Tag Archives: Hertfordshire FA Women’s Trophy

Cup Final Special – Colney Heath Ladies v Stevenage FC Women Development

Sunday 24th March

Hertfordshire FA Women’s Trophy Final

Heading over to Hertfordshire today to watch the rearranged final of a new competition with the counties FA introducing a secondary competition to run along side the County Cup the Women’s Trophy. The inaugural final to be contested by Colney Heath Ladies and Stevenage FC Women Development.

  The original final, was to be my first of the season, the game had to be abandoned however with Stevenage FC Women Development player, Sophie Jones collapsing on the pitch. An ambulance called the decision taken and rightly so to call off the game, rearrange a new date. Sophie his since recovered and is well. The new competition seeing the women’s football clubs competing at various levels through the women’s football pyramid divided into two with those clubs playing in the national and regional leagues drawn together to play in the County Cup while the club largely from the county league (tier 7) playing in the new Women’s Trophy. 

 It’s a sensible format, other county FA’s running 2 county cup competitions having all sides compete in the county cup before those losing in the early round go onto play the secondary competition. Some with seeding some without. In theory it should limit some of the eye-watering score-lines you can see in the county cups while giving all clubs a realistic opportunity to challenge for silverware. Should also help with fixture congestion too.

Who will be the first name on the new trophy?

 Colney Heath Ladies had been a long established name playing within the ERWFL rising up into the Premier Division before a split within the club last season that saw first team moving to another club taking that ERWFL status with them. However despite the set back Colney Heath have kept going rebuilding with their reserves side stepping up to carry their mantel forwards. Already a successful club with the Beds & Herts Women’s Football league playing in the Premier Division reaching the League Cup final last season. Is one of two cup finals they have reached this season, the other Beds & Herts, Chris Renshaw Cup, beat St Margaretsbury Women to lift the cup and make it a double, also clinching the Premier Division title a league and cup double a massive achievement have a chance to make it a treble and amazingly we have see two of these already across the East. Mia Simmonds top scorer with 14 goals to her name with Cally Salter netting 11. Goals throughout the side with 15 of the squad on the score sheet this season.

 Stevenage FC Women Development (U23s) are the only side outside of the Beds & Herts County leagues playing in the Women’s Trophy, joining the ERWFL Division One North this season having spent a period in the FAWNL reserves section. Stevenage’s young side finding it tough going to begin with taking just 4 points from their opening 8 matches and looked in danger of being cut adrift at the bottom of the table. However the 2nd half to the season has been much improved with an 3 successive wins and a draw against Harpenden one of the title chasers seeing the club put itself right back into the midst, eventually finishing 8th in the table, that good form continuing into the cup competitions, where they have not only reached today’s Trophy Final but also the ERWFL League Plate. That final, played last Sunday, Stevenage were to lose the game 3-0 to Wormley Rovers Ladies. Still need to pick themselves up and go again a chance to lift silverware in what is now their final game of the season following the earlier abandonment. Have plenty of players coming through with 46 used so far this season, Ella Mercer top scorer with 11 goals with Stephanie Fausse one behind on 10. 

Road to the Final

   I said the competition format should help to reduce eye watering score-lines but not end them entirely as was the case with a couple of ties in the first round of the Women’s Trophy, one of those scores featuring Colney Heath with the premier Division side drawn away to Division One side Everett Ladies. Cally Salter firing in a hat-trick with a brace each for Mia Simmonds and Olivia Corbett helping Colney Heath to an 11-0 win. Lucy Kavanagh-Blake, Amy Phillips and Laura Gifford also amongst the goals. Stevenage FC Women Development receiving a bye in the first round.

  Onto the 2nd Round, Colney Heath drawn away to fellow Premier Division side Hartham United Ladies. Won 2-0 to safely reach the quarter finals. Stevenage also away in the 2nd round up against Division Three side Bedwell Rangers Ladies, Ella Mercer on target for a hat-trick, plus a goal a piece for Stephanie Fausse, Sophie Jones and Amy Reeves o secure a 6-1 win.

