Tag Archives: Thetford Town Ladies

Match Report – Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women v Thetford Town Ladies

Wednesday 18th May

Norfolk Women’s League One

 The 2021/22 season is reaching it’s climax, just a handful of fixtures left to complete just 3 more left for Women’s Football East to cover, beginning this evening with my final league fixture of the season, from Norfolk Women’s Division One with Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Ladies fresh from winning the League Plate on Sunday playing they’re penultimate game of the season at home to Thetford Town Ladies playing their last competitive fixture of the campaign.

A cup final win for Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women on Sunday against Caister FC Ladies in the NWGFL Plate their first trophy under there new name after moving from Sprowston to become Dussindale & Hellesdon a couple of seasons ago, are currently 3rd in the Division One table 4 points behind 2nd placed and League Cup winners, Fakenham Town Ladies with 2 games to play. Fakenham played out their fixture can only watch now Dussindale & Hellesdon with a superior goal difference needed 4 points from their remaining two fixtures to ensure them of a runners-up finish, lose and it’s all over Fakenham can’t be caught. A hat-trick for Shanice Sutton in Sunday’s Plate Final seeing her become leading goal scorer for Dussindale & Hellesdon with 38 goals one ahead of Victoria Leyer.

 Thetford Town Ladies travel over to The Nest this evening knowing they are going to finish 4th in the Division One table. They’re highest ever finish to a season as the club looks to become an established force in the league with the ambition to push on further next season. Have achieved this having had terrible luck with injuries, there squad struggling for numbers at times particularly to their defenders. Have bolstered the squad with some useful signings to help their challenge for a top 4 finish such as Hannah Claughton from Norwich and Becky Russell dual signed from Wroxham. Becky White, Thetford’s leading goal scorer with 17 for the season so far.

  The Nest the venue for this evenings game the state of the art facility on the outskirts of Norwich home to not only Norwich City Women but also Dussindale & Hellesdon, who normally use the grass pitch leading into the complex but with that undergoing maintenance the main 3G pitch is hosting their Division One clash with Thetford a game under the lights the cafe open serving a range of cakes and snacks, along with hot food and drinks. Like most 3G facilities the 3G pitch well used a large number of youth goalkeepers being put through their paces whilst two sides warm up behind. Another warm and sunny day leading into a pleasant evening beginning to cool but no sign of any rain.

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women starting XI – Tyla Cole, Amee Kennett, Siesha Humphries, Calista Tink (C), Maddy Goodenough, Abi Nobbs, Lucy Wetherall, Georgina Belton, Abby Hutchin, Chelsea Brister & Shanice Sutton. Subs – Ruby Wilson, Kari Kowalczyk, Charlie Head & Tallulah Bell.

Thetford Town Ladies

 Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Zoe Klimcke, Ellie-Mae Davies, Erin Lloyd, Rachel Lynch, Dayna Howard (C), Becky Russell, Hannah Claughton, Abbie Corbyn, Charlotte Howard & Becky White. Sub – Courtney Musgrove.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Dussindale & Hellesdon with just the one change to the squad that started Sunday’s Plate final, Tallulah Bell named on the bench. Thetford travelling with just the one substitute available with a number of players carrying knocks. Dayna Howard named as captain in the place of the absent Melissa Boulton. It’s the visitors to kick-off the first half, Thetford wearing blue shirts with a white band across the front and sleeves, navy coloured shorts and socks. Dussindale & Hellesdon in their claret strip. The ball played out to the left Hannah Claughton getting forwards, Dussindale & Hellesdon close straight away the ball out for a throw in.

  The ball contested on the far side of the pitch both sides battling for possession out for a series of throws, Thetford play it forwards a strike from distance running wide of the near post. Howard with Becky Russell in the middle for Thetford the ball won play spread out to Abbie Corbyn wide right bringing it down turns infield looking to drive towards the area, is brought down, Thetford awarded the free-kick. Becky White over the set-piece the striker sends an angled ball up towards goal, Tyla Cole calling for it in the Dussindale & Hellesdon call making a straight forward catch unchallenged.

Becky White with the goal attempt for Thetford (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

   Cole with another solid claim for Dussindale & Hellesdon setting up a swift counter attack the ball fed on up the right for Abby Hutchin to bomb on into the corner winning her side a throw deep in the corner. Ellie-May Davies defending for Thetford on the left seeing the visitors regain possession. A crossfield pass finding Corbyn on the right she once again takes the ball inside looking to drive for the box, Siesha Humphries challenging at the back to win the ball for Dussindale & Hellesdon. 

  Dussindale & Hellesdon captain, Calista Tink carrying the ball out from the back sends the ball on into the right channel with midfielder Georgina Belton pushing on, with the ball at her feet powers forwards, Erin Lloyd tackling her for Thetford halting her progress. Humphries getting up on the left to support Chelsea Brister on the wing the pair looking to get the ball into the Thetford area held up by Zoe Klimcke, as Corbyn tracking back lunges in with the tackle to put the ball away for a throw in. Put into Abbi Nobbs outside the box central passes the ball out to the right side, the cross sent in near side attacker, Shanice Sutton heading the ball over the bar.

Thetford Town Ladies, Hannah Claughton (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

   Both Belton and Lucy Wetherall looking to get on from midfield for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Won at the back Tink plays the ball up through the middle for Nobbs central has Hutchin to her right squaring the ball to her, shifts forwards, up against Davies, the Thetford full back with a strong tackle to thwart her. Brister taking the ball on left side for Dussindale & Hellesdon with an early diagonal pass into Sutton inside the D, Rachel Lynch closing her down winning the ball back for Thetford. Hutchin looking to get forwards on the right as she did in the Plate final, Davies playing the ball out for a throw. 

Thetford Town defender, Zoe Klimcke (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

 Thetford’s Howard with the pass for White pulling left, has Russell making a run inside to get beyond her, the pass cut out by the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence. Regained in the middle Thetford send the ball on through the middle White’s touch deflecting the ball out to Corbyn to the right, gets on with the ball heading for the area, Maddy Goodenough blocking her shot from outside the box, the counter attack on the ball lifted forwards for Sutton who beats the offside trap in behind through the centre, Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward rushing out to the top of her area to close the angle saves well, blocking the shot deflecting it behind, running wide out for a corner. 

Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  The corner from the right played into the top of the area, Charlotte Howard clearing for Thetford. Quickly regained, Dussindale & Hellesdon are pulled up for a hand ball. Is a decent sized pitch a lot of ground to cover Thetford’s defence keeping a good shape, Lynch marshalling her defenders. Lloyd clearing the ball out of the ground as Brister looks to attack on the left. Brister getting hold of the ball taking it on moving inside closing in on the box, strikes her shot over the crossbar. A change for Thetford at the back with Lloyd coming off, Courtney Musgrove coming on.

Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Georgina Belton

   Midway through the 1st half Belton onto Hutchin right into the Thetford half threads the pass on to find Sutton right of the D, squares it across to Brister inside the D, her 1st time strike curled wide of the right post. A few free-kicks creeping into the game, Nobbs going right with Humphries pulled back, no advantage play brought back for the free-kick. Wide left Brister over it angles a cross in to the far post, goes long out for a goal kick. Belton pulling away to the right, strength on the ball winning a throw. Up the line for Hutchin to the by-line her cross in turned behind for a corner. Goodenough looking to attack the ball near side can’t turn onto her shot as Thetford scramble it clear. 

Abbie Corbyn with Lucy Wetherall (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

 Lynch getting a cross to support her full back cutting out Wetherall’s pass intended for Brister on the left. Lynch’s clearance put long for Corbyn to go after on the right, Cole coming can claim top of her area. A free-kick for Thetford inside the Dussindale & Hellesdon half Lynch over it goes for goal her long range effort wide of Cole’s goal. Dussindale & Hellesdon with more of the possession looking to get forwards. the Thetford defence, Lynch in particular reading the passes intercepting the ball. Sutton narrowly offside to the right of goal.

 GOAL! The opening goal coming in the final 10 minutes of the 1st half. Dussindale & Hellesdon with a quick counter attack the ball fed through to Hutchin right side travelling for the box, Davies stretching tackling her from behind upending Hutchin inside the box Penalty! Sutton placing the ball on the spot hits it well to the keepers right, Ward going the right way can’t get near it 1-0.

Shanice Sutton scoring from the penalty spot for Dussindale & Hellesdon

  The break through at last Thetford haven’t get forwards much, Corbyn the most likely on the right is given the ball by Russell drives on but is soon outnumbered run off the ball by Dussindale & Hellesdon at the back. Dayna Howard winning the ball in the middle for Thetford on for Corbyn right comes inside looking to pick out Charlotte Howard central, cleared for a throw right side. Charlotte Howard then brought down outside the box to the right corner of the area. White on the ball looks to curl a shot in towards goal, on target, Cole though with a firm call right behind it to claim.

