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Match Report – Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds v Wisbech Town Ladies

Sunday 22nd April

  Semi-final action today on Women’s Football East a trip to Cambridgeshire to watch Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds take on Wisbech Town Ladies for a place in the Division One Cup Final.

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

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

  Wisbech Town Ladies topped Group C also with 3 wins from 3 over Hungate Rovers Ladies, Wisbech St Mary Ladies an Orton Rangers Ladies. Are currently in 3rd spot in the Championship North a competitive tussle at the top of the table. Ketton Ladies currently enjoying a 10 point lead the sides below all have games in hand however. Wisbech Town with 3 games in hand are 12 points behind Ketton. A busy end to the season their squad pushed to the limit with players unavailable and out through injury.

  An opportunity to compete for silverware both Fulbourn and Wisbech Town have a prolific striker in their side this season. Scoring plenty of goals, Marie Stubbings has 38 goals so far this season from 16 appearances. Whilst for Sophie Gutteridge for Wisbech Town has 36 goals to her name from 17 appearances to date. Both are playing this afternoon.

Already through to the Division One Cup Final are Histon Ladies Reserves after the Championship South side won a nine goal thriller with Championship North side Riverside Ladies 5-4 last weekend.

  The venue for today’s match the Fulbourn Recreation Ground a playing field football and cricket with a range of other sports catered for along with the adjoining sports and social club.  Glorious weather for the 2nd Sunday running bright and sunny, possible showers later in the afternoon a breeze helping a little to cool things down. 

Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds starting XI – Samantha Isaacson (C), Seema Grewal, Abigail Dowell, Sarah Bodger, Nikki Cowan, Amy Smith, Jo Woods, Katie Luddy, Emma Clark, Krissie Taylor & Marie Stubbings. Subs – Sharon Pinner, Vicky Neal, Yasmin Upson and Stacey Kemp. 

 Wisbech Town Ladies starting XI – Becky Milner, Leah Hall, Emily Stephenson (C) Amy Hepting, Katie Garner, Annie Rooks, Chloe Riches, Chelsea King, Josie Turner, Faye Kowalewsky & Sophie Gutteridge. Subs – Elizabeth Simpson & Rachael Simpson

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   The sun high over head it’s Fulbourn wearing dark red shirts and socks with navy shorts to get the 1st half underway with Wisbech lined up opposite in their away kit, green shirts with black shorts and socks. Wisbech looking to close the ball down right from the start in the middle the ball pops free releasing Krissie Taylor into space down the left a run with the ball shoots from 20 yards out her effort wide of the near post. A lively start from Fulbourn getting forwards down the left winning a throw deep the ball comes into Taylor crosses the ball into the area, Wisbech goalkeeper Becky Milner claiming the ball.

   Chloe Riches takes the ball on through the middle for Wisbech sends the pass on for Sophie Gutteridge the striker playing in Faye Kowalewsky on the right side getting in behind her cross in intercepted by Fulbourn’s Nikki Cowan inside her six yard box knocked up into the air, Wisbech pressure the ball winning the 1st corner kick of the game. The ball in from the right met by Riches on the volley top of the area central can’t keep the ball down the strike sails wide. Kowalewsky bringing the ball on up the right wing for Wisbech plays the pass inside for Riches breaking forwards from midfield looks to play the through ball in behind for Gutteridge to chase, Isaacson is well positioned getting to the edge of her area to slide in a claim the ball at the attackers feet. 

Wisbech Town Ladies, Chloe Riches

    Fulbourn launch a rapid counter attack the ball brought on by Katie Luddy she releases Taylor on the left her early diagonal ball back into the centre intercepted by Wisbech’s Katie Garner. A corner kick awarded to Wisbech left side players up into the area the delivery in low towards the near post Kowalewsky with the touch puts the ball wide of the post. Chelsea King with the tackle in the middle the ball pushed into Riches played high on for Gutteridge the striker losing sight of the ball for a moment allows Cowan to regain possession for Fulbourn. Josie Turner wide left for Wisbech as players are drawn across, her forwards pass central for Gutteridge, Seema Grewal with her wins the challenge for Fulbourn. 

Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds, Emma Clark

  Garner with a vital touch to take the ball away from Marie Stubbings attacking the ball on the right as it is helped on through the middle from a free-kick at the back. The game played at a good tempo both sides attacking Wisbech bringing the ball up the left Turner with the cross into the box for Gutteridge back to goal left side 10 yards out, seeing the ball into her feet a good touch to take it away from her marker and spin in behind closing in on the six yard box as she pulls the trigger Isaacson makes the save a close range the ball off her behind for the corner kick. Kowalewsky stabs the ball wide of the far post as Wisbech pressure the ball from their corner kick preventing Fulbourn getting the ball clear a high ball back into the area knocked on to Kowalewsky, the visitors causing problems for the Fulbourn defence in the opening 20 minutes. 

 GOAL! Wisbech open the scoring 20 minutes played, Gutteridge causing a few problems for the Fulbourn defence pressuring the ball high up the pitch the striker capitalising on some hesitant defending inside the area steals the ball on the penalty spot and shifting the ball to her left slides it wide of Isaacson to score 0-1.

Wisbech Town Ladies, Sophie Gutteridge pictured with Fulbourn’s Seema Grewal scores the opening goal of the tie.

Wisbech make a change Amy Hepting coming off at left back a straight swap for Elizabeth Simpson *(not Rachael as 1st listed apologies).  Fulbourn go straight on the attack from the restart Emma Clark with the ball out left to Taylor her cross it taken cleanly by Milner. Fulbourn get a corner out of nothing on the right the delivery in towards the near post knocked back to the taker crossed back in Luddy can’t bring it under control near post as Leah Hall comes in to clear for Wisbech. Taylor with another run down the left crosses from a deep position the ball striking the outside of the post.

