Wednesday 25th April
The mid-week action on Women’s Football East features a top of the table clash from Norfolk Women’s Division One with 2nd placed Bungay Town Ladies hosting 3rd placed Thorpe United Ladies, both sides still very much in the title race.
Sprowston’s young guns the side to chase down as they lead the way by 6 points extending their lead with a 2-0 home win over Bungay Town Ladies on Sunday. Bungay Town have 2 games in hand on the leaders the 1st tonight against Thorpe United Ladies. Sprowston will be interested observers.
My 1st look at both sides this season. A good sized squad Bungay Town have lost several through injury however some long term, their goalkeeper suffering a broken wrist early in the game against Sprowston amongst Bungay Town’s injured players. Scoring plenty of goals with a potent strike force this season Emily Leach and Samantha Walker scoring 24 and 22 each respectfully so far this season, goals too coming from the midfield with Nicola Hazell and Selina Rowland scoring 32 goals between them.
Thorpe United Ladies have been playing catch up in the league all season have had several long spells without a game throughout the season. An experienced squad with a number of their U16s side taking the step up into adult football this season. Are the only side left unbeaten in the Norfolk County Leagues with 8 wins and 3 draws from 11 played so far. Well placed behind the leading pair to make a push for the title. Shanice Sutton having an excellent season in front of goal scoring 33 so far from 15 appearances. Didn’t want to play in mid-week their squad stretched a few unavailable including regular captain striker Rebekah Lake.
The two sides have met twice already this season drawing 2-2 in the league back in February, then in the semi-finals of the League Cup the sides shared 7 goals Bungay Town winning 4-3 to reach a 2nd successive final where they will be defending the trophy won last season against FC Sprowston Ladies.
Maltings Meadow the venue for this evenings match a hive of activity as usual. Bungay Town selected as one of the FA’s new SSE Wildcats centres their first session held before the game. The main pitch looking in great condition a good size overlooked by the clubhouse in one corner. The weather alot cooler than it was at the weekend today a typical April day sunshine and heavy showers. Clouds looming over the ground it would stay dry for the match.
Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Jody Wells, Kelly Collins (C), Ella Swift, Charlotte Power, Hannah Jones, Teo Ille, Selina Rowland, Lyndsey Adams, Nicola Hazell, Emily Leach & Samantha Walker. Subs – Arianna Lloyd & Eva Evans.
Thorpe United Ladies starting XI – Cara Anderson, Aneliese Smith, Vicky McNorton, Shannon Holmes, Bethan Sommerfield (C), Laura Hedtke, Charlotte Groves, Sharnie Boast, Kirstie Andrews, Leonie Daulby & Shanice Sutton. Subs – Vicky Monsey & Lisa Ferdani.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Both sides not in their regular colours this evening, Bungay taking kick-off 1st half in their all red kit with white trim. Thorpe in their lime green away shirts with black across the chest and shoulders with black shorts and socks. Possession lost from both sides as they close the ball down at the start no one getting hold of it in the middle of the park. Selina Rowland bringing it away moving out to the left looks to play it on up the line for Samantha Walker to chase, Thorpe captain Bethan Sommerfield going with her winning the tackle.
Bungay get bodies forwards Teo Ille with the pass forwards for Emily leach up top has Walker to her right they exchange passes shifting the ball out to the left side of the area with Nicola Hazell bringing clear, going a little early she is flagged offside. Leach holds the ball up inside the D back to goal pushes it out to Walker to the right of goal 25 yards out her first time strike rising over the goal. A bright start from Bungay Rowland with a powerful run forwards as Hazell travels with the ball up the left wing her through ball aiming t pick her out too heavy Thorpe goalkeeper, Cara Anderson able to gather.
Thorpe with the ball on the left the pass played on for Sutton in attack she knocks it forwards looking to get into the box, Charlotte Power going with her the central defence lunging in ahead of her to take the ball.
GOAL! Bungay starting the brighter it’s Thorpe who open the scoring, the ball won in midfield the past through to Sutton central Power with her the defender initially winning the ball, Sutton stays on her pressuring her as she takes the ball away to the byline on the left, Sutton getting the better of her nicking the ball shifts in a from the acutest of angles sends a shot in towards goal the high ball flighted perfectly goes across the goal to nestle inside the far post 0-1.
Rowland is causing problems for Thorpe the Bungay midfielder winning the ball and breaking forwards well to support the attackers. Sets up Walker for a shot 25 yards out her low effort not troubling Anderson. A huge blow for Thorpe as Sutton pulls up hurt inside the Bungay area as she looks to put in a challenge on Power. Looks like her knee is in alot of pain a real blow after lengthy treatment on the pitch can’t continue is carried off Vicky Monsey readied and sent on to assist Leonie Daulby in attack.
