Match Report – Acle United Ladies v AFC Sudbury Ladies

Sunday 27th August

  A hot and sunny August Bank Holiday weekend, headed east along the A47 to watch a game from the ERWFL Premier Division this Sunday afternoon into its 2nd weekend a game between two sides that had opened their season scoring 5 goals apiece to claim the 3 points Acle United Ladies at home to AFC Sudbury Ladies.

12 sides contesting the ERWFL (Eastern Region Women’s Football League) Premier Division this season, Cambridge City Ladies and Colney Heath Ladies promoted from Division One.

  Acle United Ladies came within ONE win of winning the ERWFL Premier Division title last season and clinching promotion to the FAWPL took it to the final game of the season with a strong winning run late on to set up a winner takes all game away to Haringey Borough Women. Lost in the end Haringey Borough celebrating becoming champions going on to complete a double with the League Cup. So close Acle United begin the new season with a determination to go one better and win the Premier Division this season start as favourites although there will be a few challengers in the league.

   Have made several new signings over the close season bringing in Erin Wilson from Norwich City Ladies along with Ceira Flatt from Lowestoft Town Ladies. Kirstie Kindred and Olivia Mungham-Gray both join from Norfolk Division One Champions, Thorpe United Ladies. A new goalkeeper too with Cyan Fullbrook joining from North Walsham Angels Ladies. Started the season with an away trip to AFC Dunstable who pushed the top three hard last season winning the game 5-1. 

  AFC Sudbury have established themselves in the ERWFL Premier Division, the Suffolk side having a solid campaign last season constantly in the top half pushing the top sides well before clinching 5th spot. An experienced squad have retained most of last season’s players bringing in a couple of new faces, defender Laura Wheeler from Brentwood and Semma Halil who was with Silver End United Ladies.

A new home ground for Acle United Ladies this season playing at the FDC (Football Development Centre) Flegg situated at Flegg High School on the outskirts of the village of Martham. Has been and still is Acle United Ladies training ground and they played a couple of cup matches there last season. An all weather 3G pay and play facility means Acle United Ladies can play home fixtures in August and regularly throughout the season with less chance of postponements. Hot and cold drinks are available not so much room for spectators is a small pitch with coloured markings denoting various sized pitches. A beautiful day hot and sunny best enjoy them whilst they last.

Acle United Ladies starting XI – Cyan Fullbrook, Anna Larkins, Erin Wilson, Kate Pasque, Chloe Shields, Broghan Scully, Amber Rowland, Ciera Flatt, Lauren Bullard, Rebecca Burton (C) & Megan Todd. Subs – Joanne Hooper & Kirstie Kindred.

AFC Sudbury starting XI – Penny Everett, Holly Harrison, Rebekah Henderson, Marie Seabrook (C), Rebecca Chandler, Charley Roach, Megan Partridge, Sophie Jeffery, Semma Halil, Mia Etheridge & Stacey Teager. Subs – Laura Wheeler, Georgia Lindon, Phoebe Scott, Natalie Golding & Harriett Young.

(Roll on roll off substitutes)

 It’s Acle to get the game underway kicking off 1st half wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and black and white hooped socks with Sudbury lined up opposite wearing yellow coloured shirts with blue across the left side of the upper chest, Blue shorts with a yellow band round the left leg and yellow socks. Acle look to put the ball long to Megan Todd moving down the right wing, Sudbury defender Rebekah Henderson wins the ball then once again as she clears and Acle regain the ball. 

A small pitch the midfield is congested and early on is shaping up to be a competitive battleground players on both sides quick to close the ball down Sudbury win it play the diagonal ball out to Semma Halil on the right running clear is tackled bringing 1st a throw then a corner kick. The ball goes long across the six yard box cleared Acle try to launch a counter attack the ball long for Lauren Bullard left side into the area is muscled off the ball by Rebecca Chandler. Todd is a player who likes to get forwards covers the ground quickly and will drift inside as much as stick to the wing, looks to get onto the end of a central ball flighted up towards the area into the D, Sudbury captain Marie Seabrook stands her ground coming together with Todd both grounded appeals for the foul the referee waves play on.

