Match Report Special – Kick Cancer Cup 2023

Thursday 25th May

Kick Cancer Cup 2023

One last game to end the season and it will be a memorable one as the footballing community comes together for one last time for the last Kick Cancer Cup, held in memory of two special women whose lives were taken for too soon by cancer, Samantha Issacson and Charlene Martin.

  The 6th and last Kick Cancer Cup being played between the Sam’s XI and Charlene’s XI squads at the Westwood Road Stadium home of St Ives Town FC’s men’s and women’s sides. 

  The Kick Cancer Cup has raised over £50,000 for charity over the 5 season’s it has been held prior to this evenings event. Samantha Issacson was just 25 years old when she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2014. With the help of family and friends set up the Kick Cancer Cup to help raise funds for charities close to her heart as she began her tough battle with the decease, continued playing throughout for Fulbourn Institute Bluebirds (many of her old teammates coming together once again this evening to play in her memory) Outfield or in goal lived life to the full, traditionally the Kick Cancer Cup between Sam’s squad and an S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women’s League representative squad, played at Histon FC a special occasion raising vital funds. After a long battle with cancer Sam very sadly passed away in 2021. Sam wanted their to be one more Kick Cancer Cup and everyone has come together to make it happen.

Samantha Isaacson keeping goal at the Kick Cancer Cup 2018

 Charlene Martin was to tragically lose her own battle with bowel cancer in February 202 after a three year battle with bowel cancer herself. Had played in previous Kick Cancer Cup’s with Sam Issacson and was a much loved member of the St Ives Town and wider football community. One of the original members if the St Ives Town Ladies football club that was to burst onto the women’s football scene in Cambridgeshire and become an integral part of the club as a whole. As the @bowelcancerballer helped to raise awareness of the decease as she highlighted her own battle with cancer.

Charlene Martin one of the founding players at St Ives Town Ladies.

 Cancer will affect us all at some point in our lifetimes either directly or indirectly and this evening we come together at St Ives Town to play and watch a football match in their memory but also to enjoy the occasion as they would have wanted.

  A brand new artificial pitch for St Ives Town FC these days a good size nice and flat… but I kind of miss it rising up in one corner like it used too with the old grass pitch The clubhouse overlooking one side of the pitch 3 small seated and covered stands opposite. The bar and kitchen hatch open serving hot food and drinks. A cake stall selling homemade cakes (very nice too) and a raffle selling out of tickets that offered lots of wonderful prizes, all for a good cause the Arthur Rank Hospice. 

SAM’S XI squad – Michelle McCormack (C), Liz Pamplin, Emma Da Costa, Dominika Szary, Emma Roberts, Jenna Hulme, Charlotte Taylor, Ebony Crook, Emma Clark, Jess Anderson, Joeli Kirby, Katie Chaudhry, Kayleigh Whitehead, Kirstie Smith, Krissie Taylor, Laura Mills, Stacey Fullicks, Marie Stubbings, Naomi Weir, Nat Powell-Wells, Liv Ashby, Rosie Boynes, Seema Grewal, Stacey Taylor, Tash Applegate, Vicky Houchin, Kate Taylor, Holly Hayes, Abi Molloy, Emily Ingle & Connie De Martino.

 Management team – Vicky Neal & Jade Bell.

Sam’s XI squad (photo credit Edward Payne)


 CHARLENE’S XI squad – Caitlin McGeown (C), Kira Markwell, Georgia Stancombe, Mollie Berryman, Sascha Smith, Emily Stephenson, Molly Flack, Sophie Marjoram, Kellie Dixon, Caitlin Jarman, Koren Evans, Sophie Crook, Niamh Sutherland, Sasha Smith, Katie Stancombe, Cherish Sibanda, Steph Ransome, Georgia Astley, Jade Carpenter & Ruth Fox.

 Management team – Neil Martin & Darren Marjoram.

Charlene’s XI squad (photo credit Edward Payne)


 A minutes applause held for both Sam and Charlene prior to kick off. A charity game a special occasion will dispense with the traditional match report format the over 50 players, current, sort of retired and retired coming together across both squads the game split into 3, 30 minute halves giving all a chance to play sub will be numerous and I’m not going to keep track of them all but will do my best. Special shirts make for the occasion, the Sam’s XI squad wearing pink coloured shirts, Charlene’s XI squad wearing sky blue, black and white shirts with vibes to St Ives from which all of the squad are current or have previously played.

