Tag Archives: Manea Sirens LFC

Match Report – Manea Sirens LFC v Deeping United Ladies

Sunday 10th December

Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three

 The featured football action on Women’s Football East comes from Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three, a trip to Manea to watch Manea Siren LFC play Deeping United Ladies.

Women’s football in Cambridgeshire going strong with 32 sides currently competing across 3 divisions. A strong 10 team Premiership with 12 in Division 2 and 10 in Division Three, the sides in the lower divisions no longer split into a North and South section but playing across the whole county and beyond. Reaching the end of 2023 the league challengers emerging to press top spot. 

  Manea situated in the heart of the Cambridgeshire fens to the north east of the county between March and Chatteris (both with strong women’s football teams themselves along with Park Ladies in Wimblington) the Division Three side improving year on year since joining the league 3 season’s ago. Their debut season tough finishing bottom of the pile with just a single point on the board. Warren Fenwick coming in as part of the new coaching team to take Manea forwards into the new season saw a vast improvement in performances and results finishing 7th with a positive outlook to take into this season.

  Have seen an influx of players too, with a fair bit of playing experience amongst them with talk of a Development team in the future. Playing 6 league matches so far has been a mixed set of results with 3 wins and 3 losses the later against the top three sides, currently 5th in the table with a belief that the club can challenge for a top 4 finish if not better. A strong run in the county cup to date beating two sides a league higher in the previous rounds including a good 1-0 win against high flying Waterbeach Colts WFC, will play Cambridge United WFC’s new U18s side in the new year in the next round. Kyra Portugal is an attacker with a vast amount of experience playing in the Cambridgeshire leagues and is leading the goal scoring charts this time around netting 7 goals to date. A win today will lift Manea u to 4th.

  Has been a couple of season’s now since I last saw Deeping United Ladies play, and that just half a match with the game abandoned at half-time due to an unfortunate injury to Deeping’s Ellie Barnes-Brown. The most northly of the clubs represented by Women’s Football East, situated in South Lincolnshire the club has seen a lot of changes in both coaching and playing personnel since the last time I saw them play with just 4 players remaining from the game I watched back in 2021. One of those, Katie Clarke now manging the side. 

 Has been a tough start to the new season despite and opening day win, Deeping have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats a torrid run of 4 straight loses ending with a much needed 7-1 away win against league new comers Mepal and Sutton Rangers, to lift the side up into 7th a close 2-1 lose to league leaders South Lincolnshire Swifts last time out, have a squad with a good blend of experience and youth having seen a number of their U16s step up into the women’s side. Evie Porch and Lauren Wyer top scorers netting 3 goals each. A positive result today will see Deeping push right up on the sides in the top half of the table.

  Manea Sirens LFC play their home games at the SM Guy Playing Fields in Manea. However with heavy rain falling the day before and more arriving before kick-off, making the grass pitch unplayable the gathered teams inside the pavilion waiting for the referee’s approval had booked a 3G pitch in case the pitch became unplayable at the nearby Chatteris Leisure Centre. A short trip to Chatteris, the rain falling steadily was going to be a wet start to the match at least with the waterproofs on and the not so easy juggling act between trying to wield and umbrella, notepad and camera. The 3G pitch behind the leisure centre a valuable asset and one the FA is keen to see more of available to the women’s game. Open to the elements with a low fence all round enabling a good view, the players out for a short warm-up before the match got underway with the light already gloomy from the heavy cloud. Nevertheless we had a game on…

Manea Sirens LFC

Manea Sirens LFC starting XI – Tiff Miller, Courtney Wales, Chloe (Ginge) Brown, Chloe Cook, Adele McKew, Charlotte Day (C), Christine Heslop, Lindsay Gardiner, Erin Rimmer, Stacey Graham & Kyra Portugal. Subs – Dannii Green, Tabitha Willis, Beth Skeggs, Lauren Barnes & Ella Nutter.

Deeping United Ladies

 Deeping United Ladies starting XI – Vicki France, Hayley Baldock, Caitlin Walker (C), Rachel Dudley, Niamh Wray, Lorna Hall, Annie Spriggs, Melissa Guest, Caitlin Burke, Grace Wilson & Lauren Wyer. Subs – Nicole Pearce, Lucy Lyon & Maddie Hill.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s Manea to kick-off the 1st half wearing teals colours shirts with navy blue and white on the sleeves and shoulders, navy blue shorts and socks. Deeping lined up opposite wearing navy blue shirts with red trim on the shoulders, grey coloured shorts and socks. The ball rolled back into Chloe Cook in defence, played back into the middle, Deeping’s Annie Spriggs moving in fast to close the ball down send the cross field ball out to the right the ball played down the right lifted into the area for Grace Wilson to attack, Manea goalkeeper Tiff Miller gathering the ball into her body.

