Sunday 11th February
FAWNL South East Division One
League action from the FAWNL this Sunday on Women’s Football East, a trip down into Suffolk for the South East Division One clash between AFC Sudbury Women and London Seaward FC.
Another bout of heavy overnight rain following on from a wet week seeing a large number of this weekends fixtures fall foul to the weather AFC Sudbury FC’s MEL Group Stadium boasting an artificial playing surface one of the games to beat the weather. The flood plains full around Sudbury since last November remain high backing onto the ground with the area behind the home dugout and terraced still partially flooded.
The FAWNL South East Division One table taking shape now as we head into February with the teams fighting at both ends of the table being defined, AFC Sudbury Women unfortunately finding themselves in the relegation scrap at the foot of the table and with Chesham United Ladies edging themselves 6 points clear of the bottom three, it looks to be a contest between Sudbury, Cambridge City Women and Haywards Heath Town Women both in the bottom two to avoid the drop.
AFC Sudbury Women competing in the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid for the 1st time in their history as they secured back to back promotions in the ERWFL. The women’s side very much a part of the club as a whole with Sudbury setting up a academy to development young players for the clubs senior teams. Sudbury amongst the leading clubs in Suffolk. Have found it tough playing in the FAWNL coming up against some very strong sides, on the whole featuring in some competitive matches without getting the points on the board with just 6 so far coming from a single win and 3 draws. Games beginning to run out have some crucial fixtures against the sides at the bottom to come and will be looking to make home advantage count. Goals harder to come by in the FAWNL with just 18 racked up so far compared to 69 during their promotion winning campaign in the ERWFL Premier Division. Sophie Jeffery top scorer with 4 goals.
London Seaward FC formed off the back of the Leyton Orient side that had fought their way up to the FAWNL. Leyton Orient choosing to take their women’s side in a different direction, the women’s team became a stand alone independently run club renamed London Seaward FC and have worked had on and off the pitch to retain their place in the league. Facing the many challenges that some with it, building a strong playing squad backed up by a reserves team. Come into today’s match in 8th position having a healthy gap on the sides below them and well placed to make a push for the top half of the table. Shamoy Campbell the clubs to scorer so far on 7 goals with Megan Jarvis scoring 6 and Sam Lanza 5 respectfully.
The MEL Group stadium a hive of activity featuring a busy day of football with 4 fixtures to be played. The clubhouse and bar opening offering a roast chicken dinner and pint for £10. The kitchen open too serving hot food and drinks. Covered standing behind both goals with a seated stand beside the clubhouse and a terraced stand my favoured position on the opposite side behind the dugouts, knew where the flooded area might be so headed off in the opposite direction to get set up. A brighter sunny afternoon after the overnight rain with some cloud cover.
AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Millie Carter, Ronni Harrison (C), Sophie Jeffery, Amy Jarvis, Aliyat Lambe, Leonnie Bezant, Ava Jouvenel, Maisie Goodwin, Eva Frazzoni, Jessica Allen & Victoria Leyer. Subs – Amber Provan, Jodie Donley, Kayleigh Dodd, Chloe Brame & Alex Penny.
London Seward FC starting XI – Tia Ginn, Mira Hoteit, Livia Capparelli, Lucy Cockerill, Ellie Finneran, Liz Mulvaney, Maisie Cannon, Megan Burrows, Sarah McDermott, Rea Thomas-Arayo & Katherine Long. Subs – Ylenia Carabott, Sam Lanza & Kelsey Smith.
It’s the hosts Sudbury to kick-off the 1st half wearing yellow coloured shirts and socks with blue coloured shorts. London Seaward lined up opposite wearing teal coloured shirts with a swirled pattern on the front, with navy coloured shorts and socks. The back played back to the defence out to Sophie Jeffery on the left, London seaward race forwards to press the ball, Megan Burrows putting in the challenge seeing the ball deflected out for a throw in to the visitors high on the right.
Sudbury’s defence deal with the ball turned into the area cleared long up to the right for Jessica Allen to attack, London Seaward full back, Mira Hoteit getting across her to safely pass the ball back to her goalkeeper, Tia Ginn to control and put out to the right side. Playing the ball confidently across the back line Sudbury have an opportunity to press as the pass forwards is delayed but the visitors move it quickly between one another waiting for the right opportunity to attack.
Played forwards Amy Jarvis heads the ball clear for Sudbury at the back out to the right for her captain Ronni Harrison to bomb forwards, her cross chipped up, blocked by London seaward captain, Maisie Cannon. The ball played long with Burrows making a strong run forwards on the right, looks to take on Jeffery the defender standing up well as she puts in the blocking challenge.
