Tag Archives: Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

Cup Final Special – Hitchin Belles Women Blues v Stotfold Women

Sunday 5th May

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

A quick turn about in Bedfordshire for today’s 2nd cup final with Colney Heath Ladies still celebrating their league and cup triumph attention turns to this afternoon’s Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup Final with Hitchin Belles Women Blues taking on Stotfold Women for the trophy.

The League Cup the senior cup competition with all the sides across the 4 divisions in the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League taking part. In the finish the Premier Division Clubs dominating both competitions, the top flight in Beds & Herts always a competitive league often featuring a thrilling title contest. The League Cup final no exception.

This afternoon’s prize.

Another presentation taking place before kick-off with the winners of Division Three collecting their awards, Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses reforming a new women’s team this season storming to the title clear of the rest with a 100% record, well done to all.

Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses, Division Three Champions

Onto today’s opponents, Hitchin Belles Women a long established side with the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League have regrouped this season after losing a number of experienced players a couple of season back, ironically to today’s opposition Stotfold. Have since brought in a new crop of experienced players recruited from the old AFC Dunstable Women Reserves side. Found life tough going in the Premier Division at the start of the season picking up just one victory and 3 draws in their opening 9 matches, but have since turned thing’s around showing great form in the 2nd half of the season losing just one more match in their final 7 league outings, 4 wins in that spell pushing them up to 6th in the table. That form also getting them through to the League Cup final. Nicola Hollick the clubs top scorer with 14 goals this season. Marsha Glass on the scoresheet too for 8 goals during the campaign.

Stotfold Women formed just last season, building a team full experience playing in the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League, as touched on previously taking several players from Hitchin Belles were a strong side entering the league in Division One. Finished 10 points clear at the top of the table winning all but one of their 18 league matches. Promoted to the Premier Division the Bedfordshire side didn’t make a great start with just 2 points earned in their opening 5 matches, since then has been a different story with 8 wins in their final 11 matches including a 4 game winning streak at the end of the campaign that has seen them finish in 3rd place. Have a three way tie for top scorer with 3 players, captain, Amy Jack, Charlotte Peters and Amber Olney all on 10 each.

Road to the Final

  Both sides awarded a bye in the 1st round of the League cup the football action beginning in the 2nd round. Hitchin at home to Division Three side, Bury Rangers Women, goals from Marsha Glass and Gemma Williams along with a brace for Nicola Hollick securing a 4-0 win. Stotfold drawn away to play Division One side Harpenden Town Women u23s, Charlotte Ryan opening the scoring, Millie Frazer soon doubling the lead going on to add a 2nd goal in 2nd half, Amy Jack, Charlotte Peters and Amber Olney also scoring in a 6-0 victory.

Onto the 3rd round of the League Cup, Hitchin at home taking on newly crowned Division Two champions, Letchworth Garden City Eagles. Hollick on target for both goals to secure Hitchin a 2-0 win and a spot in the last 8 of the competition. Stotfold taking on Division One opposition with a trip to Sherrardswood. Amy Jack on target to rattle home 4 goals with Millie Fraser scoring a hat-trick, Lucy McShane, Olney and Peters all on the scoresheet too, final score 10-0.

Into the quarter finals, Hitchin once more at home taking on Wootton Blue Cross Lionesses Reserves form Division One. Progressed into the last 4 courtesy of a 3-0 win, with Hollick, Hollie Quince and Holly Thomson getting the goals. Stotfold once again on their travels playing Division one side, Berkhamsted Ladies. Peters getting the goal for the away side but with the sides drawing 1-1 at the final whistle the tie was to be settled from the penalty spot. Stotfold going on to win the shootout 4-2 to progress into the semi-finals.

An all Premier Division line-up in the last 4 and all fancying their chances of reaching the final. Hitchin were away taking on Langford Ladies who had shown strong form earlier in the season. A close match a single goal settling it, Hollick with the goal to send Hitchin into the final. A tough game for Stotfold too, away to league challengers, Garston FC Ladies. Amy Jack and Kiera How scoring for Stotfold, however goals from Emma Steele and Emma Trill saw the game finish 2-2 and Stotfold having to contest another shootout. Held their nerve to win it 3-1 to book their place in the final.

A lovely sunny afternoon at Kempston Rovers FC, getting the team details sorted early giving me a vital few minutes to grab some food from the kitchen hatch and I went of the special, chilli and chips, very nice it was too before taking up position for the 2nd game of the day. A good sized crowd building in anticipation of today’s League Cup final.

Hitchin Belles Women Blues

Hitchin Belles Women Blues starting XI – Lauren Brooker, Georgia Carey, Rachel Spendelow (C), Ella Parker, Lily Ludford, Emily Peat, Holly Thomson, Natasha Ridley, Hollie Quince, Maddison Woodcock &Marsha Glass. Subs – Amy Dewar, Ella Vizard, Nicole Cameron, Chloe Davis-Garcia & Helena Saul.

Stotfold Women

 Stotfold Women starting XI – Orlagh Daly, Charlotte Ryan, Cleo Haynes, Chloe Keller, Bonnie Woodward, Amy Jack (C), Charlotte Peters, Leigh Burrows-Hall, Storm Moore, Keira How & Amber Olney. Subs – Amelia Bacon, Maizie Marsh, Isabel brown, Lucy McShane, Rebecca Lightfoot & Chloe James.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Captain’s Amy Jack and Rachel Spendelow with this afternoon’s match officials

  It’s Stotfold to get the 2023/24 Beds & Herts League Cup final underway kicking off in the first half wearing Amber coloured shirts with black shorts and Amber socks with Hitchin wearing an all blue kit without their top scorer Hollick. The rolled back into the defence Bonnie Woodward laying it out to Chloe Keller on the left played forwards into Cleo Haynes the midfielder driving on with the ball through the middle sending a diagonal ball out to the right for Storm Moore to attack, Holly Thomson defending for Hitchin the ball cleared for a throw.

Hitchin Belles, Holly Thomson

  Lily Ludford combining with Maddison Woodcock for Hitchin taking the ball upfield on for Emily Peat bursting into the left channel, Keira How getting back on her to defend play the ball out for Stotfold. Stotfold press down the left to win an early corner. Fired in to the near post the ball squirming through everyone to strike the post bouncing back out into play before being smashed away the clearance striking Woodcock full in the face, rebounding behind, could have gone anywhere. The Hitchin player stunned on her knees the game stopped and checked out she is okay to play on. 

 An even start, Hitchin keeping a tight shape pressing Stotfold well, neither side making much headway in the final 3rd. Stotfold winning a free-kick 30 plus yards out on the right, Charlotte Ryan to play the set-piece into the box, Ella Parker under it to head clear for Hitchin. Stotfold snapping in to regain possession with players up around the box rolled into Ryan coming left sending her shot over from 20 yards.

  Progress for Hitchin on the left winning a throw inside the Stotfold half taken quickly into Natasha Ridley outside the area left corner helps it on for Marsha Glass ahead of her turns looking to roll her marker, Woodward in close attendance, doesn’t let the attacker through. Stotfold captain Amy Jack sending a threaded ball out to the left for Charlotte Peters to cross into the box, Parker intercepting the ball for Hitchin.

Stotfold captain, Amy Jack

  Ryan bringing the ball on from the back for Stotfold on the right sees her diagonal ball clipped into the area headed behind by Parker for a corner kick. The delivery played in to Amber Olney positioned central the top of the area looks to turn the ball goal wards sends it angling wide of the far post.

 Hitchin working hard to get the ball up the flanks getting on with the ball, crossing opportunities limited however as Stotfold get back to close the ball down. Glass given the ball 25 yards out checks inside from the right, driving at the Stotfold defence, jinks left then right before unleashing a shot, her attempt put straight at Stotfold’s goalkeeper, Orlagh Daly. 

Hitchin Belles, Marsha Glass with Stotfold’s Charlotte Ryan

  Signs of frustration from Stotfold, Hitchin’s formation causing them a few issues as they look to get the ball moving, Jack on for Haynes out to Moore on the right, Thomson defending the ball out of play. Hitchin making a change bringing off Peat, sending on Nicole Cameron. Peters with Leigh Burrows-Hall on the left pushing on down the line the cross looped up into the Hitchin box, Ludford under it to clear the threat. Hitchin get on the counter attack the ball played up to Glass breaking into the right channel in behind after the ball, Daly comes rushing out of her area, to try and win the race, just about gets there stopping the ball with her legs to slow Glass’ progress and her defence track back to defend the open goal beyond, Keller in position to block Glass’ shot on goal as she gets hold of the loose ball.

Stotfold’s Chloe Keller

  Hitchin encouraged press the ball, Ridley on for Cameron to take on to the edge of the box right side her cross/shot put wide as referee Jacob Hamilton calls for the 1st drinks break of the match. Stotfold unsettled needing to calm down, Hitchin working hard to frustrate their attacks. Play resuming with a Hitchin throw out on the left. Woodcock playing the ball on for Cameron up the line, dinks the ball into the box looking for Glass, Peters back to get a foot in play the ball behind for the corner kick. 

  The corner swung in towards the near post sent behind for a 2nd set-piece. Played in central this time, Haynes gets hold of it for Stotfold brings the ball away to safety. Stotfold build through the middle Jack with Haynes forward into Olney she looks to release How bursting away on the right, Thomson get a foot out to cut out the pass.

Stotfold’s Keira How

 Ludford coming off worse in a 50/50 challenge as she goes to kick the ball, looked nasty, certainly painful but is up back on her feet ready to play on. Stotfold are stirred up can’t get their game going as Hitchin continue to work hard to keep things tight at the back, Ludford getting about the pitch winning the ball well. Stotfold making another change bringing off How, send Maizie Marsh into the game. Olney taking the ball down into the left corner, working to get inside to lift a cross into the six yard box, Thomson turning it behind for a corner.

  Played in towards the near post, goalkeeper, Lauren Brooker calling for it, making a confident claim. Jack surging on with the ball for Stotfold though the middle lays in on for Olney who sweeps the ball out to Marsh wide right, her cross floated into the area, taken cleanly by Brooker. Glass snatching possession back for Hitchin high on the right pushes up to the corner of the penalty area sending an angled ball in towards goal, Daly getting hold of it before Woodcock making a run in central can pounce.  

 Amy Dewar sent on for Hitchin to replace Glass. Stotfold feeling some decisions are not going their way adding to their frustration Jack getting a warning from the referee as she challenges a decision. Hitchin catching Stotfold in possession, Glass nicking the ball threading it on for Woodcock central, looking to get on the move attack the box, Haynes getting back at her to tackle for Stotfold. Haynes coming off than for Stotfold with Amelia Bacon.

  Ludford on the ball for Hitchin bringing it on through the middle played on for Dewar she looks for the give and go with Woodcock to her left, Woodcock playing the pass forwards, can’t quite get to the ball before the Stotfold defence clear their lines top of the area. Hitchin winning a free-kick on the right, close to halfway, Stotfold unhappy with the decision… Red Card! Jack has said something the referee is unhappy with and is incredulous as she is shown a straight red card and sent off!

