Sunday, 28 August 2016

Match Report - AFC Sudbury Ladies v Acle United Ladies

  The women's football action on the Supporting Women's Football Blog this Sunday comes from the Eastern Region Women's Football League (ERWFL) Premier Division a trip to Suffolk to watch AFC Sudbury Ladies play Acle United Ladies. 

  The ERWFL season kicked off last Sunday and both sides got off to a great start recording opening day wins. Suffolk side, AFC Sudbury Ladies enter their 2nd season playing in the ERWFL Premier Division finished 3rd in their debut season at this level a position they held for most of the campaign. Will be hoping to push on challenge for the top 2 this time around have added to their squad bringing in Penny Everett and Megan Partridge who were with the now folded Long Melford Ladies last season. Started the season with an opening day victory at home, Sasha Diston scoring the goal as Sudbury beat newly promoted Royston Town Ladies 1-0.

  Acle United Ladies are beginning their 3rd season playing in the ERWFL Premier Division and the side from Norfolk having been at the wrong end of the table for the past two seasons are confident of better things this time around. The club has seen a change of coach and several new players joining the club during last seasons campaign coupled with fixture pile up due to early season postponements that never let the club gain any momentum on the field. The close season has seen a few more additions to the squad which got the season off to a great start last weekend winning 5-2 on the road against AFC Dunstable Ladies.

  Although AFC Sudbury Ladies have featured in match reports on the SWF Blog before this is the 1st time I've seen them play at home. Are very much an integral part of the men's club, play at the Wardale Williams Stadium on the outskirts of Sudbury. A state of the art 3G pitch with a large newly built clubhouse and stand on one side of the ground, refreshments hot and cold available. A covered terraced stand between the dugouts on the opposite side of the pitch with covered standing areas behind both goals. Still warm and sunny as we near the end of August, several dark clouds around with the chance of a heavy shower during the match.

  AFC Sudbury Ladies starting XI - Penny Everett, Holly Harrison, Charlotte Churchman, Rebecca Thrower, Sasha Diston (C), Phoebe Guiver, Hayley Turner, Charlene Roach, Sophie Jeffery, Mia Etheridge & Megan Partridge.
  subs - Stacey Teager, Georgia Lindon & Natalie Golding

  Acle United Ladies starting XI - Joanne Hooper, Anna Larkins, Luka Goodchild, Chloe Shields, Kate Pasque, Alice Ladbrooke, Amber Rowland, Rose Glendinning, Shannon Dade, Rebecca Burton (C) & Jody Wells.
  subs - Leah McGuire. 


(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Sudbury kick off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts were without a few 1st team regulars unavailable for the game. Joanne Hooper, Acle's player/assistant coach can and has played in a number of positions for the side, today was in between the sticks keeping goal. Acle were wearing their new away kit red and white vertical striped shirts, white shorts with red and white hooped socks. 

  Straight from the kick off, Sudbury play the ball up the right channel with Hayley Turner giving chase to the ball, Acle's, Chloe Shields comes across to tackle and win the ball on the edge of the box putting the ball out for a throw. Receiving the ball from the throw in, Sudbury's Holly Harrison sweeps a high ball up into the Acle six yard box, Hooper sees it safely into her gloves. Playing the ball out quickly from the back, Anna Larkins on the right passes the ball on for Shannon Dade ahead of her attacking down the wing takes on the shot as she reaches to top of the box, hits the ball hard and low towards the near post, Penny Everett in goal for Sudbury has the angle covered, gathers the ball into her body.

AFC Sudbury Ladies, Holly Harrison

  Early pressure from the visiting side, winning the ball at the back get it up top through the middle quickly, Alice Ladbrooke playing the ball into striker, Jody Wells feet, back to goal 25 yards out looks to flick it over the top of the Sudbury defence with Dade making a run in behind to the right, Everett has seen the threat and coming off her line early clears the ball as it enters the area. Acle regain the ball and coming forwards win a free kick 30 yards from goal, Amber Rowland over the ball sends it long into the box towards the far post. Rebecca Thrower defending for Sudbury does well to stop Acle midfielder, Rose Glendinning get in round behind her concedes the corner. The set-piece goes long beyond the far post Ladbrooke gets up to head the ball, turns her effort behind for a goal kick.

Defender, Rebecca Thrower clears the ball for AFC Sudbury Ladies

AFC Sudbury Ladies captain
Sasha Diston
  An end to end start to the game both sides looking to break quickly on the counter attack, Glendinning carries the ball with her through the middle of the park looks to put, Rebecca Burton the Acle captain through on goal, a good run, Sudbury's Charlotte Churchman gets across her path just in time to push the ball wide and clear. Sudbury attack up the left side of the pitch the ball played into Sophie Jeffery her diagonal pass through the middle almost has Turner clear to attack the Acle goal, with Hooper rushing out it's Kate Pasque who nips in ahead of Turner to intercept. Phoebe Guiver comes on for Sudbury.

  There are a few fouls being committed both sides getting a little physical, Sudbury in particular not happy with some of the refereeing decisions. Free kicks being given away, Sudbury are awarded one in the middle of the Acle half a chance for Charlene Roach to test out Hooper in goal gets the shot on target but not enough height to trouble the keeper. Another free kick to Sudbury on the left top of the area is played in towards the far post plenty of bodies there to attack it, it's an Acle head that gets it cleared out of the box.

  GOAL! 22 minutes played and the visitors take the lead. With possession on the right bringing the ball into the Sudbury half, Acle win a throw in the ball is put into Glendinning who plays a great ball forwards for Wells to turn onto and run at the Sudbury box, Everett comes racing out to slide in at the strikers feet, spills the ball escaping her rolling to the right, Wells having kept her feet goes after it and turns the ball into the empty net beyond 0-1.

Acle United Ladies, Jody Wells

  Sudbury are awarded another free kick inside the Acle half with no advantage coming as they press bodies forwards. To the right of the box 30 yards out defenders come up from the back as Roach plays the ball diagonally to the far post, Acle head the initial ball clear out to the left Sudbury close it down and regain possession an early cross into the box, Diston is still forwards in the area connects with her head 12 yards out places the ball wide of the near post. Sudbury continue to put the Acle back line under pressure keeping possession around their 18 yard box, Megan Partridge unable to find a way through with the ball left side plays it across to the right with Harrison having gotten forwards looking to hit it 1st time, can't keep her strike down.

  GOAL! Acle are attacking down the right the ball is flung into the area, Thrower gets across Wells to clear the ball, Ladbrooke reacts sharply coming forwards to intercept the ball fired into the box, Wells turns the ball across the six yard box an awkward ball for the defence to deal with facing their own goal, Everett comes for it with Burton closing her down doesn't gather cleanly as Burton challenges and manages to turn the ball over the line 0-2.
Rebecca Burton scores Acle
 United  Ladies 2nd goal


   Dade bringing the ball on down the right wing for Acle takes on the early shot, angling in low towards the near post, Everett is across and in place to make the save. The foul count is clocking up against Rowland as she gets a final warning from the referee. Hooper commits early to coming out to the edge of her area sliding in to claim the ball as Partridge tries to play Turner in over the top. A free kick for Acle inside the Sudbury half Larkins plays the ball long to the far post from the right, Everett jumping up amongst the players around her to lay claim to the ball. Acle make a change Leah McGuire coming on for Rowland. 