AFC Sudbury Ladies captain, Marie Seabrook

Acle come again Erin Wilson on for Bullard on the left side getting ahead of play cuts the ball back inside the area with Ciera Flatt arriving leans into the shot sending it goalwards Sudbury goalkeeper Penny Everett dives to her right, the ball skims wide off the outside of the post. A busy start to the game injuries for both sides requiring on pitch treatment giving everyone a chance to catch their breath.

   Play resumes Sudbury look to attack down the left Sophie Jeffery is quickly closed down by Acle’s Anna Larkins, support from midfielder Amber Rowland the ball sent on for Todd on the right plays a long diagonal pass for Bullard trying to get into the area on the left, manages to win the home side a corner kick.An in swinging corner the ball lands in the six yard box a scramble ensues as Todd tries to latch onto it Sudbury get the ball out of the area falls straight to Acle centre back Chloe Shields takes on the shot from 25 yards out getting it on target puts the ball straight into Everett’s gloves. 

GOAL! A little over 15 minutes on the clock Acle have started brightly and take the lead coming forwards Todd gets in behind on the right as the ball is played through to her taking it to the byline inside the area cuts the cross back across the face of goal with pace, Everett throws herself forwards in an attempt to stop it evades her and finds Bullard timing her arrival perfectly at the far post to connect with the ball and send it into the back of the net 1-0.

Acle United’s, Lauren Bullard

 Todd puts the ball in the back of the net in the very next attack however it doesn’t count as it’s the wrong goal as she is slid through on goal by a beautifully weighted pass from Acle captain Rebecca Burton right side into the box Todd pulls her strike sending it wide of the near post and into one of the five a side goals stored behind the goal.

GOAL! Sudbury respond well to going a goal down pushing forwards draw level as Halil wins the ball right side drives on before crossing along the top of the area for Mia Etheridge central spots Jeffery on the move up the left wing sends the ball on the winger takes the ball on challenged the ball pops in behind favourably for her to go on sends the cross into the six yard box missed by Acle at the ear post Stacey Teager is clear beyond to raise her boot and turn the ball home to equalise 1-1.

Stacey Teager with the ball for AFC Sudbury Ladies

Some crunching challenges out there going to be a few bruises in the morning but these two sides have met regularly over the past few seasons know what to expect from each other and are getting on with it. Megan Partridge is down for Sudbury needing treatment a drinks break is called very hot out there. Partridge is okay play resumes with 25 minutes played. Breaking up a Sudbury attack play is turned around quickly Todd running through the middle after the all has half a yard on Chandler gets a shot away from the top of the area dips late on Everett but flies narrowly over the crossbar.

A free kick wide right over halfway to Acle players go up as Larkins sends it long to the far post Bullard up headers it down into the centre Burton and Seabrook challenging for the ball end up on the ground the striker getting a shot away sends the ball wide. Wilson wins the ball at left back for Acle on for Bullard left side plays the pass inside to Broghan Scully has Rowland to her right puts the ball into her moving forwards Rowland’s strike from 25 yards is blocked by Chandler. Acle regain possession out on the right with Todd the ball is sent high into the area, Everett claiming well on the bounce as the ball is attacked.

GOAL! Acle double their lead as the game moves past the half hour with Jeffery looking a threat on the left side for Sudbury, Acle move in quickly to get players around her before she can break squeezed off the ball on half way by Todd, Larkins is already on the move down the wing the right back receiving the ball is a good way out around 35 yards as she whips the ball into the air sending it towards high looping towards the top corner far post has Everett backpedalling can’t get to it as it flies over her into the goal beyond 2-1.

Anna Larkins restores the lead for Acle United Ladies

  Tough tackling from Partridge after the restart sends the ball on for Etheridge central closing in on the top of the area can’t connect with the shot. Jeffery taking players on on the left wing is getting plenty of Acle attention getting a cross away the ball is claimed by Fullbrook. 

