Tuesday 10th May
Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final
The cup final action continues thick and fast with my 4th featured match in 8 days happening this Tuesday evening with a trip to Newmarket Town FC for the final of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup sponsored by S-tech Insurance between Newmarket Town Ladies Development & Whittlesey Athletic Ladies.
Newmarket Town Women’s 1st team making history by reaching the Women’s Invitation Cup Final for the 1st time this season, missing out to Cambridge City Ladies their Development side looking to go one better in the Junior Invitation Cup. One of the youngest squads out there the oldest players on the field tonight just 19 years old with six of the squad just sixteen years old completing thier 1st season in women’s football. Newmarket with a strong youth system bringing players through, manager Shane Lebbon proud to develop and bring players on through the club. Promoted to Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One this season, making a solid start winning 3 of their opening 5 games, a tougher spell followed with some heavy defeats have rallied well to finish 5th in the table bringing several players up to gain experience and ultimate develop ending their season with a cup final. Kaitlin Elsey their top scorer netting 16 times from 11 appearances.
Facing another young squad this evening as they take on Whittlesey Athletic Ladies. The majority of the players with manager Shaun Harley for U10’s moving through the various age groups at ICA Sports Ladies before moving to form Whittlesey Athletics first women’s team 2 seasons ago. A solid debut in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership before applying to join the ERWFL (tier six) this season. Entering Division One North games haven’t been as regular as they could have been with 2 sides withdrawing before the start of the season leaving just 7 competing. Drawing with eventual Champions Needham Market on the opening day have held their own amongst the chasing sides, eventually finishing 5th a draw and a defeat to Newmarket’s 1st team along the way. Missing out on a spot in the ERWFL Plate final losing in extra-time to Hutton went one better in the Junior Invitation Cup as they compete for their first piece of silverware. Chelsea Burr their top along with Annie Posnett with 15 goals.
S-tech Insurance sponsoring the Invitation Cup and Junior Invitation Cup’s now for 15 years proudly supporting the women’s game in Cambridgeshire.
Road to the Final
`17 sides entering the Junior Invitation Cup both Newmarket and Whittlesey were given a bye in the 1st Round seeing them straight into the quarter finals of the competition. Newmarket away to Division Three side Chatteris Town Lillies Ladies in the last 8, goals from Georgia Blackaby, Ella Cummins and Sarah O’Rourke seeing the game won 3-0. Whittlesey progressing without kicking a ball handed a home win against Leverington Sports Ladies.
Onto the semi-finals, it was another Division Three opponent for Newmarket as they were drawn at home to face Burwell Tigers Ladies. Kaitlin Elsey scoring a brace to help the hosts advance to the final the result 6-2. Whittlesey at home to in their semi-final taking on fellow ERWFL Division One North side Cambridge City Ladies Development. Looked a close game on paper and proved to be the case with a single goal enough to see Whittlesey into their 1st final Chelsea Burr scoring it.
Newmarket Town FC the venue for this evenings final. The top class artificial playing surface seeing alot of action. Hosting numerous teams and finals over the course of the season. A main seated stand beside the changing rooms and clubhouse with viewing all round. The bar open along with the kitchen. Another bright and sunny day leading into a mild evening but growing cloudy with rain on it’s way for the following day.
Newmarket Town Women Development starting XI – Hannah Lock, Kara Wayman, Shannon Chandler, Jess Sharp, Lydia Mason (C), Emily Wallis, Cerys Compton, Mary Lowe, Ella Cummins, Georgia Blackaby & Kaitlin Elsey. Subs – Isobel Davies-Trainer, Leah Harper, Scarlett Lander, Amy Savage, Chloe Dunn.
Whittlesey Athletic Ladies starting XI – Danielle King, Sophie Ellen, Hannah Johnson, Leah Barnes Lauren Fort, Hannah Murphy (C), Lauren Mapleston, Maddison Moore, Holley Ross, Aliyah Palmer & Chelsea Burr. Subs – Brooke Harley, Megan Mapleston, Amelia Roberts & Grace Spencer.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Two young squads going head to head in a senior women’s cup final a great experience for all involved. Newmarket to get the game underway kicking off the first half wearing yellow coloured shirts with blue shorts and socks. Whittlesey lined up opposite wearing blue and black vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. The ball put into midfield sent out to Shannon Chandler on the right the full back powering forwards delivering a cross into the top of the Whittlesey area, won and cleared by Lauren Mapleston for Whittlesey.
