Tag Archives: Park Ladies

Cup Final Special – Cambridge United WFC Development v Park Ladies

Sunday 16th April

Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup Final sponsored by the Alan Boswell Group

The cup finals coming thick and fast now this the 3rd in 5 days a trip over to Histon FC’s Bridge Road Stadium to watch the final of the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup between Cambridge United WFC Development and Park Ladies.

 Cambridgeshire like Essex having a secondary county cup competition giving the sides not usually expected to reach the latter stages of the senior cup a chance to contest for silverware.

Today’s prize

Cambridge United WFC Development playing their football in the FAWNL South East and Central Reserve League with 11 other clubs 2nd teams across tier 3, 4 and regional set-ups. The women’s section enjoying a stronger relationship with Cambridge United FC with the setting up of a woman’s board and growth within the youth pathway which of which the development side is a vital link. The Development side have struggled for points this season and are currently bottom of the table, not adrift by any means with 4 games to play a positive end to the season could see them move up a place or two. The league aside, reaching the Junior Invitation Cup Final and a chance to compete for silverware. Niamh Day top scorer with 8 goals.

 Park Ladies are having a great season vying for the title in Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Two. Top of the table unbeaten and the leagues top scorers  with 77 goals too. The Wimblington based side into their first ever cup final looking forward to the occasion. Taking the title battle all the way with Francesca Plitsch scoring in the dying moments to see Park come back from a goal down to beat main rivals Peterborough Sports Ladies at home back in February. Plitsch the top scorer for the club so far this season with 27 goals from 18 appearances. Georgia Stimson close behind on 25 goals from 18 played with Amy Hunt on 16 and Sophie Fenner on 11 goals respectfully.

Road to the Final

  Both sides with a bye in the first round moving into the quarter finals, Cambridge United WFC Development were to progress into the last 4 without kicking a ball awarded the away win against March Town United Ladies. Park Ladies were away to Division Three strugglers Ely City Women, Park’s attack proving too strong as they racked up a 16-1 win with Plitsch netting 5 goals. Hunt with 4 to her name. A hat-trick Georgia Stimson with a goal each for Eilish Brown, Imogen James plus a brace for Georgia Payne.

 Into the semi-finals Cambridge United WFC Development drawn away to rivals and fellow Reserve league opponents Cambridge City Ladies U23s, a goal for City’s Olivia Briffa and one for Niamh Day seeing the sides level at 1-1 to send the tie into a penalty shootout going into sudden death Cambridge United edged it 6-5 to win a place in the cup final. Park at home to Division Three side Cambourne Ladies who themselves were unbeaten in their league coming into the game. Georgia Stimson putting Park 1-0 in the first half, it wasn’t till the 80th minutes a a quick fire double from Amy Hunt and Erin Powell that victory was assured and Park reached their first ever cup final.

 Histon FC’s Glassworld Stadium the venue for today’s cup final. Hosting the Veterans Invitation Cup Final earlier in the morning. Soham Town Rangers Veterans beating Royston Town Veterans 4-0 to win the trophy. Onto the Junior Invitation Cup Final, a 2:30pm KO, my 1st visit to the Glassworld Stadium this season (although the weather has put pay to earlier visits, the home of Histon Ladies into the league cup final and vying for the title with opponents Cardea FC Ladies. A large grass pitch with covered viewing all round seated stands on both sides the man stand over the changing rooms the bar behind. The kitchen hatch open serving hot food and drinks. The weather set fair, mild if a little muggy with cloud cover around but no rain forecast.

Cambridge United WFC Development

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Freyja Bermudez, Katie Harding (C), Beatrice Rogers, Talia Gisonni, Jorja Badcock, Serena Cobb, Emily Waterman, Eleanor Townsend, Maya Edwards, Niamh Day & Megan Chandler. Subs – Libby Fraser, Alyssa Bovis, Tilly leather & Gabby Cobb.

Park Ladies

 Park Ladies starting XI – Sian Holcroft, Erin Fox, Imogen James, Charlotte Marshall, Eilish Brown, Erin Powell (C), Francesca Plitsch, Georgia Payne, Sophie Fenner, Georgia Stimson & Amy Hunt. Subs – Liv Robinson, Maddie Jackson, Teagan Pulman, Casey Ward & Sophie Hunt.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

 It’s Park to kick-off the 1st half wearing dark blue shirt and shorts with red coloured socks, with Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber coloured shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball fed into the middle, Cambridge rush to close the ball down, putting Park’s defence under pressure forced back to the keeper, Sian Holcroft going to kick the ball clear strikes the on rushing attacker, the deflected ball bouncing away to the left Holcroft able to retrieve without threat. 

  Park captain, Erin Powell turning on the ball in midfield lifting the pass out to the left channel with Amy Hunt making  a move in behind down the flank, Talia Gisonni across in defence to clear the ball out for a throw. Park get numbers up the throw nodded on into the box, Cambridge goalkeeper Freyja Bermudez can come to grab the ball at her near post. Eleanor Townsend getting hold of the ball central for Cambridge driving over half way is brought down by Park’s Eilish Brown winning the free-kick. Just in front of the centre circle Jorja Badcock nevertheless connects with the ball sending it in with pace towards the left of goal, Holcroft across her line to claim the ball into her midriff.

Cambridge’s Jorja Badcock

  A lively start from Cambridge getting after the ball, hustling Park in possession. Sophie Fenner taking the ball out to the for Park driving at the defence challenged the ball out for a throw. Both sides looking to use the whole pitch an open start to the game, Gisonni jumping into Imogen James with a strong challenge going to win the ball, conceding the free-kick out wide inside her half. Francesca Plitsch over the set-piece struck goal ward pulled a little wide of the near post. 

Park midfielder, Francesca Plitsch

  Cambridge advancing on the left the ball on for Megan Chandler takes it all the way to the by-line cutting inside to cross, Holcroft down low to claim the ball. Space for Niamh Day to run into on the right Badcock picking the past, Day gets the ball into her feet, cuts inside looking to get past James the defender sticking a foot out to take the ball away from her. Moments later James brings Day down on the right winning Cambridge a free-kick. Badcock on the ball delivers it across the top of the area far side, the defensive header sending the ball back out to her on the right, her attempted cross blocked Park look to break, Stimson in past the defence rushing after the ball, Bermudez out of her area to kick the ball clear.

 GOAL! A lively opening 10 minutes brings the opening goal, Cambridge winning the ball in the middle the diagonal pass picking out Day drifting clear wide right, sends her cross in low across the Park area, Chandler getting hold of it left of the D shapes to move to her left cutting back onto her right foot striking the ball goal wards, pace on the shot Holcroft down sharply can’t quite get enough on it the ball squirming under her into the back of the net 1-0.

Megan Chandler congratulated by her teammates after firing Cambridge into the lead

  Cambridge quick to regain possession from the restart Badcock in to win the tackle puts the ball forwards, Chandler up with Emily Waterman in front of the Park area the ball struck, Charlotte Marshall adjudged to have handled the ball as it comes at her with pace, the free-kick awards central 25 yards out Badcock with the attempt on goal pulls the low strike wide of the left post. 

 GOAL! Cambridge getting plyer on well both left and right, coming down the left they double their lead winning a throw high taken quickly the cross whipped in there to be attacked, Waterman racing in on the keeper getting there ahead of Holcroft to force the ball over the line to make it 2-0.

Emily Waterman getting to the cross ahead of Sian Holcroft to make it 2-0

  A blow for Park conceding two goals in quick succession inside the opening 17minutes. Forced back are struggling to get the ball into Stimson and Hunt up top. Soon find themselves under more pressure as they give away a free-kick wide on the right. 