 Colney Heath at home in the quarter finals up against another Premier Division side, Hitchin Belles Women Blues. Mia Simmonds once again amongst the goals netting a hat-trick with Jael Muzzi and Bora Cela also scoring in a 5-0 win. Stevenage a home too in the last 8 taking on Division One side Garston Ladies Mets Chloe Gregory and Anaise Corrigan the scorers in a 2-0 win to send them into the last 4 of the competition. 

 Home turf for both in the semi-finals with Colney Heath up against Division Two side Letchworth Garden City Eagles. Mia Simonds with her 2nd successive hat-trick in the competition helping to send Colney Heath into the final along with goals from Amy Phillips, Sherrie Oliver and Holly Jury in a 6-0 victory. Drama in the other semi-final with Stevenage taking on Premier Division newcomers St Margaretsbury Women. Amana Oguntuga scoring twice for Stevenage, but goals from Billie Curtis and Sherrie Evans for St Margaretsbury saw the match finish 2-2 and settled on penalties! Stevenage clinching the tense shoot-out 6-5 to advance to the final.

  The County Ground, Letchworth the venue for this afternoon’s Women’s Trophy Final. Home to Hertfordshire’s FA the stadium recently redeveloped featuring an all weather pitch with a seated stand one one side housing the café and function room beneath. Serving hot food and drink. Terraced viewing on the opposite side with standing viewing all round, is a good sized pitch, well used. Home to Stevenage’s women’s sides know the facility well. The weather best described a changeable, a few showers around, with cloud in the sky, warm and sunny when the sun breaks through (is a bank holiday weekend after all).

  Colney Heath Ladies starting XI – Rachel Sherlow, Anna Simou (C),Sophie Joseph, Abbey Williams, Madison Gorton, Molly Slade, Sheree Oliver, Holly Jury, Amy Phillips, Cally Salter & Mia Simmonds. Subs – Laura Gifford, Bora Cela, Olivia Corbett, Lacey Kavanagh-Blake & Caz Pennifold. 

Colney Heath Ladies

 Stevenage FC Women Development starting XI – Mia O’Brien, Holly Southam, Tabitha Goodall, Neave Wilson (C), Amana Oguntuga, Remi Martin, Isobel Matfield, Chloe Gregory, Ella Mercer, Stephanie Fausse & Anaise Corrigan.  Subs – Lucy Fox, Ellie Merkis & Ella Hayes. 

Stevenage FC Women Development

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Captain’s Anna Simou (Colney Heath) and Neave Wilson (Stevenage) with today’s match officials

 The teams walking out to pouring rain, lining up opposite the main stand, it’s Stevenage who will get today’s final underway kick off in the first half wearing their away colours and all purple strip with red trim. Colney Heath lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black short and socks. The ball played back to Ella Mercer in the middle, clips a long pass out to the right players rushing forwards, Sophie Joseph playing at left back for Colney Heath getting her head on the ball to clear. 

  Stevenage goalkeeper, Mia O’Brien comes racing out of her box to clear the ball as Colney Heath forced the ball on through the middle with Mia Simmonds looking to run in behind the Stevenage defence left channel. Amana Oguntuga at left back for Stevenage driving up the pitch lays a diagonal ball in towards the top of the box looking to pick out Anaise Corrigan in attack, Abbey Williams getting their first to head the ball away for Colney Heath. 

Abbey Williams getting to the ball ahead of Stevenage’s Anaise Corrigan

  Stevenage feed the ball out to Stephanie Fausse pulling onto the left wing knocks it inside for Corrigan central, plays the ball on into the area with Mercer making the run to get into the box right of goal, Colney Heath keeper, Rachel Sherlow out quickly to close her down getting her foot on the ball sliced behind for a corner kick. Mercer to curl the ball into the box attacked at the near post over everyone falls to Corrigan central, snatches her shot over the crossbar. The rain falling steadily, Isobel Matfield looking to travel with the ball brought down, Stevenage winning a free-kick. 

 GOAL! Mercer over the free-kick all of 40 yards out central putting her foot through the ball gets plenty of pace behind it whipped in on target head height, Sherlow behind it beating the ball down into the six yard box at her left post, attacked comes on loose into the centre, Matfield stood there unmarked, firing the ball into the back of the net to open the scoring. 0-1. 

