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Match Report – Needham Market Women v Newmarket Town Ladies

Sunday 24th November

ERWFL Division One North

 League action this weekend on Women’s Football East, a game from the ERWFL Division One North, newly promoted Needham Market Women hosting Newmarket Town Ladies.

 A meeting between two sides that have several similarities, a young talented squad looking to make an impact. Needham Market Women just over a year old formed during last summer made a great start one of several new sides competing in an expanded Suffolk Women’s Division. Made a strong debut pushing eventual champions East Bergholt United Ladies all the way in the title race aswell as reaching the finals of both the League and County Cup. Moving straight up to join the ERWFL along with East Bergholt, the club setting up a new Reserves side to compete the the Suffolk Women’s Division, going well with a 100% record after 7 games played.

Freya Louis one of the youngest managers around looking after the 1st team and pretty much involved with everything to do with the club. Passionate about her role and loving it to the max, writes the Happy Gaffer blog in her spare time and most recently has set up the #WeAre twitter account with the aim to celebrate females in all roles within the game and to encourage more participation, to find out more go to and follow @UK_WeAre

 Stepping up to the regional set-up Needham Market into Division One split into two divisions this season North & South. Are in the North league along with East Bergholt, Cambridge City Ladies Development and Gorleston Ladies also new this season with AFC Sudbury, Histon, King’s Lynn and Newmarket seeing 8 competing. Has been a stop start season so far for Needham Market which can often be the case for ERWFL in the first half of the season. 3 league  games played so far yielding 4 points. Cup games dominating for the large part the early stage of the League Cup seeing the Division One teams divided up into 4 groups of 4 playing each other once with the group winners going on to join the Premier Division sides in the knockout stages, Needham Market topping Group C. Lois Balfour featuring for the first team today, prolific in front of goal for the Reserves so far this season with 28 goals from just 7 appearances.

Newmarket Town Ladies beginning their 2nd season playing in the ERWFL made a solid debut upon stepping up into regional league football, quickly found their feet in a highly competitive single division last season eventually finishing in fifth spot. On top of that won silverware as they reached the final of the ERWFL Plate beating Histon Ladies to lift the trophy. Reestablishing a Development side this season, Craig Boneham coming in to take charge of the 1st team as the club looks to push on once again. The ERWFL Division One North looking a strong league this season Newmarket have 7 points from their opening 5 games, young striker Annabel Cuthbert finding her form in front of goal early netting 16 goals so far this season from 10 played.

 Bloomfields the venue for today’s game home of Needham Market FC, it’s women’s sides part of a wider club and academy. The Hub cafe & bar was in construction the last time I visited now build dominating as you enter the ground the grass pitch beyond overlooking the 3G pitch where today’s game will be played. Two stories the ground floor home to the changing facilities, the upper floor housing a conference room and the cafe itself serving hot and cold food and drinks a balcony for viewing surrounding it. A smart looking set-up. A hive of activity very much a community feel to the place. Pity the weather was rubbish, dull and overcast, the rain though should stay away. A game taking place on the 3G on arrival would run into the next game causing a delay in kick-off so both sides can get warmed up properly.

Needham Market Women starting XI – Freya Louis, Jodie Sharp, Ashleigh Goddard, Maria Smith, Amy Dunn, Sasha Diston (C), Taylor Cooke, Amber Sparkes, Francesca Rainbird, Lois Balfour & Annie Northwood. Subs – Megan Stock.

Newmarket Town Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols, Rebecca Towler, Holly Dryland, Beth Woodfield (C), Chloe Slater, Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Laura Brame, Molly Agnew, Lauren Deller & Annabel Cuthbert. Subs – Yasmin Woodfield, Hannah Rogers, Jordanne Sillitoe & Layla Weston.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  A few players missing for Needham Market only able to name the one substitute, manager Freya Louis donning the goalkeeping gloves today with 1st choice keeper Amber leeks out injured. Newmarket naming two 16-year-old Development players amongst their squad today Rebecca Towler and Layla Weston. Needham Market to get the first half underway wearing an all red kit with yellow trim. Newmarket lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. Back to the defence Newmarket quick to close down on the right forcing a throw, Needham market build again through the middle captain Sasha Diston bringing a wealth of experience to Needham Market having joined in the summer playing the ball forwards into Lois Balfour she lays it out to the left wing, Francesca Rainbird racing down the line fizzing in a cross towards the near post Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield racing in clearing despite goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols well placed to pick up.

   Newmarket bring the ball out from the back central forwards into attacker Lauren Deller, spots Molly Agnew making a run on the left putting the pas into her feet she takes it on Jodie Sharp, another of Needham Market’s summer recruits playing right back getting back across Agnew to defend and play the ball back to her keeper to clear. Woodfield plays a fantastic pass from the back out long to the rights to set Laura Brame away recently joining Newmarket was at Needham Market at the beginning of the season. Against her former club takes the ball in behind a good turn of pace letting fly from the angle her shot over the bar.

Newmarket Town Ladies captain, Beth Woodfield

 Brame played in again on the right after another superb ball from Woodfield at the back taking the ball on travelling into the box Maria Smith sliding on to tackle brilliantly for Needham Market the ball sent behind for a corner kick. The corner delivered near side Woodfield running forwards to meet it getting a firm header on the ball looming high into the air dropping over the goal. 

  Rainbird getting hold of the ball for Needham market left side threads a pass through to Annie Northwood in attack, joining from rival East Bergholt United scoring 40 goals last season. Northwood touching the ball looks to shift inside to get a shot away inside the box, well read and defended by Newmarket centre back Chloe Slater. Maria Smith with another fine piece of defending on Annabel Cuthbert central as Deller almost slides her through in behind, the ball put back to Louis to kick clear. Holly Dryland up on halfway as Newmarket lose the ball does well defensively to stop Needham market getting away on the wing. 

Holly Dryland in to win the challenge for Newmarket

 Needham Market win the ball back central put forwards into Amber Sparkes she plays the ball forwards with the outside of her boot scooping it over the Newmarket defence for Northwood getting in behind moving to the right into the area sends a shot in low across the keeper, Quinn-Nicholls down well throwing out a glove to push the ball wide of the far post for a corner. A god delivery in from the right through the six yard box, Diston the target gets no contact retrieved by Sparkes hooks the ball over her head back across the face of goal Diston inches away again. 

Needham Market Women’s Amber Sparkes

  Diston with a strike from distance off a throw in on the left side sets her sights from 40 yards out on target one bounce in the box, Quinn-Nichols catching safely right behind it. Newmarket pressing well showing good movement intercepting more than one mislaid Needham Market pass and getting it forwards quickly, Deller finding room coming for the ball, Brame and Agnew outlets on either flank. Nearly pays off as Agnew is played in right side squaring a cross into Cuthbert top of the area a great piece of skill to wrong foot the defence and get into the box, Maria Smith recovering fantastic to dive in make the challenge put the ball away for the corner before Cuthbert can pull the trigger.

Molly Agnew looking for a passing option as she gets hold of the ball for Newmarket

GOAL! Closing in on the opening 20 minutes and Newmarket open the scoring. From the corner kick put in from the right Woodfield making the run once again closer in across goal, forcing the error Diston getting her head on the ball to her dismay sends it into her own goal 0-1.

  Needham Market haven’t settled not giving themselves enough time on the ball in the early stages Sparkes gets hold of the ball 40 yards out and battles her way forwards riding a couple of tackles before shooting from the top of the box, the ball straight into Quinn-Nicholls back on her line. Sparks has Sharp making a run on the overlap right side puts her in taking it to the line sends in a cross along the top of the six yard box the ball cut out by Slater. 

Amy Dunn clearing the ball for Needham Market

  Sparkes showing intent in attack getting on for Needham Market a great pass forwards putting her in by Diston central Sparkes quick takes the ball into the area, right of goal has it in her sights Slater coming to close opts to take another tough into the six yard box wide of the post turns inside looking to knock it past the keeper and shoot, Quinn-Nicholls down at her feet makes the save. Needham Market creating opportunities now have a free-kick wide on the left the ball flighted in goes long Taylor Cooke hooking it back in across goal beyond the far post met first time by Northwood fired over. 

  Antonia Smith and Jess Linger working well together in the centre of Newmarket frustrating Needham Market as they look to play the ball though the middle, Rainbird always ready to break on the left for Needham Market almost in behind, Rebecca Towler getting in close to tackle and deny the cross. Louis races out of her area to get to the ball first as Cuthbert is played in behind by Antonia Smith getting forwards as Brame wins the ball. Amy Dunn coming to help Sharp on the right as Agnew receives from Deller in the middle. 

Laura Brame playing the ball for Newmarket

  Balfour on the ball high on the right for Needham Market passing central for Diston getting forwards good work on the ball dinks it over the top into the area for Northwood great control with her first before shooting lifting the ball high but straight at Quinn-Nicholls, gloves up palms it down coolly. Cuthbert has been almost gotten away from the Needham Market defence on a few ocassions playing off the shoulder of the last defender, more often than not Maria Smith has been the defender making the vital tackle. The home sides turning play around quickly look to get Sparkes away central as she comes inside, Dryland getting her toe on the ball to deflect it away from her into the box for Quinn-Nichols to clear. 

   GOAL! Late in the first half Newmarket double their lead Brame running with the ball on the right in behind crosses into the box, Louis coming out to that side gets her fists on the ball, pushes it out of her area, but it well out of position as the ball falls straight to Deller 20 yards out puts her foot through the ball rifling it into the back of the empty net 0-2.

Lauren Deller fires Newmarket into a 2-0 lead

  Sparkes seems intent on taking the whole Newmarket defence on at once as she picks up the ball 35 yards out central forces her way forwards checking back inside the D, spots Rainbird to the left breaking in behind attempts to chip the ball to her, Woodfield getting hold of it clearing for Newmarket. 

 GOAL! Time almost up first half, Needham Market frustrated so far getting a late lifeline on the attack Balfour lifting the pass forwards for Rainbird racing on into the box, Quinn-Nichols to the ball first knocking in away from the winger, does claim however as Rainbird gets back on her to steal possession and roll the ball into the empty net beyond 1-2.

  On last attack for Newmarket Deller taking the ball on down the left, Sharp quick staying with her for Needham Market putting in a good challenge to win the ball back.

Half-time Needham Market Women 1-2 Newmarket Town Women

  2-1 to Newmarket at half-time, a late life line for Needham Market giving them something to take into the first half. Good chances created by both sides the goals however all coming from errors. An intriguing contest, Newmarket settling the quicker looking a threat out wide and Deller picking up the ball finding space. Needham Market frustrated passes not finding their marked have more time on the ball than they are giving themselves. The game still very much there for the taking.

  No changes at the break the floodlights coming on Newmarket to get the 2nd half underway. Sparkes on the attack straight away forcing her way forwards brought down 30 yards out winning a free-kick. On the set-piece herself goes for goal on target finds its way through but not troubling Quinn-Nichols. A positive start from the hosts on the offence driving forwards Sharp running in behind on the right delivering a low cross into the area takes a deflection sending it behind for a corner.

   GOAL! Needham Market straight back on level terms at the start of the 2nd half an inswinging corner falling into the six yard box takes an unfortunate deflection of a Newmarket defender sending it straight into the path of Diston close in to stab over the line and equalise 2-2.

Needham Market captain, Sasha Diston

  Needham Market fired up now coming forwards a fantastic through ball to set Northwood away into the area clear left of goal fires a low drive across goal, Quinn-Nichols down well to save pushing the ball wide well away from danger. Newmarket win the ball central Linger into Brame left forwards to Cuthbert making a run into the channel the striker carrying the ball inside looking for a shooting opportunity tackled by Dunn, the ball spins loose to Deller central her first time strike charged down. 

Jess Linger, Newmarket’s dead ball specialist

  Newmarket make a double change Towler and Agnew coming off on come Yasmin Woodfield and Jordanne Sillitoe. Linger a threat from any dead ball situation, over a free-kick 40 yards out, plays the ball into the box swinging towards the far post, Louis doesn’t catch the ball dropping wide of goal. Diston plays a nice crossfield pass 30 yards out left into Sharp advancing into the area on the right catching it on the volley blasts into the side netting. Needham Market make a change Sparkes the player off Megan Stock on comes over to left back with Goddard switching to the right Sharp pushed forwards. Goddard called into action right side straight away defending well as Cuthbert controlling the ball 25 yards out looks to shift and shoot. 

Needham Market’s Ashleigh Goddard

Anyone’s game at the moment Needham Market coming back well, both sides looking to get forwards. Sharp getting clear on the right into the corner does well to get a cross towards the top of the six yards box, think it’s Balfour racing in near post stooping into the header, sends the attempt wide across goal. Stock linking up with Rainbird bringing the ball out from the back the latter crossing along the top of the area Northwood receiving looks to tie up Balfour inside the box, Beth Woodfield in between the strikers intercepts the pass. Newmarket make another change Layla Weston coming on for Deller. 

Development player, Layla Weston on for her senior team debut for Newmarket

  Goddard shown the first yellow card of the game for a somewhat ungainly challenge on Cuthbert as she attempts to break into the box. The free-kick in a dangerous position 20 yards out left of the D, Linger over the ball takes on the shot, on target Louis with a superb save tipping it over the bar, is rather pleased with her effort. The resulting corner sees Slater almost steal in around the back to poke out a boot stab towards goal her shot blocked. Needham Market hit Newmarket on the counter Northwood carrying the ball down the left all the way into the area closing in on goal drags her shot wide of the near post. The game entering he  final 15 minutes Sharp causing problems for Newmarket on the right in attack a surging run with the ball towards the ball Slater tackling the ball behind for the corner. 

Needham Market’s, Jodie Sharp

 GOAL! Needham Market come back from 2-0 down to take the lead for the first time in the match. The corner from the right into a congested six yard box Quinn-Nichols up amongst bodies gets her fist on the ball knocks it down and straight at Rainbird back on the penalty spot an instinctive hit lifts her shoot back in an down off the underside of the crossbar 3-2.

  Newmarket respond straight away with a substitution, Hannah Rogers on Brame coming off. Needham Market lively getting players forwards Rainbird continuing to carry a threat on the left winning a corner. Diston making thing’s tick in the middle for Needham Market now coming inside of a throw in right side drags a shot narrowly wide from 20 yards out. The game open Needham Market on the attack, Newmarket still carrying a threat up the other end Cuthbert pushing the ball central for Sillitoe can’t get a clean connection as she throws herself into the shot. 

Newmarket come forwards Antonia Smith playing it on for Cuthbert on the left comes infield is challenged the ball deflected spins out to Sillitoe right comes inside top of the area into a shooting position a shot curled in low Louis diving to her right making the save.

GOAL! Needham Market get down the other end win a corner on the right the delivery in with pace attacked near side missed runs across goal, Balfour racing after it to retrieve left side turns an fires the ball in towards the near post, Northwood sticking out a leg meets the ball turning it into the back of the net to give the hosts a 2 goal cushion late in the match 4-2.

Annie Northwood battling for the ball with Antonia Smith.

Needham Market come forwards Balfour playing her pass out to Rainbird advancing on the left shoots towards the near post Quinn-Nichols down to make the save. Sharp on the opposite flank striking the ball on the run blasting it wide across goal. Time running out Needham Market starting to put everyone behind the ball Newmarket press forwards, Dunn and Maria Smith solid through out the game. 

Needham Market centre backs, Maria Smith and Amy Dunn

  GOAL! Into stoppage time a last gasp free-kick wide on the right for Newmarket Linger to delivery played long to the far post knocked down back across goal, defended on the line the block putting it straight into Sillitoe to smash home from close range pull a goal back 4-3. 

  No time left however for another attack the final whistle blows and Needham Market record back to back wins in the league to join Newmarket on 7 points.

Full time Needham Market Women 4-3 Newmarket Town Ladies

  A thoroughly entertaining match this afternoon, Needham Market coming back from trailing 2- to win the game 4-3. Newmarket having the best of the 1st half causing Needham market problems creating chances forcing errors. A vital goal coming late in the 1st period for Needham Market began the 2nd half strongly straight back on level terms. The game wide open for a spell, Needham Market taking the lead and getting a 2 goal cushion, Newmarket never out of it pulling one back late hadn’t enough time left to find another.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, several contenders out there. Lauren Deller for Newmarket scoring their 2nd goal, finding pockets of space between midfield and defence almost had Cuthbert in on goal on a couple of ocassions. For Needham Market I’ve mentioned the centre backs a few times, Maria Smith in particular with some great tackles first half to prevent Newmarket shooting. Jodie Sharp in defence but mostly in attack a threat on the right as was Francesca Rainbird on the left. Have gone for Sasha Diston overall strong in the middle the engine for Needham Market a good range of passing bringing others into play and winning the ball.

  An enjoyable trip to Bloomfields, an entertaining match, always competitive in the ERWFL, never disappoints. My thanks to both clubs for the team line-ups much appreciated.

Match Report – Cup Final Special

Sunday 12th May

ERWFL League Plate Final

Histon Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies

 Another cup final double bill this Sunday a trip to Hertfordshire for the ERWFL Finals Day. First up kicking off at 11am the League Plate Final this season being contested by Histon Ladies and Newmarket Town Ladies.

The ERWFL League Plate

   Hutton Ladies winning the ERWFL League Plate previously, celebrating back to back wins having successfully defended the trophy last season beating Stevenage Ladies Reserves. A new name on the trophy this season. 

  Histon Ladies are an established side within the ERWFL, this their 3rd season playing as Histon having previously been known as Great Shelford Ladies. The link up with Histon seeing a pathway created between Histon’s youth sides through to adult football. Backed up by a Reserves side play at The Glassworld Stadium. Two league games left after today’s final are comfortable in mid-table in what has been a very competitive league this season, currently 8th can still gain a position or two. 

Newmarket reaching a cup final in their debut season in the ERWFL. Joining this season suffering an opening day loss then found thier feet to go on a run of 6 games unbeaten to climb the table and put them in amongst the top 4 sides, amongst the title challengers for a while have tailed off currently 4th will secure that position at least with a win in their final league game of the season next Sunday a top half finish guaranteed. Winning through to a cup final capping off a successful start to life playing at regional level. Plans in place for a new development side next season. Winning through to the final the club knew they would be without a number of key players for the game today away for various reasons.

Road to the Final

 The Division One sides knocked out of the League Cup itself in the 1st and 2nd round going on to contest for the League Plate. Straight to a quarter final. Histon were drawn away to league newcomers Hatfield Peverel Ladies the Essex side 2nd bottom in the table, goals form Sophie Lanham and Georgina Huse securing a 2-0 win for the visitors. Newmarket were also on the road taking on Hertford Town Ladies. Goals form Beth and Jodie Woodfield along with a brace from Abbi Griffin seeing Newmarket through to the last 4 courtesy of a 4-1 win.

  Two tough looking games in the semi-finals with 4 sides all fancying their chances of reaching the final. Histon away to 3rd placed Stevenage Ladies Reserves, drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes of play the game heading into extra-time. Histon coming up with the winning goal to reach today’s final. Newmarket Town Ladies at home to Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies, who they had beaten in the league at Hoddesdon just the week before coming back win the game 3-2 with a last gasp winner form young striker Annabel Cuthbert. Newmarket having the better of their opponents in the semi-final with goals from Jess Linger and Cuthbert sending them through to the final winning the game 2-0.

