Cup Final – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC Reserves

3 nights 3 Cup Finals on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog, Tuesday saw the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Final being played at Histon FC with Cambridge City Ladies newly crowned Champions of the Women’s Premiership with the opportunity to do the double taking on Cambridge United WFC Reserves defeated finalists last season. A cracker of a match a 7 goal thriller.

Cup Final Report – Cambridge City Ladies v Cambridge United WFC Reserves

  The busy start to the week continues with a 3rd Cup Final in 3 days a return trip to Histon FC to watch the final of the Cambridgeshire Women’s S-Tech Insurance League Cup, and it’s a local derby too with Cambridge City Ladies playing Cambridge United WFC Reserves.

  Cambridge City Ladies will be hoping to make it a league and cup double tonight, having clinched the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership title in their debut season playing women’s football having progressed as a side through the Cambridgeshire youth leagues together. Cambridge United WFC Reserves have their sights set on the League Cup too, beaten finalists last season have retained the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup already and want to add this trophy too having wrapping up the league season with a 3rd place finish.

 Road to the Final

  Cambridge City Ladies were at home in the 1st Round of the League Cup playing fellow Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side Cambridge University Women, Grace Stanley scored 4 goals as they racked up an 8-0 victory. A trip to another Premiership side followed in the 2nd Round at Netherton United Ladies a match I covered on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog, Stanley was on target again along with Carla Penny as Cambridge City won 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals a some what delayed tie away to Bar Hill Ladies another Premiership side, Stanley and Penny the scorers once again winning 3-0. Reached the Final without kicking a ball in the semi-final after Huntingdon Town Ladies the current holders of the League Cup called time on a troubled season in the Premiership.
  A Bye for Cambridge United WFC Reserves in the 1st Round of the League Cup. At home in the 2nd Round playing Deeping Diamonds Ladies newly promoted to the Premiership although they would later fold. Catherine Hanley, Hayley Turner and Monique Christian scoring in a 3-0 win. Christian was also on the scoresheet along with Gemma Clark and Sarah Mosley in the quarter-finals at home playing Championship North side Wisbech Town Ladies winning 3-2 setting up a semi-final again on home soil against fellow Premiership side Fulbourn Bluebirds, Emily Ingle amongst the goals with a hat-trick a 6-1 win putting them through to their 2nd successive League Cup Final.
  The venue for the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Final once again Histon FC, was put back to accommodate other finals and with heavy rain falling for much of the day was a concern the game could be in jeopardy again however the Histon FC pitch looked in fairly good shape had absorbed the water the rain stopped by the time the two sides stepped out on the grass to warm up, seen alot of action of late a little worn. An overcast and gloomy sky above thankfully the rain would stay away for the match. 
  Cambridge City Ladies starting XI – Emily Bevens, Lauren Ambrose, Olivia Fraser, Lauren Tomlinson, Izzy Broadbent, Anna Wilson, Emma Littlewood, Grace Stanley, Bronte Rapley (C), Carla Penny & Philippa Witherspoon.
  subs – Ellie Geoghan, Saskia Capetti, Miriam Amrani, Jade Drain & India Duffy
  Cambridge United WFC Reserves starting XI – Tafadzwa Mhunduru, Sarah Carroll, Robin Phillips, Becca Fay (C), Emma Roberts, Emily Reed, Liz Pamplin, Emily Ingle, Gemma Clark, Laura Mills & Hayley Turner.
  subs – Catherine Hanley, Monique Christian, Kelly Docrwa & Clara Greed.
(roll on roll off substitutes)

   A note takers nightmare with two Cambridge’s out there so to save typing it over and over it’s City v United from here on in. It’s City to kick off the 1st half wearing white shirts and socks with black shorts with United lined up opposite wearing amber and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and amber socks. City are on the offensive right from the off the ball sent long for Philippa Witherspoon leading the line up front to attack.
  Laura Mills is up top along side Hayley Turner for United the ball is sent up towards her, City defender Anna Wilson heads clear. The ball is played out to the right with City’s Emma Littlewood getting onto the ball and driving down the line squares the cross into the United area with Witherspoon coming towards the near post, United captain Becca Fay gets to it first.
  A fast paced start to the final the ball is being moved quickly by both sides coming to Emily Ingle attacking on the right side for United her attempted through ball is cleared behind to give away the first corner of the match. On the right the ball is fed into the area near side with midfielder Liz Pamplin coming to meet it, connects on the half volley 12 yards out turning the ball in towards goal but over the crossbar. 
  Mills steals in behind the City defence for a clear run at goal carrying the ball forwards entering the box unleashes a shot the ball fired on runs low, coming quickly at goalkeeper Emily Bevens is straight at her saves well with her feet, deflecting the ball away from her goal. United come again the ball is retrieved out on the right Ingle powers her way forwards turning inside as she reaches the City area rolls the ball into the area, making the run from midfield, Emily Reed doesn’t need to make any adjustment to her run meeting the ball goes for the strike again the attempt flies over the crossbar. 
  GOAL! 10 minutes played and City get themselves the opening goal the ball played though the middle coming to Grace Stanley in an advance position on the right 20 yards out, is getting closed down but manages to get a shot away the ball gathering pace as it is sent in towards the near post, goalkeeper Tafadzwa Mhunduru is a fraction late to react diving to her right the ball is past her and over the line 1-0
  GOAL! United don’t take long to find a response right from the restart they try to get Mills in behind through the middle again, this time the ball is a little too heavy allows Bevens to gather. 2 minutes after conceding United draw level the ball picked up by Ingle on the right from the goal kick pushing forwards the ball is rolled into the area with Mills the player making the run to get onto the end of it this time, running onto the ball blasts the ball home 1-1.

