Category Archives: Norfolk Women’s Division One

Match Report – Sprowston FC Women v Bungay Town Ladies

Wednesday 22nd May

Norfolk Women’s Division One 

After a run of 9 cup finals, a brief pause this Wednesday evening for a spot of league action in my penultimate game of the season, a trip into Norwich, to watch a potential title winning clash between the top two in Norfolk Women’s Division One, Sprowston FC Women 2nd a point behind the visitors, leaders Bungay Town Ladies. 

 Bungay Town Ladies climbing to the top of the table having finally caught up with their games in hand a point clear knowing a point or better this evening will see them crowned champions. Sprowston’s last game of the season have to win to keep their own title hopes alive and then hope Caister FC Ladies can do them a favour by beating Bungay in their final game on Sunday. Bungay keen for that scenario not to arise, both sides bringing in the big guns for the game with their dual signings available with their parent clubs season’s having concluded. Whatever the outcome of this evenings match the pair have guaranteed a top two finish. A great season for both.

 Sprowston amongst the chasing pack all season picking up some great results developing a squad of young players, Sprowston FC with a strong youth policy. Lost just one of their opening 12 league matches pushing the leaders all they way and when Caister FC Ladies were deducted 12 point for playing a banned player the Division One picture changed with themselves and Bungay emerging as the title contenders. Reaching the last 4 of the League Cup too will b aiming to end the campaign on a high. Mollie O’Callaghan the top scorer for Sprowston scoring 17 goals in 17 appearances. With Rosie Milligan on 13 goals Bailey Duffield with 12 and Holly Whayman and Lois Wright both on 9.

  Bungay Town Ladies emerging as the Division One leaders late in the season having been playing catch up with their fixtures all campaign. Never an easy task to have the games in hand and fulfil the potential they offer by getting the points on the board but have achieved it to put themselves within touching distance of winning another Division One title, albeit quite a while back. Have long been established in the league have build up a strong squad full of experience and a spattering of exciting young talent. A double within their grasp too, missing out in the final of this seasons League Cup. Mia Rose the clubs top scorer with 14 goals. Lauren Goulder has since moved on with 12. Brooke Osborne signed at the start of the season with 8 to her name.

  Blue Boar Lane the venue for this evenings league clash the Sprowston Sports and Social Club, home of Sprowston FC men and women. The social club leading to the main grass pitch. Surrounded by trees in a residential area. Viewing behind railings all round. The pitch certainly a contrast to the pitch at evening but unfair to compare it to Portman Road. Is uneven in  place the grass a little long, but with all the rain we’ve had in the past 24 hours hardly surprising good growing weather. A little slope to it too from one goal mouth to another a decent crowd too with a few keen observers to see how things will pan out. After that heavy rain yesterday that saw the Suffolk Women’s County Cup final suspended for 1hr 20 minutes it didn’t hit Norwich too bad and the threat to the game being on passed. A few spots of rain in the air clouds around but as the teams kicked off the sun broke through the cloud low setting behind the trees behind one goal.

Sprowston FC Women starting XI – Jade Knight, Courtney Leggett, Bailey Curtis, Holly Whayman, Brianna Rudd (C), Olivia Leggett, Chloe Shipman, Mollie O’Callaghan, Anais Winney, Phoebe Green and Bailey Duffield. Subs – Rosie Milligan, Lois Wright, Lola Hallam & Aimee Dickson.

Sprowston FC Women

 Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Grace Storey, Marcie Prettyman, Chloe Ellis, Ruby Roos, Charnelle Riggall (C), Selina Rowland, Brooke Osborne, Lily Alexander, Lauren Bullard & Mia Rose. Subs – Naomi Cooper, Kate Pasque, Lauren Purling, Abigail Bell & Zoe Cossey.

Bungay Town Ladies

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Captain’s Charnelle Riggall and Briana Rudd with this evening’s referee, Norwich’s, Alice Parker.

Sprowston having midfielder Chloe Shipman available with Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women historic title winning season in EWFL Division One North finished. Played a big part for the club collecting both the Players players and Managers player of the year awards. So too Anais Winney, she and twin sister Lily-Ann joining now relegated FAWNL side Cambridge City Women both having played for the first team. Bungay have midfielder Ciera Flatt out injured but have some of their dual signings available too to this evenings crucial game, Lauren Bullard recently signed on in the starting line up along side fellow Wroxham player, Lily Alexander who netted a goal in Wroxham league cup final defeat at the weekend. Naomi Cooper on the bench. Norwich’s, Alice Parker, refereeing this evenings game.

Sprowston opting to switch ends at the coin toss with the sun appearing low behind one goal. Bungay to kick -off the game wearing light blue shirts with black shorts and socks. Sprowston wearing orange shirts and socks with black shorts. The ball played into midfield comes out to the left captain, Charnelle Riggall looking to get forwards on the flank lays the pass inside into Mia Rose up top, Bailey Curtis closing in holding the attackers up inside the D, Rose getting room to turn putting the ball into the far post collected by goalkeeper, Jade Knight.

Bungay looking to make a positive start, Selina Rowland winning the ball in the middle, putting the pass out to Riggall wide left, 30 yards out unleashes a shot the ball brushing the side netting as it runs wide of the near post. Rose winning a throw for Bungay up on the left, Grace Storey putting it into Rose’s feet, wide spins inside to cross, the ball headed clear by Sprowston captain, Briana Rudd.

Bungay’s, Selina Rowland

Riggall pushing on well up the left for Bungay as side win another throw in the corner played into Riggall, sends a crossed arrowing into the far post, players closing in, Marcie Prettyman up with Brooke Osborne, the header turned wide. The game being played at a frantic pace the ball won back and put forwards quickly. Bungay pushing players on, Sprowston clearing into Mollie O’Callaghan in the middle puts a diagonal ball into the right channel for striker, Bailey Duffield to attack Bungay goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce out of her area quickly to put her foot through the ball to clear.

Osborne laying the ball into Rose’s feet as the attacker pulls out to the right 20 yards out spins in behind to flash a cross in along the face of the Sprowston goal, Bullard can’t quite reach it to turn home. Chloe Shipman carrying the ball out to the right lifts it on for Duffield to attack on the flank, Grace Storey back on her as the pair reach the by-line the defender seeing Duffield place her attempted cross behind for a goal kick.

Chloe Shipman

A frantic opening 5 minutes if anything both sides need to settle. Chloe Ellis playing the ball out from the back up to Osborne inside for Bullard, challenged by Sprowston’s Holly Whayman, cleared to the left, Sprowston’s Anais Winney sending the ball into the box for Duffield to attack, Bungay defender Ruby Roos getting across her to shield the ball back to her keep, Pearce picking it up Sprowston claiming Roos touched the ball implying a back pass but nothing doing.

Rowland giving the ball to Riggall getting on up the left flank looks to play Bullard in behind the flag though going up, halting her run. Winney taking the ball on right for Sprowston winning a throw as Ellis comes across to tackle. Off the throw Phoebe Green sees the ball into her feet right corner of the area and turning to shot sends the ball wide past the far post. O’Callaghan with time on the ball 40 yards out lines up a strike a good effort racing wide of the right post.

Rowland bringing the ball under control in the middle, laying it out to Riggall getting forwards on the left pushed into Bullard 20 yards out left of the D, has Osborne making a run across her going ide plays the ball into her, Osborne’s angled cross, claimed by Sprowston goalkeeper, Knight. A free-kick won on half-way to Sprowston, Olivia Leggett to play the ball up into the area, Roos heading it clear for Bungay.

Bungay captain, Charnelle Riggall looking to get in behind Chloe Shipman

Rowland up ended in the middle, gets back to her feet quickly to take it spotting Riggall in space on the left, going forwards Sprowston out to close her down put the ball out for a throw. Alexander receiving the throw do onto her feet, spins in behind to cross the ball blocked by Whayman. Leggett heading the ball away from danger as Riggall whips a cross in towards the top of the area. Bungay pressing getting forwards well. Prettyman on the move right into Osborne racing on her cross/shot taken by Knight down low at her near post.

Knight has a good kick on her the ball launched up to the right has Duffield turning to attack up the line, is brought down as she reaches the corner of the area, winning her side a free-kick. O’Callaghan over it players up goes for the shot fires the ball over the crossbar. Duffield closing Roos down as the defender looks to see the ball out of play on the left forces the corner. Curled in to the far post knocked down drops to Green out beyond the post, sees her shot charged down.

Sprowston’s Bailey Duffield

Bungay look to break from the corner get away on the right, Sprowston snapping back to turn play around, Shipman on for Green her cross over everyone from the left, Duffield right looking to keep the pressure on, winning another corner. A dangerous delivery curled in under the bar by O’Callaghan, Pearce getting a fist on the ball to punch it away.

Bungay goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce

Duffield attacking the ball on the right as Knight boots it upfield, Riggall tracking back to help Storey at the back getting a challenge in on Duffield to see Storey clear. Both sides calling for a little calm passes rushed at times. Alexander bringing the ball on for Bungay played into Riggall wide left, spins in behind looknig to get down the line, Curtis back at her to challenge, clears the ball. Sprowston making a change, Duffield coming off in attack, Rosie Milligan coming on.

The ball put inside from the left into Rose inside the D, the Bungay attacker holding the ball up, looking to spin off Whayman marking her to get a shot away, Whayman ready lunging in with her leg to block the ball runs wide to the right of the D, Rowland running on looking to shoot first time blasts her 20 yard attempt wide. Osborne taking the ball on down the right seeing her low cross turned behind by Leggett.

The corner lifted in at the near post Roos up to head the ball twisting her body to angle the ball in down towards goal, blocked on the line, dropping down to the floor and hastily scrambled away, Bungay appealing that the ball had crossed the line but don’t get the decision. VAR not used if it wasn’t over there was only a fraction in it.

Bungay’s Ruby Roos

Good contest. lively, Bungay getting on quickly looking to force the tempo, too quickly at times players not ready for passes, Leggett winning it at the back up to Winney left has Green pulling wide picks her out, the attacker on the angle sending a shot wide across the six yard box.

GOAL! The deadlock broken Bungay bringing the ball on right side played into Rose form a goal kick, 20 yards out right corner of the box back to goal takes it to her left to spin away down the line lifting a cross into the box, over Bullard, dropping on the penalty spot, Alexander charging in unmarked hitting it on the volley driving the ball past the keeper into the back of the net 0-1.

Lily Alexander celebrates as she fires Bungay into the lead

Bungay taking the lead with just under half an hour played. Winney gets the ball up to Green pressing on the left sends a cross into the area, Milligan making a central run, Roos intercepting to head the ball clear. O’Callaghan looking to line up another rocket from 30 yards out, Rowland throwing her self in to block the ball at close range. Rose moving across the Sprowston back line to receive the ball, Rowland taking the ball out to the left rolling her in down the line, Rose and Whayman tangling on the edge of the area, the Bungay attacker winning a free-kick, Whayman shown a yellow card.

Mollie O’Callaghan


 Osborne over the set-piece on the left just outside the box, flighted in towards the far post Roos jumping to nod the ball down into the six yard box, the shot is taken, the ball gratefully grabbed up by Knight put straight into the keeper. O’Callaghan with Shipman bring the ball on through the middle for Sprowston, Shipman sending it up the right wing with Milligan racing in behind the full back firing a cross into the area, won by Riggall over on the other side of the pitch now. A few uneven bounces on the pitch wrong footing plays, there are definitely a few nerves out there the senior plays trying to get everyone to relax.

  Riggall over on the right attacking the ball on for Osborne releases Bullard down to the by-line cuts her cross back up into the box, Leggett snatching it back for Sprowston to clear. Roos comes over to support Riggall as she holds up Green’s progress on the left wing, sends the ball upfield, Rose looking to get it under control, has the ball taken off her feet by Rudd. Bungay pressing on the right, Riggall up with Osborne and Bullard the cross put into the area, Curtis going to clear it, Rose charging the ball down behind for a goal kick. 

  Rowland playing the ball into Rose over on the left 20 yards out controls the ball and shifts it inside to open up the angle to shoot, the ball fired straight at the keeper, back on her line. O’Callaghan angling a 30 yard pass into the right side of the Bungay six yard box, Green attacking it sends the ball over. Sprowston winning a free-kick wide on the left in the closing moments of the first half, O’Callaghan over the ball sends the ball into the area over everyone and out at the far post.

Half-time Sprowston FC Women 0-1 Bungay Town Ladies

  Bungay with the narrow advantage at the break, the teams staying out on the field with a short interval before the 2nd half. The game has been played at a frantic pace, Bungay keen to get the job done this evening. Neither side has settled, a nervous edge to proceedings. A few rash challenges but played in good spirits for the majority. Bungay creating chances getting players on well down the flanks. Sprowston limited in their attacks but proving a real danger on the counter and keeping Bungay on their toes a single goal in it all to play for 2nd half.

  Both sides making changes, Zoe Cossey and Abigail Bell on for Bungay in place of Osborne and Storey off. Duffield back on for Sprowston along with Lola Hallam, Green and Winney off. Sprowston getting the 2nd half underway, Bungay immediately in to close the ball down, get the ball up the right crossed into the box, drops for Rose stabs the ball over the goal. Bell closing the ball down in the final 3rd for Bungay out to the right, Courtney Leggett defending sending it out for a throw. 

 Sprowston up on the right getting a throw, played into Duffield top of the area lays it down the line for Hallam to lift a cross into the area, Pearce claiming the ball at the near post. Shipman tackling Rowland in the middle to bring the ball away right, for Hallam, Riggall challenging for Bungay to stop the attack. Courtney Leggett getting on with the ball left for Sprowston fires it forwards up into the box with Duffield the target, Roos goes with her foot instead of her head to clear the ball, slices the ball in behind gets away with it as it runs straight into the keepers gloves.

Sprowston’s Lola Hallam

  Bungay queuing up inside the box as Rose on the right looks to wriggle her was past three defenders, the cross coming in, Whayman winning it for Sprowston to clear. Rowland booked as she is late with her tackle, then clears the ball inside the box from the resulting free-kick. The game remains lively Cossey carrying the ball up through the middle for Bungay sending it on for Rose up the right flank, Courtney Leggett getting a foot on the ball, brings it on setting off a Sprowston counter attack, rolls into Milligan, pulls the trigger from 30 yards out her shot only succeeds in finding the keeper.

  Cossey getting up to the top of the D, laying the ball off to the left for the onrushing, Alexander to take on Curtis making the blocking tackle for Sprowston. Milligan with another attempt from distance 25 yards out on the right places the ball over the crossbar. Shipman wins Pearce’s goal-kick for Sprowston seeing the ball down lays it forwards looking to play Hallam through on goal right side, the pass a little too strong gives Pearce the opportunity to get the ball safely back into her gloves.

  Bungay defending their six yard box heading the ball clear as Sprowston pushing on the right win a corner. Bungay come on through the middle Rowland on for Cossey left of the D, 25 out looks to thread the ball into the path of Bullard ahead of her, not quite as Whayman clears, the ball going straight to Prettyman 25 yards out right of the D, shoots the ball racing wide of the far post. 

Marcie Prettyman tackling Rosie Milligan

 Curtis putting the tackle in on Rose as the Bungay attacker drives forwards with the ball at her feet in the left channel. Alexander on the move right plays the ball on for Rose bursting to the by-lie stabs her cross up into the near post, Curtis with a timely tackle on Bullard as she looks to attack it. Bungay upping the ante pushing on Roos lifting a pass into Bullard moving right back to Prettyman, inside for Rowland looks to turn, Milligan nips in to win the ball for Sprowston, they look to counter Milligan finding Shipman looks to release Hallam on the right, Riggall defending for Bungay. 

  Changes from both sides, Shipman coming off for Sprowston, Green coming back on. Bungay bringing off Rose, sending on Lauren Purling. Leggett needing to defend for Sprowston does well as Alexander picking up the ball 25 yards out drives on towards the box, left side of the D. Bungay giving the ball away in the middle, O’Callaghan snapping onto the ball letting fly from 30 yards out, the shot grabbed down by Pearce. 25 minutes left to play the score remains 1-0 to Bungay, the ball not sticking on the middle, but Sprowston can’t get it into their attackers. 

Bungay’s Zoe Cossey

 Cossey with a chance to double the lead as she breaks into the area central, riding a challenge stays on her feet moving to the left, taking the shot, not enough on it to evade the keeper, Knight down to make the save. Bungay pressing, Alexander on the drive with the ball at her feet central feeding the pass out to Purling on the right 20 yards out ends the ball arrowing into the box central, for Bell looking to attack it on the half volley, places the shot straight at the keeper. Cossey coming inside from the left to try her luck on the angle too can only pick out Knight in the Sprowston goal. 

Bungay’s Abigail Bell

Bungay looking to turn the screw, O’Callaghan nipping back in on Purling as the Bungay winger looks to get away on the right, out for a throw, Prettyman putting the ball up the line for Purling to attack driving to the by-line, Rudd going with her holding her up well eventually conceding the throw in the corner. Prettyman putting it long into Alexander inside the box, Olivia Leggett challenging to clear the threat. 

 Rowland bringing the ball down puts it into the path of Bells 25 yards out right of the D, unleashing a shot whips past the near post. Bungay with a free-kick on halfway lifted into the right side of the six yard box headed down into the mix, scrambled away to safety.

GOAL! Bungay having created a series of good chances make one count as the ball from the left is clipped into the top of the area, Purling seeing it down beyond the defence knocks it right heading for the six yard box and from the angle strikes the ball in across goal over the line at the far post 0-2.

Lauren Purling about to send Bungay into a 2 goal lead.

 Bungay getting a precious 2nd goal make a change bringing off Rowland with Naomi Cooper coming on. Bungay full of running in the latter stages of the game, one hand on the league title Alexander laying the ball on for Bullard, Curtis closing the attacker down top of the area. Bullard on the ball right side up to Purling inside the box, Rudd stepping in to win the ball back runs back out to Bullard places her shot into the side netting.

Lauren Bullard

  A triple switch for Sprowston as they bring O’Callaghan, Duffield and Whayman off, on come, Lois Wright, Aimee Dickson and Winney. The light starting to fade Bungay with a throw on the right make a change Prettyman having pulled up with cramp replaced by Storey. Cooper looking to play the ball into Bullard moving right, the pass cut out by Curtis. 

 Cossey looking to play a one two with Purling as she makes a central run towards the box, can’t quite get control of the return pass. Sprowston look to bring the ball away launch a counter long for Winney, Ellis defending for Bungay. The game stretched as Sprowston look to throw players forwards. Cossey hooking the ball forwards for Bullard on the right, Curtis going with her lunging in to play the ball out for a throw. The cross from the throw long to the back stick, Cooper rising to get her head on the ball nods it down into the keeper.

  Milligan strikes the shot from distance the ball swerving in towards goals caught by Pearce. The game moving into the final minute, Bungay working hard to limit Sprowston in possession a free-kick won lifted up to Purling on the right takes into the corner before winning a corner. Curled into the area and headed clear, the final whistle blows and Bungay have done it, are CHAMPIONS winning the Division One title.

Fulltime Sprowston FC Women 0-2 Bungay Town Ladies

  Lauren Purling has been with Bungay for a long time, her father Graham managing the side for a long period too, great to see her score the goal in the 2nd half to help secure the league title. Please for the club, great to see them win the league, know they have done it before but not in the WF East era. Have always been very supportive of my efforts to help promote the game. Leading 1-0 at half-time found an extra gear in the 2nd half to push on create good chances eventually making one count. Sprowston beaten by the better side on the night, have nevertheless secured runners-up spot. haven’t seen them this season until now, but have heard them talked about in high regards and have done fabulous to be in the title race right up until their final game of the season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto the penultimate Women’s Football East – Player of the Match of the season. Have to say this is a difficult one but the notes paint a picture of who done what help alot on occasion. A few performances of note, for Sprowston, Bailey Curtis made a number of crucial tackles at the back. Olivia Leggett in front of the defence getting across the pitch to win the ball. Chloe Shipman in the middle with some useful passes. For Bungay, Lily Alexander with some fantastic runs on hand to volley home the opening goal. Mia Rose got about the top of the area to receive the ball with some great link up play. Selina Rowland strong on the ball in the middle got Bungay moving forwards. Zoe Cossey and Abigail Bell coming on 2nd half pushed on to keep Bungay up the pitch to create attacking opportunities. The award though goes to their captain, Charnelle Riggall worked hard to win the ball down the left in the first half getting it on down the line linking up with her attackers then in defence 2nd half limited Sprowston’s attacks down the right well.

 Congratulations to Bungay Town Ladies on winning Norfolk Women’s Division One.

Bungay Town Ladies, 2023/24 Norfolk Women’s Division One Champions (photo credit Darrell Allen)

 An exciting game to end the Division One title race, and already you know it’s going to be just as good next season. My thanks to both teams for the team details. Great to see so many taking an interested in the outcome across the footballing community in Norfolk. One more game to go then the season’s done.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – KLSC FC Women v Aylsham FC Women

Sunday 18th February

KLSC FC Women v Aylsham FC Women

 For the 2nd weekend running heavy overnight rain across the region has played havoc with the women’s football fixtures with a large number of league and cup games falling foul to waterlogged pitches. Once again my first choice game called off , but as ever there are plenty of alternatives to choose from and an opportunity to see someone else in action so this Sunday it’s a short trip to King’s Lynn to watch KLSC FC Women play Aylsham FC Women in Norfolk Women’s Division One.

  Norfolk seeing a host of new sides joining the women’s league this season as the game continues to grow at a pace. With 8 new sides in a 14 strong Division Two and another new side Costessey Sports Ladies joining Division One 5 sides were pushed up from Division Two into Division One this campaign. The increase in teams hasn’t seen the comparable increase in new players and this has left squad stretched at times with dual signings often competing with unavailability and injuries, a stop start season for some clubs. Division One seeing a strong contest for the title emerging nevertheless.

  Aylsham FC Women and KLSC FC Women finishing 1st and 2nd respectfully in Division Two last season to win promotion to Division One, joined by Mulbarton Women Development, North Walsham Angels Ladies and Thorpe St Andrew Women. 

  KLSC (King’s Lynn Soccer Club) FC Women finishing runners-up in Division Two last season 2 points behind champions Aylsham FC Women, the pair emerging on top of what was a competitive title race. Have made a solid debut in Division One sitting comfortably in mid-table winning 4 and drawing one of their 9 matches so far taking 7 points from their opening 4 league games. Josie Turner has always had a great scoring record where ever she’s played and has continued that trend with KLSC finding the back of the net for 38 goals last terms is once again leading the scoring charts for KLSC his time around with 10 goals from 6 appearances. 

  Aylsham FC Women going undefeated in their debut season to win the Division Two title lasts season, winning all but 2 of their 20 league matches, clinching the title two point ahead of KLSC FC Women. Bringing together a squad of experienced players led by captain Jordan Arnoup who was in hot form in front of goal herself last season breaking the back of the net for 39 goals to become top scorer in the league. Aylsham promoted to Division One finding life a lot tougher, struggling for numbers at times due to work commitments, injuries lost their opening 3 league matches, however 7 points from their next 3 fixtures pulled them free of the bottom, in 9 will be aiming to push on into mid-table, new sighing Australian, Billie Myall top scorer for Aylsham with 7 goals to her name so far in her debut campaign. Arnoup one goal behind on the score sheet for 6 so far.

  With the heavy rain predicted once again for the weekend, KLSC FC Women planned ahead and booked their local 3G pitch ready for use should their grass pitch on King’s Way Playing Fields be deemed unplayable which was highly likely. A wise decision the game switched to the Alive Lynn Sport 3G pitch, the heavy rain blowing through west to east likely to clear before kick-off leaving a slightly overcast but bright afternoon. The well used sports facility caged on 3 sides with viewing for spectators on one side of the pitch beside the sports hall. 


KLSC FC Women starting XI – Gemma Thomas, Elizabeth Puckova, Leeanne Smith, Viktorija Burkauskaite (C), Taeya Mayes, Caitlin Jacob, Chloe Edwards, Trinity Tokaji, Josie Turner, Nikola Maslak and Ellie Panks. Subs – Lydia Hunter, Ellena Bennington & Rachel Skinner.