 The ERWFL Finals Day once again being played at The County Ground, Letchworth. The stadium seeing some redevelopment, prominently a new playing surface the pitch now 3G. The bar area also upgraded a new cafeteria serving hot and cold drinks. The main seated stand along one side of the pitch. The weather fantastic still, clear blue skies and warm. The 3G pitch new holding alot of rubber.

Histon Ladies starting XI – Keeley Robinson, Lucy Julian, Kaya Haq, Briannah Baker, Tessa Shaw, Alison Wright, Georgia Day, Kayleigh-Jo Castell, Katie Seagrave, Rebekah Finch & Sophie Lanham (C). Subs – Rebecca Lenton, Kirstie Smith, Kirsty Geal & Danielle Briggs.

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Dominika Szary, Holly Dryland, Olivia Orme, Beth Woodfield (C), Olivia Cafferelli, Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Sarah O’Rourke, Laura Bailey & Annabel Cuthbert. Subs – Lauren Deller, Molly Agnew Hannah Rogers & Eleanor Mcleish.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

 Dominika Szary back on goal for Newmarket having missed the semi-final with Hoddesdon through suspension. Newmarket with the kick-off 1st half getting the final underway wearing yellow coloured shirts with blue shorts and blue and yellow hooped socks. Histon opposite wearing red shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball charged down straight away by Histon, Georgia Day on Newmarket’s Jess Linger the deflecting all the way back to goalkeeper, Keeley Robinson for an early feel of the ball. 

Histon’s Alison Wright winning the ball

 Both sides closing down the ball forwards by Histon defended by Newmarket played on through the middle for Annabel Cuthbert getting hold of it looks to take players on driving towards the box the Histon defence converging to close her down full back Lucy Julian in to clear the ball up field. Sarah O’Rourke seeing the ball into her feet inside the Histon half plays a great diagonal ball on into the area for Cuthbert making a run, latches onto the shot Robinson down to make the parrying save the ball back to Cuthbert sends it back in towards goal the Histon keeper saving as the ball comes off the post. 

Attacking intent from both sides Histon captain, Sophie Lanham in attack moving out to the right winning her side a corner kick. The delivery defended near post back to the taker the cross long kept in past the far post by Kayleigh-Jo Castell put back up the line the ball put into the top of the area defended. Kaya Haq coming on from left back for Histon with a fantastic diagonal pass long to Katie Seagrave bursting in behind on the right wing takes on the shot early 25 yards out the ball whistling over the crossbar. Histon gaining momentum in the final 3rd winning the ball high put forwards into Lanham right off goal 25 yards out has a shot the low strike gathered by Szary back on her line. 

  GOAL! 10 minutes played and Newmarket get themselves an early goal. Awarded a free-kick central as the ball in picked up by Laura Bailey and she his barrelled over carrying it towards goal. Newmarket’s dead ball specialist, Jess Linger to take. Strikes the ball well on target Robinson getting something on it by not enough to keep the ball slipping past her and into the back of the net 1-0.

Jess Linger scorers of the opening goal

   Straight from the restart Histon look to get on the offence, good footwork from Alison Wright central to evade a challenge and bring the ball on attempts to lift it over the top the flag up against Day inside the area. Holly Dryland goes on the overlap past O’Rourke on the right for Newmarket. Haq closing the full back down quickly tackling to prevent the return pass. 

  GOAL! Newmarket’s lead short lived as Histon come back to level the scores awarded a free-kick out on the right Seagrave fouled past the 18 yard line, Haq coming across to take it. Struck well in towards goal Szary can’t reach it as it dips under the cross bar and in at the far post 1-1. 

Kaya Haq with the levelling goal for Histon

  Rebekah Finch seeing a poor kick out from goal fall to her the ball deflected on into the box gives chase, Olivia Orme back well pressure charging the shot down taking the pace off for Szary to collect. Histon pushing on up the right wing a throw won top of the area drops to Wright 20 yards out central shoots with her left foot dragging the ball wide of the near post. Seagrave showing great pace on the ball down the right for Histon a cross flashed into the near post cut out by Newmarket defender Olivia Cafferelli. A great response from Histon to going behind Wright strong in the centre.

  A free-kick for Newmarket wide right Linger to play the ball into the six yard box, lifts it high, Robinson rising well to make the claim through a crowd is clattered upon landing as her defence scramble the ball away, but okay to continue after treatment. Szary up the other end out of her area rapidly to deal with a forwards pass that sees Lanham in to attack. O’Rourke with a great receive and turn inside the Histon half to put the ball on for Cuthbert racing in behind the Histon back line left of the D opens up her body to shoot across the keeper, to straight at Robinson at her quickly the keeper palming it away. 

Newmarket’s Sarah O’Rourke

  Cuthbert on the move again after a ball on the right wing, Briannah Baker sliding in to tackle catching Cuthbert the advantage played by referee Stacey Fullicks as she maintains her footing to run on past and cut a cross back into the area, Tessa Shaw sliding in to win it for Histon the ball coming out to Newmarket’s Chloe Slater top of the area she sends a shot over the bar. Baker booked for the earlier foul. Cuthbert spinning in behind as the ball is played into her feet left into the box, Robinson quickly out to close the angle slides in well to make the save at the attackers feet.

  GOAL! Half and hour played and Histon go on to take the lead, have a free-kick inside the Newmarket half on the right played in from deep the ball into the six yard area not dealt with by the Newmarket defence popping out to Finch at the near post getting hold of it to turn unopposed and fire the ball home from close range 2-1.

  Newmarket come forwards right side O’Rourke fouled a free-kick Linger on it the ball put on into the area, Robinson able to collect on the bounce. Histon push on through the middle the ball lost Slater with it out to Dryland making a run on the right wing the diagonal ball played into the top of the area early, Julian there to clear for Histon. Wright down in the middle having taken a knock on the ankle players from both sides taking on fluid whilst she receives treatment. Is a competitive game played at a good tempo.

Histon’s Sophie Lanham looking to get in to attack

  O’Rourke putting the ball on for Dryland off on a run down the right wing her cross cut back along the top of the Histon area helped on into the centre for Antonia Smith making a run from midfield catching the ball strikes it well rising sees her effort smash down off the crossbar. Seagrave out right for Histon bursting forwards played on by Lanham her cross met and cleared by Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield. 

Newmarket’s Antonia Smith

  Wright strong in the tackle central for Histon winning it 40 yards out as Slater looks to play it forwards for O’Rourke right side the past through for Lanham beating the offside trap, Szary with a good starting position out sharply to the edge of her area to claim the ball. Scrappy towards the end of the first have both sides rushing their passes, Bailey on the left attacking for Newmarket stopped by Shaw. Baker tackling Cuthbert outside the box as Linger threads a ball on. A late flag halting Smith as she breaks beyond the attack for Newmarket Bailey attempting the flick on.  

Half-time Histon Ladies 2-1 Newmarket Town Ladies

  Histon with the narrow advantage at half-time coming back from a goal down to lead 2-1 at half-time. A competitive match so far both slides putting alot on energy into it confident closing down a positive going forwards, chances for both sides to score more goals set-pieces unlocking both defences. Is warm out there midday fast approaching little cloud in the sky. The pitch carrying alot of rubber still slow the ball not racing on. Fairly evenly matched all to play for 2nd half.

Histon with a couple pf changes Danielle Briggs and Kirsty Geal on replacing Julian and Castell as they get the 2nd 45 underway. Molly Agnew on for Newmarket wide right in place of O’Rourke. Histon with the ball central played out to Seagrave attacking right into the area after it, Orme getting back on her to push her wide of goal, Seagrave managing to get a shot away nevertheless the ball safe on Szary’s gloves at her near post. Newmarket gain ground on the left Bailey turning back inside plays it central to Smith in an advanced position 20 yards out her shot lacking any power at it runs along the ground wide of target Robinson gathers.

Laura Bailey bringing the ball on for Newmarket

  Agnew getting on with the ball on the right wing for Newmarket to the byline sends a cross back up towards the top of the area, Wright tracking back superbly to win and clear for Histon. Cuthbert shoots wide across goal for Newmarket after getting into the area following good hold up play to spin in behind. Cuthbert charging on looking to get away through the middle in attack, Baker back on her with a somewhat clumsy challenge outside the area effective however as the ball runs behind for a corner. Robinson dealing with the corner for Histon. Geal bringing the ball on left side for Histon is closed down by Dryland and Woodfield.

  GOAL! as with the first half Newmarket score again 10 minutes into the 2nd half building on a bright start getting the ball up into Cuthbert quickly a delivery in sent on from the right side Newmarket’s young striker getting free at the far post to stab a shot under the keeper and into the bottom corner to level the scores 2-2.

Annabel Cuthbert getting the equalising goal for Newmarket Town Ladies

  Dryland comes off having picked up an injury, Hannah Rogers sent on for Newmarket goes to left back, Orme over to the right. Geal storming on for Histon left wing fires a cross low into the area Cafferelli with the interception central for Newmarket. Smith fouling Lanham as she gets hold of the ball central top of the circle the ball forwards Newmarket defend. Bailey getting forwards with the ball Cuthbert providing the run ahead of her moving left, Baker stays with her. Smith central for Newmarket threads a pass on for Bailey getting to the top of the box left side gets a shot away a low strike racing wide past the far post.

Histon Ladies, Danielle Briggs


  Rogers getting on up the pitch left side for Newmarket a terrific ball played long into the area met at the far post by Agnew turned goalwards, Robinson across her goal seeing the ball fired straight into her. Woodfield coming to close down Wright as she attempts to turn and get a shot away from 25 yards out, Day playing in forwards into her. Histon bring off Finch with Kristie Smith coming on to join the attack. Slater gets on with the ball right with support for Bailey and Rogers the ball inside to Cuthbert a corner conceded on the right. Newmarket to play the ball in put in long to the far post for a moment looked like it had crept in under the bar but instead narrowly over and dropping behind the net. Newmarket press the attack the ball on seeing Cuthbert threatening to break in clear, Shaw back to defend tackling to concede the corner. 

  GOAL! The game entering the final 15 minutes and Newmarket get their noses back in front scoring direct from a corner the ball on the right played in by Rogers an inswinging ball under the bar Robinson goes for it but can’t get a telling touch as the ball flies over her into the far corner. 3-2.

  Rogers on the left forwards for Bailey, Shaw getting across to slide in and put the ball out for a throw. Bailey getting forwards at will for Newmarket now as Histon frustrated cannot get the ball to stick in attack late on, Agnew forwards right of the D Bailey fires the pass into her Agnew dragging her shot wide away from goal. Newmarket make a change with Lauren Deller coming on in place of Smith. Bailey fouled by Shaw as she brings the ball on a free-kick for Newmarket wide left, Linger on it the delivery into the six yard box claimed well by Robinson. 

Beth Woodfield defending as Kristie Smith brings the ball on for Histon

  Lanham takes a blow to the head as she and Cafferelli contest a ball lifted forwards into the box from midfield. Is brought off with Rebecca Lenton coming on. Bailey keeping the ball well up field for Newmarket running down the clock as Histon are desperate to get hold of it build an attack. Wright out to Seagrave over on the left gets forwards a cross driven in central early, Lenton the target, Cafferelli in front of her to regain possession for Newmarket. 

  The game entering stoppage time, Newmarket doing well to keep the ball up the other end working hard to force Histon into rushing their passes, their opponents can’t get anything meaningful in the final third. Briggs breaking with the ball on the right for Histon is fouled by Cafferelli. A change before the free-kick is taken, Finch back on the field. Briggs to take doesn’t make it count put behind near side. Newmarket send on another youngster 16-year-old Eleanor McLeish in the closing minutes for Agnew, a throw won on the right Newmarket play it down the line Bailey taking it into the corner. One last chance for Histon as Wright wins them a corner on the left, taken short however Newmarket clear their line quickly to see Histon’s attackers flagged offside. 

Full time Histon Ladies 2-3 Newmarket Town Ladies

  The full time whistle blows and Newmarket are the side celebrating winning the ERWFL League Plate Final 3-2 and winning an unexpected piece of silverware to cap a strong debut season in the regional leagues. An entertaining final played between two evenly matched sides, chances created the momentum shifting one way then the other, good spirits, hotly contested especially in midfield. Histon responding well to losing an early goal, Newmarket getting it back to 2 all before getting their noses in front with 15 minutes left and from then on in preventing Histon from getting any foothold up the other end. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award of the day. A few names to mention, Alison Wright superb for Histon strong in midfield winning the ball and getting passes on to the attack. Katie Seagrave a threat on the right especially first half. For Newmarket Annabel Cuthbert just 16 shows great movement and pace in attack, Jess Linger has a fantastic range of passes and a threat from any dead ball situation. The award however goes once again to the player who got it in the semi-finals Laura Bailey terrific on the left getting forwards, timely runs her link up play excellent and towards the end kept the ball well frustrating Histon.

Newmarket Town Ladies, 2018/19 ERWFL Plate winners

Congratulations to Newmarket Town Ladies on winning the ERWFL League Plate Final.

 An enjoyable first final of the day, between Histon and Newmarket, evenly matched a good contest, time for something to eat and a much needed cup of tea the 2nd game of the day not too far away.

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.

Cup Final Report – ICA Sports Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies

Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup

Wednesday 2nd May

  The Cup Final action continues this week on Women’s Football East this Wednesday, hot on the heels from watching the Suffolk Women’s League Cup final a trip to Cambridgeshire to watch ICA Sports Ladies versus Newmarket Town Ladies competing for the Women’s League Cup.

 An all Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership Clash, Peterborough side ICA Sports Ladies playing the 1st of two finals they have reached this season with the postponed Junior Invitation Cup Final coming up on the Wednesday 16th May at Newmarket Town FC against Championship South side, Isleham United Ladies. This evening though the focus is on the League Cup. Have progressed in the competition as there form has improved through the season picking up well after a slow start losing there 1st 3 league games some notable results along the way to including beating Premiership leaders St Ives Town Ladies in the semi-finals of the League Cup.

  Newmarket Town Ladies have had a great season to date, an early run in the FA Women’s Cup knocking out higher league opposition have as a result been playing catch up in the league now into the final run in lay in 2nd spot behind St Ives Town Ladies and a well positioned to challenge should there rivals slip up.  Reaching the League Cup Final have scored plenty of goals throughout the season and have several goalscorers in their squad. 

Both sides into their 1st League Cup Final.

Road to the Final 

  A walkover in the 1st Round for ICA Sports Ladies whilst Newmarket Town Ladies racked up a rugby score away to Championship South, Burwell Tigers these score pop up one or twice a season 30-0 to the Premiership side. Into the 2nd Round and ICA Sports were at home taking on Championship North side Wisbech Town Ladies a brace from Donna Nicholls along with a goal each for Hayley Jones, Jessica Farchina and Megan Purnell seeing ICA Sports progress to the quarter finals with a 5-1 win. Newmarket were on the road taking on fellow Premiership side Park Ladies. The goals spread around with Cindy Ponder, Amanda Stacey, Brooke Wickens, Antonia Smith Sarah O’Rourke and Chloe Slater scoring in a 6-1 win.

  ICA Sports were at home in the quarter finals taking in Championship South title hopefuls Histon Ladies Reserves. A close game Histon leading 1-0 at half-time a goal from Megan Purnell squaring it up at 1-1 to send the tie into extra-time, no more goals it went to penalties ICA Sports emerging victorious with a 3-2 win to reach the last 4. Another away trip for Newmarket taking on Championship South side Isleham United Ladies. A comfortable win seeing them into the last 4, both Abbi Griffin and Laura Bailey scoring twice with a goal each for Chloe Slater and Jess Linger in a 6-0 win.

  Both semi-finals played on neutral territory at the Fulbourn Recreation Ground. A great result for ICA Sports in the semi-finals drawn against Premiership leaders St Ives Town Ladies. ICA Sports in good form the sides were goalless at the break the winning goal coming in the 2nd period, Lorna Hart with the goal to send ICA Sports into the League Cup Final. Newmarket were taking on Cambridge University Women. Newmarket continuing their good form in front of goal reaching the League Cup Final courtesy of a 5-1 win, Jordanne Sillitoe scoring a brace with Abbi Griffin, Amanda Stacey and Chloe Slater all getting a goal.  

 3 times the sides have met in the league this season Newmarket winning 2 of those encounters 4-1 whilst the other game ended in a goalless draw. League form however goes out the window in any cup game.

   The venue for this evenings Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Final sponsored by S-Tech Insurance The Ellgia Stadium, home of Ely City FC. Has been a while since I was last here, there is now a new cinema and restaurant complex build on the land leading to the ground off the A10. The rugby club, tennis, golf and football ground still beyond. New dugouts, the pitch looking in good condition a little bobbly offers good width. Concerned earlier above whether the game would be on heavy rain falling for a while late morning into the afternoon but it cleared and pleasant and mild afterwards, perfect weather for a game of football… about time too.

ICA Sports Ladies starting XI – Clare Knibbs, Steph Pepper, Holly Partner, Sophie Antonucci, Becky Shields (C), Sarah Rouse, Jess Farchica, Zoe Leddy, Megan Purnell, Donna Nicholls & Lorna Hart. Subs – Rhian Leonard.

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Yasmin Woodfield, Brooke Wickens, Beth Woodfield (C), Cindy Ponder, Jess Linger, Laura Bailey, Chloe Slater, Antonia Smith, Abi Griffin & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Sarah O’Rourke, Frankie Torrance, Joeli Kirby, Amanda Stacey & Lauren Deller.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Just the one substitute available for ICA Sports, Newmarket having several attacking options available on theirs. It’s ICA Sports to get the first half kicked off, wearing royal blue shirts with a white and navy band across the top, royal blue shorts and blue and white hooped socks. Newmarket wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. 

ICA Sports put the ball forwards right from the off showing attacking intent, Lorna Hart the target , Beth Woodfield captaining Newmarket heading the ball away at the back. Donna Nicholls receiving the ball form Jess Farchica drives forwards on the right tackled by Newmarket full back Yasmin Woodfield. ICA Sports with a good start lively getting players forwards have Newmarket penned back in their own half. 

Newmarket Town Ladies captain, Beth Woodfield heading the ball clear.

  A throw deep on the left into Hart the striker putting the ball inside for Farchica, Newmarket tackle the ball cleared, ICA Captain, Becky Shields bringing it down on halfway, builds another ICA Sports attack. Newmarket haven’t settled, ICA Sports taking full advantage goalkeeper Eloise Hope rushing out of her area to clear the ball for Newmarket as Hart is put in over the top. Newmarket have the ball the pass out to striker Jordanne Sillitoe moving away to the left, her crossfield ball coming to Abbi Griffin in space on the right takes it forwards her cross into the box gathered by ICA Sports goalkeeper Clare Knibbs at her near post.

   Nicholls on the left the ball up to Hart, Cindy Ponder going up for the ball with striker the ball out for a throw-in on the left. Played into Nicholls top of the area, inside for Hart played on across the D for Zoe Leddy, taking the all away to the right making room for a shot sends a low strike angling in towards the far post, Hope is in position to gather the ball. Laura Bailey with the ball inside the ICA Sports half plays the pass out to Brooke Wickens running forwards on the left taking it to the edge of the box the ICA Spots defence close on her no room for a strike a regain possession of the ball. 