  White coming left for Thetford taking the ball on from Claughton playing it forwards for Russell getting in on the left angles a cross in near side Corbyn arriving, Goodenough close on her blocking to turn the ball away for a corner. Late in the 1st half players up the inswinging cross lifted in near post players attacking it goes through everyone bouncing a cross goal, Corbyn free back post not really expecting it unable to get anything on it as it runs out of play.

Half-time Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women 1-0 Thetford Town Ladies

  A double change for Dussindale & Hellesdon at the start of the 2nd half with Tallulah Bell and Charlie Head coming on up top for Wetherall and Brister. The move seeing Sutton pull out out out to the right, Hutchin deeper into midfield left side. The hosts getting the 2nd half underway looking to get Belton on the ball push on from midfield, Dayna Howard getting back on her to tackle regain the ball for Thetford. Davies on the left for Thetford looking to get on with the ball support Claughton on the wing winning a throw in. Lynch with a strong throw on her the ball long up to the area Tink getting her head under the ball to clear for a throw. 

  Russell linking up with Lynch outside the Dussindale & Hellesdon area pushing inside is closed down by the defence. Lynch with another throw down the left White taking it on as Thetford look to attack racing on sending a vicious cross into the six yard box, Cole down to lay claim to the ball with Corbyn drifting in far side. Claughton fouled on the left side as she looks to get the ball down for Thetford. Lynch on the set-piece lining up a shot, catches it wrong dragging the ball wide.

Ellie-Mae Davies with Shanice Sutton

  Thetford with a brighter start to the 2nd half, are caught out as Nobbs plays the ball through to Bell the half-time substitute racing forwards left channel feeding the ball on into fellow substitute Head inside the box, she shot fired in Ward with an instinctive save throwing out a leg to cut out the ball deflect it away to right. A strong 50/50 challenge outside the area between Belton and Klimcke leaves the defender on the ground hurt looking in trouble. A lengthy pause following as she is treated and assessed. Lloyd back on. 

15 minutes played in the 2nd half, Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a corner on the right side. A great delivery in high to the near post Tink rising for it sending her effort narrowly over the bar despite a clash of heads with Lynch getting up with her. A blow to the back of the skull. Tink needs a moment to recover.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Thetford look to get forwards on the left White across with Claughton, Kennett defending for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Hutchin coming left getting on playing a crossfield pass into Belton central outside the D, opening up her body as the ball runs across her turns it goalwards, Ward with the save beating the ball down to her left before claiming it. 

 GOAL! 20 minutes into the 2nd half Dussindale & Hellesdon attacking down the right Sutton on the ball taking it in behind fires a cross into the middle of the six yard box, both Head and Bell closing it down in front of Ward, Bell with the telling touch to smash the ball past the keeper into the back of the net to double the lead 2-0.

Tallulah Bell doubles Dussindale & Hellesdon’s lead (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Dussindale & Hellesdon break on the right as a Thetford set-piece into their area is cleared Sutton bringing the ball away pace winning a corner kick. Fired into the middle of the box the ball cleared back to the corner taker, Nobbs outside whips another ball into area across the six yard box coming to Head at the far post her headed attempt not far over the bar. 

  Is a little feisty out there, a few comings together between Davies and Sutton a foul on Sutton returns the favour with a push. The referee quick to intervene cool it down issuing Sutton with a yellow card. A free-kick on the left for Thetford, lifted on into the box White stealing through her header off cue. The lights taking full effect now not the highest any high ball struck is getting lost in the darkness, calls from both sides to try and keep in on the ground. Dussindale & Hellesdon pressing through the middle Belton making her presence felt. Head is put in the clear breaking for the box central a one on one with the keeper, a push of blood as she looks to place it wide of Ward sends her effort wide of her right post. 

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Klimcke returning to the game for Thetford for Corbyn with 15 minutes of regular time left to play. Humphries finding a burst on pace to get back on White to tackle outside the area for Dussindale & Hellesdon as the Thetford attacker is played through by Russell. A free-kick given away by Dussindale & Hellesdon outside their area right of goal. The curled effort in, Cole has been strong with her calling all game and is once again firmly behind the ball.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Charlotte Howard tackling Humphries conceding a corner kick as the defender looks to get on with Hutchin in attack. The ball played in low near side finds it’s way through to Bell central, back to goal attempts the backheel rolls wide of the far post. Bell is taken out on the right just inside the box as she looks to travel with the ball, Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a 2nd penalty in the 77th minute. Sutton over it again this time looking to place it in the opposite corner gets too much on it playing it wide.

  Tink with another strong tackle on Claughton as she attacks coming on from the left. On the opposite side Nobbs plays in Bell on the left running with the ball shifts inside heading for the area lining up a strike Lynch closing her down with the blocking tackle. Brister and Wetherall returning to the field for Dussindale & Hellesdon with Kennett and Sutton off. Nobbs on for Hutchin left puts it into Bells path, Klimcke cutting the ball out for Thetford. Klimcke coming off then with Corbyn retuning to the game.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Davies doing well in defence for Thetford has taken a far share of knocks for her efforts too, does well as Bell looks to link up with Brister wide. Wetherall cutting in from the left outside the D sees her shot strike the crossbar. Bell stabbing out a foot intercepting Lynch’s clearance 20 yards out sees the ball run safely through to Ward in the Thetford goal. Bell with another near miss moments later as Dussindale & Hellesdon attacking left side fire a ball in across the face of goal, Bell diving in sending it over. Goodenough coming off for Dussindale & Hellesdon at the back, Ruby Wilson coming on. 

 The game moving into stoppage time, several minutes likely to be played. Tink with the ball on from the back lifted on to Bell right side of attack her cross cut out by Dayna Howard for a corner kick. Thetford tiring late on Dussindale & Hellesdon nipping in to regain the ball. Russell looking to get on through the middle tackled by Hutchin. Bell turning a shot in straight to the keeper as Brister fires a cross in from the left, Ward taking it low. Players up and around the Thetford area Dussindale & Hellesdon squeezing the ball in the final 3rd late on. 

 GOAL! 5 minutes of stoppage time played and breaking up a Thetford attack, Dussindale & Hellesdon are quick to counter the ball fed on through the midfield finding Brister racing into the area left of goal on the angle strikes her shot across the area low into the bottom corner 3-0.

 GOAL! A further blow to Thetford deep in stoppage time as they concede a 4th goal, Hutchin on the ball central for Dussindale & Hellesdon putting the forwards pass into Head breaking on into the area holding off the challenge with the keeper advancing to close her down, she places her shot wide of Ward to send the ball on into the back of the net 4-0.

Charlie Head with Dussindale & Hellesdon’s 4th goal (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

It gets worse for Thetford on the closing seconds as Head is pulled down inside the box as the ball is lifted over the top the hosts with a 3rd penalty on the night. Sutton off the field it’s Wetherall with the kick, placing the ball low to the right, Ward getting down to block it with her leg, saved out to the right, Bell racing in on the follow up smashed her shot over the bar.

Full time Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women 4-0 Thetford Town Ladies

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

4-0 win in the finish for Dussindale & Hellesdon moving them to within a point of 2nd placed Fakenham with one game to play at home to bottom side North Walsham Angels Ladies on Sunday. Runners up spot within their grasp. Shanice Sutton’s first half penalty the difference between the sides at the break. Thetford whilst creating little going forwards working hard to keep their opponents out in defence. A 2nd goal coming in the 65th minute. Thetford continued to work hard a rough end to the game to concede to late goals in stoppage time. Dussindale & Hellesdon though creating enough chances with two penalties also missed. Thetford nevertheless can be proud of what has been achieve this season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders as is often the case. Some performances of note to mention first. For Thetford, Rebecca White put in a shift up top covering alot of ground looking for openings. In defence Ellie-Mae Davies will have a nice collection of bruises for her efforts as she put in a number of tackles, battling for the ball. Rachel Lynch powerful in the back line reading the ball and getting across to support her full backs. For Dussindale & Hellesdon, Shanice Sutton was once again lively in attack making some excellent runs. Abbi Nobbs with a solid midfield display, Georgina Belton with some powerful runs getting forwards to receive the ball. The award this evening though goes to Dussindale & Hellesdon’s captain, Calista Tink. Fantastic at the back winning the ball, getting into some good positions with some great play out from the back.

