Tag Archives: Brantham Athletic Ladies

Cup Final Special – Holland Ladies v Brantham Athletic Ladies

Friday 26th April

Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final

The end of season finals come thick and fast now with 3 this weekend across the East, starting with a Friday evening trip to Needham Market to watch the Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final, between, Holland Ladies and Brantham Athletic Ladies.

An accomplishment in itself to get this season’s women showpiece final even played with the league itself in doubt at the the start of the season with a new look committee working hard to hastily get thing’s organised and strive on throughout the campaign to get the games played. Under the circumstances a tremendous effort with the women’s section growing in terms of numbers a 7 strong Premiership and 14 strong Championship below with a close contest to see who will emerge out on top in both leagues. This evening the climax of the League Cup campaign.

Holland Ladies beating Woodbridge Town Ladies to win their 1st piece of silverware at the end of 2021/22 season. Woodbridge Town Ladies reaching as successive League Cup final last time out going on to beat Brantham Athletic Ladies. Now Brantham Athletic have repeated that feat knocking out Woodbridge along the way as they meet Holland in the final.

This evening’s prize.

Holland Ladies getting all the way to the League Cup final despite a tough 2nd half to the season where they have been short on players and looking to bolster their squad. Jasmine Cox a prolific goal scorer throughout her career, now player manager. Have done well despite being able to field a bare 11 at times. Retain a strong core of talented players more than capable of beating anyone on their day. Currently 4th in the league have fallen away in the title battle despite scoring plenty of goals. Cox herself the top scorer not only for her club but the league itself, way out in front with 35 goals from 15 appearances. Sennen Gregory and Charlotte Warren both have 7 apiece with captain Lauren Lucas and Charlotte Robertson on 6 each.

Brantham Athletic Ladies know what it’s like to be short on players, struggling the season before last at the wrong end of the league. Brought in Daniel Claxton in November of that season to help out with the coaching help turn their fortunes around and as they got a few more players in results started to improve and with it a run all the way to the League Cup final. 12 months on and fortunes are very different the club in a strong position at the top of the table for much of the season, defending champions Stowupland Falcons Women their fiercest rival a point behind now with the two sides having one more crucial match coming up on Tuesday evening. Have exchanged blows in the cup’s too, with Stowupland knocking Brantham Athletic out of the County Cup in the semi-finals, Brantham Athletic returning the favour in the League Cup. Another large influx of players, several with vast experience from the now folded Brettvale side have formed a new Development team this season playing in the Championship. Stacey Teager the leading goal scorer, netting 14 goals so far this season. Tarnya McKew returning after a serious injury at the end of last season, has 10 goals for Brantham. With Laura Tuley, Chloe Wilson and M’Leah Wright all with 8 goals.

Road to the Final

  Holland with a bye in the 1st Round of the League Cup. Brantham were at home taking on Championship newcomers, Coplestonians Ladies. Their captain, Lucy Dunnett on target for a hat-trick in the game with Chloe Wilson coring a brace and M’Leah Wright also on target in a 6-0 win.

 Onto the 2nd Round both sides racking up the goals. Holland away to newly Ipswich Vale Exiles Ladies newly promoted to the Premiership. Jasmine Cox finding the back of the net for 3 goals. Charlotte Warren bagging a brace too, with Megan Joy, Charlotte Robertson, Libby Batten, Olivia Dowsett and Sennen Gregory all scoring in an 11-1 victory. Brantham were taking on their new development side in the 2nd round, showed no mercy as they too won by double figures Megan Stock and M’Leah Wright scoring a brace each with goals too for Dunnett, Laura Tuley, Rebecca Prime and Sophie Crabtree final score 10-0.

  Into the quarter finals, Holland at home to Championship side, Ramsey & Mistley Ladies. Cox, Lucas and Joy all firing home a brace in another double figure win, 10-0 the final score with Warren, Gregory, Joy and Dowsett all on target too. Brantham taking on Woodbridge at home the current League Cup holders, going into the break leading 3-1, Brantham added a 4th goal in the 2nd half to reach the semi-final. Tuley bagging herself a brace with Chloe Wilson and Kirby Seward also scoring.

  The semi-finals, tighter affairs. Holland with a depleted squad for their match with just 9 available as they travelled to Championship newcomer and league challengers, Capel Plough Women. Despite their lack of numbers Holland’s quality won through with Cox on the score sheet for 2 more goals, Lucas also scoring in a 3-1 win. Brantham away taking on rivals Stowupland a single goal enough to settle it scored by Tarnya McKew to send Brantham into their 2nd successive final.

 This evening’s final being played at Needham Market FC’s Bloomfield’s ground. Have visited their to watch the women play on their 3G pitch and always though I’d like to see a game played on the grass pitch beyond. Both pitches overlooked by the The Hub, Café & Bar with a balcony on either side. The grass pitch a good size with a seated stand on one side and terracing behind one goal with viewing all round. The weather good, still after a bright but chilly day. No rain likely a few clouds around the sun beginning to set as the teams walked out onto the pitch. 

Holland Ladies

 Holland Ladies starting XI – Charlotte Warren, Alisha Blake, Rianne Dimmock, Hannah Campbell, Ellie Grafton, Lauren Lucas (C), Libby Batten, Lauren Bourne, Olivia Dowsett, Jasmine Cox & Sennen Gregory. Subs – Alison Warren.

Brantham Athletic Ladies

 Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Daisy Gibbs, Aimee Berry, Merlin Watson, Shannan Hill, Kirby Seward, Lucy Dunnett (C), Rachel White, Emmi Dennett, Tarnya McKew, Chloe Wilson & Stacey Teager. Subs – Shannon Giles, Issey Bines, Rebecca Prime, Sophie Crabtree & M’Leah Wright.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Holland with a small squad again or this evenings final naming a starting 11 plus one substitute, that a goalkeeper having kick-off in the 1st half wearing orange coloured shirts and socks with black shorts. Brantham with a full squad naming 5 on the bench lined up opposite wearing their all navy blue kit. The ball played back to Olivia Dowsett in the middle goes back to her defence, Rianne Dimmock retaining possession before giving the ball to Hannah Campbell on her right to play long up the right channel, Merlin Watson dealing with the threat for Brantham.

Brantham’s, Merlin Watson

  Watson looking to bring the ball on release Tarnya McKew on the left flank, hustled by Campbell the ball out of play for a Holland throw. taken the right played forwards into Libby Batten on the right channel looking to progress into the area, Kirby Seward across making the tackling to send the ball behind for a corner kick. The in swinging delivery headed out of the area to the right, Aimee Berry over on that side defending the resulting throw.

  Holland looking to press the ball in the Brantham half, coming back to captain Lauren Lucas she opens up her body attempting a threaded pass into the box for Sennen Gregory coming in off the left, the pass too square easily gathered by Brantham goalkeeper, Daisy Gibbs. Ellie Grafton with a strong challenge to stop Brantham launching a counter through the middle with Emmi Bennett making a run out wide on the right.

Holland’s Ellie Grafton

  Brantham win a free-kick deep on the right, captain, Lucy Dunnett to deliver in across the top of the area, met by Seward 20 yards out gets up to head the ball goal wards, an ambitious attempt, hasn’t the power or height to trouble Holland’s goalkeeper, Charlotte Warren. 

  Holland getting the ball forwards on the left side play Lauren Bourne on to attack running towards the top of the D with the ball at her feet her run stopped by Seward’s challenge. McKew getting hold of the ball on the left attacking for Brantham, holds it up well 20 yards out waiting for Watson to make the overlapping run the ball fed on for the full back into the corner she cuts it back inside to McKew inside the box left corner, turns and shoots her dipping effort played straight into the goalkeeper’s gloves.

  A competitive tussle played at a good pace, Holland looking to press Brantham on the ball, Brantham in turn aiming to stretch their attack, McKew left and Bennett right making strong attacking runs. Gregory taking the ball onto the by-line on the left attacking for Holland her cross charged down by Shannan Hill for Brantham. 

 Stacey Teager in attack through the middle for Brantham, sees the ball into her feet, held up turns well looking to play the diagonal ball in behind the defence for Bennett bursting on down the right, a little too much on the pass allowing Warren to race out to claim it. A loose pass from Rachel White 30 yards out for Brantham, sees Holland’s Gregory steal in on the ball left of the D powering her way into the area, Seward across quickly to lunge in with the challenge put it out to the left, the resulting cross/shot put over the bar.

  Chloe Wilson links up with White as the Brantham pair advance through the middle, White lining up a shot from 25 yards out, charged down by Holland’s Dimmock. Holland working hard at the back to challenge for the ball, Campbell winning it well on the right putting the pass forwards into Jasmine Cox, with a powerful drive forwards she cuts inside running across the top of the D, before getting a down shot away, lacking to pace to trouble Brantham goalkeeper, Daisy Gibbs as she drops to her left getting behind the ball.

Brantham goalkeeper, Daisy Gibbs

  Dunnett on another free-kick wide on the right sends it long beyond the far post Warren across her goal taking it on the bounce before McKew can get there, sets her side up for a rapid counter attack Cox taking it on with a determined run on the right wing squaring a pacy cross into the near post Gregory waiting for it attempting to back heel it on, Gibbs behind her pouncing onto the ball. 

  Holland pushed up in defence as Teager sees the ball into her feet off White, turns to lay the pass in behind on the right channel the flag stays down against Bennett as she breaks clear taking the ball on looking to shoot on the angle, Campbell getting across to stretch and put in the block the ball behind for a corner kick. 

 The corner played into the near post Grafton getting her head onto it for Holland clearing the ball out to the top of the area falling for McKew left of the D sees it across her striking it as she turns her chipped shot put straight at the keeper. 

 Cox out on the left now for Holland sends a diagonal ball into the area on the angle for Gregory to attack her run halted by a raised flag however. Cox receiving the squared pass across the top of Brantham’s area look to burst into the box left of goal, Brantham’s defence quickly converging on her to make sure there’s no where to go. Brantham build through the middle White on for McKew making a central run in behind, Warren alert out to the top of her area to clear the danger, the flag up against the attacker though.

  Brantham pour numbers on in attack runners into the box as Bennett charges down the right her squared cross running behind Teager at the near post, McKew out left looking to get hold of it, Campbell winning the race to take the ball clear of her area. Campbell clipping the ball on for Holland on the right looking for Gregory as she makes a run into the area from the flank, Gibbs quickly out to close the angle gather the ball into her gloves. 

  Teager combining with McKew on the left as Brantham build an attack, numbers forwards, Watson taking the ball on on the overlap her cross inside for Wilson central, Dimmock in to close her down for Holland the clearance falling to Dunnett 35 yards out, has a strong shot on her, goes for it her attempt over the bar. Likewise on her set-pieces as Brantham are awarded a free-kick right of the centre circle striking the ball on towards goal, Warren able to get across her six yard box to get hold of it.

Brantham captain, Lucy Dunnett

  Cox linking up with Dowsett in attack exchanging passes before Cox let’s fly from 30 yards out her shot driven wide a nick off a defenders boot spotted a corner given. Curled in from the left dropping near post, Brantham scramble it away back to the corner taker on the left, the return ball long past the far post. Holland getting bodies after the ball in the final third pressing the Brantham backline, pops back into the middle for Lucas, attempts to hit a shot in from range, Gibbs has it covered in the Brantham goal.

Holland captain, Lauren Lucas

  Bourne receiving the ball into her feet from 25 yards out for Holland drags it out of her feet as she lines up a shot her effort, played straight at the keeper from the right of he D. Teager with the ball at her feet looks to battle her way on through the middle knocked on for Bennett central holding it up as McKew runs across her, the pass when it comes seeing McKew flagged offside. Brantham pushing on in attack, Teager getting hold of the ball, delays her shot, allowing the defend to rush out to put in the block 20 yards out. Dunnett with another free-kick from halfway played into the box, Lucas heading clear for Holland.  

 GOAL! Brantham’s pressure in attack finally tells as they open the scoring with little more than 10 minutes left in the 1st half, White coming forwards with the ball into the left channel feeding the pass into McKew ack to goal top of the area, seeing the ball into her feet drags it to her right then turns into the strike, sending her chipped shot in on the angle over the keeper to score 0-1.

Tarnya McKew opening the scoring for Brantham.

  Holland look for a quick reply to falling a goal down, Lucas from distance with time to line up a shot, looks to hit it up and over the keeper, doesn’t get enough on it however the ball falling into Gibbs’ gloves backs up into her six yard box. Brantham get Bennett on the ball down the right winning a corner kick, put in near side defended by Lucas, Holland look to counter quickly, Cox the outlet in attack on the left drives on with the ball, Hill getting back at her to put in the tackle for Brantham. 

  Wilson passing the ball out to McKew on the left, is a competitive battle between her and Holland’s Campbell the defender close in preventing her from getting past her. Cox attacking with the ball at her feet from the left checking inside looks to play the one two with Gregory break into the box, Hill and Seward cutting off the space for Brantham.

  GOAL! Brantham’s turn to hit Holland on the counter the ball put on quickly through the middle clipped forwards to Bennett breaking in behind clear on the right channel, surging into the area smashes her shot across the keeper to find the back of the net to double the lead 0-2.

Emmi Bennett breaking on from the right flank doubling Brantham’s lead

  Holland conceding a 2nd goal late in the first half aim to get straight on the attack Grafton out to Cox on the left 30 yards out drives infield getting a shot away under challenge, the attempted tackle doing enough to take the sting out of the attackers shot see it run harmlessly through to the keeper. Bennett on the counter very nearly through on goal again from the right Warren comes rushing out to close her down can’t get hold of the ball knocked up into the air behind her, can turn and get hold of it on the bounce.

