The women’s football action on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog this Sunday comes from the Eastern Region Women’s Football League (ERWFL) Premier Division a trip to Suffolk to watch AFC Sudbury Ladies play Acle United Ladies.
The ERWFL season kicked off last Sunday and both sides got off to a great start recording opening day wins. Suffolk side, AFC Sudbury Ladies enter their 2nd season playing in the ERWFL Premier Division finished 3rd in their debut season at this level a position they held for most of the campaign. Will be hoping to push on challenge for the top 2 this time around have added to their squad bringing in Penny Everett and Megan Partridge who were with the now folded Long Melford Ladies last season. Started the season with an opening day victory at home, Sasha Diston scoring the goal as Sudbury beat newly promoted Royston Town Ladies 1-0.
Acle United Ladies are beginning their 3rd season playing in the ERWFL Premier Division and the side from Norfolk having been at the wrong end of the table for the past two seasons are confident of better things this time around. The club has seen a change of coach and several new players joining the club during last seasons campaign coupled with fixture pile up due to early season postponements that never let the club gain any momentum on the field. The close season has seen a few more additions to the squad which got the season off to a great start last weekend winning 5-2 on the road against AFC Dunstable Ladies.
Although AFC Sudbury Ladies have featured in match reports on the SWF Blog before this is the 1st time I’ve seen them play at home. Are very much an integral part of the men’s club, play at the Wardale Williams Stadium on the outskirts of Sudbury. A state of the art 3G pitch with a large newly built clubhouse and stand on one side of the ground, refreshments hot and cold available. A covered terraced stand between the dugouts on the opposite side of the pitch with covered standing areas behind both goals. Still warm and sunny as we near the end of August, several dark clouds around with the chance of a heavy shower during the match.
AFC Sudbury Ladies starting XI – Penny Everett, Holly Harrison, Charlotte Churchman, Rebecca Thrower, Sasha Diston (C), Phoebe Guiver, Hayley Turner, Charlene Roach, Sophie Jeffery, Mia Etheridge & Megan Partridge.
subs – Stacey Teager, Georgia Lindon & Natalie Golding
Acle United Ladies starting XI – Joanne Hooper, Anna Larkins, Luka Goodchild, Chloe Shields, Kate Pasque, Alice Ladbrooke, Amber Rowland, Rose Glendinning, Shannon Dade, Rebecca Burton (C) & Jody Wells.
subs – Leah McGuire.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Sudbury kick off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts were without a few 1st team regulars unavailable for the game. Joanne Hooper, Acle’s player/assistant coach can and has played in a number of positions for the side, today was in between the sticks keeping goal. Acle were wearing their new away kit red and white vertical striped shirts, white shorts with red and white hooped socks.
Straight from the kick off, Sudbury play the ball up the right channel with Hayley Turner giving chase to the ball, Acle’s, Chloe Shields comes across to tackle and win the ball on the edge of the box putting the ball out for a throw. Receiving the ball from the throw in, Sudbury’s Holly Harrison sweeps a high ball up into the Acle six yard box, Hooper sees it safely into her gloves. Playing the ball out quickly from the back, Anna Larkins on the right passes the ball on for Shannon Dade ahead of her attacking down the wing takes on the shot as she reaches to top of the box, hits the ball hard and low towards the near post, Penny Everett in goal for Sudbury has the angle covered, gathers the ball into her body.
|AFC Sudbury Ladies, Holly Harrison
Early pressure from the visiting side, winning the ball at the back get it up top through the middle quickly, Alice Ladbrooke playing the ball into striker, Jody Wells feet, back to goal 25 yards out looks to flick it over the top of the Sudbury defence with Dade making a run in behind to the right, Everett has seen the threat and coming off her line early clears the ball as it enters the area. Acle regain the ball and coming forwards win a free kick 30 yards from goal, Amber Rowland over the ball sends it long into the box towards the far post. Rebecca Thrower defending for Sudbury does well to stop Acle midfielder, Rose Glendinning get in round behind her concedes the corner. The set-piece goes long beyond the far post Ladbrooke gets up to head the ball, turns her effort behind for a goal kick.
|Defender, Rebecca Thrower clears the ball for AFC Sudbury Ladies
|AFC Sudbury Ladies captain
An end to end start to the game both sides looking to break quickly on the counter attack, Glendinning carries the ball with her through the middle of the park looks to put, Rebecca Burton the Acle captain through on goal, a good run, Sudbury’s Charlotte Churchman gets across her path just in time to push the ball wide and clear. Sudbury attack up the left side of the pitch the ball played into Sophie Jeffery her diagonal pass through the middle almost has Turner clear to attack the Acle goal, with Hooper rushing out it’s Kate Pasque who nips in ahead of Turner to intercept. Phoebe Guiver comes on for Sudbury.
There are a few fouls being committed both sides getting a little physical, Sudbury in particular not happy with some of the refereeing decisions. Free kicks being given away, Sudbury are awarded one in the middle of the Acle half a chance for Charlene Roach to test out Hooper in goal gets the shot on target but not enough height to trouble the keeper. Another free kick to Sudbury on the left top of the area is played in towards the far post plenty of bodies there to attack it, it’s an Acle head that gets it cleared out of the box.