  The inclement weather along the late change of venue seeing an unsettled start to the game the passes rushed the ball slick on the wet surface. Courtney Wales taking the ball forwards on the right for Manea fed inside for Christine Heslop making a central run, is tackled by Deeping’s Rachel Dudley outside the D. Deeping winning the ball at the back playing it quickly into Spriggs in the middle spots Wilson pulling into space in the left channel, the pass lifted into her path she strikes the ball from outside the area firing it straight at Miller who makes a comfortable save.

Manea’s Courtney Wales

  Spriggs finding room in the middle for Deeping having options going forwards with players bombing down the flanks goes to the right, the shot on the angle collected by Miller down low at her near post. Deeping making an early switch bringing off Niamh Wray, Lucy Lyon coming on. 

 GOAL! No sooner have Deeping made the change then, Manea score building through the middle players pushing up around the box, captain Charlotte Day carrying the ball forwards playing it out to Lindsey Gardiner left of the D, to strike a low shot in past the advancing keeper to find the back of the net 1-0. 

Lindsay Gardiner opens the scoring for Manea Sirens LFC

 Deeping look to get the ball out to Wilson pulling off to the left, looking to take the ball on, Wales moves in to close her down regains possession for the hosts. Day playing the ball forwards onto Kyra Portugal 25 yards out to the left of the box, her shot from range racing past the near post. Deeping keeper, Vicki France the busier early on called into action to make a smart save with her feet as Portugal drives in another shot from outside the box. 

 Lorna Hall winning the ball in the middle of the park for Deeping linking up with Spriggs the ball put out to the right, Guest putting it inside for Lauren Wyer up top, Adele McKew at the back for Manea closing her down inside the D to win the ball back. The notepad pages are pretty dog eared by the wet weather, not the greatest weather for watching a football game still the players are getting on with thing’s the ball being moved about quickly, Deeping looking to get down the wings, Chloe brown defending at left back for Manea the ball cleared up the line for Gardiner to attack for the hosts, Deeping captain Caitlin Walker coming out to challenge for the ball, into Spriggs gets the ball forwards quickly for the attackers to chase down, McKew clearing for Manea.

Deeping United ladies midfielder, Annie Spriggs

 GOAL! Deeping breaking up a Manea attack get down the other end quickly to equalise, Dudley with the ball forwards into the path of Wyer as she breaks clear through the middle to burst into the area and send the ball past Miller before she can get down to stop it 1-1. 

Lauren Wyer breaking forwards to equalise for Deeping

  Manea win the ball in the middle, Heslop on for Day taking the ball wide into space on the right before squaring a cross into the penalty spot, Walker intercepting it for the visitors, France out to the right of her goal to prevent the ball running behind for a corner. A lively game Deeping getting hold of the ball prepared to break forwards working well to unsettle Manea making for an open game neither side keeping the ball for long. Guest winning the ball on the right for Deeping pushing on into the box, Miller advancing to close down the angle clear the ball.

  Stacey Graham seeing the ball rolled into her path as she makes a move into the right channel drives on into the area chasing down the angle at the near post, shoots, France on her post, it’s Dudley tracking back who runs across her putting in the block. Brown forwards to the right for Manea picks out Rimmer wide on the right, her cross lifted into the six yard box claimed well by France, however play is halted by the offside flag. Deeping’s youngster’s getting about the pitch looking to link up up top, Wyer, on for Guest on the right driving on with the ball, Brown tackling to see the ball out for a throw.

 GOAL! Deeping with players up around the Manea box for the throw pressing the defence Hall sliding a pacy ball along the top of the area into Lyon positioned right of the D, puts her foot through the ball the pace on the ball enough to evade Miller as she drops down to save, the ball squirming under her body to roll on into the back of the net to see Deeping take the lead 1-2.

 20 minutes played the match action a welcome distraction from the weather, trying to keep the umbrella under control, while trying to keep both the notepad and camera dry (ish) is. Manea stung from conceding get straight on the attack from the restart Day picking out Rimmer breaking away on the right turning into the area, France rushing out to close her down, making the blocking save as Rimmer goes to shoot the ball rebounding behind for a corner kick. Goes long through the six yard box, Gardiner putting it back into the mix, Deeping scramble into their tackles eventually seeing the ball run out for a goal kick.

GOAL! It’s an error from the resulting goal kick that leads to Deeping conceding an unfortunate equaliser, France’s loose kick going straight to Portugal’s feet as she stands right of the D, doesn’t miss the opportunity quickly sorting out her feet to send the ball back across the keeper to find the bottom corner 2-2. 

Kyra Portugal intercepting the goal kick to fire Manea back onto level terms

  Day making some strong runs through the middle for Manea the ball played into her from Gardiner on the left is through into the box, France out to slide in and save isn’t to know the flag is up against her, a very close call. Manea looking to up their game Day linking up with Heslop, Portugal pulling out to the left seeing the ball into her feet, striking an angled ball in towards goal from all of 25 yards out France seeing it safely bounce wide of her far post. 

GOAL! Having gotten themselves quickly back on level terms Manea hit Deeping on the counter attack to retake the lead the ball won at the back carried forwards before being launched on for Graham up top right of the D, 25 yards out to press on towards the area before clipping it into the area for Portugal left of goal to strike over the keeper to score her 2nd goal of the game 3-2.