Amy Jack shown the red card

 Stotfold reduced to 10 players late in the first half, nevertheless get on the attack down the left Olney out to Peters a corner won. Curled into the near post, Ludford defending for Hitchin. The counter attack on the ball on for Quince up the right crosses into Dewar outside the D, Bacon stepping out to close her down deny the shot. A frustrating first half for Stotfold comes to an end as the two sides head into the changing room for the respective team talks.

Half-time Hitchin Belles Women 0-0 Stotfold Women

 Stotfold certainly frustrated in the first half, unsettled with Hitchin playing a new formation working hard to limited their opponents opportunities going forwards. Chances have been limited the tactics working with neither side making much head way in the final 3rd. Those frustrations leading to Stotfold’s captain, getting sent off. Work to do to prepare for the 2nd half, now being played with a player down. Not always the advantage Hitchin will need to find a way to make their extra player count, still very much all to play for. 

 During the half-time interval, another league presentation, this time for Letchworth Garden City Eagles who have won the Division Two title, well done to all. 

Letchworth Garden City Eagles, Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two Champions

 Stotfold emerging from the tunnel early, ready to get going again, Woodward wearing the captain’s armband now. Making a change Haynes ready to return to the action replacing Bacon. Hitchin back out ready to get the 2nd half underway have Peat back on the pitch with Quince substituted. The ball played back towards Thomson plays it up the left, Woodcock fouled as she goes to attack the ball. The free-kick lifted up into the box, cleared by Haynes.

Stotfold’s Charlotte Peters

  Peters plays the ball into Haynes the midfielder getting on the move a powerful run taking her all the way into the box left of goal, Carey getting close to her for Hitchin putting the the challenge to clear before Haynes can get support up to her. Both sides setting themselves up to keep it tight not let the other cut them open, Stotfold dropping off a little inviting Hitchin on looking for an opportunity to counter. 

Hitchin Belles, Amy Dewar

 A different feel about the game now, Woodward marshalling her side to keep their shape, Hitchin pushing up Peat with Woodcock playing the ball to the left, Thomson putting her strike straight at the keeper. Haynes making some powerful runs from the middle to get up into the Hitchin area again turns looking for options, Ludford closing her down to regain possession.

Cleo Haynes with some powerful runs for Stotfold

 Olney turning the ball into the box for Haynes up to the left, Spendelow tackling the ball cleared out of the box, Burrows-Hall latching onto the loose ball shooting from range, Carey getting in the way to block. Hitchin making a change Quince returning to the action in place of Dewar. Stotfold competing for the ball winning a free-kick out wide for a shove in the back, a high ball played into the box, Brooker getting up to pull the ball down into her gloves.

Bonnie Woodward captaining Stotfold in the 2nd half

  Woodward up the other end heading a Ludford free-kick from halfway out of her area. Haynes continues to make good runs up the pitch dragging Hitchin players with her, but lacking options when she reaches the box outnumbered Hitchin having to build from the back again. Haynes on the move into the right channel as Burrows-Hall sends the ball into her path bursting into the box, Carey closing her do timing her tackle to put the ball out for a corner kick. 

 The corner swung into the area over Ryan near post, appeals once more as Peters goes down but nothing doing a Hitchin look to counter attack, Quince carrying the ball down the left all the way to the by-line under challenge runs the ball out of play. Glass returning to the action for Hitchin. Ryan allowed to travel with the ball through the middle for Stotfold, unleashes a powerful strike from all of 40 yards out, on target, Brooker producing a fabulous safe leaning back to get her arm up and glove the ball over the crossbar. The resulting corner swung in under the crossbar again caught high by Brooker in the middle of her goal.

Lauren Brooker making a superb save for Hitchin Belles

  Ryan then called into action to defend up the other end as Glass getting hold of the ball attacks from the right, the challenge seeing the ball played behind for a corner kick. Turned into the area the ball defended Hitchin with players up quick to get it back Ludford into Cameron played out to Glass wide right her cross floated into the area claimed by Daly. Stotfold get the ball up to Moore running om up the right wing, squares her cross into the box, Parker running back to defend getting there to cut out the pass ahead of Olney.

Stotfold striker, Amber Olney

 GOAL! 20 minutes played in the 2nd half chances limited, for both sides, Moore with the ball at her feet gets on up the right wing closing in on the by-line cuts her cross back into the near post, Olney making the run, Brooker getting down to try and stop the ball, only succeeds in knocking it up into the air, Olney’s eye lighting up as the defence looks to get back on the line she connects sending it home to put 10 player Stotfold into the lead rushed over to the cross provider, Moore to celebrate 0-1.

Amber Olney hugging Storm Moore as she puts her side into the lead

 Hitchin falling behind get a corner up the other end, everyone from Stotfold in the box lined up to defend it played in near post, Cameron coming to the ball loos to flick it of her head towards goal, Daly seeing it late with a reactive save knocking the ball up into the air, Woodward sending it clear. Another drinks break needed, Stotfold pumped up having got their noses in front.

  Ludford with an angled ball into the Stotfold area from the left taken down into the keepers gloves. Stotfold defending their box, not willing to concede any space in behind. Hitchin continue to probe down the flanks crosses put in from left and right dealt with Woodward and Burrows-Hall respectfully. Haynes the player willing to break forwards for Stotfold her marauding runs eating up time if nothing else, hard to get off the ball lays it out to Moore on the right her cross whipped into the area, intercepted crucially by Quince tracking back with Olney breaking central.

Stotfold’s Storm Moore

  Stotfold determined to hold onto their lead, Hitchin struggling to find and answer to finding a way through on goal. Glass managing to break in behind the defence as Peat from the right lifts a cross into the box, Daly getting her glove on the ball to keep it off the attackers head. Glass 25 yards out seeing the ball into her feet helping it on for Woodcock breaking down the right, Burrows-Hall out to meet her clearing for a throw.

  Peters looking to get on with the ball on the left for Stotfold, Spendelow in to challenge play the ball forwards into Woodcock,, puts the pass inside for Glass, Haynes coming back to put in the tackle. Haynes picking up the ball through the middle goes on another surging run, Carey getting across to put in the tackle 25 yards out the ball loose to the right of goal, Olney running onto it blazes her shot over the bar.

Hitchin Belles captain, Rachel Spendelow

  Into the last 10 minutes, Peters on the turn corner of the area sends her shot racing past the far post. Woodcock snapping back at Stotfold to win the ball 20 yards out plays it out to Glass pulling right, falling as she goes to strike the ball, pulls her effort in towards the keeper, Daly with a comfortable save. 

Hitchin Belles, Lily Ludford


Brooker racing out to the top of her area to put in the blocking save on Peters as she snatches hold of a loose ball played across the top of her area. Hitchin continue to probe looking for a way through the Stotfold defence their opponents though working hard to limit any options make it difficult to break them down. Glass taking the ball on into the left wing checking inside to run at the box, inside Woodward steps in to tackle, Ryan clearing the ball.

Nicole Cameron battling with Storm Moore for the ball

  The clock ticking down, Stotfold looking to keep possession, Olney running the ball into the corner to eat up time, Hitchin needing it back push players on into the final third risking the counter, Peters bringing the ball up the pitch for Stotfold rolling it on for Olney in attack, Spendelow closing in to make the challenge the throw conceded on the left. Burrows-Hall getting the ball kicked hard into the back of her her by her own teammate as Peters looks to launch it, left stunned for a moment gets up gingerly before letting everyone know she’s okay to play on.

  Time almost up Olney playing it safe taking the ball into the corner. Hitchin grab possession back the ball launched forwards by Woodcock, Glass wriggling free of her marker to turn and try and attack the ball, stretching can’t get a telling touch as it runs safely through to the keeper. That’s it the final whistle blows and Stotfold celebrate as they win this season’s Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup.

Stotfold celebrate at the final whistle

Full time Hitchin Belles Women 0-1 Stotfold Women

  A strong 2nd half performance from 10 player Stotfold even without the sending off, they needed to improve in the 2nd period and with that set back had to make a new game plan, keep a solid shape and take there chance if they got one. Having gotten their noses in front were determined to defend working hard to limit Hitchin’s opportunities. Hitchin buoyed by their strong first half, just couldn’t find the answer 2nd half pressed well getting the ball into good positions wide but couldn’t find that clinical moment to score. A game of few chances Stotfold taking the one that mattered.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto the 2nd Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award of the day. Not so easy this time around several good performances out there. First off for Hitchin, Lily Ludford got about the pitch well to contest the ball, and get the ball moving. Georgia Carey and Ella Parker with some crucial interceptions and tackling at the back. Nicole Cameron with some good runs to support the attack. For Stotfold, Storm Moore made some good runs down the wing. Amber Olney leading the line well, scoring the winning goal. Cleo Haynes strong in the middle making some forceful runs up into the box, hard to shake off the ball and providing an outlet to give her defence a break as they worked hard to defend in the 2nd half. The award though goes to the team captain in the 2nd half Bonnie Woodward was as frustrated as anyone with her sides performance 1st half and marshalled her side well in the 2nd making sure they keep a disciplined shape and won the ball well inside her box.

Stotfold Women 2023/24 Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup winners

Amy Jack ready to break down the pitch gate joining her teams celebrations

 Congratulations to Stotfold Women on winning this season’s Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup.

 An enjoyable if busy day at Kempston Rovers, nice to be back after so long away. Again my thanks to the two teams for their assistance today’s line-ups. My thanks to the the leagues committee members for all their help and hospitality today. They done well to have the season all done and dusted, enjoy the rest.

by Darren Gilham

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 13/05/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 13th May

The final games in the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League once again proving to be an exciting league to follow it was Finals Day this Sunday at AFC Kempston Rovers. The Women’s League Cup & The Chris Renshaw Cup. I would have liked to have been there but with 5 finals converging on one day couldn’t although I really liked the look of both games. A morning kick -off for The Chris Renshaw Cup, the final edition of this season’s Beds & Herts Round-Up begins with the League Cup Final.

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

A fantastic season so far for St Albans Ladies leading Beds & Herts Women’s Division One all season and going on to win the title without losing a game. Now they were looking for the Double in the League Cup Final up against Northwood Ladies who themselves had clinched runners-up spot in Division One in their debut season. 

Kerry Twigg scoring just past the half hour to put St Albans into the lead. 1-0 the advantage going into half-time. Northwood coming back to level the scores with 20 minutes left in the game. St Albans getting their noses back in front with Eleanor Lovelock on target for what would prove to be the winning goal. St Albans Ladies completing a memorable League & Cup Double. As in with Essex League Cup winners Corringham Cosmos I asked the winning club if they would like to send over a few words and their report from the game is below.

