Sunday, 30 November 2014

Match Report - Ipswich Town Ladies v Cardiff City Ladies - FAWPL League Cup

   It has been a whole two weeks since I last wrote a match report and with two attempts, planning to watch a women's football match both ending in the matches getting postponed in midweek I was hoping this weekend's match would be on having had it pencilled in, in my diary since the draw for the last 16 of the FA Women's Premier League Cup was made, between Ipswich Town Ladies & Cardiff City Ladies.

    A long journey for Cardiff City Ladies amongst the title challenges in the FAWPL Southern Division currently in 2nd place as they travelled from the Welsh capital east to Suffolk to take on FAWPL South East Division One side Ipswich Town Ladies.

    A tough draw for the Suffolk side, but a chance to test themselves against a side from a higher division. The venue for today's match a 3G pitch at Ipswich Academy which meant it would survive the weather although the rain stayed away on a cold and gloomy afternoon. It was disappointing the fans were made to stand behind the tall fence to watch the match, although I can understand the reason for this it is hardly fair to supporter and players alike.

   For both sides a place in the last eight of the FAWPL League Cup was up for grabs.

   Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI - Chloe Wood, Coral Young, Lucy Du Plooy, Danielle Bitten (C), Aimee Harrison, Lindsey Smith, Sasha Diston, Samantha Carson, Ellie Rossiter, Amanda Crump & Jemma Yarnton.
    subs - Roxanne Small, Molly Hall & Emma Goldsmith.

  Cardiff City Ladies starting XI - Alesha McGlynn, Abbie Britton, Lauren Townsend, Kayleigh Green (C), Louise Hutton, Laura Williams, Kelly Isaac, Steph Williams, Sarah Wiltshire, Cori Williams & Kelly Aldridge.
   subs - Naomi Clipson, Shanelle Edwards & Beth Lloyd.

  It was Cardiff all in red (even the numbers on their shirts) to kick off the match against Ipswich lined up in blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Is chilly with a keen wind the floodlights are on early although it would actually brighten as the game wore on. It's Ipswich who start the brighter of the 2 sides working ball out from the back it is played into the feet of Sasha Diston in the centre of the park she spots the run Amanda Crump is making on the right passes the ball into her run, she carries it forwards and shoots from the edge of the box the ball striking the side netting.

    The Cardiff player I have seen the most of is on loan striker Sarah Wiltshire, the Welsh international having played for Watford Ladies before moving to Yeovil Town Ladies both in the FAWSL 2 during the summer. Has been on loan to Cardiff before then at Watford the previous season, scores goals where ever she goes and would pose a threat to Ipswich today. Is on the ball out on the right channel, surges forwards looks to cross the ball, it is cut out by defender Aimee Harrison, only half cleared Wilttshire comes inside wins the ball back, works the space to shoot 20 yards out the ball is straight into the gloves of Ipswich goalkeeper Chloe Wood.

   Wood is called into action moments later pushing the ball around her post for a corner off a shot from distance by Cardiff's Kelly Aldridge. The corner played in centrally goes over Wood but Wiltshire heads over at close range gets a nick a 2nd corner is given this time Wiltshire has more time to head the ball goalwards but again the attempt is over.

   Is a large pitch and both sides are looking to make use of the space, Ipswich are playing a good pressing game early on forcing errors from the Cardiff back line, captain Dani Bitten wins the ball outside the box looks to play it into Crump on the left this time, shots from a tight angle the ball is collected by Cardiff goalkeeper Alesha McGlynn.

   The ball is played through to Wilshire, playing off the last defender, she surges forwards looking to make for the by line and cross the ball into the area, Ipswich defender Coral Young makes up the ground to tackle her and win the ball back. Cardiff are starting to find more time on the ball move it forwards at pace and stretch the Ipswich defence, Wiltshire and Aldridge space in the channels up front.

    Lindsey Smith brings down, Cardiff's captain Kayleigh Green as she makes a determined run out from the back, 40 yards from goal it's Lauren Townsend over the free kick strikes a low shoot with power against the wall.

   GOAL! The visitors are quicker to respond get onto the loose ball as Ipswich look to break out of their area the bal is passed out to Wiltshire wide left, head down she drives into the box, cuts it back into the six yard box where team mate Aldridge has arrived to tap the ball past Wood to give the visitors the lead 0-1.

    Diston is unlucky to concede a free kick 40 yards out as she tackles well to win the ball, but her trailing leg trips the Cardiff attacker, same position as the earlier free kick this effort taken by Cardiff's Steph Williams is heading for the back of the net, Wood makes the save pushing the ball around the post for a corner. Wood does well to claim the ball under challenge as it comes into her area.

   GOAL!  The visitors double their lead, strong running down the left as Cardiff break with pace, Ipswich prevent the cross from coming in, the ball though is won back and played into the feet of Cardiff's Laura Williams on the corner of the penalty area she drills her shot low and hard towards the far post and scores 0-2.

   Ipswich have a free kick on the half way line it's Diston who plays the ball forwards for Crump making the forward run on the left she holds the ball up well, turns her marker and charges into the box puts a high looping cross into box looking for Ellie Rossiter making the run towards the far post Cardiff head behind for the corner.

   Wood makes a fantastic point blank save off Wiltshire as the Welsh international has the ball at her feet and steals into the box, Wood is quick off her line to close the angle down, Wiltshire strikes her shot against her.

    Lauren Townsend is finding alot of space down the right making some good runs from the right back position, a powerful runner, strong on the ball she carries the ball forwards with purpose. Laura Williams plays the ball into her path Townsend surges into the box, Ipswich's Harrison comes across makes an important tackle to deny a goal scoring opportunity.

   GOAL! It's not long before Cardiff extend their lead however. The build up is quick again the ball won in the centre is played forward into Wiltshire the strike from distance is powerful and kept low past Wood before she can react 0-3.

Cardiff's Sarah Wiltshire looking for a strike on goal

    Cardiff continue to press forwards getting the ball high up the pitch, Wiltshire sees the run from Townsend on the right plays the long pass to perfection into her feet, the right back has time to put a good cross into the six yard box, high Wood gets a glove to it pushes the ball away, it comes back out to Laura Williams who blasts her shot over from 25 yards.

