Postponed from last weekend both clubs were sure to fancy their chances of reaching the semi final stage of the Norfolk Women's County Cup. Lynn Ladies are riding high in the Norfolk Women's Division Two in 2nd place having suffered just the one defeat so far this campaign. Newly formed this season the club is aiming for success in all competitons. Today would be their toughest test to date though as they played host to a team plying their trade three divisions above.
Apart from Norwich City Ladies and their Reserve side, Acle United Ladies are the only other football team in Norfolk to play in a league outside of the county set up. Are newly promoted to the Eastern Region Women's Football League Premier Division this campaign. Has been a tough season so far in that league, with the club sitting bottom of the table having struggled to pick up points just a single win so far. The County Cup quarter final was a good distraction and opportunity to lift confidence and get back to winning ways. This was also the first match in charge for their new manager Nathan Einecker.
Was a bitterly cold, but bright day when I arrived at the West Lynn Social Club prior to the match, so why I asked for ice with my coke I don't know as I stepped outside to find the teams. The large pitch looked somewhat cut up from a match played upon it earlier the teams warming up off it.
Lynn Ladies starting XI - Bryony Russell-Smith, Kirsty Scott, Katie Garner, Millie Wilson, Emma Woods, Natalie Bunton, Bethan Jones, Lisa Wilson, Jodie Hopkins, Shelley Woods (C) & Josie Turner.
subs - Ellen Groves, Louise Coggles & April Kitchen.
Acle United Ladies starting XI - Chloe Nixon, Cara Anderson, Helen Emmerson (C), Gemma Bovington, Leah McGuire, Natasha Greenfield, Imogen Williams, Laura Hedtke, Joanne Hooper, Francesca Lambert & Sharnie Boast.
subs - Jenna Thurtle & Leonie Daulby.
roll on roll off substitutes.
It was Lynn kitted out all in purple to kick off the match against Acle lined up in black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. It as a frantic pace to start with the ball being exchanged between both sides as players were closed down all over the park, play restricted to the middle third with anyone attempting to make a run with the ball running into a tackle.
Acle's Imogen Williams is one in particular looking to take on players as the ball comes into her pushing out to the right channel she looks to put an early ball through into Lynn's box for her team mates to chase, gets too much on the ball Lynn goalkeeper Bryony Russell-Smith can see it wide for a goal kick.
On the opposite side of the pitch it's Francesa Lambert who attempts to put the ball through for Williams as she makes the run across the area. With the Lynn centre backs, Millie Wilson and Emma Woods closing the gap Williams can't squeeze the ball through to get in on goal.
Lynn are working hard to press Acle when they have the ball win it early and look to get an attacking move going. In the centre circle Bethan Jones wins the ball looks up sees striker Josie Turner ready to make a run puts the ball over the top of the Acle back line for her to chase down she breaks clear the ball at the edge of the area, Chloe Nixon in the Acle goal comes out early slides in to reach the ball before Turner can get a boot to it, the ball loose on the left is put back into Turner who 25 yards out tries to curl a shot towards goal with Nixon back peddling, the effort is wide of target.
GOAL! Lynn aren't afraid to try an effort at goal from distance. Pressing Acle in their own half it's Lisa Wilson who wins the ball back looks to push forwards with it, strikes the ball from 35 yards out the ball keeping low has plenty of pace as it flies towards the goal, Nixon dives at her near post to stop it, doesn't get enough of the ball, can only turn and look as it squirms past her and over the line even as Josie Turner races in to make sure. Wilson definately claims the goal (despite me awarding it to her captain by mistake).
Acle are on the attack straight from the restart with Williams on the ball down the right again the ball is fired into the box Russell-Smith with sharp reflexes to make the save push the ball behind for a corner. Form the Acle corner Lynn launch a counter attack with Turner holding up the ball half way pushes it into Woods who comes out in support down the left she puts the ball across the box into no 11 Jodie Hopkins, Acle have gotten players back and it's their no 11 Francesa Lambert who closes Hopkins down and puts in a great tackle to prevent a shooting opportunity.
Lynn have a corner on the right the ball is played into the crowded six yard area falls to Millie Wilson she puts her foot through the ball see's her shot blocked by the player Acle have place at the far post. Nixon is then called into action making a good save low at her near post as Lynn's Lisa Wilson bursts down the left playing a good one two with Turner, Wilson bursts into the box and shoots producing the save from Nixon.
Lynn are frustrating Acle playing a high tempo pressing game not letting the visitors build anything from the back keeping a tight shape leaving no spaces to exploit. Acle's Joanne Hooper playing in the centre of midfield get's hold of the ball passes in forwards into Sharnie Boast she has Lambert making a run on her left plays the forwards pass, Lambert's first touch is heavy having gotten past her marker she has too much to do to reach the ball before Russell-Smith can get out and claim the ball. Lynn make the first change with Louise Coggles coming on for Natalie Bunton and going up front.
Laura Hedtke has the ball at her feet and from the half way line looks to drive on hits the ball on the run a good way out Russell-Smith has plenty of time to sight the looping shot and catch the ball. Acle make a change with Jenna Thurtle coming on for Joanne Hooper.