A minutes applause enjoyed before kick-off

 St Ives Mayor, Phil Pope leading the two sides out onto the pitch on a pleasant sunny evening. Caitlin McGeown, Charlene Martin’s daughter captaining the Charlene’s XI squad with her father Neil managing along side Darren Marjoram to get the Kick Cancer Cup 2023 underway, the ball rolled back into the middle then defence, fired forwards up to the left, Sarah Bodger in the back line for Sam’s XI volleying the ball clear.

Charlene’s XI captain, Caitlin McGeown

  The ball knocked back and forth between defences as both sides launch it forwards in the early exchanges, Charlene’s XI attack left the ball crossed into the top of the area, Bodger again in to clear for Sam’s XI. Michelle McCormack captaining the Sam’s XI squad bringing the ball on from the back moving left sends the ball on down the line for Katie Chaudhry, Katie Stancombe getting across to challenge for Charlene’s XI forwards into Niamh Sutherland looks to play it right for Caitlin Jarman pushing on, Emma Roberts tackling for Sam’s XI at full back.

 McCormack taking the ball on for Sam’s XI from the back linking with Ebony Crook pulling wide left goes on, Molly Flack getting across her path at the back for Charlene’s XI to see the ball back to goalkeeper Kira Markwell to clear. Liz Pamplin with 500 appearances for Cambridge United WFC before retiring in goal for Sam’s XI in the 1st period getting her gloves up to block at close range on Katie Stancombe’s shot as she moves in to attack the goal from the right following in on Caitlin Jarman’s free-kick fired in from deep on the right for Charlene’s XI.

Liz Pamplin out to close Katie Stancombe down as she runs through to attack the goal (photo credit Edward Payne)

 Jarman bursting on for Charlene’s XI on the right, Roberts closing on to tackle well for Sam’s XI. Chaudhry fed on by Roberts down the left for Sam’s XI threading a low pass into the D for Crook to attack, Flack again across the attack to put the ball into Markwell to launch clear. Ruth Fox clipping a pass out to Jarman racing on right flank her cross from the corner fizzed in near post claimed by Pamplin. 

  I’ve seen most of these players in action over the years and the memory banks are kicking in a bit got a few duplicate numbers out there but thankfully no twins to deal with cause they can be a real challenge, but I have my ways of telling them apart (and that’s not going to be revealed on here) Emma Clark for Sam’s XI defending on Fox to see the ball back for Pamplin to clear. Emily Ingle with the ball central for Sam’s XI has Marie Stubbings making a run inside from the right, plays the ball into her, Sasha Smith lunging in to tackle for Charlene’s XI right of the D winning the ball.

  Sutherland sending the ball into Fox top of the D shifts to the left making room to shoot the attempt pulled wide of Pamplin’s left post. McCormack getting forwards well for Sam’s XI into the left channel with a chip at goal from 20 yards out the ball dropping wide of the left post. Roberts winning the ball at the back for Sam’s XI forwards for Crook up the line inside to Stubbings, Georgia Stancombe closing in to get across the attack to see the ball safely back to Markwell to clear.

Molly Flack (photo credit Edward Payne)

  GOAL! Sutherland with the ball through the middle for Charlene’s XI sends the pass out to the right for Jarman getting on up the wing her cross fired in near side as Fox runs in to attack the goal, Bodger with her putting her under pressure the ball striking the defender deflected past Pamplin inside the post for Charlene’s XI to take the lead 0-1.

  Changes for both Emma Da Costa, who can operate either outfield or in goal, Naomi Weir and Kirstie Taylor coming on for Sam’s XI. Emily Stephenson on in defence for Charlene’s XI. Choudhry taking the ball on left for Sam’s XI pushing it into Crook corner of the area, strikes a curled attempt over Markwell’s crossbar.

  Charlene’s XI are the younger side and showing more energy bursting forwards well with pace, Georgia Stancombe defending well shielding the ball at the back. Breaking on with numbers up Fox and Katie Stancombe combining as Pamplin comes to close down top of her box the flag raised halting the attack. McCormack bringing the ball on for Sam’s XI left into the top of the area, Georgia Stancombe winning it back for Charlene’s XI.

 GOAL! Charlene’s XI attacking through the middle, Sutherland with Katie Stancombe into Fox inside the D evading tackles comes left of goal to shoot low firing the ball hard past the diving Pamplin to double the lead 0-2.

Ruth Fox (photo credit Edward Payne)

  Fox after the ball into the box with Katie Stancombe getting on to support, Bodger lunging in to tackle for Sam’s Xi. Caitlin McGeown moving on with the ball up the right for Charlene’s XI forwards for Fox into the corner closed down nips back in to steal the ball back winning a corner kick. Taken short before being whipped into the area claimed well by Markwell. Jarman getting on right side for Charlene’s XI, Fox coming to for the ball look to play a one two, Taylor getting a foot in to reclaim the ball for Sam’s XI.

