Sunday 5th January
ERWFL Premier Division
First Round-Up of the New Year beginning the league reviews with the latest action from the ERWFL all three divisions shaping up nicely before the festive break. A strong ERWFL Premier Division. Harlow Town Ladies six points clear of the rest at the top at the end of 2019, looking to push on and win the title. Some strong challengers below as all 12 sides were in action at the weekend.
Harlow Town Ladies hosting 2nd placed Peterborough Northern Star Ladies who have a game in hand. The visitors taking the lead in the game going 1-0 up early in the match. An eventful first half Harlow came back to level, scoring twice more to hold a 3-2 lead at the half-time interval. Harlow pulling further in front in the 2nd period went on to win the match 5-2 at extend their lead at the top of the table to 9 points with 10 left to play. Five different goal scorers for Harlow, Fran Gamble scoring her 7th of the season, a 5th goal of the season for both Abbey Dell and Georgia Box whilst Amy Nash and Hannah Porter were all on target with a 4th goal of the season each. Leah Cudone scoring her 15th of the campaign for Peterborough North Star with Stephanie Gale also celebrating her first goal for the club.
Remains very tight below Harlow, Luton Town Ladies climbing back up to 3rd in the table after a late goal secured all three points away to Wroxham Women on Sunday. A highly competitive match both sides testing the goalkeeper early on. Tight in midfield both sides battling to find the opening goal proving hard to break down. 0-0 at half-time Luton have the tightest defence in the league conceding just 11 goals so far this season and worked hard in defence to keep another clean sheet clearing the ball off the line late on bodies in to block. The visitors finding the winning goal in the 83rd minute Rebecca Kane joining top scorer Jess McKay on 11 goals for the season as she struck a shot across the keeper. Luton also hitting the post in the closing minutes.
Royston Town Women up there too in the cluster of sides in the top half of the ERWFL Premier Division going into their 1st game of 2020 on 20 points alongside Wroxham and Luton were making the trip across to Essex on Sunday to face Bowers & Pitsea Ladies who had enjoyed a solid start to life playing at this level for the first time. An even start to the match Bowers & Pitsea gaining some momentum putting pressure on the Royston defence chances created, Royston goalkeeper Ellie Pickard with two superb saves to keep it at 0-0 midway through the 2nd half the visitors going on to score the opening goal in the 34th minute Rebecca Vass with the through ball to send Emma Salter in on goal to make it 1-0.
Royston leading at half-time. Bowers & Pitsea starting well in the 2nd period coming back to level the scores in the 53rd minute Yasmin Cowley with chances in the first half up highest to head Kiera Adcock’s cross into the bottom corner. two minutes later Bowers & Pitsea were in the lead Ebony Moore at the back post making it 2-1. Royston regrouping getting it back to 2-2 in the 65th minute Danielle Carty scoring from distance. 2-2 with 18 minutes left Courtney Fraser skipping a challenge on the wing sending the ball inside for Sophie Dowman to turn and score to put Bowers & Pitsea back into the lead. The 3 points secured in the final 15 minutes, Fraser and Dowman involved in the build up to see Moore score her 2nd of the game to win it 4-2. All very tight in the middle of the table now as Bowers & Pitsea 9th join Wymondham Town Ladies and Colney Heath Ladies on 18 points, two points behind a trio on 20, including Royston and Wroxham.
Joining Wroxham and Royston on 20 points in 6th place in the table are Bedford Ladies as they won at home against St Ives Town Ladies at the weekend. St Ives promoted as Division One Champions last season in their debut season in the ERWFL finding it tough playing at this level collecting 7 points from their opening 9 matches working hard a steep learning curve held Bedford to a goalless opening half the hosts finding the break through goal in the 2nd period going on to score a further 3 to win the match 4-0.
Tight in the top half of the ERWFL Premier Division 5 points between 2nd and 6th a trio of sides queuing up below on 18 now. Bowers & Pitsea as already mentioned the other two met at the weekend with Hertfordshire side Colney Heath Ladies travelling up to Norfolk to play Wymondham Town Ladies. A host of injuries both long and short term for Wymondham to deal with this season are in a decent position coming into the New Year. Colney Heath themselves enjoying good form during the first half of the season both will fancy there chances of pushing into the top half towards the end of the season. Wymondham opening the scoring in the 36th minute Chelsea Clarke setting up top scorer Hannah Waters to fire home her 16th of the season. Olivia Mari equalising for Colney Heath on the stroke of half-time pouncing on the rebound as a well struck free-kick hit the crossbar.
1-1 going into the 2nd half Wymondham retaking the lead early on Waters on target with her 2nd of the match scoring from an impossible angle. Wymondham pressing the attack Katie Knights setting up Laura Nicholls her shot hitting the bar coming back down into play Waters on the follow up blocked, Knights pouncing to put Wymondham 3-1 ahead. Laura Nicholls top scorer for Wymondham last season back amongst the goals after a spell out with injury Jennifer Grey playing her in to score her 9th of the season with 15 minutes left to play. Nicholls 10th of the season coming inside the final five minutes a great individual effort to make it 5-1. Colney Heath’s top scorer Samiara Khan pulling it back to 5-2 with 2 minutes left on the clock Wymondham beginning 2020 with a win.