Two goals in quick succession for Manea’s Kyra Portugal

  Manea back in front rallying themselves looking for a strong finish to the first half, Spriggs with other ideas as she steals the ball in the middle lifts it on for Wyer up top, Cook getting across her shielding the ball well back to her keeper to collect inside the box. Cook then on a free-kick for Manea launched up into the area helped on for Portugal left of goal her snatched shot put straight into the keeper. 

  Spriggs coming off for Deeping with Wilson returning to the action having come off for a brief respite earlier. Wilson straight into the action breaking up a Manea attack on the left as Heslop picks out Gardiner on the left. Day with a good first touch getting Manea going forwards making some useful runs, picking out Rimmer on the right, Dudley coming across to defend winning her challenge for Deeping. A corner conceded is a teasing ball lifted in over the keeper at the near post, no one there to attack it as it drops at the far post. Manea with a change bringing , Rimmer off sending Lauren Barnes on. 

  Hall opening up her body to lay the ball into Lyon out on the left she threads the ball forwards into Wilson up top, Cook tackling for Manea outside the area to clear the danger. Spriggs returning to the field for Deeping, replacing Hall in the middle. A good call from France as the keeper is quickly out of her area to clear the threat as Graham is put clear through the middle for the hosts. 

 Walker in to regain possession at the back for Deeping setting up a rapid counter the ball helped on through the middle put into Wilson’s path as she peels into the left channel getting a half yard on her marker to knock the ball on into the area her touch just a little too heavy giving Miller the opportunity to get down to lay claim to the ball. Wales powering forwards on the right lays the ball on for Barnes ahead of her, the early cross low into the area cut out by Walker tracking back, deflected on France unable to put her gloves on the ball does well to kick the ball clear under pressure from Graham.

Deeping’s Rachel Dudley with Manea’s Erin Rimmer

 Is a lively game end to end Wales bringing the ball on on the right for Manea threading it into Portugal 25 yards out to the left of the D, looks to pick out her fellow attacker Graham to her right placing the ball into her feet as she breaks in behind the Deeping defence into the box, the flag going up just as she rifles the ball across the keeper into the back of the net, not sure about that one very tight.

  Miller out quickly to slide in lay claim to the ball top of her area as Deeping break up play on the right look to thread the ball inside to Wyer making a run forwards right of the D. Dudley moving out to the right to defend against Barnes as she is played in on the wing for Manea the ball out for a throw level with the area dropped into Portugal who turns to lift a cross into the area cut out by Dudley, Manea press sending a cross through to the left of the area where a strike from 20 yards out is fired wide right on the stroke of half-time.

Half-time Manea Sirens LFC 3-2 Deeping United Ladies

 A lively first half played in terrible conditions the rain finally starting to ease towards the end of the first half. The game often end to end, Deeping working hard to win the ball, doing a god job unsettling Manea putting the ball out wide. Manea in response getting joy playing through the middle, Day in particular with some good runs. The hosts getting the early lead failed to build on it as Deeping fought back to level the scores then take the lead themselves. An error leading to Manea quickly restoring parity then they themselves were quick to retake the lead. The game remaining open however neither side with a dominant spell, the weather settling down will see if thing’s change 2nd half.

  Deeping staying out on the field a quick turn around the 3G without floodlights and the risk of losing the light on an already gloomy day. Manea back into the changing rooms to warm up. Myself too made a flask of coffee (I drink too much coffee) expecting the be soaked through by now pleased the rain has eased at last. Difficult to keep up with the changes with roll on roll off substitutes as Manea return, Deeping ready to get things underway for the 2nd period.

Deeping’s Melissa Guest battling for possession with Manea’s Christine Heslop

  Portugal tackling Niamh Wray to win her side a throw on the left, knocked inside, Walker tackling to win the ball for Deeping lifting it on into the middle the ball fed on for Wyer bursting through the middle into the area strikes the shot goal wards waist high, Miller back peddling towards her goal seeing the ball fired straight at her throws her gloves up to save , the ball almost squirming loose as she falls back, but adjusts well to get a strong grip on the ball.

  Day spreading the ass out to Gardiner in space on the left for Manea, threads it into the feet of Portugal tracking into the area left of the D, powering forwards closing in on the six yard box strikes the shot hard, France closing the angle making the blocking save. Manea looking to press the attack at the start of the 2nd half, Heslop with day in the middle, Gardiner ahead of them laying the ball out to Graham surging into the right channel, France reacts well, out of her six yard box quickly got slide in and lay claim to the ball before the striker can pounce.

Deeping goalkeeper, Vicki France

  Spriggs with a good pass in her arsenal looking to make thing’s happen in attack for Deeping as she threads a great ball through to Wyer up top 25 yards out, is however caught a little flat footed, giving Cook the vital head start to get back onto the ball and put it away to safety. Walker making several vital tackles and interceptions at the back for Deeping as Manea look to up their game push players on in attack, France comes out to clear well again for the visitors as a deflected ball threatens to fall to Gardiner free to the left of the D.

