Sunday 18th September
FA Women’s Cup 1st Round Qualifying
A trip to Suffolk this Sunday for a game from the opening fixtures of this season’s FA Women’s Cup, East Bergholt United Ladies taking on local rivals Brettvale Women in 1st Round Qualifying.
The start of the competition delayed by a weekend due to fixtures being suspended as a mark of respect after the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II at 96 years of age Britain’s longest reigning monarch and the only one most of us have ever known a grandmother to us all her loss deeply felt. Serving with dignity and devotion a minutes silence will prelude today’s match as with every other across the land.
The FA Women’s Cup recieving a significant boost in prize money this season adding a huge incentive to the 438 clubs entering and a run in the cup will be a huge boost to a grassroots clubs coffers with today’s winners receiving £1,800 a jump of £1,400 from the previous season with the losing side receiving £450. Still a long way from the men’s competition but nevertheless a huge incentive for clubs to want to win through to the next round. Not only that the the competition itself still holds great respect for clubs and is recognised around the world not only England and one of the premier cup competitions. The first step to Wembley.
Tier 6 side East Bergholt United Ladies enjoying a good start to the season starting their league campaign in ERWFL Division One South with 2 wins from 3 to lay 3rd in the very early league table. Fair to say the club has found life tough in the ERWFL since promotion from the Suffolk Women’s County League in 2019. The Covid hit season’s playing there part have struggled for numbers at times in a strong catchment area for players, but have always been a club with a strong youth policy keen to test themselves at a higher level are starting to reap the rewards. Jordan Giddings coming in as 1st team manager, thing’s looking positive with a good sized squad at their disposal are looking to push on this season with a run in the FA Women’s Cup an added bonus.
For Brettvale Women this is their first competitive game of the season with their county league season yet to get underway. Defending champions in the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division will be strong favourites to retain that title have a very experienced squad. Just 7 teams in the Premier Division with only 6 in the Championship below with 3 late withdrawals recruitment of players does appear to be an issue within the county with Suffolk a long way behind the rest of the counties in the East in terms of women’s sides. An issue certainly, however Essex suffered a similar situation a few seasons back and has come back stronger than ever. Not the bounce from the Euro’s that might have been expected but hopefully that growth will come. In the meantime Brettvale have become an established force within the county in a short space of time now starting a new U13s side as they themselves look to the future.
Gandish Road Playing Field the venue for today’s game the community sports facility offering number of grass pitches, and cricket square. A open space is somewhat exposed to the elements a strong breeze blowing across the pitch from end to end prior to kick-off, a few dark clouds around but no rain forecast. Hot drinks available from the clubhouse. Arrived a bit later due to the A14 being closed but set up in time for kick-off having had a chance to meet both teams.
East Bergholt United Ladies starting XI – Zoe Adams, Shannon Cameron, Jess Clarke, Ella Karkoska, Harriet Meers, Megan Partridge (C), Millie Wilding, Stacey Desborough, Jess Quinsee, Jade Horne & Vic Hall. Subs – Nicole Leppard, Katie Bruce, & Charlie Roach-Smith.
Brettvale Ladies starting XI – Faye Lunn, Chloe Stopher, Coral Young, Kirby King, Rachel White, Robyn McEvoy, Amy Parton, Claire Turnbull (C), Amie Chippendale, Laura Tuley & Tarnya McKew. Subs – Kat Parnell, Leila Poulter, Georgia Lindon, Kristie Turner & Danni Lynch.
A minutes silence held before kick-off in respect and remembrance of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Our longest reigning Monarch may she rest in peace.
It’s the hosts East Bergholt to get the 1st half underway, wearing green coloured shirts with black sleeves, black shorts and socks with Brettvale lined up opposite wearing blue shirts fading to sky blue, blue shirts with sky blue trim and sky blue socks. The wind has really picked up in the minutes leading up to kick-off with the sky darkening as strong as it blows from one goal to the other, favouring Brettvale as the ball is played back to East Bergholt captain, Megan Partridge in midfield is brought down as she plays the ball an early free-kick for the hosts played out to left back Jess Clark goes forwards playing a one two with Jess Quinsee out with Kirby King comes across to close Clark down send the ball out for a throw in.