                       Half-time Ipswich Town Ladies 0-3 Cardiff City Ladies

   Despite a bright start Ipswich find themselves 3 goals down, could have been more, have defended well but Cardiff's movement off the ball has stretched them at times and pushed back the home side has struggled to get the ball up to Rossiter in attack. An early goal is needed if the home side wants to get back into the match as they kick off the 2nd half.

   It is McGlynn in the Cardiff goal who is the 1st to be tested in the 2nd half as Ipswich captain Dani Bitten has a pop at goal from 45 yards out a good effort but McGlynn sees it all the way. Not long after McGlynn is called into action again as she rushes off her line to close down Ipswich's Amanda Crump as she is played on goal by Samantha Carson outside the box..

   GOAL! The next goal is Cardiff's the visitors mount another rapid counter attack, breaking down the right of the pitch. The ball is clear of the Ipswich defence, Wood comes rushing out of her area is commited has to get to the ball and clear it before the Cardiff attack can nick it past her, does well sending the ball out for a throw, the high fence means the ball hasn't frightened the life out of a squirrel, instead the throw is taken quickly Wood is hardly back on her line as the shot comes in from Aldridge fired across the box towards the far post and in 0-4.

   GOAL! Cardiff soon add a 5th goal and it's Aldridge with her hat-trick as she peels off to the left channel as the ball is played into her beats her marker, shifts the ball between her feet 20 yards out and strikes the ball sending her rising shot towards goal, Wood throws herself at the ball but in vain as the ball sails over her and in 0-5.

    Despite going 5 goals down Ipswich don't let their heads drop, continue looking to play the ball forwards, Ellie Rossiter holds the ball up well links up well with Bitten in the centre as she comes forwards in support she sprays the ball out to the left for Jemma Yarnton to run onto she breaks into the area strikes the ball goalwards, McGlynn is beaten at her near post but the ball cannons off the base of the post and Cardiff clear.

    Cardiff make the 1st change bringing on Naomi Clipson for Kayleigh Green.

   GOAL! Cardiff score a 6th goal, Aldridge with her 4th of the match good build up down the left this time the cross is fired in low and hard across the six yard line too strong for Wiltshire coming in centrally to slide onto it comes through to Aldridge at the far post and she slides to meet the cross and send the ball into the back of the net.

    Chanelle Edwards comes on for Cardiff. Wiltshire has a goal chalked off for offside as she plays off the shoulder of the last defender puts her shot in the net from distance a good strike but play is pulled back as the linesmans flag is up.

   Ipswich make their 1st change bringing on Molly Hall for Jemma Yarnton. Cardiff sub Chanelle Edwards adds extra pace to the visitors attack out on the left is soon on the ball driving at the tiring Ipswich defence. Breaking into the box, she is prevented from putting a ball across goal as Coral Young recovers well to make a brilliant tackle to concede a corner. The ball into the box his headed wide by Wiltshire at the far post. Beth Lloyd comes onto the pitch for Cardiff to replace Abbie Britton.

   GOAL! Cardiff bring up their 7th goal good combination play between Wiltshire and Aldridge. Wiltshire having ran into space on the left plays the ball into the middle for Aldridge continues her run looking to get into the box, Aldridge passes the ball to her, Wiltshire looks to shoot from an acute angle, puts plenty of power behind the rising shot Wood get's her gloves to it but can't prevent the shot going in 0-7.
    Ipswich make a 2nd change bringing on Emma Goldsmith for Lindsey Smith.

   Cardiff's Kelly Isaac having seen the goals going in wants in on the action as the ball rolls loose with Cardiff continuing to press the ball high up the pitch, comes to her outside the area she meets it on the half volley rising the shot strikes the bar, coming down into the area Ipswich clear.

   GOAL! This time Isaac get's her goal pressing forwards in numbers Isaac is central as the ball is played into her run 25 yards out from goal, she get's plenty of power and height on the shot Wood has no chance to stop it 0-8.

   Ipswich are still looking to create something even as they are conceding goals at the other end, in the middle Diston plays a good through ball into the path of Crump, Cardiff though are always alert to the threat and this time Townsend is round on the cover to win the ball before Crump can get her strike away.

Cardiff's Lauren Townsend

  Molly Hall holds the ball up well for Ipswich central with her back to goal it's Diston who looks to make the run past her, Hall gets the ball past her marker for Diston to run onto McGlynn is rapidly off her line to come and clear the threat.

   GOAL! It's Edwards who scores a 9th goal for Cardiff with a spin and shot from outside the box as the cross is fired into her from the left, as late on Cardiff work the ball up the pitch quickly as they have done all match 0-9.

   The final whistle blows and that is the full time score as Cardiff City Ladies win by 9 goals to nil and book their place in the FAWPL League Cup Quarter Final draw. A domiant display from the visitors once they settled into the match worked the ball well and the space on the pitch even better, stretched Ipswich which in turn prevented the home side from getting numbers forwards when they had the ball.

   A 9-0 defeat is never great, but it was a good test for Ipswich and credit to the team for not letting their heads drop looked to play the ball.

   Best of luck to Cardiff City Ladies in the next round of the League Cup and thanks to both clubs for helping me out with the match day squads.





Sunday, 16 November 2014

Cambridge University Women v Cambridge WFC Reserves

 Another Sunday and an entirely new competition to look at, along with two new teams for myself albeit another trip to see Cambridge WFC, only this time it was to take a look at their Reserves side who were away to Cambridge University Women in the Cambridgeshire S-Tech Women's League Cup.
     Drawn together in the 2nd round of the competition the ties are played over 2 legs, home and away with the 1st leg having been 2 weekends ago both sides playing out a 4-4 draw to leave no clue as to which way todays encounter might go. Both teams play in the same division too, the Cambridgeshire Women's Premiership.

   I also wanted to cover a Cambridge WFC Reserves game as I am sponsoring one of their players, Clara Greed through my other women's football fledgling outlet this season.

