  Glover with another fine save to deny Day as she hits the ball back in towards goal after Schofield’s initial shot from the right. Roberts with the near post header defends for Hutton from a Stevenage corner from the left. Stevenage with the change Day the player coming off Stef Cowell coming on with around 10 minutes left on the clock. McConville bringing the ball on for Stevenage inside to Martucci, she plays it on for Schofield her touch taking her inside a run at the box is brought down inside the D by Dimmock. A free-kick awarded Schofield has picked up an injury. Stevenage make the change before the free-kick Schofield helped off on comes Mary Lisle. 

  The set-piece just a foot outside the box. Martucci on it, a good effort gets the ball up over the wall but also narrowly over the crossbar too. Wood-Thompson is off for Stevenage with 5 minutes left to play Naomi Sleator coming on. Lowen finding room with the ball on the right cuts inside along the top of the box moving across the D gets a shot away back across goal wide of the post. 

Hutton Ladies, Rianne Dimmock

  Into the closing minutes of the match Hutton get a corner left side played in Evans puts it out near post for a 2nd corner this time Hutton try to hold it up in the corner. Stevenage regain possession fire the ball up to Martucci tries to turn inside run at the Hutton defence Page close on her winning the ball back. McConville with a late strike from distance is straight down Glover’s throat the keeper dropping down onto the ball. That’s it the final whistle blows and Hutton Ladies celebrate a 1-0 win to win the ERWFL Plate Final for the 2nd successive season.

Full time Hutton Ladies 1-0 Stevenage Ladies Reserves

  An impressive performance from Hutton Ladies don’t think they even believed they could do it at the start of the match but just like last season they overcame the odds to win the trophy. Encouraged early on pressing the ball well and defending strongly gained the belief that they could get something going forwards themselves. The winning goal coming in the 2nd half, Hutton looked comfortable afterwards with the narrow advantage. Stevenage created chances and got players forwards just didn’t get the luck of the green today. Glover in the way of anything they threw at her. Miss out on the double and will no doubt feel disappointed but must remember they have dominated the league this season and are the League Champions.

 Three trophys in two season’s for Hutton Ladies not a bad return at all.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  There were several contenders for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match in today’s final and I knew my notes were going to have to help me out on this one. It was a strong all round team performance from Hutton in today’s Plate Final. The defence superb, Dimmock, Page and Crumpler. Walker impressed in midfield. The last line of any defence is the goalkeeper however and for Hutton Krissie Glover was behind everything Stevenage put into her box made a number of crucial saves too during the game and she is the ERWFL Plate Final’s Player of the Match. 

Hutton Ladies 2017/18 ERWFL Plate Winners

  Congratulations to Hutton Ladies on winning today’s ERWFL Plate Final.

  If that was the starter I can’t wait for the main course. Was a really entertaining final Hutton proving lightening can strike twice. My thanks to both teams for their help with the team line-ups. A little time to relax before the ERWFL League Cup Final kicks off.

Cup Final Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC

Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final

Thursday 10th May

 Back to Cambridgeshire for more Cup Final action this Thursday evening. To the Glassworld Stadium in Histon to watch this season’s Women’s Invitation Cup Final once again being contested between Cambridge City Ladies & Cambridge United WFC who have held an iron grip on the trophy for a number of seasons.

   A league between the sides coming into tonight’s final they have never been closer in terms of position within the women’s football pyramid, Cambridge City Ladies finishing 2nd in their debut season in the ERWFL Premier Division just a point behind Champion’s Billericay Town Ladies. An indifferent season in the league for Cambridge United WFC in FAWPL South East Division One currently laying in 7th place in the table with 2 league games left to play. 

  Cambridge United WFC beating Cambridge City Ladies 5-1 in last season’s final. The two sides enjoy a bit of rivalry with a number of ex-United players now back with Cambridge City. Both rearing to get going the game having been originally scheduled to be played a month ago the awful weather that has blighted much of the 2nd half of the season putting pay to the game back then. Cambridge United into a 6th successive final have won it for the past 5 season’s once again sponsored by S-Tech Insurance who have supported girls & women’s football in Cambridgeshire for 12 years. 

Road to the Final

  A bye for the holders in the 1st Round of the Invitation Cup. It was another wet and cold day for Cambridge City Ladies as they clinched a 5-1 win at home against Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side, ICA Sports Ladies. 

  Into the quarter finals, Cambridge United were drawn away to Championship North side Wisbech St Mary Ladies. There higher league status shining through as they comfortably progressed to the last 4 with a 12-0 victory. A trickier tie on paper for Cambridge City Ladies in their quarter final tie at home to ERWFL Division One North side, Histon Ladies. Cambridge City though was also comfortable winners going through the the last 4 with a 7-0 result.

  Home ties for both sides in the semi-finals up against the two sides who would eventually finish as Champions and runners-up in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership saw them both in action just last evening St Ives Town Ladies and Newmarket Town Ladies. A 3-0 win at Mildenhall Town FC for Cambridge United as they beat Newmarket Town 3-0 to reach another final. Cambridge City reaching a 2nd successive Invitation Cup Final with a narrow 1-0 win over St Ives Town Ladies.

Histon’s Glassworld Stadium the venue once again for the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final. The pitch having seen a lot of football over the season it Histon Ladies and their Reserve side amongst those using it. A big pitch with plenty of room on the flanks to exploit one main stand over looking the pitch with covered terraces and seating all around. Much better weather this time around cooler than it has been sunny and cloudy no rain forecast. 

Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Tee Mhunduru, Sarah Mosley, Lauren Tomlinson, Amy Reed, Becca Fay (C), Anna Kanz, Stacey Fullicks, Charlotte Gillies, Laura Mills, Grace Stanley & Bella Simmons. Subs – Carla Penny, Emily Reed, Bronte Rapley, Lucy Hurst & Ellie Cullum.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Bright (C), Charlotte Crisp, Laura Baker, Amy Howlett, Faith Hewitt, Lauren Cartwright & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Amber Cantwell, Gabrielle Whitehurst, Teonie Peyton & Lauren Gibson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Strong line-ups for both sides, normally both are abbreviated to Cam in my notes that’ll confuse everybody however so from here on it it’s City and United. It’s United to get the game underway wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks with City wearing white shirts, with black shorts and white and black hooped socks. United playing the all into striker Kelley Blanchflower breaking forwards at the start her ball on for Amy Howlett on bursting down the right, she fouls her opponent trying to get inside to cross the ball.

   City break forwards the ball coming on through the midfield Anna Kanz with Stacey Fullicks, the diagonal ball sending Grace Stanley in behind of the left cuts inside and fires a cross into the area Bella Simmons arriving at the near post getting in front of her marker and putting her head on the ball directs it wide of the goal. Right from the off it looks like it’s going to be a feisty contest between the pair. 

Grace Stanley on the attack for Cambridge City, Emma Jenkins in defence for Cambridge United

  United get the ball down into the right channel win the first corner of the game. A good delivery into the area the ball falling for Bright at the far post her strike charged down the rebound racing out to Amy Howlett positioned 25 yards out her shot back in claimed by City goalkeeper, Tee Mhunduru. 

  City build on the right Simmons coming across to offer support for Charlotte Gillies, receiving the ball Simmons shoots from the top right corner of the area her low effort gathered by United goalkeeper Savannah Smith covering her near post. City pressure United at the back bodies forwards win their first corner of the game over on the right the ball played into the middle of the area headed clear by United’s Laura Baker. 

  Both sides are using the width getting their wide players involved in the action early on United breaking forwards the all into Blanchflower shifted on for Howlett her cross squared in along the top of the area Lauren Cartwright stooping into the header directs the ball in towards goal, Mhunduru right behind the ball takes it into her arms. Lauren Tomlinson at left back for City gets across to take the ball away from Blanchflower as the United striker is played in through the middle.

  Fullicks felt the full force of a Baker tackle in last season’s final and the pair come together again this time around a Baker having broken up a City attack lunges in as Fullicks picks up possession. A painful one for the City midfielder, Baker with a talking to from the referee. Fullicks after treatment is okay to continue. A free-kick for City inside the United half the ball played up into the area cleared by Kayleigh-Anne Burt.

Laura Baker about to tackle Stacey Fullicks

 A purposeful attack by City Simmons running at the United defence with the ball her shot blocked by Emma Jenkins top of the area the rebound travelling on into the box Laura Mills wants it runs on, United captain Laura Bright with a great sliding tackle to take the ball away from her. A competitive game Blanchflower running into the channels to get onto the ball a cross into the area from the right long to the far side Faith Hewitt with the shot can’t keep the ball down. 

 Charlotte Crisp with the ball through the middle for United plays it on for Blanchflower she spins away from City captain Becca Fay breaking into the box, Amy Reed coming across to challenge and deny a shooting opportunity. Carrie Bennett tackles Gillies as the City winger comes infield with the ball on the right. City press forwards Mills seeing her shot from 20 yards out right side of the area blocked the ball looping away to Stanley on the left side her header back in met by Bright the ball doesn’t go far fired back in low for Simmons six yards out her near post strike gathered by Smith.   

Cambridge City Ladies captain, Becca Fay

Entertaining the crowd are getting behind the sides, flowing football United clearing a City cross into the box one end, breaking it forwards up the other rapidly Howlett seeing her cross claimed by Mhunduru the centre of her goal. Sarah Mosley getting her head on the ball to clear for City as Howlett surges down the right again. Smith comes racing out of her area as City release Stanley through the middle charging forwards the goalkeeper slices her clearance, luckily for her Stanley momentarily looses sight of the ball players racing back, the winger picks it back up left corner of the area Smith getting back on her goes to ground the ball struck against her United able to nullify the threat.

Cambridge City Ladies, Grace Stanley

   An injury to Bright bring’s a chance of respite for both sides. Bight is allowed back on after treatment. United attack the ball fired into Blanchflower 40 yards out a drop of the shoulder and she is away in behind the City defence shooting early drills a swerving shot in Mhunduru going for it misses the ball though wide of the post. A free-kick out wide right corner for United after Howlett is fouled, the delivery long Mhunduru taking it high beyond the far post releases it quickly Mills away on the right, Gillies with her the ball crossed in Jenkins slicing the clearance, Smith coming pounces on the ball.

   GOAL! The stalemate is at last broken as United score the opening goal of the game. Have a free-kick out wide on the left inside the City half the ball is sent in long towards the far post Blanchflower closing in lets it run on for Howlett to her right a solid connection to smash her shot back across the goal and in 0-1.

Amy Howlett opens the scoring for Cambridge United WFC

The goal firing United up they press on looking for another Tomlinson winning the ball from Cartwright moving to the right. PENALTY! City looking for a quick response build on the right get an opportunity from the penalty spot as Gillies is brought down just inside the area by Burt lunging in try and take the ball from the winger. Simmons placing the ball on the spot runs in and strikes the ball Smith beaten the ball running low past her strikes the base of the post and cannons out to the left.

