Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Ipswich Town Ladies

This Sunday’s match report from the Supporting Women’s Football Blog comes from The Abbey Stadium, home of League Two side Cambridge United FC, another opportunity for the players of Cambridge United WFC to play at the ground following their merger last season. In league action in the FAWPL South East Division One looking to get back to winning ways having lost ground on the top 3 sides welcomed visitors Ipswich Town Ladies.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Ipswich Town Ladies

 The women’s football action this Sunday takes me to the Cambs Glass Abbey Stadium as Cambridge United WFC get another great opportunity to play at League Two side Cambridge United FC’s home ground taking on Ipswich Town Ladies in the FAWPL South East Division One. 

  Is great to see Cambridge United WFC back at The Abbey Stadium after their link up with the men’s club last season. An increasing number of mainstream Football League, Championship and even Premiership sides have or soon will be hosting their ladies sides which is great for the game and very encouraging. 

  Cambridge United WFC were the pace setters for a long spell in the FAWPL South East Division One before Christmas, runs in both the County Cup, reaching yet another final as holders and the FA Women’s Cup have seen them drop down to 4th in the table through lack of league games and Gillingham FC Ladies making up their games in hand keeping their unbeaten record in the league have taken over at the top. 2 draws and loss from their 3 league matches played in 2017 a win today would get them back on the tail of the top 3. Have seen a few departures of late players moving to other clubs. Welcome back Sarah Wiltshire wife of 1st team manger Steve Edwards returning to the football field a little over a month after giving birth to daughter Alexa-Rose as she looks to return to match sharpness for the start of Yeovil Town Ladies debut season in FAWSL 1.

  Ipswich Town Ladies were targeting a push for the top of the table themselves at the start of the season, with a large squad of players signed up started a new Development side this season playing in the Suffolk Women’s Division, topping the table unbeaten players have stepped up to the 1st team and been named in the County Representative squad. In the FAWPL South East Division One the results haven’t come for the 1st team down in 9th a strong finish to the season could yet propel Ipswich Town into the top half of the table and like Cambridge United have reached the Suffolk County Cup Final were they are also the defending cup holders.

  Know where the entrance is to the carpark behind The Abbey Stadium is now, arrived early the Main Stand open along with the Dion Dublin Suite. A bit of building work going on the last time I visited all complete now looks very nice purchased a cup of tea that I managed to spill down my jumper (I’m sure no-one noticed). A good playing surface at The Abbey Stadium a good size. The main stand behind the dugouts a two tier all-seater running the length of the pitch. A bright day warm the sun behind the stand however putting it in the shade few clouds around but no chance of rain.

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Laura Bright (C), Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Laura Baker, Evie Gallop, Laura Mills, Ashleigh Deacon, Becky Taylor & Sarah Wiltshire.
  subs – Carolyn Sarafian & Gabrielle Whitehurst.

  Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Leanne Smith, Tamesha Blackwood, Eva Hubbard, Sian Fagg, Aimee Harrison (C), Lindsay Cooper, Laura Guyon, Amy Howlett, Hollie Clement, Sophie Welton & Natasha Thomas.

  subs – Joyce Mlambo, Roxanne Small, Jade Henry, Miagh Downey & Ellie Bird.

  With a few players missing and an important cup semi-final for Cambridge United WFC’s Reserves side also being played today they named just the two players on the bench. It’s Ipswich to kick-off the wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Cambridge lined up opposite wearing Amber shirts and socks with black shorts. Winning possession Cambridge attack down the left Ashleigh Deacon on the move wins a throw taken quickly played inside to Becky Taylor sends a high diagonal ball into the area looking to pick out Evie Gallop making a run central to get into the box, Ipswich goalkeeper Leanne Smith calls for the ball and catches it above her head.

   A quiet opening to the match both sides testing the other with probing balls down the wings the full-backs winning their challenges. Ipswich are awarded a free-kick 30 yards out to the left of the area a chance to bring players forwards load the box have a height advantage over Cambridge, Hollie Clement to play the ball in a good delivery towards the near post, Cambridge goalkeeper Verity Crook takes the ball well with players all around her.

 Deacon moves forwards played in behind by Gallop support from left back Carrie Bennett the ball is played into the area, Sarah Wiltshire having make the run looking to get on the end of the pass inside the box tackled well by Ipswich captain, Aimee Harrison the ball deflecting out to the right side is picked up by Cambridge’s Laura Mills who shoots from the angle her strike flying over the bar. Clement looks to thread the ball into Thomas as she looks to get in behind, Kayleigh-Anne Burt stepping across challenges winning the ball from the attacker.

Ipswich’s Tamesha Blackwood & Lindsay Cooper with
Cambridge’s Evie Gallop

 GOAL! 10 minutes into the game and Cambridge take the lead, the ball is played out from the back into the Ipswich half, Harrison cushions her headed ball down to the left, falls to Deacon, Cambridge react quickly, both Taylor and Wiltshire break forwards Deacon threading the ball through into Wiltshire’s run left side into the box, Smith comes rushing out as Wiltshire pulls the trigger the shot past the goalkeeper runs across the six yard box striking the far post and in 1-0.

