Tag Archives: Stalham Town Ladies

Match Report – Thetford Town Ladies v Stalham Town Ladies

Sunday 27th September

Norfolk Women’s Division Two

The first taste of county league action this weekend on Women’s Football East and a relatively short journey this one to take in a game from Norfolk Women’s Division Two, Thetford Town Ladies v Stalham Town Ladies.

 19 sides competing across two divisions in Norfolk this season, 10 of those sides playing in Division Two. Today’s opponents will both fancy their chances of challenging for title this season. The COVID outbreak bringing the previous season to an abrupt end declared null & void there has nevertheless been some adjustment to the leagues.

  Thetford Town Ladies drop back down to Division Two this season after being bumped up to Division One last season due to a large increase in new sides entering the women’s league in 2019/20. Had finished 6th in the league in the previous season making their debut in women’s football and moving up to Division One represented a huge jump. Struggled to get points early on, but signs of improvement were being made points were being won prior to the season being ended. A steep learning curve the squad would have gained valuable experience. Dropping back down to Division Two, got off to a flying start  last Sunday in their opening game of the season winning 7-0 away to Red Rose Ladies with Emily Escreet scoring a brace, a goal a piece for Dayna Howard and Rebecca White with Laura Martins scoring an opening day hat-trick. Taking my first look at Thetford Town Ladies today one the closest sides to me less than half an hour away.

 Has been a good while too since I last saw Stalham Town Ladies in action, one of the sides joining the league in the 2019/20 season having spent a couple of seasons away several of their players going to play for Aylsham Ladies in that time. Maintained a presence playing in the popular 7-a-side league that also plays on a Sunday afternoon in Norfolk. Re-established last season returning to Division Two made a very strong start, out in front early on and a long unbeaten record. Amber Mayhew spearheading the attack scoring plenty of goals. That season ending early Stalham Town Ladies will be amongst the favourites this time around and will be looking for another strong start to the season today’s away game against Thetford their first competitive match of the season.

The venue for today’s match Thetford Town FC on the Mundford Road leading into Thetford. Has been a while too since I’ve been here, Brandon Town Ladies having used it for the odd midweek game under the lights. A small stadium fenced off from the larger recreation ground beyond. With a clubhouse beside the main stand offering some cover for spectators. The grass pitch sloping somewhat from one side to the other. COVID regulations in place as at all grounds now. A cup of tea much welcomed the weather a distinct contrast from last Sunday, heavy rain falling for much of Friday and Saturday it remained dull and overcast a chilly breeze blowing across the pitch.

Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Katherine Davies, Emily Bullett, Katie Hardie, Sausha Levy-Twoney (C) Emily Escreet, Mel Boulton, Shannon Richardson, Laura Martins, Erica Camacho-Besa & Becky White. Subs – Coral Ring, Dayna Howard & Kerri Griffiths

Stalham Town Ladies starting XI – Danielle Barnes, Lalaine Davey, Charlotte Darvill, Emma McMillan, Charlotte Crane, Andrea McCombe, Chloe Yarham, Emma Gillespie, Amber Mayhew (C), Sian Clarke & Sophie-Jayne O’Connor. Subs – Becky Houghton, Jade Copeman & Holly Ferguson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   It’s Stalham to get the first half underway taking kick-off wearing red shirts with white trim, red shorts and red socks with white stripes. Thetford opposite wearing claret coloured kit with sky blue trim, blue numbers fading into claret on their backs too which were going to give the eyeballs a workout. The visitors playing the ball back to their defence right full back Chloe Yarham looks to play it long up the right with Andrea McCombe providing a run, coming to mark her Thetford’s Emily Bullett can see the ball safely out of play.

 Bringing the ball away to their right possession with Laura Martins into the Stalham half puts it on for Shannon Richardson to her right out on the wing goes forwards, Emma Gillespie getting across to close her down blocks as she attempts to fire a diagonal ball into the box. Attacking Thetford have come forwards as a team the defence on half way as Stalham attempt to play it through the middle, captain Sausha Levy-Twoney at the back with a vital interception to prevent Stalham’s captain Amber Mayhew getting clear in behind to run at goal. 