London seaward making a positive start moving the ball across their back line opening up the pitch with attacker making dynamic runs, Livia Capparelli getting forwards out on the right going beyond Burrows to attack the by-line her cross blocked and carried out of play for a corner by Sudbury’s Aliyat Lambe at the near post. Players up for the corner on the right as cannon plays the ball into the box, Rea Thomas-Arayo heading it from the top of the box back out to Cannon to send in a 2nd cross, cut out by Lambe, Ellie Finneran up for London Seaward right corner of the Sudbury area looking to keep the attack alive getting hold of the ball and trying to power her way inside, closed down the ball deflected off her for a goal kick.
London Seward causing Sudbury a few problems in the opening stages their forward runs threatening to cut the defence open, players looking to burst in behind, Burrow in particular. Capparelli on the move with the ball on the right jinks inside 25 yards out pushing into the D, Ava Jouvenel tracking back from midfield in position to tackle and win the ball back for the hosts. Sudbury counter the diagonal ball finding Allen wide on the right travelling at pace sweeps a looping cross into the London seaward area, bouncing far post Maisie Goodwin can’t make up the ground to attack it as it runs safely out of play.
Dropping back London Seaward are comfortable in position with Ginn making it effectively 5 at the back stroking the ball out to her defenders tempting Sudbury to come on, occasionally risky especially with Victoria Leyer playing up top today, dual signed from Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women snapping in looking to force an error take advantage.
Leonnie Bezant getting hold of the ball in the middle for Sudbury chipping the pass out to Allen on the right her cross lifted into the box headed away by Lucy Cockerill for the visitors. Sudbury appealing strongly at the officials as Eva Frazzoni appears to be pushed over inside the D, the appeals waved away.
Bezant finding Allen out on the right again the cross defended by Finneran at the near post as, Frazzoni jumps in. Cleared back out to the right the 2nd attempt at playing the ball into the area also dealt with by Finneran.
GOAL! London Seaward break out from the back quickly Liz Mulvaney playing a great ball forwards into the path of Capparelli as she surges away down the right wing in behind the full back tracking into the area whips a vicious ball in across the face of goal. players queuing up to turn it in at the far post, Thomas-Arayo with the touch to put the ball over the line to open the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes 0-1.
Sudbury carved open for the goal look to get on the attack from the restart London Seaward closing the ball down played on for Burrows, stays on her feet as her heels a clipped before lifting the ball out to Thomas-Arayo attacking down the left her cross lifted into the area, headed clear by Lambe.
Ginn comes rushing out of her area alert as her defence is caught high turned by a long ball played through the middle. Frazzoni seeing the ball into her feet in the right channel for Sudbury skips on looking to attack the box, stopped by Cockerill inside the D.
GOAL! Sudbury’s defence is cut open for a 2nd time as Capparelli breaks in behind on the right taking the ball all the way to the by-line check inside to flash ball in across the face of goal, goalkeeper Millie Carter goes down trying to grab onto it even as Thomas-Arayo closes it down the ball not claimed bundled over the line, Thomas-Arayo linking up with Capparelli for the 2nd time to double London Seaward’s lead 0-2.
Attacking on the right Harrison puts the ball on for Leyer to turn on the angle and strike from 25 yards out, struck with some pace, Ginn reacts sharply plucking the ball down into the ground as she falls back and collecting it cleanly on the bounce. Jeffery looking to get on down the left of Sudbury playing the ball off Goodwin before taking it on towards the area, Finneran tackling to win the ball back for London Seaward.
GOAL! London Seaward finding the spaces in behind to exploit the Sudbury defence the ball send forwards quickly out to Katherine long on the left side wide of the area, Carter comes rushing out to try and close her down the striker chipping her shot up over the keeper to see it bounce into the exposed goal beyond to make it 0-3.
London Seaward racing into a 3 goal lead inside the opening 20 minutes looking dangerous breaking forwards the ball up towards the top of the area left side knocked down by Thomas-Arayo into the path of Long central to hit from 25 yards out drives her effort wide of the right post. Capparelli playing the ball on for Burrows dribbling into a central area lays the pass on for Long breaking free of the defence on the right channel to attack the goal, on the angle sends her rising shot straight at the keeper.
