Tag Archives: Queens Park Rangers Women

Match Report – AFC Sudbury Women v QPR FC Women

Sunday 5th November

FAWNL South East Division One

 A trip into Suffolk this bonfire Sunday to the MEL Group Stadium to watch some match action from FAWNL South East Division One, with newly promoted AFC Sudbury Women taking on Queens Park Rangers Women.

  The 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid getting stronger and more competitive season upon season and promotion into is not an easy challenge. AFC Sudbury Women though reaching this level for the 1st time in their history off back to back league title in the ERWFL.

  Playing in the 6th tier just two season’s ago the club has undergone a lot of changes in it’s recent history integrated into the club with AFC Sudbury setting up an academy for the girls side of the game as well as the boys, that has seen a crop of very talented young players come through to feature for the club, coming out of a highly competitive ERWFL Division One South with a host of clubs involved all the way to the finish to clinch the title and promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division.

Sudbury’s model very much based on bringing their young academy players through their young side hit the ground running in the ERWFL Premier Division, pushing the title contenders all the way to emerge on top of the pack to claim back to back promotions, top scorers in the league too with Holly Kennard, who has recently joined Norwich City Women netting 25 goals in 25 appearances and Jess Allen returning from a spell in the US notching up 17 from the 16 games she featured in. Back to back promotions to reach the FAWNL for the 1st time in the clubs history a huge step up and a bi test for their young squad, have stuck to their guns however giving them their chance to shine, a steep learning curve taking just a single point from their opening 4 matches before notching up their 1st win at home to Haywards heath Town Ladies. A further 2 draws sandwiched between another loss are starting to find their feet and know what the league is all about.

  Queens Park Rangers Women gaining promotion back to the FAWNL in 2021 after having to regroup with their former Development side in regional football following the 1st team’s playing in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division split that saw the formation of a totally new club. Much of the 1st team staying under the QPR badge to fight their way back into the FAWNL, strong on their return finishing 4th in the table. A mid-table finish last time out winning as many as they lost, that inconsistency has been the feature of this campaign to having played 8, have won 4 and lost 4 with their last 4 league matches all ending in 2-1 scores, winning 2 and losing 2, get a run of wins going and the West London club are well placed in the table to threaten the top 4. Signing Grace Stanley from Cambridge City Women during the last campaign the striker is top scorer so far this season with 9 goals from 9 appearances.

  Storm Ciaran bringing yet another wave of heavy rain across the country in the week leading into Saturday the flood plains leading into Sudbury full the river level high, a possible threat to the match, otherwise played on an artificial surface, the rain easing off water encroaching into the stadium behind the terraced stand opposite the clubhouse and onto the walk way and partially the home dug out the pitch raised however so no problem and whereas I usually migrate around that side of the ground to watch the match thankfully headed in the opposite direction so I didn’t have to paddle through the water. The women’s matches popular at Sudbury, the bar open with a special on today, curry and a pint for £10. Still settled for a cup of tea and a cheeseburger with the kitchen hatch open too. The sun doing it’s best to poke through the clouds bright at times, chilly when obscured.

AFC Sudbury Women

AFC Sudbury Women starting XI – Amelia Carter, Amber Proven, Kayleigh Dodd, Ronni Harrison (C), Aliyat Lambe, Leonnie Bezant, Maisie Goodwin, Phoebe Guiver, Sophie Jeffery, Jess Allen & Kate Edwards. Subs – Jodie Donley, Learna Daniels, Chloe Brame, Evie Creaton & Kiera Harms.

Queens Park Rangers Women

QPR FC Women starting XI – Nicole Melling, Alice Curr, Renai McCrea, Joanna Blodgett, Georgie Lewin, Emily Hill. Katie Akerman, Kasha Petit (C), Izzy Owen, Ellie Searle & Grace Stanley. Subs – Ailish Carolan, Emilia Parsons Frankie Webster, Zoe Cohen & Grace Shephard.

Captains, Kasha Petit and and Ronni Harrison with the match officials


A change of ends before kick-off with Sudbury putting the low sun at their backs the cloud cover disperses. QPR to have the kick-off first half wearing their away colours red and black striped shirts with black shorts and socks with Sudbury opposite in their usual colours, yellow shirts with blue shorts and yellow socks. The ball laid back into midfield, the clipped past long to the left sees Ellie Searle charging on to attack it, Kayleigh Dodd doing the defending for Sudbury seeing the ball out for a throw. The visitors looking to get on the front foot right from the start harrying the ball in the middle out to Renai McCrea on the left links up with Searle and Grace Stanley in attack the cross charged down spins away for another throw.

Sudbury’s Leonnie Bezant with QPR’s Izzy Owen

McCrea getting after the ball central as she tracks inside form the left laid forwards into Izzy Owen plays the ball into the right wing for captain Kasha Petit, Sudbury’s captain Ronni Harrison coming out to close her down defending for the hosts. QPR winning a free-kick on the halfway line, Georgie Lewin to flight a ball long into the area, Harrison putting her foot through it to clear for Sudbury. A lively tempo to the game both sides snapping at the ball Sudbury with Leonnie Bezant playing the pass forwards into Kate Edwards in attack looks for Jess Allen coming inside from the left, Joanna Blodgett getting a foot in to win the ball back the visitor look to counter rapidly with the past long for Searle in the clear on the left, her progress though halted by the raised flag of the linesman.

Sudbury attacker, Kate Edwards

Sudbury release Sophie Jeffery on their right to take the ball on into the corner, doing a step over to shift inside her marker, Lewin gets the challenge in the knock the ball out of her path, Bezant up with play snatching the ball back pushed into Jeffery wide, swings a cross into the QPR six yard box, Blodgett up to head clear. This is a lively game all action both side getting the ball on quickly can’t take your eyes off it for a second. Petit looking to get away on the right but Harrison is across to cut her off again clear the ball for a throw in.

Phoebe Guiver win the ball in the middle for Sudbury, rides the lunging tackle for Emily Hill before being chopped down by Katie Akerman the QPR midfield shown a early yellow card. The free-kick in half-way. The ball lifted forwards seen out safely by QPR, but put under pressure from the goal-kick give away a throw high up the pitch. Sudbury competing well looking to put the QPR defence under pressure as they are drawn out, Edwards and Allen pressuring the ball at the back, Edwards releases Allen the take the ball in behind strikes from distance her shot not troubling QPR goalkeeper, Nicole Melling.

Maisie Goodwin, with Guiver getting the ball on through the middle for Sudbury getting players up around the QPR box rolled into Bezant inside the D, her shot is charged down, the rebound coming to Allen to the left of the box, again her 1st time hit is blocked. Petit down with a knock for QPR a pause in play while she receives treatment. The wind having some bite to it now as the sun disappears behind the clouds. Play resuming with a drop ball, put out to Jeffery on the right, she hooks a looping all into the area, Blodgett getting a slight touch to deflect the ball away from the on coming attack, Melling’s claim it high behind her.

QPR’s Georgie Lewin

Alice Curr advancing on the right for QPR on for Petit, Amber Proven challenging the ball out for a thro high up the pitch the visitors get it down well to cross into the near post, Dodd getting their to clear for Sudbury. A chance for QPR to open the scoring as Sudbury are guilty of giving the ball away in the final 3rd central the through ball putting Searle into the box left of the D, taking it on towards the six yard box the angle closing she pulls her strike wide across the face of goal.

