Sunday 1st October
FA Women’s Cup
Promises to be another weekend of exciting cup action in this season’s FA Women’s Cup, a whooping 128 ties being played this Sunday as the competition reaches 2nd Round Qualifying. A Norfolk derby match for Women’s Football East with Mulbarton Wanderers Ladies hosting Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women both newly promoted to the ERWFL.
The prestige of the FA Women’s Cup, at last offering the financial reward with the winners of today’s game pocketing £3,000. Valuable funds to any grassroots club and a positive cup run offers a great incentive.
Both of today’s side stepping up to the ERWFL this season ready to test themselves at regional level. Both strong in Norfolk Women’s Division one for the past few season’s some questioning why they hadn’t gone up sooner, but it’s a lot more complex than that. Moving into regional football the club as a whole has to be prepared, from facilities, coaches, sponsorship and also have a team that wants to travel further afield to play their football. Along with Thetford Town Ladies, both Mulbarton and Dussindale & Hellesdon joining a 12 strong Division One North, joining Fakenham Town Ladies who took the step last season and after a tough start adapted to the league well.
Mulbarton Wanderers Ladies (called Belles previously) enjoying a rapid growth since joining the Mulbarton family, an already strong and tight knit squad winning Division One 2 season’s in a row, along with reaching the County Cup final twice, have since formed a Development side, also promoted to Division One this season and a 7 aside squad also winning titles.
Have again added to their squads as they look push on. Welcome back midfielder Atlanta Griffith after a year away. Goalkeeper Jody Todd joining from Long Stratton Women as does striker Sam Walker, captaining Long Stratton previously. a prolific scorer who ever she’s played for. Also joining from Long Stratton are defenders, Emily and Katie Ransome-Farmer. Leah Brown and Poppy Loveland both join from Caister FC Ladies. Megan Spurrell with valuable experience at tier 6, with the winger having played for Fakenham Town Ladies. Emily Escreet coming to the club from Thetford Town Ladies. Beth Edwards another new signing joining the club while on placement form Loughborough University along with, Rachel Jermy. Captain Rebekah Lake one of the best strikers in Norfolk over many season’s hitting the ground running in the ERWFL scoring 5 goals so far in 3 matches a brace on the opening day a 4-3 home win against Yaxley Phoenix Ladies. Receiving a bye in 1st Round Qualifying due to their opponents withdrawing.
Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women , like Mulbarton with a strong, tightly knit squad that have progressed through the youth levels into women’s football with Sprowston, before breaking away to join Dussindale & Hellesdon and push on as a club, finishing runners-up in Division One in consecutive season’s while winning both the League Plate and Cup in that period. A big decision to make the step up into regional football have worked hard behind the scenes to make the transition. Has paid off too as the club has made a flying start to life in tier 6, a strong win on the opening day are unbeaten after 4 games with 3 wins and a draw.
Retaining much of the squad from last season have made a few new additions to the side, bringing in, Rosie George and Breana Rudd both having played for Norwich, at Wroxham in the ERWFL Premier Division last season. Mia Wilkinson and Ella Swift also joining this season with Jessica Barnes the newest addition to the squad the 16-year-old defender making her debut last weekend. Victoria Leyer amongst the goals throughout the clubs history and has hit the ground running in tier 6 scoring 7 goals in 5 appearances scoring a brace on the opening day along with Abby Hutchin in a 5-0 win at home to Biggleswade United Women. Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women beating Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds 3-1 away from home in the previous round.
Mulberry Park the venue for today’s game the clubhouse and bar open beside the carpark leading out to the pitch itself, a large grass playing area with a small stand and tea hut on one side, standing viewing all round. Another mild day as October begins if somewhat overcast the cloud hanging on stubbornly will clear by kick off with no chance of rain. The game going straight to penalties if no winner determined after 90 minutes, substitutes limited to just 3 in the competition, with sides in the early rounds of the cup used to roll on roll off substitutes.
