Sunday 29th Jan
Norfolk Women’s League Cup
Much improved weather this weekend and a host of exciting matches to choose from. Today’s football coming from the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s League Cup a tasty looking line up with a trip to Maltings Meadow to watch Bungay Town Ladies v UEA FC Women.
A strong quarter final line-up in this season’s Norfolk Women’s League Cup won last season in a penalty shootout with Fakenham Town Ladies coming out on top to beat Mulbarton Belles Ladies. Neither side in this season’s competition with Fakenham stepping up a level to play regional level football. Mulbarton one of the favourite’s knocked out by UEA FC Women in the previous round. All 8 sides left will fancy their chances of reaching this season’s final.
Bungay Town Ladies have plenty of league matches left to play like Mulbarton only 5 played to date their last league match back in November, seeing them lay 8th with 2 wins and 3 losses will be hoping to build on their recent cup form to push on when the league campaign finally resumes. A long established side within the NWGFL enjoying strong support from their respective men’s club have come through turbulent off the field beginning the new campaign under a new management team headed up by Darren Renwick.
While Bungay’s league programme might have stalled, have found form in the cup competitions reaching the last 4 of the Suffolk Women’s County Cup with wins over Halesworth Town Women and Ipswich Vale Exiles Ladies. Will face Suffolk Premier Division leaders. Brettvale Ladies in the semi-finals. Also reaching the last 8 of the League Cup beating North Walsham Town Ladies 3-0 at home in the previous round with Maddie Flatman, Lauren Goulder and Lauren Purling al on the score sheet. Selina Rowland often prolific in an attacking midfield role leading goal scorer with 5 to date. Met UEA FC Women on the opening day of the season away from home losing 3-2.
UEA FC Women (or at least a previous version of the side) was one of the main reason’s the Supporting Women’s Football Blog and then Women’s Football East evolved the way it did. Incidentally was also a league cup quarter final back in 2014 UEA hosting Fakenham coming out on top in a thrilling 4-3 encounter that made me realise I got as much excitement form watching a game at county level as I did the WSL, covered plenty of county league games since.
This UEA FC Women (University of East Anglia) team is into it’s 2nd season and proving to be a strong outfit. Winning promotion from Division Two in their debut season finishing 2nd behind Caister FC Ladies. Have hit the ground running in Division One win 3 straight wins to start the campaign, just the one defeat from 6 played so far. Freya Fuller with playing experience for Billericay and Norwich leading goal scorer with 11 from 6 appearances. Into the last 8 of the League Cup with a 7-0 away win against FC Viking & Valkyries FC Women in the 1st Round, going on to record a memorable result away to one of the cup favourites in the 2nd Round beating Mulbarton 2-1 courtesy of goals from Ella Burnley and Rachael Lawrence.
Maltings Meadow the venue for today’s tie, has been a while since I last visited, pre Covid for sure but it remains a hive off activity very much a community feel about the place, several youth matches taking place on the grass pitches surrounding the man pitch. Over looked by the changing rooms and clubhouse. The grass pitch having suffered like so many others with the recent bad weather, a little soft under foot likely to cut up. Offers decent width, a small covered seated stand to one side fenced all round. Pretty gloomy and over cast prior to kick-off with a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch.
Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Amber Leeks, Porcha Renwick, Ruby Roos, Ciera Flatt, Sofia Serghiou, Charnelle Riggall (C), Selina Rowland, Lauren Purling, Phoebe Wakefield, Lucy Wood & Lauren Goulder. Subs – Erin Galer.
UEA FC Women starting XI – Anoushka Williamson, Katie Lee, Olivia Seeley, Maddison Goodenough, Darcey Coombs, Lucy Gooding (C), Prini Woods, Hannah Thompson, Mia Everitt, Cass Piejko & Ella Burnley. Subs – Lily Brewer, Emily Wilson & Amber Long.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Bungay come into the game struggling for numbers with a few out trough injury and unavailability. Signing Ruby Roos on the day to give them more than the bare 11. UEA fresh from fielding two teams in midweek BUC’s fixtures naming 3 on the bench. Bungay also known as the ‘Black Dogs’ to get the tie underway wearing sky blue shirts, black shorts and socks. UEA lined up opposite wearing an all dark blue kit with yellow trim on the shirts.
The ball going all the way back to goalkeeper Amber Leeks, she sends the ball long out to the right for Phoebe Wakefield to attack, the threat dealt with by UEA full back Olivia Seeley put out for a throw in. UEA looking to get the ball moving across the pitch early on moving it from one full back to the other Katie Lee at right back bringing the ball forwards on for Cass Piejko down the flank, Porsha Renwick stepping in to tackle for Bungay prevent the cross. Piejko in possession again on the right putting the ball inside for captain Lucy Gooding her attempted through ball having a little too much on it for attacker Ella Burnley to run onto inside the box, goal kick.
