Sunday 14th May
Norfolk Women’s League Cup Final
Time for a quick bite to eat before moving onto the 2nd of today’s finals the Norfolk Women’s League Cup being contested by Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women and UEA FC Women.
The third of three women’s finals taking place today with the League Plate and 7’s League Cup Finals earlier now onto the senior cup competition, the 11’s League Cup, the cloud lifting with some welcome sunshine warming things up.
Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women victorious in the League Plate Final last season going all the way this time around looking to lift the League Cup, hoping to win some silverware to end what has been a successful season, pipped to the Division One title by Mulbarton Belles Ladies despite leading the way for much of the season two games against their main rivals to end the season proving the difference. Ambitions to test the squad at a higher level have applied for regional football along with Mulbarton and based on my knowledge of the 6th tier both would certainly be a competitive force. Shanice Sutton the top scorer for Dussindale & Hellesdon and 2nd highest scorer in the league netting 32 goals so far from 18 appearances with Vitoria Leyer on target 17 times from 13 games played. Plenty of goals from the rest of the squad too with Dussindale & Hellesdon averaging 4.6 goals scored per game throughout the season.
UEA (University of East Anglia) FC Women re establishing their women’s side last season, with a strong campaign in Division Two finishing runners-up behind Caister FC Ladies to earn promotion to Division One. Hit the ground running this season winning 5 of their opening 6 league games showing great form also knocking Mulbarton Belles Ladies out of the League Cup. Have been hampered by injuries and availability at times since and the 2nd half of the season has proved a challenge have slipped down the table after a run of 9 straight defeats in the league. Have fought hard to turn thing’s around saving their best results for the cup and with 2 league games left after today’s final will be aiming to finish the season on a high. Ella Burnley their leading goal scorer firing home 12 goals so far this season from 19 games, with Freya Fuller one behind on 11 from the 12 games she has featured in.
Road to the Final
Dussindale & Hellesdon receiving a home win in the first round of the competition over Mulbarton Belles Ladies Development. UEA drawn away to Division Two side, FC Viking & Valkyries Women, proving too strong for their opponents racking up a 7-0 score line to progress into the 2nd Round.
Dussindale & Hellesdon again progressing without kicking a ball as they were awarded the away win over Division Two side Gorleston FC Ladies who were soon to sadly fold. UEA handed a tough tie away to one of the cup favourites Mulbarton, 1st half goals from Ella Burnley and Rachel Lawrence proving to be enough as UEA worked hard in the 2nd half to keep Mulbarton from coming back winning 2-1.
Into the last 8 and Dussindale & Hellesdon were away to fellow Division One side long Stratton Women for the 2nd successive Sunday in cup competitions a 3-0 win on a cold January day to see them advance in the County Cup have enjoyed so entertaining games with Long Stratton and this one proving no different, Chelsea Brister and Shanice Sutton on target in the first half to see Dussindale & Hellesdon leading 2-1 at half-time, Long Stratton coming back to equalise to make it 2-2 send the tie into extra-time the hosted then seeing Sam Walker sent off with Dussindale & Hellesdon taking full advantage of the player advantage with Sutton going on to score twice, get a hat-trick with Georgina Belton adding on at the death to see them through to the last 4 5-2. UEA away to Bungay Town Ladies, Ella Burnley scoring twice in the first half doing the damage to see UEA 2-0 up after a strong half, Bungay improving in the 2nd period but could find no way through a stubborn UEA defence as the visitors booked their place in the semi-finals.
A strong line up in the last 4, Dussindale & Hellesdon at home to Caister FC Ladies the two meeting in last season’s League Plate final, Dussindale & Hellesdon winning 6-0, proved to be a potent in front of goal this time around too, Victoria Leyer getting them off to a flying start scoring in the 1st minute adding a 2nd in the 2nd minute, Caister pulling a goal back to make it 2-1 at the break. Leyer going onto complete her hat-trick early in the 2nd period. A strong finish seeing 3 more goals added in the final 20 minutes with Georgina Belton, Betty Booker and Tallulah Bell all on target in a 6-1 win. UEA at home to Thetford Town Ladies were leading 1-0 in the match before the visitors came back with a devastating spell in the 2nd half to win the game 3-1… however ultimately Thetford much to their disappointment were adjudged to have fielded an ineligible player seeing the semi-final being replayed. No less drama 2nd time around, Mia Bambury and Kamile Omelevlclute scoring for Thetford, Ella Burnley and Cassandra Piejko scoring for UEA to send the tie into extra-time and then penalties, UEA edging a tense shootout 7-6 to reach the League Cup Final.
