Thursday, 28 May 2015

A United Future for Cambridge WFC

  Cambridge WFC have announced today a new and exciting chapter to their history with the news that they are to merge with Cambridge United FC and become known as Cambridge United Women. Below is the statement issued by the club.
                                                              Club Statement

    Cambridge Women’s Football Club are delighted to announce that they will be merging with Cambridge United Football Club with immediate effect. The link will see the club change its name to Cambridge United Women’s Football Club and operate with full assistance from CUFC as the two clubs join forces.

As part of the new, exciting link, the club will take on the CUFC badge and playing kit for the new season and have support in terms of funding, sponsorship, staffing and media promotion, as well as working together to help girl’s football in the area and having a bigger presence in the local community.

The club will continue to play in the FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One, where they finished in 7th place this season, and will look to improve on that for 2015/16.

The formation of the club will be marked with a special promotional launch match on Thursday 30th July, at the Abbey Stadium against Queens Park Rangers Ladies, more details will be announced at a later date.

The club will now be holding open trials, for any female players aged 16 or over who are interested in playing for the club. The trials will be held at Linton Community Sports Centre, Cambridge Road, Linton, CB21 4JB on 10th, 14th and 17th June. Please email or for a trials form.
  Prior to the announcement I had the opportunity to ask Cambridge WFC manager Steve Edwards a few questions about the merger of the two clubs and what the future offers not only Cambridge United Women but women's football in the wider community.
Cambridge WFC manager Steve Edwards
  First of all Steve I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for letting me ask you some further questions on what is an exciting announcement for Cambridge WFC today.
 Q. A merger with Cambridge United Football Club what does that mean for Cambridge WFC?
        It’s a brilliant opportunity for this football club to move forward in women’s football while putting in place a more professional support structure to act as a platform from which to build. Cambridge United are growing from strength to strength in the men’s game and we have similar plans and ambitions for the women’s set up. It will mean we can work together and share expertise and resources and sends a real statement that we mean business.
  Q. How did the merger come about in the 1st place who approached who?
     There have been talks for some time now from both parties and it has been evident from the start that not only was this something that we at CWFC wanted, but Cambridge United were equally as keen to have a successful women’s team at the club. With the set-up that we already had in place, along with our big ambitions, it was a very natural progression to make this happen.
   Q. Having a club such as Cambridge United involved now established back into the Football League after promotion from the Conference the season before offers huge potential to grow the women’s game not just within the club itself but to the wider game within Cambridgeshire itself what are the advantages to Cambridge WFC?
   The link with Cambridge United is an important relationship for us to have as it will give us access to a number of benefits. Not only will we become an integrated part of a brand that’s identity continues to grow, by taking on the name, badge and kit, but we will gain further sponsorship and fundraising opportunities which will allow us to kick on as a club. With all this in place, plus more possibilities of facilities and staffing, the potential of the women’s team has rapidly increased. We are hoping that this will enable us to attract more players to this already strong club.
   Q. The club will take on a new name becoming Cambridge United Women and with it a new badge and new playing strip big changes to make were these easy decisions to make from the clubs point of view?
  Yes these were necessary changes to make and ones that we all agreed on. The merger ensures that the players will know they are a proper part of Cambridge United Football Club, the brand is instantly recognisable and continues to grow in the professional game. There will be an element of sadness to move away from our old identity which has served us well until now of course, but this is soon counter-acted by the excitement we are all feeling about becoming Cambridge United.
  Q. Huge benefits in terms of helping to raise the clubs profile what do you hope the merger will offer the women’s side in the future?
    The added exposure that this will inevitably give us not only in the media but in the Cambridgeshire community is really positive, and hopefully we will be able to gain a number of new supporters who already so passionately follow the men’s team. Women’s football can sometimes have a hard time getting heard in the media and getting the coverage it deserves, but this is improving all the time and I have no doubt that we will generate more interest in us now.
  Q. How excited are you yourself with the merger? Know you’re passionate about the game and believe Cambridge WFC are a club on the verge of big things.
   We are extremely excited for the future now and this merge was a key part of our plans going forward. It feels great to have now put this in place and we can really start planning for, not only the season ahead, but the mid-term and long-term futures. I do believe this club and this area has massive potential and should be competing nationally in the women’s game but you can’t put a superpower on the pitch without putting all the right things in place off the pitch. The hard work really starts now and there’s a long way to go, but as long as we keep moving in the right direction, we’re on schedule!
  Q. What are your aims for next season now you have this merger with Cambridge United?
   I am busy at the moment looking at player recruitment which will dominate my thoughts over the next few weeks, both from player targets and also open trials that have now been announced. Then attention will turn to pre-season where we will have an improved fitness schedule that ensures we are getting the squad in the right place fitness wise, which will be key come the start of the season. I won’t be setting the club any targets in terms of points or position, we will look to treat every game the same and as one that we want to win. If we are professional about everything we do and have a winning mentality, then points and positions look after themselves. Of course, we want to be competing at the right end of the table and winning trophies!
  Q. I myself am passionate about seeing women’s football grow within the East of England think there is real potential out there. Do you think this merger offers Cambridge a chance to become one of the region’s forerunners?
     We wanted to ensure the club didn’t stand still. Throughout the club’s history, decisions have been made at the time to ensure the club kept moving forward and this is another important milestone for the club. Personally I believe this will end up being the best move it has ever made. We want to be able to offer facilities, coaching, a style of football and a level of football that is the best in the region and I hope that the opportunity to be part of a huge club, will excite the best players in the area to want to join that vision.
    A new era for the club begins with a special promotional launch at the Abbey Stadium on the 30th July against Queens Park Rangers Ladies, a club themselves that enjoy a good relationship with their men's side further details of the match to be released at a later date.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Match Report - Portsmouth FC Ladies v Sheffield FC Ladies

   Rarely in women's football in England has a game come around that is a big as this one as the Champion's of the FA Women's Premier League's Northern and Southern Division's, Portsmouth FC Ladies and Sheffield FC Ladies meet in a one off Championship Playoff Final the prize for the victorious team a place in the FA Women's Super League.

   Up till now the FAWSL had been a closed shop with teams applying from the winter leagues to join. Many campaigned for the restoration of the football pyramid and this season with the FAWSL looking to expand sees for the 1st time teams vying for promotion on playing merit. Team's are still required to apply for promotion have to meet certain criteria this however is in place throughout the whole playing pyramid as any team wishes to move up the leagues.

    5 teams across the FAWPL Northern and Southern Division's had applied and will have to meet the FA criteria to enter the FAWSL 2, with 2 of those being todays playoff finalists.

 The Finalists

    Portsmouth FC Ladies haven't wasted much time establishing themselves in the FAWPL Southern Division having achieved promotion in 2012 having won the old Southern Division that used to feed into the National Division prior to it splitting into a Northern and Southern League, have built upon a 4th place finish last season to go on and win the title this year coming out on top of what was a keenly contested league with 5 teams in contention for the title for much of the season taking maximum points from their last 6 league games saw them claim the title and book their place in todays Championship Playoff Final. 