GOAL!  The game closing in on the half hour Fulbourn level the scores Stubbings catching Wisbech in possession on the right steals the ball and burst forwards down the right channel closing in on the byline cuts a high cross back across the face of goal a awkward one to deal with defenders trying to get back Milner can’t reach it as Taylor close in stoops her head onto the falling ball an puts it over the line from close range 1-1.

Krissie Taylor with Wisbech Town’s Chelsea King

 A hot day a drinks break is called a chance for everyone to take on fluids. Play resumes Kowalewsky seeing a cross go wide as she runs clear from a Stephenson clearance at the back for Wisbech. Jo Woods with the tackle the ball on for Clark takes in on through the middle, shifts it into Taylor breaking away on the left then continues her run through the centre Taylor crossing the ball in Garner with a touch deflects the ball out of the area straight to Clark tries to adjust her body as she meets the ball on the volley can’t keep her attempt down. 

Wisbech Town Ladies, Leah Hall

  Fulbourn makes a change, Abigail Dowell coming off for Sharon Pinner. Stubbings alert through the middle nips in to rob the ball as Wisbech hesitate at the back neither defence or goalkeeper laying claim to the ball, Stubbings knocking it on past everyone moving left strikes the ball her her low drive narrowly wide of the near post. A second change for Fulbourn Cowan the player off, Stacey Kemp coming on. The substitute involved straight away the ball rolled into her inside the Wisbech area knocks it to Stubbings close by on her right, Stephenson with a good tackle to deny her a shot on goal. 

  Sarah Bodger defends well up against Turner as the Wisbech attacker tried to get into the box with the ball from the left. Fulbourn make a 3rd change bringing on Yasmin Upson for Luddy the home sides confidence up a notch since their equaliser. Gutteridge pressing the ball high up the pitch gets it out to Kowalewsky on the right her looping cross back in towards the top of the area Riches can’t bring it down under control help it on with Turner free to her left.  

Marie Stubbings

 GOAL! 5 minutes or so left in the 1st half Fulbourn are attacking the ball wide on the right Garner blocking Upson’s cross in the ball out for a throw-in. The ball played into Stubbings top of the area on the right catches the ball sweetly on the volley sending the ball arrowing over the goalkeeper into the top corner to make it 2-1.

 

 Wisbech make a change after the goal Hepting returning to the action Simpson off. Fulbourn push forwards in the closing minutes of the 1st half Kemp taken out as she comes forwards with the ball. The free-kick in a central position Bodger on it goes for goal straight at Milner the Wisbech keeper palming the ball away to the right of goal, Upson quickest to it her snap shot sent wide of the post. A late free-kick for Wisbech inside the Fulbourn half Stephenson to play the ball into the area Kowalewsky knocks it on across the goal, Isaacson gathers for Fulbourn right on the stroke of half-time. 

Half-time Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 2-1 Wisbech Town Ladies

   A 2-1 lead for Fulbourn at the break an interesting at enjoyable first half. Wisbech starting the brighter, with Riches in the centre and Gutteridge up top causing problems Gutteridge capitalising to open the scoring. Fulbourn getting back on level terms grew in confidence with the goal and a superb strike on the volley from Stubbing seeing them turn things completely around. Another 45 minutes to go and the semi-final is along way from being settled.

  Wisbech to get the 2nd half started. Kowalewsky from a throw on the right putting an early cross into the area Isaacson can come off her line and claim it before Gutteridge can close it down. Simpson defends well stopping the ball getting beyond her as Fulbourn attack down the left a quick counter attack the pass from Rooks on for Turner breaking on the left for Wisbech, Grewal does enough against her to get the ball back to Isaacson. Turner further up the field central with Gutteridge the two pressure the Fulbourn defence the ball rolled back for Rooks to strike 25 yards out the ball doesn’t trouble Isaacson.

Wisbech Town Ladies, Annie Rooks with Fulbourn’s Emma Clark

  Riches with a strike at goal beats Isaacson however as she lets fly from 30 yards out the ball smashing against the crossbar drops back down into the area, no one attacking it Fulbourn launch it up field. Fulbourn’s turn to attack the ball on the left Upson driving forwards holding off Simpson. Milner coming to the edge of her area looking to gather the ball pulls up suddenly going down in alot of pain. Play goes on Upson pushed wide gets a shot away, Garner back on the cover throwing herself into the block. Play stopped, a Milner in clear discomfort needs treatment. A lengthy pause another injury blow for Wisbech as Milner can’t continue is carried off the pitch. Rachael Simpson getting kitted out ready to take over in goal. 

 Play resumes after a 6 minute delay. Stubbings with support from Kemp on the right the ball into the area cleared by Stephenson. Wisbech’s captain with another great tackle inside the area moments later as Woods plays the ball through to Kemp she picks out Stubbings inside the area right of goal Stephenson times her tackle well knocking the ball against Stubbings and away for the goal kick. Simpson puts her goal kick straight at Kemp, she sends it back in towards goal from 20 yards straight at Simpson as she stops it with her legs on the line.

 GOAL! Fulbourn extend their lead the ball picked up in the middle by Stubbings after Pinner keeps it alive on the left moving across the pitch carrying the ball over to the left side Stubbings covers alot of grass Pinner breaking forwards through the middle times her run perfectly as the Wisbech defence gets stretched Stubbings putting the ball into the area Pinner’s touch putting her clear on goal she sends her shot wide of the keeper to make it 3-1. 

Wisbech look for an immediate response Riches with Rooks through the middle out to Kowalewsky on the right her cross swung in towards the near post Isaacson forwards to claim it ahead of Gutteridge. A free-kick inside their own half as Kemp fouls Hall. Stephenson sends it long up towards Kowalewsky right side the ball evading the Fulbourn defence the winger in in through on goal into the area doesn’t shoot early the angle gone puts the ball straight at Isaacson as the keeper defending her near post goes to ground. 