QPR’s Alice Curr

Harrison coming across to close Petit down as she gets clear on the right, the ball going behind Harrison and the Sudbury bench incredulous as a corner is given against them. A looping in swinger put in at the near post Sudbury goalkeeper, Amelia Carter jumping to punch the ball away back out to the right the corner taker rolling it back for Curr 25 yards out on the angle strikes the ball, blocked inside the area.

Getting a little testy out there a few clumsy tackles, McCrea getting the advantage as she is clipped going forwards looking for Searle left, Aliyat Lambe coming out to close her down for Sudbury. Lewin with a vital interception for QPR at the back and Sudbury build quickly through the middle. The QPR centre backs again under pressure as Sudbury turn play around playing it through the middle for Edwards racing forwards, Lewin and Blodgett racing back too, one getting the touch to push it on for Melling to launch clear.

Aliyat Lambe clearing the ball for Sudbury

If anything Sudbury are getting a little too excited as they reach the final 3rd, the final pass not quite on it’s mark giving QPR the chance to claim and get going in the opposite direction. Little time dwelled on the ball. 20 minutes gone a competitive match lively QPR with the ball on the left rolled back to McCrea with Dodd coming to close her down on the touchline the full back tangling as McCrea looks to dart past Dodd both holding onto each other shirt, Dodd thrown onto her back as the momentum is with McCrea. Dodd having the wind knocked out of her opposite the QPR dugout the Sudbury bench not happy as no action is taken against McCrea, the physio treating Dodd, they both had hold of one another, had the momentum been with Dodd then it’d be McCrea on her arse right now. As it is another long pause in play with Owen also needing treatment for QPR, Sudbury questioning the referee about the incident. Play resuming with a throw to QPR.

GOAL! Whether the incident unsettled Sudbury can be argued, but straight away they concede the ball not dealt with as it it threaded down the left wing for Searle to take in behind turning into the area along the by-line plays it into the six yard box with Stanley waltzing in central to tap home her 10th goal of the season to give the visitors the lead. 0-1.

Grace Stanley with her 10th goal of the season opening the scoring for QPR.

Proven feeding the ball on for Allen on the left closing in n the corner tracking inside towards the box, can’t capitalise with the cross as it is cut out by Blodgett. QPR push bodies forwards as they build through the middle Petit putting it right for Curr to lay inside for Stanley taking it on into the box right of the D, angles the ball back in across the penalty spot, played behind Akerman as she surges forwards, Dodd clearing for Sudbury.

Sudbury’s Sophie Jeffery

Sudbury getting caught in possession putting them under pressure at the back, Akerman sending the pass forwards for Searle advancing on the left squared into Stanley top left corner of the box, Bezant tracking back from midfield to challenge for Sudbury, possession though quickly lost the ball back with Searle on the right flashed into the box, Harrison scrambling it clear for the hosts. McCrea coming inside from the left on half-way playing a great threaded ball into Pettit in the right channel that sees her sneak in behind the Sudbury defence, Carter off her line rapidly to slide in and clear at the attackers feet.

Sudbury’s Phoebe Guiver

Again the Sudbury bench are livid as McCrea clatters into Guiver, with on action taken. Petit finding Stanley with the past up top the striker shooting over from outside the box to the right of goal. Lambe and Dodd both making good challenges at the back as QPR press up on the left with McCrea getting on well to support the attack.

Guiver carrying the ball on through the middle for Sudbury passes into Edwards ahead of her she in turn lays the ball into Allen racing in behind the defence on the right channel bearing down on the area, Melling racing out to close her down, going to ground, Allen shoots, the QPR keeping saving with her trailing foot, scrambling back up to her feet as Edwards races onto the loose ball 20 yards out trying to put it into the exposed goal, Blodgett back-peddling into her own six yard box able to intercept. A golden chance for Sudbury to equalise.

Sudbury’s Jess Allen

McCrea fouling Allen giving the hosts a free-kick wide on the right, Dodd to play the ball into the area dropping central Melling leaping doesn’t get much on it the ball out to the top of the area knocked back in Curr with the block for QPR the ball deflected behind, Sudbury furious when they don’t get the corner.

Blodgett is fouled by Allen as she looks to shield the ball out of play from a Bezant pass from the middle. Lewin bringing the ball on from the back for the visitors plays the pass to Searle breaking away wide left her cross whipped into the area defended by Harrison put behind for a corner kick. Sudbury defend the corner and look to break Edwards trying to play Allen in behind, Lewin stretching a leg to intercept the ball.

The Sudbury bench incensed once more as Bezant sends a great ball on for Allen long on the right the attacker getting back to it on the by-line to wrap her foot around the ball to lift in a cross, McCrea tracking back trying to block looks to have struck her arm as it knocked behind for the corner. The corner dropped into the mix drilled wide of the right post. The first half moving into stoppage time QPR on the attack, Hill forwards into Petit plays the ball into the area for Stanley right of goal cuts it back to the top of the area to be hit by the advancing Akerman her strike racing wide of the far post.

Half-time AFC Sudbury Women 0-1 QPR FC Women

  That was a fast paced and competitive first half some good chances created, QPR getting off to a positive start, getting the ball wide pressing players on taking the lead midway through the half, Sudbury missing a great chance to level. Both sides guilty of having sloppy periods in possession, the game often rushed, Sudbury in particular not quite finding the mark with the final pass, nevertheless competitive has been an exciting first 45 and with a single goal in it all to play for.

Chilly now with the sun low and the floodlights on as the teams emerge for the 2nd half, no changes with Sudbury getting the game restarted the ball rolled back into the middle, the diagonal ball forwards to the right the QPR defence seeing it out. Bezant latching onto the ball driving on through the middle for Sudbury, Akerman tackling, McCrea launching it up to Stanley up top on her own gets up well to head the ball down into the D, but lacking a runner to take it on, Lambe is untroubled as she clears the ball. The visitors snapping at the ball inside the Sudbury half, Hill with Petit out to Searle high on the left her low cross claimed by Carter.

GOAL! QPR with the ball inside the Sudbury half Petit plays it into Akerman who opens up her body to slot an inch perfect pass into the feet of Searle as she steals inside her marker to race into the area left of goal and send it under the advancing keeper as she rushes out to close her down to score, 0-2.

Ellie Searle played through to double QPR’s lead at the start of the 2nd half

The perfect start to the 2nd half for QPR as they double the lead, while delivering a huge blow to Sudbury at the same time. The ball given away inside their own half, Sudbury are on the back foot straight away as Owen drive through the centre towards the D for QPR, Dodd getting the tackle in to take the ball out of her feet send it behind for a corner kick on the right. The corner taken short before the cross is delivered, the ball knocked down towards goal Carter dropping out her left to save it doesn’t know the flag has been raised for an offside.

Allen bursting on right side after the ball striking it on the half volley her angled effort straight into Melling’s midriff. Dodd getting back at Searle on the left to tackle as the winger threatens to run in behind to cross, the visitors snapping back to regain possession, Akerman trying her luck from distance sending the shot over the bar. Sudbury make the first change of the game bring off Guiver, on comes Evie Creaton. The substitute involved straight away in a triangle on the right with Edwards and Bezant, the attempted ball into the area intercepted by Lewin for QPR.