   Cambridge University Women play their home matches at the Fenners Cricket Ground in the middle of the city, an interesting and unique venue, as the name suggests a cricket ground, but their's plenty of room to place a football pitch away from the wickets.

   I hate being late for a match, and I suppose after watching 81 without a hitch in 2014 I was due one or two, was late getting down to Bristol on Thursday night to see them in Champion's League action beating Barcelona on aggregate, due to half the roads being dug between there and Norfolk, and Cambridge was just as taxing with roadworks on the way in and the turning on of the Christmas Lights meaning it was incredibly busy and struggling to find somewhere to park. I was late.

  Cambridge University Women starting XI - Janina Selzer, Rose Gibbins, Sarah Pearce, Ruth Gray, Grace Parker, Christine Lane, Claire Longden, Lynn-Jones Taylor, Elizabeth Robinshaw, Zoe Woodward-Lebihan (C), & Amanda Wainwright.
    subs - Amy Binning, Fiona Carter, Katy Davyson, Maud Gibbons & Imogen Garner

    Cambridge WFC Reserves starting XI - Tafadzwa Mhunduru, Emma Jenkins, Jordan Holland, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Emma Roberts (C), Laura Mills, Gemma Clarke, Ellie Cullum, Robyn Phillips, Liz Pamplin, Sarah Mosley.
    subs - Clara Greed, Emily Reed, Sarah Carroll & Tessa Shaw.

                                                      (roll on - roll off substitutes)

    ... with my late arrival I cannot report on the 1st ten minutes of match action, Cambridge University Women were playing in white shirts, navy shorts and sky blue socks. Cambridge WFC Reserves were playing all in red.

    GOAL! I missed the opening goal. It was scored by Cambridge WFC Reserves, Laura Mills. Steve Edwards their manager gave me this quote - "Emma Jenkins played the ball into the right channel and Laura Mills outpaced the defender to slot past the keeper first time." 0-1.

   GOAL! I'm on my way now having found that LAST parking space in the multi-storey. Just as Cambridge University win a corner. The ball is played in from the left, at good pace a metre off the ground towards the near post is met by Elizabeth Robinshaw who turns the ball into the net off her chest to level the scores 1-1.

   Is a damp and foggy afternoon, a little rain in the air the grass on the pitch is quite short, but the surface is firm despite the moisture not cutting up or making control of the ball tricky as you might expect. First impression's having arrived late are that both sides are looking to create early opening's winning the ball and looking to play it forwards into the attackers.

   Jordan Holland for Cambridge WFC takes a free kick in the middle 45 yards from goal, plays a good delivery towards the far post area for Ellie Cullum making the run she gets her head to it 10 yards out, the attempt is wide of goal.

 GOAL! It's Cambridge University who take the lead and it's Robinshaw with her 2nd of the match. The home side work the ball from the back quickly the ball played through the centre the fed out to the wide left position, the cross is strong fired across the 18 yard line, comes to Robinshaw at the edge of the box on the right, she has a bit to do to bring the ball down and get it away towards goal does so sending the powerful strike past Cambridge WFC goalkeeper Tafadzwu Mhunduru to make the score 2-1.

   Cambridge University continue to press forwards aren't afraid to go long with striker Amanda Wainwright a willing chaser of the ball she is put in past the Cambridge WFC back line on a couple of occasion's both times Mhunduru come confidently out of her line to clear or claim the ball.

   Cambridge WFC's, Cullum plays a deft pass with the outside of her boot into the run of Mills, the ball at her feet she drives towards the penalty box, gets a strike away is blocked, the ball going away for a corner. Good pressure from the visitors, keeping it better and looking to test Cambridge University Women's goalkeeper Janina Selzer with some long balls. Almost loses the ball as it is headed on by Sarah Mosley, Selzer knocking the ball down but failing to gather first time, recovers well to dive on the ball before a red shirt can steal in.

    Roll on, roll off substitutes Cambridge WFC bring on Tessa Shaw and Emily Reed for Emma Roberts and Liz Pamplin. In the middle of the park, Reed just come on decides to try her luck from distance a high looping effort is going to drop under the crossbar, Selzer has to keep her eye on it, palms it down and gathers.

    Another Cambridge University attack started from the back the ball is played forwards two passes out into the not sure which white shirted player was on the ball they break into the box, Mhumduru comes racing out of her goal to close her down dives as she pulls her foot back to strike, does enough to put her off the shot is dragged wide.

   Robinshaw wins a tackle high up the pitch out on the right, looks up and passes the ball central 20 yards out into Amy Binning, she does well to pull off her marker give herself half a yard to turn and shoot puts the ball straight into Mhunduru's gloves.

   Rose Gibbins for Cambridge University passes the ball forwards from the back into Ruth Gray who stabs it on into the run of Wainwright the chase is on between her and Cambridge WFC's Tessa Shaw the defender puts in a good sliding tackle to win the ball, concedes a corner the ball played in from the left drops down at the near post is loose for a 2nd before Cambridge WFC clear.

    Up front for Cambridge, Gemma Watson receives the ball on the edge of the area from Reed, holds it up well and looks to turn try and get a shot away is eventually crowded off the ball as three home defenders converge on her. Last chance of the half falls to Cambridge WFC as Mills puts a cross from the left into the box the ball is cleared but only as far as Emma Jenkins who running in fires a shot in from 25 yards the ball is put out of play for a corner.

                     Half-time Cambridge University Women 2-1 Cambridge WFC Reserves
   Competitive first half with both sides looking to win the ball and start an attack early. Cambridge WFC have had more of the ball, but haven't been as effective with it in the final third as Cambridge University have, leading 2-1 and with a 6-5 agg lead it's the visitors that need to create more openings in front of goal in the 2nd half and make a number of changes with Roberts coming back on along Sarah Carroll in the centre and Clara Greed out wide left.

   Getting darker with the gloomy skies a chill in the air as the 2nd half gets underway. It's the home side that start the brighter another pacey build up down their left the ball is fired into the box, no one has the legs to meet it.