Ella Mercer’s free-kick knocked down at the at the left post, knocked in central with Isobel Mansfield ready to pounce

Isobel Matfield firing Stevenage into the lead

 A goal for Stevenage in the opening 5 minutes of the final. Colney Heath getting the ball down the right as they restart the gamer, Cally Salter on the move driving on delivering a rising ball into the near post on the angle, O’Brien calling for it a making the claim. 

Stevenage goalkeeper, Mia O’Brien claiming the ball at her near post

  Stevenage break up a Colney Heath attack play the ball up to the attackers, Corrigan 25 yards out back to goal central controlling the ball off her chest turning it into Fausse left of the D, her shot fired in wide of the far post. Chloe Gregory tackling for Stevenage to win the ball from Colney Heath captain, Anna Simou as she looks to bring the ball out from the back on the right. 

Stephanie Fausse with Colney Heath captain, Anna Simou

  Molly Slade gathering the ball into her feet central for Colney Heath, drives forwards making ground before attempting to thread Simmonds in behind the challenge coming in a Simmonds breaks into the box the ball away for a corner kick on the left. An in swinging delivery high to the near post, Mercer up well to put her head on it and clear for Stevenage.

  The rain has stopped for now the sun breaking through the clouds. Sheree Oliver strong to win the ball for Colney Heath in the final 3rd turns looking to play Amy Philips on down the left as the winger strides in behind, getting a cross in from the by-line however her progress halted by an offside flag. A lively contest both sides looking to get the ball moving forwards. Oliver central on for Simmonds up top back to goal, looks to play the lay off back to Oliver spin into the box left of goal looking for the return pass, O’Brien reading the threat rushing out to close the attackers down sliding in to make a blocking save at her feet. 

Mia Simmonds

 Mercer with a powerful run on the ball driving inside from the right for Stevenage pulling the trigger from distance the ball arrowing in on goal, coming straight at Sherlow high the keeper does well to make the save get her glove up to knock the ball up over the crossbar. The corner swung into the six yard box from the left, cleared by Colney Heath. 

 The ball put long into the left wing for Holly Jury to get under control shifts it inside looking to play a diagonal pass into Simmonds up top, Oguntuga with the attacker to get her foot on the ball clear for Stevenage. Both sides willing to get the ball down drive at the defence, Fausse receiving the pass from Matfield on the left moving inside looking to play the ball into Corrigan as she moves across the top of the D, Abbey Williams getting the tackle in to clear for Colney Heath at the back.

Colney Heath giving away another free-kick wide on the right players up into the area as Mercer prepares to take her strike hitting the ball, Colney Heath looking to counter, Stevenage captain, Neave Wilson halting their advance. Matfield carrying the ball on through the middle for Stevenage lifts it forwards with Corrigan on the move up top across the D, wrong footing the defence, almost escapes through clear into the box, except Joseph has come round on the cover to put her foot through the ball.

Colney Heath’s Mia Simmonds with Stevenage captain, Neave Wilson

  Lively Stevenage attacking right winning a throw high up the pitch lopped up into the box, Madison Gorton heading it away for Colney Heath. Pushing on through the middle, Slade with Oliver looking to pick out Jury as she makes a left channel run, Wilson lunging in with her leg to take the ball from her. 

Molly Slade

  Gregory going down inside the Colney Heath box as she looks to force her way through the middle, off Gorton’s challenge, half hearted appeals as the ball goes behind for a corner on the right. Mercer sending the delivery in at the near post attacked minimal contact drops for Corrigan top of the box back to goal, looks to get the ball under control, turn, the shot denied as Slade moves in to close the striker down.

  Colney Heath with a throw on the right played down into Salters feet 25 yards out right of the D, looks to clips it into the area on the half volley, O’Brien racing off her line to throw herself down onto the ball. Bright and sunny now. The ball up the right for Corrigan pulling wide for Stevenage powering her way to into the box, at the by-line cuts the ball back up to the top of the six yard box for Fausse, Gorton intercepting for Colney Heath to clear the ball. 

