Tag Archives: Stevenage FC Women Development

Cup Final Special – Colney Heath Ladies v Stevenage FC Women Development

Sunday 24th March

Hertfordshire FA Women’s Trophy Final

Heading over to Hertfordshire today to watch the rearranged final of a new competition with the counties FA introducing a secondary competition to run along side the County Cup the Women’s Trophy. The inaugural final to be contested by Colney Heath Ladies and Stevenage FC Women Development.

  The original final, was to be my first of the season, the game had to be abandoned however with Stevenage FC Women Development player, Sophie Jones collapsing on the pitch. An ambulance called the decision taken and rightly so to call off the game, rearrange a new date. Sophie his since recovered and is well. The new competition seeing the women’s football clubs competing at various levels through the women’s football pyramid divided into two with those clubs playing in the national and regional leagues drawn together to play in the County Cup while the club largely from the county league (tier 7) playing in the new Women’s Trophy. 

 It’s a sensible format, other county FA’s running 2 county cup competitions having all sides compete in the county cup before those losing in the early round go onto play the secondary competition. Some with seeding some without. In theory it should limit some of the eye-watering score-lines you can see in the county cups while giving all clubs a realistic opportunity to challenge for silverware. Should also help with fixture congestion too.

Who will be the first name on the new trophy?

 Colney Heath Ladies had been a long established name playing within the ERWFL rising up into the Premier Division before a split within the club last season that saw first team moving to another club taking that ERWFL status with them. However despite the set back Colney Heath have kept going rebuilding with their reserves side stepping up to carry their mantel forwards. Already a successful club with the Beds & Herts Women’s Football league playing in the Premier Division reaching the League Cup final last season. Is one of two cup finals they have reached this season, the other Beds & Herts, Chris Renshaw Cup, beat St Margaretsbury Women to lift the cup and make it a double, also clinching the Premier Division title a league and cup double a massive achievement have a chance to make it a treble and amazingly we have see two of these already across the East. Mia Simmonds top scorer with 14 goals to her name with Cally Salter netting 11. Goals throughout the side with 15 of the squad on the score sheet this season.

 Stevenage FC Women Development (U23s) are the only side outside of the Beds & Herts County leagues playing in the Women’s Trophy, joining the ERWFL Division One North this season having spent a period in the FAWNL reserves section. Stevenage’s young side finding it tough going to begin with taking just 4 points from their opening 8 matches and looked in danger of being cut adrift at the bottom of the table. However the 2nd half to the season has been much improved with an 3 successive wins and a draw against Harpenden one of the title chasers seeing the club put itself right back into the midst, eventually finishing 8th in the table, that good form continuing into the cup competitions, where they have not only reached today’s Trophy Final but also the ERWFL League Plate. That final, played last Sunday, Stevenage were to lose the game 3-0 to Wormley Rovers Ladies. Still need to pick themselves up and go again a chance to lift silverware in what is now their final game of the season following the earlier abandonment. Have plenty of players coming through with 46 used so far this season, Ella Mercer top scorer with 11 goals with Stephanie Fausse one behind on 10. 

Road to the Final

   I said the competition format should help to reduce eye watering score-lines but not end them entirely as was the case with a couple of ties in the first round of the Women’s Trophy, one of those scores featuring Colney Heath with the premier Division side drawn away to Division One side Everett Ladies. Cally Salter firing in a hat-trick with a brace each for Mia Simmonds and Olivia Corbett helping Colney Heath to an 11-0 win. Lucy Kavanagh-Blake, Amy Phillips and Laura Gifford also amongst the goals. Stevenage FC Women Development receiving a bye in the first round.

  Onto the 2nd Round, Colney Heath drawn away to fellow Premier Division side Hartham United Ladies. Won 2-0 to safely reach the quarter finals. Stevenage also away in the 2nd round up against Division Three side Bedwell Rangers Ladies, Ella Mercer on target for a hat-trick, plus a goal a piece for Stephanie Fausse, Sophie Jones and Amy Reeves o secure a 6-1 win.

 Colney Heath at home in the quarter finals up against another Premier Division side, Hitchin Belles Women Blues. Mia Simmonds once again amongst the goals netting a hat-trick with Jael Muzzi and Bora Cela also scoring in a 5-0 win. Stevenage a home too in the last 8 taking on Division One side Garston Ladies Mets Chloe Gregory and Anaise Corrigan the scorers in a 2-0 win to send them into the last 4 of the competition. 

 Home turf for both in the semi-finals with Colney Heath up against Division Two side Letchworth Garden City Eagles. Mia Simonds with her 2nd successive hat-trick in the competition helping to send Colney Heath into the final along with goals from Amy Phillips, Sherrie Oliver and Holly Jury in a 6-0 victory. Drama in the other semi-final with Stevenage taking on Premier Division newcomers St Margaretsbury Women. Amana Oguntuga scoring twice for Stevenage, but goals from Billie Curtis and Sherrie Evans for St Margaretsbury saw the match finish 2-2 and settled on penalties! Stevenage clinching the tense shoot-out 6-5 to advance to the final.

  The County Ground, Letchworth the venue for this afternoon’s Women’s Trophy Final. Home to Hertfordshire’s FA the stadium recently redeveloped featuring an all weather pitch with a seated stand one one side housing the café and function room beneath. Serving hot food and drink. Terraced viewing on the opposite side with standing viewing all round, is a good sized pitch, well used. Home to Stevenage’s women’s sides know the facility well. The weather best described a changeable, a few showers around, with cloud in the sky, warm and sunny when the sun breaks through (is a bank holiday weekend after all).

  Colney Heath Ladies starting XI – Rachel Sherlow, Anna Simou (C),Sophie Joseph, Abbey Williams, Madison Gorton, Molly Slade, Sheree Oliver, Holly Jury, Amy Phillips, Cally Salter & Mia Simmonds. Subs – Laura Gifford, Bora Cela, Olivia Corbett, Lacey Kavanagh-Blake & Caz Pennifold. 

Colney Heath Ladies

 Stevenage FC Women Development starting XI – Mia O’Brien, Holly Southam, Tabitha Goodall, Neave Wilson (C), Amana Oguntuga, Remi Martin, Isobel Matfield, Chloe Gregory, Ella Mercer, Stephanie Fausse & Anaise Corrigan.  Subs – Lucy Fox, Ellie Merkis & Ella Hayes. 

Stevenage FC Women Development

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Captain’s Anna Simou (Colney Heath) and Neave Wilson (Stevenage) with today’s match officials

 The teams walking out to pouring rain, lining up opposite the main stand, it’s Stevenage who will get today’s final underway kick off in the first half wearing their away colours and all purple strip with red trim. Colney Heath lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black short and socks. The ball played back to Ella Mercer in the middle, clips a long pass out to the right players rushing forwards, Sophie Joseph playing at left back for Colney Heath getting her head on the ball to clear. 

