Tag Archives: Woodbridge Town Ladies

Cup Final Special – Woodbridge Town Ladies v Brantham Athletic Ladies

Wednesday 3rd May

Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final

Back on the cup final trail with a midweek trip to Ipswich to watch the final of this season’s Suffolk Women’s League Cup between Woodbridge Town Ladies and Brantham Athletic Ladies.

The Suffolk Women’s Football League once again featuring two divisions a 7 strong Premier Division and 6 sides contesting the Championship below. Initially looking to be alot larger but unfortunately some late pull outs saw numbers reduced, still encouraging signs for future growth with several clubs showing interest in starting up a women’s side for the new season. Stowupland Falcon’s Women looking firm favourites to clinch the Premier Division title in just their 3rd season playing at this level. Ipswich Exiles Ladies winning the Championship in their debut season a fantastic achievement.

This evening’s prize (photo credit SGWFL)

Woodbridge Town Ladies through to the League Cup Final for the 2nd successive season. Reaching the final last season after a tough campaign, were struggling for numbers at times during that season and were to finish bottom of the league, the signs already in place that thing’s were improving. Lost that final 4-0 against Holland Ladies. Come into this season’s final as the favourites enjoying a long unbeaten run that has now extended to 13 matches. Have regrouped well under manger Charlie Jackson becoming a side that is hard to beat, while carrying a goal threat up the other end. Sadie Jamieson top scorer weighing in with 12 goals from 12 appearances while Jess Oxlade joining from East Bergholt has 6 goals so far.

Brantham Athletic Ladies the longest established side in the Suffolk Women’s League. That said they were in real danger of folding during the summer losing players also injuries and unavailability playing there part, struggling for results. Daniel Claxton coming in November to help coach the side along side manager Matthew Gribben. Brantham have been working hard to improve their fitness and make changes to best suit the players available to them pulling clear of the bottom have saved their best form for their cup run to this season’s final and with morale improving are confident of a better future. Stacey Teager top scorer with 9 goals from 5 games sadly unavailable for this evenings game. Captain, Lucy Dunnett has netted 5 so far with Chloe Wilson scoring 4.

Road to the Final

Woodbridge receiving a bye in the 1st Round of the competition. Brantham were at home to Championship newcomers Ipswich Valley Rangers Women. A comfortable result in the finish going a long way to set up the run to the final 5-0 the final score. 

Woodbridge drawn away to Championship side Leiston St Margarets Ladies in the quarter final, proved resilient opposition, Amy Cook’s 1st half strike proving the difference with Woodbridge  emerging 1-0 victors.  Brantham handed a tough test in the quarter finals away to Brettvale Ladies one on the strongest sides in the Premier Division. Brantham though were beginning to turn thing’s around working hard to secure a 1-1 at full time send the game into extra-time. Scoring two more goals to win their spot in the last 4 of the competition winning 3-1.

  Woodbridge at home to fellow Premier Division side Needham Market Women Development in their semi-final. Dep into their unbeaten run with a determination to reach a 2nd successive final, goals from Natalie Claridge and Taylor Cooke were to see Woodbridge win 2-1 to progress. Brantham paired at home to defending cup holders, Holland Ladies in their semi-final. Another tough game, plenty of goals scored with the sides level a 4-4 after the 90 minutes! Chloe Wilson netting a brace for Brantham, along with strikes for Stacey Teager and captain, Lucy Dunnett. No further goals in extra-time saw the semi-final settled from the penalty spot, Brantham edging it 6-5 to win through to the final.

 This evening’s final at the SEH Sports Ground on Humber Doucy Lane, home to Ipswich Wanderers FC. Has been several years since I’ve seen a women’s football match on this ground. Ipswich Town Women hosting a few there. With a large parking area before the stadium the clubhouse and bar, along with kitchen hut serving hot food and drinks leading out to the pitch itself with standing viewing on three sides along with covered viewing opposite the dugouts with two small seated stands. A good sized crowd in attendance. The grass pitch looking in good condition for the time of season. The weather having been warm and sunny all day the temperature was beginning to drop sharply with a nip in the air still likely to stay dry for the game.

Woodbridge Town Ladies

Woodbridge Town Ladies starting XI – Florence Dickin, Alice Ager (C), Molly Nicholson, Natalie Claridge, Caitlin Howe, Tayler Cooke, Lucy Eagle, Stacey Hadley, Jess Oxlade, Amy Cook & Sadie Jamieson. Subs – Grace Murphy, Eloisa Bruce, Rhianna Kiwomya, Izzy Owen & Pippa King.

Brantham Athletic Ladies

 Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI – Connie Madley, Shannan Hill, Aimee Berry, Issey Bines, Charlotte Archer, Laura Tuley, Lucy Dunnett (C), Chloe Wilson, Sophie Crabtree, Ellie Robus-Miller & Lucy Elmes. Subs – Frances Turner, Jessica Ryan, Lucy Penn, Harriett Young, Shannon Giles.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Both sides able to name a squad of 16 for the final with 5 players each on the bench to choose from during the match, walking onto the pitch with their young mascots. Woodbridge nicknamed the Woodpeckers joined by the club’s mascot Woody. It’s Woodbridge to get the 2022/23 Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final underway kicking off the 1st half wearing black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks. Brantham lined up opposite wearing an all dark blue coloured kit. The ball rolled back into the middle, Brantham captain Lucy Dunnett rushing forwards to close the ball down, comes out to Ellie Robus-Miller on the right for Brantham drives forwards, Molly Nicholson defending for Woodbridge the ball out for the throw in.

  High in the corner on the right, Brantham getting the ball down and cross into the Woodbridge area, Jess Oxlade back to clear for Woodbridge out for Caitlin Howe wide right the full back taking the ball on, tackled by Brantham’s left back Aimee Berry. A positive start from both sides getting after each other looking to win the ball. Dunnett sent tumbling in front of the dugouts winning Brantham a free-kick on the halfway line, the back launched forwards into the area, claimed confidently by Woodbridge goalkeeper, Florence Dickin.

  The ball out of play quite alot as both side look to get their wide players on the move, Howe coming back to tackle Brantham’s Chloe Wilson on the left and Berry lifts the ball forwards. Dunnett closing the ball down in the middle of the park playing it forwards into Lucy Elmes who in turn shifts play out to the left wing, Wilson racing on taking the ball into the corner, Woodbridge captain, Alice Ager getting across to close her down prevent the cross. Berry with a good tackle at the back on Woodbridge’s Sadie Jamieson passing in up the line into Dunnett lifts the ball over Howe to put Wilson in behind, Ager once again rapidly across to challenge.

Woodbridge Town Ladies captain, Alice Ager

  The ball never still both sides after it the full backs kept busy with their opponents pressing forwards. Berry nipping in to take the ball of Oxlade. Dunnett getting it under control forwards into Laura Tuley, up to Elmes outside the box, Natalie Claridge defending for Woodbridge. Brantham lively contesting the ball a collision seeing Shannan Hill down needing treatment a long pause in play a head injury properly checked and seen to is up and okay to resume the match. Jamieson and Berry enjoying a good contest out on Woodbridge’s right the striker accidentally catching Berry in the shin as she goes to win the ball. 

Brantham’s Laura Tuley

  Lucy Eagle getting about in the midfield for Woodbridge getting hold of the ball bringing it forwards, fed on for Oxlade up top, Hill getting her foot in to win the ball back as she turns to attack. Woodbridge hustling the Brantham defence on the right as they look to play the ball short, Oxlade with Jamieson the ball played back to Eagle top right corner of the box 25 yards out her 1st time strike off target. 