   A good run from Cambridge WFC's Mills down the right, charges forwards out paces her marker and strikes the ball on the run, Cambridge University keeper Selzer seeing the danger has made a good decision to come as the shot is straight into her midriff she holds on well.

   The visitors gift Cambridge University a chance from a poor ball out from the back that Wainwright latches onto, peels to the left of the area and shoots from a tight angle, Mhunduru makes the save at her near post.

   Wainwright is looking to find space in the channels as Cambridge WFC look to put bodies forwards to bring the scores level, with a burst of pace the no10 enters the box, coming across to defend is Robyn Phillips with a great tackle to take the ball off her feet.

    Cambridge WFC's Emma Roberts with possession of the ball at the back moves forwards down the left. has Clara Greed in front of her, puts the ball into her run, Greed gets control of the ball, has pace to burn drives towards the box, is about to shoot a defender comes sliding in to thwart the strike deflected behind for a corner.

   Greed looks to make another run with the ball at her feet into the box from the left, looking to beat players Cambridge University defend well, the ball comes loose out towards Sarah Carroll who has a strike from 25 yards, but the home side have the bodies back to intercept. Liz Pamplin comes back on for Jordan Holland.

   On the left Lynn Jones Taylor for Cambridge University plays the ball into the run of Wainwright charging into the box shoots aiming for the near post, Mhunduru drops low pushes the ball away, the loose ball is blasted back in, Tessa Shaw is their back on the cover to make the block the ball coming back out to Claire Longden she fires her strike over the bar.

   GOAL! It's the equaliser Cambridge WFC have been looking for. The build up down the left the ball is played into the area with pace at a good height, there are shouts of hand ball the referee points to the penalty spot. It's Pamplin to step up makes no mistake putting it past the keeper to level the score line 2-2.

   The goal sparks Cambridge University into action having been pushed back for a spell they restart the match on the offensive, 1st Wainwright puts a fierce cross low across the goal line and out before Taylor blazes a shot wide after latching onto a poor clearance from the back.

   Reed gives away a foul in a dangerous position outside the box 20 yards to the right of the D, it's Longden over the ball, is a good effort gets it up and over the wall, in the fading light it looks close but goes over the bar.

   GOAL! Wainwright has looked a threat all game and restores Cambridge University's lead as the ball is put into her outside the box, turns her marker well on the right and strikes the ball low and hard across Mhunduru and into the net 3-2.

    Cambridge WFC look to counter straight away the ball played down the right from the restart, the cross is played in a looping ball, falls to Greed who finds herself in a central position she hits the ball on the turn on the edge of the box, a good strike, narrowly over.

Cambridge WFC's Clara Greed

   Gemma Clarke with another great chance to get Cambridge WFC back into the tie, the ball is played into her feet from the left as she drives frorwards from a central position is in space, Selzer comes rushing out to try and put her off, Clarke stabs the ball past her, beaten Selzer turns to see the ball thankfully dribble the wrong side of the post.

    A goal mouth scramble in the Cambridge University box late on as Mills brings the ball down and drives into the middle has he shot blocked, the ball falling amongst bodies, Clarke gets a foot on the ball is blocked at point blank range as the home side. Cambridge University defend in numbers get the ball away. The final whistle blows and Cambridge University win the 2nd leg 3-2 and win 7-6 overall to advance to the next round of the S-Tech Women's League Cup.

    An entertaining cup tie between two evenly matched sides, competitive as a narrow aggregate scoreline suggests. Congratulations to Cambridge University Women and thanks to both clubs for helping me out with the squad details especially after my late arrival.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Match Report - Bury Town Ladies v Bar Hill Women

    Having see them in action just a few matches back in the Ryman Cup, I had an early opportunity to return to Bury St Edmunds to watch Bury Town Ladies. This time in league action against Bar Hill Women in the Eastern Region Women's Football League (ERWFL) Division One North. Once again for myself a look at another new league.

     The league has seen a couple of clubs drop out before the season kicked off and others choosing not to take up a place from the county set up below, leaving just 5 clubs competing, Norwich City Ladies Reserves, Ipswich Wanderers and AFC Sudbury Ladies the other clubs involved this season. Bury Town Ladies are new entrants to the league having come up from the Suffolk Women's County League and have started their league campaign very well having taken maximum points from their 1st opening 5 matches before losing to AFC Sudbury Ladies last time out, lead the table on 15 points from 6 played.

   Bar Hill Women are an established side in the division, the Cambridgeshire side have played fewer games than todays opponents in the league having played 4 have won 2 and lost 2, on 6 points however they lay in 2nd place in the table as they travelled across the border to Suffolk to take on the league leaders.

  Bury Town Ladies, normally play their home matches at the Ram Meadow Stadium but with the heavy rain over the past few days that had seen a number of postponments this weekend, the game had been switched to the Hardwick Heath Recreation Ground to help preserve the playing surface at Ram Meadow. I had no trouble finding the ground, however finding the teams was a different matter as I introduced myself to a completely different teams manager as there was another match taking place on the pitch next door, and as much as my aim is to cover as many women's football matches as possible... I can't do 2 at the same time.

   Anyway once I'd found Bar Hill Women warming up at the opposite end of the pitch I was ready for the match action.

   Bury Town Ladies starting XI - Charlotte Osbourne (C), Lisa Pratt, Gemma Carter, Amelia Deuchars, Hayley Turner, Lyndsie Duemmel, Chelsea Panter, Helen Cryer, Katie Shorter, Norma Locker & Laura Brown.

   Bar Hill Women starting XI - Laura Bird, Caitlin Alvey, Gemma Clare (C), Katie Sims, Vicky Neal, Lucy Julian, Sam Reid, Sophie Ugur, Hollie Dare, Ellie Sims & Claire Radford.
    subs - Natalie Shenton, Amanda Satchell, Helen Slipper, Anna Jephson & Natalie Harman.