    Sheffield FC Ladies rise up the women's football pyramid in England has been a rapid one achieved promotion to the FAWPL Northern Division four years ago, since then have been the dominant team in the division winning the title for the last 3 seasons. This season had a strong challenger to the title as geography saw last season's FAWPL Southern Division winners Coventry City Ladies join them in the Northern Division, were neck and neck in the title race until their rivals were hit with a 6 point deduction which allowed Sheffield FC Ladies to go on and win their 3rd Northern Division title and earn them a place in todays Championship Playoff Final.

    The venue for todays game a familiar one The DCS Stadium, home of Stratford Town FC was also the home of Birmingham City Ladies for their 1st 3 seasons in the FAWSL. A tidy non league ground on the outskirts of town with good facilities and small seated stand down one side of the pitch. Decent refreshments the cheeseburger was as good as I remembered. Was an overcast sky over the ground but very warm small chance of a shower so I opted to put the umbrella in my rucksack instead of the sun cream. Pitch looked in great condition lush covering of grass.

   Portsmouth FC Ladies starting XI - Courtney Trodd, Jess Frampton, Nadine Bazan, Molly Clark, Eilidh Currie, Sarah Kempson, Shannon Sievwright, Ellie Bloomfield, Lucy Quinn, Charley Wilson (C) & Gemma Hillier.
   subs - Tiff Taylor, Jodie Goodall & Elizabeth O'Callaghan.

   Sheffield FC Ladies starting XI - Claire Wallhead, Lynn Goodman, Danielle Cox, Billie Murphy, Ellie Gilliatt, Kerry Parkin, Carla Ward (C), Amy Beanland, Lisa Giampalma, Jodie Michalska & Emma Johnson.
   subs - Aimee Johnson, Abbie McLver, Suzanne Davies & Nikki Hogg.

  Both teams had players unavailable going into todays final. Portsmouth the most notable of the 2 sides who were without both their two 1st choice keepers with Sadie Blakely suspended and back up Michelle Beazley signed on transfer deadline day ineligible under FA rules. This meant they would be fielding a keeper from their youth ranks, 16 year old Courtney Trodd taking her place between the sticks for the biggest game in the clubs history. Portsmouth also had Nigerian striker Ini Umatong unavailable as she was away with the national team along with the experienced Leeta Rutherford.

   Sheffield also had players they couldn't call upon centre back Sheldon Ashton along with midfielder Becky Lee  and Jess Heald as the two sides took to the pitch, Portsmouth had brought plenty of vocal support with them from the South Coast not that the Sheffield supporters are a quiet bunch soon there was some good natured banter going on between the two.

    It's Sheffield to kick off the final kitted out in red shirts, black shorts and socks against Portsmouth lined up in blue shirts, white shorts and red socks. From kick off Sheffield look to travel with the ball down the left of the pitch, the ball is played long into the box but spotting a foul referee Lisa Rashid brings the play back for a free kick to Sheffield, the ball is fired in low to the edge of the area both Emma Johnson and Jodie Michalska attack the ball but can find no way through the Portsmouth defence as they put in the blocking tackles.

   Is a fast start to the game Portsmouth are looking to pressure the ball high up the pitch try to get strikers Gemma Hillier and captain Charley Wilson in behind the Sheffield back line from a free kick played from the half way line Hillier can't quite bring the ball under control to the right of the area has supporting racing up to help her with Nadine Bazan getting onto the ball and whipping in a cross from the by line the ball is headed away from danger by Sheffield's Danielle Cox.

    Wilson is hustling Sheffield's Lynn Goodman at the back the right back looks the play the ball back to her goalkeeper Claire Wallhead as she comes to the corner of the area, the pass is short putting Wallhead under pressure as Wilson races after it, she smashes her attempted shot against the keeper the ball is sent up looping into the air and falling is looking like it is going to bounce down and over the line, however the rest of the Sheffield defence has gotten back to cover the goal line and the ball is hooked away.

    Pushing forwards with the ball at her feet Emma Johnson for Sheffield comes in from the left fires a fierce cross into the area looking to pick out Lisa Giampalma making a run from the right under challenge as she receives the ball she is falling back as she strikes it slicing the attempt wide.

    Both Hillier and Wilson both chase the ball down up front in the wider positions right then left, their crosses into the area are met by a Sheffield head. Sheffield counter attack with Ellie Gilliatt bringing the ball up the pitch from left back, plays a good ball into the box looking to pick out her captain Carla Ward, she looks to meet it on the volley sends the shot over the crossbar.

    Portsmouth's pressing play is causing Sheffield some frustration as they struggle to build anything from the back are more often than not playing a longer pass than they'd like and seeing Portsmouth defend well. Johnson for Sheffield out on the right gets the ball across to Ward who in turn looks to send Amy Beanland through she arrives from midfield with Courtney Trodd rushing out to meet her she gets her shot away from the edge of the area the shot is wide of the post. Ward then puts the ball onto the roof of the net from a free kick 40 yards out wide on the left.

   Portsmouth look to break Wilson getting on the ball in the middle driving forwards has Hillier to her right in support looks to send her away, Sheffield's Billie Murphy comes sliding in to win the ball but ends up scything down Hillier instead, gets herself the 1st yellow card of the match. Molly Clark to play the ball into the area once again it's Cox who leaps up to head the ball clear.

Portsmouth FC Ladies captain Charley Wilson on the ball.

    Lucy Quinn then races in down the right wing taking the ball from Sheffield looks to turn inside and running across the D pulls the trigger sending a low effort in towards goal, can only pick out Wallhead well placed in the centre to scoop it up. Quinn is in the thick of the action again moments later winning a free kick wide left beside the area the ball sent in is defended well by Ward.

   Jodie Michalska hasn't seen as much of the ball 1st half as she would like has come looking for it turning and making a powerful run forwards to the right of the goal releases her shot early 35 yards out has plenty of pace Trodd though can watch it race across her six yard box and out.
Jodie Michalska with the ball for Sheffield Ladies

    Trodd then produces a fantastic save of Michalska again this time as she gets onto the ball 30 yards out again right of goal sends a curling effort in towards goal is destined for the top corner but for Trodd who throws herself back at her far post and tips the ball over for a corner kick.

   Is end to end an intriguing contest, Hillier and Wilson working hard up top making it difficult for Sheffield to put their opponents defence under any sustained pressure. Portsmouth break as the ball is sent long the Sheffield clearance is sliced across the area 30 yards out pushing forwards is Sarah Kempson she latches onto the ball and shots is a tame effort rolls through to Wallhead in goal.