Rachel White winning the header for Brantham

Half-time Holland Ladies 0-2 Brantham Athletic Ladies

 The sides head into the changing rooms at half-time with Brantham leading the game 2-0. Getting forwards well pushing numbers on have looked to forceful up top creating chances. Holland though working hard all across the pitch to press the ball prepared to keep a high line to give their attacking players as much opportunity as they can to hustle the ball in the final third. The break through eventually coming with 10 minutes to go in the first half McKew giving Brantham the lead before Bennett broke clear to add a 2nd. The next goal if it comes you’d think has to go to Holland to keep them in the game a lot of effort put into the 1st half and without fresh legs will be interesting to see if they can keep up their determined performance in the 2nd half.

The sides as you were at the start of the 2nd half. Brantham to kick-off the 2nd half defending a 2 goal lead. Look to put the ball long on down the right, Blake dealing with it for Holland. Holland look to get the ball forwards through the middle Lucas on into Bourne right of the D, looks to drive forwards, stopped by Seward for Brantham.

Bennett bringing the ball down on the right fizzes a shot in from distance on the angles, Warren behind it to save for Holland. Holland attacking on the left pushing players on Cox through the middle now the ball back out to the left wing the cross cut back to Lucas 25 yards out sees the ball across her body opening the angle to shot, send in on target running for the bottom corner Gibbs down on her line to smother the ball.

Jasmine Cox with Lauren Lucas

Brantham find McKew on the left, Campbell in to close her down the ball out for a throw in. Controlled and played in central, Wilson with the shot fired over the crossbar. Holland looking to give it a go push Brantham back in defence Gregory playing the ball into the area for Cox to attack left side of the goal, Gibbs out to close the angle down onto the ball.

Holland winning a free-kick out wide on the left 25 yards out Bourne over it angling the ball into the near post, dropping amongst bodies, Brantham manage to scramble it away to the top of the area, Cox getting hold of it right off the D turns inside looking for the opening squeezes her shot away, doesn’t get hold of it though safely gathered by Gibbs. A lively start to the 2nd half.

Pushing on looking to attack Brantham ready to react on the counter the cross-field ball finding Bennett out on the right wing drives on down the line her cross cut back into the area with Teager hanging back to receive it top of the area, Campbell having gone with her for Holland putting in the blocking tackle.

Holland defender, Hannah Campbell

  Wilson winning the ball for Brantham centrally feeds the pass on for McKew on the left flank, Campbell a thorn in her side throughout closing in to tackle the ball quickly back with Brantham the cross field pass going out to Bennett on the right her cross/shot struck over. Holland giving it a go attacking down the right Batten with Bourne and Gregory a throw won in the corner the cross worked into the six yard box from the by-line Cox attacking it, Watson clears for Brantham.

Holland’s Libby Batten

  All action Brantham wanting a 3rd goal Wilson up to Teager, Dimmock preventing the turn back into Wilson then Seward looking to send McKew on down the left, Campbell fighting back to get possession back for Holland. Dunnett taking the ball forwards playing it on for Wilson who picks out Bennett wide right, Blake in to defend for Holland. Holland determined to push out retain a high line at times allow their forwards the opportunity to get at Brantham’s defence, Cox looking to get hold of the ball when ever she can drive forwards into the box. Seward and Hill needing to close her down.

Brantham defender, Kirby Seward

  Cox drives for the area in a race with Seward the defender getting her toe on the ball to take it behind for a corner kick. From the right taken short then back to the taker up the line to sweep the cross into the far post, Berry clearing for Brantham. Campbell aiming to send the ball back into the box with Cox pulling off the defence, Gibbs though can get hold of it first.

  Holland keeping their energy levels up pushing forwards, Berry winning the ball on for Dunnett surging on lays the ball out to Bennett on the right, held up lays it back to Dunnett 25 yards out, smashes her strike over the crossbar. 

Brantham making their first changes of the game bringing off both Watson and Bennett. Sophie Crabtree and M’Leah Wright joining the attack, Wilson dropping back into the back line on the left. Holland lay the pass out to Bourne pulling left on Wilson, taking the ball on, Seward across to support her teammate run Bourne off the ball. 


 Blake tackling for Holland as Wright looks to break forwards from McKew’s cross-field pass. Midway through a lively 2nd half both sides pressing for a goal, Warren out smartly to the edge of her area to snatch up the ball as McKew looks to run onto a diagonal ball. Holland on the attack Grafton into Lucas on for Gregory central 20 out picks out Cox to her left taking the ball on whips a pacy cross low into the six yard box, Gibbs gets down well to make the save pushing the ball out and away from Gregory closing in on the follow up. 

Holland’s Olivia Dowsett

  Campbell unfortunate to give away a handball on the left side as Brantham push players up for the set-piece. Dunnett striking the ball curls her attempt in near post, Warren across to cover the post can see it safely wide. Brantham making another change, Wilson off having gone to left back, Rebecca Prime coming on in that position. The pass clipped on for Crabtree in attack, Blake getting in a timely challenge for Holland.

  Cox laying the ball from left to right across the Brantham area, looking to pick out Batten making the run, can’t quite take the ball in her stride into the box as a defender runs across her. Dowsett laying the ball on for Cox left channel, breaking into the box her shot charged down, Gibbs onto the loose ball.

Stacey Teager

Into the final 15 minutes, Brantham can’t find the goal to put Holland to bed, their opponents giving it everything to pull a goal back. Crabtree peeling wide with the ball on the right for Brantham in attack picking out Teager central, 20 yards out, Dimmock in close making the blocking tackle. Lucas with the ball for Holland put forwards for Gregory wide left takes it to the by-line cutting the pass back up to Cox wide turns to drive into the area, attempts to pick out Bourne at the near post, Brantham snatching possession back.

Lauren Bourne

  McKew played into space on the left checks back inside to shoot from outside the area drags her effort wide of the near post. Comes off then to be replaced by Shannon Giles. Prime getting on down the left to support Teager making a run into the left wing, the ball forwards, Dimmock sliding in to play the ball out for a throw in.

  The game open Brantham counter the ball from White into Teager, almost sends Crabtree through on goal, however Warren with a good starting position top of her area is first to the ball. Another change for Brantham as White is taken off with Issey Bines joining the defence. Dimmock the last defender for Holland getting across to intercept the ball as Crabtree bursting away on the right side looks to get onto the end of Dunnett’s through ball.

Rianne Dimmock

   Prime picks up a yellow card as she looks to clips Cox’s heels as the attacker looks to drive forwards with the ball, unfortunate looked more of a tangle of legs as the defender tried to adjust her position. Cox feeling it late in the game but is up back on her feet with the clock ticking down. Bourne attempting to play Gregory into the area on the left, the attacker fouling Berry as she goes to attack the ball.

  Teager slipping as she goes to strike from distance sends her shot over. Is brought off then with McKew send back into the action with the game moving into stoppage time.

GOAL! Holland have battled on for the entire 90 minutes pushing for a goal in the 2nd half and it finally comes as Cox is played in on the left channel sliding the ball into the box for Gregory on the right she stabs the ball towards goal past the diving keeper and scores 1-2.

Sennen Gregory pulling a goal back for battling Holland late in the game

  A goal back for Holland but little time left in the game as Brantham look to keep it attacking on the right McKew fouled by Lucas a free-kick awarded. Dunnett over the ball strikes her shot over on the angle. That’s it though the final whistle blows and Brantham celebrate as they win this season’s League Cup Final.

Full time Holland Ladies 1-2 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  Two goals in the first half from McKew and Bennett enough to see Brantham win the game. A third goal wouldn’t come in the 2nd half. The game opening up as Holland fought hard to pull a goal back of their own set up a nervy finish, just came too late in the finish but a brilliant effort from the 11 on the pitch. Brantham able to rotate send on fresh legs hard to work hard at the back to keep them out and earn the win, an entertaining final. Have as big a game at home on Tuesday evening against Stowupland as they aim for a league and cup double, part one complete.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A tough call with both sides giving it their all for 90 minutes. Several performances of note and then I’ll probably not list all. For Holland, Jasmine Cox was the driving force for her side getting hold of the ball with some strong runs looking to find a goal. The midfield and defence pushing up well in support. Rianne Dimmock with several vital tackles while Hannah Campbell was determined to win everything throughout. For Brantham, Kirby Seward was strong in defence getting about to win her tackles. Rachel White composed in midfield getting forwards well. Stacey Teager leading the line holding the ball up well. The wide attackers causing issues throughout and it’s a straight fight between them for the award, Emmi Bennett breaking on well down the right a good outlet though out took her goal well. as did this evening’s Player of the Match, Tarnya McKew. A strong performance taking the ball on and looking to create opportunities for herself and other the entire match.


Brantham Athletic Ladies, 2023/24 Suffolk Women’s League Cup winners

  Congratulations to Brantham Athletic Ladies on winning this season’s Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final.

 An entertaining final, good to see a game on the grass at Needham Market. My thanks to both sides for there assistance with the teams details this evening much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Long Stratton Women v Brantham Athletic Ladies

Sunday 10th September

FA Women’s Cup

The football season gets into full swing this Sunday with the county leagues getting their season’s underway as well as the FA Women’s Cup where there is once again a record number of entrants with a whopping 103 ties in the 1st Round Qualifying draw with £1,800 going to the winning sides. Off to Manor Road today to watch Long Stratton Women v Brantham Athletic Ladies.

 The FA Women’s Cup now offering better prize money to go with the prestigious of the competition an opportunity for clubs to earn some decent and much needed money with a fortuitous run the road to Wembley begins today!

  Long Stratton Women having become an established side in Norfolk Women’s Division One over the past couple off season pushing on looking to challenge for honours, that said has been something of and overhaul coming into the new season with the club losing manager Adam Race to ERWFL Premier Division One side along with a number of experienced players. Have brought in Paul Simmons and Simon Charlton to co-manage the side and the duo have brought in a a number of new faces, for other sides and promoted within with the club benefitting from it’s youth set-up and wildcats programme. 

  Most notably in goal, far from the easiest of positions to fill within the women’s game have done fantastically to bring in Cyan Fullbrook who has season’s of experience playing at a higher level with Wroxham Women. Defender Jade Copeman joins having been with Blofield United Ladies last season. Elisha Bower and Lucy Robbens too bring a host of experience into the side joining from Beccles. While Madeleine Hopkins, Jess, Liv Charlton, Caitlin Skipper. Esme Goodall and Grace Wall set up from the U16s along with Emily Read and Lucy Tull who have been with the club since the Wildcats. 

 This time last season Brantham Athletic Ladies faced an uncertain future long established in the county league in Suffolk, were struggling for numbers and in doing so form languishing at the foot of the table brought in new coaching staff to help turn thing’s around and haven’t looked back since going on to reach the League Cup final, have grown in the close season with an influx of new players and additional coaching staff setting up a new Development side in the Suffolk Women’s Championship.

  The 1st team competing in the Suffolk Women’s Premiership have brought in several players with a great deal of experience from the former Brettvale side including defender, Kirby Seward, Claire Turnbull, Rachel White and Tarnya McKew. Goalkeeper Daisie-Mae Gibbs joins from Needham Market. Striker M’Leah Wright also new to the squad with merlin Watson returning to the club. Like Long Stratton this the clubs first competitive match of the season. 

 Manor Road the venue for this afternoon’s game the community playing field featuring a new clubhouse with numerous grass pitches a playground and skate park too. A blisteringly hot afternoon as the mini heatwave at the start of September continues promising hot playing conditions with the temperature 30 degrees break to take on fluids a must especially with two sides used to playing with roll on roll off substitutes the FA Cup different just the 3 substitutes permitted. Fitness and stamina sure to be tested.

Long Stratton Women

Long Stratton Women starting XI – Cyan Fullbrook, Karmen Harvey, Summer Whiting, Esme Goodall, Jade Copeman, Megan Vincent (C), Elisha Bower, Caitlin Skipper, Elsie Downer, Lucy Robbens & Grace Wall. Subs – Emily Coe, Kate Simmons, Scarlett Royden & Liv Charlton.

Brantham Athletic Ladies

 Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Daisie-Mae Gibbs, Aimee Berry, Shannan Hill, Kirby Seward, Merlin Watson, Lucy Dunnett (C), Laura Tuley, Rachel White, Chloe Wilson, Sophie Crabtree & M’Leah Wright. Subs – Bethany Ryan, Claire Turnbull, Shannon Giles, Rebecca Prime & Jess Ryan.

Not much shade on offer at Manor Road shouldn’t complain the crap weather will be here soon enough. Referee Francesca Catchpole a top quality striker in her own right leading the two sides out for today’s cup tie. Megan Vincent, Long Stratton’s new captain. Lucy Dunnett captaining Brantham. Brantham wearing and all navy strip to get the game underway kicking off the first half with Long Stratton opposite wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts. The ball played back to Lucy Dunnett in midfield put out to Merlin Watson on the move up the right forwards Elisha Bower stepping out to cut the ball out for Long Stratton.

Brantham Athletic Ladies captain, Lucy Dunnett

Back with Dunnett in the middle puts the clipped pass on for Sophie Crabtree making a run into the right channel, Esme Goodall getting in the challenge to prevent the attacker stealing into the box, the ball cleared for a Brantham throw high on the right. Long Stratton heading the ball clear inside the box get on the attack the ball lifted forwards into Caitlin Skipper on the move wide right taking the ball on with pace, Kirby Seward comes across to slide in with the tackle send the ball out of play.

Hot out there but both sides willing to take each other on close down the ball, Merlin Watson lunging in with the tackle winning the ball a Megan Vincent looks to put Grace Wall away into the left channel for Long Stratton. Brantham get the ball down exchanging passes well outside the Long Stratton area, Dunnett finding Tuley right of the D some 25 yards out shapes to shoot drags the effort wide past the far post. Shannan Hill and Seward making several winning tackles at the back as Long Stratton look to tee up their pace players in attack, Seward stepping in to halt Skipper as she plough forwards.

Brantham’s Shannan Hill

Chloe Wilson tracking inside with the ball on the left for Brantham striking a shot over the bar from all of 30 yards. Long Stratton get the ball on through the middle lifted up to Wall breaking in behind the Brantham back line, Hill doing well staying on her shoulder to win the ball confidently tackling inside the box.