Cambridge City Ladies midfielder, Anna Kanz

 A spell of City pressure late in the first half Kanz winning the ball played on for Fullicks she combines with Gillies going forwards the cross in too close to the keeper Smith claiming the ball. Gillies with more good running down the right Bennett defending the corner conceded, into the area Burt clears. City come close again to levelling the score Tomlinson getting forwards with the ball into the United half a diagonal ball launched into the area a pointblank header for Simmons six yards out an excellent catch by Smith quick reactions a couple of yards between attacker and goalkeeper Smith gets a firm hold of the ball. 

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 0-1 Cambridge United WFC

  Plenty happening in an exciting and entertaining first half, pretty even between the sides, United getting their noses in front. City far from out of it creating plenty of opportunities running at the United defence. A penalty missed, Simmons looking a real threat in attack for City. Just one goal in it United know they have plenty of work ahead if they are to keep hold of the County Cup. 

Laura Mills on the attack for Cambridge City

The floodlights on for the 2nd half, City get the 2nd half underway, lose the ball United putting it out to Hewitt on the left wing she crosses into the area Fay clearing for City. 

GOAL! A couple of minutes gone in the 2nd half and City are back on level terms players breaking forwards Gillies on for Mills inside the area right side falling she cuts the ball back towards the six yard box Simmons on it near post sends the ball across the keeper and over the line 1-1. 

Gillies gets back to support Mosley as Hewitt looks to get in behind her on the left for United. Gillies playing the ball long for Simmons to go after she is brought down 30 yards out right side of the United goal. The delivery long to the far post a glancing header from Simmons touches a United player as it runs out for a corner. The ball into the area defended by United. Hewitt with the ball left side again her early cross in toward Howlett right of the D she shoots first time the ball wide. United make a change Cartwright coming off, Amber Cantwell coming on. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Laura Baker

  Mosley defending as Baker looks to put the ball into Blanchflower the United striker aiming to spin in behind. City have the advantage a strong spell have United penned around their penalty area. 

 GOAL! Having levelled the scores City go on to take the lead in the Invitation Cup Final of the net. Breaking up a United attack Gillies brings the ball forward through the middle sliding the ball on for Simmons her touch taking her away from her marker and shooting from the top of the area her low effort runs into the back of the net just inside the post 2-1.

United make a substitution Lauren Gibson on up top for Blanchflower. City are looking strong having started the 2nd half well renewed energy as they press on wanting another. Bennett charging down a shot from the right from Gillies as she takes the ball on down the wing has a second go past the full back this time but not Smith who claims at her near post. Gillies and Simmons look to combine centrally, Jenkins coming in to win the ball for United. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Emma Jenkins

City are on top Mills coming on with the ball into the right channel crosses from the byline the ball flashing across the face of goal runners coming in but no one can get a touch on the ball. A free-kick in a dangerous position for City right of the D 25 yards out Mosley on the ball curls in a shot towards goal Smith jumping up the ball smashes against the crossbar dropping down to the left a shot fired in, Smith already on the ground making the save on her goal line. 

Cambridge City Ladies, Stacey Fullicks

  Bright having taken a knock needs to come off for United, Teonie Peyton coming on goes into a position wide left. City’s tails are up they are dominant sense they can get more goals pulling the United back line out of shape. Gibson is pulled back as she attempts to get on through the middle a free-kick for United. Jenkins over it a good delivery in towards goal bouncing in front of Mhunduru she lays claim to the ball even as Hewitt lunging for it almost connects. A double change for City, Kanz and Stanley coming off, on come Carla Penny and Ellie Cullum. Reed winning the ball at the back for City as United look to play the ball over the top for Gibson.

Faith Hewitt on the attack for Cambridge United WFC

 GOAL! City extend their lead pressing forwards the ball on the right numbers up pressing United top of the area the ball played across to the left side in front of goal, Gillies right corner inside to Cullum she helps it on to Simmons left side her dipping shot flying into the back of the net 3-1.

A Cup Final hat-trick for Cambridge City Ladies, Bella Simmons

City bring on Bronte Rapley in place of Mosley with less than 10 minutes left to play. Fullicks back to help out at the back as Peyton gets free on the left prevents the cross coming in. Gabrielle Whitehurst comes on for United replacing Hewitt. Howlett getting back gets the ball back to Smith as Penny threatens to run in on goal. Reed with another good defensive tackle as United try to bring the ball on through the centre. Peyton with the ball deep in the left cuts the ball back in towards the byline Mhunduru concerned the ball though landing on the roof of the net. 

Fullicks is struggling with a knock comes off Emily Reed coming on for City. Blanchflower back on for United, Crisp off. Burt getting the ball back safely to her keeper as City press in attack through the middle. Reed wins the challenge against Blanchflower as Baker sends the ball on into her after winning it on halfway. Blanchflower’s ball lifted on strikes Fay in the back as the defender turns 20 yards from goal. City bring off Simmons in the closing minutes Lucy Hurst on. Look comfortable United rushing their passes in their bid to try and get a goal back late on. Lively late on emotions running high City closing everything down. City celebrate everyone running onto the pitch as the final whistle blows and they win this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Final.

Full time Cambridge City Ladies 3-1 Cambridge United WFC

  A strong 2nd half performance from Cambridge City getting themselves back on level terms early on. Went on to become deserved winners dominating the game pressing the ball defending strongly and building quickly through the middle. Simmons could have had a hat-trick in the first half instead waited for the 2nd half 3 well taken goals too to comeback from being a goal down after the 1st half. Cambridge United’s long hold on the Invitation Cup coming to an end were outplayed 2nd half.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Picking this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match is fairly straight forwards although their were plenty of other good performances from Cambridge City too, Amy Reed good in the back line. Charlotte Gillies a threat on the right supported by Laura Mills. Stacey Fullicks strong in the midfield. Scoring a hat-trick in a Cup Final though is pretty special and for that and the constant threat she posed Cambridge United all game the award goes to Bella Simmons.

Cambridge City Ladies 2017/18 Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup Winners

Congratulations to Cambridge City Ladies winning the 2017/18 Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup.

  My thanks to everyone who assisted me this evening and good to catch up with a everyone not many games left to watch now.

Match Report – St Ives Town Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies

Wednesday 9th May

 A midweek clash between the top two in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership this Wednesday evening. A celebration in the finish with St Ives Town Ladies clinching the league title on Sunday hosting runners-up Newmarket Town Ladies.

St Ives Town Ladies winning the Premiership title in just their 3rd season together. Confirmed as league winners at the weekend after opponents Netherton United couldn’t field a side. 3 points awarded that meant they could no longer be caught at the top of the table with an 8 point lead at the top of the table with Newmarket Town Ladies also awarded a home win at weekend having 2 games left to play.

  Has been a strange season everywhere the awful weather seeing no end of games called off prolonging a season teams having to play double headers at the end to ensure the fixtures were caught up. Both St Ives Town Ladies and Newmarket Town Ladies overhauling the early pace setters, Netherton United Ladies.

  One more game left to play for St Ives Town Ladies at the ProEdge Westwood Road Stadium home to the St Ives Town FC. A strong league campaign losing just once all season in their opening fixture against Newmarket Town Ladies. Now they both meet at the opposite end of the season 1st & 2nd in the league. Nothing riding on this evenings match both sides should be able to relax and express themselves. 

  A dry and firm surface at the ProEdge Stadium, the pitch worn in places after a long season. Three stands over on the far side of the ground the clubhouse opposite with bar, function room and refreshments all available. A mild evening not as hot as it has been in recent days.

 St Ives Town Ladies starting XI – Kira Markwell, Penny Ford, Connie Liddiard, Anna Hicks, Mollie Flack, Harriet Ford, Hannah Seymour-Shove, Katie Stancombe, Amy Seymour-Shove (C), Tierney Coulson & Georgia Stancombe. Subs – Sophie Marjoram, Ellie Brown, Katherine Speed, Molly Berryman & Jess Guthrie.

 Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Yasmin Woodfield, Hannah Rogers, Chloe Slater, Beth Woodfield (C), Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Abbi Griffin, Molly Agnew, Lauren Bailey & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Dominika Szary, Sarah O’Rourke & Hollie Turner

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Newmarket to get the first half underway, wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. St Ives playing in black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. The ball worked forwards up to striker Jordanne Sillitoe moving out to the left she sends a diagonal ball forwards into the area Abbi Griffin making the central run in the clear closing down St Ives goalkeeper Kira Markwell she is first to the ball kicking it clear as Griffin turns looking to block the ball.

  St Ives press the attack captain Amy Seymour-Shove getting in behind on the left sends a squared cross along the face of goal, met on the far side a shot drilling in low, Eloise Hope in goal for Newmarket is right behind it down to gather the ball. Sillitoe operating as the lone attacker for Newmarket with support from Laura Bailey will move out to the flanks to receive the ball good hold up play as the diagonal ball from Antonia Smith is put into her turns off her marker and sends a cross in to the area the ball out of play at Markwell’s far post with Griffin trying to make up the ground.

  Hannah Seymour-Shove winning the ball in the middle for St Ives played forwards into Georgia Stancombe she releases Katie Stancombe on the left wing in behind a good run the cross fired in met by Tierney Coulson at the top of the six yard box near post her shot up over the crossbar. Connie Liddiard winning the ball back at left back bringing it on up the flank before sending it forwards for Coulson she plays it early Georgia Stancombe looking to get in behind central, Newmarket centre back Chloe Slater going with her clears the ball as it drops over her shoulder. 

  Jess Linger back to help the defence gets across Georgia Stancombe as Hannah Seymour-Shove turns play around in the middle, sees the ball back into her goalkeepers gloves. Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield does the same as Amy Seymour-Shove looks to press in behind moving inside from the left. Harriet Ford with time and space on the ball inside the Newmarket half decides to have a crack at goal from 30 yards out, Hope right behind it drops to gather the ball into her body. 

Newmarket’s Jess Linger with St Ives Town Ladies, Harriet Ford

  Play turned round quickly by both sides, Newmarket looking to get Griffin away on the right is tackled by Harriet Ford. St Ives get the ball up field rapidly the diagonal pass releasing Georgia Stancombe drifting out to the right her cross fired low into the area, a vital interception by Yasmin Woodfield on the penalty spot with Amy Seymour-Shove beyond her. Newmarket with a corner on the right an inswinging delivery to the middle of the goal a confident claim by Markwell. 

  Katie Stancombe in behind attacking with the ball on the right for St Ives her strike drilled in low towards the near post sees Hope well positioned to claim. An even start to the game both sides attacking. Beth Woodfield’s clearance long out to the left is picked up by Molly Agnew on the left side for Newmarket taking the ball into the box shoots the ball put in across the keeper Markwell making an excellent save getting down to her left to push the ball behind for the corner. A good ball into the area from the set-piece Sillitoe rising gets her head on the ball, can’t direct the ball on target out at the far post for a goal kick.

  Smith plays the ball forwards into Bailey top of the area to the left of goal good hold up play, Agnew provides the run into the area, a touch from the St Ives defence on it’s way through Agnew settles for the corner. Another inswinging delivery from the left Markwell has it covered as it curls out over her crossbar. Penny Ford with a good tackle to stop Agnew’s run inside from the left. Hannah Seymour-Shove busy in the middle for St Ives has options left and right aswell as through the middle as the St Ives attackers all look for find space in behind the Newmarket defence playing a higher line than their opponents. 