 GOAL! Day over the ball in the right corner getting her foot under the ball to send the ball looping up in towards goal flies over Holcroft at pace, Waterman clear at the far post leaping after the ball, but it’s already over dropping under the bar 3-0.

Niamh Day with Cambridge’s 3rd goal

 3 quick goals for Cambridge getting themselves off to the perfect start, have been lively nipping in to win the ball, giving Park little time to settle. Maya Edwards with a 30 plus yard strike dipping late, Holcroft getting her gloves up to palm the ball down and safely claim. Holcroft the busier of the two goalkeepers sharp getting down to save at close range as the shot comes in off a Day cross from the right the ball deflected back out to Day, tries to get the ball out of her feet to shoot, James charging her down the ball going away for a corner kick. 

Park’s Imogen James

  Badcock putting the corner ball in long across the area, Erin Fox heading it clear for Park back out to Badcock on the right plays a low cross in along the top of the area, helped through to Chandler left side o the angle fires her shot over the bar. Park making a change bringing off Fenner, replaced by Casey Ward to the right of attack. Plitsch with a deft ball dropped over the defence, Hunt giving chase Bermudez starts to come, Gisonni tracking back with Hunt not taking any risks clearing the ball to the right for a throw. 

Park attacker, Georgia Stimson

 Stimson on the ball inside the Cambridge half playing it on for Hunt looking to get into the box from the left Gisonni back on her to tackle the ball behind for a corner kick. Cambridge clearing the corner, break on the right Day up the line to cross into the area, Erin Fox heading clear for Park. Cambridge making a double switch bringing on Libby Fraser and Gabby Cobb, bringing of Waterman and Chandler. Bermudez comes out of her area again to clear as Stimson looks to break through the defence get onto the ball Rogers in danger of becoming collateral damage!

  Stimson peeling away to the left wing getting the ball into her feet and squaring a cross into the top of the area, Hunt arriving, under pressure from Edwards doesn’t get  clean connection scuffs her attempt wide. Day wide on the right on the attack for Cambridge ending a diagonal ball into the area, takes a wicked deflection up off Marshall, looping over her towards goal, Holcroft in the right place to punch the ball away to safety. Serena Cobb with a 25 yard strike that rattles the Park cross bar as she sees the ball run across her from the left.

Serena Cobb

  Cambridge pushing forwards the ball rolled into Fraser running across the top of the Park area thinking about the strike by not one rolls the ball onto Day out wide on the right wins her side a corner kick. Park heading the ball clear of their area doesn’t stick Cambridge nipping in to regain possession, Rogers into Serena Cobb 25 yards out left of the D her strike landing on the roof of the net. Another double switch for Cambridge with Serena Cobb, and Townsend off, Tilly Leather and Alyssa Bovis coming on. 

Park midfielder, Francesca Plitsch

  Park with little of the attack under pressure Brown getting the ball forwards Hunt taking it on through the middle driving forwards playing the one two with Ward to her right, getting the return pass as she enters the box stretching puts her low shot into the keeper. Fraser putting the pass out to Day on the right touchline pushing for the corner her cross whipped into the area turned behind by Marshall for the corner. Put in across the six yard box from the right headed clear back to the corner taker a vicious ball fired in near post James here to clear for Park. 

Park’s Amy Hunt with Cambridge captain Katie Harding

  Cambridge rushing in to regain the ball inside the Park half Badcock firing a diagonal ball right side in across goal over Holcroft attacked beyond the far post, into the side netting. Edwards opening up her body to stab the ball forwards looking for Gabby Cobb pulling off the defence, a vital interception from Parks Brown. Plitsch more effective attacking from the midfield seeing her runs restricted in the first half getting holding of the ball linking up with Brown powers forwards, Rogers out to put in the challenge. 

Cambridge defender, Beatrice Rogers

  Ward fed the ball out wide right for Park powers her way forwards sending a stinging cross in low at the near post, Hunt stealing in unmarked getting her foot on the ball looking to turn it inside the post instead sends her shot over from close range.

Park striker, Amy Hunt

A couple of half chances for Park late in the half as they look to finish it on a positive note. Brown linking with Plitsch through the middle stabbing the ball on through the Cambridge back line for Hunt to attack, Bermudez racing out of her box to clear.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC Development 3-0 Park Ladies

  Making a fast start getting after the ball and finding the back of the net inside the opening 10 minutes Cambridge went on to score two quick goals to open up a 3 goal lead at the break. Creating chances to add to that score line too have been energetic and first to win the ball making use of the pitch to stretch Park at the back. Park quickly on the back foot have struggled to get the ball into their attackers, with goals in their locker however have broken away to created a couple of good opportunities in front of goal but know they have an uphill task 2nd half if they are to get back into the game.

Park making a change at the start of the 2nd half Fenner back on replacing Hunt in attack as Cambridge get the 2nd half underway. Park’s turn to press the ball won in midfield out to Fenner pulling left wins a throw high up the pitch, inside to Plitsch the ball cut out by Cambridge captain Katie Harding. 

 Powell tracking back to mark Leather top of the area as Bovis left whips a low cross in towards her wining the tackle the ball going behind for a corner kick. Swung in near post, James with the clearance for Park. The ball latched onto outside the area the shot blasted in towards goal, the flag goes up as it’s deflected through towards goal. Badcock moving left playing the ball on up the wing for Bovis, Fox getting out to her to clear the ball for the throw. Level with the top of the area dropped into Fraser runs across the top of the D before wrapping her foot around the shot, struck wide of the right post.

  GOAL! A busy start to the 2nd half Cambridge pressing the ball inside the Park half rolled into Gabby Cobb 30 yards out central, back to goal sees the ball into her feet then with a clever spin pulls off her maker putting in into the path for Fraser ahead of her 25 yards out strikes the ball goalwards racing in low Holcroft diving across her goal gets the merest of touches but not enough as the ball squeezes home inside the post 4-0.

Libby Fraser scoring early in the 2nd half for Cambridge

 Park looking to get going through the middle Brown to Payne lays the diagonal ball into Ward running on right side, Gisonni across to put in the tackle see the ball cleared out of the ground, not for the first time today. Fraser getting hold of the ball from atop the centre circle driving forward with a wild lash of the ball that goes well wide. Cambridge strong first to the ball Bovis left on the move fed inside for Fraser, Fox nipping back at her to win the ball for Park at the back. 

Park defender, Erin Fox

 GOAL! Day continuing to cause Park problems down the right wing on the ball driving to the by-line inside to lay the cross in near post Gabby Cobb inside the six yard box with the 1st time effort smashes up and down off the cross bar! The ball loose Day continuing her run into central first to the ball rifling home from close range 5-0.

Niamh Day on the follow up to score Cambridge’s 5th

  Cambridge ringing the changes with another double substitution, Waterman and Chandler returning to the action. Badcock and Edwards the players coming off. Park under the cosh look to get the ball into Fenner out on the left in attack, is tripped winning a free-kick. The ball into the area headed away by the Cambridge defence.

Park’s Casey Ward

 GOAL! A 6th goal for Cambridge as they press home the advantage at the start of the 2nd half Day on the ball again wide right bursting down to the by-line cutting her cross back into the area, the shot from the penalty spot blasted in towards goal blacked by Powell running back to defend, can’t do anything with the rebound as the ball drops straight to Fraser to smash home her 2nd of the game 6-0.

Libby Fraser with a cup final brace

  Park responding with a double switch bringing on Sophie Hunt and Teagan Pulman for James and Payne. Gabby Cobb passing to Bovis out on the left cuts the cross back along the top of the area for Fraser who has a go from 20 yards in low doesn’t have the power to trouble Holcroft. Fraser taking the ball away to the left to cross the ball running into the area for Gabby Cobb to race in to shoot, Marshall in to put in the block the rebound striking Cobb going out behind for the goal kick.