Wisbech Town Ladies, Faye Kowalewsky

Woods is covering plenty of ground for Fulbourn in the middle of the park getting across to win possession back Kemp, Upson and Stubbings willing runners ahead of her. Bodger at the back with a vital interception as Turner looks to send a looping ball on for Gutteridge. The visitors with a corner kick on the right played in low towards the near post a scramble the ball half cleared comes to King inside the box her shot charged down. Wisbech revert to 3 at the back as they commit players to attacking roles.

 Fulbourn break the ball played into Upson left side she rides a tackle advantage played as she goes on puts the ball into Kemp central 20 yards out slide it into Stubbings on her right her strike hit on the run flashes wide of the post. The home side press the attack Woods coming on up the pitch right side crossed the ball into the middle of the area Stubbing knocking it goalwards the dropping ball cleared off the line away for a corner kick. A crude one from Stephenson as she clatters into the corner taker Stubbings as she looks to control the ball cleared out to her a final warning from the referee. 18 minutes left to play including a hefty portion of stoppage time.

Jo Woods on the ball for Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds

A flowing attacking move by Fulbourn started by Woods bringing the ball with her through the middle passed to Stubbings up with her her pass laid back to Clark put out to Smith on the right her cross into the box finding the head of Kemp the ball directed goalwards claimed by Simpson. A change for Fulbourn Smith taken off Dowell comes back on.

 GOAL! 15 minutes left on the clock and Wisbech pull a goal back a direct goal as the ball his sent on through the middle from a goal kick at the back Gutteridge lively onto it running clear right of goal Isaacson comes out to the edge of her area trying to close the angle down Gutteridge adjusting well to strike the ball high and lob it over the keeper and into the back of the empty net beyond 3-2.

Sophie Gutteridge pulls it back to 3-2 for Wisbech Town Ladies

Fulbourn make a change Luddy back on for Upson. Dowell with a shot from distance Simpson right behind it can bring down safely. Play drawn over to the right Turner with Gutteridge as Wisbech press in attack Kowalewsky taking it beyond them the cross fired in towards the near post Rooks trying to get there but not before Isaacson can gather. A free-kick inside the Fulbourn half for Wisbech. A long way from goal but Stephenson takes the shot on the ball past everyone flashes wide of the post players jumping for it a touch could have easily deflected it towards goal. Fulbourn with the substitutes available make another change at the back this time Kemp coming off up front Vicky Neal coming on to join the back line as Fulbourn look to see out the game. 

Fulbourn Institute Bluebird’s, Katie Luddy

Play stretched Woods winning the ball attacks on the left side her cross going long across the Wisbech area to Dowell on the right, puts a flighted ball back in towards the top of the area Luddy with the looping header forwards Clark ahead of her 8 yards out goes to strike the dropping ball, Rooks back to make the block for Wisbech. A corner given Hepting back on for Wisbech. Deep into stoppage time Isaacson with a low take diving to her left as Turner volleys the ball in towards goal from the top of the area receiving it from a throw on the left.

  Wisbech push on looking for a leveller late on to force the game into extra-time risk being hit on the counter attack. Woods breaking up play in the middle. Stubbings feels the full force of another rash Wisbech block as she attacks on the left a free-kick in a dangerous position outside the area Bodger comes forwards to take her shot bouncing wide across the six yard box and out the far side as the final whistle blows and Fulbourn celebrate as they reach the Division One Cup Final.

Full time Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 3-2 Wisbech Town Ladies

  An entertaining cup tie this afternoon, between two fairly even sides, Wisbech starting the better just didn’t have the legs to bring on to freshen thing’s up, Fulbourn did and grew in confidence once they got back on level terms in the 1st half going 2-1 at half time. Extending the lead 2nd half, Wisbech regaining a bit of momentum pulling a goal back with 15 minutes set up a tense finish Fulbourn certainly could let their foot off the gas, win 3-2 to set up a final with Championship counterparts Histon Ladies Reserves. That final scheduled to take place in Thursday May 3rd with a 7:30pm kick-off at Ely City FC I will hopefully be there.

  Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award was another close run thing a few contenders narrowed it down to 2 as the game wore on but there can only be one as always and overall I was impressed by Jo Woods in midfield for Fulbourn covering alot of ground to win the ball back break up play and set up others ahead of her.

  I enjoyed this cup tie an entertaining match could have gone either way, bright sunshine too. Good to see both sides in action has been a while. My thanks as always to both clubs for the help with the team details.

Match Report – March Town United Ladies v Wisbech Town Ladies

A look at a new league this weekend on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog covered on Women’s Football East, the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South a trip to the GER Sportsground to watch unbeaten league leaders march Town United Ladies play a local derby match against 3rd placed and in form Wisbech Town Ladies.

Match Report – March Town United Ladies v Wisbech Town Ladies

 
   The Supporting Women’s Football Blog has covered plenty of teams a different leagues across the country in the past 3 and half years, today it was time to take a look at a new league not covered before which is surprising with it being so close to home, the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship North to watch the league leaders unbeaten March Town United Ladies take on 3rd place and in form Wisbech Town Ladies.

  There are two Championship leagues in Cambridgeshire the North and the South that feed into the Premiership above. The Championship North is not only made up with sides in the northern part of Cambridgeshire but also sides in southern Lincolnshire such as Swineshead Institute Ladies and Boston United Ladies. Is a competitive league with the sides below March Town United Ladies all taking points off each other with just 5 points between 2nd and 7th.

 March Town United Ladies are into their 4th season as a team have played in both the North and the South Leagues did see them play a long time ago getting on for 3 seasons now when they were in the South League away to Cambridge Rangers back in the early days of the SWF Blog when I didn’t cover a match as extensively as I do now. Have grown as a side. Finishing 2nd in the Championship North last season are going strong this season leading the table for most of the season 7 straight wins at in the league before they were held to a 1-1 at home to Wisbech St Mary Ladies last weekend. Lead the Championship table by 4 points. Another local derby match today at home as they host Wisbech Town Ladies.