Aylsham FC Women

Aylsham FC Women starting XI – Hannah Lock, Ella Swift, Abbie Butcher, Jordan Arnoup (C), Sophie-Jayne O’Connor, Georgie Bobbin. Cayla Brown, Flo Simpkin, Rhiannon Dack, Molly Webb & Gabrielle Cobb. Subs – Sausha Levy-Twomey, Ellie Cleaver, Lily Carus & Ellie Snowling.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Captains Viktorija Burkauskaite and Jordan Arnoup with referee Shane Watts

  It’s the visitors Aylsham to kick off the first half, with a few players out through injury and unavailability the call offs elsewhere meant they could bolster their squad with a few of their dual signings. KLSC FC Women short on numbers too with player manager Ellie Bennington naming herself amongst the substitutes. Aylsham wearing orange coloured shirts with blue vertical strips on the front with blue shorts and orange socks. KLSC lined up opposite wearing red and black vertical striped shirts with black short and red and black hooped socks. The ball rolled back to Georgie Bobbin in midfield helped back to her defence, KLSC rush on to press the ball high…

 GOAL! Sophie-Jayne O’Connor getting the ball out to right back Ella Swift she in turn plays a fantastic long pass up to Gabrielle Cobb in attack knocks the ball down into the path of Rhiannon Dack bursting on down the right surging towards the area turning the KLSC defence she slides the ball in central in front of goal, Molly Webb coming in off the left waiting to pounce the KLSC defender stretching in front of her attempting to reach the ball can only deflect it towards her own goal, the ball agonisingly creeping in inside the right post the give the visitors the lead inside the opening 30 seconds 0-1.

Rhiannon Dack’s burst forwards and cross leading to the own goal to put Aylsham into the lead

   An early set back for KLSC the hosts battling to win the ball in the middle comes to Josie Turner on the right played forwards up the channel for Nikola Maslak to chase, Aylsham goalkeeper Hannah Lock out to the edge of her area quickly to the ball first touching it back into her box to lay claim to the ball. A lively start from Aylsham keen to get the ball moving forwards, Bobbin getting her tackles in to win the ball, Cobb up top looking to spin off the defence with Dack and Webb breaking forwards on the flanks.


  Bobbin getting hold of the ball laying it forwards into Cobb up top combines with Webb top of the D before the ball is laid back into Flo Simpkin 25 yards out to strike her effort fired straight at and saved by KLSC goalkeeper, Gemma Thomas. KLSC’s, Taeya Mayes has one of the most powerful kicks in the league and manages to clear the ball onto the roof of the sports hall beside the pitch.

Aylsham midfielder, Georgie Bobbin

  Aylsham pushing forwards well Dack taking the ball on going right inside to Cobb central rolling it back for the on rushing Cayla Brown to line up a shot from 25 yards out her attempt racing wide of the right post. KLSC not set as Aylsham press the advantage looking to capitalise on their positive start. Bobbin getting stuck in in the middle, Simpkin getting forwards well to support the attackers. 

  Cobb laying the ball on for Dack pushing on down the right flank sends a looping cross into the box, near post Cobb looking to leap in on the keeper as Thomas goes to catch the ball, spilt is loose inside the six yard box, Webb taking a swing at it sending her attempt high over the crossbar. 

  Chloe Edwards getting the ball out to Turner on the right for KLSC knocks it on for Maslak to chase, getting the ball into her feet turns infield travelling across the top of the area looking for an opening doesn’t find it as she is closed down by Swift the ball cleared. O’Connor winning the ball at the back passing to Swift on the right played forwards for Dack running down the line, Elizabeth Puckova recovering her ground well to slide in take the ball off Dack behind conceding a corner. Looped high into the six yard box his headed clear.

Ella Swift

  KLSC captain Viktorija Burkauskaite intercepting the ball at the back as Bobbin attempts to find Cobb up top with the threaded pass. Edwards down after receiving a heavy knock in a challenge on halfway. Down and in some discomfort can’t continue KLSC forced into a change as Edwards is helped to the side-lines, Rachel Skinner coming on. The resulting free-kick just over half way Mayes over the ball strikes it towards goal, no a bad effort however Lock can see the ball safely past her left post. 

KLSC’s Nikola Maslak with Aylsham’s Abbie Butcher

  Turner linking up well with Maslak on the right as KLSC look to get some momentum going forwards winning a throw high the ball comes to Maslak inside the box right of goal attempts to bring the ball down and turn, is soon closed down by the Aylsham defence the ball hooked clear. Skinner getting about the pitch in an attempt to win the ball get KLSC on the move finds left back Leeanne Smith advancing up the pitch sends it forwards looking to put Maslak in behind, Abbie Butcher across her path to cut the ball out for Aylsham. 

  Maslak pushing up high or KLSC looking to turn onto the ball of her own headed flick on, runs into traffic as Arnoup and Butcher converge to close the ball down for Aylsham. Simpkin getting the ball into her feet dribbling forwards for Aylsham coming left held up by Mayes, has Webb ahead of her lays the ball into her feet, Webb’s looping cross going long cleared by Puckova at the far post. 

KLSC’s Elizabeth Puckova

  Thomas out sharply to the top of her area to slide in and smother the ball at the feet of Cobb as the Aylsham attacker threatens to run in behind the defence chasing a long defensive clearance. Simpkin attacking with Webb on the left her cross deflected into the keepers gloves. Simpkin involved in the action winning the ball back n the left for Aylsham has Cobb in an advanced position ahead of her corner of the area whips her cross along the top of the area with Dack the target on the far side, closed down by Caitlin Jacob and Puckova tries to play it back for Brown to attack 20 yards out, Trinity Tokaji getting back at her to tackle break up the move for KLSC. 

Aylsham’s Flo Simpkin

  KLSC getting a little frustrated passes not finding their mark up top, a little feisty too with a few robust challenges on display. Cobb going over on her shoulder getting a free-kick on halfway to the left. Arnoup over the set-piece fired into the area, taken well by Thomas with Cobb looking to attack it. 

Aylsham captain, Jordan Arnoup

The ball clipped across the pitch to Dack outside the area right corner bringing it down to shoot fires her effort wide past the far post. The visitors making a change bringing of Bobbin with Sausha Levy-Twomey dual signed with Thetford Town Ladies coming on going into the back line with Arnoup pushed into midfield. 

  Half an hour played Skinner coming on has given KLSC some extra traction going forwards the ball falling in her 25 yards out, strikes a shot wide of the left post. Turner pushing up now linking with Maslak firing the ball into the channel, Levy-Twomey using her experience to get across the attacker shield the ball out for a goal kick. O’Connor sticking out a boot to intercept well as Maslak driving inside from the right looks to feed the ball in behind with Skinner pulling off the defence.

KLSC’s Rachel Skinner

  The changes seeing the game opening up with KLSC gaining some momentum getting into the final third better, remains feisty with Arnoup and Jacob getting stuck in Aylsham making a double switch bring Butcher and Webb off, Ellie Cleaver and Ellie Snowling coming on. Maslak on for Turner ahead of her on the right lays the ball in central for Skinner, O’Connor cutting the pass out clearing for Aylsham.

  The ball not sticking up top as KLSC press winning it back into Turner who knocks it on for Ellie Panks pulling into the left channel, O’Connor coming across to defend before she can play the cross. KLSC Pushing on well winning a throw high on the right players up the ball knocked on across the six yard box cleared at the far post…

  GOAL! The ball quickly won back on the left Puckova putting in back inside Panks and Skinner outside the area left channel drawing defenders to them as the pass inside cuts the defence open to send Turner racing clear on goal right side hasn’t had much opportunity to get into the box so far and makes it count as she rifles the ball across the keeper into the bottom corner to equalise. 1-1.

Josie Turner equalising for KLSC

  KLSC getting themselves back on level terms capitalising on Aylsham dropping off late in the first half. From the restart Aylsham build on the right forwards for Dack who opens up her body to lay the ball on for Cobb and Simpkin racing forwards to attack the box, Mayes in between them going to ground sliding in to take the ball away from danger.

KLSC’s Taeya Mayes

  Arnoup upset as she is fouled by Mayes on halfway winning the free-kick fires the ball forwards deflected into the area right of goal, Cobb pounces after it her 1st touch a little too strong however giving Thomas the extra yard she needs to get out and lay claim to the ball.

Half-time KLSC FC Women 1-1 Aylsham FC Women

  All square at the break with a goal scored by KLSC at either end of the first half, Aylsham cutting KLSC open with their first attack, Rhiannon Dack’s cross turned into the back of their own net inside 30 seconds. Aylsham making the better start winning the ball well in the middle and getting players on to support the attack creating some chances without over testing the keeper. KLSC were unsettled took a while to get going, the changes helping Rachel Skinner coming on adding drive to the attack, Aylsham not benefitting from their changes as they fell back inviting KLSC forwards Josie Turner finding the pocket of space she needed to run into inside the area to score. Game on as the sides stay out on the field for the half-time interval a quick turn around the game restarting.

  No changes for KLSC as they get the 2nd half underway. Aylsham taking off Simpkin with Lily Carus coming into the middle joined by O’Connor with Arnoup along side Levy-Twomey at the back. The ball played back into the defence Aylsham looking to press, the keeper coming out to claim the ball, just, for KLSC. 

  Both sides into each other at the start the ball closed down quickly the diagonal pass finding Snowling out on the left for Aylsham takes it on tracking inside, Burkauskaite coming to close her down standing her ground winning the ball outside the box. Turner dropping her shoulder moving inside from the left looks to pick out Panks up top, after the ball as it runs into the area is closed down well by Arnoup. 

 Mayes with a strong tackle on Dack out wide to win the ball back on the left for KLSC sends it on for Turner, taking the ball inside from the left, looks to take on Levy-Twomey, the defender reading her run, getting her foot in to win the ball back. The ball deflected over for a corner of Mayes as Snowling attacks down the left for Aylsham, the corner from the left swung in turned over for a goal kick.

  Maslak turns well on the ball off a throw on the left turning inside has Panks with her central the pair looking to play a one two to get through on goal, Arnoup getting in the way to block the ball cleared out to the left comes back in claimed by Lock at her near post. Aylsham break getting up the other end quickly the ball with O’Connor in midfield sends it on for Cobb up top left of the D sends it across to the right for Dack stealing into the box, Thomas though comes rushing out to meet her sliding in to claim the ball at her feet.

Aylsham’s Sophie-Jane O’Connor

  A much more even 2nd half the ball not staying with either side for long KLSC come on through the middle with purpose the ball driven on for Turner outside the box to turn and shoot, her effort driven on low, Lock with a superb save getting down to her right to get a glove on the ball deflect it behind for the corner kick. 

Aylsham goalkeeper, Hannah Lock.

  Swung in from the left angled into the keeper, Lock punches the ball clear out of the box. Burkauskaite coming across to challenge well as O’Connor looks to play Snowling in on the left wing. KLSC Making a substitution bringing on Lydia Hunter to replace Smith just over an hour played. Straight into the action as wins the tackle on Snowling as O’Connor again looks to link up with her on the left. Aylsham gaining some momentum through the middle O’Connor linking up with Carus the ball sent out to the right Dack winning her side a throw in.

KLSC captain, Viktorija Burkauskaite

  GOAL! The throw in leads to Aylsham winning a corner on the right Arnoup across to take in sends a pacy cross the six yard box out towards the far post, Dack stooping into the header to drive the ball past the keeper into the back of the lead to fire Aylsham back into the lead 1-2.

Rhiannon Dack heads Aylsham into the lead

  KLSC falling behind in the 65th minute looking for a quick reply, looking to get forwards however the passes are a little rushed the Aylsham defence set winning the ball back. Skinner and Turner looking to combine on the left exchanging passes Turner looking to get into the box stopped by Levy-Twomey. 

 Cobb continues to work hard to press the KLSC defence looking to move around the ball falling to her 5 yards out looks to turn and attack, Burkauskaite lunging in with the challenge to deny her the opportunity. Aylsham bringing off Brown sending Bobbin back on. Thomas getting out to close Cobb down as she looks to lob the ball over her inside the D as the ball comes into the area from the right the ball falling wide.

  Carus taking the ball on for Aylsham linking up with Snowling on the left, Burkauskaite coming out to tackle get the ball up the field for KLSC. KLSC winning a free-kick inside the Aylsham half on the left, Mayes sending it long into the area, Levy-Twomey’s sliced clearance turned behind for a corner kick. Arnoup at the near post defending the corner as it is swung into the six yard box.

 Moving into the final 15 minutes Aylsham working hard to maintain their lead, Arnoup intercepting the ball as Mayes attempts to find Panks inside the box with a diagonal pass from the left. O’Connor coming off for the visitors with Simpkin returning to the action. KLSC with a throw in the right dropping inside for Tokaji outside the area sees her shot charged down, the ball cleared. Aylsham making another change with Webb returning to the pitch for Snowling on the left.

Trinity Tokaji

  Aylsham attack Carus up to Cobb left outside the area flicks it down into the path of Dack 25 yards out left of the D, her shot deflected behind for a corner kick. Arnoup’s corner flashed across the face of goal through everyone at the far post cleared to the left but comes straight back played in central Arnoup looking to return to her defensive position seeing the ball into her feet 25 yards out and firing  shot straight into the keepers gloves.

  The clock ticking down KLSC press forwards with a flowing move Skinner out to Mayes forwards into Turner left inside for Panks who runs into traffic as she looks to plough her way in on goal. Aylsham get the ball up the other end KLSC defending then Thomas plays her kick against Cobb inside the area right of goal plays it across for Carus to attack, Burkauskaite timing her tackle to get the ball way from danger.

Ellie Panks

Aylsham finding energy late in the game looking to hold onto their lead press well Bobbin on for Carus up with Webb on the left, Thomas rushing out to make the blocking save the ball deflected back to Cobb 20 yards out looking to send the ball home into the empty net the ball doesn’t drop quick enough as she sends her attempt looping up to smash down off the crossbar, KLSC regrouping at the back to launch it clear. Butcher coming back on for Swift to see out the match.

  Skinner playing the ball on for Maslak on the right for KLSC comes inside, tackled by 20 by Butcher the ball deflected back for the keeper to gather. Aylsham doing well in the latter stages to see out the game. Thomas rushing out to the top of her area to save at the feet of Cobb as she receives the ball off Simpkin as she steals possession back top of the D.

  Stoppage time being played as Aylsham win the set-piece Arnoup launching the ball forwards into the opposition box, Dack drifting in behind can’t direct her header on target as it drops to the right of goal, Thomas racing out to shield the ball out for a goal kick.

Full time KLSC FC Women 1-2 Aylsham FC Women

  The final whistle blows and Aylsham celebrate a much needed win the 3 points pulling them further clear of the bottom two and in a position to challenge the teams above for a mid-table position to consolidate their place in Division One. Made hard work of the in in the finish after making a positive start to the game on the front foot for much of the first half after taking the lead, the substitutions seemed to hamper them in the first half as they sat back allowed KLSC to gain the momentum get themselves right back into contention puling the scores level. A much more even 2nd half with KLSC creating a few good opportunities in front of goal. Didn’t have the subs to rotate as did Aylsham and that helped the visitors as they retook the lead and ad something to hold onto seeing out the game well creating an opportunity or two to extend their advantage.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As is often the case a hard decision with a few contenders in the mix. In this case really hard to single it down to one with 4 players all having a good shout, in the end it comes down to goals and that probably gives it away. A few performances to mention of course. For KLSC firstly. Their captain Viktorija Burkauskaite with a number of vital tackles at the back. Josie Turner getting into some great positions taking her goal well. Nikola Maslak lively on the flank taking the ball inside taking the game forwards. Rachel Skinner getting about the pitch looking to get KLSC going making an impact off the bench. For Aylsham the defence as a whole read the game well and all made some vital tackles further forwards Georgie Bobbin with some strong tackling in midfield handed the momentum to Aylsham early on and set the tone for the first half hour. Flo Simpkin got forwards well to support the attack with some great attacking runs. Gabrielle Cobb worked tirelessly up top to create opportunities for herself and her teammates and was unfortunate not to score. Edging it though today’s award goes to Rhiannon Dack her surging run and resulting cross into the box putting Aylsham into the lead, was a constant outlet out on the right linking up with Cobb and headed home the winning goal.

  Great to catch up with both sides today, another weather hit weekend but I stayed dry. An entertaining contest my thanks to both sides for their assistance today.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Thorpe St Andrew Women v Aylsham FC Women

Thursday 18th May

Norfolk Women’s Division Two

Staying in Norfolk for some more midweek league action this Thursday evening with a trip along the A47 to watch a game from Norfolk Women’s Division Two with Thorpe St Andrew Women hosting leader leaders Aylsham FC Women, a win for the visitors will see them crowned Champion in their debut season.

  Aylsham FC Women emerging out on top of what has been a competitive tussle at the top end of a 12 strong league. With it looking an open fight between 6 sides entering the new year, one side lost as Gorleston FC Ladies were to fold, North Walsham Angels Ladies mounting a late charge to get amongst the mix, along side KLSC FC Women, Mulbarton Belles Ladies new Development side and Thorpe St Andrew Women.

  Haven’t seen Thorpe St Andrew Women for a good while, in fact back then they were still Thorpe United Ladies, one of the leading sides in the Norfolk Women’s Football league for many years. Playing at the Thorpe Recreation Ground on Laundry Lane. A falling out with the previous management regime saw the entire first team go with manager Martin Frances to form Mulbarton Belles Ladies. That left the Development team to become the senior team. A tough campaign last time out with Tony Allen taking on the coaching of the team placed in strong Division One, would have preferred to have been in Division Two.

 An inexperienced squad were to struggle with some big losses along side North Walsham Angels Ladies who were in a similar position the latter losing several experienced players as a result, Thorpe St Andrew dug deep however and sticking together worked hard week in week out to improve the signs there as the season drew to a close for a brighter future. Now back in Division Two despite losing their opening two fixtures were to go on a run of 8 matches unbeaten winning 6 to put themselves in amongst the mix at the top end of the table, becoming a side used to winning games instead of one accustomed to defeat, have dropped away at the end but will almost certain cement a top 5 finish. Abi Simmons top scorer netting 28 goals so far this season with both Bex Sutton and Poppy Le Beau reaching double figures. Thorpe a club that has always had a strong youth set-up with teams from U10s up adult.

  A phenomenal debut season for Aylsham FC Women, ex-Norwich City Women coach Steve Kenny bringing women’s football back to Aylsham, building a strong squad with some ex-Norwich City Reserves players including Jordan Arnoup, along with some ex-Stalham players, Charlotte Crane and Sophie-Jayne O’Connor. Looked a strong squad on paper and has proved to be the case starting with a romping 17-0 home win have continued to pile on the goals scoring a staggering 113 in the 19 games played to date averaging 5.6 goals a game while conceding just 8 at the other end.

  Behind in there fixtures laid in wait for the sides battling above winning 7 in a row while conceding just the 1 goal were to have a mini wobble towards the end of February beginning of March with 1-0 defeat to Mulbarton and an in form North Walsham Angels Ladies side before returning to winning ways and banging in the goal once more. Captain, Jordan Arnoup playing most of the time at centre back the league’s top scorer finding the back of the net with 38 goals from 21 appearances. Hannah Claughton too amongst the goals scoring 21 from her 21 games with Sophie Lubbock dual signed with Fakenham Town Ladies weighing in with 16 goals from just 5 appearances. 10 wins in a row propelling Aylsham to the top of the table promotion to Division one already secured a win in their final game of the season with see them become Champions although a draw would undoubtedly do it with their superior goal difference over KLSC FC Women who still have two to play.

The Thorpe Recreation Ground the home of all the Thorpe St Andrew sides. Boasting a number of full sized grass pitches sloping up from the clubhouse, with the bar and kitchen hatch open serving hot and cold drinks. Thorpe using one of the upper pitches this evening a start contrast to last evenings game in Suffolk this pitch huge in comparison one extreme to the other long and wide, sloping from one side to the other. A full 90 minute game planned a brighter day with little cloud starting to cool down noticeably as the sun drops.

Thorpe St Andrew Women

Thorpe St Andrew Women starting XI – Natalie Cloney, Libby Eglington, Sienna Moore, Emma Clarke, Sarah Rooke, Chloe Musson (C), Jen Brown, Bex Sutton, Natasha Frankland, Tabbi Mileham & Poppy Le Beau. Subs – Hannah Artis, Georgie Rumney, Abi Simmons, Olivia Pollard & Emily Warnes.

Aylsham FC Women

 Aylsham FC Women starting XI – Yaz Wolford, Ellie Cleaver, Abbie Butcher, Jordan Arnoup (C), Charlotte Crane, Georgie Bobbin, Flo Simpkin, Sophie-Jane O’Connor, Hannah Claughton, Rhiannon Dack & Carly Allum. Subs – Hannah Lock, Cayla Brown, Sophie Lubbock & Vicki Lubbock.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A midweek fixture Aylsham having a few of their dual signed players available, with Yaz Wolford in goal also with King’s Lynn Town Ladies in the ERWFL Premier Division. Along with the Lubbock twins, Sophie and Vicki available with Fakenham Town Ladies excellent debut season in ERWFL Division One North now finished on the bench. It’s the visitors to get the game underway wearing orange coloured shirts and socks with blue shorts. Thorpe lined up opposite wearing blue and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks. Played back into Charlotte Crane at the back lifted out to the right Ellie Cleaver on for Rhiannon Dack, closed down by Thorpe’s Tabbi Mileham, Dack snapping back at Mileham as she looks to travel on the flank.

  Georgie Bobbin in with a strong challenge to win the ball in the middle for Aylsham lifted up to Carly Allum in attack central, hooks the ball out to Dack racing on right side pulling wider as she moves into the area gets a shot away Thorpe goalkeeper, Hannah Cloney claiming it at her near post. Plenty of space on the pitch to exploit, Bex Sutton turning on the ball central for Thorpe lifting it forwards for Poppy Le Beau in attack making a run towards the box, Aylsham captain, Jordan Arnoup chasing lunging in to tackle taking the ball away from Le Beau out of play for a corner on the left. 

Georgie Bobbin tacking to win the ball for Aylsham off Thorpe’s Emma Clarke

  An inswinging back curled in central dropping amongst a cluster of players, knocked out towards the penalty spot straight to Le Beau, fires a shot back in low, blocked on the line by Walford deflected out to the left cleared for a Thorpe throw. Thorpe looking to press at the start Mileham sending a cross from the throw into the area, Walford getting hold of it with Natasha Frankland closing in. 


 Bobbin robust in the middle for Aylsham, fouling Sarah Rooke in the middle, a free kick to Thorpe top of the circle players forwards the ball dropped over Le Beau going out attack it, Aylsham scrambling it clear to the left for the throw. Is a tendency for players to cluster at this level get drawn to the ball, however not this evening players a spread, Thorpe’s home afterall and Hannah Claughton and Dack are staying out on flanks left and right for Aylsham offering good passing options, Flo Simpkin picking out Claughton on the left as Bobbin closes the ball down in the middle, racing on to the by-line Sienna Moore holding her up well getting in the challenge to prevent the cross.

  Sutton knocking Bobbin off the ball conceding a free-kick outside the box to the left 25 yards out. Arnoup, coming forwards to take the set-piece, smashes her shot into the wall, rebounding inside central Arnoup moving to strike it 1st time gets too much on it sending the ball high over the bar. Aylsham getting oy on the wings the ball forwards form Abbie Butcher for Claughton on the left pace to take the ball on turning inside the shoot on the angle her driven effort striking the base of the near post.

Thorpe’s Bex Sutton

 Thorpe get the ball into Jen Brown on the right playing it inside for Sutton, lifted up to Le beau in attack, Crane in to close her down for Aylsham at the back. Sophie-Jayne O’Connor coming on with the ball central for Aylsham looks to send Carly Allum away as she moves into the left channel, the offside flag halting her attack. Thorpe too using the flanks well Sutton out to Mileham left shifts the ball between her feet looking to kick on, Cleaver getting her foot in to regain possession for Aylsham. Thorpe making a change, Brown coming off on comes Georgie Rumney goes into the back line.

Aylsham’s Ellie Cleaver with Thorpe’s Tabbi Mileham

 Simpkin with O’Connor in the middle for Aylsham the diagonal ball putting Dack away on the right reaching to top of the area pulls the trigger her shot pulled wide of the near post. 15 minutes played Mileham attacking on Thorpe’s left stabbed forwards into Le Beau outside the area left closely marked by Crane can’t turn inside lays it back to Mileham to strike from distance the shot wide of the near post. Olivia Pollard also on for Thorpe. 