  Last league game of the season completed, a good evening under the lights at The Nest is a great facility pleasing to see players form other woman’s sides within the division thier to watch the action too. My thanks to both sides for the team details always appreciated and to Scott Grearhardy again with the photo’s used in the report. 2 more games left a trip down to Essex this Sunday for the League Cup Final between Lawford Ladies and Chelmsford City Women then to Carrow Road in midweek for the Norfolk County Cup Final between Mulbarton and Wymondham.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Thetford Town Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies

Thursday 28th April

Norfolk Women’s Division One

A spot of midweek football action on Women’s Football East this Thursday evening with a short trip to Thetford to watch a game from Norfolk Women’s Division One with Thetford Town Ladies hosting Bungay Town Ladies.

Both sides amongst a cluster of sides in the middle to the Division One table vying for a 4 finish in the league, with the season drawing to a close, plenty of points still to play for both Thetford Town Ladies and Bungay Town Ladies with 4 games left to play going into this evenings match.

  Thetford Town Ladies currently in 5th spot in Division One, looking to establish themselves in the league and push on to compete at the top on a regular basis. Have had a strong campaign to date maintaining a top half position throughout. Mulbarton Belles Ladies running away with the Division one title while Fakenham Town Ladies and Dussindale & Hellesdon Women look to be on course for 2nd and 3rd, 4th place remains very much in the balance and with games in hand on the sides around them Thetford are well placed to make one final push. Have been hampered with injuries and absences particularly to their defence. Have added to their squad with the dual signing of Becky Russell from Wroxham and Hannah Claughton from Norwich. Rebecca White is their top scorer with 15 goals so far with Melissa Boulton on 9.

  Changes at Bungay Town Ladies over the close season, a new manager coming in, Mark Forgarty players joining the squad with some departures. A strong start to the season with 6 wins in their opening 8 league games with just one defeat that against Mulbarton. In stark contrast the last 8 matches have seen just the one victory and 6 defeats that has seen them fall away from the tussle at the top of the table dropping to 7th in the table. During that time Mark Forgarty has stepped aside as first team manager with Jode Wells taking on the role. A solid platform to build on with a strong squad to take the club on a late flourish could yet see Bungay push back up the table. Have been scoring plenty of goals with Lucy Eagle coming in from Woodbridge Town Ladies netting 23 goals so far from 15 games with Gemma Foster closing in on 20 goals too for the season and Selina Rowland netting 14. 

  The sides have met twice this season already with Bungay defeating Thetford 2-1 in the league cup. Saw their 1st league meeting abandoned late on due to an injury to Thetford’s Courtney Musgrove. Hence the 2 sides have to play each other twice in their run ins. Starting this evening at Thetford Town FC. The large grass pitch sloping slightly, a game under the floodlights. The clubhouse open to serve hot and cold drinks beside the main seated stand. A rather chilly evening compared to recent April days cloud cover keeping the sun from warming the air during the day, nevertheless another dry day.

Thetford Town Ladies

Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Courtney Musgrove, Ellie-Mae Davies, Rachel Lynch, Zoe Klimcke, Dayna Howard, Becky Russell, Hannah Claughton, Melissa Boulton (C), Rebecca White & Hannah Rogers. Subs – Abbie Corbyn, Emily Escreet, Sophie Burr-Walpole, Erin Lloyd, & Jessica Knight

Bungay Town Ladies

 Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Sofia Serghiou, Erin Galer, Molly Webb, Porsha Renwick, Lyndsey Adams, Charnelle Riggall (C), Ceira Flatt, Lyla Studd, Gemma Foster & Lucy Eagle.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Bungay at a disadvantage before the start of the game travelling to Thetford with just 10 players available due to a combination of injury, illness and work commitments, with Thetford able to name 5 on their bench. It’s the visitors to kick-off the game wearing light blue shirts, black sorts and black shorts. Thetford opposite wearing claret shirts with navy shorts and socks. The ball is quickly closed down in the middle of the park, before Thetford clip a long ball out to the left, Hannah Claughton getting forwards on the left flank, full back Erin Galer in to defend the ball going for a throw in the corner. The ball worked back into the middle Becky Russell lifting it out to the opposite flank with captain, Melissa Boulton  on the move one touch taking the ball forwards her angled ball into the box caught at her near post by goalkeeper Sofia Serghiou.

Thetford pressing the ball well on half way, Dayna Howard with Russell the ball put on through the middle for attacker, Hannah Rogers racing on towards the top of the area unleashes a shot from inside the D, her low effort running safely through to the keeper. Bungay looking to keep compact feed the ball out to the wide areas when won back, captain, Charnelle Riggall out to striker, Lucy Eagle drifting right, surges forwards with the ball at her feet, pushing on into the box right of goal, Rachel Lynch getting across her path to put in the block as she goes to shoot. The ball coming on t Ceira Flatt left of the D 20 yards out her 1st time shot lifted over the bar.

A physical battle as Bungay look to disrupt Thetford’s momentum going forwards, the ball fed on for Boulton running forwards on the right, again goes early with the ball crossed into the box, too close to the keeper caught by Serghiou. Played into the middle, Thetford close down to quickly regain possession threaded on for Rebecca White running forwards in the right channel, her shot charged down by Lyndsey Adams. Gemma Foster taking the ball on well down the left wing for Bungay a powerful run getting to the by-line comes inside before lifting a cross in towards goal, keeper Lydia Ward claiming with Eagle looking to attack the ball.

The ball pinging around in the middle as both sides close down, a favourable rebound seeing in run forwards for Rogers to attack moving right, Adams slowing her down, the ball put out to Boulton on the right, her cross claimed high by Serghiou. Eagle looking strong on the ball, ready to take on the Thetford defence whenever her teammates can pick her out. Russel with a great pass out to the right for Boulton going forwards, checks inside to get into the area, her strike cut out by Adams, before the cleared ball in sent over from distance.

Howard with a shot from distance for Thetford some 35 yards out as Thetford reclaim possession from a Bungay goal kick. Howard then on the left steals in on the ball to run in behind down the flank, Galer getting back on her to tackle see the ball out for a throw. A dangerous ball sent into the area off the throw, Serghiou up to punch the ball away from her goal as White closes in top of the six yard box.

Bungay with a counter attack on the left side Foster with the run taking the ball on pace moving inside as she closes in on the top of the area, plays it into Flatt left of goal her 1st time effort rebounding across to Eagle right side, shoots, Ward down to her right with a sharp save to turn the ball behind for a corner. Bungay are working hard at the back to contain Thetford as they press forwards, two banks of four dropping back, counter attacking proving tough as they look to get the ball into Eagle moving right and Foster on the left, Lyla Studd seeing a diagonal ball intended for Foster, cut out by Musgrove. 

 Boulton is a constant threat out wide on the right for Thetford played in by Russell a strong run seeing her turn into the box, jinking left then right before firing a shot wide across the face of goal. Eagle when she gets the ball into her in looking to drive forwards moving down the pitch right side fires a vicious ball in across the face of the Thetford goal, controlled by Studd beyond the far post is sent back in central, the ball cleared by Zoe Klimcke. 

GOAL! Midway through the 1st half and the dead lock is broken, Thetford getting bodies forwards the ball into Rogers out to the left, has Claughton making an overlapping run the short pass into her path Claughton taking it on down the wing delivering a pacy ball into the area, Serghiou with a instinctive save with her foot to turn it away out of her area, comes straight to Russell central top of the D, shapes to move right before checking back on her left foot to send the ball arrowing low into the back of the net 1-0.

Becky Russell opens the scoring for Thetford Town Ladies

   Eagle the outlet for Bungay from the restart taking the ball on right side, looking to get in behind, Davies stays with her well putting a foot in to take the ball away from the attacker. Thetford make their 1st change of the evening, bringing on Abbie Corbyn for Rogers in attack. Bungay win a corner out on the left, fires in near side Boulton defending heading behind for a 2nd corner. This delivery attacked at the near post, Flatt hurt going down as the ball is cleared to safety. After treatment okay to continue. 

  Russell getting forwards central looking to link up with White in attack, Renwick challenging for Bungay to halt their advance. Lynch looks to have picked up a knock for Thetford and needs to come off, Emily Escreet coming onto the field. White is looing to bring a great diagonal ball from Russell under control outside the area, can’t before Renwick closes in to tackle. Boulton coming on right with the ball for Thetford turning inside, her cross cut out by Galer. Foster running on with the ball left side for Bungay feeding the pass inside to Eagle left of the D 20 yards out, Thetford closing her down en masse, Claughton regaining possession for the hosts. 

Bungay Town Ladies captain, Charnelle Riggall (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Breaking, Thetford have White away with the ball to the left her cross whipped into the box looking for Corbyn inside D, cut out by Adams. Thetford’s forward players looking to get wide an every opportunity stretch Bungay, Corbyn into the left corner shakes off her marker to get inside the box, Renwick recovering to get back at her win the ball with a well timed tackle. The ball with Riggall in the middle for Bungay she spreads play out to Foster on the move down the left wing a powerful run, Musgrove going with her sliding into to tackle as they close in on the by-line, the ball out of play Bungay appeal for handball the decision going their way as they are awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the area. lifted into the mix inside the six yard box drops down turned goalwards, Ward on the line with a reactive save with her leg before the ball is cleared to safety.