Aylsham FC’s Youngs Park hosting the NWGFL Finals Days for the 2nd successive season. The large clubhouse newly build surrounded by numerous grass pitches the main pitch with a barrier all round, the BBQ in full swing now helped myself to a cheeseburger and portion of chips from the kitchen, much needed fuel before sitting up for the 2nd final of the day. The cloud burnt off now bright sunshine getting warm as the spectators arrived.
Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women starting XI – Tyla Cole, Rachel Bussey, Siesha Humphries, Calista Tink (C), Georgina Belton, Abbi Nobbs, Chloe Shipman, Abby Hutchin, Chelsea Brister, Shanice Sutton & Victoria Leyer. Subs – Kari Kowalczyk, Hanna Coombe, Amee Kennett & Phoebe Green.
UEA FC Women starting XI – Anoushka Williamson, Tasha Harvey, Madeline Pitt, Lucy Gooding (C), Olivia Seeley, Amber Long, Freya Standing, Freya Fuller, Chloe Neate, Cassandra Piejko & Ella Burnley Subs – Lilly Brewer, Mia Everett, Tegan Collier, Prini Woods & Charlotte Stelmaszyk.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Both sides with a few missing through injury, Georgina Belton dropping into the defence for Dussindale & Hellesdon while UEA have 5 or 6 likely starters side-lined through injury, have been hard pressed to name a regular starting XI all season. Nevertheless both have a large squad with players ready to step in. This mornings officials back for the League Cup Final, Craig Day running the line in the 1st game in the centre now with Ryan Starkey and David Fairhurst running the lines.
UEA to get the League Cup Final underway kicking off the first half wearing an all navy kit with yellow trim on the shirts, Dussindale & Hellesdon opposite lined up in their claret coloured kit. The ball played back comes to Olivia Seeley on the left played up to Cassandra Piejko knocked inside for Amber Long as UEA look to push through the centre played up to Ella Burnley in attack holds the ball up before rolling it back into Freya Standing a free-kick given away halting the attack.
Dussindale & Hellesdon get hold of the ball in the middle Chloe Shipman playing it forwards into Victoria Leyer in attack sends the short ball out to Shanice Sutton on the right corner of the UEA box gets a shot away on the angle, straight at UEA goalkeeper, Anoushka Williamson, saves comfortably. Both sides into each other from the start closing one another down, no time allowed on the ball, Leyer taking the ball on across the top of the area 20 yards out for Dussindale & Hellesdon, tracked well by Standing who lunges in to tackle wins the ball.
Dussindale & Hellesdon come left Siesha Humphries putting the ball on for Chelsea Brister, quickly closed down by Tasha Harvey, Leyer taking on the loose ball before too being closed down outside the box by Madeline Pitt. Dussindale & Hellesdon pushing on at the start of the game the front three pressing UEA back into their box the ball rolled inside from the left coming to Sutton some 30 yards out pulls the trigger sending a shot wide of the right post. Seeley looking to take the ball on up the left for UEA sees her cross cut out by Dussindale & Hellesdon’s Rachel Bussey.
GOAL! Dussindale & Hellesdon capitalising on their positive start to the game by taking the lead n the 6th minute, attacking on the left Brister lifting the ball into the box, cleared by Harvey play congested inside the area the ball regained by Dussindale & Hellesdon lifted back inside for Leyer to attack left of the goal six yards out strong to hold off her marker turns getting her foot up to the ball to send it wide of the keeper into the back of the net 1-0.
UEA conceding an early goal look to rally straight away Standing putting the ball out to the right for Freya Fuller, driving on looks to take on the full back, however can’t keep the ball in play goes out for a goal kick. UEA winning a free-kick with a handball spotted on halfway players up into the box the delivery long to the far post, captain Calista Tink heading clear for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Shipman with the ball setting off through the middle for Dussindale & Hellesdon, Long with the challenge for UEA.
