Tag Archives: Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

Sunday 21st April

ERWFL League Plate

 Semi-final action this Easter Sunday on Women’s Football East from the ERWFL League Plate, Newmarket Town Ladies v Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies vying for a place in the final itself on Sunday 12th May.

 Histon Ladies already through to the ERWFL League Plate final with an extra-time win away to Stevenage Ladies Reserves last weekend. Newmarket and Hoddesdon meeting in the cup just 7 days after playing each other in the league itself. Away to Hoddesdon in Division One the Hertfordshire side 2-1 with Newmarket reduced to 10 with 25 minutes to play having goalkeeper Dominika Szary sent off nevertheless mounted a comeback late on to level the scores and win in with just 20 seconds left on the clock, 3-2 with 16-year-old Annabel Cuthbert on target for all 3 goals! 2-2 when they met at Newmarket earlier in the season, a tough semi-final to call this afternoon.

Newmarket are one of 5 newcomers to the regional league this season making the step up from the county league football, encouraged by an FA Cup run the season before that saw them beat two ERWFL Division One sides and take a 3rd to extra-time. Player departures over the close season left a bit of trepidation as they began at a higher level, had a large squad however and good recruitment has seen them flourish 3rd in the table in what has proved to be a competitve tussle in the top half in a great position to secure a top 4 finish, along with a cup semi-final.

Hoddesdon are currently fifth in the ERWFL Division One and established side playing at this level, reaching the semi-finals of the Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup are looking to go one better in the League Plate competition. A competitive tussle in the middle of the table a late run of 4 straight league wins has seen them climb the table, Newmarket’s late winner last weekend in Hoddesdon’s penultimate league match bringing the run to an end a trip to Histon to come who both sides will be hoping to face in the final.

The Bloorie Stadium the venue for today’s semi-final game home of Newmarket Town FC, a state of the art cork based artificial playing surface. The clubhouse beside the pitch housing a bar an kitchen serving hot food and drink, a covered seated stand beside. A beautifully hot Easter Sunday, needed to find myself some suncream out at home and that’s not an easy thing to locate on a bank holiday weekend. Still with the stuff liberally applied I was all set ready to go, watching two sides I’ve yet to catch up with this season. 

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Ellie-Rai Quinn Nicholls, Yasmin Woodfield, Holly Dryland, Olivia Cafferelli, Beth Woodfield (C), Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Jodie Woodfield, Brooke Wickens, Laura Bailey & Annabel Cuthbert. Subs – Olivia Orme, Chloe Slater, Hannah Rogers, Sarah O’Rourke & Eleanor McLeish.

Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies starting XI – Hannah Gilmore, Leah Dunnage (C), Charley Handley, Megan Davies, Jemma Collinson, Grace Leslie, Kristina O’Connell, Chloe Makepeace, Natasha Crick, Rosy Wodhams & Rebecca Scola. Subs –  Katie Kendle, Keeleigh Berry, Bridget Kirwan, Robyn Jones & Courtney Smart.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Dominika Szary suspended, Newmarket sort special permission from the league to play Ellie-Rai Quinn-Nicholls in goal. Newmarket to get the game underway kicking off the first half wearing yellow shirts, with blue shorts and yellow and blue hooped socks, Hoddesdon lined up opposite wearing red and navy vertical striped shirts, navy shorts and socks. The visitors press as Newmarket play the ball out to the right won the diagonal ball is played in up towards the top of the area, for Rebecca Scola to attack, Olivia Cafferelli their first to clear for Newmarket. 

   Newmarket are quick to turn play around the ball fed through the middle with Annabel Cuthbert running in behind, Grace Leslie sliding in with a lunging tackle to take it away from her top of the area the ball deflecting off Cuthbert running behind for a goal kick. Hoddesdon awarded a free-kick inside the centre circle Leslie over it a good delivery long into the box, Newmarket heading it away from a throw in the left, Hoddesdon sending a cross into the six yard box the ball claimed by Quinn-Nicholls. Both sides looking for runs out wide in the early stages Jess Linger with a good diagonal ball long for Laura Bailey on the left, Hoddesdon captain Leah Dunnage defending the ball out for a throw.

Hoddesdon captain, Leah Dunnage

    Newmarket win a free-kick wide left inside the Hoddesdon half Linger a threat from any set-piece sends the ball into the area plenty of pace on it bouncing through bodies Brooke Wickens throws a leg at it inside the six yard box, Hoddesdon goalkeeper keeping her eye on the ball gathers it cleanly. Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield gets across her area right to put the tackle in to deny Natasha Crick as shot as she is played through on the right wing. Fairly even in  the early stages.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Yasmin Woodfield

  Jodie Woodfield back playing for Newmarket this season after 3 years out of the game after suffering a serious injury has the ball at her feet in midfield played it to her left on for fellow midfielder Antonia Smith 30 yards out, full back Holly Dryland bursting forwards, Smith sends the ball into her path, Dunnage sliding in puts the ball away from the throw. Kristina O’Connell after a long ball sent forwards into the left corner does well to keep it in play on the flank up the line to square a cross in along the top of the area, bites at it from Scola and Rosy Wodhams outside the box, both closed down by the Newmarket defence unable to get a shot away pops out to Chloe Makepeace on the right drives a shot in low from 25 yards out the ball racing wide across goal.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Brooke Wickens

  Wickens charging forwards with the ball on the right wing held up by Hoddesdon’s Jemma Collison, a throw won high up the pitch played into Wickens top of the area she turns well letting loose a shot the strike running wide across Gilmore’s six yard box. Newmarket forced into an early change Cafferelli coming off at the back on comes Chloe Slater taking up her position at centre back. 

  Hesitation between goalkeeper and defence inside the box for Newmarket sees Crick nip in to steal the ball takes it on into the six yard box left of goal, Beth Woodfield with a fantastic sliding tackle to take the ball away from Crick before she can get a shot away. Newmarket defending the corner on the left, Slater clearing a great ball up the pitch sees Cuthbert haring after it does well to win a corner up the other end. The delivery long to the far post missed by everyone. 

Hoddesdon’s Natasha Crick looking to bring the ball forwards

  Wickens turning inside from the right looking to attack the area is brought down a free-kick in a dangerous position for Newmarket, Linger over it goes for goal putting a high ball in towards goal, Gilmore thankful to see the ball drop narrowly over the bar. A hot day but good energy levels shown fro Newmarket quick to close the ball down Bailey and Wickens looking t make runs left and right. Bailey on the left the ball rolled into feet 35 yards out turns well knocking the ball on her next touch too strong however as she enters the box allowing Gilmore to claim.

Hannah Gilmore keeps an eye on Jess Linger’s free-kick

   Midway through the first half a drinks break called by the referee, hot out there in the middle. Play resumes Wickens attacking wide playing the ball inside to Cuthbert the young attacker brought down, players go forwards as Linger sets the ball down, a high delivery into the box, Charley Handley heading it out for Hoddesdon, comes straight back on high in the air, Gilmore coming jumps to claim. Dunnage with as good challenge to stop Bailey the ball up the line for Crick. Jodie Woodfield in to win the ball linking up with Smith looks to go left for Wickens, Collison intercepting for Hoddesdon. 

   Moving into a central position Wickens pushes the ball into Cuthbert back to goal top of the D, she spots right back Yasmin Woodfield breaking forwards into space on the right plays the pass out to her, Wickens getting in towards the top of the area demanding the cross has the ball at her feet strikes for goal the attempt racing low wide across goal. O’Connell with a clever back heel almost gets Scola away in behind through the middle, Quinn-Nicholls with a good starting position out to the edge of her area sharply to pick up the ball. O’Connell furthest forwards the ball bouncing Beth Woodfield on her shoulder it won’t drop kindly for the attacker to get a shot away on target outside the box. 