  Mia Etheridge steals in to win the ball off the Acle defence and run in behind down the right squares a good ball along the six yard box, no one attacking the near post, Hooper is able to throw herself forwards and get hold of the ball. Time running out 1st half to get themselves back into the match Partridge is flagged offside in the Acle box as she squeezes a shot past the on rushing Hooper. Luka Goodchild is left hurt on the floor as she loses the ball inside the Sudbury half, Etheridge dispossessing her races forwards down the right wing, Pasque covers the ground to get across to challenge plays the ball out for the corner kick.

  GOAL! Little time left to play in the 1st half the corner on the right is sent long towards the far post area goes over everyone, the referee blows his whistle and points to the penalty spot having spotted a push. Acle protest and Pasque gets yellow carded for dissent. Up steps Roach to take the penalty kick for Sudbury, puts plenty of power behind the ball Hooper guesses right, diving to her left the ball is wide of her and nestles into the corner of the goal 1-2.

Charlene Roach scores from the penalty spot late in the 1st half for AFC Sudbury Ladies

Half-time AFC Sudbury Ladies 1-2 Acle United Ladies

  A goal right on the stroke of half-time has gotten Sudbury back into the game having gone 2-0 down. Acle having the better of the attacking play for a good percentage of the half going ahead midway through the 1st half then doubling their lead looking comfortable at the back until conceding the late penalty, Sudbury haven't been at their best the goal back giving them a much needed lift. 

  Acle to get the 2nd half under way as Sudbury start the 2nd half with striker Stacey Teager who scored 16 goals last season on the pitch replacing Turner. Georgia Lindon is also on for Jeffery. McGuire has dropped into the defence for Acle with Pasque taking on a midfield role. Sudbury look to get Teager in on the action right from the start winning the ball the pass is played out to her making a run to the right of the box, Shields comes across and tackles well inside the box to win the ball. 


Charlene Roach and Kate Pasque battle for control of the ball

  Goodchild carries the ball out from the back for Acle on the left plays the pass up to Ladbrooke her crossfield pass looks to pick out Dade breaking forwards down the right trying to get into the box, Churchman staying on her shoulder puts in a well timed tackle to win the ball her clearance from the back is intercepted by Acle, Larkins having come forwards on the right to offer support for Dade takes the ball down the line sends a low cross racing along the top of the six yard box, Everett gets down quickly to smother the ball before it can reach Burton at the far post.


Acle United Ladies, Luka Goodchild
  Everett is well placed in her goal with Acle counter attacking the ball up the left is lifted up into the middle with Wells running into the area right of goal strikes the ball 1st time angling it in towards goal, Everett makes the save confidently taking the ball into her body. A busy spell for the Sudbury keeper with Acle stretching play, Dade finding space to run into on the right her cross is towards the near post, Everett is 1st to the ball. Burton controls a long pass sent up through the middle 20 yards out back to goal lays it back into the path of Wells, running onto the ball looks to curl her shot back in is straight into Everett's gloves.

  GOAL! Having been under a little pressure at the start of the 2nd half Sudbury get themselves back on level terms. Attacking the ball is lifted up into the Acle area, Teager goes after it as the ball runs to the byline on the left, has support from Guiver lays the ball back to her, is clipped just outside the box, staying on her feet gets inside sees her shot blocked at close range, the referee blows up and awards the home side the free kick outside the area. Roach is over the set piece goes for goal getting plenty of lift on the ball on target drops late an awkward one for Hooper to try and deal with on her line, can't keep it out and Sudbury equalise 2-2 Roach with her 2nd of the match.


Charlene Roach sends her perfectly weighted free-kick in towards goal to score her 2nd of the game
  Acle have good possession of the ball on the right, Larkins able to support Dade on the wing, both get the opportunity to cross into the box, both times the ball is sent in near post with Everett 1st to the ball. Sudbury are getting some joy out wide themselves as the game starts to get stretched players tiring, Etheridge is played in on the wing running with the ball into space fires a low cross into the box with Partridge making a run into the area connecting with the ball sends her shot wide across goal.

  Etheridge runs onto the ball put out to the right again and taking it forwards lifts her cross up into the six yard box with Teager attacking the near post, lifting her leg can't quite bring the ball down for a shot but improvises well preventing the defender behind her heading it clear hooks it over her with the outside of her boot looping up is straight into Hooper who catches the ball. 


Alice Ladbrooke wins the ball back for Acle United Ladies

  Pressing forwards with the ball Glendinning has Ladbrooke ahead of her in front of the Sudbury box links up with Larkins and Dade the trio in front of the D, crosses to Dade right with Larkins in between the pair, giving Larkins the ball she looks to pass back to Ladbrooke goes for the shot is blocked at close quarters by Diston the rebound back with Larkins she takes it on into the area, Thrower gets back on her to put in the challenge as Larkins shoots pulls the ball wide across the goal face. Pasque is off for Acle with Rowland returning to the action.

  GOAL! Wells sees a shot blocked the ball spinning behind for a corner kick on the right. It's Wells to take the set-piece the delivery long to the far post. A Sudbury head gets the ball away sent high up towards the edge of the area dropping, is an awkward ball to get under control even as Sudbury look to push up out of their area, Acle win the ball back push it out to Wells over on the right from a higher position sends the ball back into the box far post area again, Burton turns and spinning back in gets her foot over the ball and scores her 2nd of the match 2-3.


A brace for Acle United Ladies captain, Rebecca Burton
 Dade comes off for Acle with Pasque coming back on. Sudbury press forwards looking to get back into the match a powerful run on the right wing from Etheridge getting down the line squares the ball into the middle, running back the ball strikes the 1st defender inside the box, taking alot of pace of the ball deflects through to Teager beyond running onto the ball strikes it 1st time drills the shot wide.


Acle United Ladies, Rose Glendinning looks to get away from
Sudbury pair Megan Partridge & Charlene Roach
  Glendinning tries her luck from distance running with the ball before pulling the trigger 25 yards out, the ball bouncing through into Everett. A double change for Sudbury with Jeffery and Turner returning to the action replacing Lindon and Roach. Partridge lines up a shot from 35 yards out a powerful drive is blocked by McGuire on the edge of her area. Players are tiring on both sides as the game moves into the final stages. 

 GOAL! Wells is in space some 30 yards or so out from goal as the ball is rolled into her, has time and space to line up a shot gets plenty of pace behind the ball as she fires it across the diving Everett into the back of the net to score her 2nd goal of the game and put Acle 4-2 up.
  
  Acle get the ball up into Burton, Pasque looks to get ahead of everyone gt into the box to receive the pass, Burton tries to play her in Everett coming out can get hold of the ball 1st set up a counter attack the ball up the field quickly played into Etheridge bursting clear to attack the Acle box shoots from outside the area as she sees Hooper rushing out to close her down fires a fierce shot past the keeper across the area, strikes the base of the far post cannoning back out across the six yard box, the Acle defence are 1st to it launch the ball clear.
Mia Etheridge running onto the ball for AFC Sudbury Ladies

  Into added time, Sudbury push players on looking to put the Acle back line under pressure Partridge gets the ball in behind with Teager running onto it clear of the defence taking it to the edge of the box Hooper is charging out to meet her sliding in Teager shoots, Hooper gets something on the ball takes the sting out of the shot as it gets past her by then her defence has got back round on the cover to clear the ball as the referee blows the final whistle.