Long Stratton striker, Grace Wall

Pushing up Brantham risk getting opened up at the back as long Stratton bring the ball left the diagonal pass inside the clearance missed by Seward the ball travelling on to the right Long Stratton break with two spare, Aimee Berry getting a foot to take the ball away from Elsie Downer, allowing her defence time to recover. M’Leah Wright taking the ball on from the left cutting inside outpacing the defence shoots from the top of the area the ball rising held comfortably by Cyan Fullbrook in the Long Stratton goal.

Downer showing good pace on the right driving forwards down the line for Long Stratton gets a cross into the box well under challenge, Daisie-Mae Gibbs rising to claim the ball for Brantham.

GOAL!  12 minutes on the clock and the deadlock is broken as Dunnett getting hold of the ball in the middle lines up a shot from 30 yards out a thunderbolt rising central Fullbrook with a athletic leap throwing an arm up to try and stop it gets the merest of touches enough to turn the shot up to smash down off the crossbar, the ball smashed home as Wright runs through on the follow up to score from close range 0-1.

M’Leah Wright opens the scoring for Brantham

Long Stratton bring the ball on down the left Robbens out to Wall wins a throw in the ball launched into the area headed clear by Hill for Brantham. The Brantham backline high at times allowing the midfield to press, using their experience to intercept the ball, White playing the ball inside into Crabtree, Goodall with a well timed tackle against her right of the D as she looks to skip on into the box.

Long Stratton coming into their own as the first half enters the midway point Vincent and Bower closing the ball down in the middle looking for Skipper, Downer and Wall making runs ahead of them. Seward putting the ball on into Dunnett, Brantham’s captain looks to release Tuley to her right, Karmen Harvey stretching a leg out to win the ball back for Long Stratton.

Watson takes a high ball down superbly in the middle putting the pass into Dunnett who in turn sets Crabtree away to attack on the right racing into the box, Goodall getting back on her wins Brantham a corner kick. Players up from the back the ball played into the six yard box knocked down and wide past the far post. Summer Whiting doing the defending at the back for Long Stratton as Crabtree attacking through the right channel looks to tee up Wilson on the left.

Seward giving herself a vital half a yard on Wall in the Long Stratton attack as Robbens sends the ball on through the middle defender and striker racing towards the box Seward stretching to shield the ball seeing it safely back to her keeper. A drinks break called with players struggling in the heat, Long Stratton making a change bringing off Harvey with Emily Coe on at left back. Long Stratton press the ball from the restart getting forwards on the left with Wall, Robbens and Downer combining the latter storming into the area Hill going with her tackling to put the ball out off Downer for a goal kick.

Long Stratton captain Megan Vincent with Brantham’s Chloe Wilson

Brantham get straight up the other end to win themselves a corner on the left swept into the six yard box met by Seward at the far post knocked wide. A pause in play a Hill goes down needing treatment players taking on additional fluids is very hot out there. Hill okay to play on. Wilson cutting in from the left lines up a shot blocked by Long Stratton’s Jade Copeman, then Goodall heads the ball clear as Wilson attempts to lift the ball back into the box. Bower busy in the middle for Long Stratton getting after the ball.

White taking the ball inside from the left picks out Fullbrook with her strike on goal. Dunnett placing the pass into Tuley as Brantham build well through the middle Tuley opening up her body attempting to place the ball into Wright’s path as she bursts into the box left of the D, racing after the ball can’t quite keep it in play. Skipper bundled over by White as she drives forwards for Long Stratton the hosts winning a free-kick some 30 yards out, Bower over it floats a shot in towards goal, not troubling Gibbs claiming it low back on her line.

Brantham goalkeeper Daisie-Mae Gibbs

Skipper winning the ball wide for Long Stratton sending the pass inside for Robbens to line up a shot her effort lacking to pace to trouble Gibbs. Brantham hit Long Stratton on the counter Watson left inside for Dunnett on for Wright in attack Copeman throwing herself into the tackle just about getting a toe on the ball taking it wide to the left with Wilson breaking into the box from the left fires over as Fullbrook comes racing out to close her down.

Watson struggling for Brantham sees another long pause as she gets the necessary treatment. Wall pulling out to the right for Long Stratton in attack but Hill stays on her well to get the challenge in prevent the ball finding it’s way into the box.

Long Stratton finding some momentum late in the first half as Brantham tail away slightly pressing forwards win a free-kick out wide on the right the ball played across the top of the area by Bower, Robbens meeting it sees her shot charged down by Dunnett, the Brantham captain again in the way as Skipper strikes the rebound. Long Stratton pressing the Brantham back line forcing errors. Hill strong in the Brantham backline winning her tackles.

Long Stratton’s Elsie Downer

The visitors a threat on the counter turn play around quickly the threaded pass into the box finding Wright stealing in behind the defence right of goal, Fullbrook out to close her down with a brilliant blocking save as she slides in. Wright then looking to put the ball on for Wilson pulling left for Brantham her cross cut out by Long Stratton’s Goodall. The host quick to counter putting the ball long on the left for Downer racing on with the ball, Hill and Watson closing her down to defend for Brantham.

Play end to end all of a sudden with Dunnett putting the ball on for Tuley for Brantham right channel finds Crabtree breaking into the area her shot brushing the side netting. Heat taking it’s toll on a few players putting in a hard shift closing down the ball, the half stretching on with a number of breaks but precaution shown at all times by the officials. Watson busy on the left with Wall and Downer switching sides, Brantham bring Berry across to the right as Watson prepares to come back on on the left.

Kirby Seward winning the ball before Grace Wall can pounce for Long Stratton

Seward throwing herself into the tackle as she comes across to stop the marauding run of Skipper on the right the ball out for a throw. Off the throw Robbens finds Wall right of the D her low shot forcing Gibbs into a low save turns the ball wide of the right post for a corner kick.

GOAL! Whiting to put the ball into the box from the corner in towards the near post attacked six yards out by Downer turned onto the post before the rebound is fired past the keeper into the back of the net Long Stratton equalising late in the first half 1-1.

Elsie Downer at the near post firing home the equaliser for Long Stratton

Long Stratton with their tails up as the first half draws to a close Brantham on the back foot as Robbens looks to send the ball on for Skipper breaking on into the left channel, Hill intercepting for Brantham.

Half-time Long Stratton Women 1-1 Brantham Athletic Ladies

 The score all square at the break as Long Stratton battle back to find an equalising goal late in the first half. Both sides putting a lot of effort into the half despite the heat. Brantham pressing the ball in the middle with a high back line at time making a positive start taking the lead inside the opening 12 minutes, creating a couple more chances Cyan Fullbrook the busier of the two goalkeepers. Long Stratton with youth and pace in their attack looking a threat out wide and breaking into the channels capitalising a Brantham tailed off towards the end of the half. Still very much all to play for going into the 2nd half.

Brantham making a couple of changes at the start of the 2nd half bringing on Bethany and Jess Ryan on their left replacing Watson and White. Long Stratton unchanged as the hosts get the 2nd half underway. Brantham snapping in to win the ball in midfield the visitors mount the first attack bursting away down the right with Bethany Ryan on the ball her cross squared high into the box plucked down into her gloves safely by Fullbrook.

 Coe lunging in with the challenge to win the ball from Bethany Ryan as she is fed the ball out on the right by Dunnett. Long Stratton pressing bodies on at the start of the 2nd half, Hill defending as Robbens looks to track inside from the right, Dunnett links up with Crabtree and Tuley in attack as Brantham build on the left the cross squared into the top of the Long Stratton area won by Vincent and cleared. Jess Ryan bringing the ball on right side for Brantham plays it on for Bethany Ryan twists and turns on the ball looking to find her way into the box, Coe snapping at her heels going to ground just about getting in the tackle to deflect the ball off Ryan into her keepers gloves.

  A competitive tussle brewing between Skipper and Berry as the winger looks to get in behind the full back on Long Stratton’s right. Long Stratton win a free kick in a dangerous area 25 yards out left of the D as Wall is brought down looking to take the ball on from Robbens. Bower over the set-piece floats a shot over the Brantham goal. Brantham drop off allowing Bower time on the ball in midfield lines up a shot from distance, can only pick out Gibbs in goal. 

  Long Stratton looking to get the ball forwards find their way pass the Brantham defence, the visitors looking to launch the counter attack, Dunnett looking to pick the pass whenever she gets onto the ball finds Bethany Ryan on the right the pass inside for Tuley, taking the ball in Vincent in to close her down for Long Stratton. Goodall then getting the tackle in outside her area as Wright and Tuley look to link up in attack. Tuley covering the ground sending a strike over from 25 yards out.

Long Stratton captain, Megan Vincent

  A corner for Long Stratton out on the left cleared at the near post by Seward for Brantham who is then fouled by Bower.

  GOAL! Having struggled to find any rhythm at the start of the 2nd half Brantham hit Long Stratton with a sucker punch to retake the lead, Dunnett sending a great ball in over the defence that sees Wright run through into the box the flag stays down closing on the keeper places the ball wide of Fullbrook to score 1-2.

 The goal injecting a much needed boost into the Brantham players as they come on with purpose, Dunnett laying a diagonal pass into Crabtree bursting forwards on the left, Whiting intercepting the ball for Long Stratton. Tuley putting her shot wide as she lets fly from 25 yards out to the right of goal. Another pause for drinks as Long Stratton look to regroup. It’s Brantham though who have the momentum, Bethany Ryan out wide right surges infield before striking the ball low on the angle, Fullbrook has her near post covered.

Long Stratton goalkeeper, Cyan Fullbrook

  Brantham with a free-kick left on halfway Dunnett chipping the ball in over the back line Tuley stealing in behind clear onto the ball into the box Fullbrook rushing out to close her down with an excellent blocking save. Long Stratton’s turn to counter the ball lifted into Skipper right racing on with the ball fired inside towards Wall central can’t quite take it on the turn as Hill clears. Seward bringing the ball on for Brantham sends the ball over the top for Wright to attack, Fullbrook out to claim it keeping her eye on the ball catching safely and holding onto it as Wright crashes into her. Both up okay. 

  GOAL! Long Stratton equalise, strong from Wall at the top of the area as Whiting finds her out on the right with a superb diagonal pass the striker turning into the box driving into the six yard box right of goal holding off her challenger to knock the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner, 2-2.

Grace Wall battling her way to goal to equalise for Long Stratton

Grace Wall congratulated by her teammates after making it 2-2

  The contest between Berry and Skipper hotting up  the pair going shoulder to shoulder as Skipper drives on with the ball, Berry incensed as she is adjudged to foul the Long Stratton winger presenting the hosts with free-kick wide outside the area. Bower sweeping the ball in across the face of goal Wall getting up well, can only get a glancing header the ball carrying on out to the left sent forwards as Brantham break, through into the box for Wright to chase.

Brantham’s Sophie Crabtree

 Crabtree with the ball driving to the by-line on the left looking to get past Whiting checks back inside to flash a cross into the far post Wright inside the six yard box looking to attack it Coe going to ground getting enough of the ball to deny the snap shot before Wright does connect Fullbrook throwing an arm up to tip the ball over from close range. 

Brantham fullback Aimee Berry

 Both sides working hard despite the heat to get hold of the ball a competitive cup tie finely balanced as Brantham win another free-kick on half-way, Dunnett to deliver a high ball into the area the header won by Copeman clearing for Long Stratton the hosts break Skipper through the middle on for Wall top of the area, Seward getting back at her to defend. Players tiring have been out there for nearly 2 hours now due to the various breaks for drinks and injuries still 10 minutes left to play.

Tuley shooting wide inside the box for Brantham as she in played though to the left of goal, Fullbrook doing well as she comes out towards her to narrow the angle the ball played wide of the far post. Long Stratton making a change bringing off Skipper with Kate Simmons coming on. Dunnett lining up a shot from 35 yards straight at the keeper. The visitors winning a throw high in the right corner the ball knocked into the box close to the near post Wright attacking it Fullbrook down well to save pushes the ball straight into the on coming Tuley no time to adjust prods the ball wide.

  GOAL! Brantham restore their lead late in the game as they bring the ball on through the middle the Long Stratton defence backing up as Dunnett plays the ball out to Crabtree on the left, 20 out curls a cross into the box with both Wright and Tuley getting in behind the ball drops for Tuley who makes no mistake sending the ball back across the keeper into the bottom corner 2-3.

Laura Tuley celebrates after putting Brantham back into the lead

  Brantham confident as they pour forwards Dunnett with time on the ball to pick a pass finding Crabtree out left running into the box, Goodall across to defend putting the ball out for a corner kick. Brantham making a change before it’s taken bringing off Wilson on comes Turnbull. The corner angled into the box met on the volley by Crabtree 12 yards out crashed wide. The game entering the final 5 minutes Long Stratton with their 3rd change bringing off Downer, on comes Liv Charlton. 

 Brantham using their experience now running the ball into the corner Tuley holding players off eating up valuable time, Long Stratton trying to get hold of it, Bethany Ryan stealing it back to shoot on the angle the ball into the keeper. Crabtree coming left for Brantham laying the ball back into the middle for Dunnett to strike goal wards from 30 yards out, Fullbrook sees it all the way. 

Lucy Dunnett winning the header for Brantham

  A lot of tired legs out there a welcome breeze blowing across the pitch Brantham finishing strong winning a corner on the left fired in towards the top of the area, Dunnett with a miscued shot deflected through to put Wright clear on goal, however the flag goes up against her.

 Brantham break up a Long Stratton attack the ball cleared out to the left Whiting looking to see it run out of play as Crabtree closes her down the attacker stealing the ball on the line to turn inside run into the box and shoot, Fullbrook with a superb save leaping up to tip the ball up onto the bar and over. The resulting corner on the right the last action of the game as the ball falls to Bethany Ryan inside the box her strike blocked and cleared. 