  For all their pressing Manea risk getting hit on the counter by Deeping’s young attackers as they race on into space, Wyer on the angle right of goal firing a shot in, held well by Miller.

GOAL! Deeping winning a free kick out wide on the left inside the Manea half, Spriggs over it as players line up around the box, the delivery put in to the near post area causing chaos with Guest capitalising to stooping to attack the ball knocking it straight at the keeper, Miller throwing her gloves up unable to get enough on the ball as it evades her to deflect on into the goal beyond, Deeping equalise 3-3.

Melissa Guest knocking the ball goal wards to score for Deeping

  Deeping back on level terms 14 minutes into the 2nd half, Manea push forwards on their right Wales breaking on laying the ball on for Graham taking it all the way to the by-line before squeezing a shot in wide across the face of the Deeping goal. Graham racing forwards giving chase to a ball threaded on into the box from midfield to the right of goal. France alert to the danger all game out quickly to slice in and get hold of the ball at the strikers feet.

  Baldock does well at the back for Deeping with the defence stretched to get across to press Graham as she drives on into the right channel sees her shot put straight into the keepers gloves. The management team trying to get Manea to calm down attacks are fast paced not giving time for others to get forwards in support. Pushing up on the right Manea win a set piece out wide players come up from the back. 

GOAL! Deeping over commit on the right as they look to try and defend the ball leaving Manea with players free inside the box as the cross is driven in with pace towards the penalty spot McKew getting hold of the ball in front of the keeper to send it wide of her into the back of the net to put Manea back into the lead 4-3.

Adele McKew celebrates as she puts Manea back into the lead (apologies for the out of focus teammate)

 Changes for Manea with Ella Nutter coming on for Graham, Rimmer back on for Gardiner to the left of attack. Wilson back on the pitch for Deeping.

GOAL! Managers love it when a sub makes an immediate impact and Nutter certainly does that for Manea as they press forwards on the right, the cross lifted in across the D 20 yards out, falls to Nutter who catches it sweetly with her left foot to score a blinder, the ball clipped up to loop high over the stranded keeper and drop under the crossbar into the back of the net 5-3.

Substitute Ella Nutter with a superb strike to put Manea 5-3 up

 Manea getting themselves a 2 goal cushion in a topsy turvy game with 20 minutes played in the 2nd half. Manea with their tails up looking to press the advantage Rimmer out wide left free picked out with the pass to power her way into the area bearing down on goal looks to send her shot across the keeper in off the far post, France making a brilliant save getting a vital glove on the ball to deflect it beyond the post for a corner kick. The corner an in swinger to the near post, France is well positioned to call and claim the ball high.

  Manea starting to assert themselves on the game, the 2 goal lead giving them confidence to push on, Barnes out wide right sweeping a low cross into the six yard box, claimed by France. Rimmer free on the left advancing forwards for Manea squaring a ball into the near post for the advancing Nutter, Walker in close attention defending well for Deeping. The visitors with a change, bringing Baldock off sending Lyon back on.

  Manea pushing forwards the cross from the right finding Day rushing in to attack the far post her low strike saved by France as she dives the ball squeezing under her away for a corner kick. Tabitha Willis coming on for Manea in place of Heslop. Manea looking strong Portugal to the right 25 yards out putting the ball across the area to Rimmer inside the box fires her cross in to Nutter central, Walker closing in to tackle well for Deeping. 

Manea captain, Charlotte Day

 Portugal firing over from six yards out at the far post as the cross is whipped into the area off a throw from the right. Deeping still looking to hit Manea on the counter feed the ball on for Guest running clear into space on the right fires a pacy ball into the box, comes onto Lyon making a central run quickly trying to hit it first time screws her shot wide past the far post.

  Deeping ringing the changes with Pearce, Niamh Wray and Lyon off, Baldock, Wyer and  Hall back into the action for the final 14 minutes. Cook coming off at the back for Manea, Dannii Green comes on. Day from 25 yards out slicing her first time shot wide as the cross is fired into her from deep on the left. Green coming across to clear the ball as Deeping lift it forwards into the area. Deeping pressing the throw high on the left, Guest crossing for Wyer at the near post, Green there to block for Manea. 

 Deeping’s subs bringing renewed energy onto the field pushing on up the right Guest combines with Hall before a cross is fired into the box, can’t quite find Wyer at the near post. McKew out to defend as Guest is played in up the right for Deeping. Portugal taking the ball inside from the right corner of the area slips as she goes to shoot. Manea looking to keep the ball alive, Lyon cutting the pass of right for Deeping.

 Portugal coming off soon after with Graham sent back on in attack as the game moves into the final 3 minutes. Rimmer latching onto the ball left of the D, twists and turns on the ball as she looks to make her way towards goal, Walker getting back at her to put the ball out for a corner kick. The corner defended at the near post by France the keeper conceding a 2nd corner kick. Manea press players up into the area as the ball is flashed in near post deflects across goal loose inside the six yard box everyone rushing at it, Deeping’s defence scrambling it clear before anyone from Manea can get a stab at it.