    Wisbech Town Ladies come into today’s match in great form having won 4 successive games in league and cup. 9 points from that ru taking them all the way up from 7th into 3rd. Have also reached the semi-finals of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitiation Cup for the 2nd successive season having reached the final last time around. Today they travel with just the bare 11 however having several players unavailable fo various reasons.

  The venue for today’s game the GER Sportsground, home of March Town FC known as The Hares. An old ground that boasts the 2nd oldest wooden stand in the country. Painted blue the main stand is set a little back from the pitch however this is because the ground also hosted cricket cycling and greyhound racing up until 1960. The ground has a new clubhouse that houses a bar and kitchen along with the changing rooms. Tea and coffee also available. The pitch itself is a good size pretty firm the clocks went forwards this weekend everyone lost an hour in bed but at last it looked like spring was here bright and sunny nice to see able to take the coat off for the 1st time this year.

 March Town United Ladies starting XI – Tori Sharpe, Sydney Davies, Claire Newton, Emma Searle, Kayleigh Churchyard, Jade Pointer (C), Georgia Brown, Adele Munday, Shannon Kelly, Emma Frost & Livvi Hodges
 subs – Ella Nutter, Sue Bedwell-Byatt, Laura Coe, Gemma Ramsey & Paige Bedwell-Mann

 Wisbech Town Ladies starting XI – Abbi Venni, Amy Hepting, Chloe Minall, Kaylie Swinden, Emily Stephenson (C), Polly Norman, Rachael Simpson, Shushannah Feast, Annie Rooks, Zoe Tyhurst & Sophie Gutteridge.

 subs – 

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A switch of ends before kick-off Wisbech opting to have the sun a their backs 1st half. It’s March to get the game underway wearing yellow shirts with a black band across the top and shoulders, black shorts and socks. Wisbech lined up opposite wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts. The visitors press the ball early keeping March pinned back in their own half striker Sophie Gutteridge, Wisbech’s top scorer so far this season with 20 goals closing down the defence getting her side a throw on the right the ball is crossed along the face of the area, with Gutteridge running onto it left of the D gets a shot away but never in control of the ball it rolls wide of the far post.
Wisbech Town Ladies striker
Sophie Gutteridge has scored 20
goals so far this season
   A good start from Wisbech, won’t let March get out of their half winning a throw in on the left the ball is given to Annie Rooks good hold up play before twisting away from her marker playing the ball in across the face of the area with Shushannah Feast in a central position the bounce of the ball doesn’t favour a left foot volley adjusting to strike with her right foot the shot is pulled wide of the far post.
  Getting the ball played into her feet on the right for March, Adele Munday drives forwards down the line, Wisbech left back, Chloe Minall gets across her tackling to put the ball out for the throw. Another attack for March the ball played long through the middle, Livvi Hodges with 3 goals in her last 3 league games is after it, Wisbech captain Emily Stephenson gets back with her to throw a leg out and put the ball out for another throw. March work the ball into midfielder Georgia Brown left side comes in field looks for the long diagonal ball in towards the box aiming for Hodges far post the ball is just over her head, beyond her Munday latches onto the ball but is halted by the offside flag.
 A good tackle from March’s Emma Searle at the back to thwart Wisbech’s Gutteridge as she threatens to run clear through the middle, the ball out for a throw taken quickly March counter the ball into captain Jade Pointer into midfield plays it on over halfway into space left side with Emma Frost beating the offside trap and running clear heads for the Wisbech box 25 yards out with Stephenson closing the ground lets fly with a shot a swerving ball, goalkeeper Abbie Venni, celebrating her 18th birthday in the week, having initially started to go one way adjusts her body well to stop the ball slipping past her deflects it away for the corner kick. 
An ever present this season, March Town United Ladies, Emma Searle
 Played in from the left side whipped in with vicious pace the corner kick flies over Venni is heading straight into the net is blocked on the line by Wisbech midfielder Rachael Simpson chesting the ball down before clearing, March go up claiming it had crossed the line the appeals are waved away play goes on, I’m on the halfway line got a picture but no goal line technology in this league.
Wisbech Town Ladies, Rachael Simpson stops March’s corner kick going over the line
 Both sides are using the width of the pitch, Hodges with space to run into on the right is closed down by Minall can’t squeeze her cross into the area, up the other end Feast with a surging run on the left with the ball fires a vicious cross into the box looking for Rooks running in, Searle gets their 1st slices her clearance high into the air. A good contest developing in the middle of the pitch plenty of energy from both sides.
  GOAL! The deadlock is broken midway through the 1st half Wisbech are awarded a free kick inside the March half left side a good way from goal close to 40 yards Stephenson goes across to take it as players go forwards line up across the top of the March area. Is a sweet strike by Stephenson as soon as it is flight you can tell it’s a great ball plenty of pace the ball flies towards goal a difficult one for keeper Tori Sharpe with runners closing on her the ball flies over her dipping late under the bar to make it 0-1.
 
