Sunday 8th September
ERWFL Premier Division
The ERWFL Premier Division fixtures into their 3rd weekend and after the final whistle on Sunday just one side remained with a 100% winning start, Luton Town Ladies two points clear at the top however they left it very late to clinch victory. Luton at home on Sunday playing in the Bedfordshire derby against their rivals Bedford Ladies who they have locked horns with several county cup finals. Bedford with the upper hand in those winning the last two. Meeting in the ERWFL for the first time this season following Luton’s relegation it was the visitors who opened the scoring in thee first half a free-kick awarded right at the top of the area, Maya Sidhu putting a fantastic ball in to make it 1-0. Luton were dominant for long spells but Bedford’s defence held firm until the 80th minute the ball fed to Jess McKay to blast home to make it 1-1. More chances came and went Bedford’s keeper Lauren Webb making some great saves. Luton winning a free-kick out wide deep into injury time Zara Carroll swinging the ball into a packed area, McKay rising highest to head the ball in to clinch a last gasp 2-1 win.
Harlow Town Ladies are up into 2nd in the ERWFL Premier Division table the Essex side making the long trip to Norfolk on Sunday to face Wroxham Women who were looking to maintain their 100% winning start. A bright start from both Harlow showing intend pushing the attack opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Wroxham looking for an immediate reply saw an effort cleared off the line. The visitors doubling their lead on 27 minutes getting in behind the defence to send the ball home. Wroxham starting positively in the 2nd half however it was Harlow who would score a 3rd on the hour. Grace Birchall doing well to beat her marker and strike to make it 3-1. The hosts went in search of another goal coming close but it would be Harlow who had the final say deep into added time scoring a 4th to take the 3 points with a 4-1 victory. Olivia Steele, Lucy Edmeades, Chloe Bassett and Abby Dell with the goals.
Another side looking to continue their winning start were Hertfordshire side Colney Heath Ladies as they travelled to play Peterborough Northern Star Ladies on Sunday. Women’s Football East there too to watch the action. Colney Heath travelling with a few missing and no recognised goalkeeper, Lucy Hancock donning the gloves. A competitive encounter both sides showing intend in the final 3rd, Peterborough building momentum getting players forwards opening the scoring right back Evie Driscoll-King getting forwards coming inside top of the area smashed a ball in across goal evading everyone found it’s way into the back of the net. Colney Heath getting forwards with Adi Milton in particular a threat on the right winning a corner with 10 minutes left in the 1st half, Charlene Moreton on the set-piece a great inswinging ball missed by the keeper near post creeping under the crossbar to see the scores level. Moments later Colney Heath had the lead, Milton through onto a miscued defensive header to run at the box shooting early a fantastic strike giving the keeper no chance. The last action of the half seeing Peterborough coming back to level the scores themselves. Leah Cudone strong on the ball inside from the left sending a fantastic shot from the top of the area across goal into the top corner. 2-2 at half-time, Peterborough pressed the attack, Colney Heath keeping it tight in defence not pressing the attack intend of keeping unbeaten, Hancock with a confident display Peterborough couldn’t find a way through the points shared.
A tough start to life in the ERWFL Premier Division for St Ives Town Ladies following promotion last season losing their opening two fixtures were at home to Royston Town Women this Sunday. Positive signs for St Ives Town as they progress as a side, Royston making a slow start hit their opponents with two quick goals to take a 2-0 lead with Rebecca Vass and Joanne Rutherford on target. St Ives Town never out of it scoring late on capitalising on a defensive mix-up with Tierney Coulson scoring her 1st goal of the season. Royston winning 2-1 are 4th a point back from Colney Heath and Harlow.
Also moving onto 6 points into the top half of the Premier Division are newly promoted Bowers & Pitsea Ladies the Essex side winning their 2nd league game of the season at home to AFC Dunstable Women on Sunday. A great first half for Bowers & Pitsea seeing them going into the dressing room at half-time 4-0 up. Donna Fletcher heading home from a Megan Harley cross to put the hosts into the lead. Harley herself on the scoresheet with Bowers & Pitsea’s 2nd finding the bottom corner. Danielle Jennings scoring from a rebound to net her first goal for the club making it 3. Harley getting her 2nd of the game to put Bowers & Pitsea 4-0 up. Ebony Moore amongst the goals 2nd half making it 5-0. Louise McCay with a consolation goal for the visitors as they start the season with 3 defeats.
Three defeats to start the season too for Haringey Borough Women and a heavy loss on Sunday seeing them go bottom. At home were taking on Norfolk side Wymondham Town Ladies looking for their first win of the season. The visitors getting off to a flyer taking the lead inside 2 minutes with Hannah Waters scoring. Mollie O’Callaghan doubling the lead on 15 minutes. Katie Knights and Waters with her 2nd of the game seeing Wymondham lead 4-0 at half-time. The goals continuing to flow for the visitors 2nd half Freya Symonds making it 5-0 straight after the restart the new signing would go on to score a hat-trick. Chelsea Clarke on the scoresheet for 2 2nd half goals. New signings Mia Etheridge and Sarah Payne both celebrating a goal too along with Jorja Patterson in a 12-0.
A new format for the ERWFL Cup this season with the Division One sides entering a group stage the 16 teams drawn into 4 groups of 4 with each side playing the other once with the group winners going on to compete in the knockout stages of the competition joined then by the 12 Premier Division sides. The rest going on to compete for the ERWFL Plate which will to become a knock-out competition. For most the first round of group stage matches preceding the league campaign itself.
Group A features Bishops Stortford Ladies, Newmarket Town Women, East Bergholt United Ladies and Stevenage FC Women Development.