  Stevenage goalkeeper, Mia O’Brien comes racing out of her box to clear the ball as Colney Heath forced the ball on through the middle with Mia Simmonds looking to run in behind the Stevenage defence left channel. Amana Oguntuga at left back for Stevenage driving up the pitch lays a diagonal ball in towards the top of the box looking to pick out Anaise Corrigan in attack, Abbey Williams getting their first to head the ball away for Colney Heath. 

Abbey Williams getting to the ball ahead of Stevenage’s Anaise Corrigan

  Stevenage feed the ball out to Stephanie Fausse pulling onto the left wing knocks it inside for Corrigan central, plays the ball on into the area with Mercer making the run to get into the box right of goal, Colney Heath keeper, Rachel Sherlow out quickly to close her down getting her foot on the ball sliced behind for a corner kick. Mercer to curl the ball into the box attacked at the near post over everyone falls to Corrigan central, snatches her shot over the crossbar. The rain falling steadily, Isobel Matfield looking to travel with the ball brought down, Stevenage winning a free-kick. 

 GOAL! Mercer over the free-kick all of 40 yards out central putting her foot through the ball gets plenty of pace behind it whipped in on target head height, Sherlow behind it beating the ball down into the six yard box at her left post, attacked comes on loose into the centre, Matfield stood there unmarked, firing the ball into the back of the net to open the scoring. 0-1. 

Ella Mercer’s free-kick knocked down at the at the left post, knocked in central with Isobel Mansfield ready to pounce

Isobel Matfield firing Stevenage into the lead

 A goal for Stevenage in the opening 5 minutes of the final. Colney Heath getting the ball down the right as they restart the gamer, Cally Salter on the move driving on delivering a rising ball into the near post on the angle, O’Brien calling for it a making the claim. 

Stevenage goalkeeper, Mia O’Brien claiming the ball at her near post

  Stevenage break up a Colney Heath attack play the ball up to the attackers, Corrigan 25 yards out back to goal central controlling the ball off her chest turning it into Fausse left of the D, her shot fired in wide of the far post. Chloe Gregory tackling for Stevenage to win the ball from Colney Heath captain, Anna Simou as she looks to bring the ball out from the back on the right. 

Stephanie Fausse with Colney Heath captain, Anna Simou

  Molly Slade gathering the ball into her feet central for Colney Heath, drives forwards making ground before attempting to thread Simmonds in behind the challenge coming in a Simmonds breaks into the box the ball away for a corner kick on the left. An in swinging delivery high to the near post, Mercer up well to put her head on it and clear for Stevenage.

  The rain has stopped for now the sun breaking through the clouds. Sheree Oliver strong to win the ball for Colney Heath in the final 3rd turns looking to play Amy Philips on down the left as the winger strides in behind, getting a cross in from the by-line however her progress halted by an offside flag. A lively contest both sides looking to get the ball moving forwards. Oliver central on for Simmonds up top back to goal, looks to play the lay off back to Oliver spin into the box left of goal looking for the return pass, O’Brien reading the threat rushing out to close the attackers down sliding in to make a blocking save at her feet. 

Mia Simmonds

 Mercer with a powerful run on the ball driving inside from the right for Stevenage pulling the trigger from distance the ball arrowing in on goal, coming straight at Sherlow high the keeper does well to make the save get her glove up to knock the ball up over the crossbar. The corner swung into the six yard box from the left, cleared by Colney Heath. 

 The ball put long into the left wing for Holly Jury to get under control shifts it inside looking to play a diagonal pass into Simmonds up top, Oguntuga with the attacker to get her foot on the ball clear for Stevenage. Both sides willing to get the ball down drive at the defence, Fausse receiving the pass from Matfield on the left moving inside looking to play the ball into Corrigan as she moves across the top of the D, Abbey Williams getting the tackle in to clear for Colney Heath at the back.

Colney Heath giving away another free-kick wide on the right players up into the area as Mercer prepares to take her strike hitting the ball, Colney Heath looking to counter, Stevenage captain, Neave Wilson halting their advance. Matfield carrying the ball on through the middle for Stevenage lifts it forwards with Corrigan on the move up top across the D, wrong footing the defence, almost escapes through clear into the box, except Joseph has come round on the cover to put her foot through the ball.

Colney Heath’s Mia Simmonds with Stevenage captain, Neave Wilson

  Lively Stevenage attacking right winning a throw high up the pitch lopped up into the box, Madison Gorton heading it away for Colney Heath. Pushing on through the middle, Slade with Oliver looking to pick out Jury as she makes a left channel run, Wilson lunging in with her leg to take the ball from her. 

Molly Slade

  Gregory going down inside the Colney Heath box as she looks to force her way through the middle, off Gorton’s challenge, half hearted appeals as the ball goes behind for a corner on the right. Mercer sending the delivery in at the near post attacked minimal contact drops for Corrigan top of the box back to goal, looks to get the ball under control, turn, the shot denied as Slade moves in to close the striker down.

  Colney Heath with a throw on the right played down into Salters feet 25 yards out right of the D, looks to clips it into the area on the half volley, O’Brien racing off her line to throw herself down onto the ball. Bright and sunny now. The ball up the right for Corrigan pulling wide for Stevenage powering her way to into the box, at the by-line cuts the ball back up to the top of the six yard box for Fausse, Gorton intercepting for Colney Heath to clear the ball. 

Colney Heath defender, Madison Gorton

  Oguntuga getting up the right for Stevenage a strong run on the ball delivering a cross into the near post too close to the keeper, Sherlow down to get behind it with Corrigan running in. Wilson cutting the pass out at the back for Stevenage as Oliver sends the pass on for Simmonds up top. A change for Colney Heath in the middle, Slade coming off, Caz Pennifold on. 

Remi Martin

Fausse and Corrigan look to combine through the middle 25 yards out, Gorton getting in between the pair to win the ball for Colney Heath. Sherlow called into action rushing out to slide in make the blocking save as Corrigan is fed onto the ball by Mercer from the right.

Rachel Sherlow sliding in to save against Anaise Corrigan

  Colney Heath immediately on the counter Phillips left lifting a cross the ball played off Simmonds a goal kick won. Jury taking the ball into the left channel for Colney Heath pushing forwards, Holly Southam closing her down to win the challenge for Stevenage at the back. Simou running into space on the right for Colney Heath as the cross-field pass from the left picks her out delivers a cross into the top of the area, Salter the target looks to see it onto her boot turn the shot goal wards, O’Brien moving forwards to collect it on the bounce.