GOAL! Doesn’t take Bungay long to find a reply finding the levelling goal. Rowland running on after a long pass on the right picking it up carries it into the area from the byline on the right draws Thorpe players to her evading a challenge sends it into Leach who finds herself unmarked in the centre of the six yard box places the ball wide of the keeper to make it 1-1.
Laura Hedtke wins the ball in the middle for Thorpe her pass into Sharnie Boast, she attempts the through ball into the area for Monsey to chase down, Hannah Jones cutting it out and clearing for Bungay. Bungay turn play around quickly Rowland bringing it forwards looking to send Hazell through from the left into the box the pass too close to Anderson the keeper coming out to the edge of her area to claim the ball.
GOAL! Bungay turn the game completely around taking the lead pushing players forwards up the right Lyndsey Adams with Walker the cross swung into the area Hedtke back to head it away with Rowland making the run into the box, the Bungay midfielder holding her position as possession is reclaimed on the right the ball fired into her opens up her body to steer the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner 2-1.
Bungay make a change after the goal Walker coming off Eva Evans coming on. Rowland continuing to cause problems for Thorpe her runs not being tracked picks up the ball sending the pass on for Leach her switch out to the left sees Evans caught offside. Thorpe have lost their edge in attack without Sutton winning the ball in midfield Bungay are dealing with any forward pass, Ella Swift with a good tackle against Kirstie Andrews over on the left. Daulby with a pass up into the box Jones clearing for Bungay, Charlotte Groves nipping in to win it back drops her shoulder getting past her marker, her forward ball for Monsey she is flagged offside in the area.
Adams with the ball in midfield for Bungay inside from the right plays the ball back to Rowland her diagonal ball releasing Leach out to the left moving on to the byline her cross fired across the top of the six yard box intercepted by Vicky McNorton for Thorpe. A good save by Anderson as Leach is put through in behind 20 yards out Anderson out to the edge of her area stays big as Leach smashes her shot against her.
GOAL! With 5 minutes left to go in the 1st half Bungay extend their lead. Rowland with the run forwards central on the ball up to the top of the area the ball played inside to Hazell she leans back opening the angle to curl her low shot into the bottom corner of the net 3-1.
Bungay finishing the 1st half strongly, Thorpe unable to get any meaningful possession on the ball. Ille with the pass on for Rowland break continues her run forwards Rowland sending the return pass into her, plays it on looking for Hazell inside the area, Sommerfield intercepting the pass for Thorpe. A shot on goal from Thorpe stopped by Wells in goal as Hedtke gets he ball through for Monsey to have a shot. Bungay are quick to launch a counter attack the ball up the pitch played out to the right McNorton doing well up against Hazell to win the ball back
GOAL! Late into the 1st period and Bungay have another goal. Pressing forwards through the middle Rowland involved the ball out to Hazell moving right her cross in cut out by McNorton inside the box her clearance not finding a teammate the ball played all the way across the area into the six yard box Evans free at the far post putting the ball into the back of the net 4-1.
Half-time Bungay Town Ladies 4-1 Thorpe United Ladies
A strong 1st half from Bungay the hosts having the better of the game started well fell behind. Injury to Sutton unsettling the visitors Thorpe not able to retain the ball Bungay winning it back easily breaking on with purpose players finding room and space to exploit. Scoring to goals late in the half to put them firmly in control of the game. Half-time a chance for Thorpe to get together try and regroup unsettled feeling decisions are going against them try and galvanise themselves for the 2nd half a better display needed if they hope to find a way back into the game.
Thorpe to get the 2nd half underway have make a change, Lisa Ferdani on for Monsey, Into the midfield Groves is pushed into an attacking role through the middle. Straight from kick-off the visitors look to press the ball higher up the pitch, Andrews trying to get in behind on the right Swift with the tackle. Bungay make a change bringing Walker back on for Evans. Thorpe bring the ball on Andrews left the ball put inside to Ferdani played on to Smith on the right, Kelly Collins winning it back for Bungay.
Thorpe showing more intent at the start of the 2nd half Andrews with a clever back heel on the left wing putting the return pass into Groves she tries to put Boast through on the left Bungay putting it out for a throw in. Boast seeing the ball into her feet left corner outside the box drives a shot in towards goal Wells covering her near post takes the ball cleanly. Ferdani passing the ball on for Andrews left side the defender looking to see it out fr Bungay Andrews doing well to slide in knock the ball into her to win the corner. A great delivery into the box Groves rising to meet it six yards out her header blocked/saved at close range Bungay scramble it away. Thorpe regaining the ball right side the early ball played into Groves positioned top of the area stretching for the ball a little screws her shot in wide of the target.
