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Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Southampton Women FC

The Supporting Women’s Football Blog began 2017 with a trip to Mildenhall Town FC to watch FAWPL South East Division One leaders, Cambridge United WFC take on Southampton Women FC in the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup. Two in form sides going into the game looking for a place in the next round of the competition where a potential meeting with a side from FAWSL 2 awaits.

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Southampton Women FC

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hope 2017 will be a good one for you all. The Blog is back after a much needed break over the festive period. Rearing to go supporting women’s football for another year, got my 100 matches in last year, not aiming for quite so many this time around, but I’ll be getting about the country watching plenty of women’s football at all levels of the game.

  Begin 2017 with a match from the FA Women’s Cup 2nd Round Proper a possible tie with an FAWSL 2 side in the next round awaits. Today’s tie features two sides in top form going into the New Year, with Cambridge United WFC leading FAWPL South East Division One hosting Southampton Women FC from the Southern Regional Premier Division at Mildenhall Town FC.

   Cambridge United WFC have enjoyed an extremely good 1st half of the season, bringing in several new players that have helped to propel the club to the top of FAWPL South East Division One. With a good platform to build on for a push for promotion the club has also enjoyed a run in the FA Women’s Cup this their 4th successive tie at home in the competition. Entered in 3rd Round Qualifying beating ERWFL Division One side Wymondham Town Ladies 3-0. Another 3-0 victory at home in 4th Round Qualifying against fellow FAWPL South East Division One side, Stevenage Ladies followed to set up a home match in the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup against Queens Park Rangers Ladies 3-1 the winning margin to beat higher league opposition to reach the 2nd Round Proper.

 Southampton Women FC make the long journey up from the south coast travelling the day before one of just 2 regional league sides left in the FA Women’s Cup this season (the other being Sheffield United LFC). The club has a rich history in the competition, formed in 1970, won FA Women’s Cup 8 times between 1971 & 1982. The current side are in great form this season, 3rd in the Southern Regional Premier Division with a 100% winning record in the league, have games in hand on the leading pair. A lack of league matches due to cup success reaching both the quarter finals of the League Cup and Hampshire Women’s County Cup aswell as an extended run in the FA Women’d Cup knocking out higher league opposition along the way.
  Southampton Women FC entered the FA Women’s Cup in 2nd Round Qualifying starting with a big 12-0 away win against Bournemouth Sports LFC. A home tie against Southern Region First Division, Fleet Town Ladies followed in 3rd Round Qualifying a 5-1 win seeing them make the trip across The Solent to play Isle of Wight side Shanklin Ladies who compete in the FAWPL South West Division One. Southampton coming away with a 3-0 win to reach the 1st Round Proper where the club was drawn at home against FAWPL Southern Division side, Swindon Town Ladies. Beat the side playing 2 leagues above them 2-0 to advance to the 2nd Round Proper.

  Mildenhall Town FC the venue for today’s FA Women’s Cup tie. The sloping pitch fairing well over the festive period a good playing surface. A good sized crowd building for the game, Coton FC U12s Girls today’s match mascots enjoying a mini-game on the pitch with some of the Cambridge players not involved in today’s game. A dreary and overcast day, but at least it was dry and fairly mild. 

  Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Carrie Bennett, Mollie Kmita, Laura Bright (C), Laura Baker, Danielle Puddefoot, Laura Mills, Rosie Kmita, Becky Taylor & Nicole Perschky.
  subs – Dawn Mallett, Evie Gallop, Hollie Jardine, Ashleigh Deacon & Paige Logie.

  Southampton Women FC starting XI – Millie Peake, Kirsty Whitton, Laura Gilbank, Kelly Warren, Tash Angel (C), Gemma Simmonds, Abi Fletcher, Kate Wiseman, Cassie Thorpe, Jane Yeates & Sheree Bell-Jack.

  subs – Kirsty Bell, Philippa Holden & Sophie Solloway.

  Both sides getting a practice match in before this Sunday’s cup tie to get so match sharpness into their legs after the break in action over Christmas. It’s Cambridge attacking up the slope to kick-off the 1st half wearing amber shirts and socks with black shorts with Southampton lined up opposite wearing red shirts with white trim, black shorts and red socks.The ball is played into Becky Taylor early on for Cambridge hooks the ball on for Laura Mills to attack on the right side her cross headed back out for a throw by Southampton captain, Tash Angel.