Allen looking to make something happen for Sudbury driving on with the ball on the right before being tackled winning her side a corner kick. Lopped in to the near post, Lewin is up with a firm header to knock it back out towards the taker, then races out to press the ball well. Goodwin linking up with Bezant in the middle rolled on for Edwards who clips it to the right of the D for Creaton, she flicks it into the box turning to chase it wide to the right of goal, Melling sprinting over to throw herself on the ball.

Lewin busy for QPR at the back getting out to close down Allen as she comes left to attack the ball. Another stoppage in play with Creaton going down needing treatment. QPR have won a corner on the right as play resumes played deep towards the far post 10 yards out knocked down towards goal, Carter diving left to get down to save push the ball out past her left post then makes another blocking save on her knees as Owen tries to turn the ball in at the near post.

Sudbury get up the other end with pace as Allen wins her side a corner kick, Creaton allowed back on. QPR defending clearing the ball out of their box, Akerman taking it forwards playing it on into Petit who smashes a shot over from range. Sudbury make a change bringing Edwards off, Chloe Brame coming on. Stanley with the ball right corner of the area sends in central to Hill inside the D, shifts to go left before pulling the trigger, Goodwin blocking for Sudbury the ball deflected behind her, Harrison clearing to concede the corner kick. Played in from the left Bezant clearing near side.

QPR’s Joanna Blodgett

66 minutes played Sudbury making a double substitution taking off Dodd and Lambe at the back Learna Daniels ad Jodie Donley coming on. Harrison defends as Hill bringing the ball on into the left channel looks to play Searle in to cross. Petit fouls Jeffery inside the QPR half the free-kick top of the centre circle the ball defended headed out to the right with Searle then holding of Brame as she looks to gather and drive towards the area.

GOAL! Defending a corner at one end QPR break through the middle Akerman charging on with the ball, has Petit and Stanley ahead of her racing to get clear of the Sudbury defence, the pass putting the ball on into Stanley’s path heading into the box right of the D bearing down on goal. Carter comes rushing out to try and close her down going to ground Stanley slots the ball past the keeper into the back of the net to make it 0-3.

Grace Stanley with her 2nd of the game to see QPR lead 3-0

Stretching their lead QPR making a double change as they take of Petit and Curr, send on Emily Parsons and Zoe Cohen. Sudbury conceding a 3rd goal frustrated haven’t been able to get going in the 2nd half picking up another injury as QPR prepare a triple substitution. Brame needs to come off for Sudbury too, Kiera Harms coming on. Ailish Carolan, Frankie Webster and Grace Shephard onto the pitch for QPR replacing Stanley, Akerman and McCrea. QPR winning a free-kick on the right 35 yards out.

GOAL! Blodgett over the set-piece strikes a high ball into the area, runners breaking in towards the penalty spot to meet it, one of those Parsons only on the pitch for a few minutes she gets her head onto the ball to send a bullet of a header over the keeper before she can react into the goal beyond 0-4.

Substitute Emilia Parsons heading home to make it 4-0

QPR with a strong grip on the game with less than 15 minutes of regular play left, Harrison pushed up into the middle for Sudbury as the hosts win a free-kick 30 yards out, the captain over it herself strikes the ball in towards goal a comfortable catch for Melling. Hill sending the ball up to Parsons back to goal 25 out looks to turn it into the path of Shephard racing forwards, she can’t quite take it in her stride as she enters the box allowing Sudbury to clear. 

Harrison playing the ball on for Bezant the midfield lifting a great pass forwards for Harms to bring down under control top of the area, he progress halted though by the offside flag. Webster up ended inside the Sudbury half the set-piece seeing players go forwards, Hill up to knock the ball down into the box, before being struck wide of Carter’s left post. Bezant clipping a neat pass out to the left with Allen taking it down outside the area looking to shift onto her right foot and shoot, Blodgett putting the blocking tackle in.

The game getting a little ragged as it enters stoppage time several niggly challenges QPR playing with composure, hasn’t been Sudbury’ afternoon the hosts frustrated nothing working going forwards, play quickly turned around. The hosts with one last chance to get players up into the area winning a free-kick on the right, the ball won though by Hill cleared for Owen to break forwards pulls up suffering from cramp. The job done however the final whistle blowing QPR leaving Suffolk with the 3 points in the bag.

Full time AFC Sudbury Women 0-4 QPR FC Women

  The win lifting QPR up into 5th place. Coming out on top in the 2nd half after a reasonably even 1st half. Making a few tweaks to the side came out fast in the 2nd half getting at Sudbury to quickly double their lead, a blow for Sudbury who will want to put that half behind them, never got going, QPR performing well to frustrate them winning the ball and turning play around creating chances Stanley put clear to make it 3, wit substitute Parsons burying her header to make it 4-0.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time to choose this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a tight call yet again with some strong performers out there. A few performances of note to mention. For Sudbury Leonnie Bezant was strong in the middle especially 1st half winning her tackles and showing a good range of pass that on another day would threaten to unlock a defence. Captain Ronni Harrison defending well at the back getting across to defend and read the game as QPR turned play around. For QPR, Ellie Searle was a constant threat out on the left, looking to get in behind to cross the ball, played in to score their 2nd early in the 2nd half. Katie Akerman came into her own in midfield as the game wore on getting into some great positions driving forwards with  fantastic assists. Today’s award though goes to defender Georgie Lewin, a powerful display at the back winning the ball and bringing it out of defence, making several interceptions which played a large part in frustrating their opponents.

Great to be back at the MEL Group Stadium to watch Sudbury play in the FAWNL as frustrating afternoon for sure, but still a long way to go and will fight all the way to ensure they retain their new found FAWNL status. My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details, the nature of the league this time of year just one more league game scheduled for QPR, Sudbury with too will both be looking to end the year on a positive note.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Queens Park Rangers WFC

Sunday 23rd January

FAWNL South East Division One

A quiet start to 2022, needed a break after what was a tested end to 2021, the mental health not great a pause most definitely needed, ready to go again and plenty of exciting football to look forwards to in what hopefully will be a relatively normal 2022. A trip to St Neots today to watch a game from FAWNL South East Division One between two sides looking to push for a top 4 finish in the league as Cambridge United WFC take on Queens Park Rangers Women.

  Darren Marjoram coming in from St Ives Town Ladies to manage along side head coach Ben Yeomans has seen Cambridge United WFC make an excellent start to the season holding their on in the top 4 for much of the first half of the season although 1 collected from there last 3 league matches in 2022 plus no league action since December 12th has seen them slip down to 7th. In the only competitve match played so far in 2022 Cambridge were convincing winners against Eaton Socon Ladies as they secured their place in the Hunts FA Women’s Senior Cup final where they will play St Ives Town Ladies. Have been busy in the transfer market looking to add to an already competitive squad with defender Rachel Kosky joining from Enfield Town Ladies, striker Nicole Emmings returning to Cambridge after 4 seasons with Stevenage FC Women along with Amber Cantwell re-joining after a spell with Wroxham Women.

Saw QPR Women in my last game of 2021 away to Norwich City Women. Back hen the club was midtable closer to the sides in the bottom 4 but with games in hand didn’t look likely to get dragged into a battle at the bottom. Were comfortable for the large part in a 2-1 win, ending the year with defeat to the leaders Hashtag United Women. Have made an excellent start to 2022 as they embarked on a run of 3 games in 8 days winning 0-1 away to London Seaward last Sunday then making it back to back wins with a good result at home to 3rd placed Actonians 2-1 the winning score with goals from Katie Akerman and top scorer Melanie Hall who has 12 for the season. That result putting them firmly in the mix for a top 4 finish as they move ahead of Cambridge on goal difference.

