Tag Archives: Wymondham Town Ladies

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Norwich City Women

Sunday 14th November

FA Women’s Cup

 This season’s FA Women’s Cup reaches the 1st Round Proper with the sides from the FAWNL Premier Division’s North & South entering the competition. Overall 108 sides meeting this weekend across the country. Women’s Football East at on of those ties on #WomensFootballWeekend a local derby too as Wymondham Town Ladies take on Norwich City Women.

 Wymondham Town Ladies currently top of the ERWFL Premier Division aiming for promotion to the FAWNL to join today’s opponents Norwich City Women in South East Division One. On paper not alot separating the sides. Wymondham have in recent seasons enjoyed their FA Women’s Cup campaigns knocking out higher league opponents on a few ocassions. Making a strong start to their ERWFL season winning all 4 of their opening league matches to top the table, suffered 2 straight defeats at the end of September but haven’t looked back since.

Going on a run now at 6 straight wins in league and cup beginning in 2nd Round Qualifying of the FA Women’s Cup away to Haverhill Rovers Ladies, striker Hannah Waters scoring 4 times as Wymondham cruised through to the next round with a 10-0 victory. Faced a long away trip in 3rd Round Qualifying to Essex to face ERWFL Division One South title contenders, Leigh Ramblers Ladies, a hat-trick for Natasha Youngs seeing Wymondham reach the 1st Round Proper with a 5-1 win. Currently 6 points clear at the top of the ERWFL Premier Division with Hannah Waters top scoring with 12 goals from 12 appearances close behind young striker Francesca Catchpole who has 10 from 12 appearances showing her potential after returning from a serious ACL injury before joining the club. Long term injuries a blow Wymondham has had to deal with all too regularly over recent seasons but the squad has remained resilient throughout, just the one out long term at the moment defender Betty Fretwell.

Saw Norwich City Women on the opening day of their FAWNL South East Division One campaign and they won’t want reminding of that game. Suffering a heavy loss to title contenders Billericay Town Women. Were missing several first team regulars that day and despite a difficult start to the season rallied well with a positive run to gain 7 points from 3 games to pull clear of the bottom of the table. Alot of work to do still if they are to avoid relegation but are in touching distance with the mid-table sides above. Entering the FA Women’s Cup in 3rd Round Qualifying were drawn away to fellow league side Harlow Ladies for a 2nd successive trip to Essex the 1st seeing Norwich 3-0 up in the league only for Harlow to mount an incredible comeback to win the game 4-3.

No such drama the the cup however as 1st half goals from Ellie Bishop and a goal from new signing Freya Fuller on her debut secured a 2-0 win. Fuller joins from Billericay Town Women. Norwich recruiting a trio of Wymondham players over the close season with defender, Chardonnay Johnston, midfielder, Mollie O’Callaghan and attacker Freya Symonds all joining along with goalkeeper Yaz Walford from Royston. Like Wymondham play on an artificial surface at The Nest.

Ketts Park, Wymondham Town Ladies home ground. The community and recreation facility newly build on the outskirts of the town. An all weather artificial main pitch with playing fields beyond. The clubhouse serving hot drinks. A viewing area for spectators along one side of the pitch marked out with various sized pitches catering for all age groups. An overcast day a few spots of rain in the air before kick off, fetched the umbrella but it wasn’t needed.

 Remembrance Sunday everyone pausing for a moments silence before the match.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Mary Croft, Leah Newcombe (C), Lauren Kett, Aimee Stretch, Jenifer Codman, Katie Knights, Becca Russell, Natasha Youngs, Francesca Catchpole & Hannah Waters. Subs – Jess Luff, Hayley Kindred, Rachel Cossey, Chelsea Clarke, Jess Hawkins, Laura Nicholls & Lyla Studd.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Bryony Williams, Anna Larkins, Jess Harper, Kate Parsons, Chardonnay Johnston, Millie Daviss (C), Jodie Drake, Freya Symonds, Kathryn Stanley, Megan Todd & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Mollie O’Callaghan, Katie Appleton, Rosie George, Samara Nche, Leilah Gooding, Freya Fuller & Ellie Bishop.

A switch of ends as Norwich get the tie underway kicking off the first half wearing their yellow and green kit. Wymondham wearing red shorts and shorts with black socks. The visitors sending a long diagonal ball out to the left for Kathryn Stanley to attack, dealt with by Wymondham captain, Leah Newcombe at right back for a throw, taken quickly a cross sent into the box from deep, into the gloves of Wymondham goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce. 

  Norwich come through the middle pushed out to Megan Todd pulling right 25 yards out looks to lift it into the box for Natasha Snelling, Lauren Kett defending for Wymondham heading the ball clear. Katie Knights central for Wymondham passes to Natasha Youngs on the left her diagonal ball forwards aimed towards Hannah Waters up top, turning towards goal is pushed out to the right Kate Parsons coming across for Norwich to put in the challenge the ball going away for a throw in the corner. Wymondham working it back up the line before sending the cross in Bryony Williams in goal for Norwich calls and comes to claim the ball.

Wymondham’s Hannah Waters with Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

   Norwich getting on the front foot Freya Symonds getting hold of the ball in midfield going on before playing it forwards to Snelling pulling away to the left her first touch taking her inside moves across the top of the area 20 yards out sending it into Todd’s feet she clips a shot in towards goal looping up comes down off the crossbar! Both sides up for the contest the ball keenly contested in the middle, Symonds closing in on Mary Croft to steal the ball in behind losing her footing can’t capitalise before Wymondham regroup.

Freya Symonds bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Wymondham put the ball into Waters feet back to goal 30 yards out holds it up turning attempting to thread it in behind for Francesca Catchpole making the run, a timely interception by Norwich centre back Chardonnay Johnston. Newcombe at the other end does well defensively heading a sweeping diagonal ball away as Norwich send it in from the right. Symonds finds herself up with the attack central as Todd plays the ball into her inside the D, playing the return ball to Todd she looks to go around the Wymondham defence to the left into the area before unleashing a shot running along the ground lacking the pace to trouble the keeper.

Norwich defender, Chardonnay Johnston

  Norwich making some positive attacking runs at the start of the game Snelling playing it across the top of the area into the path of Todd who strikes a shot over from 25 yards out. Norwich’s captain Millie Daviss central playing a ball out to Anna Larkins moving up field on the left she crosses into the middle picking out Stanley 30 yards out, has a shot the ball loops into the box dropping straight into Pearce’s gloves. Is a little lively on the tackle front both sides giving away freekicks.

Wymondham midfielder, Jenifer Codman

  Jenifer Codman central sees Newcombe on the move down the right the ball put out to her play the diagonal ball forwards early as Waters comes across, Parsons quick to respond going with her tackling for Norwich before Waters can fashion a strike. Catchpole getting onto the ball on halfway allowed to travel with the ball lets fly from all of 30 yards out the shot wide of Williams goal. Players looking to take the ball on through the middle a feature as Stanley gets hold of it for Norwich spots Snelling drifting in behind the defence attempts to lift it through to her, Kett getting her foot up to make a timely interception.

  Kett across to defend against Snelling on the right conceding a corner. The delivery flashed into the box headed clear by Becca Russell for Wymondham. Look to counter on the left, Jess Harper getting across to snuff out the danger. Todd moving to the right with the ball at her feet has Stanley in support the pair exchange passes, Todd trying to get into the area is tackled by Wymondham’s Croft. Appeals from the Wymondham bench for a penalty as Parsons comes across to challenge Waters inside the box the protests waved away. 

  Two fairly evenly matched sides the game open space for both to exploit Norwich counter quickly Stanley on the move with the ball through the middle looking to go all the way is stopped by Aimee Stretch defending for Wymondham. End to end Wymondham play the ball through the middle up to Waters back to goal holding off her marker plays it back to Katie Knights who lifts it out to Catchpole on the left, Larkins coming to close her down the ball out for a throw. 

Lauren Catchpole coming away with the ball for Wymondham

 Russell on the left bringing the ball forwards plays the pass into Waters she turns well to make a run into the box, Parsons coming to challenge lunges across Waters to block her strike. Snelling is moving well across the final 3rd for Norwich making her harder to mark drifting to the left looking to get on the end of a diagonal ball, Newcombe goes up with her to win the header clear for Wymondham. Waters gathering the ball inside her own half plays it forwards looking for Youngs, stretching as she attempts to get hold of the ball run in behind appears to caught her foot in the pitch going down is clearly in distress play is stopped for her to receive treatment. Tentatively gets back to her feet and is okay to continue.

 Waters is the target up top for Wymondham whenever they attack, either to hold the ball up or turn the defence, Parsons more often than not keeping close to her. Waters does well to flick the ball to her left spin in behind going on looking to dig the ball out of her feet inside the d get a shot away, allows the Norwich defence to get back on her en masse to clear. Symonds fouls Knights giving Wymondham a free-kick inside their opponents half. Croft playing the ball up for Waters top of the area parsons winning the header for Norwich.

  Wymondham bring the ball on from the back Croft into Knights pushes it out to the right with Waters moving into the channel to receive, Parsons sliding in to tackle the loose ball latched onto by Catchpole 25 yards out goes for goal her strike sent over the bar. Harper playing the ball on down the right for Snelling to chase in the corner, Stretch comes across to slide in put the ball away for a throw. Jodie Drake in midfield for Norwich with an ambitious strike from all of 30 yards out right side runs wide across the area. 

Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

 A throw deep on the left for Wymondham Waters turning putting it inside for Codman who turns looking to feed in Youngs behind her, Johnston lunging in to challenge winning it back for the visitors. Stretch with another important interception through the middle as Daviss attempts to thread the ball through for Snelling. The tempo is high both sides moving the ball quickly attacking players providing good passing options not always finding there mark. Croft from a throw left picking out Russell shifts inside sending a diagonal ball into the D, won well by Parsons at the back.

Becca Russell with the ball for Wymondham

   Symonds on the drive central for Norwich plays the pass to rake on her left forwards it goes to Snelling central turns her effort on goal blocked spinning away behind for a corner kick on the right. A little under 5 minutes left to play in the first half.

 GOAL! The delivery sent in long attacked at the far post dropping central Russell trying to bring it down slices it away to the right, corner taker Larkins gathering it on the edge of the box, goes on checks then spins right to whip a dangerous ball in low through the six yard box, Parsons is there at the far post lunging in to divert the ball into the back of the net to score her first goal of the season 0-1.

Kate Parsons opens the scoring for Norwich

  Norwich gaining the lead with the clock ticking down in the first half. Clashes in the middle seeing both sides getting free-kicks. Catchpole needing treatment can continue. Careless at the back from Norwich sees Catchpole taking advantage looking to get away Parsons has closed enough to throw her off her stride get back possession. A neat triangle in attack on the right from Norwich between Todd, Symonds and Snelling before Croft sticks out a foot to take the ball.

 Norwich finishing the half strong Symonds up in the final 3rd central holding the ball up spinning left to clip it into Todd on the right down the lone flashes a low cross into the six yard box Snelling meeting it at the near post lifting her shot over.

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 0-1 Norwich City Women

  Norwich scoring late on in the first half holding a narrow advantage at the break. Has been a contest between two evenly matched sides so far. Competitive in the midfield both looking to get the ball forwards quickly, Norwich in particular looking to make runs through the middle get support into the attackers. The crossbar hit early one by Norwich both keepers though have been little troubled, defences challenging and intercepting well for the most part. Still very much in the balance as the teams come out for the 2nd period, extra-time and penalties both available should the scores be level after 90.

  No changes for either side at the break as Wymondham get the 2nd half underway, put back to the defence Norwich are quick to close the ball down Stanley in on Newcombe stealing possession to skip in behind sends in in field for Snelling who in turn spots Todd running into the box from the right lifting the ball in towards the far post high Todd leaping can’t quite get her head to it as the ball runs out for a goal kick. 

Norwich’s Megan Todd

  What happens next is a serious test on my memory and note taking skills as all chaos breaks out in the Norwich box. Wymondham play the ball out from the back into Catchpole she sends it forwards into Waters back to goal lays it off to Russell coming on left, played out further to the advancing Croft who whips a shot in on the angle a powerful strike it kisses down off the cross bar into the six yard box, Youngs is close to it shoots her effort blocked by a defender, then Waters sees another effort blocked at close range the loose ball back to Youngs her 2nd attempt on target rising Williams throws herself back to punch the ball away her save giving the defence the advantage to scramble the ball away… at least that’s what I think happened!

  GOAL! No sooner have Wymondham scared the life out of the Norwich defence the visitors get up the other end to score and double their lead. Todd on the right winning a corner off Stretch. Is a good delivery from Larkins. Through the middle too high for those jumping to attack it central drops at the far post met by Snelling who slots it into the back of the net 0-2.

Natasha Snelling scoring Norwich’s 2nd pictured with Wymondham’s Mary Croft

  Newcombe comes forwards with the ball on the right for Wymondham getting in beyond Larkins to lift a cross into the box, Parsons is under it clearing with a firm header. Codman moving out to the left playing the pass inside for Russell to clips a shot in from 25 yards out, low is claimed by Williams. Kett is booked for Wymondham as she comes across to foul Todd as the Norwich attacker surges for the box. The free-kick on the right corner of the area played short into Drake right of the D, her strike at goal racing in low wide across the six yard box out beyond the far post.

Wymondham captain, Leah Newcombe

   Norwich look a threat on the counter attack Snelling coming for the pass central spinning the ball into Todd’s path on the right, Kett getting across her well shielding the ball before playing it back to her keeper to clear. Wymondham make the first change Catchpole coming off with Chelsea Clarke the player coming on on the left. Knights is brought down in the middle a free-kick to Wymondham launched into the box, Williams keeping her eye on it catching cleanly with Kett closing in.

  A moment of controversy, although I’m just saying that for dramatic effect, Waters getting hold on the ball inside the left channel escaping her marker driving towards the box left of the D, Parsons gets back on her the two coming together Parsons bringing Waters down, from where I’m standing and most of the crowd agree it’s inside the box and as the referee blows up are surprised to see it’s a free-kick outside the area. Parsons recieves a yellow card. An interesting one but I have a mate at work who’s a referee and he will always say who was the referee positioned and in this instance much closer to the incidence than most of the crowd. Nevertheless it’s a free-kick in a dangerous position from Wymondham and Russell is over it. Gets her shot in over the wall the keeper beaten the ball comes back down off the crossbar for a 2nd time.

Becca Russell’s free-kick striking the crossbar

  Symonds continues to make strong runs through the middle for Norwich playing the ball onto Todd central who in turn plays it to Snelling on the left her touch taking it inside a little too heavy allowing Croft to step out and clear for Wymondham. The hosts take the ball on down the right winning a corner kick the delivery lifted into the six yard box, Williams coming through bodies has to claim it and does well to get her gloves on the ball. 

  Parsons across to the right channel slides in to foul Waters presenting the hosts with another set-piece. Players forwards lining up at the far post as Russell lifts a high ball into the box. Williams sees it all the way taking a clean catch as players close in on her. 

  A 2nd change for Wymondham sees Laura Nicholls coming on up top for Youngs. Norwich’s Daviss into Stanley racing forwards central plays it out to Todd on the right wing taking it on down to the by-line checks back laying it back to Harper to cross in from deep her ball into the area dealt with by Stretch for Wymondham. Williams out smartly to the edge of the box to slide in a claim the ball as Knights’ pass threatens to release Waters. Nicholls plays it on for Waters who returns the pass to Nicholls right as she goes on put inside for Codman she opens up her body sending a through ball into the area right side, Williams down onto it before Waters can pounce.

Wymondham’s Katie Knights

  Changes for both sides, Norwich with a double substitution bringing off both Drake and Stanley, on come Mollie O’Callaghan and Freya Fuller. Wymondham’s 3rd change sees Rachel Cossey replacing Codman. The Norwich substitutes combining right away as Fuller holds the ball up well out left before sending the pass inside for O’Callaghan 30 yards out has time to look up and take on the shot plenty of power on the ball however Pearce sees it all the way drifting across her goal to take into her midriff. 

  The game remains open Wymondham committing players on looking for a goal, Norwich ready to break on the counter. Todd out on the right drives forwards into the box taking the ball all the way to the by-line doing well to keep it in play squeezing a cross into Snelling at the near post, the attacker can’t get her feet sorted out in time to release a shot as Kett comes in to close her down and clear the ball back with Norwich on the right struck back in low on the angle the effort blocked.

  Knights on for Waters has Nicholls to the right as Wymondham attack, Newcombe round behind her on the overlap the cross squared inside Russell closing in can’t quite take it in her stride allowing the visitors to clear. Symonds pulls up suffering from cramp alot of tired bodies out there alot being put into the game. Waters has been closely watched by Parsons all afternoon the game entering the final 10 minutes. The Wymondham striker working hard throughout to find an advantage battles her way into the area from the left winning a corner. An inswinging delivery, Williams is there to catch cleanly once again. Nicholls is shown a yellow as she pushes Symonds over Norwich with the free-kick Symonds can’t continue comes off to be replaced by Leilah Gooding. The set-piece flung into the far post hooked clear.

   Cossey and Waters link up out on the right in attack for Wymondham the cross flung into the near post just behind Nicholls trying to pull it across her to get a shot away, Johnston gets across to challenge. Clarke forwards on the left for Wymondham squaring a ball into the top of the area Knights stealing in to take the ball inside and send a shot up over the crossbar. Wymondham pushing players on late in the game Cossey with Newcombe forwards on the right the cross sent into the box looping up, Waters rising central can’t get her head on the ball.

 The hosts with a corner on the left driven in near side headed back out to the left Newcombe inside to Clarke 25 yards out left of the D, smashes a low shot wide of the far past. Late pressure for Wymondham another corner on the left in low near side Russell attempting to flick it on cut out and cleared. Gooding in hard on Newcombe a free-kick for Wymondham on the right.

 Russell lifting it into a crowded six yard box headed away Fuller attempting to bring it away on the left, Newcombe tackling to get it back for Wymondham crosses the ball in can’t quite find Knights stealing in at the near post out for a goal kick. The final whistle blow and it’s Norwich who celebrate as they advance to the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 0-2 Norwich City Women 

  An entertaining contest between two evenly matched sides. Norwich scoring twice from a set-piece either side of the break to win the tie. Wymondham coming close with two efforts off the woodwork but overall neither keeper was overly tested. Was a strong battle in the middle of the park with the defences on both sides doing well to limit clear cut chances in front of goal. Fouls given away cheaply by both sides although it was never played with any bad spirit. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Rarely an easy decision, as always a few performances of note to mention. For Wymondham, Hannah Waters worked tirelessly up front trying to create openings and passing options for her teammates. Becca Russell doing well in the middle winning several challenges trying to link with the attack. For Norwich it was a solid performance right down there spine. Waters the threat up front for Wymondham, Kate Parsons stayed on her throughout the game putting in challenges and forcing her out of the middle. Freya Symonds was dynamic in the middle thrusting forwards with the ball and often getting an attacking play on the move. The award though goes to attacker Natasha Snelling showed great movement throughout drifting left and right allowing others to burst forwards and created several opportunities. Scoring the 2nd goal.

  Another enjoyable game from the FA Women’s Cup and an entertaining local derby between two sides that will no doubt lock horns in crucial games in the future. Like Norwich I look forwards to the draw for the 2nd Round Proper. My thanks to both sides for the team details as always.

by Darren Gilham

Cup Final Special – Cambridge City Ladies Development v Royston Town Women

Sunday 23rd May

ERWFL Challenge Cup Final

A trip down to Haverhill in Suffolk this Sunday the venue The New Croft for the ERWFL Challenge Cup Final, between Cambridge City Ladies Development and Royston Town Women.

  Couldn’t do my usual prep for this one however as the two finalists wouldn’t be known until the respective semi-finals were played in the morning. Today the ERWFL Challenge Cup Finals Day. With four sides competing, in two, hour long matches. The semi-finals then a final/3rd place match in the afternoon. 

  Along with Cambridge City Ladies Development and Royston Town Women were, Bedford Ladies and Wymondham Town Ladies. All group winners in the Challenge Cup, a temporary competition put in place by the Eastern Region Women’s Football League after the regular playing season was curtailed due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. 19 clubs from the ERWFL entering the Challenge Cup.  

Road to the Final

The 19 sides competing drawn into 4 groups each side playing the other once with 3 points awarded for a win, a point for a draw and for this competition, an extra point for a penalty shootout win after the sides have finished all square during the match. 

Cambridge City Ladies Development have done well since joining the ERWFL going strong at the top of Division One North in both the pervious seasons before their early finish were drawn in Group A with 3 Premier Division sides, started well with an away win against Wroxham Women. Took on Haringey Borough Women at home next the sides fighting out a 4-4 draw Cambridge going on to win the penalty shootout to claim a bonus point. Last up another home game against AFC Dunstable Women was a winner takes all match to see who would top the group Cambridge coming away 2-1 victors to progress to finals day

  4 wins out of 4 saw Bedford Ladies win Group B to progress to the Finals Day, starting with a narrow 3-2 win away to Division One North side King’s Lynn Town Ladies. Won 6-0 and 6-1 respectfully against two more Division One sides, Wodson Park Ladies and East Bergholt United Ladies. It was a good 3-1 win at home against Premier Division title chasers Harlow Town Ladies that ensured Bedford’s progress.

  Royston Town Women were drawn in Group C along side fellow Premier Division side Bowers & Pitsea Ladies along with 3 Division One sides, Stevenage Women Development, Leigh Ramblers and Haverhill Rovers Ladies. Collected a point from their first match after a 4-4 draw with Haverhill Rovers who went on to win the shootout 10-9! Went on to take maximum points at home to Stevenage 2-1 and 4-2 away to Bowers & Pitsea, the final group match at home to Leigh Ramblers the Essex side doing well in the group vying for top spot. Royston thanks to a brace from Sammy Tinsley and goal each for Tally Miles and Charlotte South winning the game 4-1 to finish top.

  Wymondham Town Ladies leading the Premier Division before the league campaign ended were drawn in Group D, something of a group of death as they were paired with high flying St Ives Town Ladies and Luton Town Ladies along with another Premier Division side Colney Heath Ladies and Needham Market Women from Division One North. Started well with a 4-0 win at home to Colney Heath. Drew 3-3 with St Ives missing out on the bonus point. A tough match at home to Luton saw Wymondham come out on top 2-1 a 3-1 away win assuring the Norfolk side made it through to finals day.

The final 4 all strong on their day anyone of them capable of going all the way as they arrived at The New Croft for Finals Day.