  Pressure on the ball high on the left from Thorpe, Frankland with Mileham the latter stealing onto the ball to take it on into the area across the top of the six yard box Arnoup rushing in to close the ball down sending it clear with a blocking tackle. Certainly competitive both sides closing the ball down Thorpe encouraged getting some joy in the final third, Aylsham turning play around Arnoup forwards to O’Connor picking out Allum in the left channel, Thorpe captain Chloe Musson into close her down win the ball. 

Sophie-Jayne O’Connor bringing the ball on for Aylsham

  Aylsham winning a corner on the right an inswinging delivery high across goal, Allum rising can’t quite get her head on the ball. Dack finding space out on the right for Aylsham put on by Cleaver taking the ball on down the line fizzes a cross in close to the near post snatched up by Cloney in the Thorpe goal. Emma Clarke advancing through the middle for Thorpe sending the pass on for Le Beau in attack, Arnoup getting hold of the ball hooking it clear. 

Libby Eglington defending for Thorpe on Dack as she takes the ball on right the fullback forcing her wide before challenging. Thorpe winning a free-kick central out to Mileham left chests the ball into the path of Rooke running on into the left channel the ball crossed into the box Le Beau laying it back for Clarke who shoots wide. 

Thorpe’s Natasha Frankland with Aylsham’s Flo Simpkin

GOAL! Aylsham break down the left wing Claughton taking the ball on bursting inside smashing the ball in towards the near post, deflected through bodies across goal runs out to Dack racing in far post to smash the ball high into the back of the net 0-1. 

Rhiannon Dack opening the scoring for Aylsham with Thorpe captain Chloe Musson

The break through for Aylsham coming in the 20th minute. A blow for Thorpe, Sutton trying her luck from range her effort not trouble Walford. Musson on for Le Beau in the middle lift the ball out to Mileham up on the left taking the ball inside, Cleaver charging her shot down outside the area. The Thorpe bench unhappy with some of the decisions being given some robust challenges out there. Make a change bringing on Emily Warnes. Rumney doing well at the back defending on Allum as she tries to get into the box from the left the ball put out for a corner

 GOAL! Simpkins corner in low to the near post covered by a defender the ball out to the left Claughton looking to get hold of the ball a push on her spotted by the referee points to the spot Penalty! Arnoup, Aylsham’s penalty taker runs up strikes the ball low and fast into the bottom right corner to score her 39th goal of the season 0-2. Wheels away in celebration doing a Chloe Kelly whipping her shirt off and sports bra beneath running across to celebrate with manager Steve Kenny.

Jordan Arnoup scoring from the penalty spot for Aylsham

Aylsham captain, Jordan Arnoup

  Rules are rules receives a yellow card as she retrieves her shirt. Aylsham 2 goals to the good look to press the advantage Simpkin stealing through into the right channel laying the ball on for Dack out wide driving to the by-line the cross/shot racing across the face of the goal. Thorpe making a change in attack bringing off Le Beau sending on top scorer, Abi Simmons. Thorpe disappointed having made a good start to the game now 2 goals behind. Musson intercepting as Allum looks to put Claughton away on the left. 

 Aylsham making a double switch sending on Sophie and Vicki Lubbock replacing Bobbin and Simpkin. Aylsham getting on top pressing the ball high on the right before Sophie Lubbock sends a shot wide. O’Connor feeding the ball on for Sophie Lubbock driving into the right channel, Moore on her shoulder pushing her wide getting a foot on the ball to send it out for a corner. Taken short gives Sutton time to race out of the area and charge the ball down deflected out for a 2nd corner. The delivery flashed in across goal gathered by O’Connor far side her low ball back in grabbed by the keeper.

  Simmons played in through the middle as Thorpe catch Aylsham with a high line the ball running on Walford already at the top of the area stays big patient waiting to claim it even as Simmons charges on the ball skipping up off the keeper, Walford keeping her eye on the ball to take it down into her gloves. Sutton lifting the ball out to the left possession regained for Aylsham by Abbie Butcher on the left inside for Arnoup to play into the middle. 

 GOAL! Aylsham moving the ball around played left into Allum she lays it on for Sophie Lubbock to attack the box left of the area on the run sees the keeper off her line and lobs her from 30 yards out to send the ball over her to run on into the back of the net 0-3.

Sophie Lubbock with Aylsham’s 3rd with Thorpe defender Sarah Rooke

 The visitors with a comfortable lead now, Thorpe needing to settle down, Mileham back helping in defence battling with Vicki Lubbock for possession of the ball. Thorpe winning a free-kick inside the Aylsham half Sutton playing it into Mileham taking the ball on into the left corner before lifting a cross into the area, Sutton central heading the ball up towards goal Walford back on her line under it to claim safely.

Vicki Lubbock

  Another change for Aylsham with O’Connor coming off replaced by Cayla Brown as the first half moves into stoppage time. Rooke defending in the box as Vicki Lubbock looks to turn to attack the ball cleared for a throw. 

Half-time Thorpe St Andrew Women 0-3 Aylsham FC Women

After a fairly even opening 20 minutes Aylsham broke to open the scoring and added a 2nd and 3rd goal at regular intervals to secure a strong lead going into the 2nd half. Using the width well, Claughton and Dack staying out wide driving forwards. Thorpe frustrated making a positive start creating a few opportunities pressing Aylsham’s defence frustrated with a few decisions the 2nd goal unsettling them Aylsham taking advantage finishing the half strong. Almost there defending a 3 goal lead, manager Steve Kenny not wanting an complacency to set in as the sides return to the pitch after a quick turn around.

No changes for Aylsham as the sun begins to set the air getting decidedly chilly the big coat still needed. Thorpe bringing on Hannah Artis to get the 2nd half underway the ball back to Musson out to Eglington on the left, Claughton getting in to close the ball down rolled inside for Vicki Lubbock, Rumney in to tackle for Thorpe the ball cleared to the right. 

Sarah Rooke

  Dack taking the ball on up the right wing sending in a low cross to the near post, Cloney covering the angle snatching the ball up into her gloves. Brown with a strong challenge on Sutton in the middle. Thorpe winning a throw deep on the right Rooke up with Simmons the ball played into the top of the area Simmons into challenge for the ball, Thorpe appealing for a foul incensed when the decision goes the other way. 

 Get the decision as Aylsham mount an attack through the middle Sophie Lubbock taking the ball on sending it on for her sister Vicki top of the area the ball striking her arm as she looks to see it down. Warnes getting hold of the ball on the right for Thorpe looking to get forwards keeping Butcher busy at left back for Aylsham the defender closing Warnes down winning the ball as she looks to skip inside.

Aylsham’s Abbie Butcher

  Sophie Lubbock moving inside with the ball off a throw up on Aylsham’s left feeds it on into for Vicki Lubbock inside the D, Artis tackling well putting the ball back to her keeper to clear. Cloney then racing out of her area to clear as Dack sends Vicki Lubbock through on the right channel. Allum with the ball central for the visitors putting the ball on for Vicki Lubbock again making a right channel run 20 yards out puts a lobbed effort narrowly wide of the far post. 

Libby Eglington with Hannah Claughton

 Rumney getting her boot up well to intercept and a diagonal ball if lifted forwards from the right. Aylsham pressing at the start of the 2nd half Claughton shifting the ball between her feet getting on the move up the left squaring a cross into the area, Rooke cutting it out for Thorpe behind for the corner. Defending one corner Thorpe get themselves a corner of there own won on the left played in near side knocked on across goal, Warnes not quite able to get there as she charges in at the far post. 

  Thorpe winning the ball on the left Frankland inside for Simmons puts Warnes in central running on is tackled by Claughton, the visitors on the counter up towards Vicki Lubbock, Moore getting back at her to defend for Thorpe. The game opening up Sutton with time on the ball through the middle picking out Warnes on the right with a long range pass, taking it to the by-line tracked by Butcher can’t keep the cross in play.

Hannah Claughton

  Claughton pressing on the left putting the cross into the box for Vicki Lubbock, Rooke close in to knick the ball off her feet. The ball cleared into the middle Brown winning it back for Aylsham out to Claughton left up the line flashing a cross in close to goal, Cloney claiming the ball. Musson out to Sutton up on the right with Warnes wide they exchange passes before Sutton corner of the area sends it into the box with Mileham breaking in central to attack it her stooping header knocked down into the six yard box, straight at Arnoup falling back Aylsham captain blocking with her legs scrambling the ball away to safety.

  End to end as both sides look for a goal Claughton free to attack up the left sending a cross into the box defended dropping to the right of goal, Dack rushing onto it fizzing a shot on the angle over. Dack being brought off then with Simpkin coming back on with an hour played. Both sides putting in some strong tackles Warnes diving in on Butcher. Arnoup fouling Sutton, risky when already on a yellow. Aylsham changing their goalkeeper, Walford coming off, Hannah Lock coming on. 

 A delay as Sutton receives treatment is okay to play on. Le Beau coming back on for Thorpe. The hosts remain unhappy with the referee feeling they are not getting the decisions, press high on Aylsham’s box, Warnes right in central, Simmons looking to turn tackled by Brown. Aylsham come right Cleaver getting forwards to support Simpkin, Musson coming in to close her down cutting out the pass. Le Beau pulling left for Thorpe on down the line her cross into the box cut out by Arnoup. 

  Brown into defend on Warnes as she gets hold of the ball central looks to move right. A lively contest Thorpe pressing on looking for a goal to get themselves back into the game. Claughton brought down by Moore on the left as she gets on the move with the ball on the left. The set-piece sent up into the box defended by Moore for Thorpe out to the left cleared by Frankland. Aylsham getting the ball back on the right moving forwards the cross lifted into the area Allum with the deft header knocking it on to Vicki Lubbock left of goal, Moore defending well against the attacker getting hold of the ball to clear.

Thorpe’s Georgie Rumney

  Bobbin and O’Connor back on for Aylsham with Cleaver and Allum coming off the switch seeing Arnoup move up top to join the attack with a little under 20 minutes to play. Claughton surging on with the ball left side inside for Sophie Lubbock attempting to pick out Arnoup inside the D, closed down by Rooke. Butcher with a timely tackle to stop Warnes getting away on the right. O’Connor in the back line now cutting out Frankland’s cross from the left played into Le Beau.

  A close call as Arnoup as flagged offside with Simpkin playing the ball on. Claughton coming off for Aylsham with Dack returning to the action. Bobbin with a rash challenge barging into Frankland, lucky to get away with no card. Simmons linking up with Warnes on the right the cross cleared by Bobbin. Into the final 10 minutes the game a little ragged as Butcher breaks on up the left feeding the ball on for Dack her cross into the area cut out by Eglington for Thorpe.

Cayla Brown

 Bobbin with a fantastic ball forwards releasing both the Lubbock twins to attack, Sophie central taking it on into the box unselfish looking to lay it out wide to Arnoup up on the right screws her shot wide. Aylsham winning a corner on the left load the six yard box the ball swung in close to goal rebounding off players drops to Vicki Lubbock her shot blocked. Bobbin with another robust tackle on Warnes this time gets a yellow emotions running a little high. Artis coming off for Thorpe with Mileham back on.

 Bobbin with another strong tackle bringing down Warnes again, Frankland to play in towards the area Butcher defending seeing the ball out for a late Thorpe corner. Aylsham bringing off Bobbin before she is sent off, emotions high Aylsham on the cusp of winning the title need to remain calm. The corner in close to the near post Butcher turning it behind for a 2nd corner as the game moves into stoppage time. Thorpe continue to push forwards Aylsham keeping it tight ready to counter Vicki Lubbock into the left channel sending a cross through the six yard box, Arnoup throwing herself at the ball right of goal can’t get a touch. The final whistle blows and Aylsham have done it they are CHAMPIONS.

Full time Thorpe St Andrew Women 0-3 Aylsham FC Women

  Emotions running high towards the end as Aylsham closed in on the end to a magnificent debut season in Norfolk Women’s Division Two winning their final game of the season to claim the title. Scoring 116 goals along the way while conceding just 8. Getting on top in the first half after a competitive opening 20 minutes scoring at regular intervals after that to control the game at half time. Thorpe continued to ask questions 2nd half pushing on but couldn’t find that final ball, Aylsham having a little extra quality, determined in defence getting forwards well especially on the flanks.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto another Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Several stand out performances and as tempted as I am not to single out an individual player, I am not going to break my own rules. For Thorpe, Tabbi Mileham did well out on the left getting hold of the ball and looking to get it inside for Le Beau in attack. Georgie Rumsey making some vital tackles at the back as did Sarah Rooke. Bex Sutton in the middle with a good range of passing looking to get the forward players through on goal. Aylsham with a strong team performance from back to front. Captain Jordan Arnoup winning the ball at the back well. Carly Allum making some great runs into the channels getting back to win her fair share of the ball, Cayla Brown coming on showing a determination to win the ball. The Lubbock twins, Sophie and Vicki linking up well together through the middle. Out on the flanks Aylsham carried to biggest threat, Rhiannon Dack getting forwards well on the right, scoring the opening goal, the award goes to her opposite number Hannah Claughton some fantastic runs on the ball on the left driving forwards causing Thorpe problems throughout.

Aylsham enjoying the celebrations at the end with flares and champagne most off it spilt mind with a good share being worn by the squad almost got caught in the charge to escape a soaking at the end but great to see a team celebrating. Congratulations to Aylsham FC Women of becoming Champions of Norfolk Women’s Division Two.

Captain Jordan Arnoup taking a moment to let it all sink in has had a tremendous season

Three midweek games done one more to go, off to Carrow Road this Friday for the Norfolk Women’s County Cup final. My thanks to both clubs for this assistance with the team details and great to catch up with Thorpe at last and have a chat with a few footballing friends.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Mulbarton Belles Ladies v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

Sunday 30th April

Norfolk Women’s Division One

A pause in the cup action this weekend gives me the opportunity to take in some league action at what is a critical point in the season for several sides involved in title contests across the East. No less so than in Norfolk Women’s Division One with the top two meeting in the league for the 1st time this season in a match that could go along way to deciding who becomes Champions, with Mulbarton Belles Ladies the defending Champions looking to close the gap on leaders Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women.

  That gap currently sits at 8 points, Mulbarton Belles Ladies crucially having 3 games in hand, but with their next two games home and away to Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women know that they have to go for maximum points. Dussindale & Hellesdon with those two games left against Mulbarton are 4 points away from securing their maiden league title.

  A 1-1 draw at home to 3rd placed Thetford Town Ladies, ending Mulbarton’s 100% league record, 12 wins and a draw from 13 played have been playing catch up with the league leaders all season involved in the Women’s FA Cup earlier in the season and with two highly successful cup campaigns seeing them reach both the finals of the League Plate, where they will play their newly formed Development side and have once again won through to the final of the County Cup for a 3rd successive season, taking on Norwich City Women at Carrow Road on Friday 19th May. 

  Captain Rebekah Lake one of the best strikers on the county top scorer for Mulbarton weighing in with 17 goals so far this season forming a good partnership in attack Francesca Catchpole who was recruited following the folding of Wymondham Town Ladies, scoring 15 goals from her 9 appearances has recently signed with Wroxham in the ERWFL Premier Division. A busy run in for the club that has become an integral part of the Mulbarton footballing family since moving there 3 season’s ago the core of the 1st team sticking together with manager Martin Francis after the turmoil at their former club. 

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women too have gone from strength to strength following their merger with Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC 3 season’s ago, formerly Sprowston Ladies a young tightly knit squad have developed into one of the leading sides in the county with ambitions to test themselves higher. Have been out in front in Norfolk Women’s Division One since the beginning of the season, losing just one of their 16 league matches played to date. Have also enjoyed successful runs in both the League and County Cups reaching the final of this season’s League Cup while also making it to the last 4 of the County Cup.

Victoria Leyer so often the top scorer for the club in their Sprowston days has continued that form in Dussindale & Hellesdon colours netting 17 goals to date this season. Forming a deadly partnership in attack with Shanice Sutton who has recovered from a very nasty knee injury while at Thorpe United to pile on the goals currently on 31 pushing to finish top scorer in Norfolk currently two behind Long Stratton’s, Luci Middleton. 2 tough games against their main title rivals to end their league campaign.

Mulberry Park the venue for today’s match. The sun shining bright on the last day in April, a pleasant day with a few clouds dotted around but no chance of rain. The pitch looking good the grass lush. The clubhouse and bar open along with the pitch side tea hut serving hot and cold drinks.

Mulbarton Belles Ladies

 Mulbarton Belles Ladies starting XI – Jo Hooper, Olivia Smith, Melissa Belsey, Lucy Lincoln, Megan Belsey, Laura Hedtke, Alice Smith, Ellie Hunter, Sophie Jermy, Molly Ryan & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs – Olivia Mungham-Gray, Alice Ladbrooke & Aneliese Smith.

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women starting XI – Tyla Cole, Siesha Humphries, Rachel Bussey, Calista Tink (C), Ruby Wilson, Abbi Nobbs, Georgina Belton, Abby Hutchin, Chelsea Brister, Shanice Sutton & Victoria Leyer. Subs – Amee Kennett, Hannah Coombe, Chloe Shipman, Kari Kowalczyk & Phoebe Green.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Dussindale & Hellesdon in their away colours an all light blue coloured kit to get the game underway kicking off the first half with Mulbarton lined up opposite wearing blue and black vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. The ball played back into the middle out to Rachel Bussey at right back sent forwards for Georgina Belton to attack, Olivia Smith heading the ball out for a throw for Mulbarton. The hosts get the ball inside from the throw looking for captain Rebekah lake making a central run the ball cut out well by Ruby Wilson at centre back for Dussindale & Hellesdon lifted forwards into Shanice Sutton in attack, attempts to volley it into the box for Victoria Leyer pulling of the shoulder of the defence, the ball won and cleared by Lucy Lincoln for Mulbarton.

Mulbarton’s Ellie Hunter

  Mulbarton pressing the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence, Sophie Jermy left channel charging down captain Calista Tink’s clearance outside the box the ball rebounding of her in behind, Jermy racing after it crossing from the by-line into lake central, quickly closed down can’t turn to shoot instead laying the ball back to midfielder Laura Hedtke outside the area left side, strike’s the  ball hard, Tink taking the hit as she puts her body in to block, goalkeeper Tyla Cole diving beyond the ball cleared up into Sutton in attack rushing after the ball, Mulbarton goalkeeper, Jo Hooper running out of her area to clear just about getting their first, Sutton colliding with the keeper, down for a moment but recovering is back up on her feet.

  A lively start from both sides, Mulbarton winning the ball in the middle played out to Molly Ryan on the right, Lake up with her exchanging passes the ball rolled in field with Alice Smith in the clear opts to strike it from 35 yards out the ball racing wide of Cole’s left post. Oliva Smith bombing on from left back for Mulbarton taking the ball on well, Sutton in turn tracking back well to slide in to tackle play the ball out for a throw. 

Mulbarton midfielder Alice Smith

 Alice Smith getting about the ground in the middle of the park winning the ball for Mulbarton getting it forwards into Lake making a run into the right channel, stopped by Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Siesha Humphries. Leyer fed the ball from Chelsea Brister on the left turns inside taking on the shot from a long way out pulling the ball wide of the near post. Dussindale & Hellesdon a little edgy Mulbarton able to dictate play through the middle with Alice Smith linking up well with Ellie Hunter the ball forwards for Jermy drives on central, Humphries coming to close her down winning the ball.

Dussindale & Hellesdon midfielder, Abbi Nobbs

  Abbi Nobbs playing the ball on for Georgina Belton through the middle for Dussindale & Hellesdon lifted up towards the top of the area Lincoln heading clear for Mulbarton the break on as the ball is lifted on for Lake pulling right, no one can get up with her as her looping cross lands harmlessly inside the box. Jermy sent racing in behind the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence, Cole rushing out of her box getting their first her clearance though landing at Lake’s feet, 30 plus yards out, the goalkeeper out of position, Lake isn’t given a clear sight on goal as she his hastily closed down, Tink clearing the ball.

Dussindale & Hellesdon captain. Calista Tink

 Dussindale & Hellesdon have let themselves become a little unsettled by the opposition rushing the final ball seeing it lost and coming straight back, Olivia Smith up on the left a throw won high. Lincoln with a long one in her arsenal launched into the box Tink with a firm headed clearance. Hunter opens her body up to lay the ball into the path of Olivia Smith as she races on left side driving at the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence evades two challenges to get into the box to the by-line left turns inside and strikes a rising shot in on the angle may very well have been creeping inside the post but for an excellent save from Cole throwing her right arm up to turn the ball behind for the corner kick. 

Olivia Smith (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

 Jermy to send the corner into the box from the left, Alice Smith running in towards the near post heading the ball behind taking a nick off a defender a 2nd corner awarded. Same result Smith allowed a free run to the near post twisting her body to head the ball up over the crossbar. 

Alice Smith heading the ball over from the corner for Mulbarton.

 A few decisions going against them adding to Dussindale & Hellesdon’s frustrations a hand ball seeing a free-kick given away top of the circle. Laura Hedtke to play the ball long into the box, Cole with a strong call laying claim to the ball on the bounce. Olivia Smith getting in to win the ball back on the left sends the diagonal ball up into Lake in attack through the middle, Jermy up with her look to play the one two take the ball in behind a vital interception from Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Wilson. 

  Humphries on for Brister left, Dussindale & Hellesdon coming forwards, the ball inside to Leyer outside the area left of the D, looking to shift the ball between her feet and pulls the trigger, Megan Belsey with the well timed tackle for Mulbarton. Mulbarton’s attacker coming back for the ball turning a driving at the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence, Jermy through the middle finds Ryan out wide right forwards for Lake, the visitors defence holds it line well catching her offside. 

Mulbarton centre back Megan Belsey

  Belton powering forwards on the right for Dussindale & Hellesdon with Bussey getting up in support, Oliva Smith pushing Belton wide Bussey getting hold of the ball to send a cross into the box Sutton right of goal looking to turn it goalwards can only pick out the keeper. Jermy taking the ball on for Mulbarton left winning the corner. Dropped into the middle of the box Abby Hutchin with the header clear for Dussindale & Hellesdon. 

  Alice Smith holding up the ball well for Mulbarton 35 yards out letting others get ahead of her wriggling free to send the diagonal ball into Hedtke out wide right her cross/shot on the angle over the crossbar. Sutton looking to get on with the ball wide right for Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a corner kick, players up from the back the high ball into the box headed clear back out to the right the cross fired in along the top of the area met by Wilson her shot blocked by Olivia Smith. Half an hour played an intriguing contest Mulbarton looking lively getting in to win the ball, Dussindale & Hellesdon continue to appear rattled at times, frustrated with themselves knowing they need to settle.

  Cole out of her box early as Alice Smith getting free in the middle plays the ball on for Lake through the middle. Lincoln up on the left to take the through, aiming for Jermy outside the area left of goal, Tink in to head the ball away falls to Hunter 25 yards out looking to clip a looping shot in towards goal, collected by Cole safely. 

  Lake seeing the ball into her feet left side off a throw outside the box takes it on across the D, Wilson staying on her well for Dussindale & Hellesdon allowing no sniff of an opening Lake instead pushing it out to Ryan right side her strike 20 odd yards out driven wide of the near post. Leyer getting on the ball out left for Dussindale & Hellesdon pressing forwards under pressure from Ryan as she comes back at her, 20 yards out unleashes a shot struck wide of the near post. Wilson with another fine interception central as Oliva Smith tries to pick out the strikers with a diagonal ball upfield. 

Victoria Leyer with Megan Belsey

  Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a free-kick out wide left in a deep position the ball floated into the area met well by Tink rising to head goalwards her effort blocked the loose ball deflecting out to Hutchin right of the D, struck on the volley, Hooper down sharply on her line to save. Alice Smith into Hedtke lifted forwards for Jermy and Lake running on through the middle, Wilson in again to cut out the ball.

  The ball over the top by Mulbarton finding Lake bursting into the box right of goal, Cole rushing out to close her down doing enough as Lake forces her shot wide on the near post. Belton strong coming away with the ball right for Dussindale & Hellesdon on for Sutton in attack spins well off her marker to take the ball in behind wide sends a high ball into the box, Hooper needs to keep her eye on it back on her line but takes the catch cleanly.