  Lalaine Davey finds space out on the left going forwards as Stalham get forwards quickly the past crossfield picking her out she gets control of the ball before twisting back inside to push towards the area, Martins coming in to close her down making the tackle sending the ball out for a throw in. The game has started at a fast pace, expected little else, Stalham attempting to put the ball on through the middle a couple of times the wind causing it to run on reach the keeper before anyone can capitalise. Thetford bringing the ball down the left Mel Boulton out to Becky White, plays it central looking for Erica Camacho-Besa, Charlotte Darvill steps in to tackle for Stalham top of the area.

Thetford’s Erica Camacho-Besa looking to fight her way into the Stalham box

  Bullett stays on Sian Clarke as the Stalham attacker aims to get in behind with the ball out on the right wing the full back lunging in to make the tackle prevent the cross. Lydia Ward has to come racing out of her area to clear the danger for Thetford as a ball over the top sees both Mayhew and Clarke race clear after it, the goalkeeper launching it upfield, Camacho-Besa up top has close support from Boulton the Thetford pair combining trying to plough there way through into the area, the ball cleared out to the right for a throw. A turn and shot coming in from the right corner of the area the ball racing wide across the six yard box. Stalham attacking the flanks are getting numbers forwards in support up the right across squared into the six yard box, Levy-Twoney defending sends it out for a corner kick.

  GOAL! 10 minutes into the match and Stalham open the scoring netting from the resulting corner. The ball played short up the line to Emma McMillan brings it in closer to the edge of the box before clipping in a ball with the outside of her boot, sends it over the keeper into the far corner of the net 0-1.

  Stalham have looked very dangerous on the break, Clarke getting in behind on the right flashes a cross in towards the near post, Ward down low with a very good take to claim it with a Stalham attacker racing it to meet it. Ward is again called into action to cover her near post saving low as Clarke running with the ball on the right drives an angled shot in. A change for Thetford Camacho-Besa coming off with Dayna Howard entering the game. Thetford gain momentum on the left as Boulton takes the ball out wide loops a ball in towards the D, a difficult one for Richardson to attempt to bring down and control with Darvill close in on her the defence clearing it back out to the left this time the cross in claimed by goalkeeper Danielle Barnes at the top of her six yard box.

Thetford’s Emily Escreet with Stalham’s Charlotte Darvill

  Richardson right side peels in behind her marker making a run as Katherine Davies has possession at right back for Thetford, sending the ball on isn’t enough with on the pass giving Barnes time to come off her line and lay claim to it. Martins is brought down Thetford awarded a free-kick by referee Paul Gibson 30 yards out in a central position. Before it’s taken Stalham make a change bringing on Holly Ferguson for Clarke. Emily Escreet smashes the free-kick straight into the Stalham wall the ball going out to the right for a throw in, collected by Martins turns 25 yards out corner of the area and takes on the strike a looping shot in collected high by the keeper.

Lauren Martins on the attack for Thetford Town Ladies

 Is an entertaining contest, no one dwelling on the ball played at a fast pace, Thetford getting players forwards better now, Stalham continue to look threatening whenever they regain possession. Martins is down feeling the effects of being tackled minutes before needs to come off, Kerri Griffiths comes on going up top in attack. Stalham’s Gillespie making a determined run through the right channel with the ball gets clear before unleashing a 20 yard strike that flies over the crossbar. The visitors build in attack a good diagonal ball from McCombe out to Davey in space wide left, getting it under control turns to attack the area, Thetford getting bodies back on her struggle to clear their six yard box, Katie Hardie eventually stabbing it away falls straight to Sophie-Jayne O’Connor left of the D stabs it back in and over the bar.

Emma Gillespie looking to get hold of the ball for Stalham Town Ladies

  A corner for Stalham on the right put in low by Mayhew into the crowded six yard box Ward down smartly saving at point blank range and again with her legs as the loose ball is hit hard against her, deflected out to the top of the area Stalham are first to it once again the shot hit back in towards goal, Ward quickly back t her feet right behind it catching it low into her body. Thetford get straight on the attack pushing players on well, Escreet with it right side up towards the area whips an inviting cross in, the flag goes up for offside straight away even as Boulton collects it in her stride through the defence and strokes it pass the keeper into the back of the net. It won’t count.