GOAL! 22 minutes played and the visitors take the lead. With possession on the right bringing the ball into the Sudbury half, Acle win a throw in the ball is put into Glendinning who plays a great ball forwards for Wells to turn onto and run at the Sudbury box, Everett comes racing out to slide in at the strikers feet, spills the ball escaping her rolling to the right, Wells having kept her feet goes after it and turns the ball into the empty net beyond 0-1.
|Acle United Ladies, Jody Wells
Sudbury are awarded another free kick inside the Acle half with no advantage coming as they press bodies forwards. To the right of the box 30 yards out defenders come up from the back as Roach plays the ball diagonally to the far post, Acle head the initial ball clear out to the left Sudbury close it down and regain possession an early cross into the box, Diston is still forwards in the area connects with her head 12 yards out places the ball wide of the near post. Sudbury continue to put the Acle back line under pressure keeping possession around their 18 yard box, Megan Partridge unable to find a way through with the ball left side plays it across to the right with Harrison having gotten forwards looking to hit it 1st time, can’t keep her strike down.
GOAL! Acle are attacking down the right the ball is flung into the area, Thrower gets across Wells to clear the ball, Ladbrooke reacts sharply coming forwards to intercept the ball fired into the box, Wells turns the ball across the six yard box an awkward ball for the defence to deal with facing their own goal, Everett comes for it with Burton closing her down doesn’t gather cleanly as Burton challenges and manages to turn the ball over the line 0-2.
|Rebecca Burton scores Acle
United Ladies 2nd goal
Dade bringing the ball on down the right wing for Acle takes on the early shot, angling in low towards the near post, Everett is across and in place to make the save. The foul count is clocking up against Rowland as she gets a final warning from the referee. Hooper commits early to coming out to the edge of her area sliding in to claim the ball as Partridge tries to play Turner in over the top. A free kick for Acle inside the Sudbury half Larkins plays the ball long to the far post from the right, Everett jumping up amongst the players around her to lay claim to the ball. Acle make a change Leah McGuire coming on for Rowland.
Mia Etheridge steals in to win the ball off the Acle defence and run in behind down the right squares a good ball along the six yard box, no one attacking the near post, Hooper is able to throw herself forwards and get hold of the ball. Time running out 1st half to get themselves back into the match Partridge is flagged offside in the Acle box as she squeezes a shot past the on rushing Hooper. Luka Goodchild is left hurt on the floor as she loses the ball inside the Sudbury half, Etheridge dispossessing her races forwards down the right wing, Pasque covers the ground to get across to challenge plays the ball out for the corner kick.
GOAL! Little time left to play in the 1st half the corner on the right is sent long towards the far post area goes over everyone, the referee blows his whistle and points to the penalty spot having spotted a push. Acle protest and Pasque gets yellow carded for dissent. Up steps Roach to take the penalty kick for Sudbury, puts plenty of power behind the ball Hooper guesses right, diving to her left the ball is wide of her and nestles into the corner of the goal 1-2.
|Charlene Roach scores from the penalty spot late in the 1st half for AFC Sudbury Ladies
Half-time AFC Sudbury Ladies 1-2 Acle United Ladies
A goal right on the stroke of half-time has gotten Sudbury back into the game having gone 2-0 down. Acle having the better of the attacking play for a good percentage of the half going ahead midway through the 1st half then doubling their lead looking comfortable at the back until conceding the late penalty, Sudbury haven’t been at their best the goal back giving them a much needed lift.
Acle to get the 2nd half under way as Sudbury start the 2nd half with striker Stacey Teager who scored 16 goals last season on the pitch replacing Turner. Georgia Lindon is also on for Jeffery. McGuire has dropped into the defence for Acle with Pasque taking on a midfield role. Sudbury look to get Teager in on the action right from the start winning the ball the pass is played out to her making a run to the right of the box, Shields comes across and tackles well inside the box to win the ball.
|Charlene Roach and Kate Pasque battle for control of the ball
Goodchild carries the ball out from the back for Acle on the left plays the pass up to Ladbrooke her crossfield pass looks to pick out Dade breaking forwards down the right trying to get into the box, Churchman staying on her shoulder puts in a well timed tackle to win the ball her clearance from the back is intercepted by Acle, Larkins having come forwards on the right to offer support for Dade takes the ball down the line sends a low cross racing along the top of the six yard box, Everett gets down quickly to smother the ball before it can reach Burton at the far post.
|Acle United Ladies, Luka Goodchild
Everett is well placed in her goal with Acle counter attacking the ball up the left is lifted up into the middle with Wells running into the area right of goal strikes the ball 1st time angling it in towards goal, Everett makes the save confidently taking the ball into her body. A busy spell for the Sudbury keeper with Acle stretching play, Dade finding space to run into on the right her cross is towards the near post, Everett is 1st to the ball. Burton controls a long pass sent up through the middle 20 yards out back to goal lays it back into the path of Wells, running onto the ball looks to curl her shot back in is straight into Everett’s gloves.