 GOAL! The deadlock broken late in the first half, from a set-piece Newmarket awarded a free-kick inside the Hoddesdon half central about 35 yards out, Linger on it looks a little too far out to have a go for goal but that is exactly what Linger does strikes it perfectly arrowing straight towards goal pace on it, Gilmore back on her line gets the faintest of touches on it not enough as the ball smashes down off the crossbar over the line 1-0.

Jess Linger opens the scoring for Newmarket Town Ladies

  Newmarket come close to adding a 2nd goal straight away, Jodie Woodfield winning the ball back from a Hoddesdon throw on the right inside their half sends it inside for Cuthbert who spots Bailey breaking on into the area in behind on the left, Bailey shooting sends her strike wide across the face of goal. Crick coming back well to help out her defence winning the ball back as Newmarket attack on the left Jodie Woodfield combining well with Smith again. 

   O’Connell played in left is pushed into the corner by Yasmin Woodfield, holds the ball up well getting back up the line to sweep a cross into the six yard box, Slater getting in front of Scola sees the ball back to her keeper. Leslie is hurt in a challenge in the middle of the park, hurt hasn’t recovered properly as she goes to take it herself an immediately pulls up. The trainer on she can’t continue, comes off with Bridget Kirwan sent on. Kirwan called into action straight away defending in the middle as Wickens swings a ball in from the right.  

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 1-0 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

  A fair tempo to the game considering the temperatures, started off fairly evenly, however as the half has grown Newmarket started to get the upper hand, closing down well disrupting Hoddesdon all over the pitch, created the better openings although clear cut chances have been low. Linger with a superbly struck free-kick the difference between the sides. A narrow lead for Newmarket to take into the 2nd half, Hoddesdon will need to find a clinical edge in the final third to get themselves back into the game. 

Hoddesdon to get the second half underway. Won back straight away by Newmarket, Dryland on the left putting the ball on down the line for Cuthbert charging after it taking it into the area, Gilmore coming out to close her down Cuthbert taking the ball past the keeper, carries out to the by-line wide of goal cutting a cross back in towards the top of the area, a good idea but no one there to attack it, Hoddesdon launch it up field.

   Handley with a strong tackle on Cuthbert well timed top of the box, is hurt, but okay to continue after treatment. Linger breaking up an attack through the middle for Newmarket pushes the ball out to Wickens on the right she sends it on for Cuthbert peeling away to make a run into the area, Handley back again to get a foot in to take the ball away from Cuthbert not out of play Newmarket close well to force a corner kick on the right. O’Connell up well inside her box to head the ball away. 

 Getting forwards in attack receiving the ball from Davies, O’Connell attacking left is brought down by Yasmin Woodfield the defender shown a yellow card a free-kick left outside the box for Hoddesdon, Scola over it blasts a shot in low through to the near post, Quinn-Nicholls saving well the ball pushed behind for a corner. Newmarket defending break the ball forwards however too much for Cuthbert to chase down. Crick is caught offside a half a yard ahead of the Newmarket defence as O’Connell puts the diagonal ball over the top. 

Hoddesdon’s Kristina O’Connell

  Davies putting in the block as Wickens shoots from the top of the area the ball sent into her from Bailey on the left. Wickens after the loose ball turning to play the ball back across the top of the area Bailey pushed inside the D, Newmarket awarded another free-kick. Linger over it keeps the ball low this time on target but Gilmore down on her line is right behind it. Dryland on the left brings the ball on the pass inside for Smith she helps it on down the line for Bailey, Dunnage getting in on her to put in the tackle regain possession for Hoddesdon. Linger on the ball central lifts it out to Wickens right top of the area takes the shot on the half volley struck over.

Newmarket’s Laura Bailey with Hoddesdon’s Jemma Collison

  Hoddesdon make a change, Scola coming off on comes Katie Kendle. Bailey left slides a ball in across the top of the area Cuthbert seeing it into her feet well turning taking it into the box, Handley marking back on her quickly to lunge in to take the ball away from her. Slater defending at the back for Newmarket as Dunnage sliding in to get the ball almost succeeds in playing Collinson in behind on the right. Gilmore dealing well inside her six yard box as Linger out wide sends a high looping ball into the area the keeper punching it down and claiming it on the bounce. 

  Another fee-kick given away by Hoddesdon central Linger to take another awkward ball for Gilmore bouncing before her skipping up off the surface inside the six yard box she pushes it wide for a corner on the left, the ball in long to the far post headed down, Hoddesdon scramble clear a shot fired back in from outside the box racing wide of the post. The game paused for drinks again both sides getting instructions from the bench. Leslie comes back on for Hoddesdon.

 Newmarket get forwards a corner won on the right the delivery in low hear post met the header driven towards goal blocked on the line, Hoddesdon penned back as Newmarket win another corner on the left this one long to the far post play stopped however with a Hoddesdon player down as the ball is cleared. Dunnage bringing the ball on plays a crossfield pass to Crick left looking up she spots Collison breaking into the box on the right lifts the ball on, too close to Quinn-Nicholls giving the keeper the chance to claim the ball. 

  Hoddesdon have a set-piece wide left players up from the back as they continue their search for an equalising goal. A good ball put into the box Handley rising on the penalty spot to meet it with her header drives her effort wide of the right post. Hoddesdon pushing on more now Dunnage forwards on the right wins a free-kick outside the area, O’Connell to play it in Quinn-Nicholls punching t out of her six yard box. Injuries and free-kicks disrupting play, a little bit of frustration creeping into Hoddesdon’s play. Bailey away on the left holds the ball up Smith providing support up the line getting the ball sends a cross into the box Handley heading it away for Hoddesdon. 

  Kirwan winning the ball central is knocked on through the middle in behind puts O’Connell away to run in behind clear of the defence into the box right of goal pulls the trigger gets her shot across the keeper but agonisingly wide of the far post.

Kristina O’Connell running behind for Hoddesdon

  GOAL! The game moving into the final 5 minutes Newmarket break to double their lead the ball fired into Woodfield 30 yards out right channel she sends the ball on through for Cuthbert to run in clear after it into the box closing in on the keeper a composed finish putting it to her left to score at the near post and runs away into the corner to celebrate her teammates close behind 2-0. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Annabel Cuthbert

  Smith comes off for Newmarket as they send on another 16-year-old Eleanor McLeish. Hoddesdon push everyone forwards as they win a late corner, Newmarket defend the ball ending up on the roof of the net. A long range strike fired into the Newmarket box blocked the ball pinging back and forth put behind for another corner kick. Goes long but cleared straight to O’Connell top of the area her strike sent over. 

Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 2-0 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

  Newmarket win the game 2-0 to reach the League Plate final in their debut season at this level their opponents Histon Ladies. Ice lollies to celebrate as they walk off the pitch much needed with the sun still blazing down. Got the 2nd goal they needed in the end to make thing’s a little more comfortable. Later than they would have liked but with Hoddesdon pushing on trying to find an equaliser gaps would open. Hoddesdon frustrated not at their best had chances to score get back into the tie so long as it stayed a 1-0, Newmarket on the whole looking comfortable for the result and two very well taken goals see them through to the final.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Kristina O’Connell tried her best to get thing’s going for Hoddesdon. The Newmarket defence was superb in limiting attacks and putting in some vital tackles. Jess Linger’s set-pieces a constant threat, Brooke Wickens on the right with some great runs, over on the opposite side of the attack to Laura Bailey with some great runs and movement always an outlet on the wing coming close to scoring herself, she wins today’s award.

  Good to see both sides in action at last this season, congratulations to Newmarket on reaching the final. A hot day both put in alot of effort, my thanks for the help with the teams this afternoon.

Match Report – Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies v Hertford Town Ladies

Sunday 15th April

The football action this weekend on Women’s Football East comes from the ERWFL Division One North a trip to Hertfordshire to watch Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies play Hertford Town Ladies. 

