Sunday 18th October
ERWFL Division One North
Back on the football trail this Sunday afternoon with a relatively short trip for me up the A47 to King’s Lynn to watch a game from ERWFL Division One North, King’s Lynn Town Ladies hosting Cambridgeshire side Histon Ladies.
A game between two sides that have barely got their season’s started, in fact for Histon this is their first league game of the season, whilst King’s Lynn themselves have played just the one. ERWFL Division One North now with just 6 sides in it after the withdrawal of newcomer Thorpe St Andrew Women and with their Division One South counterparts also losing a side in Hoddesdon taking them down to just 7 it is frustrating for all sides as most express a preference for a larger single division. Of course ideally and the aim is to have the two divisions up to their full compliment of 12 each. The county leagues are growing that should become a reality in the near future.
Along side King’s Lynn Town Ladies and Histon Ladies. Cambridge City Ladies Development, Newmarket Town Women, Needham Market Women and newly joined Haverhill Rovers Ladies are six sides competing in Division One North. As thing’s look that is a strong line-up with all of those sides capable of mounting a title push to get themselves into the Premier Division. COVID-19 curtailing last season ending early declared null & void King’s Lynn Town Ladies had gotten themselves into a strong position to challenge Cambridge City Ladies Development at the top, whilst Histon were we placed with games in hand to mount a late push.
A new season and changes in management for both. Joe Simpson a former assistant coach returning after a spell at Wroxham Women to take the helm of the women’s team amongst his other roles at King’s Lynn Town. Taking over from Michelle Stewart whose hard work for the club over the previous 6 years has build a strong foundation for women’s football in King’s Lynn While at Histon, Matt Phillips moves up to take charge of the 1st team with Matt Payne who has put a great deal of work over the years into ensuring Histon has a great set-up to improve the women’s game.
A winning start to the season for King’s Lynn Town Ladies when they eventually got their league campaign underway two weeks ago. A good result 3-0 at home to Suffolk side Needham Market Women. That followed up last weekend with a 2-0 win at home to Wodson Park Ladies in the League Cup 1st Round. Have made a few signings over the summer to strengthen the squad, with Jade Kelly, Emma Bunton and Bryony Russell-Smith all returning to the club this season have also recruit 3 players who were with Peterborough Northern Star Ladies last season, Catherine Ray, Kim Fairweather and Fran Peeling. Also worth noting the club had a number of young players ready to push for a regular place prior to the previous season ending.
A frustrating start to the season for Histon… or rather no start at all as is the nature of the times with COVID there first game of the season at home against King’s Lynn amongst those called off. There only competitive match to date on the 20th September playing ST Ives Town Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup losing to the ERWFL Premier Division side 4-2. Another frustrating period with the squad needing to isolate. Finally getting their league campaign started today. During the summer there was some upheaval within the club with several on the Reserves side going with thier manager to form the new Histon Hornets WFC. However the club retained a healthy number of players and adding several new faces have enough to establish what is a new Histon Ladies Development side for the new season. amongst the new signings 4 feature in todays squad, Daisy Barns, Becky Charter, Ester Mctrusty and Abi Molloy.
King’s Lynn Town Ladies now playing their home fixtures at Lynnsport on their 3G pitch behind their old River Lane grass pitches. The leisure facility host to a number of clubs and sporting activities. The club keen to play here, will no doubt have a few more games at The Walks were times return to normal. The pitch caged can be viewed all round with a small area inside for standing spectators. A cloudy overcast day, shouldn’t be any rain, reasonably mild.
King’s Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Bryony Robinson, Chloe Burch, Fran Peeling, Georgia Freeman, Shanice Burch, Kirstie Smith, Deva Rawlings, Rachael Skinner, Jodie Hopkins, Tiffany Forshaw (C) & Emma Corbyn. Subs – Amy Cropley, Kim Fairweather, Jade Kelly, Zara O’Neill & Oksana Imanalijeva.
Histon Ladies – Alison Wright, Amie Flack, Abby Laughlin, Brie Baker (C), Tessa Shaw, Lauren Martin, Sophie Lanham, Becky Charter, Daisy Barns, Kirsty Geal & Molly Blair. Subs – Abi Molloy & Ester Mctrusty.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Histon with the kick-off to get the 1st half underway wearing red shirts with black shorts and socks. King’s Lynn opposite wearing blue shirts and shorts with yellow trim with blue and yellow socks. The hosts pressing their opponents from the start closing down their defence preventing the ball going forwards deflected centrally spins to Jodie Hopkins on the left her touch taking it in behind however racing for the ball can’t quite keep it in play to get a cross into the six yard box.