 Fox taking the ball into the box on the right whipping a low strike in towards goal, taken well by Pamplin down to gather at the near post. Jarman again on the right inside for Katie Stancombe curls a shot in towards goal taken cleanly by Pamplin. The 1st 3rd almost up Sam’s XI win a throw high on the left Choudhry dropping the ball into McCormack sends the pass down the line for Crook in the corner left to cross into the six yard box met by Da Costa her touch deflecting the ball wide of the near post.

  The 1st 3rd up Charlene’s XI leading 2-0 a quick turn around with Sam’s XI ringing the changes, Da Costa donning the keepers gloves now, getting the 2nd 30 underway Joeli Kirby playing the ball out to right, cut out by Cherish Sibanda. Mollie Berryman for Charlene’s XI out to the right for McGeown her cross into the top of the area cut out by Holly Hayes for Sam’s XI. Fox lively up top for Charlene’s XI linking with Berryman on the right the cross in along the face of goal deflected behind for a corner kick.

Sam’s XI captain, Michelle McCormack

  Charlene’s XI lively in the final 3rd at the start of the 2nd period, Marjoram to Jade Carpenter tracking inside from the right feeds the ball across the top of the area into Fox left of the D her shot struck low wide of the left post. 

Caitlin McGeown (photo credit Edward Payne)

  Laura Mills leading the attack for Sam’s XI now the ball rolled into her from the right takes it on into the box striking hard at the near post, Markwell making a superb save getting down to her left to knock the ball behind for a corner kick. Players up into the area for Sam’s XI a great delivery swung in central Szary rising to meet it top of the six yard box plants her header straight at Markwell who grabs hold of the ball to save. 

Jess Anderson tackling well for Sam’s XI at the back as Fox looks to take the ball on into the box from the left channel. The ball given away at the back Sam’s XI inviting pressure at the back, Hayes getting back on Carpenter to put in the tackle as she drives for the box. First saw Stacey Fullicks playing for Netherton has gone on to into a refereeing career a successful one too amongst elite in the country, still retains that completive edge with the ball at her feet for Sam’s XI sending the pass on for Taylor right her ball into Mills cut out top of the D by Stephenson for Charlene’s XI.

(photo credit Edward Payne)

 GOAL! Charlene’s XI extend the lead the ball played into Fox 20 yards out central moves to her left to turn to shoot angling a strike in towards goal up over the keeper to make it 0-3. 

Ruth Fox scoring Charlene’s XI’s 3rd goal (photo credit Edward Payne)

 Sam’s XI winning a corner on the left, swung in near side, Charlene’s XI defending but have a player down in the box a break in play. Charlene’s XI pressing forwards better putting the Sm’s XI defence under a little pressure, Taylor winning the ball on for Mills right side on for Szary attempts to lay it o for Fullicks top of the D, Berryman defending for Charlene’s XI the ball out for a corner on the right. Flung in near side Fullicks up to attack the ball knocked down into the six yard box comes out to Mills at the far post with the outside of her boot turns the shot wide.

 Fullicks coming on with the ball into the channel looking to link up with Mills in attack, no way through as the Charlene’s XI defence track back well to see the ball back into Markwell to clear. Da Costa out to the right of her six yard box diving down to save at the feet of Dixon as she steals into attack the ball right of goal for Charlene’s XI as the ball is lost top of the area. Fullicks winning the ball back central for Sam’s XI 30 yards out rolling it into the path of Clark 20 yards out her strike fire into the keeper. 

Jess Anderson (photo credit Edward Payne)

Carpenter with a strike from outside the box for Charlene’s XI, Da Costa down to beat it away, Dixon racing in can’t get to the loose ball before Da Costa is able to claim it. Fullicks bringing the ball down as it drops over her left shoulder moves forwards, McGeown defending to see the ball out for a corner on the left. The corner swept into the six yard box the ball taken off the head of Clark as she stoops to drive the header home. Szary with the ball out left for Sam’s XI fired into Fullicks right of the D intercepted by Astley at the back for Charlene’s XI.

  Connie De Martino sending the ball on for Sam’s XI as they break through the middle out to Mills her cross into the area pushed away to the left by Markwell taking it out of Clark’s path central, Szary racing in to follow up top of the area, McGeown in to charge her down. Sam’s XI on the counter Mills racing on with the ball right squaring it across the box into Clark, volley’s over.  