   The sides currently 5th and 6th in the Division One North table with a handful of games left to play both looking to end on a positive note after a tough beginning to their campaigns. Hoddesdon Town Owls coming into the game on a high after recently playing in their first ever Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup Final back in March. Playing in midweek picked up a very good result at home to promotion chasing Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies winning the match 1-0. The club has come through a transitional period having lost several 1st team regulars two season’s ago rebuilding with a young squad last season results have picked up this campaign.

  My 1st look at Hertford Town Ladies, now in their 2nd season playing in the ERWFL having won the Beds & Herts Division One title back in 2015/16. A slow start to life at a higher level last season, results improved towards the end of the season. Into their 2nd season in the ERWFL have struggled for goals and been around the bottom of the table all season. Have been searching for a new manager and today is the first match in charge for Danny Barley.

 The venue for today’s game Hoddesdon Town FC on Park View not too far from the town centre. The cricket club next door. A clubhouse and changing room’s between the two. A large pitch seated covered stands on both sides of the ground. On the road parking beside the ground, however there are car parks nearby. The weather… brace yourselves… dry! Actually quite pleasant a few clouds around but the sun is doing it’s best to make an appearance for a welcome change after a long wet winter.

Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies starting XI – Casey Herrick, Katie Kendle, Leah Dunnage, Fay Holder, Charley Handley, Hannah Kelly, Kristina O’Connell, Sian Owens, Chloe Makepeace, Courtney Smart & Natasha Crick (C). Subs – Shannon Daly, Jemma Collison, Stephanie Iaonnou, Megan Davies & Megan Davies.

Hertford Town Ladies starting XI – Ellie Morris, Olivia Worsfold, Zoe Garvey, Lauren Barnard, Claire Pavett, Katie Taylor, Karen Staples, Carly Snell (C), Bilge Taspinar, Lisa Kline & Katie Williams. Subs – Nicola Davey & Vicki Staples.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   It’s Hoddesdon to get the game underway kicking off the 1st half wearing red and navy vertical striped shirts, navy shorts and socks with Hertford lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. 

 GOAL! Straight from their 1st attack Hoddesdon take the lead certainly the quickest goal I’ve seen this season. The ball played into Hoddesdon captain Natasha Crick out on the right she brings in on up the pitch fires a ball in towards the area a bit of pinball in the box as Hertford fail to clear the ball rebounding off a couple of players falls to Sian Owens inside the D she catches the ball 1st time and is past goalkeeper Ellie Morris before she can react 1-0.

Sian Owens scores in the opening seconds to give Hoddesdon the lead

   Hertford attack down the right side Olivia Worsfold playing the ball on for Lisa Kline, a recent addition to the squad dual signed from Enfield Town Ladies has 2 goals from 2 appearances, taking the ball on down the wing fires a diagonal ball into the area, Katie Williams with the central run, Hoddesdon goalkeeper Casey Herrick gathers the ball at her near post. Hertford captain Carly Snell wins a 50/50 ball in the middle of the park the helped on through the middle for Williams the striker giving chase, Hoddesdon’s Fay Holder closes her down wins the ball. 

  A free-kick wide left fro Hertford inside the Hoddesdon half a good delivery into the area by Claire Pavett. Charley Handley getting up highest to win the header for Hoddesdon. Hannah Kelly plays the ball through the middle for Courtney Smart, she is tackled by Pavett the defender playing the ball long for Williams moving out to the left flank, Holder comes across to clear the ball out for a throw. Hertford despite the early set back of conceding a goal have come back into the game well the ball being moved quickly from back to front. Pushing forwards Bilge Taspinar runs into space after a long ball Herrick coming out of her area to clear smashes the ball against the Hertford attacker. The rebound favouring the Hoddesdon defence the ball hooked away as they get back. 

Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies, Hannah Kelly

  Hoddesdon push players forwards as the ball is carried up the pitch on the right the cross into the top of the area, Kristina O’Connell forwards to support Smart and Owens, Hertford put in a couple of blocks, Pavett then Lauren Barnard before the ball is deflected back to Chloe Makepeace she has a go from distance the ball dropping just wide of Morris’s left post. Kline gets hold of the ball on the right drills a shot/cross in low towards the near post Herrick adjusting well saves with her legs. 

Hertford Town Ladies, Zoe Garvey

  End to end at times as Hoddesdon come on, the Hertford defence standing firm winning the ball quick to set up the counter attack. Snell getting forwards wins a free-kick left of the Hoddesdon area. The delivery played up to the far post several players from both sides jumping for it the ball landing in the six yard box is knocked back out to Katie Taylor on the edge of the box, her fierce shot back in is blocked by the Hoddesdon defence. 

  A throw high up on the left for Hoddesdon the pass played through to Smart inside the area closing in on the near post her shot is blocked. A free-kick for Hoddesdon wide left outside the area O’Connell over it whips a good ball in across the face of goal now one can get a touch as it runs wide of the far post. Crick with the ball attacking on the right sides her initial cross in blocked by Pavett, then wins her sides a corner kick. The ball played long towards the to of the area met by O’Connell a looping shot sent in towards goal an awkward height for Morris the goalkeeper gets a glove on the ball knocking it down and claims at the 2nd attempt. 

Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies, Kristina O’Connell

   Kelly is fouled as she gets hold of the ball on the right a free-kick awarded to Hoddesdon. Players go forwards into the area as O’Connell places the ball. The midfielder playing in a tempting ball, Crick getting up on the penalty spot can only get a glancing header on the ball not enough to alter it’s direction as it runs out of play. A change for Hoddesdon Smart coming off, Jemma Collison comes on. Obstruction by Katie Kendle on Taspinar in the centre circle. Pavett on the free-kick a looped ball up into the area, again Handley is under it to clear for Hoddesdon. 

Bilge Taspinar collides with Katie Kendle

Kline coming over to the left side as Hertford win a throw in receives the pass turning towards the area avoiding a challenge is bearing down on goal, Makepeace coming back on the cover from midfield putting the ball behind for a corner. Played in towards the far post from the left knocked out to the right the cross is put back on Williams rising at the post flicking the ball on across the face of goal, Herrick gets her gloves firmly around the ball.

Hertford Town Ladies, Katie Williams

Set pieces given away by both sides are creating opportunities to get the ball into the area. A free-kick goes Hertford’s way half way inside the Hoddesdon half. The ball coming into the box falls to Williams her shot is flashed up over the crossbar. A little bit of niggle out their Hertford are doing well winning the ball frustrating Hoddesdon in the final 3rd Zoe Garvey winning the ball against Crick. The Hoddesdon captain picking up a knock late into the 1st half. Hertford are looking to release Williams and Taspinar in particular up front Herrick through has been quick to come off her line and clear whenever the visitors look to turn play around quickly. 

Half-time Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies 1-0 Hertford Town Ladies

   Despite taking the lead in the opening seconds Hoddesdon haven’t gone on to build on their lead and as the half has wore on have gotten a little frustrated. Hertford if anything have been the slightly better of the two sides growing in confidence throughout the half. Winning the physical battles charging down balls and intercepting passes. Have broken forwards well although opportunities have been limited haven’t tested Herrick with any long range shots. Going in at half-time the game is still very much in the balance.

  Changes for both sides at half-time, Nicola Davey running the line for Hertford in the 1st half coming on for Karen Staples. Robyn Jones and Stephanie Iaonnou on for Hoddesdon on for Kendle and Crick. This sees Kelly pushed up front into the strikers role. Hertford to get the 2nd half underway. Snell in with a robust challenge wins the ball in the middle knocks it on into the path of Taspinar she elects to have a go from 30 yards out her effort running a yard wide of the far post. 