Full-time AFC Sudbury Ladies 2-4 Acle United Ladies


  A 4-2 victory for Acle sees them start the season with 2 wins out of 2 3rd in the table behind leaders Bedford Ladies and 2nd placed Haringey Borough Women who have started the season in similar fashion. A solid team performance getting themselves into a 2-0 lead. A physical match both sides battling hard to win the ball, some decisions baffling both sides, Sudbury will be the 1st to admit they weren't at their best today, did well to get themselves back into the game however, tiring towards the end Acle retook the lead with Wells securing victory late on. Long way to go yet but already the ERWFL Premier Division is shaping up nicely and both Acle and Sudbury will be hoping they can be in the title race come the end of the season.

  My thanks to both sides for their help with the team details today, best of luck to both for the rest of the season. 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

New Season - Crystal Palace Ladies v Coventry United Ladies

 The new season is here! The FA Women's Premier League campaign get's underway this Sunday and the Supporting Women's Football Blog is starting with a trip south to watch newly promoted Crystal Palace Ladies as they welcome Coventry United Ladies to Bromley FC.

   Crystal Palace Ladies are the 'Invincibles' having won promotion from the FAWPL South East Division One last season with an unbeaten record, winning 20 of there 22 matches in the league. Enjoy a strong relationship with the men's club and are looking to make progress. Have done well to keep hold of players that brought them success last season and manager Dean Davenport has added players too, some with WSL experience, Megan Goss and Ciara Sherwood joining from Millwall Lionesses. Ellie Bailes joins from Charlton Athletic Women. Ex-Fulham goalkeeper, Lauren Allen has also signed for the club. Will be looking to make an immediate impact upon the league.

  Their 1st opponents in the FAWPL Southern Division, are Coventry United Ladies have won the league as recently as 2014 no play-off game for the FAWSL that year, switched to the Northern Division the following season finishing runners-up behind Sheffield FC Ladies. Back in the Southern Division last campaign were amongst the chasing pack that could do nothing to stop Brighton & Hove Albion WFC's charge to the title. Finishing 4th they did have success last season winning the FAWPL League Plate. Will be amongst the favorites to challenge for the title again this season.

  Bromley Arena is the venue for today's FAWPL season opener, home of Bromley FC, the non-league ground is a mixture of old and new look stands with the main one seated and covered down one side of the pitch housing the clubhouse and bar plus food facilities. The older stands surrounding the other 3 sides of the ground are a mixture off classic terracing and some seating behind one goal a good sized stadium surrounding a large pitch which looked as it should perfect at the start of the season, good grass cover and flat. Great weather to start the season too very warm and sunny, some dark clouds about that might hint at a spot of rain or two but a strong breeze was helping to blow them through.

  Crystal Palace Ladies starting XI - Chanell Yardley, Pamela McRoberts, Katy Morris, Freya Holdaway (C), Leesa Haydock, Ciara Sherwood, Ellie Bailes, Megan Goss, Alma Donohoe, Rochelle Shakes & Gemma Bryan.
  subs - Lauren Allen, Leanne Bell, Abigail Igbavboa, Francesca Ali & Tia Foreman.

  Coventry United Ladies starting XI - Susan Wood, Gina Burton, Nikki Miles, Natasha Lynch (C) Alexandra Buck, Laura Cooper, Jade Brook, Stephanie Smith, Amber Hughes, Marie Gauntlett & Alison Hall
  subs - Helen Dermody, Sami Ryder, Olivia Dougherty, Ellie White, Kathryn Pagan & Christina Torkildsen.

    It's the visitors, Coventry to get the game underway, wearing an all green away kit with Crystal Palace lined up opposite wearing red and blue shirts, with blue shorts and socks with a red vertical stripe down the sides. The home side close down the ball right from the start winning it push towards the Coventry area, defender Alex Buck steps up to tackle and play the ball out for a throw on the right. From the right the ball is lifted up towards the area this time Coventry captain Natasha Lynch headers clear, Nikki Miles looks to break from the back up the left but running out of room can't turn her cross back into the six yard box.

  Getting forwards from the back too, Crystal Palace's Pamela McRoberts on the right brings the ball on before playing a high ball across the top of the area, looking for striker Gemma Bryan comes at her quickly trying to adjust leaning back to get power on her header turns it towards goal the looping ball drops into the gloves of goalkeeper, Susan Wood. Is a pacy start to the game from both sides working hard to quickly close their opponents down on the ball. 


Rochelle Shakes holding the ball up in attack for Crystal Place Ladies
  Stephanie Smith brings the ball forwards for Coventry drifting towards the right plays the pass up the line into the area for Alison Hall to go after. Crystal Palace captain, Freya Holdaway gets across in front of her does well to shepherd the ball out of play for a goal-kick. Megan Goss receiving the ball turns well and plays the pass forwards into Bryan with room to run into on the left only a good tackle from Buck putting the ball out for a throw steps her breaking into the area. Bryan has the ball at her feet again on the left soon after charging towards the byline cuts back inside the area superbly to deceive her marker and takes on the shot from an acute angle sending the ball wide across the face of goal.

   10 minutes played and the early pressure is with Crystal Palace, have Coventry pushed back defending the top of their area, closing down the ball the midfielders looking to win it create an opportunity, Ciara Sherwood almost does just that as she latches onto the ball just outside the box left of the D hitting it sweetly on the volley, Wood shifts across to try and get to it does need to as it flashes just past the post striking the advertising boards behind the goal. 


Crystal Palace Ladies, Ciara Sherwood

  Coventry's Miles is getting some joy on the left side providing and outlet when the visitors and get the ball released from the back, taking it on up to the top of the area squares the ball into the middle, Leesa Haydock heads the ball clear, Coventry's Smith looks to lift it over the defence into the area for Hall, goalkeeper Chanell Yardley gets to it 1st. Miles comes again this time Hall looks to break out early providing a passing option, Holdaway reading it just about gets her foot on the ball to intercept. For a 3rd time Miles is available for the ball in quick succession as Jade Brook passes from the centre of midfield to send her away up the left wing into the box cuts the cross back towards goal too close to the near post Yardley has the angle covered and goes down to gather the ball.

  GOAL! Crystal Palace take the lead as the game closes in on the 20 minute mark. It comes from a Coventry throw deep in their half on the right side, Rochelle Shakes is quick to put pressure on the receiver winning the ball and fires the ball along the ground into the area with Bryan free just inside the box, good control hits the shot on the turn sending it flying across the diving keeper and into the back of the net 1-0.


Gemma Bryan scorer of the opening goal for Crystal Palace Ladies

  Bryan is causing the Coventry defence all sorts of problems attacking down the left looks to get onto the end of a long ball from the back, Gina Burton gets to it first to put the ball out for a corner kick. Coming to nothing, Crystal Palace appeal for a penalty as Bryan ends up on the deck as she charges into the box, nothing given by the referee. Up the other end Holdaway and Haydock are clearing up thing's with the Coventry attack having little opportunity to get in behind them. 

  A chance for Coventry to get players forwards as Ellie Bailes brings brook down as she closes down on the area on the left the free kick just outside the box, Laura Cooper over it. sends a great delivery on towards the far post players running in to attack it Hall amongst those gets a touch the ball strikes the post before Crystal Palace scramble it clear. Better from Coventry after conceding the goal go forwards with more pace and purpose, Hall forces Crystal Palace into conceding a corner kick on the left. A great ball sent invitingly into the six yard box is headed down into the ground by Lynch unmarked in the centre bouncing through bodies is blocked on the line saved by Yardley pushed out, Lynch gets another chance to go for goal puts the ball over the crossbar.