  Both sides continue to find joy out wide, Foster with another strong run carrying the ball on left side for Bungay, drives inside from the by-line firing a stinging shot in at an acute angle, the ball rising, Ward with a superb save to turn the ball up over her crossbar. The resulting corner delivered from the left into Ward quickly knocking it up high into the air as able to claim it on the bounce unopposed. Moving into stoppage time at the end of the 1st half on come Thetford Howard into Boulton on the right taking the ball on her cross lifted into the box, White attacking it her header over the bar. Boulton again on the right flank cuts inside into the box sees her driven shot blocked by Galer.

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

  A strike from Becky Russell midway through the 1st half the difference between the sides going into the half-time interval. Thetford with the player advantage seeing more of the ball creating several opportunities going forwards. Pressing Bungay back, the visitors working hard to keep thing’s compact with two banks of four have nevertheless created some chances of their own forcing a couple of saves from Ward. Foster  out left and Eagle looking to drive forwards on the right, question now is can they keep it up for another 45 minutes or will Thetford’s superior numbers and with it fresh legs begin to tell.

  Lynch back on at the start of the 2nd half for Thetford lining up with Russell now at centre back. The hosts to get the 2nd half underway. Competitive in the middle the ball closed down not going anywhere fast, Bungay getting a free-kick a chance to put the ball up into the Thetford area, won by Lynch the hosts looking to counter quickly the ball on for Boulton racing on right side, can’t keep it in play. Lynch at the back for Thetford winning the ball then playing a fantastic pass over the top for White to run onto behind the defence, shooting from outside the D, her strike narrowly wide of the right post. 

  GOAL! An early goal for Thetford at the start of the 2nd half doubling their lead. Coming on through the middle, Corbyn thread the ball on along the ground for White in attack, moving towards the area halts her run to shake of her marker, 20 yard out strikes a looping shot goalwards, Serghiou getting a faint touch with her fingertips but not enough to keep it out 2-0.

Thetford Town Ladies, Rebecca White (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Adams in well to tackle Boulton as she and Escreet combine out on the right. White is taken off by Thetford shortly after scoring with Rogers returning to the attack. Corbyn pressing the Bungay defence top of their area nipping in to steal the ball, leaning back as she shoots her strike running wide of the left post. Thetford looking strong now piling players on forcing Bungay back little opportunity to get the ball out of their half, Boulton on the right using the width well getting a shot in on the angle, drops wide of the near post. Thetford’s captain continues to run at Bungay on the right getting to the by-line her cross fired in along the face of goal is turned over beyond the far post.

  GOAL! The hosts strong start to the 2nd half sees them extend their lead, with around an hour played, pressing as a team Musgrove right sends the ball on for Boulton out wide she bursts on moving inside shifts right to the by-line before sending the ball in across the face of goal for Rogers unmarked to score with a simple tap in 3-0.

Thetford Town Ladies Hannah Rogers (photo credit Richard Brown)

 Finding their attackers is proving difficult now for Bungay their defence under pressure the midfield pinned back, Eagle is isolated but continuing to carry a threat and willing to drive at the defence when given the opportunity. Coming through the middle, looks to get around Russell but her challenge sees the ball won back, Escreet sending it through to Boulton right side, Foster back to help Webb defending for Bungay. Boulton picking up the ball 20 yards out right of the D, plays it inside for Corbyn in the box, looking to bring it down on her chest get a shot away, Riggall lunging in with a tackle deflects the ball back to her keeper to clear.

(photo credit Richard Brown)

  Eagle is down for Bungay in attack after a coming together with Lynch appears to be her back, comes to the side of the pitch after a spell of treatment doesn’t look comfortable, waved back on as Bungay win a free-kick on the left. Put into the box won comfortably by Lynch. Eagle has gone down again is struggling, needs to come off for a spell of extended treatment, Bungay down to 9.

GOAL! The advantage with Thetford getting players on at will the hosts go onto extend their lead. Boulton again involved in the build up winning the ball in the middle running on towards the top of the area a strong run, Serghiou comes racing out to charge down/save her shot as she puts her foot through the ball, her momentum leaving her out of position as the rebound comes straight to Claughton up with Boulton inside the box to her left, controls the ball well before smashing she shot home 4-0.

  20 minutes left on the clock, Thetford in full control of the game leading by 4 goals against the 9 of Bungay, the visitors putting their all into the game but tiring rapidly continue to fight. Thetford with another change bring Sophie Burr-Walpole on for Klimcke. Russell moving back into the middle. Press forwards Russell to Escreet her through by for Boulton cut out by Adams. More changes for the hosts with a double change with Musgrove and Escreet coming off for Erin Lloyd and Jessica Knight.

Bungay Town Ladies Lyla Studd (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Russell playing the ball forwards into White inside the D back to goal holds it up well with Boulton on close support sends the ball into her, Boulton shoot’s the ball straight at Serghiou. Corbyn coming right feeding the ball on for Boulton, takes it on into the box, Webb back to defend getting the tackle in the ball loose to the top right of the box, Corbyn latching onto it turns, gets her shot all wrong as the ball screws well wide of the far post. 

  A rare chance for Bungay to get a player forwards sees Foster racing forwards on the right, shooting on the angle from distance her effort bouncing wide across the Thetford six yard box. The hosts with a throw high on the right put into Corbyn, bringing the ball under control right of goal, shifts then shoots the ball rising for the top corner, Serghiou with a brilliant save diving to her left to push the ball wide for the corner.

Bungay Town Ladies goalkeeper, Sofia Serghiou (phot credit Richard Brown)

 Corbyn breaking away with the ball for Thetford moving into the left channel, shoots across the advancing goalkeeper, the ball looks like it’s heading for the back of the net, but agonisingly bounces wide of the far post. Russell coming off for Thetford with Howard returning to the action. Eagle too returning for Bungay for the final 10 minutes. Straight away Eagle has a shot as soon as the ball is put into her right side some 40 plus yards out Ward safely claiming. 

  Breaking en masse through the middle the ball is lifted on through the middle, the flag going up as Corbyn left runs onto the ball, play halted, White through the middle reacting angrily as she is adjudged to have been offside complaining she wasn’t going for the ball. Those complaints becoming to vocal for the referee’s liking as she is yellow carded for descent and sent to the sin bin. 10 versus 10 now as Bungay get the ball on up top for Eagle who shoots over from 25 yards out, Flatt’s turn to say something out of turn to the referee and having already sent one to the sin bin for descent Flatt quickly follows as Bungay are again reduced to 9. 

  Bungay are willing to have a go late on the game stretched a little a shot from the angle on the right wide across the Thetford goal. 

GOAL! Late in the game in the 88th minute Thetford counter and Boulton gets the goal she deserves, the ball lifted up to her on the right by Lynch she drives on down the right channel bursting for the box, Serghiou coming out to close the angle, Boulton opens up her body to slot the ball wide of the keeper to send the ball into the goal beyond 5-0. 

Thetford Town Ladies captain, Melissa Boulton (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Little action to see out the game Thetford with possession in the closing moments with no further attacks, can celebrate their final home game of the season as the game ends with 3 more points courtesy of a 5 nil win that lifts them up into 4th in the Division One table.

Full time Thetford Town Ladies 5-0 Bungay Town Ladies

  A strong performance form Thetford against 10 player Bungay keeping the pressure on throughout a 1 goal lead at the break they came out strong in the 2nd half using the width well. Adding an early 2nd goal before going on to score 3 more. Pressing well their numerical advantage eventually telling as opportunities were created a regular intervals. A great effort from Bungay nevertheless, travelling to Thetford with just 10 available on a Thursday night, was always going to be a tough ask, battled hard throughout creating some great chances themselves too in the first half. The pair meeting again at Bungay on the 8th May, both still aim the mix for a top 4 finish.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A clear winner but several performances to mention first. Hard to single out a Bungay players as all 10 put in a huge effort in their efforts to keep Thetford out. Lucy Eagle up top a constant threat when the ball was played up to her. For Thetford, Becky Russell was composed in the middle, with some great passes out to the flanks. Hannah Rogers with some great attacking runs. The award though goes to their captain, Melissa Boulton had a great game, out on the right using the width well stretching the game always an outlet moving forwards with the ball, setting up chances for others to score, topped the performance off with a goal herself.