 After winning the league title the St Albans Ladies set out to try and complete the double when they took on Northwood Ladies in the League Cup Final at AFC Kempston with their opponents going to be a tough nut to crack as they were runners-up to them in the league.
 Early on in the match Suz Read whipped over a low cross from the right wing which went right across the box but Ellen Salter racing in on the far side saw the ball cleared away by a Northwood defender, For Northwood saw Scarlett Keightley race clear into the Saints box but keeper Lauren Croucher was quick off her line to block the shot with her legs. Kayla Johnson then saw her low drive from the right wing go just wide of the far upright whilst at the other end Emma Steele with two fine free kicks one after another saw them both whistle just wide of Lauren Croucher’s right hand post. For the St Albans Ladies Ellie Lovelock cutting in from the right saw her shoot just wide of the left hand post whilst although Northwood applied a lot of pressure on the Saints goal with Emma Steele and Scarlett Keightley both causing lots of problems the Saints managed to hold out with some good defending from Holly Rossington, Becca Roft, Robyn McFayden and Cerys Low whilst keeper Lauren Croucher show her real fine form with some safe handling around the box and so keep the scores level.
 With half time approaching saw the St Albans Ladies take a surprise lead when both Ellie Lovelock and Ellen Salter both had efforts which were blocked whereupon the ball ran loose to KERRY TWIGG who struck a brilliant low drive from 25 yards for a great finish which saw the ball whistle pass keeper Becky Guillemin and end up nestling in the bottom left corner and give the St Albans Ladies a 1-0 lead at half time.
 During the first half striker SUZ READ was taken off with a knee injury and did not take part in any more of the match and she was replaced by Katie Grehan up front.
  In the second half kicking down the slope still the Ladies did not find their real form but Sophie Lawrence tried her luck from long range and she saw her effort go just wide of the near upright. Kayla Johnson then saw her good ball into the box headed towards goal by Katie Grehan but the Northwood keeper Guillemin pulled off a good save.
Ellen Salter tried hard down the left wing but just could not get the breaks in around the box and then Becca Roft made a good run into the box and was brought down but no penalty was given.
  Finally for Northwood after a bit of pressure they scored an equaliser when Emma STEELE(no relation Tommy) won the ball and burst into the box from the right whereupon saw he bury the ball into the far left corner to make the score 1-1.
Oh dear not extra time as the previous match saw extra time and penalties as Kayla Johnston’s flight from Heathrow Airport left at 9:30pm so the Ladies decided she can’t miss her holiday and went in search of the winning goal. After forcing a succession of corner kicks following a lot of pressure the winning goal came.
 Ellen Salter swung the corner kick over from the right hand side whereupon it gradually fell to ELLIE LOVELOCK just inside the box and after taking a sidestep to her left she instantly struck a sweet low shot into the far right corner for the winning goal and to make the final score 2-1 to the Lady Saints. (Tezza was singing and dancing now). It nearly became 3-1 when after yet another Ellen Salter corner kick saw Katie Grehan overhead kick well saved by Becky Guillemin. We not forget Caroline Hughes who covered just a much ground as she was kept busy running onto the pitch with physio bag treating all the knocks. Team: Lauren Croucher, Katie Chandler, Nicola Dark, Sophie Lawrence, Jessica Cavaree, Cerys Low, Robyn McFayden, Holly Rossingdon, Kerry Twigg, Ellen Salter, Kayla Johnson, Becca Roft, Kiran Reyat, Ellie Lovelock, Suz Read, Katie Grehan(all played).
 We are the Champions, We are the Champions, We are the Champions and we also have done the League and Cup double, Well done the Saints Ladies. Congratulations on a brilliant season.
Also we must not forget the Saints Supporters who turned up who kept chanting throughout the whole of the match to cheer their team onto victory.
 I must also say a special thank you to Michelle & Chris Chandler for doing all the work behind the scenes for getting this successful team up and running. THANK YOU.’

St Albans Ladies 2017/18 Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup Winners

 Congratulations to St Albans Ladies on winning this season’s Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup and completing the Double.

The Chris Renshaw Cup

First up though was a morning kick-off in The Chris Renshaw Cup Final, into it’s 2nd season. This season’s finalists Division One side Sherrardswood Ladies up against Division Town side Letchworth Garden City Eagles. A battling display from the lower league placed side seeing the sides finish 1-1, neither able to find a winning goal in extra-time the game headed to penalties. Heartbreak for Sherrardswood, joy for Letchworth as they emerged 5-4 winners to win the cup. Once more I’ve asked the winning club to provide some words and below is manager Warren Shimill’s report for the final. 

‘Letchworth Garden City Eagles, Division Two versus Sherrardswood Ladies from Division One, all previous meetings have gone in favour of Sherrardswood . So going into the game Letchworth were certainly the under dogs and Sherrardswood probably expected a win today. But what they didn’t expect was every Eagles player bringing their ‘A’ game to the match.   Eagles matched the opposition in the first 15 minutes and were bossing the game until Shemika Holloway for Letchworth was taken off to hospital due to a nasty fall and twist, Eagles had most of the possession with attack after attack,  one of which found Tayla Murray setting Emily Jamieson to lob the goalkeeper from 25 yards out. 0-1 Eagles.
It wasn’t until the second half that Sherrardswood found themselves in the Letchworth penalty area.  A player falling down in the area was awarded a penalty and it remained 1-1 until full time. Forcing extra time and with neither side scoring it was always going to penalty time. Both teams were dead on their legs after 120 minutes of none stop entertaining football.
So penalties began and soon reached 3-3 but with a save by Hannah Ross in the Letchworth goal it turned 3-4 in Letchworth’s favour. 4-4  with Letchworth needing to score to win, the 5th penalty was left with Natalie Moey ex Sherrardswood player and Eagles senior player and top goal scorer, cool as a cucumber Moey slotted the ball to the keepers left which meant the outcome was 4-5 to Letchworth.
Both teams gave 100% on a hot morning, it was a great final and a brilliant advert for women’s football.’

Letchworth manager Warren Shimell said
“I have been asked many times why do I run a ladies football team?”
The answer is simple “for days like today”

Letchworth Garden City Eagles, Winners of this season’s Chris Renshaw Cup (picture credit Letchworth Garden City Eagles)

 Congratulations to Letchworth Garden City Eagles on winning this season’s Chris Renshaw Cup.

The Round-Up – Bed & Herts 25/03/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 25th March

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

An extra-time winner for Northwood Ladies saw them reach the final of the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup in their debut season this Sunday and will face St Albans Ladies in the final on Sunday 13th May. A clash between the top two currently in Division One. Northwood were drawn away to the current league cup holders Houghton Athletic Ladies in the semi-finals. A goal from, Holly Thomson for Houghton Athletic and a goal for Northwood scored by Emma Steele saw the sides drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes were up the match heading into extra-time. The winning goal coming early in the 2nd period of extra play, Zamina Rahemtulla scoring the goal to send Northwood into the League Cup Final.

The Chris Renshaw Cup

Also semi-final time in The Chris Renshaw Cup this Sunday. Division One side Sherrardswood Ladies at home to Division Two high flyers, Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires. A 9 goal thriller between the sides saw the winner coming deep into extra-time. Laurie Marris scoring twice for Sherrardswood in the 1st half her 1st goal from the penalty spot the Division One side found themselves trailing 3-2 at half-time. Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires battling to keep their lead 2nd half, Marris found the back of the net for the 3rd time to complete her hat-trick with less than 10 minutes left to play 3-3 after the 90 the game heading into extra-time. Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires retook the lead early in the extra period but again Sherrardswood came back Victoria Little making it 4-4 the game looking to be heading for penalties, Sherrardswood scored again at the death, Manjinder Atwal with the winning goal to put the Division One side through the the final. A crushing end to the match for Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires their goal scorers, Chemise Huitson, Ellie Burke and April Spang with a brace.

In the other semi-final in The Chris Renshaw Cup, it was an all Division Two clash with Hitchin Town Ladies hosting Letchworth Garden City Eagles. The visitors holding the advantage at half-time Letchworth leading 1-0. Hitchin Town coming straight back into the match with the equaliser 2 minutes after the restart, Emma Chaffey with the goal. On 63 minutes Letchworth got back into the lead and this time kept Hitchin Town from scoring again to win the match 2-1 and reach the final against Sherrardswood Ladies, again scheduled for Sunday 13th May, Tayla Murray and Simone Leah Straughn scoring the Letchworth goals.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

Two matches in Beds & Herts Women’s Division One this Sunday. Leaders St Albans Ladies are almost their are now just 1 win away from becoming league champions, on 29 points only 3rd placed Sherrardswood who can yet reach 31 points can catch them. A league and cup double very much in the sights for St Albans they were away to Flitwick Ladies this weekend. Goals from Sophie Lawrence, Katie Grehan and Suzanne Read seeing St Albans to a 3-0 half-time lead. Read netting her 2nd of the match early in the 2nd half to make it 4-0, Kerry Twigg also getting in on the scoring to extend the lead further, Flitwick pulling a goal back with 15 minutes left, Zoe Jayne Barber on target. St Albans winning 5-1.

  A huge win at home for Garston Ladies on Sunday against bottom side Watton Ladies saw them move up to 4th in the Division One table. Both Jane Hales and Emma Trill getting 5 goals each in the game. Bobbi Rhodes also grabbing herself a brace with a goal each for Kelly Spencer and Katie Sills in a 14-0 win.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

One match in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two on Sunday, 3rd placed Royston Town Ladies Development coming out on top in an 8 goal contest at home to Evergreen Eagles to move level on points with 2nd placed Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires. Jazmin Racher scoring a hat-trick for Royston Town, Samantha Takis netting a hat-trick for Evergreen Eagles. Goals from Harriet Smith and Paige Rolfe seeing Royston Town claim all 3 points with a 5-3 victory.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

 Two games in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three on Sunday. 3rd placed Welwyn Pegasus Azures were away to Bedwell Rangers Ladies. Janiece Allen once again in fine goal scoring form as she claimed a 1st half hat-trick before going to add a further two goals in the 2nd half to take her onto 25 for the season. Sophie Clarke also scoring in the 1st half for Welwyn Pegasus Azures with Tulin Rufaioglu getting a brace in the 2nd half. Georgia Miller scoring late in the match for Bedwell Rangers. 8-1 the final score Welwyn Pegasus Azures playing the 2nd half with 10 players too after Chantel Joseph was red carded late in the 1st half.

Evergreen Ladies remain hot on Welwyn Pegasus Azures heels in 4th place in the Division Three table the gap 3 points with a game in hand as they won away to Shefford Town & Campton Ladies this Sunday. Bianca Contonicola and Samantha Jackson with the goals as Evergreen recorded a 2-0 win.

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 11/03/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 11th March

Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup

 The first Cup Final played in the East this Sunday the Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup at The County Ground, Letchworth. Women’s Football East was there too to watch Stevenage Ladies the current holders playing in their 4th successive county cup final looking to retain the trophy for the first time up against Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies who had reached the final of the competition for the 1st time. 

  Two leagues between the sides Stevenage Ladies playing in the FAWPL South East Division One starting the game well and opened the scoring in the 16th minute Amy Makewell sending a low drive from outside the box into the bottom corner of the net. Found nearly the same spot again soon after to make it 2-0 before midfielder Chloe Gunn broke forwards to make it 3-0 then added another herself from a well taken free-kick 25 yards from goal.

  Introduced late in the 1st half substitute Ashleigh Deacon scored a quickfire brace to extend Stevenage’s lead before Makewell when on to complete her hat-trick. Leah Littlechild receiving the ball from Nicole Emmings to score Stevenage’s 8th goal to successfully retain the County Cup for the 1st time.