ICA Sports Ladies, Donna Nicholls

  Counter attacking the ball played up to Hart she knocks it down to Nicholls breaking in behind on the left, Ponder coming across to slide in and take the ball away from her. Hart leading the line for ICA Sports the ball played into her 25 yards from goal central bringing it down turns and strikes the ball in towards goal her effort straight at Hope the Newmarket goalkeeper claiming the ball. 

GOAL! ICA Sports capitalise on their good start take the lead as Hart forces a mistake at the back the ball played into the left channel the striker going after it as it runs into the box Beth Woodfield trying to shield it back to her keeper, Hope comes out sliding in, Hart on Woodfield’s back the ball is touched by the defender taking it out of Hope’s path leaving her goal exposed Hart alive getting around the Newmarket pair and sending the ball into the back of the empty net 1-0. 

Lorna Hart with the opening goal for ICA Sports Ladies.

  Newmarket were planning a change before the goal do it before the restart Antonia Smith giving way for Frankie Torrance who goes into left back pushing Wickens further up on the wing. Bailey with the ball into Sillitoe left side her lay off to the advancing Torrance 20 yards from goal her attempted strike charged down by the ICA Sports defence. Megan Purnell with the ball attacking on the right wing for ICA Sports screws a shot wide from 25 yards out. The positive start from ICA Sports has them full of confidence, Newmarket rattled are disjointed

 Jess Linger with the ball in the centre for Newmarket on for Sillitoe ahead of her spins the ball out to the left with Wickens bombing on, Shields coming across to clear the ball out for a throw top of the area. Sillitoe taking the throw down well into her body turns and sends a cross into the area, Knibbs can easily gather. Getting early goal they were after ICA Sports have settled forming a solid shape at the back not showing as much attacking intent. Nicholls a threat on the left. Ponder tackling in the middle of the Newmarket defence as Hart looks to force her way in on goal. ICA Sports make a change, Rhian Leonard coming on for Holly Partner. 

Brooke Wickens bringing the ball on for Newmarket Town Ladies

  Bailey plays the ball forwards Sillitoe leaving it to run on through as Wickens runs clear in behind on the left side, Purnell going with her tackles her on the edge of the area. A free-kick wide left for Newmarket, Linger on it a good distance goes for goal the ball wide of the near post. Torrance bringing the ball on down the left on for Sillitoe the Newmarket striker beating a coupe of players before sending a diagonal ball into the box Griffin with the central run the ball too close to the keeper Knibbs down to gather before her goal is threatened.

   Hart strong on the ball gets the better of Beth Woodfield wide left puts a cross/shot in towards goal the ball flashing out wide at the far post across the goal face. Bailey opens up her body sliding the ball into Sillitoe to attack the ICA Sports, no shot on as the opposition are quick to converge, Farchica with Sarah Rouse a shield in front of their defence. Newmarket haven’t got going properly at all, attacking room in the final third but closed down quickly passing options aren’t on. ICA Sports bringing it away Hart always ready yo turn in behind up top. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Jordanne Sillitoe with ICA Sports, Steph Pepper.

  Into the closing minutes of the 1st half, Leonard forwards on the right for Newmarket played in down the line coming inside Ponder tackling the ball out for a corner kick. Defended near post a goal kick awarded. Rouse sending the ball back into the area as Newmarket initially clear it, bouncing Hart at six yards out Hope does well up against her, her punch taking it off her head knocking it to the floor is first to it and gathers. A free-kick inside the ICA Sports half for Newmarket, Linger has Yasmin Woodfield in space to her right she is supported by Griffin working the ball forwards Leddy wins the ball back for ICA Sports before any cross can be delivered.

Half-time ICA Sports Ladies 1-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  A strong 1st half performance from ICA Sports showing attacking intent from the start, got Newmarket on the back foot and getting the goal they were after have sat back since. Newmarket are more often than not a free flowing attacking side, haven’t settled at all in the 1st half on this evening’s final a large part down to ICA Sports, haven’t tested Knibbs with a shot getting the ball in and around the box, Shields and Pepper strong at the back backed up well by Rouse and Farchica in front of them. Chances have been few the difference ICA Sports have taken theirs. A narrow lead to defend but Newmarket need to find more in themselves if they are to find a way back into the game 2nd half. 

The floodlights starting to take full effect as the light fades the sides out for the 2nd half. A change for Newmarket who get the 2nd half kicked off, Sarah O’Rourke up top supporting Sillitoe with Bailey off. Ponder moved into midfield, press the ball early Sillitoe inside for O’Rourke the substitute driving forwards to try and get into the box, Farchica sliding in to tackle. A counter attack for ICA Sports the ball played out to Nicholls bursting forwards on the left her pass inside to Hart runs in behind the return pass a little too heavy allowing Hope to come and gather.

Jess Farchica with the tackle to win the ball back for ICA Sports

 Pepper goes in to win the clearance for ICA Sports the ball played long up to Hart moving into the left channel, Beth Woodfield coming across to her to shield the ball out for a goal kick. O’Rourke with the ball deep on the left after a throw-in her cross fired in towards the near post Griffin getting in front of the keeper tries to flick the ball past her with her heel the ball running across the face of goal. Sillitoe with support from O’Rourke right side of the ICA Sports box pushing the ball into her Sillitoe coming inside receiving return ball her shot in curling wide of goal. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Cindy Ponder

Yasmin Woodfield on the overlap in behind as Griffin slides the ball into her run her cross in cleared by Pepper, comes straight to Ponder drives a shot back in towards goal on target but straight at Knibbs the keeper taking the ball safely into her body. Newmarket starting the 2nd period well players forwards into attacking positions ICA Sports remain a tough nut to crack. Hart the outlet up top for ICA Sports the ball played up to her tried to turn in behind is tackled by Slater. 

ICA Sports Ladies, Steph Pepper

  O’Rourke fouled by Shield as she looks to force her way forwards with the ball through the middle a free-kick in a dangerous position 25/30 yards out Linger takes on the shot her rising ball parried down and caught by Knibbs. A free-kick up the other end as Nicholls is fouled by Beth Woodfield 22 yards out left of the D. She shot striking the wall the rebound blazed high over the goal. 

Pepper comes across to tackle put the ball out for a throw on the right as Griffin is played in behind by Ponder. ICA Sports are standing strong against the Newmarket assault Sophie Antonucci bringing the ball on from the back on for Nicholls on the left the ball put out for a throw level with the top of the Newmarket area.

GOAL! ICA Sports double their lead off the throw in the ball rolled inside for Farchica having gotten into an advanced position 25 yards out no one on her shifts the ball and sends in a great strike towards goal looping up into the air has Hope worried back on her line it dips late on her striking the underside of the crossbar bouncing down and up again the angle taking it into the goal off the side netting 2-0. 

A further blow for Newmarket a triple change made Smith back on along with Joeli Kirby and Lauren Deller. Hart strong through the middle, Beth Woodfield doing well up against her to regain possession. Newmarket overloading the left side win a corner the ball curled in towards the near post Rouse defending for ICA Sports. A change for ICA Sports, Leonard off Purnell back on. Newmarket press players on attacking risk leaving gaps at the back, ICA Sports though defending resolutely are camped inside there half defending the box, Farchica cutting out a through ball for O’Rourke from Ponder. 

Another strike charged down by Pepper, Linger bringing the ball on. Kirby getting hold of the ball 25 yards out runs towards the area, now way through the ICA Sports defence. Newmarket rotate players in attack desperate to find goal. ICA Sports make a change a slight knock for Nicholls, Leonard returning. Into the final 5 minutes ICA Sports are working hard to keep Newmarket at bay happy for the ball to be played around 25 yards out letting no gaps appear especially through the middle. 

  Hart up top on her own always ready to go after the ball whenever it is launched clear one on one with Hope as the keeper comes to the top of the area a crunching 50/50 between the pair the ball could have gone anywhere runs out for a goalkick wide of goal as Hope picks herself up. Smith with the ball fr Newmarket forwards for Kirby, Pepper sliding in to tackle for ICA Sports. Into stoppage time all Newmarket, Knibbs claiming the cross has collected everything Newmarket have played into her box. ICA Sports standing firm right to the final whistle celebrate as they win the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup for the first time. 

Full time ICA Sports Ladies 2-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  Have seen Newmarket several times this season, and they don’t need me to tell them they can play better. Finals can do that sometimes, have seen it for whatever reason you just don’t have the performance you know you’re capable of there on the day. Disappointment for Newmarket, however take nothing away from ICA Sports Ladies fully deserving of their success came with a plan and executed it perfectly, getting in front early and working hard as a unit to frustrate and prevent opportunities for their opponents. Defending resolutely at times got up the other end to score a 2nd goal wanted the clean sheet up the other end. One final won another to come.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  A tough one this evening singling out just one player for the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. It was a good solid all round team performance from ICA Sports. Lorna Hart leading the line well backed up by Donna Nicholls. At the back Steph Pepper put in some terrific tackles to prevent Newmarket’s attackers running through on goal. Sarah Rouse in midfield breaking up play along side Jess Farchina, excellent in disrupting Newmarket’s flow especially 1st half and with a great strike to score ICA Sports 2nd goal I have chosen Jess Farchina.

Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Winners 2017/18, ICA Sports Ladies

Congratulations to ICA Sports Ladies on winning this season’s Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup.

 My thanks to both sides for there help with the teams this evening. Thanks to Chris Abbott to for asking me to present the players their awards it was an honour one I certainly wasn’t expecting. Back to Ely again tomorrow for my 3rd final of the week the Division One Cup Final.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v Cambridge City Ladies Development

Sunday 21st January

  Having seen no live action last weekend I was keen to get a game in this Sunday, the weather forecast however meant that was likely to be a challenge. Had a game in mind that I was pretty sure would beat the weather over others and held out as the games started to fall one by one. Hit the road heading to Newmarket hoping to see the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership game between Newmarket Town Ladies and Cambridge City Ladies Development. 

  Over night rain followed by freezing conditions with snow and sleet preceding rain for Sunday afternoon a pretty gloomy forecast a pitch inspection at The Ridgeons Stadium at 1:15pm saw a light dusting of snow covering the pitch but okay to play an all weather surface state of the art cork based it was in good shape. More importantly the ground provided cover for spectators. Game on. I was a bit early for kick-off as I didn’t know it had been put back to 3pm but seeing’s as I’d written zero pre-match notes this wasn’t time wasted.

Netherton United Ladies currently lead the way in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership the Peterborough based side getting off to a great start winning their 1st 7 matches, have 27 points from 11 games played in total. 2 defeats giving hope to those chasing who all have games in hand 2nd placed St Ives Town Ladies who can overhaul Netherton yet should they win their 4 games in hand having played 7. So to have today’s opponents Newmarket Town Ladies in 3rd place at home to 4th placed Cambridge City Ladies Development.

   Newmarket Town Ladies are on 16 points from their 7 played having won 5 with a draw and a loss so far in this campaign, amongst the front runners to challenge for the title this season a run in the FA Women’s Cup playing a factor in the number of league matches they have yet to play. A busy 2nd half to the season looms are in the quarter finals of the Suffolk Women’s County Cup and have reached the League Cup semi-finals too. Like St Ives Town they can catch Netherton if they collect maximum points from their games in hand. A win today moves them into 2nd position in the table.

  Cambridge City Ladies Development are into their 2nd season having won promotion to the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership in their debut season with the Championship South title. A strong youth set up at Cambridge City the 1st team currently 2nd in the ERWFL Premier Division the Development side has several players setting up into adult football from youth level aged 16. Like Newmarket have played just the 7 league games so far with 3 defeats and 4 victories to date the latest last weekend seeing them come back from 3-2 down against Cambridge University Women to win the match 6-3, with 16 year old Yasmin Crow scoring her 1st senior hat-trick.

 The Ridgeons Stadium the venue for today’s match, as mentioned earlier boasting a state of the art artificial playing surface. A clubhouse (a warm one too) hot drinks and food available. A small seated mainstand covered along with further covering in front of the clubhouse along side the pitch. Still out in the elements a bitterly cold day, the snow stopping before kick-off a bit of rain in the air with a biting wind that would grow stronger as the afternoon progressed. Good job I love the game or I’d have stayed at home. 

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Jess Linger, Brooke Wickens, Yasmin Woodfield, Beth Woodfield (C), Laura Bailey, Chloe Slater, Antonia Smith, Abbi Griffin, Lauren Deller & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Ellie Marshall, Cindy Ponder, Dominika Szary, Sarah O’Rourke & Cassandra Carvalheiro.

Cambridge City Ladies Development starting XI – Jenny Jamieson, Tegan Wyman, Eline Sorbye, Ellie Todd, Gemma Clare (C), Kayleigh Whitehead, Rachel Pearce, Molly White, Lucy Hurst, Yasmin Crow & Ellie Cullum. Subs – Aneila Luxford, Erin Fox, Rachel Littlewood, Amy Ozakpinar & Laura Mills.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

    It’s Cambridge to kick-off the match wearing white shirts with black upon the shoulders, black shirts and black and white hooped socks. Newmarket lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts with blue shorts and yellow socks. An array of gloves worn too by both sides very cold out there. Despite the earlier snow fall and general wetness the pitch is in great shape no signs at all of players losing their footing. Newmarket press in the middle winning early possession of the ball Chloe Slater with the diagonal ball out to Lauren Deller over on the left wing the ball knocked on down the line she can’t keep it in play.

Jess Linger bringing the ball down for Newmarket Town Ladies

The home side have started the brighter pushing forwards Jordanne Sillitoe up front moving into space on the right receiving the ball whips a cross in along the face of goal from the byline is headed behind for a corner kick at the near post by Cambridge’s Eline Sorbye. The ball played into the area by Newmarket’s Jess Linger is headed back to her coming inside slices her low cross behind for a goal kick. Newmarket have possession on the right inside the Cambridge half a well worked triangle between Sillitoe, Abbi Griffin and Antonia Smith brings the home side a 2nd corner. Put in from the right headed out of the area falls to Chloe Slater 25 yards out Cambridge captain Gemma Clare goes in to block the shot goes wide.

GOAL! An early goal as Newmarket capitalise on their good start going 1-0 in the 7th minute. Pressing the ball high up the pitch the diagonal ball is put out to the left for Deller taking it on whips a great cross in towards the near post Griffin having made the run challenged by a Cambridge defender neither get any meaningful contact on the ball as it drops down inside the box Smith having made a midfield run is up with play first the ball and strikes it low across goal into the bottom corner. 1-0.

Antonia Smith opens the scoring for Newmarket Town Ladies

Newmarket are first to any loose pass and pressing the 2nd ball making it difficult for Cambridge to get out of their own half Laura Bailey with the tackle for Newmarket the ball knocked on picked up by Griffin 30 yards out takes on the strike a lobbed effort that has goalkeeper Jenny Jamieson scrambling across her goal the ball dropping just wide of the top corner. Cambridge look to send the ball long down the left for attacker Ellie Cullum to give chase, Yasmin Woodfield across from centreback for Newmarket to clear the threat putting the ball out for a throw.

   Molly White wins the ball in the centre for Cambridge plays an early pass forwards for Yasmin Crow peeling away to the right up top taking the ball on into the box shoots her effort straight into Eloise Hope the goalkeeper back covering her near post claiming the ball. The action quickly switches to the other end the ball played out to Griffin wide right, Sillitoe already on the move into space in behind the Cambridge defence the pass picking her out into the area strikes the ball races wide across the six yard box. 

Cambridge captain, Gemma Clare winning the ball ahead of Newmarket’s Jordanne Sillitoe

  Clare coming further forwards into the middle wins the ball for Cambridge sending it long drops to Cullum back to goal 25 yards out tries to see the ball down into her box and turn into the strike is closely marked by Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield who prevents any strike the ball spinning loose is played long as Newmarket launch a counter the ball out wide right the cross fired into the area Clare puts her foot through the ball to clear for Cambridge drops straight to Smith just outside the area her first time strike flying over the crossbar.

Hope is quick to come out of her box to clear the ball as White almost ties up Crow again with a good through ball. Kayleigh Whitehead wins the ball plays it on for Crow right side wins the away sides first corner of the game as Yasmin Woodfield puts in the challenge. A brilliant pass from Bailey up the other end for Newmarket the midfielder sliding the ball on into the area with Griffin providing the run Tegan Wyman going with her for Cambridge does well to deny her a shooting opportunity. Sillitoe comes close again as she puts a low shot across the Cambridge goal from the top of the area. A change for Newmarket at the back Yasmin Woodfield coming off Ellie Marshall coming on.

Midfielder Laura Bailey getting into an advanced position as Newmarket push players forwards

Newmarket bring the ball forwards down the right on for Sillitoe to chase down on the byline cuts her cross back along the face of goal evading Jamieson at the near post runs on no one gambling with a far post run, Cambridge can clear their lines. A piece of lax defending from Newmarket presents Cambridge with an opportunity in attack as White runs on through the middle getting hold of the ball, Hope comes racing out to meet her just outside the area going to ground the pair come together enough from the goalkeeper to stop a strike coming in the ball deflected to the right White goes after it plays the cross in Marshall back tracking blocks back to White lifts it over the central defender this time both Cullum and Lucy Hurst coming in from the left inside the six yard box won’t come down for Cullum to get a clean strike away Hurst can put her foot through the shot smashes it straight against Hope who makes a great stop from close range having gotten back into position.

Molly White getting forwards for Cambridge is challenged as she attempts t play the ball into Ellie Cullum

Cambridge make a double switch full backs Wyman and Sorbye coming off with Erin Fox and Aneila Luxford coming on. Whitehead with Pearce bring the ball on for Cambridge, White wanting the ball right side attempts to play it through for Crow, Brooke Wickens getting to the ball ahead of the attacker. Newmarket make a change Cindy Ponder joining the action on the half hour for Deller. Cambridge win the ball from a Hope goal kick the ball knocked on through the middle sees Cullum unmarked 25 yards out the ball coming to her unexpectedly her shot lacks any power is gratefully claimed by Hope.

 GOAL! Newmarket double their lead the goalscorer Abbi Griffin the 18 year old making her 50th appearance for the club today. Newmarket bring the ball on with purpose left side played into Griffin in a central position just outside the box left of the D puts a low shot in towards goal, Jamieson diving to her right can’t quite keep the ball out as it squirms under her and on into the back of the net 2-0.

50 appearances and a goal for Newmarket’s Abbi Griffin

GOAL! Newmarket have been quicker to the ball all 1st half and are soon further ahead is another fantastic ball from midfield from Bailey splitting the Cambridge defence Sillitoe timing her run to perfection into the box can pick her spot Jamieson no time to close her down the ball is slotted low to her right to make it 3-0.

Cambridge make another double switch bringing on Rachel Littlewood and Amy Ozakpinar for Todd and White. Cambridge continue to be restricted in attack Newmarket defending a high line confident they can stop any threat getting in behind. Hurst looks to go beyond Cullum left side Linger tackling the winger breaking up the move. 