Coventry United Ladies captain, Natasha Lynch sees her header cleared on the line
  Marie Gauntlett and Amber Hughes link up as they attack down the left flank exchanging passes as they try the work the ball into position for a cross win Coventry another corner kick. The set-piece is almost spilt by Yardley as she comes to claim it near post but reaching out behind her as she falls somehow keeps hold of it as Gauntlett closes in. Alma Donohoe on the left plays a great ball into the area for Goss who has got herself into a central position, good control to bring it down on her 1st touch, Miles gets back to defend nudging Goss off the ball and getting it away from the area. 

  GOAL! A contrasting game since Crystal Place took the lead on top during the opening 25 minutes have been forced back in the last 10 minutes as Coventry look to fight their way back onto level terms, do so on the 37th minute Comes from a well worked move good build up the ball played across the midfield before being passed on to the advancing Burton on the right sends the ball into the area along the six yard box, Smith jumps up to meet the ball with her head knocking it down back across the keeper and in 1-1.

 Crystal Palace go on the offensive straight from the restart the ball into the Coventry half with urgency, played on the diagonal from the left with Shakes making a run into the area goes to strike it on the volley, connects but under challenge smashes the shot into the side netting. Coventry go forwards themselves Miles getting the better of McRoberts as she goes on the move on the left takes the ball on Hughes comes towards her to offer the close passing option gets it on the corner of the box goes for goal the strike over the bar at the near post. 

Coventry United Ladies, Marie Gauntlett with Pamela McRoberts
  Late into the 1st half Bryan reacts sharply to a lazy Coventry back pass to the goalkeeper getting in behind looking to take a touch as she closes in on the box, Lynch gets back to put in a well timed tackle to take the ball away from her. Into injury time Crystal Palace with one last attack Donohoe on the left sweeps a cross into the box with Shakes the target running in on goal looks to hit it on the volley turn it wide across the keeper, is also wide of the goal.


Half-time Crystal Palace Ladies 1-1 Coventry United Ladies


  An entertaining and lively start to the FAWPL season at Bromley FC, newly promoted Crystal Palace starting the far better of the two sides capitalising by getting the goal. Coventry had to ride out a storm at the start improving late in the half after going a goal down pushing the host back and creating a few chances of their own bringing the scores level. The game very much evenly poised for the 2nd half. 

   A half-time substitution for Crystal Place as they kick off the 2nd half with Leanne Bell on the field replacing Goss. An early foray up the field for McRoberts making a move to get into the box as Bryan comes out wide right holds the ball up attempts to lay the ball into the full-back inside the box, Hughes has tracked back with her and tackling gets her foot on the ball. Substitute, Bell on the right side herself is allowed to travel a long way with the ball reaching the top corner of the area takes on the strike, plenty of pace on the ball, Wood covering her post is right behind it.


Leesa Haydock takes control of the ball at the back for Crystal Palace Ladies

   A good start to the 2nd half from Crystal Palace, Bryan runs at the Coventry defence winning the ball high up the pitch goes forwards has support with her from Shakes as she enters the box looks to set her up, her 1st time strike is blocked, the rebound falls to Sherwood deeper who also sees her effort blocked the ball eventually running out behind for a corner kick on the left. A good delivery played along the six yard box, Holdaway heads the ball into the back of the net, but not before the referee spots an infringement blows up for the foul.

   Penalty! Crystal Palace's bright start to the 2nd half is almost undone as they concede a penalty. Attacking down the right wing the ball is played forwards for Hall to chase down is just inside the area wide right as goalkeeper Yardley comes racing out to kick clear and despite getting to the ball 1st her follow through brings down Hall the referee points to the spot. Gauntlett steps up to take looking to lift the ball up to the keepers left, Yardley guesses the right way and throwing herself across gets two big hands on the ball to make the save.


Chanelle Yardley saves Marie Gauntlett's penalty kick
 Pressurising the Coventry back-line, Bryan gets hold of the ball and stealing in behind has a run at goal pulls the trigger from inside the D the strike off target. Coventry win a corner on the right Hughes makes a run from the top of the area to receive the ball from the taker playing it back to her, receives the return pass inside the box right corner turns and shoots the shot flying over the crossbar.

  1st change for Coventry as Hall is replaced by Helen Dermody. The visitors win a free kick inside the Crystal Place half a chance for Cooper to play the ball long up into the box sends it out towards the far post, Yardley comes to clear it, misses clattering into her own defender as Miles connects with her head drills the effort wide. 2nd change for Coventry with Christina Torkildsen coming on to replace Burton with a little over 20 minutes left to play. Good spell from the visitors, Smith bringing the ball on holds up well outside the Crystal Place box left side as Miles makes a run down the line, Smith with the pass plays her into the area, Yardley rushing out to meet her saves well at her feet.

  GOAL! Crystal Palace retake the lead as Bryan scores her 2nd of the match, latching onto a Shakes flick on as the ball is played long from the back, Bryan is in behind played through on goal, shoots from outside the box right of the D power and pace on the ball to drill is past Wood, strikes the base of the far post back spin seeing it roll over the goal-line 2-1.

An opening day brace for Crystal Palace Ladies, Gemma Bryan

  Crystal Palace make a 2nd change straight after the goal bringing on Abigail Igbavboa for Bailes. Coventry look to respond attacking down the right Hughes drives forwards whips the ball into the box, Dermody coming towards it looks to hit it 1st time but under challenge can't get enough on the ball. End to end, Bell has the ball wide right for Crystal Place pushing forwards turns inside is tackled well by Buck. A heavy challenge on Shakes by Lynch as she powers her way forwards sees a free-kick given away right on the edge of the area a balls width outside right of the D it's Igbavboa over the ball, goes for goal the strike over the top.

   GOAL! Once again Coventry come back from a goal down to equalise, a goal out of nothing and like Bryan from Crystal Palace it's a 2nd goal of the match for Smith. Has possession of the ball some 30 yards out left side in front of the area a snap shot goes for goal sends the ball flying into the top corner, little chance of Yardley diving at it can do stop it as it brushes her fingertips and goes in 2-2.

Stephanie Smith controlling the ball with 2 goals for Coventry United Ladies
  Sets up an intriguing final 10 minutes of play. Torkildsen bursts forwards down the right for Coventry puts a good crossfield pass out to Smith on the left in front of the box, looks to play in Dermody ahead of her, she is unfortunate to slip as she goes to strike the ball on the edge of the area the attempt rolling tamely through to Yardley. 3rd change for Crystal Palace, Fran Ali coming on to replace Haydock.

  Attacking down the left side for Coventry as the game moves into the final minutes of normal time, Gauntlett rolls the ball into Dermody inside the box, she plays it across with Hughes behind her, sees her attempt at goal closed down the ball is won back as Crystal Place look to counter attack, Brook takes on the shot from distance looks to be heading top corner once again this time though Yardley has time to get across and pluck it down.
Coventry's Jade Brook and Crystal Palace's Ellie Bailes battle for the ball

  Into injury time Holdaway picks up a yellow card after fouling Hughes, a chance for Cooper to put the ball into the box, Smith is there to attack it far post sends her header wide of goal. Coventry very nearly win it at the death as rare moment of carelessness at the back sees Brook steal in to take the ball charging in behind left of goal shoots hitting the ball along the ground, Yardley dives to her right makes a great save turning the ball behind for the corner kick. Claims the set-piece as it comes in the referee blows the final whistle.

