Just the 7 sides are contesting the Suffolk Women's Division this season, Brantham Athletic Ladies currently lead the way with Witnesham Wasps Ladies in 3rd place.
Route to the Final
The League Cup competition started at the quarter final stage with Copleston Ladies the team receiving the Bye into the semi-finals. Brantham Athletic Ladies were drawn away to new side Leiston St Margarets Ladies, reached the semi-finals courtesy of a 5-1 win. In the semi-final were drawn on home soil to play Bacton United Ladies scored 5 times once again beating them 5-2 to earn a place in the final for the 2nd year running and will be hoping to go one better this time, losing back then to Long Melford Ladies who made it a league and cup double, sure Brantham Athletic Ladies would love to do the same this time around.
Witnesham Wasps Ladies were also away in the quarter final stage against another new side in the Suffolk Women's Division, Ipswich Phoenix Ladies, reached the semi-finals with ease clocking up 9 goals whilst conceding just the 1. Were drawn away to Copleston Ladies in the semi's originally at the back end of November it was a tight encounter going all the way finishing 2-2 after extra time, however the match was called off before the penalty shoot out could commence due to it being too dark. The semi-final was rescheduled with an earlier kick off time two weeks later this time Witnesham Wasp Ladies went on to score 4 times beating Copleston Ladies 4-2 to set up a League Cup Final date with Brantham Athletic Ladies.
The venue for tonight's League Cup Final, Hadleigh United FC. A small non-league ground situated in a picturesque part of Suffolk. A large pitch with a small seated and covered stand on one side of the pitch opposite a large clubhouse and bar offering a covered viewing area outside on the opposite side, with hot refreshments available. A bright and clear night with no sign of the rain seen earlier in the day, rapidly cooling as the light faded and the floodlights started to come on.
Brantham Athletic Ladies starting XI - Keri Burley, Shanice Leeks, Charlotte Partridge, Monique Peters, Merlin Watson, Jo Hazelton, Lucy Elmes, Danielle Harvey, Lucy Dunnett (C) Becky Prime & Kirsten Hutchings
subs - Heather Andrews, Carra Seeley, Katy Skinner, Ana Carolina & Jessica Ryan.
Witnesham Wasps Ladies starting XI - Zoe Adams, Chloe Stopher, Lauren Jacobs, Kristy Bootyman, Caitlin Howe, Sho Allen, Beth Welton, Ali Rampling, Natasha Adams (C), Emily Steward & Emma Long.
subs - Lauren Page, Chloe Anderson, Annabel Tricker, Izzy Leming & Lucy Johnson.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
It's Brantham to get the 1st half of the Suffolk Women's League Cup Final underway. Kitted out in an all blue kit with Witnesham lined up opposite wearing yellow and black vertical striped shirts, black shorts and yellow socks. They press Brantham for the ball right from the start winning it in midfield and trying to release, Beth Welton away on the right wing. Brantham regain possession and playing the ball into the Witnesham half captain Lucy Dunnett fights a bit of space moving to the right looks to play the ball up to her strikers Becky Prime and Kirsten Hutchings the ball dropping to the right side of the Witnesham area, full back Chloe Stopher defends well up against the latter as she looks to get on the ball.
Brantham with the ball down the right attack winning a throw the ball is dropped to the bright orange boots of Dunnett, immediately she looks to play in Hutchings down the line getting onto the ball she drives into the area taking on the shot from an acute angle flashes the effort behind the Witnesham goal.
Witnesham have begun at a fast tempo snapping at Brantham whenever they have the ball, force the error then look to attack get the ball out to either Emma Long moving into space left or Welton on the right. Emily Steward playing through the middle links up with Welton on the right the ball taken deep into the Brantham half brings the 1st corner of the match. An in swinging ball from the right towards the near post the ball is headed clear by Brantham's Charlotte Partridge.