Mulbarton Wanderers Ladies starting XI – Jody Todd, Rachel Jermy, Mel Belsey, Lucy Lincoln, Meg Belsey, Alice Smith, Laura Hedtke, Ellie Hunter, Sophie Jermy, Sam Walker & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs – Cara Anderson, Olivia Mungham-Gray, Laura Bumstead, Leah Brown, Poppy Loveland, Atlanta Griffith & Molly Ryan.
Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women starting XI – Tyla Cole, Amee Kennett, Siesha Humphries, Calista Tink (C), Jessica Barnes, Chloe Shipman Abby Hutchin, Rosie George, Kari Kowalczyk, Victoria Leyer & Tallulah Bell. Subs – Ella Swift, Rachel Bussey, Chelsea Brister, Lyla Studd & Shanice Sutton.
It’s the hosts Mulbarton to get the cup tie underway with kick-off in the first half wearing blue and black vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. Dussindale & Hellesdon lined up opposite wearing an all sky blue kit. The ball rolled back into Laura Hedtke in midfield sends a diagonal out to the right for Ellie Hunter to attack, Jessica Barnes moving out of the centre of defence to head the ball out of play for the visitors.
Sam Walker getting hold of the ball for Mulbarton driving through the middle before laying it out to Hunter bursting away down the right, sends it on into the box for captain Rebekah Lake moving into the right channel, Siesha Humphries closing her down the ball coming of the defender as it goes out for a corner kick. The delivery in near side headed on across the six yard post cleared at the far post the ball launched forwards as Dussindale & Hellesdon counter the ball played long up the right for striker Tallulah Bell to chase, pace Meg Belsey covering the ground to get across to dive in send the ball behind for a corner kick.
GOAL! Players coming up from the back for Dussindale & Hellesdon lining up at the top of the area as the ball comes in captain, Calista Tink making a run towards the near post not tracked as the ball is put on a plate for her to drill her header into the back of the net to open the scoring 0-1.
Mulbarton conceding within the opening 3 minutes look to get on the attack form the restart, Hedtke with Alice Smith in the middle the ball threaded through the middle for Lake in attack to run onto, Tink lunging in with a timely tackle to stab the foot out of Lake’s path inside the D, away to the right for Humphries to clear.
A lively opening, Dussindale & Hellesdon looking to get after Mulbarton in possession winning a free-kick out wide on the right, floated up into the area, Meg Belsey under it to head clear, Smith playing it out to the right, Leyer snapping at the ball regaining possession for Dussindale & Hellesdon has her shirt tugged by Belsey as she threatens to break in behind. Kari Kowalczyk over the set-piece some 30 yards out to the left of the D, looks to curl the ball in towards the top corner, not a bad attempt but goalkeeper, Jody Todd can see it drop wide of the post.
Dussindale & Hellesdon straight in to press the Mulbarton defence off their goal kick, forcing another corner on the right, players forwards once again Tink running into the box unchecked coming towards the ball near side, striking a half volley wide of the upright. Rachel Jermy winning the ball back on the left for Mulbarton hands it onto Walker left side who carries it forwards well before releasing Lake with an over the top pass that the striker collects on the volley looking to clip the ball high in towards goal to drop over the keeper, instead Tyla Cole sees the ball land on the roof of her net.
Getting up well on the right Mel Belsey clips a high diagonal ball into the Dussindale & Hellesdon box looking to wrong foot the keeper, Cole back on her line though can see the ball drop safely into her gloves. Smith winning the ball well in the middle for Mulbarton taking it on with support from Hunter on her right giving her the ball, Lake providing a run into the right channel ahead of her, takes the ball wide looknig to check back inside and cross, Barnes closing her down blocking the ball.
GOAL! Regaining possession at the back Dussindale & Hellesdon play a great ball forwards through the middle for Bell to run onto breaking in between the Mulbarton centre backs closing into the box moving right, Todd coming to close her down blocks as the two come together the ball striking Bell as she goes to ground upending Todd in the process the ball trickling beyond the pair to cross the goal line see the visitors double their lead 0-2.