Williams moving forwards with the ball on the left wins a corner kick the ball into the area cleared by Dunnage for Hoddesdon comes onto Pavett 35 yards out strikes the ball back in towards goal another long range effort not too far wide. Hertford pressing for an equalising goal at the start of the 2nd half push forwards Hoddesdon hit them on the break Jones on the right a one two with Kelly in the middle as she goes forwards before being fouled. O’Connell over the ball the delivery flashes across the six yard box no one can apply a touch at the far post to turn it home. 

  The same happens a few moments later after Jones wins Hoddesdon a corner on the right, O’Connell with the delivery again the ball inswinging across the six yard box out of play at the far post. Williams is just offside through the middle as Taylor looks to play her through after winning the ball in the centre. A change for Hertford Worsfold has taken a knock needs to come off on comes Vicki Staples. Both sides are giving away free-kick play broken up as a result. 

Hertford Town Ladies, Katie Taylor

  Some painful challenges too, Garvey taking one on the far side as she and Jones contest the ball. Needs to come off, Katie Staples having been running the line 2nd half returns to the action for Hertford. Dunnage is getting forwards more in the 2nd half for Hoddesdon breaking from the back looking to support Kelly ends up getting up ended the free-kick 30 yards out left of goal O’Connell on it her ball into the middle is knocked down by Morris the keeper claiming well under challenge at the 2nd attempt. 

  A break on for Hertford through the middle Snell and Taylor through for Kline coming inside a run at the Hoddesdon defence, looks to shift the ball inside as she enters the box, Holder throwing out a leg lunges in to stop her shot. Snell closing the ball down sees it deflected on into the area, Taspinar under it making it difficult for the Hoddesdon defence gets a corner kick. The ball into the box cleared by Dunnage. A change for Hoddesdon Owens coming off to be replaced by Megan Davies with 20 minutes left on the clock. Involved straight away as Dunnage breaks forwards with the ball on the left looking to play a one two with Davies, Barnard in to win the ball back for Hertford.

Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies, Leah Dunnage

  Morris produces a great save on the edge of her area to deny Kelly as Hoddesdon work the ball forwards well the move starting with Kelly in the centre circle as she shows a great piece of skill to control the high ball played into her and hold off her marker releasing the pass into Handley as she bursts past her Kelly gets in behind through the middle Handley putting the ball back into her Morris quick to react of her line meeting Kelly as she gets to the ball at the edge of the area making the blocking save. Hertford make a change Williams coming off up top, Worsfold back on a straight swap. 

   Hoddesdon launch a rapid counter attack O’Connell with a great touch bringing the ball under control in the middle looks to play Kelly in behind through the middle the pass a little too heavy Morris is able to gather before Kelly can reach the ball. Jones showing good pace down the right gets in behind whips a ball into the area, Morris claiming well at her near post. Iaonnou comes off for Hoddesdon Kendle coming back on. Kline finds space in behind on the right as Hoddesdon commit players forwards, attacking drives into the area from the right pulls the trigger, Holder racing across lunges in to charge the shot down for a corner. 

Bilge Taspinar with Hoddesdon’s Chloe Makepeace

  Williams comes back on for Hertford Taylor the player off. Kelly comes off for Hoddesdon, Crick returns to the field. 

   GOAL! Into the last 10 minutes Hoddesdon are on the attack Handley in the middle looking to help the ball in a hand ball is spotted by the referee a free-kick given to the home side in a dangerous position 25 yards out right of the D. O’Connell on it has looked to set up others previously closer in this time takes on the shot hits the ball perfectly flighted over the keeper lands in the back of the net 2-0. 

 GOAL! The 2-0 lead is short lived as Hertford pull a goal back straight away. The ball hotly contested in the middle players down after a coming together play goes on the ball knocked forwards centrally Holder looking to see it back to her keeper on the edge of the area under pressure from Worsfold the ball is deflected away to the left Worsfold after it a touch taking it the six yard box, players rushing to get back on the cover Worsfold slides it through them over the line to make it 2-1 and if the full-time stats are correct that is her 1st goal of the season.

Hertford Town Ladies, Olivia Worsfold

A tense finish set-up there is already plenty of niggle out there, frustration shown in a few camps. Some strong challenges nothing malicious however. Crick breaks clear with the ball on the left side good running takes on two players beating them gets into a shooting position 20 yards out her rising effort angling away from the top corner. O’Connell on the ball in the centre on for Handley moving to her left 20 yards out slides the ball through into the area for Crick the angle against her Crick shoots Morris with a good one handed save keeping the ball out trying to adjust her body Crick strikes the ball on the volley cutting it up over the crossbar. 

Natasha Crick with Claire Pavett

  A little bit of afters sees a bit of pushing and shoving that results in Crick and Davey being shown a yellow card each. Hertford since getting it back to 2-1 haven’t been able to get any meaningful possession on the ball, Handley back to tackle Snell as she tries to get forwards. Dunnage tackling Kline in stoppage time. Taspinar over on the left gets into the area wins a corner kick. Hoddesdon defend Makepeace heading the ball behind for another corner no time to take it however as the final whistle blows and Hoddesdon claim the 3 points.

Full time Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies 2-1 Hertford Town Ladies

  An interesting game this one if scrappy at times Hoddesdon holding on for the narrow win in the end went after barely 30 seconds on the clock it looked like they might have a comfortable afternoon. Hardly the case. Hertford responding well to conceding early came right back into the game and winning the physical battle in the 1st half finished the stronger. As the 2nd half progressed you had the feeling that if Hertford could find and equaliser then they might well go on to win the match. Hoddesdon made changes 2nd half pushing Handley further forwards O’Connell influential still remained close Hoddesdon getting that all important 2nd goal, Hertford responded well scoring straight away but not enough in the end to take anything from the game.

 Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   Today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match goes to Hoddesdon Town Owls midfielder Kristina O’Connell a hotly contested area in midfield this afternoon with some robust challenges to deal with time on the ball limited. Got forwards well to support the attackers especially 2nd half. Good control and range of passes, aw well as scoring a superb free-kick.

  Hoddesdon have little time to celebrate the win a warm down after the game they are back in action tomorrow evening Monday 16th at home once again, Bishops Stortford Ladies the visitors with 2 wins in 2 this week already they will be looking to make it 3.

  Good to see another side for the 1st time, many more out there. My thanks to both clubs for all their help with the team details always appreciated. 

Cup Final Report – Hertfordshire Women’s Challenge Cup

Hertfordshire Women’s Challenge Cup Final

Sunday 11th March

Stevenage Ladies v Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

The first County Cup Final of the season today a 3:00pm kick-off at The County Ground, Letchworth, with Stevenage Ladies looking to successfully retain the trophy for the 1st time take on county cup final debutants, Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies.

 A contest that pits FAWPL against ERWFL, two leagues between the sides a stern test for Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies playing in ERWFL Division One South up against a Stevenage Ladies side that is as strong as it has ever been. 

  Reece Buck the man in charge of Stevenage Ladies 1st team these days into his 2nd season in the job, was previously in charge of Hoddesdon Town Owls taking several of their experienced players with him to join Stevenage. Promoted to the FAWPL they retained their league status in their first season at that level aswell as winning the Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup for the ??? Bringing in several experienced players over the close season have gotten stronger currently in 7th place in the table well away from danger nudging towards a top half finish. Their 4th successive County Cup Final winning the competition in the 2014/15 & 2016/17 seasons Stevenage Ladies are looking to successfully defend the trophy for the 1st time.

 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies reached the Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup Final for the 1st time this season, a great achievement for a side that has been through a difficult spell of late. Following the departure of Reece Buck and several players, Matthew Hudson took over the 1st team having to field an inexperienced side last season, a difficult campaign struggling for points things starting to improve towards the end of the season. Some of their experienced players returning to the club, Leah Dunnage, Kristina O’Connell and Rosy Wodhams were in the starting line-up for Stevenage in the County Cup Final last season Wodhams scoring two goals. Thing’s are improving as Hoddesdon look to reestablish themselves in the ERWFL.