Full time Manea Sirens LFC 5-3 Deeping United Ladies

  The final whistle blows the light fading fast as the teams shake hands Manea clinching a 5-3 win to claim the 3 points to lift them up a place into fourth, there last action of 2023. End on a high with plenty to look forwards too in 2024. Falling behind in the first half after taking an early lead responded well to come back to not only level by retake the lead going into the break. Started the 2nd half on the front foot looking to extend their lead but Deeping’s defence and goalkeeper battled well, the visitors coming back to level make it 3-3 before Manea found the extra burst pushing players on to get back in front and then get that vital  goal cushion to take the game beyond Deeping who were never out of the game applying good press in the first half fought hard can take plenty from the game with a home game against Ely City Women to finish their year next weekend. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A lively match played at a pacy tempo despite the awful condition’s especially in the first half had a clear winner in mind leaving the ground and the soggy notes have only confirmed that. Several performances of note to mention, firstly for Deeping United Ladies, captain Caitlin Walker making several vital tackles at the back as Manea sought to burst forwards through the middle. Goalkeeper, Vicki France reading the game well ahead of her getting out to ball well making some good saves. Annie Spriggs in midfield with a good range of passes finding space to get Deeping going forwards. For Manea, Lindsay Gardiner and Erin Rimmer got forwards well out on the flanks as the midfield sought to break through the middle. Kyra Portugal pulling into the channels finding some good positions for herself to shoot and bring others into the game scoring twice. The award today though goes to their captain Charlotte Day. A strong performance in midfield her first touch often setting her side on the attack, Day herself carrying the ball forwards well with a number of surging runs through the middle.

  Got to see Manea at last having been trying to get to a game for the past couple of months. Not quite at home but I did get there, credit to both sides for agreeing to the switch of venues to get the game on and putting up with the awful conditions. Having followed Manea from their early struggles to the improvement made last season to this is a pleasure to see the sides development. Great to catch up with Deeping too, been a turbulent period since I last saw them in action but look in good shape now and hopefully can enjoy a stable spell and progress. Apologies for the quality of the pictures, the camera’s not build for a monsoon but I’ve watched women’s football in worse conditions, must be mad. Thanks to both sides for all their help with the team line-ups today as always greatly appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Willingham Wolves FC Women v Manea Sirens LFC

Sunday 25th September

Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup

A double dose of football this weekend from Cambridgeshire as Women’s Football East takes a look a four new sides for the 1st time beginning with an early kick-off between Willingham Wolves FC Women and Manea Sirens LFC as they meet in the 1st Round of this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup. 

  The Cambridgeshire Women’s football league seeing an influx of new sides over the past couple of seasons with both of this morning’s opponents making their debut last season in Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three. Meeting today in the 1st Round of the county cup competition off the back of a positive start to the season winning their opening league fixtures last weekend. 

  Willingham Wolves FC having a wide ranging youth section with the women’s side backed up by a number of youth teams from U14 down. The club introducing a women’s side last season, found life tough in the 1st half of the season with 7 losses from 9 in 2021, remained positive throughout digging deep and thing’s began to turn around in 2022 with 4 wins and 3 draws seeing the club finish 8th in the Division Three table having found their feet. Kelly Docwra top scorer last season with 11 goals, with Ebony Swann netting 9. Both were on target with a goal each on the opening day of this season in Division Three at home to Chatteris Town Lillies Ladies as Willingham won 6-2. Honor Freeman, Holly Etteridge, Harriet Morse and Harmony Payne the other goals scorers.

  It was an even tougher debut season for Manea Sirens LFC as they made their bow to in Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Three last season ultimately ending bottom picking up just one point along the way several heavy losses too early on sapping the confidence of the squad. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I thought the club might fold losing their manager a new coach brought in saw the team begin to restore some of their confidence towards the end of the season improved performances eventually bringing a point in their penultimate game. Begin anew this season with a positive outlook new players brought in and a win on the opening day at home against a new side this season, Haverhill Town Women. Kyra Portugal one of the new additions netting a hat-trick with Christine Heslop on target too with her 1st goal for the club in a 4-1 win. Have been working had through close season in preparation for the season ahead.

 3rd and 4th in the fledgling Division Three table respectfully the pair meeting in the 1st Round of the county cup and good opportunity to see both in action buoyed by opening day successes, Willingham having the upper hand in the league meetings last season are facing a different Manea this time around. The venue for today’s match Willingham Recreation Ground in the middle of the village the clubhouse overlooking to grass patches beyond. Housing the changing facilities and the kitchen hatch serving hot and cold drinks. The main grass pitch offering plenty of width, uneven in places particularly in one corner sloping up sharply in great condition otherwise with plenty of grass cover. Large willow trees overlooking one side of the pitch a warm and pleasant morning a few cloud but sunny.