  GOAL! Acle get up the other end with 5 minutes left of the 1st half and score a 3rd goal another great through ball from Burton with Sudbury high up the pitch Todd central is after it Everett comes rushing out of her goal sliding in looks to block Todd as she shapes to shoot does so but an unfortunate rebound off the attacker takes the ball beyond Everett, Todd stays on it and puts the ball into the empty goal beyond 3-1. 

Acle United’s, Megan Todd

Rowland goes down with n injury is substituted with Acle sending on Kirstie Kindred. A fantastic turn from Halil attacking left side Sudbury as the ball is rolling into her by Roach in behind gets past Pasque clear heads for the area, Shields gets across lunging in to win the ball take it away from Halil for the throw in. Sudbury push late on in the half Teager battling in the middle 30 yards out gets the ball through for Etheridge for a moment clear on goal Larkins does well to get across and put the challenge in. 

Half-time Acle United Ladies 3-1 AFC Sudbury Ladies

  An entertaining 1st half no shortage of action a few injuries disrupting play but despite the heat the players on both sides putting plenty into the game. Acle have been on top getting in behind the Sudbury defence have had the better chances. The visitors when they can get the ball wide themselves trying to create an opening. Acle with the 2 goal cushion going into the 2nd half.

A change for Sudbury at the start of the 2nd half Laura Wheeler on for Halil, the defender going in at centreback alongside Chandler, Seabrook moving forwards to bolster the midfield. The visitors the kick off the 2nd half. Straight away Sudbury are looking to get the ball have Acle pinned back in their half without making any in roads into their box. From a counter the ball is laid on for Todd right shapes to shoot early reaching the top of the area sends the strike wide. 

Charley Roach on the attack for AFC Sudbury Ladies

Roach and Partridge with support from Seabrook are winning the ball for Sudbury looking to carry it forwards Acle a little sluggish at the start of the 2nd half start to gather Flatt moving well finding pockets of space wanting the short pass into her. Todd peeling away right gets clear as the ball finds her running on squares the cross along the top of the area a vital interception from Chandler with Burton ready to throw herself at the ball beyond. 

GOAL! Despite a good start to the 2nd half from Sudbury it’s Acle who score the next goal to further extend their lead. Have possession on the right the ball carried forwards by Kindred the cross is fired in with pace into the six yard box Harrison attempts to send it clear covering the far post the ball falls straight to Burton central the striker turning the ball from the top of the six yard box into the back of the net 4-1.

Acle United Ladies captain, Rebecca Burton

Todd sets up a chance for Burton moment after the restart as the ball is won back in the middle on for Todd drives at the Sudbury area before laying it on to Burton peeling away to the right inside the area pulls the trigger sends her shot up over the bar. Rowland returns to the action replacing Scully in midfield. Larkins is over a free kick inside left a long way from goal nevertheless takes on the shot puts it wide of Everett’s goal.

GOAL! Sudbury pull a goal back 4 minutes after going 4-1 down. Winning a corner kick on the right is a fantastic delivery high angling in towards the far post two Acle defenders jump or it can’t reach it falls to Etheridge beyond adjusts well the get a foot on the ball leaning back and send it high into the net to make it 4-2.

Mia Etheridge pulls a goal back for AFC Sudbury Ladies

Sudbury come very close to making it 4-3 as the game restarts winning the ball strong from Teager to close Acle down left side wrestle possession back take the ball inside pushes it on into the path of Partridge breaking forwards 30 yards out lets fly with a venomous strike comes straight at Fullbrook the keeper reacting instinctively gloves up deflects the ball up over her head onto the crossbar it bounces once, twice on the woodwork before falling back into play pressure behind her Fullbrook is distracted watching the ball grabs it into her body saving on her goal line. 