Sutton tussling with the UEA defence for the ball top of the area, outnumbers but looking to get hold of the ball, ultimately frustrated giving away the free-kick as Fuller looks to take the ball out to the left. Fuller with a strong run on the ball left side for UEA tracking inside laying it forwards towards the area, Dussindale & Hellesdon goalkeeper, Tyla Cole out well to the top of her box to claim the ball. Neither side able to play much flowing football as they both continue to rush in to close the ball down, scrappy at times, UEA captain Lucy Gooding in the back line intercepting a through ball intended for Leyer.
Leyer coming inside form the left on the ball shooting off target from 25 yards out. Gooding with the clearance at the back a long ball finding Chloe Neate out wide right, turns on the ball looking to drive on, Humphries quickly into her to tackle regain possession for Dussindale & Hellesdon. Pitt getting up on the right with Neate UEA forcing a corner kick. Lifted in near side, attacked by Fuller can only direct her header behind for a goal kick.
Pitt bringing down Shipman in midfield sees the UEA player picking up an early yellow card. Brister over the set-piece left of the circle, tries her luck a good hit sending her shot narrowly over the crossbar. A lively contest UEA looking to get the ball out to Neate and Fuller on the flanks run at the Dussindale & Hellesdon full backs, Long finding Neate on the right opts to shoot on the angle a low drive into towards the near post from 25 yards out not troubling Cole.
Dussindale & Hellesdon attacking on the left winning a throw lifted into the box for Sutton, Harvey getting across her to defend for UEA. The game frantic in terms of pace at time as the ball is exchanged between the sides Dussindale & Hellesdon turning play around to attack left channel with Sutton on the move with Brister, Humphries bombing on on the over laps the ball rolled on down the line, Pitt out to her to clear the ball for the throw. Alot of energy being expanded both sides into each other a few rash challenges, thing’s need to settle down.
Dussindale & Hellesdon look to make a double change, bringing off Sutton and Humphries and sending on Kari Kowalczyk and Amee Kennett. UEA making a change too, Prini Woods coming on replacing Long. UEA attacking up on their right the ball squared into Burnley inside the area near side, Tink sliding in to make the tackle coming off the defender for a corner kick. The delivery headed back out to the taker wide the cross/shot back in wide at the near post.
Abbi Nobbs and Shipman working hard in the middle to win possession back for Dussindale & Hellesdon, Nobbs fouled by Standing as she looks to link up with Abby Hutchin making a break through the middle. The game stretched as Dussindale & Hellesdon counter Kowalczyk on the left putting the ball inside for Leyer in attack, put back into Hutchin out to Bussey advanced on the right her cross lifted into the area cut out by Gooding. As quickly as Dussindale & Hellesdon can spring an attack they are equally adapt at regrouping at the back the midfielders tracking back well, Shipman covering alot of ground.
Pitt blocking Leyer as he picks the ball up on the left outside the area looks to turn and shoot. UEA springing a counter attack, Gooding with a great pass on her picking out Burnley getting hold of the ball 30 yards out and turning to strike the ball racing wide of the left post. Another double switch with Brister and Nobbs coming off for Dussindale & Hellesdon with Phoebe Green and Hannah Coombes entering the game late in the first half.
Williamson with a magnificent save for UEA off Leyer as she latches onto a clearance, shooting low across the keeper, Williamson down sharply low to to throw out an arm glove the ball wide for a corner. The set-piece lifted into a packed area cleared by the UEA defence. Gooding in on Kowalczyk to win the ball top of the area left as Bussey puts the diagonal ball into her. Fuller pressing on the right for UEA the cross swept into the area cleared by Tink back out to the right a corner won, Harvey coming towards the corner hear side helping it on across goal no one able to reach it.
Both sides continue to niggle at each other no quarter given, Shipman running to close down Pitt as she attempts to get forwards. UEA winning a free-kick wide on the right out in deep from Harvey, headed clear by Belton back out to the right the looping ball back into the area landing on the roof of the net. Belton picking up a yellow card for Dussindale & Hellesdon as she brings down Burnley taking a run at the defence. Neate on the ball lifted forwards into the area Dussindale & Hellesdon clearing as the half-time whistle blows.