Thetford Town Ladies, Katherine Davies

 Chances for both sides a lively contest still, McCombe on for Gillespie racing into space in the right channel spins with the ball at her feet top of the area shooting on the angle her shot swinging wide out at the far post. Davies gets back to defend well against Mayhew and a viciously bouncing ball evades everyone on the wing. Gillespie left channel puts the ball square to O’Connor in attack through the middle for Stalham controls it well, Levy-Twoney getting a foot in to take the ball away from her before she can shoot, O’Connor retrieves it 20 yards out right corner of the box volleying over the crossbar.

Stalham Town Ladies, Lalaine Davey

  Boulton is looking to get hold of the ball for Thetford and drive on with it central, attempts to thread it through to Griffiths looking for a one two, Yarham tackling to prevent the return ball. Levy-Twoney with another vital interception at the back and Davey’s pass through the middle almost sends Mayhew in behind. Ward with a brave save coming out to close down O’Connor top of the area as she is fed the diagonal pass in from the right, the Thetford keeper down well to save a point blank range. Boulton taking control of the ball in the centre for Thetford brings it forwards travelling into space on the right side able to go on before looping a high ball back onto the area players attacking it near side, Charlotte Crane with a composed header safely guiding the ball back to her keeper. 

Thetford Town Ladies, Melissa Boulton

Half-time Thetford Town Ladies 0-1 Stalham Town Ladies

  An entertaining and fast paced first half sees Stalham Town Ladies hold a narrow 1-0 lead over Thetford Town Ladies. An early lead for the visitors who have looked a threat going forwards throughout. Pacey on the counter attack, took Thetford a little bit of time to get some momentum of their own having a goal ruled out for offside. Lydia Ward in goal making some vital saves to keep Stalham from extending their advantage.

  Thetford to get the 2nd period underway, loose possession on the right as Ferguson carries it on for Stalham angling a ball into the box, Ward able to claim it low. Stalham with a strong start to the 2nd half particularly Ferguson who is again able to run with the ball in behind in the right, Levy-Twoney doing well to get back on her take her to the by-line take the sting off her cross allowing Ward to claim it at her near post. Howard moving to her left out to stop Yarham winning the ball as the full back attempts to get forwards.

Stalham Town Ladies, Chloe Yarham

  Stalham come again the ball out to Mayhew wide clips a diagonal ball in towards the top of the area Ferguson with a central run, Hardie stepping up to clear the ball for Thetford up to Escreet attempts to play it long the wind taking it on for the keeper to clear.

  GOAL! The visitors capitalising on their good start to the 2nd half double their lead attacking with intent down the left the cross fired in low to the advancing Gillespie left of the D 20 yards out hits it first time her rising shot flying in Ward driving t her right the ball striking the crossbar rebounds down and unfortunately straight against the falling Ward to deflect into the goal 0-2.

Emma Gillespie’s shot bringing Stalham a 2nd goal early in the 2nd half

  Boulton is down needing treatment in the middle for Thetford but up on her feet able to continue. Moving out to the flanks more in the 2nd period looking to get on with the ball. Stalham win a corner on the right as O’Connor’s first time strike from outside the box takes a deflection. The six yard box congested as the ball comes in Ward calls determined to claim it an does. The hosts build through the middle the pass laid out to Richardson left side sends it on to Griffiths in attack back to goal she returns it to Richardson moving up the line she sends her strike bouncing wide through the six yard box. 

Thetford Town Ladies, Shannon Richardson

  Richardson with another opportunity for Thetford moments later as Boulton brings it on right side putting it into the middle, struck first time by Richardson looping up is claimed high by Barnes back on her line. Stalham waste no time getting up the other end the ball put on by Gillespie to Mayhew wins a corner. Mayhew to swing the delivery in to the six yard box Ward again up to claim it confidently. Martins having recovered from her knock in the first half returns to the field for Thetford in place of Griffiths in attack. Boulton with a chipped ball from the right looks to put her through on goal, Crane gets there first to clear for Stalham. 

