Monthly Archives: August 2019

The Round-Up – ERWFL 25/08/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 25th August

ERWFL Premier Division

The 2nd round of league fixtures to begin the ERWFL Premier Division this hot Bank Holiday Sunday, and for the 2nd weekend running we saw an eye watering scoreline. A 15-1 win for Colney Heath Ladies last time around against AFC Dunstable Women, Harlow Town Ladies went one better at home this Sunday with a comprehensive 16-1 result over fellow Essex side Bowers & Pitsea Ladies. Newly promoted to the Premier Division, Bowers & Pitsea had started the season with a 3-2 win over fellow promoted side St Ives Town Ladies. Started well at Harlow opening the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes Sophie Dowman capitalising on a defensive error to put the visitors 1-0 up. Harlow came back to level 10 minutes later, 2 quick goals seeing them extend their lead Harlow added another 4 before half-time as Bowers & Pitsea struggled with the hot conditions. 

Harlow were to go on and rattle in another 9 goals in the 2nd half but despite the heavy scoreline were full of praise for Bowers & Pitsea’s spirit and endeavour. Harlow have made some strong additions over the summer and two of those opened there accounts with a hat-trick each, Georgia Box and Becky Shephard, Amy Nash also newly joined also getting her first goal for Harlow. Olivia Steele was also amongst the goals with a hat-trick. Tayla Handscombe and captain Kaydee King both netting a brace, their was also a goal each for Frances Gamble and last weekends scorer Bethany Chambers. Harlow up to fourth in the Premier Division table behind 3 sides still with 100% records.

Becky Shephard one of Harlow Town Ladies one of 3 players celebrating a hat-trick on Sunday (picture credit Gary Reed)

Colney Heath Ladies remain top thanks to their big win last Sunday were on the road this Sunday taking on Haringey Borough Women. A 9-0 opening day loss for the hosts on the opening day looked like they might hold Colney Heath to a goalless first half, Adrienne Milton played in to score late on to give the visitors the lead. Colney Heath with a threadbare squad doubled their lead early in the 2nd half with Samaira Khan newly joined from Dunstable on the end of a cross supplied by Milton to make it 2-0 adding another goal to the hat-trick secured on the opening day. Colney Heath keeping a clean sheet up the other end making it 2 wins from 2 to start the season.

Dionne Manning scoring a late winner away to Peterborough Northern Star Ladies on the opening day saw Luton Town Ladies with 3-2. This Sunday played their first home game of the season taking on Royston Town Women who had started the season with a 9-0 win at home to Haringey Borough Women. Looked to be heading for a goalless first period too Luton having created chances taking the lead in the 45th minute, Rebecca Wilson-Kane sending the ball into the bottom corner. The lead doubled with 12 minutes of the 2nd half gone a corner won Erica Byron sending the ball into the box Rachel Carter up highest to meet it and send a bullet header into the back of the net. 2-0 it remained heading into the final minute of the game Luton winning a penalty, Manning stepping up to score a confident finish adding a goal to her opening day hat-trick. Luton into 2nd courtesy of a 3-0 win.

A 3-0 home win too for Wroxham Women as they climb into 3rd with a 100% start beating Norfolk rivals Wymondham Town Ladies on Sunday at Trafford Park. Grace Birchall top scoring for Wroxham (Acle as they were last season) with 33 goals, opened her account this season to put the hosts into the lead at half-time. On 65 minutes Wroxham got themselves into a 2-0 lead Birchall scoring her 2nd of the game heading in from a grace Parker free-kick, two minutes later from a corner Kate Pasque got her head to the ball to add a 3rd for the hosts and help secure a 3-0 victory.

Losing out to a last gasp winner at home on the opening day Peterborough Northern Star Ladies were away this Sunday travelling to Westwood Road to play newly promoted St Ives Town Ladies. Leah Cudone adding quality to an already capable attack getting her account for the season open to put Peterborough into an early lead cutting in from the left to send a shot home. Katie Steward double the advantage in the 17th minute as she scored direct from a corner. St Ives came close to pulling a goal back midway through the first half Sarah Hudson making a fantastic diving save to keep the ball out. Leading 2-0 at half-time St Ives continued to battle looking for a reply didn’t come as Peterborough made the points secure with 10 minutes left, Emma Pollards looping ball from outside the area adding to the 2 she scored on the opening day.

A heavy defeat to start their ERWFL Premier Division campaign last Sunday, AFC Dunstable Women were on the road once again this Sunday albeit not far as they faced local rivals Bedford Ladies who themselves suffered a narrow 2-1 loss at home to Wroxham on the opening day. Priya Bhatti with the Bedford goal then, she added another to her tally against Dunstable with 4 more opening their accounts for the hosts with Setor Acolatse, Jasmine Ajayi, Charlotte Demmon and Mathilda Fidler all on the scoresheet in a 5-1 win. Sydney Webb finding the back of the net for Dunstable.



The Round-Up – FAWNL 25/08/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 25th August

FAWNL Cup Determining Round

  Into the 2nd weekend of the FAWNL season and the attention moves to the League Cup competitions with the now traditional Determining Round, all sides across the six divisions drawn together with the winning sides going on to compete for the FAWNL Cup the losing sides the FAWNL Plate. Always throws up some intriguing ties and some unexpected results. This Sunday played in sweltering temperatures right across the country. 14 ties featuring sides playing in the Southern Premier Division and South East Division One.

Women’s Football East was at one of those ties with a trip to Letchworth and The County Ground home of the Hertfordshire FA and now South East Division One side Stevenage FC Women as they hosted Southern Premier Division side Yeovil Town Women. Last season a fully professional outfit playing in the FAWSL, financial struggles seeing them not only relegated from tier one but no licence given for a place in the Championship. Now though a much brighter outlook for Yeovil as they begin life in the Southern Premier Division, with new ownership hopefully spurring on a resurgence. 

 Incredibly hot Letchworth boasting a brand new 3G playing surface with plenty of rubber underfoot. A few missing for Stevenage as Yeovil quickly got on the front foot, goalkeeper Hannah Vandersluis keeping Yeovil at bay until the 20th minute Kelly Aldridge linking with Sarah Wiltshire on the left seeing captain Annie Heatherson set up to blast in a shot from outside the area to make it 1-0. A flowing move from back to front bringing up the 2nd Heatherson long out to Wiltshire left she playing the early ball through the middle as Meesha Dudley-Jones breaks into the area to score. Quickly 3-0 as Aldridge is upended inside the area for a penalty Wiltshire opening up her body with a composed finish. Yeovil dominating the first half leading 3-0.

Yeovil’s Kelly Aldridge with Stevenage’s Cara Breckenridge

Te’a Oldroyd replacing Vandersluis in the Stevenage goal at half-time, was soon picking the ball up out of the back of her net as Dudley-Jones stole in to win the ball off the defence and take it on into the box to shoot and score 4-0. Dudley-Jones capitalising from a knock down from a corner to smash the ball in a close range to make it 5-0 and complete her hat-trick. The ball in the back of the net as Wiltshire ghosted in between defenders from a free-kick to fire home but was quick to hold her hands up and admit to handling the ball to get into a shooting position. Mattered little as Wiltshire had a 2nd moments later no doubt about this one jinking left and right wide left before sending a long range shot into the top corner. Stevenage forced to go down to 10 with injuries mounting and all subs used Yeovil were on top and Megan Wood put through on goal scored a 7th late on. A convincing result to cap a dominant performance. The full match report can be found below this post.

Elsewhere there was a notable giant killing on Sunday as Cambridge City Ladies newly promoted to the FAWNL South East Division One beat Chichester City Ladies who recorded a 3rd place finish in the Southern Premier Division. A trip down south for Cambridge City knew they would be up against it short on numbers having only the bare 11 available. Working hard on the heat to keep Chichester out Cambridge City scored two quickfire goals on the half hour through Beatrice Fitzsimons and Charlotte Gillies to lead 2-0 at the break. Chichester responding with a triple change at half-time put in an improved 2nd half performance but Cambridge hit them on the counter attack early in the 2nd half and with the keeper off her line Megan Tonks scores to put the visitors 3-0 ahead. Chichester pushed as City held firm a stunning strike from 30 yards from Chichester captain Megan Fox puling a goal back with 10 minutes left on the clock not enough a Cambridge City held out for a memorable win.