  A competitive tussle, Colney Heath coming back into the game getting after Stevenage through the middle, Oliver getting about to put in the tackles. A drinks break called with a couple of players needing attention, both okay play resumes Pennifold getting back at Mercer tackling to win the ball in the middle as the Stevenage player looks to get on with the ball. Wilson with a clattering challenge on Jury as she comes to close her down the ball out to the right for Mercer to play forwards into Corrigan right channel, Sherlow needing to come racing out of her box to kick the ball away.

Tabitha Goodall with the acrobatic clearance for Stevenage

  Goodall defends on Simou as the Colney Heath captain look to push on down the right wing, Goodall getting her foot on the ball to play it out for a throw. 40 minutes played both sides making a change. Lacey Kavanagh-Blake on for Colney Heath replacing Jury goes to the left side with Phillips moving to the right. Ella Hayes coming on for Stevenage to replace, Martin.

  The game flowing fairly even both sides coming on well, Stevenage advancing on the right Joseph tackling Mercer the ball out for a throw. Corrigan seeing it down outside the box, turns straight into Williams ready with the challenge. Back up the line to Oguntuga plays it into the box from the angle, Gorton racing back with Gregory at the near post cutting the ball out

 GOAL! 2 minutes of regular play in the first half and Colney Heath get themselves back into the game with a superb move, Pennifold central feeding it into Salter, spins of her marker to make a run to the top of the area as she lays the ball out to Simou advancing on the right, plays Phillips in down the line cutting into the box on the by-line sends the ball into Salter positioned on the penalty spot and she sends her 1st time shot up over the keeper to fly in under the cross bar 1-1.

Cally Salter about to hit the equaliser for Colney Heath

Cally Salter equalises for Colney Heath

 GOAL! Colney Heath literally turning the game on it’s head in a matter of minutes the ball cleared out to Simou moving forwards on the right lays it into the path of Phillips racing down the wing turns into the box closing in on the near post and pulls the trigger, her shot wrong footing the keeper, O’Brien can’t adjust the ball off her into the back of the net to hand Colney Heath the lead 2-1.

Amy Phillips celebrates as she sees Colney Heath into the lead.

  Stevenage making a change as the game moves into stoppage time at the end of the first half, Ellie Merkis coming on for Goodall. Pennifold, Salter and Oliver combining through the middle for Colney Heath, Oliver’s ball threaded into the area claimed by O’Brien. Colney Heath finishing the first half strong Kavanagh-Blake fouled on the left deep as she tries to pick out Simmonds no advantage played brought back. Gorton to play the set-piece into the area, won by Mercer heading the ball over for a corner kick. 

 Mercer again defending the corner up at the near post to head the ball back left for a throw in. Colney Heath pressing Oliver in to steal the ball central 20 yards out turns inside, not getting a strong connection with her shot runs safely through to the keeper. 

Half-time Colney Heath Ladies 2-1 Stevenage FC Women Development

  A strong end to the first half from Colney Heath sees them turn the game on it’s head to go into the changing rooms leading 2-1 at the break. That after a strong opening from Stevenage scoring in the opening 5 minutes throw Isobel Matfield created some good opportunities after that both sides looking to get forwards quickly, move the ball around has been a competitive game, Colney Heath making a few adjustments applying pressure late in the first half to build momentum and score a well worked equaliser in the 43rd minute, Amy Phillips driving into the box from the right for the 2nd time in as many minutes to put Colney Heath into the lead. Set’s it up nicely for the 2nd half.

  The rain staying away for now, pleasant out there as the teams return for the 2nd half Colney Heath to get the 2nd half underway, now extra-time today should the scores be level after 90 minutes it goes straight to penalties. The ball back to Gorton in defence lifted on for Phillips on the right, won by Stevenage defender, Merkis. Colney Heath quick to regain possession, Pennifold into Phillips right shifts inside looking for Simmonds 25 yards out, Matfield cutting the pass out for Stevenage. 

  Oguntuga pushing up on the right now for Stevenage getting on down the line held up plays the ball back for Mercer, Kavanagh-Blake tracking back to close her down. Oliver opening up her body to play the pass into Phillips’ feet on the right. lifts the angled cross into the area, the ball just behind Slater central looks to shield the ball, dig it out from under her feet, Wilson close in pressing can’t find a teammate as Gregory gets hold of the ball for Stevenage. 

 Kavanagh-Blake taking the ball on down Colney Heath’s left sending in into Simmonds skips inside driving into the D, runs into a Stevenage road block eased off the ball. Stevenage attack down the left Fausse down the line lifting a high ball into the area, Gorton heading it out of the area, Matfield getting hold of the ball central pushed on into Gregory back to goal, tries to turning behind, Williams stretching out as leg to win the ball inside the D.

Oguntuga tackling Kavanagh-Blake turns to angle a deep cross into the area from the right, Gorton again under it to clear for Colney Heath. Stevenage getting hold of the ball high up the pitch looking to up the tempo, the ball fed into Corrigan left of the D, spins in behind getting into the box closing in on the keeper, shoots low, Sherlow down to make the save pushing the ball behind for a corner on the left.

Lacey Kavanagh-Blake carrying the ball forwards for Colney Heath

  The corner curled in under the bar, central Sherlow getting her gloves on the ball knocking it down into the ground and collecting on the bounce well. Mercer picking up the ball 40 yards out left moves inside a strong run, Gorton coming out from defence to close her down even as Oliver slides in from behind, only succeeds in taking Gorton out Mercer staying on her feet stepping inside to unleash a shot from range, placed straight at the keeper.  

Ella Mercer

  Matfield taking the ball inside from the left 20 yards out takes on the shot, Gorton in the way blocking for Colney Heath. Joseph playing the ball on for Kavanagh-Blake attacking on the left, looks to turn inside as Hayes steps in to challenge, the defender getting back at her with a well timed tackle to halt the attack. 

Ella Hayes

 Oguntuga driving on with the ball at her feet on the right for Stevenage, Joseph in to close her down conceding the corner. The corner whipped in across the six yard box falling beyond the far post Stevenage getting hold of the ball the shot charged down. 

Sophie Joseph moving on on Amana Oguntuga

 Colney Heath making a change up top bringing off Simmonds, Bola Cela sent into the action. Involved straight away as Pennifold carries the ball away to the right top of the area cuts the pass back to Cela top corner, is quickly closed down, can’t get her shot away. Kavanagh-Blake with the ball at her feet turns infield from the left as Salter makes a run across her wanting the ball fed into her path on the left channel, Southam getting back on her to tackle on the by-line for Stevenage.