  Amy Cook running with the ball attacking down the left flank swings a cross long into the area, Berry winning the ball for Brantham, playing a one to with Dunnett as she takes the ball up the left lifting it forwards for Wilson, Howe lunging in to tackle put the ball out for a throw. The stands and surrounding fence not too high several match balls needing to be retrieved, Wilson holding the ball up on the corner left sends the pass back for Dunnett getting up with play opens her body up looking to put the return ball into Wilson’s path as she breaks into the area can’t quite pick her out the ball gone for a goal kick.

  Woodbridge’s turn to have some sloppy play at the back, Elmes snatching in to get hold of the ball right of goal with a strike outside the box, put straight at the keeper. 

 GOAL! The deadlock broken with a little over 20 minutes played, Eagle coming on with the ball for Woodbridge through the middle with the diagonal ball for Jamieson attacking the right channel, Berry tracking back with her well for Brantham no shot on Jamieson keeps possession turning back to lay the ball into Oxlade outside the back, taking it in central cut back on her left for to shoot putting a low strike past the keeper into the bottom corner 1-0.

Jess Oxlade opens the scoring for Woodbridge

The goal livening Woodbridge up as they pour forwards Stacey Hadley playing the ball into Cook on the left, turns inside 20 yards out, shooting as she is closed down the effort pulled wide of the near post. Issey Bines stepping out of the defence to win the ball for Brantham finds Sophie Crabtree out on the right with an excellent ball, Crabtree striking from distance on the angle the ball racing across the Woodbridge goal out past the far post. Tuley passing to Dunnett through the middle, has a go from range on target played straight into the keeper, Dickin catching cleanly.

Brantham’s Sophie Crabtree

  A miscue at the ack for Brantham, sees Jamieson steal in on the ball right 25 yards out , hesitates as goalkeeper, Connie Madley comes to close her down, the defence recovering Jamieson putting the ball wide. Berry and Jamieson continue their battle on the right, Jamieson closing the defender down looking to wrestle the ball free turn for the box, Berry nipping back at her to clear the ball. Dunnett playing the clipped pass across field into Crabtree going forwards into the right channel, runs into traffic as Woodbridge’s defence close her down, Nicholson clearing. Eagle onto the ball with a forceful run for Woodbridge. 

Brantham full back, Aimee Berry

  Robus-Miller fouled on the right for Brantham inside the Woodbridge half, Dunnett over the set-piece lifted forwards into the near post area, Claridge up well for Woodbridge heading the ball behind for the corner kick.  From the right put in near side an emphatic clearance from Woodbridge to see the ball out for a Brantham throw. Put in across the top of the area, falls into Dunnett’s path has a decent strike in her arsenal, takes aim, shoots, turns away in frustration as she puts the ball straight into Dickin in the Woodbridge goal.

Connie Madley getting hold of the ball for Brantham

  Eagle with several purposeful runs with the ball at her feet for Woodbridge, sends it into Cook now out on the right, looks to take on Berry, the full back stretching to tackle the ball put out of play. Woodbridge on the throw deep in the Brantham half Cook getting it down knocked inside for Oxlade her cross claimed by Madley inside her six yard box. Remains competitive both sides closing the ball down. Elmes seeing the ball into her body looking to shift it out to Crabtree attacking right, pushing on is tackled by Nicholson for Woodbridge.

Jess Oxlade with Brantham’s Issy Bines

  Woodbridge have a break on the right, Ager winning the ball at the back on for Howe racing on down the flank with Cook ahead of her sending the ball on Berry across Cook to defend see the ball out for the goal kick. Cooke winning the ball in the middle for Woodbridge has Eagle inside her in turn out to Cook on the right, shifts the ball well between her feet attacking the Brantham defence, Charlotte Archer getting the challenge in to regain possession. Taking the ball forwards on to Elmes who finds Wilson shifting in field form the left, her shot blocked. 

  Oxlade with a turn and hit left of the D 20 yards out sends the ball into the keeper, Madley claiming the ball into her midriff. Jamieson out on the left taking on the strike from distance her angled drive wide past the far post. Woodbridge appealing for a handball inside the Brantham box as the cross in played in from the left following a strong run from Eagle out to the left. The clock running down in the first half the game remains open, Dickin with a great save for Woodbridge as the ball is fired in from the right. Cook on the right for Woodbridge winning her side a corner kick as Hill closes in to block her.

  GOAL! The corner ball played in across the top of the Brantham area the shot struck in towards goal, strikes a Brantham arm, Woodbridge appeal, referee Mark Dyer pointing to the spot, Penalty! Jamieson placing the ball on the spot stepping back to strike hits it hard low to the bottom left corner, Madley diving the right way gets something on it but not enough as the ball bursts into the net 2-0.

Sadie Jamieson scoring from the penalty spot to make it 2-0

Sadie Jamieson

  A blow for Brantham conceding a 2nd goal late in the first half look for a quick response, Tuley central out to Crabtree on the right, Robus-Miller in support, Nicholson defending for Woodbridge the ball out for the corner kick. An inswinging delivery a little too much on it landing on the roof of the net. 

  Woodbridge give the ball away at the back played straight into Dunnett, 25 yards out left of the D, Wilson breaks inside taking the ball off her to feed to Elmes inside the area, back to goal closely marked by Claridge, can’t turn to shoot instead lays it back to Bines central who curls her shot wide of the right post.

Half-time Woodbridge Town Ladies 2-0 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  A lively first half sees Woodbridge leading the game 2-0. Jess Oxlade cutting across the area to opening the scoring with 20 minutes played. A penalty late in the half seeing the score doubled. The goals livening up Woodbridge who have been well matched by Brantham. Several hotly contested duals across the pitch, both sides closing the ball down looking to get it out to their wide players stretch the game. Has been open Brantham creating a few opportunities of their own the 2nd goal a blow as is often the case with a 2 nil score line the 3rd goal could prove critical in determining the outcome of the game.

  Appears to be no chances by Woodbridge at the break, Brantham bringing on Shannon Giles out early the floodlights taking full effect, a great attendance of 395 getting behind both sides with the floodlights now taking full effect. Brantham to get the 2nd half underway, The ball put back into the middle lifted out to Wilson attacking left her infield ball finding Crabtree, puts it back out to Dunnett pulling left, her cross cut out by Ager. Brantham looking to make a fast start to the 2nd half.

Woodbridge’s Lucy Eagle

 Eagle getting forwards well for Woodbridge striking from 25 yards out her attempt gloved down and claimed by Madley. Woodbridge counter well Hadley in space central lifting the ball out to Jamieson breaking clear on the left side running on towards the area pulling the trigger the shot driven in low Madley down to save diving to her right getting enough on the ball as it squirms under her, scrambling up to claim it behind her. Tuley in the middle for Brantham out to Crabtree bursting on right side her cross whipped in near post claimed by Dickin with Elmes running in to attack the ball.

  Robus-Miller has alot of pace racing forwards on the right for Brantham getting on to support Crabtree in attack the cross lifted into the area, Claridge rises to head the ball clear for Woodbridge. Brantham pressing up Woodbridge look to counter get the ball out to Jamieson to break in behind on the left, Giles getting back on her defending for Brantham. 