GOAL! Having been under a little pressure at the start of the 2nd half Sudbury get themselves back on level terms. Attacking the ball is lifted up into the Acle area, Teager goes after it as the ball runs to the byline on the left, has support from Guiver lays the ball back to her, is clipped just outside the box, staying on her feet gets inside sees her shot blocked at close range, the referee blows up and awards the home side the free kick outside the area. Roach is over the set piece goes for goal getting plenty of lift on the ball on target drops late an awkward one for Hooper to try and deal with on her line, can’t keep it out and Sudbury equalise2-2 Roach with her 2nd of the match.
|Charlene Roach sends her perfectly weighted free-kick in towards goal to score her 2nd of the game
Acle have good possession of the ball on the right, Larkins able to support Dade on the wing, both get the opportunity to cross into the box, both times the ball is sent in near post with Everett 1st to the ball. Sudbury are getting some joy out wide themselves as the game starts to get stretched players tiring, Etheridge is played in on the wing running with the ball into space fires a low cross into the box with Partridge making a run into the area connecting with the ball sends her shot wide across goal.
Etheridge runs onto the ball put out to the right again and taking it forwards lifts her cross up into the six yard box with Teager attacking the near post, lifting her leg can’t quite bring the ball down for a shot but improvises well preventing the defender behind her heading it clear hooks it over her with the outside of her boot looping up is straight into Hooper who catches the ball.
|Alice Ladbrooke wins the ball back for Acle United Ladies
Pressing forwards with the ball Glendinning has Ladbrooke ahead of her in front of the Sudbury box links up with Larkins and Dade the trio in front of the D, crosses to Dade right with Larkins in between the pair, giving Larkins the ball she looks to pass back to Ladbrooke goes for the shot is blocked at close quarters by Diston the rebound back with Larkins she takes it on into the area, Thrower gets back on her to put in the challenge as Larkins shoots pulls the ball wide across the goal face. Pasque is off for Acle with Rowland returning to the action.
GOAL! Wells sees a shot blocked the ball spinning behind for a corner kick on the right. It’s Wells to take the set-piece the delivery long to the far post. A Sudbury head gets the ball away sent high up towards the edge of the area dropping, is an awkward ball to get under control even as Sudbury look to push up out of their area, Acle win the ball back push it out to Wells over on the right from a higher position sends the ball back into the box far post area again, Burton turns and spinning back in gets her foot over the ball and scores her 2nd of the match 2-3.
|A brace for Acle United Ladies captain, Rebecca Burton
Dade comes off for Acle with Pasque coming back on. Sudbury press forwards looking to get back into the match a powerful run on the right wing from Etheridge getting down the line squares the ball into the middle, running back the ball strikes the 1st defender inside the box, taking alot of pace of the ball deflects through to Teager beyond running onto the ball strikes it 1st time drills the shot wide.
|Acle United Ladies, Rose Glendinning looks to get away from
Sudbury pair Megan Partridge & Charlene Roach
Glendinning tries her luck from distance running with the ball before pulling the trigger 25 yards out, the ball bouncing through into Everett. A double change for Sudbury with Jeffery and Turner returning to the action replacing Lindon and Roach. Partridge lines up a shot from 35 yards out a powerful drive is blocked by McGuire on the edge of her area. Players are tiring on both sides as the game moves into the final stages.
GOAL! Wells is in space some 30 yards or so out from goal as the ball is rolled into her, has time and space to line up a shot gets plenty of pace behind the ball as she fires it across the diving Everett into the back of the net to score her 2nd goal of the game and put Acle 4-2 up.
Acle get the ball up into Burton, Pasque looks to get ahead of everyone gt into the box to receive the pass, Burton tries to play her in Everett coming out can get hold of the ball 1st set up a counter attack the ball up the field quickly played into Etheridge bursting clear to attack the Acle box shoots from outside the area as she sees Hooper rushing out to close her down fires a fierce shot past the keeper across the area, strikes the base of the far post cannoning back out across the six yard box, the Acle defence are 1st to it launch the ball clear.
|Mia Etheridge running onto the ball for AFC Sudbury Ladies
Into added time, Sudbury push players on looking to put the Acle back line under pressure Partridge gets the ball in behind with Teager running onto it clear of the defence taking it to the edge of the box Hooper is charging out to meet her sliding in Teager shoots, Hooper gets something on the ball takes the sting out of the shot as it gets past her by then her defence has got back round on the cover to clear the ball as the referee blows the final whistle.
Full-time AFC Sudbury Ladies 2-4 Acle United Ladies
A 4-2 victory for Acle sees them start the season with 2 wins out of 2 3rd in the table behind leaders Bedford Ladies and Haringey Borough Women who have started the season in similar fashion. A solid team performance getting themselves into a 2-0 lead. A physical match both sides battling hard to win the ball, some decisions baffling both sides, Sudbury will be the 1st to admit they weren’t at their best today, did well to get themselves back into the game however, tiring towards the end Acle retook the lead with Wells securing victory late on. Long way to go yet but already the ERWFL Premier Division is shaping up nicely and both Acle and Sudbury will be hoping they can be in the title race come the end of the season.r
My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details today, best of luck to both for the rest of the season.