Match Report – Cup Final Special

Friday 12th April

Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup

St Ives Town Ladies Development v Wisbech Town Ladies

 Back to the road for a successive night heading into Cambridgeshire for the 2nd of this weeks Cup Final, this evening at Ely City FC for this season’s Women’s Division Cup Final, St Ives Town Ladies Development taking on Wisbech Town Ladies.

The Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup a new competition into it’s 2nd season. Histon Ladies Reserves beating Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds to lift the trophy last season. The competition as the name suggests for the sides playing in the leagues below the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership the Championships, North & South. 12 sides split between the two divisions, this evenings finalists both 2nd in their respective league and both very much in the battle for top spot itself.

  St Ives Town Ladies Development reaching a cup final just two seasons after being formed. Their 1st team leading the way unbeaten still in their first season playing regional football, St Ives is rapidly becoming a rising force in the woman’s game in Cambridgeshire. Play in the Championship South currently 2nd in the table some 9 point behind leaders Haverhill Rovers Ladies but have 3 games in hand and have to play Haverhill once more in their run in. Jade Carpenter St Ives top scorer with 15 goals so far this season.

Wisbech Town Ladies play in the Championship North where the title race looks certain to go all the way two with them having been neck and neck with current leaders Ketton Ladies all season both way out in front with 100% winning records Ketton beating Wisbech Town the first time they met in the league are now 6 points clear at the top. Wisbech having played a game less however and their being two huge games away to Ketton to come. A successful season in the cups too so far reaching the semi-finals of both the Invitation Cup and League Cup. going one better in the Division One Cup to reach the final. Have a potent attack with Sophie Swinden top scorer rapidly closing in a 40 goals for the season.

Road to the Final

    Both sides at home for the 1st Round of the Division One Cup, St Ives were drawn up against Championship South title rivals Haverhill Rovers Ladies, a brace from Frances Chapman along with a goal for Penelope Ford seeing them edge the win 3-2 to reach the quarter finals. Wisbech taking on Championship South side Park Ladies. Rachael Simpson and Chelsea King getting a goal a piece along with a brace for Sophie Swinden seeing them comfortably through to the quarter finals 4-0.

   Onto the quarter finals both drawn away from home St Ives taking on Championship North side Wisbech St Mary Ladies win through to the last 4 of the competition with a 3-0 win the goals coming from Jade Carpenter, Georgia Rebane and Emilee Steel. Wisbech racking up a big score away to fellow Championship North side Cardea Ladies. Captain Faye Kowalewsky scoring a hat-trick with Sophie Swinden and Chloe Stanborough both bagging a brace each Aisling Ryan also finding the back of the net in a 9-2 win.

A blustery day greeted the semi-finals of the Division One Cup both games switched to 3G, St Ives at home to fellow Championship South side Burwell Tigers Ladies a 3-1 win securing them a place in their first ever final. Was there to watch the other semi-final a very cold and windy afternoon as Wisbech took on Championship North title rivals Ketton Ladies ,getting the better of the conditions Wisbech blew their opponents away Sophie Swinden scoring a hat-trick with a brace from Chloe Stanborough and one from Amy Newell to see them book their spot in the final courtesy of a 6-0 win.

This evenings final played at Ely City FC’s Ellgia Stadium, nestled behind the new cinema and restaurant leisure park recently built on the outskirts of Ely just off the A10. A elevated seat stand overlooking the pitch on one side the bar situated underneath. Another well used pitch a good size numbers building before kick-off. The weather dry but cloudy with a possible shower and getting chilly as the light start to come on before kick-off.

   A special mention too for this evenings match officials the all female line-up from Norway part of a NORCORE the Norwegian Centre of Referring Excellence over in England on a 6 day training camp officiating in a number of fixtures across the county this week, Ane Kliskar refereeing, assisting on the lines, Ram Eirik Glomseth & Himmett Boyar with Kristina Lokke the fourth official.

St Ives Town Ladies Development starting XI – Sophie Majoram, Steph Ransome, Connie Liddiard, Georgie Astley (C), Leah Culpin, Molly Berryman, Sophie Crook, Penelope Ford, Fran Worrall, Jade Carpenter & Kirsty Wicks. Subs – Ellen Chapman, Cherish Sibanda, Caitlin McGeown, Ellie Hathirimani & Emilee Steel.