 GOAL! Woodbridge making a few technical adjustments at the start of the 2nd half pay off as they go on to score a 3rd goal early in the 2nd half. Eagle with the perfect pass in the middle to pick out Jamieson running clear into the left channel, the defence can’t catch her as she strikes the ball on the run sending it inside the near post to net her 2nd of the game. 3-0.

Sadie Jamieson putting Woodbridge 3-0 up early in the 2nd half

A further blow for Brantham they nevertheless press on Tuley out to Wilson on the left, her deep cross, cleared by Claridge. The game end to end Jamieson pulling left the outlet and threat for Woodbridge Eagle picking her out again, Hill getting there first to play the ball back into her keeper to clear. Up for Crabtree wide right her cross finding Elmes inside the box back to goal, can’t turn and get a shot away as the defence converge on her.

  Oxlade up on the right for Woodbridge holding the ball up before wriggling free to drive and angled ball into the side netting. Woodbridge making a change bringing off Cook for Rhianna Kiwomya. Oxlade fed the ball outside the box for Woodbridge rolls it across to Jamieson to the left as they look to open up the Brantham defence, Madley rushing forwards getting her foot to the ball to take it away from the strikers path. 

Woodbridge’s Stacey Hadley

Bines winning the ball at the back well for Brantham as Eagle ploughs on through the middle for Woodbridge. Eagle coming left playing the ball up for Jamieson, Hill under pressure in defence for Brantham, hit by Eagles shot into her. Woodbridge getting hold of the ball better 2nd half coming forwards, Eagle influential in the middle getting herself about. A throw won high on the left put into Jamieson turns and plays the pass into Kiwomya central striking the ball outside the box, lacking the power to trouble Madley.

   Dunnett passing to Robus-Miller racing forwards sends the ball into Crabtree right, Nicholson challenging well for Woodbridge. Berry pressing no with the ball for Brantham wide right coming inside her cross coming to Crabtree inside the box right of goal her cross intercepted by Ager. Woodbridge clearing complaining at a foul not given Brantham send a strike in from distance wide of the left post.

 Bines getting in well to defend for Brantham as Oxlade takes the ball on through the middle drives forwards the ball cleared out to the right, Kiwomya’s cross claimed by Madley. Eagle picking up a knock for Woodbridge as she brings the ball on, wants to play on but needs to come off, Eloise Bruce coming on. 20 minutes played in the 2nd half. Woodbridge defending at the back launching the counter attack Cooke on for Oxlade through the middle, looking to run at the box, Bines recovering to get back at her tackle for Brantham.

 The ball out on the left put back into Nicholson forwards into Jamieson left of the area, sends her shot on the angle wide at the near post on the turn. Robus-Miller racing on with the ball for Brantham into Elmes up top, Ager and Claridge in to close her down for Woodbridge.

 GOAL! Jamieson carrying the threat in attack for Woodbridge 2nd half getting hold of the ball on the left to advance and strike the ball from outside the area up and over the keeper to bag herself a cup final hat-trick 4-0.

A cup final hat-trick for Woodbridge’s Sadie Jamieson

   20 minutes left on the clock Brantham making a double switch at the back with Jessica Ryan and Hill coming back on at the back. Cooke hitting a shot from outside the area for Woodbridge right of the D, taking a nick off a defender passing wide of the far post for a corner kick. Taken short from the left lifted into the middle of the box cleared back to the corner taker played back to Ager who lines up a crack at goal from 35 yards out isn’t far wide of the left post.

Woodbridge’s Taylor Cooke

  Woodbridge on top now finding the ball and stretching Brantham’s back line. Izzy Owen coming on for Woodbridge. Owen taking the ball on up the left for Woodbridge, the cross cleared Brantham find Robus-Miller charging on right side linking up with Crabtree, the cross in cleared by Ager. Kiwomya on the right for Woodbridge sending the ball in on the angle, beat down by Madley in the Brantham goal. Madley saving again moments later holding onto the fired fired straight at her by Jamieson central as she is given the ball by Hadley.

  Robus-Miller getting Brantham a corner on the right, put in low knocked goalwards, Woodbridge clearing get on the counter the ball on the right cleared back into the middle, Cooke onto it from distance the strike claimed by Madley. Woodbridge confident finishing the game strong. Brantham working hard Giles out to Robus-Miller right still showing fantastic pace tracking inside finding Crabtree outside the box, Hadley closing her down defending for Woodbridge. 

Ager getting in on Crabtree to tackle inside the area right of goal as she looks to take the ball down from a cross deep on the Brantham left. Crabtree strays down suffering with cramp a few players pulling up alot of effort put in. Brantham ringing the changes with a triple switch, Crabtree, Elmes and Robus-Miller off. Lucy Penn, Frances Turner and Harriett Young on. Hadley off for Woodbridge with Pippa King coming on. Penn getting onto the ball out wide seeing her cross claimed by Dicken. 

  The game entering the final 5 minutes of regular play Woodbridge in control in the closing stages. Dunnett bringing the ball down playing the pass into Tuley central, turns looks play the ball forwards, intercepted by Claridge. Cooke sliding in to win the ball, stays down having over stretched up but moving a little gingerly. Ryan heading a cross from the left clear at the back for Brantham as Owen gets up on the wing.

  Brantham press on late on looking to get something out of the game winning a corner on the right send players up into the box the ball in across the six yard box knocked down towards goal Woodbridge clearing on the line then blocking the follow up shot before scrambling the ball is cleared behind for a corner out on the left. This delivery put behind off a defender at the near post conceding a 3rd corner late pressure from Brantham. Another dangerous ball swung into the area attacked central turned down towards the far post again Woodbridge clear off the line. Woodbridge get on the move up the left Owen taking the ball on, Giles getting back to defend for Brantham

 GOAL! A late late consolation goal for Brantham as Berry charges on with the ball left side played on for Dunnett out wide 25 yards out catches to ball sweetly to strike a wonderful shot across the keeper into the far corner of the goal 4-1. 

Brantham captain, Lucy Dunnett pictured with Lucy Eagle scoring a screamer to pull a late late goal back for Brantham

Just time for Woodbridge to make one last change bringing on crowd favourite Grace Murphy for hat-trick her heroine Jamieson. The final whistle blowing moments later, Woodbridge celebrating as they claim their first piece of silverware.

Full time Woodbridge Town Ladies 4-1 Brantham Athletic Ladies

  Woodbridge with a strong 2nd half performance, making a few technical tweaks to get in behind Brantham and extend their first half lead. That after a largely and evenly fought 1st half. Jamieson finding space on the left a ready outlet going on to score twice more to claim her hat-trick. Losing last season’s final 4-0, scoring 4 in this season’s final would have liked the clean sheet no doubt but Brantham kept going pushing for a goal at the end and got it thanks to Dunnett’s screamer from outside the box. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time to pick this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A well contested game with both sides playing their part. Brantham matching Woodbridge first half getting about the pitch winning their share of the ball, Aimee Berry with some fantastic tackling at full back. Lucy Dunnett looking to get hold of the ball find the wide players in attack scoring a wonderful goal. For Woodbridge the back line was composed and solid, Alice Ager and Molly Nicholson with several great tackles and interceptions throughout. Lucy Eagle getting about the park, chasing the ball down, making some dynamic runs forwards , tenacious in her pursuit of the ball. The award goes to the hat-trick scorer, Sadie Jamieson. Strong in attack winning the ball, enjoyed a good contest with Berry in the first half before the tactical switch to the left, a ready outlet in attack getting behind taking her chances well to see Woodbridge lift the cup.