   Late in the 1st half Gilliatt brings the ball up the Sheffield left once more pushing into the Portsmouth half looks to drive inside sends the ball into looking to attack the near post she turns her header on into the middle has Michalska behind her central she looks to turn the ball into the net, Trodd is sharp and down to save the ball.

                   Half time Portsmouth FC Ladies 0-0 Sheffield FC Ladies

   As far as 0-0 score lines go that was as an exciting a half of football I've watched to date, don't know how much some times until I start writing up my notes. A exciting half from two sides really up for the final, Portsmouth are working hard to close the ball all over the pitch especially in attack which in turn has kept the pressure off the defence and their young keeper, although Trodd has produced 2 fantastic saves so far. Sheffield have had the better chances, Portsmouth have found Wallhead well positioned whenever they have gotten a shot away on target.

   The teams out for the 2nd half it's Portsmouth to kick off the 2nd half. Start on the attack the ball carried down the left is put through to Wilson she drives forwards looks to shot fires the ball across the six yard box and out of play.

    Beanland is fouled by Portsmouth's Jess Frampton as Sheffield bring the ball forwards quickly the set piece to the left of the D 20 yards from goal it's Michalska over the ball looks to go for goal puts the ball onto the roof of the net. Sheffield have started the 2nd half stronger are looking to get the ball into Johnson, Michalska and Giampalma on the right hand side earlier the push players up from the middle to support. Johnson has come back to help out in defence looks to send the ball long for Michalska to chase down, Portsmouth's Molly Clark is across to put in a vital tackle to win the ball stop Michalska bursting through into the area with the ball.

   On the attack Beanland has pushed forwards for Sheffield from midfield as the ball is sent into her from the left entering the area as Trodd mishandles the ball drops to her as Portsmouth defenders converge on her she can't get her shot away instead gets it out to Giampalma on her right the no 9 sweeps her shot wide of the post. More Sheffield pressure a corner won on the right is playing in dangerously towards the far post it's both captains looking to jump and win the ball Ward gets the final touch sending the ball over the cross bar.

    1st substitution of the match comes from Sheffield as Beanland is taken off to be replaced by  Abbey McIver. Sheffield are creating far more opportunities now are stretching Portsmouth at the back Michalska chases down a ball at the by line on the left and sends the cross into the area is intercepted by Bazan who headers it clear before it can reach Giampalma behind her.

   Sheffield keep the pressure up regaining possession of the ball inside the Portsmouth half it's Kerry Parkin who plays the ball over the top clearing the Portsmouth defence with Johnson the player peeling away to the left just a yard out she tries to wrap her foot around it turn it inside the post only succeeds in stabbing it wide.

Portsmouth's Lucy Quinn and Sheffield's Ellie Gilliatt tussle for the ball.

   Bringing the ball up from the back showing good foot work Gilliatt is fouled by Quinn earning the Portsmouth player a yellow card. The free kick wide on the left is to be taken by Johnson, Portsmouth make their 1st change before it is delivered though, with Bazan coming off and Tiff Taylor coming on. The set piece delivered into the area is cleared for a corner. The corner is swept in under the cross bar Trodd does very well to snatch it out of the air.

   Frampton wins a tackle in the middle and looks to drive forwards for Portsmouth centrally she feeds it through into the run Wilson is making to the right, getting to the ball she releases an early cross along the six yard box has Kempson making the run to the far post but she can't reach the ball to try and turn it into the net, the ball is retrieved on the left and sent back into the centre from inside the D Frampton meets it on the turn can't get under the ball sends her shot over the bar.

    Wallhead is called into action in the Sheffield goal to make a great save as the ball is played into Quinn on the right inside the box she puts her foot through the ball sending it towards goal looping up Wallhead with a reflex save on her line tips the ball up into the air and as she falls is sharp grabbing the ball into her body is it drops behind her keeping it out of the net.

   Portsmouth win a free kick on the right the ball is played into the area is met by Kempson who sends her headed effort on towards the far post is cleared by Goodman before Wilson and attack it. Another great save from Wallhead this time off Wilson as she and Hillier link up in attack for Portsmouth the latter sending Wilson through into the box to the right of the goal she looks to pull her shot across the keeper good reactions Wallhead is down and saves.

   The match enters the last 10 minutes both defences are holding firm although Portsmouth are getting a little tired as Sheffield's front players pull them out of position. Parkin getting onto the ball in the middle for Sheffield plays it over the top into space on the right with Michalska a willing runner she retrieves the ball on the by line puts in a vicious cross along the goal face Trodd does well to palm it away from danger with players coming in to attack it behind her.

   McIver is put through on goal the offside flag staying down as Portsmouth defender Clark is down struggling with an injury. McIver is a good way out opts to shoot early Trodd has started to come but turning as the ball sails past her can see it over the bar. Into the final minutes of normal time and Portsmouth make their 2nd change with Elizabeth O'Callaghan coming on for Ellie Bloomfield.

   GOAL! Looked like the game was heading for extra time but as 5 minutes injury time is indicated Portsmouth are attacking the Sheffield goal, the ball is won back is sent forwards long into Giampalma back to goal she lays it back to Michalska and turns running into  the space behind right of goal as the ball is returned to her she is through on goal, Trodd comes racing out to the edge of the area desperate to make the save dives Giampalma gets her shot past her and sends it into the back of the net! 0-1!

    Minutes left in the match already into injury time Sheffield have the lead aren't interested in a 2nd goal are back defending as Portsmouth have to go forwards try and find quick reply the closest they get is a Kempson header from the edge of the area that is turned wide.

Sheffield FC Ladies Lisa Giampalma scorer of the winning goal as the final whistle is blown.

Sheffield celebrations
   The final whistle blows and Sheffield FC Ladies win the FAWPL Championship Playoff Final and the celebrations can begin. Was a gfantastic final to watch a great advert for the Women's Premier League.

   Sheffield were the stronger side in the 2nd half created far more chances as their movement wore Portsmouth down. Tough though on Portsmouth to lose the match so late in injury time was a fantastic effort the players crestfallen after the final whistle can be proud of what they have achieved.

Sheffield can starting planning for football in FA WSL 2 next season, will still have to meet the FA criteria but after this victory the work can begin in earnest to make that happen.

Champagne time!

My congratulations to Sheffield FC Ladies on their Championship Playoff Final victory.












Sunday, 17 May 2015

Match Report - Millwall Lionesses v Watford Ladies

   Having been in Letchworth to watch the ERWFL League Plate Final earlier in the afternoon this match was only 26 miles down the road and with there being no extra time or penalties needed I was back in the car and off to Harlow Town FC to watch the FAWSL 2 match between Millwall Lionesses and Watford Ladies.

  After Reading FC Women beat Doncaster Rovers Belles 3-0 away from home last night to go top of the league, Millwall Lionesses are now the only unbeaten team in the league but after 6 matches played this is countered by the fact they have only recorded the one league win and have become the draw specialists picking up 5 so far this season, a win tonight against Watford would see them climb into the top half of the table.