The visitors threatening to overwhelm Sudbury as they play the ball on through the middle out to the right, Jeffery jumping to try and get her head on the ball can only get a glancing touch seeing in drop in behind with Burrows sprinting after it into the area, Lambe getting back superbly to make the blocking tackle on the by-line holding Burrows off as she gets the ball back for Carter to clear. Carter down for a moment needing treatment a pause for both sides to come to the bench take on fluids get instructions
Carter back up on her feet is okay and soon called into action as Mulvaney plays Burrows through into the box on the right, Carter coming to close her down saving at her feet the ball deflected out to the left cleared by Harrison. Sudbury looking to find something to get them back into the game build on the right Allen laying it back for Harrison so sweep a high cross into the area, Leyer positioned on the penalty spot looking to strike it on the volley Finneran charging her down to block.
GOAL! Sending the ball on through the middle with pace, Long turns to send the ball through for Burrows running in behind into the area twisting and turning, evading a challenge as Carter comes to dive at her feet, can’t get the ball as Burrows takes it to her left and drives the ball into the back of the net 0-4.
Half an hour played and London Seaward are firmly in control of the game, stretching Sudbury the hosts keep going looking for an opening Allen forwards for Leyer, Finneran intercepting the pass for London Seaward. Jouvenel nipping in to win it back for the hosts the pass out to Allen drifting right her dipping cross claimed by Ginn as she drops onto the ball at her near post.
Jarvis taking the ball forwards for Sudbury plays the pass inside for Leyer 30 yards out central turns on the ball to strike a powerful shot wide past the left post. Bezant turning well on the ball to evade a tackle lifts her pass out to Allen on the right 25 yards out on the angle sends her shot straight into the keepers gloves.
Sudbury coming on well enough kept out of the area by a well organised London Seaward defence, Mulvaney, Cannon and McDermott all getting back to win the ball back. Jouvenel moving out to the left win the ball is hauled to the ground Sudbury winning their first free-kick of the game. 35 yards out Jeffery over the ball, sends it in high towards goal with runners positioned top of the area, back on her line though it is a straight forward catch for Ginn.
Coming forwards with purpose the ball played into Long sends it on for Thomas-Arayo attacking on the right, Goodwin getting back on her well to defend of Sudbury 25 yards out the winger then fouled as Thomas-Arayo looks to regain possession. Jeffery looking to get forwards on the left side, pushing down the line Finneran going with her to see the ball safely out of play for the goal kick.
Allen pressing the ball wins it back high on the right her cross played into the box for Leyer near side, Cockerill defends for London Seaward cleared for a throw on the right the ball floated back into the box, Jouvenel looking to get it down to shoot is closed down quickly her attempt blocked. Sudbury winning a corner on the right off Finneran, an in swinging ball punched clear by keeper, Ginn as she rises amongst the crowd inside her six yard box. Play stretched as Sudbury look to push on seeking something from the first half London Seaward breaking right Capparelli racing to the by-line Goodwin going with her the cross struck hard against the defender Goodwin down in need of treatment, needs to come off, Alex Penny coming on.
Hoteit able to come on with the ball left side for London Seaward striking the ball on the angle from the top of the area wide past the far post. Frazzoni opening up her body to play the pass into Penny looking to get on down the wing, Mulvaney getting her body across the attacker to see the ball back to her keeper. McDermott fouls Frazzoni 25 yards out giving Sudbury a free-kick right of the D. The shot taken on, Ginn dropping low to her left getting behind the ball to save on her line.
Capparelli bursts down the right for London seaward to the by-line her cross cut back into the six yard box cut out by Lambe, cleared by Bezant. Jarvis intercepting the cross-field pass intended for Thomas-Arayo breaking in behind on the left. The clock ticking down in the first half Sudbury mounting one last attack Frazzoni through the middle on for Leyer bursting into the area right of the D, Ginn rushing out to close her down saving well at her feet before grabbing the ball into her gloves.
Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 0-4 London Seaward FC
A strong first half from London Seaward sees the visitors leading 4-0 at the break. Started on the front foot moving the ball well and the back releasing players forwards finding gaps in behind the Sudbury defence, easy pickings at times taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes before quickly racing into a 3 goal advantage. Sudbury chasing the game creating a few half chances but the London Seaward defence has been organised prepared to pay the ball out from the back starting with their goalkeeper waiting for the right moment to burst forwards. Far from the first half Sudbury would have desired and know they have a mountain to climb in the 2nd half if they are hoping to take anything from the game.
No changes for either side at the break as the floodlights come on the cloud cover a little more pronounced. London Seaward to get the 2nd half underway the ball rolled back to the defence Sudbury operating with Allen now wide left Penny on the right push forwards to press the ball, Penny right with Leyer on Finneran the ball out for a throw played back into the top of the area cleared by Cannon.