Wisbech Town Ladies captain, Emily Stephenson
opens the scoring with a superb free-kick
  The ball is closed down inside the Wisbech half pinging around between feet eventually falls to March’s Shannon Kelly 35 yards out connects with the ball on the half volley sending a looping shot in towards goal Venni has time to set herself catch the ball inside her six yard box. March make a change Ella Nutter recently signed from St Ives Rangers Ladies coming on for Frost up front. Simpson has gotten forwards for Wisbech the ball is played into her at the top of the area back to goal she rolls it into Zoe Tyhurst moving central looks to bring the ball under control shift it inside to shot is closed down by March’s Claire Newton the chance gone.
  Hodges is played through on goal by Nutter as March break with purpose taking the ball right clear of the Wisbech defence Hodges pulls the trigger from 20 yards blasts her shot wide of goal. Nutter getting forwards herself on the left is brought down by Wisbech’s Amy Hepting. Searle over the free-kick looks to play the ball in towards the near post runners breaking from the top of the box Venni is distracted sees the ball safely into her gloves. Venni is quickly out of her box soon after to clear the danger as a favourable deflection at the beck sees Nutter race in behind the Wisbech defence can’t reach the ball before the goalkeeper does.
March Town United Ladies, Jade Pointer with Wisbech’s Rachael Simpson

  March make a 2nd change with Churchyard coming off at left back for Paige Bedwell-Mann a former Wisbech Town player. Brown with a powerful midfield run takes the ball on for March rolling it into the path of Hodges ahead of her, Minall gets on her shoulder prevents the striker getting a shot away as they enter the box marshalling the ball into Venni’s gloves as she comes sliding in to gather. The Wisbech defence giving very little away at the back, Brown finding room to get forwards for March lays the pass out to Nutter drifting into space wide left, Hepting gets back on her to close her down, Nutter keeps possession shifts the ball half a yard room to play the ball int Kelly breaking into a central position, Kaylie Swinden gets across her sees the ball back into her keeper.

Wisbech Town Ladies,
Chloe Minall
  Into the closing minutes of the 1st half March pushing players on the ball from Pointer finds Brown taking it on has Hodges in front of her looking to get into the box on the right side picking her out with the through ball plays it across to Nutter on the penalty spot, shifts the ball between her feet to avoid the sliding challenge before sending the ball in towards goal, lacking pace the low shot is straight at Venni and gathered cleanly.  
  A 1st half injury time corner for March taken on the right the ball played in towards the top of the area, is won by Wisbech the counter attack on the ball launched up field for Gutteridge to go after, Bedwell-Mann is the last defender has to win the ball and does very well under pressure to nullify the danger. March with one last attack in the 1st half the ball rolled into Nutter looks to send Hodges through on goal, again it’s Stephenson who gets across to win the ball before the attacker can get in a one on one situation with the goalkeeper.
  
Half-time March Town United Ladies 0-1 Wisbech Town Ladies

 A 1-0 lead for Wisbech at half-time in a hotly contested derby without the niggle and arguing off the ball. Played at a good tempo few clear cut chances a great delivery from a set-piece the difference between the sides. Wisbech with a good 1st half have done well to limit the threat from march’s attacks their defenders quickly moving in to close down the threat haven’t let very little get in behind. March’s defence too to their credit have prevented Wisbech getting into too many shooting positions albeit defending a deeper line restricting the space in wide areas. An intriguing 1st half a narrow lead all to play for 2nd half.
  Wisbech to get the 2nd half underway, Newton at the back wins the ball for March as it is played forwards sends her clearance back up through the middle, Hodges latching onto the ball 30 yards out has Nutter on the move to her left slides the ball into her run, taking the ball into the area the shot comes in low towards the near post, Venni going to ground makes the save.

Wisbech Town Ladies, Polly Norman with March’s Shannon Kelly

  Norman plays the ball into Feast on the left a clever turn gets the attacker in behind the March defence taking the ball down the wing squares the cross in towards the penalty spot Searle wins the cross getting the ball out of the area for March. Attacking the home side win a corner kick the 1st effort played in from the right is defended at the near post a 2nd corner awarded this one is played deeper in towards the top of the area the knock down out of the box is met by Nutter on the half volley 20 yards out her shot looping up into the air, Venni back on her goal-line sees the ball land on the roof of the net.

 
Annie Rooks on the ball for Wisbech Town Ladies

  Bringing the ball forwards on the left Bedwell-Mann fizzes a ball in towards goal from 25 yards out straight at Venni the ball momentarily pops out of the goalkeepers gloves, she reacts quickly to pull the ball into her body as Hodges coming in throws a leg at the ball. The game continues to be end to end both sides attacking, Tyhurst away into the left channel, sends a long cross into the area, is dealt with by Bedwell-Mann, counter attacking the ball played into Pointer is helped forwards Hodges gives chase can’t reach it before Stephenson can come across and clear the ball for a throw.

 Gutteridge is put through up top for Wisbech gets ahead of Newton as they close in on the box right side of goal, Gutteridge shoots her low strike saved by Sharpe getting down at her near post. Another counter attack from March, Brown through for Hodges in the middle bearing down on the box, Stephenson across to close her down even as Venni comes off her line Hodges squeezes the ball past both her attempt running wide of goal. Feast has the ball 30 yards out from goal opening up her body strikes it goalwards is straight at Sharpe who takes the ball cleanly into her body. 

Shushannah Feast attacking for Wisbech Town Ladies

  A double change for March, Frost returning to the action replacing Hodges, Gemma Ramsey comes on in midfield for Pointer. Kelly pushed further forwards now gets onto the ball shoulder to shoulder with Stephenson into the box closing down on the keeper all 3 go to ground in an attempt to win the ball, Kelly sends the ball on Venni makes the save the save blocking the ball it rolls loose across the six yard box, no other March players in the area the Wisbech defence can clear it.

 Mid-way through the 2nd half Bedwell-Mann switches over to right back as Davies comes off with Churchyard coming back on for March. Winning a free-kick inside the centre circle March send players forwards a good ball played in by Searle drops into the area with Nutter timing her break perfectly on the end of it left of goal shoots early a low drive in towards the near post, Venni is down smartly to make the save.

March Town United Ladies, Ella Nutter

  A chance for Wisbech to send players forwards as they are awarded a free-kick wide on the right inside their opponents half the ball played in by Stephenson his headed on into the area by Simpson, Gutteridge is clear on the end of it slots the ball past the keeper, however the celebrations are cut short by the offside flag. More changes for March, Ramsey and Nutter off, Hodges returning with Sue Bedwell-Byatt another ex-Wisbech player also coming on.