Holly Southam winning the ball for Stevenage

  A lively contest, Stevenage competing for the ball turning play around quickly. Hayes on for Oguntuga up the right wing for Stevenage lifts the cross into the box looking for Corrigan coming near side, Williams getting her foot on the ball to clear for Colney Heath. Stevenage looking sharp in attack the diagonal ball clipped into the box left side sees Corrigan race in behind to shoot on the angle driven in low at the near post Sherlow down save the ball up off the goal keeper over the bar for a corner kick.

  Stevenage making a change before the corner comes in Goodall back on to replace, Merkis. The corner from the left angled in low at the near post stabbed away to safety. An hour played Stevenage looking to press in the final 3rd apply pressure. Another corner on the left put in high at the near post, Mercer looking to attack it, Sherlow up with her fist to punch it away. Williams throwing her body in to block a shot from Gregory from 20 yards out. 

  Oliver sending the ball out to Phillips now back out on the left wrapping her foot around the ball whips a cross into the six yard box, Cela can’t reach it before O’Brien can take it into her gloves. Hayes and Oguntuga linking up on the right for Stevenage, Oguntuga strong on the ball, lifting the cross into the box, won by Colney Heath’s Gorton. Stevenage looking to turn the screw pushing on well 2nd half a throw high on the right dropped into Corrigan right inside the area turns for goal near post sees her initial effort blocked coming back to her snatches another shot away Sherlow with a strong hand behind the ball to save knocking it down, the ball eventually scrambled behind for a goal kick. 

  Mercer winning Stevenage a corner the left dropped into the mix headed clear Colney Heath looking to counter lifted up to Kavanagh-Blake left feeds the ball on for Cela, lays it to the right for Phillips looking to spin into the area wanting the return ball, Phillips threading it into the box, O’Brien sharp out snatch it up into her gloves before Cela can pounce,

Caz Pennifold

  Simou, slows Fausse down as she attacks on the left back for Mercer a free-kick won, Stevenage with players up into the box, Mercer strikes the ball in towards goal, Sherlow punching the ball up and behind for a corner kick. A double change for Colney Heath, Williams and Salter coming on, on come Laura Gifford and Olivia Corbett. 

 Colney Heath finding Phillips out on the right 20 yards out sends the ball into the area for Corbett inside the box, tangles with Oguntuga, going down appeals but nothing doing. Gifford picking up a yellow card for Colney Heath the free-kick to Stevenage in the centre circle the ball launched forwards bouncing through to the keeper. 

Olivia Corbett with Ella Hayes

  Oliver throwing herself in to block as Gregory lines up a strike from 25 yards out. Southam picking out Mercer as she comes right to take the ball on forwards into Oguntuga, her cross to strong for Corrigan and Fausse making runs into six yard box. The game moving into the final 12 minutes Stevenage looking the most likely to score winning the ball high turning play around putting Colney Heath on the back foot. 

 Wilson and Corbett in a race for the ball as it’s played on down the right channel, Wilson throwing out a leg to play the ball off Corbett behind for a goal kick. Corrigan fouling Simou as she goes to clear the ball. Wilson again winning the ball up to Mercer left side plays Fausse down the line, the cross cut out Colney Heath look to play it up to Cela right.

 GOAL! Stevenage snapping back to win the ball back send it inside for Gregory, lifts it forwards into Corrigan top of the area a great take down to get in behind into the area moving towards the right post across the six yard box cuts her shot back across, to evade the keeper and roll into the back of the net to score the equaliser! 2-2!

Anaise Corrigan with the equaliser for Stevenage

 Stevenage coming back to level the scores in the 82nd minute set up a frantic finish to the game. Colney Heath taking off Phillips bringing Slade back on. Stevenage lively Matfield into Gregory lifted into the area right of goal Corrigan racing to attack, Sherlow putting her foot through the ball strikes the onrushing attacker the rebounding ball could have gone anywhere, however a raised flag sees the threat neutralised.

  Mercer with a shot from 20 yards out left of the D, put straight at the keeper. Southam winning the ball at the back clearing to Mercer on the right puts it on for Oguntuga wide right her cross flashed in beyond the far post, Fausse latching onto it firing her strike into the side netting, Stevenage looking dangerous as the game heads into the closing minutes. 

 Colney Heath with some relief as they get on down the right win a free-kick level with the top of the area played into the box central Gifford getting her head on the ball, plants her attempt straight into the keepers gloves. Gifford with another effort moments later as a diagonal ball from midfield drops to her in the box left side, falling as she goes to strike the ball pulls her shot into the keeper.

Laura Gifford

  Merkis coming back on to replace Fausse with 3 minutes of regular time left to play. Oliver across to halt Mercer’s progress as she looks to carry the ball away on the right. Salter back on for Colney Heath replacing Kavanagh-Blake. Sherlow up to claim a high ball played into her box from the left. Simmonds returning to the pitch replacing Joseph. Penalties moments away, 4 minutes to be added on.

 Southam putting the ball into Corrigan top of the D, Simou in with and outstretched leg to take the ball from her. Stevenage press to win a corner on the right, curled in Mercer up heading the ball on across the six yard box. Colney Heath getting the ball up to Simmonds left side comes inside, Merkis back across to support Hayes in defence get the ball clear for a corner left. Into the area cleared by Wilson, Stevenage look to counter up the left Mercer racing away with the ball, Gifford easing her off the ball.

 GOAL! Southam with the clearance on half way for Stevenage turns into a brilliant assist and it’s launched high dropping into the box, Corrigan looking to attack it as it drops near post, she and Simou coming together left grounded as the ball bounces loose to the left of goal, Oguntuga quickest to it turning to attack and fires her shot in low and fast into the bottom corner to surely score the winning goal for Stevenage 3-2! 

Holly Southam clearing the ball on halfway up into the area in the build up to the goal

Amana Oguntuga first to the ball after Anaise Corrigan and Anna Simou collide

Amana Oguntuga celebrates as she wins the game for Stevenage!

  Oguntuga called into the action up the other end to hook a ball clear from the top of her box as Colney Heath launch it forwards. Little time left to find a reply Corbett strong to win Colney Heath a corner on the right, push players up, put in to the top of the area comes to Corbett inside left of the D, a difficult ball to get under control, hasn’t time to bring in down, lifts her shot over the bar. The final whistle blows and Stevenage come back with a last gasp winning goal to win the inaugural Herts FA Women’s Trophy. 

Full time Colney Heath Ladies 2-3 Stevenage FC Women Development

  A strong 2nd half performance from Stevenage in the finish the better side in the 2nd period getting after the ball in the final 3rd applying good pressure to the Colney Heath back line winning the ball back moving it across the pitch creating chances. One eventually counting in the 82nd minute. Stevenage with the momentum didn’t sit back kept pressing the game into stoppage time penalties moments away and they took there chance to win the game at the death. A tough on for Colney Heath to take the treble just 10 minutes away they played well first half to get themselves into the lead. Found the chances harder to come by 2nd half and couldn’t hold on, still double winners have had a fantastic season nonetheless.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Onto the final Women’s Football East – Player of the Match of the season. Wasn’t quite sure who to award it too leaving the ground but as the report unfolded from my notes a clear winner emerged. Several performances of note to mention first, for Colney Heath, Madison Gorton and Abbey Williams made a number of vital tackles at the back, winning the ball getting it forwards. Amy Phillips strong on the flanks running with the ball setting up Cally Salter for the first goal, scoring the 2nd. Sheree Oliver got about the centre of the park to win the ball, defend and link up with the attackers. For Stevenage, again the centre backs were strong Holly Southam and Neave Wilson won the ball well helped get play turned around quickly 2nd half. Ella Mercer strong on the ball with some great runs and link up play. Amana Oguntuga strong in defence in the first half adding to Stevenage’s attacking threat on the right in the 2nd half strong on the ball on hand to score the winning goal. The award though goes to Anaise Corrigan. Was a threat up top throughout looking to get the ball down and turn to attack created a number of opportunities in front of goal, never gave the Colney Heath defence a break and fired home the vital equalising goal giving her side the belief to go on and win the game.

Stevenage FC Women Development 2023/24 Herts FA Women’s Trophy winners

 Congratulations to Stevenage FC Women Development on winning the inaugural Herts FA Women’s Trophy.

 A highly entertaining cup final to end the 2023/24. A competitive tussle full of drama, us neutrals loved it. My thanks to both club for the team details and Hertfordshire FA for their assistance today. That’s the 10th season done and dusted, well almost. Have loved almost every minute of it couldn’t do it without all the support from the players, their clubs, league volunteers and FA staff alike. All of it has been greatly appreciated. 

by Darren Gilham

Cup Final Special – Stevenage FC Women Development v Wormley Rovers Ladies

Sunday 19th May

ERWFL League Plate Final

Into the penultimate weekend of the season, and one more cup final doubles day to look forwards too, over to Newmarket Town FC once again this Sunday for the ERWFL Finals Day with the regional league’s show piece bringing an end the season across tiers 5 and 6 in the East. First up the League Plate Final, this season being contested by two of the league’s newcomers, Stevenage FC Women Development and Wormley Rovers Ladies.

 The ERWFL (Eastern Region Women’s Football League) hosting two cup competitions, the League Cup and Plate with the sides knocked out of the early rounds of the League Cup going on to contest the Plate. A slight change in format from previous years when the early rounds were contested by the Division one sides with the 12 Premier Division sides entering in the 3rd round.

The ERWFL League Plate

 This the first of two cup finals in 8 days for Stevenage FC Women Development/U23s, although the first should have been done and dusted back in March. Sadly that game against Coney Heath Ladies in the new Herts Women’s Trophy competition had to be abandoned due to a medical emergency, a Stevenage player collapsing on the pitch and had be rescheduled for this coming Sunday. First up the League Plate Stevenage’s Development side re-joining the ERWFL after a spell in the FAWNL Reserves section.

Going into Division One North, found it tough going early on collecting just 4 points from their opening 8 games but rallied towards the end of the season with an unbeaten run of 5 matches 4 wins and a draw to pull off the bottom eventually finishing 8th. That momentum in the league no doubt playing a part in their charge to two cup finals. Have had a large talent pool to draw from with 46 players used during the season, will no doubt benefit the 1st team playing in the league above. Stephanie Fausse the sides top scorers with 9 to her name this season with Ella Mercer on back on 8.

Wormley Rovers Ladies only formed a women’s side two season’s ago. Situated in a strong catchment pool of football clubs in south Hertfordshire. Going straight into the Beds & Herts Women’s Premier Division, were involved in a thrilling title race with the two sides who would eventually come up with them, taking the league title in their final game of the season a winner takes all game against Hertford Town Women at the top a 7 goal thriller Wormley Rovers Ladies won 4-3 to become Champions in their debut season. Going up into regional football entering Division One South this campaign.

  Haven’t found life quite so easy, have added experienced players to their squad as they looked to consolidate in tier 6. Struggling for results, have been near the bottom most of the season but keeping away from the bottom position, eventually recording an 8th placed finish like Stevenage, have saved their best form for the cup. Chelise Fleming firing in 39 goals in their debut season, has been top scorer once again this campaign, firing in 17 goals in 17 appearances. With Kasey Keen and Niamh Gallagher both on 6 goals. 

Road to the Final

  Both sides with a bye in the first round of the League Plate drawn away in the 2nd Round. Stevenage away to Division One South side, Stanway Pegasus Ladies. Remi Martin scoring a brace in the game with Holly Southam, Chloe Gregory and Ella Mercer all on target with a goal in a 5-2 win. Wormley taking on fellow Division One South side and the current late holders Hutton Ladies. A close game Wormley coming out on top to win the match 2-1 with Lily Marie Hanlon scoring both goals.

 Into the quarter finals, both sides on the road again, Stevenage taking on another Division One South side, Billericay Town Women Development. Stevenage winning the tie by the odd goal in 5 winning the contest 3-2 thanks to goals from Ella Mercer, Stephanie Fausse and Matilda Thomas O’Keefe. Wormley too taking on Division One South competition, close neighbours Cheshunt FC Women, goals from Chelise Fleming and Charis Howell securing a 2-1 victory to send Wormley into the last 4.

  Once again both sides drawn away. Stevenage playing fellow Division One North side, Biggleswade United Women, advanced into the final of the competition with Izzy Ruse and Thomas O’Keefe on target in a 2-0 win. A tough semi-final for Wormley as they were taking on Premier Division side, Barking FC Women, the hosts coring twice, Wormley firing back with goals from Fleming, Niamh Gallagher and Savannah Japal to secure a 3-2 victory and progress to the final. 

 Back to, Newmarket Town FC’s, Tristal Stadium the ground having hosted the Cambridgeshire Women’s League Cup Final on Friday evening and the men’s first team lay off final victory on Saturday. Now hosting the ERWFL Finals Day. The state of the art artificial playing surface in almost constant use hosting football of all ages throughout the season. A seated stand on one side beside the clubhouse and changing rooms. The bar open along with the kitchen hatch serving hot food and drinks. The weather perfect the temperature rising nicely, the sun high in the sky and little cloud around, certainly no rain forecast.

Stevenage FC Women Development

Stevenage FC Women Development starting XI – Lucy Fox, Mistie Fox-Baker, Sophie Afshar, Neave Wilson (C), Amana Oguntuga, Izzy Ruse, Chloe Gregory, Isobel Matfield, Stephanie Fausse, Ella Mercer & Matilda Thomas O’Keefe. Subs –  Holly Southam, Katie Boyle, Remi Martin. Freya Rice & Anaise Corrigan.

Wormley Rovers Ladies

 Wormley Rovers Ladies starting XI – Amy Jo Hebborn, Adel Mehmet, Gracie Manning, Katie Church, Aimee Burling, Rachel Daltrey (C), Maddie Lang, Charis Howell, Savannah Japal, Niamh Gallagher & Chelise Fleming. Subs – Nicole Cooper, Taila Kirkpatrick, Monique Marshall & Lily Marie Hanlon.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

The two sides walking out onto the pitch with the morning sun high in the sky. It’s Stevenage to kick-off the 1st half wearing red and white patterned shirts, red shorts and white socks. Wormley usually wearing black and red vertical striped shirts the ‘away’ side today wearing their change strip, lime green shirts with black shorts and socks. The ball lifted out to Amana Oguntuga attacking on the right for Stevenage fed on up the line for Ella Mercer, celebrating her birthday today to chase into the corner, Katie Church closing the ball down to put out of play in the corner for Wormley.

Played in deep cleared by Church out to the left for a Stevenage throw, looking to get on up the right Adel Mehmet sending in on for Savannah Japal, Mistie Fox Baker closing in for Stevenage in defence to halt the move. Wormley closing the ball down in the middle Maddie Lang on for Charis Howell played out to the left channel with Chelise Fleming pulling into space drives on looking to run into the box, Stevenage captain, Neave Wilson across to tackle regain possession.

Stevenage captain Neave Wilson moving in to tackle Wormley’s Chelise Fleming

Wormley press the ball comes to Niamh Gallagher wide left plays the ball into the area, central attacked by Fleming, slices her shot, cleared by Stevenage back out to the left for a throw. Looking for the long throw, into the edge of the box Stevenage defending look to break played up to Mercer, strong on the ball knocks it in behind for Matilda Thomas O’Keefe breaking clear left channel, Wormley goalkeeper, Amy Jo Hebborn out quickly to the top of her box to lay claim to the ball.

Evie Church clearing the ball for Wormley as Stevenage’s Matilda Thomas O’Keefe closes in

Stevenage lively at the start looking to move the ball quickly across the pitch, down the left a cross lifted over the bar. Wormley winning a throw high on their left, Gallagher and Fleming looking to team up on the ball, Wilson getting hold of the ball her clearance long dropping into the box, Thomas O’Keefe interested in a race with Manning on her shoulder the defender doing well to not only see the ball out but win a goal kick too.

Fleming making so promising runs up top, peeling left as Howell plays the ball into her, Sophie Afshar getting back at the attacker to close the ball down clear with her blocking tackle. Mercer running into the right corner after a high bouncing ball, Church and Manning linking up to get the ball up the field for Wormley.

Wormley’s Gracie Manning

Stevenage bring the ball on quickly through the middle into Thomas O’Keefe she fires the ball on with Mercer looking to make a run into the box right of goal, Manning coming to close her down, Hebborn rushes out sliding in to get hold of the ball, evades her grasp, inside her, Manning holds up Mercer as she attempts to reach it, Hebborn grounded stretching out an arm to get her glove around the ball pull it into her body.

Mercer and Thomas O’Keefe linking up well in the opening 10 minutes for Stevenage, Mercer left 25 yards out across the top of the D into Thomas O’Keefe goes to strike the ball, Manning charging it down. Positive from Stevenage. Fleming the outlet up top for Wormley as captain Rachel Daltrey finds her on the left combines with Gallagher on the wing the cross into the top of the area cleared.

Aimee Burling winning the ball at the back for Wormley to Mehmet on the left played up the wing for Japal getting on the move, plays the one two off Fleming inside her before angling the ball into the near post, caught cleanly by Stevenage goalkeeper, Lucy Fox. Fox tested again moment later as a Wormley shot is struck at her from distance, bouncing at her knees as she goes down for it, skips up, reacts sharply to grab it safely into her chest before Fleming can pounce.

Stevenage loose the ball at the back, Gallagher snatching it 20 yards out central, sends her shot high and wide. Howell is fouled as she carries the ball out to the left inside the Stevenage half. Over the set-piece herself, fires a high ball into the box far side knocked down back across to Fleming top of the area, Oguntuga on her shoulder, squeezes a shot away places it straight at the keeper.

Stevenage’s Isobel Matfield

Competitive in the middle of the park, Daltrey linking up with Fleming as the pair look to get Gallagher in on the right the pass a little heavy runs out of play. Another Wormley free-kick on the left played up into the area, Mercer up well to defend it heading the ball out for a throw on the left. Mercer clearing the ball long up to Thomas O’Keefe on the move left wing, is bundled over a free-kick won. Mercer coming up to take fired in with pace into the near post, Hebborn throwing herself to her left, saving turning the ball behind for a corner.

Wormley slow to play the ball out at times risk getting caught in possession, Thomas O’Keefe doing just that, 30 yards out central, pulls her shot wide of the right post. Mercer pressuring the ball on the right forcing Wormley to concede a corner kick. The delivery put into Wilson top of the area central shoots, rising, blocked appears to strike and outstretched hand Stevenage immediately appealing even as the deflected ball drops to Thomas O’Keefe at the far post close in turns the ball home on the angle, the goal won’t count however as the offside flag is raised against her. A frantic spell as Wormley counter attack the ball fired long up to Fleming to bring down 25 yards out left of the D, strikes the ball in low across goal, Fox with a superb save diving down to push the ball behind for a corner kick!

Busy game a lot happening, the corner kick curled in across the face of goal beyond the far post retrieved the cross however turned behind. The game open, Stevenage pushing on he ball cleared into Daltrey looks to put Fleming away in the left channel as she powers forwards, Afshar getting a vital foot in to nick the ball off the attacker or she was clear to attack the box.

Stevenage defender Sophie Afshar

Stevenage’s Izzy Ruse on the ball linking up with Isobel Matfield on for Chloe Gregory the final pass up to Thomas O’Keefe cut out by Church. Japal with the ball at her feet driving on down the right wing for Wormley, Fox Baker slides in to defend for Stevenage.

GOAL! Almost half an hour played Wormley fight to win back possession in the middle, Daltrey launching it forwards up towards the Stevenage box left of the D, Fleming looking out run on the shoulder of the back tracking defender, Fox comes racing out the other way to try and win the ball, goalkeeper and defender collide left in a heap on the floor, Fleming is still standing and in behind onto the loose ball, to walk it into the net to open the scoring 0-1.