Colney Heath defender, Madison Gorton

  Oguntuga getting up the right for Stevenage a strong run on the ball delivering a cross into the near post too close to the keeper, Sherlow down to get behind it with Corrigan running in. Wilson cutting the pass out at the back for Stevenage as Oliver sends the pass on for Simmonds up top. A change for Colney Heath in the middle, Slade coming off, Caz Pennifold on. 

Remi Martin

Fausse and Corrigan look to combine through the middle 25 yards out, Gorton getting in between the pair to win the ball for Colney Heath. Sherlow called into action rushing out to slide in make the blocking save as Corrigan is fed onto the ball by Mercer from the right.

Rachel Sherlow sliding in to save against Anaise Corrigan

  Colney Heath immediately on the counter Phillips left lifting a cross the ball played off Simmonds a goal kick won. Jury taking the ball into the left channel for Colney Heath pushing forwards, Holly Southam closing her down to win the challenge for Stevenage at the back. Simou running into space on the right for Colney Heath as the cross-field pass from the left picks her out delivers a cross into the top of the area, Salter the target looks to see it onto her boot turn the shot goal wards, O’Brien moving forwards to collect it on the bounce.

  A competitive tussle, Colney Heath coming back into the game getting after Stevenage through the middle, Oliver getting about to put in the tackles. A drinks break called with a couple of players needing attention, both okay play resumes Pennifold getting back at Mercer tackling to win the ball in the middle as the Stevenage player looks to get on with the ball. Wilson with a clattering challenge on Jury as she comes to close her down the ball out to the right for Mercer to play forwards into Corrigan right channel, Sherlow needing to come racing out of her box to kick the ball away.

Tabitha Goodall with the acrobatic clearance for Stevenage

  Goodall defends on Simou as the Colney Heath captain look to push on down the right wing, Goodall getting her foot on the ball to play it out for a throw. 40 minutes played both sides making a change. Lacey Kavanagh-Blake on for Colney Heath replacing Jury goes to the left side with Phillips moving to the right. Ella Hayes coming on for Stevenage to replace, Martin.

  The game flowing fairly even both sides coming on well, Stevenage advancing on the right Joseph tackling Mercer the ball out for a throw. Corrigan seeing it down outside the box, turns straight into Williams ready with the challenge. Back up the line to Oguntuga plays it into the box from the angle, Gorton racing back with Gregory at the near post cutting the ball out

 GOAL! 2 minutes of regular play in the first half and Colney Heath get themselves back into the game with a superb move, Pennifold central feeding it into Salter, spins of her marker to make a run to the top of the area as she lays the ball out to Simou advancing on the right, plays Phillips in down the line cutting into the box on the by-line sends the ball into Salter positioned on the penalty spot and she sends her 1st time shot up over the keeper to fly in under the cross bar 1-1.

Cally Salter about to hit the equaliser for Colney Heath

Cally Salter equalises for Colney Heath

 GOAL! Colney Heath literally turning the game on it’s head in a matter of minutes the ball cleared out to Simou moving forwards on the right lays it into the path of Phillips racing down the wing turns into the box closing in on the near post and pulls the trigger, her shot wrong footing the keeper, O’Brien can’t adjust the ball off her into the back of the net to hand Colney Heath the lead 2-1.

Amy Phillips celebrates as she sees Colney Heath into the lead.

  Stevenage making a change as the game moves into stoppage time at the end of the first half, Ellie Merkis coming on for Goodall. Pennifold, Salter and Oliver combining through the middle for Colney Heath, Oliver’s ball threaded into the area claimed by O’Brien. Colney Heath finishing the first half strong Kavanagh-Blake fouled on the left deep as she tries to pick out Simmonds no advantage played brought back. Gorton to play the set-piece into the area, won by Mercer heading the ball over for a corner kick. 

 Mercer again defending the corner up at the near post to head the ball back left for a throw in. Colney Heath pressing Oliver in to steal the ball central 20 yards out turns inside, not getting a strong connection with her shot runs safely through to the keeper. 