Stalham Town Ladies, Charlotte Crane

  Thetford are looking sharper now having conceded a 2nd goal are coming on well Boulton causing issues out on the right lays it inside for Martins in the area, looking to jink right then left taking on the defence Crane stands up to her putting the foot in to take the ball away from her the pressure stays with the hosts as the ball is put out to Richardson left side in the area aiming to get inside onto her right foot strike the ball, MacMillan closing her down to get it away to safety for the visitors. Thetford lively now moving the ball quickly in the final third pressuring the area the ball played across the D to the right side a shot is struck hard blasted wide of the goal, not sure if it was Howard or Boulton. 

Dayna Howard getting the ball away for Thetford Town Ladies

 Jade Copeman comes on for Stalham replacing McCombe. Escreet central plays a diagonal ball out to Boulton in the wing with the ball at her feet gets up the line whips a dangerous cross in near post the keeper diving Barnes may have gotten a hand to it enough to deflect it across the face of goal behind Martins racing in central. As much as Thetford are posing a threat now Stalham remain a danger on the counter Mayhew getting a throw deep on the right side the cross fired in by Ferguson into the top of the box the ball deflected out to the left gathered by Darvill 30 yards out brings it forwards couple of yards before lining up a strike angling in low Ward has her near post covered. Becky Houghton is on for Stalham in place of Davey.

  Thetford’s turn to counter the ball rolled into Horward’s feet in the middle releases Martins through on goal, Barnes having started to come for the ball now back peddles rapidly to cover her goal. Martins though doesn’t make the most of the opportunity her shot tame in the finish struck to close to the keeper allowing her to gather. 

  GOAL! A hammer blow then for the hosts up the other end as Stalham go on to score a 3rd goal. Nothing unusual about the attack Stalham have broken well and with purpose all game, O’Connor the furthest forwards this time played in through the middle closing in on the area sends her low strike wide of the advancing keeper to make it 0-3 in the 63rd minute.

Sophie-Jayne O’Connor congratulated by her teammates after scoring Stalham’s 3rd goal

   Thetford building from the back into Martins central lifts it out to Richardson left side taking it on attempts to get inside Yarham aiming to strike a ball in towards the far post Yarham gets a foot on the ball to deflect it up and be caught by her keeper in the box. Clarke returns to the field for Stalham replacing Ferguson. Ward with another excellent save low to her left post pushing it behind for a corner as Clarke is played through into the area for Stalham strikes it hard. The corner put in from the left punched up into the air by Ward at her near post falls to a Stalham player top of the area hit first time low the shot is blocked by Levy-Twoney. 

Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward saving at the feet of Stalham’s Sian Clarke

  Both sides are keeping up a good tempo, despite conceding a third goal Thetford aren’t deterred in attack Howard spraying the pass out to Boulton on the right her cross in defended by Crane. The visitors . Yarham with a crossfield ball to fins Clarke on the left wing the Stalham attacker playing it back to the advancing Darvill, Boulton tracking back with her regains possession for Thetford. The ball played out to the left Martins up with Richardson the cross fired in across the face of goal no one to meet it defected away falls to Boulton top of the box her shot back on lacks power Barnes saving low. McCombe comes back on for Stalham

  GOAL! Thetford’s pressing brings them a deserved goal, the ball with Escreet central plays it wide to Boulton charging on down the right cuts the ball in towards the top of the box White well position meets it first time with a back heel to deflect the ball ninety degrees and in past the diving keeper at the near post 1-3. 15 minutes left to play.

   Stalham make a change bringing off full back Davies and sending attacker Camacho-Besa back on. Martins blasts over from 25 yards after keeping control of the ball well on the right wing for Thetford. O’Connor comes off for Stalham Davey back on. The visitors get a corner kick on the right Mayhew with another good delivery into the six yard box the ball cleared straight back to her floats another ball in Ward rising to claim it. 