Mulbarton frustrated some sloppy play leading to a 2nd goal being conceded in the 23rd minute, Dussindale & Hellesdon getting after the ball causing the hosts a few issues. Mel Belsey sliding in to tackles Layer as she gets hold of the ball on the left linking up with George. Mulbarton guilty of giving the ball away Dussindale & Hellesdon confident in their play. Leyer challenging Smith for possession of the ball 25 yards out having a pop from distance the ball driven wide of the left post.
George and Leyer again building an attack on the right the latter rolling it infield for Abby Hutchin to take on powers her way through the middle into the D, doesn’t get the connection on the shot she was looking for the final ball tame into the six yard box gathered by Todd. Hutchin carrying the ball on well for Dussindale & Hellesdon moving left played up to to George 20 yards out seeing the ball into her body looks to lift it into Bell pushing up right of the D, Lucy Lincoln making the interception getting the ball away with a firm header.
Lake isolated at times in attack as Dussindale & Hellesdon forced Walker and Sophie Jermy to come back into the middle to defend. Kowalczyk bringing the ball on left comes infield lining up a cross/shot sees her attempt blocked by the Mulbarton defence. Kowalczyk with the ball again on the left up to the by-line held up by Mel Belsey, manages to get a cross away spins behind for the goal kick.
George goes down having picked up a knock for Dussindale & Hellesdon a chance for manager Martin Francis to get his side over to the dugout for some instructions calm them down. George okay to play on as play resumes Mulbarton with a spell of concerted pressure on the right forcing a corner kick. Players up from the back lifted in central Lincoln up well of drive a header down towards goal the ball blocked in the six yard box coming back out to the top of the area left of goal, Rachel Jermy with the strike, hit straight at the keeper Cole saves.
Hunter on the left now for Mulbarton, Jermy over the the right. Humphries defending taking a knock as Walker drives into the area. The hosts with a throw high on the right dropped into Hedtke looks to drive inside, no way through. Humphries down needing treatment. Smith tackling well to win the ball for Mulbarton sends it out to Walker on the right forwards into Lake, Barnes across to clear for a throw in. Lake spinning off her marker off the throw played into Sophie Jermy top of the area, she is tackled by Chloe Shipman the ball cleared up to Bell, Meg Belsey preventing the attacker spinning in behind.
Leyer brings down Hedtke on halfway the set-piece launched up towards the top of the area headed clear by Barnes. Leyer strong on the ball powering her way on through the middle for Dussindale & Hellesdon plays the ball on for George in attack, tackled by Rachel Jermy at the back the ball cleared up to Hunter wide on the left, Amee Kennett defending for Dussindale & Hellesdon as the winger looks to drop her shoulder spin in behind her the ball cleared for a throw.
Penalty! Attacking to the right deep off a throw in Lake turns into the box is brought down referee Craig Guy pointing to the spot, penalty! An opportunity for Mulbarton to pull a goal back before the break. Sophie Jermy to take placing the ball on the spot steps back and strikes the ball in towards goal, central rising Cole making a fantastic save gloving the ball up and away to the right.
The 1st half moving into stoppage time Kowalczyk bringing the ball on up the left rolling it inside for Leyer who in turn sends it up to Hutchin in the right channel, quick play Hutchin plays the ball across the D looking for Kowalczyk drifting inside, getting hold of the ball, meg Belsey is quickly in to close her down the ball deflected out to Leyer 25 yards out shifts the ball onto her right boot looking to curl a shot into the top corner, drifts wide.
Hutchin coming on with the ball purposeful through the middle, letting fly from all of 35 yards a high looping ball, threatens to have Todd in trouble in the Mulbarton goal as she steps back onto her line, thankful to see the ball land on the roof of the net. Leyer strong after the ball in the middle won spread out to Hutchin advancing to the right sent of for George outside the box right of the D, turns, Meg Belsey there to put in the tackle for Mulbarton.