An all Southern Premier Division tie saw Watford Ladies travelling down to the South Coast for the 2nd time to face Portsmouth FC Women. A 2-0 away win for the Golden Girls on the opening day. A different story this time around Portsmouth creating opportunities in regular play seeing an effort ruled out for offside, Helen Ward coming close for Watford it remained goalless after 90 minutes the game heading to extra-time. The deadlock broken by the hosts a Tamsin De Bungen fired in a shot from the edge of the area to make it 1-0 in the first period. The lead doubled Rebecca Bath smashing in a shot off the underside of the bar saw Portsmouth progress the the Cup proper winning 2-0.

   Cardiff City Ladies were at South West Division One side Maidenhead United Ladies in this Sunday’s Determining Round. The Southern Premier Division making a great start as Grace Horrell headed them into the lead inside the opening 5 minutes. A screamer from Chloe Lloyd seeing the lead doubled in the 21st minute. Simone O’Brien scoring for the hosts late in the first half to see Maidenhead trailing 2-1 at half-time. Cardiff restoring their 2 goal lead in the 2nd half with Kelly Issac scoring from long range. The visitors awarded a penalty Cori Williams scoring from the spot made it 4-1 before Lloyd scored another screamer to see the game won 5-1.

 Keynsham Town Ladies newly promoted to the Southern Premier Division were playing their 1st game of the season on Sunday as they hosted Buckland Athletic Women form South West Division One in the Determining Round. The visitors taking the lead inside the opening 15 minutes with Sarah Stacey finding the back of the net. Keynsham getting back on level terms just past the half hour with Annys Turner grabbing the goal to make it 1-1. That how it remained deep into the game the winning goal coming in the 84th minute, Libby Piggott celebrating the goal as Keynsham claimed a 2-1 victory.

An 84th minute goal was also enough to clinch victory in the Determining Round of the FAWNL Cup for Crawley Wasps Ladies as the newly promoted side travelled to fellow Southern Premier Division opponents Oxford United Women who were also playing their first competitive match of the season. 18 goals for their captain Naomi Cole last season on their way to the South East Division One title, Cole scoring late on this Sunday to make it 2 wins from 2.

Another giant killing in the South West as Southern Premier Division side Plymouth Argyle Ladies were beaten in a 7 goal thriller against local rivals Exeter City Women newly promoted to South West Division One. A few missing for Plymouth they fell behind in the 18th minute as Exeter’s Anthea Kaptein fired home to make it 1-0. Plymouth drawing back level on the half hour with Amber Pollock on target. Exeter scoring in the closing moments of the first half to lead 2-1 at the break Kaptein netting her 2nd of the game. Plymouth making a bright start to the 2nd half straight back on level terms Jessie Jones scoring to make it 2-2. The visitors though were to concede almost straight away as Abbie Britton put Exeter back into the lead for the 3rd time in the match. Kaptein completing her hat-trick midway through the 2nd half giving Exeter a valuable 2 goal cushion. Pollock scoring her 2nd of the match making it 4-3, Plymouth couldn’t find another however as Exeter recorded a memorable win.

A positive 3-0 away win to start their season, Milton Keynes Dons Women were on the road once again this Sunday along the M4 to take on Swindon Town Ladies in the Determining Round. Looked to be heading for a goalless scoreline at half-time before Louise Naylor won the ball up the pitch and her cross into the box was nodded in at the far post by Amy Gooderham to make it 1-0 to the Southern Premier Division side. Leah Littlechild then struck twice in the 2nd half to see Milton Keynes in full control of the tie lobbing the keeper in the 60th minute her 2nd a half volley into the top corner to make it 3-0 with 15 minutes left. Mia Chiarizia’s cross in towards goal deflected in to the goal to see the tie won 4-0.

Essex side Billericay Town Ladies were playing host to South West Division One side Cheltenham Town Ladies in Sunday’s Determining Round. Billericay runners-up in South East Division One last season getting off to a fantastic start a brilliant ball from Sophie Vale turned in by Karissa Rodney. More chances came for the hosts, Cheltenham though where to get back on level terms on 22 minutes Sally Butterflied heading home to make it 1-1. The honours even at the break Billericay retaking the lead 10 minutes into the 2nd period winning a penalty, Danica Dougal making no mistake from the spot to put the hosts 2-1 up. The lead extended midway through the 2nd half with Jay Blackie on target to see Billericay to a 3-1 win.

A long trip to the South Coast for South East Division One side, Ipswich Town Women in the Determining Round of the FAWNL Cup on Sunday taking on Southampton FC from South West Division One. A strong first half from the hosts setting up victory as Ella Pusey put Southampton into the lead on 16 minutes. Sophie Pharoah doubling the advantage just before the half hour two goals late in the first half from Alisha Ware seeing Southampton lead 4-0 at the break. Phoebe Williams netting a 5th goal 15 minutes into the 2nd half so after Ware brought up her hat-trick to see Southampton win 6-0.

Elsewhere there were a host of tie featuring an all South East Division One line up. The game between Actonians Ladies and AFC Wimbledon Ladies abandoned in the 90th minute with the sides drawing 1-1 due to an injury to an Actonians player an ambulance required. Have no further news will update if I learn more can only wish the player involved well and hope it’s not too serious.

Opening day away wins for both Enfield Town Ladies and Norwich City Ladies in the league they met in the cup this Sunday with Norwich making the trip down to Donkey Lane. Enfield making a bright start taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes with Katherine Long firing them into the lead with her 2nd of the season. A narrow advantage at half-time. Enfield doubled the lead in the 57th minute Laura Baker scoring the late winner against Cambridge United last Sunday also on target with her 2nd goal of the season for her new club. Enfield winning 2-0.

Katherine Long scored the opening goal in Enfield’s 2-0 win over Norwich

   Also a 2-0 scoreline as Kent Football United newly promoted to the FAWNL South East Division One played at home for the first time competitively this season against AFC Basildon Women. The victory going to the visitors from Essex as they edged out Kent Football United to progress the the FAWNL Cup proper.

Extra-time and a 7 goal thriller in the final match to bring you from this Sunday’s Determining Round games, Cambridge United WFC heading down to London to play Leyton Orient WFC. Played in sweltering heat it was the visitors who opened the scoring with Kelley Blanchflower finding the back of the net in the 10th minute. Otesha Charles getting Leyton Orient back on level terms in the 19th minute. That remained the scoreline at half-time. Cambridge getting their noses in front early in the 2nd period with Faith Hewitt scrambling the ball home from a corner. The lead though lasting just 3 minutes a stunning half volley from Michelle Young from outside the area making it 2-2. Charles put through to score her 2nd of the game saw Leyton Orient lead 3-2. Cambridge battling away forcing extra-time with a goal at the death of normal time Mollie Coupar with the finish. Late heartbreak for Cambridge last weekend it was another crushing late goal deep into extra-time that saw Leyton Orient clinch victory a corner put in deep Ellie Stanning rising at the back post heading the ball down inside the post to win the game.

A hot weekend some great performances no one out at this stage we await the draws for both competitions.



Match Report – Stevenage FC Women v Yeovil Town Women

Sunday 25th August

FAWNL Cup Determining Round

 A trip down to Letchworth this Sunday for a match form the Determining Round of the FAWNL Cup, South East Division One side Stevenage FC Women taking on Yeovil Town Women from the Southern Premier Division.

  The Determining Round now a traditional part of the FAWNL calendar the sides from all six divisions drawn against each other with the winning sides going on to compete for the FAWNL Cup itself the losing sides entering the Plate competition. 

  The draw throwing up many intriguing ties right across the country, can be hard to chose one but settled on this one early on. 

  Stevenage have established themselves within the FAWNL, now linking up with the Stevenage FC Foundation the club has changed name from Stevenage Ladies to Stevenage FC Women to reflect the growing trend within the sport. An large influx of new signings for both the 1st and Development team as the club looks to push on. Amongst the newcomers joining are Lisa Nixon from Luton Town Ladies and striker Jenny Nagle from AFC Wimbledon Ladies. A goal conceded in the 88th minute last Sunday saw Stevenage lose their opening day fixture 2-1 to Actonians Ladies.