Whittlesey look to get on through the middle, Maddison Moore travelling with the ball support from captain, Hannah Murphy linking 25 yards out, Newmarket centre backs Jess Sharp and captain Lydia Mason closing the door the ball won back. Out to Kara Wayman on the left forwards for Emily Wallis pressing forwards with the ball gets a cross into the Whittlesey box, Sophie Ellen clearing for Whittlesey. Lauren Fort challenging Chandler and the back as she storms on up the right plays it forwards for Chelsea Burr left on halfway, sending in inside for Aliyah Palmer central runs on down the line the return pass played into her path taking the ball on into the box looking to turn inside towards goal, Mason closing down wins possession back for Newmarket.
Mary Lowe getting on through the middle for Newmarket pressing winning the ball high moving to the right the ball into the box blocked by Whittlesey. Players from both sides looking to take the ball forwards rather than get rid as soon as possible. Newmarket looking to press players on through the middle, Burr and Holley Ross looking to keep wide left and right in attack for Whittlesey with Palmer through the middle. Newmarket goalkeeper, Hannah Lock racing out of her area to clear the ball as Palmer tuning on the ball attempts to sends Burr on in behind.
Kaitlin Elsey battling for the ball taking it on to the right by- line her cross fired in cut out at the near post. Whittlesey break quickly Moore and Murphy in the middle sent on for Burr running away on the left pulling the trigger on the angle 25/30 yards out her shot flashing in across goal over Lock strikes the far post cannoning of it across the face of the Newmarket goal hitting the other upright before Lock gets her gloves firmly around it.
A free-kick awarded to Newmarket in the centre circle the ball played up to towards the left side of the Whittlesey box, Hannah Johnson winning it with her head getting it away. Whittlesey starting to press the ball with 10 minutes played competitive in the middle of the park, Murphy and Moore winning tackles.
GOAL! Whittlesey open the scoring with a well worked finish between the front three as play is spread out to Burr on the left, pace on the ball getting on sends a great diagonal pass across the top of the Newmarket area finding Ross over on the right, she in turn passing it into the middle for Palmer stealing in on the penalty spot to open up her body to plant the ball wide of the keeper to score 0-1.
Newmarket look for a quick reply as the ball is picked up in the middle by Ella Cummins driving on threads it on for Elsey the striker moving left of the D strong on the ball shooting a cross goal her shot wide of Whittlesey goalkeeper, Danielle King’s far post. Ellen defending for Whittlesey as Georgia Blackaby looks to get into a shooting position for Newmarket from a throw in. Moore taking the ball on through the middle for Whittlesey laying it out to Ross on the right side, going on, Kara Wayman winning the ball back for Newmarket with a good challenge.
Burr is a threat in attack for Whittlesey moving out to the left the ball played into her chased into the corner, holds off Newmarket defenders before flashing a cross along the face of the Newmarket goal. Retrieved out on the right Ross with Moore her angled ball into the area, just behind Palmer making the central run. Johnson with the clearance on the right sees Burr left running onto the ball again opts to shoot early slicing the ball her effort sent over. A good contest shaping up both sides looking lively in attack, Whittlesey looking to stretch Newmarket’s back line. The ball launched forwards by Whittlesey a hopeful pass turns into an opportunity as a defensive miscue sees the ball headed on in behind, Burr after it racing forwards, Sharp though doing well for Newmarket getting back herself to tackle inside the D.
Burr lively heading the ball on for Palmer central, mason winning it back for Newmarket. Elsey given the ball 25 yards out bursts forwards through the middle driving at the Whittlesey defence, Leah Barnes making the tackle bringing the ball away, before having a heavy collision with Blackaby that eaves her on the ground hurt. Appears to be winded, after treatment is back up on her feet. Midway through the first half. Fort carrying the ball on moves central eventually closed down the ball cleared for a throw. Off the throw on the left Burr controls the ball and turns on down the line in behind to whip a cross into the six yard box, Wayman at the far post controlling the ball with her head dropping it down for Lock to gather.