King’s Lynn fast to close on the Histon defence right from the off forcing passes to be rushed miss their mark the attack coming back, Tessa Shaw central clearing as a deflected ball central threatens to escape in behind with Emma Corbyn looking to go in attack for the hosts. Abby Laughlin defending at right back for Histon preventing King’s Lynn captain Tiffany Forshaw spinning in behind her she recieves a Kirstie Smith pass from midfield having drifted to the right.
Histon get hold of the ball left a fantastic cross field pass picking out Kirsty Geal outside the right corner of the King’s Lynn penalty box she fires a ball into the box blocked King’s Lynn defence back to Geal has support out wide with Sophie Lanham head of her again the ball fired into the area is blocked then clear King’s Lynn look to break Hopkins on the ball down the left with ground to run into crosses the ball in but races wide across goal. Becky Charter gaining ground with the ball on the left her low ball into the air cut out by Shanice Burch the ball played up to Corbyn on halfway holds it up well as Rachael Skinner comes racing down the right wing attempt put it on for her Histon captain Brie Baker able to get to it first.
The hosts looking lively early on are quick to get numbers forwards when they regain at the back not let the Histon back line settle on the ball. Forshaw in the right channel 25 out puts it with for the advancing Skinner, plays the return ball to Forshaw top of the area, Hopkins making a superb run in from the left isn’t tracked as she runs into the D, Forshaw looking to roll the ball into the path the Histon defence just get there first to clear. Forshaw lines a shot up from all of 25 yards out her effort not troubling Alison Wright in the Histon goal.
Charter nips in to win the ball high on the left for Histon getting away from her marker into the ox strikes it low towards the near post Bryony Robinson in the King’s Lynn goal has her angles covered down to get behind it and save. Daisy Barns rolling it into the feet of Molly Blair in attack for Histon, has Geal on her right, Chloe Burch getting in on her to cut out the pass King’s Lynn getting straight on the attack the ball put into the middle with Skinner making a run does well to leap and get her head onto the bouncing ball knocking it on for Corbyn finding a gap in the left channel in behind into the area, Baker getting across her close her down defending well the see Corbyn concede a goal kick.
Chloe Burch coming to close down on the flank gets the ball put straight into her funny bone as she goes to block (it’s not funny when you get struck with a ball at close range), a painful one an as the new handball rules go a free kick to the opposition. Burch okay to continue. Blair getting hold of the ball taking it into the area under challenge, off balance doing well to put a dangerous cross in for Histon the hosts clearing. King’s Lynn advance down the right draw another free kick a chance to float a ball into the area Peeling playing it in a good delivery landing centrally Skinner up to strike first time on the volley doesn’t get a clean connect bounces harmlessly in towards goal for Wright to catch.
King’s Lynn keep up their pressing game Smith getting forwards this time form a central position up with Forshaw inside the D, Smith tackling getting hold of the ball nudges it to Forshaw going on looking for the return pass Forshaw quick to react opting the back heal, Shaw between the pair reading it getting her leg out to intercept the ball for Histon. The visitors getting the ball up the other end winning a corner on the left can’t make it count. Is being played at a fast pace King’s Lynn as working hard to close the ball proving hard to get through at the back. Forshaw recieving a pass from the right 30 yards out plays it ahead for Skinner on the move her low strike from the top of the D is straight at Wright.
Lauren Martin up the other end striking the ball first time from outside the box left of the D as Histon get bodies up on the left the ball spinning into her path directs it on target however Robinson is right behind it down low to save. The hosts making the first change of the game Corbyn coming off in attack with Oksana Imanalijeva. Histon though have a free-kick deep on the right more or less a corner a good delivery in across the face of goal players up to attack in far post, Robinson up well to glove it away from danger. Imanalijeva on the left has pace as she runs to get onto the end of a long pass , puts it cross the top of the area with Hopkins now on that flank closing it, Baker on top of her getting the better of the challenge bringing the ball out.
Deva Rawlings busy in the middle for King’s Lynn challenging for the ball and getting fouled too, the free-kick this time going against her 30 plus yards out left of the area. Sophie Lanham over it has got a good strike on her takes on the shot, not enough loop on it to trouble Robinson drifting cross to her right post to catch high. King’s Lynn winning a free-kick right side of the circle inside Histon’s half, Peeling playing it across to Imanalijeva on the left outside the area a good touch putting her away in behind turning towards the box to close the angle hits it hard more likely meant to be a shot than a cross nevertheless very nearly comes of as Forshaw lunges for it far post can’t deflect it inside the post wide.
Histon finding it a little frustrating are getting players in the flanks to cross the final ball not coming off. Charter with excellent work on the left riding a challenge takes the ball on up the line her diagonal cross into the area goes long. King’s Lynn looking the more likely to score Chloe Burch getting the ball at the back the left back on for Imanalijeva top of the area has Skinner in close support the two combining to get Imanalijeva away in behind to deliver a cross in dropping near side Wright stooping to claim, as Forshaw with Baker on her shoulder close her down the keeper does get there in grounded as Forshaw keeps the ball in on the by line the angle against her tries to chip Wright the ball looping up dropping beyond the far post.