Griffin latches onto the ball from a Cambridge throw in on the the right once again it’s Sillitoe ready to go makes the run into the channel the ball into her feet takes it on into the box closing in on goal, Jamieson has her near post covered and Ozakpinar gets across Sillitoe between them the ball is stopped spinning behind for a late corner. The ball played in towards the top of the area falls to Ponder her shot is straight at Jamieson the keeper with a comfortable save. 

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 3-0 Cambridge City Ladies Development

  A good first half performance from Newmarket taking a 3-0 lead into the changing rooms, pressing the ball high and winning alot of 2nd balls getting players forwards and as a result limiting Cambridge’s chances going forwards. Difficult conditions to play in the pitch okay but bitterly cold with a biting wind getting stronger.

The sides are soon out for the 2nd half as the floodlights are switched on the gloomy sky starting to darken. Changes for both sides at the start of the 2nd period. Cambridge wheeling out the big gun have Laura Mills on the bench plenty of FAWPL experience is dual signed with Cambridge City with Milton Keynes Dons and takes up a midfield role in place of Whitehead. Marshall is off for Newmarket with Ponder dropping into defence. Sarah O’Rourke currently Newmarket’s top scorer with 12 goals is on up top along with Cassandra Carvalheiro and Dominika Szary. Slater, Smith and Griffin the players off. Newmarket get thing’s underway.

An early attack for the home side the ball played deep into the left channel with Sillitoe after it has support from Szary to her left the ball laid back to her plays the cross into the area falls just behind O’Rourke making a run at the far post. Cambridge get the ball forwards long from Pearce out to Littlewood on the left wing her early cross into the area headed clear by Woodfield.  

Cambridge’s Rachel Pearce

   Picking up the ball 25 yards out from goal Sillitoe jinks left then right knocking the ball on for O’Rourke to her right into the box, Jamieson making the save low at her feet the ball deflected wide O’Rourke after it tries to life the ball over the keeper, Jamieson producing a great save.  

GOAL! A more even start however Newmarket go further ahead early in the 2nd half as the home side is awarded a free-kick wide in the right top corner of the area. Linger, Newmarket’s set piece specialist coming forwards to take goes for goal plenty of pace on the all across the area to nestle in the bottom corner 4-0.  

  Jamieson makes a fantastic stop with her feet to deny Newmarket a 5th goal moments later as possession is lost the home side getting the ball out to O’Rourke on the right her cross from the byline cut back into the area Carvalheiro with the run a good strike from close range Jamieson doing well to stop it. Luxford with the ball right side for Cambridge inside to Crow looks to pick out Fox getting forwards from the left, the through ball intercepted.  Mills giving Cambridge a focal point in the midfield they are getting the ball forwards with more purpose and getting players up around her wanting the ball. Newmarket sitting back more have a comfortable lead.

Cambridge’s Erin Fox playing the ball forwards

GOAL! Cambridge pull a goal back on the hour coming forwards the ball played long into the right wing Crow giving chase evades a clumsy challenge in the corner before putting a great all into the six yard box centre of goal Littlewood having moved in from the left is there under the ball close with the keeper a glancing header taking it past her into the back of the net 4-1. 

Cambridge come again soon after the restart the ball won at the back up the line Mills helping it on for Crow down the right her early diagonal ball into the box is a threat Hope has two runners closing her down the ball falling favourably in between them she is able to deal with the threat get it away. Newmarket make a change Slater returning to the pitch in place of Szary. 

Carvalheiro makes a run across the top of the Cambridge area as the ball is squared into her from the left screws the shot up over the bar. Winning a corner on the left Newmarket bring players forwards the ball is defended near post behind for another corner this delivery aimed near post squeezes through sees a shot come in from inside the six yard box the defender covering the post for Cambridge making the block resulting in a 3rd corner this one taken short with Sillitoe coming for the ball she turns and strikes the ball from outside the box Hurst charging the ball down.

   Hurst comes off for Cambridge with Sorbye coming back on with Newmarket winning a corner right side the ball getting through to Sillitoe at the near post her shot blocked by Cullum at close range. A run from Mills on the right side for Cambridge cuts the ball back in field for Pearce coming forwards her looping ball comes for Cullum in a central position outside the area aiming to get the ball down and turn and strike it Newmarket are quickly on her to nullify the danger. 

A brave piece of goalkeeping from Jamieson with Newmarket hitting Cambridge on the counter the ball played low through the middle finding Carvalheiro running clear towards the box and one on one situation Jamieson comes rushing out sliding it to smother the ball at the attackers feet just inside the box, is hurt for her efforts but after treatment is okay to continue. Is a more even contest 2nd half Cambridge playing with a little more urgency starting attacks higher up the pitch enabling more players to get forwards. Newmarket defending a 3 goal lead can afford to sit back a little with around 15 minutes left to play.

Very cold out there, Jamieson comes racing out of her area to clear the ball with Sillitoe giving chase as Bailey plays it on. Newmarket push players forwards in the next attack the ball won on the left taken to the byline the cross whipped in across the six yard box dropping at the far post Griffin arriving throws herself at hit making contact with her boot the ball striking the post! 

   Deller returns to the field for Newmarket in place of O’Rourke. Todd and White are also back on for Cambridge. Bailey with a crossfield run cuts the ball back looking to play it over the top for Deller, Cambridge push up the striker caught offside. A free kick awarded to Cambridge in an inviting position right of the D, Pearce on the ball sends her shot up over the bar.

 Bailey moving left with the ball squares her cross along the top of the area the ball cut out by Luxford. Late into the match Crow wide plays a ball into the area from the right Ponder heading it away, the home side counter attack the ball forwards into Bailey a great slide rule past sending Deller in behind, good positioning from Jamieson the keeper able to get out of her area and come to clear the threat before Deller can get hold of the ball.

Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 4-1 Cambridge City Ladies Development

    4-1 win for Newmarket takes them into 2nd position in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership table on 19 points. The game won in the 1st half a dominant performance Newmarket starting the better closing the ball down higher up the pitch players making forward runs to cause Cambridge problems and go 3 goals in front, further extending the lead as Cambridge rallied in the 2nd half playing with much more confidence pulling a goal back a young and talented side that are only going to get better. Newmarket now 8 points behind Netherton with 3 games in hand.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

    A good display from Newmarket especially first half getting themselves into a 3 goal lead a few contenders for today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, Griffin and Bailey both doing well, up top it was her runs and movement that caused Cambridge the most problems as well as pulling players out of position capping it off with a goal so have given it to Jordanne Sillitoe.

   A credit to the players for braving horrible conditions to play today’s game bitterly cold a ball strike hurting just a little bit more. Played with plenty of energy and in good spirit. Freezing myself took a while to warm up but good to get a game in. My thanks to both clubs for their help today.  

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Newmarket Town Ladies

Sunday 8th October

 Today’s match report features another game from this season’s FA Women’s Cup, 3rd Round Qualifying with Wymondham Town Ladies hosting Newmarket Town Ladies this Sunday afternoon. A personal milestone too with this being the 300th match report I’ve written since beginning the SWF Blog back in 2013, loved every minute of it so far and looking forwards to today’s action.

A place in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup up for grabs today history will be made for which ever side achieves it. Newmarket Town Ladies having got as far in the competition as they ever have before in a great vein of form. So too are Wymondham Town Ladies and they have enjoyed the FA Women’s Cup in previous seasons too beating FAWPL opposition along the way a chance to reach the 1st Round Proper this time around.

Wymondham Town Ladies are plying their trade in the ERWFL Division One North his season as the regional leagues 2nd tier has split into 2 divisions. Finished 3rd in the one league Division One last season after winning promotion as Norfolk Women’s Division One Champions. Will be aiming to top the table this time around achieve promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division. Manager Alex Guy is assisted by Luke Worley this season and will know plenty about today’s opponents having been Newmarket Town Ladies 1st team coach last season. Joining him from Newmarket are midfielder Kristin Hummel and striker Nadine Basson. Alice Ladbrooke joins the club having been with Acle United Ladies. Brooke Moreno is another new signing along with defender Lauren Kett, who impressed a number of opposition coaches with her performances for Thorpe United Ladies last season.

   Wymondham Town Ladies began their FA Women’s Cup campaign with a 4-0 away win against Norfolk Women’s Division One side Sprowston Ladies. Onto 2nd Round Qualifying were drawn at home to play Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side St Ives Town Ladies won through comfortable 7-1 to reach 3rd Round Qualifying drawn at home to face Newmarket Town Ladies who they knocked out of the competition in 1st Round Qualifying last season winning 7-2 away from home.

 Have followed Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership side, Newmarket Town Ladies progress in the competition in the previous 2 qualifying rounds making history as they won their 1st ever game in the FA Women’s Cup being Histon Ladies in 1st Round Qualifying 4-2, then making more history in 2nd Round Qualifying at home coming back from 3-0 with 15 minutes left to win the tie 4-3 in extra-time and progress. Having twice beaten sides in the ERWFL Division One North they were drawn away to a 3rd in 3rd Round Qualifying. A tough contest but come into the game unbeaten in league and cup. Have a new signing of their own Millie Bales who starts up front for them this afternoon.

King’s Head Meadow the venue for today’s FA Women’s Cup tie. The bar and clubhouse overlooking to pitch on entry a Sunday Carvery on offer before the game. Newmarket bringing plenty of support to the game a good atmosphere building. A good sized pitch a little bobbly always looks a heavy pitch but is deceivingly well drained. Overcast but quite mild no rain forecast a light breeze. After missing last weekend due to illness I was keen to get some action in.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Lauren Kett, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Brook Cheal-Ferris, Rachel Cossey (C), Kristin Hummel, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kayleigh Holloway, Nadine Basson & Laura Wiseman. Subs – Laura Watson, Alice Collins, Laura Nicholls, Brooke Moreno & Alice Ladbrooke.

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Jess Linger, Jennifer Gray, Yasmin Woodfield, Beth Woodfield (C), Antonia Smith, Chloe Slater, Laura Bailey, Abbi Griffin, Brooke Wickens & Millie Bales. Subs – Dominika Szary, Cindy Ponder, Ellie Marshall, Sarah O’Rourke & Lauren Deller.

 It’s Newmarket to get this afternoon’s FA Women’s Cup tie underway kicking off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts and black shorts with red and black hooped socks. Wymondham look to press Newmarket on the ball inside their own half, the visitors break the ball played up the left wing new signing Millie Bales running onto the ball down to the byline cuts the ball back sending it into the crowd gathered at the top of the area, Chloe Slater connects sending a low drive in towards goal, goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan diving to her left pushing the ball around the post to concede the corner. The corner comes in central Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey gets her head on the ball clearing it towards the top of the area dropping to Newmarket’s, Laura Bailey she strikes a shot over the crossbar. 

Wymondham Town Ladies captain, Rachel Cossey

An even start to the game both sides want to use the width the pitch offers. A throw in inside the Newmarket half for Wymondham on the right, Laura Wiseman 25 yards out flicks the ball on into the path of strike partner Nadine Basson her tough takes the ball on into the area right of goal shapes to shoot, Newmarket captain, Beth Woodfield throws out a leg to take the ball away from the striker, Basson retains possession turning puts the ball into Wiseman as she makes a run into the box connecting 1st time sends her shot over. 

Wymondham make ground on the right wing, Kristin Hummel linking with Kayleigh Holloway between them they work a cross along the face of the Newmarket area, an instinctive strike from 16 year old Mollie O’Callaghan younger sister to goalkeeper Ashleigh to turn the ball towards goal from inside the D, racing along the ground the ball swerves away from the far post wide. Basson is looking lively for Wymondham in the early stages peeling away to the right is almost away clear as Hummel plays her in, good recovering from Newmarket left back Jennifer Gray to slide in and win the ball.

On the opposite flank Brooke Cheal-Ferris getting forwards for Wymondham sees her cross deflected up onto the roof of the Newmarket net a corner to the home side taken short up the line for Cheal-Ferris her driven shot from 25 yards is deflected behind for another corner, this time the inswinging ball is headed clear by Yasmin Woodfield. Bales looks to have plenty of pace in attack for Newmarket as she gives chase to a long cleared ball closing with Kett the defender looking to shield the ball as O’Callaghan advances from her area, right corner, Bales steals in between them both taking the ball wide tries to send a shot in towards the empty net beyond sees her attempt run wide at the near post.

   The match is being played at a good tempo the ball rarely still, Mollie O’Callaghan left into Basson top of the area left of the D her snap shot is split by Newmarket goalkeeper Eloise Hope but thankfully for her runs narrowly wide of her near post the corner given. Newmarket defend and get the ball moving forwards quickly winning a throw in left side the ball is played into Laura Bailey in a central position, drives forwards looking to get into the box, 4 Wymondham players converge on her no way through. 

Abbi Griffin looking to hold the ball up for Newmarket Town Ladies

  Newmarket working hard are disrupting Wymondham’s flow their final touch a little wayward giving the visitors defence time to recover. Getting forwards on the left Bales getting in behind squares the ball along the top of the area into Bailey she in turn helps in on for Abbi Griffin coming inside from the right strikes the ball from outside the area, she shot racing wide across the face of goal. 

  GOAL! 19 minutes played and Wymondham take the lead the game end to end in the opening period a chance is taken building from the back Cheal-Ferris left on for Mollie O’Callaghan her pass forwards finds Wiseman breaking into the area left of goal, latching onto the ball Hope comes sliding out to meet her Wiseman takes the ball around the keeper and turns it into the empty net beyond to open the scoring 1-0.

Laura Wiseman opens the scoring for Wymondham Town Ladies

Wymondham regain possession of the ball from the restart full back Leah Newcombe getting her foot wrapped around the ball on the touchline to send it up the right wing for Holloway her cross driven into the box is defended the cleared ball running straight back to her, Holloway tries again this time into Hummel outside the area she strikes the ball 1st time centrally the driven shot runs low and wide across goal. A great ball from Cossey from the right side sees Wiseman clear through the middle, her 1st touch far too heavy she rashly slides in to try and win the ball as goalkeeper Hope gets down low to claim. Hope is okay to continue after receiving treatment.

Wiseman with another opportunity to have a strike on goal making a left channel run into the area is played in from the wing wins the race to the ball with Beth Woodfield squeezing a shot away from the top of the six yard box, Hope makes a great save with her legs the ball deflected into the air just about cleared by Linger. Basson with a spin and shot from 25 yards out straight down Hope’s throat the goalkeeper palms the ball down safely as the game reaches the half hour mark. A good spell for Wymondham Holloway getting free on the right fires a cross along the face of goal Mollie O’Callaghan arriving far post tries to turn it back in towards goal, Both Beth Woodfield and Hope throw themselves at the ball between defender and goalkeeper one of them makes the save the ball behind for a corner. Another corner played up the line the ball into the box slices up off a defenders boot however Hope is well positioned to prevent the own goal.

Wymondham fullback Leah Newcombe tackling Newmarket’s Abbi Griffin

Good hold up play by Newcombe on the left touchline rolls the ball back to Betty Fretwell her long ball forwards rights Basson free on the right strikes the ball early the shot narrowly over. Newmarket send players forwards as they are awarded a free-kick inside the Wymondham half, Linger to take sends the ball in towards the top of the area cleared to the right possession is regained by Slater she lifts the ball in towards goal threatening to loop in over the keeper, O’Callaghan throws herself up and getting a glove on the ball diverts it wide of her far post. Linger has another opportunity to play a set-piece inside the Wymondham half 40 yards out as Griffin is upended. This time goes for goal a good delivery looping up and down destined for the top corner if only it was half a yard to the right.

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 1-0 Newmarket Town Ladies

  An enthralling 1st half in this FA Women’s Cup tie, a narrow lead for Wymondham Town Ladies could have been 3 or 4 had they taken their chances however Newmarket have had their chances too and could have taken an early lead a competitive and even contest Wymondham getting more of the ball later on. One goal in it the tie is still wide open.

No changes for either side at half-time as Wymondham get the 2nd 45 minutes underway. The home side on the attack straight away Mollie O’Callaghan putting the ball forwards for Wiseman looking to break into the area, is a great tackle from Beth Woodfield to deny her a shooting opportunity. Mollie O’Callaghan with a chance to go for goal herself as she catches Linger in possession on the left side winning the ball pushing on comes inside finding room outside the area to shoot the ball racing in towards goal, Hope dives full stretch to her left, the ball turns away from goal and evades both the keeper and her goal beyond. 

Newmarket Town Ladies captain, Beth Woodfield

Holloway with a powerful run on the ball right side squares the cross into the area Wiseman near side 10 yards out turns the ball in towards goal, putting it straight into Hope’s gloves. Pressure from Wymondham with the ball right side worked into the middle, Cossey sees 2 shots blocked in quick succession. Play is getting a little frantic rushed passes going astray. A corner for Wymondham as Basson’s clever flick on plays Mollie O’Callaghan to her right into the box, Beth Woodfield tackling gives away the corner. The cross eventually comes in from deep long Fretwell jumping can’t control her header.

  Closing in on the hour mark Newmarket make a double substitution bringing of Smith and Bales send on Cindy Ponder and Lauren Deller. Newmarket get players forwards the ball with Wickens on the left she plays the ball into Bailey making a central run into the area, stretching for the ball she stabs it goalwards, rising the ball is played straight at O’Callaghan the goalkeeper claiming the ball. 

GOAL! Newmarket level the scores, getting players forwards attacking the ball is played into the box from the right the referee spots an infringement and points to the spot awarding the visitors a penalty kick. Up steps Linger to take opts for power and placement sending the rising ball to the left of the diving O’Callaghan 1-1.

Wymondham respond by making a substitution bringing off Basson up front send on Laura Nicholls to join Wiseman in the attack. 

GOAL! Newmarket turn the game around on it head 6 minutes after getting back on level terms go on to take the lead. Ponder is fouled inside the Wymondham half 30 yards out as she looks to bring the ball forwards. The free-kick awarded Newmarket’s set-piece specialist Linger comes forwards to take. A great connection sends the ball up over the wall and dipping late flies in over the keeper to land in the back of the net 1-2.

Jess Linger sees her set-piece go in to give Newmarket Town Ladies the lead

 A great run on the ball from Griffin right side moments later getting past two Wymondham players making it into the box is stopped by the challenge from Kett putting the ball away for the corner. Wymondham make their 2nd change bringing on Alice Ladbrooke for Hummel in the middle of the park. Nicholls hasn’t quite got her bearings since entering the game flagged offside on a couple of occasions as Wymondham threaten to break. Gets a shot away from inside the box right side as Wiseman goes on a run with the ball down the right puts the cross into her path lunging at the ball forces a good save from Hope with her legs at the near post.

GOAL! Wymondham have been on the attack since going behind seeing crosses flashed across the box they capitalise on a piece of lax defending from Newmarket trying to control the ball inside their box the headers between two defenders then back to to keeper sees Nicholls pounce closing all three down steals in between defender and ball to get her head on it and put it past Hope into the back of the net beyond 2-2. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Cindy Ponder tackling Wymondham’s Laura Nicholls

Newmarket make their 3rd and final change bringing off Gray at left back and sending on Ellie Marshall. A vital interception from Yasmin Woodfield at the back with play stretched she cuts out Holloway’s diagonal ball with Wiseman ready to run in on goal behind her. Griffin finding room to cross on the right her ball into the six yard box clawed down by O’Callaghan with Deller ready to pounce beyond her. Cossey struggling comes off for Wymondham, Brooke Moreno their final substitution.

