Sunday 12th January
A break from the league this weekend in the ERWFL (well almost) with the knock-out stages commencing for both the League Cup and Plate competitions. The first half of the season seeing the 16 Division One sides North and South competing in a group format, 4 sides playing each other once with the group winners progressing the the League Cup joining the 12 Premier Division sides the rest going on to compete for the League Plate.
Newmarket Town Women, Millwall Lionesses, Needham Market Women and King’s Lynn Town Ladies to 4 Division One sides to win their groups all draw against higher league opposition in the League Cup. All 4 involved in a close game. 8 ties in the 1st Round just 7 played at the weekend. The game between Wymondham Town Ladies and Harlow Town Ladies cancelled after Harlow’s parked mini-bus was hit by a lorry at the services on their way up to Norfolk. Everyone okay, a new date for the tie to be announced.
Wroxham Women were drawn away to ERWFL newcomers Needham Market Women the in first round of the League Cup on Sunday. Needham Market making a good start to the game early chances, it was Wroxham though who opening the scoring captain Anna Larkins getting forwards from full back on the 14th minute her cross come shot finding the back of the net. Needham Market coming back to level the scores 6 minutes later, Amber Sparkes bringing the ball on from halfway shooting from 20 yards out making it 1-1. Needham Market coming close to leading before the break it was level at half-time. Larkins on target to score her 2nd of the match restring Wroxham’s lead before the hour. The visitors going further ahead in the 67th minute with Lauren Bullard scoring the goal. A 2nd for Bullard coming with 10 minutes left heading in a corner to put Wroxham 4-1 up. Alot of stoppage time to be played with both sides seeing a player needing lengthy treatment for injury. Needham Market having chances all game mounting a late fightback 3 minutes into injury time Abbie Wilkinson scoring her first first team goal to get it back to 4-2 turned provider 3 minutes later setting up Annie Northwood to pull it back to 4-3. Needham Market finishing strong time running out however Wroxham progressing into the quarter finals.
Luton Town Ladies and Bowers & Pitsea Ladies meeting for the 3rd time this season having been drawn out to play each other in the 1st Round of the League Cup having met twice in the league and in the Women’s FA Cup this season. Both matches at Bowers & Pitsea ending in 3-0 wins for Luton. This Sunday’s League Cup tie Luton’s home ground The Branche. Funmi Babalola putting Luton in front on 11 minutes scoring her 8th goal of the season. Bowers & Pitsea breaching Luton’s defence for the first time this season coming back to level with 20 minutes on the clock Yasmin Cowley 7th goal of the season. The pair drawing 1-1 at half-time. Luton getting back in front with 20 minutes left on the clock Kelsey Gibson putting Jess McKay through on goal to score her 10th goal of the season. The win assured in the final minute McKay with a superb finish to score her 2nd of the match and see the tie won 3-1.
A 3-1 win at home too for Peterborough Northern Star Ladies at the weekend in the first round of the League Cup as they took on St Ives Town Ladies. Peterborough 2nd in the ERWFL Premier Division scoring plenty of goals this season and in every game so far this season. Leah Cudone with a penalty on target for her 16th goal of the season , Evie Driscoll-King and Amy Magnus with her 1st goal for the club in only her 2nd appearance for the 2nd scoring the winning goals. Georgia Stancombe netting the goal for St Ives Town.
Royston Town Women enjoying a good season in the Premier Division hosting another of the Group stage winners, King’s Lynn Town Ladies riding high in Division One North 2nd unbeaten in open play since mid-October winning 6 straight games in the league along with all three group matches. Good work with the ball at her feet from Georgia Gannaway leading to an own goal to see Royston take the lead. A free-kick struck in from distance seeing King’s Lynn bring the scores level 1-1 the score at the half-time interval. Royston captain Amy Cooper scoring her first goal of the season bundling the ball in from a corner to restore Royston’s lead, a fantastic break away goal from King’s Lynn bringing the Norfolk side back level for the 2nd time in the tie. The winner coming with 5 minutes left on the clock Emma Slater blasting in the goal her 8th of the season to see Royston into the quarter finals 3-2.