Road to the Final

 A big win away from home for Stevenage Ladies in the 1st Round of the competition as they began the defence of their trophy, taking in Beds & Herts Division One side Garston Ladies. Hat-tricks for both Leah Littlechild and Nicole Emmings in a 14-0 win. More of the same in the 2nd Round away to Bed & Herts Division Two side Evergreen Eagles 14-0 again the winning score, captain Donna McGuigan the pick of the goalscorers with 5 goals to her name.

   Onto the quarter finals and another away trip this time to play Hemel Hempstead Town Ladies whom they beat to win the County Cup in the 2014/15 season. The result 3-0 then it was 3-0 again as Stevenage booked their place in the semi-finals with goals from McGuigan, Ellie Searle and Amy Makewell. A repeat of last seasons final in the semi-finals only Stevenage were at home for the 1st time in the competition as they took on Royston Town Ladies goals from Littlechild, Ashleigh Deacon and Chloe Gunn seeing them into the final courtesy of a 3-0 win.

 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies started their campaign in the County Cup at home to Beds & Herts Division Three newcomers Welwyn Pegasus Azures. Kristina O’Connell scoring a hat-trick in a comfortable win for the higher league side. At home again in the 2nd Round a much sterner test followed as they faced fellow league side and unbeaten leaders, Stevenage Ladies Reserves. A great result for Hoddesdon as they battled to a 3-3 draw after 90 minutes taking the tie into extra-time going on to win 5-3. Hannah Kelly scoring a hat-rick with O’Connell also getting a brace.

 Higher league opponents in the quarter finals of the competition Hoddesdon were draw at home again to take on Colney Heath Ladies. Another battling display seeing the sides drawing 2-2. Rosy Wodhams and Charley Handley scoring for Hoddesdon the tie going all the way to penalties. Goalkeeper Casey Herrick with some great saves as Hoddesdon went on to win the shoot-out 3-1 to reach the semi-finals. At home once again were the narrow favourites as they took on Beds & Herts Division One leaders, St Albans Ladies. Captain, Natasha Crick scoring twice with a goal each for O’Connell, Handley and Wodhams in a 5-2 victory to reach the County Cup Final for the very first time.

  The County Ground, Letchworth once again the venue for today’s final. The Hertfordshire FA getting their county cup competition wrapped up in most cases a month before the surrounding counties. A nice wide playing surface a little sticky underfoot with the amount of moisture that has fallen recently. Overlooked by a large mainstand on one side the bar at one end the changing rooms beyond. At the other the Pukka Tukka refreshments trailer serving hot food and drinks. A good crowd building for the final. An overcast sky not too chilly little or no rai forecast during the match.   

 Stevenage Ladies starting XI – Shayla Burgess, Paige Logie, Tanya Blacksley, Dominique Godbeer, Cara Breckenridge, Chloe Gunn, Ellie Searle, Leah Littlechild, Donna McGuigan (C) & Nicole Emmings. Subs – Danielle Maloney, Amy Josland, Kristi Burling, Ashleigh Deacon & Rebecca Scola.

 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies starting XI – Casey Herrick, Katie Kendle, Charley Handley, Faye Holder, Hannah Kelly, Leah Dunnage, Sian Owens, Chloe Makepeace, Kristina O’Connell, Natasha Crick (C) & Rosy Woodhams. Stephanie Iaonnou, Megan Davies, Shannon Daly, Robyn Jones & Courtney Smart. 

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  7 players that started last season’s County Cup Final are in the starting line-ups this afternoon 4 for Stevenage whilst, Leah Dunnage, Kristina O’Connell and Rosy Wodhams represent Hoddesdon this time around. It’s Stevenage to kick off the game 1st half wearing white shirts with pale red vertical stripes, red shorts and socks. Hoddesdon lined up opposite wearing navy and red vertical striped shirts, navy shorts and socks. Midfielder Chloe Gunn sends the ball long from kick-off out into the left channel for Ellie Searle to try and chase down can’t reach it an early goalkick for Casey Herrick for Hoddesdon.

 A bright start from Stevenage trying to get players forwards Hoddesdon with a free-kick on half way as Paige Logie commits the foul for Stevenage the ball played high up towards the top of the area, Dominique Godbeer the middle of Stevenage’s three centre backs getting her head on the ball to clear. Sian Owens on the right side for Hoddesdon looks to make progress down the wing her pass inside to Rosy Wodhams she tries to pick her out with the return pass, Tanya Blacksley coming in tackling the ball out for a throw. Hoddesdon sending captain Natasha Crick away down into the right corner she squares the cross inside the box into Wodhams looking to strike it on the angle first time, Godbeer going to ground slides in to take the ball away from the striker. 

Stevenage Ladies, Dominique Godbeer

 Stevenage launch a rapid counter attack, Gunn bringing the ball on through the middle. Nicole Emmings peeling away into space on the right ahead of her Gunn picks her out with the pass her cross into the Hoddesdon area cut out by Faye Holder. Stevenage rebuild in attack coming forwards the pass out to Leah Littlechild on the right her cross whipped in dipping near post captain Donna McGuigan with the run stoops to get her head onto the ball turns her effort wide of the post inside the six yard box. A fast tempo from Stevenage at the start of the game coming forwards with purpose. 

Chloe Makepeace winning the tackle for Hoddesdon Town Owls

  A free-kick for Stevenage wide right level with the top of the area, Gunn their set-piece specialist over the ball goes for goal her strike flashing wide across the face of goal. Searle with the ball on the left rolls it on for Emmings, getting inside the full back puts the ball into the path of Gunn her long range strike controlled by Herrick back on her goal line. As Stevenage come again the Hoddesdon defence gets a little ragged as they attempt to clear the ball falling pushed out wide McGuigan latching onto the ball stumbles slightly before regaining control and firing in a vicious strike towards goal her attempt smashing against the cross bar before running out wide to the left.

 Hoddesdon have defended hard for the opening 15 minutes getting forwards pressing the ball high catch Stevenage in possession Hannah Kelly winning the ball brings it on, Cara Breckenridge getting back on her to win the ball back for Stevenage. The ball played into Gunn she picks out Searle going clear into space on the left her cross fired into the near post intercepted by the Hoddesdon defence. 

GOAL! Stevenage open the scoring in the 16th minute have a free-kick inside their own half the ball played up towards the top of the area, Gunn under it the ball knocked into McGuigan she passes back to Gunn who lays the ball back for Amy Makewell to hit 1st time 25 yards out her low driven shot racing past the diving keeper into the bottom corner 1-0.

  Stevenage looking strong press forwards Emmings with support from Littlechild on the right the ball turned into the area, Holder comes charging forwards to win the tackle for Hoddesdon. Herrick produces an excellent one handed save as Stevenage get in behind her defence Makewell moving to the left cutting the ball across the area for Emmings to strike from 8 yards out Herrick flinging a hand out parrying the ball away from her goal.  

GOAL! On 20 minutes Stevenage’s lead is doubled, Makewell scoring again from outside the box a virtual copy of her first goal, Bodies forwards around the top of the area as the ball comes in Emmings getting the ball into the number 9 she sends another low drive into the bottom corner to make it 2-0.

 Little opportunity for Hoddesdon to get the ball into their attackers, O’Connell bringing the ball on through the middle has support from Kelly she holds the ball up well tries to pick out Wodhams on the left, Logie closing her down regaining possession for Stevenage. A free-kick wide right for Stevenage, Gunn to play the ball long into the area, Charley Handley with a commanding header getting the ball away for Hoddesdon. A throw on the left the ball played inside by Stevenage is inviting Breckenridge to have a strike 30 yards out she obliges, pulling her effort wide of the left post. 