Wymondham Town Ladies, Kayleigh Holloway

The substitute making an immediate impact as she gets clear on the right driving for the corner wraps her foot around the ball sending a cross into the six yard box, falling for Nicholls she opts to go with the outside of her right boot ends up stabbing the ball directly into the keepers welcoming gloves. Up the other end Deller sends a shot wide across goal from 25 yards out as Ponder wins the challenge in the middle. Play continues to be stretched Newmarket starting to tire Wymondham win a corner on the left the ball in headed clear by Marshall, Mollie O’Callaghan gathers it outside the box puts her foot through the shot the strike deflected through to the keeper. Into the final 5 minutes of the match. 

Wymondham finding space up front with Nicholls playing through the middle Wiseman drifting right late on. Mollie O’Callaghan plays the ball on for Nicholls 20 yards out right of goal shoots the ball racing wide of the near post. Attacking down the right Wymondham looking strong as the game moves into stoppage time Moreno with the cross in Linger inside her box gets her head on the ball sending it back out to the near post area, Nicholls is there for Wymondham, Hope realising the danger goes to close her down, Nicholls gets her header over the keeper, dropping Linger on the cover clears the ball off the line. 

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 2-2 Newmarket Town Ladies

  All square at 2-2 after the 90 minutes are up the tie heads into extra-time. Sometimes you can live to eat your words and this is one of those times predicted it could go either way and certainly in the 299 match reports I’ve written before nothing like what was to follow has happened before, but then Wymondham looked to have more energy left as the game drew to a close. Onto extra-time.


  All the substitutes have been used by both sides as Newmarket get the 1st 15 minute period of extra-time underway. Wymondham have possession get forwards down the right Moreno with an early cross the ball running across the area Holloway trying to close in from the left Hope can see the ball run wide.

Mollie O’Callaghan gives Wymondham Town Ladies the lead in extra-time

GOAL! Wymondham get the early break through in extra-time the pushing players forwards the ball is played into Mollie O’Callaghan left side outside the box she gets a shot away the ball running across the six yard box strikes the far post and is turned into the back of the net 3-2.

GOAL! A hammer blow for Newmarket as they concede again in quick succession the ball regained by Wymondham played through the middle early Nicholls in behind is onside after the ball, Hope comes racing out to close her down, the Wymondham attacker winning the race for the ball stabs the ball past the advancing keeper inside the D and sees it roll into the back of the empty net beyond 4-2.

Newmarket suddenly look very tired, Wymondham on the other hand are re-energised snapping for the ball win it back from their opponents Wiseman with a drive from outside the area her shot held by Hope. A great ball forwards by Ladbrooke finds Nicholls her touch drags the ball out to the right firing a cross back in the ball looking for Holloway the winger is flagged offside.

GOAL! Wymondham extend their lead further as Wiseman is played in behind from another great ball from Ladbrooke. Has the extra pace to take her beyond the Newmarket defence into the box right of goal sends her strike across the keeper and into the back of the net 5-2. 

GOAL! Moments later Wiseman scores again to claim her hat-trick the ball from Ladbrooke sending her through in behind again into the box keeps her composure to take the ball around the advancing keeper and slot it home for 6-2.

GOAL! A devastating spell from Wymondham as they go further ahead breaking from a Newmarket free-kick up to the top of their area the ball carried up the left players getting forwards, Cheal-Ferris fires the cross in going long across the face of goal Moreno is there far post to direct her header back across goal and in 7-2.

It’s all Wymondham, Ladbrooke winning everything in the middle. Holloway sees a shot from inside the box left side saved by Hope. Nicholls over runs the ball as she is sent clear through the middle.

GOAL! Wymondham have time in the 1st period of extra-time for one more goal cruel on a tired Newmarket defence as they give away a penalty the ball send diagonally across the park to Moreno arriving in the box from the right she looks to slide in on the ball, Marshall lunging into the challenge attempts to block her shot succeeds but in doing so her arm makes contact with the ball the referee points to the spot an opportunity for Nicholls to complete her own hat-trick in the game she makes no mistake sending her low shot to the keepers left 8-2. The 1st period of extra-time is over and Wymondham it’s fair to say are in full control.

Wymondham kick off the 2nd period of extra-time, Newmarket having put so much into the game are totally deflated. 

GOAL! It’s another goal to the home side early in the 2nd period of extra-time. Nicholls claims her 4th of the match as she is fed through the middle has the energy to beat Woodfield to the ball as the defender does her best to hold her up Hope comes out to the edge of the area to close the pair down, Nicholls gets the ball past her to make it 9-2.

Griffin with possession of the ball finds the energy to have a run at the Wymondham defence left side too many bodies to beat is stopped by Fretwell. Nicholls moving out to the right has the ball at her feet cuts it back towards the top of the area O’Callaghan racing in sends her 1st time strike over the bar. 

Hope makes the save as Wiseman gets clear running into the box right side looks to put the ball across the keeper, Hope gets down to grab hold of the ball. Ponder is has been struggling for a few minutes going down unwell, dizzy needs to come off Newmarket go down to 10 can’t be helped. 

  Holloway beats Hope on the left side of the box as the keeper comes out to try and stop her, putting the cross in to O’Callaghan she has an open goal to shoot at looks to place the ball, Woodfield recovers the ground to block the shot inside the six yard box.

Extra-time is over and Wymondham scoring a stunning 7 goals in the extra half hour win 9-2 to make history and advance to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup for the 1st time.

A devastating spell in the 1st period of extra-time to totally dominate the tie after an entertaining 90 minutes before. Clinical in their finishing where they weren’t during regular play. Had plenty of chances but weren’t taken. In the end had the energy levels to maintain their momentum going into the closing stages of the game and into extra-time. Another great comeback from Newmarket 1-0 down at half-time to go on to lead 2-1 in the 2nd half couldn’t hold on to the lead Wymondham came back and finishing the game stronger had the extra energy to overcome a rapidly tiring Newmarket whose own valiant run in this season’s FA Women’s Cup comes to an end. A very harsh scoreline in the finish but they can be inspired by their performances all against higher league opposition can carry that into their league campaign their aim to win the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   This never gets any easier picking the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match is another tough one, leaving the ground I still hadn’t picked one and sometimes it’s only when I go through my notes whilst preparing a match report do I come to a decision and in this case one player did stand out, so today’s Player of the Match goes to Wymondham Town Ladies, Laura Wiseman. A hat-trick in the end could well have claimed it in the 1st half of the game alone good runs and positioning to get herself into those scoring chances throughout the match.

300 match reports written and this one is as different as the 1st such an exciting game and so hard to predict that’s why I love it so much… think I’ve got a few more in me. My thanks to both clubs for their help today as always very much appreciated. The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup will be made on Monday.

*UPDATE* The draw for the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup has been made and Wymondham Town Ladies face an away tie against FAWPL South East Division One side Enfield Town Ladies who narrowly over came ERWFL Premier Division side AFC Sudbury Ladies 1-0 in 3rd Round Qualifying. Tie scheduled to be played Sun 12th November with a 1pm kick-off.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v King’s Lynn Town Ladies

Sunday 17th September

Back to The Ridgeon’s Stadium in Newmarket for more action from the FA Women’s Cup, 2nd Round Qualifying this Sunday. Watching 2 sides in this round for the 1st time history will continue to be made for one or the other as Newmarket Town Ladies host King’s Lynn Town Ladies.

 Here a fortnight ago for 1st Round Qualifying Newmarket Town Ladies facing a tough test drawn at home to Histon Ladies from ERWFL Division One South a league above. Played well to win 4-2 and progress to the next round of the FA Women’s Cup for the 1st time. Face a team from the same league above them once again another tough test.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies also made history in the FA Women’s Cup entering for the 1st time were drawn away to Leicestershire side Oadby & Wigston Dymano Ladies in 1st Round Qualifying won the game 3-1 to advance to the next round. Are testing themselves at a higher level this season promoted to the ERWFL in Division One North have started well in the league too winning both their opening games. A blend of experience and youth, younger players ready to stake their claim for a place in the side.

  For both sides history has already been made in the FA Women’s Cup this season for one the journey will go on. The tie having to be settled on the day extra-time and penalties if required. Both sides have recruited players from Brandon Town Ladies who sadly folded before the season started situated between the two sides a few former teammates against one another today. Both are with out a few players today Newmarket without goalkeeper Eloise Hope, Dominika Szary normally an outfield player taking on the role between the sticks. King’s Lynn without a few big hitters, captain Shelley Woods and striker Josie Turner unavailable, Becky Russell often influential in midfield or attack sidelined through injury. 

The Ridgeon’s Stadium the venue for today’s FA Women’s Cup tie, a state of the art artificial playing surface one of the best around. The bar open a seated stand covered beside. Normally I prefer to stand on the opposite side of the pitch to watch the game but so far today it had been bright then overcast with the odd torrential downpour and with dark clouds looming 5 minutes before kick-off I made a hasty retreat to the stands… just in time too!

A retreat for cover was called for!

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Dominika Szary, Yasmin Woodfield, Jess Linger, Ellie Marshall, Beth Woodfield (C), Laura Bailey, Cindy Ponder, Chloe Slater, Abbie Marshall, Abbi Griffin & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Amanda Stacy, Sarah O’Rourke, Brooke Wickens, Lauren Deller & Jess Anderson.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies starting XI – Bryony Russell-Smith, Vikttorija Burkauskaite, Lisa Wilson, Shanice Burch, Albany Hodgson, Charlotte Griffith, Bethan Jones (C), Jade Kelly, Oksana Imanalijeva, Elle Bocking & Tiffany Forshaw. Subs – Louise Coggles, Michelle Stewart-Sheen, Georgia Reardon & Olivia Baker.

Heavy rain falling at the start of the game

The teams emerge from the changing rooms just as the heavens open a torrential downpour at kick-off. It’s King’s Lynn in their away colours of red shirts with white collar, sleeves and vertical piping, red shorts and socks to get the match underway 1st half. Newmarket in their home colours yellow shirts with blue shoulders, blue shorts and yellow socks. With the rain lashing down play is restricted to the middle 3rd the ball hotly contested in midfield, Newmarket winning the ball send it long to the left Abbey Marshall with the run fires the ball into the box a clean gather for King’s Lynn goalkeeper Bryony Russell-Smith at her near post. Space for Abbi Griffin to run into on the right as Chloe Slater picks her out taking the ball into the area right side flashes a cross along the six yard box Jordanne Sillitoe arriving far post can’t get anything on the ball.

Jess Linger playing at right back today comes on with the ball support from Slater ahead of her the ball on for Griffin breaking in behind right side once again going on Shanice Burch comes across to put in the tackle deny the cross. As quick as the rain came it abruptly ends. A positive start from Newmarket taking the game to King’s Lynn both sides are looking to use the width King’s Lynn break as Vikttorija Burkauskaite brings it on from right back up the line for Jade Kelly a well timed ball beating the offside trap Kelly burst down the line flashes a cross square along the top of the six yard box Tiffany Forshaw newly joined from after spending most of last season with Lowestoft Town Ladies along with being dual signed with Brandon tries to get their central throws herself forwards in a attempt gets something on the ball but not enough to deflect it into the back of the net wide. 

Newmarket Town Ladies, Jess Linger

Cindy Ponder with a well timed run from midfield receives the ball outside the box top left for Newmarket her shot charged down by Burch. The rain ha started to fall again the pitch a little slick, Abbey Marshall with a diagonal ball from the left into the box finds Sillitoe she attempts to drive in towards goal, Burch is on her shoulder, the striker loosing her footing as she shapes to strike the ball. 

Kelly charging forwards with the ball cuts a cross into the box deflected back out towards Burkauskaite arriving top of the area her 1st time strike is deflected wide for a corner on the right. A high ball into the six yard box Dominika Szary jumping through the crowd gets a glove on the ball knocking it wide to the opposite side in the area picked up by King’s Lynn’s Lithuanian International, Oksana Imanalijeva fires the ball back into the players lined up along the top of the area is knocked back towards goal Szary out to claim as a red shirt bears down on her, play is stopped by the offside flag.

 A free-kick for Newmarket wide on the right 30 yards out as Sillitoe is brought down. Linger forwards to take a good delivery into the six yard box dropping far post Albany Hodgson’s clearance goes straight to Griffin positioned central top of the six yard box an instinctive stab of the foot to turn it goalwards plants the ball straight into Russell-Smith’s gloves. Bethan Jones wearing the captain’s armband for King’s Lynn today is doing well in the middle of the park finding pockets of space to receive the ball and looking to pick out her wide players, Kelly and Imanalijeva. 

King’s Lynn Town Ladies captain Bethan Jones

  Russell-Smith comes rushing out of her area to challenge Sillitoe for the ball as the striker races clear in the left side, the deflected ball off her from the keeper runs straight to Griffin central doesn’t try to go for goal with Russell-Smith out of position instead lays it on to Laura Bailey up with her, by then King’s Lynn have the numbers back to nullify the threat. Launch a counter attack the ball through the middle on for Forshaw 20 yards out an early shot puts the ball wide of goal. Forshaw with a shot from further out moments later the ball through the middle she has half a yard on her marker 35 yards out takes on the strike her effort rising over the bar. A fast paced game fairly even so far without either keeper being tested as we close in on the half hour mark. 

The deadlock is very nearly broke by Newmarket, Griffin combining with Bailey in the middle the latter passing the ball forwards to the left picking out Abbey Marshall on the move the ball at her feet pushing into the box doesn’t rush her shot fires the ball across goal past Russell-Smith who turns the see the ball strike the base of her far post still in play King’s Lynn send the ball long. On for Kelly right side head down charges on coming inside looks to strike a shot in towards the near post coming at Szary fast she claims well at head height. King’s Lynn starting to build some momentum going forwards. Elle Bocking receiving the ball from Charlotte Griffith central turns to force her way into the area is stopped by Ellie Marshall.

Newmarket make a substitution Abbey Marshall coming off to be replaced by Brooke Wickens. Hodgson plays a great ball forwards from the back for King’s Lynn picking out Kelly getting free on the right pushing forwards cuts the ball inside towards the near post Szary well positioned to claim with Forshaw coming in right behind her. The same is repeated in the next attack as Jones picks out Kelly this time. A ball through the middle has Wickens bearing down on goal for Newmarket has Sillitoe right on her shoulder not sure if the two exchange touches of the ball but it’s Wickens who has the final strike from outside the box the ball just inches over the crossbar. 

Into the final 5 minutes of the 1st half and Newmarket are reduced to 10 as their goalkeeper is shown a straight red card. A cutting ball through the middle by King’s Lynn the Newmarket back line high up the pitch at times as they press forward as a unit. Forshaw running clear is after it does have it as Linger gets across to try and shield the ball, Szary coming out of her area goes down low to gather the ball into her gloves, a huge error on her part play stopped for the free-kick she his shown a straight red card. Griffin doesn’t hesitate she takes the goalkeepers jersey from Szary as she leaves the pitch heads for the goal as King’s Lynn set up for the free kick, Newmarket send players back to cover both posts. Kelly top of the D lays the ball to her right for Forshaw to strike sends it past Griffin, Ponder covering the far post is there to clear the ball.

Down to 10 Newmarket break up an King’s Lynn attack, Beth Woodfield playing it on through the middle Bailey to Ponder lines up a powerful drive from 30 yards out, skipping off the surface Russell-Smith going down to her right saves well pushing the ball away, Wickens racing in from the right the keeper scrambles across to smother the ball into her body at her feet. 

GOAL! The stale-mate is broken with the very last attack of the half. Imanalijeva with a powerful run on the ball down the left wing getting into the box looks to fire a cross into the middle, Marshall gets a boot onto the ball trying to cut it out deflected out of the area it’s a race between the no 8’s as Newmarket’s Bailey and King’s Lynn’s Jones race forwards after the lose ball favours Jones slightly shots from  20 yards plenty of venom on shot it flies past Griffin into the back of the net 0-1.

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-1 King’s Lynn Town Ladies

  Inclement weather throughout the 1st half has been a tense affair evenly matched for a while Newmarket hitting the post before being reduced to 10 late in the half, King’s Lynn getting their noses in front on the stroke of the half with the rain returning. Have the edge in the 2nd half now they have a goal and a player advantage. Headed for the bar wanted a cheeseburger but the kitchen wasn’t open so had to settle for a bag of crisps. A quick turn around at half-time the sides back out, Little did I know what the 2nd half had in store so much so there wasn’t time to eat a bag of crisps! Here we go!

 King’s Lynn with the kick-off 2nd half, Newmarket react positively with a strong start to the half winning possession of the ball. Having to abandon my crisps and get the notepad out in a hurry, Wickens with the ball left into the box Burkauskaite with her Russell-Smith rushing out towards the pair an infringement is spotted by referee Chris Abbott an indirect free as the ball is knocked back to Russell-Smith she handles the ball. Left of the box top corner Linger comes forwards the ball knocked into her she shoots plants the ball wide of the near post. 

A free-kick on halfway for Newmarket as Jones handles the ball. Linger sends the ball up into the top of the area defended the ball comes out to Bailey shifts it between her feet then lets fly from 25 yards out the ball straight at Russell-Smith. King’s Lynn make their 1st change, Bocking coming off up top for 16 year old Olivia Baker. Newmarket push on the ball knocked across field into Bailey 30 yards out control and turn to fire a diagonal pass back to the left for Wickens racing forwards into the area closing in on goal no way past Hodgson the defender winning the challenge. 


King’s Lynn Town Ladies, Tiffany Forshaw

GOAL!  King’s Lynn double their lead 12 minutes into the 2nd half breaking forwards the ball fire forwards from the left to the right takes a nick of defender Yasmin Woodfield that sends it on for Kelly to burst in behind on the right space to run into carries the ball on time to assess her options sends the cross along the top of the six yard box picking out Forshaw timing her run to perfection to turn the ball into the goal 0-2.

A blow for Newmarket but their heads aren’t dropping quickly attack straight from the restart winning a throw on the left the ball played into Slater outside the area a good way out shapes to shot has the keeper beaten the ball smashes against the crossbar stays in play Burch beating Sillitoe to the ball clears. The rain has stopped for now but the pitch has trapped a fair bit of moisture, players like sliding about however if they get the chance. 

  Griffin makes a great stop with her foot as King’s Lynn press forwards Forshaw out left with the ball takes it on putting the ball into the six yard box for Kelly strikes the shot goalwards Griffin with the reactive save the ball knocked out to her right goes the more orthodox goalkeeping route throwing herself at the ball to claim before Baker can get a follow up shot in. Ponder and Sillitoe exchange passes through the middle the ball long out to the left for Wickens her shot blacked deflected back into the D straight at Sillitoe her strike charged down. Newmarket make a change Ponder looks to have taken a knock comes off a tactical switch Amanda Stacy named as substitute goalkeeper on the bench coming on she takes the shirt back from Griffin who returns to her more familiar midfield position. 

A great ball forwards from Jones into Kelly on the right wing knocks it on before delivering a cross into the middle of the box Forshaw good control on her chest looks to drag the ball behind her and turn into the shot clever but both King’s Lynn centrebacks have read it and are on top of the striker even as her foot is raised back to strike the ball. 