Andrea McCombe playing the ball on for Stalham Town Ladies

 Martins away in the left for Thetford racing towards the area strikes the ball on the angle straight into the keepers gloves. McCombe on the ball centrally for Stalham comes to the right on for the advancing Yarham she whips in a diagonal ball looking for the advancing Gillespie, Hardie stepping out of the back line to win in back for Thetford. Thetford get on the attack Boulton away on the right players arriving in the box as the cross comes in a half yard off the ground Richardson going for it can’t make contact to deflect it past the diving keeper at the near post. 

Into stoppage time both sides looking for another goal Thetford attacking, Stalham pounce with a counter Davey getting hold of the ball well central laying it on for Clarke making a run left channel, Levy-Twoney goes with her forcing her to the by-line managing to stop the cross coming in. The ball cleared the final whistle blows and Stalham start their season with a 3-1 win.

Full time Thetford Town Ladies 1-3 Stalham Town Ladies

  Was a highly entertaining game end to end 2nd half, Thetford getting better as the game wore on. Stalham good for their lead in the 1st half getting a crucial early goal in the 2nd half. Thetford rallied well creating opportunities to pull it back a hammer blow to concede a third goal. Weren’t deterred going on to score themselves. On another day might well have been 3-3 the hosts having the better of the 2nd period… perhaps Stalham will argue they were the ones who scored twice though a good contest both sides can take plenty from it.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. These thing’s are never easy to decide and leaving the ground I wasn’t sure. Nevertheless have lots of notes as you know to fall back on so… a few performances to mention. Some fine saves from Lydia Ward 1st half especially keeping Thetford in it. Mel Boulton a threat more so out on the right and Lauren Martins too showing great movement. For Stalham were particularly dangerous on the counter attack getting forwards as a unit well. Lalaine Davey doing alot of work getting about the pitch with some good tackles. Charlotte Crane composed at the back. The award though goes to Emma Gillespie like Davey covered alot of ground making some fantastic forward runs always available for the ball.

  An entertaining game to start my county league season good to season both sides in action Thetford for the first time and Stalham after so long. Thanks for your help in getting me those all important team sheets. Appreciate all the help given today.

Match Report – Stalham Town Ladies v Sprowston Ladies

Sunday 29th October

First match report for a fortnight, rearing to go again after illness forced a couple of weekends rest. The action comes from Norfolk this Sunday in Division One with 4th placed Stalham Town Ladies hosting top of the table Sprowston Ladies.

The Norfolk Women’s football league reverting back to 2 divisions this season having previously been 3. With several new sides joining the league this season the revamp sees most of the sides playing in Division Two last season promoted to Division One, Stalham Town Ladies and Sprowston amongst them.

Both have started the season very well. Stalham Town Ladies recovering from a heavy defeat on the opening day of the season have gone unbeaten in the league since winning 2 and drawing their other game to move into 4th position in the table on 7 points, very tight at the top with 3 points separating the top 4. 2nd and 3rd placed North Walsham Angels Ladies and Thorpe United Ladies the defending champions also meeting today.

Sprowston Ladies top of the table on 10 points undefeated from their opening 4 league games 3 wins and a draw. Sprowston have two sides in the Norfolk leagues this season. FC Sprowston Ladies are currently top of Division Two, but are not a reserve side, both sides standing on their own right. League Plate finalists last season went on to win the People’s FA Cup. A very strong youth set-up at the club too most of this Sprowston Ladies side from their U16s last season.

The two sides met in the Ladies League Cup 3 weeks ago Stalham Town at home then too knocking Sprowston out with a 2-1 win.

The venue for today’s game Rivers Park home for both Stalham Town FC’s mens and women’s sides. A large pitch elevated from the surrounding car parking area. The weather getting alot cooler as the clocks go back, cloud in the sky a threat of rain, a strong and chilly breeze blowing across the pitch which might influence play as the two sides emerged from the changing rooms for kick-off.  

Stalham Town Ladies starting XI – Katie Clarke, Lauren Bunstead, Charlotte Crane, Megan Meale, Sophie-Jayne O’Connor, Kerry Wright (C), Sophie Burr-Walpole, Vicki Lubbock, Amber Mayhew, Millie Cursons & Sophie Lubbock. Subs – Chloe Yarham, Megan Bonham & Abbie Charlton.