Newmarket’s Abbi Griffin with St Ives Town Ladies, Amy Seymour-Shove

  St Ives win the ball in the middle Hannah Seymour-Shove into Harriet Ford, the ball played out for Katie Stancombe in the right, Hannah Rogers winning the tackle for Newmarket. Coulson seeing the ball into her feet turns and looks to set Georgia Stancombe away in behind central, Slater reading the ball going with the attacker intercepts the ball. St Ives begin another attack win a free-kick inside the Newmarket half in a central position.

GOAL! From the free-kick St Ives open the scoring the ball played long towards goal Hope moving across her line to the right does take the high ball in cleanly not secure it drops into the six yard box in front of her St Ives having 3 players closing her down on the follow up a little bit of head tennis before the final touch is applied sending the ball across goal and over the line Amy-Seymour-Shove getting the telling header 1-0.

Newmarket look for an immediate response Sillitoe coming to receive the ball centrally lays it on for Bailey through the middle into the area up against Anna Hicks as she closes in on goal gets a shot away the ball over the crossbar. Smith regaining the ball for Newmarket as St Ives look to break through the middle plays it out to Sillitoe to her left a long way out tries her luck a looping ball sent in towards goal has Markwell concerned as it drops but safe landing on the roof of the net. 

Jordanne Sillitoe on the ball for Newmarket Town Ladies

   Sillitoe with good hold up play on the left puts Bailey through into the box for a run at goal once more, Hicks on her shoulder does enough to slow her down allowing Markwell the chance to come and gather. Mollie Flack clearing the ball played into the area from the right as Griffin and Linger combine in attack for Newmarket. Flack and Hicks both converge to stop Bailey as she tries to force her way into the area given the ball inside the D. 

 GOAL! A little under 10 minutes left in the 1st half and St Ives double their advantage. Katie Stancombe with a powerful run on the right side breaks in behind cutting inside and strikes the ball well evading Hope at the near post this time drilled across her and into the back of the net. 2-0.

Both goalkeepers alert to come and take the ball top of their areas as the ball is slid in behind. Bailey in the path of a poor kick out at the back tries to send the shot back in towards goal doesn’t get a clean connection no pace on the ball Markwell can bring it up into her gloves and kicking it long looks to set up another St Ives attack. St Ives press forwards, Amy Seymour-Shove clear on the left into Coulson on for Georgia Stancombe, Hope rushing out of her area doesn’t get a good kick on the ball it spins in behind Stancombe after it, Beth Woodfield recovers well for Newmarket sliding in to clear the ball away for the corner. 

Beth Woodfield clearing the ball for Newmarket Town Ladies

  The delivery in towards the near post headed behind for a 2nd corner this one taken short up the line the ball eventually worked inside across the top of the area Liddiard up from the back blazes her shot high out for the goal kick. Hannah Seymour-Shove winning the ball late in the first half slides the pass through the middle for Georgia Stancombe Hope coming to close her down edge of her area, Stancombe attempts to lob her but under pressure screws the ball wide.

Half-time St Ives Town Ladies 2-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  2-0 advantage for St Ives at the break, playing well keeping a solid line at the back, Harriet Ford and Hannah Seymour-Shove busy in midfield breaking up play, attacking options going forwards with good runs from Amy Seymour-Shove and Katie Stancombe on the wings, Coulson and Georgia Stancombe through the middle. Sitting deeper aren’t giving Newmarket any room in behind, have gotten into some god position’s nevertheless but you feel they will need the next goal if they are to get back into the game.

St Ives Town Ladies, Hannah Seymour-Shove

Change’s at half-time for Newmarket, Rogers off Bailey now at left back with Sarah O’Rourke with Hollie Turner up top now Sillitoe also off. Dominika Szary replacing Hope in goal. St Ives to get the 2nd half underway. A quiet start to the 2nd period the ball put out wide, Yasmin Woodfield getting to it before Amy Seymour-Shove. Beth Woodfield clearing a high ball put into the area from St Ives after a throw in on the right.

GOAL! A blow for the visitors at the start of the 2nd half as St Ives extend their lead. A superb individual goal from Katie Stancombe too. Picking up the ball on half way right side she plays it forwards Georgia Stancombe not quite back on side from a previous attack central doesn’t make a move towards the ball Katie Stancombe runs on to pick up the ball driving forwards with it free of challenge taking the ball into the box and shoots cutting the ball across the keeper to cross the line at inside the far post 3-0.

A brace for St Ives Town Ladies, Katie Stancombe

Bailey tackling wins the ball back for Coulson as the St Ives attacker looks to get in behind moving to the right with the ball. Agnew coming forwards for Newmarket on the left plays the diagonal ball in low for O’Rourke to chase, Flack getting hold of it for St Ives. Griffin latching onto a poor ball at the back from St Ives attacks on the right, Liddiard putting in the tackle to win the ball back. 

  Amy Seymour-Shove left side in attack plays the pass into the area for Georgia Stancombe left of goal Slater going with the attacker no shot on the ball played back to the top of the area Coulson coming onto the ball sends her effort over the bar. Hicks and Flack aren’t giving much away through the centre of defence for St Ives a solid base from which to begin an attack Harriet Ford on for Hannah Seymour-Shove, Georgia Stancombe wanting it plays into the right channel, Slater going with her puts in the challenge to regain the ball. 

  Newmarket’s Hollie Turner allowed time and space on the ball 30 yards out takes a shot at goal, Markwell getting set isn’t troubled. A change for St Ives Penny Ford coming off, Molly Berryman coming on. A free-kick top of the circle for Newmarket inside the St Ives half a chance for Linger to play the ball into the area, Flighted in towards the near post runners attacking the ball, Markwell behind it is able to take cleanly on the bounce. 

  St Ives come forwards on the left the ball put inside for Coulson 25 yards out left of the D drills a shot in towards goal the ball running wide across the face of goal. A throw taken quickly by Harriet Ford on the right for St Ives, Georgia Stancombe taking it to the byline whips a cross in along the face of goal, Szary composed isn’t put off by Coulson closing her down at she claims the ball. Coulson helping the ball on through the middle puts Georgia Stancombe in behind right of the area shooting her strike running narrowly wide at the far post.

St Ives Town, Tierney Coulson holding Newmarket defender Chloe Slater off the ball

  St Ives tails are up, Newmarket look a little flat the 3rd goal a blow. Sillitoe back on as Agnew brings the ball on down the right, squared centrally into Sillitoe 20 yards out her shot charged down the ball coming to Turner 20 she strikes the ball back in races wide of the post. Liddiard rises to head the ball inside the box to clear for St Ives as Linger plays a free-kick into the box. Sillitoe forcing her way forwards pushes the ball on for Turner through the middle, Flack tackling for St Ives. 

  The game stretched a little, Newmarket committing players forwards St Ives counter attack Hannah Seymour-Shove releases Georgia Stancombe clear into the Newmarket are right of goal slight hesitation before striking a shot wide across the face of goal. Beth Woodfield with a good tackle to deny Georgia Stancombe a shot as the striker looks to latch onto the ball played on through the middle. Into the final 10 minutes of the game St Ives are determined not to concede 3 defenders all close Agnew down as she attempts to drive on into the area with the ball on the left. 

Katie Stancombe with Newmarket’s Molly Agnew

Sillitoe after the ball on the right side sends her cross long into the box Agnew in behind this time retrieves at the far post sends the ball looping back in across the face of goal O’Rourke coming in the ball  can’t quite reach it. 5 minute left a triple change for St Ives, Jess Guthrie, Ellie Brown and Katherine Speed all coming on for Georgia and Katie Stancombe and Liddiard. Sillitoe sees her strike from the top of the area charged down a 4th change for St Ives a keeper change Markwell off Sophie Marjoram joining the action. 

  A save for Marjoram in the closing moments of the game a shot coming into her from distance heading top corner the keeper getting across to parry the ball behind the corner coming to nothing as the final whistle blows and St Ives celebrate as they end their season with a win.

Full time St Ives Town Ladies 3-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  Three goals without reply to end the season for St Ives putting on a good show for the fans at the ProEdge Stadium. A solid performance, confident and determined not to concede. Players ready to attack all across the front line, moved the ball well. Newmarket’s season almost over a bit flat at the end has been a long campaign a busy spell recently too the players looked tired physically and mentally but should be proud of what they have achieved this season a memorable run in the FA Women’s Cup. Two young squads here gaining plenty of experience both will only improve going forwards. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  This evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award goes to St Ives Town Ladies Hannah Seymour-Shove a strong performance in midfield lively closing down the ball and with her attackers always ready to go in front of her she had the vision and range of passes to pick them out.

St Ives Town Ladies, Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership Champions

Congratulation to St Ives Town Ladies on winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership title. Good to finely get to see them at last this season. Thanks to both clubs for their help this evening.

Norfolk Finals Day – FC Sprowston Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies

Norfolk Ladies League Cup 

Sunday 6th May

 On to the 2nd of today’s Finals in Norfolk the Ladies League Cup, FC Sprowston Ladies newly crowned Champion’s of Norfolk Women’s Division Two taking on Bungay Town Ladies who are looking to retain the League Cup having won it for the 1st time last season.

  The 2nd time a Sprowston side has featured in the Norfolk Women’s Finals day. FC Sprowston Ladies formed at the start of the season. The two sides are run as two different teams not a 1st & Reserves/Development. FC Sprowston Ladies building on a club that has a strong youth programme. Have dominated Norfolk Women’s Division Two this season with a 100% in both league and cup it looked as though they would go all the way to the League Cup Final with that record intact. But alas no they have been beaten once in the league this season by eventual runners-up Beccles Town Ladies who pushed them all the way. The league finished FC Sprowston Ladies are the Champions and come into the League Cup Final looking to do a double against a side that are thinking exactly the same thing!

  Whilst FC Sprowston Ladies are the Norfolk Women’s Division Two Champion’s, Bungay Town Ladies are on the verge of winning the Division One title having a 3 point lead over 2nd placed Sprowston Ladies. A win in their final league game at home to Gorleston FC Ladies this coming Thursday would almost certainly see them become champions. Sprowston having 2 games left can still equal their points tally Bungay Town Ladies however have the advantage of a larger goal difference. Are keen to successfully retain the League Cup this afternoon.

Road to the Final

  A bye in the 1st Round of the League Cup for FC Sprowston Ladies. Bungay Town Ladies began the defence of the League Cup with a huge 10-0 win at home to Division Two side Freethorpe Ladies. 

10-0 was the winning score for FC Sprowston Ladies as they cruised into the quarter finals beating fellow Division Two side Kirkley & Pakefield FC Ladies in the 2nd Round. Bungay Town Ladies were away to fellow Division one side Wymondham Town Ladies Reserves won the game 6-1 to reach the last 8.

  A much closer result for FC Sprowston Ladies in the quarter finals at home to fellow Division Two side Tavern Ladies the sides contesting a 7 goal thriller, FC Sprowston Ladies edging it 4-3. Bungay Town Ladies were at home to the young guns of Bure Valley Wildcats the Division Two newcomers on the wrong end of a 14-0 loss. Have since gone on to turn their season completely around with a strong finish. 