Bethan Jones brings the ball out from the back for Lynn is hard to shake off the ball, puts it out wide to Woods in space out on the left she pushes down the channel finds Jones inside the box with her cross, Jones up against Acle captain Helen Emmerson can't find the half a yard needed to get her shot away, numbers back in support Acle clear. Acle make a second change with Leonie Daubly coming on for Cara Anderson. Lambert is yellow carded after she fouls Jones down near Lynn corner flag.
|Acle United Ladies Sharnie Boast|
Sharnie Boast working in the middle for Acle is frequently looking to push on with the ball more often than not looking for a pass forwards to either flank she takes a shot from 30 yards out this time gets too much under the ball scoops it up and over the crossbar. Boast has another attempt on goal soon after as she brings down a poorly cleared Lynn ball sends a low shot in back towards goal, Russell-Smith is well placed to intercept. In the closing minutes Acle have a corner from the right played out to the edge of the area the shot fired back in brushes the outside of the post.
Half-time Lynn Ladies 1-0 Acle United Ladies
A fast paced 1st half Lynn have played a high tempo pressing game that his frustrated Acle prevented them getting any flow going although both defences have had little cause for concern with neither side getting in behind very often. Only one goal in it still all to play for 2nd half.
Acle kick off the 2nd half with Hooper back on the pitch for Boast, Bunton is back on too for Lynn with Coggles off. Early on Jones gets hold of the ball in the middle for Lynn set's up an attack releasing Bunton who has space to surge into on the right. Her cross is left by the defender as she allows it to carry through to keeper Nixon, almost a costly mistake as she hasn't seen Turner closing her down gets to the ball first but sends it wide of goal.
End to end for a spell as both sides begin the half in determined fashion with Lynn on the attack with Woods putting Turner through she lays the ball off to her left with Wilson making the run, she is tackled by Acle's Natasha Greenfield as she tries to skip past the right back, who launches the ball forwards with Hedtke heading it on for Daulby she pulls out to the right plays the ball into the box with Thurtle coming in to head the ball Lynn's Emma Woods jumps to reach it first and clear.
Nixon makes another vital save diving to stop a low drive from Turner as she bursts clear of everyone opts to shoot early 25 yards out.
It's Acle's turn to have a shot cleared off the line as they win a corner. The ball is fired in with pace low into Lambert making a run towards it she looks to flick it beyond her to the crowded penalty area beyond, the ball is put in towards goal a purple body is there on the line to block. Acle are pushing Lynn back now putting pressure on the ball higher up the pitch just as Lynn were doing to them in the 1st half. Up front Thurtle and Daulby are using the space better.
Boast returns to the pitch with Lambert the player off. In the middle of the park their is a good contest going on between Lynn's Jones and Acle's Hooper, both committed players Jones comes off the better holding onto the the ball as Hooper comes in strongly leaves herself poleaxed on the floor for a moment or two.
GOAL! Acle have been pushing hard looking for the equaliser and they get it as the ball is played forwards it is a hooked clearance that is intercepted by Thurtle 30 yards from goal she keeps hold of the ball riding a couple of Lynn challenges, steals into the box pushing left of the goal face she sends her shot back across the keeper and into the net 1-1.
|Acle United Ladies Jenna Thurtle on the attack|
Lynn look to restore the lead right from the restart as Turner brings the ball down with her chest her back to goal, Woods gets onto the ball and shoots drags it wide of goal. Good again from Jones in the middle finds Bunton on the right pushing close to the by line puts the cross in looking for Turner making the run but too close to Nixon. Into the last 10 minutes of the match, Hopkins comes off for Lynn with Coggles back on up front.
GOAL! Acle win a free kick out wide left half way between the centre cirle and area it's Sharnie Boast over the ball with everyone else inside the box. Striking the ball it is a high flighted ball, it looks like the perfect strike, on target is over everyone no one can get near it as it flys into the back of the net at the far post and gives Acle the lead 1-2.
Lynn have to go for it with minutes to go, go 3-4-3 with Ellen Groves and April Kitchen coming on. The home side struggle to get the ball back do win a corner overload the box the ball is put into the near post it's an Acle head that clears. They break, the ball put up to Thurtle she has Jones for company as the Lynn player tracks back to take the ball from her inside the box.
Closing moments and Boast gets herself a red card for saying something to the referee she shouldn't have. Doesn't effect the final score as the whistle blows and Acle United Ladies comeback from a goal down to win the match 2-1 and progress to the semi finals for the Norfolk Women's County Cup where they will play a home match against Wymondham Town Ladies.
The other semi final will be contested between last years runners up Thorpe United Ladies and Stalham Town Ladies.
A good contest today from two committed sides, high tempo with Lynn getting the better of the 1st half, will be disappointed to have conceded the way they did in the end maybe needed a 2nd goal to take the pressure off. Acle were frustrated 1st half but dug in 2nd half pressed the ball better and fought their way back into the match.
Thanks to both clubs for their help with the squad details today.