Chelise Fleming putting Wormley into the lead

Stevenage on the attack from the restart Mercer finding Oguntuga breaking clear on the right down the line her cross squared into the box, Hebborn collecting it on the bounce on her penalty spot. Matfield putting the ball inside to Thomas O’Keefe, 35 yards out pulls her shot dragging it wide of the near post. Oguntuga offside as Mercer attempts to pick her out on the right.

Stevenage’s Ella Mercer

Wormley quick to get the ball forwards up the right Japal inside for Fleming breaking in behind, Fox taking no chances rushing out of her area to clear, takes the ball off the striker moving left, Fleming stealing the ball back has the keeper out of position as she powers her way back towards the box, the defence running back to cover the goal en masse her eventual shot, blocked and cleared.

Stevenage on the left Gregory with Matfield into Thomas O’Keefe inside the box the ball angled in low at the near post, Hebborn there to claim. Fleming strong up top making some forceful runs into the channels the midfield picking her out the ball clipped into her on the left forces her way into the box angling a low strike in across goal, Fox down smartly to save getting her body behind the ball.

Wormley pressure mounting as the 1st half draws to a close up on the right Japal with Fleming across in support the ball played in across the top of the area into Howell lays it into the path of Lang right of the D to strike on the run her shot blasted in at Fox, the keeper batting the ball away for a corner kick. The corner in across the six yard box, Stevenage look to get it clear but Wormley move to close the ball down.

Wormley’s Maddie Lang

A double change for Stevenage, Remi Martin and Katie Boyle coming on for Matfield and Fausse. Afshar doing well at the back for Stevenage getting in to tackle Fleming as the Wormley attacker surges towards the box off a Howell pass. A drinks break called late in the half with Mercer needing treatment for an injury, looks to be her knee, is determined to stay on and see if she can play on.

Mercer showing little sign of her knock as she gets in to break up a Wormley attack as Howell and Gallagher combine on the left. Fired up towards Thomas O’Keefe on the box, a coming together between her and Burling, the attacker coming off worse, needs treatment but up and allowed back onto the pitch as play resumes the first half moving into stoppage time. Church cutting the ball out at the back for Wormley as Mercer attempts to play Thomas O’Keefe in behind.

Moments left in the first half, Howell steals possession in the middle sends the ball out to Fleming pulling into the left channel, on the angle fires her shot in across the keeper, but wide of the far post too.

Half-time Stevenage FC Women Development 0-1 Wormley Rovers Ladies

  The sides head back into the changing room with Wormley holding the narrow lead at he break. Chelise Fleming capitalising on a mix up at the back to open the scoring on the half hour. Wormley a threat getting forwards out wide and into the channels. Stevenage though with a positive start had a goal ruled out for offside, and a penalty shout moment before. Two contracting sides, Stevenage’s young players looking to get the ball moving quickly. Wormley with the experience finding the gaps to exploit. Set up perfectly for the 2nd half.

Both sides keen to get going out early for the 2nd half, Wormley to get thing’s underway with a change, Monique Marshall on coming into the middle replacing Church with Daltrey dropping into defence. A triple switch for Stevenage with Martin, Boyle and Thomas O’Keefe of, Fausse and Matfield back on along with Anaise Corrigan going up top in attack. Just waiting on the officials to return, referee Francesca Catchpole a pretty decent striker in her on right leading her team out.

Wormley get the 2nd half going looking to get straight on the attack, Marshall onto the ball clipping it out to the right Afshar defending as Fleming looks to go after the ball.

GOAL! Wormley pressing the ball into Japal inside right with Fleming ahead of her played across the top of the Stevenage area into Gallagher left corner turns the ball back up the line for Howell, who puts her foot through the ball angling a shot in with power high past the diving Fox to crash into the back of the net 0-2. 

Charis Howell fires Wormley into a 2 goal lead early in the 2nd half

A huge blow for Stevenage early in the 2nd half, Wormley out of the blocks quickly to double their lead. Bringing the ball on down the right played on Fausse looks to link up with Corrigan in attack, Japal racing back to help defend nicking the ball back for Wormley. Marshall making an impact for Wormley coming off the bench strong getting after the ball deep on the left with Japal the ball cleared forwards Fleming looking to attack it right channel heading for the box, Fox out well to gather the ball into her body.

Marshall lifting the diagonal ball out to Japal on the right squares her cross into the top of the area looking for Fleming, Fox again rushing on to get hold of the ball. Wormley strong on the ball, Marshall attacking right side of the area, Afshar on her shoulder sends the ball across the area into Gallagher left side her shot straight at the keeper. Wormley with a dominant start to the 2nd half.

Wormley’s Monique Marshall

Howell 25 out moving across the top of the Stevenage D, playing the ball off the outside of her boot out to Gallagher on the left, her cross cut out by Wilson, Ruse looking to bring it away is quickly closed down. Marshall fouled by Gregory wide on the right. players up to the top of the area as she stands over the resulting set-piece, puts a dangerous ball into the corridor, Fox with the acrobatic save to push the ball away from danger out for a corner on the left.

Lucy Fox with the acrobatic save to turn the ball wide for a corner.

The corner played short up the line to Fleming, turning as she breaks into the top corner of the box, fires her shot up over the cross bar. Mehmet pressing the ball, getting it up field on the right channel, Fleming bursting forwards, seeing the ball drop over her shoulder as she runs into the box, drills her shot into the side netting, a slight touch off a Stevenage player on it’s way through a corner awarded.

Adel Mehmet with Stevenage’s Anaise Corrigan

  The corner played in from the right comes out to Japal positioned outside the D, goes to shoot, stretching as she connects with the ball falling back dragging her shot wide away past the left post, pulls up immediately in pain, suffering from a nasty bout of cramp. Almost an hour played, Wormley make the change Taila Kirkpatrick on to replace Japal.

Mistie Fox Baker defending against, Wormley’s Chelise Fleming

  Fox Baker getting onto the ball for Stevenage left side rolled on for Gregory bursts on down the wing all the way to the by-line cutting into the box her cross put into the side netting. Stevenage looking to up the tempo as Mercer gathers the ball into her feet looks to travel, moving central is bundled over the advantage played as Corrigan races in behind after the ball, Hebborn though sprinting out to the top of her box to reach the ball first.

  Marshall lifting the ball on for Kirkpatrick looking to get on for Wormley up the right, Fox Baker getting her tackle in as the pair race to the by-line. Howell latching onto a shot from distance smashes the ball over the Stevenage crossbar. Stevenage making a double change bringing of Matfield and Afshar, on come Thomas O’Keefe and Holly Southam. Wormley strong through the middle the ball fed into Gallagher outside the D, lays it off for Fleming, turns inside to shoot from all of 25 yards out angling in across goal to the far post. Fox pushing it away to her left.