Full time Long Stratton Women 2-3 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  Brantham scoring the winning goal inside the final 10 minutes to settle a tremendous cup tie, with both sides putting in a great effort in very hot conditions. Brantham starting well going in front inside the opening 12 minutes created some good chances, Long Stratton fighting back towards the end of the first half to get themselves back on level terms set up an intriguing 2nd half. The hosts making a positive start to the 2nd period Brantham guilty of tailing off a little but still remained a threat going forwards retaking the lead a Wright broke clear on goal to score her 2nd of the game but again Long Stratton fought back a strong run from Wall seeing them equalise for the 2nd time in the game. Fullbrook pulling off some fine saves along the way, Tuley though having missed a few opportunities got in behind the defence to score the winning goal late in the game. A home tie against another Norfolk Women’s Division One side awaits with Sprowston FC Women their opponents.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A fine effort from both sides in very hot conditions to produce a great cup tie and both look in good shape going into the new season. Hard to single out a single player and their were several performances to note firstly for Long Stratton, Esme Goodall with some vital defending at the back. Elisha Bower strong in the middle looking to win the ball, Caitlin Skipper pacy on the ball looking to take her opponents on. Goalkeeper, Cyan Fullbrook outstanding on her Long Stratton debut pulling off a number of top quality saves. For Brantham both Kirby Seward and Shannan Hill were strong at the back winning the ball back, reading the game well. Sophie Crabtree out wide in attack with some great running throughout the match getting into some good positions. Pipping everyone though the award goes to midfielder Laura Tuley covered a lot of ground in the middle getting into some great positions to carve out opportunities in front of goal and ultimately score the winning goal. 

 An entertaining cup tie between two sides only beginning their season a great effort from both in very hot conditions Long Stratton pushing Brantham all the way levelling up the scores twice before Tuley’s winning goal. My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details today and good luck for the campaign ahead.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Brettvale Ladies v Brantham Athletic Ladies

Wednesday 17th May

Suffolk Women’s Premier Division

 Heading back into Suffolk this Wednesday evening to take in some action from the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division with Brettvale Ladies finishing their campaign at home to Brantham Athletic Ladies.

The Suffolk Women’s County League the smallest in terms of numbers across the East for a long time featuring just one Division, growth happening like the rest of the region within the women’s game particularly at youth level saw the single league split into 2 last season to better accommodate sides and ability. With sides dropping out and moving up numbers have been reduced in the Premier Division to 7 overall. A decision made late on for the sides to play each other 3 times has seen the season extended all the way to the end of May with some sides putting in midweek fixtures to ensure thing’s get done, thus a great opportunity to get in some league action where normally I’d struggle.

Brettvale Ladies formed 5 season’s ago building a squad around a core of experienced players from the old Ipswich Wanderers Ladies side that used to play in the ERWFL. A solid debut season were to reach the final of the County Cup in the Covid hit season that followed eventually losing to Ipswich Town Women. Strong pushing at the top end of the table won the Suffolk Women’s Premier Division last season. Likely to finish as runners-up this time round, a great achievement in itself when you bare in mind how badly the side has been affected by injuries this season, several long term too. The most recent top scorers Tarnya McKew, damaging her achilles, her goals will be a huge miss for Brettvale having netted 16 this season. There final game of the season this evening will be glad to get the season done rest up and prepare for a new campaign hopefully see some players recover for the new season especially with a few of their senior players preparing to retire. Struggling for numbers have just the 10 available this evening but want to fulfil the fixture complete their fixtures. Players needed to fill gaps their goalkeeper hurting her wrist out too, captain Claire Turnbull donning the gloves. Formed a new U13s girls team this season another positive step building for the future.

Brantham Athletic Ladies very close to not starting the season at all, the longest established club in the Suffolk Women’s Football league struggling for numbers with injuries and unavailability too playing their part. Have turned thing’s around however bringing in Daniel Claxton to coach the side have been working hard on fitness and getting the best out of the players they have, moral improving drastically and that is certainly noticeable in the games I’ve seen. There best form saved for the League Cup going all the way to the final, knocking out Brettvale on the way. Have pulled away from the bottom of the table, this evening possibly their last fixture of the season too with their opponents unlikely to fulfil the fixture. A good mixture of young talent and experienced players within the squad have a few out themselves this evening still able to name a squad of 13. Like Brettvale have an U13s side aswell as a side playing in the U14s league.

Brettvale playing their football in Raydon just off the A12 south of Ipswich at King Georges Playing Fields. A pavilion and clubhouse in one corner of the ground housing the changing rooms and community bar. Room for several grass pitches the players and coaches setting up the pitch before kick-off. Stark contrast to last evenings game held at Colchester United FC just up the road, but a reminder that the women’s football pyramid isn’t all that big, the FAWSL just 6 promotions away (it’s a big just mind). Still I love these kinds of games both sides in good spirits before kick off the sun bright setting behind one goal. A narrow pitch not overly big.

Brettvale Ladies

Brettvale Ladies starting XI – Claire Turnbull (C), Rachel White, Lois Gooderham, Deban Howlett, Danielle Lynch, Bethany Bennett, Jess Gill, Sophie White, Amy Parton & Georgia Lindon.

Brantham Athletic Ladies

 Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Connie Madley, Jess Prime, Katie Lovekin, Shanice Leeks, Shannan Hill, Harriet Young, Lucy Dunnett (C), Sophie Crabtree, Amee Berry, Shannon Giles & Chloe Wilson. Subs – Georgia Long & Freya Gudgeon.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A 7pm kick-off with no floodlights two halves of 40 minutes agreed before the game with a short turn around in between the ensure the game is completed before the light fades. Brantham to kick-off the first half wearing an all claret coloured away kit with Brettvale in their home colours blue shirts fading to sky blue with navy shorts and sky blue socks. The ball played back to captain, Lucy Dunnett , put back to Katie Lovekin on the left, Brettvale rush on to close the defence down the ball hastily cleared for a throw, coming inside the ball played long out to Amee Berry attacking on the left for Brantham, Danielle Lynch across to close her down for Brettvale.

Brettvale captain Claire Turnbull, deputising in goal this evening


  Harriet Young getting forwards for Brantham on the left taking the ball on from a throw in sending in on through the Brettvale defence for Chloe Wilson running in left of goal, shoots sending the ball in across the goal, captain Claire Turnbull getting a glove on the ball to turn it away to the right. Jess Gill pushing on down the right for Brettvale wins her side a corner kick. Swung in towards the top of the area, controlled by Berry who looks to travel with the ball Brantham threatening to break, Rachel White in to challenge for Brettvale on halfway. 

Brantham’s Harriet Young

 Brettvale looking to be positive despite their player disadvantage getting another corner on the right, a good delivery into the ox, headed clear by Young for Brantham. Amy Parton with the diagonal ball for Brettvale into Lois Gooderham attacking down the right, knocks the ball on Dunnett lunging in to win the ball back for Brantham. The visitors combine well through the middle Berry into Young sends it forwards for Wilson racing through the defence after the ball Turnbull coming to clear an outfield player by instinct and is often the case kicks clear rather than picking it up.

  Dunnett with a great pass in her locker sends a diagonal ball out to the right for Sophie Crabtree pulling off the Brettvale defence, the line held she is flagged offside. Deban Howlett tackling Wilson as she picks up the ball 30 yards out looks to head into the left channel. Georgia Lindon and Gooderham look to combine down the left in attack for Brettvale, Lindon 25 out putting the ball into Gooderham wide on the touchline her return pass squared back inside to Lindon left of the D, Shannan Hill doing the defending for Brantham preventing the attacker from turning to shoot.

  Berry fouled on half way as she looks to attack for Brantham, Brettvale back to defend their box with Dunnett over the set-piece, floated in to the top of the area won by Parton and cleared. Jess Prime coming on up the left for Brantham forwards into Berry, Lynch tacking the ball gone for a throw. Prime with a long throw, Howlett in to win it for Brettvale. Level with the top of the area the ball dropped into Wilson, turns well to shoot pulls her effort wide of the far post, Crabtree racing in to try and deflect it goalwards can’t keep the ball in play.

Brantham’s Jess Prime

  A lively 10 minutes all action, no one allowed time on the ball, Brantham getting a throw high on the left dropped into Berry edge of the box lays it back up to Dunnett top corner to cross in central, Young coming onto the ball 25 yards out hitting a strike straight at the keeper, Turnbull bringing it down playing the ball out to the right, Brettvale threatening to break as Lindon races away down the wing, Hill getting back on her tracking the attacker all the way doing well to win a goal kick for her side. 

 Lynch coming to tackle Berry as the Brantham midfielder drives on with the ball. Young again playing a good ball through to Wilson breaking through the defence, Turnbull once again rushing out to kick the ball clear inside her area. Danger for Brettvale as they concede a free-kick outside their box to the left corner of the area, Dunnett over the ball doesn’t get the connection she wanted frustrated as she sends the shot over the bar. 15 minutes played.

GOAL! The break through coming for Brantham in the 15th minute Wilson threatening to run clear to attack the goal on a couple of occasions is put through by Hill as play is congested in the middle of the park, taking the ball to the top of the area before striking it on the run sending a rising shot over the keeper into the top right corner 0-1.

Chloe Wilson opening the scoring for Brantham

  Howlett defending at the back for Brettvale getting in to tackle Crabtree and she and Wilson attempt to break in behind. Play rushed players drawn to the ball no time to settle. Berry unhappy again as she is barged over in the middle. Dunnett again on the dead ball lifting it over the defence, to the right the flag already up as Crabtree goes to strike the ball across goal. Shannon Giles with a shot put wide of the right post for Brantham from 25 yards out as Crabtree puts the ball back to her.

Deban Howlett winning the ball against Chloe Wilson

  20 minutes played the game ticking along at a fast pace Prime getting forwards on the left getting a throw high, looks for Dunnett the return pass put out for another throw in the corner, Young taking over long throw duties, high into the box, Parton doing the defending for Brettvale. Wilson with another attempt from distance struck over. Berry on the move with the ball up the eft for Brantham, Bethany Bennett getting back on her for Brettvale shoulder to shoulder getting a foot on the ball to take it behind for the corner kick. An inswinging ball from Dunnett headed confidently clear by Howlett. 

Brantham’s Amee Berry with Brettvale’s Bethany Bennett

  Howlett strong again in defence winning the ball as Giles out on the left fires the ball into Wilson inside the D. Howlett then racing out to charge down Berry charging down her cross to the left. Lindon pulling away to the right for Brettvale in attack, Prime in to close her down getting the ball bac to goalkeeper Connie Madley to clear. Brettvale winning a free-kick wide on the right inside the Brantham half Howlett to deliver into the box with players going forwards, flighted in across the face for goal Parton central almost getting their a faint touch the ball cleared. The referee having words with a few players mainly Brantham’s voicing their complaints, Young putting herself about on the middle. Brettvale keeping the pressure on up top winning a corner on the left flashed in near post missed by Madley races on across the face of goal, no one there to attack it Parton retrieving far side her cross back into the box cut out by Hill.

  Lindon seeing the ball across her 25 yards out spins away to the right heading for the area, Hill lunging in to block for Brantham. Brettvale send a long diagonal ball into the box right of goal, Hill looking to clear it smashes the ball straight into the on rushing Lindon, could have gone anywhere deflected towards goal is straight at Madley who gets hold of the ball. The grass a little long Lindon slipping as she goes to pull the trigger from 35 yards out sees the ball screwed wide of target.

Georgia Lindon on the attack for Brettvale

 Howlett busy in defence for Brettvale as Young linking up with Dunnett comes on through the middle. Dunnett moving right up the field with Wilson and Crabtree, the ball laid forwards Howlett getting across Crabtree to see the ball out for a goal kick. Young hooking the ball forwards for Brantham, Howlett getting in between Wilson and Crabtree to out her head on the ball. Brettvale doing well enough with 10 players, The defence holding a good line not exposing Turnbull in goal beyond, Brantham a little frustrated the final ball not quite coming off. 

 Berry in space for Brantham 30 yards out has Dunnett on the move to the left, up the line cuts back onto her right foot to curl a looping shot in towards goal over Turnbull the ball smashes against the crossbar and out to the right. The first half drawing to a close Brantham coming close to a 2nd goal attack overloading the right Dunnett threading the ball through for Crabtree staying on side this time into the box shoots on the angle the shot put straight at Turnbull who gets down to get hold of the ball. Crabtree with seconds to spare wriggling free of the Brettvale defence to chase after the ball, Turnbull out to the top of her area to kick clear.

Half-time Brettvale Ladies 0-1 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  Brantham with the advantage at the break leading by a single goal, Chloe Wilson’s 15th minute strike the difference. Lucy Dunnett coming closest to adding a 2nd crashing the ball into the crossbar from a curled effort from wide. Brettvale on the whole coping well with the players disadvantage, Wilson breaking through early in the game but have dealt with the threat better since. Brantham too containing their opponents at the back, Lindon getting about in attack Hill and Prime both tracking her to defend. 

Changes for Brantham at the break with Georgia Long coming on for Prime at the back and Freya Gudgeon on for Crabtree on the right. A quick turn around the sun setting with Brettvale to get the 2nd half underway, the ball played out for Gill attacking on the right, Hill defending for Brantham. Brettvale pressing on at the start of the 2nd half winning a throw out on the right in across the top of the area Leeks clearing for Brantham. 

 Brettvale pushing up on the right Parton into Gooderham inside for Lindon, Hill in to win the ball back for Brantham. A good battle developing between Brettvale’s Gill and Brantham’s Young the latter fouling Gill giving away the free-kick inside the Brantham half. 35 yards out Howlett mashing the ball into the Brantham wall. Young counters lifting the ball over the top for Wilson taking it down away to the left of the box, Turnbull coming to close her down blocking the ball loose as the defence race back Wilson closed down before she can attempt a strike. 

 Lindon racing clear on the right into the box for Brettvale after the ball, Madley rushing out to close her down blocking to knock the ball back against the attacker to spin out for a goal kick. Sophie White looking to bring the ball on left for Brettvale gets her ankle caught on the turf rolling it goes down in discomfort a pause in play as she is assessed not looking good not being risked taken off Brettvale down to 9 players. 