Histon coming close up the other end as Amie Flack wins it on the left sends a diagonal ball up towards the area, Lanham up pressuring the defence getting a shot away from inside the D across goal, Robinson diving at full stretch pushing it wide of a corner. All action King’s Lynn rushing forwards Imanalijeva left side crossing early bouncing in towards Forshaw right of the D, can’t get there before Shaw her slicing clearance pole axing her centre back partner Brie inside the box, Laughlin though round on the cover to put behind for a corner before the hosts can capitalise. From the resulting corner the ball worked short comes to Skinner 25 yards out left side her shot drilled back on runs wide of the near post. Hopkins with a shot over the crossbar from distance right side as Histon are not allowed any time to settle on the ball.
GOAL! Into the last 5 minutes of the first half and the deadlock is broken. Rawlings up to support on the right side has the ball at her feet strong to hold off her marker as she comes infield nudges it on before reversing the ball into the area laying it on a plate for Forshaw peeling clear into the area to slide the ball wide of Wright who doesn’t move 1-0.
The hosts with a strong spell at the end of the first half, Rawlings winning her tackles on for Skinner right is finding space well crosses the ball in Forshaw attacking the near post sends the ball across the face of goal. Rawlings central picks out Imanalijeva’s run on he left in behind has the pace, Wright though stepping up can get her gloves around it safely first. Imanalijeva injecting pace on the left crossing early late in the 1st half her ball dipping as it arrives at Hopkins strikes on the volley just inside the box, too many bodies to get through Histon block.
Half-time King’s Lynn Ladies 1-0 Histon Ladies
A good first half from King’s Lynn playing with a high tempo from the start closing the ball down creating chances eventually making it count scoring late in the half to lead the match. Have gotten forwards well perhaps not really making it count probably should have another 1 or 2. Haven’t let Histon settle on the ball and pressing high has made it difficult for the visitors to get their own attacks going have found some joy on the flanks with Lanham getting into some good positions central forcing a good save from Robinson so the visitors will know they are by no means out of the game and with just a single goal lead more than capable of turning it around in the 2nd period.
Two changes for Histon at half-time with Laughlin and Geal the players off, Abi Molloy coming on at right back whilst Ester Mctrusty takes up position on the left wing. King’s Lynn getting the 2nd half underway. Get straight on the offensive Rawlings up to Imanalijeva left side knocking it on races in behind to cross a high ball in close to goal claimed high by Wright.
The ball rolled on into the feet of substitute Mctrusty left for Histon her first touch taking it beyond Burch looks to get on into the box Freeman coming across obstructing her the free-kick given. A dangerous position 25 yards out left side Flack over the ball her delivery towards the far post long, between them Charter and Lanham keeping the attack active, Charter firing a ball in on the angle, blocked comes back to Lanham she whips a vicious cross through the six yard box, Mctrusty throwing herself at it far post can’t get a touch.
Up the other end Hopkins getting into the box with the ball left side checks back inside to shot leaning back sends it wide of the far post. Mctrusty giving Histon an option on the left taking the ball on jinks left then right, Shanice Burch standing her ground lunging in to nick the ball before the cross can be executed. Skinner off a throw high on the right turns inside on the angle lobs the ball onto the roof of the net. Baker prevents Hopkins getting in behind on the right giving away the free-kick. Forshaw on the delivery high into the air Wright with a confident take. The hosts with a strong start to the 2nd half half prevented Histon gaining any momentum with Hopkins, Skinner and Imanalijeva pressing the defence Forshaw coming back to regain possession.
Skinner from all of 30 yards with a strike fired wide of the target. Forshaw with a similar effort moments later. Hopkins leading the line now. A good contest shaping up between her and Baker, Histon’s captain has been busy in defence but winning her fair share of the ball prevents the King’s Lynn attacker spinning off her inside the D getting in behind with a lunging tackle. King’s Lynn quickly back on the ball winning a throw dropped into Imanalijeva inside the area right corner by the by line holds it up, knocking it back wide to Peeling to fire in the cross chest height near post Wright behind it but under pressure from Forshaw spills it, Flack clearing the danger.
Hopkins shrugging off her marker turning to get into the box right of goal prepares to line up a strike, Baker back on her superbly has to get her tackle right and does to see the ball deflected away. Skinner racing away with the ball at her feet right down the line swings a cross back in towards the top of the area Hopkins bringing it down with her left foot striking the shot, the effort once again finding Wright the Histon keeper saving. Histon making a change bringing Geal back on for Barns with 25 minutes gone in the 2nd half. King’s Lynn also making a change Chloe Burch having picked up an injury a few minutes earlier unable to continue on comes Amy Cropley going it at right back with Peeling switching to the left.