Into the last 4, FC Sprowston Ladies were away to Stalham Town Ladies. Another close game a narrow 2-1 victory seeing FC Sprowston into the final. For Bungay Town Ladies it was a repeat of last season’s League Cup Final away to Thorpe United Ladies. 2-1 to Bungay Town in that final, it was another close one with Bungay Town edging it 4-3 to reach a 2nd successive league cup final.

  If anything it’s hotter than the previous final the sun high in the sky. Retreated to the shady side of the ground to watch the game.

FC Sprowston Ladies starting XI – Joanna Pipe, Megan Belsey, Annika Skoog, Lois Irving, Katie Fray, Rebecca Kirby, Nicole Read (C), Melissa Belsey, Georgia Potter, Jo Davey & Harriet Gregory. Subs – Rosie Wickenden, Laura Jenkins & Charmaine Storey.

Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Jody Wells, Kelly Collins (C), Ella Swift, Charlotte Power, Ella Hindley, Teo Ilie, Selina Rowland, Nicky Hazell, Lauren Purling, Emily Leach & Samantha Walker. Subs – Arianna Lloyd & Eva Evans.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

 FC Sprowston to kick-off the league Cup Final wearing orange shirts with black shorts and socks with Bungay lined up opposite wearing an all Royal Blue kit. An early attack for FC Sprowston the ball played out to Harriet Gregory moving into the right channel a low shot drilled in on the angle, the ball spinning off Bungay goalkeeper Jody Wells getting down at her near post the corner conceded. The ball played in towards the near post Bungay get the ball clear. 

  Centre back Katie Fray defends well up against Bungay attack Emily Leach as she has a run at the FC Sprowston defence after receiving the ball. Up the other end 3 Bungay defenders converge on Gregory as she makes a central run towards goal. Bungay press the attack Lauren Purling running up the right wing as Selina Rowland feeds her the ball whips a cross into the box, goes long the ball cleared by Megan Belsey for FC Sprowston. 

FC Sprowston’s Katie Fray clearing the ball as Emily Leah closes her down

  Purling is clipped as she tries to get away on the right, the free-kick awarded halfway inside the FC Sprowston half. Leach to play the ball into the box the ball knocked down into the mix is pushed out to Rowland top of the area, shifts the ball to her right and shoots the ball angling into the top right corner, Joanne Pipe in the FC Sprowston goal with an excellent save to get the ball away for the corner. 

  Early in the game Bungay have the bulk of the attack, Samantha Walker running onto the ball through the middle strikes the ball from the top of the D her effort running narrowly wide of the post. Lois Irving steps forwards turning to charge down Walker’s next strike the ball spinning away for a throw on the right. Melissa Belsey tracking Purling into the right corner defend conceding the corner kick. Walker to take the inswinging ball towards the far post Purling getting her header on target FC Sprowston have defenders back on the post the ball won and cleared.

FC Sprowston Ladies, Rebecca Kirby

   Walker driving forwards into the box with the ball run wide to the byline right side cuts a cross/shot back in cut out by Pipe back to Walker sends the rebound back across the face of goal, Megan Belsey clearing at the far post. FC Sprowston are working hard at the back to deny Bungay the midfield pressing the ball, in attack Jo Davey pressures Charlotte Power at the back as she plays the ball back to the keeper. Gregory with a strike from distance put wide for FC Sprowston as she runs inside with the ball from the right.

  Walker looks to be in the clear into the area from the left side as she is given the ball following a throw-in. Irving with a great burst of pace gets back on the striker closing her down as she shoots the ball tame as it is safely collected by Pipe. FC Sprowston captain Nicole Read winning the ball in the middle is fouled as she looks to carry it forwards. The set-piece dealt with by Ella Hindley at the back for Bungay. Purling is fouled on the right beside the box as she tries to bring the ball inside. Walker to fire the ball in across goal, FC Sprowston clearing the threat. 

Bungay’s Lauren Purling with FC Sprowston’s Melissa Belsey

  Purling is busy on the right at the start of the match getting forwards her cross from the byline cut back to the top of the area Walker behind it takes the shot on the volley sends the ball up over the bar. Bungay continue to dominate the attack, FC Sprowston working hard to defend aren’t getting the ball into their own attackers 25 minutes played. Nicky Hazell puts the ball in over the top of the FC Sprowston defence, Leach running into the area, Pipe out to claim well as she is closed down. Melissa Belsey sliding in to deny Purling a cross as she surges up the right wing. 

   Hazell bringing the ball on plays the pass inside from the left into Leach, Hazell bombs on into the area Leach sending her the return pass, Hazell putting it inside for Walker in the middle a clever flick to turn the ball goalwards, Pipe is well placed moving to grab hold of the ball. FC Sprowston attacks are few and far between getting forwards on the left win a free-kick on the byline a chance for players to come forwards, the ball played across the face of the goal dropping far post inviting no one can supply a final touch however as it runs wide. 

Bungay Town Ladies, Teo Ilie

Fray with the interception to stop Leach getting through on goal as Teo Ilie and Rowland combine through the middle for Bungay. Bungay keep pressing forwards Walker picking the ball up top of the area, left side drills a shot in the keeper beaten, the ball striking the base of the far post the ball rebounding out across goal Annika Skoog 1st to it for FC Sprowston clearing for a corner with Walker looking to close her down.

Bungay’s Lauren Purling & Annika Skoog for FC Sprowston challenge for the ball

   Skoog gets in front of Walker to get the ball back into Pipe as Rowland tries to play her in on goal. Into the last 5 minutes of the 1st half. Rebecca Kirby winning the ball for FC Sprowston in the middle plays it on for Georgia Potter on the right, Bungay captain Kelly Collins quick to close her down. Ella Swift getting forwards from right back for Bungay plays the ball forwards Rowland with the run, good defending from Fray as she closes the midfielder down.

Half-time FC Sprowston Ladies 0-0 Bungay Town Ladies

  Goalless at the break, Bungay have had almost all of the attack and kept FC Sprowston penned in their own half for large portions of the game, have rode their luck a little chances going begging. For all that FC Sprowston as much as they are defending aren’t panicking, The defence coping with most intended through balls, Kirby and Read battling for the ball in midfield. A solid defensive base just can’t get anything going in attack. Bungay moving forwards well, Power and Hindley untroubled at centreback. Rowland and Ilie covering alot of ground.

Bungay Town Ladies, Ella Hindley

 It’s Bungay to kick off the 2nd half. Are on the attack straight away Rowland bringing the ball on through the middle out to Purling on the wing heads the ball inside towards the area with Walker closing in, Irving getting her head on the ball first to clear for FC Sprowston. Read closes down Rowland as she lines up to shoot from 25 yards out. Skoog strong up against Walker as she tries to break through the FC Sprowston defence on her right. Megan Belsey stepping forwards from the FC Sprowston defence to challenge Hazell as she drives forwards from the left.

Bungay Town Ladies, Samantha Walker

 FC Sprowston with a change Davey coming off, Laura Jenkins coming off in attack. The substitute getting hold of the ball straight away and having a run at the Bungay defence Hindley putting in the challenge to regain possession. Building through the middle Ille on for Rowland into Walker she turns and sets Leach up as she breaks in behind the FC Sprowston defence, shoots from 25 yards out her effort rising up over the crossbar. Despite the one sided nature of the game it is an intriguing contest FC Sprowston defending yes but doing so with confidence… and the longer they can keep Bungay out it’ll come down to whether they can create an opportunity up the other end.

Bungay Town Ladies, Emily Leach

   Hazell with a powerful run forwards on the left sends a diagonal ball into the area, Fray the 1st to it for FC Sprowston. Rowland getting forwards to support Hazell on the left wing nutmegs her marker the ball on for Hazell cutting inside unleashes a shot curling in on goal, Pipe getting behind it with a comfortable catch. Read charges down Ille as the midfield lines up a shot 20 yards out. FC Sprowston make a change Davey returning to the pitch Potter coming off.

Megan Belsey with a double interception as Bungay try to play the ball through into the box from the left. Read with a great tackle inside the box  to stop Leach getting a shot away as Walker squeezes the ball into her from the top left hand corner of the area. 

  GOAL! At last the deadlock is broken, Bungay finding the back of the net at last to take the lead in the League Cup Final. Rowland getting the goal bringing the ball on looking for options ahead of her right of the goal 25 yards out isn’t closed down the opportunity presenting itself she doesn’t hesitate puts her foot through the ball plenty of power behind the shot it flies past Pipe before she can react and into the goal beyond 0-1.

Selina Rowland with the strike to put Bungay Town Ladies in the lead in the League Cup Final

FC Sprowston work the ball from right to left off a throw in, Kirby getting forwards to support Jenkins the ball the ball helped across into Read, lays it forwards for Melissa Belsey breaking towards the box left side, Wells can come off her line to claim the ball. Potter returns to the action for FC Sprowston, Megan Belsey off. Bungay too make a switch Hazell coming off Arianna Lloyd coming on Purling moving over to the left wing.

FC Sprowston’s Laura Jenkins

Read get’s the ball forwards support from Melissa Belsey, Ille getting in on her to win the tackle. Ilie with a great run forwards slides the ball on for Walker, doesn’t connect cleanly with her snap shot, the ball running harmlessly into Pipe. Fray conceding the corner for FC Sprowston as Purling cuts into the area from the left. The delivery into the top of the area Read half clearing for FC Sprowston, Hindley looks to latch onto the ball strike from distance her touch limited Pipe can come to gather the ball.

  Into the closing moments of the game FC Sprowston have a free-kick on halfway the ball up towards the area, Bungay comfortable in defence. The final whistle blows and Bungay Town ladies celebrate as they successfully defend the Norfolk Ladies League Cup.   

Full time FC Sprowston Ladies 0-1 Bungay Town Ladies

   Bungay Town Ladies eventually getting the goal 2nd half enough in the end to see them win the final. Dominating the attack no doubt had a earlier shot found it’s way into the back of the net they may well have gone on to score more. As it was they didn’t as alot of credit goes to FC Sprowston for the work they did defensively where on the back foot for much of the game but confident in their work ethic and ability. Created very little attack wise largely content to stop Bungay at the other end. Easy to see why they are Division Two Champion’s a hard side to break down. Bungay have players all over the pitch who can create an opportunity in attack or set up another could have easily gotten frustrated as the chances went begging but kept at it the chance finally coming. It was an intriguing contest.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Once again there were several contenders for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. A tremendous effort from FC Sprowston Ladies to keep Bungay Town Ladies at bay, Katie Fray working tirelessly in the heart of their defence. Teo Ilie covering alot of ground in the middle of the park for Bungay Town Ladies as too did her midfield partner, and her goal nudges her into pole position so today’s Player of the Match is Selina Rowland.

Bungay Town Ladies, 2017/18 NWGFL League Cup Winners

Congratulation’s to Bungay Town Ladies on successful retaining the Norfolk Women’s League Cup

  FC Sprowston Ladies made them work for the win and kept the score at 0-0 for so long, collected their league title award after the match, congratulation’s to them too on a fantastic season.