Willingham Wolves Women

Willingham Wolves FC Women starting XI – Abi Newton, Lauren Goodhew, Harri Morse, Honor Freeman (C), Ibble Meadows, Katlyn Petch, Becky Bowen, Harmony Payne, Ebony Swann, Kelly Docwra & Holly Etteridge. Subs – Chloe Smith, Lily Hunnisett, Lydia Carr, Emily Randall-Bowen & Gracie Webster-Spriggs.

Manea Sirens LFC

 Manea Sirens LFC starting XI – Tiff Miller, Chloe Cook, Beth Hodgson, Raechel Luty, Lauren Jordan, Chloe Brown, Beth Skeggs, Christine Heslop (C), Katie Reid, Charlotte Day & Kyra Portugal. Subs – Stacey Graham, Immi Harris & Lauren Barnes.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  It’s the visitors to get the cup tie underway, Manea wearing mint green coloured shirts with navy sleeves and white trim with navy shorts and socks. Willingham wearing yellow coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball put out to the right at the start into Charlotte Day, Harri Morse closing her down to defend seeing the ball out of play for a throw in. Willingham quick to get the ball moving Harmony Payne helping in on for Morse racing on to the left corner sending a cross into the top of the Manea area, cleared by Beth Skeggs.

Harri Morse getting forwards for Willingham Wolves

  GOAL! A fast start to the game from the hosts with Willingham pressing the ball out on the left Morse getting in behind chasing down to the by-line squaring a cross into the six yard box, goalkeeper, Tiff Miller missing it, as it races past her presenting Holly Etteridge closing in centrally with the simplest of tap ins to score 1-0. Inside the opening 2 minutes.

Holly Etteridge opens the scoring for Willingham

   A strong start from Willingham on the left in attack, Becky Bowen in midfield winning the ball on for Payne, her cross closed down the ball deflected behind of Payne for a goalkick. Ebony Swann getting Willingham a throw high on the right, pulling inside onto the delivered ball into the area lifting it over the advancing keeper her lobbed effort coming down off the crossbar.

  GOAL! All Willingham in the opening exchanges pressing the ball in the final 3rd players getting on from midfield, the ball flung into the top of the D from the right, Etteridge knocking it down into the path of Kelly Docwra her touch taking her to the right of the D before she sends her shot back across the keeper to make it 2-0.

Kelly Docwra putting Willingham into a 2 goal lead

  Willingham strong going forwards have Manea penned in the final 3rd, Payne on the left with Swann wide right looking to take the ball on. Payne crossing from the left, Miller getting it away for Manea before conceding a corner on the left. Bowen found in space outside the area to the left, lines up a shot her strike charged down. Bowen bringing the ball down in the middle flighting a pass out to Swann bursting clear on the right to the by-line her cross in low evading Miller with the same result Etteridge finding the back of the net however this time the goal doesn’t count the flag up. 

Willingham’s Katlyn Petch

  Manea struggling to contain Willingham as they are rushed into releasing the ball in most cases presenting it straight to their opponents rattled by the early goal. A chance to relieve some pressure as Manea get a free-kick high on the right a opportunity to get players forwards, a good ball put into the box near side attacked no one can get a touch however as it races wide for a goal kick. Swann spinning off her marker well on the right to get in behind of a fantastic crossfield pass taking the ball down the line her cross sent in high it claimed well by Miller in her six yard box. 

Willingham’s Harmony Payne on the attack

  Lauren Jordan with a good challenge for Manea to stop Bowen taking the ball on in the left channel. Willingham first to the ball getting the better of Manea as they press inside their opponents half. Payne with support from Morse on the left wing her cross in cleared by Raechel Luty, The ball coming straight back Manea struggling to get it up to their attackers. Miller saving at her near post beating the ball down as Payne on the run with the ball cutting inside 25 yards out lets fly. A poor kick at the back presents Kyra Portugal with a chance to press the Willingham defence, Lauren Goodhew getting back at her to defend for Willingham her clearance up the line putting Swann away in behind on the wing turning into the area shoots low on an acute angle, Miller down quickly to get behind the ball.

Willingham’s Lauren Goodhew with Manea’s Katie Reid

   Willingham with a change bringing on Lily Hunnisett. Manea getting the ball out to the left winning a free-kick inside the Willingham half. Luty over it plays an inviting ball into the area across goal 3 Manea players pulling off the defence after it, goalkeeper, Abi Newton though has it covered. Willingham stretching Manea out on the flanks Hunnisett over on that side now whipping a pacy ball into the six yard box, missed by Etteridge, Payne running onto the ball pulling her strike wide back to the right side Hunnisett stretching for the ball with similar results as her effort is sent wide back across goal. 

