Monday 28 March 2016

Match Report - Stevenage Ladies Reserves v Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies

 A match this Sunday from the last round of group matches in the ERWFL Division One Cup, taking a look at two new sides for the 1st time, too with Stevenage Ladies Reserves hosting Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies.

 The competition involves the sides competing in the ERWFL (Eastern Region Women's Football League) Division's One East and West drawn to play each other in two groups with 6 in each following West Billericay Ladies pulling out of the league and Sawbridgeworth Town WFC not taking part. Originally I was led to believe it was the top two from each group A & B going into a semi-final knock-out stage and for weeks have been putting that info out without being corrected, today I have found out there is actually a quarter final stage hence the top 4 from each group progress with 1st playing 4th from the opposite group, as well as 2nd v 3rd. 

  So I turned up today thinking this was a winner takes all match in Group A with Little Thurrock Dynamos in 2nd spot needing just a draw to progress, Stevenage Ladies Reserves needing the win. As it is both are jockeying for final position in the Group with the top two having home advantage in the quarter-finals.

ERWFL Division One Cup - Group A
Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Writtle Ladies 5 4 1 0 17 3 14 13
2 Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies 4 2 2 0 7 3 4 8
3 Stevenage Ladies Reserves 4 2 0 2 10 7 3 6
4 Ipswich Wanderers Ladies 5 1 1 3 5 14 -9 4
5 Hutton Ladies 4 1 0 3 7 9 -2 3
6 Bury Town Ladies 4 1 0 3 6 16 -10 3

 That was of course if there was a match taking place at all. Heavy over night rain and more forecast meant there was a good chance it wouldn't survive with Storm Katie on the horizon too. Headed for Hertfordshire dark clouds ahead of me. The venue Codicote Social Club a few miles outside Stevenage where both Stevenage Ladies 1st and Reserve sides play. 2 pitches both sides were scheduled for a game today and the squads were doing their best working to get water off the pitches trying to get their games on even as more heavy rain fell. A lot of water on the ground in the goalmouth and before the penalty area where the pitch dips a little half an hour to go before kick off it didn't look promising. Final decision with the referee who was last to arrive needed the rain to stop falling for a couple of hours or so, it did slow and thanks to the hard work put in by the Reserves side their match was on albeit a few minutes late kicking off.
Credit to the Stevenage Ladies Reserves players for the work put in to get the game on.

    Although I've seen Stevenage Ladies in action before, who play in the league above the ERWFL Premier Division and are looking a good bet for promotion to the FAWPL, I haven't seen their Reserves side, the club works closely with the men's team. The Reserves play in the ERWFL Division One West and with 2 league matches left to play can overhaul leaders Hutton Ladies for top spot. The Codicote Social Club boasts a large newly built clubhouse with bar over looking the pitches with a good sized changing room block beside it with further plans to improve the playing grounds in the near future. 

   The visitors today are Essex side Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies they compete in the ERWFL Division One East, along with 6 other sides have played out their league fixtures finishing 5th in the table. Have shown much better form in the Division One Cup Group stage are 2nd in Group A, unbeaten in their previous 4 games a draw or better today guarantees 2nd and gives them home advantage in the quarter finals. A growing club also runs a reserve side competing in the Essex Women's County League along with a number of youth sides.

 Stevenage Ladies Reserves starting XI - Emily Goodacre, Netice Chalkright, Jade Beckett, Keri Green, Chloe Rouse, Cara Breckenridge, Rebecca Brooker, Megan Evans, Sherrie Evans, Dani Friel & Leah Littlechild.
 subs - Steffany Cowell, Kelly Hannington, Isabelle McAree, Kerry Milton & Sarah Payne.

 Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies starting XI - Atlanta Fulva, Courtney Fraser, Elysia King, Danielle Styles, Taylor Parrish, Sydney Killick, Patrizia Leo, Libby Clarke, Abbie Simmonds, Georgia Fraser & Katy Judd.
 subs - Robin Mudd, Naomi Hayes, Kerri Thomas, Kaylee Warwick & Martine Smith

(roll on roll off substitutes)

   We had a game on the rain had stopped the dark clouds moving around the ground actually had blue skies beyond, the 1st team weren't so lucky their match against AFC Dunstable Ladies getting called off. A quarter of an hour late it's Stevenage playing in an all blue strip with black sleeves on the shirts get the 1st half underway, with Little Thurrock wearing lime green shirts with black across the front and sleeves, black shorts and socks. Play is congested in the midfield before Stevenage flight the ball long for striker Leah Littlechild breaking into the area has strayed offside. Up the other end, Little Thurrock's striker Katy Judd, hustles the Stevenage back line looking to take the ball off a toe and steal into the box.
The match kicks-off as the dark clouds in the distance disappear.
  Picking up the ball in central midfield, Sydney Killick plays the ball in over the top for her Little Thurrock team mate Georgia Fraser, 20 yards out wants to get into the area but is pushed wide by Stevenage's Cara Breckenridge, puts in the challenge lunging to take the ball away from Fraser who goes after the ball wrapping her foot around it on the byline sends high cross into the area is pulled down out of the air by Stevenage goalkeeper, Emily Goodacre with Judd coming in behind her. Little Thurrock come again down the left side Courtney Fraser onto Libby Clarke ahead of her reaching the edge of the box unleashes a shot, fires it straight at Goodacre who holds onto the ball.

   Little Thurrock get the ball into the area from the flanks on a couple of occasions, Stevenage's Jade Beckett gets her head on both to clear. Bright sunshine all around, grounds still wet the ball now carrying but players keeping their feet well enough, those that don't want to go for a slide in the mud that is. Judd springs the offside trap and runs in behind the Stevenage defence from the right the ball getting held up as she goes to shoot from inside the box doesn't get the contact to take it past Goodacre the goalkeeper sees the bouncing ball into her gloves.

  GOAL! Stevenage get the early advantage going ahead a striker Littlechild steals in on the ball taking it off the Little Thurrock defence carries it towards the area, Courtney Fraser tries to get across from left back to put in the challenge slides in takes the ball away from Littlechild but she stays on her feet gets after the ball rounding left and turns her shot across the Little Thurrock keeper Atlanta Fulva and in at the far post 1-0.

Leah Littlechild carrying the ball forwards for Stevenage Ladies Reserves
  Stevenage have another goal chalked off for offside moments later a high ball sent across the pitch from the left sees Rebecca Brooker racing into the box from the right looks to knock her header across the goal, falls far post and is turned home, however the flag is up. Testing ball played in from the right for Little Thurrock by Patrizia Leo, little too high for Judd, will carry through to Georgia Fraser beyond, Stevenage's right back Netice Chalkright attempts to hook it clear smashes the ball into Fraser but the rebound spins away from goal out for a goal kick.

  GOAL! Little Thurrock get themselves back on level terms as Judd is followed out wide on the right the set piece halfway inside the Stevenage half, right back Elysia King to take. Sends a high ball floating in towards the near post. too high for a runner to head on Goodacre goes up to put a glove on the ball set it wide mishandles and to her dismay the ball drops behind her into the back of the net 1-1.

   Judd goes after a ball put through into the left channel by Little Thurrock captain, Abbie Simmonds, taking it down to the byline her 1st cross is cut out by Chalkright, the ball comes back to Judd steals around the Stevenage right back into the area as she tries to recover, takes on the shot sends the ball high and wide across the goal face. Little Thurrock make a double change switching the wide players Leo and Clarke come off for Martine Smith and Robin Mudd.

Little Thurrock Dynamos captain, Abbie Simmonds
  Strong run through the middle by Littlechild taking the ball into the area, Little Thurrock central defender Taylor Parrish recovers well to get back on her slides in to send the ball out for a throw. Stevenage's Keri Green defends well against Smith trying to bring the ball down the right as she is send down the line by Judd. Georgia Fraser is subbed by Little Thurrock which sees Smith move into the middle with Naomi Hayes going right. 