 Howlett intercepting at the back as Hill sends the ball up to Wilson in attack. Gill tracking back to close the ball down for Brettvale as Young puts it on through the middle. Lindon offside for Brettvale as she is fed through on the right. Gooderham playing the ball into Gill outside the, Young in close a hand ball spotted Brettvale winning a free-kick in a dangerous position. Gill over the ball fires the ball in around the wall dipping in front of Madley the keeper pushing the ball away to the left Brettvale after it put back to Lindon left corner who sends her strike wide of the far post.

Brettvale’s Deban Howlett

  Long putting the ball forwards on the left for Berry to play Wilson through to attack racing on for the corner of the area, the Brantham attacker shoots putting her effort wide across Turnbull’s goal. Gill with a long range punt for Brettvale 40 yards out dropping wide of the left post. Lindon getting back at Hill inside the box to wrestle the ball back feeds it back for Gill central to strike from 25 yards out her effort straight at the keeper. 

Danielle Lynch clearing for Brettvale

 Brettvale coping well with have two less players getting after the ball, Howlett and Lynch winning the ball. Dunnett moving into an advanced position on the right clipping a shot in towards goal, dipping in front of Turnbull saves well with her legs, deflecting the ball away from goal. Brantham look to make changes Prime and Crabtree back on, Lovekin and Leeks coming off. Bennett charging down Wilson as she drives for goal into the left channel. Turnbull cheered by her teammates as she catches a long range strike fired into her from the left. 

  Dunnett over a dead ball on the left 40 yards out the ball brushing the crossbar on it’s way over. 20 minutes left to play the score remains 0-1. Long getting the challenge on a Gill looks to take the ball on through the middle for Brettvale. Dunnett picking out Gudgeon getting away on the right for Brantham, Gooderham getting across to tackle for Brettvale. A throw for Brantham high on the right.

GOAL! Taken quickly dropped into Dunnett outside the box turns and strikes the ball curling a fine strike across the keeper into the top corner to double the lead 0-2.

Lucy Dunnett with a superb strike to put Brantham 2 up

  More injury concerns for Brettvale as Gooderham is hurt in a 50?50 challenge on the ball hurting her ankle. Time taken no risks wanting to be taken Gooderham tentatively putting weight on it carrying on for now. Brantham with a corner on the right the ball swung in central cleared by Gill who then rushes out to charge down Giles as she lines up a strike from outside the box. 

Brantham’s Shannon Giles

 Crabtree picking out Gudgeon getting clear on the right swings a cross into the box, Howlett defending against Wilson the ball out to the right, Berry shooting from the angle, Turnbull claiming the ball at her near post. The game played in good spirits Brettvale giving it a go winning a free kick wide on the right. Dunnett going to defend heading the ball on across her area, thankfully no one from Brettvale free that side to attack it. 

 Gill coming through the middle for Brettvale looking to fed it through for Lindon, Prime cutting it out. Lindon pulling right looking to take the ball on it the box is again thwarted by Hill lunging in to tackle. The game moving into the final 8 minutes Giles on the move with the ball through the middle for Brantham picks out Gudgeon breaking away on the right her early shot struck wide of the near post. 

Brantham’s Shannan Hill

  Bennett in to win the ball well for Brettvale high on the left lifts in on into the box for Lindon running though on goal the ball skipping up before her hits it on the volley annoyed with herself as the ball goes over the bar. Brettvale attacking out wide right the ball inside for Lynch from distance catches the ball sweetly sending a superb strike over the keeper crashes down off the crossbar! Brettvale giving it a go in the closing stages. 

Danielle Lynch sending a long range strike in crash down off the bar

  Gill taking the ball on right side up the line into the corner cuts it back into the area coming to Lindon inside the box goes to strike the ball across the keeper her shot crashing against the far post out to the left. 2 minutes left to play Brettvale hitting the woodwork twice in close succession. Gill’s frustrations getting the better of her as she is shown a yellow late on for a push in the back.

 Dunnett over the set-piece long to Crabtree right knocked inside for Giles, Howlett out to put in the blocking tackle top of the D rebounds back to Dunnett who drags her shot wide of the left post from 30 yards. 

Full time Brettvale Ladies 0-2 Brantham Athletic Ladies

 Brantham winning the 3 points to end their season on a positive note coming up against a stubborn Brettvale down to 9 players in the 2nd half, got the job done scoring a 2nd goal rode their luck a little bit late on, Dunnett with a superb finish to double their lead will be encouraged by performances in the 2nd half of the campaign as they prepare for the new season. Brettvale knowing they’d be up against it ending the season in good spirits nonetheless starting with 10, then down to 9 early in the 2nd half battled well, creating chances with the woodwork struck twice at the death. Time to rest and get some of their injured players back for the new season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As is sometimes the case you have an idea before the game in written up who it will be but the notes often bring someone else to the fore. Several good performances to note of course, Brettvale battling with 10 then down to 9 putting in a shift. Deban Howlett standing out in defence winning the ball and getting about to defend the back line. Jess Gill getting about the park looking to win the ball get forwards and doing her fair share of defending too. For Brantham, Harriet Young put herself about in midfield get the ball into the attackers. Chloe Wilson making some great runs through the middle took her goal well. Jess Prime at the back with some great tackles. Shannan Hill excellent at the back too getting across the defence to win the ball putting in some great tackles. The award though goes to the captain Lucy Dunnett. Her range of passing excellent finding players in attack and from set-pieces, hitting the woodwork twice herself always a threat if allowed a strike from distance as the 2nd goal proved.

  Good to see both sides in action at the close of their season’s an entertaining contest both sides in good spirits my thanks to both for their help with the team details, sending my best wishes to the injured players. Getting to explore the back roads of Suffolk with the A12 being closed think the car will be glad when the season’s over…

by Darren Gilham

Cup Final Special – Woodbridge Town Ladies v Brantham Athletic Ladies

Wednesday 3rd May

Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final

Back on the cup final trail with a midweek trip to Ipswich to watch the final of this season’s Suffolk Women’s League Cup between Woodbridge Town Ladies and Brantham Athletic Ladies.

The Suffolk Women’s Football League once again featuring two divisions a 7 strong Premier Division and 6 sides contesting the Championship below. Initially looking to be alot larger but unfortunately some late pull outs saw numbers reduced, still encouraging signs for future growth with several clubs showing interest in starting up a women’s side for the new season. Stowupland Falcon’s Women looking firm favourites to clinch the Premier Division title in just their 3rd season playing at this level. Ipswich Exiles Ladies winning the Championship in their debut season a fantastic achievement.

This evening’s prize (photo credit SGWFL)

Woodbridge Town Ladies through to the League Cup Final for the 2nd successive season. Reaching the final last season after a tough campaign, were struggling for numbers at times during that season and were to finish bottom of the league, the signs already in place that thing’s were improving. Lost that final 4-0 against Holland Ladies. Come into this season’s final as the favourites enjoying a long unbeaten run that has now extended to 13 matches. Have regrouped well under manger Charlie Jackson becoming a side that is hard to beat, while carrying a goal threat up the other end. Sadie Jamieson top scorer weighing in with 12 goals from 12 appearances while Jess Oxlade joining from East Bergholt has 6 goals so far.

Brantham Athletic Ladies the longest established side in the Suffolk Women’s League. That said they were in real danger of folding during the summer losing players also injuries and unavailability playing there part, struggling for results. Daniel Claxton coming in November to help coach the side along side manager Matthew Gribben. Brantham have been working hard to improve their fitness and make changes to best suit the players available to them pulling clear of the bottom have saved their best form for their cup run to this season’s final and with morale improving are confident of a better future. Stacey Teager top scorer with 9 goals from 5 games sadly unavailable for this evenings game. Captain, Lucy Dunnett has netted 5 so far with Chloe Wilson scoring 4.

Road to the Final

Woodbridge receiving a bye in the 1st Round of the competition. Brantham were at home to Championship newcomers Ipswich Valley Rangers Women. A comfortable result in the finish going a long way to set up the run to the final 5-0 the final score. 

Woodbridge drawn away to Championship side Leiston St Margarets Ladies in the quarter final, proved resilient opposition, Amy Cook’s 1st half strike proving the difference with Woodbridge  emerging 1-0 victors.  Brantham handed a tough test in the quarter finals away to Brettvale Ladies one on the strongest sides in the Premier Division. Brantham though were beginning to turn thing’s around working hard to secure a 1-1 at full time send the game into extra-time. Scoring two more goals to win their spot in the last 4 of the competition winning 3-1.

  Woodbridge at home to fellow Premier Division side Needham Market Women Development in their semi-final. Dep into their unbeaten run with a determination to reach a 2nd successive final, goals from Natalie Claridge and Taylor Cooke were to see Woodbridge win 2-1 to progress. Brantham paired at home to defending cup holders, Holland Ladies in their semi-final. Another tough game, plenty of goals scored with the sides level a 4-4 after the 90 minutes! Chloe Wilson netting a brace for Brantham, along with strikes for Stacey Teager and captain, Lucy Dunnett. No further goals in extra-time saw the semi-final settled from the penalty spot, Brantham edging it 6-5 to win through to the final.

 This evening’s final at the SEH Sports Ground on Humber Doucy Lane, home to Ipswich Wanderers FC. Has been several years since I’ve seen a women’s football match on this ground. Ipswich Town Women hosting a few there. With a large parking area before the stadium the clubhouse and bar, along with kitchen hut serving hot food and drinks leading out to the pitch itself with standing viewing on three sides along with covered viewing opposite the dugouts with two small seated stands. A good sized crowd in attendance. The grass pitch looking in good condition for the time of season. The weather having been warm and sunny all day the temperature was beginning to drop sharply with a nip in the air still likely to stay dry for the game.

Woodbridge Town Ladies

Woodbridge Town Ladies starting XI – Florence Dickin, Alice Ager (C), Molly Nicholson, Natalie Claridge, Caitlin Howe, Tayler Cooke, Lucy Eagle, Stacey Hadley, Jess Oxlade, Amy Cook & Sadie Jamieson. Subs – Grace Murphy, Eloisa Bruce, Rhianna Kiwomya, Izzy Owen & Pippa King.

Brantham Athletic Ladies

 Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Connie Madley, Shannan Hill, Aimee Berry, Issey Bines, Charlotte Archer, Laura Tuley, Lucy Dunnett (C), Chloe Wilson, Sophie Crabtree, Ellie Robus-Miller & Lucy Elmes. Subs – Frances Turner, Jessica Ryan, Lucy Penn, Harriett Young, Shannon Giles.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Both sides able to name a squad of 16 for the final with 5 players each on the bench to choose from during the match, walking onto the pitch with their young mascots. Woodbridge nicknamed the Woodpeckers joined by the club’s mascot Woody. It’s Woodbridge to get the 2022/23 Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final underway kicking off the 1st half wearing black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks. Brantham lined up opposite wearing an all dark blue coloured kit. The ball rolled back into the middle, Brantham captain Lucy Dunnett rushing forwards to close the ball down, comes out to Ellie Robus-Miller on the right for Brantham drives forwards, Molly Nicholson defending for Woodbridge the ball out for the throw in.

  High in the corner on the right, Brantham getting the ball down and cross into the Woodbridge area, Jess Oxlade back to clear for Woodbridge out for Caitlin Howe wide right the full back taking the ball on, tackled by Brantham’s left back Aimee Berry. A positive start from both sides getting after each other looking to win the ball. Dunnett sent tumbling in front of the dugouts winning Brantham a free-kick on the halfway line, the back launched forwards into the area, claimed confidently by Woodbridge goalkeeper, Florence Dickin.

  The ball out of play quite alot as both side look to get their wide players on the move, Howe coming back to tackle Brantham’s Chloe Wilson on the left and Berry lifts the ball forwards. Dunnett closing the ball down in the middle of the park playing it forwards into Lucy Elmes who in turn shifts play out to the left wing, Wilson racing on taking the ball into the corner, Woodbridge captain, Alice Ager getting across to close her down prevent the cross. Berry with a good tackle at the back on Woodbridge’s Sadie Jamieson passing in up the line into Dunnett lifts the ball over Howe to put Wilson in behind, Ager once again rapidly across to challenge.

Woodbridge Town Ladies captain, Alice Ager

  The ball never still both sides after it the full backs kept busy with their opponents pressing forwards. Berry nipping in to take the ball of Oxlade. Dunnett getting it under control forwards into Laura Tuley, up to Elmes outside the box, Natalie Claridge defending for Woodbridge. Brantham lively contesting the ball a collision seeing Shannan Hill down needing treatment a long pause in play a head injury properly checked and seen to is up and okay to resume the match. Jamieson and Berry enjoying a good contest out on Woodbridge’s right the striker accidentally catching Berry in the shin as she goes to win the ball. 

Brantham’s Laura Tuley

  Lucy Eagle getting about in the midfield for Woodbridge getting hold of the ball bringing it forwards, fed on for Oxlade up top, Hill getting her foot in to win the ball back as she turns to attack. Woodbridge hustling the Brantham defence on the right as they look to play the ball short, Oxlade with Jamieson the ball played back to Eagle top right corner of the box 25 yards out her 1st time strike off target. 

  Amy Cook running with the ball attacking down the left flank swings a cross long into the area, Berry winning the ball for Brantham, playing a one to with Dunnett as she takes the ball up the left lifting it forwards for Wilson, Howe lunging in to tackle put the ball out for a throw. The stands and surrounding fence not too high several match balls needing to be retrieved, Wilson holding the ball up on the corner left sends the pass back for Dunnett getting up with play opens her body up looking to put the return ball into Wilson’s path as she breaks into the area can’t quite pick her out the ball gone for a goal kick.

  Woodbridge’s turn to have some sloppy play at the back, Elmes snatching in to get hold of the ball right of goal with a strike outside the box, put straight at the keeper. 