 The Finals day seeing the sides meet in two hour long semi-finals the winners going on to the final itself with a 3rd placed match for those missing out. The draw made the morning before the game saw Royston Town Women taking on Bedford Ladies with Cambridge City Ladies Development up against Wymondham Town Ladies. Couldn’t make it in time for the start of the semi-finals due to work commitments. The New Croft at Haverhill featuring a stadium wit a grass pitch with a 3G pitch behind, the semi-finals going off at the same time. On the 3G pitch Royston made a strong start to their match Emma Slater scoring twice to see them leading 2-0 at half-time. Bedford pulling it back to 2-1 in the 2nd half, the Hertfordshire side though were to hold on to book their place in the final.

A first half brace for Emma Slater helping to see Royston through to the ERWFL Challenge Cup Final.

  Cambridge and Wymondham playing their semi-final on the grass pitch, Shannon Shaw opened the scoring to see Cambridge 1-0 to the good at half-time. Wymondham frustrated never really getting going Shaw was to make it a brace on the 2nd half to see Cambridge through to the final 2-0.

A brace too for Cambridge’s, Shannon Shaw seeing the Development side through to the final.

  The venue for today’s ERWFL Challenge Cup Finals Day, The New Croft, home of Haverhill Rovers. Have been here before to watch Haverhill Rovers Ladies play over on the 3G pitch situated behind the main building a new facility. There a practise pitches beyond that and to the opposite the main stadium, a grass pitch with a small seated stand, a modern clubhouse with bar, and kitchen serving hot food and drinks. The weather pleasant in the morning the semi-finals played in the dry, dark clouds looming a heavy downpour between matches would see the pitch slicken up before kick-off with the threat of more showers hanging about.

 Cambridge City Ladies Development starting XI – Kayleigh Blanchard, Emily Trezise, Lauren Tomlinson, Kayla Krett (C), Ceri Flye, Rachel Pearce, Freya Goddard, Bella Simmons, Ellie Cullum, Lauren Sanders & Grace Stanley. Subs – Amy Reed, Emma Littlewood, Elizabeth O’Callaghan, Amie Fullwood & Shannon Shaw. 

  Royston Town Women starting XI – Mia O’Brien, Fran Gough, Hattie Bourne, Leah Dunnage, Amy Cooper (C), Paris Coldicott-Stevens, Georgia Miller, Tally Miles, Charlotte South, Sammy Tinsley & Emma Slater. Subs – Samantha Edgar, Grace Georgiou, Beki Roach, Sydney Graham & Gemma Croucher.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  An hour long match should the scores be level a the final whistle the game going straight to penalties. The heavy shower easing up prior to kick-off, both side usually playing in black and white, it’s Royston with the change of shirts getting the 1st half underway, purple their away colours with black shorts and white socks. Cambridge opposite wearing white shirts with black shorts and black and white hooped socks. The ball closed down in the middle straight away by Cambridge the pass send crossfield to the right channel for Bella Simmons to attack, travels before being closed down by Royston’s Leah Dunnage the ball out for a throw.

 

Rachel Pearce plays the ball on through the middle for Cambridge for Lauren Sanders attacking the right channel pushes the ball on for Simmons racing intothe area ahead of her, Royston captain, Amy Cooper in tight to the Cambridge attack to take the ball loose on the right Sanders goes after it but can’t fashion a crossing opportunity as Hattie Bourne gets tight to her. Royston make ground on the left winning the first corner of the game, the delivery long goes out of play beyond the far post.   

Royston’s Emma Slater with Cambridge’s Rachel Pearce

  Cambridge clear the ball upfield, Grace Stanley on the left looking to get forwards, Fran Gough slicing her clearance sees the ball drop into space beyond her, Stanley reacts a burst of pace getting her onto the ball, Gough getting back on her forcing her down to the by-line, Stanley gets a cross into the near post, Royston keeper, Mia O’Brien has it covered catching the ball low. A good start from Cambridge getting players forwards with pace running at the Royston defence, using the width well Sanders furthest forwards looks to take the ball into her stride as Simmons lays it on from the right, Cooper getting there to intercept off Sanders was through to attack the box. 

Emily Trezise clearing the ball for Cambridge

  O’Brien with a great save called into action diving to her right as Cambridge power on down the right the ball 20 out inside for Sanders sees Stanley free to the left of the D sends the ball on, Stanley meeting it first time striking it low, O’Brien diving full stretch to her right to push the ball behind for a corner kick. 

Royston goalkeeper, Mia O’Brien

  Simmons out on the right causing Royston problems holding the flank well, her teammates picking her out, Sanders and Stanley making central runs, Sanders this time bursting in behind off her through ball, Dunnage doing well to catch up and slide in to make the challenge. Simmons getting hold of the ball on the right coming inside towards the top of the area, 4 Royston players converge on her inside the D, Georgia Miller slowing her down, no shot on as Tally Miles clears the ball upfield. 

Georgia Miller winning the header for Royston

  Tomlinson clear on the left down the line gets her cross into the box long to the far stick, congested, Simmons and Sanders looking to keep it alive, Royston managing to scramble it away. Royston haven’t settled in the early exchanges, Cambridge on top. Tinsley left side playing the ball diagonally into the area with play draw across the pitch, Miles central looking to attack it on the penalty spot, Lauren Tomlinson doing well up against her for Cambridge. 

Tally Miles on the move for Royston

Tomlinson bringing the ball away at her feet on the left for Cambridge races over halfway before firing it in central for Simmons racing through the middle, O’Brien quickly out of her six yard box up to the top of her area to get her gloves firmly around the ball with Simmons bearing down. Royston look to get thing’s going through the middle, Paris Coldicott-Stevens getting hold on the ball putting it on for Miles she goes on with Charlotte South the pair exchanging passes looking for a pass into Slater, Pearce and Freya Goddard getting in between to win it back for Cambridge. 

Cambridge City’s Lauren Tomlinson

 Cambridge make a change bringing Shannon Shaw on for Cullum. Cambridge win a corner on the left played short into Stanley left side looks to go inside, Miles does well defending close on her for Royston. Can’t make it stick up top Cambridge get right back on the attack, Tomlinson racing forwards taking the ball to the by-line flashing a ball into the near post O’Brien with an instinctive jab with her toes deflecting the ball behind for the corner.

Grace Stanley on the attack for Cambridge

  Stanley racing on with the ball left side for Cambridge attempts to put it on into Shaw ahead of her, Cooper getting across for Royston putting in a timely tackle. From the resulting throw in Royston break Miles taking the ball on up the right flank sends it inside for Slater her touch 20 out seeing her turn into the area ready to attack the goal, Cambridge captain Kayla Krett recovers superbly throwing herself into the tackle taking the ball off Slater’s feet sending it behind for the corner. A dangerous delivery fired in across the face of goal barely half a metre off the floor, inviting but no one from Royston is near it. 

Royston defender, Fran Gough

  Simmons continues to carry a threat on the right winning a corner. Into the mix at the near post the ball half cleared looping up towards the top of the area Simmons is there to strike it as it lands angles across the area towards the opposite corner on target, Gough covering the post clearing the ball off the line. Tomlinson bringing the ball on left side passes it to Sanders 20 out she clips it in to Simmons central, brings it down well on her chest to strike on the turn, the shot however straight at the keeper, held by O’Brien. 

Cambridge’s Bella Simmons

  GOAL! The first half drawing to a close, Cambridge have a corner on the right, players up from the back, the ball fired into the congested near post area headed up into the air by Cooper drops down inside the D, struck by Krett on the half volley her strike blocked by a charging defender, the deflection though seeing it land in behind to Shaw unmarked six yards out to the left, strikes it low under the diving keeper into the back of the net 1-0.

Half-time Cambridge City Ladies Development 1-0 Royston Town Women

  Cambridge with the narrow advantage at the break, having started the brighter have been on the front foot throughout, creating chances, deservedly in the lead, just by a single goal however. Royston in contrast got off to a sluggish start and have been frustrated in the first half, few opportunities in the final third, the defence making several crucial tackles, O’Brien too in goal with a crucial save. Know they will need to improve in the 2nd period if they want to get back into the game. 

 

 

   Changes for both sides at the start of the 2nd half, Emma Littlewood, Amy Reed and Amie Fullwood on for Cambridge. Samantha Edgar and Beki Roach on for Royston. Cambridge to get the 2nd period underway. Straight away Royston find joy on the left Tinsley playing a great ball in diagonally to the top of the area for Slater to attack in behind, Kayleigh Blanchard though with a good starting position in goal for Cambridge out to the top of her box to nullify the threat. Cambridge break down the left an early cross fired into the box, Simmons the target, the number 9 can’t quite reach it. 

Royston’s Sammy Tinsley

  Miles from 30 yards out on the right gets plenty of power behind the ball as she shoots on the angle her strike bouncing off the advertising boards behind the goal. The game open at the start of the 2nd period, end to end, Royston looking to get Tinsley and Miles further up on the wide positions to support Slater. Miles advancing on the right fires a diagonal cross into the area, players running in central, Blanchard gets her fingertips on the bouncing ball as it runs out of play on the opposite side, after appeals Royston are awarded the corner kick.

  GOAL! The perfect start to the 2nd half for Royston as they get themselves back on level terms the ball driven in to the six yard box, met at the near post knocked on into the path of Slater at the far post who powers the ball in under the crossbar to score 1-1.

Emma Slater’s goal makes it 1-1

 South brings down Cambridge’s Flye as the defender carries the ball on over the half way line seeing a free-kick awarded 30 yards out to the right of the box, Goddard over to take it, flights a ball in towards the top of the area, headed up but not clear by the Royston defence a shot is allowed to come in from 25 yards out goes over. An improved 2nd half performance from Royston the game more even, Slater looking more of a threat having players up with her.

Royston attacker, Emma Slater

 Appeals for a penalty by Royston as Slater and Flye tangle at the far post close in as a cross from the right in flashed across the six yard box, a good challenge by Flye however, Royston get the corner. the delivery into the area falls down to Edgar right of the D, strikes it hard and low back across goal, isn’t far wide of the far post. Tomlinson has a long throw on her carries a threat, but everyone in the league knows it, Royston are staying alert knowing the danger it poses. Changes for both sides Gemma Croucher on for South for Royston, Elizabeth O’Callaghan on for Cambridge at the back. 

 

 

  Cooper in to close down Shaw inside the box right side as Simmons lays the ball into her feet from the right, Cambridge keeping the ball in the corner, can’t fashion a cross as Dunnage sends the ball up into midfield. A marauding run central between Edgar and Croucher for Royston, O’Callaghan stepping up well to put in the challenge break up the attack outside her area. Less than 10 minutes left for either side to find a winner. A sloppy passage of play from both sides passes missing there mark, another sliced clearance leading to a Cambridge corner. The ball in near side met well by Dunnage. Coldicott-Stevens comes off for Royston, Miller returning to the action. 

  Slater getting more of the ball in the 2nd half, picking it up 30 or so yards out driving at the defence has made several threatening runs, O’Callaghan and Krett both tackling to regain possession. The attacker has the ball at her feet again central pushes forwards, has Miles coming in from the right ahead of her, doesn’t release the  ball early enough as O’Callaghan comes to close the angle, the goes in on Slater to deny her a shot. Stanley comes back on for Cambridge replacing Sanders. 

 

  Cambridge get the ball moving quickly from back to front, right side fired into the middle for Stanley into the right channel, has Simmons bursting into the box from the right, helps the ball into her path, Simmons shooting first time sees her effort fly over the bar from the angle.

 

  Miles has the ball in the right for Royston lays it infield for Slater to drive at the defence, O’Callaghan stepping up to close her down, slows her down as Goddard comes in to support, Slater shoots outside the box, hits Goddard deflected through safely for the keeper. Both sides starting to think about penalties as Royston send South back on for Gough. Slater on the run is brought down seeing Royston win a free-kick 30 yards out, Miles to send in to the far stick the ball is put behind for a corner. Players up from the back the delivery drops far post, Cooper is there but gets under it, Dunnage beyond also missing out. 

  Pressure from Royston late on getting players on South up with Slater a corner won. Cooper up well to meet it on the penalty spot sees her attempt sail over the bar. That’s it, the game ending in a draw will be decided on penalties.

Full time Cambridge City Ladies Development 1-1 Royston Town Women

  A much improved performance from Royston in the 2nd half got themselves straight back into the game from the restart and the game was a more open sided affair 2nd half, Tinsley and Miles getting further on up the flanks limiting Cambridge’s opportunities to get players forwards. On to penalties, and with dark clouds building towards the end of the game the rain has started to fall again. I might have mentioned before I hate penalties but there we go.

Penalties

  Cambridge up first, with captain Kayla Krett to take the first penalty, sets the ball on the spot, hits it well to O’Brien’s right, the keeper guesses right but despite getting her fingertips to the ball sees it nestle in the back of the net 1-0.

  South up first for Royston cool as you like strokes it low to the keepers left to find the bottom corner 1-1.

  Goddard with Cambridge’s 2nd penalty, sends it home high to the keepers right 2-1.

  Tinsley up 2nd for Royston, opts for power rising to the left, Blanchard goes the right way diving gets something on the ball but can’t keep it out 2-2.

  Tomlinson up next for Cambridge smashes it home to make it 3-2.

  Croucher’s turn for Royston penalty number 3 buried low into the left corner 3-3 the pressure building.

  Shaw up for Cambridge 3 goals already on Finals Day makes no mistake from the spot planting the ball to the keepers right 4-3.

 Slater matching Shaw’s goal scoring feat on Final’s Day up next for Royston opens up her body to send the ball wide of the keeper 4-4.

  The tension building Stanley steps up for Cambridge, places it sweetly into the bottom left corner 5-4.

  Edgar has to score for Royston to send the shootout into sudden death, Blanchard goes the right way but Edgar has gotten enough power on her strike to evade the keeper 5-5.

  I’m more tense now writing about the shootout than I was watching it, Reed comes forwards for Cambridge, hits the ball low to the keepers left angling into the bottom corner, O’Brien though goes the right way throwing herself into the dive full stretch makes the save knocking the ball away it remains 5-5.

  Miles placing the ball on the spot for Royston a chance to win the Challenge Cup, strikes it well power and pace on the rising ball, despair for Blanchard who goes the right way but can’t reach it 5-6! Royston win on penalties. 

Tally Miles scoring the winning penalty for Royston Town Women

  Always a harsh way to lose a game, but oh so great if you win as Miles is swamped by her joyous teammates, Royston coming back from a goal down to level the game and take it to a penalty shootout with a much improved 2nd half performance. 5 perfect penalties for each side sending it to sudden death a superb save from Mia O’Brien before Tally Miles scored the winning penalty. Didn’t think there would be much between the 4 sides today, Royston clinching the silverware.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few contenders once again. Bella Simmons with a fantastic game in attack for Cambridge really put the Royston defence through it especially first half and was unlucky not to be on the score sheet. Amy Cooper with some good tackles in defence for Royston who found themselves on the backfoot in the 1st half. A couple of quality saves from Mia O’Brien in goal. Tally Miles too getting forwards well to support the attack in the 2nd period. Edging it however with some great positional play up top and movement off the ball and the growing threat she posed through the final scoring the all important equaliser today’s award goes to Emma Slater.

Congratulations to Royston Town Women on winning the ERWFL Challenge Cup.

 

 

Credit to Cambridge however took the final all the way and on penalties it literally is a lottery. In the other match the 3rd place game Wymondham Town Ladies emerged comfortable winners, a more relaxed performance seeing them take control of the game leading 3-0 t half-time before going on to win 5-0 against Bedford.

 The ERWFL laying on an excellent Finals Day in what has been another turbulent season, let’s hope for better thing’s into the new campaign. The Regional leagues playing a vital role in the women’s football pyramid, plenty of entertainment a good standard that is only going to improve in the future as the game grows as a whole. Great to see spectators enjoying a game once again too. My thanks to both sides for the team details always appreciated. 

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Wymondham Town Ladies


Sunday 2nd May

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

 Sponsored by Harrod Sport

 The football action on Women’s Football East this weekend comes from the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup quarter finals and a match that should have been the final last season as Norwich City Women take on Wymondham Town Ladies. 

This weekend seeing the whole of English football and several other sporting bodies taking part in a social media boycott until 23:59pm Mon 3rd May in protest against the growing wave of racism and discriminatory abuse directed at players and clubs alike. Asking as one for the social media giants to do more about it. Social media can be a fantastic way for football to engage with fans and certainly women’s football has become a leader in this but for a while now for a minority it has brought out the worst and needs to be addressed. Women’s Football East supports the boycott hence no coverage of this weekends game.

 A tie between two of the leading sides in Norfolk, both will fancy there chances of going all the way. The quarter final draw pitting them together as both enter the competition at this stage along with ERWFL Premier Division side, Wroxham Women. Wymondham Town Ladies back to back winners of the County Cup looking to keep up the defence of the trophy they held onto back in the 2019 final against King’s Lynn Town Ladies played at the first time at Carrow Road the home of Norwich City FC. The Covid pandemic seeing the competition ending before that final could take place last season. 

Norfolk FA pushing on with their County Cup competitions as most leagues have been declared null & void with football only able to return at the start of April due to a 3 month lockdown and too much of the season being lost. A boost for the women’s county cup too as it is sponsored for the first time Harrod Sport one of the world’s leading sports equipment manufacturers signing a 3-year deal to support the competition.

 Norwich City Women playing in the FAWNL South East Division One having reached the final last time out after a period away from the competition. Dominated the county cup early on in it’s inaugural season back in 2010/11 winning the trophy and defending it successfully for 4 seasons before stepping away. Returned three of season’s ago, reaching the final last time out before seeing the season curtailed. Like most leagues the FAWNL was declared null & void and whereas others have set-up temporary competitions to fill what weeks remain of the season the FAWNL didn’t leaving sides to organise post-season friendlies. Thus the County Cup presenting a great opportunity for Norwich to challenge for silverware something the club having been in something of a transition period hasn’t done for a while.

  Standing in Norwich’s way however are the current holders Wymondham Town Ladies, back to back winners the club has risen through the pyramid of women’s football in Norfolk to become one of the leading sides. Reaching the ERWFL Premier Division, were in a strong position at the top of a competitive table before sadly seeing the season end. The ERWFL setting up a Challenge Cup competition to fill the gap, teams form both divisions drawn into 4 groups with the winners going on to compete in a finals day featuring semi-finals and final aswell as a 3rd place play-off match. Wymondham drawn into what would be the group of death if you follow the leagues along side fellow Premier Division sides St Ives Town Ladies, Colney Heath Ladies and Luton Town Ladies along with Division One North side Needham Market Women. 2 wins and a draw including a 2-1 win against Luton Town Ladies last time out putting Wymondham in a strong position to finish top of their group with just Needham Market Women to play. Have been playing competitive football which may just give them an edge over Norwich 

The Nest the venue for today’s quarter final. The new home for Norwich City Women who were keen to get involved with the project from the very start. Was still being build the last time I was here one a very wet and windy day for Norwich’s semi-final with Wroxham back in 2020. Progress has been rapid. A new state of the art facility constructed, with cafe clubhouse and function room leading out onto a new 3G playing surface. Situated on the outskirts north of the city past the airport, features multi-sports pitches and is aiming to become another leading community sports facility within the county. A better day weather wise this time round a few clouds around but otherwise sunny and pleasant.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols, Anna Larkins, Alice Parker, Kate Parsons, Izzy Collins, Millie Daviss (C), Ellie Smith, Megan Todd, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Brooke Osbourne, Reeanna Cook & Jess Harper.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Chelsea Clarke, Leah Newcombe (C), Lauren Kett, Chardonnay Johnston, Katie Knights, Jennifer Codman, Freya Symonds, Natasha Youngs, Rebecca Russell & Hannah Waters. Subs – Laura Nicholls, Francesca Catchpole & Mary Croft.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Good to see players returning from long term injuries featuring with Megan Todd in the starting line up for Norwich and Chardonnay Johnston starting in defence for Wymondham having both suffered from ACL’s. It’s Norwich to kick-off the game wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts and shorts with black socks. The ball put out to the right for Aimee Durrant to have an early run at the Wymondham defence is soon closed down the ball cleared up field.

Aimee Durrant brings the ball forwards for Norwich

Hannah Waters leading the attack for Wymondham, is looking to break in behind the Norwich central defence the ball threaded through for her to gather 30 yards out, she is closely marshalled by both centre backs, Kate Parsons in to tackle with Izzy Collins around on the cover the ball won back Norwich look to push players on captain Millie Daviss on the ball in the middle of the park playing the pass out to Kathryn Stanley moving into the left channel knocks it forwards but can’t get the better of Wymondham right back and captain Leah Newcombe.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

   Newcombe defends again moments later as Daviss playing a give and go with Alice Parker on the left attempts to run in behind a throw conceded inside the Wymondham half , into Todd’s feet she turns and drives towards the box, shoots left of the D takes a deflection off a defender sending it behind for a corner kick. The delivery long from the left towards the far post his headed over. Dropping deep at times Wymondham are allowing Norwich to come on with the ball, Todd dribbling the ball on combining with Natasha Snelling up top winning a throw. 

Norwich’s, Megan Todd

 Parker and Anna Larkins at right back have space to run into as Wymondham drop everyone bar Waters into their own half. The game cagey at times passes rushed, Wymondham anting to play out from the back Norwich’s attacking players closing down well snapping at the ball, Stanley putting Newcombe under pressure, Chardonnay Johnston closing in challenging to prevent her taking the ball on into the area. Freya Symonds getting hold of the ball on through for Waters, Collins and Parsons however staying tight on her, finds no way through.

Norwich attacker, Natasha Snelling with Wymondham defender, Chardonnay Johnston

   An opportunity for Newcombe to get out from the back on the right for Wymondham crosses the halfway line before delivering a high diagonal ball into the top of the Norwich area, Collins heading it to safety for the hosts. Norwich moving the ball quickly, passes not always finding there mark, the energy high, Todd and Stanley making forwards runs to support Snelling up top, Wymondham defending deep are keeping a solid shape, no one able to find a way through. Larkins puts a high diagonal cross into the box, Todd furthest forwards on the penalty spot getting her head on the ball, loops it up towards goal, Wymondham goalkeeper Chloe Pearce with a confident take under her bar. 

Wymondham’s Hannah Waters with Norwich’s, Kathryn Stanley

   Space for Natasha Youngs to run into playing on the right for Wymondham as she is fed the ball from Rebecca Russell in the middle takes it on, Parsons racing across to close her down, takes the ball as Youngs checks back inside. Having soaked up some pressure Wymondham are beginning to find some joy on the flanks, Chelsea Clarke left side playing the ball long towards the top of the area with Youngs providing the run her shot blocked by Parker on the edge of the box. Katie Knights playing the ball on for Symonds as Wymondham build from the back play spread to Youngs out wide right whips a cross back in across the top of the Norwich area, Russell racing into the D, the ball taken off her toes by the defence. 