 GOAL! King’s Lynn go on to extend their lead making it 3-0 putting them in control of the tie the ball worked with pace through the middle finds the feet of Baker outside the box in a bit of space, Stacy comes rushing out to the top of her area to close the angle Baker shows good footwork shifting the ball between her feet three times before slotting her shot past the keeper and on into the goal beyond 0-3.

Olivia Baker pictured with Newmarket’s Brooke Wickens scorer of King’s Lynn Town Ladies 3rd goal

A little under 75 minutes of the game played King’s Lynn make a double switch taking off both Kelly and Wilson. Manager Michelle Stewart-Sheen brings herself on going into left back, also coming on new signing Georgia Reardon another 16 year old like Baker formerly with Brandon Town Ladies. Newmarket make their last substitution too 3-0 down take off a defender Marshall bring on a striker Lauren Deller. Has been a competitive tussle between Sillitoe and Burch all game as Newmarket attack, King’s Lynn sitting off the ball the cross from the right by Griffin comes inside to Sillitoe right of the D flicks the ball over her shoulder and turns towards goal, Burch stays on her shoulder lunges forwards with a tackle to push the ball away from the striker. 

 GOAL! It’s a goal out of nothing for Newmarket but nevertheless and brilliant piece of skill from Griffin a throw on the right into her well over 40 yards out has King’s Lynn players around her but no challenge she sees the keeper off her line goes for goal good pace on her effort it is over Russell-Smith and into the far corner 1-3.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Abbi Griffin

 GOAL! Straight away from pulling one goal back Newmarket score another! Get the ball played forwards centrally into Sillitoe outside the box pulls the trigger a the ball scooped up and over the keeper to land in the back off the net the crowd in the stand leap to their feet as Sillitoe pumps her fists in the air 2-3 it’s game on! 10 minutes left to play.

Jordanne Sillitoe with the ball for Newmarket Town Ladies

Newmarket with renewed vigour press forwards Wickens a threat coming in from the right takes a shot on left of the D 20 yards out wraps her foot around the ball a low drive in towards goal Russell-Smith saves well getting down to the ball pushing it behind for a corner. A great delivery flies across the six yard box no one can get on the end of it however. For a comfortable 3-0 position King’s Lynn are defending a 3-2 lead the game has become stretched ed to end. Forshaw on the counter with a run left channel pulls the trigger from outside the box pulls the ball wide across goal. 

 Into the last 5 minutes a great save from Russell-Smith to deny Bailey as the Newmarket midfielder has a strike from inside the box right side as the ball is deflected into her path from a block after Deller has a blast from outside the box left side the ball fired into her the shot, heading for goal Russell-Smith tips the ball over onto the roof of the net. A corner on the right Newmarket load the six yard box a good delivery Russell-Smith climbing through them to punch the ball away towards the top of the area Griffin is there her low drive back in has too many bodies to go through deflected back to her leans back into another shot sends it over the bar.

 GOAL! Newmarket come back from 3-0 down to level the scores in 2nd half stoppage time, attacking down the right players breaking forwards through the middle Sillitoe with Slater and Wickens beyond her. The diagonal ball inside coming straight for Sillitoe outside the area a brilliant piece of skill to flick the ball on runs through to Wickens taking it into her stride into the box left of goal opens up her body to send her shot back across goal wide of the keeper to nestle into the back of the net at the far post 3-3. The crowd goes wild in celebration.

Moment’s left King’s Lynn mount on last attack Imanalijeva getting forwards with the ball on the left fires a cross into the box Forshaw diving throws herself at the ball can’t direct it on target. The 90 minutes are up the game goes into extra-time.

Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 3-3 King’s Lynn Town Ladies


   Just about enough time to get a few crisps into me before the extra period kicks off 15 minutes each way for either side to find a winning goal or the game goes to penalties. All the substitutions have been made two sides used to roll on roll off subs the FA Women’s Cup altogether different. Newmarket get the 1st half off extra-time underway. Bright sunshine now. The home side play the ball long looking for Wickens making a central run the ball claimed by Russell-Smith. 

Both sides go for it Newmarket finding extra energy after their come back. King’s Lynn looking to regain their momentum the ball is fired into Forshaw outside the area 25 yards a good turn to move the ball to her left and turn into a strike curls the ball wide of the top right corner of the goal. A little frustration on the pitch now Newmarket are chasing the ball down all over the pitch, Beth Woodfield winning the header inside the box from a King’s Lynn attack on the right. A few mis-timed challenges on the field now. 

  Imanalijeva with a powerful run left side closing on the box Beth Woodfield on her shoulder, Stacy rushing out of goal all three come together the ball deflected behind for a corner kick. Into the near post a head on the ball sends the ball across the face of goal everyone gambling near post the ball is cleared. A free-kick for Newmarket on half-way Linger playing it up into the box is knocked outside falling to Deller turns and strikes the ball runs wide a touch on the way through a corner kick, Russell-Smith again coming through bodies to punch the ball to safety.

 A vital interception by Linger at the back sticking a boot out to take the ball away from Forshaw 20 yards out the long ball almost certainly putting her through on goal. Linger sending the ball on towards the King’s Lynn area the clearance is sliced the ball running wide right for Deller her sights on goal she slips at the vital moment the chance gone. Forshaw is almost through again only to be denied by a last ditch tackle from Linger. Again Forshaw receives the ball 25 yards out Stacy seeing the threat comes racing out to the edge of her area Forshaw lobs her the ball bounces wide of goal. The 1st half of extra-time is over.

King’s Lynn get the 2nd period of extra-time underway lose possession the ball fed up top to Sillitoe moving left side into the box sends her strike wide across the face of goal. Newmarket are going for it down to 10 you wouldn’t know finding space left and right. Wickens on particular on the left getting down the line puts her cross into the side netting. Bailey into Sillitoe left side drives for the area inside pushed wide by Burch manages to squeeze the pass back in towards Slater inside the D her snap shot put wide of goal.

GOAL! The come back is complete Newmarket having looked strong since getting it back to 3-2 and then 3-3 score to take the lead in the 2nd period of extra-time. Wickens with the goal as she picks up the ball in the middle turning 25 yards out takes on Hodgson head down gaining half a yard lets fly plenty of pace on the ball, Russell-Smith getting down to her right as the ball goes across her gets her gloves to the ball but can’t stop it going into the back of the net beyond 4-3.

Brooke Wickens scorer of the winning goal in extra-time for Newmarket

The tensions are rising Newmarket running on adrenaline, King’s Lynn frustrated. King’s Lynn press forwards have 10 minutes to pull a goal back Imanalijeva sees her cross claimed by Stacy at the near post. Newmarket are reduced to 9 a moment of stupidity from Sillitoe a couple of 50/50 challenges with Burch earlier the pair dive in for the same ball on the halfway line both hurt, play goes on Sillitoe to her feet first Burch says something causing the attacker to turn and spit at her, the linesman is no more than 10 feet away and flags for the offence in front of the mainstand too. Stopping play the referee consults with his linesman and a red card is shown. 

Down to 9 Newmarket have there backs up against the wall as King’s Lynn press the attack numbers forwards the ball cut into the box for Forshaw left of goal six yards out stabs the shot wide at the near post before anyone sees she has been flagged offside. Beth Woodfield strong in her box gets her head to the ball as Reardon fires a cross in from the right. Late on Imanalijeva takes the ball on into the box from the right, Wickens with the challenge, Imanalijeva grounded protests the appeals waved away. A drawn out 2nd period of extra-time plenty of stoppages however King’s Lynn can’t find a goal to force penalties and Newmarket celebrate the win at the final whistle.

4-3 to Newmarket Town Ladies after extra-time a magnificent result to come back from 3-0 with just 10 players in the final 15 minutes of the game. To force extra-time and then score the winning goal. Reduced to 9 in the finish it could have cost them dearly, didn’t they are through to the next round when the clubs form FAWPL Division One enter the competition. Showed great character kept going scoring twice in quick succession to make it 3-2 was the turning point the energy they gained took away their player disadvantage. King’s Lynn comfortable at 3-0 couldn’t see out the game, never regained their dominance in midfield a tough defeat in the end lessons to be learned but no doubt they will and be better for it.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

It’s a really tough one today picking the Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Got to pick one however those are the rules I’ve set myself. Bethan Jones was fantastic in the middle especially 1st half. Newmarket battled hard as a team down to 10 then 9 late on everyone doing their part but I have chosen Brooke Wickens was a real threat after coming on on the left and drifting inside to pick up the ball, tracking back to defend to scoring the goal to bring it into extra-time then getting the winning goal.

 If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about the FA Women’s Cup over the years since I’ve been covering it is whatever the result is it puts a little more fire into a player and their team going forwards everyone loves the competition and there is something special about this one. Took me an hour and 15 minutes to eat a bag of crisps the football had me on the edge of my seat a thrilling match. My thanks to both clubs and Chris Abbott for their help with the teams today the draw for 3rd Round Qualifying will be made on Monday I can hardly wait.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v Histon Ladies

Sunday 3rd September

The Road to Wembley begins here. The SSE FA Women’s Cup begins this Sunday with 1st Round Qualifying featuring 87 ties as more clubs enter the competition than ever. New entrants to the competition across the East too with 33 sides entering at this. Today’s game is from The Ridgeons Stadium in Newmarket with Newmarket Town Ladies taking on Histon Ladies for a place in the next round.

This is Newmarket Town Ladies 1st competitive match of the season with the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership starting next Sunday. Shane Lebbon takes charge of the 1st team this season. Several players coming in a few moving on. The club as seen a number of players join from the folded Brandon Town Ladies, defender Ellie Marshall along with Frankie Torrance, Brooke Wickens. Jordanne Sillitoe dual signed with opponents Histon last season is on Newmarket’s books alone this season. Youngsters Megan Kane and Laura Bailey also join. Sarah O Rourke, Kate Silver, Cara Ager-Hutty and after today’s match Jennifer Gray formerly of Ipswich Town Ladies is a new addition to the squad. A competitive pre-season schedule against higher league with some good results along the way has given Newmarket confidence ahead of today’s match against higher league opposition.

Histon Ladies are competing in the new ERWFL Division One South following relegation from the Premier Division the previous season their 1st under the Histon banner having previously been Great Shelford Ladies. Despite dropping down a league the club is strengthening building a sustainable pyramid from youth to senior for the future in partnership with Histon FC who had a girls youth set-up the merger with Great Shelford to form Histon Ladies last season is bolstered this season with the formation of Histon Ladies Reserves which will provide competition for places with the 1st team. Both sides getting to play their home matches at The Glassworld Stadium. Have retained much of last season’s squad bringing in Grace Parker from Bar Hill Ladies. Began their league season 2 weeks ago with a god 4-0 win against rivals Cambridge United WFC Reserves.

The Ridgeons Stadium featuring a state of the art cork based all-weather surface a great looking pitch to play on. The kitchen serving food and hot drinks a seated stand beside the changing rooms. An overcast day cooler than in recent days a light breeze blowing across the ground, no rain forecast however. £350 up for grabs for the winners along with a home tie in 2nd Round Qualifying against either Northamptonshire side Oadby & Wigston Dynamo Ladies or Norfolk’s King’s Lynn Town Ladies. 

Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Yasmin Woodfield, Frankie Torrance, Ellie Marshall, Beth Woodfield (C), Jess Linger, Laura Bailey, Abbi Griffin, Abbie Marshall, Chloe Slater & Jordanne Sillitoe. Subs – Antonia Smith, Brooke Wickens, Dominika Szary, Hollie Turner & Lauren Deller 

Histon Ladies starting XI – Keeley Robinson, Katie Webb, Lucy Julian, Claire Andrews, Grace Parker, Sophie Lanham (C), Hannah Gordon, Abigail Davies, Charlotte Westrope, Alison Wright & Sophie Hopkin. Subs – Tessa Shaw, Danielle Busby, Georgina Westrope, Harriett Wilkerson & Amanda Binge.

Histon get this FA Women’s Cup 1st Round Qualifying tie underway wearing red shirts with black shorts and socks. Newmarket lined up wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. The ball is played wide to right back Katie Webb she looks to send the ball on down the line for Abigail Davies on the wing ahead of her making the run Davies catches the Newmarket defence flat footed but that goes against her as she has strayed offside the flag up halting her attack. 

Histon attack early on a good diagonal ball sent through the middle for striker Sophie Hopkin to attack, Newmarket captain Beth Woodfield at centreback closes her down challenges for the ball pops loose Histon captain Sophie Lanham in close support goes for it as does Newmarket’s Chloe Slater a coming together leaves Lanham n a lot of pain on the floor clutching her ankle. The trainer is sent on takes Lanham a few minutes to get back to her feet walking gingerly in her ankle comes of for it to be assessed the visitors down to 10 for the moment. 

 Newmarket very nearly capitalise as they attack down the right Abbi Griffin on the ball comes forwards has Jordanne Sillitoe available for the ball top right corner of the area the pair play a one two with Griffin sending in a cross along the top of the area, Abbie Marshall is free to receive the ball inside the D letting the ball come onto her sends it in 90 degrees looping towards goal, has goalkeeper Keeley Robinson beaten smashes against the crossbar bouncing back down into play Histon getting it clear for a throw in on the left.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Abbie Marshall

Lanham is allowed back on her movement much improved. Newmarket have started brightly have the ball right side attacking rolled into Sillitoe shoots from the angle Robinson raising her hands isn’t bothered sees it run wide of her far post. Sillitoe with another strike at goal as Slater winning the ball in the middle brings it forwards rolls it into the striker top of the box right of the D cuts across the ball sending the ball wide of the near post. Histon when they have the ball are looking for find their wide players Davies right and Charlotte Westrope on the left win a free-kick that side 30 yards from goal Lanham over the set-piece drills the ball in towards goal runs wide at the near post.

 A good tempo to the match both sides ready to launch counter attacks, Newmarket get forwards on the left Abbie Marshall driving on with the ball at her feet squares a cross in along the top of the box just behind Sillitoe runs on to Griffin arriving late, Histon’s Lucy Julian at left back eases her off the ball. Up the other end Davies is constantly spinning in behind offering an outlet gets beyond Frankie Torrance this time cutting the ball square along the top of the six yard line Hopkin waiting far post, Beth Woodfield lunging for the ball gets there first putting it behind for the corner. Lanham to deliver the corner coming in near post defender Claire Andrews attacks the ball 8 yards out drills her header wide.

The game has settled down a little Histon finding a little more time in possession. Davies is clearly a threat on the right as players are drawn inside with the visitors overloading the left the diagonal ball sees Davies with and open field ahead of her Torrance races to catch the winger as she surges into the box pulling her right foot back puts everything into the shot strikes the ball hard, goalkeeper Eloise Hope dives to her left the ball strikes the post hard spinning out of play.

Histon’s Abigerail Davies lining up a strike that eventually thunders against post

Great link up play between Abbie Marshall and Laura Bailey as the pair work the ball up the left forcing their way through Histon, Hannah Gordon with the challenge on Bailey 30 yards out the ball squirms on through to Sillitoe in space just outside the D central doesn’t wait to be closed down takes on the shot putting the ball wide of the left goalpost. Slater out for Griffin right side she takes on the defender ahead of her getting past her into the box, Grace Parker dives forwards into challenge the ball sending it out for the throw in. Keeping the ball alive Newmarket flash a cross in towards the near post Robinson claims the low ball well.

  A good spell for Newmarket more attacking down the right the high ball into the area is attacked by Bailey getting forwards doesn’t get a clean header the ball remains in play Abbie Marshall sees her shot blocked by Andrews before Robinson grabs the ball into her body. Is an exciting opening half an hour both sides creating chances Histon build from the back the ball into Alison Wright on long for Davies on the right running beyond the Newmarket defend screws the ball back towards the top of the area right side, Gordon advancing looks to get onto the end of it, so to does Newmarket central defender Ellie Marshall the ball is caught in between the pair could go anywhere as it is it loops up and back across the six yard box, falling for Hopkin she attempts to strike it on the volley a difficult chance can’t direct it on target.

Histon’s Katie Webb with Newmarket’s Abbie Marshall

Robinson is called into action making a good save for Histon as Newmarket get hold of the ball in the middle Jess Linger on for Bailey sends the ball on for Abbie Marshall coming inside from the left takes the ball across the face of the area moving right 20 yards out finds room for a shot driven in low skipping off the surface Robinson getting down pushes the ball away from her goal. Marshall comes off after the attack as Newmarket make their 1st change of the match early on, Brooke Wickens joining the game taking up the position vacant by Marshall on the left.

 Wickens 1st taste of the action is to have the ball smashed into her chest from a yard out, the referee stops play seeing she needs a moment to recover clearly winded. Davies remains a handful on the right enjoying a good tussle with Torrance at left back the latter sliding in to give away the corner as Davies drives for the byline. A pacy ball put into a great area by Lanham into the six yard box, Gordon closest can’t untangle her legs to get it turned towards goal. A bit of momentum with Histon as the 1st half draws to a close Hopkins coming deeper for the ball rolled into her feet 25 yards out left of goal turns and strikes it goalwards. A confident save by Hope the ball coming at her with pace head high is well positioned palms the ball down and collects.

Histon Ladies, Hannah Gordon


GOAL! 2 minutes left in the 1st half and the deadlock is broken. Histon have a free-kick wide on the right after Davies is fouled. Players come forwards as Gordon sets the ball on the ground. Sent in long to the far post a vicious delivery is attacked by Wright from 3 yards out a glancing header it runs on for Westrope beyond her she sends her header inside the post to give Histon the lead 0-1.

Histon Ladies, Charlotte Westrope

Newmarket go on the attack straight from the restart the ball into Wickens on the left her cross is fired in hard across the face of the Histon goal, Robinson going to ground far post does enough to put of Griffin arriving late out of play a goal kick given. Histon with Lanham onto Wright into Hopkin through the middle back to goal Hopkin a long way out rolls her marker and shoots the ball straight at Hope.

GOAL! Newmarket get themselves back on level terms right on the stroke of half-time breaking up a Histon attack at the back counter with purpose Torrance at left back forwards for Wickens she passes it inside for Bailey bombing forwards through the middle outside the D thinks about the shot hesitates a second by then she spots Griffin advancing into the box from the right her pass to her inch perfect Griffin shoots rifling the ball into the top corner 1-1. The final action of the 1st half.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Abbi Griffin

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 1-1 Histon Ladies

  A really interesting 1st half of football a close contest with plenty of action, Newmarket if anything might have felt they should be leading 1st half only to go a goal down getting back into it with the last attack of the half. All level sets the game up perfectly for the 2nd half. Early on it looked to be shaping up for a close contest which way it will go 2nd half? Could go either way, was excited to find out as the two sides returned for the 2nd half.

No changes for either side at the break as Newmarket get things underway, Histon’s Wright looks to be playing further up the field in support of Hopkin up top. The visitors start brightly on the attack the ball won played up to Wright moving left sends a cross in cut out by Beth Woodfield. Histon regain possession a 2nd ball into the box is cleared for a corner kick on the left. Lanham puts the delivery long towards the top of the area Westrope has a free header sends the ball over the crossbar. Pressing the ball a high tempo Histon push on with Wright again on the left her cross driven in low is collected by Hope covering her near post.