UEA keeping the ball moving it swiftly in midfield Gooding back to Hannah Thompson looks to send it on up top for Burnley to attack, Sofia Serghiou in close to defend for Bungay top of the D.
GOAL! UEA capitalising on their positive start getting forwards to score an early goal. The ball at the feet of Prini Woods on halfway passes it into Thompson out on the right, lifts the ball on up towards the top of the area right of the D, Burnley pulling off the defence, with a controlled header to knock the ball up and away from her marker to the right of goal catching it sweetly on the volley as it falls to rifle it home past the keeper to score 0-1.
An early blow for Bungay falling behind within the opening 5 minutes, have a free-kick over half way. The ball sent up towards the area UEA’s defence heading clear. Piejko looking to get forwards with the ball clattered into play brought back for the free-kick. Darcey Coombs over it the defender getting a bit of wind assist as she strikes the ball long past the far post. Bungay are a little static allowing UEA to find their passes Piejko getting away on the right driving for the corner Renwick gets back at her well to challenge win her side the throw in.
Selina Rowland picking the ball up deep for Bungay driving forwards moving left cuts the ball back on the diagonal looking for Wakefield, Coombs with a timely interception at the back for UEA. Roos playing at right back for Bungay has a good throw on her as use tool to have as it will often draw more opposition players in towards the ball. Woods on for Gooding out to Burnley peeling away into the left channel looking to get into the box, Ciera Flatt back at her doing enough to halt the attack see off the danger.
Burnley keeping the Bungay defence occupied moving across the back line sees the ball into her feet well right of the D, Piejko providing the run from the right the ball laid into her path struck on the angle, Leeks in the Bungay goal down sharply inside her six yard box to make the save. Bungay losing possession in the final 3rd out on the right Burnley stealing it powering into the box, getting away from tackle shifting right to strike the ball in low towards goal, put straight at the keeper, Leeks saving comfortably.
Little opportunity for Bungay’s attackers to test the UEA defence so far, Lauren Goulder having come into midfield for the ball turns and puts her foot through the ball all of 35 yards out, left of the goal, gets plenty of power races wide of the right post. The sun poking through now some blue sky doing absolutely nothing to improve the temperature mind. Bungay are giving UEA time on the ball allowing them to get forwards inviting pressure without applying any themselves. Rowland attempting to change things getting onto the ball and pushing forwards linking up with Goulder in attack the diagonal ball to the right has a little too much on it for Wakefield.
UEA play the ball across the back from Seeley to Lee on the right coming on with the ball lifting the pass up top for Burnley turns into the shot 20 yards out her shot blocked by Serghiou, the rebound skipping up for Piejko to the right of the D to strike on the half volley leaning back does catch it as cleanly as liked the ball looping up brushing the side netting as it falls. The visitors winning the ball in midfield Woods into Thompson into Mia Everitt on the left takes the ball on down the flank, Roos tackling slowing Everitt’s advance 20 yards out sends the ball in across the top of the area, Burnley meeting it on the half volley struck in low skipping up in front of the keeper Leeks with an excellent save dropping low to her right to knock the ball behind for a corner kick.
The corner played in from the left, met by Roos before the near post her header putting the ball back towards the UEA corner taker, crossed back in, Darcey Coombs coming onto it near post tuning inside the six yard box lifting her shot over from close range. Woods able to travel with the ball in midfield picking out Burnley in attack as the striker pulls away to the left, looking to get around Roos into the box, isn’t the cleanest of challenges but nevertheless gets the job done halting the attack.
GOAL! Short lived as UEA continue press the advantage able to come on with the ball through the middle Bungay sitting off played on into Piejko moving inside from the right has Gooding up with her shifts the ball into her feet UEA’s captain realising the ball forwards before she is caught brought down with a late tackle, referee Ryan Starkey playing a good advantage as the ball runs through into the box for Burnley getting across her defender to put her foot through the ball slot it past the keeper before Leeks can react 0-2.
A strong opening 20 minutes from taking a 2 goal lead. A pause in play however as Gooding is still down from the tackle, after on field treatment she is up and hobbling can’t continue is brought off her replacement Amber Long a straight swap in the middle. The break in play an opportunity for Bungay to regroup, Rowland forwards from the restart looking to be aggressive on the ball brought down by Lee. Woods the next UEA player to up end Rowland as the midfielder looks to be pro active on the ball combine with Lauren Purling going forwards.