Wymondham’s, Rebecca Russell

  Pearce is forced into making a quality save as out of nowhere a long distance strike in fired into the area bouncing up off the 3G surface threatens to creep in under the bar, Pearce back peddling tipping it up over her crossbar. Swung into the area Parsons up highest near side looks to head it on across the area, Snelling gathers it but is forced out of the box by the Wymondham defence. 25 minutes played a pause as Symonds receives treatment inside the Norwich area.

  Stanley is brought down by Newcombe giving Norwich a free kick 30 yards out on the left. Parker to deliver. Played into the far post Todd looks coming round the back stretching can’t get there. Looking to play out from the back almost costs Wymondham a moment later as Pearce’s ball rolled to the top of the area is pounced upon by Stanley nipping in ahead of the defender takes it inside into the D, striking it well a curling effort flying towards the top corner, Pearce recovers well however as she dives across at full stretch to make the save beating the ball away to the right.

Wymondham goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce

  With Parker and Larkins able to come forwards at will for Norwich they have plenty of bodies inside the Wymondham half, Ellie Smith linking with Daviss in the middle, Jennifer Codman stretching a legs cutting out the pass intended for Snelling 20 yards out. Stanley travels with the ball through the middle, pushed onto Snelling she sees Parker making a run of the left the diagonal ball fizzed into her, Parker can’t quite get the intended touch to knock it inside and behind Newcombe as the full back reclaims possession. Durrant takes aim from 25 yards out on the right her shot taking a wicked deflection favours Pearce however the keeper getting down low to claim on her line. 

Wymondham’s Jennifer Codman

 Norwich allowed to come on have been forcing the pace of the game, get caught out as Codman releases Youngs on the right has Waters ahead of her moving into the right channel takes the ball on into the corner turning to send it in towards the top right of the box the ball behind Russell however, Norwich regain possession and are straight on the offensive Todd playing in on for Smith she has Daviss up with her, the Norwich captain spreading play out to Parker surging on down the left pots Stanley bombing into the box crosses, Lauren Kett stepping up to take hold of the ball carry it clear of the box for Wymondham to relieve the pressure.

  Waters is isolated in attack for Wymondham at times but always a willing runners and a constant threat pulling off the shoulder of the last defender, so far she has been well marshalled by Parsons and Collins at the back for Norwich. Russell looking to get on in support whenever she can finds herself up into the final 3rd left of the D, Symonds making a run to her right squares it to her, Parker closing her down defending well for the hosts. Todd comes left on the ball has Stanley in front of her rolls the ball into her path, knocks it inside looking to escape Newcombe but can’t as the full back lunges to take the ball from her feet before she can line up a shot.

Norwich centre back, Izzy Collins

 Wymondham make the first change of the game having taken a knock earlier on it’s Symonds who comes off with Mary Croft coming on. Both Parsons and Youngs are hobbling after the Wymondham winger goes in to make a strong tackle. The game paused again as Youngs needs treatment. Norwich with more of the ball but aren’t really making it count, Wymondham aren’t leaving any gaps at the back, but starting from so deep a position they are finding it hard to get anything going in attack can’t find Waters who has started coming back to get hold of the ball.

Ellie Smith bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Norwich come right the ball squared into the D, Snelling with the back heel helping it on for Parker behind her her tough taking it into the box, shoots bodies in front of her is deflected through to the keeper. Smith joining the attack from midfield adding to Norwich’s threat is upended outside the box but doesn’t get the decision. Norwich with a corner kick however in the right load the six yard box a sweet delivery played in Pearce does superbly under pressure to claim the ball. 

Wymondham goalkeeper Chloe Pearce with a confident take inside a crowded box.

Croft charges down Stanley at the top of the D as the Norwich attacker looks to put her foot through a dropping ball fired in from the right.   Wymondham with a chance to put the ball into the box late in the first half as they are awarded a free-kick inside the Norwich half in the right, Johnston over it aims for the far post runners coming in drops in front of goal, Youngs takes a swing at it is blocked by a Norwich body spinning away to the left. A coming together between Knights and Smith the free-kick given in favour of the visitors a talking too for Smith receives a yellow card but talks herself into further action as she is sin binned. Just the 2nd time it’s been recorded on WF East (and incidentally the first time was for a Norwich player in the County Cup too).

Norwich’s Ellie Smith bemused as the decision goes against her.

 Norwich to end the half with 10 on the pitch, Clarke to play the free-kick wide left forwards into the area bounces through to Youngs at the far post not easy to get under control rising stabs it goalwards, a block put in before goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols grabs it. 

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Goalless at the break. Norwich with more of the ball have had Wymondham under pressure at times but have yet to create many clear cut opportunities, the best coming from a Wymondham error. Have been able to press the attack get bodies forwards closing down the back line forcing the midfield back leaving Waters isolated up top. Passing has been somewhat loose though that first touch not quite there. Wymondham have kept a solid shape pushed back have left no room in behind for the likes of Todd, Durrant and Stanley. Whilst soaking up the pressure have looked for opportunities creating a couple of half chances themselves. A cagey game it might take an error to give one side the advantage all to play for 2nd half.

  Norwich of course still down to 10 with Smith still sin binned as Wymondham get the 2nd half underway. Norwich quickly regain possession Durrant on the right flashing a ball in to the D, spotting the run of Stanley on the opposite side, the ball bouncing just behind her. Parsons slides in with a strong tackle to take the ball away from Waters as she attempts to knock it on into the box from inside the D on the right. Snelling gathering the ball on halfway drives on with the ball, making ground is eventually hauled down Norwich awarded the free-kick, flashed into the far post on the angle Pearce back peddling is able to claim it unopposed.

Norwich’s Kate Parsons

Parsons with the ball at her feet tries her luck with a long distance strike all of 40 yards out, skipping along the ground finds it way through to the keeper. Clarke checking inside from the left sweeps a diagonal ball into Waters central bringing it down turns straight into Collins. Knights gives herself the room to adjust and make the tackle as Durrant drives on from the right looking to get into the box.

Wymondham make a 2nd change Laura Nicholls coming on to replace Youngs in the right. An early opportunity to run with the ball at her feet right side squares it across the D into Waters, Parker on the cover around to defend for Norwich. Smith returns to the action for Norwich back up to their full compliment get up the right to win a corner. Headed clear at the far post cleared out to the left a shot comes flashing back in on the angle to land in the side netting. Norwich make a change bringing off Durrant, send on Reeanna Cook. Parker smashes the ball in from the angle sees her effort charged down.

Wymondham’s, Freya Symonds

Russell takes the ball on through the middle nudges it on for Waters who plays it back to the advancing Codman she puts her foot through the shot, on target skips up in front of Quinn-Nichols who saves smartly with her feet having so far seen little action. Norwich quick to get up the other end looking sharper with there passing now, Smith looking to get on the offensive through the middle almost steals through into the box, Clarke taking it away from her, Smith on the rebound however sends a shot wide. The additional runs made from midfield starting to stretch the Wymondham defence gaps starting to open up everyone back finding it tough to get out of there half.

  Waters leading the line for Wymondham remains a threat, the visitors comfortable soaking up pressure ready to break, the passes sent forwards Waters a willing chaser, Collins needing to get across to clear 30 yards out. Knights with a talking as she brings down Smith charging on with the ball central. A few strong challenges creeping into the match neither side wanting to give the ball away. Daviss with a hand ball presents Wymondham with a free-kick in a dangerous position central 25 yard out. Croft placing the ball, the wall does its job as the ball is deflected through to the keeper. 

Wymondham’s, Mary Croft

 Russell gets forwards up to support Waters inside the D, Parsons defending well for Norwich clears the threat. Pearce with another solid take from a corner for Wymondham despite the close attention from Todd. Kett stretching cuts out the ball top of her box as Smith surges into the D from the left, a shot flashed in from the other flank goes wide. Kett hurt going for the ball stays down. Needs treatment, a blow as she can’t continue, Symonds returns to the field. The clock ticking down moving into the final 15 minutes.

Norwich right back, Anna Larkins

 GOAL! The deadlock is broken at last as Norwich press the attack, Smith who has been more proactive going forwards in the 2nd period attacking central with Snelling 20 yards out, she spots Larkins racing clear down the right fires the ball into her path taking it on Larkins smashes a diagonal ball in to the near post the defence back tracking Smith moving across Knights gets her head on the ball a glancing touch aiming to put it into her keepers gloves, coming at her quickly Pearce can’t get it under control and to her despair pops out behind her into the back of the net 1-0.

  Norwich ecstatic as they take the lead a cruel goal for Wymondham to concede. The hosts come on from the restart catching Wymondham at the back as Smith steals in to take the ball of Croft outside the box moves to her right shooting on the angle, Croft recovers well to get in the block, Norwich claiming handball but it clearly struck her backside. The rebound falling to Daviss 25 yards out left of the D sends a shot back in swerves wide of the post. 

Laura Nicholls getting forwards to support Hannah Waters in the Wymondham attack

 Smith is everywhere at the moment moving to the right has Larkins with her exchange passes Smith down to the by-line is clumsily brought down. Players into the box for the free-kick put in at an inviting height central, Snelling is up well to connect with the header sending it across goal, for a moment looks certain to score only for the ball to be cleared excellently by Johnston at the far post.

Natasha Snelling sends her header goalwards. Chardonnay Johnston clearing the ball off the line

  Wymondham looking to get more bodies up and around Waters now as they chase the game, Nicholls and Russell making good runs Symonds attempting to pick Russell out as she breaks into the right channel, but can’t take the ball on in behind as she is dispossessed by Collins. Up the other end Todd breaks in behind to the by-line on the right dragging the cross in to the near post Pearce well placed to gather in front of Snelling. The Norwich no10 with a great chance to double to score-line moments later as a cross is played into the box from the left, seeing it drop in front of her Snelling opens up her body to strike the ball back across goal, sees her effort race wide of the post. Francesca Catchpole comes on for Wymondham to join Waters in the attack with Knights off. Norwich bring on Brooke Osbourne for Kathryn Stanley.

Norwich win a free-kick on the right played short to Smith she flashes a cross into the area, Johnson with a strong header to launch clear defending for Wymondham. Parsons firing a shot over the top from distance as the hosts prevent Wymondham getting the ball out of their half. Stanley back on for Norwich late on replacing Todd puts the ball on for Snelling right side, Croft defending clips the attacker to give away a foul. Norwich fail to make the most of the opportunity.

Natasha Snelling on the drive for Norwich

 Time is running out for Wymondham to get themselves a levelling goal, Clarke has time and space left side 30 yards out lets out a cry of frustration as her shot flashes wide. Into the closing moments of the match Wymondham attacking Clarke picking up the ball on the right has time to line up her cross, players rushing on as she sends a diagonal ball in takes a deflection turning it across goal to the far post Nicholls coming in behind sliding onto it inside the six yard box turns it goalwards but lacks the pace to beat Quinn-Nichols getting down low to stop it. Parker picking up a knock in the attack coming off for Norwich, Jess Harper comes on. One last attack for Wymondham a hand ball spotted 25 yards out giving the visitors a free-kick, Clarke over it sends it goalwards on target, Norwich clear the threat over as the final whistle blows.

Full time Norwich City Women 1-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Norwich coming out on top in the finish scoring the winner in the final 15 minutes to send them through to the last four of the County Cup. Strong in the first half, improved in the 2nd launching a constant barrage at the Wymondham defence, getting players forwards from both the middle of the park and wide positions keeping there opponents penned in the final 3rd. Passing sharper moving the ball well. Again clear cut opportunities rare largely due to the Wymondham defence, battled well keeping tight, too deep maybe but left no room in behind. Waters isolated up front is a deadly as anyone in a one on one situation, Norwich defending from the front limiting the balls Wymondham could play into her. A single goal in the end enough to decide it, on the balance of play Norwich deserved the win, nevertheless was a cruel way to lose a game for Wymondham.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Time to choose today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Once again not an easy choice. Wymondham worked hard as a defensive unit with Leah Newcombe making several tackles to deny Norwich on the left. Rebecca Russell getting forwards with some good positioning whenever she could to support Waters in attack. The attack from Norwich was lively showing great movement and runs, Kathryn Stanley especially first half testing the Wymondham defence. Megan Todd and Natasha Snelling combining well. Whilst at the back Kate Parsons and Izzy Collins kept close tabs on Waters all game. The award though goes to Norwich’s Ellie Smith putting herself about in the first half came into her own 2nd half making some dynamic runs from midfield and applying more pressure to the Wymondham defence.

  Norwich will be at home for the semi-final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup there opponents will be King’s Lynn Town Ladies finalists last time out back in 2019 after they emerged 4-3 winners away to Dereham based side Tavern Ladies. The other semi-final will be an all county league affair with NWGFL side Sprowston Athletic Ladies who beat division two opponents 4-0 at home to rivals Mulbarton Belles Ladies who produced a shock in the quarter finals beating ERWFL Premier Division side Wroxham Ladies 1-0 away from home. Both games due to be played next Sunday 9th May.

 Better weather this time at The Nest. Is a great facility, an intriguing game to watch unfold, cagey took a late goal in the end. My thanks to everyone at the The Nest for their help today.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Harlow Town Ladies

Sunday 26th Jan

ERWFL Cup

Wasn’t the intention to have a two week break from the football a weekend off and then a game postponed late on seeing no action on Women’s Football East for a fortnight, keen to get back at it this Sunday, the action from the 1st Round of the ERWFL Cup, Wymondham Town Ladies v Harlow Town Ladies.

 The game itself originally due to be played a fortnight ago, cancelled on the day due to Harlow Town Ladies mini-bus being hit by a lorry whilst parked up at the services on route to Norfolk. The game rearranged for this Sunday, a group stage played in the first half of the season between the Division One clubs the 4 group winners going on to the knockout stages of the ERWFL League Cup joined by the 12 Premier Division sides.

The ERWFL Cup is certain to be hotly contested if the league itself is anything to go by, Harlow Town Ladies are well clear at the top but beyond that just 7 points separate 2nd placed Peterborough Northern Star Ladies down to Bowers & Pitsea Ladies in 9th. Wymondham Town Ladies in amongst those currently in 7th spot well placed to push on for a top half finish. Everyone capable to taking points off each other going on a run. 

Wymondham Town Ladies promoted two seasons ago along with Harlow, doing well despite having an awful injury list to contend with, several players out with long term injuries including captain and vice-captain Rachel Cossey and Leah Newcombe both suffering bad knee injuries during last season’s Norfolk Women’s County Cup win at Carrow Road. Both on the road to recovery Newcombe in particular close to a return. Long term injuries to hitting their defence with Bethany Fretwell, Chardonnay Johnston and Summer Ward all out. New players arriving in the summer, Mia Etheridge from AFC Sudbury and Jennifer Codman from Fakenham Town Ladies. Freya Symonds too with a trio of ex-Ipswich players, Cassie Craddock, Jac Ball and goalkeeper Danni Clarke. Plenty of goals within the squad captain and striker Hannah Waters with 19 to her name top scoring.

  Harlow Town Ladies have enjoyed alot of success in their short history regularly winning promotions moving up the women’s football pyramid the Essex side are currently 9 points clear at the top of the ERWFL Premier Division and in a strong position to go on and win the title and with it promotion to the FAWNL for the first time in their history. Undefeated have won all but one of their 12 league matches so far this season. The only points dropped way back on the opening day a 1-1 draw with today’s cup opponents Wymondham Town Ladies. Harlow coming back to win 4-3 in the reverse fixture. Have brought in several players to add experience to their young squad, goals too, Becky Shephard one of those new arrivals netting 22 goals so far this season.

Ketts Park the home to Wymondham Town Ladies a new venue on the outskirts of the town close to the A11. My first visit to the ground a smart facility offering a main 3G playing surface available for hire. Grass pitches beyond. The clubhouse offering hot drinks with plenty of parking outside. The 3G pitch itself a good size with adequate room for spectators to stand beside the pitch. Overcast conditions rain forecast not expected to arrive until after the game a stiff breeze making it feel chilly. A hot cup of tea welcome.

  Both sides with absentees through injury and unavailability on the day. Harlow frustrated having travelled with two new signings but both ineligible to play under league cup rules, alos missing the experience of players such as Nicole Farmer, Georgia Box and Amy Nash, only able to name one substitute. Wymondham likewise having a few missing having just the one on the bench. 

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Danni Clarke, Becca Russell, Chelsea Clarke, Lauren Kett, Jac Ball, Katie Knights, Jennifer Codman, Mollie O’Callaghan, Freya Symonds, Mia Etheridge & Hannah Waters (C) Subs – Cassie Craddock.

Harlow Town Ladies starting XI – Charlie Orwell, Tayla Handscombe, Fran Gamble, Kaydee King (C), Mel Jones, Chloe Bassett, Abbey Dell, Beth Chambers, Lucy Edmeades, Becky Shephard & Liv Steele. Subs – Evie Love.

(Roll on roll off substitutes)

  Wymondham wearing red shirts and shorts with black shorts to kick-off the first half. Harlow in their away colours yellow shirts with blue shorts and socks. The hosts playing the ball back into their defence Harlow rushing forwards to press the ball Abbey Dell involved straight away, a long punt forwards cleared by Harlow captain Kaydee King gathered by Wymondham goalkeeper Danni Clarke. Harlow build down their left winning a throw deep in the Wymondham half controlled the cross lifted high towards the top of the area, Freya Symonds up to head clear for Wymondham.

   A bright start from Harlow pressing the ball, Wymondham look to break the ball into Mollie O’Callaghan’s feet left side of midfield looks to take it on chopped down inside the Harlow half. A fee-kick given the ball put across the park to Becca Russell forwards on the wing lifts it on for Mia Etheridge the flag goes up against her. O’Callaghan bringing the ball on once again is brought down as she sends it on for Symonds play brought back for the fee-kick, further forwards Chelsea Clarke over it into the box, caught by Harlow goalkeeper, Charlie Orwell. 

 GOAL!  6 minutes played and an early break through, Harlow take the lead Beth Chambers getting hold of the ball left side inside the Wymondham half playing a dangerous looping diagonal ball in towards the top of the area Chelsea Clarke stretching to clear can only push it into the onrushing Becky Shephard’s path takes it on a yard before driving a powerfully struck shot past Danni Clarke into the back of the net 0-1.

Becky Shephard with the opening goal for Harlow Town Ladies after 6 minutes

  Wymondham go on the attack straight from the restart players up and around the 18 yard box, O’Callaghan tries her luck from range 25 yards out off target, Orwell able to come across her goal to collect. Harlow’s Chloe Bassett receiving the ball centrally off a throw in on the left turns and hits a shot goalwards from 25 yards out swearing through the air Danni Clarke back on her line keeps her eyes on it catching safely. Gamble with a great tackle to stop Etheridge from stealing in behind her with the ball on the right side for Harlow. 

GOAL! Harlow caught with a high line as Wymondham play the ball forwards Lauren Kett winning it at the ball bringing it on firing a low pass forwards over half way captain Hannah Waters getting away from King to latch onto the ball a carry it on towards the area Orwell coming to the top of her area to close the angle Waters shaping to shot shifting to her right to get wide of the keeper and send the ball on to score. Wymondham back on level terms just 6 minutes after conceding 1-1.

Wymondham Town Ladies captain Hannah Waters levels the scores

Wymondham with their tails up strong in the middle of the park Etheridge getting hold of the ball taking players on central looks to play a one two with Katie Knights run on in behind as Knights attempts to lift the ball over the defence, Bassett reading it in to take the ball away for Harlow. The visitors looking to make use of the flanks Beth Chambers left side has Dell racing into space on the wing sends the ball in for her to take on down the line a strong run cuts back inside to deliver the cross near post with Shephard making the good run, the attack rising aiming to flick the ball with her boot in across goal doesn’t get enough on it the ball put behind wide.

Beth Chambers striking the ball for Harlow Town Ladies

Lucy Edmeades away into space on the opposite wing sending a dangerous cross into the six yards box too high for Danni Clarke to save, no one coming in at the back post for Harlow. Danni Clarke with an excellent and brave piece of goalkeeping soon after as Harlow thread a long ball through the middle with Liv Steele attacking the area right, Clarke rushing out sliding in to make the blocking save at Steele’s feet, the striker coming off worse for the clash. Harlow win a free-kick wide right a good delivery into the box Steele positioned on the penalty spot cushioning the ball down looking to swing into the shot the Wymondham defence rush in to block at close range. 

 Steele has take a couple for knocks needs to come off from treatment Harlow making the first change of the match, Evie Love coming on to join Shephard up top. O’Callaghan is certainly in the wars for Wymondham getting clattered again the free-kick striking the wall set up by Harlow Symonds though retrieves for the hosts left side sends in a cross, Orwell coming near post to claim. A competitive game played at a fast past both sides giving free-kicks away Harlow turn with a set-piece inside the Wymondham half, Gamble over the ball towards the left a good way out nevertheless goes for goal a high ball in dropping late Danni Clarke can’t get it the ball clatters against the ball drops back into play stabbed back towards go Clarke back on her line down smartly to save on the line.

Katie Knights on the ball for Wymondham Town Ladies

 Katie Knights making several good runs with the ball through the middle for Wymondham sends in through for Waters to chase in attack, Orwell out of her area early trapping the ball with her legs inside the D clearing before Waters can get it. O’Callaghan with a shot from distance bouncing low through towards goal left side Orwell down to save the ball behind for a corner kick. Defending the ball Harlow clear up to half way Evie Love looking to break is fouled by Kett a free-kick awarded. Gamble to play it forwards players up into the box King bringing it down her tough too strong allowing Wymondham to steal in and clear top of the area. 

Harlow Town Ladies, Fran Gamble

 Is getting a little heated out there a bit of pushing and shoving going on quickly dealt with by the referee the game continues to set a furious pace challenges strong at times. Several players talked too already. A quick free-kick by Gamble into Steele central puts it on quickly Shephard away but adjudged offside as she shoots. Mel Jones turning play around quickly in the middle for Harlow forwards for Shephard beating the offside trap this time can’t control her shot top of the area, Jac Ball back to win possession for Wymondham. Pressuring the ball inside the Wymondham half Harlow’s Bassett gets away on the right crossing from the corner Shephard coming near side sends it wide. 

Mollie O’Callaghan weighing up her passing options for Wymondham Town Ladies

  Wymondham making ground on the right win a throw the ball into the feet of Waters right corner of the box plays the pass infield to Knights central has O’Callaghan to her left gives her the ball Harlow back defending their area O’Callaghan comes back in central looking to get a shot away finds a way through but not past Orwell as she drops to save the ball. Etheridge and Chambers clash going for the ball, Chambers down landing awkwardly play stopped so she can receive treatment up gingerly play resumes with a free-kick to Harlow to the bemusement of the home support.