 A new beginning to of sorts for Yeovil Town too, albeit one they would have preferred to be somewhere else. One of the founding members of an all professional FAWSL the club struggled to find investment and that brought difficulties that impacted upon their season finishing bottom. An application to join the Championship turned down by the FA the club were relegated back to the FAWNL. Since then investment has come in with Adam Murry becoming the clubs new owner. Re-branded too as Yeovil Town Women. A brighter outlook awaits a positive future for a club that has always been a committed force to women’s football in the South West. Always enjoyed my trips down to Somerset to watch them in my FAWSL supporting days. The squad has seen a few departures but experience has been added with the likes of Dan Carlton and Sarah Wiltshire who returns to Yeovil after playing for Tottenham Hotspur Women. Top the Southern Premier Division after the opening fixtures last Sunday winning 9-0 away to the newly created Hounslow Women.

  The County Ground, Letchworth the venue for today’s game, the home of the Hertfordshire FA, Stevenage’s 1st team will be playing their home matches there this season. The ground undergoing development, first off a brand new 3G playing surface and surround. Alot of rubber laid in it’s construction. A new bar and clubhouse layout too with plenty of potential for more improvements to come. A blisteringly hot August bank Holiday Sunday, 30 plus degrees a blue sky the sun bright, the 3G pitch only adding to the temperature. I’m wearing shorts and I only do that if I absolutely have too! Enjoying it while it lasts however. 

Stevenage FC Women starting XI – Hannah Vandersluis, Kristi Burling, Leah Dunnage, Dominique Godbeer, Amy Notschild, Nicole Dunbar, Cara Breckenridge, Lisa Dixon, Amy Makewell (C), Louise Godden & Nicole Emmings. Subs – Te’a Oldroyd, Hayley Wood-Thompson & Mickie Palfreman.

Yeovil Town Women starting XI – Beth Howard, Harriet Lambe, Rebecca Halford, Thierry-Jo Gauvain, Jodie Chubb, Annie Heatherson (C), Dan Carlton, Kelly Aldridge, Sarah Wiltshire, Megan Wood & Meesha Dudley-Jones. Subs – Elena Pearce, Charlotte Buxton, Alexis Bussell, Maya Ridge & Rosie Kirby.

  It’s Yeovil wearing an all yellow away kit to get the match underway kicking off 1st half. Stevenage lined up opposite wearing white and pale red vertical striped shirts, red shorts and socks. The hosts with a few players unavailable, 5 new signings in today’s squad with, Lisa Nixon, Nicole Dunbar, Leah Dunnage and Louise Godden all starting, Mickie Palfremian on the bench. Stevenage press straight away forcing Yeovil to play the ball back to their defence, played forwards into Yeovil captain Annie Heatherson on halfway she plays a superb long pass out to Sarah Wiltshire over on the left she sends it on through the middle looking to pick out Kelly Aldridge making a run, Hannah Vandersluis with a good starting position top of her area able to gather the ball first.

   Nixon gets hold of the ball in midfield for Stevenage picks out Dunnage bursting on down the left win looks to take the ball infield his clipped and brought down by Yeovil full back Rebecca Halford  a free-kick awarded just outside the area despite her protests. Nixon over it players forwards she squares it towards Godden in a central position she opens up her body attempting to slip it on for Dunnage, Heatherson having read the move tracking Dunnage back on her to put in the tackle regain possession outside the six yard box.

  Yeovil counter attack rapidly the ball taken out wide right a cross flung into the area headed out for a throw. Dan Carlton picks the ball up from the throw right travels infield 30 yards out a one two made with Heatherson, Carlton strikes the ball runs wide of the Stevenage goal. Yeovil have quickly settled winning the ball high play turned around quickly a pass put into the feet of Megan Wood right of goal strikes a low shot in towards goal Vandersluis diving is beaten the ball cannoning off the base of the post. 

Yeovil’s Rebecca Halford with Stevenage’s Louise Godden

  Dunnage with a heavy impact with the surface as she brings the ball out for defence allows Yeovil in behind, Meesha Dudley-Jones sending a high cross into the area Vandersluis making a confident claim. Yeovil’s attacking players harassing the Stevenage defence keep the pressure on. Space opens up on the right for full back Halford to run into given the ball cuts it into Aldridge top of the box her touch taking the ball on into the area ,Dominique Godbeer stays on her shoulder to clear for Stevenage.

  Twisting and turning on the ball outside the area left of goal Wiltshire sets herself to shoot, Godbeer backing off gives herself time to get into position to block the effort.  The danger not cleared a 2nd shot made left of the D driven in low Vandersluis down low to her right saves pushing the ball behind for a corner. A good delivery from the left in high Aldridge up inside the box towards the back post heading the ball into the ground goes after the loose ball herself a stab with her boot deflecting it goalwards rising a smart save from Vandersluis. 

Kelly Aldridge making the tackle

 Is very hot out there the sun beating down. Yeovil despite that are looking sharp at the start of the game continue to attack another corner won left swept into the area falling invitingly inside the six yard box a Stevenage boot making vital contact to launch clear. Aldridge receiving the ball central 25 yards out from goal attempt to play Wiltshire in behind cutting in from the left, Vandersluis sliding in sending up a cloud of rubber balls doing enough to put the attacker off.

 Stevenage attacks rare Nicole Emmings leading the line having very little to feed on, Godden getting up in support when she can, an attack broken up the ball cleared up to Heatherson sees Dudley-Jones moving away into space on the right the pass on the money taken in her stride Dudley-Jones bares down on goal shooting low near post saved by Vandersluis.

    Godden a willing runner given half a chance for Stevenage, captain Amy Makewell playing the ball on through the middle she goes after it, Jodie Chubb dealing with the threat comfortably for Yeovil in the centre of defence playing it back to goalkeeper Beth Howard, Godden stays alert the kick out striking her inside the six yard box could have gone anywhere, the rebound however favouring Howard coming straight back at her to get hold of. 

Stevenage’s Lisa Nixon

 Harriet Lambe at left back for Yeovil plays the ball up field Wiltshire with support for Dudley-Jones left side outside the box, lays the ball back to Dudley-Jones hits it well enough low in towards goal straight at Vandersluis however. 20 minutes played. Yeovil are getting closer Wiltshire has the ball glued to her feet as she jinks and twists avoiding challenges on the left outside the box eventually making room for a shot her looping ball striking the crossbar. 

  GOAL! The pressure Yeovil have applied eventually tells as they open the scoring. Aldridge linking up with Wiltshire on the left in attack combination play seeing the ball fired into the area blocked Aldridge back to Wiltshire she squares it to Heatherson central her shot flying in past the diving keeper 0-1.

Yeovil Town Women captain, Annie Heatherson with the opening goal

  Time for drinks, a break in play called. Stevenage make a change, Hayley Wood-Thompson on for Dunnage. Stevenage look to get on the offensive from the restart the ball played into the left channel, Godden after it, Thierry-Jo Gauvain going back with her tackling and winning the ball in the corner. Stevenage keep the ball alive in the final third players up a set-piece lifted into the area the ball knocked down to the top of the area, Nixon top of the D gets her foot up over the top of the ball to strike a shot back in Chubb blocking for Yeovil.

   Wiltshire lines up a shot from distance the strike tipped up over the bar by Vandersluis. A corner on the left defended by Dunnage at the near post. Stevenage can’t break Heatherson supported by Carlton winning the midfield battle. Wiltshire drifting into a central position plays a great ball on for Dudley-Jones away on the left she lifts a cross into the far post, Wood getting a toe on it lifts it over, the flag up against her. 

Yeovil Town Women’s Thierry-Jo Gauvain

  Makewell looks to play Godden away down the left in attack for Stevenage Gauvain pacey back to defend against her sets up the counter attack the ball through the middle into the feet of Wiltshire outside the area left side no power behind the shot comfortably caught by Vandersluis. Wood away right side into the box under challenge gets a shot away saved Aldridge central attempts to score, a glove from the keeper puts it wide for a corner. Stevenage struggle to clear their lies Yeovil all over them Carlton gets a shot away from distance lacks power Vandersluis down to gather. The Stevenage keeper very busy making another double save as the ball is struck at close range. 

 GOAL! Yeovil have a 2nd goal and it’s a great move from back to front, Heatherson on the ball deep her pass out long for Wiltshire left her diagonal ball sending Dudley-Jones through on goal, central strikes it early the shot driven n past the diving goalkeeper 0-2.

  GOAL! Two quickly becomes three! Yeovil awarded a penalty as Aldridge pressing into the area left of goal is upended. Wiltshire placing the ball on the spot a well taken penalty opening up her body to lift the ball wide of the keeper to score 0-3. 

Sarah Wiltshire scoring from the penalty spot.

  A hammer blow for Stevenage they get a free-kick up the other end wide left as Burling breaks forwards trying to link with Godden. Nixon to play the ball into the top of the area, Burling attempting to flick on can’t connect as Yeovil see it safely into the gloves of their keeper. Wiltshire remains a threat out wide or cutting inside no one can stay with her, free in behind Vandersluis takes a risk sliding in well outside her box the ball spinning in behind Wiltshire keeps her footing after it the angle against her as she is closed down fires her shot across the empty goal. 

  Burling with another foray forwards for Stevenage cuts inside the ball defended loose Nixon latches onto it 30 yards out sends a high ball in towards goal, Howard needing to keep an eye on it back on her line sees it over. Up the other end Dudley-Jones stealing the ball off the defence sees a shot whip up over the bar. Wood right drives on with the ball for Yeovil squares it into Aldridge top corner of the area runs on  past her for Dudley-Jones behind she curls a shot past the near post.

Half-time Stevenage FC Women 0-3 Yeovil Town Women

  A dominant first half display from Yeovil sees them leading Stevenage 3-0 at the break. Having created a host of chances eventually opened the scoring midway through the first half. Goalkeeper Hannah Vandersluis pulling off a number of fantastic saves to keep her side in in 2 quick fire goals late in the half putting Yeovil in the driving seat. Have moved the ball well and runs off it have been superb through the half despite the heat out there in reply thier defence has been little troubled. 

Yeovil’s Kelly Aldridge with Stevenage’s Cara Breckenridge

  Stevenage making a double change at the start of the 2nd half, Mickie Palfreman on for Notschild in defence and a change of goalkeeper too as Vandersluis is replaced by Te’a Oldroyd, a baseball cap adorning her head as the high sun faces her goal 2nd half. A switch of sides for me too 2nd half need some shade myself. Alot for Stevenage to do if they are to try and get something from the game. The hosts kicking off the 2nd period. Yeovil however are straight into the attack the ball won played wide to Wiltshire left a shot from distance dropping wide across goal. Palfremian in to clear the ball in the heart of defence as another cross is whipped in close to goal form the left.

Stevenage’s Mickie Palfreman

 GOAL! Just what Stevenage would have wanted to avoid as they conceded a fourth goal right at the start of the 2nd half. Caught in possession at the back in front of the D, Dudley-Jones nicks the ball drives on into the box and sends her shot in under the newly arrived keeper 0-4.

  Yeovil starting the 2nd half as they left the 1st get the ball forwards at will, Wiltshire with a diagonal ball left side on for Heatherson moving forwards she crosses into the six yard box Aldridge closing in forcing a save from Oldroyd at pointblank range. Stevenage attempt to counter Breckenridge on for Makewell central on for Emmings in attack, Godden supplying a good run to her left the pass towards her Godden takes it deep before crossing disappointingly into the side netting. A great first touch from Palfreman at the back for Stevenage looks to have put Godden through in behind on the left only for her attack to be thwarted by a raised flag.

   Palfreman making an impact at the back for Stevenage winning challenges sends the ball up field Godden looking to get after it, Gauvain keeping with her defending for Yeovil in the final third. The visitors break quickly as they have all game Dudley-Jones away on the right, whips a vicious cross in across goal Wiltshire close in attacking the far post doesn’t get the contact she wants heavy allows the Stevenage defence to clear. Halford bursting into space on the right side as Aldridge spots her run the cross delivered near post Wiltshire advanced again to attack it under challenge fires wide.

Yeovil attack shows no relenting Dudley-Jones a threat on the right sending a ball in across the six yard box Aldridge throwing a leg at it can’t connect. Wiltshire is everywhere in attack finding herself free in a central position top of the area hits a rising ball in towards goal, a top class save from Oldroyd gloves it up over the bar. 

  GOAL! From the resulting corner Yeovil extend their lead the ball fired in fast near post deflected down into the ground falls to the feet of Dudley-Jones to strike hard from six yards out through feet giving the keeper no chance and complete her hat-trick 0-5.

A hat-trick for Yeovil Town Women’s Meesha Dudley-Jones

   Has been a frustrating afternoon for Emmings in attack for Stevenage the ball played forwards to the right the striker makes a determined run to get forwards flashing a cross from deep across the face of goal, Halford tracking back with Godden swinging a foot to clear the ball before it can be attacked the corner conceded. The ball in a great one falling into the six yard box Yeovil fail to clear an instinctive header from Emmings close in only succeeds in putting it straight into Howard’s gloves.

Nicole Emmings forcing her way forwards for Stevenage

  Oldroyd with another brilliant save as Yeovil mount an attack on the left Wood crossing square to Aldridge who tees up Heatherson to shoot from 25 yards out the ball in low Oldroyd down t stop it. Yeovil make their first change of the match with Aldridge coming off to be replace by Maya Ridge.

  A free-kick inside the Stevenage half for Yeovil presents a further opportunity to attack the box Carlton on the ball lifting it in towards the top of the area, Wiltshire ghosting in between defenders getting a touch to set it up and shoot across the keeper and score, Stevenage immediately appealing for handball! Nothing given by the officials, a moments hesitation between her first and second touches Wiltshire sportingly admits to handling the ball, an action to be applauded and play resumes with a goal kick.

 GOAL! That said a moment later Wilshire is celebrating a goal scored beautifully with her feet, no question about it a fantastic strike as she gets onto the ball wide left isn’t closed down on the angle strikes it well across the keeper from distance and into the top corner 0-6.

  Wiltshire continues to be a threat played in on goal closing down the keeper left side she manages to avoid her diving challenge in behind, Burling gets back on her to make the tackle before she can craft a shot. Wood has support from Halford getting in the clear right side sends in a cross near post Wiltshire close in smashes a rising shot against the bar as Oldroyd leaps grounded the keeper recovers fantastically getting in the way to save as Dudley-Jones coming in far side smashes the ball against her.

Rebecca Halford looking for options for Yeovil Town Women

  Another drinks break called, an injury to Godbeer is unable to continue leaving Stevenage with just 10 on the field. Yeovil make a change Wiltshire coming off Alexis Bussell. 20 minutes left to play. Play resumes Dudley-Jones is put away right side shooting sees her attempt bounce wide across goal.

  GOAL! Halford bringing the ball on down the right miscues her forwards ball intended for Wood down the line instead goes central into Carlton she reacts well aware of Wood’s run flicks the ball out to her charging into the box Wood takes a touch a smashes it over the keeper into the top corner 0-7.

 Yeovil make their final change with Rosie Kirby coming on to replace Halford at right back. Has all been Yeovil have maintained high energy levels despite the heat their younger players encouraged well by the more experienced. Into the final 6 minutes of the game Stevenage are tired been a tough afternoon. Dudley-Jones has pace to burn in behind blasts another effort wide across goal. Carlton with a break forwards with the ball encouraged to go on attempts to lob the keeper her effort falling wide of goal. 

Yeovil Town Women midfielder, Dan Carlton

  Breckenridge back in defence now blocking at the near post as Wood wide left drives a low cross into the box. Bussell beating the offside trap in the closing moments played in by Carlton in central plays her strike wide of goal. The final whistle blowing soon after and everyone can retreat to the shade.

Full time Stevenage FC Women 0-7 Yeovil Town Women

  A comprehensive result for Yeovil Town Women as they dominated from start to finish to beat Stevenage 7-0 in the Determining Round of the FAWNL Cup. often a strange game as no one actually exits at this point just know what trophy you will be fighting for. That said a huge confidence boost for Yeovil nevertheless 16 goals scored in two matches. A good performance in soaring temperatures, well worked goals further chances created. Great movement on and off the ball bodes well going into the season. On the flip side a day to forget for Stevenage never got going shaky at the back little to offer in attack must go down as a bad day at the office and galvanise them going forwards.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, as you might expect today’s contenders are all from Yeovil. I thought Kelly Aldridge was superb and the driving force early on that set the tome for the visitors with some great attacking runs and interplay. Sarah Wiltshire could have had 5 or 6 goals today created numerous opportunities and she’s a nightmare for defenders to track as she drifts in almost unnoticed at times. Great close control with the ball always looking for an opening. Just edging it though is Meesha Dudley-Jones her movement up front and coming in from the right just as superb netting a hat-trick and like Wiltshire should have had more.

  I’m not a hot weather person but I’m not going to knock it, an enjoyable trip to Letchworth today, the Determining Round is always an intriguing fixture in the football calendar. My thanks to both sides with their help today.  

The Round-Up – ERWFL 18/08/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 18th August

ERWFL Premier Division

One more edition of The Round-Up to bring you this week as this Sunday also saw the start of the new ERWFL season, the Premier Division sides beginning their campaigns. Once again featuring 12 sides, Bowers & Pitsea Ladies promoted along with last season’s Division One champions St Ives Town Ladies. AFC Sudbury Ladies are relegated to the new Division One North whilst Luton Town Ladies drop into the league having finished bottom of FAWNL South East Division One last season. Like the FAWNL above the ERWFL has seen a far bit of player movement over the close season.

  All 12 sides in action on the opening day and for a couple their were mouth watering scorelines. Colney Heath Ladies starting the new campaign with a bang. Entering their 3rd season playing in the Premier Division were at home taking on AFC Dunstable Women who having struggled last season were looking forwards to the new season with renewed optimism. New players brought in it proved to be a tough first fixture one to be forgotten as they were soundly beaten by a double figure margin. An ex-player inflicting the most damage as Samaira Khan newly signed by Colney Heath scored 4 goals on her competitive debut. Rianne Townsend-Brown top scorer for Colney Heath last season with 15 goals getting her account opened as she netted a hat-trick. Three more scoring a brace on the opening day with Megan Kelly, Lucy Hancock and Charlene Moreton all getting 2 each Adrienne Milton also celebrating a goal in a 15-1. Bianca Vassell starring for the Development side last season with the consolation goal for Dunstable. 

  A huge goal difference already for Colney Heath, also too for Royston Town Women as they started with a big result at home to Haringey Borough Women on the opening day. A 3rd placed finish for Royston last season, Joanne Rutherford led the goal scoring charts with 19 goals. Hit a hat-trick on the opening day with Ellie Wilkerson, Samantha Edgar and Emma Slater all scoring a brace in a comfortable 9-0 win.

A hat-trick for Royston Town Women’s, Joanne Rutherford on the opening day

  Closer results elsewhere, the two newly promoted sides meeting on the opening day, St Ives Town Ladies travelling to Essex to play Bowers & Pitsea Ladies. The hosts making a great start as Sophie Dowman fired them into the lead inside the opening 10 minutes. That remained the score at the break. A sloppy start to the 2nd half allowing St Ives the opportunity to get back on level terms scoring form a free-kick in the 47th minute then taking the lead themselves 5 minutes later with Sasha Smith and Ruth Fox opening their accounts. Bowers & Pitsea rallying late on the game into the final 10 minutes a free-kick won on the edge of the box fired home by Megan Harley 2-2. The 3 points won with 5 minutes left on the clock the Essex side winning a corner the ball delivered far post a bullet header from new signing and captain Donna Fletcher finding the back of the net to win it 3-2.

  Luton Town Ladies began life in the ERWFL with an away trip to the Branch Bros Stadium to play Peterborough Northern Star Ladies. Both sides making several new additions to their squads over the summer with both expecting to be challenging for top spot. Dionne Manning opening the scoring to put Luton into the lead 1st half. Peterborough coming back to level and then score another to lead 2-1 before the break with Emma Pollard scoring both goals. Luton getting back on level terms themselves in the 2nd period with Manning on the scoresheet for her 2nd of the game. A dramatic finish to the match with Manning grabbing a late winner and completing a hat-trick to win the game for Luton 3-2.

   Bedford Ladies were playing hosts on the opening day to a familiar opponent but with a new name this season as Acle United Women become Wroxham Women. Will be aiming for the title regardless once again in their new colours a new beginning they found themselves trailing at the break to a first half penalty with Priya Bhatti scoring for Bedford. Emily Leach joining late last season adds presence and a goal threat in Wroxham’s final third and she was on target to get the visitors back on level terms at 1-1 before Kayleigh Holloway newly signed from local rivals and Premier Division counterparts Wymondham Town scored a rocket on her debut to see the game won 2-1. 

  Wymondham Town Ladies themselves were hosting Essex side Harlow Town Ladies on the opening day. Both promoted to the ERWFL Premier Division last season were impressive in their debut season at this level will be looking to kick on further, both making several changes and additions to their squads over the close season. Harlow taking the lead in the 22nd minute hitting Wymondham on the break Bethany Chambers putting the ball home. Wymondham coming back to level just past the half hour new signing Mia Etheridge arriving from Sudbury scoring from a crossed ball on her debut. 1-1 at the break Wymondham pressed hard for another goal 2nd half Harlow keeping them out the sides sharing the points.

The Round-Up – FAWNL 18/08/19

The Round-Up

Sunday 18th August

 Here we are again the start of another new football season, another exciting few month ahead across the East and beyond in the case of the FAWNL where Women’s Football East will once again be covering the Southern Premier Division and South East Division One. The quality of both leagues increasing year upon year. Plenty of transfers made over the close season several catching the eye and a good number making their mark on the opening Sunday of the season as you shall read below. 

  Feeling far from prepared for the season ahead behind with the website updates but had my reasons as most of you will have seen if not refer to the post further down the page for more details. Will get there just a little later than I’d like to be. Got to plough on however.

FAWNL Southern Premier Division

A 12 strong Southern Premier Division once again, and hope that will remain the case a postponement on the opening day seeing Keynsham Town Ladies newly promoted to the league unable to play Oxford United Women. Crawley Wasps Ladies the other side promoted to the league storming to the South East Division One table following promotion last season and see no reason why they will not be amongst those at the top end of the Southern Premier Division this time around. A name change as QPR Women move to join forces with Hounslow Women to create a new side. Not a total split from QPR itself as the team and name are retained within the regional set-up below.

  Another newcomer to the league albeit not by their choice former FAWSL 1 side Yeovil Town Women. Often punching above their weight a popular club amongst many a neutral were unable to obtain a license for the Championship. That saw the club appeal for new investment and since then a new owner has come in whilst the commitment to women’s football within Somerset and beyond remains as strong and committed as it ever was. 

  It was to Hounslow that Yeovil travelled on the opening day of the season and hit the ground running back in the 3rd tier of women’s football. Anne-Marie Heatherson getting Yeovil off to a flying start with an early opening goal. Meesha Dudley-Jones on target to make it 2-0 to the visitors with Heatherson finding the top corner to make it 3-0. Kelly Aldridge scoring her first of the season too to see Yeovil leading 4-0 at half-time. Aldridge quickly adding to the scoreline with her 2nd of the match after the restart. Sarah Wiltshire returning to Yeovil after playing for Tottenham Hotspur Women will be a strong addition at this level struck the post before opening her account from a free-kick to make it 6-0. Aldridge completing an opening day hat-trick to see Yeovil in 7th heaven. The goals kept coming as Wiltshire matched Aldridge with 2 more goals to also claim a hat-trick on the opening day to see Yeovil top the Southern Premier Division table.

   Moving into 2nd spot in the Southern Premier Division table after the opening Sunday results are Milton Keynes Dons Women. Promoted to this level for the first time in their history last season took a little time to settle but were comfortable in the finish securing a 9th placed finish. Have made a number of additions to their squad this time around as they look to push on. Were away on the opening day playing last season’s 3rd placed finishers Chichester City Ladies who for a good portion of the season were up their with eventual champions Coventry United Ladies. A tough start to the season this time around as Milton Keynes made a fine start. Rebecca McShane, Vicky Neal, Dominika Netschova and Jessica Driscoll amongst those joining the squad. Two of those scoring the winning goals. McShane joining from Watford putting Milton Keynes it the lead inside the opening quarter hour. Netschova scoring on her competitive debut too making it 2-0 in the 35th minute. The 3 points secured 2nd half as Netschova found the back of the net in the 65th minute to seal a 3-0 away win.

  Crawley Wasps Ladies have once again added to their squad as they prepare to take another step up the women’s football pyramid this just their 2nd season in the FAWNL. Just one league defeat last time around started this season with a 2-0 home win over Plymouth Argyle Ladies. Samantha Pittuck joining Crawley after a season with their South East Division One rivals Billericay Town Ladies that saw her score 18 goals in 19 appearances. Was quickly off the mark with her new side putting Crawley into the lead midway through the 1st half. The hosts doubling the lead with 10 minutes gone in the 2nd half sending a looping ball in from the top of the box. Megan Stow shown a straight red card saw Crawley down to 10 with 25 minutes left to play, held onto a clean sheet however to begin the season with a home victory.

  Watford FC Ladies began their Southern Premier Division campaign with a trip to the South Coast to play Portsmouth FC Women. A number of new additions to the Golden Girls squad over the summer. Two starting on Sunday midfielder Megan Chandler and goalkeeper Nina Wilson with Ocean Rolandsen making the move form London Bees and Emma Beckett who was at Tottenham Hotspur Women last season named on the bench. It was a familiar name however that got the first goal of the season, Helen Ward netting 18 goals last time around, getting her account opened in the 15th minute to fire Watford into the lead, another coming for Ward in the closing moments of the first half as she struck to make it 2-0. A clean sheet kept intact in the 2nd period seeing Watford journey home with 3 points on the back.

  Cardiff City Ladies announcing before their opening fixture that the rules had changed to allow them to compete within the FAWSL/Championship should they win promotion. A runners-up finish last time around the Welsh side often amongst those challenging at the top of the Southern Premier Division were hosting Kent side, Gillingham Ladies. 9 new signings made by Gillingham manager Jack Wheeler over the summer including the return of former captain Jade Keogh, she along with Hannah Wheeler who spent last season with Championship side London Bee and ex-Charlton player Jess Carpinini all starting Sunday’s game with two further additions both ex-Charlton, Ellie Jeffkins and Georgia Pearch named on the bench. Gillingham enjoying their long trip to Wales as they opened the scoring with a fantastic goal finished by Grace Harrison. A slender lead Cardiff had an opportunity to level on 58 minutes awarded a penalty Cori Williams seeing her shot  saved by Gillingham goalkeeper Cara Davies as she helped them to secure and opening day victory.

FAWNL South East Division One

  Crawley Wasps Ladies and Billericay Town Ladies were the two sides gaining promotion to the FAWNL last season both making their debut at this level and taking the league by storm both strengthening their squads were neck and neck for a time at the top before Crawley losing just one game all season that against Billericay going on to finish champions and gain promotion. Will Billericay be as strong again this season or will the others catch up? Has been alot of player movement in the league and several sides have made notable additions was very competitive below the top two and expect that to be the case this time around. Cambridge City Ladies and Kent Football United the promoted sides this time around both again making their bow at this level a tough act for the newly promoted pair to follow. A new era begins for AFC Basildon Women formerly C&K Basildon relegated from the Southern Premier Division. Amongst those making several new additions to their squad are buoyant going into the new season with renewed optimism.

The FAWNL South East Division One is where the season begins for Women’s Football East, the first of many match reports that shall be produced over the season across all 15 leagues under the umbrella. A new era too for Cambridge United WFC as they move to a new home after spending 3 seasons playing at Mildenhall Town FC. St Neots Town FC’s Premier Plus Stadium their new base for home games and training closer to Cambridge. Their opponents familiar as they took on Enfield Town Ladies. A great season for the visitors last time around finishing 3rd. Ex-Cambridge player Laura Baker amongst their new signings as they started the game strongly taking the game to Cambridge creating much of the early chances opened the scoring in the 20th minute, new signing Beth Lumsden with a brilliant flick in the middle to release striker Katherine Long in behind the Cambridge defence caught high, goalkeeper Savannah Smith well off her line Long struck early sending the ball angling past the keeper and one into the empty net to open the scoring. Cambridge gaining in little momentum late in the first half won a corner in the final minute the ball cleared out to midfielder Charlotte Crisp her touch and shot were excellent from range as she sent the ball in towards goal dipping in front of the diving keeper to sneak in inside the post to see the sides drawing at the break. 

A better start to the 2nd half saw Cambridge apply pressure to Enfield higher up the pitch and chances were fashioned. Enfield making changes to counter the home side coped with the threat a physical and competitive game as it always is between the pair the game could have gone either way 2nd half, Enfield finding a bit more late on as Cambridge tired breaking in the closing moments a cross from the left deep kept alive by Anna Re sent back in across the six yard box the Cambridge defence stretched, Laura Baker was well positioned central to apply the touch and score the winning goal. The full report from the game can be found in the post below.

Tough away trips for both the newly promoted sides on the opening day of the season with Cambridge City Ladies, ERWFL Champions last season travelling to London to play last season’s 5th placed finishers Leyton Orient WFC. An early goal for the hosts with Hayley Barton setting Leyton Orient on their way in the 3rd minute. Cambridge City coming back to level in the 15th minute with a goal for Karly Tolentino on her debut. Leyton Orient were back in front 10 minutes later with Egle Trezzi opening her account to see the hosts 2-1 up at the break. Leyton Orient having the better of the 2nd half with captain Danielle Griffiths putting them 3-0 up on the hour. Sophie Le Marchand adding a 4th goal with 15 minutes to go, 2nd half substitute Belen Ripoll Douton making it 5-1 to Leyton Orient with 2 minutes left on the clock, enough to see them top the league after the opening day results.

   A short trip up into Essex for Kent Football United as they made their FAWNL bow taking on last season’s runners-up, Billericay Town Ladies. Plenty of experience within the Billericay squad the host opened the scoring on 20 minutes, 15 goals to her name last season Jay Blackie getting the Essex sides opening goal of the season. Danica Dougal scoring with 5 minutes left of the first half to see Billericay leading 2-0 at half-time. 32 goals for Zoe Rushen last season she got her account up and running 12 minutes into the 2nd half lobbing the keeper to make it 3-0. Billericay’s captain Lindsey Morgan scoring soon after to bring up the Essex sides 4th. Kent Football United had chances themselves were awarded a penalty with 20 minutes left on the clock Amy Russ coolly sending the ball into the bottom corner to score their first goal in the FAWNL. Blackie on target with her 2nd of the game restoring Billericay’s 4 goal cushion. Kent Football United capitalising scoring a scrambled goal in the 88th minute with Shannon Burke the scorer.

Greg Dimsey the new manager in charge of Norwich City Women’s (newly renamed) first team this season as they started the season with a trip down to Essex to take on AFC Basildon Women. A new era beginning for both looking to make their mark on the league. Basildon bringing in a host of new players, with experience at this level and young emerging talent alike. Ex-Ipswich players Cassie Craddock and Harriet Petley along with Cerys Adams and Poppy Binding making their Basildon debuts. The visitors from Norfolk opening the scoring with Aimee Durrant heading in to make it 1-0 within the opening minute. Chelsea Garrett top scoring with 14 goals last season on target to see Norwich go 2 nil in front. Sophie Spencer-Webb pulling a goal back for Basildon before half-time. The hosts then getting back on level terms at the start of the 2nd period with Binding scoring. Norwich added to their attacking threat late last season bringing in Megan Todd and she has the potential to make a huge impact in South East Division One, scoring twice she helped Norwich secure a 4-2 win to go 3rd in the table.

   Two more sides that will be expecting good campaigns this time around too met on the opening day with Stevenage Women (also newly renamed) taking on Actonians Ladies, both making new additions to their squads, both featured an ex-AFC Wimbledon attacker. Jenny Nagle amongst the starters for Stevenage, Caroline Bisson was a starter for Actonians. Amy Makewell captaining Stevenage getting the hosts opening goal of the season to see them leading at the break. Bisson scoring for Actonians drawing them back on level terms 15 minutes into the 2nd half, then just as it was between Cambridge and Enfield it was late heartbreak for the hosts too as Bisson struck again in the closing moments to win the game 2-1 for Actonians.

   A dominant display at home for Ipswich Town Women however they had to settle for a point n the opening day as they took on AFC Wimbledon Ladies. A number of their talented U21s featuring in their starting line-up they found themselves trailing inside the opening quarter hour as new signing Helen Ogle fired Wimbledon into the lead with her first competitive goal for the club. Ipswich pressing hard for a reply before the break finding the back of the net to make it 1-1 with Abbie Lafayette scoring. Ipswich creating chances in the 2nd period as Wimbledon worked hard to keep them out to earn themselves a point.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Enfield Town Ladies

FAWNL South East Division One

Sunday 18th August

  The new season is here and I’m as excited as ever to bring you coverage of football across the East at all levels. Beginning with a game from the opening day of the FAWNL from South East Division One, Cambridge United WFC v Enfield Town Ladies.

 Both sides stalwarts of an FAWNL South East Division One league that has undergone many changes in recent seasons as the women’s game continues to grow across the country. Increasingly more competitive the standards raised season upon season this campaign looks certain to be no different. The newly promoted sides dominating last season with Crawley Wasps Ladies storming to the title and promotion to the Southern Premier Division whilst Billericay Town Ladies finished as runners-up. Cambridge City Ladies and Kent Football United the sides promoted this time around both playing at this level for the first time.

A new era begins for Cambridge United WFC as they move to The Premier Plus Stadium home of St Neots Town FC after spending 3 season playing at Mildenhall Town FC. A move that brings them closer to Cambridge and a centralised base for training and playing. Excellent facilities at their disposal. Whilst the promoted pair were running away with it at the top below it was highly competitive last season a late run of form putting Cambridge within a shout of breaking into the top half tailed off to finish 8th overall, Mollie Coupar top scoring with 13 goals. A few departures over the close season to the squad and coaching staff, Ben Yeomans assisting manager Kevin Hoover this season. Gemma Croucher joining the squad from Royston Town Women with Faith Hewitt also back with the squad.

Enfield Town Ladies long established at this level enjoying a fantastic campaign in the league last season strong all season emerging top of the competitive tussle in the middle of the table to record a 3rd placed finish. Helped in part to 16 goals for Molly Peters the ex-West Ham player moving to Championship side Lewes this season. Enfield have added to their squad bringing in the likes of Anna Re and Beth Lumsden along with Rachel Koskey from Luton Town Ladies and Laura Baker who spent last season with Watford Ladies after having previously played for Cambridge United WFC. Formerly the A10 derby the two sides always enjoy a competitive and hard fought game.

Cambridge initially moving to Mildenhall to take advantage of the excellent playing surface on offer, and the move to St Neots offers another superb playing surface, albeit flatter than the slope they’ve become used too. Perfect for the passing game no excuses to play the ball along the ground and want to. Lush and green at the start of the season offering good with, a main seated stand on one side of the ground, covered terracing at each end, a bar open for hot and cold drinks. The weather bright and sunny although a fair amount of dark cloud around, both sun cream and umbrella in the rucksack. A strong breeze blowing too but all in all perfect weather to begin the season.

The Premier Plus Stadium, the new home of Cambridge United WFC

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Savannah Smith, Abigail Davies, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Jemma Moore, Charlotte Crisp, Amber Cantwell, Faith Hewitt, Emma Jenkins, Kelley Blanchflower & Mollie Coupar. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Claire Kilmartin, Albany Hodgson & Gemma Croucher.

Enfield Town Ladies starting XI – Grace Brooks, Sheryce Slater, Danielle Smith, Claire Ford, Robyn Reardon, Nuala McKevitt (C), Anna Re, Beth Lumsden, Jodie Southby, Laura Baker & Katherine Long. Subs – Tia Bailey, Ayse Mustafa & Rachel Koskey.

Cambridge to get the first half underway sporting their brand new kit, amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks, Enfield lined up opposite wearing white shirts with blue shorts and socks. Enfield quick to press in the middle Beth Lumsden getting hold of the ball and driving on through the middle passing out wide left for Laura Baker she shoots the ball deflected behind at the near post for an early corner. A crowd of players on top of Cambridge goalkeeper Savannah Smith inside her six yard box as the ball comes in the keeper doing well amongst bodies to get the ball away.

Former teammates Laura Baker and Kayleigh-Anne Burt go head to head

Doesn’t go far cleared up to the left a high ball lifted back in Cambridge captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt heading in behind for another corner. Early pressure from the visitors Cambridge eventually clearing their lines. Pressing right Enfield have a throw in Sheryce Slater sending it down the line for striker Katherine Long, she wins her side another corner kick. A great delivery sent in finding defender Claire Ford rising high at the far post 10 yards out her attempt dropping wide.

  Enfield have made a strong start to the match winning the ball high up the pitch to apply pressure to the Cambridge defence, Long receiving the ball wide left sends in a cross from deep that lands on the roof of the net. Amber Cantwell nipping in to win the ball looks to get things going for the hosts playing the ball up the left for Faith Hewitt her intended through ball cut out the Enfield defence tracking back to save a corner being conceded. A frantic opening to the match both sides beginning to settle into it.

Cambridge’s Carrie Bennett with Enfield’s Beth Lumsden

  Lumsden seeing alot of the ball in the opening 15 minutes sends it on for Slater breaking in behind on the right closing in on the byline gets her foot around the ball to swing in a cross towards the top of the box central Baker sees it into her feet back to goal lays it off for Long behind, she takes on the strike the ball rising Smith diving to her right making a comfortable save. Burt makes a timely intercept in the middle of the Cambridge defence as they are caught with a high line Enfield attempting to break.

   A throw in inside the Enfield half left side played into Kelley Blanchflower the Cambridge striker bringing it infield spots Emma Jenkins making a run wide right plays the diagonal ball, Enfield’s Danielle Smith able to get to it first in defence. The game played at a rapid tempo both sides snapping to win the ball back get it moving. Blanchflower getting hold of the ball 25 yards out turning it left for Hewitt down the wing she sends in a high cross safely collected high in her six yards box by Enfield goalkeeper Grace Brooks. 

 Brooks setting up a quick counter attack the ball left side the shot taken early, Smith making an excellent save down low to her right pushing the ball away to concede a corner. The delivery from the left towards the top of the box dealt with by Cantwell. Enfield come forwards, Cambridge playing a high line at times the visitors working the ball well across the middle to find a way in behind Long in particular moving left then right. Slater breaking clear on the right lifting the ball into the area Smith taking it high.

 GOAL! Cambridge are caught with their defence high as Lumsden flicks the ball on for Long peeling away the the right, a good way out from goal so too is Smith from her area Long striking the ball early to send it past the keeper and on target into the empty net beyond to see Enfield take the lead in the 21st minute 0-1.

Katherine Long opens the scoring for Enfield Town Ladies

Long continuing to be a threat in attack moving to the right once again as Nuala McKevitt captaining the side breaks up a Cambridge attack, the striker getting in beyond fullback Carrie Bennett races towards the area with the ball centre back Jemma Moore getting back on her to clear the ball for the hosts. A free-kick won wide right for Enfield Slater to play the ball, a good delivery into the the area McKevitt on the penalty spot rising gets a glancing header, Smith down sharp to her right to push the ball away, Burt putting it behind for the corner. Enfield a danger from set-pieces the ball in from the left McKevitt heading it up into the air drops for Long outside the area her shot blocked by Moore the danger not gone as the ball is reclaimed on the left a shot driven it, the ball smashing against the crossbar, falls to the right inside the six yard box Baker after it, closed down by defender and keeper puts the ball into the side netting.

Jenkins bringing the ball up the right wing has support from her full back Abigail Davies the cross flung in towards the near post Mollie Coupar arriving, Enfield get it clear. Coupar catching Enfield playing a loose ball across their defence nipping in wins the ball shifting to shoot from 25 yards out Brooks down low makes the save. Coupar in the thick of the action as she sees a pass from midfield into her body turns into the right channel looking to get in behind Ford into the area manages to squeeze a shot away Brooks down to stop it, scrambles it into her gloves with Blanchflower on top of her.

Enfield defender Robyn Reardon tackling Cambridge’s Mollie Coupar

   Cambridge doing alot better now Crisp with Cantwell in the middle winning the ball the latter fouled on halfway, on the free-kick herself  sends it long towards the far post with Blanchflower and Hewitt making runs  ball bouncing through behind at the far post for a goalkick. Jodie Southby back to defend dealing with a cross inside the ball fired in by Coupar as the attacker makes ground on the right. Cambridge are almost undone for a 2nd time as Slater gets away in behind with Smith positioned high, the ball put past her running along the ground towards an empty goal, runs away across the six yards box to strike the base of the far post.

  GOAL! Right on the stroke of half-time Cambridge get themselves back on level terms. Coupar with the ball down in the right corner doing well to win a corner kick the delivery in defended by Enfield put back to the corner taker a 2nd attempt cleared by the defence central Crisp onto it 30 yards out for Cambridge  shifts it before putting her foot through the ball striking it beautifully racing back into the penalty area the ball bouncing before it arrives at the diving keeper finding its way inside the post and into the back of the net 1-1.