 A 2nd change for Willingham with Gracie Webster-Spriggs entering the action. Day battling for the ball on the right wing getting Manea a throw in the corner that brings the visitors a corner kick. Lofted in near side Luty jumping for it her glancing header dropping the ball down in front of Skeggs inside the six yard box, looking to turn and strike has 3 Willingham defenders on her before she came get the ball away the hosts scrambling it clear. Willingham bringing the ball on through the middle Docwra out to the right the cross fizzed back into Etteridge inside the box letting the ball run across her striking the shot up, Miller with an instinctive save getting something on the ball knocking it up onto her crossbar.

Manea’s Tiff Miller

 A corner for Willingham delivered into the area cleared by Luty for Manea. Payne blasting an effort wide across goal from the left taking a nick on the way past the far post a corner awarded. Willingham seeing more of the ball, captain Honor Freeman intercepting a past from Manea captain Christine Heslop looking for Portugal in the middle. 

  GOAL! Willingham further extend their lead as they play the ball form back to front through the middle cutting Manea wide open Docwra running clear to attack the box, Miller starts to come, Docwra coolly picking her spot placing her shot past her to find the ack of the net 3-0.

Kelly Docwra adds a 3rd for Willingham

  Less than 10 minutes of the 1st half left a dominant game so far from Willingham leading by 3 goals with the woodwork struck twice. Skeggs tracking back after Etteridge as she battles her way forwards towards the area riding the challenge to stay on her feet burst on into the box her shot saved a close range by Miller, play however brought back for the free-kick outside the box. Goodhew over the ball right of the D, into the mix blocked then turned over. Stacey Graham on for Manea. 

  The post struck again by Willingham as Etteridge getting the ball from a throw in turns to strike it on the angle. The hosts with a corner on the right, headed out of the area by Manea’s Heslop. Willingham bringing of Etteridge and Bowen, Swann back on along with Emily Randall-Bowen. Heslop lifting the ball over the top for Portugal to attack through the middle, Ibble Meadows with her doing well to shield the ball back to Newton. Up the other end Miller out well to get her gloves around the ball at the feet of Swann as she looks to break into the box. 

  GOAL!  Out of nothing in the final minute of regular play in the first half Manea conjure up a goal, having made a few adjustments to try an get players up with Portugal in Graham who steals into space in on the left channel as the ball is played through a defence splitting ball the attacker knocking it past the advancing keeper going left to send the ball into the empty net beyond 3-1.

Stacey Graham pulls a goal back for Manea

  Willingham getting straight on the counter from the restart the ball missed at the back Payne shooting on the angle in low. A nick off Miller as she goes down for it the ball wide out right for corner. The ball sent in central under Miller’s cross bar the keeper knocking the ball up into the air able to claim it on the bounce as it lands at her feet.

Half-time Willingham Wolves FC Women 3-1 Manea Sirens LFC

  A fast start to the game from Willingham had them straight on the front foot scoring 2 early goals, and coming close on several occasions. Rattling their opponents early on Manea on the back foot pushed back finding it difficult to get any meaningful possession on the all, their attackers having little to feed on. Willingham pressing high using the wide players well finding a 3rd goal. But a life line for Manea late in the first half seeing them pull it back to 3-1. Still a tall order to come back into the tie in the 2nd half need to see more of the ball.

Manea’s Chloe Brown defending against Willingham’s Ebony Swann

  Changes made by Manea at half-time, Immi Harris and Lauren Barnes on, Skeggs dropping back into defence. Willingham having regularly made changes 1st half appear to be the same side that ended the 1st 45 as the hosts get the 2nd half underway Goodhew playing the ball out to the right, the shot put in on the angle claimed comfortably by Miller. Manea moving in to close the ball down faster at the start of the half Barnes into Harris she attempts to play the through ball for Portugal up top, the pass cut out by Goodhew. 

 Morse taking the ball on from the overlap on the left her cross into the box won by Skeggs clearing for Manea. A more open start to the 2nd half Manea better closing down Willingham who remain very much a threat on the counter with Docwra sending a header over as the ball is crossed into her from the left. Miller spilling a cross at the near post presenting Willingham with a corner kick. making amends with a great blocking save on the line as the ball drops down near post barely a yard out. 

 Manea’s changes seeing them more competitive as they look to get hold of the ball in midfield, Heslop finding more space with Day, Graham and Harris all providing good passing options ahead of her. Willingham keeping players up around the area the ball bouncing back and forth. Attacking right, Manea’s defence, Skeggs and Cook blocking shots fired in from outside their box. A strong appeal from Willingham for a handball but nothing doing. 

 Miller out bravely to the top of the area to get down to claim at the feet of Payne breaking clear after the ball, getting a painful knock on her hand for her efforts but okay to continue. The game a little feisty at times but thing’s quickly settled down. A harsh decision going against Manea inside their box as Miller is adjudged to have handled the ball from a back pass on her penalty spot as Etteridge and Skeggs battling to win possession go shoulder to shoulder Skeggs’ tackle seeing the ball knocked on Miller penalised for picking it up. An indirect free kick to Willingham. Everyone back on the line for Manea Docwra with Freeman over it, Freeman’s touch, Docwra hitting it Manea rushing out the ball charged down. 