Rachel Jermy intercepting at full back on the left heading the ball away as Leyer looks to send Bell in behind on the wing. Lake deep attacking on the left sees her cross charged down going away for a corner kick. Lifted in to the top of the area George heading clear for Dussindale & Hellesdon, Mulbarton quick to regain possession on the left lifting the ball into the box, Cole with a firm shout coming to claim the ball.
Half-time Mulbarton Wanderers Ladies 0-2 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women
Dussindale & Hellesdon leading 2-0 at the break with both teams staying out on the pitch during the half-time interval. The visitors good for their lead too, getting off to a strong start with an early goal. Closing the ball down well in the middle and forcing Mulbarton into some unforced errors. Defending well at the back getting out quickly turning play around adding a 2nd goal. a penalty save from Tyla Cole ensuring the half-time advantage. Still 2-0 is often a tricky score to defend and is always the case the next goal is crucial. Mulbarton with a few thing’s to iron out if they are to get back into the time haven’t been at it Dussindale & Hellesdon’s play frustrating the hosts still along way to go however.
Both sides making changes at the break, Humphries injured sees a change at the back with Ella Swift coming on for Dussindale & Hellesdon goes in at right back with Kennett switching over to the left. A double change for Mulbarton with Leah Brown and Poppy Loveland coming on replacing Mel Belsey and Hedtke. It’s Dussindale & Hellesdon to get the 2nd half underway, the ball played out to the right, Brown with an early bit of defending for Mulbarton clearing the ball.
Hutchin with Shipman in the middle for the visitors bringing the ball on lifted forwards with Kowalczyk breaking on the left, goes a little too soon flagged offside. Smith leaning into the pass lifting a superb ball up to Lake in attack, running through to attack the box, Barnes has the pace to catch her and win the ball for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Mulbarton looking to start the 2nd half strong pushing up on the right winning a throw knocked inside Barnes closing in to clear for the visitors.
Leyer releasing the ball forwards for Bell bursting away into the right channel, Lincoln backing up times her tackle well as she striker looks to try and take her on. Mulbarton looking to press the ball risk over committing getting caught on the counter the pass finding Bell on the right dives inside into the area getting a low strike away on the angle, Todd down sharply making a fine stop with her foot to deflect the ball away.
Brown getting up well with the ball on Mulbarton’s left getting in behind, Shipman tracking back doing the defending for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Mulbarton winning a free-kick on the edge of the area close to the by-line left of goal as Walker his held back by Swift as she looks to get into the box.
GOAL! Poppy Loveland over the set-piece a superb ball in across the face of goal rising, Cole flashing out a glove turning the ball up and down into the six yard box, players snapping after the loose ball is rifled into the back of the net a venomous header from Lake as the hosts pull a goal back early in the 2nd period. 1-2 game on.
The goal giving Mulbarton a much needed shot of confidence they move in quickly to close the ball down in midfield winning a free-kick on halfway. Lincoln to send the ball out up into the area cleared out to the left, Barnes and Walker looking to combine get the ball back into the box, Tink clears for Dussindale & Hellesdon.
GOAL! Mulbarton pushing numbers up on the right the cross lifted into the area, Tink stretching to get her head on the ball knocks it down into the area falls straight to Walker 10 yards out before the near post drills a low strike in towards goal, Cole diving but can’t get to the ball as in creeps in inside the post 2-2! Was game on a couple of minutes ago it certainly is now.
The match turned on it’s head in a space of a couple of minutes Dussindale & Hellesdon suddenly on the back foot, come forwards with George and Kowalczyk looking to combine on the left, the Mulbarton defence closing the ball down.
GOAL! Mulbarton with a deadly spell completely turning the game around coming back from 2 down to take the lead! Breaking up the Dussindale & Hellesdon attack the ball is launched forwards up into the right channel for Lake to do what she does best chase it down and surge into the area right of goal, Cole rushing out to close the angle, Lake sends the shot past her to roll on into the back of the empty net 3-2!