Sophie Fenner

  Fenner looking the most likely outlet up top for Park on the left to create something Plitsch giving her the ball drives forwards preparing to strike from range, Harding getting her leg out to make the blocking tackle bring the ball forwards for Cambridge. Cambridge full of energy quicker to the ball, Ward picked out on the right for Park with the diagonal ball but offside.

 Bovis with an awkward fall over the keeper as Holcroft comes to the left of her area diving in to get to the ball as Fraser lays it forwards. Looking to go over strike her head on the turf, but comes away holding her shoulder battered but otherwise okay. A throw for Cambridge on the right Fraser spinning in behind sends a cross into the box, Gabby Cobb racing to meet it top of the area slicing her shot wide, Day running in near post gets a stab at the ball sends it wide of the post.

Cambridge defender Talia Gisonni

  Fenner charges in on the goalkeeper as Bermudez comes to clear the ball, hitting the striker, the ball deflected in behind her Fenner can’t get to it before t ball runs out of play. Gisonni winning the ball on half way takes it forwards for Cambridge right channel laying the pass out wide for Day she sends the return ball into the defender arriving inside the box , Fox rushing out to charge her down as she lines up a shot the ball rebounding of Gisonni wide for a goal kick. 

  Day and Bovis come off for Cambridge as they rotate their substitutes with Townsend and Serena Cobb coming back on. Townsend involved straight away taking the ball left whipping a deep cross into the box claimed well by Holcroft with Gabby Cobb and Fraser rushing in however the flag is up for offside against one or both. Park making a change bringing off Plitsch on comes Liv Robinson.

 Park’s Fenner taking the ball on down the left winning a corner. Played in towards the near post defended put behind for another corner kick. Again an inswinging delivery cleared by Harding for Cambridge back to the corner taker played short into Brown inside the area left her shot charged down, Park with a another attempt to put the ball into the area too high for Powell to reach at the far post.

  The Park fans celebrate as they find the back of the net the ball long out to Powell on the right her cross from deep in across the face of goal over the keeper sees Fenner in beyond bundle the ball over the line, the flag though it up won’t count. Cambridge playing the ball out from the back on for Fraser time to line up a shot from all of 30 yards out straight at Holcroft. Serena Cobb away to the right on the ball lifting a cross in on the angle, Townsend meeting it on the volley sending the ball over the cross bar. Cambridge taking full advantage of having roll on roll off substitutes with another double change Leather and Fraser off for, Badcock and Edwards.

  Cambridge winning a corner on the right, swung in on the keeper, Gisonni leaping in on Holcroft causing Holcroft to drop the ball, the keeper though sharp to get down and smother the ball before it can be attacked. Park send Plitsch and Amy Hunt back on for Ward and Brown. Cambridge bring Day back on for Gabby Cobb. The game moving into the final 5 minutes. Townsend playing a diagonal ball into the area loose Marshall rushes in to charge down the ball as Day prepares to shoot.

 GOAL! Cambridge continue to see more of the ball play spread out wide to the right Serena Cobb in possession top of the are not closed down sends a cross/shot looping in towards goal, over the keeper and inside the top corner to make it 7-0.

Serena Cobb surrounded by her teammates after scoring the 7th goal

  Badcock fouled on the left for Cambridge. players up into the area for the free-kick, the header won well by Park’s Marshall out of the box for Plitsch to clear. Cambridge up on the right winning a corner the ball in near side Gisonni out to meet it and turn her shot charged down, the loose ball lifted back over the top, Day after it but the flag up straight away. Cambridge finishing strong getting bodies forwards right the cross in low near side evading everyone comes onto Townsend central sends her first time hit over. 

  Into stoppage time  Fenner left sending a cross long across the six yard box no one able to get near it. Cambridge counter up the left the ball put on for Townsend running into the box, Sophie Hunt with her for Park defending as Holcroft starts to come the ball deflected behind the keeper scrambling back to grab it. The final whistle blows and Cambridge celebrate as they win the Junior Invitation Cup.  

Full time Cambridge United WFC Development 7-0 Park Ladies

  A flurry of goals at the start of the 2nd half securing Cambridge’s victory and stifling any hopes of a Park comeback. With an energetic display getting to the ball first and using the width of the pitch to full advantage to stretch their opponents Cambridge’s young side took their chances never letting Park settle on the ball. Park battled hard but pressed at the back couldn’t get the support to the attackers to create chances. A tough defeat to take but shouldn’t distract from what has overall been a very successful season need to push to the end an unbeaten league campaign still there for the taking. The cup victory going along way to boost the confidence and give Cambridge belief going into their remaining league games.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few contenders for this one but with a clear winner in the finish. A tough game for Park nevertheless Erin Fox made  number of crucial challenges at the back. Sophie Fenner in attack working hard to provide an outlet 2nd half running with the ball. Cambridge with a strong game all over the pitch, Talia Gisonni strong at the back putting in the tackles and clearing the ball. Jorja Badcock a threat with the dead ball showing good passing range. Serena Cobb skilful with the ball at her feet taking on defenders. Libby Fraser with two goals getting into some great positions. The award though goes to Niamh Day. Strong out on the right flank getting forwards a ready outlet taking the ball to the by-line setting up goals and scoring two herself.


Cambridge United WFC Development lifting the cup

 Congratulations to Cambridge United WFC Development on winning the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup.

Cambridge United WFC Development 2022/23 Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup winners

  A enjoyable return to Histon to a see my 4th cup final of the season. May yet be a double or Cambridge United in the County Cup with the 1st team facing rivals Cambridge City at the Abbey Stadium for the Invitation Cup on Tuesday 25th April. Will be there too. My thanks to Chris Abbott and the Cambs FA staff for their help today and both teams for providing me with the team details, as always much appreciated.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Park Ladies v Peterborough Sports Ladies

Sunday 26th February

Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Two

A top of the table clash from Cambridgeshire Women’s Division Two this Sunday on Women’s Football East with leaders Park Ladies hosting 2nd placed Peterborough Sports Ladies, both with an unbeaten record going into the game.

The title looks to be between the two with today’s fixture potential having a large say on which way it might go. Park Ladies leading Peterborough Sports Ladies by 5 points their opponents though have 3 matches in hand. Met on the opening day of the season with the points shared in a 1-1 in the reverse fixture.

A strong league campaign from Park Ladies have been out in front from the start an 8 games winning streak following their opening day draw. A couple of draws away to march and home to Huntingdon slowing them up at the start of the month. Were in cup action last weekend winning 3-0 at home to Division Three side Cambourne Town Ladies to reach their first ever cup final the Cambridgeshire Women’s Junior Invitation Cup where they will face Cambridge United WFC Development on the Sun 16th April at Histon FC.

Have been scoring plenty of goals in league and cup to with top scorers Francesca Plitsch and Georgia Stimson both on 20 goals from 14 appearances. Amy Hunt netting 14 goals from 14 games with Sophie Fenner also on double figures. The last time I saw Park Ladies in action they were also going strong in the league, the Championship back then as they hosted Pinchbeck United Ladies on the 15th March 2020, on the eve of the first lockdown, games suspended across the country with the Covid-19 pandemic reaching UK shores. Was a strange atmosphere with alot of apprehension around, a wet and gloomy day. Muddy playing conditions too, was nevertheless treated to a spectacle on the pitch with the sides drawing 4-4.