Dussindale & Hellesdon attacker, Shanice Sutton

  Into the closing minutes of the 1st half, Nobbs on through the middle for Dussindale & Hellesdon picking out Brister running on down the left, Megan Belsey getting her foot in to tackle for Mulbarton. Jermy taking the ball on onto the area left for Mulbarton to the by-line her cross into the six yard box cut out by Nobbs, pushing up Mulbarton keep possession the cross from deep on the left finding Ryan on the right her shot bouncing wide. One last chance in the half for Dussindale & Hellesdon breaking down the left the ball on for Brister struck on the angle into the side netting.  

Half-time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 0-0 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

  Goalless at the break, both sides staying out on the field during the half-time interval. Mulbarton creating some good chances as yet to beat the goalkeeper have been sharp to the ball winning the midfield contest and getting the ball on into the attacker who in turn are driving at the visitors defence. Dussindale & Hellesdon struggling to settle have let themselves to get frustrated working hard to win the ball getting it forwards the final pass hasn’t been there a couple of half chances the deadlock yet to be broken will be looking to cause Mulbarton a few more problems 2nd half. 

 No changes at the break, Mulbarton to get the 2nd half underway the ball played back into defence, Dussindale & Hellesdon looking to close it down is played out for a throw on the right. Dussindale & Hellesdon win the ball back on the left Humphries up or Brister the diagonal ball aimed for Sutton tracking into area right side, cut out by Olivia Smith for Mulbarton. 

Mulbarton’s Sophie Jermy with Abbi Nobbs

The visitors looking to get on the front foot at the start of the 2nd half, give away a free-kick out wide left on the half way line. The set-piece launched up into the box won by Wilson for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Alice Smith sending the pass on for Hunter moving right for Mulbarton plays it on for Lake puling away wide her cross into the box cut out by Tink turned behind for the corner kick. 

  Lake breaking on with the ball at her feet right for Mulbarton his tackled by Hutchin as she comes across to defend, the ball played into the middle Dussindale & Hellesdon spring the counter attack lifted on for Sutton high on the right her looping ball into the area dropping for Leyer running in central holding off marker gets her foot on the ball but not enough pace on it as Hooper snatches it up off the deck. 

 GOAL! The deadlock broken in the 53rd minute Mulbarton regaining possession playing the ball on down the left for Ryan to take on driving forwards, the keeper coming out to close the angle, Ryan from 20 yards out lifts the ball over her and into the back of the net to score 1-0.

Molly Ryan surrounded by her teammates after firing Mulbarton into the lead (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  A blow for Dussindale & Hellesdon they look for a quick reply breaking up the right with Sutton winning a corner kick. Players pressed forwards the ball curled in near side Tink with the stooping header 12 yards out driving the ball wide of the near post. Humphries strong on the left to win the ball and take it in behind, Melissa Belsey recovering to challenge concede the corner kick. An inswinging ball in high to the near post headed up and across goal by Tink, Leyer jumping to meet it knocked up in towards goal, Hooper back on her line getting her gloves up above her head claiming the ball.

  Dussindale & Hellesdon continue to be frustrated with some decisions made, Humphries bombing on forcing Lake to track back after her getting her cross in from the by-line on the left, claimed low by Hooper at her near post. Alice Smith winning the ball for Mulbarton in the middle, drawing the odd free-kick too. The ball played up to Leyer in attack, holding the ball up well, Lincoln close on her plays it back for Brister, Megan Belsey in to challenge eventually giving away the free-kick.

GOAL! Just past the hour Brister over the set-piece 30 plus yards out to the left of goal, goes for goal getting a good connection on the ball to send a wonderful shot in over the keeper into the net beyond to score the equaliser 1-1.

Chelsea Brister scoring from a wonderful free-kick to equalise for Dussindale & Hellesdon (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

Chelsea Brister equalising for Dussindale & Hellesdon

  A good response from Dussindale & Hellesdon to falling a goal behind getting back on level terms quickly. Both sides competing for the ball Mulbarton getting a free-kick on halfway to the left played into the top of the area cleared by Belton for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Hutchin seeing more of the ball 2nd half for Dussindale & Hellesdon coming left sending the ball on for Brister in attacker, Melissa Belsey tackling to win the ball back for Mulbarton. 

 Dussindale & Hellesdon making the first change of the game bringing off the goal scorer, Brister replaced by Kari Kowalczyk on the left. Humphries slides in to take the ball away from lake inside the box right side as she runs onto Hunter’s diagonal ball. Mulbarton pressing the ball in the middle Hedtke’s high ball forwards into the area taken confidently by Cole. The game opening up a little players finding gaps to run into.

GOAL! Mulbarton take the ball on down the left side rolled on for Ryan whips a pacy cross low into the area from deep for Lake central back to goal sees it across her feet spinning away from her marker to turn into the shot fire it low back across the keeper to restore Mulbarton’s lead 2-1.

Rebekah Lake sending the ball home to restore Mulbarton’s lead

  Melissa Belsey down after a challenge top of her area needs to come off both sides making a change with a little over 15 minutes left to play. Olivia Mungham-Gray going into the back line for Mulbarton, Chloe Shipman coming on in midfield replacing Nobbs for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Fluids taken on board by both sides too. Dussindale & Hellesdon advance on the left Humphries up to support Kowalczyk winning a throw high, Kowalczyk sending the ball into Leyer top of the area, Lincoln defending for Mulbarton, the visitors press the ball the shot from distance finding it’s way through to Hooper.

  Mungham-Gray and Kowalczyk rush in to contest the ball a hefty 50/50 challenge, as Dussindale & Hellesdon prepare another change Bussey coming off, with Amee Kennett sent on. 

GOAL! Mulbarton attacking left the ball played from deep long into the box for Lake charging into the area right of goal Cole looking to get out to the ball first smashing her attempted clearance into the Mulbarton captain, the ball loose Lake taking a moment to locate it closed down, lays it back towards the top of the area for Jermy who is brought down the referee pointing to the spot. Penalty! Jermy herself to take runs in with a right foot strike wrong footing the keeper to play it low to her left and score 3-1.

Sophie Jermy with the penalty to put Mulbarton 3-1 ahead

  Only adding to Dussindale & Hellesdon’s frustration not happy with the penalty decision in the first place. 3-1 down with 12 minutes left on the clock both sides making a change Phoebe green on for he visitors for Sutton. Lake coming off for Mulbarton replaced by Aneliese Smith. Megan Belsey coming across to challenge Humphries as she breaks on into the box from the left the defender putting her foot in to stab the ball behind for the corner kick.

Siesha Humphries with Mulbarton captain Rebekah Lake

  Dussindale &Hellesdon strong on the left Humphries driving forwards linking with Kowalczyk who gets up the line to win her side a corner. A great delivery into the box, Alice Smith doing a good job marking Tink outside the six yard box allowing Lincoln to clear beyond. Dussindale & Hellesdon pushing up taking a few risks a diagonal ball put into the top of the area from the right, Belsey and Mungham-Gray get in each others way going to clear the ball left of the D, Green close in can’t capitalise before the ball is scrambled clear. 

Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Phoebe Green

  Alice Ladbrooke coming on for Mulbarton late on replaced Hedtke in midfield. The counter launched by the hosts the ball lifted on for Ryan bursting on left side towards the box, Cole rushing out to the edge of her area sliding in to make the blocking save. Green onto the ball central for Dussindale & Hellesdon tries to pick out Leyer pulling off the defence, a vital interception from Lincoln at the back for Mulbarton. 

Lucy Lincoln

  Dussindale & Hellesdon piling on the press late in the game as they look for a goal to set up a nervy finish Shipman coming left on for Kowalczyk pushed into Leyer top left corner of the box, Lincoln marking her closely the pair head to the left corner before Lincoln gets her challenge in the ball cleared only as far as Kowalczyk wide 20 out to lift a cross into the box, Green attacking it near side knocking the ball on across the six yard box, Belton attacking the near post, Olivia Smith getting the ball clear.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  The game heading into stoppage time Mulbarton release Aneliese Smith on the right in attack, Humphries back at her sliding in with a committed tackle the ball out of play in the corner. Mulbarton looking to keep it there see out the game, the job done as the final whistle blows and Mulbarton claim a vital 3 points in their quest to close the gap on the leaders, now just 5 points.

Full time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 3-1 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

  Mulbarton with the early break through in the 2nd half to open the scoring through Molly Ryan as Dussindale & Hellesdon looked to get after them after the restart. A good response however from the visitors pushing on winning a free-kick, a wonderful strike from Chelsea Brister to equalise. The game opening up however Mulbarton got clear on the left to open up the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence with Lake turning well inside the box to restore the lead. The visitors frustrated further as a penalty call went against them, Sophie Jermy stepping up to score and extend Mulbarton’s lead. Dussindale & Hellesdon pushed on late in the game looking to score but it wasn’t to be as Mulbarton held out for the win. Another tough match against Long Stratton coming up in midweek for Mulbarton before they go to The Nest to play Dussindale & Hellesdon in what is now a must win game for the hosts.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As more often than not a tough call to make with two committed sides going toe to toe. Several performances of note to mention. Ruby Wilson making several vital interceptions and winning tackles at the back for Dussindale & Hellesdon. So too captain Calista Tink winning her fair share of headers in both boxes. Siesha Humphries at left back with some good challenges and got forwards very well 2nd half. Abby Hutchin too taking the ball on well in the 2nd period. For Mulbarton Alice Smith has a strong game in midfield getting after the ball going along way to unsettle Dussindale & Hellesdon in the 1st half. Linked up well with Ellie Hunter who make some positive runs forwards. Sophie Jermy with several driving runs at the opposition defence. The back four were also strong. Full backs Melissa Belsey and Olivia Smith winning the ball, Lucy Lincoln tackling and clearing the ball. The award goes to Megan Belsey was a good contest between her and Leyer in attack putting in some well timed tackles to deny a goal scoring opportunity.

  Still all to play for in Norfolk Women’s Division One and it well be intriguing to see who comes out on top. Whatever the outcome a strong season from both. Good to catch up with both and thanks for the help with the teams details. Also to Scott Grearhardy for the additional pictures used in today’s report.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Thetford Town Ladies v Mulbarton Belles Ladies

Wednesday 1st March

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 Midweek football action from Norfolk Women’s Division One, a short trip for myself down to Mundford Road to watch a clash between 3rd vs 4th, Thetford Town Ladies taking on Mulbarton Belles Ladies.

  Division One being lead by Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Ladies out in front from the start one of the favourites for the title along side defending champions, Mulbarton Belles Ladies who have games in hand. With a strong battle for a top 4 finish below with Thetford Town Ladies very much in the mix.

Thetford Town Ladies under the stewardship of manger Dave Skipp have grown to become an established and competitive side at the top end of Norfolk Women’s Division One over recent season’s enjoying great support from Thetford Town FC. Skipp now standing down from the role moving on along with former assistant Stuart Terry. Luke Pickford is now in charge of the side, inheriting a strong talented group with Amber Browne becoming assistant coach.

 Looking to progress to the next level have made 2 strong additions to their attack in Laura Martins and Kamile Omelevlclute who have scored 22 goals between them so far this season including the goals that saw Thetford make it to their 1st ever final in the League Cup on Sunday. Trailing 1-0 to UEA FC Women 3 goals in an 8 minute burst saw Thetford turn it around with Martins heading home and Omelevlclute netting a brace. Currently 3rd in the Division One it’s now about nurturing a belief within the squad that they can regularly compete at the top end of the table. One major injury blow have lost experienced centre back Rachel Lynch to an ACL injury .

Mulbarton Belles Ladies were born out of turmoil, basically Thorpe United’s 1st team after their split from the club, going with manager Martin Francis to Mulbarton Wanderers, who have embraced having a women’s side. A already strong and united squad becoming Division One champions last season have grown in terms of playing talent to form a new Development team going strong in their debut season in Division Two. Plus a side in the ever popular Norfolk Women’s 7s league leading Division One along with making it to the final of the League Cup.

Rebekah Lake is one of the best strikers in the county a nightmare for defenders and prolific in front of goal captaining the side has 11 goals listed so far this season. Has a new strike partner with Mulbarton another side to recruit following the withdrawal of Wymondham Town Ladies from the FAWNL. Francesca Catchpole with the potential to become one of the leading strikers in the county herself putting away 12 goals in 6 appearances since joining the club. With plenty of games left to add to their tally’s 2 thirds of the season gone, Mulbarton have played just a third of their games 6 so far with a 100% record and with games in hand they can catch Dussindale & Hellesdon who they have to play twice yet. So from a game a month due to cups competitions and call offs it’s now full on action from now till the end of the season while reaching the semi-final of both the League Plate and County Cup (where they beat Thetford 4-0 in the quarter finals) a large squad is going to come in handy.

Mundford Road the venue for this evenings game, the grass pitch a good size offering plenty of width. The clubhouse open serving hot and cold drinks beside the main seated stand with the changing rooms beneath. Entering March the weather still unseasonably pleasant dry with no rain around, still if a slight chill in the air. Bit of a last minute call for this evenings game with the car needing so TLC at the garage to get me back on the road, it’s done a few miles covering women’s football.

Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Millie Askins, Sausha Levy-Twomey, Erin Lloyd, Mia Bambury, Georgia Parker, Dayna Howard, Courtney Musgrove, Melissa Boulton (C) Laura Martins, Chelsea Paige & Rebecca White. Subs – Shannon Richardson, Hannah Rogers, Abbie Corbyn & Kerby Colgan.

 Mulbarton Belles Ladies starting XI – Cara Anderson, Megan Belsey, Lucy Lincoln, Olivia Smith, Melissa Belsey, Laura Hedtke, Alice Smith, Ellie Hunter, Sophie Jermy, Francesca Catchpole & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs – Aneliese Smith, Emma Farmer, Alice Ladbrooke, Charlotte Groves & Molly Ryan.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Thetford without Kamile Omelevlclute who picked up a knock at the weekend, naming 4 on the bench. This the first of a run of 6 away matches for Mulbarton have a squad of 16 for this evenings match with plenty of experience on the bench. Thetford to get the first half underway wearing an all claret kit with sky blue across the shoulders of the shirts. Mulbarton opposite lined up wearing blue and black vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. The ball rolled back to Dayna Howard in midfield lifted out to the right for Laura martins to attack, Olivia Smith dealing with the threat for Mulbarton the ball out for a throw.

Mulbarton quickly on the front foot surging forwards on the left Francesca Catchpole putting the ball on for Sophie Jermy with support from captain Rebekah Lake the shot fired in on the angle to the near post palmed away by Thetford goalkeeper, Millie Askins. Pushing Thetford back into their own half the hosts attempting to get the ball forwards to captain Melissa Boulton on the left, Melissa Belsey clearing for Mulbarton the ball lifted forwards into the right channel taken on by Ellie Hunter checking back inside to strike the ball from outside the box, Askins with a firm call to claim covering her near post.

A pause in player with Thetford having a player down, attacker, Rebecca White struggling with an injury can’t play on Thetford forced into an early change with Shannon Richardson coming on. Askins quickly out to the edge of the box to get hold of the ball before Lake can run onto a forward pass from Hunter into the right channel. Mulbarton with a throw high on the left the cross whipped into the area headed clear by Erin Lloyd.

GOAL! Mulbarton making a strong start to the game competing for the ball high up the pitch Jermy attempting to slip the through ball in central for Lake at the top of the area, Askins out to get to it first sending the ball clear, as the defence look to clear there lines Melissa Belsey with it for Mulbarton on for Jermy has Lake pulling off the centre back into the D rolls it forwards Lake running onto the ball closing in on goal to the right shoots sending it low across the keeper into the bottom corner 0-1.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

Thetford pressed back in defence struggling to get the ball forwards, Martins with a great pass out from the centre to Boulton left side as the host look for a rapid counter, lifts the diagonal pass on attempting to ick out Chelsea Page running through the middle, too much on it goalkeeper Cara Anderson can clear for Mulbarton. Thetford with a couple of positive attacks getting the ball on quickly with Martins on the right stretching Mulbarton her pass inside finding Boulton central coming into the box, Anderson rushing out to close her done, Boulton snatching her effort sending it wide of the right post.

GOAL! No sooner have Thetford shown a couple of bright openings they are hit at the back conceding a 2nd goal, Mulbarton winning the ball on halfway fed out to the left, Catchpole delivering a threatening cross into the six yard box, Lake closing in on the keeper getting her foot up to knock the bouncing ball wide of Askins to score 0-2.

The visitors 2 goals to the good inside the opening 12 minutes. Mulbarton soon regain possession from the restart Jermy onto Catchpole left played through for Lake, Sausha Levy-Twomey defending for Thetford getting a foot up to take the ball away from the attacker conceding a corner kick. The corner delivered in towards the near post, Howard with a firm header clearing for Thetford. The hosts on the back foot pressed on the ball can’t get out of their half Mulbarton up closing the ball down forcing errors.

Levy-Twomey in again on Lake to cut out the pass as Lucy Lincoln sends the ball forwards through the middle from halfway. Another injury concern for Thetford with their keeper down inside the box. Another lengthy pause while Askins is assessed up gingerly is okay to continue for now.

GOAL! Lake getting in the clear inside the box to complete a quick fire 1st half hat-trick, getting onto the end of a fantastic diagonal ball from Melissa Besley bursting clear of the defence moving left of goal sending her shot back across the keeper to score her 3rd 0-3.

Three goals for Mulbarton captain, Rebekah Lake (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

20 minutes played Mulbarton with a strong grip on the game, Howard back to help the defence heading the ball away from inside the box. Mulbarton’s defence untroubled pushed up to the halfway line condensing play Alice Smith out to Olivia Smith forwards for Lake coming across the the left corner of the area her crossed lifted into the six yard box, headed clear by Howard a corner conceded on the right. Melissa Besley with a dangerous ball flashed in across the face of the Thetford goal, midfielder Laura Hedtke free at the far post can’t quite get to it.

Mulbarton relentless coming at Thetford, Jermy into Catchpole left her ball low into the box cut out by Parker. Does go far before Mulbarton have possession back out left the cross fed into the top of the area, Levy-Twoney clearing for Thetford. No pressure on the Mulbarton defence, Alice Smith picking out Catchpole on the left outside the box lines up a strike the ball put over the crossbar. Hunter on for Lake running on right corner getting a throw. Courtney Musgrove with a great tackle on Lake in the box as she plays a one two with Catchpole coming on through the left channel the ball cleared out for a corner.

  No let up from Mulbarton pressing up against Thetford compacting their midfield and defence any clearances being tidied up b the defence. Melissa Belsey finding her range with her passes lifting the ball on for Lake to attack right inside the box, Parker across to nip in an clear for a throw ahead of her for Thetford. Parker again in to clear for Thetford at the right post as Hedtke hooks a looping ball in towards goal from inside the D. 

Mulbarton’s Melissa Belsey

 Little for Thetford to ease the pressure Musgrove clearing at the back the hosts make good progress down the right Page running with the ball, pace playing it inside for Martins making a central run 20 yards out her first time strike a warning for Mulbarton as it whips narrowly over the crossbar. 

  A corner for Mulbarton on the right a congested six yard box as the ball comes flying in at the near post, players collide the ball attacked as Askins goes to claim it, the keeper going down, play stopped for the injured players to be treated. A long delay not looking good for Thetford’s goalkeeper unfortunately can’t continue, defender Erin Lloyd to don the gloves with Abbie Corbyn coming on.

Mulbarton preparing a triple change bring off Melissa Belsey, Hunter and Jermy with Emma Farmer, Molly Ryan and Charlotte Groves coming on. Groves a very talented midfielder often starring for the old Thorpe United side now re-joining her ex-teammates at Mulbarton scoring 9 goals in 9 games for the Development side in her return to the game. Lloyd soon involved in the action taking the ball down cleanly from a 25 yard strike. 

  Richardson and Page combine on the right attacking for Thetford, Alice Smith getting across to break up play for Mulbarton. Farmer at right back for Mulbarton on the move with the ball passing inside to Alice Smith, gives her the return pass sending it on to try and find Lake up top, Parker intercepting for Thetford. Mulbarton have another corner on the right in at the near post defended headed back out towards the taker, the 2nd attempt flashed across the face of goal, a Thetford head clearing it at the far post.

Mulbarton’s Francesca Catchpole with Thetford’s Sausha Levy-Twomey

  Farmer linking up with Ryan in attack for Mulbarton, Musgrove with the tackle for Thetford, lifted forwards Corbyn looking to get on his quickly closed down Mulbarton pour forward win a corner on their right. Howard winning the ball at the near post for Thetford. Catchpole getting back at Martins on the flank to win the ball back for the visitors turning to attack left 30 out sends a diagonal pass in across goal, Ryan breaking into the six yard box the ball bouncing up before her, Lloyd making herself big attempting to block the shot lifted over the bar. Ryan nipping in to win the ball off the Thetford defence moves right whipping a cross into the near post, Lake running in can’t quite get on the end of it.

GOAL! Lake with the ball central with Ryan exchange passes before playing it forwards to Catchpole breaking on into the box left corner, hits it hard smashing a low drive across the keeper and into the bottom corner to further extend Mulbarton’s lead. 0-4.

  Thetford feeding on scraps can’t get out from the back, Howard looking to liven thing’s up get into Mulbarton’s midfielders, has been pressed back into helping the defence now looks to get the ball into Page in attack, Farmer cutting the ball out looks to try and find Lake cutting inside from the right the ball hurriedly cleared for a corner. Flung into the six yard box, Parker winning the header to clear for Thetford. 

  Boulton looking to get clear for Thetford on the right taking the ball on checks back inside feeding a ball into Richardson 25 yards out her shot is charged down. 

 GOAL! Right on the stroke of half-time Thetford have a set-piece on the right the ball from Boulton played into Corbyn top of the D, Lincoln lunging in to clear for Mulbarton the counter attack on moving the ball forwards played on for Catchpole racing away left side on the angle strikes it in low towards the near post the ball hitting the woodwork and spinning on in across the goal 0-5.

Mulbarton’s Alice Smith (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

Half-time Thetford Town Ladies 0-5 Mulbarton Belles Ladies

  A strong and relentless display from Mulbarton to lead 5-0 at the break. Lake getting a hat-trick inside the opening 20 minutes, have had Thetford pressed back inside their box unable to break out. Mulbarton’s defence high under no pressure able to mop up any clearances keep the pressure on. Thetford back to earth with a bump after their cup heroics on Sunday losing striker White and goalkeeper Askins to injury too, much to discuss at the half-time interval with both teams staying out on the pitch.

 Alice Ladbrooke on for Hedtke for Mulbarton at the start of the 2nd half the visitors to get the game restarted. Played back to Farmer in defence, Thetford look to get after the ball Page pressing but the ball comes back off her behind for a goal kick. Mulbarton coming on right side Lake deeper with Ryan ahead of her, Boulton tracking back for Thetford to win the ball back. 

Thetford’s Courtney Musgrove (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Parker hooking the ball clear for Thetford top of their area as Ryan lifts the ball in from the right. Certainly a more open start to the 2nd half, Mulbarton not pressed up on Thetford’s defence can afford to sit back with a 5 goal lead, the visitors with a corner on the right taken short up the line the cross from deep cleared by Thetford’s Bambury at the near post. Alice Smith with Groves the ball threaded on for Lake, Musgrove getting a leg out to intercept. 

Thetford captain, Melissa Boulton

  Thetford have Martins on the ball right side up the pitch her cross played into the six yard box, Lincoln nodding it down and away for Mulbarton, Page nipping in to press the ball knocked wide of the right post. Mulbarton break forwards the ball coming to Lake from the left into the box onto her right foot driven in low, Lloyd with a tremendous save with her lefts the ball rebounding out to Martins and Catchpole wrestle for possession the Mulbarton striker getting the batter of her opponent to turn and strike the ball from 25 yards out a curling effort goes over.

  Play congested through the middle Mulbarton coming on Ladbrooke almost stealing through on the keeper, Musgrove into block top to the box. Lloyd called into action again as Lake cuts into the box from the right side getting onto the end of an Alice Smith pass to angle a shot in with pace to the near post a comfortable height, Lloyd palming it down.

  Ladbrooke breaking the ball on from midfield for Mulbarton moving left on for Catchpole to take on down into the corner her inviting cross over everyone attacking through the middle. Corbyn opening up her body to try and thread a pass through for Boulton bursting on right side, Farmer defends for Mulbarton. Lloyd saving well at her near post as a rising shot from Groves comes at her quickly gloved away to her left. 