  An enjoyable trip to Thetford, one of the shortest I have, always enjoy a game under the lights. A good crowd in attendance. My thanks to Darrell Allen for his assistance this evening, is working hard to  not only promote Thetford Town Ladies but the woman’s game as a whole. The Jode Wells for the Bungay team details and Richard Brown for the use of his pictures in the report much appreciated. Now for the madness that is May, going to be a busy month, but I’m excited by the games ahead.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Thetford Town Ladies v Fakenham Town Ladies

Sunday 30th January

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 County league action featured on Women’s Football East this weekend with a top of the table clash from Norfolk Women’s Division One, as 2nd placed Thetford Town Ladies host 3rd placed Fakenham Town Ladies.

  A point between the sides going into the game with both having played 7 to date in Division One. Thetford Town Ladies making a fantastic start to life in Division One especially as they could very well have been on Division Two his season had the original plan for the county league in Norfolk gone with 3 divisions instead. As it was with teams withdrawing late in the planning the format was adjusted to accommodate 2 divisions with Thetford joining Stalham Town Ladies, North Walsham Angels and Beccles Town Ladies in Division One. 

  Of the four that moved up Thetford have by far had the best start, the squad gaining valuable experience since joining the league a few players with experience at regional level with Bury Town Ladies added to the squad at the start of the season. An unbeaten start to date recording 6 wins and a draw, reaching both the quarter finals of the County and League Cup. Losing out to County Cup favourites Wymondham Town Ladies a fortnight ago were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Bungay Town Ladies in last Sunday’s League Cup quarter final. Rebecca White is Thetford’s top goal scorer so far with 12 goals with Melissa Boulton and Shannon Richardson joint 2nd with 7 goals each from 7 played with Hannah Rogers scoring 6 from 6. Darrell Allen recently joining Thetford Town Ladies to help run the social media and promotion of the club brings valuable knowledge within the woman’s game and is keen to promote both mens and women’s football within Norfolk. 

  Fakenham Town Ladies too making a fantastic start to the season in Norfolk Division One, were rampant in their opening game running out 22-0 winners away to Thorpe St Andrew Women. Another 24-0 result logged in the League Cup too against Red Rose from Division Two. Are through to the semi-finals of the League Cup after they beat Long Stratton Women on penalties after the sides finished 3-3 in regular play. Sit 3rd after 7 played winning 6 with a single defeat. Sophie Lubbock top scoring so far with 18 goals from 9 appearances with Shelley Woods on 14 from 8 and Chantelle Ketteringham on 12 goals from 9 played.

 Thetford Town FC the venue for today’s league encounter, one of the closest grounds to my home, on Mundford Road in Thetford. The grass pitch sloping offers plenty of width. Fenced on all sides leading onto more sports pitches and the leisure centre beyond. A covered stand offering seating for spectators on one side with a modern bar and spacious clubhouse beside. A bright dry day. The sun with a little heat in it falling behind the stand, noticeably cooler in the shade. Today’s game part of a Thetford/Fakenham double this weekend with the men’s sides meeting in their respective league yesterday. A single goal the difference then going the way of Fakenham.

Thetford Town Ladies

Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Chloe Webb, Ellie-Mae Davies, Sausha Levy-Twomey (C), Katie Hardie, Courtney Musgrove, Dayna Howard, Melissa Boulton, Abbie Corbyn, Chloe Bentick & Rebecca White. Subs – Amy Coaker, Mia Bambury, Hannah Rogers, Amy Skipp & Charlotte Howard.

Fakenham Town Ladies

Fakenham Town Ladies starting XI – Tilly Betts, Gina Pooley, Chantelle Ketteringham, Jemma Riches, Amie Hutchinson, Sian Sands (C), Vicky Lubbock, Megan Spurrell, Sophie Lubbock, Shelley Woods & Olivia Baker. Subs – Holly Davies.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A minutes silence observed before kick-off in in respect to Fakenham’s Lewis Sturman and the passing of his mother. 

The players from both sides observing a minutes silence

Thetford short on numbers in last weeks quarter final loss name 5 on he bench for today’s top of the table league clash. Fakenham travelling with just the one named substitute available. 

 It’s the hosts Thetford to get the game underway kicking-off first half, wearing blue shirts with a white band across the top of the chest, navy shorts and socks with Fakenham lined up opposite wearing amber shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and socks. The ball played out to their left Thetford are quick to close it down in the middle the ball going out of play. Is scrappy in the opening exchanges the ball pinging between feet over on the far side of the pitch neither side making any headway.

Thetford’s Rebecca White with Fakenham’s Gina Pooley

  Fakenham’s, Olivia Baker dropping deeper to get hold of the ball has Sophie Lubbock to her left the pair exchanging passes before Baker threads a diagonal ball to send Sophie Lubbock in behind on the left into the box takes on the early strike pulling the shot wide of the near post. Play is exclusively on the sunny side of the pitch in the opening minutes the ball not sticking with anyone Fakenham captain Sian Sands in with a strong tackle to win possession up to Baker, she in turn tackled by Thetford captain, Sausha Levy-Twomey at the back. 

  Baker moving to the right running onto the ball played on by Shelley Woods, wraps her foot around the ball her cross dragged back along the top of the area out beyond the D, gathered by Sophie Lubbock who turns into the box striking an angled ball rising towards the near post, Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward, plucking the ball down and claiming it on the bounce.

GOAL! The deadlock is broken inside the opening 5 minutes, Fakenham with a couple of half chances are hit on the counter as Thetford play the ball long out to the right for attacker Rebecca White to run onto, checking back inside around her marker fires an inviting ball across the six yard box, Chantelle Ketteringham stretching for it for Fakenham deflects it out beyond the far post straight into the feet of Abbie Corbyn racing into the box from the left, hits it first time low back across the keeper and into the bottom corner 1-0.

Abbie Corbyn opening the scoring for Thetford

Players from both sides rushing in to close the ball own in the middle, Sands playing a good diagonal ball out to the right for Megan Spurrell, is quickly closed down by Thetford’s Ellie-Mae Davies. Fakenham push players up as they are awarded a free-kick on halfway Amie Hutchinson over the ball, Thetford clearing the ball for a throw high on the left, Fakenham keep bodies up the pitch pressure as Hutchinson turning off the throw sends a diagonal ball in to the top of the area, cleared by Thetford’s Courtney Musgrove. Fakenham regain possession Hutchinson central punching her way through the middle takes on the shot from inside the D, a low effort bobbling up off the pitch, Ward behind it all the way down to gather into her body.

A lively contest the sides evenly matched, Melissa Boulton bringing the ball on down the right up to White she attempts the flick on looking to send Chloe Bentick clear through the middle, too much on it however allowing Fakenham’s goalkeeper, Tilly Betts to claim. Woods wriggling away on the right wing drives on before sending a dangerous cross in towards the near post, Ward needing to get her gloves on the ball punch clear or, Sophie Lubbock closing in is heading into an open goal. 

Thetford’s Melissa Boulton

  Musgrove playing the pass forwards into Bentick she turns sending the ball out to White on the right, controls checking back inside to turn towards the box opening up her body to unleash a left for strike angled in the ball deflected off a Fakenham leg runs wide for the 1st corner of the game. The set-piece coming to nothing. Thetford are proving difficult to break down at the back, both full back making vital interceptions. Boulton coming on down the right linking up well with White before Hutchinson comes across sliding in to take the ball from the Thetford attacker.

Chloe Bentick moving inside with the ball for Thetford

Thetford press the ball in the final 3rd winning a corner on the right, driven low into the crowded six yard box is scrambled clear falling to Thetford’s Katie Hardie outside the D. Gets her foot over the ball to lash a shot back in taking a wicked deflection sending it up to smash off the bar and out for another corner on the left. Betts coming through a crowd to get her gloves on the ball half clears helped on Fakenham break through Vicky Lubbock, Dayna Howard quickly across to nullify the threat taking the ball out for a throw in. 

Thetford’s Katie Hardie clearing the ball

 

  Thetford taking full advantage of the width with White and Corbyn both gaining ground left and right. Corbyn playing a low cross into the box cleared out straight to Musgrove 20 yards out her shot driven back in blocked spinning out to the left Corbyn trying to take advantage, Ketteringham across her well to defend see the ball out for a goal kick. 

Fakenham’s Sophie Lubbock

Sophie Lubbock receiving the ball off her twin sister Vicky in the middle, takes the ball all the way up the left flank driving on forcing Boulton to concede the corner. Put in near side Vicky Lubbock coming for it turns the ball deflected behind for another corner. This delivery longer to the far post area, Baker getting it out of her feet smashing a shot goalwards blocked comes back to Baker for another bite fired in low is blocked on the line this time and launched clear. 

Thetford make a change with Mia Bambury coming on for Chloe Webb at the back.  Jemma Riches moving across from centre back to deal with the threat of White on the right as Boulton scoops the ball over the top for her to chase down. Off the resulting throw Boulton crosses the ball into Bentick outside the D, can’t dig the shot out before being closed down, retains possession shifting it back across the area for Boulton, aiming to curl a shot into the top corner, doesn’t get it further enough away from the keeper, Betts with a comfortable catch.