2020 saw the 2nd battle of the season between the basement sides AFC Dunstable Women and Haringey Borough Women a tough 1st half of the season just 3 points between them both without a win on the board. A transitional period for both, AFC Dunstable a new look side rebuild over the summer after almost folding. Both battling week in week out as they look to improve. The points shared in a 1-1 draw when they met at Haringey earlier in the season. Hannah Ring with her 3rd goal of the season putting Dunstable into the lead on Sunday. A great strike from Rosie Missen for Haringey seeing the visitors come back to level the scores and the points shared for the 2nd time.
ERWFL Division One North
A superb first half of the season for Cambridge City Ladies Development as the newly promoted side made their ERWFL debut in Division One North winning 5 of their opening 7 matches with just one loss. That result a 1-0 defeat away to AFC Sudbury Ladies. A vital first win of the season too for Sudbury relegated the season before and rebuilding with a new look young side. Pressure applied by King’s Lynn Town Ladies moving into 2nd a point behind to end 2019, Cambridge City played host to AFC Sudbury at the start of 2020. The visitors taking the lead in the 16th minute held onto their advantage late into the 2nd half. Cambridge City doing everything but score the first time they met at last finding a reply with 20 minutes to go Megan Stow tapping home at the far post to make it 1-1. 2 minutes later the hosts were in front Ellie Cullum poking home a Bella Simmons through ball. A quickfire double in the final 5 minutes securing the 3 points Yasmin Crow and then Stow with her 2nd of the game seeing it end 4-1.
A strong run of 5 straight wins seeing King’s Lynn Town Ladies recover from losing their opening two games to finish up 2nd in the Division One North table a point behind the leaders Cambridge City at the end of 2019. That form continued into the New Year as they extended their winning run away to bottom side Gorleston Ladies on Sunday. A tough introduction to the ERWFL for Gorleston finding themselves adrift at the bottom of the Division One North table without a point on the board with 5 games played. Started 2020 with a positive performance that will give them plenty of encouragement going forwards though as they were unlucky not to take anything away from the match at the weekend going down to a 2-1 defeat. Beth Turner getting off the mark for Gorleston levelling the scores in the first half after Katie Ward had put King’s Lynn in front. Emma Corbyn on target for the fourth match in a row scoring the winning goal for the visitors in the 2nd period her 7th of the season.
A local derby too in ERWFL Division One North at the weekend too as Suffolk sides Needham Market Women and East Bergholt United Ladies locked horns for the 2nd time time this season. Both promoted to the ERWFL for the first time this season were neck and neck in the race for the Suffolk Women’s Division title last season. East Bergholt United edging it to complete a 2nd successive league and cup double, began life at a higher level well leading early on 2nd for much of 2019 edged into 3rd by King’s Lynn, a 1-0 home win against Needham Market earlier in the season. Needham Market playing in just their 2nd season since forming taking time to find their feet at this level a great result against their local rivals at the weekend. Lois Balfour amongst the goals for both their new Reserves sides and now the first team opening the scoring early making it 1-0 with just 5 minutes played. Amber Sparkes sending Needham Market into a 2-0 midway through the 2nd half. Sparkes adding a 2nd just 4 minutes later chipping the keeper from 30 yards. Balfour adding her 2nd of the game 2 minutes later. Megan Partridge pulling a goal back for East Bergholt before Balfour completed her hat-trick on the stroke of half-time to send Needham Market into the dressing room 5-1 up at the break. A quieter 2nd half Needham Market creating further chances striking the woodwork Balfour on target for her fourth of the game midway through the 2nd half to see the match won 6-1.
ERWFL Division One South
Two matches played in ERWFL Division One South at the start of 2020. Millwall Lionesses ending 2019 top of the table after joining the league in the summer after the upheaval at the club. Rebuilding and regrouping a positive outlook and a hungry squad. Began the year away to Lawford Ladies who they had beaten heavily twice this season at home in league and cup. A tough end to 2019 for Lawford a much more positive start to 2020. A bright start from Millwall out of the blocks quickly Lawford though hit them against the run of play to open the scoring captain Daisy Canny pouncing on a goalkeeping error to make it 1-0. Millwall pushed on creating chances Molly Hawkins dancing through to make it 1-1 in the 20th minute. The host continued to dominate first half but it was Lawford who retook the lead on 40 minutes Canny with her 2nd of the game alert to capitalise on a mistake outside the 18 yard box. Lawford 2-1 up at half-time. Shannan Drewe amongst the goals for Millwall towards the back end of the year pulling the visitors level midway through the 2nd half latching onto a ball over the top to score. 5 minutes later Millwall were leading Samantha Middleton newly introduced to the action volleying home from a corner to make it 3-2 with 20 minutes left. Cansu Mentesh firing home from close range off a corner in the final minute. Millwall winning 4-2 to stay 3 points in front at the top of the table.
Leigh Ramblers Ladies keeping the pressure on Millwall in 2nd beaten 4-1 by Millwall at the end of 2019 the Essex side newly promoted to the ERWFL bounced back with an away win against Wodson Park Ladies to begin 2020. Abbi Brown and Rhiana Castle both scoring their first goals of the season to secure the 3 points for Leigh Ramblers as they ran out 2-1 winners over Wodson Park who put in a much improved performance to begin the new year as they look to get themselves away from the bottom of the table. Olivia Worsfold scoring her 2nd goal of the season for the hosts.