Peterborough Sports Ladies a new name to the league this season. Peterborough itself a hot bed for female footballing talent with a number of sides Peterborough Sports the latest name. Have had female sides in the past, keen to bring woman’s football back to the club. This new side looking a strong addition headed up by former Peterborough Northern Star boss Dean Steward. A young side with many of the squad also featuring for their U18s side. A sprinkling of experience to call upon too a club on the rise. Following their opening day draw with Park, fell behind with their league fixtures due to extended runs in cup competitions. League form excellent since with a 100% record to climb up to 2nd threaten Park at the top. The Steward family producing some talented footballers in Peterborough with Cassie and Katie Steward playing for both Northern Star and Peterborough United. Katie Steward playing 6 games for Peterborough Sports this season netting 15 goals with younger sister Codie also proving prolific in front of goal netting 11 goals so far for the first team and 24 goals for the U18’s including a brace yesterday against Milton.

Parkfield Sports Club the venue for today’s league clash, situated in the village of Wimblington, near March heart of the Cambridgeshire fens. The site featuring a modern clubhouse, the Pub in the Park with a large carpark overlooking the pitches, two full size grass pitches, hosting cricket in the summer, with a new playground area being enjoyed by grown-ups and children alike. Hot and cold drinks being served a cup of tea needed, although the weather remains uncharacteristically good for the time of year there was quite a bitter breeze blowing across the pitches the sun offering some heat whenever it broke through the clouds another pleasant day for a match.

Park Ladies

 Park Ladies starting XI – Sian Holcroft, Maddie Jackson, Imogen James, Erin Fox, Charlotte Marshall, Eilish Brown, Fran Plitsch, Teagan Pulman, Erin Powell (C), Georgia Stimson & Amy Hunt. Subs – Sophie Fenner & Abby Deighton.

Peterborough Sports Ladies

 Peterborough Sports Ladies starting XI – Keeley Steward, Michaela Dortch, Larissa Frederick, Lillia Barhoumi, Evie Hatfield (C), Georgia Kulesza, Ruby Gorkel, Codie Steward, Leah Cudone, Alexa Hunter & Katie Steward. Subs – Libby Willis, Sophie Harold, Frankie Taylor, Phoebe Eyett & Grace Sipson.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   Peterborough Sports Ladies calling on their experienced players for today’s top of the table clash with Larissa Frederick Alexa Hunter and Leah Cudone coming into the starting line-up with new signing Michaela Dortch one time Cambridge United WFC player also starting. Naming 5 on the bench. Park with just the two players to call upon from the bench if needed. Moved over to the opposite side of the pitch to have the low sun at my back might cause a few issues for the players during the game sighting the dropping ball. Peterborough in their away colours for the match and all green kit with white trim on the shirts. Park lined up opposite wearing navy shirts and shorts with red socks.

The ball put back to Ruby Gorkel in midfield, Park are quick to close the ball down, the ball bouncing about before being put out of play for a Peterborough thro on the right. Turned inside into Gorkel, threads a pass forwards to Katie Steward breaking on in attack taking the ball on into the right channel shooting from outside the box, the strike held by Park goalkeeper, Sian Holcroft.

Peterborough Sports Larissa Frederick

Park move in to win the ball in the middle get it moving forwards quickly out to the right for Amy Hunt down the line passes it back into Eilish Brown top right corner of the area her shot charged down by Peterborough’s Larissa Frederick. The visitors counter attacking the ball fed onto Codie Steward right side knocks it infield before playing it across to Katie Steward central is tackled by Park’s Fran Plitsch, cleared back out to Codie Steward on the right her cross lifted back into the box cleared by Park’s Erin Fox.

A bright opening to the game from both sides looking to get on down the flanks, Park winning a throw high on their right, dropping into Hunt the attacker turning edge of the box her ball in deflected behind by Peterborough’s Lillia Barhoumi for a corner kick. Fired in near side blocked by Peterborough captain, Evie Hatfield the ball is scrambled behind for another corner. Played into Charlotte Marshall top of the area, attempts to send it back to the corner taker to cross, Peterborough stepping up well as a unit catching her offside.

Peterborough Sports, Lillia Barhoumi

Hunt getting on well attacking right for Park players getting up in support cut back up to Brown on the right corner of the box again hits her shot well, Peterborough goalkeeper, Keeley Steward (no relation to the other Steward’s) with a top draw save throwing herself across her near post to turn the ball behind for a corner kick.

Played in near side Peterborough defend and get straight on the counter the ball played forwards into Katie Steward left side getting it into her feet races forwards heading for the box striking the ball on the angle driven in Holcroft right behind it claiming cleanly. Codie Steward out on the opposite flank getting the ball under control and spinning off her marker to swing a ball in towards goal her cross/shot has Holcroft concerned but the keeper sees it bounce off the top of her crossbar.

Codie Steward with the ball for Peterborough Sports

Imogen James getting on up the left for Park from full back whipping a cross into the box, the headed clearance dropping into the path of Brown as the Park midfielder runs into the box left corner, is tackled by Barhoumi before she can get her shot away. Park getting players forwards from midfield well to press the Peterborough back line the visitors though a threat on the resulting counter attacks Gorkel out to Codie Steward running on down the right putting a ball across the box looking to pick out Katie Steward running in from the left, Holcroft alert to the danger out quickly to throw herself down to take the ball off Steward’s feet.

Park Ladies goalkeeper Sian Holcroft

The two sides fairly evenly matched, both possessing players who could unlock the opposing defence find a way in on goal. Leah Cudone up with Katie Steward on Peterborough’s left the cross driven across the top of the area cleared by Fox for Park. Keeley Steward charging out of her area to clear as Plitsch feeds Hunt a defence splitting pass through the centre. A few rough challenges coming in Marshall and Katie Steward clashing. Plitsch getting back well to close Alexa Hunter down as she attempts to get into a shooting position 20 yards out.

Michaela Dortch sliding in to tackle Park’s Fran Plitsch

Keeley Steward out well to claim low on Hunt as Georgia Stimson sends the ball on from a wide position on the left. Another coming together this time between Marshall and Codie Steward the referee quick get them apart having a word with both before issuing a yellow card to both. Plitsch getting stuck in in the middle of the park winning the ball for Park finding Teagan Pulman to her left on for Stimson, Micaela Dortch getting her foot in to take the ball away from her as she shifts to go inside.

Park with another corner on the right, the ball into the box near side cleared by Frederick who pulls up soon after feeling a knock. A pause in play to be assessed is okay to play on. The Steward sisters linking up in the left channel laying the ball between them Codie’s ball to Katie heading into the box cut out by Park’s, James. Pulman getting on well into the left channel for Park sending the ball across the top of the area to Hunt far side attempts to lay it back to the onrushing Plitsch central, Gorkel with a great tackle putting her foot in to clear for Peterborough.

Peterborough Sports, Ruby Gorkel

Cudone sharp nips in to steal the ball off the defence left taking it inside before striking over from 20 yards out for Peterborough. Park winning a free-kick wide right, Stimson putting the cross into the box met by Hunt near side twisting to head the ball turned goalwards, well held by Keeley Steward. A change for Park their captain Erin Powell coming off, Sophie Fenner joining the action on the left side of the pitch with little over 15 minutes to play in the first half. Georgia Kulesza battling for the ball in  midfield for Peterborough on for Hunter out to Codie Steward left, Maddie Jackson in to challenge for Park before the ball in under control.

Park Ladies, Eilish Brown

James with a nasty slip as she plays the ball on winding herself is in need of treatment but okay to play on. Plitsch on for Brown through the middle to Stimson on her left forwards for Hunt breaking into the box, Keeley Steward closing her down saving well at her feet. Fenner with the ball on the left has Plitsch up in support for Park fired on up the line for Hunt to chase, too much to do as Dortch defends seeing out for the goal kick. Keeley Steward’s kick out from the back knocked on through the middle, very nearly has Katie Steward in the clear to have a run at the goalkeeper, but for a vital last ditch lunging tackle from James.