Full time Crystal Palace Ladies 2-2 Coventry United Ladies


 The points shared on the opening day fixture an entertaining match to watch from a neutrals perspective. A positive start to life at a higher level for Crystal Palace dominated the game for a good portion of both halves, scoring when they were on top too. Coventry were a little slow to get going 1st half but fought their way back into the game equalising twice after going behind. 

  A good day out at Bromley, my thanks to both sides for their help with the team line-ups today and best of luck for the rest of the season.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Pre-season friendly - King's Lynn Town Ladies v West Ham United Ladies

  It's a short journey west along the A47 today to watch a pre-season friendly of special significance for King's Lynn Town Ladies today as they begin a new era under the banner of the men's club, playing at The Walks Stadium. Their opponents, West Ham United Ladies. 

  It was announced at the end of last season that the current Lynn Ladies side formed 2 seasons ago and playing across the river in West Lynn would come under the banner of King's Lynn Town FC and become King's Lynn Town Ladies FC, wear the Linnets colours. The men's club competing in the Evo-Stik Southern Division keen to build a sense of community around the club, having a ladies side a natural step to take. 

  A prestige friendly game to herald a new era for the Ladies side a special occasion for the players to savour and enjoy. Very much an opportunity for women's football to grow on the western side of Norfolk having long be dominated from clubs around Norwich and to the east of the county. New players in the squad, notable among them Becky Russell a talented midfielder who has starred for Thorpe United Ladies in recent seasons. Had a season at Cambridge WFC too as did Bethan Jones who rejoins King's Lynn having recently been playing in the USA.

  West Ham United Ladies are their opponents today, have sent up their Development squad to face King's Lynn today. Their 1st team competes in the FAWPL Southern Division 4 leagues higher than King's Lynn and this is where their young players aspire to be. A good test for both sides as they begin pre-season several new faces in the West Ham line-up to, one of those I know having too played for Cambridge last season and doing well making several starts for their 1st team, Bella Simmons.

  Been a long while since I've been to The Walks stadium myself is a pleasant walk from the town centre itself through historic park land. The ground boasts on huge stand along one side of the pitch housing the bar, cafe and shop beneath, standing areas at either end behind the goals with a covered standing area running the length of the opposite of the pitch. The pitch itself ready for a new season looked immaculate, a good size. A very warm August afternoon for the game bright sun shining down on the pitch as the two sides walk out of the tunnel between the dugouts.

  King's Lynn Town Ladies starting XI - Cristina Vivas Artacho, Vikki Budulyte, Katie Garner, Millie Wilson, Chloe Burch (C), Marly Lawson, Bethan Jones, Becky Russell, Steph Lund, Shelley Woods & Josie Turner.
  subs - Natalie Bunton, Elle Bocking, Jade Kelly, Lisa Wilson & Emma Corbyn

  West Ham United Ladies starting XI - Latoya Smith, Natalie Strange (C), Shanyi Mariner, Dani Sillitoe, Courtney Lumley, Megan Waters, Rhianne Holmes, Rachel Blythe, Hayley Peacock, Bella Simmons & Shyontae Weekes. 
  subs - Maddie Wright, Lucy Bronze & Pauline Adeyemo.


(roll on, roll off substitutes)



  It's the visitors West Ham to get the game underway, wearing the clubs away colours of sky blue, with a claret band across the front of their shirts and sleeves. King's Lynn lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts, with blue shorts and socks. West Ham test the King's Lynn defence early sending the ball long out to the right channel, goalkeeper Cristina Vivas Artacho out of her area clears the ball. Deals well with a difficult ball sent into the box from a throw deep on the left moments later the ball played back to Courtney Lumley, 30 yards out looks to lift it into the box for the strikers to attack, bounces up sharply inside the six yard box Vivas Artacho adjusts well to claim the ball.

  King's Lynn are awarded a free kick wide right a chance to play the ball up into the West Ham area, a good delivery, defender Hayley Peacock climbs highest to head the ball out for a corner. Taken from the left by Becky Russell the ball is fired in towards the near post a stooping header from Katie Garner as she attempts to turn the ball goalwards, goalkeeper Latoya Smith gets down to stop the ball, can see it bounce wide of her near post for a goal kick.

   An even start to the match both sides moving the ball quickly some promising build up play. Coming through the centre in attack King's Lynn's, Josie Turner nips in to take the ball from the West Ham defence bursts clear in behind her run taking her out to the right of goal, is leaning back as she strikes the ball, screws her shot away from target. The ball is on it's way up the pitch as West Ham attack with purpose have possession on the left driving forwards Lumley plays the ball into Bella Simmons holds her marker off the ball out wide top of the area before shifting the ball and turning inside, pulls the trigger as she enters the ball sees her effort charged down. 

West Ham United Ladies, Bella Simmons

  West Ham's Shyontae Weekes times her run perfectly as the ball is played over the top for her to chase down bursts clear of the King's Lynn defence right of the goal into the box, Vivas Artacho is quick off her line and throws herself at the strikers feet to lay claim to the ball before she can take on a shot. Almost identical up the other end with King's Lynn's next attack Smith coming out to the edge of her area on the right to slide in and claim the ball before Turner chasing after it can get there. The lively opening continues West Ham attack down their right, Rachel Blythe plays the ball into the area looking to pick out Weekes, she looks turn the ball towards goal with her 1st touch puts it behind at the near post.

 GOAL! King's Lynn open the scoring on 15 minutes, the ball is sent long up field through the middle, West Ham have pushed up centre back Rhianne Holmes is looking to shield the ball from Turner with her goalkeeper coming out of her area to launch the ball with Turner almost on top of her the ball is deflected out to the left as keeper and striker come together. Turner is quicker to her feet races after the ball, know the goal is undefended, as Smith gets up tries to get back, Turner wraps her left foot around the ball and sends it home from outside the box 1-0.

Josie Turner scores the opening goal for King's Lynn Town Ladies

  Captain, Natalie Strange gets forwards from defence for West Ham on the left bringing the ball on looks to play a deep cross in on the angle towards the far post, it's King's Lynn captain, Chloe Burch tracking back who rises up to head the threat clear of her area. Bringing the ball into the West Ham half, Bethan Jones plays the ball out to Turner wide right, good hold up play with Russell coming towards her wanting the ball, gets it turning inside finds room to shot 25 yards out looking to send a low strike into the far bottom corner, Smith has it covered gets down to gather the ball into her body.

West Ham United Ladies, Courtney Lumley

  West Ham are prepared to have a go from distance both Holmes and fellow centre back Dani Sillitoe taking on shots, both put straight at Vivas Artacho. A hot afternoon a drinks break pre-arranged by both sides. West Ham ring the changes bringing on Lucy Bronze, Maddie Wright and Pauline Adeyemo. The latter of the 3 gets in on the action straight away, playing through the centre of attack is played in behind the King's Lynn defence, the ball gets stuck under her feet for a moment with Vivas Artacho charging towards her, manages to dig the shot out getting the ball past the advancing keeper but also wide of her goal beyond.