  Rooks bringing the ball on through the middle sends the ball into Gutteridge’s feet inside the D back to goal turns and shoots marked closely the ball is blocked, comes back to Gutteridge on her left gets a 2nd shot away this one off target rolls wide of the post. Pointer is back on the field for March as Wisbech successfully defend a corner kick. Munday brings the ball on through the middle of the park for March looks to send Hodges through in behind, Venni reacts quickly on the move early slides into claim the ball at the top of her area before Hodges can take it round her.
  GOAL! A little over 10 minutes left on the clock and March get themselves back on level terms pushing players on in search of the equaliser it’d Brown breaking from midfield who latches onto a lay off on the left side space before lets fly from the top of the area the ball flies over Venni smashes down off the crossbar into the six yard box, Brown following up reaches it 1st stabbing the ball past the keeper who throws her leg at the ball but doesn’t reach it as it nestles in the back of the net 1-1.

Midfielder Georgia Brown scores the equaliser
for March Town United Ladies

  Laura Coe comes off the bench for March to replace Bedwell-Byatt as the game moves into the last 10 minutes. Munday strong on the ball through the middle sends the pass on for Coe ahead of her the 16 year old playing her 1st season of women’s football heads for the box, Swinden coming across forces her left into Hepting who tackles and wins the ball. March able to rotate their subs are seeing more of the ball in the latter stages of the match, still it’s the Wisbech defence quickest to the final ball as they have been all game. Pointer is down struggling with an injury in the middle for March. Stephenson takes the opportunity to rally her side. Pointer can’t continue and his helped off the pitch.

   On the attack as the game moves into injury time Frost is put through left side shooting from outside the box her effort is held by Venni. March push bodies on in search of a late winner, Munday rolling it through for Hodges top of the area, Venni comes rushing out to close her down and prevent the shot.

 
Full time March Town United Ladies 1-1 Wisbech Town Ladies

 1-1 the final score the points shared, March remain unbeaten in the league with a 2nd half equaliser from Georgia Brown to extend their lead to 5 points at the top. An unstoppable 1st half free-kick from Emily Stephenson seeing Wisbech go in front defended well all game giving very little opportunity for March’s attackers take home a share of the points which is enough to lift them into 2nd spot over Ketton Ladies on goal difference
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

  Today’s SWF Blog – Player of the Match goes to Wisbech Town Ladies captain, Emily Stephenson. With a excellent free-kick to open the scoring, nothing was getting past her at the back today a solid defensive display from the whole defence.
  My thanks to March Town United for their hospitality today and to both sides for their superb team-sheets today very much appreciated a nice touch to have a little info about each player. Best of luck to both for the rest of the season.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC Reserves v Wisbech Town Ladies

Match Report from the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final as covered on the SWF Blog Weds 13th April

Cup Final Report – Cambridge United WFC Reserves v Wisbech Town Ladies

 
 A midweek trip into Cambridgeshire to watch the final of the Women’s Junior Invitation Cup sponsored by S-Tech Insurance, with defending cup holders Cambridge United WFC Reserves taking on Wisbech Town Ladies for the trophy.

  Cambridge United WFC Reserves are currently top of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership. Beat Milton Ladies from the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship South in last years final 4-0. Defend the cup once again against lower league opposition from the Championship North this time around, Wisbech Town Ladies, have dropped to 5th in the table after the weekends results despite holding the current league leaders Bourne Ladies to share the points in a 2-2 draw.

Road to the Final
 
 It was an away tie to start the defence of the trophy for Cambridge United WFC Reserves taking on Championship North side Wisbech St Marys Ladies a comfortable 4-0 win saw them through the quarter finals. Drawn away from home they met Milton Ladies in a repeat of last seasons final scored 4 goals again to win the game 4-2. Drawn at home to Isleham United Ladies in the semi-finals they were awarded a home win with their opponents unable to field a side to book their spot in the Women’s Junior Invitation Cup for the 2nd season running.
 The opposite for Wisbech Town Ladies they started the competition by being awarded a home win in the 1st round against Comberton Ladies. In the quarter finals faced a tough away draw against Premiership side Fulbourn Bluebirds. the game ending all square at 2-2 after extra-time the game went to a penalty shootout Wisbech Town Ladies winning 2-0 to progress to the semi-finals. Were drawn away from home to face Park Ladies from the Championship South, an interesting match up Wisbech Town Ladies proved too strong on the day taking the tie with a 3-0 victory to set up a final showdown with Cambridge United WFC Reserves.
 The venue for tonight’s final Ely City FC, the regular home venue for Cambridge United WFC’s 1st team. Tonight it hosted their Reserve side and Wisbech Town Ladies who had brought a good number of supporters with them. The pitch which has seen alot of football was a little worn in places but overall showed good grass coverage. A large pitch surrounded by a railing a clubhouse with built in seated stand on one side opposite the dugouts. A cool but dry evening, good weather conditions for a Cup Final.
   

  Cambridge United WFC Reserves starting XI – Tafadzwa Mhunduru, Emma Roberts, Becca Fay (C), Robyn Phillips, Liz Pamplin, Emily Ingle, Sarah Mosley, Emily Reed, Hayley Turner, Kelly Docrwa & Monique Christian.
  subs – Catherine Hanley, Gemma Clark, Sarah Carroll, Kirsten Burt & Ebony-Jade Rule.

  Wisbech Town Ladies starting XI – Abbie Venni, Danika Moss Papke, Emily Stephenson (C), Elizabeth Simpson, Faye Kowalewsky, Annie Rooks, Kyra Clarke, Polly Baird, Chelsea King, Albany Hodgson & Sophie Gutteridge.

  subs – Jasmine Luckett, Amy Hempting, Becky Bourlet & Leah Hall

(roll on roll off substitutes)

The floodlights start to come on as Wisbech wearing red shirts with black running along the sleeves, black shorts and red socks get the 1st half underway with Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and amber socks. The ball is sent long down the right flan early on the attempted cross charged down turned out for a throw. A relatively quiet open to the match as both sides look to test the other out putting the ball into their attacking players without anyone finding any joy finding space behind.