Wisbech Town Ladies starting XI – Rachael Simpson, Chelsea King, Leah Hall, Katie Garner, Kaylie Swinden, Abbie Sommerville, Chloe Stanborough, Jasmine Luckett, Faye Kowalewsky, Amy Newell & Sophie Swinden. Subs – Jade-Amber Court, Elizabeth Hodgson & Naomi Lyon.

(roll no roll off substitutes)

Pre match handshakes

St Ives to get the Division One Cup Final underway, wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. Wisbech lined up opposite wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts. The ball pressed in midfield straight from the off deflected out for a throw-in. Fran Worrall for St Ives with the first meaningful attack a driving run with the ball up the left flank Wisbech defending to concede a throw high up the pitch. 

Wisbech get on the ball in the middle play out to the left Jasmine Luckett combining with striker Sophie Swinden as she comes across to make herself available, Penelope Ford coming back to support full back Steph Ransome putting in the tackle to regain possession as Swinden tries to get infield. The ball played into midfield Sophie Cook playing it forwards Jade Carpenter nodding it on in behind into the box, Wisbech goalkeeper Rachael Simpson gathering the ball.

A cagey opening neither side settling early on passes rushed a little disjointed, Powell getting forwards playing a diagonal ball into the Wisbech area, Katie Garner winning the header. On the right St Ives get forwards Ford up to Carpenter plays it inside looking for Kirsty Wicks, Leah Hall intercepting and clearing for Wisbech, Sophie Swinden after the ball good hold up play moving left as Luckett and Chloe Stanborough get forwards in support, Molly Berryman cutting out the intended pass. Stanborough staying high up the pitch has the ball played into her 25 yards out left of the D takes on the early shot the ball running along the ground heading wide of the far post claimed by St Ives goalkeeper, Sophie Marjoram. 

  Amy Newell picking up the ball in midfield 35 yards out has time on the ball line’s up a shot on target Marjoram right behind it a comfortable height to pull down out of the air. Kaylie Swinden charging down a shot from Wicks 25 yards out for St Ives the ball fired into her feet dug out before smashing it against the defender. A great chance for Wisbech to open the scoring Stanborough with a fantastic pass releasing Sophie Swinden in behind beating the offside trap to carry the ball on into the area left of goal one on one with the keeper closing Marjoram down Swinden pulls her strike wide of the near post from 8 yards out. 

  Pressure from Wisbech’s Sophie Swinden chasing the ball down into the left channel winning a corner, the ball payed in near post defended, Swinden preventing St Ives mounting a counter top of the area can’t get the ball out of her feet to get a shot away before being closed down bu Leah Culpin. 

  GOAL! Closing in on the half hour and the dead lock is broken the opening goal going to Wisbech, pressing the ball in the final third Stanborough picking it up 25 yards out left of the D does really well to keep possession St Ives not getting in a meaningful tackle as she manages to force her way into the box and wrap her foot around the ball to shoot, Marjoram throwing her gloves up to push the ball away sending it across goal, Wisbech captain Faye Kowalewsky in behind following the shot in getting her head on the ball to push it into the empty net 0-1. 

Marjoram out towards the edge of her area to close down the angle as Sophie Swinden gets away on the right gets something on the shot as she goes to ground the sting taken out of the shot Culpin back with captain Georgie Astley to clear the ball. Wisbech settled now work the ball forwards well Hall with Luckett and Stanborough ahead of her. Berryman cutting the pass towards the box out. Worrall out wide left takes the ball on for St Ives looks to turn inside drive on into the area, 3 Wisbech defenders converge to win the ball. 

  Powell inside to Astley the ball lifted  forwards, Carpenter getting in behind into the box, Simpson off her line out to claim the ball before the striker can attack it. A throw left for Wisbech Luckett sending a cross in along the of the area Berryman sticking a leg out to clear, runs straight to Stanborough she sends it back into the area again Berryman with the clearance. Carpenter flagged offside as Cook bringing the ball on through the middle for St Ives looks to play her in.