  GOAL! A free kick for West Ham 40 yards out on the right, the ball is lifted up into the area towards the far post excessive bounce on the ball as it lands in the centre of the box looping up Sillitoe running in keeps her eye on it and as it comes over her headers the ball on up over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to score 1-1.

  The open nature of the game continues, Turner is a constant threat for King's Lynn ready to race in behind the West Ham defence, Smith comes racing out to slide in and bravely save at her feet as Shelley Woods puts her through on the right once again. Up the other end the ball is played across the face of the King's Lynn area Peacock looks to take on the shot hitting the ball with the outside of her boot lifts the strike up over the crossbar.



  GOAL! West Ham take the lead building up some positive momentum since Adeyemo entered the action. Attacking down the right have players piling into the box the cross is lifted in towards the near post Blythe is their tries to help it on knocks it up his headed up into the air by the King's Lynn defence falls to Adeyemo arriving on the top of the area, she strikes the ball hard and low towards goal, Vivas Artacho throws herself towards the ball, can't get there 1-2.

  There's a King's Lynn player down on the edge of the box, Burch was hurt in the build up to the West Ham goal and is in alot of discomfort, a player who has been out with a long term injury it isn't good to see the stretcher called for as she can't continue. Lisa Wilson comes on to join the action.

  Penalty! Right on the stroke of half-time West Ham are awarded a penalty as Adeyemo on the ball drives into the box from the left, has King's Lynn defender Millie Wilson on her shoulder lunges in to win the ball, looks like she gets there but takes out Adeyemo to, bringing her down the referee points to the spot. A chance for West Ham to take a 3-1 lead into the dressing room, it's Adeyemo to take looks to lift the ball wide of Vivas Artacho to the right of goal places it wide.

Half-time King's Lynn Ladies 1-2 West Ham United Ladies Dev Squad

  A very entertaining 1st half, an even contest overall, King's Lynn doing well to match West Ham and capitalised on a mistake to take the lead. West Ham fought back making the changes and seeing them go on to equalise then take the lead. Blow for King's Lynn losing their captain and it's never nice to see an ambulance arrive at a ground can only wish Chloe Burch all the best and hope it's not too serious an injury and for a speedy recovery.

  The 2nd half get's underway, King's Lynn taking the kick off. Elle Bocking is on King's Lynn. Simmons is back on the pitch for West Ham. Woods now wearing the captains armband. Get's the ball back from Wilson carrying the ball on down the left 30 yards out Woods looks to try and place the ball in the top corner, Smith in the West Ham goal sees it safely into her gloves. Woods and Wilson combine again in King's Lynn's next attack, picking the ball up on half way Woods places the ball into Wilson's run down the left cuts the ball inside into the box with Turner arriving the ball won't sit for her bouncing up as she tries to lift it over the advancing Smith can't get the power needed puts it straight at her.

King's Lynn Town Ladies, Becky Russell holds West Ham's Megan Waters and the referee off the ball
  Again Wilson is free on the left as Russell plays the ball into her plays the cross into the box again for Turner to attack deeper this time she slips as she goes to strike it the chance gone. Good start to the 2nd half by King's Lynn, Bocking getting up the pick on the left plays the pass inside to Wilson who is brought down in a dangerous position outside the box 20 yards from goal. Woods is over the ball, gets it over the West Ham wall, Smith diving to cover her near post gets a touch on the ball taking it out for a corner kick.

King's Lynn Town Ladies, Bethan Jones
   Natalie Bunton comes on to the pitch for King's Lynn whilst West Ham make a double switch Mariner and Holmes back on for Lumley and Strange. The visitors haven't had as much joy in attack 2nd half as the 1st, Adeyemo powerful on the ball is being well marshalled by the home defence. Simmons wins her side a corner on the left side comes in at a good height, Vivas Artacho jumps through the crowd at the near post to punch the ball out for a 2nd corner, taken short comes all the way back to Sillitoe takes on the strike from all of 35 yards out Vivas Artacho can easily palm it down to safety. 

   GOAL! It's 2-2 and it's a complete horror for West Ham, Smith will come out of her area a thousand times and this will never happen again. The ball is played long by King's Lynn through the middle Holmes is shielding the ball from the attacker as Smith goes to put her foot through the ball, hits her own player and the rebound sends the ball straight back towards goal, the race to stop it is in vain as the ball rolls over the line for an unfortunate own goal. 

   Turner is playing off the last defender always looking like she can burst in behind and that is exactly what King's Lynn are trying to do, Woods with the pass, Turner latches onto the shot on the top of the area, a low effort, Smith throws herself to her left and lays claim to the shot. Lumley replaces Sillitoe for West Ham. Plays the ball out to Weekes wide right plays the cross on the diagonal into the box putting Adeyemo clear of her marker into the box, looking to line up a shot, Millie Wilson get's back coming across to take the ball off her toes.

Josie Turner looking to get ahead of West Ham's Rhianne Holmes
  Russell brings the ball on in midfield for King's Lynn her pass dissects the West Ham defence as turner beats the offside trap, the ball won't sit for the shot as she breaks into the area, drags it wide of the left post. Another chance for Turner as Steph Lund makes progress with the ball down the left cuts the ball back to Turner inside the D, a clever turn sees her evade her marker, get a shot away places it straight into Smith well placed for the strike.

  More good build up play from the home side with Jones at the back now putting the ball into Woods central a neat turn sees her release the ball into the box with Lund cutting in from the left, on the ball looks to strike it across the face of goal, too close to Smith the keeper saves it. 

Shelley Woods with the ball for King's Lynn Town Ladies
  Carrying the ball on Megan Waters coming through the middle of the park for West Ham plays the pass to Adeyemo on the left side, hard to knock off the ball she pushes forwards getting into the box unleashing a shot along the ground, Vivas Artacho gets down to her left and holds onto the ball at her near post. 

Megan Waters bringing the ball on for West Ham United Ladies

   Late pressure from King's Lynn, Russell getting ahead of play breaking into the West Ham box on the right sees Smith slide in to take the ball at her feet before she can take on the shot. Further out it's Russell on the ball again who strikes from distance sees her effort drift wide of goal. Closing moments of the match Turner still has the energy to beat the offside trap as Russell wins the ball back on the left side plays it into Turner entering the box doesn't make a clean connection with the ball her shot lacks the pace to trouble Smith.

  The referee blows up to end the game, an entertaining 2-2 draw between King's Lynn and West Ham played in front of a decent sized crowd at The Walks who will have hopefully enjoyed what they saw and come back for more. A good start to the match for King's Lynn taking an early lead, West Ham did very well dominating for a spell to come back to lead 2-1 at half-time. A mistake brought King's Lynn level 2nd half and from then on they looked the more confident fashioning more chances to find a winning goal.

  The Norfolk Women's County League kick-off in September dates and fixture yet to be announced, will list them upon the Supporting Women's Football Blog's sister site www.womensfootballeast.com when they are. A good pre-season game for both sides, my thanks to both sides for their help with the squads today and best of luck to both for the season ahead. 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Match Report - Reading FC Women v Manchester City Women

  Midweek football action from FAWSL 1 on the Supporting Women's Football Blog comes from Adams Park, home of Reading FC Women, the visitors league leaders Manchester City Women.

 Reading FC Women are newly promoted to FAWSL 1 having won the FAWSL 2 title last season. Are currently in 7th place in the table but have yet to record a win in the league. That doesn't tell the whole story however as they are the draw specialists in the league having drawn 6 of their 9 matches played to date. Have battled hard to get something from the games they've played as they look to try and establish themselves in the top tier of women's football. 

Have brought in a couple of new faces to bolster the squad during the summer transfer window. Remi Allen joining from Birmingham City Ladies to add even more steel to a combative midfield. Sophie Perry also joins having had a magnificent season with FAWPL Southern Division Champions, Brighton & Hove Albion WFC.

Manchester City Women are top of the table and looking in good shape to win their 1st ever FAWSL title since joining the league in 2014. Undefeated in 10 league games played this season with 8 wins and 2 draws. 4 points clear of 2nd placed Chelsea Ladies. One of the smallest squads in the league too. With the stop start nature of the FAWSL this season games can sometimes come thick and fast this being the 2nd match of 4 Manchester City Women will play in 12 days.

 Are without influential attacking player Kosovare Aslanni currently away with Sweden competing in the Rio Olympic's. Have also lost defender Abbie McManus to injury will be out for several months, this has seen Jennifer Beattie drop from a midfield anchor role into the back 4. Dutch International star Tessel Middag was signed at the start of June and has taken on Beattie's midfield role. Izzy Christiansen has also returned to competitive action having missed a large chunk of the early season.

  Made good time to the ground for a 7:45pm KO, chance to get some food and get settled watch the two sides warm up on an excellent playing surface, a large pitch too. A warm evening after a bright sunny day. A few dark clouds around but little chance of rain. The visitors had brought plenty of vocal support with them and with the Reading fans being a vocal bunch themselves a lively atmosphere was building. 

   Reading FC Women starting XI - Mary Earps, Rebecca Jane, Sophie Perry, Kirsty McGee, Kayleigh Hines, Lois Roche, Remi Allen, Lauren Bruton, Rachel Rowe, Emma Follis & Jade Boho-Sayo.
   subs - Chloe Sansom, Molly Bartrip, Nia Jones, Laura-May Walkley, Amber Stobbs, Helen Ward & Melissa Fletcher.

   Manchester City Women starting XI - Karen Bardsley, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Steph Houghton (C), Jennifer Beattie, Tessel Middag, Jill Scott, Izzy Christiansen, Georgia Stanway, Nikita Parris & Jane Ross.
   subs - Marie Hourihan, Toni Duggan, Keira Walsh, Ella Toone & Daphne Corboz.

  It's Reading to kick off the 1st half wearing blue and white hooped shirts, blue shorts along with blue and white hooped socks with opponents Manchester City lined-up wearing sky blue shirts with navy sleeves, white shorts and sky blue socks. The ball is put long into the visitors half allowing them to get possession straight away, captain Steph Houghton plays a great 40 yard crossfield pass up to Georgia Stanway on the left side of attack, has Izzy Christiansen making a run from the middle of the park to get ahead of play looks to play her on the midfielder can't keep the ball in to cross into the box, goal kick.

  Reading drop deep as a unit with Manchester City on the ball, Lucy Bronze attacks down the right with the ball the pass is into Nikita Parris she looks to take the ball inside into the area, the ball is taken from her feet by Lois Roche tracking back from midfield for Reading inside the box. Plenty of possession on the ball for the visitors early on, Scottish International, Jane Ross is flagged offside inside the area as the ball is threaded into her run.

  From a goal kick, Reading get an attack going the ball with Emma Follis on the left side takes it on down the wing, sends an early ball into the Manchester City area a deflection near side takes it on into the path of Rachel Rowe coming in from the right, strikes the shot the ball hitting Demi Stokes as she charges it down. Back on the attack Manchester City get the ball into Bronze on the right storming forwards plays the pass inside along to top of the area, Ross strikes for goal, the shot blocked by the Reading defence lined-up along the top of their area.

  Reading are getting everyone behind the ball more often than not having everyone inside their own half, affording Manchester City plenty of time and space on the ball, centre backs Houghton and Jennifer Beattie rarely challenged on the ball. Beattie coming forwards into the reading half takes a shot from distance the effort screws away from goal. Jill Scott plays a clever ball over the top looking to get Stanway in behind on the left, Reading right back Rebecca Jane gets up to head the ball behind for a corner kick. The corner is delivered deep towards the penalty spot, Houghton coming in is there meets the ball with her head sends a looping header back in on target the ball is headed away from danger off the goal line by Reading.

Manchester City captain, Steph Houghton attacking the ball from a corner.

  A strong start by Manchester City 10 minutes played. Neat foot work from Parris on the top right corner of the area as she receives the ball from Bronze attacking down the right, a flick to wrong foot her marker gets her inside to take on the shot looking to hit the ball on the volley puts the attempt over the crossbar. Little chance for the Reading attack to create anything, Houghton fouls Lauren Bruton mid-way inside her half, a chance for Reading to get the ball up into the opponents area Roche takes, it's Houghton who get's up highest to head the ball away.

  Follis is getting some joy on the ball down the left of attack for Reading bringing the ball on sends in a cross towards the near post, is claimed well and held by Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley with striker Jade Boho-Sayo closing in on her. Up the other end Reading goalkeeper Mary Earps with a good take to catch the ball inside her six yard box deals well with a Bronze cross as Manchester City counter attack getting numbers forwards into the area. Ross and Christiansen look to link up centrally in front of the Reading area, a give and go between the pair Ross looks to send Christiansen clear into the box, a good run from the midfielder a vital tackle from Reading captain Kirsty McGee to deny her a shot on goal.

Reading FC Women captain, Kirsty McGee

  Manchester City are allowed to come on again and again with the ball, Parris has it at her feet inside her own half is one of the fastest players out there in the women's game right now surges forwards with the ball unchallenged, Christiansen has make a fantastic run getting clear to receive the ball on the left, Parris has only one thing on her mind however taking on the shot from 25 yards out sees her effort sail over the bar. A powerful run through the middle by Bruton comes to an end as she is checked inside the D, nothing given Reading retain possession of the ball with Sophie Perry left her cross swept into the area is collected by Bardsley look to attack quickly work the ball through the middle into Ross shot from the edge of the box is straight at Earps.

   Bruton on the ball 30 yards out goes for goal lifting her shot towards the top corner, may have been drifting wide, Bardsley moving across to her left gets hold of the ball. Bruton is off the field receiving treatment after a Bronze challenge, Reading down to 10 briefly continue to defend doggedly. Bronze getting deep on the right with the ball has players racing to get into the six yard box as she plays the cross in deep towards the far post, Christiansen is there looks to send her header back across the goal to be attacked, Earps with firm gloves takes hold of the ball and does well to keep it between her gloves as Scott lunging in with a high leg looks clips her.

Reading's Rebecca Jane, looks to break away from Georgia Stanway of Manchester City Women

  Half an hour played it's still goalless despite the pressure and possession Manchester City have, Parris with a low shot drilled in from the edge of the area is straight at Earps, pops out of her body as she falls forwards onto the ball, spinning away to her left, Christiansen is interested, Earps up goes after her pushing her further wide before retreating back to her goal by then her defence has regrouped the cross is dealt with. Perry has had a busy 1st half dealing with both Parris and Bronze. Bronze is sent away down the right by Scott's pass in midfield, Perry leaps to head the ball as Bronze attempts to lift the ball over her, dealt with well as Parris was clear inside the box to receive the ball. 