  GOAL! With the game more open 2nd half Thetford have been able to get on with the ball, Martins looking to take it on drive for the area is bundled over winning free-kick to the right of the D. Over the set-piece herself shows great technic to clip the ball up over the wall and comes looping down to smash off the crossbar and bounce down and out of the goal and despite Mulbarton’s protests the goal is awarded Thetford with a goal back midway through the 2nd half 1-5.

Laura Martins with a superb free-kick for Thetford (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)



  Mulbarton ringing the changes with another triple change with Alice Smith, Lake and Megan Belsey coming off Jermy, Hunter and Melissa Belsey on, still potent threat going forwards Groves out to Lake on the right, Parker closing in to defend for Thetford. Both Parker and Musgrove with tackles to halt Mulbarton attacks as they push on right side with Catchpole over on that side now. Thetford make a change, Page coming off in attack, Hannah Rogers coming on. 

  Lloyd continues to thwart Mulbarton in the Thetford goal showing good positioning as Catchpole gets on the charge right side before checking inside to send a strike in on the angle, the stand in keeper, right behind it beating it down to claim. Mulbarton with fresh legs on the pitch pressing on right side Jermy whipping a cross into the box near side Bambury stretching has to get it with Catchpole ready to pounce on her shoulder, the ball turned behind for a corner.

  GOAL! The ball send in towards the near side is met by Ladbrooke 10 yards out a powerfully struck header as she twists into the ball to rifle it home to score her 1st goal of the season (for the 1st team. Has 2 for the Development side and the mere 20 for the 7s) Mulbarton leading 1-6 with 12 minutes left to play.

Alice Ladbrooke with the bullet header to score for Mulbarton (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Corbyn with a good tackle on Hunter top of the D as the Mulbarton winger looks to get into a striking position moving left to right. Martins heading the ball clear from the top of her area as Mulbarton push on up the right. Jermy with the ball twisting infield plays in Hunter who sets up Groves to hit, shoots wide, Lloyd with a faint touch corner given. 

  GOAL! Mulbarton have the near post over loaded as the ball is played short up the line the cross lifted into the mix knocked on across the six yard box falling to Catchpole completely unmarked getting the ball under control and picking her spot low past the keeper to score her hat-trick 1-7.

Francesca Catchpole completing her hat-trick for Mulbarton

  Two goals late in the game see Mulbarton finishing strong making a double switch more legs rested with Lincoln and Catchpole coming off, Hedtke and Olivia Smith back on. Corbyn bringing the ball on plays the pass out to Boulton right side, Farmer tackling for Mulbarton. Howard up to press taking the ball on played across the top of the are, cut out by Melissa Belsey. 

  Martins up with Howard on Thetford’s right the ball played up to Richardson in attack wins a corner. Whipped in near side Martins with the diving header at the near post put across goal but Mulbarton clear their lines look to counter Hunter left tackled by Levy-Twomey. Martins down picking up a knock as she is accidentally caught by Groves follow through as she goes to clear the ball. The clock rapidly ticking down the resulting drop ball kicked upfield the final whistle blows. The result seeing Mulbarton climb above Thetford into 3rd close the gap to leaders Dussindale & Hellesdon to 6 points with 3 games in hand.

Full time Thetford Town Ladies 1-7 Mulbarton Belles Ladies

  Thought before the season started it was a straight battle for the title between Mulbarton and Dussindale & Hellesdon and having seen both now that is most definitely the case. Two big games against one another to come but neither can afford any slip ups in between. Mulbarton too hot to handle on the night making a fast start Lake running at the defence played in for 3 goals. The visitor strong keeping Thetford in the back foot throughout the 1st 45 going on to add 2 more goals to lead 5-0. Thetford struggled to get going losing players to injury not helping battled hard. The game opening up more in the 2nd half and Thetford built a few opportunities going on to get a goal before Mulbarton rang the changes to score 2 more late goals to seal a convincing win.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Sunday’s easy, this one not so much. Thetford despite being on the back foot fought well under pressure at the back no doubt, Sausha Levy-Twomey, Georgia Parker and Courtney Musgrove all making vital tackles in interceptions. Dayna Howard too needing to put a shift in to help her defenders. Erin Lloyd as stand in goalkeeper, with some decent saves to keep the score down. For Mulbarton it was a solid team performance right across the park. The midfield supporting the attackers well pressing high. Melissa Belsey at the back with several useful balls forwards setting up a goal. Two hat-trick scorers it comes down to them, Francesca Catchpole strong in attack with some composed finishes. It was the 3 goal blast at the start of the game that set Mulbarton on the road to victory saw them take control of the game, therefore the award goes to Rebekah Lake her running off the defence opening gaps and providing a ready outlet for those in possession to pick out a pass.

  Has been a while but good to see both sides in action under the lights. A busy week hence the later write up but we go there in the end. My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details know most of the players but always like to check those numbers. Thanks to to Scott Grearhardy whose pictures I have used in this report taken at the recent county cup tie between the two sides. Sending my best wishes to Thetford’s injured players for a speedy recovery.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women v Thetford Town Ladies

Wednesday 18th May

Norfolk Women’s League One

 The 2021/22 season is reaching it’s climax, just a handful of fixtures left to complete just 3 more left for Women’s Football East to cover, beginning this evening with my final league fixture of the season, from Norfolk Women’s Division One with Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Ladies fresh from winning the League Plate on Sunday playing they’re penultimate game of the season at home to Thetford Town Ladies playing their last competitive fixture of the campaign.

A cup final win for Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women on Sunday against Caister FC Ladies in the NWGFL Plate their first trophy under there new name after moving from Sprowston to become Dussindale & Hellesdon a couple of seasons ago, are currently 3rd in the Division One table 4 points behind 2nd placed and League Cup winners, Fakenham Town Ladies with 2 games to play. Fakenham played out their fixture can only watch now Dussindale & Hellesdon with a superior goal difference needed 4 points from their remaining two fixtures to ensure them of a runners-up finish, lose and it’s all over Fakenham can’t be caught. A hat-trick for Shanice Sutton in Sunday’s Plate Final seeing her become leading goal scorer for Dussindale & Hellesdon with 38 goals one ahead of Victoria Leyer.

 Thetford Town Ladies travel over to The Nest this evening knowing they are going to finish 4th in the Division One table. They’re highest ever finish to a season as the club looks to become an established force in the league with the ambition to push on further next season. Have achieved this having had terrible luck with injuries, there squad struggling for numbers at times particularly to their defenders. Have bolstered the squad with some useful signings to help their challenge for a top 4 finish such as Hannah Claughton from Norwich and Becky Russell dual signed from Wroxham. Becky White, Thetford’s leading goal scorer with 17 for the season so far.

  The Nest the venue for this evenings game the state of the art facility on the outskirts of Norwich home to not only Norwich City Women but also Dussindale & Hellesdon, who normally use the grass pitch leading into the complex but with that undergoing maintenance the main 3G pitch is hosting their Division One clash with Thetford a game under the lights the cafe open serving a range of cakes and snacks, along with hot food and drinks. Like most 3G facilities the 3G pitch well used a large number of youth goalkeepers being put through their paces whilst two sides warm up behind. Another warm and sunny day leading into a pleasant evening beginning to cool but no sign of any rain.

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women starting XI – Tyla Cole, Amee Kennett, Siesha Humphries, Calista Tink (C), Maddy Goodenough, Abi Nobbs, Lucy Wetherall, Georgina Belton, Abby Hutchin, Chelsea Brister & Shanice Sutton. Subs – Ruby Wilson, Kari Kowalczyk, Charlie Head & Tallulah Bell.

Thetford Town Ladies

 Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Zoe Klimcke, Ellie-Mae Davies, Erin Lloyd, Rachel Lynch, Dayna Howard (C), Becky Russell, Hannah Claughton, Abbie Corbyn, Charlotte Howard & Becky White. Sub – Courtney Musgrove.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Dussindale & Hellesdon with just the one change to the squad that started Sunday’s Plate final, Tallulah Bell named on the bench. Thetford travelling with just the one substitute available with a number of players carrying knocks. Dayna Howard named as captain in the place of the absent Melissa Boulton. It’s the visitors to kick-off the first half, Thetford wearing blue shirts with a white band across the front and sleeves, navy coloured shorts and socks. Dussindale & Hellesdon in their claret strip. The ball played out to the left Hannah Claughton getting forwards, Dussindale & Hellesdon close straight away the ball out for a throw in.

  The ball contested on the far side of the pitch both sides battling for possession out for a series of throws, Thetford play it forwards a strike from distance running wide of the near post. Howard with Becky Russell in the middle for Thetford the ball won play spread out to Abbie Corbyn wide right bringing it down turns infield looking to drive towards the area, is brought down, Thetford awarded the free-kick. Becky White over the set-piece the striker sends an angled ball up towards goal, Tyla Cole calling for it in the Dussindale & Hellesdon call making a straight forward catch unchallenged.

Becky White with the goal attempt for Thetford (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

   Cole with another solid claim for Dussindale & Hellesdon setting up a swift counter attack the ball fed on up the right for Abby Hutchin to bomb on into the corner winning her side a throw deep in the corner. Ellie-May Davies defending for Thetford on the left seeing the visitors regain possession. A crossfield pass finding Corbyn on the right she once again takes the ball inside looking to drive for the box, Siesha Humphries challenging at the back to win the ball for Dussindale & Hellesdon. 

  Dussindale & Hellesdon captain, Calista Tink carrying the ball out from the back sends the ball on into the right channel with midfielder Georgina Belton pushing on, with the ball at her feet powers forwards, Erin Lloyd tackling her for Thetford halting her progress. Humphries getting up on the left to support Chelsea Brister on the wing the pair looking to get the ball into the Thetford area held up by Zoe Klimcke, as Corbyn tracking back lunges in with the tackle to put the ball away for a throw in. Put into Abbi Nobbs outside the box central passes the ball out to the right side, the cross sent in near side attacker, Shanice Sutton heading the ball over the bar.

Thetford Town Ladies, Hannah Claughton (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

   Both Belton and Lucy Wetherall looking to get on from midfield for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Won at the back Tink plays the ball up through the middle for Nobbs central has Hutchin to her right squaring the ball to her, shifts forwards, up against Davies, the Thetford full back with a strong tackle to thwart her. Brister taking the ball on left side for Dussindale & Hellesdon with an early diagonal pass into Sutton inside the D, Rachel Lynch closing her down winning the ball back for Thetford. Hutchin looking to get forwards on the right as she did in the Plate final, Davies playing the ball out for a throw. 

Thetford Town defender, Zoe Klimcke (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

 Thetford’s Howard with the pass for White pulling left, has Russell making a run inside to get beyond her, the pass cut out by the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence. Regained in the middle Thetford send the ball on through the middle White’s touch deflecting the ball out to Corbyn to the right, gets on with the ball heading for the area, Maddy Goodenough blocking her shot from outside the box, the counter attack on the ball lifted forwards for Sutton who beats the offside trap in behind through the centre, Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward rushing out to the top of her area to close the angle saves well, blocking the shot deflecting it behind, running wide out for a corner. 

Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  The corner from the right played into the top of the area, Charlotte Howard clearing for Thetford. Quickly regained, Dussindale & Hellesdon are pulled up for a hand ball. Is a decent sized pitch a lot of ground to cover Thetford’s defence keeping a good shape, Lynch marshalling her defenders. Lloyd clearing the ball out of the ground as Brister looks to attack on the left. Brister getting hold of the ball taking it on moving inside closing in on the box, strikes her shot over the crossbar. A change for Thetford at the back with Lloyd coming off, Courtney Musgrove coming on.

Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Georgina Belton

   Midway through the 1st half Belton onto Hutchin right into the Thetford half threads the pass on to find Sutton right of the D, squares it across to Brister inside the D, her 1st time strike curled wide of the right post. A few free-kicks creeping into the game, Nobbs going right with Humphries pulled back, no advantage play brought back for the free-kick. Wide left Brister over it angles a cross in to the far post, goes long out for a goal kick. Belton pulling away to the right, strength on the ball winning a throw. Up the line for Hutchin to the by-line her cross in turned behind for a corner. Goodenough looking to attack the ball near side can’t turn onto her shot as Thetford scramble it clear. 

Abbie Corbyn with Lucy Wetherall (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

 Lynch getting a cross to support her full back cutting out Wetherall’s pass intended for Brister on the left. Lynch’s clearance put long for Corbyn to go after on the right, Cole coming can claim top of her area. A free-kick for Thetford inside the Dussindale & Hellesdon half Lynch over it goes for goal her long range effort wide of Cole’s goal. Dussindale & Hellesdon with more of the possession looking to get forwards. the Thetford defence, Lynch in particular reading the passes intercepting the ball. Sutton narrowly offside to the right of goal.

 GOAL! The opening goal coming in the final 10 minutes of the 1st half. Dussindale & Hellesdon with a quick counter attack the ball fed through to Hutchin right side travelling for the box, Davies stretching tackling her from behind upending Hutchin inside the box Penalty! Sutton placing the ball on the spot hits it well to the keepers right, Ward going the right way can’t get near it 1-0.

Shanice Sutton scoring from the penalty spot for Dussindale & Hellesdon

  The break through at last Thetford haven’t get forwards much, Corbyn the most likely on the right is given the ball by Russell drives on but is soon outnumbered run off the ball by Dussindale & Hellesdon at the back. Dayna Howard winning the ball in the middle for Thetford on for Corbyn right comes inside looking to pick out Charlotte Howard central, cleared for a throw right side. Charlotte Howard then brought down outside the box to the right corner of the area. White on the ball looks to curl a shot in towards goal, on target, Cole though with a firm call right behind it to claim.

  White coming left for Thetford taking the ball on from Claughton playing it forwards for Russell getting in on the left angles a cross in near side Corbyn arriving, Goodenough close on her blocking to turn the ball away for a corner. Late in the 1st half players up the inswinging cross lifted in near post players attacking it goes through everyone bouncing a cross goal, Corbyn free back post not really expecting it unable to get anything on it as it runs out of play.

Half-time Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women 1-0 Thetford Town Ladies

  A double change for Dussindale & Hellesdon at the start of the 2nd half with Tallulah Bell and Charlie Head coming on up top for Wetherall and Brister. The move seeing Sutton pull out out out to the right, Hutchin deeper into midfield left side. The hosts getting the 2nd half underway looking to get Belton on the ball push on from midfield, Dayna Howard getting back on her to tackle regain the ball for Thetford. Davies on the left for Thetford looking to get on with the ball support Claughton on the wing winning a throw in. Lynch with a strong throw on her the ball long up to the area Tink getting her head under the ball to clear for a throw. 

  Russell linking up with Lynch outside the Dussindale & Hellesdon area pushing inside is closed down by the defence. Lynch with another throw down the left White taking it on as Thetford look to attack racing on sending a vicious cross into the six yard box, Cole down to lay claim to the ball with Corbyn drifting in far side. Claughton fouled on the left side as she looks to get the ball down for Thetford. Lynch on the set-piece lining up a shot, catches it wrong dragging the ball wide.

Ellie-Mae Davies with Shanice Sutton

  Thetford with a brighter start to the 2nd half, are caught out as Nobbs plays the ball through to Bell the half-time substitute racing forwards left channel feeding the ball on into fellow substitute Head inside the box, she shot fired in Ward with an instinctive save throwing out a leg to cut out the ball deflect it away to right. A strong 50/50 challenge outside the area between Belton and Klimcke leaves the defender on the ground hurt looking in trouble. A lengthy pause following as she is treated and assessed. Lloyd back on. 

15 minutes played in the 2nd half, Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a corner on the right side. A great delivery in high to the near post Tink rising for it sending her effort narrowly over the bar despite a clash of heads with Lynch getting up with her. A blow to the back of the skull. Tink needs a moment to recover.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Thetford look to get forwards on the left White across with Claughton, Kennett defending for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Hutchin coming left getting on playing a crossfield pass into Belton central outside the D, opening up her body as the ball runs across her turns it goalwards, Ward with the save beating the ball down to her left before claiming it. 

 GOAL! 20 minutes into the 2nd half Dussindale & Hellesdon attacking down the right Sutton on the ball taking it in behind fires a cross into the middle of the six yard box, both Head and Bell closing it down in front of Ward, Bell with the telling touch to smash the ball past the keeper into the back of the net to double the lead 2-0.

Tallulah Bell doubles Dussindale & Hellesdon’s lead (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Dussindale & Hellesdon break on the right as a Thetford set-piece into their area is cleared Sutton bringing the ball away pace winning a corner kick. Fired into the middle of the box the ball cleared back to the corner taker, Nobbs outside whips another ball into area across the six yard box coming to Head at the far post her headed attempt not far over the bar. 

  Is a little feisty out there, a few comings together between Davies and Sutton a foul on Sutton returns the favour with a push. The referee quick to intervene cool it down issuing Sutton with a yellow card. A free-kick on the left for Thetford, lifted on into the box White stealing through her header off cue. The lights taking full effect now not the highest any high ball struck is getting lost in the darkness, calls from both sides to try and keep in on the ground. Dussindale & Hellesdon pressing through the middle Belton making her presence felt. Head is put in the clear breaking for the box central a one on one with the keeper, a push of blood as she looks to place it wide of Ward sends her effort wide of her right post. 

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Klimcke returning to the game for Thetford for Corbyn with 15 minutes of regular time left to play. Humphries finding a burst on pace to get back on White to tackle outside the area for Dussindale & Hellesdon as the Thetford attacker is played through by Russell. A free-kick given away by Dussindale & Hellesdon outside their area right of goal. The curled effort in, Cole has been strong with her calling all game and is once again firmly behind the ball.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Charlotte Howard tackling Humphries conceding a corner kick as the defender looks to get on with Hutchin in attack. The ball played in low near side finds it’s way through to Bell central, back to goal attempts the backheel rolls wide of the far post. Bell is taken out on the right just inside the box as she looks to travel with the ball, Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a 2nd penalty in the 77th minute. Sutton over it again this time looking to place it in the opposite corner gets too much on it playing it wide.

  Tink with another strong tackle on Claughton as she attacks coming on from the left. On the opposite side Nobbs plays in Bell on the left running with the ball shifts inside heading for the area lining up a strike Lynch closing her down with the blocking tackle. Brister and Wetherall returning to the field for Dussindale & Hellesdon with Kennett and Sutton off. Nobbs on for Hutchin left puts it into Bells path, Klimcke cutting the ball out for Thetford. Klimcke coming off then with Corbyn retuning to the game.

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

  Davies doing well in defence for Thetford has taken a far share of knocks for her efforts too, does well as Bell looks to link up with Brister wide. Wetherall cutting in from the left outside the D sees her shot strike the crossbar. Bell stabbing out a foot intercepting Lynch’s clearance 20 yards out sees the ball run safely through to Ward in the Thetford goal. Bell with another near miss moments later as Dussindale & Hellesdon attacking left side fire a ball in across the face of goal, Bell diving in sending it over. Goodenough coming off for Dussindale & Hellesdon at the back, Ruby Wilson coming on. 

 The game moving into stoppage time, several minutes likely to be played. Tink with the ball on from the back lifted on to Bell right side of attack her cross cut out by Dayna Howard for a corner kick. Thetford tiring late on Dussindale & Hellesdon nipping in to regain the ball. Russell looking to get on through the middle tackled by Hutchin. Bell turning a shot in straight to the keeper as Brister fires a cross in from the left, Ward taking it low. Players up and around the Thetford area Dussindale & Hellesdon squeezing the ball in the final 3rd late on. 

 GOAL! 5 minutes of stoppage time played and breaking up a Thetford attack, Dussindale & Hellesdon are quick to counter the ball fed on through the midfield finding Brister racing into the area left of goal on the angle strikes her shot across the area low into the bottom corner 3-0.

 GOAL! A further blow to Thetford deep in stoppage time as they concede a 4th goal, Hutchin on the ball central for Dussindale & Hellesdon putting the forwards pass into Head breaking on into the area holding off the challenge with the keeper advancing to close her down, she places her shot wide of Ward to send the ball on into the back of the net 4-0.

Charlie Head with Dussindale & Hellesdon’s 4th goal (photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

It gets worse for Thetford on the closing seconds as Head is pulled down inside the box as the ball is lifted over the top the hosts with a 3rd penalty on the night. Sutton off the field it’s Wetherall with the kick, placing the ball low to the right, Ward getting down to block it with her leg, saved out to the right, Bell racing in on the follow up smashed her shot over the bar.

Full time Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers Women 4-0 Thetford Town Ladies

(photo credit Scott Grearhardy)

4-0 win in the finish for Dussindale & Hellesdon moving them to within a point of 2nd placed Fakenham with one game to play at home to bottom side North Walsham Angels Ladies on Sunday. Runners up spot within their grasp. Shanice Sutton’s first half penalty the difference between the sides at the break. Thetford whilst creating little going forwards working hard to keep their opponents out in defence. A 2nd goal coming in the 65th minute. Thetford continued to work hard a rough end to the game to concede to late goals in stoppage time. Dussindale & Hellesdon though creating enough chances with two penalties also missed. Thetford nevertheless can be proud of what has been achieve this season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders as is often the case. Some performances of note to mention first. For Thetford, Rebecca White put in a shift up top covering alot of ground looking for openings. In defence Ellie-Mae Davies will have a nice collection of bruises for her efforts as she put in a number of tackles, battling for the ball. Rachel Lynch powerful in the back line reading the ball and getting across to support her full backs. For Dussindale & Hellesdon, Shanice Sutton was once again lively in attack making some excellent runs. Abbi Nobbs with a solid midfield display, Georgina Belton with some powerful runs getting forwards to receive the ball. The award this evening though goes to Dussindale & Hellesdon’s captain, Calista Tink. Fantastic at the back winning the ball, getting into some good positions with some great play out from the back.

  Last league game of the season completed, a good evening under the lights at The Nest is a great facility pleasing to see players form other woman’s sides within the division thier to watch the action too. My thanks to both sides for the team details always appreciated and to Scott Grearhardy again with the photo’s used in the report. 2 more games left a trip down to Essex this Sunday for the League Cup Final between Lawford Ladies and Chelmsford City Women then to Carrow Road in midweek for the Norfolk County Cup Final between Mulbarton and Wymondham.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Thetford Town Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies

Thursday 28th April

Norfolk Women’s Division One

A spot of midweek football action on Women’s Football East this Thursday evening with a short trip to Thetford to watch a game from Norfolk Women’s Division One with Thetford Town Ladies hosting Bungay Town Ladies.

Both sides amongst a cluster of sides in the middle to the Division One table vying for a 4 finish in the league, with the season drawing to a close, plenty of points still to play for both Thetford Town Ladies and Bungay Town Ladies with 4 games left to play going into this evenings match.

  Thetford Town Ladies currently in 5th spot in Division One, looking to establish themselves in the league and push on to compete at the top on a regular basis. Have had a strong campaign to date maintaining a top half position throughout. Mulbarton Belles Ladies running away with the Division one title while Fakenham Town Ladies and Dussindale & Hellesdon Women look to be on course for 2nd and 3rd, 4th place remains very much in the balance and with games in hand on the sides around them Thetford are well placed to make one final push. Have been hampered with injuries and absences particularly to their defence. Have added to their squad with the dual signing of Becky Russell from Wroxham and Hannah Claughton from Norwich. Rebecca White is their top scorer with 15 goals so far with Melissa Boulton on 9.

  Changes at Bungay Town Ladies over the close season, a new manager coming in, Mark Forgarty players joining the squad with some departures. A strong start to the season with 6 wins in their opening 8 league games with just one defeat that against Mulbarton. In stark contrast the last 8 matches have seen just the one victory and 6 defeats that has seen them fall away from the tussle at the top of the table dropping to 7th in the table. During that time Mark Forgarty has stepped aside as first team manager with Jode Wells taking on the role. A solid platform to build on with a strong squad to take the club on a late flourish could yet see Bungay push back up the table. Have been scoring plenty of goals with Lucy Eagle coming in from Woodbridge Town Ladies netting 23 goals so far from 15 games with Gemma Foster closing in on 20 goals too for the season and Selina Rowland netting 14. 

  The sides have met twice this season already with Bungay defeating Thetford 2-1 in the league cup. Saw their 1st league meeting abandoned late on due to an injury to Thetford’s Courtney Musgrove. Hence the 2 sides have to play each other twice in their run ins. Starting this evening at Thetford Town FC. The large grass pitch sloping slightly, a game under the floodlights. The clubhouse open to serve hot and cold drinks beside the main seated stand. A rather chilly evening compared to recent April days cloud cover keeping the sun from warming the air during the day, nevertheless another dry day.