A positive start to the 2nd half from Sudbury Jouvenel linking up with Frazzoni playing the one two on the right Jouvenel taking the ball all the way to the by-line playing it into Leyer at the near post back to goal lays it off for the onrushing Frazzoni to strike a rising shot over the crossbar.
Mulvaney clears the ball for London Seaward up to Long pulling out into the left channel looking to take it on plays the pass inside with the outside of her boot looking to pick out Burrows surging on through the middle, Jeffery going with her getting something on the ball to take it away from her for a throw on the right.
Sudbury lively in the final 3rd at the start of the 2nd half, Leyer inside the box charging down Ginn’s kick out, the ball loose inside the six yard box, Ginn scrambling for it as Leyer attempts to snatch a shot away gets a glove to the ball to haul it into her body. Ginn then holding onto a shot from distance struck from all of 30 yards out. Sudbury pressing well Jouvenel driving for the box left of the D is upended by Finneran a clumsy looking foul, Sudbury appealing the decision a free-kick right on the line outside the area. Jeffery over it left of the D, fires her shot over.
Sudbury looking a different side taking the game to London Seaward who can afford to sit back wait for the right moment to attack, Hoteit’s long pass on the left too strong for Thomas-Arayo. Leyer and Penny combining on the right to win the ball for Sudbury off Thomas-Arayo she snaps back at Penny giving the foul away and shown the yellow card is also sent to the sin bin leaving London Seaward down to 10 for the next 10 minutes. Jeffery to curl an inviting ball into the six yard box, however it his claimed high by Ginn unopposed at her far post.
London Seaward bring the ball forwards played on for Long in the left channel has McDermott inside giving her the ball she plays it out to Hoteit getting on down the left, Penny tracking back with Harrison regains possession for the hosts. A competitive 2nd period, Sudbury making a 2nd change bringing off Jouvenel on in her place Chloe Brame. Sudbury attack down the left Jeffery into Allen the cross into the box cleared by Cockerill. Jeffery going beyond Allen to the by-line sees her crossed claimed by Ginn at her near post.
Leyer plays the ball back for Bezant, put out to Sudbury’s left with Jeffery getting forwards her cross looped into the area, Brame central can’t get it down to control, before being closed down by Cockerill. London Seaward making their first change bringing on Sam Lanza to replace McDermott. A host of changes follow as Sudbury make a change sending on Jodie Donley on for Harrison. London Seaward deciding to bring on Kelsey Smith in place of Capparelli. Lanza linking up with Long on the left as the pair look to gain ground, Jarvis getting in to tackle Lanza to win the ball back for the hosts.
GOAL! Sudbury attacking down the left the ball rolled on for Leyer who comes inside the box six yards out, Ginn coming to close her down at her feet as Leyer moves the ball, the keeper failing to get hold of the ball is grounded as it runs on for Brame central, can’t get to her as she strikes the ball into the empty net 1-4.
A goal back for Sudbury capitalising on the strong start to the 2nd half positive taking the game on asking a few questions of the visiting defence. Thomas-Arayo re-joining the action London Seaward back up to 11 as Sudbury make a substitution bringing on Kayleigh Dodd for Allen with 67 minutes played. All action Sudbury gaining some confidence pushing players up the ball lifted into the area knocked out to the right Dodd looking to latch onto the ball, Ginn rushing out to make the blocking save at her feet. Ylenia Carabott coming on for London Seaward in place of Long up top.
GOAL! Sudbury have the ball on the right Penny over on that side now combining with, Jeffery the ball lifted into the area into the path of Leyer who has 18 goals this season for Dussindale & Hellesdon, put through on goal she rides Cockerill’s challenge before coolly lifting the ball over the advancing keeper to pull a 2nd goal back for the hosts 2-4.
Dodd down after a heavy challenge winning Sudbury a free-kick on the right. From deep Jeffery looks to send it long to the far post over everyone takes a glancing touch off a defender out for a corner on the left. Another in-swinger curled into the crowded near post, Ginn up well to get a fist on the ball to punch it to safety. Sudbury with their tails up the game moving into the final 15 minutes. London Seaward needing to regain their momentum.
Burrows puling away to the left attacking for London Seaward fouled by Jarvis, the defender getting a taking too as Cannon places the ball down ready to deliver into the area, Carter fouled as she goes to claim the ball the host getting the free-kick. Getting a little tasty out there emotions running high, the Sudbury management team unhappy with a few decisions. Carabott taking the ball left has Thomas-Arayo ahead of her making the run into the area the ball rolled in behind, Carter out quickly to make the save at the attackers feet.