  Changes for both sides, Emilee Steel on for St Ives replacing Wicks, Caitlin McGeown on for Ford. Jade-Amber Court on for Wisbech replacing Sommerville. Culpin defends for St Ives as Hall lays the pass forwards for Sophie Swinden to chase on the left. Wisbech get clear on the left Sophie Swinden lively in attack players getting forwards the ball crossed in along the top of the six yard box through to Stanborough free at the far post gets her foot around the ball to smash a shot back in strikes the top of the upright, the ball dropping back down into the area St Ives scramble it away.

  A free-kick wide right for St Ives, Culpin on it over halfway a great all dropping onto the penalty spot a fantastic run from Worrall to get on the end of it in between the Wisbech defence her header sent over the bar. Culpin winning the ball at the back for St Ives off Sophie Swinden plays it forwards up to Carpenter back to goal 25 yards out chest it down, Steel making the run for her to her left she attempts the back heel to play her in a timely foot stabbed out from the Wisbech defence halting the move. Into the last 5 minutes of the first half Wisbech creating the better opportunities quicker to the ball breaking up St Ives attacks before they can begin. 

  A free-kick won wide on the right for Wisbech the ball played in towards the near post area, Marjoram coming for it under challenge does well to glove it down then snatch it into her body on the deck. Carpenter does well holding the ball up in the right corner before lifting a cross into the area attacked far post by Worrall, Court on her shoulder doing enough to put her off allowing Simpson to gather the ball. Newell playing the ball on for King 20 yards out, Culpin sliding in to win the tackle. 

St Ives Town Ladies, Fran Worrall (picture credit Gary Reed)

  Into stoppage time a free-kick high on the left for St Ives defended by Garner inside the box for Wisbech they launch a counter attack Stanborough onto King sent onto Sophie Swinden peeling away left her diagonal ball played high into the area Kowalewsky her intended target the past too strong runs out of play.

Half-time St Ives Town Ladies Development 0-1 Wisbech Town Ladies

   Wisbech looking comfortable for their lead at half-time but at just 1-0 still all to play for. St Ives frustrated didn’t settle can happen in a final, the game scrappy especially in the early stage no one settling on the ball, Wisbech creating some great chances getting their noses in front could and probably should be leading 3-0 but not taken St Ives have the chance to regroup at half-time find away to get back into the game, haven’t found a fluidity to their attacking play to trouble the Wisbech defence yet. 

Wisbech to get the 2nd half underway a substitution made, Naomi Lyon on for Luckett. St Ives pressing the ball get it forwards Simpson with an early touch in the Wisbech goal. Hall getting forwards on the left for Wisbech the ball on for Swinden to chase in behind, Marjoram quickly off her line to the edge of her area to claim the ball. Astley winning the defensive header for St Ives at the back Stanborough looks to play in Sophie Swinden the ball left with Liddiard for St Ives her cross lifted into the area headed back out of the area by Garner. 

St Ives Town Ladies, Sophie Cook (picture credit Gary Reed)

  St Ives make a change bringing of Berryman on comes Cherish Sibanda. Wisbech starting the 2nd half where they left off the first pressing the ball high up the pitch preventing St Ives from getting forwards. Wisbech coming left, Kowalewsky drifting into a central position meets the cross with the the outside of her boot looking to lift a high looping ball in towards goal, falls wide of the mark. Marjoram across to cover her near post down to smother the ball as it is fired in from the left. Wisbech prevent St Ives breaking, turn play around and win a corner on the right. Worrall back the defend winning the ball inside the box. Cook comes off for St Ives on in her place Ellie Chapman.

 Worrall getting forwards in attack down the left keeps possession wants support, none available turns inside to beat her marker and send a cross into the area, Simpson coming out towards the ball claims it launching it forwards. Wisbech with possession 25 yards out Kowalewsky bringing it inside rolled on to Lyon central then out to Newell left laid back for Hall coming forwards shoots from 30 yards out the ball driven in Marjoram punching it down, scrambles to get her gloves around it with Kowalewsky coming in.