  The link to the full match report on the website can be found below:- 

Cup Final Report – Hertfordshire Women’s Challenge Cup

Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup Winners – Stevenage Ladies

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

 The first of the semi-final of this years Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup took place this Sunday with St Albans Ladies leading Division one at home to fellow league side Sharnbrook WFC. A great start for the hosts going 2-0 up inside the opening 15 minutes with Michaela Johnson and Katie Grehan on target. Sharnbrook pulling a goal back, St Albans extending their lead on the half hour with a goal from Sophie Lawrence. Their lead at half-time 4-1 with Nicola Dark scoring late in the 1st half.

  Sharnbrook getting it back to 4-2 early in the 2nd half. Eleanor Lovelock restoring St Albans 3 goal lead in the 57th minute. Into the final 10 minutes Ellen Slater running through to score St Albans 6th goal. Sharnbrook adding another goal at the death, time for St Albans to reply, Grehan with her 2nd of the game in stoppage time. 7-3 the final score as St Albans celebrate reaching this season’s League Cup Final the double on!

 Houghton Athletic Ladies the current holders of the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup meet Northwood Ladies at home this coming Sunday in the 2nd semi-final.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

 Two matches in Beds & Herts Women’s Division One this Sunday. 3rd placed Sherrardswood Ladies close the gap to 2nd placed Northwood Ladies to just 2 points still with 2 games in hand as they secured all 3 points at home to Garston Ladies this Sunday. Goals in the 2nd half from Laurie Marris and Laura Cousins securing a 2-1 victory for the hosts.

   Houghton Athletic Ladies move up from 6th to 4th in the Beds & Herts Women’s Division One table with a 2-1 home win against Flitwick Ladies on Sunday. Scoring all 3 of the goals in the match and own goal cancelled out with goals for Shakeela Hussain and Eireann O’Donoghue her 1st goal for Houghton Athletic. 

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

 One match played in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two this Sunday. Leaders Garston Ladies 2nd XI were at home taking on Evergreen Eagles. Top scorer Lauren Berryman moved onto 21 goals for the season as she netted a brace in the match with Maxine Hotz also finding the back of the net in a 3-1 victory to move Garston into a 5 point lead at the top of the table. Amber Charlton scoring the goal for Evergreen Eagles.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

 One match also in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three with Evergreen Ladies at home to Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Clarets. Both sides level on points on 13 in 5th and 4th respectfully going into the match. A brace from Natalie Maher enough to secure all 3 points for Evergreen Ladies in a 2-1 win that takes them 3 points clear into 4th spot in the table.

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts – 14/01/18

The Round-Up

Sunday 14th January

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

A weekend of cup action in Beds & Herts with the quarter finals of the League Cup taking place along with the 1st Round of the Chris Renshaw Cup being played some exciting games amongst them too.

   In the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup quarter finals defending cup holders Houghton Athletic Ladies are through to the semi-finals of this years competition with a comfortable home win over fellow Division One side Flitwick Ladies. A brace for both Shakeela Hussain and Emily Wilson in the match with a goal to for Louise Spendelow to see Houghton advance with a 5-0 win.

   Also through to the semi-finals of the League Cup with a 5-0 win are Northwood Ladies in their debut season. Were away in the quarter finals taking on Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three side, Evergreen Ladies. Scarlett Keightley putting the Division One side into an early 5th minute lead, Zamina Rehemtulia and Emma Steele making it 3-0 before half-time. Leanne Jones extending Northwood’s lead on 59 minutes. Keightley getting her 2nd of the match with 20 minutes left.

 Beds & Herts Women’s Division One leaders St Albans Ladies are into their 2nd semi-final of the season having already reached the semi’s of the Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup. At home in the quarter finals of the League Cup taking on fellow Division One side Garston Ladies. A single goal enough to send St Albans through coming late in the 1st half, Ellen Slater scoring.

    An eventful game in the final League Cup quarter final going all the way to extra-time. Division One side Sharnbrook WFC hosting Division Two leaders, Garston Ladies 2nd XI. Lauren Berryman scoring a hat-trick for Garston. Sharnbrook netting 3 up the other end to force extra-time Emma Butler scoring in the 1st half with Hoffi Pursey scoring early in the 2nd half Butler scoring again in the 84th minute. Into extra-time the match was closing in on penalties when Gemma Franklin (pictured) found the back of the net for Sharnbrook with 3 minutes left to send them through to the semi-finals.


  The draw for the semi-finals of the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup is as follows date to be arranged:- 

St Albans Ladies v Sharnbrook WFC

Houghton Athletic Ladies v Northwood Ladies

The Chris Renshaw Cup

 Into it’s 2nd season The Chris Renshaw Cup began this weekend with 8 1st Round ties featuring those sides knocked out of the League Cup in the early stages, plenty of action with three ties going into extra-time two of which feature Welwyn Pegasus.

Division One side Sherrardswood Ladies were drawn at home in the 1st Round of The Chris Renshaw Cup taking on Division Three side, Bedwell Rangers Ladies. A 7 minute hat-trick from Laurie Marris in the 1st half putting Sherrardswood in control of the tie, could find no more goal 2nd half Bedwell pulling one back with 15 minutes left Jessica Sullivan scoring. 3-1 the final score.

Plenty of goals in the 1st Round tie between Watton Ladies and Welwyn Pegasus Azures 11 in total as the game went all the way to extra-time finishing 4-4 after 90 minutes. Janiece Allen scoring a 1st half hat-tick for the visitors Welwyn Pegasus Azures. Division One side Watton getting 4 goals leading late into the match Sophie Clarke netting for Welwyn in 2nd half injury time to take the tie into extra-time. Watton found another goal in the extra period of play but it was Welwyn who progress as they scored twice more to win an incredible game 6-5. Anja Fletchman Brown and Clarke with her 2nd of the game sending them through. Both Beth Wilding and Laura Agnew claiming a brace for Watton with Gemma Penny also on target.

 Hitchin Town Ladies also progress in the Chris Renshaw Cup with a 1st Round home win over fellow Division Two side Evergreen Eagles. Jessica McNamara scoring a hat-trick with Mandy Cain-Murnane also getting a goal in a 4-0 win.

4-0 was also the winning margin in the all Division Three 1st Round tie between, Potters Bar United Ladies and Shefford Town & Campton Ladies. It was the visitors Shefford who progress in the competition with goals from Chloe Tate, Louise Grocott and Sarah King along with an own goal.

Another all Division Two 1st Round tie saw Letchworth Garden City Eagles hosting Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Blues on Sunday. Natalie Moey scoring a hat-trick for Letchworth with Katie Smith also on target in a 4-1 victory. Chloe Martin from the penalty spot scoring for Woburn & Wavendon.

    Wheathamstead Wanderers Ladies in form in Division Three were away to Division Two side Hitchin Belles in the 1st Round of The Chris Renshaw Cup. Laura Bocking and Shannon Page scoring the 2 goals for Hitchin Belles they were knocked out of the competition with Wheathamstead netting 3 up the other end Sophie Pidgeon getting a goal with Libby Quinn scoring twice in a 3-2 win.

An all Division Three clash in the 1st Round of competition saw Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Clarets hosting league leaders Bedford Ladies Development. The visitors in trouble 2-0 down at half-time, Emma Payne netting twice for Woburn & Wavendon. Bedford mounted a come back in the 2nd half to force the tie into extra-time. Captain Jessica Bunnage making it 2-1 on 67 minutes. Catalina Costas with her 1st goal for the side 8 minutes from time making it 2-2. In extra-time Bedford went on to take an early lead Bunnage with her 2nd of the game as Woburn & Wavendon looked for a goal at the other end the visitors scored again late on Cayleigh Jackson on target to make it 4-2 the final score 5-2 with Joanne Makin scoring a late minute penalty.

Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires 2nd in Division Two were hosting 3rd placed Royston Town Ladies Reserves in the 1st Round of The Chris Renshaw Cup another high scoring tie that went all the way to extra-time on Sunday. Megan Kaba with her 1st goal for Royston and a brace from Grace Leslie seeing the visitors score 3. Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires also on target with 3 goals in the regulation 90 minutes to see the game extended by 30 minutes. A different story in extra-time as Welwyn Pegasus dominated to power their way into the next round netting 4 more goals to win 7-3. April Spang getting 4 goals in the match with Chemise Huitson, Sophie Mandel and Katherine Calvert with her 1st goal for the club also scoring.

8 sides advancing into the quarter finals of The Chris Renshaw Cup they are as follows date to be arranged:-

Wheathamstead Wanderers Ladies v Sherrardswood Ladies

Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires v Shefford Town & Campton Ladies

Hitchin Town Ladies v Bedford Ladies Development

Welwyn Pegasus Azures v Letchworth Garden City Eagles


The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 03/12/17

The Round-Up

Sunday 3rd December

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

With St Albans Ladies not in action this Sunday it was an opportunity for 2nd placed Northwood Ladies to close the gap on the leaders in Division One, a tough game at home however taking on Garston Ladies. Northwood with just the one defeat in their opening 6 games since joining the league at the start of the season secured the 3 points winning the match by a single goal, Emma Steele finding the back of the net.

Sherrardswood Ladies consolidated 3rd position in the Beds & Herts Women’s Division One table with a win at home on Sunday against Sharnbrook WFC. It was the visitors however who were leading at half-time goals for Emma Butler and Gemma Franklin putting Sharnbrook into a 2-0 lead before Laura Cousins pulled it back to 2-1 in the 40th minute. Trailing 2-1 going int the final 15 minutes Cousins grabbed her 2nd goal of the game in the 77th minute to draw the sides level at 2-2. Sherrardswood going on to claim all 3 points in the final 5 minutes with Francesca Novelli scoring the winner.

   Two successive draws against the top two in the league Houghton Athletic Ladies built on that by securing their 1st win of the season in Division One away to Flitwick Ladies. The hosts struggling for numbers and looking to recruit new faces to the squad came up against a confident Houghton side Emily Wilson scoring a hat-trick with Holly Thomson also on target with 2 goals. Holly Skinner, Ciara Craig and Louise Spendelow all getting a goal each too in an 8-0 that takes Houghton up into 5th position.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

One match played in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two at the weekend with 5th placed Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires away to bottom side Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Blues. Goals from Danielle Allen, Sophie Mandel, Mandy Mercer, April Spang and Hanicka Mikova plus a brace for Chemise Huitson seeing Welwyn Pegasus win the match 7-1. The 3 points lifting Welwyn Pegasus up 2 places back into 3rd position in the table. Sally Green the goalscorer for Woburn & Wavendon.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

Three games played in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three at the weekend. It was a meeting between the top two with league leaders, Bedford Ladies Development away to Welwyn Pegasus Azures. 5 points clear of their opponents going into the match Bedford took an early lead in the game with Cayleigh Jackson scoring in the 8th minute. Susannah Hall made it 2-0 to Bedford just 3 minutes later. Janiece Allen pulled a goal back for Welwyn Pegasus. Joanne Makin putting Bedford 3-1 on 27 minutes. Allen netted her 2nd goal to make it 3-2 to Bedford going into half-time. The visitors going on to secure the win 2nd half captain Jessica Bunnage scoring just past the hour to see Bedford extend their lead at the top to 8 points with a 4-2 win.