GOAL! A frantic start to the game the ball played on East Bergholt looking to press loose possession, Brettvale turning play around the pass sent out to Amie Chippendale wide right she in turn releasing it forwards quickly over the top with Coral Young peeling in behind on the wing getting hold of the ball as she runs into the box wide on the by-line digs a cross out slicing the ball high over the keepers head at the near post the ball dropping beyond a combination of wind and the spin on the ball seeing it rise up to cross the line drop into the goal 0-1.
A goal inside the opening 2 minutes for the visitors. East Bergholt looking out of sorts in the early exchanges sloppy on the ball giving away a corner. Played into captain Claire Turnbull top of the area leaning back as she attempts the shot, the ball cleared, Brettvale snapping in to prevent a break get the ball turned around out to Chippendale wide right finds the corner taker Tarnya McKew out wide top of the area her cross into the area wide at the far post.
Players closing each other down in the middle, time on the ball at a premium, Partridge breaking forwards gets clear of the centre backs the ball lifted on through the middle into her feet she bears down on the top of the area, goalkeeper, Faye Lunn already there staying big arms out makes a strong blocking save as Partridge strikes the ball, the rebound falling to Jade Horne to the right her 1st time effort on target but lacking the pace to beat Lunn having gotten back into her six yard box to catch the ball.
Is an open game as East Bergholt look to get forwards Brettvale are quick to get on the counter McKew up top looking to be the target player, a corner won on the right. Flighted into the middle of the box, Chippendale rising unopposed to head the ball in towards goal, dropping, East Bergholt goalkeeper, Zoe Adams with a sharp save beating the ball away to her right, her defence scrambling it clear at the far post.
Brettvale working hard to press the ball are forcing mistakes from East Bergholt as they look to get on the attack Amy Parton finds McKew up top, another corner won on the right the delivery defended at the near post. The wind affecting the flight of the ball at times better left on the ground the pitch is fairly hard which too is affecting the bounce making control tricky Turnbull fouled a free-kick for Brettvale 30 plus yards out to the right of goal. Chippendale’s shot sent in on target not troubling Adams. Partridge going forwards linking up with Millie Wilding the ball forwards into Vic Hall in attack, King getting the foot in to take the ball away from her, on the counter, McKew pulled up for offside as she pulls of the shoulder of the centre back too soon.
Play largely in the East Bergholt half as the visitors win back the ball frustration for the hosts who have not settled into any rhythm. Robyn McEvoy on the ball for Brettvale 30 yards out with a speculative attempt on goal wind assisted dips late almost catching Adams out is saved by the cross bar as the ball cannons off it away to the left. Stacey Desborough turning in the middle attempts to play the ball on for Horne on the right wing, Rachel White stretching into the challenge to put the ball away for a throw.
Conditions making the ball lively wrong footing players as they look to get it under control both sides affected. 20 minutes played Brettvale get on down the left Laura Tuley winning a corner. An inswinging delivery near post, Adams getting her fists to it to punch the ball away. Tuley left of goal hooking her shot over the bar. Players drawn to the right of the pitch as Horne presses on with the ball whipping a cross into the D, Chippendale tracking back cutting it out for Brettvale.
The visitors on the attack left side Tuley’s early cross into Chippendale 20 yards out right of the D, headed down into the area for McKew left, looking to get onto it get a shot away, Harriet Meers with her for East Bergholt, great defending from the centre back strong to hold off the attacker seeing the ball out of play well. A bit more urgency creeping into East Bergholt’s game as they look to get the ball on up the pitch quicker, King and White both intercepting the final ball inside their area. The risk they get hit on the counter, but so far Meers and fellow centre back Ella Karkoska are holding a good line catching McKew offside again.
A few knocks being taken out there the pitch is unforgiving a hard landing guaranteed. Clarke moving into space on the left sets her sights from all of 35 yards out a viciously hit ball, Lunn scrambling across her goal, is safe as it races wide of the left upright. McEvoy on for Chippendale right side closing in on the top of the area turn inside, Karkoska across to block her cross, Chippendale with a 2nd bite plays the ball low into the six yard box gathered by the keeper.
Half an hour played East Bergholt getting the ball forwards, Brettvale defending deeper making it hard to get in behind the right pass could open then up as Partridge brings the ball on, Quinsee and Wilding up with her, the ball into Hall looking to turn, King getting a foot in to take the ball off her feet. McKew is pulled up for a handball inside the D as she looks to get the better of the East Bergholt centrebacks as Chippendale flicks the ball on. Partridge making some strong runs on the ball from midfield, taking the ball out to the left has Clark up in support plays the pass into her the full back putting it inside for Wilding left of the D, turning attempts to drive into the area, King closing her down forcing her wide before clearing.