Danielle Harvey drives forwards with the ball at her feet from Brantham looking to take on the Witnesham defence is pushed out to the left side of the box, going for the early shot, the contact is poor as the ball is sliced wide of the target. Witnesham concede a couple of free kicks in the middle of the park both against Dunnett, with the no 11 to take the set pieces looks to send the ball long towards the area on both occasions and both times the Witnesham defence marshals the ball well.
|Danielle Harvey drives forwards with the ball for Brantham Athletic Ladies|
The ball pinging around in the centre circle with neither side getting hold of it pops free into the Brantham half with Long the player getting onto the end of it, driving forwards towards the edge of the area right of the D pulls the trigger sends her strike swerving in towards goal, bu straight into the gloves of Brantham goalkeeper, Keri Burley. Free kick to Witnesham wide on the right inside the Brantham half, it's Tash Williams, Witnesham's captain to take plays it in towards Welton right side of the area, heads the ball on across the front of the box into the crowd beyond drops amongst bodies far side a shot comes in the ball rolling wide of goal.
Sho Allen with time and space on the ball in the middle for Witnesham is allowed to bring the ball on winds up a shot 25 yards out hitting Brantham defender Monique Peters the ball spins away to the left is latched onto Long free beyond 20 yards out hits her shot wide of goal. A scrappy start, Witnesham's energy to close Brantham down is seeing them get more possession of the ball. Brantham with Dunnett always a threat whenever she gets on the ball put it into space behind the Witnesham defence with Hutchings giving chase left side, Stopher stays on her gets her toe on the ball to put it out for a corner kick. A good delivery coming in high Witnesham goalkeeper Zoe Adams goes up for it in the centre of her goal, brushing it with a glove, drops behind her, no one for Brantham attacking the far post the ball goes out for a corner kick on the right. This one is played out to the top of the box with Hutchings making a run to get across her marker gets her foot on the ball turns the shot goalwards, close but just the wrong side of the post.
Break for Witnesham on the left Kirsty Bootyman releases Long out on the left wing, gets her head down carries the ball on aiming for the Brantham box releases her shot even as the defender coming in to challenge goes down to try and block the shot the ball evading her but is stopped by Burley who has come racing out off her goal line towards the danger sliding gets hold of the ball to make the save.
Jo Hazelton brings the ball on inside the Witnesham half pushing in from the left side into the centre, Prime comes towards her from attack to offer a passing option is given the ball as Hazelton looks to race on in behind her, Prime back to Dunnett who plays the pass over the Witnesham defence to pick out Hazelton driving into the area moving out to the left of the goal shoots back across goal from the edge of the six yard box, Adams gets down sharply to save, taking the pace off the ball then getting hold of it. A change for Witnesham with Bootyman coming off and Lauren Page coming on.
Dunnett with a shot from 20 yards out central as the ball is fired into her, bringing it under control shifts it a yard then sends it in towards goal a bouncing ball, Adams has time to set herself see it safely into her gloves. Welton is posing a few questions for Brantham on the right, looking to get in behind the defence and cross into the area as they make a 2nd change bringing off Steward sends Izzy Leming on to up top. Partridge carries the ball on from the back for Brantham over half way played on for Dunnett who attempts to play the ball on for Hutchings to chase into the Witnesham area, Adams coming out to meet the threat gets to the ball 1st as the referee brings the 1st half to a close.
Half-time Brantham Athletic Ladies 0-0 Witnesham Wasps Ladies
Has been a good contest 1st half, the sides closely matched, Witnesham have put a lot of effort into pressing Brantham off the ball, trying to release Welton and Long on the flanks, both sides have created chances but for the large part defences have been on top.
Witnesham out early from the dressing room get the 2nd half underway, Brantham have Jessica Ryan out on the pitch with Harvey off. Attacking down the Witnesham left Brantham get a throw on that side Williams fouls Hazelton as she looks to turn right of the area. Dunnett over the set piece puts the ball over the goal frame. Brantham have started the 2nd half strongly pushing Witnesham back keeping possession inside their own half.
GOAL! Brantham take the lead. Possession on the right brings a throw the ball is played on to Dunnett who turns into the box on the right, looks to shoot, changes her mind knocks it on further to create room and hits the ball across the goal putting it into the back of the net 1-0.
|Brantham Athletic captain battling for the ball with Witnesham Wasps Sho Allen|
scores the opening goal in the Suffolk Women's League Cup Final
Have been a few rashly timed challenges which the referee has been quick to blow up on. Both sides committing them in and around the centre circle. Williams and Hutchings have come together on a couple of occasions the latest encounter sees Williams needing treatment as they contest a 50/50 ball, comes off with Annabel Tricker being sent on.