   Not happening for St Ives in the final third and that is bringing frustration, Carpenter seizing on an opportunity to catch Simpson out of position getting hold of the ball wide right lifts the ball over Simpson, falling short of the near post Worrall after it can’t keep it in play as she attempts to keep it alive. Wisbech for all their dominance need a 2nd goal to make the scoreline more comfortable Stanborough doing well through the middle a powerful run the ball on for Lyon tries to lay it on for Sophie Swinden inside the D, Astley intercepts before Kowalewsky is brought down 35 yards out from goal.

  GOAL! Sophie Swinden putting the ball down with intent no one else around players forwards but only one thing on her mind as she strikes the ball towards goal plenty of lift on it with pace Marjoram not the biggest of keepers, Wisbech thinking they can exploit it, not as easy as it sounds however the delivery spot on though dropping under the bar and into the back of the net for that crucial 2nd goal 0-2. 

Sophie Swindon with the strike to make to 2-0 to Wisbech (picture credit Gary Reed)

  Less than 20 minutes left on the clock, St Ives get forwards Worrall on the left carrying the ball forwards turning her marker inside out before flashing a cross into the area intercepted near post Liddiard gets hold of it inside the box for St Ives shifts the ball before shooting the attempt straight at and held by Simpson. St Ives with a corner on the right into a crowded near post area Wisbech scrambling it away. A change for St Ives Cook back on replacing Powell.

  Wisbech press high keeping St Ives on the back foot in defence as they struggle to get forwards to try and find a way back into the game, Stanborough breaking up more than one attack. Luckett comes back on in place of Newell. Lyon robbing the ball off the St Ives defence chases it down into the area closing in on the keeper gets to it first lifting a shot wide of the near post. Stanborough 20 yards out lets fly central again seeing a shot smash against the crossbar. 

Wisbech Town Ladies Chloe Stanborough with St Ives Penelope Ford (picture credit Gary Reed)

  Wisbech in possession of the ball around the St Ives box won’t let them out late on, Carpenter comes off for St Ives Berryman back on to join the attack with 5 minutes left. Luckett tackling to regain the ball to stop St Ives breaking right, Lyon comes off for Wisbech Newell returning. Berryman bringing down a long pass 30 yards out plays it to Cook out wide right she sends a cross in near post area attacked by Steel her downward header deflected wide of goal a corner awarded. Shouts for handball as the ball is played into the box a 2nd corner given this one to the top of the area Newell gets hold of it for Wisbech brings the ball away. 

  Into stoppage time Wisbech continue their high pressing game effective a free-kick won wide right Stanborough to deliver played into the near post bodies to fight through Marjoram is determined to get there does well punching the ball away to safety. Wisbech keep the ball in the final third win a late corner the ball long to the far post a touch seeing it spin away wide of the upright. The final whistle blows and Wisbech Town Ladies win this seasons Division One Cup Final.

Full time St Ives Town Ladies Development 0-2 Wisbech Town Ladies

  Wisbech deserved winners played well creating the better opportunities the woodwork struck twice a 1-0 lead at half-time could have been more. That the score for 25 minutes into the 2nd half another goal was needed just to make things more comfortable St Ives struggling to get anything going in attack never out of it just couldn’t find a way back into the game, the 2nd goal eventually coming Wisbech defending from the front keeping St Ives penned in their own half limited attacks. No doubt St Ives will be disappointed can only dust themselves down and put all their focus into their remaining league games. Wisbech in turn can use their cup success to bolster their own title battle. 

 Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evenings Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A shortlist of three eventually whittled down to one as the 2nd half wore on. Leah Hall with a fine performance at the back for Wisbech, striker Sophie Swinden as constant threat great strike to make it 2-0 from distance, overall like she did in the semi-final the award goes to Chloe Stanborough a driving force in the heart of midfield for Wisbech getting forwards, striking the woodwork (twice) and more often than not the player in to stop St Ives getting out to attack.

Congratulations to Wisbech Town Ladies on winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Division One Cup.

Wisbech Town Ladies Division One Cup Winners

 Wisbech winning the Division One Cup lifting the trophy and getting soaked in a good deal of prosecco in the process enjoying the celebrations, of the the pub just a few hundred yards away to continue no doubt their will be a few sore heads later today.

An enjoyable night under the lights once again, Saturday off though in need of a rest after two finals in a row my thanks to everyone for their help with the team details as always much appreciated and to Gary Reed for the additional photos.

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