A clinical 5 minute burst from Mulbarton see them come back form 2 nil down to lead 3-2. Dussindale & Hellesdon responding with a change bringing on Chelsea Brister in attack for Kowalczyk. Assistant coach, Doug Francis booked for Mulbarton having voiced his opinion too strongly for the officials opinion (can’t help feel that will only fire up Mulbarton) Hutchin travelling with the ball on the left tacking inside before striking over from 25 yards.
Dussindale & Hellesdon’s turn to regroup finding themselves on the back foot Mulbarton with a throw on the right across the top of the area into Lake looks to hit it on the turn, Tink close in getting a foot up to block the ball. Tink in again to defend at the back for Dussindale & Hellesdon as Walker, lake and Sophie Jermy link up well bringing the ball on left side. The substitutes making a real impact for Mulbarton, Loveland and Brown the latter looking to get after the ball high up the pitch take it on up the line.
Brown lifting the ball up towards Lake outside the box left of goal bringing the ball down off her chest to turn and strike on the volley smashes her shot over the bar. Brown lively getting away on the left whipping a dangerous ball into the six yard box, won and cleared by Kennett at the far post. Loveland taking the ball forwards for Mulbarton into the right channel upended by Leyer right on the edge of the area, presenting the hosts with a free-kick. Loveland the one to lift the ball towards goal, dealt with by Tink for Dussindale & Hellesdon.
Mulbarton pushing on well up the flanks taking the game to Dussindale & Hellesdon Lake right sending a cross into the area cut out by Kennett ,cleared out into the middle, the ball won back by Smith fired out to left for Brown advancing with Loveland the cross swept into the area cut out by Tink. Mulbarton turning the screw Brown linking up well with Loveland who shoots from distance, blocked by Tink. Swift with a fantastic tackle to win the ball from Brown on the edge of the area as she twists and turns on the ball coming in from the left. Swift busy on the right defending with Walker coming across looking to get hold of the ball the full back regaining possession.
A lot of effort put into the game, George down again struggling with a knock coming off with Shanice Sutton coming on to join the Dussindale & Hellesdon attack. Atlanta Griffith coming on for Mulbarton to replace Hunter in midfield. The clock ticking down Griffith getting forwards laying the ball back into the advancing Loveland to have a strike from distance her shot straight at the keeper.
Dussindale & Hellesdon digging deep working hard to get back into the match players going down with cramp. Griffith picking up a heavy knock as she goes in to win the ball, down for a moment but okay to play on. Shipman bringing the ball on right side with Leyer and Bell in support, Bell taking it to the touch line whipping a looping ball into the six yard box over everyone, cleared upfield comes to Brown on the left, Swift closing her down well to prevent the break.
Barnes with a well times tackle to stop Lake’s progress through the middle the ball running back to Griffith to strike on the move from distance loops up into the goalkeeper’s gloves.
Dussindale & Hellesdon with a free-kick on half way the ball floated up towards the box headed clear by Smith. Players down with cramp as the clock runs down Dussindale & Hellesdon with one last push winning possession back in the middle…
GOAL! the ball fired up to the attackers, Sutton top of the D hooking it on out to the left to drop into the path of the advancing Leyer as she carries it forwards into the box running down on goal, blasts the ball past Todd before she can react to level the scores 3-3!
Mulbarton building through the middle Loveland with Griffith making a strong run ahead of her looking to play it through into the area for Lake stealing in behind the defence, Cole out to get hold of the ball first. Leyer bringing the ball down into her body from the left 20 yards out looks to turn connect on the half-volley plants the ball straight at the keeper.
Rachel Jermy on the left cutting out Sutton’s pass as she attempts to put Bell in behind. Griffith driving forwards with the ball 20 yards out left of the D rams a shot wide of the near post. Both sides scrapping till the end the game into stoppage time penalties looming. Griffith clipping a diagonal pass out to the right for Lake, knocking it forwards Kennett in to block her angled shot the ball deflected behind for a corner. A chance for Mulbarton to push players up, the ball into the box won by Barnes knocked across the area to the far post cleared by Bell. The final whistle blows the game to be settled from the spot.