Woodbridge Town Ladies, 2022/23 Suffolk Women’s League Cup winners.

Congratulations to Woodbridge Town Ladies on winning this season’s Suffolk Women’s League Cup.

  An enjoyable well contested final between the sides played in front of a fantastic crowd. My thanks to Mandy Cutting the League Chair for her assistance and help this evening along with the staff at Ipswich Wanderers and to both sides for their help with those all important squad numbers.

by Darren Gilham

Cup Final Special – Holland Ladies v Woodbridge Town Ladies

Tuesday 3rd May

Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final

A trip into Suffolk this evening for the first of 4 cup finals over the next 8 days. Begin with the Final of the Suffolk Women’s League Cup, this season being contested between Holland Ladies and Woodbridge Town Ladies.

The competition back after the 2 previous seasons were affected by the Covid pandemic, bringing a close to the 2021/22 SGWFL season. Featuring 2 divisions for the 2nd successive season as the game grows within the county. The 7 strong Premier Division won by Brettvale Ladies. The 9 strong Championship below seeing AFC Kesgrave Ladies pip Henley Athletic Women to the title on goal difference. This evenings final between two of the emerging sides with the league looking to win their first piece of silverware.

Holland Ladies joining the SWGFL at the start of the 2019/20 season. The north east Essex side hitting the ground running a strong outfit signing a number of experienced players at this level and above odds on for a late charge at the title itself before the Covid pandemic began bringing it all to a close. A 2nd Covid hit season following again stifling the sides development, this is really their first full season. With a 7 strong Premier Division had led for much of the campaign with rivals Brettvale playing catch up, eventually overhauling them to win the title. Pushed down to 3rd in the finish by AFC Sudbury Women Reserves who they had originally been expecting to face this evening  but we’ll get to that in a moment. Jasmine Cox an attacker with a wealth of experience and an eye for goal their leading scoring with over 20 this season with captain Lauren Lucas and Lauren Borne both on 7 each.

   Woodbridge Town Ladies were formed the season before Holland joined the league. Like this evenings opponents looking strong from the start recording a 4th placed finish in their debut season in 2018/19 and in the 2 seasons that followed were pushing for the top of the table on both ocassions with Covid stopping them in their tracks again ruining their development and potential. Amongst the goals too. This season has been a different story ultimately ending up bottom of the table in the finish, have suffered from a lack of numbers at times this season. Tough but have the unexpected bonus of a cup final to look forwards too and know that on their day can match anyone in the league. Sadie Jamieson their top scorer with 8 goals this term.

Road to the Final

 16 sides entering the competition, the first round saw Holland Ladies drawn away to fellow Premier Division side Brantham Ladies. Showing great form in the league Holland running out comfortable winners in the finish 7-1 to progress to the quarter final. Woodbridge were drawn away to would be Championship winners, AFC Kesgrave Ladies. A tricky tie finishing 1-1 went into a penalty shootout Woodbridge eventually emerging winners 8-7 to get into the quarter finals. 

Holland at home to Championship side, Chantry Grasshoppers a brace from Jasmine Cox and a goal from Mary-Jane Walsh sending them into the semi-finals. Woodbridge at home to against another Championship side, league newcomers Waveney Ladies, goals from Tayler Cooke, Sadie Jamieson, Charlene Roach-Smith and Stacey Hadley seeing them through to the last 4. Holland ran riot in their semi-final away to fellow Premier Division side, Stowupland Falcons Women, Lauren Bourne with 4 goals and Cox with a hat-trick amongst the goals in a 10-2 victory to reach their first final. There they were thinking they were going to face AFC Sudbury Women Reserves after they beat Woodbridge 3-0 in the other semi-final but competition rules were broken and they were removed seeing Woodbridge into this evenings final.

  Brantham Leisure Centre the venue for this evenings final, home of Brantham Athletic FC including their women’s team. The large clubhouse with bar and kitchen serving hot food and drink overlooking the grass pitches. The main pitch surrounded by fencing on all sides now. A covered seated stand behind one goal and another between the dugouts. Another warm day with sod all rain around the pitch dry dust coming up off it as the ball is kicked. Cloud cover around turning chilly.

Holland Ladies

Holland Ladies starting XI – Charlotte Warren, Becky McDougall, Elise Purser, Hannah Campbell, Keeley Brickwood, Lauren Lucas (C), Lauren Bourne, Jade Meaney, Charlotte Robertson, Mary-Jane Walsh & Jasmine Cox. Subs – Yssie Tye, Lucy Brown, Phoebe Rose & Sasha Moy.

Woodbridge Town Ladies

Woodbridge Town Ladies starting XI – Georgie Bryant, Alice Ager (C), Natasha Williams, Chloe Stopher, Caitlin Howe, Lauren Jacobs, Grace Murphy, Stacey Hadley, Tayler Cooke, Emma Drake & Sadie Jamieson. Subs – Charlene Roach-Smith, Kerry Scott, Natalie Claridge & Emalene Haynes.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

It’s Woodbridge to get the League Cup Final underway kicking off the first half wearing back and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks with Holland wearing orange coloured shirts and socks with black shorts.

 GOAL! No doubt the fastest goal I’ve seen score in a cup final, as Woodbridge play the ball back to their captain Alice Agar at right back is played long up the right side, won by Holland full back, Becky McDougall the cleared ball sent forwards back where it came the defender unaware her goalkeeper is coming as the ball drops towards the corner of her area, the pair collide with Jasmine Cox looking to attack moving left capitalising as she gets hold of the loose ball inside the box and opening up her body slots the ball on the angle into the empty net 1-0.

Jasmine Cox with a quickfire goal for Holland Ladies

  The perfect start for Holland a goal up inside the opening 30 seconds a huge blow for Woodbridge. The game restarting they need to regroup recover quickly the ball is hotly contested in the middle with players from both sides in to close down and block. Stacey Hadley bringing it on for Woodbridge out to Tayler Cooke on the move left side, is forced wide by Holland’s Elise Purser, managing to send low driven ball in on the angle to the near post, Holland goalkeeper, Charlotte Warren closed down by Woodbridge’s Sadie Jamieson the ball not collected knocked behind for a goalkick. 

Woodbridge’s Emma Drake

  Holland captain, Lauren Lucas heading the ball on through the middle for Lauren Bourne to take on shifts it out to Cox on the left of attack, Ager in to close her down forced infield Woodbridge regain possession, Grace Murphy with a forceful run on lifting it forwards, dealt with at the back by Holland’s Hannah Campbell. The midfield busy the ball no still for a moment Murphy forwards out to the right, Holland defend come forwards on the right side with Bourne looks to take on Ager, the full back putting in the tackle the ball going for a throw. Pressing bodies up around the Woodbridge box the ball headed on across the top of the area before a shot from the left is struck wide. 

  Murphy threading the ball on for Jamieson central has Emma Drake giving her a run across her going left to right, attempting to pick her out, Campbell with the foot in to intercept the pass. 

  GOAL! Playing the ball up to Cox right channel, 25 yards out in attack she sends it out to the wing for Charlotte Robertson. Moving forwards plays the cross inside to Mary-Jane Walsh getting clear top of the D, striking the ball with the inside of her right boot looking to send it wide of the keeper into the bottom corner, the crowd and I have to say I did too, thought it was going wide, but no perfectly placed inside the post to double the lead 2-0.