Thetford make a triple substitution bringing off, Musgrove, White and Bentick for new signing Amy Coaker, Charlotte Howard and Hannah Rogers. Boulton carrying a knock is brought down as she attacks coming inside from the right 25 yards out. Rogers over the free-kick goes for goal getting the ball over the wall well on target but dropping short safely into Betts’ gloves. 

  Boulton taking the ball on the right, Gina Pooley staying on her forcing her out wide, checks back managing to get a cross into the box but the Fakenham defence has regrouped, with Sands clearing from the top of the area. Boulton having been struggling with a knock needs to come off receive treatment. White back on with five minutes left to play in the first half. Coaker coming across to the right side immediately wins a corner kick.

Thetford’s Hannah Rogers tackling Fakenham captain Sian Sands

  Fakenham awarded a free-kick on halfway to the right played in towards the top of the area right side knocked down by Woods comes across to Sophie Lubbock left of the D her first time strike angling away from goal. Fakenham attacking late in the first half Spurrell into Baker she looks to combine with Sophie Lubbock left, Bambury intercepting the pass for Thetford. 

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

  A pretty even 1st half between the sides. Few clear cut chances created, both sides applying pressure well in the final third at times. Thetford with the early lead Abbie Corbyn firing the hosts in front after 5 minutes. Have worked hard as a unit at the back to limit Fakenham’s chances. The final ball from Fakenham letting them down at times often too easily intercepted. Thetford have countered well, White and Corbyn using the flanks well. The woodwork struck and Fakenham seeing an effort blocked on the line is a close game. One goal you think is not going to be enough for Thetford all the play for 2nd half.

One change for Thetford at the break with Bentick back on in place of White. Holly Davies is on the field too for Fakenham at the back with Baker the player off. Fakenham with the kick-off in the 2nd period a carbon copy of the first the ball played out to the left immediately out for a throw. Spurrell comes on with the ball right side sent infield for Sands advancing through the middle takes on the early shot from all of 30 yards out the ball running safely through to the keeper.

Holly Davies in to defend close on Bentick as she looks to gain ground on the left with the ball at her feet. Corbyn gathering the ball off the throw in twists and turns her way free moving central turning towards goal before firing a shot from 25 out off target. Corbyn then back to help Ellie-Mae Davies at the back as Sophie Lubbock picks up the ball on the right powers her way forwards.

Rogers on the attack for Thetford moving left with the ball to the by line twists back to fire in a cross near side, attacked by Howard the ball smashing her in the face painfully as it cannons against her off a defender. Needs looking at and is brought off with White returning to the action. Play resumes the ball spread cross field to Ketteringham on the right advancing with the ball pace is closing in on the area, over runs the ball slightly allowing Ward to step out come drop onto the ball.

Fakenham midfielder Vicky Lubbock

Vicky Lubbock through the middle picking up the ball drives on through the middle moving left to right, sliding onto the ball to shot under challenge the ball fired wide from 25 yards out. Spurrell on the right squares it inside for Sophie Lubbock up top ploughs forwards into the area wide sends a cross long through the six yard box into Ketteringham beyond the far post, can’t dig the ball out from under her feet before Hardie closes her down. The visitors have upped the tempo pressing forwards taking the attack to Thetford the hosts finding themselves under pressure.

Thetford’s Hannah Rogers with Fakenham defender Jemma Riches

Fakenham risk getting hit on the counter, as Thetford do just that White with the ball up to Coaker on the right goes forwards, Ketteringham coming all the way back to put in the tackle win the ball back. Holly Davies with a crucial interception on the left to deny Bentick as Corbyn’s clever footwork looks to put her through on goal. Davies though is hurt in the move and going down needs to come off. Baker returning to the action Spurrell dropping into the defence.

Thetford goalkeeper Lydia Ward punching the ball away

 

Woods powers her way forwards wide on the left for Fakenham playing an early diagonal ball into the area only Sophie Lubbock in there beyond the far post managing to reach the ball on the by line attempts to turn it back across goal, plays the ball into the side netting. Ellie-Mae Davies comes off for Thetford with Boulton back on with a little under half an hour to play. Howard moving into the left back position. Howard clearing the ball as Vicky Lubbock picking up the ball in the middle drives forwards left to right. A corner won on the right for Fakenham.

The set-piece played into the near post defended by Levy-Twomey a 2nd corner awarded. Ward coming into the crowded at her near post to punch the ball down Fakenham getting a 3rd corner on the left. An inswinging delivery from Ketteringham the ball striking the near post rebounding back into play half cleared Riches hitting it back into the top of the area Hutchinson turning into the shot striking the ball over the bar.

Thetford’s Corbyn getting a throw high on the left, Rogers and Boulton combine a one two Rogers putting Boulton in behind left, Betts rushing out to beat her to the ball clearing it for a throw in in the corner. Played into Boulton left corner of the box shifts to her right opening up her body to curl a shot in on the angle, Betts sees it all the way makes a comfortable catch. Ketteringham taking the ball on down the left for Fakenham striking the shot early from distance angling across the keeper, Ward down well to make the save getting something on the ball to turn it past her far post for a corner.

Ward getting her gloves on the ball to punch clear to the top of the area her defence scrambling it away. Corbyn showing more good footwork on the ball squirming free in the middle driving on towards the area, Riches standing firm to put in the challenge inside the D stopping her progress. Corbyn is proving a handful in the middle for Fakenham, slides the ball through to Boulton outside the D, turns into Hutchinson the centre back halting her attack the ball loose gathered by Corbyn left of the D 20 out sees her strike hit Boulton.

Baker on the right off a throw turns has Woods and Vicky Lubbock driving on though the middle attempts to lay the ball in behind the defence, too close to Ward however as the keeper gets it ahead of her attacking players. Bentick comes off for Thetford replaced by Musgrove with 15 minutes left to play.

Fakenham’s Megan Spurrell

Corbyn combining well with Boulton on the left the latter looking to get behind Spurrell, the full back recovering well to get back at her nip in to retake the ball. Fakenham make a change with Davies recovered back on for Baker. Fakenham with a free kick on the left angled in towards the near post skips up in front of Ward the keeper, not collecting, Musgrove there ahead of Sophie Lubbock to hook the ball clear. Fakenham applying pressure late on Thetford starting to look nervous at the back as they defend their single goal lead. Levy-Twomey across to tackle Sophie Lubbock put the ball out for a throw in as she looks to get in behind on the right.

Hannah Rogers looking for the through ball for Thetford

The throw into Vicky Lubbock chests down and hits a shot in towards the near post from the top corner of the area Ward down at her near post to save. Woods comes on with the ball left side drives a cross through the box looking for Sophie Lubbock right side, Levy-Twomey hooking the ball behind for a corner. The delivery fired in towards the near post attacked players diving in, the ball sent narrowly over the cross bar. Fakenham turning the screw late on have a free-kick wide left some 25 yards out. Angled in towards the near post Ward sees it all the way.

Musgrove across to the left to prevent Ketteringham delivering a cross into the box. The game moving into the final minute of regular play Thetford make a late change bringing off Levy-Twomey for Ellie-Mae Davies.

GOAL! Fakenham capitalise as they are awarded a free-kick on the right the ball played up towards the top of the area push players forwards looking to get hold of the ball, half cleared Vicky Lubbock gets it threading a ball through the ball line into Woods breaking in behind to the left of goal and strokes a shot low across the keeper into the back of the net to score a late equaliser 1-1.

Shelley Woods with the 89th minute equaliser for Fakenham

Into stoppage time a sucker punch for Thetford at the death they go on the attack straight from the restart the ball out to Corbyn on the left takes it on in behind whipping a cross in along the six yard box picking out White at the far post two yards out looks to send her header over the keeper and in, too close to Betts however the keeper getting her arms up to block pull the ball down to safety.

Thetford’s Abbie Corbyn looking to get around Fakenham’s Megan Spurrell

GOAL! A chance to retake the lead at one end Fakenham press the ball played on through the middle clipped on over the top into the box sees Woods breaking clear once more left off goal and from the angle hits a fantastic strike up over the keeper to nestle in the back of the net and steal the 3 points at the death 1-2.

Shelley Woods with her 2nd of the game winning it at the death for Fakenham

There’s practically no time left for left for Thetford to mount a serious attack as referee Paul Gibson blows for full time.