  GOAL! Initially it is a fantastic tackle from Little Thurrock's Danielle Styles to deny Stevenage's Megan Evans a shot on goal as she is put through into the area, Styles committing to the sliding challenge has to get it right the ball goes out for a corner on the left. The defending for the corner isn't great the ball whipped in by captain Sherrie Evans is missed by the defender at the near post squeezing through and goes in at the far side to put the home side back into the lead 2-1.

Stevenage Ladies Reserves
captain, Sherrie Evans

  Simmonds plays a great ball though the middle dissecting the Stevenage defence with Mudd making a run around the back from the left side to get into the area, Goodacre has read it and off her line quickly is onto the ball before Mudd can connect. Good build up play from Stevenage, Dani Friel putting the  ball into Littlechild 20 yards out back to go rolls it left to Evans, who passes back to Friel her pass releasing Breckenridge on the left wing, she looks to put the cross into the box for Littlechild the is challenged the ball turned behind for a corner. Stevenage make a change bringing on Kelly Hannington for Breckenridge who took a knock in their last attack.

   Hannington attacks down the right for Stevenage as they finish the 1st half strongly, whips a cross in near post, is cut out by Styles, rolls back to Hannington looks to curl her 2nd cross in towards the far post, too close to Fulva the keeper claims the ball. Late chance for Little Thurrock as Simmonds goes long with the pass, Smith is after it closing in on the left corner of the Stevenage box goes for goal hits it wide across the six yard box.

Half-time Stevenage Ladies Reserves 2-1 Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies

 Amazingly despite all the rain before kick-off we've had a 1st half played in bright sunshine, blue skies the pitch has held up well, little tricky with the white lines faded but can't be helped, players have been able to keep their footing. Stevenage have the advantage Littlechild a threat through the middle. Little Thurrock have used the width more got the ball into the box however the Stevenage defence has been winning the headers. 

  Changes at the start of the 2nd half for both sides Kaylee Warwick and Kerri Thomas on for Little Thurrock. Three changes for Stevenage with Kelly Milton, Isabelle McAree and Steffany Cowell on as they look to try and build on their lead. Little Thurrock to kick off the 2nd half. Evans wins the ball in midfield looks to send Littlechild in the centre through on goal, Parrish gets across to challenge her for Little Thurrock sees the ball out for a throw. Stevenage are pushing Little Thurrock back at the start of the 2nd half have players up around the front of their area spreading play right to left comes to Hannington stabs the ball up for Evans just inside the area, central heads the ball down sees it bounce wide of the goal. 
Little Thurrock Dynamos Sydney Killick looking to beat
Stevenage's Megan Evans to the ball
  Little Thurrock relieve some pressure launch the ball long for Judd to go after running central, Goodacre had been carefully marking the edge of her area where the water had sat before kick off at the start of the 2nd half comes racing out to close Judd down out of the area gets her boot to the ball 1st as the pair come together. Stevenage break down the right Littlechild with possession drives on, has players up with her for the cross lining up along the area, is rolled though to Hannington in a central position shoots, a low effort Fulva gets down to her right to stop it, is loose but her defence helps to clear as Milton tries to latch onto the ball.
Stevenage's, Megan Evans won't be shoved of the ball as she drives forwards

  Both sides are making full use of the roll on roll off substitutes, Clarke returning to the action for Little Thurrock with Judd rested sees Mudd go up to support Smith in attack. Breckenridge is back on for Stevenage with Brooker the player coming off. Play on the right the cross is from Milton into the area, Littlechild looks to flick it on, Little Thurrock half clear the ball coming to Hannington left side of the area closing in on the near post lifts her shot high over the bar, took a knick corner given. The ball drops into the middle of the area, bit of pinball between the sides before Little Thurrock get it away. Evans won't be knocked off the ball as she pushes her way through the middle, Hannington is coming in from the left side wants the ball put into the area, Evans turns the ball inside, Fulva is closest to it get's her gloves on it before Hannington can connect.