FC Sprowston Ladies, NWGFL Division Two, Champions

  Costessey Sports Ladies were victorious in the Ladies 7’s Final beating Hellesdon Belles 5-2 to lift the trophy. A special mention to for today’s match officials, Lorraine Catchpole, Julia Robathan and Shaun Catchpole officiating in both of today’s 11 a side finals Shaun Catchpole also in the middle for the 7’s Final.

A long but enjoyable day a cup final double sees me complete 8 games in the end in 11 days. Such as it is this time of the season. Not long left before the season finishes, another cup final double coming up next Sunday the ERWFL this time around. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the teams. To the NWGFL committee too for putting on a great occasion.

Norfolk Finals Day – North Walsham Angels Ladies v Sprowston Ladies

Norfolk Ladies League Plate Final

Sunday 6th May

 The cup final action on Women’s Football East continues this Sunday with a double bill from Norfolk, later on the Ladies League Cup Final but first up an 11am kick-off for the Ladies Plate Final this season being contested by previous Plate winners, North Walsham Angels Ladies taking on Sprowston Ladies.

 The sides entering the Norfolk Ladies League Plate after being knocked out of the early rounds in the League Cup.

 North Walsham Angels Ladies were the 1st ever winners of the Norfolk Ladies League Plate competition when it was 1st introduced in the 2015/16 season, beat Red Rose 4-0 to lift the Plate. Into the Plate Final once again looking to end the season on a high. Having gotten off to a promising start in the Norfolk Women’s Division One this season had suffered from a period with a lack of games losing momentum results since have been inconsistent. Haven’t scored as many goals as last year, the Middleton sisters Luci & Hope netting 69 goals between them last season. 

 Sprowston Ladies step up to the league from U16 football and have adapted to women’s football very well, leading the table early on have kept up their in contention all season dropping to 2nd as Bungay Town Ladies overhaul them 3 points ahead with one more to play win that and even maximum points for Sprowston’s remaining 2 games will most likely not be enough with Bungay having a superior goal difference. Bungay’s last game is this coming Thursday at home to Gorleston FC Ladies, after that result Sprowston will know what they have to do. Runners-up spot in their debut season is most certainly on. Bungay slip up and who knows. On top of that were also semi-finalists in this years People’s FA Cup having been amongst the winners season before.

Road to the Final

  Both sides were knocked out of the League Cup by Stalham Town Ladies, Sprowston 1st Round then North Walsham fell to defeat in the 2nd Round. A bye for Sprowston in the 1st Round of the Plate competition. North Walsham were 4-0 away winners against fellow Division One side Long Stratton Ladies.

  It was North Walsham’s turn to progress without kicking a ball in the quarter finals awarded the away win against Costessey Sports Ladies. Sprowston were at home against Division Two title chasers Beccles Town Ladies. A comfortable 6-0 win seeing them into the last 4 of the competition.

  North Walsham were scheduled to play Kirkley & Pakefield Ladies in the semi-finals nut once again their opponents pulled out meaning North Walsham as much as they’d have rather played the game were into the final. Sprowston were taken all the way to penalties by their semi-final opponents Wymondham Ladies Reserves. Both sides getting a goal in the first half couldn’t be separated the game going to a shootout Sprowston celebrating in the finish reaching the final with a 3-2 win.

The venue for today’s Norfolk Ladies League Plate & Cup Finals aswell as the Final of the Women’s 7’s between Hellesdon Belles & Costessey Sports Ladies, once again Plantation Park, home Norwich United and Norwich City Ladies. It was again another beautiful sunny day for the Final’s got sun burnt last year, pretty sure it’ll happen this time around too, always have to burn before I’ll get a tan. Not a cloud in the sky, cool in the shady spots thankfully. The pitch looking fairly dry and firm offers plenty of width. Been a while since I’ve been to the ground, new dugouts replacing the old brick ones. 

North Walsham Angels Ladies starting XI – Jade Knight, Lauren Yarham, Gemma Newell, Hannah Sturman, Robyn Johnston, Sian Wager (C), Charlotte Darvill, Abbie Storey, Rachel Bussey, Mary-Anne Hoy & Luci Middleton. Subs – Emma Faux, Hope Middleton & Alice Wardle.

Sprowston Ladies starting XI – Megan Lightfoot, Jade Mundford, Ria Drake, Paige Barnard, Calista Tink, Chelsea Brister, Abbi Nobbs, Rebecca Russell, Abby Hutchin (C), Chelsea Pettifer & Victoria Leyer. Subs – Becky Greenslade & Jenny Trenholm.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Sprowston to kick off the Plate Final wearing orange shirts with black across the right shoulder and sleeve, black shorts with orange and black hooped socks. North Walsham lined up opposite wearing white shirts, black shorts and black and white hooped socks. Sprowston attack down the left wing the ball played into the top of the area North Walsham defend the rebound picked up by Sprowston’s Victoria Leyer she strikes the ball form 20 yards out Jade Knight in the North Walsham goal can see it out wide across the six yard box.

   A free-kick on the halfway line for Sprowston, Calista Tink over the ball plays it long up to the left wing, Lauren Yarham defending for North Walsham prevents a cross coming into the box. Abbi Storey winning the ball in the midfield for North Walsham looks to play the ball out to the right wing the pass cut out the ball is gathered by North Walsham captain Sian Wager breaking forwards has a strike from distance her effort sent wide of goal. 

Sprowston Ladies, Calista Tink

  Ria Drake cuts the ball out on the right as North Walsham look to build an attack a throw in North Walsham work the ball towards the Sprowston box, Wager playing the ball into the middle of the D, Mary-Anne Hoy seeing the ball into her feet spins away to the left getting into a shooting position inside the area pulls the trigger, Sprowston goalkeeper, Megan Lightfoot making a great save diving to her right to get her glove on the low ball. 

 A good start to the match from North Walsham as they attack Luci Middleton getting played in behind the Sprowston defence sends her strike from 20 yards out past the advancing keeper, cheers go up from the crowd but they are premature as the ball strikes the base of the post and bounces out across the face of goal, Hoy racing in to latch onto it, a Sprowston defender gets back in the nick of time to slide in and take the ball away for a corner kick.

North Walsham Angels Ladies, Luci Middleton

 A lively start to the game North Walsham showing attacking intent, Sprowston defend the corner kick and launch a rapid counter attack Leyer going after the ball played up the line right side, Charlotte Darvill getting back on her to tackle and put the ball out for a throw. Another free-kick on halfway for Sprowston a good delivery from Tink up towards the left corner of the area the ball headed down, Rebecca Russell getting hold of it drives forwards into the box, North Walsham quick to close her down the ball cleared. 

Sprowston Ladies, Abbi Nobbs

  Abbi Nobbs with a good tackle to break up the attack as North Walsham come through the middle Johnston on for Wager. Wager coming inside from a throw in on the left inside the Sprowston half has another pop at goal from 30 yards out her strike on target drops safely into the arms of Lightfoot coming across to her right post. 

North Walsham captain, Sian Wager about to strike the ball

  GOAL! A free-kick awarded to Sprowston in a dangerous area just outside the area, as Jenny Tranholm is clipped in a coming together of legs as she looks to break through on goal feed the ball by Leyer through the middle. Russell positions the ball left side of the D half a yard outside the area, drills a low strike in past the wall evading everyone as it races into the bottom corner bouncing back out of the net as it strike the read supporting post 0-1.

Rebecca Russell’s free-kick finds its way into the bottom corner to give Sprowston the lead

 North Walsham making a change Emma Faux joining the action. Faux with an early opportunity to get the ball forwards brings it on before trying to release Hoy coming in from the left into the area, the ball claimed by Lightfoot. Hutchin with a strong run forwards on the left for Sprowston, Yarham slowing her down the ball put inside for Russell slid forwards into the box Leyer the target, Hannah Sturman cutting it out for North Walsham. 

Sprowston goalscorer, Rebecca Russell

  A bit of ping ball in the middle of the park results in the ball popping over the North Walsham defence, Leyer after in a chase towards the box Darvill on her shoulder, Reaching the top of the area Leyer shoots Knight having started to come stands tall saves with her legs as the ball comes at her quickly. Leyer played on through the middle is adjudged to bring North Walsham’s Darvill down as the pair come together as they race for the box, play pulled back even as Leyer puts the ball into the back of the net.

Sprowston work the ball on through the middle Russell on for Leyer, Pettifer to her right, Sturman winning it back for North Walsham as the 1st half moves into the final 5 minutes. Yarham getting forwards on the right collides with Lightfoot at the corner of the area as both slide in on the ball. Play stretched late on Darvill getting forwards on the left for North Walsham is tackled the ball out for a throw into the middle Sprowston counter the ball on for Russell breaking forwards, Sturman stepping out of the back line to put in the challenge. 

Sprowston’s Chelsea Pettifer with North Walsham’s Abbie Storey

Into stoppage time North Walsham on the attack, Lightfoot just about getting hold of a ball played into her area from a free-kick wide left. North Walsham regaining possession Hoy out on the left tries to get a cross in the ball cut out comes to Darvill she plays a good delivery into the area Middleton rising in the middle of the box in front of goal puts her header straight at Lightfoot the goalkeeper holding onto the ball.  

Half-time Sprowston Ladies 1-0 North Walsham Angels Ladies

  An entertaining opening 45 minutes of this season Norfolk Ladies Plate Final. North Walsham have had the better chances to score but it’s Sprowston who have take theirs to lead the game 1-0 at the break. North Walsham starting brightly Lightfoot with a smart save, the woodwork struck too. Sprowston getting the ball forwards well haven’t had many clear chances at goal, taking advantage of the set-piece awarded to them to open the scoring. Promises to be a close 2nd half.

North Walsham to kick-off the 2nd half, have Hope Middleton on the right in place of Bussey. A throw on the right fro North Walsham inside the Sprowston half Luci Middleton attempting to turn inside get into the box Paige Barnard with a good tackle to stop her. Faux bringing the ball on through the middle moving right sends it on for Hope Middleton up the line her cross in near post initially cut out Luci Middleton going to retrieve right of goal on the six yard box spins and sends a high ball back in towards goal, Barnard up to head the ball behind for the corner.

North Walsham Angels Ladies, Gemma Newell

   Sprowston with possession on the right, Newell conceding the throw in played inside to Leyer right corner outside the area sees the ball into her feet turns and shoots her effort over the goal. Leyer with a run centrally on the ball, closed down plays it on for Russell right side her shot from outside the box charged down. Johnston off for North Walsham Storey back on. Hutchin with a run inside from the left the ball sent into the box gathered by Knight. 

  Progress up the pitch on the left North Walsham get a throw in the ball helped on into the area for a moment Hope Middleton is in the clear baring down on goal, Drake getting back on her with the touch to take the ball from the striker, Lightfoot getting hold of it. Good defensive work at the other end from Yarham as the ball is played through the middle, both Hutchin and Leyer going for it for Sprowston. 