Manea’s Kyra Portugal

 Etteridge with an ambitious attempt on the angle from distance as shoots wide from the right as Docwra plays the ball into her feet. Portugal getting free of her marker as she sees the ball into her body from a throw in on the right, charging for the area, Goodhew getting back at her to tackle for Willingham. Meadows intercepting the ball central at the back as Harris looks to put Portugal in behind. Barnes across to defend on Swann playing the ball back to Miller to clear as Willingham look to get the ball moving quicker. 

Willingham’s Ibble Meadows

 Cook cuts the ball out as Swann crosses from the left, both sides seeing an urgency to their play now. Freeman getting on with the ball for Willingham going left lifting her cross into the area claimed by Miller. Meadows to Freeman on through the middle up to Etteridge lays it off for Swann 20 yards out digs a shot out of her feet rising not troubling Miller. Midway through the 2nd half an interesting game unfolding, Willingham have been on top, Manea much improved 2nd half the next goal could be crucial, Manea pull it back to 3-2 an it’s suddenly game on, game over you would think if Willingham score again. 

Manea’s Chloe Cook

  Payne latching on to a poor kick out from the back lays it into Etteridge top of the area central, Cook doing fantastically to defend for Manea getting across the attack to regain the ball. Manea better have yet to carve out a meaningful opportunity in front of goal the game stretched at times, Meadows and Goodhew alert to any threat at the back for Willingham. Harris forwards on the left with Graham in support the latter looking to get into the box tackle by Webster-Spriggs. Willingham ringing the changes in attack. Day hurt as she goes after the ball in the middle for Manea but is okay to play on.

  Willingham on the attack Bowen back on played through the middle for Hunnisett, moves right on for Payne up the line her cross flashed into the near post turned behind by Miller for a corner. 

  GOAL! The game stretched late on the ball won at the back by Meadows out to Bowen finding space on the left plays a great ball forwards into Hunnisett forwards left of the D, not giving Miller a chance to set her self strikes the ball from the edge of the area to arrow low past her into the back of the net 4-1.

  A 4-1 lead for Willingham late in the game sees them have control of the game. Swann is down in midfield having taken a knock and needs to come off, Chloe Smith coming on. The hosts with the resulting free-kick clipped into the area Miller calls for it even as Skeggs gets her head on it the keeper able to adjust her arms to claim the headed ball. Jordan for Manea on the right up into Heslop bringing the ball down to shift inside almost working in opening for a shot, Freeman lunging in to take the ball away from her. 

  The clock ticking down Willingham with a corner on the right played in deep crossed back in from the left Skeggs intercepting getting the ball out of the box, Willingham latching onto the strike races wide of the right post. Jordan rolling her ankle over the ball as she attempts to keep it in play off the pitch the game goes on Smith off the resulting throw looks to force her way into the box left side, Cook and Skeggs closing the door getting the ball back to Miller. Jordan taken off Reid back on for Manea. Graham with a chance for Manea inside the box drags her strike wide across goal as the ball in lifted into her from the left. 

Manea’s captain, Christine Heslop

  Manea attacking late into stoppage time Harris pressuring the keeper as she gets forwards with Reid, the ball coming back to Reid top of the D digging the ball out of her feet to plant wide of the goal. 

Full time Willingham Wolves FC Women 4-1 Manea Sirens LFC

  Willingham celebrating at the final whistle as they win the game 4-1 to advance to the 2nd round of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Invitation Cup. A 2nd bite of the cherry for Manea as they go on to compete in the Junior Invitation Cup. A dominant display from Willingham especially in the 1st half two early goals seeing them race into a 2 goal lead. Creating further chances the woodwork struck on 3 more occasions. Getting players forwards looked to have goals in them putting Manea on the back foot adding a 3rd goal before half-time. Stacey Graham pulling it back to 3-1 at the break giving Manea a life line. Rang the changes at half-time the positional adjustments seeing an improved 2nd half performance more competitve, Willingham however continued to look dangerous scoring a 4th late on to secure the win. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time to pick the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match as is often the case not an easy decision. A few performances to mention first. For Manea Chloe Cook grew into the game at the back making some vital tackles especially in the 2nd half. Christine Heslop too finding more room in the 2nd half doing her best to find her attacking players. Willingham with a good all round team performance to take control of the game early on, players getting forwards well. Ibble Meadows and Lauren Goodhew keeping it tight at the back. Becky Bowen in the middle with some clever passes. Out wide Ebony Swann made some great runs on the right as did Kelly Docwra through the middle. Edging it for me though is Harmony Payne. Her attacking play from the start setting the tempo for Willingham getting hold of the ball and making some strong runs forwards.

Always nice to see two new sides for the first time for Women’s Football East. The only thing is whenever I do I want to see them in action again and that list is ever growing. Great to get over to Willingham and see both them and Manea play. An enjoyable first game of the day a swift departure though with the 2nd game kicking off in less than an hour. My thanks to both teams for their help with the teams today much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham