Tag Archives: St Margaretsbury Women

Cup Final Special – St Margaretsbury Women v Colney Heath Ladies

Sunday 5th May

Beds & Herts Chris Renshaw Cup Final

After last weekend’s washout the cup final double bills begin this weekend with a trip down into Bedfordshire for the Beds & Herts Women’s League Finals day featuring two matches to end the season. First up The Chris Renshaw Cup being contested this season by St Margaretsbury Women and Colney Heath Ladies.

  Has been a while since I’ve been able to make the Beds & Herts Women’s Finals Day the traditional end to their season and an really looking forward to the two matches on offer. The Chris Renshaw Cup contested by the sides knocked out of the early rounds of the League Cup itself and some strong sides amongst them. The cup named after Chris Renshaw the leagues former referees officer who passed away, extremely liked and well thought off the competition formerly the Invitation Cup renamed in his honour.

The Chris Renshaw Cup

St Margaretsbury Women achieving back to back promotions to reach the Beds & Herts Women’s Premier Division this season. Winning Division Three with a 100% record in their debut season in 21/22. Finishing 2nd behind Stotfold Women in Division One last season to continue that rise. Have had a solid campaign in the Premier Division including a 7 match unbeaten run with 6 wins and a draw to put them right in contention for the title itself before eventually finishing 4th in the table.

Enjoyed a couple of good cup runs too, narrowly missing out to Stevenage FC Women Development on penalties in the semi-finals of Hertfordshire FA’s new Women’s Trophy competition before going all the way to the final in The Chris Renshaw Cup. Scoring plenty of goals along the way to with Paige Prior not only top scorer for the club but the league itself firing in 27 goals this season. Gabrielle Charalambous has 10 goals to her name too with Amber Strows on 9.

Colney Heath Ladies are the Champions, winning the Beds & Herts Women’s Premier Division and still in the hunt for a league and cup treble. A strong response from the club effectively rebuilding after losing their entire 1st team and with it ERWFL Premier Division status as they moved under a new club and name. Colney Heath Reserves side stepping up to the mark getting off to a flying start in the league with 6 wins and a draw in their opening 7 games. Going all the way to the Hertfordshire FA Women’s Trophy final where they will play Stevenage FC Women Development in the rearranged fixture after the original game was abandoned due to an medical incident for a Stevenage player. Knocked out of the league cup regrouped after a mini wobble to storm the league and reach the final.

 The league secured with just one defeat along the way, looking to make it a double today against St Margaretsbury have a squad with some useful experience and young talent scoring plenty of goals amongst them with 15 different players on the scoresheet so far this season. Mia Simmonds the top scorer netting 13 so far from 20 appearances. Cally Salter also into double figures on 10 with Holly Jury on target for 8 goals.

 Road to the Final

Both sides progressing without kicking a ball in the 1st Round of the competition, St Margaretsbury awarded the home win while, Colney Heath had a bye.

Into the 2nd Round St Margaretsbury were away in what could have been a potential banana skin again Division Three newcomers and leaders Woburn & Wavendon Lionesses. Goals from Chloe Ahmet, Gabrielle Charalambous, Kelly-ann Westgrath and Paige Pryor securing a 4-1 win to see St Margarets bury into the quarter finals. Colney Heath again not having to kick a ball awarded the H-W against Division Two side Hitchin Town Women.

Both sides rattling in the goals in the quarter finals St Margaretsbury were at home taking on Division Two side Buntingford Town Ladies. Pryor was on target for 5 goals alone with Charalambous also bagging herself a hat-trick. A brace each for Billie Curtis and Amber Strows with Katelyn Mulvey also scoring in a 13-2 victory. Colney Heath on the road taking on Division Two leaders, Real Bedford Ladies Development. Holly Jury and Mia Simmonds firing Colney Heath into a 2 goal lead inside 10 minutes, Jury would go on to net a hat-trick. Simmonds a brace, along with Amy Phillips. Cally Salter, Amy Williams and Jael Muzzi also on the score sheet in a 10-1 win.

Into the semi-finals, St Margaretsbury hosting Division One side Biggleswade United Women Blues in the last 4. Marched into the final confidently wining the game 6-0 with a hat-rick each for Pryor and Sherie Evans. Colney Heath away to another Division one side, Garston FC Ladies Mets. Leading 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Molly Slade and Sheree Oliver, Caroline Pennifold and Holly Jury on target to double the score in the 2nd half see Colney Heath into their 2nd final of the season.

The Beds & Herts Women’s Finals Day traditional taking place at Kempston Rovers FC in Bedfordshire. An early start a cup of tea the first port of call, the clubhouse and bar open along with the kitchen hatch serving hot food. A seat stand on the clubhouse side of the ground with standing viewing all round the grass pitch with 3G facilities beyond. The club a hive of activity with several youth matches being played. A washout in Cambridgeshire last Sunday couldn’t be any different this Sunday, bright and sunny some heat to the sun too, no wind and no rain forecast either, drinks breaks to be applied with the heat. 

St Margaretsbury Women

St Margaretsbury Women starting XI – Christina Xanthi, Evelyn Rose, Hannah Fowler, Jacqueline Stott, Sherrie Evans, Kelly-ann Westgrath (C), Faye Bullock, Amber Strows, Chloe Ahmet, Gabrielle Charalambous & Paige Pryor. Subs – Megan Walker, Billie Curtis, Laura Tyrell, Katelyn Mulvey & Katrina Martin.

Colney Heath Ladies

Colney Heath Ladies starting XI – Lauren Croucher, Anna Simou (C), Sophie Joseph, Maddie Gorton, Abbey Williams, Caroline Aubery, Sheree Oliver, Holly Jury, Amy Phillips, Cally Salter & Mia Simmonds. Subs – Laura Gifford, Olivia Corbett, Rachel Sherlow, Molly Slade & Lacey Blake.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

It’s Colney Heath to get the Chris Renshaw Cup final underway kicking off the first half wearing black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and white socks with St Margaretsbury lined up opposite earing yellow coloured shirts with black shorts and yellow and black hooped socks. The ball played into the middle rolled back to defence out to the left, Sophie Joseph sending it up the line for Cally Salter to attack, Evelyn Rose in defence for St Margaretsbury comes across to deal with the threat send the ball out for a throw in.

Colney Heath looking to get after the ball early on winning it high fed on for Mia Simmonds running the right channel fires a diagonal ball across the box looking for Salter’s run, Rose intercepts the ball for St Margaretsbury. Sherie Evans winning the ball for St Margaretsbury in the centre played up to Paige Pryor in attack back to goal lays the pass out to Gabrielle Charalambous on the left drives on before cutting her cross back to the top of the box looking for Pryor, Maddie Gorton getting her foot to the ball first clearing for Colney Heath.

Maddie Groton winning the tackle

Colney Heath break up on their left Salter wide with a give and go into Amy Phillips inside her, Phillips laying the return ball into Salter’s path as she surges up the wing before checking inside and pulls her cross, sending it swinging into goalkeeper, Christina Xanthi’s gloves. Holly Jury taking the ball forwards through the middle for Colney Heath sends it on for Simmonds attacking the right channel, lays the ball wide to captain, Anna Simou getting up on the right, Hannah Fowler getting in the challenge to deny the cross for St Margaretsbury.

St Margaretsbury, Hannah Fowler

Colney Heath getting players on pressing the final 3rd win a corner on the right the ball played in near side headed out back to the right by Jacqueline Stott, Colney heath returning the ball on the angle into the top of the box with Simmonds looking to control and turn in one motion, can’t keep her footing her shot tame in the finish rolling safely through to the keeper.

Joseph bringing the ball out from the back for Colney Heath on the left sends it long for Jury pulling out wide her cross dipping into the near post put behind by Xanthi for a corner kick. Played in near post not attacked however St Margaretsbury don’t get the ball clear comes back to Salter out left her cross, blocked. Amber Strows bringing the ball down for St Margaretsbury travelling left side played forwards into Pryor peeling wide, the striker turning inside to drive into the box her run halted by Simou.

St Margaretsbury’s Amber Strows

Colney Heath lively when they are in possession players driving forwards with the ball, Phillips on through the middle looks to release Salter wide left, St Margaretsbury hold their line well catching her offside. Oliver plays the ball out to Phillips on the left, Faye Bullock sliding in to take the ball away from her before she can release Salter. Simmonds fed the ball as she pushes on into the right channel looking to power her way into the box, Stott stays on her well to put in the tackle send the ball away for the throw.

St Margaretsbury defender, Jacqueline Stott

St Margaretsbury awarded a free-kick out wide on the left from deep the ball fired in towards the near post, Charalambous making a good run can’t reach the ball but puts pressure on goalkeeper, Lauren Croucher who doesn’t get hold of the ball instead knocked up into the air inside the six yard box in front of goal, Evans there looking to get her head on the ball, sees the ball land on the roof of the net.

Sherie Evans

Phillips pushing on left side up with Salter looking to double up on Rose at the back, the defender under pressure does well to get her foot on the ball take it out for a throw allow her side to regroup. The throw taken quickly Phillips puts the ball into Jury left top corner of the area turning on the ball releases a low strike fired into the near post, Xanthi has the angle covered. Colney Heath getting players forwards Joseph from the left sending a high ball in towards the top of the area, the clearance sliced behind for a corner on the left. Curled into the near post attacked but put wide.

Phillips getting up the pitch well to support Salter on the left causing St Margaretsbury a few problems, Stott winning the balls into the box cleared up to Westgrath plays it out to Charalambous wide left powers her way on before squaring a cross along the top of the Colney Heath box, Pryor taking a swing at it misses her kick as Gorton gets it clear. Colney Heath counter getting on in attack up the right, Fowler getting cross to challenge.

Gabrielle Charalambous on the attack for St Margaretsbury

St Margaretsbury making a change bring off Bullock sending on Billie Curtis. St Margaretsbury with a throw high on the left crossed into the box, appeals for a penalty as Joseph goes to tackle Pryor but nothing doing. A strike on the angle from distance from the middle held by Croucher.

GOAL! the mid point of the first half fast approaching Colney Heath building well through the middle, Caroline Aubery on the ball comes left lays it out wide for Phillips charging up the wing into the corner flashes a cross into the near post, Salter going in to attack the ball as Xanthi goes down for it, the attacker getting a touch with her left foot, not enough contact the ball still hanging there to hit, adjusts well getting the outside of her right boot to the ball to turn it over the line to score 0-1.

Cally Salter opening the scoring for Colney heath

St Margaretsbury look to get on down their left from the restart the ball inside for Charalambous  inside for Evans has a go from distance the shot over. The referee calling for a drinks break, is warm out there, fluids needed. Phillips getting on the the ball left side for Colney Heath as play resumes dribbling with the ball, Curtis lunging in to block her attempted pass as she looks to release Salter ahead of her.

Gorton with the ball for Colney Heath sends a diagonal pass out to Phillips breaking on down the left her cross squared in high towards the right of the D, Jury looking to meet it on the volley, gets her connection all wrong her shot blazing high. Strows on for Charalambous left side for St Margaretsbury her ross lifted into the box just over Pryor attacking the near post drops for Curtis far side, takes a swing at the ball but under pressure from Abbey Williams the defender squeezes the ball away to safety.

Colney Heath’s Holly Jury

A lively contest despite the heat Colney Heath pushing on stretching St Margaretsbury at times Oliver sending the cross field ball out to Phillips advancing on the left, pace to take the ball on before flashing a cross along the face of the St Margaretsbury goal, Salter flying in just missing it.


Williams clearing at the back for Colney Heath the ball long up to Salter 20 yards out central back to goal lays it off to her left for Simmonds who sends her strike over the crossbar. St Margaretsbury winning the ball in the middle Evans out to Strows inside to Charalambous who lays it into Pryor as she bursts into the box from the left her shot fired in low, saved by Croucher at her near post.

St Margaretsbury captain, Kelly-ann Westgrath

Westgrath taking the ball on for St Margaretsbury threads it on for Pryor up top, shifts her feet to march on into the area, Williams coming to close her down for Colney Heath. Aubery bringing the ball on through the middle takes aim, firing a shot in on goal from range, plenty of pace on the shot just not enough height to beat Xanthi, the keeper seeing the ball safely into her gloves.

Caroline Aubery strikes the ball

A nasty collision between Philips and Ahmet, the former coming off worse but ok as they both get to their feet. Simmonds seeing the ball into her feet turns to play the ball on for Simou getting on up the right her cross into the box collected by Salter near side turns puts it across goal but can’t pick anyone out.

Charalambous with the ball for St Margaretsbury with a powerful run bursting on to the by-line winning her side a corner kick. Swung in towards the near post, Oliver up well to head it clear back out to the corner taker, Swung back into the near post on the angle, Croucher calls for it and drops onto the ball.

Lauren Croucher

Colney Heath giving the ball to Phillips bombing up the left her clipped cross into the near side is misses by the on rushing Oliver, Rose getting hold of it hooks the ball out of the box, comes straight back in central, Stott intercepting and strong under pressure to get it away, Colney Heath pressing the box regain possession rolled into Simmonds right of the D turns to shoot sending the ball wide past the far post.

Late in the first half Colney Heath pressing for a 2nd goal, St Margaretsbury battling to find a reply, the ball played back to Joseph in defence, passes it back to her keeper as Pryor presses the ball, the striker looking to charge down the keeper as she goes to clear the ball top of her area strikes it against Pryor rebounding back into the box, Croucher instinctively goes to pick it up, St Margaretsbury appeal, the referee blows up and after consulting his assistant and indirect free-kick is awarded to the right of goal. A late chance for St Margaretsbury to pull a goal back shifts into Strows, moving central to unleash a shot smashes the ball wide past the far post.

Christina Xanthi

Colney Heath scrappy in the close moments of the first half the keeper missing Charalambous ball in from the left, scrambled clear, Strows adjudged to have handled the ball as she looks to get it under control top of the box.

Half-time St Margaretsbury Women 0-1 Colney Heath Ladies

  The half-time whistle blows Colney Heath putting themselves under pressure late on leading the game 1-0 thanks to Cally Salter’s goal midway through the half. Have looked strong on the attack getting players on well using the width and putting crosses into the box whilst in turn limiting the ball into Pryor in attack up the other end keeping St Margaretsbury’s top scorer quiet. Still with one goal in it the game still very much there for the taking and the result is far from settled.

Is warm out there, both sides putting a lot into the first half, the benches will play there part in the 2nd half. Colney Heath with a double switch at the start of the 2nd half with Jury and Simmonds taken off, Lacey Blake and Laura Gifford coming on. St Margaretsbury to get the 2nd half underway the ball played to the right, Colney Heath straight in to press the ball, St Margaretsbury keep possession well playing the ball on down the right winning a throw high the cross worked into the area taken cleanly by Croucher.

GOAL! Colney Heath with the ball in the middle as they turn play around fed out to Salter breaking away into the right wing sending a dangerous ball in across the top of the six yard box, Xanthi can’t reach it, but Phillips can as she meets it at the far post to turn home from close range to double the lead 0-2. 

Amy Phillips puts Colney Heath 2-0 early in the 2nd half

Colney Heath with their tails up breaking on down the left, Lacey Blake attacking firing a cross into the box, Fowler up to head the ball back out to the left, Blake lifting it back in Stott getting it away this time around for St Margaretsbury. Ahmet sends the pass out to Charalambous on the left taking the ball on strong with her run into the box before being stopped by Williams.

Gabrielle Charalambous

St Margaretsbury with the ball on through the middle by Evans for Charalambous, drives on, Williams putting in the tackle even as her keeper comes rushing out for the ball, the counter attack launched Blake on the left with Phillips the cross fired into the near post area, Salter beating the keeper to the ball sees her effort come back off the base of the post.

Phillips with the ball left, Rose tackling for St Margaretsbury the ball turned behind for a corner kick. St Margaretsbury clearing the corner, Colney Heath quick to regain possession turned out to Phillips left on for Blake on the move down the wing her crossed whipped into the near post headed away by Fowler.

GOAL! The ball with Colney heath central played into Phillips on the move left side taking the ball on power her way forwards into the box before smashing her shot low across the keeper into the bottom corner to put her side into a strong position with her 2nd of the game 0-3.

Amy Phillips celebrates her 2nd goal of the game

A blow for St Margaretsbury as they make a double change bringing off Westgrath and Ahmet, Laura Tyrell and Katrina Martin coming on. Curtis looking to attack on the left enjoying a good tussle with Simou, but gives away the free-kick this time. Salter caught offside for Colney heath as Gifford looks to release her on the right. Charalambous carrying the ball all the way into the box from the left for St Margaretsbury but hesitates before releasing a shot allowing Gorton to get a foot in on the ball, Colney Heath launching a rapid counter the ball lifted on for Blake out wide left taking the ball on surging into the area, getting a shot away under challenge runs through to the keeper.

Colney Heath defender, Maddie Gorton

Colney Heath’s turn to make a change bringing of Aubery in the middle, Molly Slade replacing her. Phillips into Blake on the left her cross whipped into the D, Salter near side bringing it down laying it off to Gifford beyond her strike, hit up high over the bar. At the mid point in the 2nd half, the third goal zapping the energy out of St Margaretsbury as they make another change, Rose coming off at the back, Megan Walker sent on as the drinks break is called.

Colney Heath’s Laura Gifford

Colney Heath making another change before play resumes, Salter the player off, on comes Olivia Corbett. The substitute out on the right playing the ball inside for Gifford, who attempts to thread a diagonal ball into Phillips attacking the area left side, Evans with a vital interception for St Margaretsbury.

Caroline Aubery holding off Chloe Ahmet

Simou opens up her body to slide the ball on for Gifford attacking down the right, taking the ball all the way to the by-line her cross is struck in across the face of goal with pace, too strong evades everyone as Corbett looks to get onto the end of it far post. Contrasting energy levels, Colney Heath with renewed energy pouring forwards, St Margaretsbury with the energy zapped out of them, Curtis still full of running however attacking left side taking on Simou once again, getting the free-kick this time around.

Colney Heath captain, Anna Simou with St Margaretsbury’s, Billie Curtis

The free-kick from the left up to the top of the area, Gorton looks to bring it away for Colney Heath, Curtis snapping in to challenge wins the ball back and puts it out to Charalambous wide left her cross dipping in central, cleared by Williams. Colney Heath straight on the counter attack Slade out to Blake powering forwards on the left her angled shot beat down by Xanthi at her near post.

Blake’s runs down the left adding to Colney Heath’s threat going forward in the 2nd half gets down into the corner before whistling a cross into the box, narrowly avoiding Corbett tracking in at the near post, runs through to Gifford central, Stott throwing herself in the way to block her shot. Colney Heath relentless getting the ball back high up the pitch, rolled into Corbett, left of the D, players the ball off the outside of her boot in towards goal, Xanthi, behind it getting down to claim.

Paige Pryor looking to attack for St Margaretsbury

 Oliver with the ball and her feet goes on a run through the middle, no challenge coming in is encouraged to go all the way, breaking into the box, setting herself up with a one on one with the keeper a Xanthi comes to close her down, Oliver shoots looking to put the ball past her, Xanthi saving with her leg, deflecting the ball behind for a corner kick. Both sides making changes as the match moves into the final 5 minutes, Charalambous coming off for St Margaretsbury with Katelyn Mulvey coming on. A double switch for Colney Heath, Phillips and Oliver taken off, Jury and Simmonds returning to the action.

Sheree Oliver

  The corner delivered into the near post from the right, St Margaretsbury defending the ball ack out wide, the shot taken on the angle, taking a deflection as it flashes wide, the resulting corner coming to nothing. Blake firing in a left wing cross to the far post, Gifford looking to get it down under control to shoot, Stott getting in the tackle to clear. Ahmet down for St Margaretsbury having picked up an injury, after treatment she needs to come off, helped to the side lines Westgrath comes back on. Slade finding Corbett on the right runs into space before sending a vicious cross in along the face of goal, Xanthi getting something on it to deny, Simmonds racing in to attack it.

  GOAL! Simmonds on the score sheet soon after as the ball won back on the left is played into her feet, the attacker taking it on, pressing inside heading for the St Margaretsbury box, Xanthi rushing out to the corner of her area to close her down, Simmonds gets her shot away sending it across the keeper to race on past her into the bottom corner 0-5.

Mia Simmonds running into the box to fire home Colney Heath’s 4th goal

 3 minutes left to play, Colney Heath  goals up not done attacking yet as Slade plays Corbett in on the right wing, takes the shot on on the angle her pacy effort, saved by Xanthi down low at her near post. Stott getting her head onto another right wing cross to concede the corner kick. Played in near side, Gorton coming for the ball can’t get it under control before Tyrell closes her down. Another corner on the right for Colney Heath, put in near side, Gifford looking to meet it knocking the ball up into the air, Simou looking to hit it on the volley sends the ball wide. 

GOAL! All Colney Heath in the closing moments of the match players up around the box the ball put across the D into, Gifford and Corbett left side from the top of the area, Corbett latches onto the ball and smashes a rising shot past the diving Xanthi inside the left post to score 0-5.

Olivia Corbett firing home Colney Heath’s 5th goal

  Into the closing seconds of the match, St Margaretsbury win themselves a corner kick on the right, Stott in the box putting the ball back out wide to the corner taker the ball fired back into the box on the angle, Williams with a vital interception with Pryor ready to pounce on it beyond her, the ball cleared up field the final whistle blowing soon after and Colney Heath celebrate as they win this season’s Chris Renshaw Cup and make it a league and cup double.

Full time St Margaretsbury Women 0-5 Colney Heath Ladies

  A dominant 2nd half from Colney Heath in the finish, piling on the pressure to score a 2nd goal early in the 2nd half, a 3rd goal coming quickly after zapping the energy out of St Margaretsbury giving them a mountain to climb, worked hard at the back, the 5-0 score line a little harsh perhaps, but no more than Colney Heath deserve for their attacking performance, came on at will at times, adding two more goals at the death to seal the win in style. Disappointment in the end for St Margaretsbury, nevertheless a strong first season in the Premier Division with a 4th placed finish and reaching the final of a cup.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time to pick the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Often a difficult decision, occasionally not however and this is one of those occasions. A few performances of note to mention first, for St Margaretsbury, Jacqueline Stott was strong at the back, called upon on a number of occasions to make vital tackles and win back the ball. Sherie Evans fighting to win possession in the middle trying to get her attackers into the game. Gabrielle Charalambous with some powerful runs on the ball running into the channels looking to create an opportunity in front of goal. Caroline Aubery and Sheree Oliver did well in the middle for Colney Heath winning the ball back and getting it forwards into their attackers quickly. Holly Jury ahead of them driving on with the ball and joining the attack. Cally Salter with some great positional play getting out wide to receive the ball and put several crosses into the box, as well as getting into the box herself composed to open the scoring in the first half. Lacey Blake making an impact on the left coming on 2nd half. The award goes to Amy Phillips who herself caused havoc on the left throughout the game getting onto the ball and driving forwards on a number of occasions, linking up well with Salter in the first half, her 2 goals early in the 2nd half, going along way to sealing the victory for Colney Heath.

Colney Heath Ladies 2023/24 Chris Renshaw Cup winners

Congratulations to Colney Heath Ladies on winning this season’s Chris Renshaw Cup.

Colney Heath Ladies also Premier Division Champions

A league and cup double for Colney Heath as they collect their award for winning the Beds & Herts Women’s Premier Division too.

  My thanks to both clubs for helping me out with the team details this morning, the celebrations moved off the pitch as the sides competing for this afternoon’s League Cup final take to the pitch a quick turn around, but just enough time to grab a bite to eat before setting up for the next one…

by Darren Gilham