Katie Steward

Cudone bringing the ball on from the left firing a cross in towards to top of the area Fox getting her head on it going to clear hits one of her own players causing it to rebound to Peterborough’s, Hunter top of the D, digging it out from under her feet shifts it wide to Codie Steward on the right sends her angled strike wide across the face of goal.

GOAL! With less than 2 minutes remaining of regular time remaining in the first half the dead lock is broken. Kati Steward on the ball coming on some 30 yards out Park don’t close her down seizes her opportunity putting her foot through the ball to strike it goalwards a looping shot dipping over the keepers head under the bar 0-1.

Katie Steward preparing to strike the ball to score the opening goal for Peterborough Sports

Peterborough getting their noses in front late in the first half, Codie Steward winning a throw high on the right, receiving it turns to hook a high ball into the area, Holcroft taking it on the bounce.

Half-time Park Ladies 0-1 Peterborough Sports Ladies

  A wonder strike from Katie Steward late on in the first half the difference been the sides in what has been a close and evenly fought contest so far. Park pressing the ball well in midfield getting players up and around the Peterborough area, Keeley Steward making a couple of fine saves to deny the hosts. Peterborough looking dangerous on the counter getting players onto the ball wide, with a few long range attempts one paying off. Still all to play for 2nd half. Park staying out on the field during the half-time interval.

Appears to be no more changes for either side at the start of the 2nd half with Park getting thing’s underway. Much like the start of the first half the ball is closed down quickly going out for a throw. Katie Steward onto the ball for Peterborough on for Codie Steward attacking right, tackled by James. Peterborough get Cudone onto the ball forwards for Katie Steward attacking right of the D, brought down with a heavy challenge on the edge of the area winning the free-kick in a dangerous position. Kulesza over it lines up the strike, close narrowly over the crossbar a good effort.

Peterborough making a strong start to the 2nd half Cudone gathering the ball left sending the diagonal ball into the box looking for Katie Steward racing in far side, Fenner back to defend clearing for a corner kick. put in long across the six yard box from the right cleared by Park, Peterborough winning the ball back Fox lunging in to tackle Katie Steward before Marshall blocks a shot from distance.

Park Ladies, Sophie Fenner

Plitsch continues to put herself about in midfield for Park winning the ball, Keeley Steward out to the top of her area to clear a through ball. Plitsch up with Brown working the ball forwards, Kulesza back in amongst them to break thing’s up for Peterborough a good ball forwards for Cudone, James defending for Park. Remains a good contest both sides giving it their all. Park making a change bringing Powell back on replacing Hunt. Frederick getting hold of the ball at the back for Peterborough moving forwards before playing it long for Codie Steward on the left checks inside shooting low on the angle not troubling Holcroft.

Stimson turning on the ball playing it on for Plitsch charging on through the middle, Hatfield out to close her down win the ball back for Peterborough. Katie Steward again in the wars brought down while attacking on the right, the free-kick a little deeper this time, Kulesza nevertheless going for it the strike over. Is a little physical at time, Marshall getting clattered by Hunter, has been giving as good as she gets though nothing doing in this instance. Fenner striding on with the ball out on the left for Park turning inside moving into the box, Hatfield with a well timed tackle preventing her getting a shot away.

Georgia Stimson

Kulesza with Gorkel in the middle for Peterborough through to Cudone in attack central threatens to get away from the Park defence, Marshall with a great recovery running to dive in get her foot on the ball take it away from a throw in the corner on the left. Cudone doing well for Peterborough getting more of the ball controlling it and shifting forwards fed on for Codie Steward left of the D attempts to find her sister to the right inside the box the pass cut out the flag up in either case. Katie Steward shooting wide across goal moments later as Cudone picks her out with the pass.

Georgia Kulesza winning the ball back for Peterborough

Another change for Park, Teagan Pulman coming off replaced by Hunt with an hour gone. Fenner needed back in defence as Cudone looks to feed Katie Steward in on the right. James coming in to tackle Katie Steward as she breaks on with the ball right channel. Keeley Steward called into action again for Peterborough as Plitsch battling to get onto the ball with Hatfield, wrestles free to break on into the box one on one closing Steward down, the keeper stays big as Plitsch smashes her shot, the keeper getting her body behind it to bring it down into her body.

Keeley Steward pulling off another quality save for Peterborough

Hatfield appearing to fall heavily as she tried to stop Plitsch is still down a break for treatment is up on her feet though and able to play on. Stimson winning Park a corner on the left, the delivery into the near post cleared behind for a 2nd corner. The ball played into the top of the area for Stimson, Hatfield into her quickly to prevent the shot. No let up play a little frantic at times players closing down passes rushed. James has taken a few knocks for Park and is in need of some attention off the field for the moment.

Katie Steward Peterborough’s main threat ready for the forwards pass, Cudone looking the most likely to provide it, Steward pulling off the defence right of goal Marshall getting back at her to throw herself across her to block send the ball out for a corner. Park clearing their lines. The hosts getting on right side a throw won top of the area played into Hunt quickly closed down, lays it back for Plitsch to strike from 20 yards out her first time effort swinging wide of the right post.

Park Ladies, Charlotte Marshall

Cudone up on the left twisting inside off a throw in attempting the shot sliced wide across the six yard box, Codie Steward pulling off the Park defence can’t get anything on it. Plitsch winning the ball central back for Brown to clip a diagonal ball out to Fenner wide left her cross into the ball headed clear by Barhoumi. Abby Deighton coming onto the pitch for Park with 12 minutes left on the clock replacing  James.

Leah Cudone

Powell taking the ball don the line for Park wide right inside for Stimson, Frederick winning the ball back for Peterborough. Codie Steward and Dortch off for Peterborough with Grace Sipson and Frankie Taylor coming on. Cudone breaking on through the middle for Peterborough her advance halted by the raised flag. Park pressing players on Brown bringing the ball on through the middle laying it out to Powell on the right her cross flashed into the box races out to the far side missing everyone, Fenner gathering left side sending it back into the mix, Peterborough scramble it out of the area players from both sides after the loose ball 25 yards out, Marshall onto it first sliding onto the ball taken down by the Peterborough player attempting to clear the ball, her shot angled wide, play brought back for the free-kick however Marshall adjudged to have been fouled much to Peterborough’s displeasure. Marshall suffering from cramp a pause before the set-piece is taken.

GOAL! Plitsch over the free-kick, goes for goal is struck beautifully angling in to loop and dip under the keeper, much like Steward’s strike in the first half puts Park back on level terms 1-1. 

Fran Plitsch scoring the equaliser for Park pictured here battling for possession with Peterborough Sports captain, Evie Hatfield

Park coming back to level in the closing minutes of the match. A blow for Peterborough, Park with renewed energy. Fenner with a powerful run into the box from the left stopped by Peterborough’s Barhoumi. A throw high on the left to the hosts as they look to keep the pressure on. Kulesza back to win the ball finding Sipson up top passing to Cudone to the right forwards tackled by Park’s Fox, Jackson clearing the ball. Steward on the right just inside the box striking over for Peterborough.

Park clearing the ball hooked on for Stimson peeling away right her ball into the top of the box cut out by Gorkel as the game moves into injury time. 2 minutes indicated. Holcroft dismayed back in her six yard box as a sliced back pass comes into her at an awkward high, unable to handle it heads the ball away to the right, Park back to clear. The hosts rapidly getting the ball up the other end winning a free-kick Peterborough unhappy with the decision. Park finishing strong sensing they might get something the clock ticking down the 2 minutes up.