   Watford Ladies have had a tough start to their 2nd season playing in the FAWSL 2 have struggled for points losing 4 of their opening 5 fixtures have picked up 4 points with a draw and a much needed victory last time out a 1-0 at home to Aston Villa Ladies, will hope the win sees them turn a corner and start picking up points to edge away from the bottom of the table. Watford are the only FAWSL 2 side I haven't seen play yet so good to get a match in before the mid season break.

   The venue today the 3rd 'home' ground I've been to, to watch Millwall Lionesses, Harlow Town FC, now I arrived hungry and I wasn't coming in unless I was assured there was food inside, there was! (You probably guessed what I had to eat). A decent non league ground a new build with a good lay out, top notch refreshments and a bar, a large stand housing the changing rooms down one side with a terraced stand on the opposite side. The pitch a good size a 3G surface for a 6 o'clock kick off the sunny still bright in the sky as the two teams came out onto the pitch.

   Millwall Lionesses starting XI - Sarah Quantrill, Jordon Butler, Dionne Lennon (C), Naomi Cole, Leanne Cowan, Lily Agg, Danielle Carlton, Grace Fisk, Megan Goss, Ashlee Hincks & Rosella Ayane.
  subs - Lauren Davis, Francesca Ali, Lilli Maple, Francesca Gibbs, Frankie Strugnell & Rinsola Babajibe.

  Watford Ladies starting XI - Shayla Burgess, Leighanne Robe, Grace Gillard, Mollie Burgess, Emily Heaslip (C), Josie Green, Jenna Dear, Stacey Donnelly, Ellie Mason, Hollie Wride & Kate Natkiel.
   subs - Cherie Rowlands, Kim Farrow, Anneka Nuttall & Maddy Scheffer.

  Millwall to kick off the 1st half wearing navy blue shirts with white shorts and socks with Watford lined up opposite in yellow shirts and socks with black socks. Millwall take the ball into Watford's half early on looking to test their defence find no way through the ball ending all the way back with their goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill.

   On the left for Watford Hollie Wride is clipped as she attempts to play the ball forwards into Ellie Mason no advantage the referee brings play back, it's Jenna Dear on the set piece for Watford the ball is whipped in with good pace and height too close to Quantrill however allowing the keeper to claim.

  Watford are attacking early on with Dear pushing on from the midfield gives the ball to Kate Natkiel she goes to shoot from 25 yards out Millwall's Grace Fisk is on hand to put in the block before Mason has a go from 30 yards out left of the goal the ball flying over the cross bar. Watford continue to press the ball are making it difficult for Millwall to bring it out from the back.

Millwall Lionesses Lily Agg looking to get a strike in on goal

   Millwall striker Rosella Ayane like Dear for Watford on loan from Chelsea Ladies does well to bring the ball down as it is played long into her as she peels off into space on the left hits it over from 30 yards out.

   GOAL! Millwall players scream for handball as the ball is played into the area from the right, initially the referee doesn't give anything but after running across to consult with his linesman returns and points to the spot. It's Naomi Cole to step up and take the penalty kick for Millwall smashes the ball in off the inside of the post to open the scoring 1-0.

   15 minutes played Millwall have the lead continue to press forwards twice they get the ball out to the right looking for Megan Goss on both occasions the pass is a little too heavy allowing Watford keeper Shayla Burgess the chance to claim.

   GOAL! Millwall double their lead the goal coming from a set piece won out wide on the left with players forwards inside the area it's Ashlee Hincks recently brought in by Millwall from Gillingham Ladies to play the ball in, is a fantastic delivery Ayane rises above everyone unchallenged in the centre to meet the ball with her head bullet it into the back of the net 2-0.

Watford captain Emily Heaslip in a chase for the ball with Millwall's Rosella Ayane

   The ball is zipping about the 3G surface there are some robust challenges coming in from both sides Watford feeling aggrieved with some of the refereeing decisions that have gone against them. Lily Agg goes on the drive with the ball at her feet pushing on into the area is forced out to the right of goal does well to turn the cross back in can't pick anyone out as Watford get it away.

   Winning a free kick 25 yards out on the right it's Millwall's Danielle Carlton to play the ball into the box, it's Megan Goss who gets her head to the ball plants it onto the cross bar dropping down still in play the loose ball is blocked at close range a corner is won, the set piece is sent in long to the far side from the left is met by Millwall captain Dionne Lennon who heads it back across the goal, Watford clear a header from of the line.

   Agg with another powerful run with the ball gives it to Hincks on the right of the box from outside she turns and looks to curl a low ball in towards goal not enough pace on the shot Burgess scoops it up.

   GOAL! Having been on the back foot for a spell Watford pull a goal back good work from Dear in the middle as she gets in the way of a pass manages to control the ball and bring it on, plays the pass into Mason 30 yards out she is awarded time and space from Millwall to line up a shot a duly obliges hitting the ball towards goal with plenty of power behind it to fly past Quantrill and in to make it 2-1.

  The goal gives Watford a little more belief and they pick up the pace with which they started the match, Cole concedes a sloppy corner trying to smuggle the ball back to Quantrill the ball is played in from the left comes into the congested far post area is headed away only as far as Stacey Donnelly on the edge of the area opts to loft it back in Quantrill is the 1st to it and claims the ball.

                          Half time Millwall Lionesses 2-1 Watford Ladies

   Watford find themselves behind and a little aggrieved with the decisions that went against them 1st half, Millwall have had more of the ball with Hincks, Goss and Ayane's movement up front causing problems, but a late goal back in the half has restored some of Watford's confidence.

   Watford get the 2nd half underway, Millwall get hold of the ball and bringing it forwards win an early corner played in from the right Goss has made a run from the D to meet the ball getting her head to the ball turns it goal wards flies across the goal and out of play at the far post.

Watford's Jenna Dear with Millwall's Ashlee Hincks

   From a throw on the left Agg has a chance to loft the ball over the Watford defence has Hincks making a run from the opposite side into the area, the attempted pass is just a little too heavy allowing Burgess to get to it 1st.

   GOAL! A poor goal kick from Burgess hits Agg 25 yards out to the right of the area she is then fouled trying to release the ball. Watford set 3 players in the wall as Hincks and Agg consult over the ball, Agg is sent away as Hincks looks to take it, hits a low shot with venom that sweeps around the wall and is past Burgess before she can get down to save at the far post to give Millwall a 3-1 lead early in the 2nd half.

   Kate Natkiel has a chance for Watford as the visitors break forwards the pass is threaded through into her as she races into the D, overruns the ball, retrieving it tries to scoop it up and in towards goal but sends her effort over. Natkiel is put through again by Donnelly this time though she is thwarted by the offside flag.