Histon Ladies, Alison Wright

For several minutes Histon have Newmarket back on their heels at the start of the 2nd half the pressure is relieved with a throw won deep on the left the ball throw square squirms through for Griffin to steal into the box turns and unleashes a shot sending the ball up over the crossbar.

GOAL! Histon might have started the 2nd half the better however it is Newmarket who get themselves the goal to lead the game with 57 minutes played. A corner won on the right Linger coming to take it a good delivery sent high into the six yard box, is attacked a yellow shirt leaping high flies on over her and onto Beth Woodfield central who directs the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

A blow for Histon after their good start is further struck after goalkeeper Robinson accidentally handles the ball out of her area as she goes to kick the ball up-field A free-kick awarded to Newmarket right on the edge of the box inside the D slightly to the left. Linger and Sillitoe over the ball, Linger defers to Sillitoe a direct free-kick goes for goal past the wall the ball hit hard runs wide of the far post. Sillitoe with another shot in the next attack Linger with a great ball for her into the area right of goal snatches at the ball pulls the ball wide across the face of goal.

Robinson makes a great save coming out to close down Bailey as she wriggles in behind as a ball played from halfway beats the Histon defence on the bounce the ball put behind for a corner on the left Newmarket load the box as the delivery comes in  two players attack the ball for Newmarket close in Bailey connects her effort hitting the crossbar and bouncing down Histon scramble the ball clear play stopped as they have two players down in the box. Histon build Webb on for Davies her diagonal ball in towards the top of the area Beth Woodfield fails to clear Hopkin can’t dig the ball out of her feet for a shot before Yasmin Woodfield gets to her to make the challenge.

GOAL! Another free-kick awarded to Newmarket right on the edge of the area as Robinson in adjudged to have handled the ball out of her area going to take another goal kick. This time it is costly, Linger told to take this one taking instructions from the bench with her sets the ball down and puts her low driven shot into the bottom corner of the net to extend Newmarket’s lead 3-1.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Jess Linger

 Goals bring confidence and Newmarket are energised after going 3-1 up can’t rest on their laurels however as Histon have a renewed resolve of their own Davies surging on down the right crosses Hopkin in the box sees the ball all the way onto her foot shaping to shoot only for Beth Woodfield to slide in to take the ball away from her for the throw in. Wright pushing forwards with the ball has a shot from 25 yards out puts the ball straight at the keeper. Newmarket make a 2nd change Slater coming off to be replaced by Antonia Smith. Histon make their 1st change of the game Julian replaced by Tessa Shaw at the back. 

Wright is sent clear through the middle for Histon with the game stretched in a race for the ball with Yasmin Woodfield, Hope has already made the decision to come goes to clear the ball comes off Wright runs on behind into the box Wright after it but play is brought back by the referee a hand ball spotted. Westrope in a central position puts the ball on for Wright into the area hesitation from the Newmarket defence gives her a half yard running at the ball stabs a shot wide of Hope’s right post. 

A few excitable challenges flying in players diving in the midfield hotly contested but both sides enjoying the scrap the referee has thing’s well under control a few words an play goes on. The final changes for both sides Newmarket making their 3rd change sending on Lauren Deller up front for Sillitoe. A double switch for Histon as they switch t a 3-4-3 formation Lanham and Westrope coming off for Georgina Westrope and Harriett Wilkerson coming on.

GOAL! Game on as Histon pull a goal back straight after play resumes the ball put out to Davies on the move on the right carries it on strikes the ball a cross/shot doesn’t matter as the ball flies over Hope coming towards her near post and finds the side netting inside the far post 3-2. 15 minutes plus stoppage time to play.

GOAL! Soon after conceding Newmarket get up the other end and regain their 2 goal cushion. Have a free-kick awarded on the left side outside the box 25 yards out Linger over the ball with another confident strike blasts the ball in striking the near post rebounds back into play coming straight for Deller 8 yards out reacts instinctively sending the ball back towards goal and scoring 4-2.

   Histon keep going frustrated but determined the ball put up into the box Beth Woodfield conceding a corner on the left. The delivery goes long Wright far post gets up to attack the ball her header driven down back across goal Hopkin at the opposite post close in can’t get a clean connection on the ball as she turns. A few tempers frayed but again a few words by the referee and things are calmed down. Griffin and Wickens switch sides late on for Newmarket. 

 Deller thinks she has scored again and all the players from Newmarket rush to congratulate her thinking a 3 goal lead has won them the tie. The ball is played through the middle with Histon high up the pitch Deller is clear running for the ball Robinson is out of her area sliding in attempting to get there the ball is deflected past her Deller running on to score a wheel away in celebration however I’m standing behind the linesman this side and his flag was up before she and the keeper came together the goal disallowed the Newmarket bench desperately trying to get the team back into position with only stoppage time left. Newmarket keep Histon at bay until the final whistle blows and they can celebrate reaching the next round of the FA Women’s Cup.

Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 4-2 Histon Ladies

   A great watch today very entertaining and might well have gone either way. Histon never getting on top of Newmarket who grew in confidence an intriguing contest some well taken goals. A good result for Newmarket to carry into the season. They will face King’s Lynn Town Ladies in 2nd Round Qualifying after they beat Oadby & Wigston Dynamos Ladies 3-1. I like the sound of this tie too so I’ll be back at The Ridgeons Stadium for the game in 2 weeks time on Sun 17th September. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

   This afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match goes to Newmarket Town Ladies Jess Linger confident and composed in midfield breaks up more opposition attacks than you realise. A good set-piece taker scoring a goal and another off the post. 

 Got to love a cup game, whatever competition it is. My thanks to both sides for their help today.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v St Ives Town Ladies

The football action on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog this Sunday came from the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup a new format this season the sides split into 8 Groups with a mixture of Premiership and Championship sides in each with the winners progressing to the quarter final knock-out stages. Group F featured 2 Premiership sides, Newmarket Town Ladies & St Ives Town Ladies both having won their opening 2 matches were both on 6 points at the top of the table now playing each other in a must win game to progress, Newmarket Town holding top spot on goal difference.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v St Ives Town Ladies

  Trip to Newmarket today to the Ridgeons Stadium to watch the deciding match in the group stages of this seasons, Cambridgeshire S-Tech Women’s League Cup with Newmarket Town Ladies hosting St Ives Town Ladies tied at the top of the table on 6 points in Group F vying for a place in the quarter final knock-out matches in the New Year.

  A new look for the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup this year with the early stages being held in a group format the sides across the three leagues in the County the Women’s Premiership and Championship North and South drawn to face each other in 8 Groups A-H with 3 or 4 sides in each playing each other once a Premiership side in each against Championship opposition. With 9 sides competing in the Premiership one Group has 2 sides in it and that is Group F featuring both Newmarket Town Ladies and St Ives Town Ladies along side Championship South sides Isleham United Ladies and Fulbourn Bluebirds.

  A good start to the season for both sides in the Premiership. Newmarket Town Ladies currently 2nd in the table won their 1st 4 league games before suffering their 1st defeat against Cambridge United WFC Reserves who took over at the top 2 weeks ago. Drawn into Group F were on the road for their 1st 2 games against Championship South sides, Fulbourn Bluebirds and Isleham United Ladies winning their 1st game 9-0 the 2nd 3-0 hold the advantage over St Ives Town Ladies on goal difference.

  St Ives Town Ladies are into their 2nd season as a club having formed for the 2015/16 season, recognise a few of their squad from the Sawtry Ladies side I covered on the blog in it’s very early days. also a few players in the squad who used to play for Huntingdon Town Ladies too. With St Ives Town already having youth sides in girls football the platform was in place to form a women’s team. Did well in their 1st season winning promotion up to the Premiership and of the 3 sides promoted from the Championship’s North and South this season are doing well in 3rd place in the table. Have also played Isleham United Ladies and Fulbourn Bluebirds in their 1st 2 group F matches winning 4-0 and 4-1 at home to have 6 points, today a must win game if they wish to advance to the knock-out stages of the Cambridgeshire League Cup the 2 sides have met in the league already this season Newmarket Town Ladies winning 2-0 away from home. 

Group F                
Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Newmarket Town Ladies 2 2 0 0 12 0 12 6
2 St Ives Town Ladies 2 2 0 0 8 1 7 6
3 Isleham United Ladies 2 0 0 2 0 7 -7 0
4 Fulbourn Bluebirds 2 0 0 2 1 13 -12 0

 The venue for today’s match, Newmarket Town FC’s Ridgeons Stadium. A brand new state of the art cork based 3G pitch. A very good playing surface and one of the best artificial surfaces I’ve seen. A covered stand with seating on one side of the pitch, along side the clubhouse and bar with hot food and drink available, Barry’s Snack Shack served up one of the best cheeseburgers I have had in a while. A bright sunny end to November, a few dark clouds around and these would grow to make it chilly and gloomy over the course of the game.

 Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Jasmine Woodfield, Olivia Orme, Jess Linger, Beth Woodfield (C), Abbie Marshall, Cindy Ponder, Abbi Griffin, Joeli Kirby, Nadine Basson & Lauren Deller.
 subs – Lauren Blackaby & Molly Agnew

 St Ives Town Ladies starting XI – Kira Markwell, Steph Ransome, Penny Ford, Molly Berryman, Molly Flack, Megan Stow, Sophie Marheineke, Georgia Stancombe, Amy Seymour-Shove, Hannah Seymour-Shove & Sasha Smith (C).

 subs – Connie Liddiard, Chloe Stefanelli, Jade Carpenter, Leigh Chatten & Jorgie Hall.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Newmarket to kick off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts with blue trim on the shoulders and sides blue shirts with yellow trim on the sides and yellow socks with two blue and white bands with St Ives Town lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. The home side look to attack from the off the ball played up through the middle looking for Joeli Kirby making a run on the left, Molly Flack stepping forwards to get her head on the ball clear for St Ives. Newmarket trying again on the right, Abbi Griffin on the ball getting down the line and putting a cross into the box, St Ives goalkeeper, Kira Markwell claiming confidentially at her near post. 
  Markwell is out to the edge of her area, clearing the ball as Cindy Ponder plays Kirby in up the left, puts the ball into the middle along the ground trying to pick out Lauren Deller running through the middle the St Ives goalkeeper getting to the ball 1st. A fast start to the match both sides looking to get the ball out to their wide players attack down the wings. A free-kick for Newmarket inside the St Ives half on the right side Jess Linger on the ball plays it long up into the box, the header clear putting the ball out for a throw on the right is by St Ives Molly Berryman.

The Newmarket Town Ladies defence, Olivia Orme in the front of the picture, Jess Linger and captain Beth Woodfield
beyond keep their eye on the in coming ball, pictured with St Ives Hannah Seymour-Shove
  From the throw the ball is cleared out to the left comes to Newmarket, left back Olivia Orme looks to send it back in quickly towards the top of the area with striker Nadine Basson making a move from right to left across the D, colliding with the St Ives defender challenging her manages to get the ball on into the box races away behind for a goal kick before Kirby can chase it down. Ponder has a strike on goal from all of 30 yards out, the shot straight at Markwell who takes it cleanly. Coming forwards on the left side Griffin sends the ball high into the box, Deller arriving sees the ball over her shoulder hitting it on the volley trying to pick out the top corner curls wide of the mark.
  St Ives are working hard to close the ball down, Megan Stow winning possession in the middle gets it forwards, helped on St Ives captain, Sasha Smith leading the attack is fed in down the right on the run hits a shot from the edge of the box in low towards the near post, Eloise Hope in the Newmarket goal makes a comfortable save. Georgia Stancombe brings the ball down the right, loops a cross up into the Newmarket area Beth Woodfield Newmarket’s captain heads the ball away from danger. 

St Ives Town Ladies, Megan Stow is beaten to the ball by Newmarket’s Abbi Griffin

  Orme getting forwards with the ball on the left for Newmarket plays the pass in field getting Basson onto the ball running through the centre, rolls it forwards into the box with Ponder getting up field to her right, Markwell off her line quickly gets to the ball and slides in to claim. Griffin up the right wing for Newmarket crosses early the ball along to top of the St Ives area for Deller who attempts to bring it down and turn to shoot, Flack is on her shoulder the defender doing well to prevent the shot the ball going out for a goal kick.

  A little to casual at the back from Hope as the goalkeeper with the ball at her feet loos to pass it out of her area inside to Woodfield, St Ives, Hannah Seymour-Shove bursting forwards latching onto the ball drives into the box, Hope recovers quickly and getting across throws herself into a full long dive to make the blocking save as Seymour-Shove shoots. Hope makes a good catch inside her six yard box moments later not put off as Hannah Seymour-Shove throws herself forwards trying to get onto the end of a Stancombe cross put in from the right.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Nadine Basson
  Basson plays the ball on for Kirby on the left, a little long, Kirby does well to keep it in before she can get her head up and cross, Steph Ransome gets back at her and tackling wins the ball for St Ives, Newmarket prevent the break keeping the ball on the left rolled into Basson left corner outside the box curls a ball over the defence dropping into the six yard box, Markwell down low makes the save pushing the ball out to the right, Penny Ford getting it away as Griffin closes her down.
  Ponder wins the ball in the middle of the park gets the pass into Kirby on the left in behind squares a cross along the floor into the six yard box, Markwell down to see it into her gloves before Basson or Deller can arrive. Griffin tries her luck from 25 yards out a curling effort lacks the height to trouble Markwell. Newmarket make a double switch, Kirby and Ponder come off, Lauren Blackaby and Molly Agnew come on. 
  GOAL! Newmarket have been pressing forwards looking for the opening goal of the match, however it is the visitors who get themselves in front 25 minutes into the 1st half, Sophie Marheineke along side Stow in the middle of the park has been getting the tackles in to win the ball break up play, gets forwards carrying the ball on towards the Newmarket box has Stancombe ahead of her looking to get in behind the defence threads the pass into her run taking it on into the box, Hope comes rushing out goes to ground Stancombe takes the ball past her and sends it into the empty net beyond 0-1.

Georgia Stancombe pictured getting back to help in defence
gives St Ives Town Ladies the lead


St Ives Town Ladies
Sophie Marheineke

 Newmarket get straight back on the attack from the restart Abbie Marshall playing the ball into Griffin who looks to play the ball into Agnew on the left top of the area looks to cut inside, Ransome defends well to deny her a goal scoring opportunity. Orme up field passes the ball into Deller central back to goal outside the box, looks to lay it to Agnew on the left coming into the box again Ransome puts in the challenge. A great ball over the top with Basson getting in behind the St Ives defence hits the falling ball on the half volley outside the box the shot straight at Markwell the keeper dropping forwards onto the bouncing ball.

 GOAL! 4 minutes after going in front, St Ives double their lead. The visitors launching a counter attack with Marheineke getting forwards again the ball is played up field, a back heel to help it on Marheineke plays it on trying to pick out Smith as the Newmarket defence try to clear, Smith gets in to challenge win the ball top of the area shifts the ball to her right and curls her shot around the keeper into the goal beyond to score 0-2.

St Ives Town Ladies
captain Sasha Smith

  St Ives enthused by 2 quick goals press forwards Smith out to the left strong on the ball drives into the box, Beth Woodfield stands her ground and wins the tackle before a shot can be released. Another double switch for Newmarket with Ponder and Kirby back on for Basson and Deller. Agnew bursting down the left wing sends in a low cross for Newmarket into the six yard box Markwell calls and gathers as Berryman misses her attempted clearance in front of her.
  Marshall with the ball at her feet for Newmarket on the right plays the diagonal ball into the box with Kirby breaking forwards into the area, hits the shot puts the ball wide behind the goal. Ponder gets in behind the St Ives defence on the left squares the ball along the six yard box too many bodies to get through before the cross can reach Kirby at the far post the ball is cleared out of the box Griffin 1st to it 25 yards out goes to shoot sends her strike over the bar. 

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-2 St Ives Town Ladies

  A 2-0 lead for St Ives at the break as the 2 sides head to the dressing room. A busy 1st half, the advantage with St Ives now hold onto the lead and they will progress to the knock-out stages of the league cup at Newmarket’s expense. Have put in alot of work 1st half defending well at the back, Markwell confident behind her defence. Their goals coming as Newmarket were pressing for the lead themselves, had created more chances in front of goal, it’s the ones that cross the line however that count and St Ives took both their goals well to do that.
  Has got decidedly chilly as the sides come out for the 2nd half the sky full of dark clouds the light starting to fade. St Ives to kick-off the 2nd half Deller is back on for Newmarket. The home side press early a strong run on the ball from Griffin on the right wing whips the ball into the box trying to pick out Deller trying to bring it down is closely marked by Flack the ball is pushed out of the area with Linger getting forwards strikes the shot looping into the air is touched by Markwell. A corner on the right put in towards the top of the area, players making runs the ball isn’t picked up runs through to Blackaby who hits a shot up and over the crossbar. 

Abbie Marshall on the ball for Newmarket Town Ladies 
  Ford tackles to win the ball for St Ives at the back up field into Stow on for Smith a quick break the ball in passed into Stancombe racing in behind from the right shoots early the ball flying wide at the near post. Newmarket bring Ponder back on replacing Linger who has taken a knock. Pressure from Deller forces an error form the St Ives defence outside the box gets the ball and rolls it into Kirby inside the box closed down gets it squared centrally to Marshall who shoots puts the ball straight at Markwell the keeper getting her gloves wrapped around the ball. Basson returns to the action for Newmarket with Agnew coming off.

Kira Markwell in goal for St Ives Town Ladies

   A delay in play as Stancombe comes off the worst as she and Ponder come together inside the box as the ball is punched away by Markwell in front of the pair as Griffin lifts a cross into the box. A free kick to Newmarket outside the box to the right as Deller’s run is impeded. Ponder on the set-piece sends the ball up towards the far post, Markwell with the call backpedalling plucks the ball out of the air. St Ives make their 1st chance of the match Marheineke the player coming off Connie Liddiard comes on. Another foul in the middle of the St Ives half gives Ponder another opportunity to put the ball into the box, central lifted up into the air Markwell isn’t challenged as she catches the ball.

   Amy Seymour-Shove with a run on the left takes the ball in behind the Newmarket defence cuts back inside plays the ball into Smith top of the area, a good 1st touch to take the ball away from her marker then spinning to meet the ball as it drops to the floor plays her shot straight at Hope well placed in her goal. One Seymour-Shove to the other as Hannah getting hold of the ball in the middle lays it forwards to Amy on the left getting forwards wins her side a corner, the ball is attacked at the near post, everyone misses it but despite the melee in front of her Hope claims well. 
Georgia Stancombe with Newmarket Town Ladies, Molly Agnew

  A free-kick for St Ives in the middle, Liddiard on the ball sends it long into the box, runners breaking into the area, bounces on into Hope’s gloves before it can be attacked. A 2nd change for St Ives, Leigh Chatten comes on replacing Ford at left back with a little under 20 minutes left of normal time. Griffin gets a corner for Newmarket on the right the ball put in near post is cleared behind by Berryman for a 2nd corner going longer this time flies across the six yard box Blackaby leaping can’t get her head on the ball. 