Centre back, Jennifer Beattie had plenty of time on the ball for Manchester City Women in the 1st half
  Corner on the left for Manchester City a good delivery by Christiansen swept in across the six yard box, Earps with a strong punch sends it out to the top of the area, Stanway latches onto it for the visitors goes for goal, her low strike taking a deflection off a leg on the way through sends it wide of the target 

   GOAL! The deadlock is finally broken on the 38th minute, Reading have been defending resolutely, but that is pretty much all they've been doing inviting Manchester City onto them. Scott winning the tackle in midfield plays a great pass into Parris breaking on the right, charging forwards into the area pulls the ball back from the byline as the Reading defence drop deep, Christiansen as she has done all game has made the midfield run not tracked is there to head the ball home from six yards 0-1.

Izzy Christiansen opens the scoring for Manchester City Women

  Boho-Sayo gets on to a long ball sent up to her on the right, from distance she takes on the strike, Bardsley down low comfortably takes control of the ball. Coming down the left Stanway has the ball at her feet, a clever turn sees her spin off her marker get inside for the shot top left corner of the area, the strike is blocked by Kayleigh Hines in the centre of the Reading defence.


Half-time Reading FC Women 0-1 Manchester City Women


  At half-time Reading see themselves a goal down have been defending hard getting everyone behind the ball so much so Manchester City have been allowed to take throw in's inside their own half unopposed as the home side drop everyone back into their own half, with so much time allowed on the ball it eventually told. Had to be patient Reading have been very hard to break down, defended well for the large part without getting forwards much. Christiansen making some clever runs from midfield eventually getting free to score. A slender lead but at the half way stage in the match the league leaders are well in control of the game. The pitch receiving a liberal soaking of water as the sprinklers come on so to does Reading's substitute goalkeeper Chloe Sansom as one sprinkler catches her off guard.

  Manchester City get the 2nd half underway. No changes from either side at the break. Start as they ended the 1st half with possession of the ball. Remi Allen nips in to win the ball in midfield plays it out to Follis on the left, looks to be shoved off the ball as she drives on but nothing given. Reading are looking to get players further forwards Roche into Follis left plays it inside the Bruton pushing forwards, Tessel Middag gets back on her to win the ball back for Manchester City.

Manchester City Women's, Tessel Middag

   Pushing forwards through the centre Scott plays the ball into Stanway coming inside from the left flank turn and shot on the edge of the box the low strike is again just wide of the left goal post. Stokes getting forwards on the left sweeps in a long cross deep towards the far post the ball is headed away by Perry with Parris closing in . 

  52 minutes on the board and Reading have their 1st corner of the match, as Boho-Sayo is clear for a moment on the right, Stanway get's back on her to tackle the ball running out for the corner. The set-piece allows players to come up form the back the delivery is a good one the target Hines a fantastic header of the ball out towards the far post area inside the six yard box a good connection on the ball looking to send it back across the goal the ball is claimed firmly by Bardsley the break is on Manchester City surge forwards the ball with Stanway her shot from outside the box is blocked by Jane.

Reading FC Women's, Remi Allen

  Stanway hits the post! The ball is rolled into her wide left, turning inside hard it hard from 25 yards out, Earps throws herself to her left in a attempt to get to the ball, smashes off the base of the goalpost and out for the goal kick. Reading are getting a little more joy on the ball as they press it a little higher. Roche with a good ball winning tackle sees the ball rebound into the Manchester City half into space with Follis setting off after it, so too does Bardsley who comes running out of her area, slight hesitation from Follis allows the keeper sliding in to get there first and clear the ball.

Manchester City Women's, Georgia Stanway

  60th minute sees the 1st change of the match, for Manchester City as they bring off holding midfielder, Middag to be replaced by Kiera Walsh. Hines is called into action as she gets up highest inside the box to clear a cross from Bronze. Reading make their 1st change with Laura-May Walkley coming on to replace Roche. Earps comes charging out of her goal to save with her legs inside the box as Christiansen puts Stanway through on goal on the left out for a corner kick on the left

  Taken short, Manchester City keep the ball on the left playing it up the line before crossing along the top of the area both Scott then Parris beyond her see shots blocked by Reading as the home side continue to defend doggedly. Walsh get's herself booked as she tugs back Bruton as the Reading midfielder looking lively tries to race clear through the middle. The ball put long up into the box is headed out to the left by Houghton the ball picked up by Follis she looks to send a cross in towards the far post, runs out of play for the goal kick.

Jade Boho-Sayo looks to keep Steph Houghton off the ball

  Ross checks her run through the middle as Manchester City break again down the left finds herself free to the right of the D as the ball is fizzed into her path looking to hit her shot across the ball pulls the effort away from goal. 20 minutes left to play Manchester City hold onto the lead make a 2nd change Stanway the player off as Toni Duggan enters the field of play. Bruton is looking like she can make something happen for Reading neat footwork sees her in behind her marker, Follis sets off down the left wing, Bruton looks to put the pass into her run, Houghton comes back to clear the ball for a corner kick. From the left goes long again the target Hines once more, has Scott on her this time, still gets her head to the ball, can only place the ball down wide of goal. 10 minutes left on the clock

  GOAL! Manchester City double their lead as McGee slides in to win the ball inside her box put it out of play for the corner kick. The ball from the right is played long and deep falls to Houghton she lays it back to Duggan waiting outside the box centrally, is a stunning strike and she hits the shot across the line of the ball lifting it up arrowing into the top right corner, nothing Earps can do as she throws herself at the ball in vain 0-2.

  Both sides make a change Reading taking off Allen throw on a striker with Melissa Fletcher on the pitch. Manchester City bring Scott off, Daphne Corboz the player coming on with less than 8 minutes to go. Ross sees a shot sail over the crossbar from the top left corner of the Reading area. 

  Counter attack by Reading the ball played into Bruton high up the pitch powers her way through Manchester City to get into the area right of goal, the tackle comes in the ball taken off her toes rolls out to Boho-Sayo right side has Follis free far side if she goes long with the cross, gets it wrong putting the ball in central Bardsley right behind it claims the ball. A corner to Manchester City on the right side is headed a foot over the bar by Beattie rising high at the near post.

  GOAL! Penalty to Reading on the 88th minute! A move orchestrated by Bruton again for the home side as she gets forwards with the ball loft side this time into the box, Parris comes back to tackle her gets it away from her, Follis is beyond her however and the ball straight at her she looks to get it up in front of goal, is brought down tripped by Parris the referee points to the spot. Bruton to take it wrong foots Bardsley who creeps to her right, the ball instead drilled low and hard into the bottom left corner 1-2.

  4 minutes of added on time to be played, neither side can fashion a chance as Reading rally late at the end the final whistle blows and Manchester City extend their lead to 6 points at the top of the FAWSL 1 table. Dominated for pretty much the whole match and at 2-0 were cruising late drama at the end as Reading pull a goal back from the penalty spot makes it a less than comfortable looking win than it was.

  Manchester City had to be patient but with so much of the ball it was attack v defence for large parts of the 1st half. Got the win but may feel with so much of the ball they could have been more clinical in the final 3rd. Reading to their credit defended well, put themselves under pressure to be sure and as they came out a bit more in the 2nd half and got it back to 2-1 may feel they could have gotten something from the match had they been a little more adventurous.