Certainly a more competitive Bungay side now looking to match UEA across the middle get into them. The fence could do with anther rail at the bottom to stop the ball sneaking out under it and players having to hurdle over it… plus myself having to collect it. Goodenough bringing the ball out from the back for UEA well, Purling tracking back to put the tackle in for Bungay, then Renwick comes to close down Long as the substitute breaks forwards from the middle for the visiting side. Piejko wide right whipping a dipping cross in towards the near post Serghiou lunging in to cut it out behind for a corner, Renwick coming on left side up to Goulder looking for Wood making a run up the left flank, Lee stretching out cut the pass out.
Different game no since the loss of Gooding in midfield with Bungay regrouping becoming more competitive. Purling carrying the ball forwards from halfway for Bungay to the left has support with Wakefield play a one two before Purling lifts it into the channel for Wakefield to attack, Goodenough getting back at her to take the ball off her feet away to the right Wakefield closing in on the by-line sends her cross behind.
Burnley continues to pull off the defence ready to run in behind waiting for the pass from midfield, almost picked out to the left, Flatt reading it well to get her foot it tackle take the ball from the striker Roos round on the cover to clear. Bungay with a free-kick won wide on the right Flatt on the ball as players go forwards into the box lifted in towards a crowded far post area Rowland up well inside the six yard box heading the ball down straight at the keeper, Anoushka Williamson with an instinctive save can’t hold onto the ball loose is grounded in the ensuing scramble the ball stolen away cleared. Williamson down needing treatment, is okay to play on.
Bungay’s best chance of the game giving them the belief they aren’t out of this tie captain Charnelle Riggall passing into Rowland picks out Purling right inside the box goes to shot across the keeper find the bottom corner Williamson down smartly to smother the ball. Burnley beating the offside trap to run clear on the box to the right of goal shoots low, Leeks down well to block it the ball not claimed Burnley attempting to reach it challenged the ball swerving away for a corner.
Late in the first half Woods with space finding Piejko out wide right, Riggall coming back to help defend winning the ball back for Bungay. Goodenough still up the pitch from an earlier set piece looking to get control of the ball wide left, Roos adjusting well the lung in win the ball back as the visitors look to mount a late charge. UEA with a free kick wide on the left flighted in towards the far post, bouncing not attacked Leeks able to take without challenge.
Half-time Bungay Town Ladies 0-2 UEA FC Women
A strong start to the game from UEA, allowed time on the ball looking to move it crisply across the pitch exploit the flanks, Burnley a good foil up top moving about into the channels bringing the ball down superbly for the opening goal inside five minutes. Bungay static at times allowing their opponents to have the ball a 2nd goal coming on 20 minutes. That also seeing a pause in play with the withdrawal of Gooding from the UEA midfield. Bungay much more competitive after that matching UEA in the middle looking to get forwards better with a strong chance to pull one back before the break. UEA still very much a threat in attack with Burnley looking to find openings. Both keepers called into action. 2-0 often a tricky score line with the next goal having a meaningful effect either way.
UEA to get the 2nd period underway neither side making a change. Bungay move in quickly t get after the ball won by Rowland in the middle turns to attack forwards into Goulder left inside the box crossed into the six yard box cut out Coombs turned behind for a corner. Floated into the near post UEA comfortable in defending it. Certainly a more aggressive encounter now a few pushes and shoulder barges the soft pitch favouring the sliding tackle, the mud stains building. Rowland wearing most of it.
Bungay winning a free-kick on the flank deep put in to the top of the D by Flatt, Purling twisting her neck to try and get some power in her header, glances it on safely through for Williamson to catch high. The battle of the 8’s in the middle sees Rowland fouling Long UEA winning the set-piece players up to the top of the area a flare up between Burnley and Flatt a bit of pushing quick brought under control by Ryan Starkey both players with a talking to and a card shown. Lee to put the ball into the area Bungay heading it away safely.
UEA making a change out on the left bringing off Everitt with Lily Brewer coming on. Lee fouled as she travels forwards on the left. Over the set-piece herself lifted into the far post attacked the ball knocked down into the keeper Leeks down getting something on it the ball loose inside the box struck goalwards cleared off the line to the right and launched clear for a corner. UEA keeping the pressure on the ball sent into the box headed on by Coombs beyond the far post the resulting strike smashed over.