St Neots Town FC’s Premier Plus stadium the venue for todays fixture the area leading up to the stadium seeing an ever growing housing development on that side of the town offering a good catchment area for growing fanbases of the mens and women’s side, Cambridge United WFC that side getting good support from St Neots and Cambridge United FC themselves, were due to play QPR at the Abbey Stadium earlier in the season had the FA Cup not gotten in the way. Hopefully a game at the Abbey Stadium is soon on the horizon. The pitch in good condition, sawdust applied to a few patches. Is wide play can be spread with both sides liking to spread play out to their flanks. A dry day if very overcast.

Cambridge United WFC

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Kira Markwell, Anna Re, Carrie Bennett. Grace Waygood, Gisela Otten, Laura Baker (C), Alysha Stojko-Down, Amy Howlett, Laura Mitchell, Nicole Emmings & Ruth Fox. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Abi Davies, Lauren Rouse, Amy Houghton & Faith Hewitt.

Queens Park Rangers Women

 Queens Park Rangers WFC starting XI – Katie McLean, Georgie Lewin, Danielle Maloney, Lauren Jordinson, Vicky Grieve (C), Joanna Blodgett, Laura Hennessey, Katie Akerman, Ellie Searle, Melanie Hall & Demi Edwards. Subs – Lucie White, Brogan Moore, Sue Kumaning, Ailish Carolan & Emilia Parsons.

Nicole Emmings the only one of the three new arrivals available to today starting up top alongside top scorer Ruth Fox who has 12 for the season. It’s the visitors to get the game underway  wearing blue and white hooped shirts, blue shorts and socks. Red numbers on the back will be hard to read again but having seen them quite recently the players are fresh in my mind. Cambridge lined up opposite wearing amber shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball played back to the defence Cambridge move in quickly to close the ball down Fox on captain Vicky Grieve forced into a hasty clearance, scrappy in the middle before Cambridge’s Alysha Stojko-Down goes in hard with a strong tackle to put the ball out. It’s had enough and is replaced. 

Alysha Stojko-Down in to win the ball for Cambridge

  QPR shift the ball across the middle Katie Akerman into Joanna Blodgett put long to Melanie Hall looking to peel in behind in the left channel, Gisela Otten reading the pass for Cambridge the centre back intercepts. The visitors regain possession spreading play to the right the cross in half cut out by Carrie Bennett runs into the D scrambled out, a midfielder running onto the ball the shot in low, Cambridge goalkeeper, Kira Markwell crouching to gather is behind the ball. 

 QPR’s Laura Hennessey winning the ball in the middle clips a pass on for Hall moving left, Otten across with her sliding in to make the tackle, on her feet quickly looks for options picks out Emmings with a fine diagonal pass out to the left. Emmings taking the ball up the wing moves inside before delivering a cross in near post, goalkeeper  Katie McLean down low to claim it. An even start to the game with both sides closing down the ball. QPR are awarded a free-kick left side the ball put out to George Lewin moving into space on the right down the line squares a ball into the top of the box looking for Demi Edwards, Amy Howlett back defending for Cambridge gets there first. 

  A throw on the left sees the ball put on for Ellie Searle looks to take it in behind, Anna Re with her the fullback slides in to tackle the ball off Searle runs out for a goalkick. Cambridge are matching QPR in the middle, the final ball into their attackers more often than not intercepted by QPR’s centrebacks, Grieve and Lauran Jordinson. Akerman plays it forwards into Edwards feet controls and spins the pass into Hal right of the D a fluid move Hall on the turn plays it out to Searle running into the box from the left, the shot struck wide, Searle frustrated having not got the connection right.

QPR over commit going forwards the strikers getting little joy central for Cambridge drifting out into the channels Fox is put clear on the left running with the ball is allowed to go all the way into the box looks to cut a cross along the six yard box, McLean diving forwards scooping the ball into her gloves. Lewin on the right getting into Cambridge’s half firing a fierce ball into Edwards right of the D, Grace Waygood on her quickly defending for Cambridge the ball cleared up to Fox in space on the left takes on the strike early outside the box across the goalkeeper, McLean down gets a touch to deflect the ball wide of her far post for a corner. The ball in defended at the near post before Cambridge are flagged offside trying to keep the attack alive.

Cambridge striker, Ruth Fox

  Edwards has been busy up top working to get the better of Cambridge’s centrebacks a good contest so far between her and Otten. Bennett lifting the ball on for Emmings this time in the clear on the left the attacker driving forwards squares a cross into the top of the area, Grieve intercepting for QPR. A flare up between Edwards and Otten sees the referee having a word with both. Is competitive even in the middle the centre backs for both sides proving a solid unit to break down. A throw high on the right for QPR the cross fired in near side, Edwards there to turn the ball goalwards, Waygood blocking at close range. 

  Emmings off a throw on the left shifts infield surges towards the box the cross in to the near post Laura Mitchell after it but commits a foul trying to claim the ball. An audacious attempt on goal from Hall for QPR forcing Markwell to save tipping the ball over the top for a corner kick. The move starting on the right with Edwards and Akerman combining  playing a 1 2 to get the ball down the wing the cross swung into the box long to the far post looks to be over Hall but she rises a foot behind her to connect with the ball, loops up towards goal dropping Markwell making a superb save needed tips the ball over the bar.

QPR’s Katie Akerman

GOAL! For all the clever play leading up to the corner it is a simple move that brings about the opening goal of the game, the ball put in at a good height near side players up from the back, Grieve drifts in unopposed to rise and head the ball looping it up and over the keeper to make it 0-1. 

QPR captain, Vicky Grieve with the header to put the visitors into the lead.

The deadlock broken in the 20th minute. Cambridge look to get on the offensive from the restart the ball out to Mitchell right, look to go on, Danielle Maloney lunging in to tackle the ball out for a throw. QPR are quick to turn play around as Cambridge push players on Searle has pace to burn on the left is a good outlet taking the ball on turns inside flashing a cross through the six yard box. Maloney in to intercept as Cambridge captain Laura Baker takes the ball on through the middle the pass into Howlett looking to put Michell in behind, Maloney has to get there and does. 

  Cambridge with a free-kick wide right players up Baker over it, plays a ball into the neat post, headed clear falling to Howlett position 20 yards out right of the D, drills a low shot in through bodies is cleared off the line comes back to Baker on the right. Sent back in is bouncing in front of McLean leaning back at full stretch the goalkeeper does well to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. The set piece coming to nothing QPR hit Cambridge on the counter.

 GOAL! Searle’s pace on the left causing problems once again attacking the ball past the defence taken to the by line Cambridge stretched at the back, the cross sent in past the keeper across the face of goal, Edwards there on the goal line ahead of Bennett to take the ball over the line. Cambridge appeal for offside, the goal however stands 0-2. The visitors doubling there advantage as the game approaches the half hour. 