   A strong start to the game for Holland 2 goals up inside the opening 8 minutes. Woodbridge frustrated, a few niggly free-kicks given away. Lucas fouled on half way the ball floated up towards the top of the area dealt with by Hadley for Woodbridge. Coming on down the left wing a throw high for Woodbridge level with the top of the 18 yard line McDougall getting it into Bourne inside the box left corner, controls and strikes the ball on the half volley, caught by Woodbridge goalkeeper, Georgie Bryant.

Woodbridge captain, Alice Ager with Stacey Hadley

  Jamieson looking to put herself about up top for Woodbridge moving right winning a throw, put into Hadley 25 yards out left of the D, strikes a lobbed effort goalwards swerving away off target, Warren claiming the ball. Holland break through the middle Walsh on the ball, is brought down the advantage played though as Cox ahead of her takes on the ball running towards the box shooting from distance on the angle her shot held by Bryant. From a throw on the right, the ball into the Woodbridge box a shot his sliced out to the far post, Cox rising trying to get on the end of it directs it wide.

Alice Ager with the block for Woodbridge

   Cox looking to pick up the ball driven on at the Woodbridge defence Chloe Stopher forcing her wide, as Cooke comes back to defend the ball gone for a throw in. McDougal up on the left winning the ball high looking to drive on towards the Woodbridge area, Murphy across to help Williams as she faces off ends up on the floor and in disbelief as she free-kick is awarded against her. A set-piece in a dangerous area outside the box left side McDougal over the ball strikes the ball with her right foot curling in towards goal, the keeper beaten the ball smashes down off the crossbar rebounding out to the right where a hurrying shot is lifted over. 

McDougall’s effort striking the crossbar

  Holland looking a threat coming forwards Walsh in the middle on for Cox out to the right players drawn across as the cross is flighted into the box, won by Ager and cleared. Competitive in the middle, Woodbridge aren’t getting much joy trying to feed in their attackers with Campbell and fellow centre back Keeley Brickwood winning most things in the air. Bourne central with a great threaded pass to send Cox through in behind right side running at goal blasts the ball goalwards, Bryant behind it down sharply to save. 

Holland Ladies, Hannah Campbell

Holland with a corner on the right players up into the area the inswinging ball helped on across the six yard box, Lucas getting up to head the ball at the back stick, put over a touch off a Woodbridge player spotted another corner awarded from the left. Flung in low cleared at the near post coming back to corner taker, Purser has help from McDougall plays it to her to cross into the area nodded in towards goal, Bryant getting her gloves on it before it can be attacked.

  Jamieson seeing the ball into her from the right with a casual looking flick in behind that sees Drake running into the box striking a shot wide of the near post for Woodbridge. Cooke getting on down the left putting a diagonal ball in towards the top of the box, Warren out quickly to lay claim to the ball with Jamieson stealing through. Jacobs on for Jamieson right the ball played across the top of the Holland area coming to Cooke left side trying to get the ball down under control before she is closed down, snatches at it lifting her attempt over. 

Grace Murphy on the attack for Woodbridge

   Both Cooke and Murphy making an attempt to thread the forwards pass into Drake in attack both times intercepted by Campbell for Holland. Murphy tracking back to defend on Cox as Walsh looks to send her on through the middle. Woodbridge are a little stretched at the back as they commit players on risking the counter attack in their attempts to get the ball into Jamieson in attack, driving on with it left channel, Purser does well to force her out to the touch line  the ball going for a throw in. Both Caitlin Howe off a Holland free-kick and Stopher heading the ball out for defence for Woodbridge. 

 GOAL! 5 minutes left on the clock in the 1st half, Cox with her 2nd of the game, canny as the ball is rolled into her through the middle in behind Bryant coming to close her down, checks shifting the ball to her right to present her with an open goal beyond and sends it home to make it 3-0. 

 Cox’s movement up top often allowing others to get forwards from the middle or full back, is out on the left with Bourne, linking up as McDougall gets on in support the left back clips the cross into the box, Bryant in untroubled able to let the ball run wide of her far post. A corner out of nothing for Holland on the left the ball curled in towards the top of the area a glancing header knocked down by Lucas is turned wide at the far post.

Lauren Bourne with the ball for Holland

  Late in the first half Howe brings the ball out from the back for Woodbridge into the middle back to Ager to send up to the attackers, Brickwood with a timely interception to deny Jamieson the chance to run through on goal. Into stoppage time Cox attacking Howe across to defend a corner given against her on the right players up into the box, into the box McDougall free at the far post getting plenty of power into her header isn’t far wide with her effort.

Holland Ladies, Becky McDougall

Half-time Holland Ladies 3-0 Woodbridge Town Ladies

  A fantastic start to the cup final for Holland with a goal inside the opening 30 seconds adding a 2nd within 8 minutes. Have had the bulk of the attack since creating a number of chances McDougal striking the crossbar from a free-kick, then heading wide at the end. A 3rd goal coming at the right time with Woodbridge competitive throughout. Recovering well from their poor start haven’t found it easy going forwards, Campbell and Brickwood solid at the back for Holland. Keeping it to 2 goals a half-time would have given them some confidence for the 2nd half conceding a 3rd makes it difficult to get themselves back into the game.

  Changes for both at the start of the 2nd half roll on roll off substitutes not always the easiest to keep track of. Charlene Roach-Smith on in attack for Woodbridge. Sasha Moy  on for Holland replacing McDougall. Holland to get the 2nd half underway. The ball contested in the middle straight away no time on the ball, Hadley getting away on the right for Woodbridge finding no way through. Roach-Smith winning Woodbridge a corner as she pressure the defence inside the box as Cooke puts the ball on from the left. 

  Free-kicks keep being given away in the middle, Holland with the ball on up into the box Howe clearing , Woodbridge look to counter through the middle, Brickwood dropping off to give herself room as Jamieson looks to get the ball down making the tackle. Woodbridge looking to put more pressure on Holland at the start of the 2nd half Jamieson holding the ball up left side winning her team a corner. Whipped in across the six yard box Jamieson then gets up in front of goal but can’t get a telling touch. Walsh on the move with the ball at her feet over halfway for Holland on for Cox, Stopher in to close her down with a good challenge. 

Woodbridge’s Chloe Stopher

Getting a little heated between the sides as Woodbridge finding more possession inside the Holland half. Holland with a free-kick on the right inside the Woodbridge half in towards Robertson top of the D, can’t find a way through the ball cleared. Phoebe Rose coming on for Woodbridge. Purser getting the ball back to Warren as Murphy plays Jamieson on through the middle. 

  GOAL! An hour played and Holland stretch their lead off a corner won on the left, swung into the six yard box dropping down a real goal line scramble ensues as both sides go after the ball pinging back and forth it squirms free to Lucas positioned to the right of the melee and she in turn flicks the ball off her boot into the back of the goal 4-0.

Holland captain, Lauren Lucas putting her side into a 4 goal lead

 A 4th goal coming for Holland denting Woodbridge’s spirited start to the 2nd half. Holland coming right forced wide, back for Brickwood to hit an angled ball into the box wide at the near post. Another sub for Woodbridge, Kerry Scott on at the back. Drake over on the right for Woodbridge running in behind can’t get there before Warren racing out of her area can kick clear. Bourne with some powerful runs through the middle for Holland putting it on for Robertson, Ager tackling for Woodbridge. Holland press on the flanks winning throws high up the pitch from the left the ball sent into the box near side, Bourne running in, Bryant getting her gloves around the ball first. 