    A minutes silence was observed before the match in honour of Rememberance Day. Despite the heavy rain overnight the match kicked off under bright sunshine. It was Bury to get the match underway wearing their all blue kit against Bar Hill lined up in white shirts, black shorts and socks. A little bit of a slope upon the pitch running from one goal to the other. Bury start brightly working the ball down the left, winning a throw they work the ball into a crossing position, Lisa Pratt putting the ball into the box, Bar Hill goal keeper Laura Bird is well placed to take the ball.

   In the middle of the park Bury's Laura Brown puts in a good tackle to win the ball back, plays the ball forwards into the right channel for Gemma Carter to chase, she drives into the box, is stopped by Bar Hill captain Gemma Clare who defends well to prevent the attacker getting a shot away.

   Bar Hill have been pushed back a little in the opening exchanges break with purpose getting the ball moving quickly down the right of the pitch the ball coming out to Claire Radford who crosses early on the run, gets the ball too close to Bury goalkeeper and captain Charlotte Osbourne.

     Working the ball well through the middle Bury's Katie Shorter plays in Laura Brown she runs with the ball plays it into the feet of striker Lyndsie Duemmel who holds the ball up well, lays it off for Brown to hit on the run from distance, the shot has too much power, goes high over the crossbar.

   GOAL! Bar Hill get the ball up the pitch to striker Sophie Ugur who has made a run into the left channel, keeping the ball close to her feet she jinks past a couple of challenges before shooting from the corner of the area, the shot is blocked, isn't fully cleared comes back out into the middle, is put back into the area where two Bar Hill players have continued forward runs to support Ugur, one is Katie Sims she latches onto the pass and fires it past Osbourne to give the visitors the lead 0-1.

   Bury look to get the ball forwards quickly after conceding with Hayley Turner making a determined run down the left hand side of the pitch, has Duemmel in support looks to slide the ball into her run gets too much on the pass and Bird is able to gather.

   Bury are working the ball forwards well enough, Bar Hill are giving them space in midfield, are looking to keep their defence tight and make it hard for the home side to find a way through. Shorter combines well with Carter as they look to create something down the right, the ball into the area from Carter looking to pick out the run of Turner hasn't the carry to beat Bird who comes out to claim the ball.

Bury Town Ladies Gemma Carter
     Bar Hill's Sam Reid plays a good pass up the pitch looking for the run of Radford looking to come in from the right, Osbourne is fast off her line coming to the edge of her area and slide in to take the ball before the attacker can get on to the end of it.

   Ugur for Bar Hill looks to be a good dribbler of the ball, at her feet she is looking to run at players, find half a yard to go past them and get into a position to shoot or cross the ball coming in from the left looks to put a ball into the box towards the near post Osbourne gathers.

   Bar Hill are a threat on the counter attack look to break with numbers and pace, Radford and Ugur link up well on the right, win their team a corner, the ball is with good pace and height into the centre is met by Vicky Neal, her header from 8 yards out goes over the bar.

    Bar Hill's Ugur puts another good ball into the box after good work down the left, Bury clear the ball but only as far as Radford in the middle, she sprays the ball back out to the left the shot from distance comes in early a high ball dropping down has Osbourne concerned but jumping to make sure the ball strikes the top of the crossbar and goes out for a goal kick.

    Bury's Katie Shorter does well to win the ball back from the Bar Hill midfield, looks to push forwards with the ball into the left channel looks to put a ball back in across the goal, gets it past Bird but no one can get to the ball before it rolls wide of the far post.

                               Half time - Bury Town Ladies 0-1 Bar Hill Women

  A solid 1st half performance from Bar Hill, have defended very well keeping a good shape and worked the ball forwards quickly taking advantage of space on both wings. Took the lead and have restricted Bury's chances. Bury despite being given time on the ball in their own half have found it hard to find an opening in their opponents back line, shots have been restricted to distance with Bird in the Bar Hill goal rarely getting exposed.

   Bar Hill kick off the 2nd half, look to go on the offensive straight away with a long strike played forwards into Ellie Sims making the run plenty of support with her she plays an early cross into the box, Ugur ducks out of the way as the ball goes over her into Radford behind she hits it 1st time the shot is blazed over.

   Bar Hill have started the 2nd half strongly, at the back Neal wins the ball, passes it out wide left for Radford, running with the ball she looks to cut inside puts a ball into the box, Ellie Sims looks to meet it on the volley slices it wide, the ball is cleared out of the area only out to Katie Sims from 25 yards out her shot back in is into Osbournes gloves.

    Playing off the last defender Bar Hill's Hollie Dare forces an error, is past her has Ugur to her left in support passes to her then continues her run, Ugur retruns the pass, Dare has the shot, Osbourne is well positioned the effort doesn't trouble her.

Sophie Ugur on the attack for Bar Hill Women
   Bar Hill make the 1st change taking off Caitlin Alvey who has defended well at right back on in her place is Natalie Shelton.

   Bury look to get the ball moving forwards play it out wide to Duemmel, she turns her marker gets the ball into the box, Neal though makes the interception brings the ball away plays it into the middle. The ball is won back by Bury's Norma Locker, head down she makes a strong run towards the penalty box inside the area is closed down by three Bar Hill defenders can't find room for a shot the visitors counter.

   A spell of pressure from Bury as they keep the ball in and around the Bar Hill penalty box, win themselves a corner the ball played in at a good height goes through to the far post area is met by Chelsea Panter she heads the ball wide of the post. Not long after Locker wins the ball from a Bar Hill goal kick, puts her shot from distance wide of the goal.

   Bury break from the back as Bar Hill's Katie Sims looks to drive forwards with the ball, she is tackled, Bury clear the ball it comes to Shorter, strong on the ball she pushes towards Bar Hill's box beats two challenges before a 3rd deflected the ball wide right, Bury's Carter does all she can to get to it to have a shot on goal, Bird though beats her to it.

    Bar Hill's Ugur is taken down making another run on the left, it's Lucy Julian to play the free kick into the danger area, Osbourne misses it as it goes through everyone to strike the far post and Bury clear for a throw.