Full time Thetford Town Ladies 1-2 Fakenham Town Ladies

  Fakenham stealing the 3 points at the death with a last minute equaliser and winning goal in stoppage time to end Thetford’s unbeaten start to the season and climb above them into 2nd spot in the Division One table. Thetford good value for their lead at the break Abbie Corbyn’s 5th minute goal the difference. Limiting Fakenham’s chances. One goal however was never likely to be enough and with both sides making changes both in personal and tactically throughout the 2nd half you felt the hosts were going to need a 2nd goal. Fakenham applying pressure Thetford getting nervous towards the end, but just as it was starting to look like one of those days for Fakenham where a goal wouldn’t come Shelley Woods found the net with an 89th minute equaliser. Thetford with a good chance to retake the lead in stoppage time however it was Fakenham and Woods with her 2nd of the game that would have the final say. A draw may well have been the fairer result but that’s football.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Not an easy one at all both sides playing their part in an entertaining contest. Several performances of note firstly for Thetford. Dayna  Howard covering a lot of ground in both midfield and defence to win the ball back on numerous occasions. Melissa Boulton solid in defence and bringing the ball forwards bringing other into play throughout. Don’t normally single a player of the match out for both sides but on this occasion I will was impressed by Abbie Corbyn today showed great footwork and close ball control getting round players and setting up numerous attacks scoring the opener. For Fakenham, Jemma Riches played well in defence solid throughout tough to break down tackled well. Vicky Lubbock in the centre of the park was busy winning several tackles driving forwards and regaining possession. Today’s award though goes to Shelley Woods her goals winning the game for Fakenham, provided the thrust for many of Fakenham’s attacking moves.

Another great advert for women’s football in Norfolk between two sides that have improved immensely. An enjoyable afternoon at Thetford my thanks to both clubs for there help today and to Darrell Allen for his assistance.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Mulbarton Belles Ladies v Thetford Town Ladies

Wednesday 26th May

NWGFL GiveToLocalUK Challenge Cup

 A spot of midweek action on Women’s Football East with a trip east along the A47 to watch a game from the NWGFL @GiveToLocalUK Challenge Cup, with Mulbarton Belles Ladies hosting Thetford Town Ladies.

The NWGFL Challenge Cup a temporary competition replacing the regular season that was curtailed due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. The sides from both Divisions One and Two drawn into 4 groups of 4 or 5 sides playing each other once for position before advancement to a knockout competition.

 A second midweek viewing for Mulbarton Belles Ladies, having been in action in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final last Wednesday. No sooner was their fairy tale cup adventure over (the final being just the 7th game in the sides history) they began their Challenge Cup campaign this past Sunday with a home tie against Tavern Ladies. Two strong sides a point apiece in the finish as they drew 3-3. Mulbarton 3rd in the Group C table on 4 points having been awarded the win against Freethorpe Ladies lay a point behind Tavern with fellow Division One side Fakenham Town Ladies leading the way on 7 points with 2 wins and a draw so far. Three tough games in quick succession for Mulbarton the squad picking up a few knocks.

The other team in Group C are Division Two side, Thetford Town Ladies. A tough group up against three Division One sides. However they started off well in their opening match winning 7-1 away from home against fellow Division Two side Freethorpe Ladies with both Laura Martins and Becki White scoring a brace apiece. That game almost a month ago fixtures delayed due to Mulbarton’s involvement in the County Cup, were away to group leaders Fakenham Town Women on Sunday, trailing 2-0 at half-time pulled a goal back in the 2nd half before eventually losing 4-2. A quick turnaround for both meeting this evening.

Mulberry Park the venue for this evenings match, has been a good while since I was last here, then to watch the previous Belles side. The main grass pitch beside the clubhouse and changing rooms, pitches beyond. A small seated stand one side the men’s side having just been promoted to the Thurlow Nunn Premier, like the women’s side making the Senior County Cup Final losing to Gorleston. The weather very overcast for the game the floodlights on early although rain wasn’t forecast.

 Mulbarton Belles Ladies starting XI – Cara Anderson, Meg Anderton, Melissa Belsey, Olivia Mungham-Gray, Megan Belsey, Alice Smith, Laura Hedtke, Ellie Hunter, Millie Cursons, Sophie Jermy & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs- Morgan Devine, Aneliese Smith & Bryony Knights.

 Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Lucy Tancock, Ruby Robertson, Sausha Twomey (C), Rachel Lynch, Mel Ovenden, Dayna Howard, Shannon Richardson, Becky White, Laura Martins & Mel Boulton. Subs – Emily Bullet, Coral Ring, Jess Knight.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s the visiting side to get the first half underway wearing an all marron coloured kit, with hosts Mulbarton lined up opposite wearing blue and black vertical striped shirts, blue shorts and socks. Thetford play the ball back to their defence before looking to go left, Sophie Jermy putting in a good tackle to get Mulbarton on the ball, inside to Alice Smith the midfielder firing a straight ball through the middle, intercepted by Thetford centre back Rachel Lynch. Thetford come away down the left making good ground before a cross is lifted in towards the top of the area, Megan Belsey clearing it for Mulbarton

Sophie Jermy sending the ball on for Mulbarton

 GOAL! Mulbarton go straight on the attack the pass put to Jermy moving left she plays it on for Ellie Hunter getting in behind on the left wing, the ball taken down into the corner as players race up from midfield towards the top of the area, Hunter turns sending the ball central is met by Smith 20 yards out left of the D helped on across the area into the path of Laura Hedtke she in turn releases it forwards, captain Rebekah lake timing her run to perfection stealing in behind the defence before shooting on the angle driving the ball across the six yard box into the bottom corner 1-0.

Mulbarton captain, Rebekah Lake puts her sides 1-0 up

  The perfect start for the hosts less than 3 minutes on the clock. A wide pitch Lake pulling out to the right as the ball is lifted up to her, Lucy Tancock running out towards her sliding in to win the ball, a strong challenge, Lake appealing but no foul given. Thetford finding some joy down the left Mel Ovenden taking it on , her cross falling short of Mel Boulton making a central run. Megan Belsey launching it clear up to Smith she looks to take it on, Dayna Howard getting on her shoulder lunging in to make the tackle.

Dayna Howard tackling Mulbarton’s Ellie Hunter

  Lynch clears at the top of her area as Hunter attempts to play a through ball on for Lake into the right channel. Mulbarton quickly regain possession moving left, Jermy on the move up with Hunter left side, holding the ball up looks to shift inside, Ruby Robertson putting her foot in to take the ball, played up for Shannon Richardson on the right wing, gets her head down looking to drive on, Meg Anderton preventing her from doing so for Mulbarton. 

  The hosts spread play right to left getting up the pitch to win a corner. Fired in across the top of the six yard box at a decent height is met by Smith at the far stick, directed in on target, straight at Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward though who catches it well. A good start to the game from Mulbarton looking to keep on top Smith and Hedtke winning the ball in midfield, Lake, Jermy and Hunter showing for the ball moving well up top looking to stretch the Thetford defence. 

  Howard getting the ball on from outside her box for Richardson right side brings it beyond halfway before sending a diagonal ball on up through the centre, Olivia Mungham-Gray collecting it for Mulbarton. Thetford’s crosses are just falling short at the moment, easily dealt with by the Mulbarton defence. Hunter sends the ball on for Millie Cursons right side she in turn sends it on through for Lake to attack, Lynch getting there first for Thetford to clear. 

  Ward out well towards the top of her area to gather into her gloves as Jermy threatens to send Lake clear once again. Lively in the middle with both sides nipping into their tackles, Hunter on Laura Martins this time as the Thetford player turns looking to find Richardson making the run to her right. Richardson does get hold of the ball for Thetford taking it into space on the right, Anderton holding her up she moves infield sending it on to Boulton in the middle, goes on before Smith closes her down and regains possession. 

  Boulton bringing the ball on central for Thetford is forced to the right passes to Richardson who lays it forwards for Martins, aiming to get into the box is stopped by Anderton. Mulbarton surge forwards the ball sent on diagonally to the right for Lake to attack, Lynch sliding in to challenge the ball sliced behind for a corner kick. Players up is delivered towards the top of the area, Howard getting hold of it to clear for Thetford but Mulbarton quickly have it back, fed into Hunter on the left, the ball played across the top of the area 25 yards out Robertson stepping out to take the ball of Jermy. 

  Mulbarton are awarded a free-kick on halfway towards the left, Anderton to play the ball up towards the top of the area, the initial ball defended pings back and forth before being prodded to Hunter free on the left inside the box flashes a squared cross towards the far stick, Thetford captain Sausha Twomey getting her toe on the ball to take it away from Lake who was ready to strike. Ward saving confidently at her near post as Lake fires in a shot from the angle 20 yards out on the right, the ball palmed down and quickly smothered. 