Wheathamstead Wanderers Ladies leap frog two places in the Beds & Herts Division Three table into 2nd position level on points with Welwyn Pegasus Azures as they won at home on Sunday taking on Bedwell Rangers Ladies. Sophia Pidgeon scoring a hat-trick for the hosts as they ran out 3-1 winners to make it 5 wins from 6 league games played.

  Bottom side Potters Bar United Ladies are finally off the mark in Division Three after they secured a point at home on Sunday playing Shefford Town & Campton Ladies. Leah Casali the goalscorer for Potters Bar. Karen Clark netting for Shefford Town & Campton the 1-1 draw enough to lift them up a place into 5th in the Division Three table.

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

An all Evergreen affair in the final tie in the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup 2nd Round to be settled this weekend with Evergreen Eagles in Division Two at home to Evergreen Ladies playing in Division Three. Amber Charlton scored for Evergreen Eagles however a goal from Samantha Jackson along with a brace from Natalie Maher saw Evergreen Ladies win the game 3-1 to advance into the quarter finals. 

  The 4 quarter final ties are scheduled to be played in the New Year, Sunday 14th January the completed draw as follows:- 

St Albans Ladies v Garston Ladies

Sharnbrook WFC v Garston Ladies 2nd XI

Houghton Athletic Ladies v Flitwick Ladies

Evergreen Ladies v Northwood Ladies

Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup

The 1st of the 4 Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup quarter finals was played at the weekend with last season’s beaten finalists, Royston Town Ladies away to Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two side, Hitch Belles. 3 leagues between the sides ERWFL Premier Division side Royston opened the scoring as early as the 2nd minute, Becky Shephard getting the goal. Hitchin Belles responded quickly with a goal to make it 1-1, Keira How on target. Royston were soon back in front however with Shephard getting her 2nd of the game. After that Royston went on to dominate the tie, Paige Rolfe, Sammy Tinsley, Hayley Graham and Andrea Wright all scoring before Shepard went on to complete her hat-trick, Wright adding her 2nd of the game a minute before half-time to see Royston leading 8-1 at the break. Doubled their score 2nd half Tinsley getting 2 more to complete her hat-trick. Gemma Croucher, Ellie Pickard and Paris Coldicott-Stevens also getting a goal each. Shephard adding a 4th goal to her tally with Wright also getting 4 goals in a 16-1 win.

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 08/10/17

The Round-Up

Sunday 8th October

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

 One match played in the Beds & Herts Women’s Division One this Sunday and with leaders St Albans Ladies involved in the 1st Round of the League Cup, 2nd placed Northwood Ladies took full advantage winning the 3 points to go top of the table. Were at home to 3rd placed Sharnbrook WFC. Northwood got off to a great start Emma Steele opening the scorning inside the opening 5 minutes. Yvonne Macalonan then added 2 more goals on 13 and 20 minutes to put 3-0. With 10 minutes of the 1st half left Claire Cranfield made it 4-0. Sharnbrook pulled one goal back a minute later Charlie Mullins scoring. 4-1 the lead at half-time Sharnbrook battled hard to get back into the game Mullins scoring her 50th goal for the club halving the deficit 8 minutes into the 2nd half. Hoffi Pursey scored with 5 minutes left to make it 4-3 setting up a tense finish however Northwood held on for the win 10 points from their opening 4 league games.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two

A 2nd league win of the season moves Royston Town Ladies Reserves up to 2nd in the Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two table level on points with leaders Garston Ladies 2nd XI. Away to Evergreen Eagles on Sunday a hat-trick for Harriet Smith along with a goal for Aimee Holden sealing a 4-1 victory. Samantha Takis with the goal for Evergreen Eagles.

   Both Hitchin Belles and Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires could have gone top of the Division Two table with the 3 points had they claimed victory on Sunday as it was they had to settle for a share of the points in a high scoring draw. A 2-1 half-time lead for home side Hitchin Belles the scoreline was reversed 2nd half to see the sides draw 3-3. Amy Jack, Shannon Page and Emma Wells scoring the goals for Hitchin Belles. Sophie Mandel along with a brace for Danielle Aken the goalscorers for Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

Four matches played in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three this weekend, Welwyn Pegasus Azures claiming a 4th straight league win to open the season to take them 5 points clear at the top of the table. At home to another 100% winning side Shefford Town & Campton Ladies the Azures came out on top in a high scoring match a 3-2 lead at half-time thanks to a 1st half hat-trick for Janiece Allen adding a 4th goal early in the 2nd half Fiona Davies and Anja Fletchman Brown also scoring late in the 2nd half to secure a 6-3 win. Shefford Town’s goals scored by Michelle Smith getting a brace along with an own goal.

Bedford Ladies Development drop points for the 1st time this season after being held to a draw away to Evergreen Ladies on Sunday. Paige Abraham giving Bedford a 10th minute lead. Evergreen equalising through Samantha Jackson.

  Wheathamstead Wanderers Ladies made it 2 wins from 2 in the league to climb up to 4th in the Division Three table with an away win on Sunday against Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Clarets. A narrow 2-1 win a brace from Sophia Pidgeon cancelling out an own goal scored at the other end.

  Bedwell Rangers Ladies move off the bottom of the Division Three table after they claimed their 1st win of the season this weekend after losing their previous 3 opening league games away to Potters Bar United Ladies also without a win this season. Goals from Charlotte Crosbie-Smith and Hannah Manton along with a hat-trick for Jessica Sullivan seeing Bedwell celebrate a 5-1 win.

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

Two fixtures from the 1st Round of the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup played this Sunday and all Division One clash between St Albans Town Ladies at home to Sherrardswood Ladies. 27 goals from their opening 3 league matches including an 8-1 win at home to Sherrardswood, St Albans continued their hot scoring streak into the League Cup 4-0 up inside the opening 15 minutes, Suzanne Read claiming a hat-trick, Michaela Johnson also getting a goal. Chloe Reeves making it 5-0 before half-time. Read added a 4th goal to her name 5 minutes into the 2nd half then Kiran Reyat made it 7-0 10 minutes into the 2nd half before Francesca Novelli pulled a goal back for Sherrardswood. Eleanor Lovelock scored on 66 to extend St Albans lead Johnson with her 2nd of the game and a goal for Nicola Dark securing a 10-1 win.

Also progressing in the League Cup are Division Two leaders Garston Ladies 2nd XI after they secured a 4-2 home win against fellow Division Two side Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Blues. Lauren Berryman scoring twice for Garston their were goal too for Charlotte Dormer and Charley Kelsey. Amy Gibbons and Georgia Payne scoring for Woburn & Wavendon.

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 01/10/17

The Round-Up

Sunday 1st October

Beds & Herts League Cup

 This Sunday the action in the Beds & Herts Women’s football league switched to the cup with 6 ties being played in the 1st Round of the League Cup.

Houghton Athletic Ladies 2016/17 Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup winners

  Houghton Athletic Ladies won the competition last season and began their defence of the trophy with an away tie against Division Three side Shefford Town & Campton Ladies. The Division One side hitting double figures as they advanced to the next round with ease, Emily Wilson getting half of Houghton Athletic’s tally netting 5 times in the game. Holly Thomson getting a hat-trick. Goals to for Ciara Craig and Shakeela Hussain in a 10-1 win. Michelle Smith with the goal for Shefford Town & Campton.

Northwood Ladies were another Division One side away to Division Three opponents in the 1st Round of the League Cup on Sunday playing Bedford Ladies Development. A brace from Yvonne Macalonan along with a goal for Emma Steele saw Northwood leading 3-0 at half-time doubled that score 2nd half winning 6-0 with goals from Scarlett Keightley, Jenny Hunnable and Holly Gilder.

  Division One side Flitwick Ladies were at home in the 1st Round of the League Cup playing Potters Bar United Ladies from Division Three, Flitwick in control of the tie at half-time leading 4-0 the sides both scoring a goal in the 2nd half to see Flitwick through with a 5-1 win. Sky Evans, Kierra Gabriel and Faye Moxon amongst the goalscorers for Flitwick.

 Garston Ladies, Beds & Herts League Cup winners 2 seasons ago started this season’s competition at home to Division Two side Royston Town Ladies Reserves. A hat-trick for Kelly Kirwan along with a brace from Emma Trill seeing the Division One side advance through to the next round with a 5-1 win, Harriet Smith scoring for Royston.

  Division Two side Letchworth Garden City Eagles were away in the 1st Round of the League Cup playing Division One side Watton Ladies both still in search of a 1st win of the season it was Letchworth who claimed it winning comfortably Tayla Murray netting twice with goals to for Lottie Cartwright, Katie Smith, Louise Mylles, Amy Macklen and Rachel Mboyo in a 7-0 victory.

  The final tie this weekend was an all Division Two affair with Hitchin Tow Ladies hosting Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires. The sides had met in the league just two weeks ago sharing the points in a 2-2 draw. Only one side scored 2 goals this time around seeing them through to the 2nd Round of the League Cup. The win for the visitors goal from Georgina Harvey and April Sprang seeing Welwyn win the tie.


The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 07/05/17

The Round-Up

Beds & Herts – Sunday 7th May

It was the final day of the season in the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League and with the leagues all done and dusted last Sunday the venue was AFC Kempston Rovers FC for this season’s Cup Finals. Two competitions this year the League Cup which was to be contested by Watton Ladies & Houghton Athletic Ladies along with the newly named secondary cup competition The Chris Renshaw Trophy. The 1st final to be contested by Sandy Ladies & Sharnbrook WFC. Both games were covered by the Supporting Women’s Football Blog and the match report from both finals can be read below.

Beds & Herts – The Chris Renshaw Trophy

Cup Final Report – Sandy Ladies v Sharnbrook WFC

  The end of the season in the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League this Sunday the league all done and dusted ends with a cup final double at AFC Kempston Rovers FC, the League Cup Final to come but 1st off a new competition, The Chris Renshaw Trophy. The final two Sandy Ladies v Sharnbrook WFC.

  Named in memory of Chris Renshaw a former member of the Beds & Herts Women’s Football Committee and the ERWFL beyond who gave so much to support the game before his passing this competition named in his honour, a secondary competition with the sides knocked out of the League Cup itself before the quarter final stage being entered.

  It’s a while ago now in the history of the blog but Sandy Ladies v Sharnbrook WFC was my 1st experience of women’s football in the county leagues. Not that they were the clubs I had intended seeing that Sunday, stuck in traffic and no chance of getting to my game I rolled past the sign for Sandy and determined I was going to get a match in turned left. Arrived 15 minutes before kick-off and the 2 sides couldn’t have been any more helpful to me. Nice to see them once again and give them a little more respect as they contest the 1st ever final for The Chris Renshaw Trophy.

  A change of management for both since that game, Sandy Ladies have had a very strong season in what was a highly competitve Division One this season have led the table for most of the campaign entering the final weekend were 3 points clear of both 2nd placed Sherrardswood Ladies and 3rd placed Bishops Stortford Ladies who they faced just a week ago. Heart ache in the end as Sandy Ladies were beaten 4-2 ending up in 3rd on goal difference, Bishops Stortford Ladies pipping Sherrardswood Ladies to the title by a single goal! The Chris Renshaw Trophy an opportunity for Sandy Ladies to end the season with some silverware.