   Bury's Shorter and Locker link up well in the centre with the latter making another strong purposeful run forwards, lays the ball into Shorter who attempts to curl a shot in towards goal from distance, in goal Bird can see it wide. From a throw wide right Brown has a shot at goal the attempt is deflected winning Bury a corner coming in at pace Helen Cryer is there to get onto the ball but sends her attempt wide.
Bury Town Ladies Helen Cryer
    Bar Hill's Ellie Sims has been getting plenty of possession to attack with the ball down the left wins her team a corner. Is played in low with plenty of pace across the six yard box somehow the ball evades a maze of legs and sneaks out past the far post for a goal kick.

   Bar Hill make some more changes late on in the game with Ugur and Dare coming off. Reid has time to tee up a long range shot, of target the ball goes wide. The visitors press late on win a corner the ball is headed clear the final whislte blows and Bar Hill win the match 1-0 move onto 9 points retaining 2nd place in the league.

   A comfortable win for Bar Hill a good defensive performance, were able to recover quickly when they lost the ball let Bury come onto them a little confident they could deal with the final ball. Attacked with numbers and pace finding space to exploit on the wings.

   Bury are still top of the league by 6 points will be disappointed with todays result, never really exposed Bar Hill's defence, their chances restricted to distance never really got a chance to put their keeper under pressure.

    Good football from both sides who look to keep the ball on the ground work it forwards progressively and attack will be interesting to see whose in the promotion mix come the end of the season. Thanks to both clubs for their help with the squad details today.





Saturday, 8 November 2014

SWF Blog 50 Match Challenge update - Games 71 - 80

   The latest update of my SWF Blog 50 Match Challenge - now the 90 Match Challenge, the goal to attempt to watch a target of 90 women's football matches in 2014. Getting close now into November and games 71 - 80 have been clocked up.

    Has been as always a varied and interesting array of women's football leagues and competitions to watch. The final day of both the FAWSL 1 & 2 seasons last month. The winter leagues though are in full swing now have seen action in the FAWPL South East Division One, a top of the table clash in Norfolk Women's Division One, a double bill of women's football in Cambridgeshire's Women's Championship South. A Ryman Cup tie, and lastly the FA Women's Cup.

   So where have I been these past 10 matches :- Games #71 - 80

                     Game #71 - Cambridge WFC 1-1 Norwich City Ladies
                                        (FAWPL South East Division One) Weds 1st Oct

                     Game #72 - Enfield Town Ladies 3-2 Denham United Ladies
                                        (FAWPL South East Division One) Thurs 2nd Oct

                     Game #73 - Mulbarton Belles 1-2 Aylsham FC Ladies
                                        (Norfolk Women's Division One) Sun 5th Oct
                      Game #74 - Birmingham City Ladies 2-2 Notts County Ladies
                                        (FAWSL 1 Final Day) Sun 12th Oct

                      Game #75 - Luton Town Ladies 2-1 Bedford Ladies
                                          (FAWPL South East Division One) Weds 15th Oct

                      Game #76 - Cambridge Rangers 3-4 March Town United Ladies
                                        (Cambridgeshire Women's Ch'ship South) Sun 19th Oct

                      Game #77 - Milton Ladies 0-1 Sawtry Ladies
                                        (Cambridgeshire Women's Ch'ship South) Sun 19th Oct

                      Game #78 - Bury Town Ladies 0-7 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies
                                        (Ryman Cup) Thurs 23rd Oct

                      Game #79 - London Bees 0-9 Doncaster Rovers Belles
                                        (FAWSL 2 Final Day) Sun 26th Oct

                      Game #80 - Wymondham Town Ladies 1-4 Cambridge WFC (aet)
                                       (FA Women's Cup 3rd Rd Qualifying) Sun 2nd Nov

      A match report for all of these games can be found in the blog archives

    80 matches watched, 10 more to go. Time is running out to get them in, but on paper I have enough scheduled to reach that 90 match goal, only the weather can thwart my attempts, and there's nothing I can do about that. Plenty more great women's football to come this year looking forwards to what I hope is a final and successful last update..

   See you in 10 matches time...



Sunday, 2 November 2014

Match Report - Wymondham Town LFC v Cambridge WFC - FA Women's Cup

     An FA Women's Cup Sunday, the 3rd Rd Qualifying, the round where the big guns from the FAWPL Division One's (formerly the Combination leagues) enter the competition, up for grabs a place in the 1st round proper of the FA Women's Cup.

    My game of the weekend a trip across Norfolk to see one of the lowest ranked clubs left in the competiton, Norfolk Division One side, Wymondham Town LFC host FAWPL South East Division One side Cambridge WFC.

    Wymondham Town LFC have won ties in the previous 2 FA Women's Cup Qualifying rounds beating Newmarket Town Ladies 2-0 away from home in the 1st Qualifying round, then beating Eastern Region Premier Division side Gt Shelford Ladies by the same scoreline at home in the previous round. Now the Norfolk county league side faced an even bigger test in taking on a team playing 3 leagues above them.

    Wymondham Town LFC are one of the strongest sides in the Norfolk leagues and will be challenging for the title, would be confident of causing another cup upset today. Cambridge WFC entering the competition and looking to progress to the 1st round proper themselves wouldn't want to suffer the same fate as their Cambridgeshire rivals Gt Shelford as they travelled over to Norfolk on what was a wet and gloomy November day.

    Kings Head Meadow the venue where Wymondham Town LFC play there home matches, boasts a nice clubhouse that was serving up a cavery on match day, overlooking the pitch, no covered viewing around the sides it was a day for umbrella's. Still I'm prepared for this coming winter watching women's football have a new coat one that might actually keep me dry, and today it was getting it's 1st run out. With a notepad, camera and now umbrella my multi-tasking skills were going to be put to there limits as the teams came out...

    Wymondham Town LFC starting XI - Gemma Hamilton-Rout, Leah Newcombe, Rachel Cossey, Emma Chambers, Mary Cann, Amber Cantwell, Laura Parry (C), Natalie Woods, Kayleigh Holloway, Sally Hammerton & Laura Hammerton.
    subs - Louise Hamilton-Rout, Gabby Stone & Georgina Knights.