  GOAL! 20 minutes played in the 2nd half and North Walsham find the equalising goal. Storey with the assist through the middle picking the ball up and sending it through for Hope Middleton making the central run Lightfoot comes rushing out to the edge of the area Middleton shooting getting the ball past her and into the back of the empty net 1-1. 

Sprowston’s Paige Barnard with North Walsham’s Hope Middleton

  Lightfoot with a good save under pressure as she is closed down by Luci Middleton at her near post the striker looking to get onto the end of a high ball into the area from Hope Middleton top of the area the keeper coming and punching the ball off her head, then dropping down to claim it before Middleton can react. 

 GOAL! 3 minutes after losing their lead Sprowston get themselves back into the lead. Leyer with the strike as she runs into space behind the North Walsham defence as the ball is pressed in the middle, shooting from 25 yards out drives the ball across the keeper into the back of the net 2-1.

Victoria Leyer restores Sprowston Ladies lead

  Johnston is back on for North Walsham. A good tempo to the match both sides closing the ball down. Faux onto Johnston out to Hope Middleton right side, Drake challenging getting the ball back. Hutchin driving at the North Walsham defence gets inside looking to slide the ball into the area for Leyer, Yarham can let it go through to the keeper. Bussey back on for North Walsham, Becky Greenslade on for Sprowston. 

Hannah Sturman clears the ball for North Walsham Angels Ladies

  Brister does well for Sprowston at the back up against Luci Middleton trying to get a shot away as she gets into the box. Yarham intercepting at the back as Russell looks to put her in behind. PENALTY! Bussey central on for Luci Middleton to her right gets into the area tries to turn make room for a shot is clipped by Pettifer the spot kick given. Bussey to take it driven in low too close to Lightfoot who guesses right down low shifting to her right makes the save the ball looping up off her Luci Middleton quickest to react getting her foot under the ball sends it across the six yard box.

  A save up the other end moment later, Leyer with a run on the left coming into towards goal tries to slot the ball past Knight the keeper making the save. That’s it the final whistle blows a save from the penalty spot by Lightfoot in the closing minutes keeping Sprowston’s 2-1 lead in tact they they win there first piece of silverware.

Full time Sprowston Ladies 2-1 North Walsham Angels Ladies

  A narrow win for Sprowston Ladies taking their chances and holding out late on North Walsham coming close to forcing the Final into extra-time. An entertaining game two lively and well matched sides. North Walsham will feel disappointed created more chances than their opponents just weren’t converted into goals. Sprowston having an excellent season with such a young side adapting to the women’s league very well have a tremendous work-rate and an abundance of energy. Getting back on players when it looks like they have gotten away from them.  

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Picking the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match for this one is incredibly tough everyone put in a shift today for both sides. Abbie Storey in midfield for North Walsham making some important tackles and playing it forwards was impressive. The award however goes to Sprowston’s Paige Barnard strong in the middle of defence or coming out wide to prevent a cross. Play was turned around so quickly at times there was only time to write 16 stops… before your attention has to go down the other end of the pitch.

Sprowston Ladies 2017/18 Norfolk Ladies League Plate Winners

  Congratulation’s to Sprowston Ladies on winning this season’s Norfolk Ladies League Plate Final.

  One final down one to come. My thanks to both clubs for there help with the teams. Good to catch up with both.

 

Cup Final Report – Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds v Histon Ladies Reserves

Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup

Thursday 3rd May

Another trip back to Ely City FC this Thursday evening for my 3rd final of the week. The Suffolk and Cambridgeshire League’s Cup Finals previously it’s the final of a new competition this time around the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup, with the top two in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South meeting in the final, Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds versus Histon Ladies Reserves.

A new competition introduced by the Cambridgeshire FA this season. Featuring the clubs playing the the Championship North & South. The sides drawn into a groups of 3/4 teams 2 groups representing each league each playing the other once with the overall group winner progressing into the semi-finals. 

  Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds with 3 wins from 3 topping Group A above Newmarket Town Ladies Reserves, Isleham United Ladies and Burwell Tigers. Having a great season are leading the way in the Championship South by 6 points over 2nd placed Histon Ladies Reserves who have 2 games in hand. Losing just the one league game so far this season look well placed for a return to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership. 

Histon Ladies Reserves are new to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South this season… well sort of… as their squad is largely made up of the former Milton Ladies. Now part of the women’s set-up at Histon as the club establishes a strong platform for it’s girls youth sides to progress into adult football. Histon’s 1st team playing in the ERWFL. The club overall looking to become a strong rival to the Cambridge sides City and United.

  Would have expected Milton if they had still been there to be challenging for the league title this season, and so it is the case as Histon Ladies Reserves. Lay 2nd in the Championship South 6 points behind Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds with 2 games in hand. Were drawn into Group B in the Division One Cup along side St Ives Town Ladies Development and Cambridge Rangers. A 1-1 draw with St Ives Town a 5-2 win over Cambridge Rangers seeing them top the Group and progress to the semi-finals.

Semi-finals

  Histon Ladies Reserves were involved in a 9 goal thriller at home to Riverside Ladies in the semi-final of the Division One Cup. A 4-1 lead to Histon in the 1st half, Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks with a hat-trick, Riverside battled back to score 3 goals in the 2nd half Histon getting an all important 5th goal to reach the final with a 5-2 win.

I was at the 2nd semi-final to watch Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds at home to Wisbech Town Ladies in the Division One Cup. The Championship North side taking the lead on 20 minutes through top scorer Sophie Gutteridge. Fulbourn battled back to lead 2-1 at the break with goals from Krissie Taylor and a volley from the edge of the box from top scorer Marie Stubbings. Sharon Pinner scoring in the 2nd half to put Fulbourn 3-1 up they held on to win despite Gutteridge pulling it back to 3-2 with 15 minutes left.

So it’s Ely City FC’s Ellgia Stadium for a 2nd night running. It hasn’t changed much in 24 hours. The weather still pleasant a little more cloud around tonight and more tractors on the road but I knew I couldn’t get away with it two nights running. 

Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds starting XI – Samantha Issacson (C), Seema Grewal, Krissie Taylor, Sarah Bodger, Nikki Cowan, Jo Woods, Emma Clark, Sharron Pinner, Amy Smith, Katie Luddy & Marie Stubbings. Subs – Holly Hayes, Vicky Neal, Stacey Kemp, & Lucy Clarkson.

Histon Ladies Reserves starting XI – Danielle Busby, Lauren Threadgold, Kat Brown, Kirsty Smith, Sarah Freestone (C), Casey Kelly, Sam Cousins, Daniella Briggs, Abi Davies, Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks & Philippa Hayden-Evans Subs – Kirsty Jenkinson, Emma Gillespie, Amanda Binge, Becca McNally & Carly Dawson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Three female officials for this evenings final with Stacey Fullicks fresh from helping Cambridge City Ladies secure runners-up spot in the ERWFL Premier Division in the middle assisted on the line by Dulcie Asher and Romana Bria. Andy Phillips the 4th official. Histon to kick off the Division One Cup Final wearing their blue away shirts with yellow trim, black shorts and socks. Fulbourn kitted out in pink shirts each with an individual message of motivation printed upon the back along with navy shorts and socks.

The Fulbourn players sporting motivational messages on their shirts, this from Marie Stubbings

 The ball played back and forth between the midfield’s Fulbourn spreading the play out to the right wing Amy Smith breaking forwards her cross gathered safely by Histon goalkeeper, Danielle Busby. 

A corner for Fulbourn right side the ball in near post defended a 2nd corner awarded. A higher ball in this time Sharron Pinner up to head the ball down into the six yard box, Philippa Hayden-Evans back defending for Histon shielding the ball before it is cleared out to the left. A good start to the match from Fulbourn pressing forwards Jo Woods winning the ball in the middle playing the ball on to Marie Stubbings moving into the left channel, Lauren Threadgold defending for Histon preventing the cross coming in.

Histon’s Casey Kelly with Fulbourn’s Jo Woods

Nikki Cowan cutting a ball out put in diagonally from the left as Histon’s Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks breaks forwards. Pinner linking up with Stubbings left side the cross played into the box the ball deflected gathered bu Busby. Histon get the ball forwards win a corner kick on the right the delivery long Seema Grewal dealing with it at the far post for Fulbourn launch a counter attack the ball played on for Smith on the right bursts forwards turning a cross in towards the box, Busby claims it at her near post. 

The ball regained in the middle of the park Fulbourn’s Emma Clark into Woods played forwards for Katie Luddy support from Stubbings, Luddy shots her effort from outside the area blocked. Histon make an early switch Sam Cousins coming off, Kirsty Jenkinson coming on. Krissie Taylor gets forwards from left back for Fulbourn, Woods making a good run inside her Taylor playing the ball in towards her a clever flick to control the ball on the run knocking it past her into the area six yards out left of the goal shoots her strike racing wide across the face of goal.

   Histon are beginning to settle, Daniella Briggs out on the left side bringing the ball forwards a wonderful ball sent into the area from deep travelling all the way to the far post Abi Davies running in clear on goal hits it first time her effort smashing against the base of the post spins back out into the six yard box a scramble for the ball Fulbourn manage to get it away. A high ball played on up the right a tricky one for Fulbourn’s Sarah Bodger gets her head on the ball only it lands behind her Davies alert for Histon darts around the defender and sends the cross back towards the top of the area for Hayden-Evans, her shot his charged down, the rebound coming to Briggs to her left she shoots wide.

Histon’s Philippa Hayden-Evans & Fulbourn’s Krissie Taylor challenging for the ball

No sooner have Histon rattled the woodwork at one end then Fulbourn get up the other end in a rapid fire attack and do the same, Luddy with the run in the centre onto the ball striking it from 20 yards out the ball rising as it flies in towards goal has Busby beaten cannons off the crossbar. The woodwork is struck for a 3rd time Histon on the attack the ball on the left the cross into the area Hayden-Evans central helps it on to Davies to her right her rising shot coming at Samantha Issacson in the Fulbourn goal fast gets a touch on the ball as it crashes against the bar, Fulbourn clear and go on the attack Stubbings playing the ball on for Smith on the right, Kat Brown dealing with the threat defends for Histon. 

   Fulbourn with possession Woods with an excellent tackle on for Stubbings, Luddy in support the ball played into her the shot skied over the bar. Grewal comes forwards for Fulbourn right side, Smith receiving the pass tries to turn inside Brown tackles regains possession. Clark gets the ball back for Fulbourn, Stubbings seeing the pass into her back to goal on the edge of the box, looks to turn a shoot, Histon’s captain Sarah Freestone has her closely marked. 

 Cousins returns to the pitch for Histon Casey Kelly coming off. Hayden-Evans breaks clear after the ball as Fulbourn are caught with a high line at the back running towards the box she shoots the ball saved confidently by Issacson. Stubbings is fouled by Freestone on the byline left of the area as she tries to force her way past the defender. The free-kick taken quickly Taylor forwards free top left corner of the area delivers a ball into the far post Pinner up and twisting as she heads the ball sends it goalwards, lacking pace Busby is well placed to claim the ball. 