   From a throw on the right inside Wisbech’s half, Cambridge central midfielder Liz Pamplin longs to play a pass dissecting the centre backs with Hayley Turner looking to make a run in behind right of goal chasing the ball can’t catch it be the ball runs out of play. Making progress into Cambridge territory winning a series of throws down the left the ball eventually comes to the feet of Wisbech’s Polly Baird who passes the ball down to Sophie Gutteridge moving into the left channel, looks to try and drive inside pick out Kyra Clarke pushing to get into the Cambridge area, Sophie Ingle tracks back for Cambridge and closing Gutteridge down wins the ball back on the edge of the area. Passing forwards into Sarah Mosley who plays a great ball up the right side for Turner to go after she wins Cambridge the 1st corner of the match the ball is sent in low and fast to the back of the area, met on the volley by Monique Christian the shot is sent over the crossbar.

   Both sides are playing it long from the back their attackers trying to win the ball in the air, Clarke goes up for the ball inside the Cambridge half under challenge for the ball bashes her head against her opponent and goes down. A lengthy pause as she receives treatment a nasty blow to the head unfortunately her cup final is over as the stretcher is brought on and she is taken off. No chances taken with concussion, an ambulance is called and after being seen to by the crew is taken to hospital for further checks, wish her a full and timely recovery.

  Play goes on Jemma Adams coming on to replace Clarke. Mosley takes a free kick won on the right inside the Wisbech half puts it long towards the area with Turner making the run to get onto the end of it inside the box, Wisbech central defender Elizabeth Simpson stays with Turner and keeps her from connecting with the ball as goalkeeper Abbie Venni comes to scoop the ball up into her gloves. Gutteridge is the focal point of the Wisbech attack and is busy working across the Cambridge back line probing for an opening as the midfielders try to play the ball into her feet. 

  Closing down the ball in the middle, Mosley coming to the right side sends Kelly Docrwa away down the wing, has Ingle up in support coming inside into the box the ball is played into her headers it down, Venni reacts going to her left and pushing the ball behind for a corner kick.Cambridge keep the pressure on from the corner kick as Wisbech struggle to clear it pops back to Emily Reed left outside the area fires the shot back in again Venni saves throwing herself to her right to put the ball behind for another corner kick. A firm header inside the six yard box sees Wisbech clear the ball set up a counter attack with Annie Rooks bringing the ball on forwards into Gutteridge who peels left again, isn’t getting much joy against Cambridge’s Robyn Phillips as she tackles to win the ball.

   A free kick inside the Cambridge half 30 yards out for Wisbech sees Albany Hodgson on the ball, a good delivery sent into the area, Cambridge’s Emma Roberts puts her name on the ball and headers it away. Wisbech retrieve the ball and attack down the right whip a cross into the area, Cambridge goalkeeper, Tafadzwa Mhunduru moving to that side of her area brings the ball down into her gloves. Up the other end Venni is called into action again Reed putting Christian through on the left side pulls the trigger from 20 plus yards, the shot coming in low is turned around the post as Venni throws herself to her right.

  GOAL! Cambridge take the lead from the resulting corner kick, although not many in the crowd initially release they have down so thinking the ball coming in low with plenty of pace from the corner taker Ingle has run behind the goal, but no it is in running through the players gathering at the near post and rolling over the line to nestle in the back of the net Cambridge lead 1-0. 

   Wisbech make a change bringing on Jasmine Luckett, combines with Faye Kowalewsky straight away the two working the ball into Gutteridge, tries to take the player on in front of her turn towards goal, too much to do, riding one challenge is stopped by the 2nd. 

 GOAL! Cambridge’s lead lasts just 5 minutes as Wisbech pull it back all square just past the half hour mark, winning a free kick on halfway in a central position, Hodgson is over the ball looks to play it long into the area, Mhunduru comes towards the ball a it lands just inside the area, totally misreads the bounce as the ball skips up high over her falling behind to the left Wisbech have runners following in, Gutteridge is closest to the ball gets it, controlling inside her six yard box taps the ball home to make it 1-1.

   Is a scrappy contest with neither side really able to get their foot on the ball and keep any meaningful possession, Gutteridge is working hard in front of the Cambridge defence, Rooks trying to get up to support, whilst at the other end Cambridge are getting Docrwa, Christian and Turner in behind just not finding the right ball. Amy Hempting is introduced to the action by Wisbech with Elizabeth Simpson coming off. Winning a corner on the left Cambridge try to take it quickly catch Wisbech before they can set themselves, Danika Moss Papke is alert to it and the only play from both sides already set inside the six yard box as the ball comes in headers it clear, Pamplin steals in to pass to Roberts who shoot from outside the box rolls through to Venni.

   Kowalewsky turns her marker to bring the ball on over halfway down the left for Gutteridge back to the goal, tries to turn Phillips the defender is a tall player to get around stick out a leg and comes away with the ball. Cambridge break the ball put up the right into Docrwa drives into the Wisbech box, squeezes a cross along the six yard box to the far side of goal with Christian standing unopposed, looks to scoop the ball up and around Venni the goalkeeper parries the ball down falling right Docrwa tries to get to it but under challenge from Wisbech’s captain Emily Stephenson can only slice her shot wide.