Hannah Kelly on the ball for Hoddesdon looking to get past Stevenage’s Cara Breckenridge

 Littlechild breaking away on the right side for Stevenage her diagonal ball into the box parried behind for a corner by Herrick. Taken short up the line on the right Littlechild fires a shot narrowly over the Hoddesdon crossbar. Katie Kendle tackles well to stop Searle on the left as Gunn looks to play the winger in behind. Gunn confident in possession breaks forwards through the middle with the ball O’Connell seeing the threat goes with her sliding in to take the ball from her as she closes down on the area. 

Stevenage’s Tanya Blacksley contesting the ball with Hoddesdon’s Rosy Wodhams

 Stevenage are on top, pushing on the ball played inside to McGuigan in a central position outside the box a turn and hit as the ball comes across her the attempt taking a deflection wide for a corner. Dunnage winning the ball for Hoddesdon, attempting to break themselves Stevenage are organised at the back the 3 centre backs keeping tabs on any one threatening to get in behind. 

GOAL! Half an hour played and Stevenage extend their lead with a well worked goal. Gunn beginning the move and finishing it as she carries the ball forwards laying the pass out to Searle getting in behind on the left Gunn continuing her run into the area as Searle sends the ball into her run, the midfield opening up her body to send the ball angling away from the keeper into the top corner 3-0.

Stevenage Ladies, Chloe Gunn

 Stevenage press their advantage look strong as Hoddesdon look to regroup. O’Connell back to clear the ball hasn’t had much chance to influence thing’s going forwards. Holder scrambling the ball away inside the box for Hoddesdon as the cross is flung into the area from the right, a foul spotted by the referee as Emmings latches onto the ball. A chance for Makewell for complete her hat-trick as the ball comes to her momentarily free in the area a second to composure herself looks to play the ball wide of the keeper right into the bottom corner of the net sees her shot run wide of the post. Hoddesdon make a change, Stephanie Iaonnou coming on in place of O’Connell. 

 Closing in on the final 5 minutes of the 1st half, Hoddesdon have their 1st shot of the match coming as Stevenage give away possession wide on the left Crick with the attempt from all of 30 yards out, on target, Shayla Burgess on loan from Watford Ladies having had little to do in the Stevenage goal, well place however back on her line is right behind the strike palming it down and safely claiming the ball. 

Hoddesdon Town Owls captain, Natasha Crick

GOAL! 41 minutes on the clock and Stevenage have another goal. Launching a counter attack the ball with Littlechild right side she squares the ball inside to Breckenridge coming on through the middle she is fouled in a dangerous position 25 yards from goal. Gunn to take it strikes the ball perfectly the ball lifted up towards goal flies over the keeper and into the back of the net 4-0.

  Late into the 1st half and Stevenage ring the changes, making 3 substitutions, Emmings, Littlechild and Blacksley coming off for Danielle Maloney, Ashleigh Deacon and Rebecca Scola. 

Half-time Stevenage Ladies 4-0 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

  A dominant 1st half from Stevenage sees them with a comfortable 4-0 lead. A brace each from Makewell and Gunn. Have created numerous other chances. Hoddesdon have battle hard in defence have see little of the ball themselves with just the one attempt at goal. 

 More changes at half-time for Stevenage, Amy Josland and Kristi Burling replacing Breckenridge and McGuigan. Megan Davies on for Hoddesdon who get the 2nd half underway. A later 3pm kick-off sees the floodlights starting to come on as the natural light begins to fade. Wodhams with the ball at her feet 30 yards out is allowed to come on takes on the strike her effort on target Burgess back on her line right behind it once again comfortably gathering the low ball. 

Stevenage Ladies, Paige Logie

  Deacon wide on the right side for Stevenage receiving the ball off a throw sends the pass inside towards Gunn positioned outside the box connecting with the ball sens it looping high into the air, heading towards goal looks to be heading over but dips very late a real problem for Herrick as she back peddles onto her goal line sees the ball land on top of the crossbar. 

 GOAL! 5 minutes into the 2nd half Stevenage go further into the lead, the Hoddesdon defence stretched pulled over to the left as Searle races on with the ball fires in a cross along the face of goal, both Josland and Deacon are racing in far post the latter getting the touch on the ball to turn it into the back of the net to make it 5-0. 

GOAL! A 6th goal quickly follows a minute after scoring her 1st of the final Deacon with her 2nd with a great individual goal as she is set away on the right side after Stevenage break up a Hoddesdon attack. The right winger carrying the ball on into the area unopposed right of goal sends her shot wide across the keeper to score 6-0.

Two quick goals for Stevenage’s Ashleigh Deacon

  Hoddesdon make a change Makepeace coming off to be replaced by the returning O’Connell. Makewell with a strong run forwards, Holder getting in front of her to get the ball back to her keeper to clear. A free-kick won for Hoddesdon 30 yards out in a central position O’Connell over the ball goes for goal on target the shot lacks the pace to trouble Burgess. 

Makewell close again to completing her hat-trick as Gunn playing deeper 2nd half sends the ball forwards towards Scola as Stevenage come forwards a clever touch from Scola sending the ball on through splitting the Hoddesdon defence Makewell racing in free behind, Herrick starts to come, Makewell puts the ball past her spinning away her head in her hands as she sees the ball strike the base of the post. 

  Dunnage defending well against Makewell on the right giving away the corner as the attacker looks to get around her. Iaonnou comes off for Hoddesdon, Shannon Daly coming on. A free-kick wide on the left inside the Hoddesdon half for Stevenage the ball headed on into the box, Deacon is free far side the flag up for offside however before she can strike the ball. Wodhams and Davies work the ball well together on the left for Hoddesdon, Davies looking to get in behind, Logie with good defensive work for Stevenage.

Megan Davies bringing the ball forwards for Hoddesdon

GOAL! Stevenage get a 7th goal and finally it’s a hat-trick for Makewell. Times her run in behind well as Gunn plays the ball up to her from the back, with the keeper coming to close her down as she carries the ball right the striker dinks the shot over her and into the goal beyond to make it 7-0.

 Tiring Hoddesdon have let their heads drop a little 2nd half Handley winning the ball puts it forwards into midfield the ball deflected out to the right, Kelly wriggles clear to get in behind and fire a cross into the area, Godbeer coming towards her getting in the block. Searle with a burst of energy on the left for Stevenage fires a low cross into the area Josland can’t quite connect running on races onto Scola quickly no control on her attempt as the ball is deflected up over the crossbar. 

Rosy Wodhams winning the ball for Hoddesdon from a Stevenage corner

  A free-kick wide left for Stevenage Gunn to play in towards the far post the ball knocked down comes to Burling controls well hitting the shot on the turn putting the ball wide. Kendle is off for Hoddesdon as Robyn Jones comes on. Stevenage continue to dominate Makewell driving a 20 yard strike wide of the right post. Gunn getting onto the ball 30 yards out plays Josland in behind to inside the box, Herrick coming to close her down going to ground stops the shot getting past her. Emmings comes back on for Makewell for Stevenage, Handley coming off for Hoddesdon, Courtney Smart joining the game. 

Stevenage make more changes, McGuigan and Littlechild returning to the field late on. Into the last 5 minutes. Wodhams with a cross/shot from a wide position on the right sending the ball behind the Stevenage goal. 

GOAL! Another goal for Stevenage late in the match Littlechild on target to bring up their 8th. The attack on the left the ball rolled into Emmings outside the box good hold up play allowing Littlechild to get forwards running past her Emmings lays the pass into her run Littlechild striking the ball from the top of the area finds the bottom corner 8-0.

Godbeer comes off in the closing stages for Stevenage as they finish as strong as thy started the game. Scola wide on the right  flashes a cross along the top of the six yard box, McGuigan in the middle attempting an ambitious overhead kick does’t connect with the ball. 