   Sharnbrook WFC were relegated that season, but under new management bounced back at the 1st attempt winning the Division Two title. Had a strong start to the season upon their return to Division One getting games in where others didn’t, injuries took a toll and lack of action saw them drop down the table as others got into their stride. Eventually finishing 7th, like Sandy have a great opportunity to end the season lifting a piece of silverware.

  Road to the Final
   Sandy Ladies were handed a Bye in the 1st Round of the competition progressing to the quarter-finals where they were drawn at home to fellow Division One side Letchworth Garden City Eagles won the match 2-1 to reach the semi-finals with an away trip to St Albans Ladies also from Division One both in title contention at the time it was a close game chances for both sides a single goal winning the game Chloe Reeves scoring it for Sandy Ladies to see them into the final. 
  Sharnbrook WFC were at home in the 1st Round taking on Division Two side Garston Ladies FC 96 progressed to the quarter finals with a comfortable 7-1 win. An away trip to Division Three side Evergreen Eagles, Sharnbrook WFC booked their place in the semi-finals with a 5-2 win. Away again took on Division Two side Flitwick Ladies winning the game to reach the final of the competition.
  The venue for today’s Finals, AFC Kempston Rovers FC in Bedfordshire, south west of Bedford itself. A large clubhouse with bar and refreshments booth on one side of the ground housing the changing rooms. A seated area along with terracing beside a wide pitch fairly firm and dry as are most pitches in the region after an unusually dry April. All weather training pitches on the opposite side. A hot and sunny afternoon little cloud around the breeze warm a good start to May.

  Sandy Ladies starting XI – Amie Fage, Alicia Cobb, Meghan Roles, Pearl Houghton, Faye Prout, Kayleigh Bennett, Harriet Ford, Claire Ashwell, Katie Seldon (C), Kirstie Gavin & Chloe Reeves.
  subs – Kirsty Bates, Grace Lavelle, Lauren Bullen, Abigail Stock & Kerrie Knight.

  Sharnbrook WFC starting XI – Summer Ronayne, Sarah Fuller, Mel Harradine, Gemma Franklin, Laura Strange (C), Tracy Hutchinson, Claire Smith, Emily Clark, Charlie Mullins, Sian Cunningham & Emma Butler.

  subs – Becky Dadd Scarlett Betts, Haley Traette-Reynolds, Chantelle Harris, Jackie Dadd & Helen Spalding.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

 An injury blow for Sandy before today’s final with top scorer Amber Williams out injured on 13 for the season she is one ahead of Chloe Reeves leading the line today. It’s Sharnbrook to get the 1st half underway wearing their away colours, yellow shirts with blue shorts and socks with Sandy lined up opposite wearing red shirts with white across the chest and sleeves, red shorts and socks. An early chance for Sharnbrook the ball played out to Charlie Mullins on the left side plays the ball inside looking to thread the ball in behind as Mullins runs forwards takes a favourable slice in behind off a defender Mullins latches onto it on the edge of the area doesn’t get a firm connection the ball runs straight along the ground into goalkeeper Amie Fage’s gloves.
  Sandy press forwards on the left the ball played inside  helped on to Claire Ashwell on the left wins Sandy a throw in, Sharnbrook win the ball send it up field, Pearl Houghton collects at the back for Sandy plays it on for Ashwell on the right side she sends a long diagonal ball up into the area with striker Chloe Reeves looking to get on the end of the pass, does so but is halted in her attack by the offside flag. 

  Sian Cunningham is finding some space on the right for Sharnbrook, captain Katie Seldon picks her out taking the ball up the line her cross is easily gathered by Fage at her near post. Kirstie Gavin links up with Ashwell on the right side from a throw in moving forwards Gavin cuts the ball back for Ashwell to send forwards up towards Reeves centrally positioned back to goal outside the box looks to head the ball on and get in behind the Sharnbrook defence, marking her captain Laura Strange has backed off reading the strikers intention giving her the room she needs to reach the ball 1st and clear. 
 An early change for Sharnbrook an injury to Cunningham, she comes off, Chantelle Harris comes on. From a free-kick on halfway Sharnbrook’s Emma Butler chases the ball up the left has support from Mullins knocks the ball on as she goes past her closely marked by Sandy’s Alicia Cobb, Mullins turned back as she reached the top of the area plays the ball back into Butler taking it inside looks to pull the trigger, her shot from outside the box is charged down by Sandy’s Faye Prout. 

Emma Butler on the attack for Sharnbrook WFC
  Off a throw in on the left Butler and Mullins combine again this time Mullins playing the ball up the line for Butler squares the ball across the six yard box, Prout is there to cut the cross out. Attacking up the right for Sharnbrook, Tracy Hutchinson sees her cross claimed by Fage at her near post. Sharnbrook give away a free-kick inside their own half wide right, Kayleigh Bennett to take her ball up towards the area is deflected into Gavin’s path strikes it early looping up into the box right of goal, Sharnbrook keeper, Summer Ronayne comes for it doesn’t take her eye of the ball despite runners from Sandy closing in takes the catch cleanly.

Kirstie Gavin bringing the ball down for Sandy Ladies
  Harriet Ford coming on for Sandy plays the ball into Gavin moving left side outside the Sharnbrook box shifting the ball between her feet takes a shot the strike closed down and blocked by Sharnbrook’s Mel Harradine. Sandy retaining possession inside the Sharnbrook half as the game moves into the 20th minute. Butler latches onto a miscued goalkick from Fage, takes it on into the box, Prout on her shoulder, Fage recovers well slides in to save the ball at the strikers feet. 
  Attacking down the left Sandy fire the ball into Reeves 25 yards out back to goal brings it down superbly rolling her marker and getting a shot away, comes in quickly towards the near post, Ronayne has it covered gloves the head height ball down and gathers. Sharnbrook make a 2nd change taking of Richardson bring on Haley Traette-Reynolds. Reeves pressuring the ball up top wins Sandy a corner kick taken short up to Reeves outside the box on the right plays it in for Gavin inside the D, goes to barge her way through into the box 2 defenders all converge on her no way past.

Sharnbrook WFC’s Gemma Franklin with Sandy’s Harriet Ford
  Ford does well in the middle seeing the ball into her body turns and sends Gavin away down the left, taking the ball into the box looks to stab it past Ronayne as she starts to come the Sharnbrook keeper makes a great save with her foot. Sandy make a change Ashwell comes off, Kirsty Bates enters the game. Moving into the last 5 minutes of the 1st half a hot afternoon a wide pitch Sandy are seeing more of the ball win a corner on the left the ball an in swinger comes in centrally, Ronayne calls for it the ball pops out of her gloves she recovers smartly to claim the ball at the 2nd attempt. 
 GOAL! Sandy take the lead late in the 1st half the ball form the left rolled into Reeves 30 yards out controls well holding of her marker, Gavin furthest forwards moves to her right top of the D, Reeves turning picks her out, Gavin has room in behind, Ronayne comes rushing out to the edge of the area in an attempt to stop her shot, Gavin’s strike is almost stopped by the keeper but instead is deflected on behind into the goal beyond 1-0. 

Kirstie Gavin with the opening goal in the final
  Harris defends well from a corner kick heading the ball clear of her area for Sharnbrook. Harris getting up field wins a corner for Sharnbrook as the 1st half moves into the final minute. A good delivery Houghton heads it away from the six yard box falling for Strange back peddling at the top of the area she lift her leg attempting to wrap her foot around the ball connects her effort is charged down by the onrushing Sandy defence. Sharnbrook push forwards for one last attack in the 1st half Mullins on the ball left side sends a diagonal ball up towards the penalty spot but Gemma Franklin furthest forwards for Sharnbrook can’t get her head on the ball before Fage can claim it.
Half-time Sandy Ladies 1-0 Sharnbrook WFC

  A narrow advantage for Sandy Ladies as the 2 sides leave the field for half-time a 1st half of few chances, Sandy have had more of the ball particularly at the end of the half pushing on Reeves always on to receive the ball, well supported by Gavin up top. Neither goalkeeper overly worked Sharnbrook defending well the ball not sticking further forwards. 1 goal in it however all to play for 2nd half. Sandy to get it under way. Sharnbrook move in on the ball quickly turn play around, Butler is flagged offside as she gets in behind into the area from the left. 

  Traette-Reynolds gets hold of the ball for Sharnbrook left side outside the box, twists and turns looking for a way in, Butler makes a run inside through the middle, Traette-Reynolds tries to pick her out goalkeeper Fage coming off her goal line can get to it first. Sandy get forwards up the right Ford sending the ball up the line getting a throw in players moving up the pitch level with the top of the area the ball is played into the feet of Seldon right corner sends a shot in towards goal dipping Ronayne getting down to meet it makes the save.

Haley Traette-Reynolds getting the ball under her control. 

  Fuller defends for Sharnbrook as the ball is played up the line Gavin looking to get hold of it on the left winning the ball the defender clears up into the centre of midfield the ball helped on to Traette-Reynolds breaking down the left side a powerful to take her into the box her shot is blocked by Cobb deflected beyond her runs straight into her keepers gloves. A fast start to the 2nd half Bennett in the middle for Sandy has the ball cleared from her defence into her sends it long with Reeves looking to get in behind is away, Ronayne is on the move too gets the the ball just outside her area to kick clear before the striker reach it. 

Chloe Reeves looks to get away from Sharnbrook WFC captain Laura Strange

  Sharnbrook get the ball up the other end slotted through the middle into Butler plays an early pass out to Mullins peeling in behind on the left into the box with the ball takes on the shot, Fage across to cover her near post takes the ball into her body dropping low. Sandy make a change bringing off Seldon, Grace Lavelle coming on. Traette-Reynolds wins Sharnbrook a corner kick on the right the ball is swung in near post Sandy’s Meghan Roles gets her head on the ball to clear, Emily Clark getting hold of the ball outside the box looks to send it back in her volley flies wide. Sharnbrook make a change up top Butler comes off with Cunningham coming back on. 

Sarah Fuller with the defensive header for Sharnbrook WFC

  Sandy break getting the ball into space on the left for Lavelle to run into drives all the way into the box closing in on the six yard box looks to use the outside of her boot to square the ball into the centre for Reeves, Sharnbrook’s Harradine cuts the ball out runs back to Lavelle strikes it 1st time the rising ball striking the side netting. Good running from Traette-Reynolds down the right wing getting in behind the Sandy defence sends a cross into the middle too close to the keeper Fage catches before Mullins coming in from the left can reach it. 

Grace Lavelle brings the ball forwards for Sandy Ladies

 Bates gets on the ball for Sandy taking it forwards has Lavelle aiming to get into the area lifts the ball over the top, lands of Lavelle’s shoulder as she is tracked into the box dropping to her right loses sight of it momentarily giving the Sharnbrook defence a chance to recover it and clear. A free-kick for Sharnbrook as Traette-Reynolds is brought down on the right inside the Sandy half the ball is send long up to her inside the bo, ducking under the ball, Cunningham has made the run in behind the angle against her strikes the ball on the half volley a good effort however the ball screws away from goal.