Sprowston Ladies starting XI – Megan Lightfoot, Jenny Tranholm, Rea Drake, Calista Tink, Beth Cornwall, Nicole Smith, Rebecca Russell, Abby Hutchin (C), Chelsea Pettifer, Thea Hackney & Victoria Leyer. Subs – Georgia Cushion, Paige Barnard & Jade Mundford.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   It’s Stalham to kick-off the 1st half wearing an all red kit with Sprowston lined up opposite wearing orange shirts with black across right shoulder and sleeve, black shorts with black and orange hooped socks. Pressing the ball right from the start Sprowston make ground up the left wing Victoria Leyer looking to link up with Rebecca Russell going forwards, Stalham’s Charlotte Crane defending that side does well to prevent the cross puts the ball out for a throw. Winning the ball from the throw Stalham counter attack the ball long for Millie Cursons to chase down on the right taking the ball into the corner wins a throw in this brings the 1st corner of the game Megan Meale coming forwards to take fired in near post Sprowston defend headed back out to Meale her 2nd ball in deflected behind for the goal kick.

Charlotte Crane bringing the ball forwards for Stalham Town Ladies

   Sprowston attack on the right captain Abby Hutchin bringing the ball on knocks it inside for Thea Hackney positioned at the top of the box she looks to return the ball to Hutchin as she drives into the area her touch taking her away from goal holds the ball up looking up sends the past back towards the advancing Nicole Smith the midfielder takes on the 1st tie strike from 25 yards out sends her effort wide of the near post. Lauren Bunstead with a fantastic tackle at left back for Stalham denies Hutchin from getting a cross into the area following another strong run on the ball up the right flank for Sprowston. 

  GOAL! Sprowston win their 1st corner of the game and from take an early lead in the match on the right a great delivery whipped in with pace into the near post a great flick on sees the ball sent in across goal and Chelsea Pettifer is there to get her forehead on the ball and nod the ball down over the line to make it 0-1.

Chelsea Pettifer scorer of the opening goal for Sprowston Ladies

Stalham look to get on the offensive straight from the restart Vicki Lubbock putting the ball out wide right for Cursons holds off her marker getting down the line before firing in a cross high towards the near post, is headed clear by Sprowston centreback Beth Cornwall, Stalham pressure the ball Amber Mayhew back to Cursons the corner is won, delivered to the top of the area Sprowston get it clear a counter attack is on Hutchin bringing the ball on up the left, Stalham captain Kerry Wright with a vital sliding challenge to win the ball.

Hackney sees the ball into her feet 30 yards out for Sprowston the striker looks to turn and drive towards the area from a central position strong on the ball, Sophie-Jayne O’Connor goes with her putting the the challenge inside the box, the ball deflected inside Hackney looks to get after it shoot, O’Connor’s centreback partner Meale gets there first to clear the ball. Sprowston are enjoying more of the ball inside the Stalham half but for all their pressing are finding it difficult to get around the back 4. Hackney looks to take on both Stalham centrebacks once again the door is closed in front of her as both slide in to tackle.

Thea Hackney attacking for Sprowston Ladies

   Pushed back by their opponents Stalham have started the match slowly unable to get their attackers into the game. From a defensive clearance Sophie Lubbock picks up the ball on halfway looks to get clear and run at the Sprowston box is closed down and tackled by Calista Tink. Vicki Lubbock tries her luck from a long way out her attempt not troubling goalkeeper Megan Lightfoot. Leyer pressing the back high up the pitch, Meale’s back pass to goalkeeper Katie Clarke a little short has Hutchin interested she gives chase, Clarke slides in bravely at the top of her area they collide the ball back deflected away for the corner.

Sophie Lubbock looking to attack for Stalham Town Ladies

 Both sides make a change Chloe Yarham coming on for Stalham replacing Wright. Paige Barnard joining the action for Sprowston. Getting plenty of bodies forwards Sprowston have the ball on the left played inside to Hackney top of the area holds the ball up well looks to turn and strike, Amber Mayhew getting back for Stalham is their to close her down put in the tackle gets the ball clear. Russell into Leyer central the striker 25 yards out jinks left then right before striking the shot takes a deflection off Meale taking it wide for the corner kick. 