Full time Stevenage Ladies 8-0 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

  The final whistle blows and Stevenage Ladies celebrate having successfully retained the Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup for the 1st time. A dominant performance an 8-0 win. Some well taken goals amongst those. On top right from the off and never let their opponents have any time on the ball. A fantastic effort from Hoddesdon to reach their 1st ever County Cup Final couldn’t get to grips with Stevenage on the day nevertheless should be proud of their achievement.

Hertfordshire Women’s County Cup Winners – Stevenage Ladies

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 She’s already got one of these but an easy choice once again for today’s Women’d Football East – Player of the Match. Dominating the midfield with great vision in passing and timing of her runs, especially in the 1st half along with scoring twice is Stevenage Ladies, Chloe Gunn.

Enjoyed my 1st final of the season, plenty more to follow. My thanks to the staff at Hertfordshire FA today for their assistance, everyone was very helpful always appreciated. Lastly my congratulations to Stevenage Ladies on successfully retaining the County Cup.

Match Report – Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies v Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

Wednesday 30th August

  My 1st midweek game of the season a trip down into Essex to watch a game another game from the ERWFL this time in the new Division One South and the opening fixture for both sides as Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies host Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies.

With 5 new sides joining the ERWFL this season Division One once again is split into 2 leagues a North and a South. The South containing 7 sides has only seen the one game played to date with newcomers Bishops Stortford Ladies leading the way with a 3-0 win away to Hertford Town Ladies on Sunday. The V Festival and player unavailability delaying the start of the season.

 Two sides beginning their season tonight under the lights an 8pm kick-off. A new home for Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies this season playing at Bowers & Pitsea FC. Will be hoping for a better finish this time around having finished in 10th place in the single 11 strong Division One last season albeit on goal difference with 2 points separating the sides from 7th to 10th. Retain much of last seasons squad a young side. Charlotte Stephens joining after a spell studying abroad in America. Ebony Moore returning to the club after being with Hutton Ladies last season.

One of the few sides I haven’t seen play in the ERWFL to date, Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies struggled last season finishing bottom of the table. Much change at the club then with their previous manager Reece Buck leaving to take on a coaching role at FAWPL side Stevenage Ladies taking a good number of experienced 1st team regulars with him. Meant new joint managers Matthew Norton and Fraser Wood fielding a lot of younger players a steep learning curve results didn’t come but by all accounts the side improved strongly as the season grew. Have new signings ahead of the season with both Kristina O’Connell and Leah Dunnage returning from Stevenage. Chloe Makepeace and Sian Owens making their debuts tonight.

Bowers & Pitsea FC, Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies new home this season the non-league club investing in their pitch over the summer improving drainage and reseeding the grass it looks in great condition soft underfoot is a very large and wide pitch. A small covered seated stand on one side with covered standing behind one goal. Outside the pitch a large clubhouse and function room a wedding party in full swing. Car parking and plans in place to continue the improvements. A wet and miserable day the steady rain starting to die away remained dull and over cast however the pitch wasn’t affected at all. 

 Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies starting XI – Atlanta Fuwa, Courtney Fraser, Elysia King, Taylor Parrish, Taylor Adcock, Abbie Simmonds (C) Sydney Killick, Eloise Ives, Natalie Strange, Ebony Moore & Georgia Fraser. Subs – Danielle Styles, Kerri Thomas, Rhianne Holmes & Sophie Dowman.

 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies starting XI – Shannon Daly, Katie Kendle, Leah Dunnage,  Charley Handley, Faye Holder, Chloe Makepeace, Robyn Jones, Kristina O’Connell, Charlotte Grogan, Sian Owens & Natasha Crick (C). Subs – Megan Davies, Stephanie Iaonnou, Summer Muir, Rachel Daltrey & Courtney Smart.

(Roll on roll off substitutes)

    It’s Hoddesdon to get the game underway kicking off 1st half are wearing their regular colours red and navy vertical striped shirts, with navy shorts and socks. Little Thurrock wearing orange shirts with black across the chest and sleeves, black shorts and socks. Hoddesdon attack straight from the off Kristina O’Connell in the centre passing to fellow midfielder Robyn Jones she sends the ball forwards for captain and striker Natasha Crick to go after, a touch but closed down by Little Thurrock’s Taylor Adcock the ball is won outside the box. A rapid counter attack the ball with right back Elle King taking it forwards has her captain Abbie Simmonds making a determined run forwards into the box King rolls the ball into her path taking it to the byline she cuts the cross back across the six yard box racing across the face of goal no one coming in far post to turn home.

GOAL! 3 minutes on the clock and Little Thurrock take an early lead the tempo high at the start the full width of the pitch being exploited by both sides Little Thurrock pressing the ball Hoddesdon can’t get it away won back inside their half the home side’s attackers look to turn in behind the through ball picks out Georgia Fraser left side in the box strikes the ball in low and hard towards the near post beats goalkeeper Shannon Daly over the line for 1-0.

  End to end at the start both sides expanding alot of energy early on keen to get the competitve action started at last. Little Thurrock attacker Ebony Moore is presented with a shooting opportunity as Daly’s goalkick comes straight to her 30 yards out from goal pushing the ball forwards looks to open up her body curl her shot around the keeper from 25 yards out sends her effort wide of goal. Georgia Fraser getting possession of the ball 25 yards out left of goal carries it into the area in a similar position to where she scored has another go this time Daly going to ground is right behind the strike makes the save.

 Hoddesdon get players forwards pressuring the Little Thurrock midfield inside their half Chloe Makepeace wins the ball knocking it inside for Charlotte Grogan in space centrally 35 yards out lines up a shot lacks the pace to trouble Fuwa in the Little Thurrock goal. Little Thurrock are prepared to push more players on when they have the ball their defence coming to the half way line they keep Hoddesdon penned back enjoying more of the ball doubling up on the right Georgia Fraser on the ball in the corner sends a cross back towards the top of the area, Moore’s there good control back to goal lays it off for the advancing Sydney Killick she takes on the shot puts the ball over the crossbar. 

 Charley Handley moves out of centre back to deal with the threat posed by Natalie Strange on the right for Little Thurrock the defender sliding in to tackle preventing the attacker getting a run into the box. Little Thurrock keep up the pressure in the final 3rd winning a corner kick on the right. King to take the set piece a good delivery long towards the far post Georgia Fraser up to head the ball knocking it down bounces wide.

 Hoddesdon come forwards Jones knocking the ball on for Sian Owens attacking on the left wing making ground has support from Crick outside the box 25 yards out receives the pass plays in on for O’Connell who in turn plays it back to Grogan, twisting and turning the no 10 comes on before rolling the ball into Owens moving into position outside the D, she strikes the ball goalwards, Fuwa is behind it all the way claims comfortably.

  Handley reacts quickly getting across to tackle Strange once again on the right as Georgia Fraser skillfully flicks on King’s 25 yard pass. Coming on again down the right a Little Thurrock win a free-kick outside the Hoddesdon box, players come forwards from the back as King sets the ball. The delivery towards the far post falls to the ground, Adcock is there for Little Thurrock 8 yards out latches onto the ball puts it wide across the goal. Up front on her own Crick is constantly looking to peel off the last defender get in behind whenever Hoddesdon mount an attack, does so as O’Connell threads the pass along the ground into her path moving right into the area pulls the trigger puts her shot straight into the keepers gloves.

A change for Little Thurrock with Danielle Styles entering the game midway through the 1st half. Little Thurrock are having more of the attack win a corner right another well delivered ball from King drops into the six yard box central Georgia Fraser lunges out to connect with the ball scoops it up over the crossbar. A change for Hoddesdon with Stephanie Iaonnou coming on for Jones. Iaonnou links up with Owens on the left side as Hoddesdon attack the pass inside for Makepeace she tries to feed Crick the ball as the striker enters the box from the right she is quickly closed down and crowded off the ball by 3 Little Thurrock defenders.