   Ayane makes up the ground to claim the ball on the left pushing on looks to whip the cross in along the six yard box looking for Goss at the far post can't quite get there to turn it home. Watford soon have the ball up the pitch again with Natkiel attacking down the right her cross is too strong evades everyone in front of goal is retrieved on the left and played back in to Donnelly inside the D she flicks it up and shoots puts the ball straight into Quantrill.

Jenna Dear looking to bring the ball forwards for Watford Ladies

   Watford captain Emily Heaslip brings the ball out from the back plays the cross field pass out to Mason in space on the left 20 yards from goal she puts her boot through the ball Quantrill dives gets the merest of touches to take the ball beyond the far post and out for a corner. Watford make a change with Donnelly coming off and Anneka Nuttall coming on to play up front.

   GOAL! Has an almost immediate effect as the substitute pulls a goal back for the visitors the pass is played from the middle cutting open the Millwall defence and sending Nuttall in behind them Quantrill comes and commits herself going to ground, Nuttall stays composed and slips the ball past her and into the back of the net 3-2.

   Nuttall's joy is short lived as moments later she is shown a red card for an off the ball incident as she and Cole clash on the edge of the box, Cole is down Nuttall is given her marching orders the referee informing the Watford bench it was for violent conduct. Nuttall walking off is clearly incensed has to be made to go to the dressing room by the referee as play resumes.

   A few strong challenges are flying in now both sides are wound up the refereeing not helping to calm thing's down. Agg getting onto the ball looks to pull the trigger from 25 yards out is clipped as she shoots the ball running through to the keeper.

   Carlton then fouls Mason giving Watford a free kick on the left of the box 20 yards out. Dear is over the set piece sends the ball straight into Quantrill in the centre of goal. Millwall aren't really capitalising on having an extra player on the pitch Watford are fired up and committing into every challenge. Fisk comes off for Millwall with Lilli Maple coming on and going into the middle.

   Josie Green bombs forwards for Watford after Millwall loses possession in their half plays it out to Mason on the lift she drives another shot in towards goal heading for the near post this time Quantrill has the angle covered and is down quickly to make the save. Green is replaced by Kim Farrow for Watford.

   Millwall with a free kick on the right the ball is swept into the box comes to Goss she has to try and scoop the ball up from six yards to get it past Burgess but the keeper stays big and takes the ball into her gloves.

   Hincks puts a great ball in from the right for Ayane to attack, however Burgess is out rapidly to dive at her feet and make the save. Closing minutes both sides have a pop from distance both times the attempt is wide of the goal.

     The final whistle blows and Millwall Lionesses win the match 3-2 and move onto 11 points and into 4th place in the FAWSL 2 league table.

   A fast paced game with some great goals scored in between some controversial refereeing decisions odd that a red card was shown yet hardly a yellow were some strong challenges flying in although on most occasions the players just got on with it. Watford were always behind in the match but may have fancied their chances of pulling something back before the red card incident the 10 left on the pitch looking to take the game to Millwall which led to an exciting finish.








Cup Final Report - Royston Town Ladies v Colney Heath Ladies

  Trip down into Hertfordshire this afternoon to watch my last final of the 2014/15 season. Not for a cup this time but rather a Plate in the Eastern Region Women's Football League (ERWFL) to be contested between Royston Town Ladies and Colney Heath Ladies.

  The League Plate is a competition contested by the teams competing in the ERWFL Division One, North and South. This year with just 5 teams contesting the Division One North against 10 in the South the early stages of the competition were set up into a group format with the 15 teams between the leagues drawn into three groups with the winners and the best runner up going into the semi-finals.

   The Finalists

   Royston Town Ladies are the current holders of the ERWFL League Plate having beaten Hutton Ladies 1-0 last season. Topping their group to reach the semi-finals of the competition were drawn away to Bury Town Ladies won the match 5-0 to book their place in a 2nd successive League Plate Final. Have had a strong league campaign losing just twice have a chance to finish 2nd with 2 games left to play and played in the ERWFL League Cup Final this past Sunday lost on that occasion 3-1 to Lowestoft Town Ladies.

   Colney Heath Ladies were originally St Albans City Ladies formed back in 2009. Earned promotion from the Beds & Herts Women's Division One to the ERWFL at the end of the 2013/14 season have since moved and gone into partnership with Colney heath FC and were renamed Colney Heath Ladies has been a case of establishing themselves in the ERWFL Division One South this season. Topped their group to reach the semi finals setting up a tricky match against the best runners up Offley & Stopsley who were riding high in the league won the match 1-0 to reach the final.

  The venue for todays ERWFL League Plate Final The County Ground in Letchworth Garden City. Snuck in the last car allowed into the car park is home to the Hertfordshire FA the ground boasts one main stand with plenty of seating with a bar and changing facilities at one end a covered standing area on the opposite side of the pitch with small standing areas behind each goal. Weather wise it was bright and sunny perfect for a Cup/Plate Final.

   Royston Town Ladies starting XI - Becki Scott, Stacey Hassen, Katie Seymour, Gemma Barlow (C), Amie Jones, Amy Cooper, Heather Parete, Emma Phipps, Jo Rutherford, Grace Leslie & Natalie Richardson.
   subs - Rebekah Fisk, Danielle Lewis, Georgia Gannaway & Samantha Chapman.

   Colney Heath Ladies starting XI - Sasha Tucker, Eustacia Randles, Molly Slade, Rachel Sherlow, Victoria Allen, Kelly Hancock, Amber Charlton, Kirsty Feasey (C), Sophie Joseph, Holly Sheridan & Georga Knight.
   subs - Faith Trounce, Adrienne Milton, Grace Campion, Sammy May & Lucy Hancock.

                                       (roll on roll off substitutes)

   It's Colney Heath to get the final under way kitted out in black and white vertical striped shirts with black shorts and socks against Royston lined up in their away colours yellow shirts with blue sleeves, blue shorts and socks.

   Colney Heath start on the attack with Kelly Hancock on the ball down the right slides the pass through to Holly Sheridan in attack in front of her closing the by line down Sheridan cuts the ball back across the area the cross behind the runs of her team mates it's Amie Jones in the Royston defence who is able to get her foot on the ball and bring it out to clear.

   Grace Leslie for Royston plays the ball long for Jo Rutherford to get hold of she is strong on the ball making a central run looks to hit her shot from 25 yards out is on target brings the save from Colney Heath goalkeeper Sasha Tucker diverting it behind for a corner kick, the set piece is played into the side netting from the right.

   Royston have the ball in and around the Colney Heath box for a spell exchanging passes probing looking for a way through, eventually the shot comes in from Natalie Richardson playing on the left of attack blazes the shot over, but must have caught a Colney Heath boot on the way through as another corner is given.

  Is an interesting contest shaping up, Royston are a bigger side than Colney Heath have the power whereas Colney Heath look to be a young side full of pace and energy in attack, intriguing to see how it would unfold. Leslie has the ball out on the right as Royston attack looking to come inside wants to shoot as she crosses the D, Colney Heath captain Kirsty Feasey has tracked back with her and puts the block in as she pulls the trigger.