 GOAL! The deadlock broken with a little over 20 minutes played, Eagle coming on with the ball for Woodbridge through the middle with the diagonal ball for Jamieson attacking the right channel, Berry tracking back with her well for Brantham no shot on Jamieson keeps possession turning back to lay the ball into Oxlade outside the back, taking it in central cut back on her left for to shoot putting a low strike past the keeper into the bottom corner 1-0.

Jess Oxlade opens the scoring for Woodbridge

The goal livening Woodbridge up as they pour forwards Stacey Hadley playing the ball into Cook on the left, turns inside 20 yards out, shooting as she is closed down the effort pulled wide of the near post. Issey Bines stepping out of the defence to win the ball for Brantham finds Sophie Crabtree out on the right with an excellent ball, Crabtree striking from distance on the angle the ball racing across the Woodbridge goal out past the far post. Tuley passing to Dunnett through the middle, has a go from range on target played straight into the keeper, Dickin catching cleanly.

Brantham’s Sophie Crabtree

  A miscue at the ack for Brantham, sees Jamieson steal in on the ball right 25 yards out , hesitates as goalkeeper, Connie Madley comes to close her down, the defence recovering Jamieson putting the ball wide. Berry and Jamieson continue their battle on the right, Jamieson closing the defender down looking to wrestle the ball free turn for the box, Berry nipping back at her to clear the ball. Dunnett playing the clipped pass across field into Crabtree going forwards into the right channel, runs into traffic as Woodbridge’s defence close her down, Nicholson clearing. Eagle onto the ball with a forceful run for Woodbridge. 

Brantham full back, Aimee Berry

  Robus-Miller fouled on the right for Brantham inside the Woodbridge half, Dunnett over the set-piece lifted forwards into the near post area, Claridge up well for Woodbridge heading the ball behind for the corner kick.  From the right put in near side an emphatic clearance from Woodbridge to see the ball out for a Brantham throw. Put in across the top of the area, falls into Dunnett’s path has a decent strike in her arsenal, takes aim, shoots, turns away in frustration as she puts the ball straight into Dickin in the Woodbridge goal.

Connie Madley getting hold of the ball for Brantham

  Eagle with several purposeful runs with the ball at her feet for Woodbridge, sends it into Cook now out on the right, looks to take on Berry, the full back stretching to tackle the ball put out of play. Woodbridge on the throw deep in the Brantham half Cook getting it down knocked inside for Oxlade her cross claimed by Madley inside her six yard box. Remains competitive both sides closing the ball down. Elmes seeing the ball into her body looking to shift it out to Crabtree attacking right, pushing on is tackled by Nicholson for Woodbridge.

Jess Oxlade with Brantham’s Issy Bines

  Woodbridge have a break on the right, Ager winning the ball at the back on for Howe racing on down the flank with Cook ahead of her sending the ball on Berry across Cook to defend see the ball out for the goal kick. Cooke winning the ball in the middle for Woodbridge has Eagle inside her in turn out to Cook on the right, shifts the ball well between her feet attacking the Brantham defence, Charlotte Archer getting the challenge in to regain possession. Taking the ball forwards on to Elmes who finds Wilson shifting in field form the left, her shot blocked. 

  Oxlade with a turn and hit left of the D 20 yards out sends the ball into the keeper, Madley claiming the ball into her midriff. Jamieson out on the left taking on the strike from distance her angled drive wide past the far post. Woodbridge appealing for a handball inside the Brantham box as the cross in played in from the left following a strong run from Eagle out to the left. The clock running down in the first half the game remains open, Dickin with a great save for Woodbridge as the ball is fired in from the right. Cook on the right for Woodbridge winning her side a corner kick as Hill closes in to block her.

  GOAL! The corner ball played in across the top of the Brantham area the shot struck in towards goal, strikes a Brantham arm, Woodbridge appeal, referee Mark Dyer pointing to the spot, Penalty! Jamieson placing the ball on the spot stepping back to strike hits it hard low to the bottom left corner, Madley diving the right way gets something on it but not enough as the ball bursts into the net 2-0.

Sadie Jamieson scoring from the penalty spot to make it 2-0

Sadie Jamieson

  A blow for Brantham conceding a 2nd goal late in the first half look for a quick response, Tuley central out to Crabtree on the right, Robus-Miller in support, Nicholson defending for Woodbridge the ball out for the corner kick. An inswinging delivery a little too much on it landing on the roof of the net. 

  Woodbridge give the ball away at the back played straight into Dunnett, 25 yards out left of the D, Wilson breaks inside taking the ball off her to feed to Elmes inside the area, back to goal closely marked by Claridge, can’t turn to shoot instead lays it back to Bines central who curls her shot wide of the right post.

Half-time Woodbridge Town Ladies 2-0 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  A lively first half sees Woodbridge leading the game 2-0. Jess Oxlade cutting across the area to opening the scoring with 20 minutes played. A penalty late in the half seeing the score doubled. The goals livening up Woodbridge who have been well matched by Brantham. Several hotly contested duals across the pitch, both sides closing the ball down looking to get it out to their wide players stretch the game. Has been open Brantham creating a few opportunities of their own the 2nd goal a blow as is often the case with a 2 nil score line the 3rd goal could prove critical in determining the outcome of the game.

  Appears to be no chances by Woodbridge at the break, Brantham bringing on Shannon Giles out early the floodlights taking full effect, a great attendance of 395 getting behind both sides with the floodlights now taking full effect. Brantham to get the 2nd half underway, The ball put back into the middle lifted out to Wilson attacking left her infield ball finding Crabtree, puts it back out to Dunnett pulling left, her cross cut out by Ager. Brantham looking to make a fast start to the 2nd half.

Woodbridge’s Lucy Eagle

 Eagle getting forwards well for Woodbridge striking from 25 yards out her attempt gloved down and claimed by Madley. Woodbridge counter well Hadley in space central lifting the ball out to Jamieson breaking clear on the left side running on towards the area pulling the trigger the shot driven in low Madley down to save diving to her right getting enough on the ball as it squirms under her, scrambling up to claim it behind her. Tuley in the middle for Brantham out to Crabtree bursting on right side her cross whipped in near post claimed by Dickin with Elmes running in to attack the ball.

  Robus-Miller has alot of pace racing forwards on the right for Brantham getting on to support Crabtree in attack the cross lifted into the area, Claridge rises to head the ball clear for Woodbridge. Brantham pressing up Woodbridge look to counter get the ball out to Jamieson to break in behind on the left, Giles getting back on her defending for Brantham. 

 GOAL! Woodbridge making a few technical adjustments at the start of the 2nd half pay off as they go on to score a 3rd goal early in the 2nd half. Eagle with the perfect pass in the middle to pick out Jamieson running clear into the left channel, the defence can’t catch her as she strikes the ball on the run sending it inside the near post to net her 2nd of the game. 3-0.

Sadie Jamieson putting Woodbridge 3-0 up early in the 2nd half

A further blow for Brantham they nevertheless press on Tuley out to Wilson on the left, her deep cross, cleared by Claridge. The game end to end Jamieson pulling left the outlet and threat for Woodbridge Eagle picking her out again, Hill getting there first to play the ball back into her keeper to clear. Up for Crabtree wide right her cross finding Elmes inside the box back to goal, can’t turn and get a shot away as the defence converge on her.

  Oxlade up on the right for Woodbridge holding the ball up before wriggling free to drive and angled ball into the side netting. Woodbridge making a change bringing off Cook for Rhianna Kiwomya. Oxlade fed the ball outside the box for Woodbridge rolls it across to Jamieson to the left as they look to open up the Brantham defence, Madley rushing forwards getting her foot to the ball to take it away from the strikers path. 

Woodbridge’s Stacey Hadley

Bines winning the ball at the back well for Brantham as Eagle ploughs on through the middle for Woodbridge. Eagle coming left playing the ball up for Jamieson, Hill under pressure in defence for Brantham, hit by Eagles shot into her. Woodbridge getting hold of the ball better 2nd half coming forwards, Eagle influential in the middle getting herself about. A throw won high on the left put into Jamieson turns and plays the pass into Kiwomya central striking the ball outside the box, lacking the power to trouble Madley.

   Dunnett passing to Robus-Miller racing forwards sends the ball into Crabtree right, Nicholson challenging well for Woodbridge. Berry pressing no with the ball for Brantham wide right coming inside her cross coming to Crabtree inside the box right of goal her cross intercepted by Ager. Woodbridge clearing complaining at a foul not given Brantham send a strike in from distance wide of the left post.

 Bines getting in well to defend for Brantham as Oxlade takes the ball on through the middle drives forwards the ball cleared out to the right, Kiwomya’s cross claimed by Madley. Eagle picking up a knock for Woodbridge as she brings the ball on, wants to play on but needs to come off, Eloise Bruce coming on. 20 minutes played in the 2nd half. Woodbridge defending at the back launching the counter attack Cooke on for Oxlade through the middle, looking to run at the box, Bines recovering to get back at her tackle for Brantham.

 The ball out on the left put back into Nicholson forwards into Jamieson left of the area, sends her shot on the angle wide at the near post on the turn. Robus-Miller racing on with the ball for Brantham into Elmes up top, Ager and Claridge in to close her down for Woodbridge.

 GOAL! Jamieson carrying the threat in attack for Woodbridge 2nd half getting hold of the ball on the left to advance and strike the ball from outside the area up and over the keeper to bag herself a cup final hat-trick 4-0.

A cup final hat-trick for Woodbridge’s Sadie Jamieson

   20 minutes left on the clock Brantham making a double switch at the back with Jessica Ryan and Hill coming back on at the back. Cooke hitting a shot from outside the area for Woodbridge right of the D, taking a nick off a defender passing wide of the far post for a corner kick. Taken short from the left lifted into the middle of the box cleared back to the corner taker played back to Ager who lines up a crack at goal from 35 yards out isn’t far wide of the left post.

Woodbridge’s Taylor Cooke

  Woodbridge on top now finding the ball and stretching Brantham’s back line. Izzy Owen coming on for Woodbridge. Owen taking the ball on up the left for Woodbridge, the cross cleared Brantham find Robus-Miller charging on right side linking up with Crabtree, the cross in cleared by Ager. Kiwomya on the right for Woodbridge sending the ball in on the angle, beat down by Madley in the Brantham goal. Madley saving again moments later holding onto the fired fired straight at her by Jamieson central as she is given the ball by Hadley.

  Robus-Miller getting Brantham a corner on the right, put in low knocked goalwards, Woodbridge clearing get on the counter the ball on the right cleared back into the middle, Cooke onto it from distance the strike claimed by Madley. Woodbridge confident finishing the game strong. Brantham working hard Giles out to Robus-Miller right still showing fantastic pace tracking inside finding Crabtree outside the box, Hadley closing her down defending for Woodbridge. 

Ager getting in on Crabtree to tackle inside the area right of goal as she looks to take the ball down from a cross deep on the Brantham left. Crabtree strays down suffering with cramp a few players pulling up alot of effort put in. Brantham ringing the changes with a triple switch, Crabtree, Elmes and Robus-Miller off. Lucy Penn, Frances Turner and Harriett Young on. Hadley off for Woodbridge with Pippa King coming on. Penn getting onto the ball out wide seeing her cross claimed by Dicken. 

  The game entering the final 5 minutes of regular play Woodbridge in control in the closing stages. Dunnett bringing the ball down playing the pass into Tuley central, turns looks play the ball forwards, intercepted by Claridge. Cooke sliding in to win the ball, stays down having over stretched up but moving a little gingerly. Ryan heading a cross from the left clear at the back for Brantham as Owen gets up on the wing.

  Brantham press on late on looking to get something out of the game winning a corner on the right send players up into the box the ball in across the six yard box knocked down towards goal Woodbridge clearing on the line then blocking the follow up shot before scrambling the ball is cleared behind for a corner out on the left. This delivery put behind off a defender at the near post conceding a 3rd corner late pressure from Brantham. Another dangerous ball swung into the area attacked central turned down towards the far post again Woodbridge clear off the line. Woodbridge get on the move up the left Owen taking the ball on, Giles getting back to defend for Brantham

 GOAL! A late late consolation goal for Brantham as Berry charges on with the ball left side played on for Dunnett out wide 25 yards out catches to ball sweetly to strike a wonderful shot across the keeper into the far corner of the goal 4-1. 

Brantham captain, Lucy Dunnett pictured with Lucy Eagle scoring a screamer to pull a late late goal back for Brantham

Just time for Woodbridge to make one last change bringing on crowd favourite Grace Murphy for hat-trick her heroine Jamieson. The final whistle blowing moments later, Woodbridge celebrating as they claim their first piece of silverware.

Full time Woodbridge Town Ladies 4-1 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  Woodbridge with a strong 2nd half performance, making a few technical tweaks to get in behind Brantham and extend their first half lead. That after a largely and evenly fought 1st half. Jamieson finding space on the left a ready outlet going on to score twice more to claim her hat-trick. Losing last season’s final 4-0, scoring 4 in this season’s final would have liked the clean sheet no doubt but Brantham kept going pushing for a goal at the end and got it thanks to Dunnett’s screamer from outside the box. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time to pick this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A well contested game with both sides playing their part. Brantham matching Woodbridge first half getting about the pitch winning their share of the ball, Aimee Berry with some fantastic tackling at full back. Lucy Dunnett looking to get hold of the ball find the wide players in attack scoring a wonderful goal. For Woodbridge the back line was composed and solid, Alice Ager and Molly Nicholson with several great tackles and interceptions throughout. Lucy Eagle getting about the park, chasing the ball down, making some dynamic runs forwards , tenacious in her pursuit of the ball. The award goes to the hat-trick scorer, Sadie Jamieson. Strong in attack winning the ball, enjoyed a good contest with Berry in the first half before the tactical switch to the left, a ready outlet in attack getting behind taking her chances well to see Woodbridge lift the cup.

Woodbridge Town Ladies, 2022/23 Suffolk Women’s League Cup winners.

