Sunday 23rd February
First it was Storm Ciara and then came along Storm Dennis putting pay to the majority of fixtures across the East on successive weekends. The ERWFL suffering as much as most the ERWFL Cup and Plate quarter finals scheduled for a fortnight ago there was better weather this time around wit only only 11 fixtures lost due to waterlogged pitches. Three of the four League Cup quarter finals taking place this weekend it was to one of those Women’s Football East headed at the weekend a trip down to Bedfordshire to watch Premier Division side Bedford Ladies up against ERWFL newcomers Millwall Lionesses.
Millwall Lionesses having to rebuild starting again in the ERWFL the only Division One side left in the last 8 of the ERWFL Cup unbeaten top of their league up against a Bedford side winning their last 6 matches in league and cup up to fourth on the Premier Division table. Millwall starting brightly putting Bedford on the back foot gaining confidence winning a series of corners one on those eventually counting a ball put in evading the keeper Olivia Gregory close in bundling it home beyond. Bedford coming into it both sides creating good opportunities in front of goal, could easily have been 3-2 either way at the break. As it was Millwall holding a slender one goal advantage. Bedford losing their goalkeeper Lauren Webb through injury full back Nina Regolo taking over in goal.
The 2nd half again a fairly even contest both sides getting forwards well Natasha Fensome leading the attack for Bedford making some great runs playing across the Millwall defence getting through on goal chipping the keeper at close range to equalise. The hosts thinking they had won it in the 90th minute Fensome shooting across the keeper to put them 2-1 in front. Millwall pushing on Daniella Correa playing the ball into the area Samantha Middleton after it the keeper coming hands on the ball Middleton shoved in the back colliding with her a penalty awarded. A long delay before it’s taken Middleton sustaining a nasty injury can’t play on. Millie Connell with the spot kick cool as ice to hit it wide of the diving keeper to send the tie into extra-time.
The extra period of play seeing both sides continuing to push forwards looking for an opening and still a hard game to call. The break through coming early in the 2nd period of extra-time, Fensome playing the ball crossfield to Maya Sidhu top of the area left of the D a composed strike to put the ball into the bottom corner. The knockout blow coming from a free-kick wide on the left Shianne Swarres with a superb delivery her ball in evading everyone to drop over the line. Millwall pressing on in attack conceding a 5th goal at the death Bedford sending a ball in from the left brought under control at the far post by Setor Acolatse sending it back across goal Fensome rushing in completing her hat-trick. The full match report can be found further down the page.
Bedford Ladies will be away to Hertfordshire side Royston Town Women in the semi-finals of the League Cup after they beat Norfolk side Wroxham Women in their last eight tie on Sunday afternoon. Wroxham with good possession at time thwarted by the keeper on a few ocassions. Royston with a disciplined game themselves taking the lead through top scorer Rebecca Vass lobbing the keeper to make it 1 nil. The tie made safer with 10 minutes left to play a fine finish from Emma Slater to make it 2-0, Vass seeing a good chance saved by Wroxham’s Amy Bell late on. 2-0 enough though for Royston into the last 4 of the competition and what is sure to be a tough match at home to Bedford.
Another ERWFL Cup tie going all the way on Sunday saw Wymondham Town Ladies and Luton Town Ladies go all the way to a penalty shootout. Wymondham reaching a 4th successive Norfolk Women’s County Cup final the weekend before had knocked out league leader Harlow Town Ladies in the 1st Round of the League Cup were at home in the quarter finals taking on Luton Town Ladies who themselves are through once again to the Bedfordshire County Cup final. Nothing could separate the sides after 90 minutes both sides with opportunities, goalkeeper called into action the game heading into extra-time a further half hour though seeing no goals. Onto penalties Wymondham edging it winning through 5-4 to book their spot in the last 4 of the competition where they will be away to either Peterborough Northern Star Ladies or Colney Heath Ladies.
ERWFL Premier Division
One league match played in the ERWFL this Sunday in the Premier Division, leaders Harlow Town Ladies making the trip to North London to play 2nd bottom side Haringey Borough Women. A clutch of new signings made by Harlow recently as they look to have the squad in good shape to make a final charge for the title. Unbeaten so far winning 11 of their 13 matches scoring goals too rattling in a double figure scoreline at the weekend. Becky Shephard top scorer in terrific form this season netting another hat-trick. A hat-trick too for striker Georgia Box her first season with Harlow hampered by injury moving onto 8 goals. Chloe Bassett netting a brace there were goals too for Amy Nash, Abbey Dell and Bethany Chambers. Harlow winning 11-1 to move 7 points clear at the top.
Three quarter finals played to in the ERWFL Plate this Sunday. Cambridge City Ladies Development leading the way in Division One North hosting Stevenage FC Women Development in the last 8. Carla Penny in good form in attack for Cambridge so far this season putting the hosts into the lead. Cambridge with a dominant performance at times going on to win the game 2-0 with Penny on the scoresheet for her 2nd of the game taking her to 17 for the season. Cambridge will be making a trip down into Essex in the semi-finals to play fellow ERWFL newcomers Leigh Ramblers Ladies.
Leigh Ramblers Ladies were at home to fellow Division One South side Wodson Park Ladies in the quarter finals of the Plate. Leigh Ramblers showing good league form stepping up into regional football this season level at the top with Millwall Lionesses. Wodson Park after a difficult start to the season showing great form themselves in recent games pulling away from the bottom of the table. Georgia Holdaway joining the Leigh Ramblers squad this season has been amongst the goals on target for another 2 at the weekend moving her onto 11 for the season. Megan Thomas putting the ball in the back of the net aswell to celebrate her first goal of the season securing a 3-1 win to sent Leigh Ramblers into the ERWFL Plate semi-finals.
Hutton Ladies with a 100% record still in ERWFL Division One South were back to back winners of the ERWFL Plate just a couple of seasons ago, travelled up to the east coast this weekend to play Norfolk side Gorleston Ladies in the quarter finals of this season’s competition. Hutton scoring plenty of goals whilst not conceding many at the other end. Gorleston finding life in the ERWFL tough since making the step up to regional football. The game played in windy, rainy conditions, Hutton having the wind to their advantage in the 1st half creating chances and scoring goals leading comfortably at the break 6-0. Gorleston working the ball around well hitting the crossbar. Had the wind 2nd half pulling a goal back straight away and put pressure on Hutton in the 2nd period an improved performance their goal scored by Hannah Croft. Hutton though adding another goal themselves to run out comfortable winners into the semi-finals. Vicky Kinsman adding another 2 goals to her impressive tally now 32 from just 10 appearances. A brace too for Sally Appleton along with a goal each for Kelly Roberts, Lauren Knight and captain Abigail Fry. Hutton will be away to either East Bergholt United Ladies or Histon Ladies.