Half-time Colney Heath Ladies 2-1 Stevenage FC Women Development

  A strong end to the first half from Colney Heath sees them turn the game on it’s head to go into the changing rooms leading 2-1 at the break. That after a strong opening from Stevenage scoring in the opening 5 minutes throw Isobel Matfield created some good opportunities after that both sides looking to get forwards quickly, move the ball around has been a competitive game, Colney Heath making a few adjustments applying pressure late in the first half to build momentum and score a well worked equaliser in the 43rd minute, Amy Phillips driving into the box from the right for the 2nd time in as many minutes to put Colney Heath into the lead. Set’s it up nicely for the 2nd half.

  The rain staying away for now, pleasant out there as the teams return for the 2nd half Colney Heath to get the 2nd half underway, now extra-time today should the scores be level after 90 minutes it goes straight to penalties. The ball back to Gorton in defence lifted on for Phillips on the right, won by Stevenage defender, Merkis. Colney Heath quick to regain possession, Pennifold into Phillips right shifts inside looking for Simmonds 25 yards out, Matfield cutting the pass out for Stevenage. 

  Oguntuga pushing up on the right now for Stevenage getting on down the line held up plays the ball back for Mercer, Kavanagh-Blake tracking back to close her down. Oliver opening up her body to play the pass into Phillips’ feet on the right. lifts the angled cross into the area, the ball just behind Slater central looks to shield the ball, dig it out from under her feet, Wilson close in pressing can’t find a teammate as Gregory gets hold of the ball for Stevenage. 

 Kavanagh-Blake taking the ball on down Colney Heath’s left sending in into Simmonds skips inside driving into the D, runs into a Stevenage road block eased off the ball. Stevenage attack down the left Fausse down the line lifting a high ball into the area, Gorton heading it out of the area, Matfield getting hold of the ball central pushed on into Gregory back to goal, tries to turning behind, Williams stretching out as leg to win the ball inside the D.

Oguntuga tackling Kavanagh-Blake turns to angle a deep cross into the area from the right, Gorton again under it to clear for Colney Heath. Stevenage getting hold of the ball high up the pitch looking to up the tempo, the ball fed into Corrigan left of the D, spins in behind getting into the box closing in on the keeper, shoots low, Sherlow down to make the save pushing the ball behind for a corner on the left.

Lacey Kavanagh-Blake carrying the ball forwards for Colney Heath

  The corner curled in under the bar, central Sherlow getting her gloves on the ball knocking it down into the ground and collecting on the bounce well. Mercer picking up the ball 40 yards out left moves inside a strong run, Gorton coming out from defence to close her down even as Oliver slides in from behind, only succeeds in taking Gorton out Mercer staying on her feet stepping inside to unleash a shot from range, placed straight at the keeper.  

Ella Mercer

  Matfield taking the ball inside from the left 20 yards out takes on the shot, Gorton in the way blocking for Colney Heath. Joseph playing the ball on for Kavanagh-Blake attacking on the left, looks to turn inside as Hayes steps in to challenge, the defender getting back at her with a well timed tackle to halt the attack. 

Ella Hayes

 Oguntuga driving on with the ball at her feet on the right for Stevenage, Joseph in to close her down conceding the corner. The corner whipped in across the six yard box falling beyond the far post Stevenage getting hold of the ball the shot charged down. 

Sophie Joseph moving on on Amana Oguntuga

 Colney Heath making a change up top bringing off Simmonds, Bola Cela sent into the action. Involved straight away as Pennifold carries the ball away to the right top of the area cuts the pass back to Cela top corner, is quickly closed down, can’t get her shot away. Kavanagh-Blake with the ball at her feet turns infield from the left as Salter makes a run across her wanting the ball fed into her path on the left channel, Southam getting back on her to tackle on the by-line for Stevenage.

Holly Southam winning the ball for Stevenage

  A lively contest, Stevenage competing for the ball turning play around quickly. Hayes on for Oguntuga up the right wing for Stevenage lifts the cross into the box looking for Corrigan coming near side, Williams getting her foot on the ball to clear for Colney Heath. Stevenage looking sharp in attack the diagonal ball clipped into the box left side sees Corrigan race in behind to shoot on the angle driven in low at the near post Sherlow down save the ball up off the goal keeper over the bar for a corner kick.