Demi Edwards putting QPR into a 2 goal lead

Cambridge feel aggrieved that a few decisions having gone against the leading up to the 2nd goal have an uphill task now to get themselves back into the game. The frustration grows as Howlett plays in Mitchell right side of the D then she feeds it through to Fox in behind inside the box, the flag raised against her. The hosts push looking for a quick reply Mitchell moving to the left picking up the ball top of the D goes to the by line, prevented from turning back to cross sends it up the line for Bennett to deliver the ball lofted in near post Grieve gets her head to it to clear only as far a Fox who drives back into the area doing well to force a corner.

Ruth Fox looking to get into a shooting position for Cambridge

   The hosts pressing the attack QPR hold well at the back breaking with intent the ball played through the middle lifted up to Edwards, both centrebacks close on her a mistake could cost them dear. Otten though makes no mistake composed as Edwards lunges in front of her. Mitchell starting to drift in from the right giving Cambridge an extra body around the box. Edwards left has Hennessey looking to go past her Re sliding in tackles, the shot struck in on the angle blazed over the bar. Searle with that shot has the ball at her feet powers down the wing whipping a low cross in near side Hall attempting another clever backheel looking to flick it on to Edwards behind her, Otten in to stab it away from danger. 

Cambridge’s Alysha Stojko-Down

Decisions are not going Cambridge’s way, play is disrupted because of it. Stojko-Down winning a good number of tackles in the middle plays Emmings in on the left up the wing a good cross in but no one gambling at the near post as has been the case on a few occasions allowing Jordinson to head it away untroubled.  The game moving into stoppage time at the start of the 1st half, Blodgett nudging the ball into Hall 30 yards out spinning off her marker to strike a shot, the ball brushing the roof of the net on its way over. 

QPR’s Laura Hennessey

 Hennessey with a good if painful tackle to deny Emmings getting away again on the left, play spread across the pitch out to Searle surging on down the wing the shot fired in Markwell down low behind it all the way.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 0-2 Queens Park Rangers WFC

  A 2 goal lead for QPR at the break. Taking the lead in the 20th minutes and going on to double the advantage 10 minutes later. Have looked solid at the back with Cambridge finding more joy out wide without delivering the final ball. Has overall been a fairly even contest between the sides closing down the ball. Both sets of centre backs proving impossible to get through so far. QPR taking the lead from a set-piece, chances created whilst Cambridge have bee getting the ball up to their attacks they have for the most part been forced away from goal to  look to cause damage. Decisions certainly frustrating Cambridge who have to hit the ground running at the start of the 2nd half if they are going to find a way back into the game. QPR though are a difficult side to break down.

  A change for QPR previously unoticed, Brogan Moore on for Joanna Blodgett as Cambridge get the 2nd half underway, looking to get Fox on the move on the right, Searle is back to help Maloney the pair running Fox off the ball. Cambridge getting on the  front foot right from the off at the start of the 2nd half pressing the ball in QPR’s half, Baker the Stojko-Down winning it back, Mitchell just missing out on an opportunity to get in behind on the right. Cambridge preparing to make a change early on, a break in play with a QPR player down, sees play paused Cambridge looking to keep moving stay warm. It’s Lewin down has picked up a knock and QPR are forced into an early change 2nd half bringing on Emilia Parsons in her place. Cambridge make their change too bringing with Waygood struggling, on comes Amy Houghton to join Otten at the back.

Howlett with a first time effort from 20 yards out right side of the D as the ball rebounds to her from inside the box curled wide of the post. QPR  break quickly the ball fed through the middle out to Edwards moving right into the box getting a shot away under challenge isn’t far wide. The game opening up with Cambridge taking more risks up to Baker clipping a pass to Mitchell on the right takes the ball on sending a rising ball into the box headed clear by Grieve. Baker with a good challenge winning the ball high on the left Bennett taking it on in behind to cut back from the by line Mitchell top of the box inside left leaning back into her shot sending it over the bar. 

Cambridge’s Laura Mitchell

  Cambridge are pushing hard for a goal a corner on the right the ball in central McLean in amongst bodies to punch clear. Fox taking the ball on right winning a corner. The delivery in central met by Otten her header driven down wide of the near post. Cambridge make a 2nd change, Emmings coming off. Abi Davies on takes up an attacking position on the right with Mitchell moving left. Stojko-Down turning in the middle moving left forwards for Fox in the left channel gets a move on with the ball letting fly on the angle the ball sent in low towards the near post McLean down low to save. 

Cambridge full back Anna Re

Searle continues to be a menace on the right has certainly kept Re busy, shifting inside goes early with her cross angled to towards the top of the D, Houghton getting up well to clear it. The game played at a good pace, Mitchell drifting into the box recieves the ball right of goal as Davies travels with it on the right, turning looks to have space to shoot, turns inside though before checking back to take a swing, a QPR leg up to deflect it wide for a corner. Played in near post defended the ball back with the taker lifted back in Otten stooping into the header, turned goalwards, the ball cleared off the line, Cambridge appeal for a handball nothing given.

Gisela Otten defending for Cambridge

  QPR make a change Akerman coming off for Sue Kumaning. Cambridge pressing hard for a reply, QPR defending well like they did against Norwich and remain dangerous on the counter their attackers always ready. Davies attacking on the right for Cambridge sees two crossing attempts blocked by both Maloney and Searle. A throw on the right the cross dropped into the box bouncing, again Cambridge appeal strongly for a penalty a handball seen but again no is the call. Markwell needing to stay alert the other end too as QPR break Maloney has Searle travelling forwards on the left wraps her foot around the ball flighted in near side Markwell snatching it down well with Edwards closing her down. 

Fox into the left channel keeps the ball close to her feet QPR can’t risk lunging in the shot fired in low in the angle a combination of keeper post keeping it out. Stojko-Down left corner of the area forwards to take the shot on rising over the bar. Cambridge continuing to knock on the door with 24 minutes of the 2nd half played.

GOAL!  For all their attacking play however Cambridge find themselves falling further behind as Edwards with a great finish extends the lead. The visitors bombing up the right the cross squared into Edwards back to goal right of the D, control it well before turn to lift a rising shot past the keeper into the top corner 0-3.

Before the restart QPR make a keeper change, McLean coming off for Lucie White.

 GOAL! A further hammer blow for Cambridge as no sooner have they conceded a 3rd goal it become 4. QPR on the attack have Cambridge stretched with Searle raiding down the left in behind her marker to the by line to cut a ball back across the six yard box a shot struck first time bodies flying into to block, deflects out to the right. Cambridge with bodies still on the ground as Hall on the angle fires a vicious ball back in taking a wicked deflecting that takes back towards the near post away from Markwell and over the line 0-4.

Cambridge with two successive hammer blows receive a 3rd as Baker unhappy as a decision goes against her complains and is shown a yellow card and sin binned for dissent. Cambridge without their captain down to 10 for 10 minutes. Fox looks to battle her way forwards on the right is fouled for her trouble Cambridge seeing a decision go their way. Stojko-Down on it sent into the area White coming into the crowd to punch. Edwards game is run as she comes off for Ailish Carolan.  Davies looking to get in behind Maloney on the right lays a cross in to the six yard box cut out by Grieve going behind for a corner. 

 Cambridge have to push players up wanting a goal. The delivery into the middle, appeals straight away and a the 3rd attempt Cambridge win a penalty! An opportunity to pull a goal back with the clock running down. Now I have to confess to not noticing who was taking it, but that spares them as the ball is hit low to the right, White going the right way diving left to make the save keep it out keep QPR clean sheet intact. 