Charlotte Crisp with a superb strike levelling the scores for Cambridge late in the first half

 Having rode their luck at times Cambridge find themselves back on level terms strong in the closing moments on the attack a shot taken from distance dropping wide of goal.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-1 Enfield Town Ladies

  Well that was an exciting first 45 minutes and bodes well for the season ahead, as if there was any doubt. The sides drawing 1-1 at the break. Cambridge equalising late on back on level terms might well have found themselves 2 down instead. Enfield were the better side for the majority of the half pressing the ball well in the middle and getting players in behind, a real threat from set-pieces and great movement shown by their attacking players. Cambridge slowly building momentum to create opportunities up the other end beautifully poised for the 2nd half.

  Enfield getting the 2nd period underway attack up the right the ball played out to Long into space the cross put back across the top of the area Lumsden getting hold of it, Cantwell back with her preventing a shooting opportunity. Cambridge bring the ball on rolled into Coupar’s path left channel has Blanchflower ahead of her central Cantwell getting forwards on her right her initial cross blocked has a 2nd go the ball defended by Ford as Blanchflower goes to shoot.

Cambridge United WFC’s, Amber Cantwell

 Cambridge positive in attack in the 2nd half come forwards Coupar on the ball left towards the area played inside the Blanchflower central sees Jenkins clear on her right she hesitates for a moment half expecting a flag to go up against her before realising she is in the clear to shoot the ball rising turned behind by Brooks. The corner left side defended at the near post by Reardon cleared back out to the left crossed straight back in Jenkins in to head the ball down Brooks with a fantastic save at close range somehow getting a glove on the ball to keep it out.

Enfield Town Ladies, Robyn Reardon

 Cambridge enjoying a strong spell winning the ball higher up the pitch getting into attacking positions earlier, it’s from a perfectly weighed clearance at the back from Burt that sets up the next attack Blanchflower released away on the right on for Jenkins ahead of her the cross played in high Enfield’s defence heading over for the corner. Baker is all action whatever position she is deployed in an attacking role this afternoon, hard to shake off the ball, Moore does well against her as she looks to force her way into the box the Cambridge defender preventing a cross. 

Abigail Davies bringing the ball forwards for Cambridge United WFC

  Enfield with the first change of the game Rachel Koskey coming on to join the defence replacing Slater. The visitors finding it harder to break in the 2nd period as Cambridge close them down well. A few tasty challenges coming in as a result, Cantwell prevented from getting away on several occasions. The first booking of the game goes to Ford as she throws out a leg catching Coupar as she looks to spin in behind on halfway. Enfield’s number 10 Lumsden on the receiving end of a few tackles herself breaks right linking up with Long and Baker the attack breaking down.

Enfield Town Ladies captain, Nuala McKevitt

  Long’s last action of the game as she is the next to be substituted with Ayse Mustafa joining the game. McKevitt turning on the ball from all of 30 yards out lets fly with a shot her effort flying over the bar. Coupar brought down wide left in attack Cambridge with a free-kick bring players forwards Cantwell to take. If she meant to play it low across the six yard box she disguised it well nevertheless catches defence and attack out alike as legs lunge for the ball none making contact. Southby combining with Re as Enfield make ground on the right challenges flying in from both sides Cantwell fouled, Baker finds herself in the referees book. 

 Bennett has taken a knock and Cambridge make a change with new signing Gemma Croucher coming on, that sees Jenkins drop to a familiar right back role with Davies switching to the left. Having dealt with the pressure Cambridge applied and their opponents starting to tire Enfield are coming back into it their changes making a difference McKevitt seeing more of the ball supported by Re and Lumsden. Smith takes the ball on into space on the left attempts to slide the through ball in for Baker, Burt intercepting for Cambridge at the back. Re attacking with the ball right twists and turns before sending a shot in the ball wide of the near post a corner signalled. The delivery long Koskey jumping beyond the far post up well sends her attempt over.

Claire Ford defending against Coupar for Enfield

  The game has the potential to go either way both sides getting players forwards in the latter stages. Coupar full of running in attack keeping the Enfield defence on their toes. Moore across to clear the ball as Lumsden moving left gets past Jenkins. From the resulting throw a cross finds its way into the area Burt heading it away drops for Mustafa 25 yards out, Smith keeps her eyes on the ball takes it cleanly despite Southby closing in. 

 Enfield gaining momentum as the game enters the closing stages win a corner on the right players come forwards Smith under pressure near post prevents a shot Ford keeping the ball alive getting it back out to Southby her cross drilled long across goal. Into the final 5 minutes Koskey brings the ball on from the back into the Cambridge half is a goal threat not closed down shoots from distance her strike falling wide of goal. Cambridge’s turn the bring the ball on played forwards early into Croucher right she puts Blanchflower in on the right ahead of her Ford going with her into the area Blanchflower squeezing a shot in across the six yard box Brooks down grabs it into her body with Coupar closing in. 

 GOAL! A late winner! And it’s Enfield celebrating the goal. Come forwards on the left Smith with time on the ball runs clear unchallenged up the line sends in a cross long and high Smith coming attempts to put it out of harms way doesn’t get enough on it the ball dropping far side of the box Re running in late slides in to send it back in across goal Baker central there to met it with her right foot smashing the ball home 1-2.

Laura Baker on target to score the winning goal for Enfield Town Ladies

  Not much time left in the game a hammer blow to Cambridge at the death Enfield come on, energy levels recharged, the ball rolled on for Baker peeling away to the right of the D outside the box is off balance as she puts her foot through the shot screws the attempt wide.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 1-2 Enfield Town Ladies

  Enfield scored a dramatic late winner to take all three points in a match that looked to be heading for a draw. A strong first half performance from Enfield getting themselves into a 1 nil lead could well have and perhaps should have scored another. Cambridge getting back into it with a wonderful strike late in the half, came out fighting 2nd half attacking and creating chances Enfield coping with the pressure their substitutions bringing them back into it, could have gone either way, a point apiece a far reflection Enfield finishing strong themselves however stretched the Cambridge defence late on to find a late winner.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this season’s first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award, and it’s a tough one. The rules remain the same however there can only be one. Narrowing it down is hard good performers on both sides, Amber Cantwell in midfield for Cambridge along with Mollie Coupar in attack. For Enfield, Beth Lumsden caught my eye early on and showed great movement, running and vision throughout. Katherine Long a real threat in attack great movement across the line opened the scoring with a great flick on from Lumsden. Just edging it though is Laura Baker have seen her play in a number of positions over the seasons today in an attacking role read the game well, able to bring others into attacking positions and leading the line at the end herself scoring the winning goal.

The first report of the season done and although 3000+ words later it doesn’t feel like it I was feeling strangely nervous about writing this one, perhaps just the events over the past few months affecting me but those nerves were soon gone after the game kicked off. Enjoy it an exciting and well fought game to start the season promising for the rest of the season. My thanks to both sides for the team sheets. Great to get the season started.

Getting there – slowly!

An update long overdue

  Has been a while since I’ve updated the website and King’s Lynn Town Ladies and Histon Ladies have gotten to hog all the action with my last match report of the season. A new season fast approaching less than a week away now! Feel far from prepared and still lots to do.

 Therefore perhaps an explanation for my lack of progress although I suspect most of you are aware have seen it via other social media channels the news that my father, David sadly passed away in June a real blow was extremely close to him and coming so soon after the loss of his partner of 25 years, Rita at the start of the year too. 

  Time needed to grieve and sort his affairs the football put on the back burner for a while had to be done I’m sure you will understand. My health suffering in that time too, but thankfully taking a turn for the better. Back now though and despite being well behind the pace I am slowly getting my mojo back a few pre season friendlies to wet the appetite helping. The match reports will return fast approaching 400 and I am as nervous about writing the next one as I was my first. Love them however and can’t wait to get around the leagues helping to promote the game once again.

  Am part of an extraordinary and wonderful community and proud of the role I have within it. Excited for the new season more new sides the game continuing to grow, perhaps too fast in some areas but on the whole in the right direction. Some very interesting and exciting transfers this summer will be intriguing watching it all unfold.

 Wishing everyone all the best for the new season and hope to see as many of you play as I can throughout.