Histon’s Kirsty Lemmon-Sparks looking to bring the ball under control

  Issacson with another good save off Lemmon-Sparks as the attacker latches onto a poor defensive clearance. The shot in low Issacson diving to her left pushing the ball away from goal. Issacson is hurt making another save soon after the ball fired across the area from the right comes to Hayden-Evans closing in the far post can’t get her shot over the keeper as she goes to ground the ball struck against the keeper. Issacson is okay to continue. Fulbourn do make a change Vicky Neal coming on for Pinner. Neal in the action straight away with the defensive tackle to deny Davies a run into the area cutting in from the right. 

Half-time Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 0-0 Histon Ladies Reserves

  The first half ends goalless, has been lively and if the woodwork hadn’t been involved Histon would be leading 2-1 as it is honours even. Two evenly matched sides Fulbourn starting well have looked lively, Histon settling and posing a threat themselves both sides getting the ball out to their wide players. Issacson with a couple of important saves to Fulbourn. No telling as to who might come out on top 2nd half, extra-time and penalties haven’t been called for yet in any final I’ve been… yet.

A change for Fulbourn at the start of the 2nd half Stacey Kemp wearing the no 90 shirt on for Smith. It’s Fulbourn to kick off the 2nd period. Luddy out wide right wins Fulbourn an early corner kick the ball cut out and Histon look to counter attack through the middle Woods with the tackle to stop Histon getting beyond halfway. Woods with another strong tackle comes back to help on the right as Davies with Hayden-Evans, tries to play Kirsty Smith in as she makes a run towards the area, Woods coming with her. 

   Kemp bringing the ball on for Fulbourn central shifts it out to Luddy on the right her cross in to the area sees Taylor arriving strikes the shot 1st time, Busby with a good save parrying the ball away then is fouled as she moves in to claim it. Briggs with Lemmon-Sparks attacking left side for Histon the ball won back by Fulbourn played on through the middle, Kemp looking to get her head on it arriving in the box, Busby coming puts her fist through the ball punching it away as she goes over Kemp. 

  Fulbourn are getting crosses into the Histon area, almost all are bread and butter claims for Busby. Histon like the 1st half are a little slow to get going momentum starting to build, an attack is launched players breaking forwards left side play switched out to the right Davies 25 yards out from goal sent a shot back in wide across goal. Taylor gets forwards on the left a one two with Stubbings, Taylor goes on her cross along the top of the area Luddy with the shot charged down by Freestone. 

 Cousins takes the ball on left side on for Hayden-Evans ahead of her, Neal with the challenge denying the attacker a run at goal. Play is stretched a good tempo, both sides moving the ball quickly. Hayden-Evans finds herself clear in on goal coming into the area from the right Issacson comes to close her down the ball past her into the side netting. Briggs with a driving run at the Fulbourn defence rides two challenges before being stopped by the 3rd. Grewal with a vital interception as Briggs looks to run onto a diagonal ball from Cousins in a central position. 

GOAL! The deadlock is broken at last and it’s Histon who get their noses in front a spell of sustained possession, Fulbourn can’t get it away on the left side close to the byline the ball pinging back and forth Hayden-Evans, Lemmon-Sparks and Davies all challenging for the ball before Davies gets hold of it and turning the angle acute fires a shot in across goal to bury the ball inside the far post. Histon celebrate a flag is raised after consulting the officials let the goal stand 0-1.

Abi Davies with the ball putting Histon into the lead

Issacson well placed inside her goal to save the ball as Lemmon-Sparks moves into a shooting position 20 yards out from the right after receiving the ball from Hayden-Evans. Woods claiming the ball drives forwards lays the ball on for Stubbings right her cross in hooked clear by Freestone. Hayden-Evans and Davies both finding space in attack as Fulbourn push on looking for a quick reply. Taylor pulling up has to come off Bodger comes back on. Brown winning the ball for Histon as Stubbings looks to twist inside her into the box. 

  Woods with Luddy  work the ball up the line for Stubbings her cross in cleared for a corner on the right. A short corner from Fulbourn the cross put in from a deep position, Clark running in to attack it near post Davies back defending does well for Histon. Lucy Clarkson intercepts for Fulbourn at the back as Lemmon-Sparkes sends a cross into the box from the left Davies closing in on the right. Carly Dawson comes on for Histon for Threadgold at right back with a little under 5 minutes left. 

   Fulbourn keep coming forwards risk leaving space in behind as they search for the equaliser. Davies bringing the ball on jinks left the right before striking the ball in towards goal her low drive gathered by Issacson. Lemmon-Sparks on for Davies as Histon break, Pinner blocking, Davies’ strike away for a corner. Bodger clearing the ball for Fulbourn, Kemp on it checks back inside Histon close her down scramble the ball away. Into the closing minutes of the match. Fulbourn are getting the ball into the area from wide positions Busby claiming it once again plucks a high delivery into the near post down into her body. 

  Luddy challenged on the right, a last gasp corner for Fulbourn everyone bar Issacson goes up for it the set-piece, the delivery in is played behind goal, the final whistle blows and Histon celebrate as they become the 1st ever winners of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup. 

Full time Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 0-1 Histon Ladies Reserves

   A single goal wins the final scored by Histon Ladies Reserves, Abi Davies in the 2nd half. An entertaining contest both sides lively, Fulbourn certainly had their chances. Good movement and competing well against a physical Histon side who themselves created opportunities finding space out wide. The woodwork struck 3 times in the 1st half, Histon looked to have the more direct threat in front of goal. Issacson denying a couple of strikes. Busby at the other end comfortable with anything Fulbourn played into the box from wide. Silverware for Histon Ladies Reserves in their debut season. The two sides are still competing for the league title a double still on however Fulbourn hold the advantage there.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  On to this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As the game wore on the number of potential candidates was slowly whittled down to just one. For Histon she posed a threat all game on the right getting forwards finding space, striking the woodwork twice in the st half and getting the all important winning goal in the 2nd half so the award goes to Abi Davies.

Histon Ladies Reserves, 2017/18 Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup Winners (changed to their regular colours for the presentation)

Congratulations to Histon Ladies Reserves on winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup.

That’s it 3 finals in 3 nights boy was I tired by the last one hence the later publishing I needed the sleep. Still I enjoyed it starting on Tuesday with the Suffolk Women’s League Cup then 2 finals in Cambridgeshire. a brief rest before the first one of two cup final doubles starting in Norfolk on Sunday. Back to Ely again tonight however not for football however but finally to get around to seeing Avengers Infinity War.. I very nearly avoided any spoilers but I’ve waited a week afterall and before you ask I’m not writing a report on that one. Thanks to everyone again for their help last evening.

Cup Final Report – ICA Sports Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies

Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup

Wednesday 2nd May

  The Cup Final action continues this week on Women’s Football East this Wednesday, hot on the heels from watching the Suffolk Women’s League Cup final a trip to Cambridgeshire to watch ICA Sports Ladies versus Newmarket Town Ladies competing for the Women’s League Cup.

 An all Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership Clash, Peterborough side ICA Sports Ladies playing the 1st of two finals they have reached this season with the postponed Junior Invitation Cup Final coming up on the Wednesday 16th May at Newmarket Town FC against Championship South side, Isleham United Ladies. This evening though the focus is on the League Cup. Have progressed in the competition as there form has improved through the season picking up well after a slow start losing there 1st 3 league games some notable results along the way to including beating Premiership leaders St Ives Town Ladies in the semi-finals of the League Cup.

  Newmarket Town Ladies have had a great season to date, an early run in the FA Women’s Cup knocking out higher league opposition have as a result been playing catch up in the league now into the final run in lay in 2nd spot behind St Ives Town Ladies and a well positioned to challenge should there rivals slip up.  Reaching the League Cup Final have scored plenty of goals throughout the season and have several goalscorers in their squad. 

Both sides into their 1st League Cup Final.

Road to the Final 

  A walkover in the 1st Round for ICA Sports Ladies whilst Newmarket Town Ladies racked up a rugby score away to Championship South, Burwell Tigers these score pop up one or twice a season 30-0 to the Premiership side. Into the 2nd Round and ICA Sports were at home taking on Championship North side Wisbech Town Ladies a brace from Donna Nicholls along with a goal each for Hayley Jones, Jessica Farchina and Megan Purnell seeing ICA Sports progress to the quarter finals with a 5-1 win. Newmarket were on the road taking on fellow Premiership side Park Ladies. The goals spread around with Cindy Ponder, Amanda Stacey, Brooke Wickens, Antonia Smith Sarah O’Rourke and Chloe Slater scoring in a 6-1 win.

  ICA Sports were at home in the quarter finals taking in Championship South title hopefuls Histon Ladies Reserves. A close game Histon leading 1-0 at half-time a goal from Megan Purnell squaring it up at 1-1 to send the tie into extra-time, no more goals it went to penalties ICA Sports emerging victorious with a 3-2 win to reach the last 4. Another away trip for Newmarket taking on Championship South side Isleham United Ladies. A comfortable win seeing them into the last 4, both Abbi Griffin and Laura Bailey scoring twice with a goal each for Chloe Slater and Jess Linger in a 6-0 win.

  Both semi-finals played on neutral territory at the Fulbourn Recreation Ground. A great result for ICA Sports in the semi-finals drawn against Premiership leaders St Ives Town Ladies. ICA Sports in good form the sides were goalless at the break the winning goal coming in the 2nd period, Lorna Hart with the goal to send ICA Sports into the League Cup Final. Newmarket were taking on Cambridge University Women. Newmarket continuing their good form in front of goal reaching the League Cup Final courtesy of a 5-1 win, Jordanne Sillitoe scoring a brace with Abbi Griffin, Amanda Stacey and Chloe Slater all getting a goal.  

 3 times the sides have met in the league this season Newmarket winning 2 of those encounters 4-1 whilst the other game ended in a goalless draw. League form however goes out the window in any cup game.

   The venue for this evenings Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Final sponsored by S-Tech Insurance The Ellgia Stadium, home of Ely City FC. Has been a while since I was last here, there is now a new cinema and restaurant complex build on the land leading to the ground off the A10. The rugby club, tennis, golf and football ground still beyond. New dugouts, the pitch looking in good condition a little bobbly offers good width. Concerned earlier above whether the game would be on heavy rain falling for a while late morning into the afternoon but it cleared and pleasant and mild afterwards, perfect weather for a game of football… about time too.

ICA Sports Ladies starting XI – Clare Knibbs, Steph Pepper, Holly Partner, Sophie Antonucci, Becky Shields (C), Sarah Rouse, Jess Farchica, Zoe Leddy, Megan Purnell, Donna Nicholls & Lorna Hart. Subs – Rhian Leonard.

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Yasmin Woodfield, Brooke Wickens, Beth Woodfield (C), Cindy Ponder, Jess Linger, Laura Bailey, Chloe Slater, Antonia Smith, Abi Griffin & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Sarah O’Rourke, Frankie Torrance, Joeli Kirby, Amanda Stacey & Lauren Deller.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Just the one substitute available for ICA Sports, Newmarket having several attacking options available on theirs. It’s ICA Sports to get the first half kicked off, wearing royal blue shirts with a white and navy band across the top, royal blue shorts and blue and white hooped socks. Newmarket wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. 