Martine Smith on the ball for Little Thurrock Dynamos

  GOAL! It looked like only one side was going to score the next goal, however football isn't like that for all the pressure Stevenage have been applying at the start of the 2nd half Little Thurrock go up the other end and level thing's back up. Bringing it over half way the ball is fired into Smith midway inside the Stevenage half back to goal pulls off her marker and drives out right looking to get into the area the Stevenage defence can't get back on her as she clips the shot in sending it arrowing up over Goodacre the ball smashes against the crossbar drops back into play left side inside the six yard box, Mudd is running in on the follow up to turn it back in, Goodacre throws herself at it but the ball squeezes under her to make it 2-2.

Robin Mudd makes it 2-2 for Little Thurrock 

   Simmonds is back on for the visitors. The goal has lifted Little Thurrock's game they win the ball in the middle, Simmonds putting it long for Mudd to have a run at the Stevenage are a defender on her shoulder closing in on the left corner, Goodacre comes to close down, sliding in gets hurt as she takes out her own player, the ball is still alive rolling on, Clarke races onto it tries to put the ball into the empty net, Stevenage get back to intercept the ball. Goodacre is okay after receiving treatment. Gathers a shot lacking pace from Mudd as she is played onto the ball by Thomas bursting through the middle. 

  Smith and Mudd are replaced in attack with Judd and Georgia Fraser back on for Little Thurrock. Friel comes back on for Stevenage as the game moves into the final 10 minutes. Good defending inside the box from Leo for Little Thurrock on Stevenage's Hannington inside the box as she looks to control a high ball sent in from the right. Isn't long before Leo finds herself up the other end of the pitch Simmonds playing her in down the wing she looks to hit the ball the cross/shot straight at Goodacre at her near post.

 GOAL! 3 minutes left on the clock and Little Thurrock take the lead for the 1st time in the game, Parrish out from the back puts the ball up into the Stevenage half is helped out to the right side in front of the area with Georgia Fraser getting hold of it takes on the shot, sending the ball up and over Goodacre and into the back of the net 2-3.

Georgia Fraser scorer of Little Thurrock
Dynamos Ladies 3rd goal
  Into injury time Stevenage get the ball down into the Little Thurrock penalty box shouts for a penalty are waved away as they see a player go down in the box from a Styles challenge the ball out for a corner kick on the left.

  GOAL! The corner ball is fired in shoulder height near post their are plenty of bodies around trying to get something on the ball, is in Fulva's gloves memorially but doesn't stick and drops over the line, now idea who got the final touch possibly an own goal 3-3.

  Late drama Little Thurrock defend frantically as Stevenage come on, Breckenridge steals in on the ball with the visitors having a throw, takes the ball into the area left of goal sees her shot blocked deflected wide for another corner is cleared scrambled up to halfway as the referee blows the final whistle and the match ends in a 3-3 draw. Both sides into the quarter finals, Little Thurrock end the group stage unbeaten will hope to carry that form on into the knock-out stages were under a spell of pressure 2nd half but came back into the game well taking the lead before eventually conceding. Stevenage did well especially 2nd half dominant didn't convert their chances the draw sees them stay 3rd in the group.

  And if the quarter finals are as I've been told they should look something like this:

Writtle Ladies v Silver End United Ladies

Little Thurrock Dynamos Ladies v Colney Heath Ladies

Hoddesdon Owls v Stevenage Ladies Reserves

Offley & Stopsley Ladies v Hutton Ladies 

 A good contest today enjoyed it my thanks to both clubs for all of their help with the team details today. Thanks to for the Stevenage Ladies team and staff for their tremendous efforts in making sure we had a game on in the 1st place. Best of luck to both sides in the knock out stages.

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