Thetford Town Ladies

Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Courtney Musgrove, Ellie-Mae Davies, Rachel Lynch, Zoe Klimcke, Dayna Howard, Becky Russell, Hannah Claughton, Melissa Boulton (C), Rebecca White & Hannah Rogers. Subs – Abbie Corbyn, Emily Escreet, Sophie Burr-Walpole, Erin Lloyd, & Jessica Knight

Bungay Town Ladies

 Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Sofia Serghiou, Erin Galer, Molly Webb, Porsha Renwick, Lyndsey Adams, Charnelle Riggall (C), Ceira Flatt, Lyla Studd, Gemma Foster & Lucy Eagle.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Bungay at a disadvantage before the start of the game travelling to Thetford with just 10 players available due to a combination of injury, illness and work commitments, with Thetford able to name 5 on their bench. It’s the visitors to kick-off the game wearing light blue shirts, black sorts and black shorts. Thetford opposite wearing claret shirts with navy shorts and socks. The ball is quickly closed down in the middle of the park, before Thetford clip a long ball out to the left, Hannah Claughton getting forwards on the left flank, full back Erin Galer in to defend the ball going for a throw in the corner. The ball worked back into the middle Becky Russell lifting it out to the opposite flank with captain, Melissa Boulton  on the move one touch taking the ball forwards her angled ball into the box caught at her near post by goalkeeper Sofia Serghiou.

Thetford pressing the ball well on half way, Dayna Howard with Russell the ball put on through the middle for attacker, Hannah Rogers racing on towards the top of the area unleashes a shot from inside the D, her low effort running safely through to the keeper. Bungay looking to keep compact feed the ball out to the wide areas when won back, captain, Charnelle Riggall out to striker, Lucy Eagle drifting right, surges forwards with the ball at her feet, pushing on into the box right of goal, Rachel Lynch getting across her path to put in the block as she goes to shoot. The ball coming on t Ceira Flatt left of the D 20 yards out her 1st time shot lifted over the bar.

A physical battle as Bungay look to disrupt Thetford’s momentum going forwards, the ball fed on for Boulton running forwards on the right, again goes early with the ball crossed into the box, too close to the keeper caught by Serghiou. Played into the middle, Thetford close down to quickly regain possession threaded on for Rebecca White running forwards in the right channel, her shot charged down by Lyndsey Adams. Gemma Foster taking the ball on well down the left wing for Bungay a powerful run getting to the by-line comes inside before lifting a cross in towards goal, keeper Lydia Ward claiming with Eagle looking to attack the ball.

The ball pinging around in the middle as both sides close down, a favourable rebound seeing in run forwards for Rogers to attack moving right, Adams slowing her down, the ball put out to Boulton on the right, her cross claimed high by Serghiou. Eagle looking strong on the ball, ready to take on the Thetford defence whenever her teammates can pick her out. Russel with a great pass out to the right for Boulton going forwards, checks inside to get into the area, her strike cut out by Adams, before the cleared ball in sent over from distance.

Howard with a shot from distance for Thetford some 35 yards out as Thetford reclaim possession from a Bungay goal kick. Howard then on the left steals in on the ball to run in behind down the flank, Galer getting back on her to tackle see the ball out for a throw. A dangerous ball sent into the area off the throw, Serghiou up to punch the ball away from her goal as White closes in top of the six yard box.

Bungay with a counter attack on the left side Foster with the run taking the ball on pace moving inside as she closes in on the top of the area, plays it into Flatt left of goal her 1st time effort rebounding across to Eagle right side, shoots, Ward down to her right with a sharp save to turn the ball behind for a corner. Bungay are working hard at the back to contain Thetford as they press forwards, two banks of four dropping back, counter attacking proving tough as they look to get the ball into Eagle moving right and Foster on the left, Lyla Studd seeing a diagonal ball intended for Foster, cut out by Musgrove. 

 Boulton is a constant threat out wide on the right for Thetford played in by Russell a strong run seeing her turn into the box, jinking left then right before firing a shot wide across the face of goal. Eagle when she gets the ball into her in looking to drive forwards moving down the pitch right side fires a vicious ball in across the face of the Thetford goal, controlled by Studd beyond the far post is sent back in central, the ball cleared by Zoe Klimcke. 

GOAL! Midway through the 1st half and the dead lock is broken, Thetford getting bodies forwards the ball into Rogers out to the left, has Claughton making an overlapping run the short pass into her path Claughton taking it on down the wing delivering a pacy ball into the area, Serghiou with a instinctive save with her foot to turn it away out of her area, comes straight to Russell central top of the D, shapes to move right before checking back on her left foot to send the ball arrowing low into the back of the net 1-0.

Becky Russell opens the scoring for Thetford Town Ladies

   Eagle the outlet for Bungay from the restart taking the ball on right side, looking to get in behind, Davies stays with her well putting a foot in to take the ball away from the attacker. Thetford make their 1st change of the evening, bringing on Abbie Corbyn for Rogers in attack. Bungay win a corner out on the left, fires in near side Boulton defending heading behind for a 2nd corner. This delivery attacked at the near post, Flatt hurt going down as the ball is cleared to safety. After treatment okay to continue. 

  Russell getting forwards central looking to link up with White in attack, Renwick challenging for Bungay to halt their advance. Lynch looks to have picked up a knock for Thetford and needs to come off, Emily Escreet coming onto the field. White is looing to bring a great diagonal ball from Russell under control outside the area, can’t before Renwick closes in to tackle. Boulton coming on right with the ball for Thetford turning inside, her cross cut out by Galer. Foster running on with the ball left side for Bungay feeding the pass inside to Eagle left of the D 20 yards out, Thetford closing her down en masse, Claughton regaining possession for the hosts. 

Bungay Town Ladies captain, Charnelle Riggall (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Breaking, Thetford have White away with the ball to the left her cross whipped into the box looking for Corbyn inside D, cut out by Adams. Thetford’s forward players looking to get wide an every opportunity stretch Bungay, Corbyn into the left corner shakes off her marker to get inside the box, Renwick recovering to get back at her win the ball with a well timed tackle. The ball with Riggall in the middle for Bungay she spreads play out to Foster on the move down the left wing a powerful run, Musgrove going with her sliding into to tackle as they close in on the by-line, the ball out of play Bungay appeal for handball the decision going their way as they are awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the area. lifted into the mix inside the six yard box drops down turned goalwards, Ward on the line with a reactive save with her leg before the ball is cleared to safety.

  Both sides continue to find joy out wide, Foster with another strong run carrying the ball on left side for Bungay, drives inside from the by-line firing a stinging shot in at an acute angle, the ball rising, Ward with a superb save to turn the ball up over her crossbar. The resulting corner delivered from the left into Ward quickly knocking it up high into the air as able to claim it on the bounce unopposed. Moving into stoppage time at the end of the 1st half on come Thetford Howard into Boulton on the right taking the ball on her cross lifted into the box, White attacking it her header over the bar. Boulton again on the right flank cuts inside into the box sees her driven shot blocked by Galer.

Half-time Thetford Town Ladies 1-0 Bungay Town Ladies

  A strike from Becky Russell midway through the 1st half the difference between the sides going into the half-time interval. Thetford with the player advantage seeing more of the ball creating several opportunities going forwards. Pressing Bungay back, the visitors working hard to keep thing’s compact with two banks of four have nevertheless created some chances of their own forcing a couple of saves from Ward. Foster  out left and Eagle looking to drive forwards on the right, question now is can they keep it up for another 45 minutes or will Thetford’s superior numbers and with it fresh legs begin to tell.

  Lynch back on at the start of the 2nd half for Thetford lining up with Russell now at centre back. The hosts to get the 2nd half underway. Competitive in the middle the ball closed down not going anywhere fast, Bungay getting a free-kick a chance to put the ball up into the Thetford area, won by Lynch the hosts looking to counter quickly the ball on for Boulton racing on right side, can’t keep it in play. Lynch at the back for Thetford winning the ball then playing a fantastic pass over the top for White to run onto behind the defence, shooting from outside the D, her strike narrowly wide of the right post. 

  GOAL! An early goal for Thetford at the start of the 2nd half doubling their lead. Coming on through the middle, Corbyn thread the ball on along the ground for White in attack, moving towards the area halts her run to shake of her marker, 20 yard out strikes a looping shot goalwards, Serghiou getting a faint touch with her fingertips but not enough to keep it out 2-0.

Thetford Town Ladies, Rebecca White (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Adams in well to tackle Boulton as she and Escreet combine out on the right. White is taken off by Thetford shortly after scoring with Rogers returning to the attack. Corbyn pressing the Bungay defence top of their area nipping in to steal the ball, leaning back as she shoots her strike running wide of the left post. Thetford looking strong now piling players on forcing Bungay back little opportunity to get the ball out of their half, Boulton on the right using the width well getting a shot in on the angle, drops wide of the near post. Thetford’s captain continues to run at Bungay on the right getting to the by-line her cross fired in along the face of goal is turned over beyond the far post.

  GOAL! The hosts strong start to the 2nd half sees them extend their lead, with around an hour played, pressing as a team Musgrove right sends the ball on for Boulton out wide she bursts on moving inside shifts right to the by-line before sending the ball in across the face of goal for Rogers unmarked to score with a simple tap in 3-0.

Thetford Town Ladies Hannah Rogers (photo credit Richard Brown)

 Finding their attackers is proving difficult now for Bungay their defence under pressure the midfield pinned back, Eagle is isolated but continuing to carry a threat and willing to drive at the defence when given the opportunity. Coming through the middle, looks to get around Russell but her challenge sees the ball won back, Escreet sending it through to Boulton right side, Foster back to help Webb defending for Bungay. Boulton picking up the ball 20 yards out right of the D, plays it inside for Corbyn in the box, looking to bring it down on her chest get a shot away, Riggall lunging in with a tackle deflects the ball back to her keeper to clear.

(photo credit Richard Brown)

  Eagle is down for Bungay in attack after a coming together with Lynch appears to be her back, comes to the side of the pitch after a spell of treatment doesn’t look comfortable, waved back on as Bungay win a free-kick on the left. Put into the box won comfortably by Lynch. Eagle has gone down again is struggling, needs to come off for a spell of extended treatment, Bungay down to 9.

GOAL! The advantage with Thetford getting players on at will the hosts go onto extend their lead. Boulton again involved in the build up winning the ball in the middle running on towards the top of the area a strong run, Serghiou comes racing out to charge down/save her shot as she puts her foot through the ball, her momentum leaving her out of position as the rebound comes straight to Claughton up with Boulton inside the box to her left, controls the ball well before smashing she shot home 4-0.

  20 minutes left on the clock, Thetford in full control of the game leading by 4 goals against the 9 of Bungay, the visitors putting their all into the game but tiring rapidly continue to fight. Thetford with another change bring Sophie Burr-Walpole on for Klimcke. Russell moving back into the middle. Press forwards Russell to Escreet her through by for Boulton cut out by Adams. More changes for the hosts with a double change with Musgrove and Escreet coming off for Erin Lloyd and Jessica Knight.

Bungay Town Ladies Lyla Studd (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Russell playing the ball forwards into White inside the D back to goal holds it up well with Boulton on close support sends the ball into her, Boulton shoot’s the ball straight at Serghiou. Corbyn coming right feeding the ball on for Boulton, takes it on into the box, Webb back to defend getting the tackle in the ball loose to the top right of the box, Corbyn latching onto it turns, gets her shot all wrong as the ball screws well wide of the far post. 

  A rare chance for Bungay to get a player forwards sees Foster racing forwards on the right, shooting on the angle from distance her effort bouncing wide across the Thetford six yard box. The hosts with a throw high on the right put into Corbyn, bringing the ball under control right of goal, shifts then shoots the ball rising for the top corner, Serghiou with a brilliant save diving to her left to push the ball wide for the corner.

Bungay Town Ladies goalkeeper, Sofia Serghiou (phot credit Richard Brown)

 Corbyn breaking away with the ball for Thetford moving into the left channel, shoots across the advancing goalkeeper, the ball looks like it’s heading for the back of the net, but agonisingly bounces wide of the far post. Russell coming off for Thetford with Howard returning to the action. Eagle too returning for Bungay for the final 10 minutes. Straight away Eagle has a shot as soon as the ball is put into her right side some 40 plus yards out Ward safely claiming. 

  Breaking en masse through the middle the ball is lifted on through the middle, the flag going up as Corbyn left runs onto the ball, play halted, White through the middle reacting angrily as she is adjudged to have been offside complaining she wasn’t going for the ball. Those complaints becoming to vocal for the referee’s liking as she is yellow carded for descent and sent to the sin bin. 10 versus 10 now as Bungay get the ball on up top for Eagle who shoots over from 25 yards out, Flatt’s turn to say something out of turn to the referee and having already sent one to the sin bin for descent Flatt quickly follows as Bungay are again reduced to 9. 

  Bungay are willing to have a go late on the game stretched a little a shot from the angle on the right wide across the Thetford goal. 

GOAL! Late in the game in the 88th minute Thetford counter and Boulton gets the goal she deserves, the ball lifted up to her on the right by Lynch she drives on down the right channel bursting for the box, Serghiou coming out to close the angle, Boulton opens up her body to slot the ball wide of the keeper to send the ball into the goal beyond 5-0. 

Thetford Town Ladies captain, Melissa Boulton (photo credit Richard Brown)

  Little action to see out the game Thetford with possession in the closing moments with no further attacks, can celebrate their final home game of the season as the game ends with 3 more points courtesy of a 5 nil win that lifts them up into 4th in the Division One table.

Full time Thetford Town Ladies 5-0 Bungay Town Ladies

  A strong performance form Thetford against 10 player Bungay keeping the pressure on throughout a 1 goal lead at the break they came out strong in the 2nd half using the width well. Adding an early 2nd goal before going on to score 3 more. Pressing well their numerical advantage eventually telling as opportunities were created a regular intervals. A great effort from Bungay nevertheless, travelling to Thetford with just 10 available on a Thursday night, was always going to be a tough ask, battled hard throughout creating some great chances themselves too in the first half. The pair meeting again at Bungay on the 8th May, both still aim the mix for a top 4 finish.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A clear winner but several performances to mention first. Hard to single out a Bungay players as all 10 put in a huge effort in their efforts to keep Thetford out. Lucy Eagle up top a constant threat when the ball was played up to her. For Thetford, Becky Russell was composed in the middle, with some great passes out to the flanks. Hannah Rogers with some great attacking runs. The award though goes to their captain, Melissa Boulton had a great game, out on the right using the width well stretching the game always an outlet moving forwards with the ball, setting up chances for others to score, topped the performance off with a goal herself.

  An enjoyable trip to Thetford, one of the shortest I have, always enjoy a game under the lights. A good crowd in attendance. My thanks to Darrell Allen for his assistance this evening, is working hard to  not only promote Thetford Town Ladies but the woman’s game as a whole. The Jode Wells for the Bungay team details and Richard Brown for the use of his pictures in the report much appreciated. Now for the madness that is May, going to be a busy month, but I’m excited by the games ahead.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Long Stratton Women v Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

Sunday 6th March

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 Staying in Norfolk this Sunday with a trip east along the A47 then down the A140 to watch a game from Norfolk Women’s Division One with Long Stratton Women taking on Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women at Manor Road.

 After two season cut short by the Covid pandemic it is good to see a buy football schedule continuing into March and for plenty of teams across the East there is still alot of football to be played. The battle at the top of Norfolk Women’s Division One shaping up nicely. Mulbarton Belles Ladies the team to beat at the top with a 100% record so far from 12 played. Competitive amongst the sides chasing below jostling for position in the top 6.

 Long Stratton Women amongst those sides currently 4th in the table, looking to establish themselves as a side that can challenge for silverware in the coming seasons. Their captain Sam Walker a prolific goal scorer prior to joining the club has continued to find the back of the net on a regular basis for Long Stratton already on 30 for the season to date from 14 appearances. Long Stratton’s goal threat doubling with Luci Middleton joining the cub at the start of the season after a period away from the game. Back with a bang with her tally at 24 from 14 as she chases down a 30 goal target herself. Winning 6 of their 13 games played so far with 2 draws and 5 loses are unbeaten in the league so far in 2022 with 3 wins an a draw.

 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women were formed in 2020 the playing squad having previously been Sprowston Ladies. Under the Sprowston name were a highly successful side winning the league cup aswell as finishing in the top three in previous seasons prior to the Covid pandemic. Looking to continue in that vein as Dussindale & Hellesdon were looking strong in their debut season before things were curtailed. Similarly this time around currently 6th in the Division One table but have played less games than those above them just 8 so far winning 6 with 2 losses. Victoria Leyer their talisman in front of goal in previous seasons and has 15 goals so far this season from just 6 appearances. Dussindale & Hellesdon far from reliant on Layer’s goals however as they are scoring plenty of goals with 3 more players into double figures already. Chelsea Brister with 12 goals from 11 appearances, whilst ex-Long Stratton player Charlie head has scored 18 from 9. With Shanice Sutton top scoring with 21 goals so far from 10 finding the form she’d shown when at Thorpe United before a catastrophic knee injury saw her side-lined from the game for a lengthy spell.

Manor Road the venue for today’s game, home to Long Stratton 4 adult sides plus youth teams the large recreation ground boasting a number of grass pitches and other sporting facilities overlooked by a new pavilion and kitchen area. Today’s game on the pitch at the far end of the ground, offering plenty of width, the ground heavy underfoot, muddy conditions for sure. A stiff breeze blowing across the pitch bringing with it dark clouds and although no rain was forecast we would be graced with a few spots during the match.

Long Stratton Women

 Long Stratton Women starting XI – Jody Todd, Emily Farmer, Mia Wilkinson, Megan Vincent, Megan Bird, Milly Cawcutt, Beth Stratton, Kate Ransome, Emily Allsopp, Harriet Hunwicks-Rush & Sam Walker (C). Sub- Karmen Harvey.

Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women starting XI – Tyla Cole, Amee Kennett, Sieska Humphries, Calista Tink (C), Georgina Belton, Abi Nobbs, Katy Leigh, Abby Hutchin, Chelsea Brister, Shanice Sutton & Tallulah Bell. Subs – Kirstie Rusted, Carina Holmes & Lucy Wetherall.

A few keys players missing for Long Stratton today including Luci Middleton up top, with just one player available from the bench. Charlie Head missing for Dussindale & Hellesdon after picking up an ankle knock. Long Stratton to kick-off the game in the 1st half wearing red shirts and socks with black coloured shorts. Dussindale & Hellesdon usually in an all claret kit fearing a kit clash adorning navy coloured tops for the game. The ball closed down in the middle straight away both sides charging in to close it down, skipping up back and forth between the players, Beth Stratton releasing it up the right wing for captain Sam Walker to chase, Sieska Humphries tackling for Dussindale & Hellesdon the ball out for a throw in.

 The throw in clipped on into the area, safely in the hands of Dussindale & Hellesdon keeper, Tyla Cole guarding her near post. Play continues to be intense in the middle of the park players diving in to win the ball no control, skipping up Kate Ransome attempting to feed it through for Walker up top, Dussindale & Hellesdon’s captain, Calista Tink defending at centre back, clearing the ball upfield. Shanice Sutton collecting the ball inside the Long Stratton half on the right playing a diagonal ball into Tallulah Bell up top the Dussindale & Hellesdon attack, not able to get control of the ball before she is challenged by Long Stratton’s Milly Cawcutt.

 Roles reversed a few moments later as the ball is angled into Bell drifting left before whipping a long cross into the area for Sutton beyond the far post, Mia Wilkinson closing in at full back to defend getting the ball back to her keeper Jody Todd. Long Stratton looking for Walker out on the left wins a throw high up the pitch, Harriet Hunwicks-Rush to take it has a long throw on her sent into the area a strong header from Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Georgina Belton to clear, out to Amee Kennett on the right the visitors looking to break the ball fed on for Bell taking it on before playing a long diagonal ball forwards into the box looking for Sutton, difficult to get under control before she is tackled by Megan Vincent.

Long Stratton’s Mia Wilkinson

   Dussindale & Hellesdon are quick to win the ball back keep momentum going Chelsea Brister over on the right putting a diagonal ball into Bell inside the D, sees it up onto her chest on the turn to lift a shot over her marker, over the crossbar too. Rain falling steadily the wind blowing the clouds on not likely to last long. Humphries charging forwards on the ball for Dussindale & Hellesdon making ground on the wing before she is stopped by Long Stratton’s Emily Farmer. 

Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Sieska Humphries

  Dussindale & Hellesdon making frequent sorties down the wings Brister this time left side whipping in a cross, can’t quite find Sutton. Nor does Bell attacking left checking back up the line to curl a cross in going long over Sutton attacking central. Conditions not helping the game somewhat scrappy at time with both sides working hard to close the ball down in the middle often congested no one afforded any time. Walker operating on her own up top Long Stratton looking to feed the ball into her one to chase, Belton having just enough of a head start to win the race knock it back to her keeper to clear.

Megan Bird carrying the ball out for Long Stratton


  Bell looking lively drifting out to the left in attack for Dussindale & Hellesdon, squaring a cross into the near side of the box looking for Sutton running behind her comes to Abby Hutchin outside the , shifts it right looking to open up space for a strike, Ransome going with her getting her foot up to block her effort deflecting it up over the bar for a corner kick. Players forwards the delivery long dropping far post cleared up field by Vincent a potential break with Walker charging after it Humphries needing to defend well, and does to clear.

Long Stratton captain, Sam Walker with Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Amee Kennett

 Walker has the ability to turn any situation into a goal scoring opportunity if given half a chance. 40 yards from goal brings a long ball down off her chest, no one on her turns smartly to strike a shot goalwards, off target however Cole can see it safely roll past her far post. 

  GOAL! The deadlock broken in the 20th minute as Dussindale & Hellesdon with a corner on the left. Players come forwards a well practised set piece, Brister to play the corner in near post Tink rising up to head the ball twisting to power the ball into the back of the net 0-1.

Calista Tink scoring from the corner kick

Dussindale & Hellesdon captain Calista Tink opening the scoring

  Long Stratton competing for the ball well enough in the middle of the park are struggling to get it into Walker in attack, Tink and Belton winning it back bringing it forwards demanding passing options ahead of them. Kennett carrying the ball on right side cuts inside driving for the area, Kate Ransome coming across sliding in to take the ball away from her for a throw in on the right. The visitors applying pressure in the final 3rd winning another corner on the left, the delivery long this time over to the far post.

  Belton winning the ball against Walker takes it forwards for Dussindale & Hellesdon before being brought down presenting the visitors with a free-kick. Hutchin on to Leigh who puts it into Sutton in front of goal, Concedes a foul giving Long Stratton possession back. The ball coming back all to often for Long Straton the host frustrated with a few decisions a free-kick conceded central Hutchin clipping in on for Leigh left of the D helps it on to Bell inside the box behind her she crosses it to Sutton on the right, Wilkinson closing in to take the ball away from her.

Abby Hutchin on the ball for Dussindale & Hellesdon

   Stratton clattered in the middle down for Long Stratton a pause in play whilst she receives treatment goes off but is okay to return to the action is over on the left as the ball comes to her connects sending it over the top for Walker, Tink back peddling however for Dussindale & Hellesdon getting her head on the ball first. Stratton up ended again centrally as the hosts look to up the tempo apply some pressure higher up the pitch. Players up into the area Ransome getting her head on the ball near side knocking it down past the far post Megan Bird after it keeping the attack alive no one to help her is forced wide Stratton arriving to receive the ball knock inside before lifting in a cross into the area that bounces wide of the near post.

  Vincent in to block again getting her foot up to deny Sutton as she drifts away to the right of goal. Bell on the left taking the ball out wide down the line Farmer across with her preventing the cross coming in. 

 GOAL! A little under 5 minutes left to play in the 1st half and Dussindale & Hellesdon go on to double their lead the attack staring with Kennett on the right space to run into travels inside moving central before clipping the ball on for Sutton making a run to the near post right on goal, taking the ball on, looks to commit the keeper, pace Todd stands her ground six yards out Sutton taking it wide to further to the right sending a angled ball back to strike the back of the net 0-2.