GOAL! Park pushing up a throw high on the left played into brown right corner outside the area, hooks a hopeful ball high into the box, Steward letting it bounce doesn’t come for it spins away to the far post Plitsch lunging in to get her head on the ball power it into the back of the net to score the winner at the death 2-1!

Fran Plitsch popping up at the back post to score the winner for Park ladies

Little time left after the restart for Peterborough to respond hit with a sucker punch at the death the game turned completely on it’s head Park winning ending Peterborough’s unbeaten record.

Full time Park Ladies 2-1 Peterborough Sports Ladies

  So for the 2nd time this season I’ve seen a last gasp winner. Park coming back from a goal down in the first half to not only equalise late on but clinch the winning goal. Suspect they might have been happy with the point scoring so late on but really in terms of the title race was a must win game, go 8 points clear now and that still might not be enough to win the title, Peterborough with 3 games in hand can still finish a point above them but now they know what has to be done every game now till the end of the season is a cup final and in the world of football you can never predict what will happen. One thing’s for certain will be exciting to find out. An entertaining game from two evenly matched sides little in it, a wonder strike from Katie Steward giving Peterborough a first half lead. Started the 2nd half well coming close to getting a 2nd. Park worked hard throughout battling for the ball getting forwards paying off with a late equaliser and from there the winner.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Sometimes (not often) it’s easy and today is one of those days a few performances of note to mention first. For Peterborough, Katie Steward was strong in attack, running with the ball and getting into some great positions an excellent strike to give them the lead. Keeley Steward with some wonderful saves in goal. Leah Cudone too was good on the ball moving it well and linked up well with both Steward sisters in attack. Thought she had retired so very pleased I got to see her in action again and her experience will be invaluable to Peterborough’s youngsters. For Park the whole side worked hard to win the ball a physical game both sides will be feeling the knocks tomorrow. Charlotte Marshall in particular getting into win her challenges put in blocks and break up attacks at the back. Imogen James too with a number of vital tackles. Today’s winner though had the award in the bag even before she scored the equaliser let alone the winning goal. Fran Plitsch with an excellent performance in midfield. Winning the ball getting it and herself forwards with intent covering alot of ground.

An enjoyable return to Parkfield Sports Club, good to see both sides, catch up with Park and several familiar faces with Peterborough Sports My thanks to both for their help with the team details and the hospitality. Getting into the business end of the season lots to look forwards too.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Park Ladies v Pinchbeck United Ladies

Sunday 15th March

Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship

A top of the table clash from Cambridgeshire this Sunday on Women’s Football East, in the Women’s Championship 3rd versus 2nd both sides showing fantastic form, Park Ladies hosting Pinchbeck United Ladies.

  Uncertain times a turbulent weekend in football with the ever growing threat from the COVID-19 virus reaching the UK, all top flight football men’s and women’s suspended on Friday till early April as cases or symptoms were reported present amongst squads. That uncertainty and worry filtering down the pyramid and although not advised by the government at this time various leagues have made the call to also suspend fixtures, rightly or not at this time, everyone’s health and well being at the forefront of everyone’s mind and this is a crisis that is still in it’s infancy and has a long way to go. 

Some leagues were still on and theses affected as teams called of games, no one on either side off the argument for calling games off not taking thing’s seriously and I myself debated whether to attend a game or not, was meant to be attending this Sunday’s Hertfordshire Women’s Challenge Cup Final that game one of many postponed… possibly indefinitely. 

 One game off though presents another opportunity and deciding to go watch a game didn’t take long to choose another fixture, an opportunity to see two new sides for the first time, have wanted to see both for a while, especially Park who have asked me to attend before but I hadn’t been able to. The Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship expanded this season with an influx of new sides to complement a 13 strong Premiership, 14 sides playing in the Championship below, Park and Pinchbeck two of the more established sides.

 Cambridge Rangers Women leading the way with a long winning streak lasting 12 games, before being brought to an end by Park Ladies. That at the beginning of a wining streak that reached 10 matches in the league last weekend that run sending Park up to 3rd in the Championship table. A return to form after a couple of difficult seasons. Had burst onto the scene with a strong debut season, one season winning the Championship South title as it was then back in the 2015/16. Losing players the squad regrouping has taken time to get back to winning ways regularly the new look single Championship carrying alot of unknowns at the start of the season Park making an indifferent start gaining momentum surging up the table. Vice captain Francesca Plitsch top scorer so far this season with 18 goals.

Pinchbeck United Ladies also in fantastic form this season in the Cambridgeshire Women’s Championship with a 100% winning record from 13 played, games called off early in the season seeing them always behind in their fixtures, matching Cambridge Rangers results, Park doing them a massive favour ending the leaders winning record. Are closing the gap fast keeping thier winning record going up to 2nd in the table the gap closed to 4 points with 4 games in hand. Joining the Championship North a couple of seasons ago struggled in their debut season, signs of improvement appearing towards the end of last season have added new faces an with it goals to the side this season, Freya Peters top scorer so far with 17 goals, Libby Friel coming up fast on the rails too with 16 goals from just 8 appearances. 

Heading into the Fens this afternoon Park Ladies based in Wimblington, near March, play at Parkfields Sports Centre. A large carpark leading to a new clubhouse building housing a bar serving hot and cold drinks with large glass windows offering a good view of the two grass pitches beyond, a nice set-up. The weather though not playing ball rain due to arrive around lunchtime was meant to blow over but stuck around for the whole match making for muddy playing conditions and trying to do a report whilst juggling a notepad, camera and umbrella.

Park Ladies starting XI – Liv Goode, Tinneisha Mott, Darcy Howe, Nikki Hassock, Lou Davies, Eilish Brown, Danni Green (C), Francesca Plitsch, Sophie Fenner, Georgia Payne & Georgia Stimson. Subs – Liv Pedler, Gemma Hutton & Sian Holdcroft.

Pinchbeck United Ladies starting XI – Lita Abelite, Helen Barker, Alexandra Ferreira Gomes, Rebecca Navarette, Brittany Weaver, Laura Sidajeva, Chloe Gray (C), Victoria Bradford, Holly Coupland, Freya Peters & Libby Friel. Subs – Cayley Ainsworth, Rebecca Rigby, Ana Rodrigues Costa, Annie Vayro & China Smith.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   Rain falling steadily the pitch wet going to be a muddy one. Park to get the match underway kicking off 1st half wearing navy and red vertical striped shirts with white trim, navy shorts and socks. Pinchbeck in their away colours gold shirts with navy shorts and sock. The ball pressed straight away by Pinchbeck closing do Park in the final third won on the left a diagonal ball put in towards the top of the area Park goalkeeper Liv Goode out well to sliding in and save the ball before it can be attacked.

The tempo fast from the off Park bring the ball on from the back played out to the left long for Sophie Fenner, getting on down the flank is tackled by Pinchbeck’s Alexandra Ferreira Gomes the ball out for a corner kick. The delivery in towards the near post headed clear get straight on the counter the ball gathered into her feet by Holly Coupland drives on before sending a low ball racing into the cut out by Park’s Nikki Hassock conceding a corner. Played in near side attacked but send wide for a goalkick. Pinchbeck coming on well at the start of the game won in the middle Laura Sidajeva passes the ball out to Coupland pushing on down the right flank and early diagonal ball with Freya Peters breaking in behind through the middle, Goode out to close her down quickly get her gloves around the ball.