Lauren Bourne tackled by Woodbridge’s Caitlin Howe

  Cooke stealing onto the ball out with with a burst of pace put on for Jamieson attacking the box in behind, Warren out to the top of her area getting hold of the ball before she can get a touch. From front to back as Warren’s kick out in headed on by Lucas in the middle on for Robertson who finds Cox drifting to the right forced wider still her cross/shot lands in the side netting. A free-kick for Holland 30 yards out right of the Woodbridge goal, Moy over it directs her strike over at the near post. The game open with both sides looking to score Woodbridge getting Drake away on right sends it in for Roach-Smith running into the box, just overruns the ball allowing the keeper to claim. 

  Robertson just offside as Cox looks to turn the ball in behind on the left. Yssie Tye onto the pitch for Holland along with Emalene Haynes for Woodbridge with around 15 minutes left on the clock. Purser with a great long ball on for Cox pulling right takes it to the by-line before sending a cross into the six yard box, Bryant down to smother it. Players starting to pull up with cramp. Purser feeling something go as she stretches for the ball on the touch line needs to come of McDougall back on. 

 Brickwood with a great challenge to deny Roach-Smith as the ball is lifted in through the middle. McDougal has a decent throw on her sending it on down the right Tye with Cox working a cross into the box, Bryant snatching it down well. Lucas with a driven ball into the area from the left for Holland, Bryant knocking it up into the air appears to get fouled as she goes to catch the ball, her defence though scramble the ball clear. Get up the other end quickly Jamieson moving towards the D checking right before her shot in is saved by Warren, end to end as Holland counter the ball fed on for Cox moving left, Ager with a robust tackle clearing the ball for a corner on the right. 

  Cox drifting right moves wide with Lucas playing her on sees her shot from distance angled in held by the keeper. Walsh sending a shot over from distance as Holland look to keep the ball with the game moving into stoppage time alot of tired legs out there. The ball inside the Woodbridge half late on as Holland come on crossing from the right along the six yard box Cox beyond the far post twisting to head the ball places it wide. Walsh brought down in the middle in front of the Woodbridge D, Ager with the clearance, Cox charging down the ball runs wide behind goal.

  Full time Holland Ladies 4-0 Woodbridge Town Ladies

  A spirited 2nd half from Woodbridge, just couldn’t find the goal they needed to apply any pressure to Holland. a 4th goal coming on the hour making it comfortable at the back for Holland. Woodbridge limiting there chances 2nd half pressed the ball higher. The game opening up as players tired and changes were made. Holland celebrating winning their first piece of silverware.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances of note to mention first. For Woodbridge, their captain Alice Ager was strong at the back throughout with a number of vital challenges. Taylor Cooke winning the ball well out wide getting on with the ball when she could. For Holland both Lauren Lucas and Lauren Bourne were strong in midfield winning the ball, Lucas with several great passes getting into some great positions from set pieces. Bourne with a number of purposeful runs forwards to join the attack. Becky McDougal strong at the back for Holland and a threat getting forwards unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. The award though goes to Jasmine Cox. Was a menace up front all match with her running on and off the ball moving left and right scoring twice.

Congratulations to Holland Ladies in winning this seasons Suffolk Women’s League Cup Final

Suffolk Women’s League Cup Winners, Holland Ladies

  An enjoyable trip back down to Brantham, an entertaining contest, full credit to Woodbridge after the start they had to keep fighting and not let the result get away from them limiting it to 1-0 in the 2nd half. Holland capitalising on that start however never looked back to win the cup. My thanks for everyone’s help this evening and for the team details as always appreciated. Next up the County Cup Final see you all again Friday.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Bungay Town Ladies v Woodbridge Town Ladies

Sunday 18th April

Suffolk Women’s County Cup

  At last! After 126 days since the my last match report was written Women’s Football East is back covering the game. Going to be extremely rusty but it’s good to be getting the notepad out again. The action this afternoon coming from the 2nd Round of the Suffolk Women’s County Cup as Bungay Town Ladies host Woodbridge Town Ladies.

  Will unfortunately be mentioning the Covid pandemic for a while yet and it has once again played havoc with the women’s football leagues, the latest lock down ending 3 weeks ago saw leagues being declared null & void with various cup competitions and mini-leagues being set-up to provide games to close out what remains of the season. Suffolk FA along with their counterparts in Norfolk and Bedfordshire keeping their county cup competitions on place. 16 sides playing today in the 2nd Round of the county cup.

Ipswich Town Women have long dominated the Suffolk Women’s County Cup and remain very much the team to beat and are only getting stronger. But as Ipswich have grown so to has women’s football in Suffolk with a host of new sides formed in recent seasons, seeing the county league gaining a 2nd division this season. Covid curtailing what would have been two exciting title battles in that time.

Bungay Town Ladies close to the border with Norfolk play there football in the NWGFL are a long established side in the top division in Norfolk with a strong group of players often challenging for honours in recent seasons. Like all clubs have suffered from a long lay off only now returning to action with the NWGFL’s replacement competition the GiveToLocalUK Challenge Cup beginning next weekend. One warm-up match in preparation for the resumption of competitive football the squad is nevertheless rearing to go.

Woodbridge Town Ladies newly formed joined the SWGFL in Suffolk along with a host of other new sides a couple of seasons ago. The two season’s since then affected by the Covid pandemic stifling Woodbridge’s potential, we placed to contest for silverware in both campaigns particularly the first as able to get there games in when others didn’t surged to the top of the table, a healthy lead the season finishing. Likewise this campaign a strong start saw Woodbridge at the top once again as the league gained a 2nd division, only to see it curtailed again. Woodbridge’s rise up the table especially in their first season spearheaded by Jenna Liverpool the attacker racking up and incredible 52 goals before the season ended. Keira Hines also amongst the goals along with Lucy Eagle joining the club from Leiston St Margarets. The SWGFL having already started a group based competition, Woodbridge have won there opening 2 matches away to Stowupland Falcons and Needham Market Reserves respectfully and have the edge on Bungay in terms of competitive action played.

 The venue for today’s game Malting’s Meadow, no spectators able to attend due to the latest government guidelines which is a real shame and disappointing too as clubs at this level have shown viewing can be done safely. Nevertheless some football to watch at last. One advantage of no football for 126 days is I’ve missed the entire winter in terms of weather. A bright spring afternoon, sunny and dry. I’m as rusty as a bag of nails having not been to a match in so long but here we go.

Bungay Town Ladies starting XI – Joanne Pipe, Kelly Collins (C), Leah Shepherd, Lyndsey Adams, Charlotte Power, Lauren Purling, Charnelle Riggall, Selina Rowland, Katie Walker, Alice Flatt & Emily Leach. subs – Erin Galer, Sofia Serghiou, Porsha Renwick & Lauren Hellier.

Woodbridge Town Ladies starting XI – Georgie Bryant, Alice Agar (C), Chloe Stopher, Grace Knock, Lauren Jacobs, Tasha Williams, Caitlin Howe, Ali Rampling, Sasha Jamieson, Stacey Hadley & Lucy Eagle.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

Woodbridge travelling to Bungay with several players unavailable, have just the bare 11, whilst Bungay can name 4 on the bench. Captains Kelly Collins and Alice Agar wander to the centre to get the match underway the hosts taking the kick-off, Bungay wearing light blue shirts, black shorts and socks, with Woodbridge wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. played back to the defence Charlotte Power plays in centre into Lauren Purling she attempts to turn drive forwards, Woodbridge’s Ali Rampling putting in the tackle winning the ball spreads play out to Sadie Jamieson making a run on the right side Collins into tackle her the ball out for a throw.