Shanice Sutton doubles the visitors lead

  Long Stratton having just conceded a 2nd goal find themselves at a further disadvantage moments later. Allsopp is busy central working to win possession back the ball rebounding up striking her arm is penalised and not at all happy about it, those protests landing her in trouble with the referee as she is yellow carded and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Long Stratton to see the half out with 10 players. Dussindale winning a free-kick wide on the left, the ball floated into the area cleared by Wilkinson beyond the D, drops straight to Brister, 20 yards out left of the D, takes on the strike blasting the ball wide across goal. 

Long Stratton’s Harriet Hunwicks-Rush

The game moving into stoppage time, despite being down to 10 Long Stratton are prepared to commit players forwards, as Walker gathers the ball on half way left sends it on into the middle for Ransome to head down into the path of Bird beside her she in turn has Wilkinson bombing on wide left picking her out, she delivers a cross into the area, Dussindale & Hellesdon getting sufficient players back inside their box to win the header and clear. 

Hutchin taking the ball on left for Dussindale & Hellesdon playing it on into Sutton left of the D, doesn’t connect cleanly with her shot, scuffed it rolls straight to Todd at her near post. Kennett on the charge right side evading Wilkinson’s challenge in behind to whip in a cross near side for Sutton to attack, Vincent in ahead of her slicing the ball away to the top of the D, Nobbs racing onto it taking on the first time shot her attempt swerving away from goal wide. 

  Dussindale & Hellesdon with a free-kick wide left put in near side Todd coming through bodies at her near post the clear, back out to the left Dussindale & Hellesdon drawing players out before sending a cross dipping into Sutton at the near post attempts an audacious back heel flick, would have been a spectacular goal, only to Sutton despair the ball cannons off the base of the far post before Todd scoops it up into her gloves.

Half-time Long Stratton Women 0-2 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

 A 2-0 lead for Dussindale & Hellesdon at the break both sides staying out on the field as the temperature drops considerably. A strong first half creating a host of chances scoring twice. The game in itself quite a scrappy affair the ball heavily contested in the middle, Dussindale & Hellesdon getting players up to support Bell and Sutton in attack, Long Stratton in contrast working hard to try and get hold of the ball struggling to get Walker into the game up the other end.

  No changes as far as I can tell for either side at the break. The rain has stopped the sun trying to make an appearance now despite the chill in the air. The start of the 2nd half a repeat of the first the ball going no where in the middle popping back and forth, Leigh eventually clipping a long pass forwards dealt with by Vincent for Long Stratton at the back. 

Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Katy Leigh

 Ransome getting possession for Long Stratton in the centre lifting the ball on for Walker to attack, Tink getting in to header it clear for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Long Stratton soon back up to 11 as Allsopp is allowed to return to the action. Hunwicks-Rush looking to send her long throws on into the area, a potential problem for Dussindale & Hellesdon as Stratton looks to get the ball down before it is hooked clear. 

  GOAL! The last thing Long Stratton wanted to do was concede early in the 2nd half, Bell has moved over to the right in the 2nd half getting hold of the ball drives for the by-line Wilkinson going with her, Bell brought down as she manages to lift a cross in along the face of goal. The referee pointing to the spot, Wilkinson penalised for her challenge on Bell Penalty! Sutton to place the ball on the spot fires it straight at Todd who saves with her feet. The ball deflected up dropping to the right of goal as players rush in on the follow-up Sutton their to receive as the ball is cut back into her to drive hard past Todd as she dives in vein to her left to try and keep it out. 0-3.

Jody Todd initially saving Shanice Sutton’s penalty before the striker scored her 2nd of the game

Shanice Sutton scoring twice for Dussindale & Hellesdon

  Dussindale & Hellesdon 3 goal to the good with 50 minutes gone. Hutchin has made a number of driving runs through the middle for the visitors Bell always available peeling away on the flanks taking the pass on down the line from the angle her cross landing on the roof of the net. Hutchin combining with Bell again on the right the cross deeper this time dropping near post catch cleanly by Todd with Sutton closing in. Sutton with an attempt on goal herself from all of 35 yards dipping in front of Todd caught back on her line. 

  Stratton battling for the ball left side taking it forwards sends the pass on for Walker to attack but as has been the case for much of the afternoon the final ball is dealt with by Dussindale & Hellesdon as Cole comes racing out of her area to clear. Tink clearing a Hunwicks-Rush throw sent into the area on the right sets up a counter attack Nobbs playing the ball on for Sutton to lift out to Bells pulling away on the right wing strikes on the angle a powerful shot Todd stretching getting a firm glove on the ball to deflect it wide of the far post for a corner kick.

Emma Allsopp battling for possession with Amee Kennett

  Allsopp continues to work hard centrally for Long Stratton going in to close the ball down getting hold of it inside the centre circle spots Walker moving into the right channel, so too does Belton for Dussindale & Hellesdon the centre back having kept a close eye on Walker throughout closing in to win the ball back, Long Stratton continue to be frustrated with decisions going against them. The hosts do win a free-kick on the right the delivery into the near side inside the box Vincent low knocking the ball up into the air inside the six yard box Cole up to claim it clattered wins a free-kick.

Sam Walker

  Cawcutt taking a knock at the back for Long Stratton a pause in play allowing a substitution Karmen Harvey on for Hunwicks-Rush with 25 minutes left to play. Stratton seeing the ball into her feet spinning off her marker in the middle putting the ball on for Walker, Belton going with her tackling to deny an opportunity on goal. Todd moving out to the right corner of her area to deal with the threat from Bell as she looks to steal in behind as the ball in played long from midfield. 

 Walker has worked hard up top moving about the back line to try and find and opening all game taking the ball right Belton going with her again, gets the better of the centre back this time frustrated though an her angled drive lands in the side netting. Brister from the left firing a cross in across goal over Bell attacking the far post retrieved on the right a shot put wide. Walker picking up the ball deep powers her way forwards through the middle before sending a shot wide of goal. Both sides beginning to tire the yellow ball coated in mud. Both sides seeing passes going astray Long Stratton frustrated as it just doesn’t seem to be running their way. 

  A double switch for Dussindale & Hellesdon with around 15 minutes left on the clock, Brister and Nobbs coming off on come Kirstie Rusted and Carina Holmes. Long Stratton are taking more risks Allsopp trying to get up with Walker at times as they look for a goal. Wilkinson on the charge down the left gets in behind only to overrun the ball giving Cole a chance to sprint out towards her claim the ball. 

Karmen Harvey defending for Long Stratton

 GOAL! Into the final 10 minutes Dussindale & Hellesdon get the ball up on the right players up in attack Bell back for Sutton right corner of the box drills a shot towards goal low and hard through the defence into the bottom corner to claim her hat-trick 0-4.

A hat-trick for Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Shanice Sutton

  Another blow for Long Stratton they look to regroup press the attack Stratton battling for possession out to Allsopp, the pass forwards intercepted. Allsopp looks to go on her out through the middle a unfavourable bobble taking the ball away from her. Bird on the right for Long Stratton wrapping her foot around the ball looking to deliver it into the near post, Belton winning the defensive header for Dussindale & Hellesdon. 

Todd with another save off her legs as Bell fires a shot in from the right as she and Sutton combine on the flank. A corner given on the right put into the crowd near post Todd calls coming into the mix to punch clear sliced out to the left cleared by Stratton. Belton has been a thorn in Walkers side all afternoon the defender in to tackle well again as Walker attempts to force her way through into the box on the right. 

 Into stoppage time Dussindale & Hellesdon on the attack a cross put into the box from the right headed away by Ransome. Holmes with a strike from distance send wide right to left past the far post a second later the final whistle blows. 

Full time Long Stratton Women 0-4 Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women

  A comfortable win for Dussindale & Hellesdon in the finish coming out on top in what was at times a scrappy contest played in difficult conditions. The job done however a well practised set-piece leading to the opening goal. The advantage doubled before the break with further opportunities created in front of goal. Long Stratton with a battling display working hard but all too often Walker found herself isolated in attack, the ball coming back to Dussindale & Hellesdon. A penalty conceded early in the 2nd half well saved by Todd only to be struck home on the follow up putting the visitors in control. Sutton going on to complete her hat-trick moving onto 24 goals for the season lifting Dussindale & Hellesdon above Long Stratton into 4th in the process.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match One winner in the finish but a few performances of note to mention first. For Long Stratton, Sam Walker worked tirelessly leading the attack and made herself available for her teammates throughout the game. Whist Beth Stratton and Emma Allsopp both battled hard in the middle to try and regain possession. For Dussindale & Hellesdon both Calista Tink and Georgina Belton were solid at the back, the latter dealing with Walker’s threat well in the 2nd half. Abby Hutchin with some strong runs on the ball from the middle. Whilst Katy Leigh won more than her fair share to tackles in midfield. In attack was impressed by Tallulah Bell her movement out into the flanks causing problems drawing players out and in doing so opened up opportunities in front of goal for her strike partner and today’s player of the match, Shanice Sutton. Found some great positions in front of goal and took her goals well, creating further chances (if only that back heel flick had gone in!).

  Finally caught up with Dussindale & Hellesdon since their name chance good to see them and Long Stratton in action once again. Now doubt women’s football in Norfolk is getting stronger more to come from both sides I feel. My thanks to both sides for the team details as always much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Thetford Town Ladies v Fakenham Town Ladies

Sunday 30th January

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 County league action featured on Women’s Football East this weekend with a top of the table clash from Norfolk Women’s Division One, as 2nd placed Thetford Town Ladies host 3rd placed Fakenham Town Ladies.

  A point between the sides going into the game with both having played 7 to date in Division One. Thetford Town Ladies making a fantastic start to life in Division One especially as they could very well have been on Division Two his season had the original plan for the county league in Norfolk gone with 3 divisions instead. As it was with teams withdrawing late in the planning the format was adjusted to accommodate 2 divisions with Thetford joining Stalham Town Ladies, North Walsham Angels and Beccles Town Ladies in Division One. 

  Of the four that moved up Thetford have by far had the best start, the squad gaining valuable experience since joining the league a few players with experience at regional level with Bury Town Ladies added to the squad at the start of the season. An unbeaten start to date recording 6 wins and a draw, reaching both the quarter finals of the County and League Cup. Losing out to County Cup favourites Wymondham Town Ladies a fortnight ago were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Bungay Town Ladies in last Sunday’s League Cup quarter final. Rebecca White is Thetford’s top goal scorer so far with 12 goals with Melissa Boulton and Shannon Richardson joint 2nd with 7 goals each from 7 played with Hannah Rogers scoring 6 from 6. Darrell Allen recently joining Thetford Town Ladies to help run the social media and promotion of the club brings valuable knowledge within the woman’s game and is keen to promote both mens and women’s football within Norfolk. 

  Fakenham Town Ladies too making a fantastic start to the season in Norfolk Division One, were rampant in their opening game running out 22-0 winners away to Thorpe St Andrew Women. Another 24-0 result logged in the League Cup too against Red Rose from Division Two. Are through to the semi-finals of the League Cup after they beat Long Stratton Women on penalties after the sides finished 3-3 in regular play. Sit 3rd after 7 played winning 6 with a single defeat. Sophie Lubbock top scoring so far with 18 goals from 9 appearances with Shelley Woods on 14 from 8 and Chantelle Ketteringham on 12 goals from 9 played.

 Thetford Town FC the venue for today’s league encounter, one of the closest grounds to my home, on Mundford Road in Thetford. The grass pitch sloping offers plenty of width. Fenced on all sides leading onto more sports pitches and the leisure centre beyond. A covered stand offering seating for spectators on one side with a modern bar and spacious clubhouse beside. A bright dry day. The sun with a little heat in it falling behind the stand, noticeably cooler in the shade. Today’s game part of a Thetford/Fakenham double this weekend with the men’s sides meeting in their respective league yesterday. A single goal the difference then going the way of Fakenham.

Thetford Town Ladies

Thetford Town Ladies starting XI – Lydia Ward, Chloe Webb, Ellie-Mae Davies, Sausha Levy-Twomey (C), Katie Hardie, Courtney Musgrove, Dayna Howard, Melissa Boulton, Abbie Corbyn, Chloe Bentick & Rebecca White. Subs – Amy Coaker, Mia Bambury, Hannah Rogers, Amy Skipp & Charlotte Howard.

Fakenham Town Ladies

Fakenham Town Ladies starting XI – Tilly Betts, Gina Pooley, Chantelle Ketteringham, Jemma Riches, Amie Hutchinson, Sian Sands (C), Vicky Lubbock, Megan Spurrell, Sophie Lubbock, Shelley Woods & Olivia Baker. Subs – Holly Davies.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A minutes silence observed before kick-off in in respect to Fakenham’s Lewis Sturman and the passing of his mother. 

The players from both sides observing a minutes silence

Thetford short on numbers in last weeks quarter final loss name 5 on he bench for today’s top of the table league clash. Fakenham travelling with just the one named substitute available. 

 It’s the hosts Thetford to get the game underway kicking-off first half, wearing blue shirts with a white band across the top of the chest, navy shorts and socks with Fakenham lined up opposite wearing amber shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and socks. The ball played out to their left Thetford are quick to close it down in the middle the ball going out of play. Is scrappy in the opening exchanges the ball pinging between feet over on the far side of the pitch neither side making any headway.

Thetford’s Rebecca White with Fakenham’s Gina Pooley

  Fakenham’s, Olivia Baker dropping deeper to get hold of the ball has Sophie Lubbock to her left the pair exchanging passes before Baker threads a diagonal ball to send Sophie Lubbock in behind on the left into the box takes on the early strike pulling the shot wide of the near post. Play is exclusively on the sunny side of the pitch in the opening minutes the ball not sticking with anyone Fakenham captain Sian Sands in with a strong tackle to win possession up to Baker, she in turn tackled by Thetford captain, Sausha Levy-Twomey at the back. 

  Baker moving to the right running onto the ball played on by Shelley Woods, wraps her foot around the ball her cross dragged back along the top of the area out beyond the D, gathered by Sophie Lubbock who turns into the box striking an angled ball rising towards the near post, Thetford goalkeeper, Lydia Ward, plucking the ball down and claiming it on the bounce.

GOAL! The deadlock is broken inside the opening 5 minutes, Fakenham with a couple of half chances are hit on the counter as Thetford play the ball long out to the right for attacker Rebecca White to run onto, checking back inside around her marker fires an inviting ball across the six yard box, Chantelle Ketteringham stretching for it for Fakenham deflects it out beyond the far post straight into the feet of Abbie Corbyn racing into the box from the left, hits it first time low back across the keeper and into the bottom corner 1-0.

Abbie Corbyn opening the scoring for Thetford

Players from both sides rushing in to close the ball own in the middle, Sands playing a good diagonal ball out to the right for Megan Spurrell, is quickly closed down by Thetford’s Ellie-Mae Davies. Fakenham push players up as they are awarded a free-kick on halfway Amie Hutchinson over the ball, Thetford clearing the ball for a throw high on the left, Fakenham keep bodies up the pitch pressure as Hutchinson turning off the throw sends a diagonal ball in to the top of the area, cleared by Thetford’s Courtney Musgrove. Fakenham regain possession Hutchinson central punching her way through the middle takes on the shot from inside the D, a low effort bobbling up off the pitch, Ward behind it all the way down to gather into her body.

A lively contest the sides evenly matched, Melissa Boulton bringing the ball on down the right up to White she attempts the flick on looking to send Chloe Bentick clear through the middle, too much on it however allowing Fakenham’s goalkeeper, Tilly Betts to claim. Woods wriggling away on the right wing drives on before sending a dangerous cross in towards the near post, Ward needing to get her gloves on the ball punch clear or, Sophie Lubbock closing in is heading into an open goal. 

Thetford’s Melissa Boulton

  Musgrove playing the pass forwards into Bentick she turns sending the ball out to White on the right, controls checking back inside to turn towards the box opening up her body to unleash a left for strike angled in the ball deflected off a Fakenham leg runs wide for the 1st corner of the game. The set-piece coming to nothing. Thetford are proving difficult to break down at the back, both full back making vital interceptions. Boulton coming on down the right linking up well with White before Hutchinson comes across sliding in to take the ball from the Thetford attacker.

Chloe Bentick moving inside with the ball for Thetford

Thetford press the ball in the final 3rd winning a corner on the right, driven low into the crowded six yard box is scrambled clear falling to Thetford’s Katie Hardie outside the D. Gets her foot over the ball to lash a shot back in taking a wicked deflection sending it up to smash off the bar and out for another corner on the left. Betts coming through a crowd to get her gloves on the ball half clears helped on Fakenham break through Vicky Lubbock, Dayna Howard quickly across to nullify the threat taking the ball out for a throw in. 

Thetford’s Katie Hardie clearing the ball


  Thetford taking full advantage of the width with White and Corbyn both gaining ground left and right. Corbyn playing a low cross into the box cleared out straight to Musgrove 20 yards out her shot driven back in blocked spinning out to the left Corbyn trying to take advantage, Ketteringham across her well to defend see the ball out for a goal kick. 

Fakenham’s Sophie Lubbock

Sophie Lubbock receiving the ball off her twin sister Vicky in the middle, takes the ball all the way up the left flank driving on forcing Boulton to concede the corner. Put in near side Vicky Lubbock coming for it turns the ball deflected behind for another corner. This delivery longer to the far post area, Baker getting it out of her feet smashing a shot goalwards blocked comes back to Baker for another bite fired in low is blocked on the line this time and launched clear. 

Thetford make a change with Mia Bambury coming on for Chloe Webb at the back.  Jemma Riches moving across from centre back to deal with the threat of White on the right as Boulton scoops the ball over the top for her to chase down. Off the resulting throw Boulton crosses the ball into Bentick outside the D, can’t dig the shot out before being closed down, retains possession shifting it back across the area for Boulton, aiming to curl a shot into the top corner, doesn’t get it further enough away from the keeper, Betts with a comfortable catch.

Thetford make a triple substitution bringing off, Musgrove, White and Bentick for new signing Amy Coaker, Charlotte Howard and Hannah Rogers. Boulton carrying a knock is brought down as she attacks coming inside from the right 25 yards out. Rogers over the free-kick goes for goal getting the ball over the wall well on target but dropping short safely into Betts’ gloves. 

  Boulton taking the ball on the right, Gina Pooley staying on her forcing her out wide, checks back managing to get a cross into the box but the Fakenham defence has regrouped, with Sands clearing from the top of the area. Boulton having been struggling with a knock needs to come off receive treatment. White back on with five minutes left to play in the first half. Coaker coming across to the right side immediately wins a corner kick.

Thetford’s Hannah Rogers tackling Fakenham captain Sian Sands

  Fakenham awarded a free-kick on halfway to the right played in towards the top of the area right side knocked down by Woods comes across to Sophie Lubbock left of the D her first time strike angling away from goal. Fakenham attacking late in the first half Spurrell into Baker she looks to combine with Sophie Lubbock left, Bambury intercepting the pass for Thetford. 

Half-time Thetford Town Ladies 1-0 Fakenham Town Ladies

  A pretty even 1st half between the sides. Few clear cut chances created, both sides applying pressure well in the final third at times. Thetford with the early lead Abbie Corbyn firing the hosts in front after 5 minutes. Have worked hard as a unit at the back to limit Fakenham’s chances. The final ball from Fakenham letting them down at times often too easily intercepted. Thetford have countered well, White and Corbyn using the flanks well. The woodwork struck and Fakenham seeing an effort blocked on the line is a close game. One goal you think is not going to be enough for Thetford all the play for 2nd half.

One change for Thetford at the break with Bentick back on in place of White. Holly Davies is on the field too for Fakenham at the back with Baker the player off. Fakenham with the kick-off in the 2nd period a carbon copy of the first the ball played out to the left immediately out for a throw. Spurrell comes on with the ball right side sent infield for Sands advancing through the middle takes on the early shot from all of 30 yards out the ball running safely through to the keeper.

Holly Davies in to defend close on Bentick as she looks to gain ground on the left with the ball at her feet. Corbyn gathering the ball off the throw in twists and turns her way free moving central turning towards goal before firing a shot from 25 out off target. Corbyn then back to help Ellie-Mae Davies at the back as Sophie Lubbock picks up the ball on the right powers her way forwards.

Rogers on the attack for Thetford moving left with the ball to the by line twists back to fire in a cross near side, attacked by Howard the ball smashing her in the face painfully as it cannons against her off a defender. Needs looking at and is brought off with White returning to the action. Play resumes the ball spread cross field to Ketteringham on the right advancing with the ball pace is closing in on the area, over runs the ball slightly allowing Ward to step out come drop onto the ball.

Fakenham midfielder Vicky Lubbock

Vicky Lubbock through the middle picking up the ball drives on through the middle moving left to right, sliding onto the ball to shot under challenge the ball fired wide from 25 yards out. Spurrell on the right squares it inside for Sophie Lubbock up top ploughs forwards into the area wide sends a cross long through the six yard box into Ketteringham beyond the far post, can’t dig the ball out from under her feet before Hardie closes her down. The visitors have upped the tempo pressing forwards taking the attack to Thetford the hosts finding themselves under pressure.

Thetford’s Hannah Rogers with Fakenham defender Jemma Riches

Fakenham risk getting hit on the counter, as Thetford do just that White with the ball up to Coaker on the right goes forwards, Ketteringham coming all the way back to put in the tackle win the ball back. Holly Davies with a crucial interception on the left to deny Bentick as Corbyn’s clever footwork looks to put her through on goal. Davies though is hurt in the move and going down needs to come off. Baker returning to the action Spurrell dropping into the defence.

Thetford goalkeeper Lydia Ward punching the ball away


Woods powers her way forwards wide on the left for Fakenham playing an early diagonal ball into the area only Sophie Lubbock in there beyond the far post managing to reach the ball on the by line attempts to turn it back across goal, plays the ball into the side netting. Ellie-Mae Davies comes off for Thetford with Boulton back on with a little under half an hour to play. Howard moving into the left back position. Howard clearing the ball as Vicky Lubbock picking up the ball in the middle drives forwards left to right. A corner won on the right for Fakenham.

The set-piece played into the near post defended by Levy-Twomey a 2nd corner awarded. Ward coming into the crowded at her near post to punch the ball down Fakenham getting a 3rd corner on the left. An inswinging delivery from Ketteringham the ball striking the near post rebounding back into play half cleared Riches hitting it back into the top of the area Hutchinson turning into the shot striking the ball over the bar.

Thetford’s Corbyn getting a throw high on the left, Rogers and Boulton combine a one two Rogers putting Boulton in behind left, Betts rushing out to beat her to the ball clearing it for a throw in in the corner. Played into Boulton left corner of the box shifts to her right opening up her body to curl a shot in on the angle, Betts sees it all the way makes a comfortable catch. Ketteringham taking the ball on down the left for Fakenham striking the shot early from distance angling across the keeper, Ward down well to make the save getting something on the ball to turn it past her far post for a corner.

Ward getting her gloves on the ball to punch clear to the top of the area her defence scrambling it away. Corbyn showing more good footwork on the ball squirming free in the middle driving on towards the area, Riches standing firm to put in the challenge inside the D stopping her progress. Corbyn is proving a handful in the middle for Fakenham, slides the ball through to Boulton outside the D, turns into Hutchinson the centre back halting her attack the ball loose gathered by Corbyn left of the D 20 out sees her strike hit Boulton.

Baker on the right off a throw turns has Woods and Vicky Lubbock driving on though the middle attempts to lay the ball in behind the defence, too close to Ward however as the keeper gets it ahead of her attacking players. Bentick comes off for Thetford replaced by Musgrove with 15 minutes left to play.

Fakenham’s Megan Spurrell

Corbyn combining well with Boulton on the left the latter looking to get behind Spurrell, the full back recovering well to get back at her nip in to retake the ball. Fakenham make a change with Davies recovered back on for Baker. Fakenham with a free kick on the left angled in towards the near post skips up in front of Ward the keeper, not collecting, Musgrove there ahead of Sophie Lubbock to hook the ball clear. Fakenham applying pressure late on Thetford starting to look nervous at the back as they defend their single goal lead. Levy-Twomey across to tackle Sophie Lubbock put the ball out for a throw in as she looks to get in behind on the right.

Hannah Rogers looking for the through ball for Thetford

The throw into Vicky Lubbock chests down and hits a shot in towards the near post from the top corner of the area Ward down at her near post to save. Woods comes on with the ball left side drives a cross through the box looking for Sophie Lubbock right side, Levy-Twomey hooking the ball behind for a corner. The delivery fired in towards the near post attacked players diving in, the ball sent narrowly over the cross bar. Fakenham turning the screw late on have a free-kick wide left some 25 yards out. Angled in towards the near post Ward sees it all the way.