Congratulations to Woodbridge Town Ladies on winning this season’s Suffolk Women’s League Cup.

  An enjoyable well contested final between the sides played in front of a fantastic crowd. My thanks to Mandy Cutting the League Chair for her assistance and help this evening along with the staff at Ipswich Wanderers and to both sides for their help with those all important squad numbers.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Brantham Athletic Ladies v Walsham Le Willows Ladies

Sunday 30th September

Suffolk Women’s Division

A game from the Suffolk Women’s Division this Sunday afternoon, a trip to Brantham to watch Brantham Athletic Ladies versus Walsham Le Willows Ladies.

A clash between two sides I haven’t seen play in a while. Both with ambitions to contest for the title. Won by Brantham Athletic Ladies close neighbours, East Bergholt United Ladies last season also doing the double will be strong favourites once again. 

  A much larger Suffolk Women’s Division this season increasing in number to 13. Seven new sides, Brettvale Ladies, Brightlingsea Regent Ladies, Chantry Grasshoppers Ladies, Needham Market Ladies, Haverhill Ladies Reserves and University of Suffolk all new whilst Alresford Colne Rangers switch having previously competed in Essex. More teams meaning more games which was something the league sorely needed.

  Early days in the league, East Bergholt United have started well 3 games in winning them all so to a 100% record for new side Needham Market Ladies. Leiston St Margarets Ladies getting stronger each season also have 2 wins from two as does Brantham Athletic Ladies, a 4-1 home win over Alresford Colne Rangers on the opening day were in action at home in midweek winning 8-1 over league newcomers Brettvale Ladies. Striker Kirsten Hutchings scoring 5 in midweek already has 8 goals on the board this season.

   Walsham Le Willows Ladies are another sides capable of challenging at the top of the league joining 2 seasons ago the core of the ex Bury Town Ladies squad. Haven’t necessarily had a favourable time with their fixtures. last season were always playing catch up having no kicked off their league campaign until the 22nd October. An earlier start this time around although awarded a home win on the opening day are unbeaten with 3 games gone at the start of the season winning away to Woodbridge Town Ladies, drew 3-3 with Alresford Colne Rangers last Sunday, 3rd in the table travel to 5th placed Brantham Athletic this afternoon.

  Brantham Leisure Centre the venue for today’s game, the large clubhouse over looking the pitch from on goal, home to Brantham Athletic FC a small stand along one side of the ground the pitch in good condition a reasonable size. An overcast day, cloudy a light drizzle possible starting to cool as we end September.

Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Zoe Adams, Shanice Leeks, Monique Peters, Emily Boore, Shannon Giles, Lucy Elmes, Lucy Dunnett (C), Jessica Ryan, Jodie Sharp, Kirsten Hutchings & Danielle Harvey. Subs – Sophie Crabtree, Rebecca Prime, Hollie Murray, Merlin Watson & Toni Mott.

Walsham Le Willows starting XI – Charlotte Osborne, Julie Brind, Shelley Cocksedge, Claire Ellis, Jemma Long, Kate Sandlan, Lisa Pratt (C), Mia Banbury, Zoe Klimcke, Chelsea Page & Laura Brame. Subs – Katie Grimwood, Steph Hanratty & Kirsty Pollard.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s the visitors, Walsham Le Willows to get the 1st half underway wearing yellow shirts with a red quarter over the left shoulder, red shorts and yellow socks. Brantham wearing blue shirts with a pair of diagonal lines across the front, blue shorts and socks. Brantham win the ball straight away the push forwards through the centre has Kirsten Hutchings interested, Claire Ellis standing in her path winning the ball back for Walsham Le Willows at centre back. The ball played forwards into striker Laura Brame held up then played out wide right as Julie Brind breaks forwards, Jodie Sharp putting in the tackle to send the ball out for a throw-in.

   Hutchings peeling right taking the ball out wide looks to cut in back in towards the area with Danielle Harvey making the run in behind for Brantham, Charlotte Osborne in goal for Walsham Le Willows reading it can gather before Harvey can reach it. Hutchings with support on the right from Jessica Ryan this time the pair winning a corner. Sharp to play the ball in a good height on it coming in near post, Ellis getting her head on it to send it away to the left, gathered by Brantham a high ball played back in towards goal Osborne can see it drop wide of her goal.

   Brantham with a confident start to the game press forwards captain Lucy Dunnett with a strong run forwards looks to play in Sharp bursting up the left wing, Brind doing well to close her down and defend for Walsham Le Willows. Ryan winning a throw high up the pitch on the right the ball into Hutchings turns and fires the ball in towards goal from the angle, Osborne behind it to catch. 

Walsham Le Willows, Claire Ellis

  Good pressing from Zoe Klimcke catching Brantham in possession in the final 3rd the ball on for Brame to chase, Monique Peters staying with her able to shield as goalkeeper, Zoe Adams comes sliding in to claim the ball. Klimcke on the ball right side on for Brame the Brantham defence momentarily stretched the striker taking the ball to the byline, puts the ball in Chelsea Page the only Walsham Le Willows player there making a run far post in from the left, the ball stopped by Shanice Leeks ahead of her, trapping the ball between her feet digs out the clearance.

Brantham Athletic Ladies, Shanice Leeks

   GOAL! An early lead in the game for Brantham as they hit Walsham Le Willows on the counter attack, the ball played out to Hutchings on the right drives up the wing crossing square from deep, the ball into box central Harvey arriving unmarked is composed in front of goal side footing the ball taking it across the keeper to nestle in at the far post or her 1st goal of the season 1-0.

   Walsham Le Willows respond well to falling a goal behind less than 10 minutes played Mia Banbury playing the ball out to Brind right side she passes inside to Brame top of the box the striker slipping in behind her marker, Emily Boore recovering excellently to get back at her and make a clean tackle inside the area the ball out for a corner. Boore on hand again to save the day from the resulting corner kick a great delivery in firmly headed it towards goal at the near post by Brind at the top of the box, the defender on the post making the goal saving block.

   A throw right side high up the pitch for Walsham Le Willows inside to Brame takes it on across the area Page over on the left looking to play her in on goal Adams alert gets out and smothers the ball at the attackers feet. Hutchings with a driving run right channel lets loose a shot from distance runs wide of the near post. After a sluggish start Walsham Le Willows have livened up getting at Brantham higher up the pitch. Klimcke getting herself about in the middle finds Brind out wide right her early ball inside for Brame, Peters defending well for Brantham top of the area. 

Brantham Athletic Ladies, Monique Peters with Walsham Le Willows, Laura Brame

   Adams with a good save to deny Brame in the box after more good work from Klimcke in the middle closing the ball down the rebound off her flying forwards Brame chasing it into the area left of goal shoots, Brantham’s keeper equal to it. Play is clustered in the middle Brantham pressed having trouble getting it away, Walsham Le Willows captain, Lisa Pratt tackling Shannon Giles. Lucy Elmes getting forwards with the ball for Brantham, Ryan to the right on for Hutchings, Ellis stepping in to put in the challenge.

Walsham Le Willows, Mia Banbury with Brantham Athletic’s Lucy Dunnett

   A change for Walsham Le Willows, Page the player coming off on comes Steph Hanratty. Klimcke nipping in to steal the ball bursts forwards into the box,Boore needing to bites at the tackle does well pushing her wide before conceding the corner. Played in towards the top of the area a high delivery Dunnett jumping with Ellis behind her does enough to put the centre back off the ball sent out towards the far post area beyond goal, Pratt keeping it alive volleys over.

    A brilliant save from Osborne up the other end Brantham are very good on the counter attack get bodies forwards quickly almost a carbon copy of the opening goal Hutchings out wide right playing the cross in Harvey unmarked in the centre of the area further out this time looks to pick her spot angle the shot up over the keeper, Osborne adjusting brilliantly to get a glove up to the ball palm it over the crossbar.

Zoe Klimcke driving forwards for Walsham Le Willows

  Good build up play from Brantham through the middle Dunnett, Giles and Elmes all involved up to Harvey heading the ball out to Sharp on the left, Kate Sandlan closing her down the ball out for a throw. Leeks gets forwards for Brantham as they press the attack players forwards Elmes to her right top of the area, the midfielder putting the return ball into Leeks inside the box stabs a low strike goalwards, Osborne down smartly to save.

  GOAL! Right at the end of the first half Brantham double their lead, Hutchings threatening to do it in the 1st 45 beats the offside trap Walsham Le Willows with a high line in behind right of goal 20 yards out strikes the ball hard on the angle the ball racing across the keeper into the back of the net 2-0. Not long left to play the half-time comes to an end.

Kirsten Hutchings

   Half-time Brantham Athletic Ladies 2-0 Walsham Le Willows Ladies

  A goal at either end of the 1st half giving Brantham a 2-0 advantage at half-time started the game the better capitalising with a goal. Walsham Le Willows coming back into it creating chances had a shot cleared off the line. Brantham too had further chances to go in further in front and 2-0 is always an interesting scoreline at half-time the old cliche the next goal is crucial…maybe.

   Changes for Brantham at half-time, Harvey and Ryan coming off, Sophie Crabtree in attack and Becky Prime wide right coming on. The home side to kick-off the 2nd half. Won back by Walsham Le Willows, Brind making ground up the right squared into Brame holds it up can’t turn sees Klimcke central the ball played back to her shoots from distance the 30 yarder caught by Adams. Sharp coming forwards left side on for Crabtree, Sandlan defending up against her. 

Walsham Le Willows, Zoe Klimcke

  Giles getting forwards more no for Brantham, support from Elmes tries to get forwards Klimcke sliding in to win the ball back for Walsham Le Willows. Pratt with the ball on into Brame backing in holding onto it spots Hanratty breaking into space on her left plays the pass out to her, Peters central sprints out towards her covering the ground to lunge in with a boot to put the ball away for the throw. Walsham Le Willows make a 2nd change Kirsty Pollard coming on for Long, joins Brame up front in attack.

Walsham Le Willows, Steph Hanratty

   Dunnett gets the ball under control bringing it forwards on for Sharp, the winger winning the home side a corner. A high delivery into the box won and cleared by Ellis. Klimcke brings down Giles wide on the right a free-kick in a good crossing position for Dunnett, aims for Leeks making a run near side, can’t quite get her head on the ball, Walsham Le Willows attempt the counter attack, Giles stopping the threat building on the left. Walsham Le Willows with a 3rd substitution Katie Grimwood on for Cocksedge. 

Brantham Athletic Ladies captain. Lucy Dunnett

  Hutchings coming deeper to pick up the ball has Prime running past her on the right on the overlap, the ball played on Grimwood with Prime to her right, Crabtree closing in on her left does well to prevent the two linking up and getting through on goal. Leeks winning the ball at the back as Walsham Le Willows look to play in Pollard, the ball coming back to Brame she shoots from distance the strike lacking power easy for Adams. 

Brantham Athletic Ladies, Becky Prime

  Pratt wins Walsham Le Willows a corner as she volleys a ball into the area from the left. The delivery into the centre of the box cleared out to the left, picked up by Hanratty her ball fired back into the box out wide across the goal. 20 minutes left on the clock. Hutchings springing the offside trap once more the ball forwards bouncing a one on one with the keeper as Osborne comes out to the edge of the box, stays big as Hutchings connects with the ball the goalkeeper making the blocking save with her legs the ball still alive running out wide right Hutchings after it so to the keeper does enough to put Hutchings off as the striker looks to wrap her foot around the shot. The resulting corner coming to nothing.

  GOAL! Moments later and Brantham do get a 3rd goal  Hutchings involved again turns her marker brilliantly high up the pitch in behind running with the ball down the right channel, is a stroke of fortune next as she looks to find Crabtree making the run into the box left side the ball across the D missed by all 3 Walsham Le Willows defenders tracking back, through them all onto Crabtree she shoots low as Osborne gets down low to her right gets something on the ball but not enough to take it wide of the goal as Crabtree celebrates her first goal for Brantham this season.

   Elmes on the ball for Brantham slides it through for Hutchings onside, Osborne with a high starting position to it first to kick clear top of her area. Hutchings looking to get away right side again Klimcke sliding in to make the challenge… stops on the ground clearly in alot of pain in front of the Brantham dugout they are quick to have play halted, Klimcke is in alot of pain looks like a knee injury a lengthy pause and rightly so, both sides aiding, a stretcher is brought out, it’s never nice to see Klimcke can’t continue. Cocksedge returning to the pitch. 

Brantham Athletic Ladies, Lucy Elmes

  Dunnett driving on with the ball out to Sharp now on the right side playing the ball on into the area is intercepted by Ellis. Giles on the overlap past Sharp receiving the pass sends a cross into the area headed behind for the corner. A tripe change for Brantham, Hutchings, Leeks and Peters all off on came Toni Mott, Merlin Watson, Hollie Murray. Into the final 5 minutes Walsham Le Willows win a corner off a set-piece a low ball driven into the area Brantham scramble it away.

Brantham Athletic Ladies, Jodie Sharp

   GOAL! At the death Brantham counter and grab a 4th goal Sharp playing through the middle now runs onto a clearance into the Walsham Le Willows half running with the ball closing in on the area, Osborne coming out to close the angle commits to the dive Sharp playing the ball around her left of goal gets a shot away scoring before Ellis can catch her 4-0. The last action of the game Brantham ending strong making it 3 wins from 3.

Full time Brantham Athletic Ladies 4-0 Walsham Le Willows Ladies

  Brantham go 3rd in the table one of 3 sides still with a 100% record have played a game less than Needham Market and East Bergholt. Started the game well an early lead adding a 2nd late in the 2nd half felt they were the better side 2nd half and got the 3rd goal the 4th coming at the death. Created more chances to score. Walsham Le Willows suffering there 1st loss of the season did well the get back at their opponents after conceding early the 2nd goal making things harder needed to pull it back to 2-1 to get themselves back into the game didn’t Brantham getting that all important 3rd goal. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, there were a few notable performances out on the field this afternoon. For Walsham Le Willows, Zoe Klimcke was excellent covering alot of ground winning some vital tackles. Cruel to see her injured like she was and I am hoping it’s not too serious and wish her a speedy recovery. Shannon Giles and Lucy Dunnett for Brantham along with Jodie Sharp on the wing but for her performance up front scoring the 2nd goal and setting up 2 more today’s Player of the Match award goes to Kirsten Hutchings.