Harlow captain Kaydee King clearing the ball

 Into the closing moments of the first half, Wymondham also frustrated at the number of offside decisions going against them Waters a constant threat enjoying a fantastic battle with King intriguing to watch Waters thinking she’s got half a yard only to be pulled back by the flag. Dell covering alot of ground across the park for Harlow setting the tone for the game for much of the first half wants to be in the thick of the action breaking up a number of Wymondham moves. The offside flag up against Edmeades on the right a decision that infuriates the Harlow bench. Knights sneaking in to take the ball plays Waters through central not catching her strike cleanly the ball straight at Orwell catch after the initial save pops out of her gloves. The last action of the half.

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 1-1 Harlow Town Ladies

  A fast paced game so far competitive not alot between the sides, the pace leading to several mistimed challenges plenty of free-kicks given away and knocks being picked up. Harlow with an early goal Wymondham coming straight back to level has remained even Harlow hitting the bar from a free-kick. Changes for both sides at half-time. Cassie Craddock on for Wymondham the players off goalkeeper Danni Clarke suffering a hand injury the tall Freya Symonds donning the gloves for the 2nd period. Chambers off for Harlow with Steele back on. 

Harlow to get the 2nd half underway the temperature dropping considerably very chilly on the sidelines now. The visitors getting an early set-piece on halfway King to play the ball out to Edmeades on the right side in space cuts inside no shot on lays the ball across the top of the area for Bassett laying it back to Gamble she floats a high ball in towards goal safely caught by Symonds. Handscombe brings the ball on through the middle for Harlow pushing on towards the D is closed down by three Wymondham defenders Craddock putting in the final tackle to get the ball away O’Callaghan away on the left forwards for Waters to chase Orwell can come to the edge of her area an collect.

Harlow’s Chloe Bassett looking to get the ball away chased by Wymondham’s Mollie O’Callaghan

Codman playing the ball on for Knights in the middle plays it forwards with O’Callaghan forwards on her left cuts back inside, 25 yards out closed down Gamble and King combining. O’Callaghan and Jones with a crunching 50/50 in the middle both hurts but quick to acknowledge the ball was there to be won. Harlow over half way the ball played long to the left side a cross whipping on at pace Chelsea Clarke central sticking a foot out to intercept almost scores an own goal inside the six yard box the ball flashes up to strike the cross bar bouncing down grabbed by Symonds before anyone can follow up from Harlow to score. 

Abbey Dell bringing the ball on for Harlow Town Ladies

Wymondham have Etheridge on the ball attacking right a strong run her cross in cleared play brought back for an earlier foul on the winger. Players forwards taken short into the top of the area with O’Callaghan coming for the ball the shot in hesitates shifting it before pulling the trigger a deflection sending it wide for the corner kick. King up well at the near post to defend for Harlow. A flowing attack from Wymondham Knights doing well once again bringing the ball on support from Craddock out to Etheridge on the right plays it back to Russell she swings in the cross long, King up at the far post to win the header for Harlow clearing the threat.

Harlow’s Evie Love ends up riding Wymondham defender Lauren Kett as she slides in to tackle

   Kett stepping out of defence sliding in strongly to win a number of tackles for Wymondham is down with an injury, a pause in play Harlow make the change bring Chambers back on for Love on the left. Play resumes Waters doing well to win a corner on the right the ball in cleared firmly by the head of King at the near post. King with the interception and touch back fr her keeper to clear as Knights almost sends the running Waters and Etheridge in on goal for Wymondham. Harlow bring Jones off sending Love back on. 

Harlow Town Ladies, Tayla Handscombe

Wymondham pressure O’Callaghan closing in on the area closed down, Waters almost in Harlow look to play out from the ball O’Callaghan giving chase goes down in agony play stopped straight away the Wymondham midfield in clear distress has hurt her knee, a long pause in play on the field treatment hobbles off can’t continue Wymondham to end the game with 10 with no more substitutes over 15 minutes left to play. Gamble carries the ball on for Harlow up to Steele in attack, Clarke closing her down to tackle for Wymondham the hosts break quickly the ball put through the middle King intercepting.

  Wymondham actually upping their intensity despite being a player down, renewed energy to close down the ball Waters keeping King busy the clash of the captains King lunging in to win the ball this time. Chambers finding space on the right incensed at being flagged offside with Harlow playing the ball crossfield from the left. Edmeades forwards on the left sends a cross in attacked near post by Steele up to head the ball plays it over the bar. Love and Shephard combined on the right the former with the back heels Shephard’s cross in bringing a corner kick. Swung into the box central blasted goalwards saved on the line by a combination of defender and goalkeeper. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Mia Etheridge

Etheridge storming on down the right side for Wymondham in attack the angle going against her as she unleashes a powerful shot the ball rising smashing against the crossbar falling into the box players in on the follow so too King putting her body in the way to block. The tie on a knife edge could go either way Harlow bring Edmeades off late on sending Jones back into the fray. King with a last ditch tackle to deny Waters inside the box the clock running down Harlow get forwards the ball fed along the ground into Shephard’s feet outside the box left turns and shoots the ball flying over the crossbar. Russell defending late on as Love tries to lift a ball into the box for Steele to run onto. The final whistle blows the cup tie heading into extra-time.

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 1-1 Harlow Town Ladies

  A really enjoyable game lots of action not much between the sides neither on top, defending well committed and lively in the middle on the cusp of boiling over but both sides want to get on with it. Neither keeper overly tested in the 2nd half clear cut chances at a premium Wymondham doing well at the finish despite their player disadvantage could have snatched a late win. Now another 30 minutes awaits.

Extra-time

 Into extra-time Wymondham back up to the full 11 on the field, Danni Clarke able to take up an outfield role comes on to the left wearing Symonds no 18 shirt. Wymondham to get the extra period of play underway 2 15 minute halves for either side to try and find a winning goal or the tie heads to penalties. Good to see O’Callaghan up on her feet her knee iced up. Gamble on the ball for Harlow coming forwards long up to Chambers making a run right side the ball collected by Symonds. Chambers lively at the start of the half picking the ball up has pace drives on Wymondham closing her down.

A long diagonal ball left to right finds Etheridge stealing through into the box on the right she shot sliced though swerves wide of goal. Steele spinning on the ball as it is played into her feet very nearly has Shephard in on goal but for a raised flag. Wymondham get on down the right win  corner kick players forwards the ball long beyond the far post knocked down into the path of Danni Clarke, the goalkeeper turned outfield player with a snap shot the ball running wide of the post. Harlow with a corner up the other in inswinging cleared off the line. 

  Harlow attacking the ball fed into the box a race between Steele and Kett shoulder to shoulder Steele getting a shot away flashes over the bar. All action both sides going for it Etheridge winning Wymondham a corner.

  GOAL! Wymondham get their noses in front late in the first period of extra-time the corner taken long over the player rising well at the far post gathered as players rush out towards the ball a cross in flicked on and met by Waters jumping to get her foot on the ball in the centre of goal a yard out couldn’t miss 2-1.

Russell defending as Harlow fling a cross into the area from the right. Bassett gathering the ball deep for Harlow bringing it on well Chambers on the move right side Bassett looks to pick her out but to Chambers dismay she’s flagged offside once again.

Half-time extra-time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-1 Harlow Town Ladies

  Advantage Wymondham with 15 minutes to play leading 2-1 as Harlow get the 2nd period of extra-time underway. A few spots of rain in the air the visitors on the attack Dell put through right into the box the angle tight drives in a shot the ball held well by Symonds in goal. Harlow pressing at the start of the half looking to put Wymondham on the back foot. Kett stepping out well from the back to win the ball. 

  Waters sensing space may open up behind moving across the back line getting free momentarily on the left side after the ball, King doing well to get back on her make the challenge. Chelsea Clarke stopping Chambers as she drives towards the box. A Harlow free-kick won 22 yards from goal on the left played into the box cleared Harlow have it back driven into the box deflected wide for a corner. Symonds coping well to get something on the ball to get it away inside a congested six yard box. 

  Less than 5 minutes left Wymondham attempting to keep possession run the ball into the corners frustrate Harlow. Bassett brings the ball out from the back on for Love, but too much on the ball. Waters across to charge down King as she attempts to launch the ball up field. Time almost up Kett winning another tackle Harlow can’t get a clear chance on goal late on no way through. The final whistle blows and Wymondham are through to the quarter finals of the ERWFL League Cup beating Harlow 2-1 in extra-time.

Full time extra-time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-1 Harlow Town Ladies

  Another close contest between the two sides both short on numbers on the day a committed and entertaining cup tie. Early goals the game played at a fast pace several strong challenges and tempers frayed at times but never boiling over. A few bruises to show for the cause the following day I think. Wymondham holding on well with 10 getting back up to 11 for extra-time getting their noses in front. Harlow frustrated a lack of options from the bench not helping out of cup competitions in successive weeks, the focus now on the league and in a strong position to push for the title.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  On to this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Several contenders it has to be said and narrowing it down to one wasn’t easy. Starting wit the stand out performers for Harlow, an excellent game at the back for Kaydee King strong and had her hands full with Hannah Waters. In the middle of the park great energy shown by Abbey Dell covered alot of ground and her energy set the tone for the game. For Wymondham was impressed by Katie Knights in the middle several great runs and setting up attacks, Waters leading the line well. The defence doing well as a unit Freya Symonds didn’t look out of place in goal 2nd half. The award though goes to Lauren Kett won numerous challenges in the centre of defence and set up the opening goal.

An enjoyable first trip to Ketts Park, an entertaining game just what was needed after two weeks without a game. Played at a fast pace two committed teams could have gone either way Wymondham finding the winner in extra-time. My thanks to both teams for today’s starting line-ups.

Match Report – Cup Final Special

Sunday 28th April

Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final

King’s Lynn Town Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

 The football action this Sunday comes from Carrow Road the home of Norwich City FC, the club celebrating a return to the Premier League last evening with a 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers FC, today it hosts the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final for the first time a special occasion that will no doubt live long in the memory of the two clubs winning through to this season’s final as King’s Lynn Town Ladies take on Wymondham Town Ladies the current holders.

Two of the leading women’s football sides in the county, 4 of which play above county league level, Norwich City Ladies the highest league placed club in Norfolk playing in the 4th tier, FAWNL South East Division One. Wymondham along with Acle United Women (to become part of Wroxham FC next season) play in the league below tier 5 the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) Premier Division with King’s Lynn Town Ladies played in ERWFL Division One. 

King’s Lynn Town Ladies currently 5th in ERWFL Division One are into their 1st ever Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final playing their 2nd season playing at regional level pushing for the title with Wymondham the eventual champions. This season a larger single Division One a very competitive league up to 5th jostling for a top half finish with a cluster of sides most having 4 left to play the season going the distance scheduled to finish in the final weekend of May. King’s Lynn on a good run as they look to get some momentum coming into today’s final winning their last 3 in the league including a 9-0 demolition of Essex side Hatfield Peverel Ladies the game played at The Walks two weeks ago.

Wymondham Town Ladies currently 3rd in the ERWFL Premier Division their highest ever league position and testament to a strong debut season playing at that level having been promoted as Division One North Champions. Along with Acle have ambitions to reach the FAWNL itself. The ERWFL Premier Division featuring some strong sides from all across the East. Growing rapidly in recent season’s a reserves side playing in Norfolk Women’s Division One, Wymondham have enjoyed some good runs in the FA Women’s Cup aswell as the County Cup, this being their 3rd successive final appearance. Missing out to Thorpe United Ladies in their debut County Cup appearance learnt alot from that game better prepared 2nd time around last season taking on Acle United Ladies winning the game 3-2 to lift the trophy for the 1st time. 

Road to the Final

   Both sides entering the competition in the 1st Round although Wymondham progressed without kicking a ball awarded the away win over Norfolk Division Two side, Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies. King’s Lynn away to Sprowston Ladies from Norfolk Division One a 3-0 win seeing them comfortably into the 2nd Round.

King’s Lynn at home in the 2nd Round were taking on Norfolk Division One side Tavern Ladies, now hitting top form in the league pushing for promotion King’s Lynn meeting them early in the season however ran out 6-1 winners to reach the last 8. Wymondham were away to Bulldogs Ladies bottom of Division Two a huge gulf between the sides 4 leagues Wymondham have plenty of goals in their side and scored 22 without reply to reach the quarter finals. The announcement made after the 2nd Round that the final was going to be played at Carrow Road for the first time.

  Another Sprowston side for King’s Lynn in the quarter finals again from Norfolk Division One, Athletic Ladies, after a couple of postponed weeks King’s Lynn made the trip winning 4-0 to book their spot in the last 4. Wymondham taking on Taverham Women United’s young guns unbeaten at the top of Division Two at the time now the champions, a big defeat in the County Cup however against Wymondham going down 12-1, Wymondham’s cup defence rolling on.

A very strong line-up for the semi-finals of the competition with King’s Lynn drawn away to Thorpe United Ladies the Norfolk Division side reaching 4 successive County Cup Finals with back to back success in 2016 & 2017. Strong all season in the league runaway champions Thorpe were suffering from injuries their squad stretched by the time they welcomed King’s Lynn to the Thorpe Recreation Ground. King’s Lynn taking the lead couldn’t find a 2nd goal, Thorpe coming back late on to level the scores send the game into extra-time. Tiffany Forshaw with King’s Lynn’s goal in normal timing on target for two more to complete her hat-trick in extra-time. Thorpe getting it back to 3-2 setting up a nervy finish but King’s Lynn held on to reach their first ever final.

  No less dramatic in the other semi-final a repeat of last season’s final with Wymondham away to Acle United Women. The pair drawing at 2-2 after 90 minutes the game going into extra-time both added a further goal to see them locked at 3-3. The game heading into a penalty shootout. Wymondham holding their nerve to edge Acle out 5-4 to reach a 3rd successive final.

The Norfolk Women’s County Cup sponsored by MacDonald’s this season as part of their promotion giving out free child’s tickets. The venue Carrow Road, and I can safely say if there was one ground above all others I wanted to cover a women’s football match at it was the home of Norwich City FC, Norfolk born and bred so naturally I’m a canary supporter. Ambition fulfilled, the Geoffrey Watling Stand open for the match, the playing surface looking great the sun out a little chilly in the shade a good atmosphere a decent crowd building. 

King’s Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Bryony Robinson, Chloe Burch, Annie Rooks, Shanice Burch, Charlotte Griffith, Beck Russell (C), Natalie Wright, Jodie Hopkins-Duckhouse, Oksana Imanalijeva, Deva Rawlings & Tiffany Forshaw. Subs – Chloe Witt, Georgia Freeman, Olivia Baker, Lisa Wilson & Emma Corbyn.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Leah Newcombe, Chelsea Clarke, Chardonnay Johnston, Jorja Patterson, Rachel Cossey (C) Rebecca Russell, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kayleigh Holloway, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters. Subs- Bethany Fretwell, Nadine Basson, Brooklyn Cheal-Ferris, Alice Ladbrooke & Summer Ward.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A change of ends at the start the sun a problem for goalkeepers standing at the Barclay End setting behind the stadium. King’s Lynn to kick-off this season’s County Cup Final wearing blue shirts with yellow shorts and socks, Wymondham in their away colours purple shirts and socks with black shorts. Mollie O’Callaghan straight in to tackle and win the ball for Wymondham in the centre playing it on through the middle looking for striker Hannah Waters, Shanice Burch cutting it out inside the D for King’s Lynn.

   King’s Lynn get forwards Oksana Imanalijeva with the run stopped by Chardonnay Johnston the ball won back high up the pitch by Shanice Burch Wymondham defend once more and this time break Waters making a run into the right channel fed the ball into her run takes it on towards the top of the area pulling the trigger outside the box the strike racing low across the box out past the far post for a goal kick.

   Pressure high on the left from Wymondham brings a throw in the ball played inside finding Rebecca Russell in the area her touch taking her in behind closing in on the six yard box looks to play a shot across the goalkeeper, Bryony Robinson closing the angle the keeper does well getting down to save take the sting out of the shot her defence getting back to clear the ball as in rolls away. Wymondham vice captain Leah Newcombe getting forwards hurt in a challenge needing treatment before she can continue. 

  Robinson called into action again in the early stages of the game as Waters is put in clear on the left, the King’s Lynn goalkeeper haring out of her box needs to win the race lunging into the challenge traps the ball well with her legs on deny Waters. Jodie Hopkins-Duckhouse winning the ball high on the right for King’s Lynn pays the ball infield for Natalie Wright she plays the diagonal ball forwards to try and get Imanalijeva away, Chelsea Clarke closing her down regaining possession for Wymondham.

Natalie Wright playing the ball on for King’s Lynn Town Ladies

   Imanalijeva lively for King’s Lynn in the opening exchanges wins the ball 20 yards out central support from Tiffany Forshaw to her left gives her the ball the striker taking it on down the wing sending a low cross into the area, evading Wymondham goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan at her near post Imanalijeva having made up the ground to get into the six yard box throws herself at it just evades her. Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey has picked up an injury a spell on lengthy treatment needed, King’s Lynn looking a threat going forwards Imanalijeva with a good burst of pace in her legs wins the race for the ball on the right checking inside to get into the area has a crack the ball racing wide across goal. 

King’s Lynn’s attackers looking to get forwards

  Shanice Burch doing well in defence for King’s Lynn stopping Rebecca Russell as she and Laura Nicholls look to combine in attack for Wymondham. A blow for Wymondham as Cossey cannot continue a ready made replacement on the bench a Alice Ladbrooke another combative midfielder comes on. Wymondham break with speed and purpose Nicholls carrying the ball down the right squaring a cross into the near post for Waters to attack, Annie Rooks closing her down with a fantastic challenge to clear the ball. Johnston in defence up the other end for Wymondham slinging in to take the ball away from Imanalijeva central as Hopkins-Duckhouse sends the pass in from the right. Play paused a cap of the baseball variety sent on for Robinson with the sun shining down. 

 GOAL! The opening goal coming inside 15 minutes, Wymondham with it on the counter a swift move seeing Nicholls surging forwards with the ball right of goal driving into the area squaring it across the face of goal inside the six yard box with Waters charging in central meeting it to turn the ball into the back of the net. Waters wheeling away in celebration scoring the opening goal at Carrow Road 0-1.

Hannah Waters with the opening goal at Carrow Road

   King’s Lynn captain Becky Russell back playing again just a few months after giving birth to son Charlie receives the ball from Forshaw 25 yards out, time and space looks ready to shoot, Kayleigh Holloway getting back at her to nick the ball just in time. A bit physical King’s Lynn in particular giving free-kicks away. Wright does well breaking up an attack central as King’s Lynn commit players forwards the ball lifted back into the area won by Jorja Patterson. Johnston aggrieved as she is judged to have fouled Imanalijeva as the tries to get in behind her on the right the free-kick outside the box. Becky Russell to take the ball sent in towards the top of the box Forshaw coming for it getting her head on the ball her attempt dropping wide of the post.

Wymondham Town Ladies, Jorja Patterson

   Clarke getting up the pitch on the left with a deft ball over the top for Waters to attack inside the area, Charlotte Griffith defending for King’s Lynn the ball out for a throw in. Imanalijeva with another burst of speed looks to get on down the right Johnston sliding in to stop her ends up taking out assistant referee Tracey Clayton instead, Imanalijeva racing on into the box shoots early the ball put wide across goal again. Shanice Burch is being kept on her toes by Waters as the striker is continually ready to break whenever Wymondham bring the ball on. 

  A further injury blow for Wymondham, Newcombe is down again and after a lengthy spell of treatment on the pitch is unable to continue walking off gingerly on in her place comes Summer Ward. Nicholls brings the ball on right is pushed out by Chloe Burch into the corner, somehow manages to squeeze a cross in, Griffiths back to intercept. Nicholls beats the offside trap turning the attack around bearing down on goal, Robinson is way off her line does very well however as Nicholls goes to shoot the goalkeeper throwing out a shin making the save. Waters getting a throw for Wymondham on the left put inside for O’Callaghan she shoots over from 20 yards out.

Wymondham Town Ladies, Mollie O’Callaghan

   Wright bringing the ball on through the middle plays in on for Hopkins-Duckhouse, Ward cutting the pass out playing it back into the middle Becky Russell back to Hopkins-Duckhouse right she lifts a cross in high to the near post Forshaw arriving jumping up can’t get her head on the ball. King’s Lynn with some promising attacking moves Imanalijeva with pace to burn beating Johnston to the ball on the right cuts her cross back along the top of the area Deva Rawlings inside the D leaning back into the shot sends the ball over the crossbar.   

King’s Lynn Town Ladies, Annie Rooks

   A good spell from King’s Lynn Becky Russell with a diagonal ball from the left into the top of the area Hopkins-Duckhouse there so too Johnston the defender getting the better of the bounce to clear the ball. Rebecca Russell breaks on the right for Wymondham, Nicholls making the run down the line, Chloe Burch with a vital interception for King’s Lynn. Forshaw 25 yards out rolls the ball in Rawlings inside the area is crowded off the ball, Wright winning it back high up the pitch.

 GOAL! Wymondham hit King’s Lynn on the break to double their lead Rebecca Russell getting hold of the ball sent on up top for Nicholls racing away clear through the middle, Robinson comes out of her area in an attempt to get there but this time Nicholls takes the ball around her to send her shot on into the empty net 0-2.

Laura Nicholls makes it 2-0 to Wymondham Town Ladies

  King’s Lynn look for an immediate reply Imanalijeva racing forwards the ball rolled into her path takes it on into the area, Clarke doing well to get across her and marshal the ball into the arms of her keeper. 8 minutes of stoppage time to be played after the earlier injuries. Shanice Burch with a top draw tackle to slide in and stop Waters inside the D as she is put through on goal by Nicholls. 

  King’s Lynn keep coming forwards in search of a goal late in the 1st half Forshaw seeing a shot from the top of the area deflected behind for a corner. Wymondham with numbers back to defend. Johnston with more good defensive work inside the box to deny Imanalijeva as Rawlings lifts the ball on. Clarke hurt as she throws out a leg to block Forshaw’s shot as she brings the ball across the top of the area. Ladbrooke back into her box to tackle Wright as she gets into an advanced position for King’s Lynn. 

Half-time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 0-2 Wymondham Town Ladies

  A busy and fast flowing 1st half comes to an end with Wymondham Town Ladies holding the advantage going into the 2nd period leading the game 2-0. Taking an early lead through Waters the assist from Nicholls, the latter breaking late on to double the lead. Tempered with the injury blows to their captain and vice-captain. King’s Lynn have created opportunities look dangerous going forwards are by no means out of it yet.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies captain Becky Russell on the ball

  Wymondham readying a 3rd substitution for the start of the 2nd half, Brooklyn Cheal-Ferris the player coming on Holloway giving way, Wymondham to get the 2nd half underway. Start well winning a series of throws down King’s Lynn’s right. O’Callaghan on the ball central for Wymondham has Clarke racing on down the left wing playing in the full back she looks to be in the clear, Griffith getting back to steal the ball as she enters the area put it behind for the corner. In from the left Robinson up to punch it away for another corner kick. Taken short the cross in cleared straight to Ladbrooke 35 yards out she hits it back in the ball over the top. 