  Changes for both sides Lauren Bullen on for Sandy replacing Gavin. Jackie Dadd on for Sharnbrook in place of Betts. Sandy are finding a little bit more energy getting forwards now Bullen with a central run is stopped by Clark. Reeves picks up the ball from the right time and space 30 yards out sends her shot over the bar. Roles comes off for Sandy, Kerrie Knight coming on as the game moves into the last 15 minutes. Traette-Reynolds is substituted for Sharnbrook, Smith going back on soon after Helen Spalding comes on to replace Strange. 

  GOAL! Sandy double their lead the ball from Ford into Bullen sees her drive on towards the area 25 yards out hits a powerful shot in towards goal, Ronayne saves it with her foot deflecting the all away to her right, retrieved on the byline by Reeves is sent back in towards the near post area inside the six yard box Bullen is their following up and turned the ball past the keeper blasting the ball into the back of the net 2-0 her 1st goal for the club too.

Lauren Bullen scores to makes it 2-0 for Sandy Ladies

  Bates comes off for Sandy Abigail Stock coming on with less than 10 minutes left. Ashwell returns to the action after Houghton takes a knock at the back. Ford and Reeves are rested too, Gavin and Seldon back on Seldon blocking a strike from outside the box by Mullins as Cunningham gets the ball into her from the right. Sharnbrook push forwards late on Mullins putting a shot wide across the face of goal a she is slide in left side into the box. 

  Sandy have dropped deep late on despite the 2-0 lead inviting Sharnbrook onto then, Prout intercepting a ball played forwards by Franklin. Pushing up are caught on the counter as trying to clear the ball it in deflected in behind Cunningham after it clear to run at goal, Fage racing out to the top of her area saves well with her legs. Despite the late pressure from Sharnbrook, Sandy hold on and celebrate winning The Chris Renshaw Trophy at the final whistle.

Full time Sandy Ladies 2-0 Sharnbrook WFC

  Hot out there a great effort from both sides Sandy claiming the win leading by a single goal at the break created the better chances not making the result safe until the latter stages of the match end their season on a high with a 3rd place finish and silverware. Sharnbrook had their opportunities but not clinical didn’t convert them.
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

A solid defensive display from Sandy Ladies in today’s final and Faye Prout is narrowly beaten to the SWF Blog – Player of the Match by fellow centreback Pearl Houghton good positioning making some important interceptions and cutting out through balls winning more than her fair share of tackles too.
  Congratulations to Sandy Ladies on winning The Chris Renshaw Trophy Final.
The Chris Renshaw Trophy Winners, Sandy Ladies
  My thanks to both clubs for helping me out with the teams today very much appreciated.

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup Final

Cup Final Report – Watton Ladies v Houghton Athletic Ladies

 Onto the 2nd of today’s Beds & Herts Finals game, the Women’s League Cup with Watton Ladies or Houghton Athletic Ladies looking to win the trophy for the 1st time this afternoon.

  For Watton Ladies based at Watton at Stone in Hertfordshire this is an opportunity to win a league and cup double having already won the Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two title to earn promotion back to Division One after a two season absence finishing 8 points clear of what was proving to be a competitive league. Have scored plenty of goals this season with Frankie Smithers way out in front as top scorer netting 32 goals so far.

  Joining the Beds & Herts Women’s Football League in the 2014/15 season Houghton Athletic Ladies based in Houghton Regis in Bedfordshire have been on the rise since 2 successive promotions to reach Division One finishing 6th in the table have reached their 1st ever final. Emma Hawkes and Ciara Craig are the clubs top scorers this season with 10 goals each. Most of the players have come through the youth side progressing into women’s football.

Road to the Final
Watton Ladies began their league cup campaign away to fellow Division Two side Flitwick Ladies in the 1st Round winning the tie 3-1 to advance to the 2nd Round where again they were drawn away to another Division Two side Hitchin Belles plenty of goals scored in this one Hitchin Belles scoring 4, Watton going on to win the game 7-4. Another away trip in the quarter finals and again it was Division Two opposition, Evergreen Ladies. Watton Ladies winning 3-1 to reach the semi-finals were they were on the road for the 4th successive tie this time up against Division One side Hitchin Town Ladies coming out on top in a 7 goal thriller winning the game 4-3 to reach the final of the League Cup.
  Houghton Athletic Ladies started their league cup campaign at home in the 1st Round taking on Division Three newcomers Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Blues a 3-0 victory seeing them safely into the 2nd Round. At home against Sharnbrook WFC who had come up with them to Division One this season a good result winning 5-0 to reach the quarter-finals. Drawn away to Division Two side Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Clarets it was a close game a narrow win for Houghton Athletic Ladies going through to the semi-finals with a 4-3 win. A tough test in the semi-finals drawn away to fellow Division One side Bishops Stortford Ladies who would go on to win the title. The game going all the way to extra-time 0-0 after 90 minutes. Shakeela Hussain scoring the goal that sent Houghton Athletic Ladies into today’s League Cup Final.
  Refuelled with a fish finger bap during the break between matches. If anything it’s gotten warmer as the afternoon moves on difficult conditions for both sides to play in hot and dusty out on the pitch. A good crowd building for the game. 

  Watton Ladies starting XI – Dionne Batchelor, Zoe Hammick, Zoe Garvey, Heidi Nash (C) Kerry-Anne Paul, Beth Willing, Lizzie Dowton, Emma Carter, Sammy Edgar, Chloe Jones & Frankie Smithers.
  subs – Codie Page, Kirsty Richardson, Mollie Rouse, Chloe Hazelwood, Heather Dean, Bethan Love & Gemma Penny. 

  Houghton Athletic Ladies starting XI – Sophie Wicks, Jodie Patterson, Georgia Casey, Emily Peat, Emily Fearn (C), Rachel Spendelow, Sinead Borsah, Shakeela Hussain, Ciara Craig, Holly Thompson & Charlotte Ross.

  subs –  Kelly Rees, Charlotte Cook, Louise Spendelow, Victoria Peck. 

(roll on roll off substitutes)

 It’s Watton to get the League Cup Final started taking kick-off wearing yellow shirts with black shorts and socks. Houghton lined up opposite wearing blue coloured shirts with white sleeves and across the top of the chest, blue shorts and socks. Houghton are straight out of the blocks pressing Watton on the ball in the centre of midfield, Rachel Spendelow getting the ball out to the right Houghton have a free-kick the ball send long up into the box runners peeling in behind goalkeeper Dionne Batchelor is well placed to catch the ball. 
  Holly Thompson taking the ball out to the right for Houghton wins her side a corner kick and inswinging delivery, Kerry-Anne Paul heads the ball away for Watton, Sammy Edgar on for Frankie Smithers up top looking to find space on the right is tackled the ball away for a throw-in. Zoe Garvey comes forwards from right back to take it for Watton has a big throw n her tries to pick out Chloe Jones positioned just inside the area on the right, jumps the ball over her Smithers trying to get there, Spendelow falling back as the ball drops to her kicks it away. 
  Launching a quick counter attack the ball put up through the middle Ciara Craig is away getting onto the ball, Batchelor comes charging out of her area to meet her blocks the ball with her hands as Craig tries to lift it beyond her, the referee blows up a decision to be made a clear goal scoring chance denied? Batchelor is well out of her area, defenders were recovering both sides, early in the game the goalkeeper is shown a yellow card an indirect free kick for Houghton. The set-piece rolled into Shakeela Hussain shoots high on target, Batchelor gets her gloves up to make the save the ball dropping down into the six yard box is cleared off the line a nervous start from Watton.
   Watton’s Beth Willing pressuring the ball high up the field on the right gets in behind Houghton’s Jodie Patterson looking to run on with the ball the defender gets back on her to tackle and put the ball out for the throw. Houghton win the ball put into the box on for Sinead Borsah passes it out to Thompson moving out to the right wing the ball is cut back in towards the corner of the area with Craig on the move Emma Carter intercepts and clears for Watton. 
  Smithers taking the ball out to the left channel as Jones heads it on for her cutting back inside crosses from the edge of the box just beyond Carter inside the area, retrieves it back to goal forced the other way, Jones tries to support they try the give and go doesn’t quite come off. A frustrating start for Watton a few arguments between players. Houghton come on through the middle, Borsah inside the box getting the ball played into her from the right by Thompson lays it back out to Hussain all of 25 yards out strikes the ball early her effort sailing over the crossbar.
Houghton Athletic Ladies, Sinead Borsah
  Edgar looks to get on the ball for Watton in the middle bringing it on looks to play it over the top for Willing ahead of her, Emily Fearn Houghton’s captain gets her head on the ball to stop the attack. Garvey carries the ball down the right for Watton fires a diagonal ball low in towards the box, Fearn cuts it out deflected in behind goalkeeper Sophie Wicks comes across diving to claim the ball stopping it going behind for the corner as Smithers closes her down. Houghton make a change bringing off Ross sending on Louise Spendelow, Rachel’s twin sister.
Watton Ladies, Frankie Smithers with Houghton’s Louise Spendelow
  Houghton maintain their great start to the game pressing forwards Craig puts the ball into Hussain left of the D outside the box sends a low shot in towards goal runs narrowly wide of the near post. Willing charges down the ball for Watton inside the Houghton half moving left down the line cuts inside looks to fire the ball across the 18 yard box with Jones coming in, Borsah tracking back wins it for Houghton launches a counter attack the ball up into Hussain making the run through the middle, Zoe Hammick gets back on the attacker tackling to win the ball. Half an hour of the 1st half played the referee calls for a drinks break is very hot out there and dusty. 

Sammy Edgar

Houghton win a throw deep on the right from the restart played inside to Rachel Spendelow she sends a high ball looping up into the box far post with Hussain closing in Batchelor keeps her eye on the ball makes a good claim. Edgar comes out with the ball from a 50/50 challenge bringing it on rolls the pass on for Smithers strikes the ball from outside the area along the ground, Wicks gets down to her left makes a good stop even as the ball bobbles up before her.

A free-kick for Watton won on the left inside the Houghton half the ball lofted up into the area, Fearn headers it clear unchallenged. 38 minutes of the 1st half played. Garvey with the throw in on the right for Watton puts it into Edgar right corner of the box, tries to lay it off for Jones who in return looks to put it in behind with Edgar spinning off her marker the ball is cut out cleared back to Garvey on the right her cross goes long towards the far post, Lizzie Dowton can’t bring it down under her control quick enough before being closed down.
    GOAL! As with the earlier final the opening goal comes late in the 1st half, Houghton having been the better side take the lead the ball cleared at the back up to Craig breaking in behind over the halfway line knocking the ball on Batchelor has come rushing out of her area whenever Houghton play the ball in behind her defence. Comes running out to close Craig down, getting her shot away early Craig lobs the advancing keeper the ball bouncing its way into the empty net beyond 0-1.

Ciara Craig gives Houghton Athletic
Ladies the lead

 A double switch for Houghton, Hussain and Thompson off, Ross comes back on along with Charlotte Cook. Smithers closing the ball down for Watton pressures Houghton into giving away a corner kick, a good delivery into the far post Jones gets up to head the up, looping into the air, Wicks catches it cleanly as it falls. Edgar latches onto a defensive clearance 30 yards out splitting the Houghton centrebacks puts the ball into Smithers moving to the right inside the area is falling as the ball runs across her gets a shot away but not in control of the ball it swerves away from the near post behind for the goal kick. 

