Sunday 9th September
The new season of county league football kicked off in Norfolk this Sunday once again there will be two divisions. An 8 strong Division One with an influx of new sides seeing Division Two grow to 12.
Norfolk Women’s Division One
A new name in Norfolk Women’s Division One as Aylsham Ladies return after being forced to withdraw from the league early last season. A new look to the side Robert Hinge coming in as manager previously with Stalham Town Ladies, has brought as large number of those players with him plus a few from North Walsham Angels Ladies who withdrew their woman’s side from the league over the summer.
Aylsham began the new season at home against Beccles Town Ladies who were beginning their 2nd campaign in the league having secured promotion as Division Two runners-up last time out. Goals from Megan Vincent and Taylor Whiting seeing Beccles leading the game 2-1 at half-time, Aylsham were to comeback to equalise and go on to score twice more to begin the season with a 4-2 win.
Bungay Town Ladies began the defence of the Division One title they won last season as part of the double, with an away trip to take on Thorpe United Ladies. Changes for both sides, Thorpe were fielding a good number of last season’s U16 squad in their side. The hosts holding a one goal lead at half-time when on to win the match 2-1 in the 2nd half start with a win, Laura Hedtke and Molly Young getting the goals. Shannon Dade netting the goal for Bungay Town Ladies.
A strong debut season in Division One last season saw Sprowston Ladies clinch runners-up spot as well as the League Plate. Were at home on the opening Sunday taking on Gorleston FC Ladies. Strikes from Sophie Gillett and Nicole Sheldrake the difference for Gorleston as they began their season with a 2-0 victory.
Norfolk Women’s Division Two
12 sides contesting Norfolk Women’s Division Two this season including 5 new names. Thetford getting not one side but two with Thetford Town Ladies and Thetford Bulldogs Ladies. Taverham Women step up to adult football, with Hockering Ladies and Horsford Women setting up new sides. Long Stratton Ladies and Fakenham Town Ladies both dropping down from Division One.
Joining women’s football from the youth ranks can take some getting used to takes a little time to adapt, just as Bure Valley Wildcats Ladies who stepped up last season took them a while to find their feet, finished the season strongly. This Sunday it was them who were the dominate side against one of the new comers a home to Bulldogs Ladies, Bure Valley ran rampant in front of goal scoring an eye-watering 17 goals. Kiera Brown top scorer in the game with a double hat-trick. Charlie Cooper opened her account with 4 goals. There was a hat-trick for Abigail Clark, with Becky Wood, Anya Sadler, Juliette Kelly and Lucy Ellis all getting a goal.
It was in Norfolk Women’s Division Two were Women’s Football East took in a game from the new county league season on Sunday a trip to Clipbush Park to watch Fakenham Town Ladies take on Dereham side Tavern Ladies. Few chances created in the first half, Fakenham goalkeeper Chloe Easter with a superb double save to prevent Tavern taking the lead, they were awarded a free-kick from range up the other end Maddie Smith sending a high ball in to drop over the keeper into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
A narrow lead at half-time, Fakenham hit Tavern on the break to double their advantage Jennifer Codman racing through to lob the ball over the advancing keeper. Before Tavern could recover Sam King broke in on goal to make it 3-0. King striking a shot across the keeper to score her second of the game and see Fakenham star the season with a 4-0 win.
If you open you season by scoring 5 goals you would usually expect to be taking away the 3 points however that was not the case for Gorleston Rangers Ladies as they found themselves on the end of defeat at the weekend against visitors Long Stratton Ladies. Lauren Dennis netting a hat-trick for Gorleston Rangers with Chloe Ashton and Rachel Adams both getting a goal. Long Stratton have had a couple of torrid seasons were nearly twice as prolific in front of goal up the other end to claim their 1st win in over a year. Samantha Walker scoring 4 goals, with Emily Watts back from injury scoring a brace, Charlie and Jennifer Head both getting a goal each with Beth Stratton also on the scoresheet in a 9-5 win.
Freethorpe Ladies began their season at home taking on one of the newcomers to the league, Taverham Women. A solid start to the season for both sides as the battled out a goalless draw to share the points.
Lastly two of the newcomers faced off against each other on the opening weekend with Horsford Women hosting Thetford Town Ladies. The visitors enjoying the trip home with the 3 points in the bag. Melissa Boulton scoring a hat-trick for Thetford Town, Laura Martins and Shannon Richardson with a goal a piece, the visitors winning 5-1. Kathryn Gordon scoring the goal for Horsford.