 Charnelle Riggall bringing the ball out for Bungay pushing on through the middle looks to play it wide right for Alice Flatt, Chloe Stopher cutting it out for Woodbridge has Rampling making a run out into the left channel ahead of her sends the ball forwards, Leah Shepherd at right back keeping her eye on the flighted ball, clears confidently to deny Rampling a chance to get in behind. A positive start from Woodbridge pressing the ball in the middle of the park making runs down the flanks pushing Bungay back somewhat. No time to settle on the ball inside the centre circle players on both sides closing down Riggall knocks it on for Selina Rowland looking up she tries to lift it over the top for striker Emily Leach, a little too much weight on the ball allows it to run safely through to Woodbridge goalkeeper, Georgie Bryant.

  Bungay win a throw high on the left, tossed into Leach left side of the area takes it onto the by-line before winning her side a corner kick as Agar cutting out the ball prevents the cross coming in. Sadie Jamieson is getting so joy on the ball down the right wing for Woodbridge carrying the ball on looking to get inside pick out Lucy Eagle playing central in attack. The threat of both players getting in behind keeping the Bungay defence on there toes. With Woodbridge looking to get on down the right space is opening up for Alice Flatt out on Bungay’s right, Riggall picking her out Flatt cuts inside aiming a diagonal ball into the D for Leach, Grace Knock getting her foot in to clear it for the visitors.

Bungay’s Alice Flatt holding off Woodbridge’s Grace Knock

 Rowland with a powerful run with the ball right side into the area is tackled the ball running behind for a corner. Katie Walker across to take it sends the delivery in head height at the near post, Bryant doing will amongst bodies to get her fists on the ball knocking it down, before Agar sends it clear for a 2nd corner. In at the near post again this time Bryant claims it unchallenged. Bungay are inviting Woodbridge on somewhat, Lyndsey Adams making a strong tackle to regain possession pushed into Riggall played forwards to Rowland on half way the counter attack is on as she slides a diagonal ball out to the right for Flatt to run onto, takes it on into the area before striking a low shot into the side netting.

  Stopher on the ball brings it on left side looking up aims to catch Bungay out with a high ball central on for Eagle to attack, Adams is the last defender and has to win the dropping ball, does well  knocking it down for Purling to pick up and run into the midfield congestion. The opening 15 minutes played at a good tempo, Woodbridge getting bodies forwards well.

GOAL! Woodbridge’s bright start pays off as they open the scoring in the 15th minute Rampling making some fantastic runs from the middle getting in behind as she closes the ball down well left side takes it in behind to the by-line before whipping in a dangerous ball to the near post Jamieson racing in to turn the ball into the back of the net from close range 0-1. 

Sadie Jamieson timing her run into the box perfectly to open the score for Woodbridge

Bungay get straight on the attack from the restart Flatt right side seeing her diagonal ball into the top of the area cut out once again by Tasha Williams this time out for a throw in. Eagle covering alot of ground leading the line for Woodbridge claiming the ball central puts it long for Jamieson to chase on the right on the shoulder of the last defender, goalkeeper Joanne Pipe comes out of her area to clear the ball, but Woodbridge press the advantage Jamieson on the ball once again 25 yards out on the angle her shot brushes the side netting. 

Charlotte Power clearing the ball for Bungay

Rowland with a rallying cry to encourage Bungay to commit more forwards in attack, her short pass into the feet of Leach 25 yards out left of the D, holds it up before turning an attempting to side Walker running into the box on the left in on goal, Bryant able to gather it before she can strike the ball. Rowland takes up the attack bringing the ball on left side strikes it on the angle her effort bouncing wide across the six yard box before being cleared, left side.

Lauren Purling playing the ball forwards for Bungay

 GOAL! Bungay have players up reclaim the ball inside the Woodbridge half on the right Flatt with Purling in support the latter rolling it into Rowland who has come across the area to receive the pass turns into the area strong on the ball into the six yard box holding of the defence, before slotting the ball across the keeper into the far bottom corner 1-1.

25 minutes played shaping up to be an exciting prospect both teams playing at a good tempo not letting anyone settle on the ball, Bungay getting themselves back on level terms.

 GOAL! No sooner have Bungay drew level however and Woodbridge come back to retake the lead, Jamieson on the ball right side knocking in infield to Eagle all of 35 yards out takes on the early strike getting plenty behind the ball, struck beautifully arrowing in on target straight at Pipe the goalkeeper will be hugely disappointed as she gets her gloves on the ball aiming to tip it over be instead sees it deflect up into the roof of the net and down into the back of the goal 1-2.

Lucy Eagle with a long range strike restoring Woodbridge’s lead

 GOAL! However as one beautifully struck ball goes in at one end Bungay match it straight after from the restart pressing on left side congested the pass through to Leach wide is heading for the corner before she whips a fantastic strike from the tightest of angles in towards goal looping over the keeper and under the crossbar 2-2.

Emily Leach firing in a long range strike of her own putting Bungay straight back on level terms

 GOAL! Moments later Bungay turn the game on its head having fought back to level it only to concede straight away, then levelling just as quick score a 3rd to take the lead! Play resuming with Flatt on the ball right side plays it central to Riggall, Rowland is away making a run into the right channel, Riggall picks her out before making a run towards the area herself. Rowland drives into the right side of the boss marshalled wide by Williams preventing her shooting she checks back towards the top of the area, squaring the ball into the D where Riggall meets it first time angling her low shot wide of the diving keeper to score 3-2.

The game very even now both sides looking for opportunities, Stacey Hadley rolling it out left for Rampling to take on down the line in behind her looping cross is claimed by Pipe with Jamieson racing in far post. Power plays in on into Rowland who picks out Flatt clear to attack on the right checks inside into the box setting herself for the shot, puts it straight at the keeper as Bryant stays big in her six yard box. 

  A double change for Bungay then with Walker and Flatt coming off to be replaced by Erin Galer and Lauren Hellier. The hosts more confident getting players forwards no creating chances a ball whipped into the Woodbridge area dangerous across the six yard box comes to Galer far post 8 yards out, Bryant across her line has the near post covered Galer’s shot put straight into her midriff. Bungay ending the half on the front foot a couple of knocks for Woodbridge, Williams lunging in to cut out a left sided cross as Purling comes forwards.

Ali Rampling on the attack for Woodbridge

Jamieson dribbling the ball on the right checking inside has the Bungay defence backtracking before seeing her 20 yard shrike blocked, the loose ball gathered and fired over from distance. Howe with a ball central up top for Eagle to run after bouncing on into the box Pipe is off her line sharply out to claim it before the attacker can pounce. Up the other end Rowland is finding pockets of space, lets loose from 30 yards out her shot wide of the left post. Stopher able get free on the left for Woodbridge late in the first half comes over halfway plays her pass inside of Eagle who releases it quickly long out to the right spotting Jamieson on the move, Adams back peddling able to intercept and clear first as the half-time whistle blows 

Half-time Bungay Town Ladies 3-2 Woodbridge Town Ladies

  An energetic display first half the game played at a good tempo, no one allowed to settle on the ball. A few cobwebs from Bungay early on allowed Woodbridge to come onto them as the visitors started the game well Rampling and Jamieson looking to get up the pitch to support Eagle in attack. Took a deserved lead, Bungay needed to up there game get players forwards and did so as Rowland got them back on level terms midway through the 1st half. That led to a flurry of goals well struck too. Eagle firing Woodbridge back into the lead. Lasted seconds as Leach returned the favour in kind. The hosts then surging forwards to take the lead themselves. The game poised beautifully but signs Woodbridge are tiring a few knocks picked up and with no options from the bench can they get themselves back on level terms.