Newmarket Town Women winning Group A were at home to Premier Division side Bedford Ladies in the 1st Round of the League Cup this Sunday. Captain Bethany Woodfield heading Newmarket into the lead, Bedford though coming back quickly to equalise and then take the lead themselves through to strikes from range by Jasmine Ajayi and Natasha Fensome. 2-1 the lead at half-time both sides finishing the game with 10 players with both Newmarket’s Katie Webb and Bedford’s Ashley Emerton sent off. N further goals added in the 2nd period Bedford into the quarter finals.
Three of the Division One sides suffering narrow defeats in their clashes with higher league opposition, Millwall Lionesses the side to cause the upset and reach the last eight of the League Cup were drawn away to bottom side AFC Dunstable Women, working hard to improve every game Dunstable leaving the pitch frustrated having created a host of chances but failing to score Millwall Lionesses restricted in attacking opportunities scored from a free-kick to clinch a narrow 1-0 victory.
The final League Cup tie to report on saw Colney Heath Ladies travelling to play Haringey Borough Women in the 1st Round. The club 2nd bottom in the table coming close to getting the opening goal on 10 minutes hitting Colney Heath on the counter 1 on 1 with the keeper Amy Butler with a superb save to deny Haringey. The hosts keeper with a great save to deny Samaira Khan up the the end 2 minutes later. Khan leading the goal scoring charts for Colney Heath heading in her 22nd goal of the season 3 minutes later to put the visitors into the lead. A hand ball inside the box seeing Colney Heath awarded a penalty Lucy Hancock stepping up to score to make it 2-0 with 20 minutes played. Colney Heath starting to dominate going on to add a 3rd goal before the half hour Khan crossing for Adrienne Milton to score. Haringey getting it back to 3-1 scoring on the follow-up after the initial shot was saved. Sheree Oliver nodding in Charlene Moreton’s cross late in the half to see Colney Heath 4-1 up. Not many chances created 2nd half Colney Heath comfortable though safely through to the last 8.
Three ties played in the 1st Round of this season’s League Plate competition won by Newmarket Town Women last season. Leigh Ramblers Ladies in good form going into the weekend 2nd in Division One South at home to fellow league side Lawford Ladies who have been struggling for numbers during the season. The visitors once again short of a full side in the 1st Round of the Plate Leigh Ramblers young side full of confidence, adding Georgia Holdaway to their squad this season. On target for a hat-trick at the weekend taking her tally to 8 for the season. There was also a brace each for Rhiana Castle and Megan Downes with her first goals of the season. Connie Mashford also getting her name on the scoresheet in a comfortable 8-0 win.
High scores in the other two 1st Round ties too at the weekend. Wodson Park Ladies struggling for form in the league this season with just one win hosting AFC Sudbury Ladies the Suffolk side finding some form after a tough start themselves. The visitors scoring twice, Wodson Park bringing in new faces to add to their squad progressing to the quarter finals of the League Plate with a 4-2 victory. A 5th goal of the season for Chloe-Marie Clay plus a hat-trick for Kristina O’Connell her first goals for Wodson Park making just her 2nd appearance.
East Bergholt United Ladies completing a trio of home wins in the 1st Round of the League Plate at the weekend beating Division One South side Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies 6-2 to reach the quarter finals following a solid start to life in the regional leagues having joined the ERWFL this season. Cara Savage with a brace scoring her first goals of the season for East Bergholt. A first goal of the season too for Tiffany Reeves along with brace for Stacey Teager.
ERWFL Division One South
Just the one league fixture played at the weekend in Division One South and a lack of games through postponements seeing Hutton Ladies knocked off top spot down to 3rd behind Millwall Lionesses and fellow Essex side Leigh Ramblers Ladies. Were playing their first game since the 1st of December a 100% record from 5 games played were at home to Stevenage FC Women Development who had suffered similarly having not played since the 8th December. Keen to get going both sides with plenty of goals in them shared 8 between them both scoring 4 to see the points shared Stevenage scoring 4 past a Hutton side that had only concede 3 in their previous 5 matches. Hutton losing their 100% record still unbeaten the top scorers in the league go back to 2nd 3 points behind Millwall with a game in hand. Kate Lowen scoring a brace with captain Abigail Fry and top scorer Vicky Kinsman both getting a goal each for Hutton. Nicole Emmings netting a hat-trick for Stevenage with Sofia Carpenter also on the scoresheet.