Cummins on the ball running on towards the Whittlesey box has Blackaby ahead of her right of the D rolls the ball on for her, bodies back for Whittlesey as Blackaby pulls the trigger her shot deflected wide for a corner kick. Put in from the right the ball headed out of the area near side by Murphy. Chandler gathering moving on before sending a high cross into the area, this time claimed by King. Whittlesey looking a threat on the counter getting the ball on quickly, Burr the outlet on the left landing at her feet squares it across the top of the Newmarket box, Ross after it far side, Wayman winning the ball back for Newmarket.
Murphy getting on right for Whittlesey sends the ball into Burr top of the D, is quickly closed down by Sharp and Mason can’t turn inside attempts to lay it back for Murphy the midfielder can’t take it in her stride as Crompton closes in for Newmarket. Whittlesey turning the screw pressing forwards Mapleston on for Palmer right channel plays it on into the box with Burr coming across to receive the ball shots on the angle, Lock with a sharp save down well to get her hands on the ball push it out to the left for a corner kick. Players up into the box for Whittlesey the corner long beyond the far post attacked an infringement spotted by referee, Ceredig Cattanch-Chell, Newmarket have the free-kick.
10 minutes left to play in the first half, Wallis looking to get on left side, held up by Johnson. Chandler getting up on the left for Newmarket sends a diagonal ball into Elsey in attack lays it back for Cummins advancing through the middle 25 yards out stabs her 1st time strike wide. Mapleston bringing the ball on through the centre of Whittlesey has Palmer free on the left, turns and is tackled by Chandler. Lowe with the ball central Newmarket running on towards the Whittlesey box lifts it on looking for Elsey, Ellen winning the header for Whittlesey. Elsey getting inside off a throw on the left high for Newmarket plays the pass into Lowe left of the D sent in low, King is down to get behind it for Whittlesey.
Elsey with the ball left holding it up as Blackaby gives her an option outside the D, lays it back to Lowe in midfield, her diagonal ball back out to Elsey moving inside the area is won by Whittlesey’s Johnson. Chandler getting up well on the right for Newmarket crosses in along the top of the Whittlesey area Lowe clipping a shot forwards headed away a distance strike hit back into the box, taken high by King dropping down onto the ball. Whittlesey are quick to break Mapleston with Ross through the middle out to Burr left shifts inside leaning back as she shots striking the ball over from outside the box.
Newmarket looking to get on late in the first half Chandler on the right forwards for Blackaby taking the ball to the by-line her cross in cut out at the near post, won back inside the Whittlesey half by Lowe twisting and turning on the ball getting forwards her forwards pass claimed by the keeper. Lowe then drops a pass over the top for Elsey outside the D, forced wide left as Barnes and Johnson recover to get back on her, Johnson tackling to regain possession.
GOAL! Into 1st half stoppage time Whittlesey playing the up
field ball into Burr over on the right turning to take the ball down clear right of the D, striking it well her shot racing across Lock to find the bottom corner 0-2. Whittlesey doubling their lead at the death in the first half.
A blow for Newmarket they look to get on the attack the ball forwards, Ellen winning it for Whittlesey moving on as Lowe comes in to challenge a painfully collision a coming together of knees that leaves Ellen down in some discomfort. Play stopped so she can receive treatment up gingerly can’t continue however helped off the pitch, Megan Mapleston coming on. The ball forwards by Whittlesey from the back, Moore looking to take it on through the middle finding no way through.
Half-time Newmarket Town Women Development 0-2 Whittlesey Athletic Ladies
An entertaining first 45 minutes. A good contest between the sides playing positively. Newmarket looking to bring the ball on. Whittlesey keeping it tight at the ball defending the top of their area making it difficult to break though while looking dangerous on the counter attack, Burr in particular out left then right later on always available. The opening goal coming on 10 minutes, with Palmer on target have created further chances Burr hitting the woodwork and forcing a great save by Lock. Newmarket kept coming on playing through the middle some clever runs a sucker punch to concede a 2nd goal so late in the first half. Never an easy score line to hold at half-time and the old cliché applies the next goal could prove crucial.