  Into stoppage time in the 1st half Houghton have a corner kick as Dowton cuts out a cross, taken from the right, Edgar near side headers the ball over for another corner, this one cleared Watton try to break the ball is won back by Houghton, Emily Peat with Craig link up the ball sent on up into the area, Batchelor gets down to smother the ball.

Half-time Watton Ladies 0-1 Houghton Athletic Ladies

 The second final of the day sees one side leading the other by a single goal the advantage to Houghton after a strong 1st half performance pressing Watton early taking advantage of their nervous start without finding an early goal creating chances and getting players forwards. Craig getting the break through late in the half. Watton have had a few half chances but for the larger part of the 1st half have found themselves on the back foot passes going astray but with just a single goal in it are far from out of the final.
  Changes for both sides at the start of the 2nd half Gemma Penny on for Watton, Fearn off for Houghton, Houghton get the 2nd half underway getting forwards the ball into Hussain outside the area left side rolls it across for Rachel Spendelow running onto the ball 20 yards out blasts a shot in towards goal, Batchelor with a good save getting her gloves up to deflect the ball away to her right Cook running onto it blazes her strike over the bar.
 Houghton attack the ball with Craig left side takes it into the box before firing a cross in towards Rachel Spendelow can’t quite get there, Peat beyond her brings the ball down puts her foot trough the shot deflects off Dowton spinning away for a corner kick. Louise Spendelow to put into the area, Paul gets it away for Watton. Getting up field for Houghton, Louise Spendelow wins a corner the ball played in towards the near post Watton captain Heidi Nash heads the ball clear from danger. Just wide from Craig shooting from outside the box left side a Peat plays the ball into her, with the keeper rushing out to meet her gets the ball past her rolls narrowly wide of the far post. 
Watton Ladies captain Heidi Nash
  Another opportunity for Craig a minute later as she latches onto a defensive clearance 30 yards out shifts the ball onto her right foot puts her strike over the crossbar. Houghton make a change Fearn going back on with Rachel Spendelow coming off. 
 GOAL! Houghton double their lead capitalising on their good start to the 2nd half attacking down the left wing the shot/cross is fired into the six yard box Batchelor gets down to it makes the stop hasn’t got the ball however pushing it across the face of goal Craig is the nearest and buries the ball into the back of the net 0-2. 23 minutes left on the clock.

Ciara Craig with her 2nd of the game for Houghton Athletic Ladies

  Has been all Houghton 2nd have dominating the ball Watton can’t find their attackers. Edgar has been fired up all game for Watton winning the ball surges forwards through the middle, Borsah goes with her putting in a good tackle to win the ball just as Edgar thinks about shooting. Peat pulls up holding the top of her leg as she looks to run in behind on the right, the referee calls the trainer on and signals a drinks break. Play resumes a double switch for Houghton Peat and Borsah off, Cook and Rachel Spendelow return to the pitch.

  Ross brings the ball out from the back for Houghton no one comes to challenge so she carries it over half way riding the tackle when it does finally come in goes on getting closed down let’s loose a shot from 25 yards out the ball curling away from goal. A triple change for Watton, Garvey, Nash and Penny coming off, Kirsty Richardson, Chloe Hazelwood and Heather Dean on.

  A throw for Watton on the left inside the Houghton half, into Edgar falls under challenge but spinning  gets the ball into Smithers plays it on for Dowton moving centrally to the top of the area, Cook gets across her to take the ball off her toes out to the right Watton in it fire a high ball in towards the far post Wicks takes it down confidently. Wicks is hurt moments later sliding in to deny Smithers as the striker is played in from the right wing. Treatment needed by Wicks is up and okay to play on as Kelly Rees is sent out to get warmed up just in case. 

  Borsah does come back on replacing Thompson with less than 10 minutes of the game left. The substitute gets hold of the ball going forwards plays it on for Cook on the left sends a cross in high near post, Batchelor plucks it down out of the air. Borsah on the ball again passes to Craig running ahead of her moving right of goal shoots from outside the area her strike running wide of the far post. Mollie Rouse comes on for Watton Ladies replacing Jones. 

Houghton’s Sinead Borsah holding off Watton’s Edgar

  A good effort from Rachel Spendelow from outside the box right of the D 20 yards out as the ball is deflected into her path from a Borsah cross on the right leaning back into her shot the rising ball looks to be heading for the top corner veers sharply late on taking it wide of goal. Good work from Rachel Spendelow in the middle getting hold of the ball takes it out to the right Cook in space on the right Spendelow plays it on for her to go after getting hold of it fires the ball into Craig inside the area near post strikes it 1st time Dowton throwing herself at it making the block taking the ball behind for the corner kick. 

 GOAL! The corner kick is played in high, Rouse getting up for Watton can only head the ball on towards the far post, dropping into the keepers gloves Batchelor under pressure from Rachel Spendelow spills it, the Houghton midfielder reacting quickest stabs the ball past the keeper and into the goal beyond to extend Houghton’s lead in the 90th minute 0-3.

Rachel Spendelow scores Houghton’s 3rd goal late on

  A bit of injury time to be played Houghton maintain their dominance, Watton can’t get hold of the ball Cook plays the ball into Craig outside the box, Making room for a strike, Hazelwood gets across to put in the challenge. The ball played up to Watton’s Smithers by Dean the striker shoots from outside the box Wicks saving at her near post. Dean is down and has to come off Carter going back on. Another powerful run wide right from Smithers drives her shot into the side netting.

 Houghton get hold of the ball Rachel Spendelow on for Victoria Peck central has Cook cutting into the area from the right playing the ball into her feet lays it inside for Thompson 8 yards out turns and shoots placing her attempt wide of the far post. One final chance for Watton to pull a goal back a great ball from Edgar up into Smithers right inside the area fires a shot across the goal, Richardson racing in far post can’t quite reach it as it runs wide. The final whistle blows and Houghton Athletic Ladies celebrate winning their 1st final.

Full time Watton Ladies 0-3 Houghton Athletic Ladies

   In the end a dominant display from Houghton Athletic Ladies, pressing from the start maintained that energy throughout moving the ball quickly, rotating their substitutes regularly on a hit afternoon. Frustrated Watton early on and they never found their rhythm throughout the game had little opportunity to attack 2nd half Houghton adding to the goal they scored in the 1st half going on to win 3-0.  
SWF Blog – Player of the Match

The SWF Blog – Player of the Match for today’s Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup Final goes to Houghton Athletic Ladies midfielder Rachel Spendelow a superb all round performance, working hard to win the ball in the middle disrupt and frustrate Watton get others into the attack getting forwards herself and capping it all off with a goal.
Houghton Athletic Ladies celebrate winning the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup
 Congratulations to Houghton Athletic Ladies upon winning today’s Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup Final.
  Commiserations to Watton Ladies but they still had something to celebrate as they collected their awards for winning the Beds & Herts Women’s Division Two League title. Congratulation’s to Watton on becoming league Champions.
Watton Ladies celebrating winning the Division Two title
 A great day out at AFC Kempston Rovers FC, my thanks again to both clubs with the team details and to all the BHWGFL committee members today for their assistance.

The Round-Up – Beds & Herts 05/02/17

The Round-Up

Beds & Herts – Sunday 5th February

Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup

Stevenage Ladies are through to their 3rd successive Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup final after overcoming Watford Ladies (Youth) U17s Hornets beating a determined and spirited group of 16 & 17 year old’s 2-1 with Donna McGuigan scoring both the goals for the FAWPL South East Division One side. Could be an all Stevenage Final too with their Reserves side away to Royston Town Ladies in the other semi-final being played this coming Sunday.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division One

A huge result in Beds & Herts Women’s Division One at the weekend in the only match taking place in the league Letchworth Garden City Eagles bottom of the table without a point on the board were hosting league leaders Sandy Ladies and beat them 3-0 to finally get 3 points on the board. A minutes silence and applause held before the match in memory of Letchworth Garden City Eagles Life President, Vince Paige who passed away recently.

Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup

 This weekend also saw the quarter finals of the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup being played and both last season’s runners-up and the cup holders were knocked out of the competition on Sunday. League Cup holders, Garston Ladies were away in the quarter finals playing fellow Division One side, Bishops Stortford Ladies. Garston took a 2-0 lead into the changing rooms at half-time, going on to make it 3-0 in the 2nd half before Bishops Stortford staged an epic comeback with a little over 6 minutes left to play, Hannah Mead puling a goal back for the home side, Brooke White scored to make it 3-2 with 3 minute left on the clock then Kathryn Stanley (pictured) put the ball into the back of the net to level the tie at 3-3 to send the match into extra-time. Stanley scoring again in the 2nd period of extra-time netting the winning goal to send Bishops Stortford through to the semi-finals.

Also knocked out of the League Cup are last season’s beaten finalists, Sherrardswood Ladies were at home in the quarter finals against fellow Division One side, Hitchin Town Ladies. Francesca Novelli in the 1st half and Laura Cousins in the 2nd half scoring for Sherrardswood, Hitchin Town scoring twice in the 90 minutes the ties all square at 2-2 went into extra-time both sides scoring again Katy Owens for Sherrardswood. Shaan Hayre, Bethany Page and Kayleigh Saunders the 3 goals scorers for Hitchin Town. The quarter final headed to penalties, Hitchin Town the side emerging with the shootout win taking it 3-1 to reach the League Cup semi-finals.

  Also through to the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup semi-finals are Division One side Houghton Athletic Ladies after they edged a 7 goal thriller away to Division Two side, Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Clarets. Carlie Aldridge and Charlotte Demmon scoring 1st half goals for Woburn, Dominique Hull with a 3rd goal in the last 5 minutes. Houghton Athletic winning it 4-3 with Ciara Craig scoring a brace. Emily Peat and Holly Thomson with the other goals to see them into the semi-finals.

 Watton Ladies from Division Two make up the semi-final line-up in the Beds & Herts Women’s League Cup after they beat fellow Division Two side, Evergreen Ladies 3-1 away from home on Sunday. 2 goals fro Samantha Edgar along with a strike on target from Francesca Smithers seeing them win the tie. Natalie Maher with Evergreen Ladies goal.

Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three

Three matches in Beds & Herts Women’s Division Three at the weekend. Leaders, Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses Blues were at home playing Shefford Town & Campton Ladies. A 2-0 win seeing them extend their 100% winning record to 9 matches at the top of the table.

It was a match 2nd & 3rd at Evergreen FC as Evergreen Eagles hosted 3rd placed Potters Bar United Ladies both side level on 12 points going into the game. Potters Bar United had beaten Evergreen Eagles 1-0 in the reverse fixture at the start of the year, this time around Evergreen Eagles won the 3 points to move 3 points clear in 2nd with a 2-0 victory, Samantha Feeney and Samantha Takis with the goals.

  Plenty of goals scored in the other game in Division Three with Wheathamsted Ladies recording a double figure scoreline to beat bottom side Hatfield Town Ladies at home on Sunday. Sophia Pigdeon scoring a double hat-trick netting 6 goals in the match. Marie Dennehy scoring a hat-trick too. Jackie Sheridan grabbing herself a brace with Sandra Knias also wading in with a goal in a 12-0 win.