Lucie White saving from the penalty

With a player advantage QPR are keeping the ball giving themselves a respite as much as allowing Cambridge in initiative.  Faith Hewitt coming on for the hosts Cambridge bringing off Stojko-Down.  Baker rearing to get back on Cambridge back up to 11 with a few minutes plus stoppage time left. QPR happy to force Cambridge’s attacks wide with the ball knowing options in the box remain limited. Davies playing the ball into Howlett 25 yards out lines up a strike her attempt over. 4 minutes of stoppage time left.

  Hall on the right taking on the shot from all of 30 yards out for QPR driven over the bar. Cambridge with one last attack Davies and Hewitt combining outside the D, Howlett skipping between them to get into the box Hewitt putting the pass into her right of goal, Jordinson across to lung in and take the ball away from her feet. 

Full time Cambridge United WFC 0-4 Queens Park Rangers WFC

  QPR make it 3 wins from 3 in 8 days to move move 3 points clear of Cambridge in 5th spot in the South East Division One table. The game starting off fairly even between the sides before QPR took the lead midway though the 1st half with their captain Vicky Grieve heading home unmarked from a corner. Cambridge frustrated with decisions seemingly going against them through out with an up hill task 2nd half. Gave it a good go applying plenty of pressure. QPR absorbed it well however always looking dangerous on the counter. Cambridge momentum building Edwards with her 2nd of the game taking it away from the hosts with Hall’s strike moments later making it 4. Further frustration with their captain sin binned. A glimmer of hope from the penalty spot was saved. All in all an afternoon of frustration for Cambridge build up play excellent just lacking that final ball. QPR looked good for their win scoring at crucial times. Move the ball about the pitch well always looking to stretch the opposition.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match not an easy decision but that reflects a good team performance more than anything else. A few performances to mention firstly for Cambridge, Anna Re was kept busy at the back by Searle but nevertheless put in a good number of challenges. Gisela Otten had a good contest with Edwards especially first half winning some crucial tackles. Ruth Fox up top isn’t easy to get off the ball when she has it at her feet, QPR forcing her wider than she would have liked but created some good opportunities for herself. For QPR, Vicky Grieve and Lauren Jordinson were both solid in defence. Ellie Searle a constant threat with her pace down the right setting up several chances. Is close between and today’s award winner, Demi Edwards really took the game to the Cambridge centre back moving about the back line to receive the ball, scoring twice the 2nd a fine goal.

  Good to be back, needed the break recharged, mentally which was what was needed. An entertaining game my takes to Cambridge and Gary Reed for providing me with the team details today, much appreciated. 

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Queens Park Rangers Women

Sunday 12th December

FAWNL South East Division One

 A trip up to The Nest CSF this Sunday afternoon to watch a game from FAWNL South East Division One with Norwich City Women taking on newly promoted Queens Park Rangers Women.

The league taking shape as the end of the year approaches with a cluster of sides from 7th down to 10th all on 10 points and involved in the battle to stay in the league with up to 4 sides facing relegation this season. Today’s opponents amongst those.

Norwich City Women recent FA Cup matches seeing them slip a place in the South East Division One table with Essex side Harlow Town Ladies moving past them into 10th with back to back wins. Having lost their opening 3 league games Norwich looked to have turned a corner with a purple patch in September seeing them collect 7 points from 3 games, since then however have lost 4 in a row in the league. The squad featuring a good mixture of experience and youth will be looking to end the year on a high with a positive result to carry them into the New Year.

Has been a long while since I watched Queens park Rangers Women, and this is a different side all together. The club effectively rebuilding following the controversial decision that saw the established Southern Premier Division join with Hounslow to become Hounslow Women, that club retaining their league status. Many of the players from that side not going to Hounslow at he start of the 2019/20. The club rebuilding with their development side playing in the London & South East Regional League. Queens Park Rangers retaining a loyal fan base successful in the COVID hit season’s that followed were promoted back to FAWNL South East Division One at the start of this campaign. The clubs league form hard to predict with the club having played just one league match since 17th November whilst they were playing in 3 cup competitions. Starting positively with back to back wins followed by back to back defeats have drawn lost and won one since to have 10 points from 7 games played. 7th in the table have up to 3 games in had on their rivals below. Melanie Hall top scorer with 10 goals from 14 appearances so far.

The Nest CSF the venue for today’s game, the new home of Norwich City Women. The newly build state of the art sporting facility boasting a modern artificial pitch along side the clubhouse and changing facilities. A large function room supported by cafe area to one side several grass pitches beyond situated to the north of the city. After a chilly, wet week Sunday bringing milder weather, if still overcast and dull. The floodlights on early as the teams walked out onto he pitch. 

Norwich City Women

Norwich City Women starting XI – Bryony Williams, Jess Harper, Anna Larkins, Chardonnay Johnston, Ellie Bishop, Millie Daviss (C), Jodie Drake, Freya Symonds, Kathryn Stanley, Megan Todd & Freya Fuller. Subs – Natasha Snelling, Rosie George, Leilah Gooding, Abi Tate & Summer Ward.

Queens Park Rangers Women

 Queens Park Rangers Women starting XI – Mya Francis-Pownall, Georgie Lewin, Laura Jordinson, Vicky Grieve (C), Ellen Wardlaw, Ellie Searle, Erin Pope, Laura Hennessey, Brogan Moore, Melanie Hall & Emilia Parsons. Subs – Joanna Blodgett, Ailish Carolan, Esme Davies & Alice Curr.

It’s the visitors, QPR kicking off the 1st half wearing blue and white hooped shirts with blue shorts and socks. Norwich lined up opposite in their yellow and green colours. The ball played back to the centre backs Norwich press the ball forcing QPR to go back to goalkeeper Mya Francis-Pownall who kicks it long out to the left looking for Ellie Searle on the move attempts to bring it down under control as Jess Harper comes across to get into her to clear the ball for a throw in. 

Freya Fuller attacking for Norwich

  The ball regained in the middle Laura Hennessey into Melanie Hall in attack back to goal spins the ball forwards to the left with Searle bombing on, swings her cross into the area near side cut out and cleared by Jodie Drake tracking back for Norwich. The hosts look to mount a counter attack through Freya Symonds in the middle moving right playing it on for Freya Fuller into the right channel, QPR captain, Vicky Grieve getting across to lunge in with the tackle stop the threat.

  Norwich keep the pressure on in QPR’s final 3rd a throw deep on the right, the ball won played up to Fuller top corner of the box a shot struck on the angle, pace races wide across the six yard box. Ellen Wardlaw takes the ball up the left firing a diagonal all inside to striker Emilia Parsons outside the D, Ellie Bishop getting her foot to the ball first for Norwich goes away to the left wide put back inside into Brogan Moore positioned outside the box left of the D to have a shot struck with the outside of her boot racing low towards goal, Norwich goalkeeper Bryony Williams moving across her line is down to claim smoothly.

  Fuller on the move with the ball in attack for Norwich right side heading for the box, Grieve getting across to defend blocking once then twice as Fuller attempts to shoot a 2nd time this time the ball deflected back towards Francis-Pownall to collect safely. A bright start from Norwich.