GOAL! Little Thurrock have had the better chances 1st half but with 40 minutes played Hoddesdon get themselves back on level terms. O’Connell with a great run on the ball driving through the centre plays it on for Crick making a run left to get into the box in behind, can she reach the ball before the keeper, Fuwa goes to ground, Crick gets a toe on the ball knocks it past her goes after it the angle going away from her gets the shot in with defenders rushing back the ball turned towards goal finds its way into the back of the net to make it 1-1. 

The game restarts with Styles and Strange switching sides, Styles right now plays the ball on for Moore through the middle a race for the ball with Handley the central defender sticking out a leg to take the ball away from the Little Thurrock attacker. Daly with a good claim under pressure from Moore minutes later as Styles whips a high diagonal ball into the area.

GOAL! A goal out of nothing sees Little Thurrock restore their lead in the closing minute of the 1st half the ball is kicked out of the box by Daly into midfield won by Little Thurrock the pass picking out Styles on the right in space a long way out but aware the goalkeeper is out of position strikes the ball high towards goal on target backpedalling Daly can’t reach it as it flies over her and bounces into the goal 2-1.

Styles causing Hoddesdon a few problems since coming on. On the left side Strange puts the cross into the box Iaonnou inside the six yard box blocks a shot the ball rebounding out towards Abbie Simmonds 25 yards out central the Little Thurrock captain goes for goal the ball fired back in over the bar. Into stoppage time in the 1st half Little Thurrock are finishing strongly Simmonds bringing the ball on puts it into Styles ahead of her King seeing space to run into goes beyond her receiving the pass fires a cross into the area players from both sides attack the ball Handley winning it initially isn’t clear on the floor Little Thurrock’s Moore gets a shot away, Daly making the save at pointblank range the ball going away for a corner kick. Dealt with. 

Half-time Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies 2-1 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

  A narrow lead for Little Thurrock at the break taking an early lead and creating further chances to extend their lead Hoddesdon have defended stoutly their defence kept busy. Both sides enjoying the space the pitch offers have put alot into the 1st half may tell 2nd half as legs tire. Hoddesdon with fewer chances and these shots from outside the box. Crick offering a threat up top with O’Connell making some useful runs in the middle getting it back to 1-1 only to concede soon after. 

With roll on roll off substitutes in play and the dugouts being on the opposite side of the pitch to where I’m watching a good distance hard to keep track of all the comings and goings. 2 changes for Little Thurrock as they kick-off the 2nd half Moore and Killick are off with Kerri Thomas and Sophie Dowman on. Hoddesdon win possession Grogan playing the ball long for Crick the ball bouncing over Parrish, Fuwa is quickly out to jump and claim the ball before the striker can capitalise. Both sides counter attack, Hoddesdon with Crick after the ball Parrish clears, then up the other end Handley dives in to make a challenge gets hurt and the trainer is immediately called for. A lengthy pause in play however Handley somewhat gingerly is back to her feet and going off the field is soon allowed back on.

   Courtney Fraser is called into action at the back for Little Thurrock as Hoddesdon’s O’Connell makes a run with the ball centrally plays the pass on into the box with Grogan the furthest forwards the full back coming across on the cover to put the challenge in win the ball. 

GOAL! Little Thurrock like they did in the 1st half score early to open up a 2 goal cushion. Georgia Fraser on the ball left side into the Hoddesdon half moves infield rolls it a across for Thomas, Styles is on the move right side looking for the ball to be passed into her run inside the area Thomas obliges Styles takes it on right of goal a tight angle drills a shot in near post Daly drops to make the save the ball squirms away from her and into the back of the net beyond 3-1. 

Hoddesdon win their 1st corner of the game 10 minutes into the 2nd half the delivery inviting just over the head of Handley jumping in the centre of the six yard box. Simmonds heads the ball out towards the top of the area a shot is taken the ball sent wide of goal. Katie Kendle gets across to tackle Dowman as Georgia Fraser looks to send her clear on the left wing. Fraser comes off then with Eloise Ives rejoining the action. The energy levels remain high space is opening up here and their Hoddesdon break up a Little Thurrock attack Holder on for Kendle bringing it on right has Grogan ahead of her she turns with the ball and releases O’Connell grass in front of her tries an ambitious cross towards the far post with Crick trying to get on the end of it throws herself at the dropping ball but doesn’t connect. 

Megan Davies is on for Hoddesdon in at left back Dunnage more central. Simmonds is off for Little Thurrock, Killick back on. The ball is moving up and down the pitch Adcock clears as Crick looks to chase a ball played through from Grogan. Dowman through the middle for Little Thurrock looks to attack the box looking to plough her way through Dunnage and Handley converge to close the door in front of her. Dowman isn’t put off though and with the ball at her feet again right of the D lets fly from 20 yards coming in fast and skipping off the surface Daly makes a great save knocking the ball up and over the ball as she falls forwards. 

  Handley clears the corner from the right at the near post. Summer Muir is sent into the game for Hoddesdon replacing Grogan moving into a central striking position Crick moving left. Kendle too is taken off with Rachel Daltrey taking up the right back position. Styles on the run with the ball for Little Thurrock right side sends the pass on for Dowman inside the box she turns and shoots Daly saving with the block a close range neither aware the offside flag was up against Dowman. Georgia Fraser comes back on for Little Thurrock. 

Daltrey clears the ball off the goal line for Hoddesdon as a cross is whipped in from the right, Daly can only get her fingertips to the ball not enough to stop it flying goalwards the defender back on the cover. Play is stretched late on Jones returns to the field in place of Iaonnou for Hoddesdon. 

GOAL! Little Thurrock strengthen their grip on their 1st 3 point haul of the season as they score a 4th goal. The build up right side a high ball in towards the near side of goal Daly parries the ball away the clearance played out falls straight to Georgia Fraser time to pick her spot takes on the shot sending the ball high into the far top corner of the net Daly unable to get back across her goal in time 4-1. 

Changes thick and fast now for Little Thurrock Rhianne Holmes introduced with Moore also back on. Holmes at right back for Little Thurrock clearing an O’Connell cross flashed across the face of goal as Muir rolls her in inside the box. Not long left now Muir has given Hoddesdon’s attack a little more impetus late on Crick and O’Connell pushed on Little Thurrock with a 3 goal cushion dropping off a little.

GOAL! Possession with Hoddesdon outside the Little Thurrock area on the left side Muir linking up with Crick 30 yards out takes on the shot is a great strike flying across Fuwa’s six yard box the keeper turning to see the ball land in the back of the net as Crick becomes the 3rd player of the night to complete a brace 4-2. 

One final attack with Little Thurrock and they almost steal in to score a 5th goal the ball sent long up into the area the bounce deceiving the keeper skipping up over her looks to be going on to creep inside the far post Dowman after it, so too is the Hoddesdon defence the ball hooked off the goal line once again. 

Full time Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies 4-2 Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies

   Little Thurrock win the game 4-2 to begin their season with a win the 3 points putting them straight into 2nd behind Bishops Stortford on goal difference. A winning start at their new home played well for the win an early goal setting them on their way. Creating chances have plenty of attack minded players. Hoddesdon getting back into the game only to concede again. The visitors with fewer chances did well but were always on the back foot after conceding early goals in both halves 4-2 a fair reflection of the game and despite the the loss Hoddesdon should be encouraged by the performance, both the North & South Division One’s in the ERWFL will be competitve this season.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

    Tonight’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match goes to Little Thurrock Dynamos, Georgia Fraser. Good movement on and off the ball, timing her runs into the box and always available for the ball with two well taken goals.

A two hour trip home hence a later than normal match report but good to be on the road again. An enjoyable game under the floodlights tonight. My thanks to both teams for their help with the team line-ups.