Half-time Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women 1-0 UEA FC Women
Certainly a competitive 1st half both sides working hard to close the other down, little time for anyone on the ball. Victoria’s Leyer’s 6th minute goal the difference between the sides at the break. Dussindale & Hellesdon starting well pressing the UEA defence back, the game beginning to open up as the ball was closed down, UEA getting the ball out wide often end to end in nature as Dussindale & Hellesdon counter well creating chances Leyer seeing a shot saved late in the first half UEA getting into some good positions but as yet to really test the keeper, 1 goal in it however still very much to play for.
Really warm now as both side return for the 2nd half, Dussindale & Hellesdon to get the game restarted the ball rolled back to Tink in defence out to Bussey moving forwards on the right, plays the ball long looking for Leyer Gooding winning it for UEA. The ball played into Burnley in midfield lifts it out to Neate breaking on down the right her cross cut back into the D, cleared by Coombe for Dussindale & Hellesdon.
Coombe then picking up a yellow card for a high boot on Standing. Fuller getting hold of the ball in the middle for UEA driving on into the Dussindale & Hellesdon half encouraged to shoot’ lets fly from 25 yards out blasts the ball wide of the left post. Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a corner out on the right players up from the back, Tink coming to head the ball near side picking up an head injury play stopped immediately for the trainer to come on administer treatment, Tink is okay and able to play on.
A lively start to the 2nd half, Woods up into Fuller edge of the box looks to turn closely marked by Belton the defender getting a foot in to take the ball. Kowalczyk bursting on with the ball left side for Dussindale & Hellesdon, Neate tracking back on her to challenge as Gooding comes across to clear the ball. Quite intense you feel Dussindale & Hellesdon need another goal to try and settle the game down, UEA pressing well. Belton under pressure as Burnley links up with Standing through the middle, deals with the threat to clear the ball.
Kowalczyk bringing the ball inside linking up with Leyer in attack the Dussindale and Hellesdon striker pulling right to shoot 25 yards out her effort dipping in front of the keeper caught by Williamson on the bounce. Tink throwing herself in to block Burnley as she lines up a strike left side of the D. Coombe spraying the pass out for Green racing on up the line right wing her cross dipping into the near post met by Leyer on the volley turned over at close range.
Fuller bringing the ball on for UEA out to Neate on the right, Bussey tackling for Dussindale & Hellesdon, Belton clearing for the throw in the corner. UEA pressure the ball inside the box to Standing comes back to Woods top of the area is rapidly closed down. Dussindale & Hellesdon bringing Humpies back on for Kennett. Neate advancing on the right for UEA her cross coming into Burnley inside the box, Belton challenging for Dussindale & Hellesdon the ball out for a throw in the corner. Pressure from UEA on the right appeals for handball the decision finally given a free-kick wide above the area, played into the area cleared back to Neate the free-kick taker, goes down after a challenge with Kowalczyk struggling can’t continue is brought off with Mia Everett coming on.
Green flying up the right into the corner for Dussindale & Hellesdon cutting a cross back into the area, Williamson just about getting there before Leyer. Dussindale & Hellesdon press the ball high up the pitch winning a free-kick outside the box to the right of goal in the 66th minute.
GOAL! Coombe over the dead ball 20 plus yards out from goal players up from the back the ball struck low driven in towards the far corner, Belton running in getting the telling touch to send the ball home to double Dussindale & Hellesdon’s lead 2-0.
Gooding across to put in the blocking tackle on Leyer left outside the area as she receives the ball from Green advancing up the wing. Dussindale bringing of Kowalczyk bringing Brister back on on the left of attack.
GOAL! UEA with a quick reply to falling 2 goals behind coming right back to pull a goal back with Fuller driving on with the ball left channel to the edge off the area playing it into Burnley central inside the D shows great skill and close ball control as she shifts the the ball between her feet on the turn before lashing a shot past the keeper inside the left post 2-1.
Game on with 20 minutes left to play UEA getting it back to a single goal. Dussindale & Hellesdon win the ball in the middle Hutchin getting hold of it powering her way forwards eventually stopped as 3 UEA players converge on her, Leyer taking on the loose ball out right top of the box in low pushed wide by the keeper.