King’s Lynn’s Tiffany Forshaw with Wymondham’s Summer Ward

 Wymondham looking to press the attack at the start of the 2nd half, Ladbrooke tackling to prevent Forshaw taking the ball on throw the middle. Chloe Burch sliding in recklessly takes Nicholls out outside the area receives a yellow card. Wymondham to make a change before it is taken Holloway returning to the game in place of O’Callaghan. Johnston on the set-piece strikes the ball hard the two players wall doing it’s job albeit painfully.   

Kayleigh Holloway bringing the ball on for Wymondham

  Forshaw left has support inside from Wright, Ladbrooke closing the ball deflected into Rawlings she lifts it out to Hopkins-Duckhouse wide right her cross into the middle of the area claimed by O’Callaghan. A record attendance for a Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final this afternoon 776 enjoying themselves. King’s Lynn make their first change of the game Rawlings coming off, Chloe Witt joining the action. Wymondham doing a better job of restricting Imanalijeva’s influence 2nd half. 

  Witt on the ball outside the area left of the D on to Imanalijeva to her right she plays it further wide to Hopkins-Duckhouse her high ball in looping over O’Callaghan strikes the base of the post out into the six yard box just evading Witt racing in. Becky Russell getting about the pitch winning the ball back for King’s Lynn  trying to get thing’s going in the final 3rd. Hopkins-Duckhouse blasting a shot wide from 25 yards out as the ball is deflected into her path as King’s Lynn attack. Chloe Burch sliding in cleanly this time concedes the corner as Nicholls tries to run in behind on the right.

  GOAL! Wymondham extend their lead midway through the 2nd half from the corner the ball played in headed out of the box lands straight at Ward’s feet 20 yards out she takes a touch to set herself then rifles a shot back in a quality finish to put Wymondham into a 3 goal lead 0-3.

  A chance to make it 4 soon after Wymondham hitting on the counter Nicholls in clear right side Robinson racing out to meet her the attacker getting a shot under her the ball rolling on towards the empty net Griffith getting back to stop it and clear up field. Becky Russel lifting a shot wide from 25 yards out played in by Imanalijeva central. A 2nd change for King’s Lynn Wright coming off on comes Emma Corbyn. Hopkins-Duckhouse nips in to rob the Wymondham midfield of the ball plays it on or Becky Russell left of the D leaning into the shot curls it over the bar. King’s Lynn keep on looking for a goal, Wymondham soaking up the pressure well. 

Becky Russell tacking back to stop Hannah Waters

  Ladbrooke pushing the ball on into Nicholls top of the area won’t sit for her to shoot, Shanice Burch getting close in to win it back. A great ass forwards by Becky Russell into Corbyn up top her first touch excellent taking the ball wide of the defender marking her the shot tame in comparison an easy save for O’Callaghan. Holloway doing some great work in the centre of midfield for Wymondham along side Ladbrooke. Waters central with a turn and shot outside the area drags the ball wide. Waters attacking again Robinson out to close her down blocks the ball loose to her left Waters with it sends a shot in the King’s Lynn defence back to clear off the line.  The game entering the final 10 minutes. 

 GOAL! With King’s Lynn looking to get players forwards in attack late on gaps are opening at the back Waters ready to exploit getting hold of the ball left bringing it on Robinson out to close her down Waters composed her touch taking the ball past her and plays the ball on into the back of the net for her 2nd of the game 0-4.

  King’s Lynn make a 3rd change Griffith coming off, Georgia Freeman the player on. Waters over on the left support inside from Nicholls the ball put into her feet her shot outside the box blacked by Shanice Burch. 

 GOAL! King’s Lynn celebrate a cup final goal of themselves late in the game the ball on the right played into the top of the area by Witt, Corbyn seeing an effort blocked near side drops away to the right as Forshaw gets to it her goalwards blast charged down the ball spinning into Corbyn she has no one in front of her as she gets over the shot to smash it into the back of the net 1-4. 

  A double switch for King’s Lynn, Olivia Baker on for Hopkins-Duckhouse soon followed by Lisa Wilson on for Chloe Burch. Johnston flattens Imanalijeva as the game moves into stoppage time a free-kick wide played into the area cleared Forshaw gathers no shot on plays it inside to Becky Russell, Patterson racing out to charge her down. That’s it the final whistle blows and Wymondham celebrate having successfully retained the County Cup and in doing so the first side to win it at Carrow Road.

Full time King’s Lynn Town Ladies 1-4 Wymondham Town Ladies

  An entertaining final played in front of a great crowd enjoyed the occasion two good sides, Wymondham with the early goal, King’s Lynn creating plenty of opportunities hit on the break to go 2-0 down at the break. King’s Lynn needed the next goal you felt, it didn’t come Wymondham adjusting well with their substitutes performing well got that all important 3rd goal and a 4th late on secured the trophy. King’s Lynn getting a late goal themselves. A fantastic occasion which I’m sure will live long in the memory.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Oksana Imanalijeva and Becky Russell with great performances for King’s Lynn. Chardonnay Johnston and Jorja Patterson strong for Wymondham, Laura Nicholls a threat in attack she is just edged out by her strike partner today Hannah Waters a real handful in attack getting forwards at every opportunity and ready for the ball whenever her teammates looked up opening and finishing the scoring.

  Congratulations to Wymondham Town Ladies upon retaining the Norfolk Women’s County Cup.

Wymondham Town Ladies, 2018/19 McDonalds Norfolk Women’s County Cup winners

  Wanted one thing from today an that was for the winner to be the game itself regardless of the winner a great advert for the women’s game showcasing it at Carrow Road. Think we got that an entertaining game both sides playing their part a memorable occasion fingers crossed we will see more finals played there… and maybe the East Anglian derby afterall the women’s sides are still in the same league. My thanks to Norfolk FA for giving me the opportunity to cover a game at Carrow Road it certainly gave me alot to write about.

Match Report – Peterborough Northern Star Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

Sunday 24th February

ERWFL Premier Division

West along the A47 this Sunday afternoon for a game from the ERWFL Premier Division, 4th versus 5th with Wymondham Town Ladies travelling to play Peterborough Northern Star Ladies.

  Both side new to the league this season, Peterborough Northern Star moving across from the East Midlands Regional Premier Division. Wymondham Town Ladies promoted as ERWFL Division One North Champions.

   Peterborough Northern Star Ladies now a fully integrated part of Peterborough Northern Star FC. One of the leading sides in Peterborough which has a very strong and growing women’s football scene. A new Reserves side into their 2nd season. A new challenge moving across the play in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL). Amongst the sides likely to challenge for the title itself before the season started have plated as high as the FAWNL. Currently in 5th have games in hand on the sides above. Have lost just one league game to date that on the opening day to current leaders and unbeaten Cambridge City Ladies.

   Wymondham Town Ladies are doing very well following promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division. Up to 4th in the table and in a strong position to finish in the top half of the table in what is a strong league. Like their opponents have a Reserves side, and are one of the sides leading the way in women’s football in Norfolk. Scoring plenty of goals, 18-year-old Laura Nicholls has 34 already this season.

  Both sides involved in the semi-finals of their various County Cup competitions last Sunday. Peterborough Northern Star narrowly losing to local rivals Peterborough United 2-1. Wymondham going all the way to penalties against fellow Premier Division side Acle United Women winning the shootout 5-4 to reach their 3rd successive final and will be hoping to retain the trophy they lifted for the 1st time in their history last season.

  Peterborough Northern Star Ladies home ground is the Branch Bros Stadium. Situated in the north of Peterborough not far off the A47 itself. Set in a residential area has a community feel about it. A clubhouse leading out to the main pitch, two large sports fields either side. A snack bar serving hot and cold food and drinks. as for the weather SUMMER’S HERE! (Well in might be a bit premature) a lovely bright sunny and warm day in the final weekend of February. The coat can stay in the car, left my sunglasses at home needed them. The sun high over one end of the ground.

Peterborough Northern Star Ladies starting XI – Sarah Hudson, Frances Peeling, Larissa Frederick, Leah Barnes, Bronwyn Mulheron, Faith Horner, Emma Pollard, Chanade Henderson, Vicky Gallagher (C), Georgia Coulson & Cassie Steward.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Chardonnay Johnston, Summer Ward, Kayleigh Holloway, Rachel Cossey (C), Alice Ladbrooke, Mollie O’Callaghan, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters.  Subs – Jorja Patterson & Rebecca Russell.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   The bare 11 available for Peterborough missing a few players including top goalscorer Katie Steward who has 15 so far this season. New signing Summer Ward and Chardonnay Johnston starting for Wymondham. Peterborough in their home strip, black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts with black and white hooped socks. Wymondham in their away colours, purple shirts and socks with red shorts. Peterborough to kick-off the 1st half, Wymondham with the sun at their backs.

   Straight away a competitive tussle in midfield the ball closed down, Alice Ladbrooke winning it for Wymondham the ball lost comes back to Emma Pollard for Peterborough central plays the diagonal pass long for captain Vicky Gallagher to attack on the right wing, Chardonnay Johnston can see it out of play for Wymondham. Wymondham make progress up the right Kayleigh Holloway winning a throw put inside pushed on to Ladbrooke she flicks the ball on into the area, Bronwyn Mulheron heading clear for Peterborough. 

Leah Newcombe after the ball for Wymondham Town Ladies

   Mulheron defending well again for Peterborough as Hannah Waters tries to get through into the area from a central pass the defender seeing the ball back to goalkeeper Sarah Hudson. Wymondham counter Ladbrooke winning the ball plays it on for Laura Nicholls central she lays it out to Holloway right, Larissa Frederick closing her down the fullback tackling the ball out for a throw. Peterborough attack with pace through the middle, Bethany Fretwell with a vital interception as Cassie Steward looks to run in behind. 

  Mulheron winning the ball at the back for Peterborough the ball long up the left wing for Georgia Coulson drives forwards wins a throw the ball inside to Pollard 25 yards out plays it across the face of the Wymondham area with Chanade Henderson picking it up moving across the D shapes to shoot, Johnston charging the ball down. The final ball a little too heavy from both sides early on, Wymondham get up the pitch a throw won players forwards the ball 25 yards out helped onto Mollie O’Callaghan the young midfielder drags her shot wide across goal.

Peterborough Northern Star Ladies, Bronwyn Mulheron

   O’Callaghan sets up a Wymondham attack her past forwards Nicholls spreads play wide to the right she drives up the line gets inside the fullback to fire a cross into the six yard box Nicholls arriving far post connects but can’t keep the ball down. Peterborough break with pace the ball with Pollard 20 yards out inside to Henderson she attempts to slide Coulson through into the area Ashleigh O’Callaghan in the Wymondham goal out smartly to make the save with her legs. 

Georgia Coulson with the ball for Peterborough Northern Star Ladies

  Both sides looking to spread the play not afraid to go from one side of the park to the other in their build up play. Wymondham have the ball left Ladbrooke on for Mollie O’Callaghan the pass swept out to Summer Ward breaking on the left the wing back getting into the box puts her shot straight into Hudson covering her near post. Holloway on the ball right breaks it in puts the ball inside to Waters she turns sends it on for Nicholls 20 yards out her first time effort looping up towards goal, doesn’t have the carry to trouble Hudson as she takes the catch. 

Peterborough’s Larissa Frederick with Wymondham’s Kayleigh Holloway

 Steward influential on the ball inside the Wymondham half looking for runners to get in ahead of her attempts a ball out to the right for Gallagher too much on it the keeper can claim. Steward gathering the ball into her feet on the left cuts inside driving towards the area takes on the shot her attempt blocked. Henderson with a good forwards ball into Coulson coming in from the left Fretwell defends for the visitors. 

Cassie Steward lining up a shot

 A free-kick on halfway for Wymondham as Ladbrooke is upended. Fretwell to play the ball in towards the top of the area over Waters central, Rachel Cossey making a good run gets her head onto the ball, the Wymondham captains looping header in on target safely caught by Hudson. Steward drives on down the right wing cutting inside into the box fires a rocket in low towards the near post o’Callaghan making a fantastic save with her legs, Steward tries to get onto the end of the follow up the ball behind for a goal kick. 

 Nicholls gets the ball out to Holloway on the right coming inside into the area Hudson coming to close the angle saves with her feet the ball loose, Holloway after it between Hudson and Frederick the ball is cleared for Peterborough. A throw on the right Wymondham pressing get hit on the counter the ball wide out to Steward left by the touchline does enough to get the ball beyond Fretwell, Pollard taking it on drives inside, Ladbrooke tracking back does well to regain possession for Wymondham. 

Emma Pollard with the ball for Peterborough

  Waters comes close to opening the scores for Wymondham, the visiting side attacking right Holloway on for Nicholls moving into the channel. her pass finding Waters closing in on the area in behind central, Hudson out to the top of her area Water looks to take it around her the keeper diving at full stretch managing to get her gloves to the ball, momentarily, Waters is still with it an open goal to aim at shots the ball running narrowly wide across the goal. 

  Wymondham looking strong as the first half draws to a close Peterborough a little frustrated passes not coming off as intended. A few niggly challenges out there. O’Callaghan is brought down very close to being a penalty right on the line left of the Peterborough goal. O’Callaghan picks herself up to take a dinked effort in on goal the ball landing on the top of the crossbar. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Mollie O’Callaghan

  Holloway on the right delivers a high swerving ball into the area Ward far side attempts to cushion a header down back across the six yard box for Waters, Hudson nipping in before her gets her gloves firmly around the ball. Frederick gets forwards for Peterborough plays the past on into Steward she turns well to get in behind Fretwell into the area shoots, O’Callaghan saving well with her legs once again to deny her. 

Half-time Peterborough Northern Star Ladies 0-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Goalless at the break, both sides with chances to open the scoring, Waters for Wymondham. Ashleigh O’Callaghan twice denying Steward. The final ball rushed at times a committed tussle in the middle, Wymondham using their wing backs well. More clinical finishing needed 2nd half if either side is going to get their noses in front. 

Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey with Peterborough’s Chanade Henderson

  Wymondham with a change at half-time Mollie O’Callaghan the player off on comes Rebecca Russell. Peterborough to get the 2nd half underway the ball played out to Pollard on the right  she gets forwards as space opens up before her O’Callaghan out to the corner of her box gets down to claim the ball. Steward in a good position back to goal 20 out left of the D sees the ball int her feet does fantastically well to send the ball on into the box for Coulson bursting in behind from the left she shoots early the ball held by O’Callaghan at her near post. Cossey with the ball in the middle of the park for Wymondham out to Ward on the left she pushes on delivering a cross into the area Mulheron up to head clear for Peterborough. 

 GOAL! 5 minutes played in the 2nd half and the deadlock is broken. Wymondham win a corner on the left the ball cleared inside the box comes out to Steward left she takes the ball on over halfway Pollard is bursting on through the middle to get ahead of her the two combine Steward into Pollard she plays it out to Steward on the left wing in an advanced position she shoots from the angle plenty of power behind the ball in races past O’Callaghan to nestle in the back of the net 1-0.

Peterborough Northern Star Ladies, Cassie Steward

   Wymondham look to get forwards Russell on for Waters outside the area she turns into traffic Leah Barnes and Faith Horner closing her down to win the ball back. Frances Peeling closes Ward down as Ladbrooke wins the ball in the middle looks to spread the play. 

  GOAL! Peterborough build on their lead quickly making it 2-0 the goal starting with Henderson pressing high in the middle winning the ball her pass finding Pollard in space on the right 25 yards out plays it back infield into Steward central she does well 20 yards out back to goal to shift the ball beat her marker and turn and strike a shot back across the goalkeeper into the back of the net to make it 2-0 with a clinical finish.

  Wymondham make a change Jorja Patterson coming on in the place of Ward. The move sees Holloway come over to the left. Coulson attacking down the left swings a cross into the area Fretwell clears for Wymondham. The Norfolk side break the ball played on over the top with Nicholls breaking in behind right of goal takes the shot on early her attempt fired wide of the right post. Holloway on the left gets in behind drives to the byline cuts the ball back for Nicholls she tries to pick out Waters central Barnes charges her shot down.

  You’ll see it all the time in a game a winger trying to get in behind their marker the two shoulder to shoulder, Coulson on the left ends up on the ground play continues but is soon halted the Peterborough player clearly in a lot of pain. A serious injury suffered has landed on a snapped her wrist. A lengthy and necessary pause in play follows as she receives on the field treatment can’t be moved too quickly. Not nice to witness, the football doesn’t matter in these moments. Needs to go to A&E and of course with no subs Peterborough will continue with 10. Coulson up to her feet in carefully guided off the pitch.

  Almost half an hour delay before play resumes difficult now for both sides Peterborough needing regroup, Wymondham were on the back foot need to gather themselves too. Play a little disjointed at the resumption. Steward tries to release Pollard on the right, Johnston gets back on her to defend for Wymondham. Mulheron defends as Waters central tries to spin off her into the box. Ladbrooke is winning alot of tackles in the middle for Wymondham breaking up Peterborough’s momentum. 

Mollie O’Callaghan with Peterborough’s Faith Horner

  Nicholls is fouled 35 yards out in a central position, Fretwell to take a floated ball into the area, Hudson calls and lays claim to it. Hudson is then out to the top of her area to smother the ball as Waters attempts to run in behind through the middle. Johnston cuts out a pass a Henderson tries to play Gallagher in through the middle the rebound comes out to Steward 30 yards out left meets it on the volley her attempt wide of the mark.

Peterborough Northern Star Ladies, Chanade Henderson

   Fretwell does well under pressure from Steward through the middle to nod the ball back into her keepers gloves as Horner plays the ball forwards. Johnston on for Holloway ahead of her left side she drives forwards cuts inside shooting from 25 yards out Hudson making the save at her near post. Pollard wins the ball with a good challenge on the right plays it across the face of the area to Gallagher she puts it through the back line for Steward, she shots a hard driven ball but the flag is up it won’t count. Wymondham make a change Cossey the player off back on O’Callaghan.

   Barnes with the tackle to deny Holloway after Ladbrooke regains possession in the middle for Wymondham. A free-kick wide on the right for Peterborough the ball put into the area by Steward an inviting cross, O’Callaghan with a good catch not put off by Henderson closing her down. Counter attacking play from both sides Peterborough not interested on sitting on their 2-0 lead, Steward forwards, O’Callaghan winning it back for Wymondham pushed in with Nicholls finding space in behind closing in on the area, Hudson out to close her down the shot put past the advancing keeper, but so to the goal beyond. 

    GOAL!  Wymondham pull a goal back have the ball on the right side Waters driving on is tackled outside the area the ball loose O’Callaghan up in support first to it plays it inside to Nicholls top of the box she takes on the shot first time putting the ball into the back of the net across the goalkeeper 2-1.

Laura Nicholls pulls it back to 2-1 for Wymondham

  10 minutes or so left, Henderson and Gallagher look to combine for Peterborough through the middle. Newcombe defends for Wymondham. Gallagher gets up into the corner looks to hold play up Wymondham get the goal kick.

  GOAL! The scores are levelled Wymondham win a penalty kick as Waters carrying the ball in behind on the right is pulled down inside the area the referee pointing to the spot. Nicholls with the ball tacked under her arm the taker. The sun low behind the ground now the goal covered in shade she opts for power, Hudson guessing right dives but the ball is beyond her Nicholls with her 2nd of the game scoring the equaliser 2-2. 

  Peterborough straight on the attack after the restart the ball from Steward on for Henderson getting into an advanced position Fretwell doing well tackling to deny the chance. Gallagher yellow carded for a high foot that catches Newcombe in the face as both go for the ball, looked ugly but Gallagher did try to pull out as she released the ball wasn’t there to be won. Newcombe needs treatment on the pitch another pause in play she needs to come off Cossey returning to the action.

Wymondham Town Ladies. Alice Ladbrooke

 Into the last 5 minutes… a free kick to Wymondham, Fretwell with the long ball into the area Nicholls interested, Hudson though can claim it. Ladbrooke closing down breaks up anther Peterborough attack. Waters chasing the ball to the byline on the right wing cuts the ball back in across the face of goal Holloway at the far post, Peeling in ahead of her cuts out the threat for Peterborough. 

  Peterborough press forwards Henderson central to Gallagher her shot from 25 yards out is half blocked by Fretwell the sting taken out of it O’Callaghan gets hold of it. Steward halfway on for Henderson, has Peeling breaking up the right wing her cross in cut out by Johnston.

Full time Peterborough Northern Star Ladies 2-2 Wymondham Town Ladies

 The full time whistle blows and the points are shared Wymondham coming back from 2 goals down to level the scores. An action packed 2nd half. Peterborough starting well two well taken goals from Steward putting them 2-0 up. Injury to Coulson seeing a long delay and the hosts down to 10 with no subs to bring on. Wymondham coming back into it to get themselves a point. A tough result for Peterborough in a good position at 2-0 with 11 on the pitch may well have added more as Wymondham pressed. The visitors had to work had against 10 for the point nevertheless. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Was a committed tussle especially in the middle a few contenders out there and as are my rules can pick one and one only. Cassie Steward was influential in the final third and scored two great goals. Chanade Henderson also with some driving runs through the middle. Today’s award however goes to Wymondham’s Alice Ladbrooke had a very strong game in the middle of the park, breaking up attacks and protecting the defence, tracking back and timing of her tackles was superb.

  Enjoyed my first trip to the Branch Bros Stadium, sure the weather helped. The ERWFL rarely fails to deliver good footballing fare and today was no exception. Tinged with sadness of course to the serious injury to Peterborough winger Georgia Coulson, can only express my best wishes to her for a full and speedy recovery. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the team line-ups always appreciated.

 

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies

Sunday 7th October

FA Women’s Cup

 The 3rd and final Round of Qualifying for this season’s FA Women’s Cup taking place this Sunday afternoon, 60 teams vying for a place in the 1st Round Proper of the competition, King’s Head Meadow the venue for today’s game, Wymondham Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies.

Both sides celebrating a league title and promotion last season and have hit the ground running at a higher level at the start of this season.

Wymondham Town Ladies promoted to the ERWFL Premier Division after clinching the Division One North title last season a year after joining the regional set-up. Are a side that enjoys the FA Women’s Cup have had a few memorable runs in recent seasons beating higher league placed sides along the way. Mid-table in the Premier Division after 4 matches played.

 Progress in the FA Women’s Cup has been good albeit frustrating as they have only played one competitive match having been awarded the win in both the Preliminary and 1st Round Qualifying after their opponents withdrew. Were at home in 2nd Round Qualifying taking on Essex Women’s Premier Division side Corringham Cosmos. There season already up and running Wymondham put the side playing 2 leagues below to the sword winning the game 17-1 to advance. A tougher test lies ahead today taking on a higher league placed side themselves.