  Fenner attacking down the left winning a throw high for Park, the hosts bring bodies forwards keeping possession Francesca Plitsch swinging a good delivery into the area, headed clear by Pinchbeck’s Rebecca Navarette. Park come straight back at them Fenner left rolled forwards into Georgia Stimson central she unleashes a strike from 25 yards out the shot wide at the near post. The resulting goalkick played straight to Stimson 25 yards out gets a shot away before she can be closed down 20 yards out left of the D the ball hitting the side netting. 

Pinchbeck United Ladies captain Chloe Gray bringing the ball forwards.

  Park winning a corner on the left the ball played in by Plitsch near side, Georgia Payne getting a touch knocking the ball to the floor, can’t get a shot away before she is closed down the ball launched clear. Hassock getting a foot on the ball as she lunges in to take it away from Libby Friel looking to get on the end of Coupland’s ball fed into the box from the right, a corner awarded. Park defending the attack ending with a goal kick. Pinchbeck’s turn to latch onto a stray kick, as their captain Chloe Gray latches onto the ball 30 yards out, looks to put it straight back in but knocked high over the bar.

GOAL! 11 minutes played and the visitors take the lead Pinchbeck winning the ball in the middle attacking quickly players racing forwards the ball with Coupland on the right getting down the wing lifting a cross in towards the near side, Friel getting clear meeting it her 1st touch chipping it over and wide of the keeper into the back of the net 0-1.

GOAL! Park get straight up the other end an equalise, the ball played into Stimson right side is allowed to come on shifts the ball attacking the area evading a challenge and the top of the area with goalkeeper Lita Abelite coming to close her down gets her shot away across goal on target but has it got the pace? Players racing in, Payne with Ferreira Gomes on her shoulder neither can get a telling touch the ball rolling in to cross the line inside the far post 1-1. Stimson scoring her 14th goal of the season.

Georgia Stimson equalising straight away for Park Ladies

 Despite the rain falling the game played at a furious pace players closing the ball down in the middle, alot of mud collected already the top slick and sticky will take it’s toll on the legs no doubt. Park get hold the ball right side Plitsch sending it on down the line the cross sent in early to the near post Payne escaping her marker get’s a shot away, Abelite down quickly legs split to make a good save send the ball behind for a corner. 

 The ball finding Payne at the near post getting it down can find no way through the ball cleared for a throw out wide Park keeping hold of it in the final 3rd passed in field into Eilish Brown turns into the shot near side the shot straight at Abelite safely held. Park with a good response after falling behind coming straight back to level have Pinchbeck on the back foot. Brittany Weaver winning a tackle at the ball for Pinchbeck plays if forwards up to Peters and Friel in attack the pair look to combine through the middle Hassocks getting her foot in to intercept the ball. Peters after the ball played into her run on the left side, Goode coming out well to the top of her area sliding in to get her gloves around the ball. Gray has a go from 30 yards out her effort wide across the goal.

GOAL! Pinchbeck win a corner ball on the left side, a good delivery put in towards the near post close to goal Coupland free meeting it on the volley to turn the ball in past the keeper to score putting the visitors back into the lead 1-2. 

Holly Coupland restoring Pinchbeck’s lead

  Pinchbeck making a change straight after the goal bringing China Smith on for Sidajeva. A race for the substitute straight away as Plitsch threads a ball in behind for Payne to attack, Smith going with her, Abelite rushing out of her box just about getting there first to clear. Park come straight back the ball fed to Stimson right side top of the area getting a shot away the ball wide across the six yard box. Park with a good response again after falling behind Payne a threat in attack strong on the ball gets it into her feet 20 out running at the box lines up a shot the attempt narrowly over. 

Tinneisha Mott on the ball for Park Ladies

  Pinchbeck playing the ball long have Coupland attacking right a throw won, a high ball into the box headed clear by Park the break on Plitsch linking up with Fenner on the left Abelite coming to clear for Pinchbeck. Helen Barker getting forwards from the back for Pinchbeck on the left rolls it on to Peters, a good shift of the ball taking her in behind to attack the box, Hassock across well lunging in to tackle put the ball out for a corner kick. In again low at the near post Park get it away in the resulting scramble a break on the ball put up into the attackers quickly Pinchbeck’s Smith with the defending putting the ball out for a throw. Players up the ball into Payne sending a shot from the top right hand corner of the box wide across goal.

 Gray attempts one over the top for Pinchbeck with both Peters and Friel breaking in behind, Goode though out well towards the top of her area to claim. A double change fro Pinchbeck with Sidajeva coming back on along with Annie Vayro. Brown receiving the ball in the middle off Plitsch rolls it forwards into Payne’s feet she switches it out to the right quickly for Stimson who squares a cross in back along the top of the area the ball cut out by Weaver and cleared up field. Coupland away on the right wing taking the ball on cuts it back towards the top of the area, finds Peters inside the D her first time strike narrowly wide at the far post. 

  Park make a change, their 2nd actually missed the first as Green who had come off for Sian Holcroft now comes back on Mott. Payne getting hold of the ball outside the box on the right, tackled by Barker slowing her down Payne gets it back to swing in a cross Navarette heading clear for Pinchbeck. Park getting forwards well winning the ball in the middle Brown involved up to Payne 25 out turns looking to plough her way through, Weaver in to challenge. Involved in the action myself as is the risk you take the ball knocked out of play head down in the notepad the calls come but too late, creeping under the umbrella the notepad taking the brunt of the blow gathering some fen land mud as a souvenir in the process. But I’ve had it square in the face from close range before so carry on, the action certainly is.

Pinchbeck United Ladies, Brittany Weaver

  Can see why both sides are doing well this season, the pitch conditions not helping either play their natural game Pinchbeck going long at times, Hassock and Holcroft dealing with it for the most part, Friel always looking to get in behind however. Green threading the ball through for Payne, Weaver on her the final defender as they bear down on the box has to get her tackle right and lunging in takes the ball away from her behind for a corner. Won on the right the ball played on as Plitsch drifts over to the right sends a good delivery into the box, Fenner flying in far side trying to get her leg to the ball can’t quite connect. 

  Rebecca Rigby comes on for Pinchbeck in place of Weaver at the back. Abelite makes the save for Pinchbeck as park play in a free-kick from halfway into the top of the area headed down dropping left side Payne getting hold of it to fire in a low shot, the goalkeeper down at her near post to save. Gemma Hutton entering the action for Park with Howe coming off. Pinchbeck get Coupland on the ball right side fires in a shot on the angle, Goode diving to her left saving well pushing the ball down comes straight to Peters, Goode up quickly as the attacker brings in down, fires her shot over the bar. A good battle going on on Park’s left between Fenner and Pinchbeck’s Ferreira Gomes the ball into the winner following good work from Green, Payne and Stimson in the middle Gomes close in on Fenner getting in a good tackle to break up the attack. 

Pinchbeck United Ladies, Helen Barker

  Green furthest forwards for Park and she runs on through the middle the ball put over the defence into her path Abelite coming to close the angle, Green looking to chip her from 20 yards out, Abelite tall though gets an outstretched arm to the ball gloving it away  from her goal beyond. Ana Rodrigues Costa on late in the first half for Pinchbeck replacing Sidajeva. 

GOAL! Park have been strong since falling 2-1 behind Payne a threat in attack taking players on the ball out right side slipped through to her moving into the box clear pace taking her on wide of the near post shoots the ball racing in low is past Abelite before she can get down to it inside the post to level the scores right at the end of the 1st half 2-2.

Half-time Park Ladies 2-2 Pinchbeck United Ladies

  A highly entertaining match so far despite the rain, the pitch muddy cutting up making playing conditions difficult a good start and tempo to the game through out from both sides, Pinchbeck opening the scoring conceding straight away, Park with a good response, Pinchbeck getting themselves back into the lead. Park coming on well again on top for much of the half after the goal, Pinchbeck playing the ball long limiting their opportunities in attack, a threat on the counter nonetheless, Park coming back to level it up for a 2nd time late on, all square the only thing guaranteed in the 2nd half is more rain. 