Forshaw spinning into a shot close range at the near post left sides sends it over the top as she makes the run for Imanalijeva coming down the left. A 2nd change for King’s Lynn sees Hopkins coming off in attack to be replaced by Zara O’Neill. The substitute almost with a immediate impact controlling the ball in space outside the box 20 yards out turning and striking the ball screws wide of the left post. King’s Lynn continuing their pressing in the final 3rd sees Skinner going for the lob 25 yards out, back peddling Wright knows she is beaten if it drops but to her relieve drops over the bar.
Forshaw attacking right into the area goes down under challenge with Baker wants a penalty the appeal waved away. Mctrusty taking on the King’s Lynn defence getting a deflected cross into the six yard box Robinson onto it before Charter can make up the ground. Forshaw comes deeper Rawlings picking her out lays it forwards for O’Neill to attack drifting right, Baker cutting the pass out.
GOAL! Looking the more likely to score King’s Lynn get a 2nd goal in the 75th minute a surging run on the ball from Imanalijeva wide on the left closing into the corner whipping a dangerous ball in across the face of over the keeper falling far post Forshaw racing in with the lunge to turn it over the line from close range 2-0.
Histon respond with a change Blair coming off in attack, Laughlin coming on into an attacking role as the visitors look to find a way back into the match. Forshaw stealing in to win the ball back 25 yards out drives into the box left side Baker covering across to challenge sending the ball out for a corner. A dangerous inswinging delivery into the six yard box dealt with well by Shaw heading it away wide to the right.
O’Neill and Skinner combining for King’s Lynn in attack, the striker with the ball at her feet top of the D shifting left then right Skinner the option to her right on the flank sends the ball out wide Skinner looks to go alone her initial effort blocked rebounds to her sending a cross in along the top of the six yard box O’Neill arriving looks to turn it wide of Wright not enough to beat the keeper at close range. Kim Fairweather comes on for King’s Lynn.
Histon haven’t had much to feed on in attack 2nd half, winning a corner on the left through Mctrusty have a chance to put pressure on the hosts inside the box. The corner though goes long beyond the far post his kept alive well headed down to drop inside the six yard box, Laughlin is there lunging to get her foot on it deflected goalwards hasn’t the power behind it to carry it past the defence before the block comes in and it is cleared.
King’s Lynn come on Smith forwards for Skinner on for Forshaw in the area left side cuts it back inside for Skinner running in to attack the near post Wright down smartly pulling the ball into her body. Lanham playing a long pass on for Mctrusty to attack through the middle, Burch closing her down to clear the ball. Forshaw blasting a shot behind on the angle from 25 yards out in the closing minutes . Jade Kelly coming on late in the game for King’s Lynn sending a shot wide from the right of the D outside the box as Forshaw coming on with the ball left side rolls a diagonal pass into her. Kim Fairweather and Corbyn back on to see out the final minutes ensure King’s Lynn keep a clean sheet replace Rawlings and Smith.
Full time King’s Lynn Ladies 2-0 Histon Ladies
King’s Lynn keep a clean sheet and secure the 3 points with a 2-0 victory. Playing a pressing game right from the off, kept Histon on the back foot for much of the game. Rarely letting the ball settle a good test of fitness. A deserved lead at half-time albeit only by a single goal would need another started the 2nd half strongly giving Histon no chance to gain momentum eventually scoring a 2nd. Had more chances so you could argue should have won by a higher score line. Histon can’t argue with the result found it hard to get a foothold in the match the ball coming back all too often keeping their defence busy still at 1 nil at half-time they were never really out of it the 2nd goal coming with 15 minutes to play had they found that all important goal the game might have been turned on it’s head.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders as always to mention. Brie Baker was kept busy in the Histon defence but did her best to rally her side and covered the ground to make some vital tackles. For King’s Lynn it was a solid team performance from back to front pressing high making life easier for the defence. Diva Rawlings putting herself about in midfield with some good runs and tackling. Oksana Imanalijeva made an immediate impact injecting pace on the left. Rachael Skinner was superb pushing the eventually winner all the way until she scored the 2nd goal, therefore today’s award goes to Tiffany Forshaw. Hard for any single player to mark as she moves well across the final third always ready to make a run into the box setting up several attacks too.
An enjoyable trip to King’s Lynn this afternoon getting back into it after a much needed week off. Still feel this is a league where anyone can take points off anyone else on their day… will that be the case will be interesting to see. My thanks as usual for the clubs for the team details much appreciated.