The open nature of the game see’s one East Bergholt attack quickly turning into a counter for Brettvale, Karkoska is exposed at the back with McKew putting her under pressure to get the bouncing ball dealt with, cool with it does well to play it to safety. McKew is putting in alot of running up top for Brettvale pulling into the channels always ready to receive the ball, her cross from the right, deflected behind by Meers for a corner.
East Bergholt with another killer pass through the middle setting there attacker through on goal, Lunn as she has all game out to the top of her area spreading her limbs as she makes the blocking save the ball spinning out to the right struck 1st time frustration as it spins away from the open goal wide. East Bergholt applying the pressure late the the 1st half winning their fair share of the 50/50 balls looking to get it moving forwards. Young with an attempt from distance keeping the hosts on their toes as it drops over the bar.
Half-time East Bergholt United Ladies 0-1 Brettvale Women
1-0 the advantage for Brettvale at the break. Coral Young’s cross spinning over the line in the 2nd minute the difference between the sides, Both goalkeepers called into action to make saves to keep the ball out. Brettvale starting the better getting after East Bergholt to press the ball take the game to them for large portions. The hosts looking unsettled taking a while to find their stride, looked better moving the ball quicker ending the half strongly. The conditions not helping with ball control with neither side getting it down and controlling proceedings has led to an open contest, certainly a derby feel to it and with a single goal in it still all to play for.
Looks like both sides are still the same at the start of the 2nd half, both used to roll on roll off substitutes the FA Women’s Cup with three substitutes meaning changes have to be more calculated. Brettvale too playing their first competitive match will they begin to tire as the 2nd half wears on. The windy conditions in theory favouring East Bergholt 2nd half if they can find a way to exploit them, Brettvale defending deeper trying not to let anything in behind. It’s Brettvale to get the 2nd half underway. Played back into McEvoy in midfield out to the right, the ball lost out of play.
McKew looking to get hold of the ball turn in behind as it comes to her left channel, Karkoska forcing her wide as Cameron gets back to help her out regain possession for East Bergholt. Coming right the hosts win a corner kick. The ball fizzed in near post is missed by Lunn as she goes to punch, drops for Desborough in the six yard box is quickly closed down, as she goes to strike the ball, hurt in the exchange as Lunn gets her gloves firmly around the ball. Desborough staying down needs treatment is slow to get to her feet but okay to continue.
East Bergholt’s Partridge finding room in the middle plays a great pass forwards for Horne releasing the attacker outside the D in behind turns on the ball, Lunn with a starting position often at the top of her area moves up sharply outside to get her foot through the ball to clear out for a throw right. Brettvale winning a free-kick wide left inside the East Bergholt half, McEvoy to play it in a teasing ball into the box bouncing in front of the keeper, Adams taking it cleanly despite runners going for it. Desborough is struggling from her earlier fall and needs to come of East Bergholt making the change bringing on Katie Bruce. Have been a few strong challenges put in from both sides all good natured so far but totting up the referee having a word with Partridge as Chippendale is brought down,
Play is stretched the game open one end to the other a cup tie, East Bergholt coming left Bruce crossing the ball intercepted in the middle by McEvoy cleared up field helped on for McKew to attack right channel, Adams out of her area to clear. Cameron playing a long ball up the right finding Horne out right outside the box sends in a low shot on the angle, Lunn getting down on her line to smother the ball. Moments later Horne is again played in on the right of the D pulling of the last defender to shoot, her strike driven wide of the right post.
East Bergholt starting to see more of the ball, Brettvale beginning to tire McKew with the rallying cry continues to get about the pitch in the final 3rd. East Bergholt with a 2nd change, Nicole Leppard coming on in attack for Hall. McKew is caught offside yet again more valuable seconds used up. The game remains open Brettvale knowing they can’t sit back and let East Bergholt come at them need a 2nd goal as much as their opponents need to equalise. Cameron cutting the ball out denying Tuley down the line as McEvoy looks to play her in.