Newmarket Town Women were at home playing Bishops Stortford Ladies in the 1st round of group matches taking place this Sunday. A strong debut season in the ERWFL, Newmarket will fancy their chances in both league and cup winning the Plate competition last season. Made a confident start too beating Bishops Stortford’s bare 11 with a high score. Katie Webb top scoring in the match netting 4 goals herself, their was a brace to for young striker Annabel Cuthbert. Plenty of goals elsewhere too with 7 other players celebrating a goal, Holly Dryland, Brooke Wickens, Antonia Smith, Laura Bailey, Jodie Woodfield, Lauren Deller and Jess Linger in a 13-0 win.
Also in Group A, East Bergholt United Ladies new to the ERWFL this season, winning the league and cup double in Suffolk last season for the 2nd successive time. Stepping up a level were taking on Stevenage FC Women, both having played one league match beginning with a win. Chloe Gunn back for Stevenage has been sorely missed out with an ACL injury in fine form previously, Gunn opening the scoring with a 30 yard screamer. The visitors awarded a penalty, Gunn scoring following in the rebound after being saved. Emily Schofield getting a 3rd goal for Stevenage wining 3-1 with Jess Clarke scoring for East Bergholt.
Group B features, AFC Sudbury Ladies, Cambridge City Ladies Development, Lawford Ladies and Millwall Lionesses.
Cambridge City Ladies Development winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership last season part of a treble. Entering the ERWFL began with a cup game at home to Lawford Ladies. The hosts going ahead early with Carla Penny on target to make it 1-0 in the 7th minute. Lawford responded well Daisy Canny a threat forcing a save from goalkeeper Tee Mhunduru. 1-0 the narrow advantage at the break. Penny scoring early in the 2nd half to double the advantage. Bella Simmons on the end of a Jade Powell free-kick scoring the hosts 3rd goals. Cambridge finishing strong Penny completing her hat-trick bringing up a 4th goal. A hat-trick to for Simmonds.
Millwall Lionesses join the ERWFL off the back of events at the club that saw the women’s section break away from the club to become London City Lionesses. A new beginning for Millwall Lionesses a young squad, well supported within the club along with a passionate fan base. Millwall were away to AFC Sudbury Ladies in their first group match. Sudbury relegated from the Premier Division last season rebuilding themselves with a young squad. The hosts taking the lead midway through the 1st half a cross squared in an converted. Millwall forcing the opposing goalkeeper into a save a shot into the side netting for the hosts. Millwall getting back on level terms late in the 1st half, Shannan Drewe’s looped shot in from the left beating the keeper. Millwall starting strong in the 2nd period bringing a goal on the hour, a corner floated in cushioned down into the path of Molly Hawkins to blast home 2-1. The visitors pushing striking the crossbar twice, the momentum with Millwall with 10 minutes left Hawkins their for her 2nd of the game after the goalkeeper saved to see the game won 3-1.
Group C features , Gorleston Ladies, Needham Market Women, Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies and Wodson Park Ladies.
Needham Market Women joining the ERWFL after a successful debut season that saw them finish runners-up up in the Suffolk Women’s Division, League Cup and County Cup finals. Creating a new Reserves side this season have recruited over the summer a vibrant club that is capturing the imagination and hearts of many. Began their league cup campaign with a home tie against Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies a hugely experienced side at this level. An off day to start their season however as they were soundly beaten. Needham Market winning convincingly 9-1. Annie Northwood joining from local rivals East Bergholt United Ladies over the summer scored 40 goals last season off the mark with a hat-trick on Sunday. Gemma Moore and Lina Hagib also joining the squad both off the mark with a goal each. Amber Sparks netting a brace. Defender Megan Stock with a goal too along with Francesca Rainbird often a top performer for Needham Market last season.
Gorleston Ladies are also new to the ERWFL joining from Norfolk. A heavy loss with players missing to start their league campaign last weekend began their league cup campaign this Sunday with a trip down to Hertfordshire to play Wodson Park Ladies, who were previously Hertford Town Ladies. A better result this time around as the visitors netted 5 times to win the game 5-1. Abigail Bell who I think was with Gorleston Rangers Ladies last season scoring twice. Hannah Croft, Melissa Anderson and Hayley Muir with the other goals. Olivia Worsfold scoring the goal for Wodson Park.
Group D features, Histon Ladies, Hutton Ladies, King’s Lynn Town Ladies and Leigh Ramblers Ladies.
King’s Lynn Town Ladies are looking to do well in both the league and cup competitions this season began their cup campaign with an away trip to Histon Ladies who look to have strengthened themselves as they begin the new season. An early lead for the hosts hitting King’s Lynn on the counter Kirsty Geal bursting forwards collecting the pass and shooting form 20 yards to score with 5 minutes gone. King’s Lynn levelling the scores with 10 minutes of the 1st half left. Histon coming close to retaking the lead, but it was the visitors from Norfolk leading 2-1 at the break scoring just before the whistle to go 2-1 ahead. The victory sealed with 15 minutes left King’s Lynn winning 3-1 the goals scored by Tiffany Forshaw, Rachel Skinner and Katie Ward.
An all Essex affair in the final group match to bring you with Hutton Ladies hosting newly promoted Leigh Ramblers Ladies winners of the Essex Women’s Premier Division last season. Leigh Ramblers still with a very young squad most 18 years old. Hutton have experience on their side and a goal threat. Started the season with a 7-1 victory. Vicky Kinsman, Kate Lowen and Lauren Knight amongst the goals with Sally Appleton netting a hat-trick.