Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Stevenage Ladies

  Midweek football action from Mildenhall Town FC on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog with 3rd placed Cambridge United looking to build on recent good form could go top tonight should they beat newly promoted Stevenage Ladies who picked up their 1st point at this higher level at the weekend.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Stevenage Ladies

  A short journey down to Mildenhall Town FC this evening to catch some midweek action from the FAWPL South East Division One, with Cambridge United WFC hosting newly promoted Stevenage Ladies.

  Cambridge United WFC are up to 3rd in the FAWPL South East Division One table after a 3-1 win away to Norwich City Ladies on Sunday. A point off the leaders Luton Town Ladies had the chance to go top of the table tonight with a win albeit early days in the season. Have made several new signings over the close season, with Rosie Kmita coming in from Tottenham Hotspur Ladies recently making her competitive debut for the Cambridge against Norwich at the weekend. Nicole Perschky and Hollie Jardine know tonight’s opponents well having joined from Stevenage Ladies over the summer. Both were starting tonight.

  Stevenage Ladies won the ERWFL Premier Division title last season to earn promotion to the FAWPL South East Division One. Gary Bailey took over as 1st team manager during the close season, joining him as assistant manager, Reece Buck formerly managing Hoddesdon Town Ladies. A few Hoddesdon players have followed him from the club, Daniela Martucci, Stephanie Mann, Leah Dunnage, Becky Scola & Kristina O’Connell. Becky Day who is a regular for the Hertfordshire FA’s representative side also joins from Hitchin Town Ladies. Lost their opening 2 league matches at this level, most recently earning their 1st point in the FAWPL drawing 3-3 at home to Actonians Ladies last Sunday, Kristina O’Connell scoring all 3 goals.

  Has been another hot and sunny day, still warm as the sun starts to go down and the floodlights come on. The Mildenhall Town FC pitch looking in great condition even though it has seen alot of play already this season 20 games with 5 sides using it. A slope from one goal mouth to the other. 

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Hollie Jardine, Rosie Kmita, Emma Jenkins, Laura Bright (C), Paige Logie, Dawn Mallett, Becky Taylor, Ashleigh Deacon, Laura Mills & Nicole Perschky
  subs – Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Faith Hewitt, Evie Gallop, Tahnee Perfect & Carolyn Sarafian. 

  Stevenage Ladies starting XI – Becky Scott, Sophie Bailey, Leah Dunnage, Tanya Blacksley, Amy Josland, Amy Notschild, Donna McGuigan (C), Lisa Milliken, Cara Breckenridge, Kristina O’Connell & Becky Scola.

  subs – Hayley Wood-Thompson, Bolu Fisher, Becky Day & Jenny Hepton.

  It’s Stevenage to get the match underway kicking off 1st half attacking down the slope wearing an all blue kit with black sleeves on the shirts with Cambridge wearing amber shirts and socks with black shorts. The home side make ground attacking down the right the ball is swung up into the middle the clearance top of the box falls to Cara Breckenridge lays the ball forwards for Becky Scola to take on into the Cambridge box is pushed wide, wins th visitors an early corner. 

  Breckenridge picks the ball up from a throw inside the Cambridge half plays a long crossfield ball to the right wing with Lisa Milliken charging forwards into space, Rosie Kmita playing at left back for Cambridge gets her head to the ball taking the ball over Milliken out for a throw on the right. 

  GOAL! Cambridge get hold of the ball from the throw the ball played up the left for Ashleigh Deacon, taking it on, Kmita bursts forwards receiving the ball on the overlap fires the ball into Nicole Perschky inside the Stevenage area, a good 1st touch to kill the pace on the ball wrong foot her marker, then turns hitting her shot low and hard across goalkeeper Becky Scott into the back of the net 1-0. 4 minutes played.

Nicole Perschky with Stevenage’s Tanya Blacksley
(photo credit Gary Reed)

  A bright start from Cambridge another attack up the left the ball played inside into Perschky, looks to play the ball on for Laura Mills who has charged up the right wing coming inside into the box, the attack is stopped by the offside flag. 
  GOAL! Hollie Jardine starting at right back for Cambridge tonight fouls Stevenage captain, Donna McGuigan inside the Cambridge half left of the centre circle. A chance for Stevenage to push players forwards from the back with Breckenridge on the ball. Plays a great delivery into the area swung in centrally has to be dealt with, both Cambridge centre backs look to come to the ball jump to head it away, Emma Jenkins gets her head to the ball ends up playing the ball into her own net 1-1. The lead lasting just 2 minutes.

  Is a frantic pace to the match, Stevenage playing 3 at the back with Milliken and Breckenridge providing the width left and right dropping back went necessary. Some committed challenges on the field to a few complaints to the referee. Jardine wins the ball inside the Stevenage half on the right plays it into Logie in midfield, put back to Jenkins her pass lifted up to Perschky in a central position looks to flick it over the top into the box Tanya Blacksley heads it away to the right for Stevenage. Mills gets hold of it looks to play the cross back into the box, Cambridge want a penalty as Taylor is bundled over, nothing given.