    Cambridge WFC starting XI - Verity Crook, Maria Davies, Liv Abbott, Hannah Goodchild (C), Becca Fay, Emily Reed, Becky Russell, Laura Bright, Faith Hewitt, Laura Baker & Sophie Thompson.
    sub - Nuala Wayne.

   Cambridge in their kit of sky blue shirts and socks with navy shorts, kicked off the 1st half, had brought a small squad up to Norfolk just the one sub in Nuala Wayne, had a few out, Maria Davies promoted from the reserves was making her 1st team debut at right back.

    It was Wymondham in their kit of red shirts, black shorts and socks that were the 1st to get the ball into the opponents box, from a quick counter attack the ball played up from the back into the middle and out to Kayleigh Holloway on the left wing, on the run crosses early the ball to close to Cambridge goalkeeper Verity Crook who gets an early touch of the ball.

    A cagey opening with both teams winning the ball and then looking to get it forwards, Wymondham confident to attack in force put the Cambridge back line under pressure, both their wide players looking to make runs. Cambridge's Laura Baker looks to play in strike partner Sophie Thompson on a couple of occasions the pass too heavy Wymondham goalkeeper Gemma Hamilton-Rout is able to come off her line and gather.

    Winning the ball in the centre Cambridge's Laura Bright pushes out to the left puts a fierce cross along the six yard box, is collected by Becky Russell out on the right she looks to play a cross back into the area, with Sophie Thompson coming in to meet the ball, it is intercepted and headed over by Wymondham's Leah Newcombe for a corner.

     Winning the ball from the Cambridge corner, Wymondham are quick to set up a counter attack, the ball coming out to Amber Cantwell on the right she drives forwards, looks to turn her marker and make for the box, inside she looks to stab the ball into the path of Sally Hammerton, puts the ball too close to Crook and she claims the ball.

    GOAL! Wymondham have been bright in the opening minutes of the match and take the lead. A direct but effective move from their goalkeeper as Hamilton-Rout kicks the ball out it is headed on by Laura Hammerton in the middle, is collected by Sally Hammerton who then plays the ball into the run of Holloway on the left, head down, Holloway drives into the box and shots early putting it past Crook before she can set herself to make the save 1-0.

   Wymondham continue to press forwards, with Cantwell playing in a squared ball from the right to the edge of the box for her captain Laura Parry to have a strike on goal, her attempt wide from 20 yards.
The captains battle for the ball, Wymondham's Laura Parry & Cambridge's Hannah Goodchild

   Cambridge get the ball into the final third, holding it up well in the D, Laura Baker looks to find a yard of space turn and shoot, the shot is blocked spins away for a corner. The set-piece is cleared, but only back to it's taker Russell, this time she puts it into the centre of the six yard box it bounces down comes through to Bright at the far post she looks to strike the ball back across the goal the shot cannons off the opposite post and Wymondham clear.
Wymondham's Amber Cantwell & Cambridge's Laura Bright
   Bright has another chance soon after, putting the ball into the side netting as she shoots from an acute angle as the ball headed on from a Crook free kick comes through to her.

    Wymondham's Sally Hammerton is put through from a deep past beating the offside trap to have a run on goal, with the Cambridge defence recovering and looking to close her down she shoots from 20 yards doesn't get enough on the shot to beat Crook in goal.

    The home side are doing well getting numbers forwards in attack, but recovering well and regaining their shape whenever Cambridge win the ball back, the visitors struggling to get the ball up to their strikers. Cambridge are forced into making an early change with midfielder Emily Reed having to come off having picked up a knock, Nuala Wayne comes on.

     The change sees Faith Hewitt move from the left of midfield into the centre with Wayne taking up the wide left position. Wayne has an almost immediate impact as she is played through on the left by Bright, shoots from the corner of the box, however Hamilton-Rout is well positioned to gather at her near post.

    Wayne is free on the left again as the ball is put into her feet, this time the angle is tighter the shot is put behind the goal. Wymondham fail to clear a Russell cross into the box from the right the ball coming out to Wayne this time she fires over from 25 yards in a central position.

   Riding out the spell of Cambridge pressure, Wymondham break, Parry with a great pass in the middle to put in Laura Hammerton, she bursts into the box is free to have a shot, instead opts to pass play in a team mate by then Cambridge have defenders back to win the tackle and recover.

    Holloway with another strong run down the left comes back inside, looks to curl a shot in from distance, Crook can see it wide of the post.

    Cambridge very nearly have an equaliser before half time as Hamilton-Rout mishandles a shot into her near post from Wayne the, the keeper recovers quickly though and dives to stop the ball from trickling over the line, gets hurt as Thompson trying to get to the ball closes her down. After treatment she is ok to continue.

                          Half-time Wymondham Town LFC 1-0 Cambridge WFC

     A good opening 45 minutes from the home side have been the better side for much of the half playing quick, counter attacking football, have tested the Cambridge back line and gotten in behind on a number of occasions. Cambridge after a slow start have come back into the match making for a more even contest as the half came to a close with Wayne coming on and giving the visitors an extra attack minded player.

    The rain has stopped falling it's safe to put the umbrella down as Wymondham kick off the 2nd half. This time it is the visitors who make the brighter start to the half keeping the ball better. Wayne has moved into a central striking role with Baker moving out to the left. In the centre Wayne holds the ball up lays it to her left for Bright then turns and looks for the return ball, it is put back into her on the edge of the box, she pulls her shot wide of goal.

    Liv Abbott makes a good tackle at the back with Sally Hammerton looking to pass the ball into Laura Hammerton on the edge of the box.

     Wymondham continue to do well working the ball down the left of the pitch, this time it's Holloway who wins the ball and starts an attack links up with Natalie Woods in the centre they play a good one two, before Holloway tries to thread a ball through for Sally Hammerton in the middle, a little too much on the ball gives Crook a chance to come and claim it.