  Billericay Town Ladies winning the ERWFL Premier Division last season to earn promotion to the FAWNL South East Division One. Coach Kim Coster able to bring in new players some with higher league experience to bolster the squad. As a result a fantastic start to the season, winning their opening 5 league matches keeping pace with fellow promoted side Crawley Wasps Ladies who also recruited well in the summer. A high scoring draw and final defeat on the road to Ipswich Town Women in midweek seeing that record end. Joining the FAWNL, Billericay entered the FA Women’s Cup in 2nd Round Qualifying, drawn at home to ERWFL Premier Division side Colney Heath Ladies at home progressed comfortably with a 9-1 win.

King’s Head Meadow, Wymondham Town Ladies home ground the clubhouse and bar overlooking the pitch. Hot and cold drinks available. The pitch in good condition recovering well following the heatwave earlier in the year. A bright sunny afternoon some cloud cover, music blaring from the home changing room getting the players fired up for this afternoon’s fixture.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Chelsea Clarke, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Carolyn Sarafian, Jorja Patterson, Rebecca Russell, Rachel Cossey (C), Kayleigh Holloway, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters. Subs – Lauren Kett, Mollie O’Callaghan, Olivia Gunn & Alice Ladbrooke.

Billericay Town Ladies starting XI – Alex Baker, Esme Lancaster, Lucy Jones, Nicole Farmer, Courtney Lumley, Lindsey Morgan (C), Zoe Rushen, Nancy Butler, Sophie Vale, Jay Blackie & Georgia Box. Subs – Anna Maria Raine, Kelsey Smith & Broghan Kelly.

Pre-match handshakes

It’s Billericay all in blue to take the kick-off 1st half with Wymondham lined up in red shirts with black shorts and socks. The Essex side looking to place the ball left for Nancy Butler to chase the pass too long out of play. Regaining possession in the centre of midfield Billericay, captain Lindsey Morgan bursting forwards, Wymondham’s captain Rachel Cossey with her back into the area defending as the ball is played forwards, the tackle won, Leah Newcombe seeing the ball safely back to goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan.

   Wymondham come away with the ball on the left played inside for Laura Nicholls, Courtney Lumley getting across her and playing the ball back to goalkeeper, Alex Baker to clear. Wymondham pressing Billericay at the start of the match, results in a break the ball played out to the right Nicholls with space to take advantage off takes the ball on puts the cross in early the diagonal ball just evading striker Hannah Waters central runs on for Rebecca Russell left of the D a chance to shoot scuffs the turf the ball low towards goal not troubling Baker as she drops to her right to lay claim to the ball.

  Bethany Fretwell coming out of the back line driving through the middle with the ball crossing halfway the centrebacks attempted forward pass through the middle just evading Waters as she tries to get in behind the Billericay defence. Billericay attack quickly  bringing the ball on through the middle Jay Blackie on for Zoe Rushen the pass out wide right into the path of Sophie Vale shoots from the angle 20 yards out, the ball racing wide of the near post. Wymondham get an attack going through the midfield, Cossey into Russell on into Waters play spread out to the right as Newcombe sees nothing but grass ahead of her taking the ball down the wing swings a cross into the area claimed by Baker at her near post.

Bethany Fretwell driving forwards for Wymondham Town Ladies

    A good tempo to the game the first 10 minutes flying by, Blackie picking the ball up deep for Billericay inside for Rushen out to Esme Lancaster getting on down the right side, tackled by Kayleigh Holloway, Wymondham try to counter, Morgan breaking up play. A great save from O’Callaghan to keep it at 0-0 as Billericay press forwards, Blackie strong on the ball passing it to Vale has Rushen further out playing her in she shoots angling in blocked by Fretwell in front of goal the rebound back to Rushen her 2nd attempt heading for the top corner, O’Callaghan getting a glove up to the ball turning it wide and out for a corner across her six yard box.

Billericay Town Ladies, Sophie Vale

  A good delivery from Rushen on the corner left side a high tempting ball in central, Blackie rising highest gets a connection her header taking the ball wide of goal. Vale on the ball left taking it inside on to Georgia Box top of the area, turns into Fretwell, quickly joined by Carolyn Sarafian no way through the attack breaks down the ball cleared out to Newcombe left side her pass up to Waters central has Nicholls on close support the pair try to combine Waters lifting it into Nicholls looks to get beyond her into area Nicholls with a deft header trying to knock the ball down into her feet, Baker can get hold of it first for Billericay.

Jay Blackie tackling for Billericay Town Ladies

   Lucy Jones comes forwards for Billericay on the right a good challenge from Newcombe as the full back tries to get inside her. Newcombe fouled on halfway a chance for Wymondham to send players forwards for a set-piece Fretwell on the ball sends it long towards the far post, the home side getting a corner out of it. A good ball into the box an in-swinger coming in central Baker getting her gloves on the ball palms it down into the six yard box, Jorja Patterson reacting quickest for Wymondham her shot straight into Baker’s gloves.

  Frustration evident from Billericay as decisions appear to be going against them more than their opponents, they are pushing on well in attack threatening to get into good scoring positions, Blackie in particular finding space to run into, Bulter and Vale providing great options left and right. Win a corner left side Box controlling the ball spinning it out to Vale closing in on the left her ball into the area deflected behind. Blackie coming for the ball put in near side this time gets away to head the ball goalwards her effort over the bar.

 GOAL! Billericay open the scoring in the 20th minute, win a free-kick in a dangerous position outside the area. The build-up involving Blackie and Rushen the ball into Vale outside the box is brought to the floor. Rushen’s reputation proceeds her, wrote her name down before I even looked to see who was taking it, is a dead ball specialist and this is well within her range a yard outside the area right of the D. She runs up strikes the ball sweetly heading top corner, O’Callaghan can’t get to it 0-1.

Zoe Rushen’s free-kick opens the scoring for Billericay

  Nicholls finds herself back in the box for Wymondham making two superb tackles on Jones as she gets inside the area looking to support Butler as she receives the ball on the left. Wymondham get forwards down the right side win a corner, players up attacking the ball an inviting delivery fired in across the penalty spot no-one can find a telling touch. 

   A great move from Billericay starting with Lancaster at the back on into Morgan central, Blackie bursting down the left channel into the area Morgan sliding the ball into her she squares the ball across the six yard box Rushen central closely marked can’t get a touch runs on for Box at the far post opening up her body to strike the ball, fires the shot straight at O’Callaghan the goalkeeper saving as she shifts across her goal. 

  Play switched from Wymondham left to right Newcombe getting a corner. The ball played short into her free on the right from the set-piece sets a high ball in towards the far post, Russell jumping between two Billericay defenders the ball striking her shoulder drops down in front of goal grabbed by Baker before anyone can pounce. Waters nips in to win the ball off Jones as she brings in out from the back cutting inside bearing down on the area Lumley with a good burst of pace getting back on the cover to win the ball back for the visitors. 

   Billericay come very close to doubling their lead quick to hit Wymondham on the counter attack players looking for channels of space Box this time pulling away to the left as the ball is lifted up to her, O’Callaghan rushing out to the edge of her box the Billericay striker taking the ball past her an open goal beyond she opens up her body setting herself sends the ball on players rushing back across goal Chelsea Clarke getting back in the nick of time clearing the ball before it can cross the line, the corner conceded.

Billericay Town Ladies, Georgia Box

   GOAL! A brief reprieve for Wymondham however as from the resulting corner they do concede a 2nd goal. The delivery from Rushen on the money Blackie with two efforts from corners already making no mistake this time making the near post run her bullet header driving the ball into the back of the net 0-2. 

Billericay Town Ladies, Jay Blackie

  Wymondham attack looking for the immediate response. Waters picking up possession tries to drive on trough the middle, the Billericay defence needing 3 bites at her get the ball away to safety. Nicholls moving out to the left taking the ball into her feet plays the diagonal ball early on for Waters breaking off the last defender in behind into the box Baker coming stays big making the blocking save. Newcombe getting brought down to the ground more than most Wymondham have another free-kick on halfway, Fretwell to delivery forwards runners far post area the ball sent in towards goal Baker saving confidently. Holloway with a mazy run out on the left for Wymondham cutting inside 20 yards out crosses into the area Waters central Lumley with the interception. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Leah Newcombe

  GOAL! Into the final 5 minutes of the 1st half and Wymondham are awarded a penalty Nicholls played on through the middle taking the ball on towards the box, Baker coming to close her down stays big Nicholls going down as she tries to put the ball pass her, the referee pointing to the spot. Worse to come for Billericay as Baker is shown a red card, sent off for the 1st time in her career. The rules changing this only a yellow card by the offender if it was deemed to be an genuine attempt to play the ball. Nicole Farmer quick to take up the gloves stand in goal for the penalty, Nicholls to take sets herself to open up her body and play the ball high to the right scores to make it 1-2. 

Laura Nicholls on the ball for Wymondham Town Ladies.

  Billericay down to 10 attack right from the restart Bulter free on the left surging on into the area rides a sliding tackle herself as she looks for options cutting it back for Rushen outside the box central her venomous strike blocked by Sarafain. Into the closing moments of the first half Wymondham press on Russell out to Holloway, Lancaster blocking her run. 

  GOAL! Wymondham capitalising on their advantage at the end of the 2nd half to pull the score all square, have a throw out on halfway left side the ball dropped into Sarafian she turns and lines up a shot from distance a high ball in lobbing the newly arrived keeper dropping over her into the goal beyond 2-2. 

Wymondham Town Ladies, Carolyn Sarafian

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-2 Billericay Town Ladies

  The game turned completely on its head in the final 5 minutes, Billericay looking good for their 2-0 lead pushing on likely to get more, Wymondham getting it back to 2-1 from the spot in what some may feel was a controversial decision to red card the keeper. The home side taking advantage however scoring and Sarafain testing the new keeper from long range seeing Wymondham level it up at 2-2 moments before the half-time whistle. Cup football for you… create an entirely different outlook for the 2nd half. Billericay needing half-time to regroup gather themselves. Wymondham back in it needing to keep their feet on the ground a player advantage yes 2nd half but will need to remain composed.

   A change for Billericay at half-time having seen the 1st half out Farmer returning to the centre of defence, Vale giving way as new signing Brogan Kelly, usually a striker taking on the role of goalkeeper for the 2nd period. Wymondham to get the 2nd half underway. The ball won by Billericay played out to Butler left side a strong run, Russell getting back to put in the tackle win possession for Wymondham. Despite being down to 10 Billericay have started the 2nd half well, Rushen with a long range strike from 30 yards out flashing wide across the Wymondham six yard box. 

  Russell moving left on for Waters to chase down the wing, Lumley across to clear for Billericay. Farmer winning the ball as she challenges Waters attacking through the middle cleared into the middle Billericay picking out Morgan getting forwards crossed into Butler inside the box the ball getting stuck under her feet digging a shot out O’Callaghan throwing herself into the dive the ball past her but also the post. Jones cutting inside from the left on for Morgan placed central 25 yards out aims to loft the ball over the Wymondham defence with Box breaking in behind the touch too strong the striker can’t reach it. 

Billericay Town Ladies, Nancy Butler

   Billericay come close to retaking the lead a rapid counter right side Box carrying the ball on sends a cross racing in along the front of goal Butler far post close in, is it a save by O’Callaghan a strike against the woodwork or both I can’t tell but it’s not in the heavy sighs of relief from the home crowd behind me say it was close. The game sees no let up in tempo Billericay might be a player down but they are trying to get forwards at any opportunity, Wymondham launch a counter right side the ball into the channel Waters after it shoots on the angle 20 yards out the effort sailing over the bar.

   It’s an intriguing encounter both sides giving it there all both feeling the next goal is theirs. Fretwell striking over from a free-kick after Newcombe is brought down once again. Blackie going into the referees book. Rushen getting forwards on to Box pulling away right wins a throw deep down the line. Rushen the target standing just inside the area into her feet keeps possession taking it higher before turning and sending in a shot the ball running wide across the face of goal. 

Zoe Rushen on the move for Billericay Town Ladies

  Butler left inside to Rushen 30 yards out wide for Blackie right her cross swung into the area claimed well by O’Callaghan. Billericay not enamoured by the referee today are aggrieved at further decisions going against them only adding to their resolve at this point however. Farmer with great defensive work through the middle as she deals with a difficult ball put forwards with Waters lurking behind her. Jones getting in behind on the left sends a high cross into the area taken by O’Callaghan with Box racing in central.

  GOAL! Wymondham take the lead with 20 minutes left on the clock, comes from a defensive error from Billericay forced by Waters the ball played on by Nicholls for her to attack left channel the defensive trying to see the ball back as Kelly comes for it top of the area Waters closing in on the pair as they all converge the ball popping free Waters pouncing leaning back to send the ball over both into the empty goal beyond 3-2.

Build up to the leading goal for Wymondham Town Ladies

   Nicholls and Waters combining again left side for Wymondham in attack, Farmer getting the challenge in to win the ball for Billericay Wymondham make their 1st change, Mollie O’Callaghan coming on for Holloway. Blackie with a powerful drive forwards on the right for Billericay cuts the cross square along the top of the area looking for Butler, her first touch too heavy, Sarafain in to close her down. Billericay make another change Butlers last action of the game as they send on Kelsey Smith.

  Billericay come forwards Blackie wide moving right put long to Morgan running left wins a corner as Newcombe tackles her. The delivery into the area drops down inside the six yard box a bout of ping ball occurs the ball scrambled clear out to the left retrieved by Rushen she shapes to send a shot back in her strike wide across the goal. Wymondham are on the back foot Billericay deciding attack is the only option a 3rd and final change from the visitors Lancaster coming of the defender replaced by Anna Maria Raine who takes up an attacking position on the right.

    GOAL! Billericay get back on level terms pressing bodies forwards in and around the Wymondham box a high ball is lifted into the box from the right side Morgan jumping the highest meets it well heading the ball back across goal over the keeper and in to equalise 3-3.

Billericay Town Ladies captain, Lindsey Morgan with Wymondham’s Kayleigh Holloway

   The game open now Wymondham push on lose possession Rushen playing it up early for Box running in behind, Fretwell doing well to close her down and get hold of the ball. Jones running onto a shot from distance the full backs effort charged down. Waters after a ball played into the Billericay area left side Lumley doing really well up against her in defence. Box on the attack right O’Callaghan coming the ball past her Box further out this time defenders racing back however they can see it wide across goal this time.

   The clock rapidly running down into the final five minutes of the game extra-time and if needed penalties looming. Blackie with a clever ball up top on for Box to attack top of the area Sarafian in to clear for Wymondham.

 GOAL! Billericay retake the lead the goal coming about with more controversy, the Essex side building momentum down the left the ball played into the area O’Callaghan going to stop it a collision the keeper grounded the ball running across the six yard box Rushen following it and wrapping her foot around it to turn it into the goal, everyone’s eyes on the referee, a goal is signalled everyone including Kelly in goal races over to Rushen to celebrate. 

Rushen with Wymondham Town Ladies captain, Rachel Cossey

   A delay after as O’Callaghan requires treatment is okay to continue Wymondham behind now with little time left to find a reply. Olivia Gunn joining the action for the home side late on. A free-kick wide right as Nicholls is clipped going forwards the ball send in far post Fretwell can’t get it back across goal end up off the pitch injured. Into stoppage time Billericay have the ball Box on for Morgan on the left experienced she takes it into the corner. Cool heads needed now Billericay seeing the game out get there winning 4-3 to make it into Monday’s 1st Round Proper draw.

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 3-4 Billericay Town Ladies

   Treated to a 7 goal thriller in the finish, a good start from Billericay the higher league side going 2-0 up, felt they would go on to win comfortably at that point then came the sending off Wymondham drawing level from the penalty spot equalising on the stroke of half-time a real belief they could go on to win it from that point taking the lead with 20 minutes left Billericay had to work hard got back to 3-3 before winning the game themselves late on. That is simply the magic of the cup. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A usual a few contenders for this afternoons Women’s Football East -Player of the Match award. Leah Newcombe doing well for Wymondham at left back. For Billericay, Nicole Farmer with some good defensive work especially 2nd half, Nancy Butler on the left, Jay Blackie too getting into some great positions to receive the ball deep and set up others a threat from corners. Just edging it though is Zoe Rushen powerful on the ball her set-pieces a constant threat.

  5-4 the last time out in the FA Women’s Cup a 7 goal thriller this time around have been treated to some exciting fare so far this season, makes me hungry for more. My thanks as always for the help with today’s teams I know several but it always pays to have a team-sheet.

Cup Final Report – Acle United Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final

Friday 27th April

 Cup Final action this Friday from the FDC, Field of Dreams Acle United Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup.

  A contest between two sides currently at the top of their game in Norfolk. Both with an ambitious young manager at the helm, Bradley Mingay for Acle United, Alex Guy for Wymondham Town Ladies. 

 Acle United Ladies winners of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup in 2014/15, a currently 3rd in the ERWFL Premier Division, amongst the title challengers games coming thick and fast at the end of the season. Two cup finals to contest the Norfolk Women’s County Cup this evening, have also reached the final of the ERWFL League Cup coming up on Sunday 13th May against AFC Dunstable Ladies.

   Wymondham Town Ladies are in their 2nd successive Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final and are looking to make it a double this season having already clinched the ERWFL Division One North title and promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division. Are unbeaten in the league drawing just the one of their 17 games so far and with just one game to play will be aiming to go the season without defeat. Scoring plenty of goals too Laura Nicholls top scorer with 40 goals this season to date. Hannah Waters joining the club midway through the season making an impact to with 22 goals from 15 appearances.

Road to the Final 

   Acle United Ladies received a bye in the 1st Round of the competition, whilst in contrast for Wymondham Town Ladies it was a repeat of last season’s final with a home draw against Thorpe United Ladies a 3-1 win for Wymondham knocking the County Cup holders out at the 1st hurdle. Onto the 2nd Round both Acle and Wymondham drawn away to Norfolk Women’s Division One opposition. Comfortable wins for both Acle putting 7 goals past Gorleston FC Ladies whilst Wymondham scored 8 without reply against Stalham Town Ladies.

  Frustration in the quarter finals for Acle after seeing their tie away to Aylsham Ladies previous County Cup Finalists postponed twice they were eventually awarded the away win to progress to the last 4 of the competition. Wymondham were already scoring plenty of goals when they were drawn away to Fakenham Town Ladies a crushing 15-0 win seeing them through to the semi-finals. Acle away to King’s Lynn Town Ladies who had seen off Norwich City Ladies at The Walks, Acle edging the result on the day 2-1 to reach the Final. Wymondham were drawn away aswell in the semi-final taking on Norfolk Women’s Division One leaders Sprowston Ladies. Unbeaten in the league and scoring plenty of goals Wymondham did so again a 7-0 win seeing them into their 2nd successive final. After missing out on the trophy last season Wymondham have added determination to lift it this time around.

 The venue for this evening’s final The FDC, Field of Dreams in Bowthorpe. Did wonder if we would see a game as the rain had been falling all day and heavy at times on the way there. However Norfolk FA declared the game on a slight concern about one goal mouth by the rain easing slightly. Not much cover beside the ground a small seated stand but despite the miserable conditions a good number had turned out most of the opinion this was going to be a good contest against two good sides.

 Acle United Ladies starting XI – Cyan Fullbrook, Anna Larkins, Naomi Cooper, Kate Pasque, Chloe Shields, Amber Rowland, Ceira Flatt, Lauren Bullard, Megan Todd (C), Kirstie Kindred & Laura Holden. Subs – Brogan Scully, Erin Wilson, Rhianne Brister, Grace Birchall & Leah McGuire.

Acle United Ladies

 Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Leah Newcombe, Chelsea Clarke, Bethany Fretwell, Lauren Kett, Rachel Cossey (C), Alice Ladbrooke, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kayleigh Holloway, Laura Nicholls & Hannah Waters. Subs – Brooklyn Cheal-Ferris, Alice Collins, Jorja Patterson, Rose Glendinning & Louise Hamilton-Rout.

Wymondham Town Ladies

 (roll on roll off substitutes)

  Acle centre back Kate Pasque a doubt before the game having pulled up early in the previous league match away to Royston Town Ladies last Sunday, however coming through the warm-up okay was okay to start. Lauren Kett at the back for Wymondham, starred for Thorpe United in last season’s County Cup Final success. Wymondham to get the first half kicked off wearing red shirts, black shorts and red and black hooped socks. Acle kitted out in white and black vertical striped shirts black shorts with black and white hooped socks. The rain briefly absent.

Both sides probing early on the ball knocked back and forth Wymondham play the ball up to Hannah Waters 30 yards out a speculative attempt from distance the ball landing wide of Cyan Fullbrook’s goal.  Megan Todd wide on the right likes to get the ball at her feet and drive at players, strong cutting inside Lauren Kett comes across to put in the tackle win the ball at the top of the area. Acle build from the left at the back Naomi Cooper bringing the ball on forwards for Lauren Bullard, Amber Rowland moving across from midfield receiving the ball sends Bullard on in behind her cross put behind at the near post.

   Close for Acle as the cross bar is struck early in the game a free-kick awarded in the centre of the Wymondham half, Rowland on the ball a good delivery up to the top of the area Todd the target right of the D gets up well, Ceira Flatt with a good run spinning clear of her marker, Todd’s header falling to her running into the six yard box at the far post catches the ball on the volley her strike smashing up against the bar, drops back into play Wymondham getting it clear.

GOAL! No sooner have Acle come so close to the opening goal Wymondham get up the other end and score. Winning a corner kick on the left side. The initial delivery in defended by Todd at the near post her header going back to the taker the ball shifted and crossed back in high Bethany Fretwell rising highest 8 yards out to get her head on the ball, Fullbrook jumping gets a glove up toward the ball as it smashed against the crossbar drops straight down into the middle of the six yard box straight to Laura Nicholls sends the ball over the line to put Wymondham into the lead 0-1.

  Acle are soon on the attack after the restart looking for a quick response Todd with a powerful run with the ball on the right fires a cross in low towards the near post the shot bu Kirstie Kindred into the side netting. Laura Holden see’s the ball come straight to her as goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan miscue’s her goal kick the ball striking the Acle attacker 25 yards out right of goal she shoots for goal looking to put the ball wide across the keeper too wide the ball runs wide of the far post. 

  Flatt picks up the ball in midfield for Acle takes it on Rowland going with her as she plays the pass out to Bullard getting in behind wide left her cross put back into the middle for Rowland top of the area she brings it inside before unleashing a shot her curling effort rising goes wide of the far post. Wymondham counter quickly the ball put over the top see’s Nicholls running clear in behind, Fullbrook quickly out to the edge of the area to slide in claim the ball at her feet. A good tempo to the game a good sized pitch conditions are tricky but players are keeping their feet well enough as the rain begins to fall once more. 

  Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey is down injured in midfield and cannot continue she is substituted, Jorja Patterson coming on a direct swap. Todd bursts forwards down the right with the ball her low cross in defended Fretwell clearing the ball. Bullard winning a corner on the left as she and Cooper combine well on the left. The ball driven in low towards the near post is deflected into the side netting a goal kick given. A good contest the sides fairly evenly matched the ball played up to Hannah Waters inside the Acle area her knock down back to Kayleigh Holloway on the left her ball back in charged down by Todd. 

  O’Callaghan saves with her legs as Acle attacking down the right send a cross in long across the six yard box Bullard arriving far side with the shot towards goal. Holden and Kindred try to force their way through the Wymondham defence Kindred winning the ball pushes it into Holden she takes t on as Holden tries to get in behind the ball intercepted the deflection taking it away for a corner. The ball attacked near post defended a crowd going for the ball two players down in the aftermath. 

Wymondham’s Alice Ladbrooke with the pass on to Mollie O’Callaghan left side, Anna Larkins with the challenge to break up the attack. Wymondham regain possession in the middle the ball out to the right the cross swung into the area Kate Pasque up to head it away, Alice Ladbrooke claiming the ball puts it forwards early as Acle look to clear the box, do so as Nicholls breaks clear on goal the offside flag halting her attack. Acle attack Cooper picking up possession on the left allowed to travel comes inside out for Bullard wide left her cross along the top of the area, Kindred meeting it her shot central inside the D played wide of the far post.  

 A substitution for Acle Bullard coming off, Grace Birchall coming on. Rowland is fouled on halfway the free-kick played forwards early Fretwell does well under challenge to get the ball safely back to her keeper. Kindred wins the ball 25 yards out Rowland getting forwards to support her right side the ball passed out to Todd her cross fired in near post, two Acle attackers going for the ball put behind for the goal kick. 

GOAL! Just over half an hour played and Acle get themselves back on level terms. Awarded a free-kick out on the right players forwards from the back is a very good ball into the six yard box O’Callaghan comes to punch the ball attacked by Todd it goes beyond her Pasque close behind bundles the ball over the line 1-1. 

GOAL! Wymondham are soon back in front the goal coming from another set-piece a free-kick on half-way the ball played up to the top of the area a push in the back spotted a 2nd free-kick awarded in a dangerous position central right at the top of the D. Mollie O’Callaghan to take, she goes for goal her strike clipping the Acle wall the deflection sending it up and looping over Fullbrook into the back of the net 1-2.

Flatt comes forwards her pass on for Todd on the right the ball into the area intercepted deflected back to Todd who strikes it from 25 yards out her effort bouncing wide across goal taking a nick off a Wymondham player on the way through a corner given. Acle press late on in the 1st half winning another corner right side the delivery into Holden good hold up play she turns he cross back in landing on the roof of the net. Kindred spins in behind, Fretwell quick to recover comes back on her to slide in put the ball out for a throw top of the area. Patterson gets hold of the ball for Wymondham sends it forwards for Waters in the area up against Pasque the defender wins the challenge. 

Half-time Acle United Ladies 1-2 Wymondham Town Ladies

  An entertaining 1st half comes to an end Wymondham holding the narrow advantage could quite easily have been the other way around. Both sides coping with the conditions well are evenly matched and all 3 goals ave come from a set piece. More of the same in the 2nd half and the game could go either way, maybe all the way Acle having been involved in a penalty shootout the last time they were here.

  Acle to get the 2nd half underway start the 2nd half brightly pressing forwards Rowland passing the ball left to Birchall her early diagonal ball into the area Todd closing in on the far post cant quite reach it. Flatt into Rowland as Acle come again she picks out Holden breaking away to the right her cross screws away behind at the near post. Birchall with the ball comes inside from the left digs a shot out from the edge of the area her strike racing wide across goal past the far post. Acle attacking with purpose at the start of the 2nd half, Holden with the ball 25 out Fretwell steps out of the back line to put in the tackle win the ball. 

  Todd with possession for Acle, Larkins races past her on the overlap drives a cross into the box Kindred has it at her feet looks to turn in behind Kett on top of her the defender winning the tackle. Todd takes the ball one cutting inside past one past two is stopped by Fretwell. Acle make a change Broghan Scully on for Flatt. Clarke intercepting the ball played up the line for Todd on the right. Larkins getting forwards on the right her cross going long Newcombe with the header to get the ball clear for Wymondham. A change for Wymondham Ladbrooke coming off, Brooklyn Cheal=Ferris on. 

  Wymondham have stood firm against the early Acle assault at the start of the 2nd half. Attacking up the other end on the left side Waters cutting inside with the ball is brought down. A little further out this time for O’Callaghan left corner of the area sends the ball in long towards the far post, Todd up to head the ball away to safety. 

GOAL! Having weathered the storm Wymondham get forwards and score to extend their lead a good run from the back by full back Clarke as the ball won in the middle is spread out to Waters moving into the left channel, Clarke breaking into the box inside her the ball rolled into her sends it wide across the advancing goalkeeper at the top of the six yard box to make it 1-3.

Chasing the ball down on the right side Nicholls wins Wymondham a corner kick. The delivery in near post leaves a Wymondham player floored needing treatment. The Acle players rush to the bench to receive instruction. A change made Shields coming off at the back Erin Wilson coming on. Larkins moves inside to support Pasque, Cooper coming over to right back. Mollie O’Callaghan is struggling with injury needs to come off Ladbrooke is sent back on. 

Birchall plays the ball in from the left looking to put Holden through on goal, O’Callaghan can see the ball safely into her body. Todd with an attack on the right into the box the ball defended by Kett, deflected away. Holden with it on left is tackled by Newcombe top of the area. Holden is fouled by Kett 30 yards out Birchall placing the ball in a central position driving in low strikes the wall, then Clarke is fouled as she races out to clear the ball. Another injury Rowland taking the knock this time is taken off Flatt coming back on. 

  Cheal-Ferris cuts the ball out as Acle look to release Cooper into space on the right. Birchall bringing the ball down strikes it on the half volley form all of 35 yards out her effort not troubling O’Callaghan. Alice Collins comes on for Wymondham in place of Patterson with lass than 10 minutes left to play. Acle push forwards left side the ball into the area defended the deflection coming to Cooper on the right 20 yards out her 1st time shot put wide of goal..

 Birchall with the run into the area from the left the ball gets caught in the turf preventing her from striking it early hold’s onto possession taking it to the byline firing a cross in along the six yard box behind Cooper she tries to knock it back inside for Holden can’t find her Fretwell launching the ball up field. Ladbrooke tracking back into the area as Acle break forwards in attack is well placed to put in the block, the ball deflected out of the area Fretwell comes out quickly to clear the threat.

  A corner for Acle the ball as Holden wins the ball races forwards into the area Ladbrooke back there again to slide in to block put the ball behind. The delivery from the right into the middle Birchall getting to the ball looks to turn in towards goal, is shoved to the floor I’m right in line with it and it looks a clear penalty but the appeals are dismissed play goes on. More bad news for Acle moments later as they are reduced to 10 Flatt shown a red card as she commits a foul in the middle, poor judgement kicking the ball in frustration. 

  Wymondham make a change bringing on Louise Hamilton-Rout in the closing stages for Nicholls. Holloway giving way too Patterson back on. Birchall with run up the left tacked by Newcombe. The game moving into stoppage time 6 minutes added. Birchall fouled wide on the left players come forwards from the back, the delivery in towards the near post O’Callaghan taking it cleanly not distracted by the runners closing her down. 

GOAL! Acle press forwards looking for a goal attacking right play stretched Birchall and Kett are both down left side inside the six yard box as the defender puts in the challenge, the ball cleared comes back out to Cooper on the right play goes on, Kett struggling to her feet plays Cooper onside as she manages to get across into a central position to block Cooper’s initial strike the rebound coming straight back to her she shifts it inside and buries the ball into the back of the net this time 2-3. 

  Kindred returns to the field for Birchall as Acle have seconds left to try and find another goal. Is frantic out there, there isn’t time however the final whistle blows and Wymondham are triumphant winning the Norfolk Women’s County Cup for the 1st time in their history.

Full time Acle United Ladies 2-3 Wymondham Town Ladies

  A good contest between two strong sides. Wymondham with the narrow advantage at half-time weathering the Acle assault early in the 2nd half breaking away to extend their lead. Defended well on the whole Fretwell and Kett strong in the middle of defence. A late goal for Acle ending up a consolation. A hard game to call before kick-off the result could have gone either way in the finish. Wymondham having a fantastic season wining promotion now league and cup double. One more game to go in the league back in action in less that 48 hours away to Histon Ladies where they will want to end the season unbeaten I am sure. Acle are back in league action too on Sunday a long trip down to Hertfordshire to play Colney Heath Ladies. Have another chance for silverware with the ERWFL League Cup Final yet to come.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Several contenders once again for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, knew there would be. Megan Todd was excellent for Acle, Alice Ladbrooke strong in the middle for Wymondham as were their centre backs Lauren Kett doing well but like the Norfolk FA’s choice I’m going with Bethany Fretwell a very composed performance throughout the game.

2017/18 Norfolk Women’s County Cup Winners, Wymondham Town Ladies

 Congratulations to Wymondham Town Ladies on there league and cup success.

 Norfolk FA always put on a good final the staff always helpful and despite the awful weather a good number made the trip. An enjoyable game managed to keep my notepad dry somehow. 3 more finals coming up next week.

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies

Sunday 8th October

 Today’s match report features another game from this season’s FA Women’s Cup, 3rd Round Qualifying with Wymondham Town Ladies hosting Newmarket Town Ladies this Sunday afternoon. A personal milestone too with this being the 300th match report I’ve written since beginning the SWF Blog back in 2013, loved every minute of it so far and looking forwards to today’s action.

A place in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup up for grabs today history will be made for which ever side achieves it. Newmarket Town Ladies having got as far in the competition as they ever have before in a great vein of form. So too are Wymondham Town Ladies and they have enjoyed the FA Women’s Cup in previous seasons too beating FAWPL opposition along the way a chance to reach the 1st Round Proper this time around.

Wymondham Town Ladies are plying their trade in the ERWFL Division One North his season as the regional leagues 2nd tier has split into 2 divisions. Finished 3rd in the one league Division One last season after winning promotion as Norfolk Women’s Division One Champions. Will be aiming to top the table this time around achieve promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division. Manager Alex Guy is assisted by Luke Worley this season and will know plenty about today’s opponents having been Newmarket Town Ladies 1st team coach last season. Joining him from Newmarket are midfielder Kristin Hummel and striker Nadine Basson. Alice Ladbrooke joins the club having been with Acle United Ladies. Brooke Moreno is another new signing along with defender Lauren Kett, who impressed a number of opposition coaches with her performances for Thorpe United Ladies last season.

   Wymondham Town Ladies began their FA Women’s Cup campaign with a 4-0 away win against Norfolk Women’s Division One side Sprowston Ladies. Onto 2nd Round Qualifying were drawn at home to play Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side St Ives Town Ladies won through comfortable 7-1 to reach 3rd Round Qualifying drawn at home to face Newmarket Town Ladies who they knocked out of the competition in 1st Round Qualifying last season winning 7-2 away from home.

 Have followed Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side, Newmarket Town Ladies progress in the competition in the previous 2 qualifying rounds making history as they won their 1st ever game in the FA Women’s Cup being Histon Ladies in 1st Round Qualifying 4-2, then making more history in 2nd Round Qualifying at home coming back from 3-0 with 15 minutes left to win the tie 4-3 in extra-time and progress. Having twice beaten sides in the ERWFL Division One North they were drawn away to a 3rd in 3rd Round Qualifying. A tough contest but come into the game unbeaten in league and cup. Have a new signing of their own Millie Bales who starts up front for them this afternoon.

King’s Head Meadow the venue for today’s FA Women’s Cup tie. The bar and clubhouse overlooking to pitch on entry a Sunday Carvery on offer before the game. Newmarket bringing plenty of support to the game a good atmosphere building. A good sized pitch a little bobbly always looks a heavy pitch but is deceivingly well drained. Overcast but quite mild no rain forecast a light breeze. After missing last weekend due to illness I was keen to get some action in.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Lauren Kett, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Brook Cheal-Ferris, Rachel Cossey (C), Kristin Hummel, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kayleigh Holloway, Nadine Basson & Laura Wiseman. Subs – Laura Watson, Alice Collins, Laura Nicholls, Brooke Moreno & Alice Ladbrooke.

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Jess Linger, Jennifer Gray, Yasmin Woodfield, Beth Woodfield (C), Antonia Smith, Chloe Slater, Laura Bailey, Abbi Griffin, Brooke Wickens & Millie Bales. Subs – Dominika Szary, Cindy Ponder, Ellie Marshall, Sarah O’Rourke & Lauren Deller.

 It’s Newmarket to get this afternoon’s FA Women’s Cup tie underway kicking off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts and black shorts with red and black hooped socks. Wymondham look to press Newmarket on the ball inside their own half, the visitors break the ball played up the left wing new signing Millie Bales running onto the ball down to the byline cuts the ball back sending it into the crowd gathered at the top of the area, Chloe Slater connects sending a low drive in towards goal, goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan diving to her left pushing the ball around the post to concede the corner. The corner comes in central Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey gets her head on the ball clearing it towards the top of the area dropping to Newmarket’s, Laura Bailey she strikes a shot over the crossbar. 

Wymondham Town Ladies captain, Rachel Cossey

An even start to the game both sides want to use the width the pitch offers. A throw in inside the Newmarket half for Wymondham on the right, Laura Wiseman 25 yards out flicks the ball on into the path of strike partner Nadine Basson her tough takes the ball on into the area right of goal shapes to shoot, Newmarket captain, Beth Woodfield throws out a leg to take the ball away from the striker, Basson retains possession turning puts the ball into Wiseman as she makes a run into the box connecting 1st time sends her shot over. 

Wymondham make ground on the right wing, Kristin Hummel linking with Kayleigh Holloway between them they work a cross along the face of the Newmarket area, an instinctive strike from 16 year old Mollie O’Callaghan younger sister to goalkeeper Ashleigh to turn the ball towards goal from inside the D, racing along the ground the ball swerves away from the far post wide. Basson is looking lively for Wymondham in the early stages peeling away to the right is almost away clear as Hummel plays her in, good recovering from Newmarket left back Jennifer Gray to slide in and win the ball.

On the opposite flank Brooke Cheal-Ferris getting forwards for Wymondham sees her cross deflected up onto the roof of the Newmarket net a corner to the home side taken short up the line for Cheal-Ferris her driven shot from 25 yards is deflected behind for another corner, this time the inswinging ball is headed clear by Yasmin Woodfield. Bales looks to have plenty of pace in attack for Newmarket as she gives chase to a long cleared ball closing with Kett the defender looking to shield the ball as O’Callaghan advances from her area, right corner, Bales steals in between them both taking the ball wide tries to send a shot in towards the empty net beyond sees her attempt run wide at the near post.

   The match is being played at a good tempo the ball rarely still, Mollie O’Callaghan left into Basson top of the area left of the D her snap shot is split by Newmarket goalkeeper Eloise Hope but thankfully for her runs narrowly wide of her near post the corner given. Newmarket defend and get the ball moving forwards quickly winning a throw in left side the ball is played into Laura Bailey in a central position, drives forwards looking to get into the box, 4 Wymondham players converge on her no way through. 

Abbi Griffin looking to hold the ball up for Newmarket Town Ladies

  Newmarket working hard are disrupting Wymondham’s flow their final touch a little wayward giving the visitors defence time to recover. Getting forwards on the left Bales getting in behind squares the ball along the top of the area into Bailey she in turn helps in on for Abbi Griffin coming inside from the right strikes the ball from outside the area, she shot racing wide across the face of goal. 

  GOAL! 19 minutes played and Wymondham take the lead the game end to end in the opening period a chance is taken building from the back Cheal-Ferris left on for Mollie O’Callaghan her pass forwards finds Wiseman breaking into the area left of goal, latching onto the ball Hope comes sliding out to meet her Wiseman takes the ball around the keeper and turns it into the empty net beyond to open the scoring 1-0.

Laura Wiseman opens the scoring for Wymondham Town Ladies

Wymondham regain possession of the ball from the restart full back Leah Newcombe getting her foot wrapped around the ball on the touchline to send it up the right wing for Holloway her cross driven into the box is defended the cleared ball running straight back to her, Holloway tries again this time into Hummel outside the area she strikes the ball 1st time centrally the driven shot runs low and wide across goal. A great ball from Cossey from the right side sees Wiseman clear through the middle, her 1st touch far too heavy she rashly slides in to try and win the ball as goalkeeper Hope gets down low to claim. Hope is okay to continue after receiving treatment.

Wiseman with another opportunity to have a strike on goal making a left channel run into the area is played in from the wing wins the race to the ball with Beth Woodfield squeezing a shot away from the top of the six yard box, Hope makes a great save with her legs the ball deflected into the air just about cleared by Linger. Basson with a spin and shot from 25 yards out straight down Hope’s throat the goalkeeper palms the ball down safely as the game reaches the half hour mark. A good spell for Wymondham Holloway getting free on the right fires a cross along the face of goal Mollie O’Callaghan arriving far post tries to turn it back in towards goal, Both Beth Woodfield and Hope throw themselves at the ball between defender and goalkeeper one of them makes the save the ball behind for a corner. Another corner played up the line the ball into the box slices up off a defenders boot however Hope is well positioned to prevent the own goal.

Wymondham fullback Leah Newcombe tackling Newmarket’s Abbi Griffin

Good hold up play by Newcombe on the left touchline rolls the ball back to Betty Fretwell her long ball forwards rights Basson free on the right strikes the ball early the shot narrowly over. Newmarket send players forwards as they are awarded a free-kick inside the Wymondham half, Linger to take sends the ball in towards the top of the area cleared to the right possession is regained by Slater she lifts the ball in towards goal threatening to loop in over the keeper, O’Callaghan throws herself up and getting a glove on the ball diverts it wide of her far post. Linger has another opportunity to play a set-piece inside the Wymondham half 40 yards out as Griffin is upended. This time goes for goal a good delivery looping up and down destined for the top corner if only it was half a yard to the right.

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 1-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  An enthralling 1st half in this FA Women’s Cup tie, a narrow lead for Wymondham Town Ladies could have been 3 or 4 had they taken their chances however Newmarket have had their chances too and could have taken an early lead a competitive and even contest Wymondham getting more of the ball later on. One goal in it the tie is still wide open.

No changes for either side at half-time as Wymondham get the 2nd 45 minutes underway. The home side on the attack straight away Mollie O’Callaghan putting the ball forwards for Wiseman looking to break into the area, is a great tackle from Beth Woodfield to deny her a shooting opportunity. Mollie O’Callaghan with a chance to go for goal herself as she catches Linger in possession on the left side winning the ball pushing on comes inside finding room outside the area to shoot the ball racing in towards goal, Hope dives full stretch to her left, the ball turns away from goal and evades both the keeper and her goal beyond. 

Newmarket Town Ladies captain, Beth Woodfield

Holloway with a powerful run on the ball right side squares the cross into the area Wiseman near side 10 yards out turns the ball in towards goal, putting it straight into Hope’s gloves. Pressure from Wymondham with the ball right side worked into the middle, Cossey sees 2 shots blocked in quick succession. Play is getting a little frantic rushed passes going astray. A corner for Wymondham as Basson’s clever flick on plays Mollie O’Callaghan to her right into the box, Beth Woodfield tackling gives away the corner. The cross eventually comes in from deep long Fretwell jumping can’t control her header.

  Closing in on the hour mark Newmarket make a double substitution bringing of Smith and Bales send on Cindy Ponder and Lauren Deller. Newmarket get players forwards the ball with Wickens on the left she plays the ball into Bailey making a central run into the area, stretching for the ball she stabs it goalwards, rising the ball is played straight at O’Callaghan the goalkeeper claiming the ball. 

GOAL! Newmarket level the scores, getting players forwards attacking the ball is played into the box from the right the referee spots an infringement and points to the spot awarding the visitors a penalty kick. Up steps Linger to take opts for power and placement sending the rising ball to the left of the diving O’Callaghan 1-1.

Wymondham respond by making a substitution bringing off Basson up front send on Laura Nicholls to join Wiseman in the attack. 

GOAL! Newmarket turn the game around on it head 6 minutes after getting back on level terms go on to take the lead. Ponder is fouled inside the Wymondham half 30 yards out as she looks to bring the ball forwards. The free-kick awarded Newmarket’s set-piece specialist Linger comes forwards to take. A great connection sends the ball up over the wall and dipping late flies in over the keeper to land in the back of the net 1-2.

Jess Linger sees her set-piece go in to give Newmarket Town Ladies the lead

 A great run on the ball from Griffin right side moments later getting past two Wymondham players making it into the box is stopped by the challenge from Kett putting the ball away for the corner. Wymondham make their 2nd change bringing on Alice Ladbrooke for Hummel in the middle of the park. Nicholls hasn’t quite got her bearings since entering the game flagged offside on a couple of occasions as Wymondham threaten to break. Gets a shot away from inside the box right side as Wiseman goes on a run with the ball down the right puts the cross into her path lunging at the ball forces a good save from Hope with her legs at the near post.

GOAL! Wymondham have been on the attack since going behind seeing crosses flashed across the box they capitalise on a piece of lax defending from Newmarket trying to control the ball inside their box the headers between two defenders then back to to keeper sees Nicholls pounce closing all three down steals in between defender and ball to get her head on it and put it past Hope into the back of the net beyond 2-2. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Cindy Ponder tackling Wymondham’s Laura Nicholls

Newmarket make their 3rd and final change bringing off Gray at left back and sending on Ellie Marshall. A vital interception from Yasmin Woodfield at the back with play stretched she cuts out Holloway’s diagonal ball with Wiseman ready to run in on goal behind her. Griffin finding room to cross on the right her ball into the six yard box clawed down by O’Callaghan with Deller ready to pounce beyond her. Cossey struggling comes off for Wymondham, Brooke Moreno their final substitution.

Wymondham Town Ladies, Kayleigh Holloway

The substitute making an immediate impact as she gets clear on the right driving for the corner wraps her foot around the ball sending a cross into the six yard box, falling for Nicholls she opts to go with the outside of her right boot ends up stabbing the ball directly into the keepers welcoming gloves. Up the other end Deller sends a shot wide across goal from 25 yards out as Ponder wins the challenge in the middle. Play continues to be stretched Newmarket starting to tire Wymondham win a corner on the left the ball in headed clear by Marshall, Mollie O’Callaghan gathers it outside the box puts her foot through the shot the strike deflected through to the keeper. Into the final 5 minutes of the match. 