  Stevenage making a change before the corner comes in Goodall back on to replace, Merkis. The corner from the left angled in low at the near post stabbed away to safety. An hour played Stevenage looking to press in the final 3rd apply pressure. Another corner on the left put in high at the near post, Mercer looking to attack it, Sherlow up with her fist to punch it away. Williams throwing her body in to block a shot from Gregory from 20 yards out. 

  Oliver sending the ball out to Phillips now back out on the left wrapping her foot around the ball whips a cross into the six yard box, Cela can’t reach it before O’Brien can take it into her gloves. Hayes and Oguntuga linking up on the right for Stevenage, Oguntuga strong on the ball, lifting the cross into the box, won by Colney Heath’s Gorton. Stevenage looking to turn the screw pushing on well 2nd half a throw high on the right dropped into Corrigan right inside the area turns for goal near post sees her initial effort blocked coming back to her snatches another shot away Sherlow with a strong hand behind the ball to save knocking it down, the ball eventually scrambled behind for a goal kick. 

  Mercer winning Stevenage a corner the left dropped into the mix headed clear Colney Heath looking to counter lifted up to Kavanagh-Blake left feeds the ball on for Cela, lays it to the right for Phillips looking to spin into the area wanting the return ball, Phillips threading it into the box, O’Brien sharp out snatch it up into her gloves before Cela can pounce,

Caz Pennifold

  Simou, slows Fausse down as she attacks on the left back for Mercer a free-kick won, Stevenage with players up into the box, Mercer strikes the ball in towards goal, Sherlow punching the ball up and behind for a corner kick. A double change for Colney Heath, Williams and Salter coming on, on come Laura Gifford and Olivia Corbett. 

 Colney Heath finding Phillips out on the right 20 yards out sends the ball into the area for Corbett inside the box, tangles with Oguntuga, going down appeals but nothing doing. Gifford picking up a yellow card for Colney Heath the free-kick to Stevenage in the centre circle the ball launched forwards bouncing through to the keeper. 

Olivia Corbett with Ella Hayes

  Oliver throwing herself in to block as Gregory lines up a strike from 25 yards out. Southam picking out Mercer as she comes right to take the ball on forwards into Oguntuga, her cross to strong for Corrigan and Fausse making runs into six yard box. The game moving into the final 12 minutes Stevenage looking the most likely to score winning the ball high turning play around putting Colney Heath on the back foot. 

 Wilson and Corbett in a race for the ball as it’s played on down the right channel, Wilson throwing out a leg to play the ball off Corbett behind for a goal kick. Corrigan fouling Simou as she goes to clear the ball. Wilson again winning the ball up to Mercer left side plays Fausse down the line, the cross cut out Colney Heath look to play it up to Cela right.

 GOAL! Stevenage snapping back to win the ball back send it inside for Gregory, lifts it forwards into Corrigan top of the area a great take down to get in behind into the area moving towards the right post across the six yard box cuts her shot back across, to evade the keeper and roll into the back of the net to score the equaliser! 2-2!

Anaise Corrigan with the equaliser for Stevenage

 Stevenage coming back to level the scores in the 82nd minute set up a frantic finish to the game. Colney Heath taking off Phillips bringing Slade back on. Stevenage lively Matfield into Gregory lifted into the area right of goal Corrigan racing to attack, Sherlow putting her foot through the ball strikes the onrushing attacker the rebounding ball could have gone anywhere, however a raised flag sees the threat neutralised.

  Mercer with a shot from 20 yards out left of the D, put straight at the keeper. Southam winning the ball at the back clearing to Mercer on the right puts it on for Oguntuga wide right her cross flashed in beyond the far post, Fausse latching onto it firing her strike into the side netting, Stevenage looking dangerous as the game heads into the closing minutes. 

 Colney Heath with some relief as they get on down the right win a free-kick level with the top of the area played into the box central Gifford getting her head on the ball, plants her attempt straight into the keepers gloves. Gifford with another effort moments later as a diagonal ball from midfield drops to her in the box left side, falling as she goes to strike the ball pulls her shot into the keeper.