Colney Heath Ladies captain Kirsty Feasey on the ball.

   Richardson is making herself available out wide on the wing for Royston is after the ball as it is played long to her getting hold of it in the channel she looks to come inside evades a sliding challenge but entering the box is falling as she takes on the shot getting no pace into the low effort it doesn't worry Tucker in goal.

   GOAL! Royston open the scoring as possession is won back from a Colney Heath attack the pass is slotted through beyond the defence is a race between Colney Heath's Victoria Allen and Rutherford to get to the ball 1st, the attacker getting her foot on the ball as she closes the area down sees Tucker racing out to the edge of the box to close her down sends her shot past her and into the back of the net with 15 minutes played 1-0.

   Feasey travelling with the ball brings it forwards and sends Hancock away down the right she whips her cross into the six yard box is an inviting ball looking to drop in front of goal vital a Royston defender gets to it 1st, they do as Jones gets the ball clear.

   Colney Heath are getting more of the ball in the attacking 3rd now as Hancock on the right again tries to bring the ball into the box wins her team a corner, is taken short however they win a 2nd corner this one is a better delivery played out to Amber Charlton waiting at the back of the box she gets her head to the ball sending a looping ball back in towards goal, has Becki Scott in the Royston goal worried on her line she an arm up to prevent the ball dropping under the bar and in a good save.

  Hancock is fouled as she tries to make a central run in front of the D needing treatment has hurt her shoulder is taken off along with Georga Knight as Colney Heath make a double switch Sammy May and Adrienne Milton coming on. It's Feasey over the set piece looks to go for goal sending it in produces another good save from Scott as she leaps and tips it over for a corner kick. The initial corner is cleared but as Royston look to come out Colney Heath's Milton springs the offside trap to get on the ball skipping past one challenge as players race back to challenge she can't find a way past Royston's Katie Seymour who blocks putting the ball behind for another corner.

  GOAL! Colney Heath pull the scores level as the corner is played into the box on the floor Royston manage to get it away but not before the referee points to the penalty spot indicating their was a tug on a Colney Heath shirt. Is Charlton to take the kick smashes it high past Scott on the right to make it 1-1.

   Royston captain Gemma Barlow in the centre of midfield plays the pass forwards into Leslie on her left she looks to thread it through for Rutherford, this time Allen is there 1st to make the tackle before Rutherford can take the ball beyond the defence.

  GOAL! Royston retake the lead the attack beginning from the back as Jones getting hold of the ball brings it out of defence moving into the middle sends Rutherford away with a great pass strong on the ball the striker takes on the shot as she enters the area drilling a low effort past Scott at her left post 2-1.

   Another cut back inside from Richardson on the left as she evades another sliding challenge entering the area opens up her body to shoot but pulls her effort over the bar. Royston make their 1st change with Danielle Lewis coming on for Emma Phipps.

  GOAL! Barely 2 minutes later and Colney Heath have the scores level once more as another defender brings the ball out from defence, this time it's Molly Slade with the determined run fires her forwards pass into Sophie Joseph she splits the Royston defence as she turns the ball into Holly Sheridan making the run in between Scott has come but hesitates Sheridan doesn't as with her 1st touch she slots the ball past her and into the back of the net 2-2.

   Getting onto the ball in front of the Colney Heath area is Lewis for Royston keeps hold of it looking for an opening in front of her eventually gets it out to Richardson on the left she sweeps a great cross along the six yard box looking for Rutherford at the far post the striker can't quite get the touch needed to turn the ball home.

                   Half time Royston Town Ladies 2-2 Colney Heath Ladies

   Has been an exciting and fast paced 1st half to the League Plate Final with Royston twice taking the lead before Colney Heath came back to pull the scores level. Rutherford is a powerful centre forward difficult to deal with looks a threat every time she gets the ball. Colney Heath's movement has caused a few problems in and around the Royston defence although they are prepared to drop deep to prevent them finding any space behind.

   Royston to kick off the 2nd half. Half time change for Colney Heath with Grace Champion on for Amber Carlton. Colney Heath win a early free kick out wide on the left have Slade over the ball she plays it into the area dropping at the far post Royston's Stacey Hassen has to be careful as she brings it down with an opponent lurking behind her, Scott is down to smother the ball at her far post.

   Peeling out to the left of the box as Royston bring the ball up the pitch Lewis hits the ball into towards goal as it is sent into her path smashes the ball against the crossbar drops down still in play inside the box, Heather Parete is to it 1st for Royston hits her shot straight at Tucker who makes the save.

  Play is more open 2nd half end to end the Colney Heath putting in the blocks as Royston bring the ball up towards their box try shooting from distance.

  GOAL! Royston retake the lead early in the 2nd half are awarded a penalty as Rutherford is played through to the left of the goal has Rachel Sherlow racing back with her she slides in to make the challenge as they both enter the area takes the ball but also the player the referee pointing to the spot it's Rutherford herself to take a chance to get her hat trick. Hits the ball hard to Tucker's right and into the back of the net to complete her hat trick 3-2.
Royston Town Ladies Jo Rutherford

   Colney Heath win a free kick 30 yards from goal to the left of the goal it's Slade over the ball looks to have an effort on goal but sends the shot over. A poor goal kick from Scott is played straight into Sheridan 30 yards out she gets her head down and looks to drive with the ball into the area Amy Cooper is after her and across to put in the challenge the ball going away for a corner. Coming in from the right the corner is headed of the line at the near post by Royston dropping in the congested six yard area a scramble for the ball is on feet flying everywhere no one can squeeze the ball over the line before Royston get it clear.

   Hancock returns to the pitch for Colney Heath with Joseph given a rest. Royston bring on Rebekah Fisk and Georgia Gannaway for Hassen and Leslie. Barlow puts the ball into Rutherford her back to goal lays it out to her right for Lewis to attack looks to strike the ball on the run tight angle gets no power behind the shot Tucker can see it into her gloves.

   GOAL! The rapid pace of the 2nd half is leading to the ball travelling quickly up the pitch both defences are leaving space. Royston have Parete on the ball in space on the right is taken out by Champion as she comes across and slides in to win the ball Rutherford is in front of her though the advantage is played Rutherford though herself is fouled as she enters the area and another penalty is awarded. Rutherford is the taker again looks to send the shot the same way low to the right Scott initially saves this time but the ball pops back out to Rutherford following in and she smashes the rebound home 4-2.

   Colney Heath press bodies forwards looking to get back into the match Joseph is back on for Colney Heath they have a corner Amy Cooper wins the header to get the ball out of the area comes to Joseph on the left fizzes it back into the box looking for Milton who can't quite get the ball out from under her feet to get a shot away before Royston converge on her and win the ball back. Charlton comes back on for Colney Heath with Sheridan suffering from a bit of cramp.