Very much a committed contest now several robust challenges more clumsy than malicious has the potential to flare up but the captains are keeping an eye on things. Rowland combining with Riggall as Bungay make progress into the final 3rd the cross in claimed by the keeper. Coombs cutting the pass out at the back as Rowland attempts to put the ball into Purling’s path. Purling getting forwards well for Bungay looking to get on pulling left Lee tackling to stop her getting in behind to cross.
Bungay putting pressure on the ball in the final 3rd Purling coming in from the left firing it across the D to Riggall forwards on the right, shifting the ball closed down can’t find room for a shot deflected up central Rowland latching onto it to break clear of the defence blasts a shot in Williamson with a smart instinctive save to deny her, Rowland adjudged to have handled the ball as she looks to get it back under control.
UEA with a rapid counter attack forwards into Burnley on the attack right channel Flatt getting back at her to win the ball back. A third change for UEA with Emily Wilson coming on for Woods in midfield midway through the 2nd half. Thompson getting onto the ball in midfield finding room now to attack forwards for Burnley right channel pulling away from the defence to shoot on the angle in low batted away well by Leeks getting to the floor sharply.
Riggall moving forwards on the ball laying it on for Purling linking with Goulder up top, Goodenough moving in to break up the attack. Renwick onto Woods on the left flank for Bungay on the attack finds Rowland in the middle, challenged by Goodenough. Bungay press well keeping numbers up in the final 3rd the ball coming to Purling 20 out her strike straight at the keeper. UEA can afford to sit back a little with a 2 goal lead to defend wait to hit Bungay on the counter.
Rowland working well in the midfield on to Goulder in attacker finds Wood out wide has support from Purling on the over lap her cross in cut out by Wilson at the near post. Riggall pulling wide right floating a diagonal ball in close to UEA’s near post turned narrowly wide by the defence for a corner. The strong challenges remain a feature of the game Burnley tackling Flatt then Goodenough feeling one as she and Rowland lung for the ball. Thompson taking out Purling top of the circle giving Bungay a free-kick with less than 15 minutes left to play. The ball flighted in to the top of the area UEA clear threaten to counter, Wakefield back to cover defending on the right.
A corner for Bungay on the right half cleared, Riggall collects puts it back to Flatt to strike a shot from 25 yards out right of the D sent wide. Piejko out wide right with a clever flick to take the ball inside wrong foot her marker, Flatt quick to react at the back able to cover the ground get to the ball before Piejko can steer it on into the box. A foul on Purling brought down on half way players up as Flatt launches it forwards, Purling’s deft flick on into the box not quite finding Goulder to the right of goal as Goodenough clears.
Riggall with a strike from distance sent over as the clock runs down. Bungay pressing for a goal UEA content to sit soak up the pressure. A clearance lifted up to Thompson in midfield opts to have a crack at goal from distance on target bouncing up sharply inside the six yard before Leeks but back on her line she has the room to adjust and claim. The final whistle blows and UEA celebrate as they book their place in the last 4 of the league cup.
Full time Bungay Town Ladies 0-2 UEA FC Women
The opening 20 minutes proving decisive in the match a strong opening from UEA getting on the attack moving the ball well opening the scoring inside 5 minutes going on to make it 2 before Bungay finally got going have been static, were much improved getting after their opponents coming close to pulling a goal back. A tasty affair with some robust tackling a committed contest. Bungay pushing all 2nd half to find a goal taking a few risks at the back. UEA soaking things up well comfortable defending a 2 goal lead ready to counter try and score the 3rd to put the tie beyond doubt. UEA will be joined in the last 4 by Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women who came through extra time to beat Long Stratton 5-2. Thetford Town Ladies who won 2-1 against Sprowston FC Women and Caister FC Ladies who won 5-0 away to Division Two side Blofield United Ladies.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Is once again another tough one with 3 players vying for the award. Several performances of note to mention first. For Bungay Selina Rowland was strong on the middle battling for the ball taking it on and looking for goal scoring opportunities, as was Lauren Purling getting forwards making herself available for the ball. For UEA it was a strong team performance particularly through the spine of the side the midfield competitive Prini Woods passing well, Hannah Thompson covering the ground win the ball back get it moving forwards. At the back Maddison Goodenough put in a number of challenges and interceptions with great positioning throughout and narrowly misses out. With her goals proving the difference in the tie today’s award goes to Ella Burnley took the first goal superbly. With the nature of the game and Bungay sitting back was often left alone up top but showed great movement and running off the ball to find pockets of space between the midfield and defence always an option for the forward pass.
Great to return to Maltings Meadow see both sides in action a competitive cup tie played in reasonably good spirits. Pleasure to meet the management teams off both sides and for the clubs help with the team details as always much appreciated. look forward to the semi-final draw.
by Darren Gilham