Partridge seeing the ball into her feet well 25 yards out central for East Bergholt sliding it into Wilding right of the D, her 1st time effort blocked by Young going away for a corner. Put into the area from the right a hand ball spotted by referee, Thomas Ling the free-kick going to Brettvale. Wilding battling for the ball central with Quinsee played up top for Leppard to go after, Lunn out to clear put right a corner won. Played in centrally, Karkoska rising gets her head on it but can’t direct on target back to the corner taker closing inside flashes her cross wide across the face of goal.
Turnbull with a late challenge on Cameron, East Bergholt with the free-kick out wide right. Clark on it, an acute angle but nevertheless goes for goal curling the ball in with a left foot strike over Lunn as she goes for it near post drops onto the cross bar spinning away to the left where Brettvale give away another set-piece. Partridge on this one fired in waist height to the near post, Lunn across taking the ball into her midriff. A change for Brettvale Stopher coming off to be replaced by Kat Parnell.
East Bergholt getting players on Cameron and Clark looking to press on from full back to bolster the attack with the clock running down. Tuley does well to regain possession on the left for Brettvale sending the ball on up top for McKew to chase down, Karkoska doing well to win the ball as she get’s round on the cover to clear. Brettvale are tiring a few knocks being picked up, working hard to chase the ball. McEvoy coming across to support Turnbull. Tuley off for the visitors with Georgia Lindon coming on as they look to push on for the final 10 minutes of regular play.
Meers with a vital header to win the ball at the back for East Bergholt as Chippendale looks to capitalise in the middle off McKew’s knock on. Soon after McKew herself fires a shot over from the top of the area as East Bergholt fail to clear. Getting a bit feisty late on, McEvoy shown a yellow card. Parnell bursting forwards strong on the ball winning a throw in high. Played into McKew, Karkoska in close stretching to get a foot on the ball as she attempts to hold it up. The hosts attacking left, Wilding and Quinsee looking to combine exchanging passes as they close in on the box, Brettvale closing in to scramble it away.
Clark picking up a yellow card for East Bergholt. East Bergholt pressing forwards on the right a cross from the corner, drops to Quinsee clear at the far post six yards out, is this the moment the equaliser is found, NO as the header is agonisingly placed wide of the far post.
Brettvale are battling hard late on looking to hold onto their narrow lead, Parnell has picked up a knock and struggling has to come off, on in her place going into the back line is Danni Lynch. Lynch able to bring the ball on from the back left side played inside to Chippendale who turning attempts to play it into the feet of McKew pulling into the area from the right, Karkoska going with her shielding the ball well to see it back to her keeper.
Into stoppage time, Turnbull is down struggling with cramp in her calf, running it off not the most pleasant thing to do but there’s a game to see out. King has been solid at the back throughout for Brettvale and does well as she goes with Wilding as Partridge puts her in through the middle to defend for the visitors who celebrate as the final whistle blows and it’s Brettvale who progress in this season’s FA Women’s Cup.
Full time East Bergholt United Ladies 0-1 Brettvale Women
A trip to Norfolk for Brettvale in 2nd Round Qualifying of the FA Women’s Cup to play Division One side, Sprowston FC Women on Sunday 2nd October. Coral Young’s 2nd minute goal proving the difference between the sides in the finish. Brettvale holding on to their advantage to win through to the next round. Were pushed hard by East Bergholt in the 2nd half who came close to finding the equalising goal the woodwork struck just wasn’t to be their day. Brettvale working hard until the final whistle to hold on for the win looking for a much needed 2nd goal themselves. The time open to the end.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. This is another tough one to call some strong contenders out their and a few performances of note to mention. Firstly for East Bergholt, Megan Partridge with some great tackling and midfield runs looking to create openings for her side. Centre backs Harriet Meers and Ella Karkoska with some vital tackles at the back to ensure the game was never settled. For Brettvale, Amie Chippendale was strong out on the right winning the ball and getting forwards to support McKew in attack. Tarnya McKew herself was fantastic leading the line, a constant outlet for any forward pass showing good movement across the final 3rd and creating opportunities throughout the game. Is narrowly pipped to today’s award by defender Kirby King was brilliant at the back rarely out of position getting in to win the ball as East Bergholt tried all they could to find a way through the middle full of running around on the cover well as play was stretched late on.
Another enjoyable game from Suffolk, didn’t think there would be much between the sides and that would result in a proper cup tie wasn’t disappointed. Good to catch up with a few familiar faces and my thanks to both sides for their assistance today.
by Darren Gilham