Groves strong up front battling for every ball for Thorpe the Bungay defence not letting her have any room to turn and shoot inside the area. Sommerfield tackles Walker as the number 10 looks to run through on goal the ball out to McNorton who clear it up the pitch, the pass on looking to send Andrews away on the left the Bungay defence intercepting knocking it on long out for the corner.. at least Thorpe think so play brought back instead for offside a decision that further riles Thorpe’s sense of injustice.
Bungay make a change Adams the player off, Arianna Lloyd taking up her position on the right. Power with the ball up field into Walker making a run into the area looked like a push on McNorton, Walker getting a shot away Anderson making a good save.
GOAL! 20 minutes played in the 2nd half and Bungay having kept Thorpe from finding an early reply 2nd half build momentum and further extend their lead the ball won back in the middle played on for Walker she knocks it around the advancing keeper at the top of the area in behind an empty goal to aim at doesn’t miss 5-1.
Bungay look to press the advantage,Hazell with a powerful run on the left getting into the area her shot in rising strikes the crossbar dropping down falls to Lloyd coming in from the right she looks to smash the ball back in across the keeper Anderson getting the tips of her gloves to the ball knocking it up onto the bar again before Thorpe get back to scramble it away. Holmes blocking a shot from Leach taken from 20 yards out. Ille moving left with the ball her cross fired into the area McNorton getting her head on the ball to Thorpe with Walker coming in behind her.
Thorpe get forwards Boast and Andrews looking to link up on the left the return ball form Boast gathered by Wells inside the six yard box. Groves back to goal top of the area twists and turns can find no room past Power. Bungay turn play around rapidly the pass long to the left finding Leach on the break her early ball played onto Walker running clear in the centre to of the area her first time shot angles away from goal wide at the far post.
GOAL! Closing in on the final 15 minutes Bungay find the back of the net for a sixth goal. A throw won on the left level with the top of the Thorpe area the ball played onto towards the edge of the box his headed down into Walker right of goal unmarked she leans back into the shot and sends it across the keeper to score her 2nd of the game 6-1.
A free-kick awarded to Thorpe 5 yards inside the Bungay half. Smith over it an ambitious effort in at goal the ball dipping late but not coming down soon enough lands on the roof of the net. Thorpe bring Monsey back on into the action in place of Smith. The visitors losing their way late in the game Bungay taking full advantage.
GOAL! Bungay go further in front as they produce a flowing attacking move through the middle the ball from the back helped on for Leach the Thorpe defence split open, her run taking her to the top of the area the striker sends her shot low past the advancing keeper to score 7-1.
GOAL! Walker going on to complete her hat-trick moments later Bungay attacking on the left the diagonal pass fired into Walker outside the area top left corner, seeing the ball into her feet the striker turns and strikes the shot across the goal into the bottom corner to make it 8-1.
8 minutes left to play Thorpe have lost their shape Bungay finding room all over the park. Thorpe get hold of the ball release Andrews into the box left of goal attacking players closing her down, the keeper going to ground she puts her effort wide of the near post. Rowland bringing the ball on out to the right a one two between Swift and Lloyd right side the cross in Walker putting her shot wide. Walker with another strike top of the area blocked by Holmes the deflection into Lloyd her shot whistling over the crossbar.
GOAL! Into stoppage time Bungay get another goal, players getting forwards the pass through the middle finds Hazell on the move in the left channel reaching the area pulls the trigger her shot driven across the keeper and into the net beyond 9-1.
An opportunity to make it double figures at the death spurned by Walker as she stabs the ball over from six yards as the ball squeezes past the keeper at the near post as she tries to stop a cross in low from the left. The last action of the game Bungay celebrate a comfortable win.
Full time Bungay Town Ladies 9-1 Thorpe United Ladies
Bungay bring an end to Thorpe’s long unbeaten league run and with a dominant scoreline. Coming back from an early setback to press their advantage first half Rowland causing mayhem with her runs, Bungay getting into a 4-1. A blow for Thorpe losing Sutton to injury and without Lake too lost their edge up top rallied at the start of the 2nd half but as decision’s went against them lost their discipline and Bungay took full advantage. Bungay getting into a 5-1 adding a flurry of goals in the final 1 minutes to see Thorpe suffer a heavy and very uncharacteristic loss. A dent to their own title ambitions, certainly not out of it yet and can only put this result behind them start with a clean slate next time out. Bungay with the win back getting their own title challenge back on track close the gap to Sprowston to 3 pint with a game in hand.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
A good performance all round from Bungay this evening a few contenders for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match have chosen Selina Rowland her work in midfield causing Thorpe all sorts of problems especially 1st half making some excellent runs drawing players out of position and setting up opportunities in front of goal aswell as getting on the scoresheet with a goal.
Good to see both sides in action at last this season, although I’m sure Thorpe would rather I hadn’t. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the team details always appreciated. More action from Norfolk to come later this week on Friday with Acle United Ladies playing Wymondham Town Ladies in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final.