   Bungay making changed at the start of the 2nd half Collins off with Sofia Serghiou coming on going into the centre of defence with Adams out to right back. Positional changes for Woodbridge too with Jamieson moving to the left in attack, Knock further up the field. The visitors to kick-off the 2nd 45. Purling quickly winning it back for Bungay play spread to Hellier out on the left takes the ball on Agar defending for Woodbridge the ball contested hotly in the middle before Galer is found on the right pressing on into the box succeeds in winning a corner kick. The ball in from the right knocked on to the far post Hellier chipping it back in across goal Bryant jumping to claim it.

Woodbridge captain, Alice Agar

Bryant making an excellent save for Woodbridge as Rowland 25 yards out rolls it forwards into the path of the turning Leach a powerful run with Williams on her shoulder, she strikes the ball well Bryant down sharply inside her six yard box to glove it away behind for a corner. A strong start to the 2nd half from Bungay as the hosts look to press their advantage both Galer and Hellier injecting pace down the flanks. Hadley plays the ball on for Eagle up top to attack for Woodbridge but finds herself isolated as Power and Serghiou crowd her off the ball.

Woodbridge goalkeeper, Georgie Bryant

Hellier after the ball down the left for Bungay as Adams sends it long in behind has Purling coming top of the area left side squares the pass into her Purling turns, the Woodbridge defence back showing no way through her effort is eventually blocked before rebounding loose to be struck over from distance. Jamieson with a chance to let fly from distance on the angle her strike gathered cleanly by Pipe. Rampling on the right able to make ground wins a throw inside the Bungay half into Howe she takes it on towards the right corner of the area before being brought down by Serghiou to see the visitors awarded a free-kick.

Bungay’s Lauren Hellier looking to get in behind

Jamieson over it plays it in towards the near post Bungay clear and look to break quickly Purling dispossessed, the cross swung in from the left towards Eagle , Serghiou slides in to deny her the shot giving away a corner. Comes to Rampling top of the area left side clipped back in Bungay head clear. Woodbridge though having soaked up some pressure from Bungay regaining some belief that they can get back into the match.

Bungay respond with more changes, Galer and Shepherd replaced by Porsha Renwick and Walker returning to the action. The tempo remains high starting to take it’s toll on Woodbridge. Jamieson sees her deflected shot on the left run through to the keeper after she gathers it following a blocked effort from Eagle inside the D. 

Lyndsey Adams bringing the ball clear for Bungay

 Leach on the attack up the other end making a run into the right channel is given the ball from Rowland takes it on into the area striking in the angle tight a riding ball, Bryant with an acrobatic leap knocks it down into the ground and is sharp to pull it into her body as Hellier central comes charging in. Howe gets the ball on Woodbridge’s right going on towards the area, Serghiou with her slides in attempting to block the cross, succeeds but Howe is able to gather lift it high towards the top of the area, Eagle there leaping to attack it has no control with her header as Power clears for Bungay. 

Caitlin Howe on the ball for Woodbridge

 Woodbridge temporarily down to 10 as Knock having picked up a Knock needed to come off for a moment. Agar with a lunge takes the ball away from Leach attacking into the area conceding a throw in the corner. Jacobs defending for Woodbridge the visitors move the ball well up there left break as Rampling plays it on for Jamieson the pair combining before Riggall gets back to break up the attack. Good combination play too from Leach and Rowland on the right for Bungay the shot on the angle dropping wide across goal. 

Woodbridge’s Stacey Hadley

The game entering the final 15 minutes just a goal remains in it both sides fancying there chances to add another now, even down to 10 Woodbridge push on Jamieson looking a threat on the left has Eagle with her she plays a high ball forwards into the top of the area with Howe running on awkward for Serghiou and Adams to deal with bouncing the sun bright in there faces won’t fall kindly for Howe and they scramble it away. Knock is back on for Woodbridge as they make a final push to draw level.

 GOAL! Then the hammer blow, had just written in my notes a goal for Bungay kills it now and the hosts go and do just that, the ball won back in the middle pushed into the feet of Leach central turns Rowland making a run to her right played into her feet takes it on, Jacobs attempts to hold her up Rowland checking back to turn inside to her left swings in a low shot that races wide into the bottom corner evading the diving Bryant 4-2.

Less than 10 minutes left to play and Bungay have a vital 2 goal cushion. Bring Flatt back on for Hellier. Rampling is brought down in the middle by Purling resulting in the first yellow card of the game. On halfway Woodbridge send almost everyone forwards to the top of the area as they look to score straight away. Put in to the box left of goal Eagle does well going after it to whip a cross through the six yard box, Knock running across it at the far post looks to volley it, fires her shot over

  Woodbridge committing players forwards risking exposure at the back from a throw on the left Riggall turns plays it down the line for Leach, presses inside into the area driving for the six yards box fires her shot in low, Bryant down smartly to make another great save sending it behind for the corner. Whipped in from the left evades everyone including the tall Leach, leaping up on the penalty spot. Bungay finishing the game strong Riggall putting herself about, a mistake at the back seeing Rowland onto the ball 30 yards out hits it well angling towards goal, Bryant up to defend her crossbar tipping it over. The corner headed wide past the far post the final action of the match as Bungay advance in this season’s County Cup.

Full time Bungay Town Ladies 4-2 Woodbridge Town Ladies

  In the end it turned out to be a valiant effort from the bare 11 of Woodbridge started the game brightly taking the lead in the 15th minute. Bungay taking a while to get going coming back to level in the 25th minute leading the a further 3 goals being scored in quick succession, the game turned completely around as Bungay took a 3-2 into the 2nd half. Pressed the advantage at the start of the 2nd period looking for an additional goal, some smart saves from Bryant in the Woodbridge goal keeping them in the game but just as the visitors got the believe back they could pull in back themselves, Bungay got that all important 2 goal cushion in the final 10 minutes to win the game. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

    Now onto the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match for 2021. I have a clear winner for a change but before that several good performances to mention. For Woodbridge, Tash Williams was solid at the back. Ali Rampling with some great runs from midfield especially first half, whilst Sadie Jamieson was impressive attacking down the right. Some superb saves too from Georgie Bryant kept her side in it 2nd half. For Bungay Charnelle Riggall was strong in the middle chasing down the ball rarely letting Woodbridge settle. Overall though the award today goes to Selina Rowland from the moment she gave her rallying cry demanding more from her side going forwards she led by example making some fantastic runs linking up with Emily Leach in attack and scoring the first and last goals aswell as setting up the third.

  A joy to be back after so long, have missed it and believe it or not was nervous about starting all over again. Good to get the camera and notepad out again. An enjoyable match helps too, a competitive return you never know what’s going to happen and that’s what makes it special. My thanks to both sides for helping me with the team details. A pleasure to be back.

by Darren Gilham