  Clarke recovers well from an initial poor kick out of her area not getting the height or distance on the ball it’s Hackney who wins the header 25 yards out knocking the ball back in towards the area Leyer is after it, Clarke to getting to the edge of her area to intercept the bouncing ball gets a strong fist on it to send it up field. Sprowston continue to have the momentum the ball with Pettifer left side put infield Smith on for Hutchin right side she takes on the shot from 20 yards out puts the ball into the side netting. Another switch for Sprowston Georgia Cushion coming on for Hackney.

Sprowston’s Rebecca Russell tackled by Stalham’s Vicki Lubbock

  Hestitation between the Stalham centrebacks inside the box almost gifts Sprowston a 2nd goal as both leave it Hutchin steals in between them right of goal 10 yards out more brave goalkeeping from Clarke diving in at the attackers feet the shot blocked however the deflection sees the ball spin on towards goal, a Stalham defender gets back to hook the ball clear of the goal. Up the other end Cursons and Sophie Lubbock aren’t seeing much of the ball can make little impact in attack, the latter tries the flick on for Cursons 25 yards out, Cornwall reading it gets to the ball first to clear.

GOAL! Into the last 3 minutes of the 1st half and Sprowston double their lead. Attacking down the right plenty getting forwards again Stalham defending their box the cross is cut back inside towards Russell inside the D, uncharacteristically as has been the norm for 41 minutes Stalham don’t advance to close her down as Russell shifts the ball to her right to open up the angle and sends her shot curling wide of the diving Clarke into the back of the net 0-2.

 GOAL! Straight from the restart Stalham lose possession of the ball it is sent forwards Leyer racing clear behind the home defence reaches the ball before Clarke racing out of her area can reach in the striker knocking the ball past the keeper and on into the empty net to make it 0-3 a hammer blow for Stalham just before the half-time whistle. 

 

Sprowston Ladies, Victoria Leyer

Half-time Stalham Town Ladies 0-3 Sprowston Ladies

  An excellent end to a dominant 1st half from Sprowston Ladies scoring inside the opening 7 minutes then 2 goals late in the half putting them in control. Have been able to push bodies forwards keeping Stalham pinned back inside their own half. The back four has worked hard for Stalham preventing crosses and players have gone with runners for the whole just unable to get the ball up to their own attackers to put their mark on the game. Two late goals a hammer blow especially the 3rd alot of work to do if they want to get back into the match 2nd half.

The wind has picked up noticeably and gotten a lot colder too, The sun lower in the sky too will be Stalham’s problem 2nd half. Sprowston to get the 2nd half underway. Hutchin is off at the start of the 2nd half for the visitors Barnard now operating on the right in an advanced position with Jade Mundford at right back. Wright is back on in the centre for Stalham replacing Yarham. A quiet start to the 2nd half Burr-Walpole has taken a knock to the back and needs to come off, Yarham returned to the action. 

Stalham Town Ladies, Kerry Wright tackled by Sprowston’s Rebecca Russell

Pettifer is upended looking to bring the ball through the middle a free kick at the top of the centre circle for Sprowston the centreback go forwards the ball delivered into Tink to the left of the D looks to turn is closely marked by O’Connor the ball won. Barnard is sent away on the right Bunstead going to ground tackles well preventing the cross. Pettifer bringing the ball on down the left this time puts an inviting cross into the six yard box, Leyer throws her head at the ball gets a touch Clarke at close range makes a great save to keep the ball out adjusting well as she’d started to move to her right a corner is awarded from the left the ball is cleared up field, Sophie Lubbock with Cursons get the ball up towards right corner of the box Lubbock with a hopefully cross no one fro Stalham in their to challenge for the ball.

   GOAL! Mayhew has made some good forward runs early in the 2nd half for Stalham looking to win the ball higher up the pitch pressing on the left side over halfway wins the ball and brings it on taking it toward the byline holds it up well allowing teammates time to get forwards one of those being Vicki Lubbock getting into the area left of the six yard box, the angle is against her a Mayhew squeezes the pass into her feet the midfielder turns well and sweeps the ball up into the air across the face of goal to drop over the line at the far post 1-3.