Laura Gifford

  Merkis coming back on to replace Fausse with 3 minutes of regular time left to play. Oliver across to halt Mercer’s progress as she looks to carry the ball away on the right. Salter back on for Colney Heath replacing Kavanagh-Blake. Sherlow up to claim a high ball played into her box from the left. Simmonds returning to the pitch replacing Joseph. Penalties moments away, 4 minutes to be added on.

 Southam putting the ball into Corrigan top of the D, Simou in with and outstretched leg to take the ball from her. Stevenage press to win a corner on the right, curled in Mercer up heading the ball on across the six yard box. Colney Heath getting the ball up to Simmonds left side comes inside, Merkis back across to support Hayes in defence get the ball clear for a corner left. Into the area cleared by Wilson, Stevenage look to counter up the left Mercer racing away with the ball, Gifford easing her off the ball.

 GOAL! Southam with the clearance on half way for Stevenage turns into a brilliant assist and it’s launched high dropping into the box, Corrigan looking to attack it as it drops near post, she and Simou coming together left grounded as the ball bounces loose to the left of goal, Oguntuga quickest to it turning to attack and fires her shot in low and fast into the bottom corner to surely score the winning goal for Stevenage 3-2! 

Holly Southam clearing the ball on halfway up into the area in the build up to the goal

Amana Oguntuga first to the ball after Anaise Corrigan and Anna Simou collide

Amana Oguntuga celebrates as she wins the game for Stevenage!

  Oguntuga called into the action up the other end to hook a ball clear from the top of her box as Colney Heath launch it forwards. Little time left to find a reply Corbett strong to win Colney Heath a corner on the right, push players up, put in to the top of the area comes to Corbett inside left of the D, a difficult ball to get under control, hasn’t time to bring in down, lifts her shot over the bar. The final whistle blows and Stevenage come back with a last gasp winning goal to win the inaugural Herts FA Women’s Trophy. 

Full time Colney Heath Ladies 2-3 Stevenage FC Women Development

  A strong 2nd half performance from Stevenage in the finish the better side in the 2nd period getting after the ball in the final 3rd applying good pressure to the Colney Heath back line winning the ball back moving it across the pitch creating chances. One eventually counting in the 82nd minute. Stevenage with the momentum didn’t sit back kept pressing the game into stoppage time penalties moments away and they took there chance to win the game at the death. A tough on for Colney Heath to take the treble just 10 minutes away they played well first half to get themselves into the lead. Found the chances harder to come by 2nd half and couldn’t hold on, still double winners have had a fantastic season nonetheless.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto the final Women’s Football East – Player of the Match of the season. Wasn’t quite sure who to award it too leaving the ground but as the report unfolded from my notes a clear winner emerged. Several performances of note to mention first, for Colney Heath, Madison Gorton and Abbey Williams made a number of vital tackles at the back, winning the ball getting it forwards. Amy Phillips strong on the flanks running with the ball setting up Cally Salter for the first goal, scoring the 2nd. Sheree Oliver got about the centre of the park to win the ball, defend and link up with the attackers. For Stevenage, again the centre backs were strong Holly Southam and Neave Wilson won the ball well helped get play turned around quickly 2nd half. Ella Mercer strong on the ball with some great runs and link up play. Amana Oguntuga strong in defence in the first half adding to Stevenage’s attacking threat on the right in the 2nd half strong on the ball on hand to score the winning goal. The award though goes to Anaise Corrigan. Was a threat up top throughout looking to get the ball down and turn to attack created a number of opportunities in front of goal, never gave the Colney Heath defence a break and fired home the vital equalising goal giving her side the belief to go on and win the game.

Stevenage FC Women Development 2023/24 Herts FA Women’s Trophy winners

 Congratulations to Stevenage FC Women Development on winning the inaugural Herts FA Women’s Trophy.

 A highly entertaining cup final to end the 2023/24. A competitive tussle full of drama, us neutrals loved it. My thanks to both club for the team details and Hertfordshire FA for their assistance today. That’s the 10th season done and dusted, well almost. Have loved almost every minute of it couldn’t do it without all the support from the players, their clubs, league volunteers and FA staff alike. All of it has been greatly appreciated. 

by Darren Gilham