  An enjoyable trip to Suffolk good to catch up with both sides after so long, my thanks to both for helping me out with the squad details. It’s going to be interesting in Suffolk this season and I’m looking forwards to seeing how it all unfolds.

Cup Final Report – Brantham Athletic Ladies v Witnesham Wasps Ladies

Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final – Wedsnesday 6th April

Cup Final Report – Brantham Athletic Ladies v Witnesham Wasps Ladies

   A Wednesday night trip into Suffolk to Hadleigh United FC to watch this seasons Women’s league Cup Final between Brantham Athletic Ladies & Witnesham Wasps Ladies.

  Just the 7 sides are contesting the Suffolk Women’s Division this season, Brantham Athletic Ladies currently lead the way with Witnesham Wasps Ladies in 3rd place.

Route to the Final
   The League Cup competition started at the quarter final stage with Copleston Ladies the team receiving the Bye into the semi-finals. Brantham Athletic Ladies were drawn away to new side Leiston St Margarets Ladies, reached the semi-finals courtesy of a 5-1 win. In the semi-final were drawn on home soil to play Bacton United Ladies scored 5 times once again beating them 5-2 to earn a place in the final for the 2nd year running and will be hoping to go one better this time, losing back then to Long Melford Ladies who made it a league and cup double, sure Brantham Athletic Ladies would love to do the same this time around.
  Witnesham Wasps Ladies were also away in the quarter final stage against another new side in the Suffolk Women’s Division, Ipswich Phoenix Ladies, reached the semi-finals with ease clocking up 9 goals whilst conceding just the 1. Were drawn away to Copleston Ladies in the semi’s originally at the back end of November it was a tight encounter going all the way finishing 2-2 after extra time, however the match was called off before the penalty shoot out could commence due to it being too dark. The semi-final was rescheduled with an earlier kick off time two weeks later this time Witnesham Wasp Ladies went on to score 4 times beating Copleston Ladies 4-2 to set up a League Cup Final date with Brantham Athletic Ladies.
  The venue for tonight’s League Cup Final, Hadleigh United FC. A small non-league ground situated in a picturesque part of Suffolk. A large pitch with a small seated and covered stand on one side of the pitch opposite a large clubhouse and bar offering a covered viewing area outside on the opposite side, with hot refreshments available. A bright and clear night with no sign of the rain seen earlier in the day, rapidly cooling as the light faded and the floodlights started to come on.
  Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Keri Burley, Shanice Leeks, Charlotte Partridge, Monique Peters, Merlin Watson, Jo Hazelton, Lucy Elmes, Danielle Harvey, Lucy Dunnett (C) Becky Prime & Kirsten Hutchings 
  subs – Heather Andrews, Carra Seeley, Katy Skinner, Ana Carolina & Jessica Ryan.
  Witnesham Wasps Ladies starting XI – Zoe Adams, Chloe Stopher, Lauren Jacobs, Kristy Bootyman, Caitlin Howe, Sho Allen, Beth Welton, Ali Rampling, Natasha Adams (C), Emily Steward & Emma Long.
  subs – Lauren Page, Chloe Anderson, Annabel Tricker, Izzy Leming & Lucy Johnson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Brantham to get the 1st half of the Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final underway. Kitted out in an all blue kit with Witnesham lined up opposite wearing yellow and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and yellow socks. They press Brantham for the ball right from the start winning it in midfield and trying to release, Beth Welton away on the right wing. Brantham regain possession and playing the ball into the Witnesham half captain Lucy Dunnett fights a bit of space moving to the right looks to play the ball up to her strikers Becky Prime and Kirsten Hutchings the ball dropping to the right side of the Witnesham area, full back Chloe Stopher defends well up against the latter as she looks to get on the ball.
  Brantham with the ball down the right attack winning a throw the ball is dropped to the bright orange boots of Dunnett, immediately she looks to play in Hutchings down the line getting onto the ball she drives into the area taking on the shot from an acute angle flashes the effort behind the Witnesham goal.
  Witnesham have begun at a fast tempo snapping at Brantham whenever they have the ball, force the error then look to attack get the ball out to either Emma Long moving into space left or Welton on the right. Emily Steward playing through the middle links up with Welton on the right the ball taken deep into the Brantham half brings the 1st corner of the match. An in swinging ball from the right towards the near post the ball is headed clear by Brantham’s Charlotte Partridge. 
  Danielle Harvey drives forwards with the ball at her feet from Brantham looking to take on the Witnesham defence is pushed out to the left side of the box, going for the early shot, the contact is poor as the ball is sliced wide of the target. Witnesham concede a couple of free kicks in the middle of the park both against Dunnett, with the no 11 to take the set pieces looks to send the ball long towards the area on both occasions and both times the Witnesham defence marshals the ball well. 
Danielle Harvey drives forwards with the ball for Brantham Athletic Ladies
   The ball pinging around in the centre circle with neither side getting hold of it pops free into the Brantham half with Long the player getting onto the end of it, driving forwards towards the edge of the area right of the D pulls the trigger sends her strike swerving in towards goal, bu straight into the gloves of Brantham goalkeeper, Keri Burley. Free kick to Witnesham wide on the right inside the Brantham half, it’s Tash Williams, Witnesham’s captain to take plays it in towards Welton right side of the area, heads the ball on across the front of the box into the crowd beyond drops amongst bodies far side a shot comes in the ball rolling wide of goal.
  Sho Allen with time and space on the ball in the middle for Witnesham is allowed to bring the ball on winds up a shot 25 yards out hitting Brantham defender Monique Peters the ball spins away to the left is latched onto Long free beyond 20 yards out hits her shot wide of goal. A scrappy start, Witnesham’s energy to close Brantham down is seeing them get more possession of the ball. Brantham with Dunnett always a threat whenever she gets on the ball put it into space behind the Witnesham defence with Hutchings giving chase left side, Stopher stays on her gets her toe on the ball to put it out for a corner kick. A good delivery coming in high Witnesham goalkeeper Zoe Adams goes up for it in the centre of her goal, brushing it with a glove, drops behind her, no one for Brantham attacking the far post the ball goes out for a corner kick on the right. This one is played out to the top of the box with Hutchings making a run to get across her marker gets her foot on the ball turns the shot goalwards, close but just the wrong side of the post.
   Break for Witnesham on the left Kirsty Bootyman releases Long out on the left wing, gets her head down carries the ball on aiming for the Brantham box releases her shot even as the defender coming in to challenge goes down to try and block the shot the ball evading her but is stopped by Burley who has come racing out off her goal line towards the danger sliding gets hold of the ball to make the save. 
  Jo Hazelton brings the ball on inside the Witnesham half pushing in from the left side into the centre, Prime comes towards her from attack to offer a passing option is given the ball as Hazelton looks to race on in behind her, Prime back to Dunnett who plays the pass over the Witnesham defence to pick out Hazelton driving into the area moving out to the left of the goal shoots back across goal from the edge of the six yard box, Adams gets down sharply to save, taking the pace off the ball then getting hold of it. A change for Witnesham with Bootyman coming off and Lauren Page coming on. 
Dunnett with a shot from 20 yards out central as the ball is fired into her, bringing it under control shifts it a yard then sends it in towards goal a bouncing ball, Adams has time to set herself see it safely into her gloves. Welton is posing a few questions for Brantham on the right, looking to get in behind the defence and cross into the area as they make a 2nd change bringing off Steward sends Izzy Leming on to up top. Partridge carries the ball on from the back for Brantham over half way played on for Dunnett who attempts to play the ball on for Hutchings to chase into the Witnesham area, Adams coming out to meet the threat gets to the ball 1st as the referee brings the 1st half to a close.
  Half-time Brantham Athletic Ladies 0-0 Witnesham Wasps Ladies
  Has been a good contest 1st half, the sides closely matched, Witnesham have put a lot of effort into pressing Brantham off the ball, trying to release Welton and Long on the flanks, both sides have created chances but for the large part defences have been on top.
  Witnesham out early from the dressing room get the 2nd half underway, Brantham have Jessica Ryan out on the pitch with Harvey off. Attacking down the Witnesham left Brantham get a throw on that side Williams fouls Hazelton as she looks to turn right of the area. Dunnett over the set piece puts the ball over the goal frame. Brantham have started the 2nd half strongly pushing Witnesham back keeping possession inside their own half. 
  GOAL! Brantham take the lead. Possession on the right brings a throw the ball is played on to Dunnett who turns into the box on the right, looks to shoot, changes her mind knocks it on further to create room and hits the ball across the goal putting it into the back of the net 1-0.
Brantham Athletic captain battling for the ball with Witnesham Wasps Sho Allen
scores the opening goal in the Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final
  Have been a few rashly timed challenges which the referee has been quick to blow up on. Both sides committing them in and around the centre circle. Williams and Hutchings have come together on a couple of occasions the latest encounter sees Williams needing treatment as they contest a 50/50 ball, comes off with Annabel Tricker being sent on. 
  Brantham win a free kick wide on the left half way inside the Witnesham half everyone goes into the area with Dunnett to deliver. Is a fantastic ball sent in towards the near post, on target dropping you can see it’s going to be a difficult one for the keeper to deal with. Adams goes for it gets some part of her glove on the ball, the crowd cheer, Dunnett looks to celebrate, I’d started to write 2-0… but no the ball was turned around the post for a corner kick a fantastic save from the keeper. 
   Welton pushing with the ball down the right wins Witnesham a corner kick, is played in towards her on the edge of the area, plays the dummy the ball rolling under her foot on to Page behind coming onto the ball inside the D, wraps her foot around the shot, too many bodies to get through, before play is pulled of for an offside decision. Another enforced change for Witnesham with Long hurt after a challenge on the right, has to come off with Steward returning to the action to support Leming up in attack as they search for an equalising goal.
  Hazelton gets the ball from Elmes in the centre of midfield taking it on Ryan is free on the right for Brantham given the ball turns inside looking to fire the ball into Prime who dinks it over the top of the Witnesham defence, One of those moments where both defence and goalkeeper hesitate, Ryan bursts in behind to get onto the ball rolling out to the right of goal inside the area, pulls her shot wide at the front post. Williams has recovered from her knock to return to the game comes on in place of Page goes up to join the attackers.
  A vital lunge to get her boot on the ball from Brantham’s Partridge as Witnesham attack down the right, play spread the ball had it found it’s target would have seen Williams free to attack the goal from the right side as it is they have a corner off Partridge’s interception. Coming in high towards the near post is flicked behind for another corner on the opposite side. This delivery drops down into the middle of the six yard box several attempts to connect with the bouncing ball, the vital touch is from a Brantham boot as the ball is launched clear. Few Witnesham players starting to feel it put alot of effort in cramping up
Emily Steward on the ball for Witnesham Wasps
 Winning the ball at the back Witnesham’s Lauren Jacobs plays it long with the break on Williams left in front of the Brantham area has Steward to her right looks to play the ball on for her into the area, Burley comes racing out and is able to claim the ball 1st. A free kick for Brantham in a go position 20/25 yards out right side of the D, always going to be a shot from Dunnett from this position, gets far too much elevation on the ball sending it high into the night sky over the goal. Double change for Brantham as the match moves into the final 5 minutes of normal time. Hazelton and Prime the players coming off with Katy Skinner and Heather Andrews coming on. Shortly afterwards Witnesham’s Stopher suffers from a particularly painful cramping in her right leg and comes off, Chloe Anderson joining the action.
   Ana Carolina also comes on late on for Brantham with Carra Seeley coming off. Witnesham have to push a few extra bodies forwards as they try and get a goal. Welton and Steward combine on the right high inside the Brantham half a give and go, the final pass to put Welton in behind won’t come off. A free kick for Witnesham 30 yards out left/central, Ali Rampling over the ball is encouraged to go for goal a good effort dropping late however coming across her goal Burley can see it wide.
  GOAL! 3 minutes of normal time left to play and Brantham double their lead to put the result beyond doubt. Witnesham are looking to carry the ball out from the back lose possession with Dunnett getting onto the ball inside the centre circle has Andrews close by no her right lifts the pass on to her she plays it over the top into the path of Hutchings making a move to get forwards left side, shoots from the edge of the area burying the ball past Adams to score 2-0. 
Kirsten Hutching with the ball doubles Brantham Athletic Ladies lead late on
   In to injury time, Witnesham need the ball but can’t get it as play is broken up by Brantham who keep it inside their opponents half to see out the final minutes and cue the celebrations as the referee blows the final whistle to see Brantham win the Suffolk Women’s League Cup.
   Was a good contest, competitive both sides working hard, Witnesham just could match the intensity they put into pressing the ball 1st half as they tired 2nd half. Brantham got the early goal in the 2nd half and looked like they would hold onto the lead the 2nd goal coming late into the game ensuring the win. Played in front of a good sized crowd too who saw an entertaining final.
Brantham Athletic Ladies, Suffolk Women’s League Cup Winners (photo credit Brantham Athletic)
  Thank to the Suffolk FA staff for their help tonight with the teams. Congratulations to Brantham Athletic Ladies on their Cup Final success, enjoy the celebrations.

Match Report – Copleston Ladies v Brantham Athletic Ladies


The featured match report on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog this Sunday comes from the Suffolk Women’s Division. Just 7 sides contesting the league, this clash was between 2 of the potential title contenders a top of the table clash, with 3rd placed Copleston Ladies undefeated at the start of the season hosting leaders Brantham Athletic Ladies. An extremely windy day once again and the conditions would play there part in the match, click on the link below to take you to all of the match action.

Copleston Ladies v Brantham Athletic Ladies