Full time Mulbarton Wanderers Ladies 3-3 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women
A magnificent comeback from Mulbarton in the 2nd half with a clinical 5 minute burst to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2. Had Dussindale & Hellesdon on the back foot for a good spell the visitor’s digging deep however getting the ball up top and seeing Leyer run into the box to level the scores. Onto penalties a harsh way to settle a fantastic cup.
Dussindale & Hellesdon up to take the first penalty Shanice Sutton advancing from the centre circle a composed finish struck hard rising to the right of goal 1-0.
Sophie Jermy up first for Mulbarton, having seen a penalty saved in the first half sends her strike low and fast into the left corner giving Cole no chance 1-1.
Chelsea Brister up 2nd for Dussindale & Hellesdon, opts for power placing the ball the same side as Sutton’s strike 2-1.
Atlanta Griffith to take Mulbarton’s 2nd penalty, doesn’t really do subtle, the ball smashed home with power to the goalkeeper’s left 2-2.
Victoria Leyer up next for Dussindale & Hellesdon a powerful strike high into the left corner 3-2.
Alice Smith coming forwards to take Mulbarton’s 3rd penalty hit the keeper’s left Cole going the right way the shot struck with too much accuracy and power settles in the bottom corner 3-3.
Calista Tink up next for Dussindale & Hellesdon shoots for the bottom left corner drilled hard Todd getting the merest of touches as she dives but not enough 4-3.
Poppy Loveland to take Mulbarton’s 4th spot kick a confident finish hit low and fast into the bottom corner no mistake 4-4.
Tallulah Bell taking the 5th penalty for Dussindale & Hellesdon, strikes the ball through the middle, rising Todd can’t adjust quick enough brushes her fingertip as it nestles in the back of the net 5-4.
Sam Walker up to take the spot kick for Mulbarton has to score to send the shootout into sudden death, cool as you like struck high into the back of the goal. 5-5.
The shootout entering sudden death either side miss and it game over, unless they both miss and we keep going…
16-year-old Jessica Barnes stepping up for Dussindale & Hellesdon a cool finish sent low into the bottom corner 6-5.
Leah Brown coming forwards to take Mulbarton’s 6th penalty, strikes the ball in towards goal central, agony as she sees Cole save gloving the ball up into the air and away to see her side through to the next round of the cup 6-5.
Dussindale & Hellesdon win the penalty shootout 6-5 to advance in this season’s cup enjoyed so great encounters with Mulbarton in recent season’s and this match was no exception a great cup tie, cruel that it had to be settled the way it was a tremendous comeback in the 2nd half from Mulbarton but Dussindale & Hellesdon battle back to get back onto level terms.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football east – Player of the Match. What a game an exciting watch and a huge effort put in by both sides with several contenders hard to single one out, although I did have a clear favourite leaving the ground. A few performances of note to mention firstly for Mulbarton, Alice Smith with a solid display in the middle of the park winning the ball getting it forwards into the attacking players. Sam Walker was busy in attack and coming back for the ball getting into some great positions. The 2nd half substitutes making a real impact, Poppy Loveland getting hold of the ball and Leah Brown with her tenacity in chasing down the ball and breaking forwards on the left sent the tone leading to the comeback. For Dussindale & Hellesdon, both Calista Tink and Jessica Barnes were strong in the centre of defence winning the ball and closing down. Abby Hutchin with several powerful runs on the ball. Today’s award though goes to Victoria Leyer, she’s won the award before but that is usually for her goal scoring feats and yes she did score a great goal, however it was ore for her display in the middle closing down the ball, winning tackles and frustrating her opponents making some excellent runs too.
Another great game to watch at Mulberry Park a proper cup tie entertaining between two committed sides, my thanks to both for their help with the team details. look forward to the draw for the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Women’s Cup.
by Darren Gilham