Changes for both sides at the break, Grace Spencer on for Whittlesey replacing Ross. A triple change for Newmarket with Leah Harper, Scarlett Lander and Isobel Davies-Trainer coming on for Cummins, Blackaby and Sharp. Whittlesey with the kick-off in the 2nd period, put forwards into midfield Newmarket get hold of the ball on for Elsey out to Lander on the right. Fort tackling for Whittlesey.
Wayman on the ball at the back for Newmarket looking to lift it over the top for Elsey, won back by Barnes. Newmarket looking to get the ball forwards quicker at the start of the 2nd half Lander out wide right, Davies-Trainer on the left. It’s Lander with the ball on the right driving on put on into the six yard box, Elsey after it get her head on the ball, King getting in to scramble it away to the left. Whittlesey break Murphy with the ball forwards for Palmer out on the right in attack, Wayman standing firm against her for Newmarket. Lander speedy on the right for Newmarket on with the ball her cross flashed in near post claimed by King with Crompton closing in.
A lively opening 5 minutes Newmarket looking to take the game to Whittlesey their opponents getting the ball into the middle play spread to Burr on the left getting in behind taking on the early strike her shot held well by Lock. Moore down injured for Whittlesey a pause in play need to come off, Ross returning to the field. Wallis playing the ball to Davies-Trainer on the left threaded inside for Elsey to attack, Barnes defending for Whittlesey. Megan Mapleston with the ball on through the middle for Whittlesey has Burr on the move left side attempts the pass, Chandler intercepting for Newmarket.
Newmarket with a strong start to the 2nd half getting players on using the wide areas trying to find Elsey with a cross inside the area. Chandler on the right and Wayman left with some good defending for Newmarket as Whittlesey attempt to get Burr and Palmer in behind. Burr a constant threat running onto a pass through the middle breaking on into the area, Wayman closing her down as she shapes to go left take a shot, the full back has to get her tackle right an does superbly well to take the ball cleanly away from the attacker.
Wayman again winning the challenge as Whittlesey’s Spencer looks to get on with the ball right side, playing it up the line for Davies-Trainer who in turn attempts to thread the ball into Elsey inside the box is quickly closed down. Murphy getting hold of the ball outside her area for Whittlesey looks for Burr out wide left side, Chandler winning the ball then again as Burr comes nipping back at her. Ross with a powerful run on the ball through the centre for Whittlesey left of the D 20 yards out puts it into the area right looking for Spencer, can’t reach it before Wayman clears the danger.
Elsey with the ball left side bouncing up does well to win a corner kick. Spencer goes down for Whittlesey needing treatment, whilst Palmer appears to be struggling with an injury too. Spencer comes off with Amelia Roberts entering the game. 20 minutes played in the 2nd half. Lock with a crucial save for Newmarket as Burr latches onto the ball outside the area following a defensive error racing forwards into the box left of goal, Lock comes to close the angle staying big making the blocking save as Burr smashes the ball into her her defence racing back clearing the ball.
Elsey attacking on the right for Newmarket her angled shot in cut out by Fort behind for the corner kick. The ball played in near side is turn high towards goal, dropping down, King with a comfortable take. The game moving into the final 20 minutes, Newmarket pushing hard for a goal to get themselves back into the game, Whittlesey back defending. Play pulled over to the right as Newmarket get on Elsey wide holding the ball up has support from Crompton her cross flashed in near post won well by Johnson heading clear with Wallis waiting beyond.
Wayman bringing the ball on down the left plays it inside for Mason forwards into Elsey outside the D, closed down the ball put back to Davies-Trainer left side to strike a shot over the bar from 20 yards. Chandler bursting on right side with a vicious ball angled into the the Whittlesey area, intercepted and cleared by Johnson. Whittlesey forced back finding it difficult to get out of their half now as players come back to help the defence. Murphy strong on the ball wanting to find Burr on the left can only pick out Chandler.
Ross bringing the ball down off a throw right side, looks to attack before being tackled by Wayman. Brooke Harley coming on for Whittlesey replacing Palmer. Newmarket think they have a goal back as Lander out wide on the right rifles a shot in towards goal players closing in on the keeper the ball smashed home from close range into the roof of the net. However as everyone starts to celebrate the flag is up the goal ruled out for offside.