Vicki Lubbock pulls it back to 3-1 for Stalham Town Ladies

The goal giving Stalham a little bit of confidence they get the possession of the ball from the restart Wright onto Bunstead picking out Mayhew finding space left side again driving on she fires her cross into the side netting. Sophie Lubbock has the ball takes on the shot from 25 yards out her low drive straight at Lightfoot the keeper gathering cleanly. With Mayhew and Vicki Lubbock getting forwards more Stalham look more of a threat. 

GOAL! Just as the home side are starting to get some momentum in attack however Sprowston get up the other end and restore their 3 goal lead and great strike from Pettifer on the left as she picks up the ball and taking it on lets fly from 25 out her bouncing shot angling wide across the goalkeeper into the far corner for her 2nd of the game to make it 1-4.

Both Hackney and Hutchin return to the pitch for Sprowston. The visitors spring a counter attack from a Stalham corner the ball played long on the right for Hutchin to chase squares her cross along the top of the area Hackney positioned left of the D turns into the shot sees the strike angle away from the far post Clarke coming to gather. Megan Bonham comes for for Stalham. More changes for the home side with Wright and Meale coming off, Burr-Walpole back on along with striker Abbie Charlton.

   A scooped shot from Hackney outside the area as the ball is worked into her from a throw on the left side, Clarke is right behind it the ball dropping safely into her gloves. Bunstead has had a sold game for Stalham at left back shoulder to shoulder with Hutchin as the winger looks to find a way in behind the cross is again denied. 

GOAL! Sprowston further extend their lead this time Hutchin with the ball played into her on the right knocks it on for Leyer running in behind she plays the cross into the Stalham area is knocked outside into the path of Russell left of the D, 20 yards out she sends a thunderbolt racing into the back of the net to make it 1-5.

2 goals in the game for Sprowston Ladies, Rebecca Russell

A fantastic save from Clarke keeps Stalham from going further behind the defence pushed up Leyer nips in to steal the ball runs on into the box, Clarke stays big inside her six yard box as the striker closes her down Leyer looks to slot the ball wide of the keeper instead plays it straight at Clarke who makes a great stop with her feet the ball deflected out to the left the goalkeeper rushes after it colliding with Pettifer, is down needs treatment but after a pause in play is okay to continue. 

Sprowston get the ball forwards right side a viscous cross is whipped into the area, Clarke comes to punch is impeded by her own player misses it, drops for Pettifer far post to strike on the volley catches it wrong the ball screws wide away from goal. Into the latter stages of the game Sprowston in control of the ball the cross from the left into Hackney headed on for Hutchin to her right diverts the ball goalwards Clarke down smartly at her near post touches the ball wide for the corner. 

   Into stoppage time Sprowston with one last attack Hutchin on the right lays the ball on for Smith going past her her cross low into the box finds Hackney a turn and shot drags the ball wide of the near post.

Full time Stalham Town Ladies 1-5 Sprowston Ladies

   5-1 win for Sprowston Ladies keeping up their unbeaten start to the season and seeing them stay top of Division One a point clear of Thorpe United Ladies who beat North Walsham Angels Ladies 3-1. A great performance from the visitors getting an early goal and dominating the ball for much of the game scoring 5 goals. A below par performance from Stalham defended well on the whole but pushed back by their opponents couldn’t get the ball into their attackers conceding 2 goals in quick succession at the end of the 1st half doing the damage going in at 1 nil or even 2 nil at the break might have made all the difference getting a goal back early 2nd half Sprowston were quick to respond. Nevertheless Stalham have enjoyed a good start to the season themselves and will loo to bounce back.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Another tough one today to pick the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a good all round team performance from Sprowston this afternoon, difficult conditions to play in scoring some quality goals and creating plenty of chances. Picking one out however I have gone for midfielder Rebecca Russell in the heart of the action not often giving the ball away and setting up attacks ahead of her two well taken goals to her name too.

Good to get back into it after a two week layoff even if it was freezing, better get used to that I suppose. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the team line ups today and Stalham for the cup of tea.