Southampton Women FC’s, Tash Angel

  Cambridge start brightly keep possession of the ball inside the Southampton half send it up high into the top of the box, both Nicole Perschky central then Rosie Kmita to the left get their heads to the ball neither able to turn it in towards goal before Kelly Warren wins it back for Southampton at the back the clearance doesn’t go far the ball on the left played across field to Mills in space on the right wing drives down the touch line winning a corner of Laura Gilbank in the corner. Playing a high line Cambridge are defending on half-way both their full-backs Emma Jenkins on the right and Carrie Bennett on the left win their tackles again Southampton’s Jane Yeates and Cassie Thorpe as they look to get in behind on the flanks.

  Danielle Puddefoot is fouled inside the Southampton half in a central position a chance for players to go forwards from the back with Laura Baker over the set-piece plays it up towards the top of the area with Cambridge captain, Laura Bright stood left of the D heads the ball on Taylor getting onto the end of the ball pulls the trigger Millie Peake in the Southampton goal down smartly to make the save, play however is halted by he linesman’s raised flag, Taylor just offside.

   All Cambridge at the start of the game pressing all over the pitch giving Southampton no time on the ball, Perschky pressing a back pass to the keeper gets Cambridge a throw on the left the ball is put in field Taylor stretching for the ball pushes in on for Mills coming in from the right outside the box 20 yards shoots the ball held by Peake at her near post. After a frantic opening 10 minutes the game settles down a little, Cambridge keeping it tight at the back Abi Fletcher gets the ball up to Sheree Bell-Jack leading the line for Southampton closely marked by Bright isn’t allowed to turn as she brings the ball down.

Abi Fletcher looking to bring the ball forwards
for Southampton Women FC

  Bennett comes on with the ball, Rosie Kmita ahead of her on the left gets down the line playing the ball into the box her low drive too close to Peake coming across to narrow the angle the goalkeeper claiming the ball. Taylor is seeing lot of the ball for Cambridge playing in the no 10 role very nearly threads the ball through to Rosie Kmita making a central run into the area, Warren going with her winning the ball just inside the box. 

   Mills wins the 1st corner of the game for Cambridge on the right, the ball played towards to top of ht box by Rosie Kmita, Puddefoot looking to get her head on the ball clatters into her twin sister Mollie leaving her floored as the ball bounces in the six yard box Peake pushing it wide and behind for a 2nd corner. This time Mollie Kmita is behind Puddefoot at the top of the top of the box gets something on the ball sending it goalwards Southampton head it clear pushed further out Baker coming to meet the ball on the half volley drives a shot in towards goal Peake diving to her right makes the save pushing the ball  away for a corner on the left, the ball is swung in near post Southampton win the ball the clearance goes straight to Rosie Kmita who sends a shot back in towards the near post from the left the ball easily held by Peake.

Danielle Puddefoot clattered into team mate Mollie Kmita as she wins the ball from the corner

  GOAL! 16 minutes in and it has all been Cambridge in attack, they get the goal for their positive start, Taylor the scorer, busy in the opening quarter hour of the match presses the ball high up the pitch winning it as Southampton look to get forwards in the middle drives towards the box getting past another challenge into the area left side of goal sends the ball up and over Peake into the back of the net beyond 1-0.

Becky Taylor opens the scoring for Cambridge United WFC

   Taylor is almost put through on goal minutes later as she looks to get onto the bed of a forward ball from Rosie Kmita bringing it on up the left, Warren with the tackle to prevent a shot for Southampton the ball out for a throw on the left. Southampton are awarded a free kick on the right inside the Cambridge half a chance for the away side to send players forwards, Warren to take it the ball cleared at the top of the area back to her drives down the line Bennett closing hr down conceding the throw leads to a corner kick that is claimed confidently by Cambridge goalkeeper, Verity Crook in the middle of her six yard box.

   Cambridge counter the ball up to Perschky through the middle Rosie Kmita charging forwards on the left has space to run into the pass finds her puts in an early cross, Angel racing back towards her goal slides in to win the ball. Yeates looks to knock the ball past Jenkins the Cambridge full-back stretching out a leg to win the ball wins it brings it on playing a great ball up the line for Mills to chase after getting to the ball whips a cross into the middle of the Southampton six yard box, picks out Perschky free her 1st touch taking the ball past Peake, looks to have scored the ball however comes back of the post and Southampton recover to clear the danger.

  GOAL! 33 minutes into the 1st half and Cambridge double their lead win a corner on the right, play paused as Southampton’s Yeates receives treatment on the far side of the pitch. Mollie Kmita comes over to the dugouts to take on some water before running back into position inside the box for the set piece as twin sister Rosie plays the ball in towards the near post a glancing header from the leaping Taylor the ball helped onto the centre of the six yard box a Southampton defender pushes it out towards the far post Mollie Kmita unmarked sees the ball coming straight at her one thing on her mind hit it and hit it hard! Blasts the ball into the back of the net no stopping that shot 2-0.