 Sam’s XI with a couple of  chances towards the end of the 2nd 3rd to get back into the game, on more 30 minute period to go the changes rung once again with Szary another who can operate outfield and in goal donning the gloves for Sam’s XI. Charlene’s XI to get the final 30 minutes underway the ball out to the right lifted forwards won back by Bodger for Sam’s XI. 

Laura Mills (photo credit Edward Payne)


 Sam’s XI pressing on the left to win a corner players up the delivery in near post Markwell in amongst bodies to push behind for a 2nd corner. Once again fired into a crowded near post area knocked on cross the six yard box, McCormack free to strike the ball on the volley as she spins to attack the ball loops up and in towards goal, Markwell behind it her arms up to claim the dropping ball. Sam’s XI pressing up into the box Crook left of goal stabbing a shot wide of the left post.

  Fox back on for Charlene’s XI attacking the right channel taking the ball on into the box, Bodger across to tackle for Sam’s XI. Fullicks taking the ball on through the middle for Sam’s XI playing the pass out to Stubbings right swinging a cross into the six yard box the 1st time shot chipped into the keeper. Charlene’s XI on through the middle Berryman for Fox shooting from 20 yards out the ball gloves down into the ground and claimed by Szary.

 Carpenter with a 35 yard strike sent over the bar. Markwell with a show stopping save for Charlene’s XI as Stubbings racing to the by-line right side whips in a dangerous ball for Grewal to turn goalwards from close range, central, Markwell instinctively throwing a hand out to her left to save the ball deflecting it behind past the post for a corner kick. Sam’s XI going for it 3 goals down need something, McCormack on for Fullicks right on the angle sends a shot wide across the goal.

Kira Markwell (photo credit Edward Payne)

 Markwell getting out to claim the ball taking it off the head of Grewal as the ball is squared into the six yard box rom the right. Multiple changes for Sam’s Xi as they push on in the 2nd period. Charlene’s XI defending the top of their area counter on the right the ball lifted into Fox peeling wide takes the ball down charging into the area before striking the ball low on the angle fired in near post Szary with an excellent save diving forwards full stretch to get a glove on the ball turn it wide across goal, has she done enough to keep it out? Just! The ball running narrowly wide of her far post for the corner.

Dominika Szary equally adapt outfield as in goal (photo credit Edward Payne)

 Anderson defending for Sam’s XI as the ball comes on left side into the box. Into the final 15 minutes the changes coming thick and fast loosing track of how many players are on the pitch have a Teddy Bear mascot to contend with too looking to get involved in the action. Markwell coming off for Charlene’s XI, Marjoram in between the sticks. Sam’s XI with a corner on the left headed on across goal Roberts to Mills out wide the cross back in central turned over from close range.

  Sam’s XI pressing late into the game as they search for a goal crossed into close to goal cleared off the line as the ball is missed by the keeper out to the right Mills volleying over. Fullicks out to Mills on the right fires a cross looping into the six yard box met by Ingle volleys her strike over the bar. McCormack blasting a 35 yard strike over the bar Sam’s XI throwing the kitchen sink forwards late on. Choudhry taking the ball to the right sending a cross in central Stubbings racing in on goal flashing her first time effort over the top.

(photo credit Edward Payne)

  Chances mounting for Sam’s XI, just won’t go in as Mills getting free wide right slices a shot wide. Into the final minutes. Sam’s XI winning a free-kick corner of the area on the right Ingle on the ball fired in across the face of goal attacked far post but deflected behind for a corner. An inswinging ball knocked down near side in towards goal the ball defended cleared off the line. Sam’s XI throwing everything forwards at the end but can find no way through as Charlene’s XI defend their box scrambling the ball clear. 

  Time up the final whistle blows and despite the chances mounting Sam’s XI can’t find a goal as Charlene’s XI hold out to win the game 3-0 to win the Kick Cancer Cup. 

Charlene’s XI winners of the 6th Kick Cancer Cup (photo credit Edward Payne)

An entertaining game enjoyed by a crowd of 320 raising a good amount for charity. Plenty of thank yous to be applauded at the end before the presentation of the trophy none more so than for Sam and Charlene, a fitting occasion to remember them by.

 Well done to everyone involved especially Sam’s best friend, Vicky Neal who made sure her request was fulfilled and to everyone who played their part to help, the Kick Cancer Cup committee, St Ives Town for hosting the event and to all the players and attendees to special night no doubt. Thanks to Vicky Neal for the help with the squads, and to Edward Payne for allowing me to use some of his pictures too. 

By Darren Gilham