 Richardson with the ball for Thetford moves infield, Boulton makes a run into the right channel taking players with her space opening up, Richardson looks to send it on diagonally to the left for Becky White, Megan Belsey getting tight on her stops Thetford’s advance. A free-kick out wide on the right by the touchline 20 yards out for Mulbarton, fired into the area players up is just behind Cursons near side 10 yards out, falls to Smith behind her to hit first time a low shot angled in, Ward down smartly to her right to make the save. 

  Play paused due to a pitch invasion a pair of mallards encroaching onto the playing surface, Megan Belsey and Anderton with the task of chasing the ducks away. Lynch with another timely tackle for Thetford winning the ball inside the D to deny Cursons. Smith winning it back in the middle for Mulbarton on for Hedtke out to Cursons on the right has support with Lake the pair combining the cross met first time by Jermy near side, too heavy a contact her shot high over the bar.

Megan Belsey and Meg Anderton see off a pair of feathered pitch invaders

 Lake’s pace causing a few problems as she bombs on right side, Lynch out to meet her slows her down, Lake getting hold of the loose ball putting it central for Cursons, Howard in on her the ball deflected behind for a corner. The ball not still for long Mulbarton on the attack Melissa Belsey on the right sending a diagonal ball into the box, Thetford come away with it Richardson wanting to take it on, Smith closing her down.

  Howard wins the ball central for Thetford spreads play out to the left for White, gets it on down the line before whipping a cross into the middle, taken down by Megan Belsey and cleared. Thetford get into a good position final third, Richardson, Boulton and then Martins with a opportunity to pull the trigger from 25 yards or so out but no one does before Mulbarton regroup with Mungham-Gray winning the ball back. 

Mulbarton’s Olivia Mungham-Gray

 GOAL! A little of 5 minutes left to play in the first half and Mulbarton double their lead with a well worked goal. Laura Hedtke bringing the ball on over half way pushing it out to Lake on the right, before continuing to run all the way into the box. Lake 25 yards out has support from Jermy a give and go between the pair sees Lake race into a great crossing position and getting her foot around the ball lays it on a plate for Hedtke arriving at the near post to strike low past the keeper 2-0.

Laura Hedtke doubling Mulbarton’s lead

A free-kick won deep for Thetford put long up to Boulton central knocks it down to her left looking for Richardson in the right channel, knocks it forwards, Mungham-Gray coming to challenge well for Mulbarton. Hunter advancing with the ball on the left sends it inside for Lake, Lynch doing well stepping out in front of her to intercept. Mulbarton a denied a third goal as they pile numbers forwards through the middle, Lake up on the penalty spot causing mayhem players drawn to her put back to Jermy to smash into the bottom corner however the flag was up long before the strike, Lake having strayed offside beforehand. 

  Jermy with another strike on the angle right side, Ward saving at her near post the ball knocked behind for the corner. Late pressure from Mulbarton as Smith sees a shot blocked from the top of the area, then Lynch defends to put it out for another set-piece. Ward saving before a shot is blazed over.

Half-time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 2-0 Thetford Town Ladies

  A goal at each end of the 1st half seeing Mulbarton go into the half-time break leading 2-0. Got off to the perfect start taking the lead inside the opening 2 minutes. Have created further chances since, Lynch and Twomey with some timely tackles at the back for Thetford. Both sides using the width of the pitch. Thetford not troubling Cara Anderson in the Mulbarton goal have nevertheless gotten into some good positions out wide without finding their mark on the cross, haven’t been able to get in behind. 

 

Changes for Mulbarton at the break with Aneliese Smith on up top along with Bryony Knights and Morgan Devine, Melissa Belsey and Jermy off. Emily Bullett on for Thetford as they make positional changes for the 2nd half, the hosts getting the 2nd period underway. Howard winning the ball for Thetford out to Richardson left side plays in on but White is caught flat footed Megan Belsey clearing.

 A free-kick awarded to Thetford in a 30 or so yards out in a central position, Richardson on the set-piece strikes the ball fantastically Anderson diving to her left can’t get it the ball striking the top of the post and angling down to bounce across the face of the goal. 

Ovenden plays the ball out to Richardson left advances down the line before whipping a cross into the area is met by Bullett her first time shot angling wide past the far post. Anderson comes out to clear at the top of the area Richardson puts it on for White. Thetford better at the start of the 2nd half. Mulbarton win a free-kick wide on the right played in by Hedtke, half cleared by Thetford a shot taken from distance flashes wide. Hunter taking the ball on into the right corner, Tancock defending a corner conceded, the delivery into the box cleared by Howard. 

Thetford’s Dayna Howard

Play more open in the 2nd half Thetford able to get further forwards apply a little pressure, Boulton deep out to Ovenden struck on the angle Anderson saving getting her gloves on the ball. The visitors getting a corner on the right fired in across the six yard box at an inviting height no one gets a touch on it however. The game more open now, Smith back to help the defence for Mulbarton as Richardson plays a ball into the D.

Mulbarton’s, Alice Smith

  A free-kick for Thetford awarded 30 or so yards out in a  Lynch with a strong challenge at the back to deny Lake at the top of the area as Hunter fires the ball into her. Twomey heading a cross clear. At the other end Richardson sweeping a cross into the box from the left is met in the air by Boulton, drops narrowly wide of the post.

GOAL!  A couple of god opportunities for Thetford to pull themselves back into the game, Mulbarton find a response getting up the other end to score a much needed 3rd goal, the ball sent out to Lake running in behind on the left wing play stretched gaps opening up the attack drills a low ball in towards the near post, Aneliese Smith arriving unmarked to place the ball into the empty net 3-0.

Aneliese Smith giving Mulbarton a 3-0 lead

A double change for Mulbarton with Melissa Belsey and Jermy returning to the action in place of Hedtke and Anderton. 20 minutes left to play Mulbarton attempt to feed Lake in central, Twomey defending against her for Thetford. The visitors come through the middle, Howard on to Boulton, Megan Belsey in to make the challenge. Twomey with a vital interception at the back as a cross in put in from deep on the right. The pace of the game slower 2nd half, Mulbarton do look tired have played alot of football in a short space of time, soaking up some Thetford pressure but remain a danger on the counter. 

  Mulbarton with a corner on the right played short up to Belsey scoops it up towards the far post, an effort on goal blocked at close range before being scramble behind for another corner on the left, Thetford defending play it out to Richardson wide, Alice Smith across to prevent the break. Laura Martin returning to the game for Thetford . Jermy lifts the ball on left channel for Aneliese Smith ahead of her scoops the ball up looking to send her shot up over the keeper but doesn’t get enough on it a comfortable catch for Ward.

Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward

The 3rd goal has taken a little of the fight out of Thetford given Mulbarton a lift the hosts keeping the ball slowing the pace of the game the game moving into the final 5 minutes, Cursons coming back on for Mungham-Gray. Hunter making it to the by-line on the right whipping a cross in across goal to the far post Cursons there her effort charged down. Knights letting loose a shot from all of 40 yards out on the left for Mulbarton the ball caught by the keeper. 

Thetford’s captain, Sausha Twomey

Alice Smith adjudged to have handled the ball a free-kick to Thetford wide on the left one last chance to bring players up from the back, White to put it into the mix over Twomey central Richardson beyond her nodding it back towards her Twomey stooping into the header trying to get some power on it, Anderson saving back on her line pushing the ball away comes out to the right for Ovendon to hit on the angle driven in is beat away, Mulbarton break the ball sent on through the middle up to Lake on the run attempts to lob the keeper, but coming to close the angle Ward is able to get her gloves up to the ball and claim.

 

Full time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 3-0 Thetford Town Ladies

  The final action of the match as Mulbarton win 3-0 to move level with Fakenham on 7 points at the top of the group with the pair due to meet on the 6th June. A chance for Mulbarton to have a little rest after an intense spell. Were looking tired towards the end of the match. A fantastic start taking an early lead, you feared for Thetford then but the Division Two side competed well, defending without applying too much pressure in the final 3rd in the first period a well worked goal seeing Mulbarton go two up. Changes at half-time saw Thetford improve a couple of good opportunities to pull a goal back before Mulbarton broke to score a 3rd and effectively kill off the game. Thetford with one more group game to play a break now till they meet Tavern Ladies on the 9th June.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match a few performances of note to mention. For Thetford, Dayna Howard making some good challenges in the middle helping out the defence, at the back Sausha Twomey did well with some vital interceptions, whilst alongside her Rachel Lynch was strong several well timed tackles. For Mulbarton, Rebekah Lake stretched play moving out to the flanks drawing players to her. Ellie Hunter with good movement on and off the ball, The award though goes to Alice Smith in the middle won plenty of tackles reading the game well often well positioned to prevent a Thetford attack before it could even begin.

 No ducks were harmed in the making of this match report.

  An entertaining slice of midweek action at Mulberry Park, my thanks to both sides for their help with the team details much appreciated as always.

by Darren Gilham

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.