Mollie Kmita busts the back of the net scoring
Cambridge United WFC’s 2nd goal

Cambridge have dominated play 1st half and that continues as Jenkins gets possession of the ball on the right pushes on down the wing winning a corner kick, the ball sent up towards the top of the Southampton area, the ball headed clear is picked up by Puddefoot back to goal lays it back into Baker who shoots from 25 yards out her effort sailing over the crossbar. 

  Chances up front have been few and far between for Southampton 1st half yet to register a shot in the match get some joy down the left doubling up with Thorpe sending the cross from deep long looking to pick out Yeates coming in from the right side into the six yard box, can’t bring the ball under control far post with Crook getting across to pressure the attacker.

  Peake is on had to gather the ball at her left post as Rosie Kmita sends a low drove from 20 yards in towards goal for Cambridge. Jenkins and Mills link up on the right side the ball cut inside plays the ball into the area Warren beating Perschky to the ball before Angel clears. into the closing minutes of the 1st half Baker is fouled by Southampton’s Whitton as she looks to send Mills clear on the right. The free kick in a central position is dealt with by Gilbank in side the area. Thorpe attacking left side for Southampton cuts her cross along the face of the area, Mollie Kmita intercepting before, Bell-Jack and latch onto the ball. Rosie Kmita with a shot from 25 yards out on the left as she latches onto a loose pass is held by Peake getting across her goal.

Half-time Cambridge United WFC 2-0 Southampton Women FC

  A strong 1st half from Cambridge United WFC sees them take a 2-0 lead into the dressing room at half-time. Started well and continued the tempo through the half, pressing well as a team all over the pitch creating plenty of opportunities in the final 3rd. Southampton have struggled to match the tempo set by their opponents not afforded any time on the ball have been unable to get in behind and have yet to test Crook in goal. 2-0 however means they are far from out of the game if they cane regroup and come out better 2nd half, a cliche but the next goal is key as the two sides come out for the 2nd half.
  Southampton make a change at the start of the 2nd half with Kirsty Bell, now wearing th captains armband coming on for Fletcher as they kick-off the 2nd half attacking up the slope.
  GOAL! Southampton push players forwards from kick-off closing down the Cambridge back-line the ball is lost with Bennett on the left played long with Rosie Kmita on the move down the pitch the ball coming into her sends it on towards the Southampton area with Perschky timing her run to perfection inside the D the ball landing it her feet shoots sending the ball flying over Peake and into the back of the net to make it 3-0 to Cambridge.

Nicole Perschky extends Cambridge’s lead early in the 2nd half

  Cambridge have a free-kick on the left inside the Southampton half the ball lifted up into the area is defended knocked on runs to Mills on the right goes for goal the ball racing wide across the goal. A strong start to the 2nd half from Cambridge particularly on the right, Mills sending in a cross towards the near post again too close to Peake the goalkeeper laying claim to the ball. Taylor picking up the ball from a deep position in the middle lifts it up towards the top of the box Perschky tries to help it on bringing it down on her chest, Angel marking prevents her getting in behind.

  Yeates is struggling for Southampton her legs cramping up in discomfort can’t continue and the away side make their 2nd substitution with Philippa Holden coming on to join the attack. Thorpe on the ball in the centre for Southampton plays the pass into Gemma Simmonds holds the ball up allowing others to get forwards sends it out to Holden making a run on the right, has support from Kate Wiseman the ball rolled back to her she sends the cross into the middle of the Cambridge box the ball cleared by Baker is gathered by Gilbank who shoots from distance her shot held by Crook in the Cambridge goal.

Laura Baker getting hold of the ball for Cambridge

  Southampton are getting a little more time on the ball as Cambridge let their tempo drop, Simmonds in the centre of midfield is getting more time on the ball looks the send the ball into the area for Bell-Jack, Mollie Kmita sees the ball back to her keeper, Crook sends it clear, regained by Simmonds plays it forwards with Thorpe to her left 25 yards out shoots sending her strike up over the crossbar.

  Cambridge go forwards attacking down the left of the pitch the ball played in field is gathered by Taylor driving inside towards the area changes direction shooting with the outside of her boot top of the area, the ball dipping as it falls into the six yard box, Peake adjusts her feet to dive and push the ball away to her right, Rosie Kmita coming in from the left is stretching as she attempts to turn the ball back towards goal sends it high over the bar instead. Southampton make their final change bringing on Sophie Solloway for Angel at the back as they look to change formation to 3-4-3 pushing players on with 30 minutes left to try and find a goal to get themselves back into the tie.