   Leah Hall joins the action for Wisbech. Luckett and Kowalewsky link up again in the middle played onto Hodgson, tries to bring the ball on is floored by a robust challenge in the middle. The ball is played up to the area again, Cambridge captain Becca Fay winning the header on the edge of the box. Cambridge make a couple of changes late in the 1st half on comes Gemma Clark and Ebony-Jade Rule for Christian and Mosley.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC Reserves 1-1 Wisbech Town Ladies
  Fair to say this hasn’t been the most exciting 1st half of a Cup Final, has been scrappy but highly competitive both sides aren’t letting the other sit on the ball, are not picking out the right balls when they win the ball back the goals given away softly. Two sides that know little about each other have spent much of the 1st half trying to suss each other out. Gutteridge has done well on her own in attack losing Clarke to concussion early on was a blow.
  Cambridge get the 2nd half underway and start brightly get a free kick in the middle as Hodgson fouls Turner. Towards the right the ball is sent long out to the far post across the Wisbech area, Clark operating wide left is coming in but can’t connect to turn the ball in as it bounces wide out of play. Clark is played in down the left wing pushing on in behind with the ball cuts back on herself and rolls the ball along the face of the area into Ingle, closely marked she tries to wriggle free to get room for a shot ends up on the ground but no one claims for a penalty as Wisbech bring it away.
  Pamplin winning the ball inside the Wisbech half sees them continue to hold onto the ball early on Clark is put away down the left again, sends a pacey cross into Rule who meeting it on the volley cuts the ball high into the air and wide of goal. Reed with a good run through the middle plays the ball wide into Ingle her cross is turned behind for a corner kick, the ball is cleared out of the box back to the right sent back in Venni gathers this time. Good tackle from Stephenson on Rule as she gets the ball running into the area from the right.
  Wisbech have ridden out a testing 10 minute spell at the start of the 2nd half from Cambridge now getting more of the ball inside their opponents half, Kowalewsky bringing it right has Hodgson available, from the wide position she sends a high ball up towards the Cambridge area a tricky ball, Roberts sees it cleared with Gutteridge lurking. A surging run up the left wing from full back Moss Papke sees Wisbech earn a corner kick. The set piece comes to nothing, Wisbech don’t let Cambridge bring it far winning the ball attempt to put Gutteridge in behind, Mhunduru comes racing out to get her gloves firmly on the ball 1st.
  Regaining momentum Wisbech have Baird on the ball wide right like Hodgson minutes before she looks to send a high ball into the box higher up the pitch this one is dropping into the six yard box Mhunduru must see Gutteridge coming in the corner of her eye but isn’t distracted sees the ball safely into her gloves even as the striker leaps across her. Cambridge bring on Sarah Carroll and Kirsten Burt.
  Cambridge spring the offside trap turning play around quickly as it is won, at the back, both Rule and Docrwa turn and as the ball goes over the Wisbech defence are through on goal. Rule has the ball reaching the edge of the area hits the shot, put it too close to Venni, who needs to get down sharply with spin on the ball saves the ball deflecting out of play for a corner across the goal. The corner comes in long towards the far stick, Moss Papke brings the ball out for Wisbech.
  Good work from Clark on the left for Cambridge as Pamplin plays the pass out to her, driving with it to the byline, takes on and beating her marker gets into the area then looks to lift her cross up towards the near post, no one has gambled and the ball is brought out by Wisbech. Docrwa Hempting is back on for Wisbech. 15 minutes left to play and the game could go either way the action end to end Christian and Ingle work the ball up the right wing Ingle putting the ball into the area Stephenson intercepts and brings it out from the back sends the pass out to the left on for Rooks has Baird ahead of her rolling her in 20 yards out she slips as she goes to shoot the ball rolling tamely along the ground through to Mhunduru. 
   GOAL! The stalemate is broken as the game moves into the final 10 minutes, Cambridge win a free kick on half way the ball is sent up towards the Wisbech area by Fay the initial delivery is dealt with by Wisbech but as they attempt to play it out the ball strikes Carroll rebounds back into Christian on the edge of the box, connecting with the ball sends it high into the night sky, is falling towards goal, back on her line Venni can’t keep it out as it drops under the cross bar and bounces over the line 2-1.
 
  Catherine Hanley comes on for Cambridge for Burt with 7 minutes left of normal time as they look to hold onto the lead. Get players back crowd Gutteridge off the ball as Luckett tries to send her through. Kowalewsky tries to do the same the ball played in over the top, Mhunduru is closer to it and claims before Gutteridge clatters into her. Cambridge break the ball swept out to the right by Fay into Carroll before the cross is put long out to Clark on the left opening her body for the shot shoots wide across goal from just inside the Wisbech box.
  Cambridge are looking to keep the ball when they can in the corner, Wisbech aren’t letting them settle, Moss Papke bringing the ball out onto Luckett, Hodgson ahead of her is given the ball is allowed time and space 20 yards out but gets the shot all wrong sending the ball high and out of play. Cambridge defend well in stoppage time and celebrate as the referee blows the final whistle to see them win 2-1 to retain the Junior Invitation Cup. 
 Not a classic and the result was never certain could have gone either way, Venni was named player of the match for the vital saves she made for Wisbech Town Ladies who did the Championship North proud giving Premiership leaders Cambridge a run for their money. 
Cambridge Women’s Junior Invitation Cup winners Cambridge United WFC Reserves
celebrating their trophy success

   The club will be hoping to make it a double cup success with their 1st team contesting the Senior Invitation Cup tomorrow night again defending the trophy, while the Reserves get are in another Cup Final later in the month on the 28th April taking on Cambridge City Ladies in the League Cup, beaten finalists last year will be hoping to go one better this time around.

*NB Cambridge United WFC Reserves will now face Cambridge City Ladies on the 10th May after the Senior Invitation Cup on Thursday was postponed due to bad weather

 Congratulations to Cambridge United WFC Reserves on their cup win. Best wishes to Wisbech Town Ladies injured player Kyra Clarke and thanks to Chris Abbott from the Cambridgeshire FA for his help with the squads tonight.