  Becky Scott is out to the edge of her area to claim the ball as Perschky runs in behind the Stevenage defence looking to get on the end of Dawn Mallett’s through ball. Jardine attempts to play the crossfield pass for Deacon to run onto on the left, Sophie Bailey steps out of the back line to put in a good tackle to win the ball. Deacon with the ball at her feet as Cambridge attack down the left again 25 yards out comes back inside moving central attempts to reverse the ball play it into the area for the attackers to run onto, too straight the ball runs out of play. 

   Stevenage are working hard to compete for the ball, in front of the defence, Amy Notschild is cutting out alot of Cambridge passes, playing the ball out to Breckenridge on the left, plays the ball into Scola going on the overlap beyond her gets the ball back sends a cross into the box, too close to Verity Crook, Cambridge’s goalkeeper catches the ball. 

  Jardine comes away with the ball making the challenge inside the Stevenage half up the right wing for Mills to go after, squares the cross in towards the near post, Leah Dunnage cuts the cross out, the ball cleared into the middle is played back up into the box Perschky looks to hold it up, Dunnage closes her down tackling taking the ball away from her, a corner is conceded on the left. Stevenage defend 2 near post deliveries before the 3rd one goes long out of play.

  Winning the ball back for Stevenage, Notschild plays it into Scola coming to the halfway line, turns well evading a tackle passing into McGuigan ahead of her, shoots from distance the back dropping into the back of the net, however she committed a foul before shooting play brought back for the free kick. Amy Josland plays the ball on for Milliken wide right taking it on down the wing, passing the ball inside to McGuigan, top of the area she slips as she looks to play the ball on into the area with Milliken continuing her run. 

  Kmita gets in around the back as she races up the wing to support Deacon turning inside loos to lift the ball into the area for Perschky, Notschild back defending heads the ball out of danger. Jardine comes on with the ball gets fouled by Scola 30 yards from goal the free-kick given. The Stevenage management aren’t happy with the referee getting a little carried away play is stopped as he has a word. Bright on the set-piece plays it in to the top of the area Dunnage going up with Taylor does well getting enough on the ball to knock it down to the floor before it is launched clear.

   A committed contest both sides working hard, some strong challenges will be a few bruises to show for it in the morning. Pinging around in midfield the ball runs favourably for Taylor 30 yards out, takes on the shot dips late but not enough as it whistles over the crossbar. Taylor involved again as she closes Josland down to the right inside the Stevenage half, plays the ball in field Mallett picking it up driving on before taking on the shot pace on the ball it bounces as it comes straight at Scott, escapes her for a moment but grabs hold of it at the 2nd attempt before Deacon can capitalise.

  Breckenridge takes the ball inside from the left attacking for Stevenage plays the ball into McGuigan’s feet pushing forwards lays the ball out to Scola peeling away into space on the left into the box shoots her low drive into the centre of the six yard box, Crook going to ground makes a comfortable save. 

  Cambridge attack late in the 1st half up the right Jardine on for Taylor her low cross driven into the box is sliced across the area by Dunnage as she goes to clear, no one wearing an amber shirt can react. A corner on the left for Cambridge taken quickly by Mills down the line for Mallett cuts inside, shoots aiming for the far corner the ball goes wide.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 1-1 Stevenage Ladies

  A square at the break both goals coming early on, the game played at a high tempo, Stevenage putting alot in to close the ball and minimise Cambridge possession. The three at the back dealing with most thing’s if Cambridge have been able to get it past Notschild in the 1st place. The better chances have fallen Cambridge’s way without overly testing Scott in the Stevenage goal. 
  Cambridge attacking down the slope in the 2nd half as they kick-off no changes for either side at the break. Lose possession early on the ball as Kristina O’Connell challenges for it, goes after the ball passing it wide left to Scola, shoots from the angle the ball in low wide of goal. Cambridge get Taylor on the ball inside the Stevenage half passes to Perschky central her back to goal, lays it wide to Kmita coming on from the back who plays the diagonal ball towards Mallett moving towards the top right corner of the area, Mallett takes on the shot drilling her effort wide across the face of goal.
  Josland finding room in the middle to bring the ball on sends the pass on to McGuigan ahead of her, 25 yards out opts to shot, loses her footing taking the pace of the ball the shot bounces through to Crook. Mills with the ball at her feet runs up the right wing squares a cross into the box is deflected behind for the corner. The ball is played in towards the top of the area, Bright headers the ball down with Logie free to her left connects with the ball sending a looping ball in towards goal his headed away from the goal line dropping into the crowd beyond, another shot comes in this one is taken cleanly by Scott.
  No let up in the pace, a couple of clattering challenges one leaving Logie in a heap on the floor needing treatment. Mallett is over the free-kick central a long way out drops the ball straight into Scott’s gloves. Milliken drives up the right with the ball attempts the through ball for Scola, is cut out by Bright. Cambridge break the ball fizzed into Perschky’s feet good hold up play with Mills making the run on the right looks to get the ball across to her, Breckenridge tracks back well to tackle and thwart the attack.
  A free kick for Cambridge out wide on the right, Mallett over the ball flights a good delivery into the six yard box Logie gets up to meet it headers the ball wide of goal. O’Connell charges down Bright as she looks to play the ball out of the back the ball rebounding in behind the striker goes after it, Crook is sharply out of her area to kick the ball up field. Good build up lay from Stevenage the ball played up to O’Connell heads it down for McGuigan, Notschild comes on receives the ball looks to thread it through the middle for Scola, Jenkins steps forwards to intercept.
  A change for both sides, Becky Day coming on for Notschild for Stevenage. Kayleigh-Anne Burt comes on for Cambridge replacing Deacon sees a shift of personnel with Burt joining Bright at centre back, Jardine switching from right to left back with Kmita pushed up the pitch, Jenkins into right back. 
  GOAL! 20 minutes into the 2nd half and Cambridge retake the lead. Build up on the right as Jenkins wins possession of the ball plays it on for Taylor. She passes the ball into Perschky just inside the box into her feet, shifts it well to evade her marker creating room to shot sends the up into the top corner 2-1.