Musgrove across to the left to prevent Ketteringham delivering a cross into the box. The game moving into the final minute of regular play Thetford make a late change bringing off Levy-Twomey for Ellie-Mae Davies.

GOAL! Fakenham capitalise as they are awarded a free-kick on the right the ball played up towards the top of the area push players forwards looking to get hold of the ball, half cleared Vicky Lubbock gets it threading a ball through the ball line into Woods breaking in behind to the left of goal and strokes a shot low across the keeper into the back of the net to score a late equaliser 1-1.

Shelley Woods with the 89th minute equaliser for Fakenham

Into stoppage time a sucker punch for Thetford at the death they go on the attack straight from the restart the ball out to Corbyn on the left takes it on in behind whipping a cross in along the six yard box picking out White at the far post two yards out looks to send her header over the keeper and in, too close to Betts however the keeper getting her arms up to block pull the ball down to safety.

Thetford’s Abbie Corbyn looking to get around Fakenham’s Megan Spurrell

GOAL! A chance to retake the lead at one end Fakenham press the ball played on through the middle clipped on over the top into the box sees Woods breaking clear once more left off goal and from the angle hits a fantastic strike up over the keeper to nestle in the back of the net and steal the 3 points at the death 1-2.

Shelley Woods with her 2nd of the game winning it at the death for Fakenham

There’s practically no time left for left for Thetford to mount a serious attack as referee Paul Gibson blows for full time.

Full time Thetford Town Ladies 1-2 Fakenham Town Ladies

  Fakenham stealing the 3 points at the death with a last minute equaliser and winning goal in stoppage time to end Thetford’s unbeaten start to the season and climb above them into 2nd spot in the Division One table. Thetford good value for their lead at the break Abbie Corbyn’s 5th minute goal the difference. Limiting Fakenham’s chances. One goal however was never likely to be enough and with both sides making changes both in personal and tactically throughout the 2nd half you felt the hosts were going to need a 2nd goal. Fakenham applying pressure Thetford getting nervous towards the end, but just as it was starting to look like one of those days for Fakenham where a goal wouldn’t come Shelley Woods found the net with an 89th minute equaliser. Thetford with a good chance to retake the lead in stoppage time however it was Fakenham and Woods with her 2nd of the game that would have the final say. A draw may well have been the fairer result but that’s football.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Not an easy one at all both sides playing their part in an entertaining contest. Several performances of note firstly for Thetford. Dayna  Howard covering a lot of ground in both midfield and defence to win the ball back on numerous occasions. Melissa Boulton solid in defence and bringing the ball forwards bringing other into play throughout. Don’t normally single a player of the match out for both sides but on this occasion I will was impressed by Abbie Corbyn today showed great footwork and close ball control getting round players and setting up numerous attacks scoring the opener. For Fakenham, Jemma Riches played well in defence solid throughout tough to break down tackled well. Vicky Lubbock in the centre of the park was busy winning several tackles driving forwards and regaining possession. Today’s award though goes to Shelley Woods her goals winning the game for Fakenham, provided the thrust for many of Fakenham’s attacking moves.

Another great advert for women’s football in Norfolk between two sides that have improved immensely. An enjoyable afternoon at Thetford my thanks to both clubs for there help today and to Darrell Allen for his assistance.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Long Stratton Women v Stalham Town Ladies

Sunday 19th September

Norfolk Women’s Division One

 First match from the county leagues this weekend on Women’s Football East, begin with a game from Norfolk Women’s Division One as Long Stratton Women host Stalham Town Ladies.

  The Norfolk county league kicking off a week late due to a change to the league structure on the eve of the previous weekend. With alot of interest shown in pre-season for several new sides starting up it was hoped the league could begin with 3 divisions off 10 sides as the deadline for new sides to join and established clubs to register that number fell to 24 the league originally going with 3 divisions of 8 sides with 6 new sides joining. This though proved unpopular in some quarters and with further sides withdrawing most notably Tavern Ladies or Division One an emergency meeting was called to vote in a new structure of 2 divisions containing 11 sides in each. 

  The original Division One line-up looking very strong indeed with the loss of Tavern Ladies 4 sides from what would have been Division Two are (promoted) to Division One. Stalham Town Ladies, Thetford Town Ladies, Beccles Town Ladies and North Walsham Angels Ladies, joining Bungay Town Ladies, Dussindale & Hellesdon Women, Fakenham Town Women, Long Stratton Women, Mulbarton Belles, Sprowston FC Women and Thorpe St Andrew Women.

  Established in 2010 Long Stratton Women are part of the wider Long Stratton FC featuring 4 adult teams and 13 youth sides. The women’s team for the most part yoyoing between Division One and Two. Back up into Division One two seasons ago there were signs the club was making progress the COVID pandemic having an impact on development as it has with every other club. Manager Adam Race along with assistant Lee Bambridge looking to build a squad capable of pushing on into the top half of the table challenge the top sides in the division. To that end have brought in 7 new signings over the summer. In come Emma Allsopp previously with Wroxham, Mia Wilkinson from Thorpe, defender, Alice Flatt from Bungay. Jordan Duke is dual signed with Halesworth Town Women. Robyn Johnstone also joining with striker Luci Middleton having been away from the game for 3 years having previously played for North Walsham Angels Ladies. An eye for a goal could form a potent attack with captain Sam Walker who has scored plenty of goals since joining Long Stratton. The latest addition to the squad Jess Brown previously with Tavern.

  The COVID pandemic seeing two season’s effectively lost and most certainly robbed Stalham Town Ladies of the opportunity to win the Division Two title as they re entered the league 2 seasons ago. Going strong topping the table in both only to see the season curtailed. Was a surprise however not to see them promoted 1st time around, however in the new look 2 division set-up take their place in Division One. There captain Amber Mayhew strong in front of goal in previous campaigns it’s a settled squad that moves up with 3 new signings, Megan Swain, Charlotte MacMillan and Charlotte Hardingham.

 Manor Road the venue for today’s match, the club very much at the heart of the community the pavilion open serving hot and cold drinks. The recreational area boasting several grass pitches, with a playground and skate park behind both goals on the main pitch. The pitch set up before the match the mobile dugouts, the goals, corner flag and roped of area for spectators on one side all brought out of storage. Quite muggy with the temperature good clouds building overcast, rain is forecast to potentially arrive and alot of it brought the umbrella just in case but hoping it won’t be needed, afterall I picked a ground with no cover and it’s not easy wielding a notepad, camera and umbrella all at the same time.

  Long Stratton Women starting XI – Mia Wilkinson, Emily Ransome-Farmer, Summer Whiting, Megan Vincent, Kate Ransome-Farmer, Milly Cawcutt, Robyn Johnstone, Beth Stratton, Jordan Duke, Sam Walker (C) & Luci Middleton. Subs – Alice Flatt, Emma Allsopp, Harriet Hunwicks-Rush & Jess Brown.

  Stalham Town Ladies starting XI – Danielle Barnes, Lalaine Davey, Charlotte Fisher, Charlotte Crane, Chloe Yarham, Emma MacMillan, Emma Gillespie, Megan Swain, Katie Clarke, Amber Mayhew (C), & Sophie-Jayne O’Connor. Subs – Becky Houghton, Charlotte Hardingham & Charlotte MacMillan.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Goalkeeper Jody Todd broke her wrist in pre-season for Long Stratton and with her replacement Kathryn Critchell away in international duty, it was Mia Wilkinson donning the gloves to make her Long Stratton debut between the sticks with fellow new signings, Robyn Johnstone, Jordan Duke and Luci Middleton in the starting XI with Alice Flatt, Emma Allsopp and Jess Brown named on the bench. Megan Swain starting for Stalham with Charlotte Hardingham and Charlotte MacMillan on the bench. It’s Long Stratton to kick of the match wearing an all red kit, with Stalham who usually play in red themselves in their all blue away kit. 

  Stalham are quick to close down the ball in the middle seeing it deflected out to Amber Mayhew on the left wing takes the ball on into the left channel getting in between full back and centre back pushes on towards the top of the area let of the D opts to shot with the outside of her right boot placed her shot across the goalkeeper but wide of the far post. 

Captain, Amber Mayhew with an early chance for Stalham

  Emily Ransome-Farmer brings the ball on from right back for Long Stratton space ahead of her for Beth Stratton to run into  back heels the ball into her infield to captain Sam Walker who attempts to play Stratton in behind, Charlotte Fisher getting in between the pair for Stalham sliding in to tackle Stratton playing out for a throw in. Taken deep on the right Robyn Johnstone is fouled 25 yards out referee Paul Gibson awarding the host a free-kick. Out wide players forwards into the area, Kate Ransome-Farmer placing the ball sends the set-piece looping in towards the far post, Stalham goalkeeper, Danielle Barnes can’t get to it as it drops to Luci Middleton beyond the far post, can’t get a strong enough touch to deflect the ball back inside the post out for a goal kick.

   A lively start to the match breaking up a Stalham move at the back the ball is cleared to Stratton central she lifts it on up to Middleton 20 yards out back to goal turns round her marker, Charlotte Crane staying on her forcing the striker out wide to the right inside the box, Middleton nevertheless wrapping her foot round the ball to cross in central for Walker on the penalty spot, can’t get a shot away before she is closed down well by Lalaine Davey the ball deflected outside the area to the right a shot struck in with pace in the angle, Barnes stretching at her near post saving superbly tipping the ball round the post for a corner.

Stalham goalkeeper, Danielle Barnes

  The ball bouncing around both sides wanting to get it forwards a quickly as possible, Summer Whiting on the left defending for Long Stratton the ball coming straight back up the right Katie Clarke’s touch sending her on in behind strikes the ball in on the angle, Mia Wilkinson collecting it on the bounce at her near post. 

  GOAL! A face paced start to the game see’s an early goal scored. Stratton’s pace on the right a threat for Long Stratton is played into space takes the ball on level with the penalty spot before squaring a cross into the centre of the box for Walker, gets her shot away early to the keepers right, Barnes lunging with an outstretched leg to try and keep it out is unfortunate as it deflects up off it into the roof of the net 1-0.

Long Stratton captain Sam Walker scoring the clubs 1st league goal

  Long Stratton have settled the quicker moving the ball on quickly from back to front the ball spread out from the middle by Johnstone to Stratton right side puts it back infield for Walker 25 yards out attempts the through ball for Middleton peeling off the Stalham defence into the area however the flag is up against her. More combination play between Stratton right and Walker moving into the channel the ball into her feet she hooks it over the top looking for the run of Jordan Duke on the far side, Barnes up well to claim the ball high inside her box. 

  Stalham a little nervous at the start of the match not able to find their attackers a throw won on the left Fisher puts it on for Mayhew bringing the ball under control well turning taking it on up the wing checks inside heading for the box is tackled by Kate Ransome-Farmer. Davey on the left defends well for Stalham seeing the ball back to her keeper as Long Stratton try to get Duke in on the left side. Walker and Middleton link up outside the D for Long Stratton a defensive error seeing the ball sliced in behind, Walker after it, Davey does well on the cover defending for the visitors. 

Stalham defender, Lalaine Davey

  The ball comes straight back in Long Stratton right the keeper comes but can’t get there before Walker is stranded as the cross is played into the six yard box for Middleton but the flag is raised up against her. Stalham make a change bringing on Charlotte Hardingham for Clarke. Long Stratton doing well to turn play around the defensive happy to clear long knowing they have runners left and right with Walker through the middle. 

  GOAL! Long Stratton go on to double their lead inside the opening 15 minutes have a throw in deep on the left side the ball worked to Kate Ransome-Farmer wide puts in a cross looping up over the keeper may have taken a deflection the result though the ball bouncing into the goal beyond 2-0.

Long Stratton’s Kate Ransome-Farmer

  A good start to the game from Long Stratton carrying a potent threat going forwards, Stalham on the backfoot haven’t been in the final 3rd enough to test Wilkinson in goal. Both Emily and Kate Ransome Farmer defending well for the hosts the latter with a long ball forwards that sees Middleton beat the offside trap taking the ball on Crane managing to exert some pressure as she chases her back towards the area, Middleton getting a shot away disappointed as she picks out the keeper Barnes behind the shot making the save. 

Long Stratton striker, Luci Middleton

 Middleton again top of the box attempting the scissor kick as Walker central inside the area turns Stratton’s cross from the right into her path, the shot running wide of goal. Stalham attacking up the left win a free-kick top of the area, Mayhew across to take it goes for goal struck well the ball racing across the six yard box out beyond the far post. Stalham finding a bit more possession in the Long Stratton half as Hardingham wins a good challenge lifting the ball into the channel for Emma MacMillan to chase, the weight of the pass favouring the keeper however as Wilkinson advances well to claim it.

 Middleton steals in on the ball top of the box moving inside, Davey across from the left forcing the striker away from goal as Barnes advances to take the ball away from her and sent out for a throw wide right. Emma Gillespie and Megan Swain combining to win the ball centrally for Stalham up to Hardingham who hooks it over the top for Sophie-Jayne O’Connor making a right channel run to hit from 20 yards out her strike put straight at Wilkinson who holds onto it back on her line. 

  GOAL! Almost half an hour played and Stalham are coming into the game more pressing the ball in the middle runs on to O’Connor who clips it on into the area right side both Gillespie and MacMillan making runs into the area falling to MacMillan wide right of goal she chips Wilkinson to put the ball beyond her into the back of the net 2-1. 

Emma MacMillan pulls it back to 2-1 for Stalham

  Stalham lively in attack now coming very close to pulling it level straight away winning the ball put out to Mayhew on the left puts it up the line for Gillespie ahead of her strikes a powerful shot in on the angle rising has a little too much on it as it whips over the crossbar. 

  An entertaining game end to end can’t take your eyes of it, Long Stratton winning a corner on the right. The inswinging ball played into the six yard box Barnes doing well amongst bodies to get a glove up to push the ball behind at the near post for a 2nd corner. The 2nd delivery knocked on at the near post falls into the box, whipped clear by O’Connor. 

Danielle Barnes punches the ball clear

  MacMillan with the ball wide right attacking for Stalham checks inside her marker firing in a cross along the face of goal, Wilkinson down on it with a smart grab inside the six yard box with Mayhew in the clear beyond her. 10 minutes left to play in the 1st half. Players dragged across to the right as MacMillan with help from Gillespie advances up the wing the cross fired into the area headed clear by Emily Ransome-Farmer, drops to O’Connor 20 yards out right of the D smashes a shot back in the ball rising over the crossbar. 

  MacMillan carrying a threat for Stalham on the right doing well to win her side a corner, the delivery in near side defended by Megan Vincent out for a throw right side. MacMillan gathering it into her feet driving into the area is quickly crowded off the ball by the Long Stratton defence a goal kick awarded. swain brings down Stratton as she bursts forwards with the ball on the right. A late opportunity in the half for the hosts to bring players forwards into the area as Kate Ransome-Farmer plays it in. O’Connor with the header to clear. 

Long Stratton defender Emily Ransome-Farmer

 Crane brings down Middleton out left side some 30 yards out from goal a free-kick given. Walker over it goes for goal, isn’t far away either the shot narrowly over the bar. Stratton more central now picking up the ball 30 yards out for Long Stratton turns well taking on the defence jinking left the right into the area creating space for the shot plants the ball straight into the keeper. 

Half-time Long Stratton Women 2-1 Stalham Town Ladies

 A highly entertaining 1st half comes to a close with Long Stratton leading Stalham 2-1. A strong start from the hosts getting on the attack early on getting the ball into their wide players early the defence winning the ball at the back quick to turn play around. Have shown good movement and pace in attack. Stalham were nervous early on took them a while to settle into the game and by then found themselves trailing by 2 goals despite that come back well finishing the half the strongest pulling a goal back and having opportunities to draw level. Long Stratton though carry a strong threat in attack have created a host of chances could well have held a bigger lead. As is so often the case the next goal will be crucial Stalham will want to start the 2nd half as they finished the first.

Beth Stratton on the ball for Long Stratton

  Long Stratton with a change at the start of the 2nd half bringing on Emma Allsopp for Duke, the change seeing Stratton move to the left side with Allsopp on the right. Stalham having made tactical changes of their own towards the end of the first half to get players further forwards, Gillespie now in an advanced role. So far so good as far as the rain is concerned, the odd rumble of thunder in the background the air close hinting at an approaching storm as Stalham get the 2nd half underway. 


  O’Connor lifting the ball on for MacMillan right side slips in behind the defence travelling towards the area inside the box, Vincent closing her down before she can get a cross away. The visitors looking to press the ball higher up the pitch at the start of the 2nd half. Pressure from Swain on Whiting forcing the full back to play the ball out for a throw in, the ball worked in field runs to Gillespie central 25 yards out takes on the strike doesn’t get full contact with the ball seeing it lack pace as it runs through to the keeper. 

Stalham’s Emma Gillespie

 Kate Ransome-Farmer with a good diagonal clearance out of defence from left to right for Allsopp to touch down into her path as she runs in behind moving central across the D places her shot wide of the far post. Wilkinson with a sharp save at her near post as Mayhew goes after a ball placed ahead of her in the right channel a heavy first touch allowing Whiting to clear smashes the ball straight into Mayhew who goes after the deflected ball inside the area attempts to lift it over the keeper, Wilkinson doing well to get her arms up deflect the ball down into the ground and claim on the bounce.

Mia Wilkinson keeping goal for Long Stratton.

   GOAL! An action packed start to the 2nd half with Stalham pressing looking for an equaliser it’s Long Stratton who pounce to grab themselves a 3rd goal, the ball popping about in the middle is claimed by Johnstone top of the circle who chips it out to Allsopp making a good run on the right brings it down well into the area and prods home beyond the keeper at the near post for her 1st Long Stratton goal 3-1.

A blow for Stalham early in the 2nd half the visitors are straight on the attack from the restart Mayhew right side in the clear sending a sweeping ball in across the six yard box, dealt with well by Emily Ransome-Farmer at the far post heading clear for Long Stratton. Walker moving out to the left to receive the ball whips in a cross into the box, both Middleton central an Allsopp far side going after it the bounce favouring Barnes who gets in between the pair to claim. End to end action both sides bypassing their midfields at times, Wilkinson composed clears the ball as Gillespie comes sliding in on her. Up the other end Davey defends well against Stratton as she looks to drive into the area with the ball at her feet.

   Stratton off a throw left side turning inside to run towards the area just inside Crane times her tackle well as she puts in a foot to take the ball, Long Stratton’s appeals waved away. Gillespie carrying the threat in attack for Stalham now making some goo runs through the middle, Wilkinson knowing she has to be ready to come and clear if she bursts in between the centre backs. Stalham get a corner on the left side players up a good delivery into the box missed by everyone at the near post drops to O’Connor central gets her head on the ball, sees her effort rise over the cross bar.

   Walker on the ball deep of Long Stratton right side sends it long for Middleton peeling off the defence to run onto top of the box she sees the ball down well striking it on the run low across goal, Barnes down well to make the save diving to her left to put the ball wide for a corner leaving Middleton frustrated once again. Emily Ransome-Farmer defending the resulting corner.

GOAL! Long Stratton go further ahead the ball contested in the middle Johnstone involved on for Stratton plays the pass early releasing Walker the ball ahead of her she takes it on into the area can’t be caught is one on one with the keeper is a case of staying composed, Walker places the ball to the keepers right to make it 4-1.

Sam Walker makes it 4-1 to Long Stratton

  20 minute played in the 2nd half remains a busy contest Long Stratton with a healthy lead now taking their chances make a change at the back Alice Flatt coming on for her debut replacing Whiting. Walker away to the right whipping a cross in to the top of the area bouncing Middleton attempting to get it down under control, Barnes coming to close her down the pair collide the loose ball hooked clear by MacMillan back covering in defence. Barnes is down for a moment but okay to continue. Johnstone off for Long Stratton another debutant coming on Jess Brown. 

Stalham’s Charlotte Hardingham with Long Stratton’s Jess Brown

 Long Stratton press the ball Cawcutt on for Middleton plays the pass out to Allsopp on the right down the line before lifting a cross into the six yard box, Middleton in on the keeper neither getting a touch, Davey mopping up at the back post. A strong run from Gillespie out on the left of attack Emily Ransome-Farmer under pressure playing the ball out for a corner. Stalham with a double change before it’s taken, Yarham and Davey off at the back on come Charlotte MacMillan and Becky Houghton. The corner fired in striking the base of the near post and out of play for a goal kick.

    Into the final 15 minutes Hardingham right side at the back on for Emma MacMillan bursts into space on the wing before firing a cross in on the angle swerving on near post, too close to the keeper, Wilkinson claiming it low before Mayhew can get a touch. Emma MacMillan is finding pace on the right getting in behind however on one has gambled in the middle to meet her cross as she plays it into the area. 

  Stratton playing central now for Long Stratton passes forwards to Middleton who clips the ball out to the left for Brown her cross sliced off a defender looping up towards the back post claimed well high in the air by Barnes. Players tiring from both sides Allsopp on the right inside to Middleton left of the D moves inside before unleashing a shot not happening this afternoon as the shot rolls wide of the right post. 

  Swain is tackled well inside the box by Stratton as she comes back to defend for the hosts after she is played into the box by O’Connor 25 yards out. Stalham’s turn to make the appeal but again nothing’s doing. Stalham bring off Hardingham late on with Clarke returning to the action. Stratton too coming off for Long Stratton replaced by Harriet Hunwicks-Rush. Clarke winning a corner in bizarre circumstances as her long ball forwards looks to be threatening the Long Stratton goal, Wilkinson can’t be sure takes the catch but has drifted past her post and steps over the by-line  before she can release the ball. A Stalham handball is spotted inside the area from the resulting corner Long Stratton win the free-kick. 

  Long Stratton with a rapid counter attack the ball into Walker right on for Allsopp takes it on before firing in a near post cross Middleton there to make contact with the ball sending it wide across the keeper, wide too though beyond the far post. Emily Ransome-Farmer with another well timed tackle to deny Mayhew a crossing opportunity on the left. The visitors quick to win it back Gillespie with a shot on the angle powered wide of the near post. 

  GOAL! Stalham pull a goal back in the dying moments of the game, Charlotte MacMillan with a hopeful ball forwards from the ball central it’s weighted well, Gillespie may have gotten a touch outside the box as it runs in inside for O’Connor to latch onto unmarked and send high wide of the keeper to make it 4-2.

  Not much time left in the game Stalham try to get players forwards the ball loss comes to Allsopp on the right sees Brown on the move left side attempts the diagonal ball into the area bounces too close to the keeper, as Barnes steps out to claim it. Long Stratton with the ball in attack seconds left on the clock Middleton with it right Allsopp inside her right of the D the ball put into her strikes it on the turn, Clarke in to charge the ball down as the final whistle blows.  

Full time Long Stratton Women 4-2 Stalham Town Ladies

  A highly entertaining game to open the season in Norfolk Division One the action non stop for 90 minutes, both teams committed going for a positive result. Long Stratton settling the quicker getting an early goal capitalising to go further ahead as Stalham nervous early on took time to settle down pull themselves back into the match getting it back to 2-1 finished the 1st half the stronger. Wanting to build on that 2nd half it was Long Stratton who got the early goal 2nd half going on to make it 4-1. Stalham kept going looking for a goal both sides with chances to add to the score line it was Stalham with the goal in the closing moments of the game to see it end 4-2.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football east – Player of the Match, it’s not often they’re easy decisions and today is no exception a few performances of note. Firstly for Stalham I thought Lalaine Davey was excellent in defence making a number of crucial tackles and getting round on the cover. Emma Gillespie too worked hard throughout pushed further forwards did her best to create an opening bring her side back into the game. For Long Stratton, Beth Stratton was superb her pace and movement causing Stalham problems where ever she was operating on the pitch. Sam Walker again with great positioning on and off the ball looking to create chances and set up other scoring twice. The award today though goes to Emily Ransome-Farmer a strong performance at the back tackling well and limiting opportunities for Stalham throughout.

 An enjoyable trip to Manor Road, the umbrella wasn’t needed in the finish the rain staying away for the entire match. An entertaining game end to end plenty going on chances created the result could well have unfolded differently Long Stratton making the better start the key. My thanks as always to the clubs for providing me with the team details always appreciated.

by Darren Gilham