Wymondham finding space up front with Nicholls playing through the middle Wiseman drifting right late on. Mollie O’Callaghan plays the ball on for Nicholls 20 yards out right of goal shoots the ball racing wide of the near post. Attacking down the right Wymondham looking strong as the game moves into stoppage time Moreno with the cross in Linger inside her box gets her head on the ball sending it back out to the near post area, Nicholls is there for Wymondham, Hope realising the danger goes to close her down, Nicholls gets her header over the keeper, dropping Linger on the cover clears the ball off the line. 

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-2 Newmarket Town Ladies

  All square at 2-2 after the 90 minutes are up the tie heads into extra-time. Sometimes you can live to eat your words and this is one of those times predicted it could go either way and certainly in the 299 match reports I’ve written before nothing like what was to follow has happened before, but then Wymondham looked to have more energy left as the game drew to a close. Onto extra-time.

Extra-time

  All the substitutes have been used by both sides as Newmarket get the 1st 15 minute period of extra-time underway. Wymondham have possession get forwards down the right Moreno with an early cross the ball running across the area Holloway trying to close in from the left Hope can see the ball run wide.

Mollie O’Callaghan gives Wymondham Town Ladies the lead in extra-time

GOAL! Wymondham get the early break through in extra-time the pushing players forwards the ball is played into Mollie O’Callaghan left side outside the box she gets a shot away the ball running across the six yard box strikes the far post and is turned into the back of the net 3-2.

GOAL! A hammer blow for Newmarket as they concede again in quick succession the ball regained by Wymondham played through the middle early Nicholls in behind is onside after the ball, Hope comes racing out to close her down, the Wymondham attacker winning the race for the ball stabs the ball past the advancing keeper inside the D and sees it roll into the back of the empty net beyond 4-2.

Newmarket suddenly look very tired, Wymondham on the other hand are re-energised snapping for the ball win it back from their opponents Wiseman with a drive from outside the area her shot held by Hope. A great ball forwards by Ladbrooke finds Nicholls her touch drags the ball out to the right firing a cross back in the ball looking for Holloway the winger is flagged offside.

GOAL! Wymondham extend their lead further as Wiseman is played in behind from another great ball from Ladbrooke. Has the extra pace to take her beyond the Newmarket defence into the box right of goal sends her strike across the keeper and into the back of the net 5-2. 

GOAL! Moments later Wiseman scores again to claim her hat-trick the ball from Ladbrooke sending her through in behind again into the box keeps her composure to take the ball around the advancing keeper and slot it home for 6-2.

GOAL! A devastating spell from Wymondham as they go further ahead breaking from a Newmarket free-kick up to the top of their area the ball carried up the left players getting forwards, Cheal-Ferris fires the cross in going long across the face of goal Moreno is there far post to direct her header back across goal and in 7-2.

It’s all Wymondham, Ladbrooke winning everything in the middle. Holloway sees a shot from inside the box left side saved by Hope. Nicholls over runs the ball as she is sent clear through the middle.

GOAL! Wymondham have time in the 1st period of extra-time for one more goal cruel on a tired Newmarket defence as they give away a penalty the ball send diagonally across the park to Moreno arriving in the box from the right she looks to slide in on the ball, Marshall lunging into the challenge attempts to block her shot succeeds but in doing so her arm makes contact with the ball the referee points to the spot an opportunity for Nicholls to complete her own hat-trick in the game she makes no mistake sending her low shot to the keepers left 8-2. The 1st period of extra-time is over and Wymondham it’s fair to say are in full control.

Wymondham kick off the 2nd period of extra-time, Newmarket having put so much into the game are totally deflated. 

GOAL! It’s another goal to the home side early in the 2nd period of extra-time. Nicholls claims her 4th of the match as she is fed through the middle has the energy to beat Woodfield to the ball as the defender does her best to hold her up Hope comes out to the edge of the area to close the pair down, Nicholls gets the ball past her to make it 9-2.

Griffin with possession of the ball finds the energy to have a run at the Wymondham defence left side too many bodies to beat is stopped by Fretwell. Nicholls moving out to the right has the ball at her feet cuts it back towards the top of the area O’Callaghan racing in sends her 1st time strike over the bar. 

Hope makes the save as Wiseman gets clear running into the box right side looks to put the ball across the keeper, Hope gets down to grab hold of the ball. Ponder is has been struggling for a few minutes going down unwell, dizzy needs to come off Newmarket go down to 10 can’t be helped. 

  Holloway beats Hope on the left side of the box as the keeper comes out to try and stop her, putting the cross in to O’Callaghan she has an open goal to shoot at looks to place the ball, Woodfield recovers the ground to block the shot inside the six yard box.

Extra-time is over and Wymondham scoring a stunning 7 goals in the extra half hour win 9-2 to make history and advance to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup for the 1st time.

A devastating spell in the 1st period of extra-time to totally dominate the tie after an entertaining 90 minutes before. Clinical in their finishing where they weren’t during regular play. Had plenty of chances but weren’t taken. In the end had the energy levels to maintain their momentum going into the closing stages of the game and into extra-time. Another great comeback from Newmarket 1-0 down at half-time to go on to lead 2-1 in the 2nd half couldn’t hold on to the lead Wymondham came back and finishing the game stronger had the extra energy to overcome a rapidly tiring Newmarket whose own valiant run in this season’s FA Women’s Cup comes to an end. A very harsh scoreline in the finish but they can be inspired by their performances all against higher league opposition can carry that into their league campaign their aim to win the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   This never gets any easier picking the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match is another tough one, leaving the ground I still hadn’t picked one and sometimes it’s only when I go through my notes whilst preparing a match report do I come to a decision and in this case one player did stand out, so today’s Player of the Match goes to Wymondham Town Ladies, Laura Wiseman. A hat-trick in the end could well have claimed it in the 1st half of the game alone good runs and positioning to get herself into those scoring chances throughout the match.

300 match reports written and this one is as different as the 1st such an exciting game and so hard to predict that’s why I love it so much… think I’ve got a few more in me. My thanks to both clubs for their help today as always very much appreciated. The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup will be made on Monday.

*UPDATE* The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup has been made and Wymondham Town Ladies face an away tie against FAWPL South East Division One side Enfield Town Ladies who narrowly over came ERWFL Premier Division side AFC Sudbury Ladies 1-0 in 3rd Round Qualifying. Tie scheduled to be played Sun 12th November with a 1pm kick-off.

Match Report – Acle United Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

The latest match on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog comes from the semi-finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup. With Acle United Ladies winners of the competition 2 season’s ago hosting Wymondham Town Ladies who were looking to reach the final for the 1st time.

Match Report – Acle United Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

 
  County Cup semi-finals day in Norfolk this Sunday and the Supporting Women’s Football Blog was there to watch the game between Acle United Ladies and Wymondham Town Ladies.

  Both sides doing well in their respective leagues, 2 of the 3 sides in Norfolk who play their football outside of the County league set-up. Acle United Ladies well placed to mount a challenge for the title in the ERWFL Premier Division going into the latter end of the season. Won the Norfolk Women’s County Cup two season’s ago have beaten Norfolk Women’s Division One sides, North Walsham Angels Ladies in the 2nd Round 4-3 and King’s Lynn Town Ladies 5-3 in the quarter-finals to reach the semi-finals of this years competition.

  Wymondham Town Ladies play a league below in the ERWFL Division One having been promoted as Norfolk Division One Champions last season. Doing well in their debut season playing at regional level in 3rd place in the table and have reached the semi-finals of the league cup. Awarded an away win in the 2nd Round of the County Cup beat Division Two side Stalham Town Ladies 7-1 at home to reach the last 4 of the competition. Are looking to make their 1st ever final appearance in the County Cup.

  Seen Acle United Ladies at home several times, however this is just the 2nd time I’ve seen them play in their regular home venue at Bridgewell Lane in Acle due to weather issues. Is part of a multi-sports complex and recreation ground home of Acle United FC too. Tennis courts, bowling club and skateboard park. Headed the the large clubhouse and bar overlooking the main pitch. Had threatened to be wet and windy this afternoon and although the wind would pick up later in the game it was actually bright and sunny as the two sides walked out onto the pitch.

  Acle United Ladies starting XI – Joanne Hooper, Anna Larkins, Luka Goodfield, Megan Cletheroe, Leah McGuire, Kate Pasque, Chloe Shields, Amber Rowland, Lauren Bullard, Megan Todd & Rebecca Burton (C).
  subs – Jade Copeman, Jody Wells & Bryony Knights

  Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Leah Newcombe, Brooke Cheal-Ferris, Bethany Fretwell, Lily Ray, Rachel Cossey (C), Amber Cantwell, Kayleigh Holloway, Gemma Sanders, Alice Collins & Laura Wiseman.

  subs – Laura Nicholls, Chelsea Clarke & Laura Hamilton-Rout.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

    It’s Wymondham wearing red shirts with black trim, red shorts and red and white hooped sock to kick off the semi-final game with Acle lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts with black and white hooped socks. The ball is out wide early on Wymondham looking to attack down the left Kayleigh Holloway looking to take the ball on is tackled by Anna Larkins at right back for Acle, the ball played forwards up to captain Rebecca Burton is knocked out wide to Megan Todd on the right pushes inside looking to get into the Wymondham area, Brooke Cheal-Ferris makes the challenge wins the ball.
Kayleigh Holloway looking to attack for Wymondham Town Ladies
  Progress on the right for Wymondham the ball played forwards down the channel Gemma Sanders going after it get’s in behind the Acle defence lunging for the ball sends it in towards the middle of the six yard box with striker Laura Wiseman well placed to meet it, Larkins gets across in front of her to knock the ball wide of goal and behind for the corner kick. A good inswinging ball from the right side Acle goalkeeper, Joanne Hooper punches the ball away from under her crossbar, defender Leah McGuire clears the ball from the area.
 

Acle’s Kate Pasque tackles Wymondham’s Laura Wiseman
   Amber Cantwell on the ball in the middle of the park for Wymondham drives forwards is fouled 35 yards from goal, picks herself up to take the free-kick players forwards from the back flights the delivery towards the far post area six yards out Bethany Fretwell goes for the header can’t get anything on the ball as it drifts out of play. A good start from Wymondham, Holloway looks to get away on the right, Kate Pasque tracks her from midfield for Acle stops the early cross, Holloway’s 2nd attempt floors defender Megan Cletheroe the ball catching her in the face, play is stopped so she can receive treatment is alright to continue.
  Amber Rowland plays the ball out to Lauren Bullard on the move wide left for Acle covers alot of ground before cutting inside rolling the ball into Pasque 35 yards out lines up a shot sends her effort over the crossbar. Bringing the ball on up the left for Wymondham, Holloway looks for the give and go with Wiseman coming across to receive the ball, Wiseman attempts to send the return ball into Holloway as she goes beyond the full back, Larkins reading the move intercepts and plays it up the line to Todd a powerful runner on the ball goes in field heading to the box left of the D checks back and shoots the ball straight at Wymondham goalkeeper, Ashleigh O’Callaghan who catches cleanly.
Acle United Ladies, Anna Larkins
   Todd finds herself in a central position as Acle break up a Wymondham attack the ball played into her by Rowland she brings it on before firing it into Burton inside the D, back to goal she turns well looking to shoot the Wymondham defence close her down quickly the ball put behind for a corner kick on the left. Is a relatively open game both sides looking to attack with purpose whenever they have the ball Wiseman moving wide right to receive the ball plays it on for Sanders moving ahead of her her ball into the area going long towards the far post Holloway goes after it looks to cut back inside is dispossessed Acle look to counter attack Burton gets the ball on for Todd who takes it on into the right corner before crossing the ball back into Burton at the top of the area the striker dink the ball over the Wymondham defence, goalkeeper O’Callaghan calls for it spills the ball is Pasque bares down on her, but manages to turn and get her body between the Acle player and ball claim at the 2nd attempt. 
  Good hold up play from Alice Collins up front for Wymondham right side as she looks to get Sanders in on the ball the winger clipped and brought down as she looks to take the ball on. Cantwell on the ball wide right lofts the ball in towards the near post Hooper isn’t challenged as she claims the ball well. Chloe Shields goes on a forwards run with the ball for Acle through the middle moving left then right into the box sending the ball on with Todd clear to her left O’Callaghan comes sliding out to get the ball as Todd throws herself forwards trying to get to it 1st knocks the ball on into the keeper and behind for the corner. Is a vicious deliver from the left flashing through the six yard box no one can connect however.
  Shields gives away a free-kick inside the Acle half right of the centre circle Cantwell has Cheal-Ferris free to her left rolls the ball into her takes on the shot from distance, Hooper can see the ball wide of her left post. Few strong challenges coming in but the players are getting on with it. Todd is late on Cantwell as she attacks down the left the free-kick conceded it’s Cantwell to take. The ball is played in towards the far post area six yards out both Wymondham’s Fretwell and Acle’s Pasque go up to head the ball neither getting a firm connection it drops to Wymondham’s captain Rachel Cossey gets her header on target places the ball straight into the gloves of Hooper.
Acle United Ladies, Amber Rowland with Wymondham’s Amber Cantwell
  Rowland fighting for the ball in the middle wins it and plays the ball on for Bullard on the left drives forwards Wymondham right back Lily Ray goes with her close marking prevents the cross being made. A good contest all over the pitch the sides closely matched with 5 minutes of the 1st half left to play.
 GOAL! Acle break the deadlock in the County Cup semi-final a goal from back to front as Hooper kicks the ball forwards sending it up towards Bullard on the left near half way controls well bringing it on comes inside passing the ball into Todd inside the D central a fantastic 1st touch to take the ball on evade her marker behind her back to goal turns left and shoots, O’Callaghan has no time to react the ball flying past her inside the post Todd scores to give Acle the lead 1-0.
 
Megan Todd on the ball for Acle scores the opening goal of the match
  Ray has taken a knock for Wymondham and needs to come off, Chelsea Clarke comes on a switch of personnel Sanders drops to right back as Holloway switches wings, Clarke over to the left side. Larkins challenges for the ball inside the Wymondham half sends the ball in towards the top of the area with Burton coming in stretches for the ball trying to bring it down under her control, doesn’t and Bullard coming in beyond her may have been better placed, hurt as she falls Burton needs treatment but is okay to play on. 
  Into injury time in the 1st half Acle finish strongly Rowland playing the ball on for Burton through the middle slides it through into the area with Todd breaking in behind, O’Callaghan out of her six yard box quickly slides in to claim the ball. Pasque is fouled as she looks to power her way forwards. Rowland on the set-piece plays in up towards the top of the area Shields attacks the ball gets her header on target a good distance from goal O’Callaghan has time to get across behind the ball and save.
Half-time Acle United Ladies 1-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

 A competitive semi-final in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup but expected it would be, two sides determined to reach the final. Wymondham started the game well and had the bulk of the early attacks. A fierce battle in midfield wide both sides have wanted to use their wide players but on the whole the full-backs have kept them quiet. As Acle grew into the game and Todd started to drift into more central areas the home side started to create a few opportunities of their own. Todd scoring the goal to give Acle the advantage going into the changing rooms at the break. 
 It’s Acle to kick-off the 2nd half the sun has disappeared behind dark clouds the wind starting to pick up a little. A fast tempo to the start of the 2nd half an early free-kick for Wymondham, inside the Acle half the ball played into the area by Cantwell is claimed by Hooper. Up the other end Burton is knocked to the ground as the ball cleared by the Wymondham defence in the area catches her in the face. A pause for treatment Acle’s captain is okay to continue. Rowland presses the ball in the middle, on for Pasque out to Bullard wide left looks to pick out Burton making a move to get into the box she is closed down quickly the ball cleared for a throw. 

  A throw in on the left inside the Wymondham half Goodfield plays the ball into Burton returning it to Goodfield the full back plays the ball up the channel with Bullard looking to get on the end of it inside the box, O’Callaghan is quickly out to the edge of her area to slide in a claim the ball. Wymondham get players forwards win a corner on the left a high ball in towards the top of the area is too high for Collins as she jumps for it over her there a cries for hand ball inside the box off Bullard as the ball comes into her bouncing in front of her she clears it the referee isn’t interested. 

Acle’s, Todd leaps as Wymondham’s Cantwell closes her down to win the ball

  The visitors are doing well at the start of the 2nd half Cantwell going forwards receives the ball from Wiseman holding it up back to goal outside the area, played out wide left for Holloway the winger goes forwards squaring a cross into the area headed behind for a corner. Todd defends the 1st corner for Acle a 2nd corner given away the ball is played up to the top of the area Fretwell gets her head to the ball puts her header over the bar. 

 Cheal-Ferris has the opportunity to bring the ball forwards over the half way line for Wymondham left side is brought down the free-kick given away Cantwell is a long way from goal sends the ball in bouncing into the area, controlled by Clarke gets a shot away angling near post lacks pace Hooper is able to get down and make the save. Wymondham are pushing Acle deeper as the dark clouds return and the wind starts to pick up blowing from one goal to the other the direction the visitors are attacking.

  Building a attack Acle win a free-kick as Burton is caught in the face. a central position 35 yards out it’s Burton who takes the set-piece lifting the ball up into the area Todd is in behind gets her head to the ball too early however the flag is up for offside. Wymondham make their 1st change of the game bringing on Laura Nicholls for Collins with 68 minutes played. A knock for Larkins see her come off Jody Wells coming on going up front with Shields dropping deeper and McGuire moving across to full back.

 GOAL! Wymondham have been threatening to score an equaliser and get it in the 70th minute the attack building down the right with pace as Holloway brings the ball on squares the cross along the face of the area into Clarke far side fires in a diagonal ball towards the near post players from both sides dive in to win the ball it’s substitute Nichols who gets on the end of Clarke’s ball and turns it into the back of the net 1-1.

  Sanders is taken out by McGuire as she looks to drive forwards through the middle the free-kick given away 25 yards out in range for a shot Cantwell left of the D goes for the strike sends the ball wide of goal. Pasque comes forwards with the ball for Acle has Cletheroe to her right getting forwards sends the pass out to her, crosses early a high ball looping towards the near post the swirling wind sees Todd misjudge her attempted header doesn’t make clean contact with the ball falls into the box Wymondham are quickly on it to launch clear. 

  Rowland is eased off the ball by Cossey seeing Acle have a free-kick 25 yards out in a good position. Wells to take goes for goal places her attempt over the crossbar. Wymondham go forwards the ball from Cantwell into Sanders plays the ball on for Wiseman has Nichols free to her right before she can pass the ball Cletheroe throws a leg out to tackle and win the ball.

 GOAL! Wymondham take the lead as Cantwell scores a 35 yard screamer to make it 2-1 as the game closes in on the final 10 minutes receives the lay off from Nichols 25 yards from goal in a central area as the ball is rolled into her Cantwell meets the ball on the run sending her strike looping in towards the top corner dipping to sail under the bar.

  Wymondham bring on Laura Hamilton-Rout as they look to hold onto their lead with 10 minutes of normal time left on the clock. Larkins back on for Acle, Shields gets forwards as Todd attacks on the right plays the ball into her feet outside the area goes for goals sends the ball wide across goal. Wymondham very nearly give a penalty away as Todd attacking down the left comes inside drives for the box, Sanders slides in gets the ball as Todd goes over her, the referee awarded the free-kick right on the edge of the area left of the D. Burton on the free-kick gets it up and in towards the goal, O’Callaghan is right behind it tips the ball over the bar. The corner taken from the left is fired into the area at a good pace, Sanders wins the header as it comes to her inside the six yard box.

  Up the other end a double save from Hooper as Wymondham bring the ball down the left Clarke sending a long ball in towards Nichols coming in far post 3 yards out looks to try and place the ball across Hooper, getting a glove to the ball the goalkeeper pushes it away from goal but straight into the path of the onrushing Wiseman lunges for the ball Hooper is down quickly to make the save.

 
 GOAL! A yellow card for Rowland as she brings down Cantwell in a dangerous area outside the box. Cantwell picks herself up and is ready to take it Hooper is setting her wall. A goal scoring opportunity have the camera pointed and ready. The referee’s whistle appears to blow a split 2nd after Cantwell strikes the ball either way the ball clears the wall and looping up flies in under the bar to give Cantwell her 2nd of the match and see Wymondham into a 3-1 in the 90th minute.

Amber Cantwell sends in her free-kick to make it 3-1 to Wymondham
 GOAL! A moment later and Wymondham extend the lead have a free-kick on half-way haven’t got the camera pointed ready for this one as Fretwell stands over the ball but I should have no-one expects her to shoot the wind is in her favour the ball is sent long with plenty of pace behind it  sails over Hooper and into the back of the net making it 4-1 Fretwell is buried under her joyous team mates as they know they have reached their 1st ever County Cup Final.

Bethany Fretwell mobbed by her team mates after scoring from the halfway line
 

Wymondham Town Ladies
Bethany Fretwell

Frustration gets the better of Rowland a rash challenge she has already been booked and a 2nd yellow from the referee sees her sent off. Plenty of stoppage time to be played Acle continue to press forwards looking to pull a goal back. Have a corner on the right goes long to Burton far post fires the ball back into the middle Todd goes for it but is closed down quickly a 2nd corner conceded on the left this time.

 
 GOAL! Plenty of players in the box for both sides as Wells sending in an excellent delivery comes in towards Pasque central inside the six yard box twists her body the send her header flying past O’Callaghan into the back of the net 4-2. 

  Into the 8th minute of stoppage time Wymondham press forwards for one last attack the lay off running back to Hamilton-Rout 30 yards out meets the ball on the half-volley her shot racing wide of the post. That’s the last action of the game and Wymondham celebrate as they reach the County Cup Final.

Full time Acle United Ladies 2-4 Wymondham Town Ladies

A good 2nd half performance from Wymondham coming back from 1-0 at half-time to win the match 4-2 plenty of late drama 2 free-kicks in the 90th minute sealing the win. Overall 2 evenly matches sides the wind stronger in the 2nd half proving both a problem and an advantage. Wymondham Town Ladies opponents in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final will be the current holders Thorpe United Ladies after they beat Aylsham FC Ladies whom they played in last season’s final 5-0. The final scheduled to be played Friday 28th April with a 7:30pm KO. 
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

  Today’s SWF Blog – Player of the Match goes to Wymondham’s Amber Cantwell a strong contender before she scored 2 goals in the last 15 minutes of the final a, competitive on the ball in the middle and a threat going forwards as well as from set-pieces.

Wymondham Town Ladies, Amber Cantwell
  My thanks to both clubs for their help with the sides today always a pleasure to see both play. Congratulation to Wymondham Town Ladies on reaching their 1st ever Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final. The Supporting Women’s Football Blog will be there.