Laura Mills scores for Cambridge United to make it 1-1

  Bringing the ball out from left back United’s Emma Roberts plays it forwards to Gemma Clark she lifts the ball into the centre of the City half with Mills jumping to head the ball forwards, Turner making a run in front of her coming in from the left side of the area to try and get on the ball, City defenders Wilson and Izzy Broadbent shield the ball allowing Bevens to come between them and claim it.

Cambridge United WFC Reserves, Emma Roberts
  GOAL! It’s raining goals at the start of the match 5 minutes ago United were a goal down now they get themselves in front. Have the ball on the right side players that side in number the ball from Ingle is sent into the box Turner over on that side 10 yards out turns with the ball and pulls the trigger smashing the ball into the back of the net 1-2.

  United have the City defence under a little pressure conceding a corner on the right the ball put in drops into the six yard box right Reed almost steals in on it however Bevens throws herself forwards and drops onto the ball. Pressure is relieved at the back by City captain Bronte Rapley in central midfield a seemingly innocuous long range punt from 30 yards out rolling wide is mis-controlled b Mhunduru giving away a corner. The set-piece causes panic in the United area as it pops out of Mhunduru’s gloves and players from both sides scramble to get a toe on the ball, eventually ends up put wide for the goal kick. 

  Getting hold of the ball on halfway Stanley goes on a mazy run carrying the ball forwards before letting fly with the shot from 20 yards out the ball bouncing through towards the United goal, Mhunduru gets down to stop it. United counter attack the ball into Pamplin played wide to Ingle who plays the ball along the face of the City area with Clark meeting it left side of the D, turns the ball 90 degrees towards goal, Bevens scrambling across her goal sees it roll a half yard wide of the post. 

  Rapley has Witherspoon available on the right having found a little space to run into the ball is played out to her, Fay goes across to make the challenge gets the ball away for the throw. Pamplin is fouled on halfway a chance for United to launch the ball up towards the City penalty area, Fay on the dead ball plays it forwards City get to the ball but fail to clear it drops to Ingle who shoots from outside the box the ball flying straight into Bevens gloves. Substitute for City as they bring Carla Penny off on the left side bring on India Duffy. 

Cambridge United WFC Reserves, Liz Pamplin fouled by Cambridge City’s Philippa Witherspoon


  GOAL! City’s Stanley picks up the ball inside the centre circle plays it forwards early with Witherspoon making a move on the left side to get in behind chasing the ball into the area, Mhunduru comes racing out of her goal and sliding in tries to get something on the ball Witherspoon tries to stay on her feet as her run is impeded get on the ball, the referee blows his whistle and points to the penalty spot. Rapley to step up to take it, fires it in high to the keepers left she doesn’t move the ball put into the top corner and in 2-2 with 35 minutes played.

Cambridge City captain Bronte Rapley makes it 2-2 from the penalty spot
United make a change bringing off Clark and sending on Monique Christian. The attacker wins a free kick almost immediately 25 yards out to the left side in front of the area, Ingle over it sends it through into the six yard box with runners ready to attack it one bounce in the six yard box and Bevens gathers the low ball into her body.
  Wilson defends well against Turner as United build an attack, backing up as they play the ball long through the middle giving herself the room to get her head on the ball outaide the area. City have a free kick just inside the United half on the left the ball is sent long into the box running long towards the far stick, Stanley briefly has a sight on goal Fay gets back on her quickly to put in the block turning the shot away for a corner kick. Comes into the area central bouncing Olivia Fraser lifts up a boot to turn it towards goal plays it straight at Mhunduru who holds onto the shot. A late injury to Rapley in the 1st haf sees her come off to be replaced by Jade Drain.
Half-time Cambridge City Ladies 2-2 Cambridge United WFC Reserves

  A cracking contest a lively 1st 45 minutes to the Cambridgeshire Women’s S-Tech Insurance League Cup Final. Both sides creating scoring opportunities United on top early on City getting back into the game has been fairly even offensive minded players on both side wanting to get on with the game. Beautifully poised at2-2 it could go either way.
  A change for United at the start of the 2nd half, Sarah Carroll off with Kelly Docrwa on the substitution seeing Ingle move into the back line on the right. United kick off the 2nd half.
  GOAL! United attack right from the whistle the ball played out to the left side they win a throw in a deep position, the ball is put into the feet of Christian on that side top of the area stands the cross up into the box heading in towards goal, coming at Bevens quickly the keeper going down spills it Mills is right on her coming in capitalises to turn the ball over the line 2-3.