  Newmarket’s Marshall moving forwards with the ball lays the pass inside to Ponder 35 yards from goal shoots as the ball runs across her body the ball bounces a yard wide of the St Ives goal. The floodlights are switched on the clouds making it very dark above, Griffin is tackled by Chatten as she tries to go past her down the right the ball runs out for a corner, a change for St Ives before it is taken Chloe Stefanelli on for Ransome. Flack defends the corner heading away at the near post. Another change for St Ives, Smith coming off, Jade Carpenter entering the pitch.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Lauren Blackaby with St Ives Town Ladies, Amy Seymour-Shove
  Newmarket push on searching for a goal to get themselves back into the match with less than 5 minutes left the ball is played into Deller back to goal inside the D, shifts it well between her feet to find a yard of space on the turn can only pick out Markwell in the right space to claim hold of the ball in goal. Newmarket bring the ball on down the right the diagonal ball into the box is sent in low Basson breaking into the area throws herself at the ball trying to get onto the end of it as Markwell coming forwards closes the space down the ball hitting her as she and Basson come together. Basson stays down is in alot of discomfort another lengthy spell for treatment, having suffered from a nasty knee injury in the past it is a concern as she is carried off the pitch can’t continue, Agnew is readied and sent on. St Ives make another change too Jorgie Hall coming onto the pitch replacing Hannah Seymour-Shove as the game moves into injury time. 
  GOAL! Late in the game St Ives score a 3rd goal to ensure the victory and it comes from an error at the back from Newmarket have a throw at the back the ball is thrown to Hope top of her area on the left, at her feet doesn’t get rid of it as Carpenter moves to challenge for the ball nips in to get her toe on the ball, moves down the line the angle inside the area acute she opens up her body opting for placement as Hope backpedals trying to get back in her goal, sends the ball curling up towards the top corner and in to make it 0-3. A good finish.
  Hope knows it was her error holds up her hand in acknowledgement, harsh but you have to move on goalkeepers make fair more saves than errors anyone will tell you. The game moves into injury time. Newmarket keep pushing forwards the ball is with Griffin on the right running onto the ball strikes it early 30 yards out her shot/cross flashing across the face of the St Ives goal. Marshall win seconds left plays the ball on for Griffin moving in from the wing hits the ball with the outside of her boot the ball flying across the six yard box and wide at the far post as the final whistle blows. 
Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-3 St Ives Town Ladies

  A 3-0 win for St Ives Town Ladies sees them top Group F and advance to the quarter finals of the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup will be joined by Cambridge United WFC Reserves, Bar Hill Ladies and Wisbech St Marys Ladies with the other 4 groups to be decided next Sunday. Recent history shows the league cup is a wide open competition and on today’s performance St Ives Town Ladies should fancy their chances. Put alot into the game defended well, Newmarket starting well creating opportunities but not breaking the St Ives defence down the visitors growing in confidence and 2 well taken goals seeing them hold the advantage a half-time. A good all round team performance keeping Newmarket at bay 2nd half nicking a goal late on to make sure of the win.
  Disappointment for Newmarket going out of the league cup and a blow to see Nadine Basson leaving the pitch on a stretcher will be missed hoping it’s not too serious an injury and wish her all the best and for a speedy recovery. My thanks to both Newmarket’s Luke Worley and St Ives, Darren Majoram for their help with the teams today.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

The 2nd game from the Women’s FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog on Sunday comes from the Ridgeons Stadium in Newmarket where Newmarket Town Ladies now play their home games on a brand new state of the art cork based 3G pitch. Were taking on higher league opponents with Norfolk Division One Champions Wymondham Town Ladies looking to progress in the competition enjoy a run like they had last season.

Match Report – Newmarket Town Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies

 The Women’s FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying action continues on the Supporting Women’s Football Blog this weekend with a trip down the A11 to the Ridgeons Stadium to watch Newmarket Town Ladies v Wymondham Town Ladies.

  Is a match up between two ambitious women’s football clubs looking to grow and progress up the football pyramid, both with large playing squads starting up reserve sides this season.

  This is Newmarket Town Ladies 1st competitive match at their new home the Ridgeons Stadium on Cricket Field Road in Newmarket, home of the men’s side and a stark contrast to the Dullingham Polo Fields where they played previously. The ground has undergone alot of development since the last time I was there, have in place a state of the art cork based 3G pitch. 

  Newmarket Town ladies compete in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Premiership and are looking to push on up the table this season, with their League Cup winning U18s side stepping up to the senior squad this season, plus a few new signings the 1st team is complemented by a new reserve side competing in the Championship South. Started the league season last weekend, Nadine Basson scoring the goal in a 1-0 win away to Netherton United Ladies. A good test for a young squad today playing higher league opposition. 

  Wymondham Town Ladies had a great run in the Women’s FA Cup last season winning through to 4th Round Qualifying beating FAWPL Division One side Cambridge United WFC along the way. Eventually losing to another FAWPL Division One side, Bedford Ladies. Followed their FA Cup adventure on the Blog last season. Wymondham Town Ladies went on to win the Norfolk Women’s Division One title and as Champions of Norfolk have been promoted to the new look ERWFL Division One where they have started well laying 2nd in the table after 4 games played going into the weekend. A league above Newmarket, Wymondham have nearly a month more competitive football under their belts.

  May have been a little premature calling summer over last evening in the cold and drizzle at Bishops Stortford for today was a lovely warm sunny afternoon. Boasting a new state of the art 3G pitch the rest of the ground is coming along nicely to, room for spectators around the whole pitch, has a good sized seated stand beside the clubhouse, with a bar and hot refreshments available. 

The new cork based state of the art 3G pitch at the Ridgeons Stadium

  Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI – Eloise Hope, Yasmin Woodfield, Olivia Orme, Beth Woodfield (C), Kristin Hummel, Abbi Griffin, Jess Linger, Antonia Smith, Joeli Kirby, Abbie Marshall & Nadine Basson.
  subs – Sian Tatum, Molly Agnew, Natalia Evangelou, Dominika Szary & Jodie Woodfield.

  Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Ashleigh O’Callaghan, Kelly Ayers, Leah Newcombe, Bethany Fretwell, Brooke Cheal-Ferris, Rachel Cossey (C), Amber Cantwell, Kayleigh Holloway, Gemma Sanders, Alice Collins & Laura Wiseman.

  subs – Summer Moore, Hannah Johnson, Lily Ray & Ella Swift.

  It’s Newmarket to get this 2nd Round Qualifying tie underway wearing yellow shirts with blue shoulders and trim, blue shorts with yellow trim and yellow socks with blue and white hoops. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts, black shorts and red and black hooped socks. The visitors win possession of the ball early played into Kayleigh Holloway down the left wing crosses the ball in curling it towards the near post with Laura Wiseman making the run to get on the end of it gets a touch but not enough to take it past Newmarket goalkeeper, Eloise Hope who claims well covering the angle.

Kristen Hummel tackles, Gemma Sanders for the ball

  On the right inside the Newmarket half Gemma Sanders closes Joeli Kirby down to win the ball and run in behind shooting from 20 yards out sends the ball wide of goal. Newmarket make progress up the right Wymondham’s Brooke Cheal-Ferris closing Antonia Smith down to give the opposition a throw in the ball is played into Olivia Orme who holds the ball up outside the area before laying back into the path of Kristen Hummel central running onto the ball shoots, blasted into the area is blocked by Kelly Ayers for Wymondham.

 Sanders coming forwards again down the wing is tripped a free kick on the right inside the Newmarket half players go forwards as Amber Cantwell stands over the ball, plays it long towards the far post, looks like it might evade everyone then Bethany Fretwell gets a stooping head on the ball, at Hope quickly a yard away does well to get a glove on the ball push it around the post to concede the corner kick. 

  GOAL! The corner delivery from Holloway on the left isn’t dealt with, dropping into the centre of the six yard box lands at Sanders feet, fall backwards she stabs the ball in over the line, scrambling to her feet to run away in celebration 0-1 an early lead for the visitors 7 minutes played.

Gemma Sanders pictured scores the opening goal for Wymondham Town Ladies

  Newmarket carry the ball into the Wymondham half, Kirby left in field to Abbi Griffin sends it out right to Smith the crossfield pass up to Nadine Basson in attack doesn’t get a good connection with the ball as she shoots from the top of the area, the ball runs harmlessly through to Wymondham goalkeeper Ashleigh O’Callaghan. 

  Wiseman gets hold of the ball inside the Newmarket half dribbles it on looking wriggle her way through the Newmarket defence, the tackle comes in the ball out for a throw left, played into the advancing Cheal-Ferris she whips an early ball into the box, Newmarket captain, Beth Woodfield kicks it clear out of the area is picked up by Cantwell 25 yards out takes on the shot the ball flying straight into Hope the goalkeeper gloves the ball safely to the floor. Wiseman moves to the right supporting Sanders in attack the pair working the ball on Sanders receiving it from Wiseman cuts the ball back along the top of the Newmarket box Alice Collins shoots as the ball arrives at her feet inside the D drives the ball wide.

Laura Wiseman makes it 0-2 to
Wymondham Town Ladies

  GOAL! Wymondham are causing Newmarket all sorts of problems early on moving the ball well the home side struggling to get any meaningful possession inside their opponents half, the ball is won back by Cantwell ion halfway is a quality pass over the top for Wiseman to chase down, winning the race against the Newmarket defence inside the area to hit a left foot strike across the six yard box and into the bottom corner of the net 0-2. The lead doubled inside the opening 15 minutes.

  Moments later Cantwell comes on with the ball again not closed down pulls the trigger in a central position 20 yards out, Hope makes the save punching the ball over her crossbar. From the resulting corner on the left, Fretwell gets her head on the ball inside the six yard box from Holloway’s delivery pushes the ball wide of the far post. Wymondham keep coming on with the ball Newmarket pushed deep in their own half can’t mount a counter attack.

 GOAL! The clock passes the 20 minute mark and the visitors extend their lead winning a corner on the right, Cheal-Ferris to take the initial ball is dealt with well by Beth Woodfield headed out of the box the ball is retrieved by Fretwell played back out to Cheal-Ferris as players try to get out of the area the ball is lifted in towards the far post, might be dropping in as Hope tries to get across to deal, Sanders rushing in nods the ball over the line to make sure, doesn’t get up quite so quickly to celebrate this time as she got as much of the post as she did the ball 0-3. 

  Cantwell brings the ball on over halfway tries to thread the pass through for Wiseman in the middle again, Hummel makes a vital interception at the back to win the ball for Newmarket outside her area. Hope produces another fantastic save to deny Cheal-Ferris as the defender bringing the ball on shoots from the left angling the ball in near post heading for the top corner Hope tips it over her crossbar. More good defending from Newmarket, Orme this time up against Sanders as the ball is sent into the area from Holloway on the left gets in front of Sanders to shield the ball and clear, possession regained by Wymondham’s captain Rachel Cossey she shoots from distance but straight down Hope’s throat.

Wymondham captain Rachel Cossey wins the battle for the header with Newmarket’s, Abbie Marshall

  A rare attack 1st half for Newmarket, Griffin plays the ball up to Basson central holding off her marker releases Smith in the wing attempts the through ball into the box with Abbie Marshall making to run, Ayers inside the box gets there 1st for Wymondham to clear. Ayers forwards to take a throw on the right puts the ball into Wiseman moving to the byline, turning hooks the ball high into the air, a dangerous bounce at the far post Collins ready to turn it in, Hummel gets her boot under it 1st to launch away from danger.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Antonia Smith

  Wymondham having time at the back on the ball work it forwards well players moving into space to receive, Ayers plays the pass inside to Cossey sends the ball on for Wiseman on the shoulder of the Newmarket defence a race for the ball into the area again this time the left foot strike is screwed wide across the face of goal. Wymondham attack down the left side the ball is lifted high in towards the top of the box inside the D, Sanders tries to get to the dropping ball under challenge makes contact more of a deflection than a shot nevertheless the ball loops back up towards goal, Hope on her goal line keeps her eye on it, drops onto the top of the crossbar bounces twice before rolling back onto the roof of the net.

  The ball is won back by Wymondham in midfield played up into the box with Wiseman on the move left, wants the ball to drop over her shoulder then strike it, Hope comes to close the attacker down, does enough to put Wiseman of as she scoops the ball up over the goal beyond. From a corner kick played in by Cheal-Ferris on the right, Fretwell with another stooping header gets under the ball pushes it up over the bar inside the six yard box. Sanders catches Hope accidentally late in the 1st half inside the box as she tries to get in around Woodfield shielding the ball, Hope calls comes sliding in just as Sanders throws a leg around the defender catches the goalkeeper on the ground right of goal, a painful collision but the Newmarket goalkeeper is okay.

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-3 Wymondham Town Ladies

 A dominant 1st half display from Wymondham sees them in control of the tie leading 3-0 keeping better possession of the ball and using the width well, have Newmarket penned back in their own half with Basson isolated on halfway unable to get involved in the game at all to influence things up top. A lot to do at half-time if they are to find any response in the 2nd half.
  A double switch for Newmarket at the start of the 2nd half the wide players Kirby and Smith off with Molly Agnew and Natalia Evangelou coming on. Positional changes too, Evangelou going to right back see’s Yasmin Woodfield move inside to centre back, Hummel into midfield with Griffin wide right, Agnew wide left. Evangelou is called into action straight away as Wymondham kick off the 2nd half play the ball to Holloway on the left wing driving forwards, the substitute tackling to put the ball out for a throw in. 
Newmarket Town Ladies, Abbi Griffin
  Straight away Agnew makes an impact on the left for Newmarket driving down the wing cutting inside to evade a tackle curls a cross into the box along the six yard line no one there to turn it goalwards. Wymondham press up the left Cantwell out to Holloway up the wing cuts the ball back to Collins at the top if the area the ball is deflected through to the far post area, Sanders chasing in sees the ball saved by Hope at close range.
 GOAL! 3 minutes into the 2nd half and Newmarket pull a goal back. Jess Linger gets the ball into Hummel takes on the shot 25 yards out puts it straight into O’Callaghan’s gloves the keeper kicks the ball out of her area up field, Hummel’s wins the challenge for the ball, sends a great ball through the middle for Basson where she’s most effective in the opponents box, the defence turned Basson gets to the ball 1st sliding onto it to propel it on past the diving keeper into the back of the net 1-3.
  Sanders running up the right wing with the ball sends the cross along the top of the area looking for Holloway coming inside from the left, Hope coming out to intercept the ball takes it away from the winger, the ball races in quickly to Wiseman inside the D can’t get it under her control before both Woodfield’s close her down.
  GOAL! Newmarket’s joy at pulling a goal back at the start of the 2nd half lasts barely 5 minutes as Wymondham open it back up to 3 goals. Holloway is on the ball allowed to travel along way with it turns inside before firing in a shot from outside the area the ball sailing through the air across the goal to nestle over the line off the far side netting 1-4.
Wymondham Town Ladies, Kayleigh Holloway
  GOAL! 3 minutes later Wymondham go further ahead, are awarded a free-kick on the right halfway inside the Newmarket half. Cantwell on the ball plays a great delivery up towards the near post, Fretwell has had a few chances to bag a goal, gets one to her name as she connects with the ball sliding it under Hope as she dives in vain to stop it crossing the line. 1-5.
Bethany Fretwell with the goal to make it 5 for Wymondham Town Ladies
 Two changes for Wymondham both on the right side bringing of both Ayers and Sanders, Lily Ray and Ella Swift. Wiseman strong as she receives the ball inside the D spins away to her left before reversing the shot across the face of goal just wide at the far post. Ray moving with the ball up the right sends a shot flashing over the bar from the angle. 
 Up the other end Newmarket are pushing on more, Agnew left and Griffin right running at the Wymondham defence with Hummel up the pitch to, passes the ball into the right channel, Basson gets after the ball tries to take it on around Fretwell  the centre back gets back well to time her tackle and regain possession. Wymondham make their 3rd change Cantwell comes off, with Summer Moore coming on into the centre of midfield. 
Newmarket Town Ladies, Abbie Marshall
  Agnew ball at her feet drives forwards an inside run from the left fires the ball into Marshall inside the D, Newcombe squeezes the ball taking it away from the attacker, Basson to the left latches onto the loose ball outside the area her 1st time strike swerves away from the goal wide. Hummel plays the ball long into the box for Basson to give chase, pressures the defence enough to win Newmarket their 1st corner of the game. Swung into the six yard box from the right the ball drops into the six yard box, Hummel lunging for it doesn’t make any meaningful contact Wymondham see it cleared up field. Newmarket bring on Sian Tatum for Hummel with around 15 minutes left to play.
  Basson has picked up a knock from the corner is struggling a bit as the ball is won back by her defence played long up to her, 20 yards out Newcombe comes in to close her down, manages to get the ball in towards goal lacks any pace O’Callaghan scoops it up into her gloves. Marshall makes a good run with the ball in the middle for Newmarket has Tatum moving into the box to her right tries to play her in Fretwell closes her down puts the ball out for a throw on the right. 
Nadine Basson with Wymondham’s Ella Swift
 GOAL! Into the last 10 minutes of the tie, Newmarket with the throw on the right push players on is played up to Tatum top corner of the area not a clean take but helps the ball on towards the top of the area inside the D, Marshall latches onto the ball shoots the ball blocked from 2 yards comes straight back to her takes it on into the area turns to her right Tatum is there instead she back heel the ball straight into Basson behind needing no invitation Basson shoots sends the ball into the bottom corner past the diving O’Callaghan 2-5.
 GOAL! No sooner were Newmarket celebrating a well worked goal then they are hit on the counter attack up the other end Wymondham from the restart getting the ball up field is fired in from the wing taking a deflection runs on to Collins outside the area opens up her body and turns the ball in towards goal into the top corner 2-6.
  Into the last 5 minutes both sides a still looking for a goal, Wiseman still has the legs to carry the ball up the right wing before unleashing a shot sending the ball behind for a goal kick near post. Cossey and Moore in the middle combine to win the ball back a spot of head tennis before pushing it on for Wiseman central, strength on the ball to push her way through the middle before shooting sending the ball over the bar. 
 GOAL! The 90 minutes are virtually up the game stretched late on Newmarket having lost possession in their opponents half, Holloway plays the pass up to Wiseman takes the ball down into the box left of goal pulls the trigger sending the shot across the six yard box and in to make it 2-7.
   One last attack for Newmarket in injury time, Griffin with the energy to bring the ball on down the right wing  swings the ball into the area with Tatum inside running near post, Newcombe gets across her path and brings the ball out of the area. The final whistle blows and Wymondham advance to the next round of the Women’s FA Cup.
Full-time Newmarket Town Ladies 2-7 Wymondham Town Ladies

 A strong performance from the visitors played well dominating possession early and having the lead to show for it. Newmarket rallied early 2nd half the changes having an impact, took their 2 goals well. Just didn’t keep it at 3-1 long enough in the 2nd half Wymondham hammering home their advantage with 2 more quick goals. Scoring 7 goals have a feeling not too many will want to be drawn against them in the next round. 
  Good to see both sides in action, thanks to both clubs for their help today, had great entertainment in my 1st 2 Women’s FA Cup games this season looking forwards to the next round. The draw if it follows form should be on Monday.

*Updated* The draw for 3rd Round Qualifying has been made and it will be a repeat of last seasons tie with Wymondham Town Ladies, travelling to play Cambridge United WFC this time around, both sides have strengthened since that game. The tie is scheduled to be played Sunday 9th October.