  Royston have sat back since scoring the 4th goal are inviting Colney Heath on to them looking to counter attack get the ball up the pitch quickly into Richardson on the left squares her cross into the box looking for runners at the far post the ball evades everyone. Faith Trounce comes onto the pitch for Colney Heath with Hancock giving way. Rutherford and Barlow are brought off by Royston with Leslie and Lucy Hancock coming on.

   Trounce looks to bring the ball up the pitch down the left is tackled by Cooper the ball going out for a throw a free kick is awarded however the ball from the tight angle the ball is sent in with plenty of pace bounces in front of goal and is past Scott and into the back of the net however Colney Heath haven't pulled a goal back as the linesman on the far side has his flag up.

   Colney Heath keep pressing forwards not giving up Royston though have plenty back defending. Slade has another chance from a set piece to put the ball into the box the initial ball is headed away Charlton regains possession bursting into the box on the right puts a dangerous cross along the goal face, Rebekah Fisk does enough to scramble the ball away from danger a yard out with players closing her down.

   Royston get the opportunity to launch a counter attack late on with so many forwards for Colney Heath as Gannaway finds herself the furthest forwards free in a central position to attack the goal Tucker comes to close her down she shoots hits the keeper which takes the ball out to the right Gannaway is after it as Tucker back peddles but she can't get her shot away as Champion gets back to challenge for the ball.

   Last attack for Colney Heath into injury time a late corner in from the right is headed towards goal at the far post everyone defending the Royston goal can see it fly wide though and the final whistle blows Royston Town Ladies retain the League Plate winning by 4-2 Jo Rutherford with all 4 goals.

   An entertaining final both sides going for it two 2nd half penalties settling it for Royston after Colney Heath had done well to keep the scores level at half time. My thanks to both sides for helping me with the squad details today. 

  Congratulations to Royston Town Ladies ERWFL League Plate winners.



Match Report - Doncaster Rovers Belles v Reading FC Women

   Still early days in the FAWSL 2 season as the top two in the table meet at the Keepmoat Stadium in a match that could have a lot of bearing on where the title might go as Doncaster Rovers Belles host Reading FC Women.

   Both clubs were touted as title favourites at the start of the season and both started the campaign positively settling into position at the top of the FAWSL 2. Doncaster Rovers Belles lead the way are undefeated after 6 games played with 5 victories and a draw on 16 points. Averaging 3 goals per game in the league Courtney Sweetman-Kirk is leading the goal scoring chart with 5 goals, has good support from Sue Smith and Bethany England having 4 goals a piece.

   Reading FC Women got off to a flyer with Fran Kirby starting the season in irresistible form scoring 10 goals in the opening 3 matches to propel Reading to the top of the table have slipped behind Doncaster Rovers Belles since after suffering a 4-2 home defeat against Yeovil Town Ladies followed by a 2-2 draw at home to Oxford United Women. Got back winning ways last time out again at home 2-1 over Everton Ladies to move onto 13 points. Travel to the Keepmoat Stadium this evening without Kirby in the squad though as she prepares for the World Cup with the rest of the England squad.

   The Keepmoat pitch has seen a lot of action this season still it looked to be holding up well if a little cut up in places. A pleasant spring evening dry and sunny as the teams entered the pitch. Reading had brought plenty of support with them and a drum, these and Doncaster's bells were all on my left a lively atmosphere although Sarah Maye of Belles Noisy Fans wasn't going to have the bells out done and was soon rallying the support on the right too.

   Doncaster Rovers Belles starting XI - Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Hope Knight, Leandra Little (C), Rhiannon Roberts, Kasia Lipka, Sophie Barker, Beth England, Sue Smith, Emily Roberts & Courtney Sweetman-Kirk.
   subs- Lauren Cresswell, Sophie Stamp, Samantha Tierney, Reanne Thomas, Nicola Dale & Molly Johnson

   Reading FC Women starting XI - Grace Moloney, Rebecca Jane, Harriet Scott, Kylie Davies, Kirsty McGee (C), Lois Roche, Laura-May Walkley, Rachel Rowe, Lauren Bruton, Emma Follis & Helen Ward.
   subs - Charlie Estcourt, Molly Bartrip, Georgia Giddings, Claire Skinner, Eloise Wilson & Rebekah Haines.

   Another notable player missing for Reading was midfielder Bonnie Horwood as the teams took to the pitch the visitors lined up in their away kit of black shirts and socks with red shorts against Doncaster lined up in their yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. It's Doncaster to kick off the 1st half.

   Both sides are playing a 4-3-3 formation with Reading starting with Lauren Bruton in the centre supported by Emma Follis right and Helen Ward on the left. Is a quiet opening five minutes to the match with both sides playing the ball into the others half without getting beyond the defence.

  Courtney Sweetman-Kirk has Emily Roberts and Sue Smith either side of her in attack, they will often switch sides during the match looking to take on the full backs. Sweetman-Kirk is a willing runner looking to get hold of the ball twice she takes the ball down the right wing on both occasions Reading prevent the cross from coming in.

Reading's Kylie Davies keeping close tabs on Doncaster's Courtney Sweetman-Kirk

  Reading counter attack as Rachel Rowe winning the ball in the middle brings it forwards and looks to thread the pass through to send Ward in beyond the Doncaster defence, their captain Leandra Little closes the gap and puts in the tackle to take the ball away from Ward before she can unleash a shot from outside the box.

   Reading are playing a good pressing game looking to harry Doncaster high up the pitch there is little room in the middle of the park for anyone to get a chance to look up and select a pass making it difficult for Doncaster to get their attackers on the ball. Emily Roberts is put in on the right head down drives forwards whips a fierce cross into the area evades Reading goalkeeper Grace Moloney, Sweetman-Kirk is racing in towards the far post looking to get on the end of the cross turn it home, can't quite get there.

   An error from Little at the back for Doncaster gives Ward an opportunity as she latches onto the ball running toward the box has players racing across to close her down has to take on the early shot, looks to send the ball across Nicola Hobbs in the Doncaster goal pulls her effort wide of the mark. Laura-May Walkley closing down the ball gets the pass into Ward peeling out to the right she looks to turn her cross into the box gets some curl on the ball but this only swerves to swing the ball into Hobbs' gloves before anyone can attack it beyond.

    The ball played into her Sweetman-Kirk sweeps it out to Lyndsey Cunningham making the run down the right, looks to send a cross in along the front of the box, Reading's Kylie Davies intercepts her header sending the ball out to the left of the area, Smith is 1st to the ball sends the ball in for players to attack on the six yard line, comes into Bethany England who is falling back as she tries to header the ball towards goal, doesn't get enough power to trouble Moloney who claims the ball.