Another player down for UEA, Piejko retuning to the action. Nobbs back on for Coombe. The game intense as Dussindale & Hellesdon press on with the ball Humphries picking the ball up central driving towards the area, Pitt closing her down coming together both go down outside the D, UEA incredulous as the free-kick goes against them, furious feeling it should have gone the other way!
GOAL! Nobbs over the set-piece for Dussindale & Hellesdon in a very dangerous position central 20 yards out, catches her strike beautifully the lift the ball up over the wall and looping down over the keeper into the back of the net 3-1.
UEA seething, furious at the decision to award the free-kick in the first place falling 3-1 behind as a result of it being given vent their opinions, their woes further increased as Piejko is sent off for decent after being asked to repeat her original comment, UEA down to 10, worse still as Burnley with an outburst is shown a yellow card and sin binned for 10 minutes. UEA down to 9! The game turned on a sixpence.
Belton looking to exploit the player advantage sweeping a diagonal ball up to Brister on the left, striking the ball from distance sees it race wide of the far post. Sutton back on for Dussindale & Hellesdon replacing Leyer. Dussindale & Hellesdon able to come on as UEA try to claim themselves down, Green volleying over at the far post as Brister sweeps in cross from deep on the left. Shipman with a shot driven in on the angle Williamson taking it into her midriff.
GOAL! Dussindale & Hellesdon all over UEA now as they press on Green breaking into the area on the ball, Gooding nibbling at her with the challenge, Green staying on her feet to strike the ball low across the keeper into the bottom corner. 4-1.
Hard work for UEA now, Dussindale & Hellesdon with a double switch taking off Humphries and Bussey on come Kennett and Kowalczyk. The game moving into the final 5 minutes of regular time Fuller off for UEA, Tegan Collier on as they look to hold Dussindale & Hellesdon back. Standing back to defend on Hutchin as she gets the ball fed into her feet from the left.
GOAL! Hutchin with a wonderful strike from distance to bring up Dussindale & Hellesdon’s fifth goal. All of 30 yards out to the right of the area connects with the shot to curl the ball into the top left corner to score a beauty 5-1.
Burnley back on for UEA as Dussindale & Hellesdon press on through the middle Shipman into Sutton holding off a defender as she breaks into the area gets a shot away the keeper holding onto the ball. Burnley looking to break through the Dussindale & Hellesdon defence stopped by the offside flag. The game deep into stoppage time Dussindale & Hellesdon winning a free-kick out wide on the left the ball flung in towards the far post headed clear by UEA as the final whistle blows.
Full time Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women 5-1 UEA FC Women
Dussindale & Hellesdon winning the Norfolk Women’s League Cup Final 5-1. The score line not reflection the balance of the game, a controversial free-kick with 0 minutes to go altering the course of the game Dussindale & Hellesdon scoring from it to go 3-1 ahead pushed all the way by UEA until then an intense game boiling over UEA furious with the decision getting two players sent off, Dussindale & Hellesdon taking advantage to score two more goals to settle what could well have been a nervy end to the game. A battling performance from both sides closing each other down with little time on the ball for anyone played at a high tempo. Dussindale & Hellesdon leading by a single goal at the break a close contest, needed a 2nd goal getting it UEA came straight back to make it 2-1 with 20 minutes to go. A huge effort from UEA played their part in the final made Dussindale & Hellesdon work for the win.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto the 2nd Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award of the day. Again another tough one with several contenders on both sides to mention. For UEA, Madeline Pitt making some great tackles at the back, Captain Lucy Gooding reading the game well getting in position to intercept and win the ball, her long range passes useful for the counter. Freya Standing and Prini Woods getting after the ball in the middle while Freya Fuller was outstanding making several strong runs through the middle and out wide. For Dussindale & Hellesdon Georgina Belton had a great match at the back in defence winning the ball and preventing the attackers turning. Victoria Leyer up top taking the ball on getting into some great positions inside the box opening the scoring. The award though goes to Chloe Shipman, bossed the midfield getting about the pitch to win the ball, making some useful runs forwards.
Congratulations to Dussindale & Hellesdon Rovers FC Women on winning this season’s Norfolk Women’s League Cup
An enjoyable day at Youngs Park watch the League Plate and Cup Finals my thanks to everyone for their help today two entertaining games. Plenty of football action still to come a busy week ahead before the excitements all over…
by Darren Gilham