  City have a free kick wide on the right side 20 yards out the ball fired into the area pops out of the advancing Mhunduru’s gloves, running out towards the edge of her area the keeper races after it collecting City can pounce. Another awkward ball for the United keeper to deal with back on her goal line as Stanley lets fly from 25 yards out the ball is going to drop shot with no one closing in Mhunduru does well to make sure she kills the ball with her legs before getting her gloves around the ball.

  Reed plays the ball on through the middle for Mills making the run left side closing in on the City area fires in the shot plenty of venom behind it flies past Bevens before she can react turns sees it strike the base of the far post then bounce across her six yard box before being cleared. Mills on the right attacking with the ball at her feet again squares the ball into the area Lauren Tomlinson gets to the ball before Turner can latch onto it putting it behind for a corner on the right side. Clara Greed is on for United with Roberts coming off.

Emily Ingle on the ball for Cambridge United WFC Reserves

  United are pressing City back early on trying to extend their lead, keep them on the back foot, looking for Stanley up top more often than not when they do break she is fouled just outside the box in a dangerous position left of goal. Over the free kick curls the shot in past the wall towards goal Mhunduru is well position behind and claims the shot.

   GOAL! Another penalty for City as Stanley is brought down coming inside from the left with the ball her run taking her just inside the top corner of the area, the foul inside the box the referee pointing to the spot for the 2nd time. No Rapley on the pitch to take this one so up steps Stanley, discussion in the crowd as to whether they’ve seen her take one before, cool as you like she strokes the ball along the ground past the immobile keepers left to level it all back up midway through the 2nd half 3-3.

  Good piece of defending from Ambrose as Pamplin plays a good long range ball up to Christian on the left the right back getting the tackle in. A local derby there are a few robust challenges starting to creep into the game, both sides putting alot into it. Turner getting hold of the ball 30 yards out goes on a surging drive through the middle looking to power her way through the City defence into the box is stopped inside the D the ball taken from her boot runs back to Docrwa who has raced forwards to join her meets it 1st time turning the ball back into the area runs wide of goal. Changes for both sides Rapley comes back on for City with Clark returning to the action for United.

  A long throw on the left side puts Stanley through on goal inside the United box goes to put the shot across the keeper Mhunduru gets down sharply to make the save. City send on Ellie Geoghan with Duffy coming off 15 minutes left on the clock.

  GOAL! Stanley picks up the ball central and goes on another mazy run can travel quickly with the ball taking on players in front of her the slightest of touches takes her clear in behind to run at the United goal, Mhunduru is coming out to meet her has Witherspoon free on her left, there’s only one thing on her mind as she enters the area sending the ball past the keeper and into the goal to complete a Cup Final hat-trick giving City the lead 4-3.

  Penny returns to the field for City with Witherspoon coming off. United push forwards on the back foot late on Mills stealing into space with the ball on the right side squares the cross into the area, is a little behind Turner nudged to the face of the area she goes after it looks to swivel and hit the shot just as Mills arrives to meet it pulls the trigger the shot is block, Mills is down hurt having clipped Turner on her follow through. City get the ball up the other end win a free kick wide left. United want to make a change delay whilst Mills is assessed needs extended treatment comes off with Ingle going back on. 

 The free kick from City is fired in towards the far post, Reed jumps and heads the ball clear of danger. Mills is ready to return and United bring off Turner with 5 minutes left to find at a goal to level things up. Reed is fouled in the middle of the City half by Broadbent. Ingle over the ball looks to send it into the six yard box, bouncing straight at Bevens as she goes down to collect, it pops out of her gloves briefly reclaims before Mills can get on to it. Closing in on stoppage time Saskia Capetti comes on for City replacing Littlewood. 

  A strike at goal from distance by Christian for United 25 yards out, Bevens dives to her right the ball runs wide of goal, must have been a City touch somewhere as the corner is awarded. The ball from the right is sent long City get to it 1st the ball headed high into the air, drops for Pamplin who gets her head to the ball, doesn’t get it on target out for the goal kick. Miriam Amrani on as Rapley is hurt again with the 5 minutes of added on time almost up. United can’t get hold of the ball late on finding the energy Stanley is back on the edge of her own box late on blocks a Christian strike. The final whistle blows and City celebrate as they win to end the season their season with a league and cup double beating United 4-3 to win the League Cup.

  A 4-3 defeat United are left floored at the end both sides having put so much into the match, a highly entertaining final and great advert for women’s football in Cambridgeshire.

A double celebration for Cambridge City Ladies as they collect there league winners awards
and are the 2015/16 Cambridgeshire S-Tech Insurance League Cup Winners

  Congratulations to Cambridge City Ladies on their League Cup win and doing the double Premiership Champions in their 1st season playing women’s football. A tinge of sadness to the occasion as for a few of the squad it’ll be their final game for the club.. for now at least as they go off to attend university. A great way to end things though.
  Thanks to Cambridgeshire FA’s Chris Abbott once again for his help a busy time for himself and the rest of the staff within the County FA, 31 Finals in total in recent weeks and Chris has been at 29 of them, is ready for a rest so on behalf of everyone who plays and supports the game thanks for all that happens to get these finals on is greatly appreciated.