London Seaward winning a free-kick wide on the left the ball threatening to go over everyone, Lambe looking to see it out goes behind a corner awarded much to Sudbury’s disapproval. Put in from the left Mulvaney rising gets a glancing header on the ball but can’t direct her effort on target as it runs wide past the right post. Sudbury with another change bringing on Amber Provan for Lambe.
Tempers flaring as Mulvaney is fouled, London Seaward looking to push on take the pressure off their defence keep Sudbury turned the wrong way as the game moves into the final 10 minutes. Hoteit up on the left plays the ball into Lanza who in turn release Thomas-Arayo wide on the wing the flash a cross into the area, goes long across the top of the six yard box Carter after it down to smother the ball before anyone can pounce from the right.
Burrows coming on with the ball left plays it inside for Mulvaney getting on through the middle, she in turn is challenged by Frazzoni top of the D for Sudbury. London Seaward win a corner on the right send players up into the box is a good delivery swung in on goal Carter doing well getting up through a crowd to punch the ball away, Sudbury look to break, Penny through the middle however Lanza does superbly well to stay on her lunging in to steal the ball back keep the momentum with the visitors. The sun setting low behind the goal London Seaward are attacking.
A highly competitive finish to the game London Seaward wanting to keep Sudbury away from their box, Mulvaney winning possession back in the middle, Thomas-Arayo the outlet on the left. The game heading into stoppage time. A free-kick eventually awarded for London Seaward after Thomas-Arayo is fouled by Frazzoni in a central position before gaining no advantage taking the ball out to the left. Emotions running high Sudbury angered by the time taken to make the decision. The free-kick stands Cockerill floated the ball in to the far post Carter comes but can’t reach it as it’s knocked behind for a corner.
Swept in towards the near post headed back out to the right the 2nd attempt lifted in high to the far post, Hoteit getting up to head the ball down puts it straight into the keeper.
Provan defending for Sudbury as the ball is crossed into the area from the right. London Seaward getting players forwards in the latter stage Mulvaney out to Hoteit breaking on the left wing her cross in behind sees the offside flag raised. Sudbury moving the ball quickly, Cannon breaking up a move for London Seaward played into Mulvaney out to Thomas-Arayo left side put infield for Lanza, fouled the advantage played as the ball runs on for Carabott top of the area, Jarvis tackling to regain possession for Sudbury, the defender then fouled giving Sudbury the free-kick.
London Seaward doing well to keep the ball away from their area in the closing moments of the match, Provan’s ball from the right headed clear by Cockerill as the referee blows the final whistle to signal the end of the match. London Seaward taking home the 3 points.
Full time AFC Sudbury Women 2-4 London Seaward FC
A strong fightback from Sudbury in the 2nd half restoring some pride as they pressed the ball high creating several good opportunities, putting the visiting defence under pressure to score twice to threaten a comeback. London Seaward responded by getting out to take the game to their opponents keep them away from their area look to fin d a 5th goal themselves. Ultimately though the damage done in the opening 20 minutes London Seaward with a strong start to the match racing into a 3 goal lead adding a 4th before the break. Had control of the game. Doesn’t change much at the bottom of the table with Cambridge City losing at home to Ashford and Hayward Heath not playing due to the weather, Sudbury remain 10th out of the relegation zone on goal difference (just) some big games to come. London Seaward stay 8th but right in contention with those in the middle of the table.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As usual is another tough call some strong performances to consider. A few to mention firstly for Sudbury fought back well in the 2nd half, Alex Penny making a difference coming off the bench. Chloe Brame too with some strong runs forwards, Victoria Leyer getting about up top looking to create an opportunity bringing others into play. For London Seaward, Ellie Finneran had a good game at the back making several important tackles and getting across to win the ball. Liz Mulvaney winning the ball in the middle of the park pushing on finding her teammates with some great passing. Livia Capparelli storming forwards with the ball on the right certainly caused Sudbury some issues leading to the opening goals. Rea Thomas-Arayo attacking down the left getting in behind opening the scoring and was a constant threat. The award though goes to Megan Burrows her runs especially in the first half served to expose the hosts defence and provided a fantastic outlet for the forwards pass getting in behind on a number of occasions and took her goal well.
Another good day out at the MEL Group stadium, very welcoming a tough season for Sudbury but one their young squad will be all the stronger for. Good to catch up with London Seaward too haven’t seen the since before Covid for various reasons. An entertaining contest from the FAWNL thanks to both for all their assistance today.
by Darren Gilham