  Stevenage look for a immediate response from the restart the ball played out to Breckenridge on the left crosses early playing the ball into the box, the onrushing O’Connell gets her head to the ball places it wide. Cambridge get the ball up the other end win a corner kick on the right the ball fired in near post is cleared drops to Taylor at the top of the area her shot into the crowd ahead of her is blocked spins out to the left the ball is launched back in towards the far post Cambridge have plenty of players their the ball turned goalwards is initially cleared off the line before being turned in again and bundled over the line, but in all the excitement the flag is up on the far side for offside goal disallowed.
  GOAL! Cambridge do extend their lead on the 70th minute, attacking down the left Jardine on for Kmita the ball is fired up into the box, Perschky the target, good foot work to see the ball into her body then roll it on for Taylor unmarked to her left inside the box Taylor goes for goal hitting her shot back across the keeper and into the bottom corner 3-1.

Cambridge United WFC’s
Becky Taylor
(photo credit Gary Reed)

  Cambridge make their 2nd change bringing Evie Gallop on for Logie. Stevenage make 2 changes, Bolu Fisher coming on for Scola in attack. Milliken is substituted too, Hayley Wood-Thompson comes on. McGuigan takes a heavy knock as she is fouled in a central position 25 yards from goal. O’Connell on the ball hits it hard, how hard only Mallett will know as charging out she blocks, her bottom feeling the full force of the shot.

  Cambridge do everything bar score as they get a corner on the right Mills playing the ball towards the near post Bright headers on is cleared off the line drops into the area another shot comes in  blocked a 3rd attempt coming back off the post before Stevenage scramble it to safety. Cambridge make their final change bringing on Carolyn Sarafian for Jardine. Into the last 10 minutes and both sides are still putting alot of energy into their football. Another Cambridge corner headed on at the near post falls to Mills waiting far side looks to lift a shot into the near post Scott gets across her goal face smartly to take the ball.

  GOAL! Stevenage pull a goal back as they push up the field, O’Connell has come deep to receive the ball, Wood-Thompson is already on the move on the right, O’Connell picks her out, as she runs in behind takes the ball on turning inside towards the box before shooting sending a delightful ball up and over Crook to nestle in the back of the net 3-2 to set up a lively finish with 3 minutes of normal time left on the clock. 

  Free-kick for Cambridge wide right, Mallett over sees her initial delivery cleared back out to her by Blacksley. Taking the ball on down the line lifts a cross in high towards the far post Taylor coming in throws herself up to try and get the ball, can’t get to it ends up in the net herself. Kmita with a burst of pace on the left plays the ball long crossfield into Mills on the right takes the ball on down to the byline before cutting it back to Taylor outside the area goes for goal, Scott is right behind the shot makes the save.

  Stevenage press hard for an equaliser as the game move into injury time, from a throw on the right, Bailey up the pitch plays it on for O’Connell right plays the ball into the area, Bright does enough to keep McGuigan from getting anything on the ball as it bounces up allowing Crook to collect inside the six yard box. 

Full-time Cambridge United WFC 3-2 Stevenage Ladies

  Cambridge hold on at the end to win 3-2  the win seeing them go top of the FAWPL South East Division One. An entertaining contest, played at a fast tempo from start to finish in front of a good sized crowd. Plenty of action another great advert for the women’s game, Stevenage working hard to close the ball down and limit Cambridge’s attacking play. Going 3-1 down before pulling a goal back later on to set up a tense finish. No easy games in this division going to be an intriguing league from top to bottom all season and we’ve barely gotten started.
  My thanks to both clubs for their help with the team details tonight.