  GOAL! That is undone in the 5th minute as QPR push forward in numbers to open the lead. Wardlaw out on the right firing a diagonal ball inside for Parsons, Bishop once again intercepting well taking the ball away to her right, Moore in to close her down regaining possession left of the D 20 plus yards out strikes the ball hard angling a low strike across the keeper to nestle in the bottom corner 0-1.

Brogan Moore opens the scoring for QPR

  Momentum switches suddenly in QPR’s favour the visitors moving the ball quickly across the pitch opening Norwich up in the middle, Hall after a cleared ball on the right racing to the by-line before turning in a cross into the six yard box, Chardonnay Johnston clearing for Norwich. QPR pressing the ball in the middle Laura Hennessey strong up to Moore releases Searle on the left, Harper preventing her putting a cross. Norwich’s Symonds plays the ball central onto captain Millie Daviss, looks to set up Fuller in attack sending the ball on into her path, her touch not quite there the ball running away from her inside the box as QPR defenders get back on her en masse to clear. 

  Wardlaw perplexed as she is adjudged to have given a foul away on the left side some 30 yards out, Larkins with Drake over the ball, Drake moving away central free as Larkins plays the ball into her, running in to strike the moving ball it flies high and wide of the top corner. Larkins with the ball on the left looks for options central attempts to flight a ball into the attackers to the right of the box, a QPR head with a glancing header on the ball taking it out for a corner. The delivery goes long across he six yard box Todd drifting in free can’t quite get there. 

Laura Hennessey bringing the ball under control for QPR

QPR get straight up the other end Hall into the box right side her cross headed behind for a corner. This delivery also long to the far post Pope up to head the ball put straight into the keepers gloves. Symonds drifting forwards to the right supporting Fuller, with good control turning 25 yards out to strike the ball on the angle, on target but straight into Francis-Pownall’s gloves with her near post covered. 

 QPR are looking sharp in attack moving the ball quickly in possession from back to front pulling Norwich’s midfield out of shape in the process allowing players space to exploit on both flanks with Searle and Wardlaw looking to get forwards whenever they can. Hennessey winning the ball putting in a number of good tackles. Wardlaw though is called into action in defence as the back line hesitates looking to caught Kathryn Stanley offside, the flag stays down however, Stanley in behind, Wardlaw covering the distance quickly to intercept Stanley at the top of the area to nullify the threat. 

Freya Fuller holding off, QPR’s Ellen Wardlaw

 Hall picking the ball up 35 yards out left channel driving forwards, Drake getting back to lunge in with the tackle before the ball is cleared away for a corner kick. Another far post delivery its Wardlaw up this time free to plant her header wide beyond the post. Williams out quickly to the top of the area to claim the ball for Norwich as Parsons looks to roll it on for Searle on the left. Bishop in to put in the block inside the box for Norwich as Searle powers into the area from the left.

QPR’s Melanie Hall

  GOAL! Midway through the half and QPR go on to double there lead. The visitors winning a corner on the right players lining up outside the area far post to run in to attack the ball, the delivery though goes through everyone. Is retrieved wide on the left players still up the cross fired into the six yard box Erin Pope at the near post seeing it down and turning into the shot put across the keeper, Williams getting down almost has it the ball squirming through under her body to cross the line 0-2.

QPR’s Erin Pope scorer of the visitors 2nd goal

  Norwich look to get players forwards as Larkins brings it on from the left her diagonal ball towards the top of the area headed down and clear by Grieve, Daviss quickest to react onto the loose ball hits it first time 25 yards out her effort swerving wide of the right post. QPR get the ball on quickly central with Hennessey out to Hall into the area right of goal, getting it down to hit in a low shot under Williams as she dives across in front of her the ball coming back off the base of the post into the six yard box left of goal, Bishop does enough to put Parsons off as she goes to hit the ball towards goal, taking all the pace off it as it trickles trough for William, rapidly back on her feet to claim.

Norwich’s Anna Larkins

  QPR looking strong pulling Norwich apart in the middle using there wide players well Searle across to Wardlaw on the right a corner won. Players come forwards lining up at the far post, the delivery finding it’s mark Parsons with the shot racing in low, evading Williams, Harper behind her covering the post clearing the ball off the line. The ball out to the right gathered by Hennessey lifts the ball in towards goal crashes onto the top of the crossbar and out of play.

  The visitors enjoying a good spell of play, communicating well, shifting ball quickly and crisply into feet pulling Norwich out of position causing the hosts some consternation. QPR’s centre back’s covering each other well whenever Norwich threaten an attack Symonds looking to lift the ball into Fuller right channel, Grieve across on the cover to defend with Lewin holding the attacker up. Fuller battling on with the ball to the right lifting a cross long into the area for Todd far side, collecting the ball checks back inside, thinks about shooting but he option is quickly closed down before her cross into the middle is cleared by Lewin. 

  5 minutes left to play in the first half. QPR finishing it strong. Hennessey with the ball pushes forwards into Parsons, Johnston close in defending for Norwich. Hennessey bossing the middle of the park taking it on once again out to Searle on the left drives forwards her cross into Parsons, with Hennessey beyond her, Drake getting between the pair to make a vital interception for Norwich. Wardlaw out on the right up he pitch for QPR top of the area las it inside for the advancing Moore, her clipped shot turned in on the angle going wide. 

Norwich defender, Ellie Bishop

   Norwich’s attackers looking to combine up top as Fuller brings the ball under control out on the left lifting it central for Stanley 25 yards out, flicks it forwards for Todd who is quickly crowded off the ball inside the D by QPR’s defence. Larkins and Wardlow enjoying a good contest on the right as the QPR player looks to get around Larkins to put in a cross into the box Larkins sliding in to block turning the ball behind for a corner. A long delivery to the far post a feature of the first half, QPR well drilled the ball met with a firm header powered wide.

QPR’s Ellen Wardlaw looking to take on Norwich full back Anna Larkins

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-2 Queens Park Rangers Women

  Despite a bright start from Norwich it was QPR who took the early lead and from that grew into the game with some good passing and movement throughout to pull their opponents out of shape. Doubling their lead midway through the 2nd half have also hit the woodwork and seen the ball cleared off the line. Norwich with a few chances inside the box, nothing clear cut, not giving themselves time on the ball QPR tight at the back giving little away. Frustration building need to change something in the 2nd half if they are to get back into the game.

  The two sides out with no changes made at the start of the 2nd half. Norwich to get the half underway. Fuller deeper in a midfield position with Symonds up supporting Stanley and Todd in attack. Drake on the ball playing it out to Stanley on the move left side takes the ball on towards the area before running into traffic and being crowded off the ball. Norwich looking to be positive from the off pressing the ball high looking to get at QPR’s defence. Are caught out as Searle escapes with the ball at her feet on the left powering her way forwards, Johnston moves out to meet her sliding into the tackle strong to take the ball, Harper clearing it forwards. 

Norwich centre back, Chardonnay Johnston

   QPR’s wide players combine well as Wardlaw gets free on the right sending a crossfield pass into Moore central 20 yards out who helps it out to the left for Searle, lays the ball forwards early into the box near post with Parsons making the run, diving in in front of Williams as she comes across to cover the angle doesn’t get a touch nor put the keeper of as Williams crouching down sees it up into her gloves. 