  Ipswich break space in behind on the right for Natasha Thomas squares the ball into the six yard box is cut out by Cambridge captain Laura Bright at the back the clearance going to Amy Howlett right side dives the ball back across the face of the Cambridge goal, Sophie Welton far post can’t connect as the ball runs wide for a goal-kick. Laura Guyon takes the ball to the byline fro Ipswich right side turning it back in towards the middle of goal, right back Emma Jenkins stopping it getting beyond her, Crook gathering the ball into her body.

Ipswich Town Ladies, Natasha Thomas

  Harrison steps in to stop Wiltshire as she pushes forwards with the ball through the middle. Ipswich counter attack on the left the ball played into Thomas, appeals for handball as the cross is put into the area possession outside the referee Chris Abbott spots a foul with no advantage brings play back for the free-kick in a dangerous position 25 yards out, Clement over the set-piece gets the ball past the Cambridge wall into the area, Bright cuts in out on the penalty spot, Harrison squeezes it back to Sian Fagg top of the area her strike is blocked the ball spinning away to the right picked up by Howlett inside the area sends the cross back into the six yard box Bright intercepting for a 2nd time Cambridge clear their lines.

   Thomas plays the ball out to Howlett getting in behind the Cambridge defence on the right side driving inside towards the box shoots the rising ball palmed down and gathered by Crook at her near post. Mills out on the right for Cambridge gets in behind taking the ball down the wing puts a looping ball in towards the near post area 8 yards out Gallop arriving throws herself at the ball her diving head angling away across the goal and out beyond the far post. 

Cambridge United WFC’s, Becky Taylor

  A good triangle between Taylor, Gallop and Bennett on the left side for Cambridge as the ball is brought on the final ball in towards the top of the area with Wiltshire making the run, Smith reacts quickly coming out to the edge of her box winning the race for the ball. Mills cuts the ball back towards the top of the area Gallop sees her strike charged down deflected behind for a corner. A high ball into the area from the right, Ipswich defender Lindsay Cooper gets up highest to head the ball out of the area.

Ipswich’s Thomas contests the ball with Cambridge’s Laura Baker

  An ambitious effort from Howlett, 40 yards out central position fires a dipping shot in towards goal, Crook falling forwards collects the ball on the bounce inside her six yard box. Fagg wins the ball from Wiltshire in the middle of the park plays the ball onto Guyon ahead of her space for Howlett to run into on the right Guyon picks her out the cross comes in Jenkins tracking back gets her head on the ball to clear. Thomas getting onto the ball is allowed to drive on towards the byline right side cuts the cross ball along the face of goal, Bright just about gets her foot in to kill the ball see it into her keeper with Clement free for a tap in at the far post.

  Bennett brings the ball forwards on the left infield to Wiltshire who sends Deacon through on that side on the move Deacon plays the ball back inside to Wiltshire arriving at the top of the area, falling back as she sees the ball across her body slices her shot sending it wide of the Ipswich goal. 

  GOAL! Ipswich get themselves back on level terms pushing forwards Howlett on the all attacking right plays the ball into the feet of Guyon top of the area, gets the return ball played into her feet as she continues her run into the box and sends her 1st time strike up and over Crook to land in the back of the net beyond with 10 minutes of the 1st half left 1-1.

Ipswich’s Amy Howlett makes it 1-1

 Mills driving forwards with the ball towards the Ipswich box unleashes a shot from 20 yards out getting down Smith gets her gloves behind the stinging shot, the ball striking a defender and running behind for a corner kick. A good delivery from the left side into the six yard box, Bright throws herself at the ball but doesn’t connect. Clement is over the ball for a free-kick to Ipswich inside the Cambridge half plays a high ball in towards goal, Crook on her line is phased by the blue shirt closing in as she takes the ball cleanly above her head.

  Cambridge launch a rapid counter attack Jenkins playing the ball on for Gallop moving into space on the right sends her cross long towards the far post over Smith, Taylor leaps tries to head the ball back across goal bounces on the line before skimming of the face of the far post cleared for a corner on the right. Into 1st half injury time breaking up an Ipswich attack Cambridge go forwards the ball played out to Mills on the move right side fires her cross in to Gallop coming near post looks to hit the shot on the turn straight into Harrison closely marking her.

 Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-1 Ipswich Town Ladies
All square at the break, Cambridge getting into the lead early the match settling into an even contest both sides finding space in behind in a open contest both looking to spread the play Ipswich getting back on level terms all to play for 2nd half.
  A change for Cambridge at the break with defender Kayleigh-Anne Burt coming off, Carolyn Sarafian taking her place in the centre of defence. Cambridge kick off the 2nd half. Played out to Mills on the right has Jenkins up with her plays the ball long into the area, Smith calls and claims. Fagg fouls Wiltshire in the centre of middle a free-kick awarded 30 yards out Wiltshire tests the keeper playing the ball in towards goal, Smith behind the ball jumps and claims well with players closing her down.
  Mills on the charge into space on the right cuts the ball back to the top of the box, Gallop looks to turn hit a shot goalwards, Taylor too close to get out of the way takes over takes the ball right looking for space to shoot, nothing on plays the ball back to Mills puts her strike wide at the near post. Cambridge have started the 2nd half brightly, Ipswich are a little flat. Deacon shifts the ball between her feet taking it down the line playing the ball inside to Gallop at the top of the area turns fires the shot in towards goal past the keeper races wide across the goal a deflection on the way through the corner is awarded.
Cambridge’s Emma Jenkins with Ipswich’s Hollie Clement
  The initial delivery cleared the ball comes back to Deacon rolls it into Wiltshire top left corner of the box fires in a cross towards the far post Taylor gets her head on the ball knocking it back across towards the opposite post Gallop closely marked by Blackwood can’t get her head on the ball. Jenkins getting forwards plays the ball in behind for Mills down the right puts the ball into the area early, Wiltshire stretching throws her leg at the ball puts the ball straight into the keepers gloves. Mills attacking right sees her cross go long collected by Deacon on the opposite flank rolls it into Wiltshire outside the box, comes inside unleashes a shoot Cooper heads the ball behind for the corner kick.
 GOAL! 12 minutes played in the 2nd half and Cambridge retake the lead capitalising on their positive start to the 2nd half. The corner is played in towards the six yard box a glancing header from an Ipswich player only succeeds in helping the ball on dropping to the floor several amber shirted players pounce the ball is turned over the line, the scorer Bright makes it 2-1.
Cambridge United WFC captain, Laura Bright 
  Thomas takes on a couple of Cambridge players in the middle before threading the ball on for Howlett right side looking to get in on goal is forced wide by Bennett, eventually winning a corner, players come up from the back the delivery is met by Cooper at the near post her header taking the ball in towards goal, Bright headers the ball away on the goal line, going out to the far side play is halted as Jenkins is fouled.
Ipswich Town Ladies, Lindsay Cooper
  Up the other end it’s Cambridge’s turn to bring players forwards into the Ipswich box for a corner a pacy ball in from the right Bright throws herself at it again a glancing header taking it out towards Deacon at the far post a couple of yards out shoots Smith dives gets enough on the ball to take it onto the post rebounds out into the middle of the six yard box Smith produces a fantastic save throwing herself to the floor to keep the ball out before it is launched out of the area.
  A free-kick for Ipswich on the left outside the Cambridge box Clement sends it long Harrison far side keeps the ball alive knocking in on for Thomas beyond her plays it back in field with Howlett racing in shooting from outside the box her attempt flashes wide across the Cambridge goal. Hubbard brings the ball in field from the left into Clement the ball rolled into Thomas inside the D, her strike at goal charged down by Bright.
Sarah Wiltshire scores a
hat-trick at The
Abbey Stadium
  GOAL! 20 minutes left on the clock and Cambridge go on to double their lead awarded a free-kick on the left outside the area as Deacon is fouled. Wiltshire to take the set-piece is a fantastic strike going for goal getting the ball up and over Smith who can do little about it as it drops under the bar and in to see Cambridge lead 3-1.
  Cambridge make a change before the restart Gabrielle Whitehurst coming on for Gallop.
 GOAL! Straight from the restart Cambridge go on to extend their lead as Wiltshire completes her hat-trick the ball won by Taylor on halfway links up with Mills who sends the ball forwards the knock down from the Ipswich defence falling to Deacon with Wiltshire ahead of her gets in front of her marker as the ball is rolled forwards into her feet and strikes a left foot shot from the edge of the box into the top corner 4-1.
  Ipswich makes a double switch Clement and Welton the players taken off, Jade Henry and Miagh Downey having finished her season with Colchester Town Ladies coming on both going up top. Thomas looks to play Downey in from the right straight away, Sarafain nipping in to take the ball from the attackers feet put the ball out for a throw in. Good link up play between Thomas and Henry moments later outside the area the ball played into Howlett coming into the area from the right shifts the ball inside to wrong foot Bennett gets a shot away, Crook makes a comfortable save. 
  Ipswich bring on Joyce Mlambo for Guyon late on in the game, plays the ball on for Howlett making the run to her right down the wing squares the cross in towards the near post is claimed by Crook the final whistle blows and Cambridge win the 3 points.
Full time Cambridge United WFC 4-1 Ipswich Town Ladies

 The win moving Cambridge onto 32 points for the season 3 points behind 3rd placed AFC Wimbledon Ladies and 5 behind 2nd placed Milton Keynes Dons Ladies have games in hand on both sides. A comfortable win in the end all square after the 1st half Cambridge the better side 2nd half, creating chances and scoring 3 goals their 1st league win of 2017 much needed especially in front of The Abbey Stadium crowd.  
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

  With 3 well taken goals today’s SWF Blog – Player of the Match is Cambridge’s Sarah Wiltshire, a hat-trick at The Abbey Stadium, no new mother has done that before.
 A good day out at The Abbey Stadium good to see Cambridge United WFC beck there again and hope to see more in the future. Managed to leave my wallet behind after the game so very grateful it was found and returned.