ICA Sports put the ball forwards right from the off showing attacking intent, Lorna Hart the target , Beth Woodfield captaining Newmarket heading the ball away at the back. Donna Nicholls receiving the ball form Jess Farchica drives forwards on the right tackled by Newmarket full back Yasmin Woodfield. ICA Sports with a good start lively getting players forwards have Newmarket penned back in their own half. 

Newmarket Town Ladies captain, Beth Woodfield heading the ball clear.

  A throw deep on the left into Hart the striker putting the ball inside for Farchica, Newmarket tackle the ball cleared, ICA Captain, Becky Shields bringing it down on halfway, builds another ICA Sports attack. Newmarket haven’t settled, ICA Sports taking full advantage goalkeeper Eloise Hope rushing out of her area to clear the ball for Newmarket as Hart is put in over the top. Newmarket have the ball the pass out to striker Jordanne Sillitoe moving away to the left, her crossfield ball coming to Abbi Griffin in space on the right takes it forwards her cross into the box gathered by ICA Sports goalkeeper Clare Knibbs at her near post.

   Nicholls on the left the ball up to Hart, Cindy Ponder going up for the ball with striker the ball out for a throw-in on the left. Played into Nicholls top of the area, inside for Hart played on across the D for Zoe Leddy, taking the all away to the right making room for a shot sends a low strike angling in towards the far post, Hope is in position to gather the ball. Laura Bailey with the ball inside the ICA Sports half plays the pass out to Brooke Wickens running forwards on the left taking it to the edge of the box the ICA Spots defence close on her no room for a strike a regain possession of the ball. 

ICA Sports Ladies, Donna Nicholls

  Counter attacking the ball played up to Hart she knocks it down to Nicholls breaking in behind on the left, Ponder coming across to slide in and take the ball away from her. Hart leading the line for ICA Sports the ball played into her 25 yards from goal central bringing it down turns and strikes the ball in towards goal her effort straight at Hope the Newmarket goalkeeper claiming the ball. 

GOAL! ICA Sports capitalise on their good start take the lead as Hart forces a mistake at the back the ball played into the left channel the striker going after it as it runs into the box Beth Woodfield trying to shield it back to her keeper, Hope comes out sliding in, Hart on Woodfield’s back the ball is touched by the defender taking it out of Hope’s path leaving her goal exposed Hart alive getting around the Newmarket pair and sending the ball into the back of the empty net 1-0. 

Lorna Hart with the opening goal for ICA Sports Ladies.

  Newmarket were planning a change before the goal do it before the restart Antonia Smith giving way for Frankie Torrance who goes into left back pushing Wickens further up on the wing. Bailey with the ball into Sillitoe left side her lay off to the advancing Torrance 20 yards from goal her attempted strike charged down by the ICA Sports defence. Megan Purnell with the ball attacking on the right wing for ICA Sports screws a shot wide from 25 yards out. The positive start from ICA Sports has them full of confidence, Newmarket rattled are disjointed

 Jess Linger with the ball in the centre for Newmarket on for Sillitoe ahead of her spins the ball out to the left with Wickens bombing on, Shields coming across to clear the ball out for a throw top of the area. Sillitoe taking the throw down well into her body turns and sends a cross into the area, Knibbs can easily gather. Getting early goal they were after ICA Sports have settled forming a solid shape at the back not showing as much attacking intent. Nicholls a threat on the left. Ponder tackling in the middle of the Newmarket defence as Hart looks to force her way in on goal. ICA Sports make a change, Rhian Leonard coming on for Holly Partner. 

Brooke Wickens bringing the ball on for Newmarket Town Ladies

  Bailey plays the ball forwards Sillitoe leaving it to run on through as Wickens runs clear in behind on the left side, Purnell going with her tackles her on the edge of the area. A free-kick wide left for Newmarket, Linger on it a good distance goes for goal the ball wide of the near post. Torrance bringing the ball on down the left on for Sillitoe the Newmarket striker beating a coupe of players before sending a diagonal ball into the box Griffin with the central run the ball too close to the keeper Knibbs down to gather before her goal is threatened.

   Hart strong on the ball gets the better of Beth Woodfield wide left puts a cross/shot in towards goal the ball flashing out wide at the far post across the goal face. Bailey opens up her body sliding the ball into Sillitoe to attack the ICA Sports, no shot on as the opposition are quick to converge, Farchica with Sarah Rouse a shield in front of their defence. Newmarket haven’t got going properly at all, attacking room in the final third but closed down quickly passing options aren’t on. ICA Sports bringing it away Hart always ready yo turn in behind up top. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Jordanne Sillitoe with ICA Sports, Steph Pepper.

  Into the closing minutes of the 1st half, Leonard forwards on the right for Newmarket played in down the line coming inside Ponder tackling the ball out for a corner kick. Defended near post a goal kick awarded. Rouse sending the ball back into the area as Newmarket initially clear it, bouncing Hart at six yards out Hope does well up against her, her punch taking it off her head knocking it to the floor is first to it and gathers. A free-kick inside the ICA Sports half for Newmarket, Linger has Yasmin Woodfield in space to her right she is supported by Griffin working the ball forwards Leddy wins the ball back for ICA Sports before any cross can be delivered.

Half-time ICA Sports Ladies 1-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  A strong 1st half performance from ICA Sports showing attacking intent from the start, got Newmarket on the back foot and getting the goal they were after have sat back since. Newmarket are more often than not a free flowing attacking side, haven’t settled at all in the 1st half on this evening’s final a large part down to ICA Sports, haven’t tested Knibbs with a shot getting the ball in and around the box, Shields and Pepper strong at the back backed up well by Rouse and Farchica in front of them. Chances have been few the difference ICA Sports have taken theirs. A narrow lead to defend but Newmarket need to find more in themselves if they are to find a way back into the game 2nd half. 

The floodlights starting to take full effect as the light fades the sides out for the 2nd half. A change for Newmarket who get the 2nd half kicked off, Sarah O’Rourke up top supporting Sillitoe with Bailey off. Ponder moved into midfield, press the ball early Sillitoe inside for O’Rourke the substitute driving forwards to try and get into the box, Farchica sliding in to tackle. A counter attack for ICA Sports the ball played out to Nicholls bursting forwards on the left her pass inside to Hart runs in behind the return pass a little too heavy allowing Hope to come and gather.

Jess Farchica with the tackle to win the ball back for ICA Sports

 Pepper goes in to win the clearance for ICA Sports the ball played long up to Hart moving into the left channel, Beth Woodfield coming across to her to shield the ball out for a goal kick. O’Rourke with the ball deep on the left after a throw-in her cross fired in towards the near post Griffin getting in front of the keeper tries to flick the ball past her with her heel the ball running across the face of goal. Sillitoe with support from O’Rourke right side of the ICA Sports box pushing the ball into her Sillitoe coming inside receiving return ball her shot in curling wide of goal. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Cindy Ponder

Yasmin Woodfield on the overlap in behind as Griffin slides the ball into her run her cross in cleared by Pepper, comes straight to Ponder drives a shot back in towards goal on target but straight at Knibbs the keeper taking the ball safely into her body. Newmarket starting the 2nd period well players forwards into attacking positions ICA Sports remain a tough nut to crack. Hart the outlet up top for ICA Sports the ball played up to her tried to turn in behind is tackled by Slater. 

ICA Sports Ladies, Steph Pepper

  O’Rourke fouled by Shield as she looks to force her way forwards with the ball through the middle a free-kick in a dangerous position 25/30 yards out Linger takes on the shot her rising ball parried down and caught by Knibbs. A free-kick up the other end as Nicholls is fouled by Beth Woodfield 22 yards out left of the D. She shot striking the wall the rebound blazed high over the goal. 

Pepper comes across to tackle put the ball out for a throw on the right as Griffin is played in behind by Ponder. ICA Sports are standing strong against the Newmarket assault Sophie Antonucci bringing the ball on from the back on for Nicholls on the left the ball put out for a throw level with the top of the Newmarket area.

GOAL! ICA Sports double their lead off the throw in the ball rolled inside for Farchica having gotten into an advanced position 25 yards out no one on her shifts the ball and sends in a great strike towards goal looping up into the air has Hope worried back on her line it dips late on her striking the underside of the crossbar bouncing down and up again the angle taking it into the goal off the side netting 2-0. 

A further blow for Newmarket a triple change made Smith back on along with Joeli Kirby and Lauren Deller. Hart strong through the middle, Beth Woodfield doing well up against her to regain possession. Newmarket overloading the left side win a corner the ball curled in towards the near post Rouse defending for ICA Sports. A change for ICA Sports, Leonard off Purnell back on. Newmarket press players on attacking risk leaving gaps at the back, ICA Sports though defending resolutely are camped inside there half defending the box, Farchica cutting out a through ball for O’Rourke from Ponder. 

Another strike charged down by Pepper, Linger bringing the ball on. Kirby getting hold of the ball 25 yards out runs towards the area, now way through the ICA Sports defence. Newmarket rotate players in attack desperate to find goal. ICA Sports make a change a slight knock for Nicholls, Leonard returning. Into the final 5 minutes ICA Sports are working hard to keep Newmarket at bay happy for the ball to be played around 25 yards out letting no gaps appear especially through the middle. 

  Hart up top on her own always ready to go after the ball whenever it is launched clear one on one with Hope as the keeper comes to the top of the area a crunching 50/50 between the pair the ball could have gone anywhere runs out for a goalkick wide of goal as Hope picks herself up. Smith with the ball fr Newmarket forwards for Kirby, Pepper sliding in to tackle for ICA Sports. Into stoppage time all Newmarket, Knibbs claiming the cross has collected everything Newmarket have played into her box. ICA Sports standing firm right to the final whistle celebrate as they win the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup for the first time. 

Full time ICA Sports Ladies 2-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  Have seen Newmarket several times this season, and they don’t need me to tell them they can play better. Finals can do that sometimes, have seen it for whatever reason you just don’t have the performance you know you’re capable of there on the day. Disappointment for Newmarket, however take nothing away from ICA Sports Ladies fully deserving of their success came with a plan and executed it perfectly, getting in front early and working hard as a unit to frustrate and prevent opportunities for their opponents. Defending resolutely at times got up the other end to score a 2nd goal wanted the clean sheet up the other end. One final won another to come.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A tough one this evening singling out just one player for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. It was a good solid all round team performance from ICA Sports. Lorna Hart leading the line well backed up by Donna Nicholls. At the back Steph Pepper put in some terrific tackles to prevent Newmarket’s attackers running through on goal. Sarah Rouse in midfield breaking up play along side Jess Farchina, excellent in disrupting Newmarket’s flow especially 1st half and with a great strike to score ICA Sports 2nd goal I have chosen Jess Farchina.

Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Winners 2017/18, ICA Sports Ladies

Congratulations to ICA Sports Ladies on winning this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup.

 My thanks to both sides for there help with the teams this evening. Thanks to Chris Abbott to for asking me to present the players their awards it was an honour one I certainly wasn’t expecting. Back to Ely again tomorrow for my 3rd final of the week the Division One Cup Final.