AFC Sudbury’s Megan Partridge with Acle’s Kate Pasque

 Another much needed drinks break in the 2nd half. Acle bring Scully back on for Flatt in the middle. Sudbury win a corner after the game resumes left side the ball into the box Teager chests down and on the turn hits a shot the ball straight at Fullbrook well positioned in the goal beyond. Acle break quickly the ball up top for Kindred central drags her strike wide as Everett diving across smothers the ball. Wilson winning the ball left side plays a good diagonal ball long for Todd running clear on the right sends the cross inside for Scully in a central position outside the box the midfielder connects with the ball sends her shot high over the Sudbury goal.

Acle make a goalkeeper change with Fullbrook coming off to be replaced by Joanne Hooper who can and has played everywhere on the pitch for Acle over the seasons. Seabrook comes off for Sudbury, Georgia Lindon comes on goes into right back with Harrison moving inside, Candler pushed into midfield. Rowland on the ball in the middle pushes on attacking the Sudbury defence sends the pass to Bullard coming inside from the left outside the area plays her shot wide of goal. An injury concern for Sudbury as Wheeler stays down after the attack her ankle strapped before the game looks to have injured it again a long break in play as she receives treatment. Gingerly gets back to her feet and is able to limp off the pitch.

Acle’s Amber Rowland with AFC Sudbury’s, Sophie Jeffery

An enforced change Seabrook comes back on for Wheeler, Chandler too comes off Halil returning to the field. A strong run from Partridge through the midfield before playing the ball into Teager outside the box back to goal good control before getting a shot away wide of the far post. Bullard takes the ball on down the left looks to get past Lindon the defender going to ground times her challenge well conceding the corner kick from the left side the ball comes into the area a touch sends t towards goal lacks pace Everett going to ground it able to claim the ball. 

Jeffery in a central position breaks with the ball for Sudbury plays the pass over the top with Acle holding a high line Teager is in behind after the ball. Hooper with a good starting position inside the box is out quickly to clear the danger. 

GOAL! With the game stretched both sides looking to attack Acle grab a 5th goal the ball with Todd on half way she runs forwards, Scully is the player furthest forwards inside the box Todd’s diagonal pass picks her out Scully opening up her body connects with the ball sending it wide of Everett and into the goal to make it 5-2 .

The injuries 2nd half have extended the game by several minutes kicking off at 3:02 the 45 minutes are up but there is quite alot of stoppage time to be played. Sudbury make a change Teager coming off up top to be replaced by Phoebe Scott. Flatt is back on for Acle replacing Bullard. Everett palms down a strike sent goalwards from Burton on the edge of the area. Hooper is a long way out of her area to kick clear as Sudbury look to counter quickly. Roach to take a free-kick wide right on halfway for Sudbury delivers the ball to the top of the area the header comes in knocked down towards goal Hooper throwing herself forwards can claim the ball.

 Tensions have been building throughout the 2nd half and they come to a head with Henderson shown a straight red card in the closing moments for saying something she shouldn’t have to the referee Sudbury reduced to 10. Acle attack in the final seconds the ball with Rowland outside the box takes it across the top of the area before seeing her shot blocked by Harrison the final action of the match.

Full time Acle United Ladies 5-2 AFC Sudbury Ladies

  Another 5 goals scored by Acle as they open their campaign with 2 league wins taking maximum points with a 5-2 victory at home. Deserved winners starting well taking the lead Sudbury responded straight away before going 3-1 down at half-time as Acle got in behind their defence to score. Sudbury started brightly 2nd half before falling a further goal behind again responded well getting a goal back almost a 3rd Acle going on to wrap up the win late on.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A few contenders for today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match some fine attacking play from Acle today moving the ball with pace have chosen their captain Rebecca Burton with some fine passing dropping deeper to receive the ball from the midfielders her forward passes setting up chances and goals along with also getting her name on the scoresheet. 

   With two sides both scoring 5 goals in their opening league game I might have been setting myself up for a 0-0 but knowing these two sides didn’t expect anything but a committed competitive contest, plenty of energy and goals an entertaining match played in hot temperatures very enjoyable to watch.