Muddy out there, not the weekend to be the one assigned to wash the kits.

 Roll on roll off substitutes used frequently by both sides the pitch sapping legs highly muddy now, glad I’m not the one washing those kits. Pinchbeck to get the 2nd half underway. Attack down the right, Liv Hedley closing down Coupland slowing her down Hassock coming across to clear. Park send the pass out wide to Plitsch out on the right looks to take players on as she seeks to get into the box, play brought back for a free-kick on her with no advantage. The delivery in towards the near post safely gathered into her midriff by Abelite. 

GOAL!  Park take the lead early in the 2nd half the move starting at the back as Goode gathers it inside the box with Pinchbeck on the attack, kicking out of her hands the ball long finding Payne clear right side takes it down well knocking in on driving forwards shooting on the angle across the keeper, Abelite gets her finger tips to it but not enough to divert it past the far post 3-2. 

Georgia Payne putting Park Ladies into the lead early in the 2nd half

 Coupland working hard on the right for Pinchbeck back to win the ball turning play around on for Peters right ahead of her, Park defending as she tries to come in field. Park pressing the ball well keeping a good shape at the back, Plitsch covering alot of ground as well as gathering alot of mud in the middle. Brown in to win the ball left side and Pinchbeck look to gain ground. On for Payne the ball put into the box, Abelite punching it clear, Park keep alive in the final 3rd Green getting hold of the ball winning a throw high up the pitch.

Park’s Francesca Plitsch enjoying the sliding tackles this afternoon

GOAL! Park doubling their advantage early in the 2nd half the hosts coming on through the middle the ball fed into Payne 30 yards out central has Stimson making a run left of her into a central position top of the area the pass perfect getting her in behind Abelite racing out to close her down Stimson shooting a clinical finish past the keeper to find the goal beyond 4-2.

  Pinchbeck bring on Cayley Ainsworth for Navarette at the back. Coupland pressing on the right side playing in Peters, looks to burst into the box, Holcroft getting onto her shoulder making the tackle inside the box for Park. Payne and Stimson with some good link up play in attack for Park finding gaps in the Pinchbeck defence, Payne left side slipping Stimson in Abelite racing out of her box, just about getting there to clear. 

Pinchbeck United Ladies, Freya Peters

GOAL! Pinchbeck get hold of the ball in the middle Peters to Coupland a superb ball forwards into Friel 25 yards out a good touch seeing her skip in behind the defence to take the ball on into the area one on one with the keeper takes the shot early putting it wide of her to score 4-3.

  Pinchbeck with a good response to having fallen 2 goals behind pulling one back getting more of the play in the middle, Coupland doing well on the right. Ainsworth tackling Payne as the Park attacker aims to break into the box central a throw won high on the right. Playing conditions really difficult now the steady rain making the pitch tough to play on both sides for their part though keeping energy levels high the action not slowing down at all. Friel leading the line for Pinchbeck giving Hassock and Holcroft plenty to think about. Holcroft this time going with Friel as she gives chase to a forwards pass getting it back to Goode to kick up field. 

  Barker winning the ball back on the left for Pinchbeck sending a good ball up to Friel in attack left side cheating it down to turn into the box, Holcroft recovering quickly to slide in put the ball. Ainsworth cutting the ball out twice in quick succession in the box as Plitsch tries to fed the ball into Payne from the right.

GOAL! Friel completing her hat-trick to bring Pinchbeck back on level terms finds room out on the left as the ball is won in the middle send in low into her path escaping the Park defence closing in on the box Goode coming to close her down, Friel takes on the early shot sending the ball racing past the keeper to find the bottom corner 4-4.

19 goals for the season for Pinchbeck’s Libby Friel

   An action packed encounter the momentum back in Pinchbeck’s favour fighting back to level the scores Friel now has 19 goals from 9 played. Mott back on for Park getting up on the right a cross in near side held by Abelite. Goode saving low at her left hand post as Friel out wide fires in a shot from the angle. Smith coming back on for Barker. Brown to Fenner on the left in behind, Abelite out of her box to get her foot on the ball, the clearance straight to Stimson holding it up as players race forwards sends in from the right Abelite back across her goal holding at the near post. Coupland has ran herself into the ground picking up a knock comes off for Pinchbeck, Bradford coming back on. 

Francesca Plitsch sliding in to tackle Pinchbeck’s Annie Vayro

   Hassock just about gets her toe on the ball an outstretched leg to take the ball away from Friel inside the box as she lines up a shot, goes after it collecting on the byline to fire a ball across the face of goal, Hedley defending at the far post for Park. Green back on for Park as Payne has to come off to have a bleeding knee seen too. Ferreira Gomes fouling Fenner this time out on the left as she looks to get past her. Holcroft with the set play 30 yards out angles a shot in towards goal falls safely into Abelite’s gloves. 

 Into the final 10 minutes both sides tiring gaps opening up both intent on finding a winning goal whilst weary of making a mistake at the back. Peters gets in behind the Park defence right side of the D closing in on the box Goode coming to close the angle Peters shoots looking to put it through the keepers legs, skips up however allowing Goode to close her thighs make the save. The loose ball coming to Friel central Park defenders racing back her attempt on goal block the rebound looping back up to Gray 25 yards out left side blasts her shot wide. 

Park Ladies goalkeeper, Liv Goode

 Payne back on the field replacing Hutton. Plitsch spreading play to the right with Green finding space to get on down the line whips in a cross Abelite claiming at her near post with Fenner making a fantastic run in behind. 5 minutes left players struggling to keep up the pace now as both press on Pinchbeck get on down the right a throw high up the pitch turned on in towards the top of the area Holcroft and Hassock defending against Friel. The game stretched now end to end, Hassock tackling Friel as the ball fired into her from halfway. The result could yet go either way. 

Freya Peters clearing for Pinchbeck late on

 Park with a late corner on the right Green getting forwards the ball put in high, headed clear, Park keeping possession back to Green on the right fires in the cross, Abelite collecting it for Pinchbeck. It ends all square the points shared.

Full time Park Ladies 4-4 Pinchbeck United Ladies

 A highly entertaining match to watch fantastic for the neutral played at a good tempo both sides giving it their all in difficult playing conditions. Park the first side to take points off Pinchbeck this season. The visitors with the opening goal, Park coming back straight away a good response Pinchbeck though getting back into the lead. Park coming back late in the first half going on to get themselves into a 4-2 lead early in the 2nd period Pinchbeck’s turn to fight back quickly getting it back to 4-3 conditions sapping energy gaps appearing at the back Friel exploiting them well to get her hat-trick level it up at 4-4. Both sides searching for a late winner Goode with a couple of good saves to deny Pinchbeck. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few to give mention too from both sides hard to pick one, Holly Coupland with great work and energy on the right for Pinchbeck, Libby Friel in attack finding the space as the Park defence tired to score a well taken hat-trick. For Park, Georgia Payne in attack caused the Pinchbeck defence problems all game scoring twice. Francesca Plitsch superb in the middle covering alot of ground getting across the park to win the ball. The award though goes to Park’s Nikki Hassock had a great game at the back making several crucial and well times tackles throughout.

An enjoyable first trip to Parkfields despite the weather, good to see both sides for the first time, my thanks to both for helping me with the team details always appreciated. 

 Uncertain and worrying times ahead as the country fights the COVID-19 outbreak. Will continue to follow the advice given and not panic. Concerned of course, take care of yourselves and look out for each other.