     Cambridge's, Bright with a good ball out to Russell wide right, she keeps the ball well evading a challenge and puts a cross into the box, looks a safe catch for Hamilton-Rout, only her defender heads it away from her gloves the ball, falls to Thompson inside the box, who takes an instinctive shot, puts her effort over the bar.

    Wymondham break, the move down the right this time, Newcombe with the ball at her feet pushes forwards, passes it into Laura Hammerton wide on the right, her cross comes into the box finds Sally Hammerton on the turn she shots, puts the ball into the side netting.

Wymondham's Laura Hammerton

    GOAL! It's the equaliser Cambridge have been looking for, good work from Maria Davies working in tandem with Russell on the right of the pitch the latter winning a corner, coming in from the right, it is a great delivery into the centre of the goal at a good height it's Wayne who rises to try and meet it with her head, misses it narrowly but it comes down hits a red shirt and is diverted into the net managing to find a way past the keeper and the defender marking the post, an unfortunate own goal 1-1.

    The goal gives Cambridge a lift as they look to press for a 2nd. Thompson plays the ball into Wayne inside the box, is played back to Thompson no shot on she puts it out wide to Baker coming in from the left, she shoots, Hamilton-Rout makes a good save at the near post.

   Hamilton-Rout has to save off Baker again as the attacker makes another determined run on the left, head up she drives into the box, is pushed wide by Wymondham's Mary Cann but still gets a shot away, Hamilton-Rout pushes it away for a corner. Under pressure from the corner Hamilton-Rout nevertheless rises well to punch the ball away from her goal.

Cambridge's Laura Baker
      Cambridge are looking the more likely to score are keeping the ball better as Wayne has a shot from 25 yards out blocked the loose ball spinning central to Hewitt she has time to line up a shot pulls it wide of the post.

   Wymondham make their 1st change with Natalie Woods coming off and Louise Hamilton-Rout coming on.

   Cambridge win another corner, Russell putting in another good delivery towards the far post, Hamilton-Rout nicks in to take it of Liv Abbotts head as she comes in at the far post. Another corner is won, the ball coming in from the opposite side Goodchild is pushed as she goes to head the ball, however the ball is put back into the area Abbott with the header back across the six yard line, Baker gets to it her shot is blocked on the line.

   Wymondham make a 2nd change with Georgina Knights coming on in place of Sally Hammerton.

   Hewitt has a strike from distance, takes a nick off a defender on the way through, Hamilton-Rout is down well to make the save.

   Wymondham win a free kick wide right, played into the area Louise Hamilton-Rout flicks it on, comes back to Laura Parry, she blasts her shot over the crossbar.

   Cambridge have a free kick in the centre is taken quickly between Bright and Baker, the latter driving forwards is taken out, another free kick 22 yards central to Wymondham's goal, the shot comes in low, takes a deflection, Hamilton-Rout reacts well to get down to push the ball wide for a corner.

    3rd and final change for Wymondham with captain Laura Parry coming off and Gabby Stone coming onto the pitch.

    Russell puts in a good tackle to win the ball back high up the pitch on the right, works her way into the box has a strike on goal, it's Wymondham's Emma Chambers who makes the block. Baker is taken down again 30 yards out wide to the left of the goal, she takes the set piece squares it to Hewitt, her shot is straight down the keepers throat.

    Wayne puts the ball into the run of Baker left of the box arriving at the corner of the box she shoots leaving Hamilton-Rout stranded, as the ball is sent past her she turns to see it roll wide of the far post.

         90 minutes are up and it is 1-1 the tie goes into extra time, all subs have been made.

   Cambridge kick off the 1st period of extra time, look to get it forwards quickly get it out to Wayne wide left she comes into the box, looks to wrap her foot around the ball, the shot is straight at Hamilton-Rout she takes the ball cleanly.

    Crook with a great kick out, the ball is played on to Wayne who puts a shot in from the right forcing Hamilton-Rout to push it wide for a corner, the set piece comes in Wayne shoots inside the six yard box the shot is blocked on the line.

     Both sides are looking to score a goal in extra time neither looking for penalties as Holloway is played in over the top in a central striking position now tries to get to the ball, Crook comes out well to take the ball before she can steal in.

    GOAL! With good possession on the right side of the pitch Davies puts the ball into the area, it's Thompson who gets onto the end of it outside the six yard line to the right of goal looks to shoot across goal and puts it into the back of the net to make it 1-2.

     Thompson very nearly has a 2nd goal moments later as Baker puts her in inside the box she closes Hamilton-Rout down looks to put the ball over her but the keeper stays big puts her gloves up and saves brilliantly.

                     1st half extra time- Wymondham Town LFC 1-2 Cambridge WFC

   The home side have 15 minutes to get back on level terms as tehy kick off the 2nd period of extra time. It's Cambridge on the attack, the home side are starting to tire, Baker has had a really good game played well especially since moving out to the left, has a shot from inside the box produces another great save from Hamilton-Rout.

    From a corner Wayne is unmarked at the far post but pulls her header wide of the post.

   GOAL! Cambridge extend their lead, it's Thompson with her 2nd of the match, Baker plays the ball to her in a central position 25 yards out she isn't closed down gets her foot through the ball sending it arrowing past Hamilton-Rout and into the back of the net 1-3.

Cambridge's Sophie Thompson

    All Cambridge now Wymondham look shot have put in a great effort, Holloway gets onto a loose ball in the centre has space for a shot, puts it in towards goal too close to Crook she claims the ball.

    GOAL! Laura Bright adds a 4th goal to the score late in the match with a strong run towards goal, evading a couple of tired challenges she closes in on goal fires the ball home from close range, the last action of the game as the tie ends with Cambridge WFC winning 4-1 after extra time.

   Congratulations to Cambridge who progress to the 1st round of the FA Women's Cup were made to work for it though, grew into the game and looked the stronger side once they got the equaliser. Was a dogged and determined performance from Wymondham played some good attacking football throughout the match, will take alot of pride from having taken an FAWPL side all the way to extra time. The magic of the cup.
    I would like to thank both clubs managers, Chris Wiseman and Steve Edwards for helping me out with the squad details.