  Pressing the ball on the right Mills gets possession driving forwards lifts the cross in early Taylor leaping on the penalty spot can’t get a touch on the ball. Cambridge make their 1st change of the match bringing on Hollie Jardine for Bennett a straight swap at left-back. 

  GOAL! The home side extend their lead in the 65th minute, attacking down the left side into the Southampton half Rosie Kmita puts the ball inside, Taylor almost loses her footing going after the ball, does well playing the ball on ahead of her into the box for Puddefoot making a forwards run left side receiving the ball opens up her body and curls her shoot across the keeper into the far top corner of the net 4-0.

Cambridge United WFC’s
Danielle Puddefoot

  Simmonds links up with Bell for Southampton in the middle pushing on into the Cambridge half, the latter attempting the through ball into the area with Holden making the run, Crook off her line quickly is able to gather 1st. Cambridge launch a rapid counter attack the ball up into Perschky looks to play Rosie Kmita on into the area, Wiseman tracking back with her manages to get across her run and play the ball back to her keeper. Game is stretched a little even with a 4 goal lad Cambridge aren’t sitting back defending pressing the ball a couple of Southampton players struggling with cramp. 

  Mills taking the ball to the by-line right side cuts the ball in towards the near post, Warren intercepts playing it out for the corner. An inswinging ball from Rosie Kmita towards the near post Peake comes through the crowd to punch the ball away conceding a 2nd corner kick. Played deeper this time into Bright isn’t allowed to turn as she brings the ball down Southampton look to get the ball clear, Baker closes down the ball has a shot from distance the ball held by Peake.

 A double switch for Cambridge with Rosie Kmita and Puddefoot leaving the pitch, Evie Gallop and Ashleigh Deacon the players coming on. Southampton attack on the left Gilbank into Simmonds, looks to pick out Bell-Jack with her cross, Crook getting in front of her gets her gloves firmly around the ball. Taylor winning the ball right side sends it on for Mills to attack down the wing, crosses the ball into the six yard box with Deacon arriving from the left unmarked meets the ball 1st time sending it over the crossbar.

Southampton Women FC’s
Kelly Warren

  Gallop plays the ball long from inside her own half looking for Perschky who wins a throw on the left, receiving the ball from the throw-in drives in field, shoots from outside the box aiming near post the ball gathered by Peake who has the angle covered. Gallop has a shot for outside the box right of the D as Cambridge push n late into the game, her strike deflected wide for a corner kick.

  Space for Deacon to exploit on the left as the game moves into injury time takes it on before sending in a long ball towards the far post headed away by Solloway the ball drops to Mills outside the box 20 yards out drills the ball back in towards goal runs wide across the face of goal. Mollie Kmita has the energy for on last run from the back carrying the ball forwards left side for Cambridge tries to pick out Perschky waiting top of the area, Warren sliding it does enough to half the momentum of the ball, Perschky retrieves and plays the ball across the top of the box with Deacon cutting inside room for a shot slips as she pulls the trigger the ball running wide of the far post is touched by Peake as she dives across to try and stop it. The resulting corner is cleared as the referee brings the match to an end.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 4-0 Southampton Women FC

  Cambridge advance to the 3rd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup with a strong performance to win the game 4-0. Pressed the ball well all over the pitch everyone on the pitch contributing excellent team work, dominated early on and maintained that level throughout the 90 minutes. Southampton’s run in the FA Women’s Cup comes to an end, a little surprised having heard so much about the team’s performances prior to the match couldn’t find any foot hold in the match today, plenty still to aim fr this season however with 2 cup quarter-finals still to come and a strong position in the league.
  Something new for 2017 to end the report have been thinking about adding this for a while the New Year seems a good time to begin with the introduction of the Supporting Women’s Football Blog – Player of the Match.

SWF Blog – Player of the Match 

  Several contenders in the Cambridge United WFC side today, a fantastic team performance, the SWF Blog Player of the Match is Becky Taylor, scoring the opening goal, busy on and off the ball throughout the 90 minutes linking up the midfield and attack, creating chances for herself and her team mates.
  The draw for the 3rd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup with be this Monday and a slightly earlier time of 10:45am, will update this post once Cambridge United WFC’s opponents are known.
  My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details today.

*UPDATE* The draw for the 3rd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup was made this morning and Cambridge United WFC will face FAWSL 2 opposition with a trip to Sutton Coldfield to play Aston Villa Ladies. To be played Sunday 5th February.