Burr not seeing as much of the ball now as Whittlesey concentrate on keeping Newmarket out at the back nevertheless reman a threat ready to attack if the ball comes up t her, pacy with it at her feet left side shoots wide across the area. A double change for Newmarket with the clock ticking down a little over five minutes of regular play to score 2 goals. Lowe and Chandler coming off for Amy Savage and Chloe Dunn.
GOAL! Newmarket get on the attack play spread to Lander out wide right taking it on down the line shrikes the shot in from the angle the ball rising King jumping can’t get a touch the ball cannoning down off her crossbar out to the left side. Elsey getting after it is pushed to the ground, Penalty! Well not straight away. Elsey stays down hurting her shoulder in the fall and needs attention. So too King in the Whittlesey goal. Both players back on their feet it’s Elsey with the penalty an unstoppable drive hit high into the roof of the net. 1-2.
A goal back for Newmarket in the 85th minute, setting up a nervous finish to the cup final for Whittlesey who look to get straight on the attack from the restart, Murphy looking to put it on for Burr intercepted by Wallis. Whittlesey come right Ross with support from Mapleston, Dunn defending well for Newmarket. Attacking Whittlesey press on Lauren Mapleston tackled by Harper as she takes the ball on through the middle. Murphy bringing the ball down some 30 yards out seeing her shot caught by Lock.
Newmarket on the ball left Dunn on for Davies-Trainer attempts the ball over the top for Elsey, won by Johnson. The game open at the death moving into stoppage time will be several minutes added. Neither side making head way lander stopped on the by-line right side, Whittlesey unable to pick out Burr on the left. Burr winning a throw high up on the left, rather than looking to keep it in the corner Whittlesey are looking to score Johnson up the pitch battling for possession passes to Ross inside for Murphy 20 yards out screws her shot wide.
On last attack for Newmarket the ball with lander on the right crosses it into the box, falls to Elsey central peeling off the last defender turns and shoots, not a clean connection her effort dragged wide of the right post. That’s it the final whistle blows and despite a valiant effort from Newmarket to fight back in the 2nd half Whittlesey stand firm to win the Junior Invitation Cup.
Full time Newmarket Town Women Development 1-2 Whittlesey Athletic Ladies
A really entertaining final between these two young sides. Some great football played. Whittlesey opening the scoring in the 10th minute a well worked move. Further chances coming for Burr as Newmarket carried the ball on in attack themselves suffering a late sucker punch with Burr scoring in the closing moments to hand Whittlesey a 2 nil lead at the break. Changes for both sides at the break. Newmarket strong in the 2nd half as they pushed on looking for a goal to get back into the game came close with a goal ruled out for offside as the Whittlesey defence stood firm under pressure. Burr looking capable of getting them another goal up the other end, Newmarket’s full backs in particular making things difficult. The goal coming from the penalty spot late in the game Whittlesey responding by getting out attacking rather than inviting continued pressure. Two sides that you feel are only going to get better.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match and boy is this a tough one to pick one out with both sides having strong contenders. For Newmarket the full backs were superb, Shannon Chandler on the right and Kara Wayman on the left making some great tackles. Kaitlin Elsey up top strong on and off the ball looking to find an opening not easy against a well drilled Whittlesey defence. For Whittlesey, Hannah Johnson had a great game at full back winning the ball more often than not. Hannah Murphy too in midfield getting about closing players down. The award though and it is close because Kara Wayman was excellent for Newmarket goes to Whittlesey’s, Chelsea Burr. Played a fantastic game always an outlet for her side as they looked to attack from midfield, on the ball getting down the line or into a scoring position herself a great pass for the opening goal, creating chances herself before getting on the scoresheet late in the first half.
Congratulations to Whittlesey Athletic Ladies on winning their first piece of silverware the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup.
A really entertaining game to end a run of 4 finals in 8 days, starting last Tuesday with the Suffolk League Cup, with the Suffolk County Cup and ERWFL League Cup, Friday and Sunday. A brief rest now before a cup final double in Norfolk of Sunday. My thanks to everyone for their assistance this evening an to Sean Doyle for allowing me to use some of his pictures in the report.
by Darren Gilham