  Stevenage look to turn play around in the middle, Fausse turning on the ball to thread a pass in behind for Corrigan to attack, Hebborn racing out the other way to try and close the angle, Corrigan attempting to knock the ball wide past her to have a chance on goal, the keeper though with an excellent save stretching out her arm to get her glove on the ball snatch the ball.

Amy Jo Hebborn getting her arm out well to stop the ball getting past her.

  Fausse taking the ball out to the left attacking for Stevenage whips a cross/shot into the near post, Hebborn down to stop it knocked across the face of goal, Daltrey running back with Corrigan holding the attacker off. Stevenage with a set-piece out wide on the right curled into the box by Mercer, Hebborn up well pushing it down out away from her goal, runners closing in no one can get a touch the ball hooked clear. 

Amy Jo Hebborn up to save, Ella Mercer’s free-kick

  Wormley getting on the counter attack the ball long through the middle with Marshall providing the run strong into the box looking to get between the back tracking centre backs, Wilson getting it back to Fox, the keepers clearance striking Fox Baker full in the face leaving her floored in the box, play stopped immediately as she is treated a lengthy pause players taking on fluids.

 Fox Baker back up on her feet, as the game rolls into the final quarter hour, Fleming coming for the ball, turns and pushes into the right channel, Southam getting back into her to tackle for Stevenage. Burling in to break up a Stevenage attack clears the ball long up to Fleming breaking into the right channel, Fox Baker running back into the box after her getting her foot on the ball to play it behind for a corner kick. The delivery short into Howell curls a cross in towards the far post, headed behind.

Stevenage’s Holly Southam

  Wormley with the ball left in the corner Gallagher up the line for Fleming played in central, Mehmet latching onto the shot, dipping right in front of her Fox almost wrong footed adjusting quickly to get hold of the ball. Lang linking up with Marshall though the middle, on for Fleming the pass cut out by Southam. Oguntuga defending for Stevenage on the left stays on Marshall well as she looks to get onto the ball fed into the right channel getting a foot on the ball to block as Marshall crosses. the ball out for a throw in the corner.

Stevenage’s Amana Oguntuga with Worley’s Taila Kirkpatrick

 Dropped into Marshall on the by-line holds it up before rolling it back for Fleming to send a cross in across the face of goal, Gallagher attacking it at the far post inside the six yard box twisting to head the ball sees it cannon back off the post before the Stevenage defence scramble clear. 

Wormley’s Niamh Gallagher

  Fausse getting onto the end of a diagonal ball played across to her as she pulls away to the left squaring her cross into the top of the Wormley area, Burling doing the defending on Corrigan as she goes for the ball. Howell coming off for Wormley, Lily Marie Hanlon coming on. 85 minutes on the clock. Ruse sending the ball out to Fausse on the left angles the ball into the area, Hebborn letting everyone in the stadium know it’s hers as she comes out to gather the ball into her gloves.

  Another change for Wormley Manning coming off at the back, Church back on. Marshall fouled for Wormley on halfway as she looks to bring the ball on. The free-kick looping up into the area, dropping sharply in front of Fox, shoves the ball away, falls straight to Fleming on the penalty spot, her shot charged down.


  Mercer’s knee injury flaring up again, needs to come off, Martin sent on. Wormley have managed the game well their attackers pulling out wide, Marshall pushing on from midfield with space to run into, Fleming a ready outlet going forwards. The attacker seeing the ball into her feet dribbling forwards through the middle unleashing a shot 25 yards out, low into the box gathered by Fox. 10 minutes of stoppage time to be played, the game halted with an injury to Mehmet at the back for Wormley.

  GOAL! The defender back up on her feet play resuming with a drop ball, knocked long up towards the Stevenage box, bouncing in the area, Fox can’t get to it as Fleming central looks to get a touch knocked past Fox into the goal beyond 0-3.

Chelise Fleming forcing the ball home for Wormley’s 3rd goal

 A 3rd goal surely sealing the win for Wormley with the game into stoppage time. Kirkpatrick carrying the ball out to the right forwards for Fleming her touch to heavy the pass running out of play. Wormley keeping the ball well in stoppage time driving forwards looking to get the ball into the box, Gallagher wide left seeing her cross blocked, comes back up the line to Lang then Hanlon a shot fired in on the angle, straight at Fox.

  Fleming shooting narrowly wide of the right post as she controls the ball 30 yards from goal. Time almost up Stevenage lifting the ball forwards up to Corrigan in attack, turns on the ball driving into the left channel, riding a tackle stays on her feet to stab the ball on for Thomas O’Keefe racing into the box on the angle fires her shot wide across goal. The final whistle blows and Wormley celebrate winning the ERWFL League Plate in their debut season in regional football.

Full time Stevenage FC Women Development 0-3 Wormley Rovers Ladies

  An entertaining final between two contrasting sides, Wormley using their experience and strength will making a brilliant start to the 2nd half, doubling their lead in the 46th minute to press the advantage. Got the ball into their attacking players quickly and drove at the Stevenage defence forcing them back stretching play at times. Stevenage’s youngster kept going looking to pick out their attacking players in the channels, Wormley though comfortable at the back for the large part, Hebborn with a couple of useful saves too.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time for the 1st Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, asked to choose the player of the match on the day too. Luckily this one an easy decision in the finish a clear contender emerging early on. A few performances of note to mention. Firstly for Stevenage, Ella Mercer having to play through the pain barrier at times got about the pitch well looking to find space up top and link up with the attackers, won the ball well. Izzy Ruse too getting her tackles in to win the ball in the middle, Sophie Afshar and Mistie Fox Baker with some vital tackles at the back. For Wormley, Amy Jo Hebborn with a couple of important stops in the 2nd half to ensure Wormley’s two goal lad remained intact. Charis Howell getting about the middle of the park into some great positions a great strike for the 2nd goal. Monique Marshall making an impact coming off the bench for the 2nd half, strong with some forceful runs on the ball linked up well with the attack. The award though goes to Chelise Fleming. Made some fantastic runs up top. Pulling into the channels strong on the ball putting the Stevenage defence under pressure opening the scoring a willing runner throughout.

Wormley Rovers Ladies 2023/24 ERWFL League Plate winners

 Congratulations to Wormley Rovers Ladies on winning this season’s ERWFL League Plate.

 An enjoyable first final of the day. My thanks to both sides for their help with the teams today. Stevenage disappointed, but have another final to prepare for next weekend, Wormley ending their season on a high. Time to find something to eat, get ready for this afternoon’s match.

by Darren Gilham