QPR defender, Lauren Jordinson

   Todd is adjudged to have blocked Searle’s run as the QPR wide player drives inside form the left, a card for Todd as she protests, the visitors with a set-piece in a dangerous position left of the D. Hall over it curls a low strike in on target past the wall Williams central in goal behind it right behind the strike. Norwich getting forwards on the right win a throw, Symonds controlling in spinning to put it on for Stanley running into the area Grieve back on her to tackle in low the ball deflected away for a corner. An inswinging delivery to the far post Francis-Pownall getting a firm glove on it to punch it away to the left. 

QPR’s Ellie Searle

  Fuller giving Norwich a little more steel in the middle the ball won, Drake enjoying a little space to exploit moving right clipping a diagonal ball on for Todd coming into the box from the left, her first touch a little heavy seeing the ball run away from her nevertheless goes after it sliding in on the keeper as Francis-Pownall gets down to save bravely, block the ball. Drake able to get forwards more too support the attack is well placed top of the area as a Larkins cross comes in from the left chests it down well looking to set up Todd, no shot on the ball comes back to Daviss who strikes a tame effort wide. 

Jodie Drake battling for possession for Norwich

  Drake gets all the way to the by-line before flashing a ball across the face of goal, no one running in to attack it. A bright start to the half from Norwich, QPR respond with a double change bringing off Parsons and Hennessey replaced by Alice Curr in attack and Joanna Blodgett. Not long after Norwich make a change of there own bringing of Fuller for Leilah Gooding. Symonds controlling the ball on the right off a throw on for Todd into the box Francis-Pownall across to close her down the ball blocked away for a throw.

  Larkins away with the ball left for Norwich puts a cross in for Drake near side, Jordinson in to win the header clearing for QPR. The visitors come through the middle Pope into Hall back to goal 20 yards out holds and sends out to Searle advancing on the left her cross in cut out by Johnston the ball out on the right a cross/shot blocked comes out to Moore 20 yards out smashes a shot back into the box her effort blocked before being cleared.

Norwich’s Freya Symonds

  Symonds on the right running onto a long ball forwards, getting a shot away on the angle the ball swerving in straight into the keepers gloves at the near post. Harper able to come on with the ball left side for Norwich plays it up the line for Symonds, Lewin getting across to put in the challenge for QPR. Much more even in the 2nd half, Norwich pressing the ball quicker the midfield hotly contested. Norwich winning a free-kick up high outside the box on the right. Before it is taken however the hosts make a change with 16 minutes left to play, Stanley coming off for Natasha Snelling.

  GOAL! Harper over the ball goes for goal a looping effort that has Francis-Pownall back pedalling struggling to reach it, possibly getting her fingertips to the ball as the ball comes back down off the cross bar into the box left of goal a shot lashed in, Norwich appeal immediately for handball! The referee pointing to the spot, a penalty awarded! Snelling with the ball in her hand hasn’t touched the ball yet, 4 goals so far this season will this be her 5th? Makes no mistake with a well placed penalty struck to the right of the diving keeper to score 1-2.

Natasha Snelling with her 1st touch scoring the penalty for Norwich

  Game on with 15 minutes left to play Norwich looking better 2nd half pulling a goal back. Continue to press the ball high Symonds and Todd getting help from Snelling. QPR defending strongly though, Searle and Wardlaw remain their outlets on the flanks ready to break as the floodlight begin to take full effect. Lewin out to Searle left on for Curr into the box from the angle, Bishop into her making the blocking tackle. Pope on through the middle passes on for Hall lifts it on for Curr into the left channel but the flag is up against her.

QPR captain, Vicky Grieve

   Harper right side on for Todd up top turns off her marker into the area, Grieve getting back on her Todd going down, appeals but nothing given. The clock ticking down, Norwich pressing QPR getting bodies back determined to hold on. The visitors always ready to spring the counter as Norwich commit players forwards Searle the outlet on the left driving on with the ball carrying in infield sends it on into Curr she does superbly with a clever backheel flick that sends it on for Searle to touch on into the area one on one with the keeper, Williams sets herself Searle closing on looking to play it wide of her, too close though as Williams reacts sharply getting down to her left to lay claim to the ball. 

Norwich goalkeeper, Bryony Williams

 Changes for both sides with Rosie George on in attack for Todd. Pope comes off for QPR replaced by Esme Davies who moves up top with Curr, Hall dropping back into the middle. Norwich with bodies forwards as a freekick is put in from the left, Drake getting it down hesitates before releasing her shot seeing the attempt charged down. Pressing the ball outside the box Snelling gets it out to George moving clear inside the area wide right her cross flashed back in towards goal, caught well by Francis-Pownall with Symonds closing in. Wardlaw coming off in the latter stages for QPR to be replaced by Ailish Carolan. 

 Snelling able to travel with the ball through the middle getting a shot away from 25 yards out on the right drilled wide of the target. Snelling seeing the ball into her feet outside the box sends in out to George to the right, inside the box, Grieve getting back into her to tackle cleanly for QPR. Harper on the right with a ball into the area near side George going after it as the keeper comes to claim the pair colliding go down, George coming off the worst play paused as she recieves treatment but is okay to continue.

  Into the final minutes, Davies in space out wide left for QPR brings down a long diagonal pass shifting it between her feet before sending a looping ball into the box, Hall closing in getting her boot up to bring the ball down looking to direct it wide of the keeper from 10 yards out, Williams down sharply to her left laying claim to the ball. An advantage played as Bishop winning the ball at the back is fouled as she attempts to bring the ball forwards running onto Drake 30 yards out connects with her shot well swerving through the air isn’t far wide. 

  Sadly that is the last action of the game as she comes off injured moments later, appearing to twist her ankle as it rolls over the ball. On in her place Abi Tate. The clock running down QPR defending strongly not committing too many forwards Moore on the right with a early ball on for Davies the flag raised against her. Hall doing he sensible thing as she brings the ball down on the left off Searle the pair running the ball into the corner. Moments later the final whistle blows the points going to the visitors.

Full time Norwich City Women 1-2 Queens Park Rangers Women

  QPR with the win the damage done in the 1st half an early strike from Brogan Moore followed up with a goal from Erin Pope midway through the half with further chances created. A strong defensive performance throughout the game proving hard to break down. Prepared to sit in the 2nd half invite Norwich onto them ready to attack on the counter. Norwich despite a bright start quickly on the back foot in the first half pulled out of shape in the middle by QPR needed to make changes 2nd half. A good response with a much improved 2nd half performance, Freya Fuller dropping into midfield as Norwich pressed the ball higher, creating more opportunities, substitute Natasha Snelling with a clinical penalty to set up a tense final quarter hour, just couldn’t find that 2nd goal, ending the year with defeat. QPR pulling away from the sides below remain 7th have one more game left at home to leaders Hashtag United Women next Sunday.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this Sunday’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. As is often the case not an easy decision to make. A few performances of note to mention first. Freya Fuller played well both in attack in the first half and dropping into midfield in the 2nd half, that in turn allowed Jodie Drake more opportunities to get on influence the game linked up with the attackers well. QPR were solid through the team keeping a disciplined formation, Vicky Grieve with a number of vital challenges at the back. Laura Hennessey bossing the midfield in the 1st half. The award today though goes to Ellie Searle was a strong performance out on the left getting forwards always an outlet strong with her running getting in crosses and linking well with the attackers.

Been a hectic few days glad to have ended the weekend with a much needed football game. An entertaining encounter, a good contest my thanks to Norwich for providing me with those all important team details.

by Darren Gilham