   Hope Knight now in possession of the ball on the left flank for Doncaster breaks clear and looks to send the ball into Sweetman-Kirk inside the left hand corner of the Reading box, the ball coming in at pace the striker looks to open up her body turn the ball towards goal, has too much spin though and turns away from the goal.
Emily Roberts breaking with the ball for Doncaster

  Reading are working hard to break up the play aren't causing too much trouble up front are disrupting Doncaster's attempts to get any possession going forwards there is some visible frustration being shown by a few of the home players. The referee plays an advantage as Emily Roberts is clipped bringing the ball forwards into a central position, has Smith in front of her who gets hold of the ball takes it out to the left before whipping in a cross along the goal face, Sweetman-Kirk is there but like England falling as she tries to get contact with the ball it is parried away before a 2nd effort is fired in from the angle blocked and put behind for a corner.

   Knight is fouled by Emma Follis as she looks to bring the ball up the pitch a few Doncaster players are upset by the foul Sophie Barker and Walkley square up to one another. Kasia Lipka is calling for more urgency from Doncaster, whilst the shout from the Reading bench is to slow things down. When Doncaster can release the ball from the back into Sweetman-Kirk early the home side look dangerous a deft touch from Sweetman-Kirk to lay the ball out to the right sends Smith into space, Emily Roberts is clear on the left Smith tries to pick her out however Moloney is out rapidly to kick the ball away.

   Reading win a corner late in the half comes in at a good height Hobbs coming misses it as the ball is turned in towards goal it's Barker on the post that headers the ball away from danger. Knight bringing the ball up the pitch on the left passes it to Smith ahead of her she plays into Lipka central her pass sets up England in front of her 25 yards out her shot is pulled wide of goal.

                   Half-time Doncaster Rovers Belles 0-0 Reading FC Women

   Hasn't been the 1st time I've been at the Keepmoat Stadium this season to watch Doncaster and thought they just need to be patient. Reading have done extremely well putting pressure on the ball all over the pitch have looked to frustrate Doncaster and have certainly done that without really troubling Hobbs in goal too often themselves.

   Reading to kick off the 2nd half, it's Doncaster though that start the strong winning the ball and sending it into Sweetman-Kirk good hold up play again has England making herself available giving her the ball she plays it over to Knight making the run from full back down the left looks to shoot sends her effort over the crossbar.

Hope Knight looking to bring the ball out of defence for Doncaster

   Reading make an early change in the 2nd half Ward the player coming off with Bianca Bragg coming on to join Bruton and Follis in attack. Doncaster continue to attack are pressing the ball higher up the pitch themselves with Knight in particular further up the pitch on the left. Win a corner that Smith plays in from the right is looking to place it for Little to meet with her head making a run from the edge of the area, Little doesn't quite get there.

   A cross is fired into Sweetman-Kirk  from the left inside the six yard box her attempt on goal is blocked the rebound racing out to England charging forwards she smashes the ball back in is inadvertently blocked by Sweetman-Kirk before the offside flag brings play to a halt.
   Another chance falls to Doncaster as Sweetman-Kirk breaks clear of the Reading back line central, Moloney is racing out to close her down, she gets the lob in 1st getting the ball past her Moloney turns with defenders racing back however everyone can watch it bounce wide.

    GOAL! Doncaster may have come out firing at the start of the 2nd half but it's the visitors who take the lead bringing the ball forwards it is sent into the box with Bruton making the run to get there Hobbs gets there makes the save parrying the ball but it goes beyond her Bruton is there to put her head on the ball and send it into an empty net 0-1.

  Bruton receiving the ball puts it out to Walkley making a run beyond her to the left she plays a cross into the area, Doncaster get it clear but only as far a Rowe who gets hold of it 20 yards out fizzes a shot back in the attempt though is wide. The goal has put Doncaster on the back foot lifted Reading as they push on looking to create more openings Follis bringing the ball down the right wins her tea a corner the ball sent into the area met by Bragg her header is cleared off the line by Barker.

   GOAL! Bragg doubles Reading's lead with a beauty of a strike as she pounces on a misplaced ball on halfway from the Doncaster back line takes it forwards and unleashes shot from 40 yards out, arrow straight on the rise with plenty of pace the ball flies over Hobbs and into the back of the net 0-2.

Bianca Bragg with the ball for Reading moments later she'd hit her wonder strike to double the lead

   Reading have a player down receiving treatment giving the Doncaster team a chance to gather and try and regroup after conceding 2 goals. Play resumes Reading are the team with their tails up are back to playing the pressing game high up the pitch forcing Doncaster into rushing their passes.

  GOAL! Reading extend their lead after they are awarded a penalty kick. Possession down the right the cross is cut back from the corner into the area it hits Little's hand as she looks to come and close the angle the referee points to the spot. It's Bruton take Hobbs guesses the right way but diving to her right Bruton puts enough pace on the ball to beat her 0-3.

Lauren Bruton takes the penalty to make it 3 for Reading

   A double change by the Doncaster manager Glen Harris with Smith and Barker coming off and Lauren Cresswell and Samantha Tierney coming on. The crowd are up and angry as Reading captain Kirsty McGee comes through the back of England as the ball is played into her leaving her on the floor in some discomfort, the referee issues McGee with a yellow card.

  Cresswell on the pitch now is over the ball a set piece specialist she looks to have a strike on goal 35 yards out is aiming for the top right hand corner, Moloney scrambles across to cover the angle a save isn't needed as the shot is drilled wide.

   Entering the last 15 minutes of the match Kelly Chambers, Reading's manager makes her 2nd change bringing off Walkley who has hardly made herself popular with the home crowd to with some robust challenges for Charlie Estcourt in the middle of the park. Doncaster have sent Little up front as they look to find a way back into the match with the clock running down.

   Sweetman-Kirk wins a corner on the right as she looks to chase the ball down, the set piece played in to the near post just evades the leap of England the defender beyond her heading over for a 2nd corner, this one is fired in low causing a goal mouth scramble before Reading eventually clear it.

   Pushing on Doncaster cannot find a way to steal in behind the Reading defence as they defend anything put in front of them, the ball played long into Sweetman-Kirk just inside the box she goes for the overhead kick got contact back straight into a defender for the block. Closing seconds England nearly slips Sweetman-Kirk in on goal, McGee sticks out a toe to take the ball away from her and out for the corner.

  No time to take as the referee blows for full time and Reading win 0-3 to move level on points with Doncaster at the top of the table take top spot on goal difference as Doncaster are beaten in the league for the 1st time this season.

   At half time if I'm honest I could only see one winner and that was Doncaster, Reading had worked really hard a good team performance to pressure and frustrate the home side Doncaster had chances but didn't put away 1st half.Started the 2nd half strongly on the offensive however once Reading opened the scoring they gained more confidence and from that point on were the better side. Have closed the gap at the top and shown they can get the results without Kirby in the side.

   There was another match in the FAWSL 2 tonight between two of those hoping to chase Doncaster and Reading down Yeovil Town Ladies moving 3 points behind the pair with a 1-0 away to Everton Ladies.