Brantham win a free kick wide on the left half way inside the Witnesham half everyone goes into the area with Dunnett to deliver. Is a fantastic ball sent in towards the near post, on target dropping you can see it's going to be a difficult one for the keeper to deal with. Adams goes for it gets some part of her glove on the ball, the crowd cheer, Dunnett looks to celebrate, I'd started to write 2-0... but no the ball was turned around the post for a corner kick a fantastic save from the keeper.
Welton pushing with the ball down the right wins Witnesham a corner kick, is played in towards her on the edge of the area, plays the dummy the ball rolling under her foot on to Page behind coming onto the ball inside the D, wraps her foot around the shot, too many bodies to get through, before play is pulled of for an offside decision. Another enforced change for Witnesham with Long hurt after a challenge on the right, has to come off with Steward returning to the action to support Leming up in attack as they search for an equalising goal.
Hazelton gets the ball from Elmes in the centre of midfield taking it on Ryan is free on the right for Brantham given the ball turns inside looking to fire the ball into Prime who dinks it over the top of the Witnesham defence, One of those moments where both defence and goalkeeper hesitate, Ryan bursts in behind to get onto the ball rolling out to the right of goal inside the area, pulls her shot wide at the front post. Williams has recovered from her knock to return to the game comes on in place of Page goes up to join the attackers.
A vital lunge to get her boot on the ball from Brantham's Partridge as Witnesham attack down the right, play spread the ball had it found it's target would have seen Williams free to attack the goal from the right side as it is they have a corner off Partridge's interception. Coming in high towards the near post is flicked behind for another corner on the opposite side. This delivery drops down into the middle of the six yard box several attempts to connect with the bouncing ball, the vital touch is from a Brantham boot as the ball is launched clear. Few Witnesham players starting to feel it put alot of effort in cramping up
|Emily Steward on the ball for Witnesham Wasps|
Winning the ball at the back Witnesham's Lauren Jacobs plays it long with the break on Williams left in front of the Brantham area has Steward to her right looks to play the ball on for her into the area, Burley comes racing out and is able to claim the ball 1st. A free kick for Brantham in a go position 20/25 yards out right side of the D, always going to be a shot from Dunnett from this position, gets far too much elevation on the ball sending it high into the night sky over the goal. Double change for Brantham as the match moves into the final 5 minutes of normal time. Hazelton and Prime the players coming off with Katy Skinner and Heather Andrews coming on. Shortly afterwards Witnesham's Stopher suffers from a particularly painful cramping in her right leg and comes off, Chloe Anderson joining the action.
Ana Carolina also comes on late on for Brantham with Carra Seeley coming off. Witnesham have to push a few extra bodies forwards as they try and get a goal. Welton and Steward combine on the right high inside the Brantham half a give and go, the final pass to put Welton in behind won't come off. A free kick for Witnesham 30 yards out left/central, Ali Rampling over the ball is encouraged to go for goal a good effort dropping late however coming across her goal Burley can see it wide.
GOAL! 3 minutes of normal time left to play and Brantham double their lead to put the result beyond doubt. Witnesham are looking to carry the ball out from the back lose possession with Dunnett getting onto the ball inside the centre circle has Andrews close by no her right lifts the pass on to her she plays it over the top into the path of Hutchings making a move to get forwards left side, shoots from the edge of the area burying the ball past Adams to score 2-0.
|Kirsten Hutching with the ball doubles Brantham Athletic Ladies lead late on|
In to injury time, Witnesham need the ball but can't get it as play is broken up by Brantham who keep it inside their opponents half to see out the final minutes and cue the celebrations as the referee blows the final whistle to see Brantham win the Suffolk Women's League Cup.
Was a good contest, competitive both sides working hard, Witnesham just could match the intensity they put into pressing the ball 1st half as they tired 2nd half. Brantham got the early goal in the 2nd half and looked like they would hold onto the lead the 2nd goal coming late into the game ensuring the win. Played in front of a good sized crowd too who saw an entertaining final.
|Brantham Athletic Ladies, Suffolk Women's League Cup Winners (photo credit Brantham Athletic)|
Thank to the Suffolk FA staff for their help tonight with the teams. Congratulations to Brantham Athletic Ladies on their Cup Final success, enjoy the celebrations.