A new look for the Cambridgeshire Women's League Cup this year with the early stages being held in a group format the sides across the three leagues in the County the Women's Premiership and Championship North and South drawn to face each other in 8 Groups A-H with 3 or 4 sides in each playing each other once a Premiership side in each against Championship opposition. With 9 sides competing in the Premiership one Group has 2 sides in it and that is Group F featuring both Newmarket Town Ladies and St Ives Town Ladies along side Championship South sides Isleham United Ladies and Fulbourn Bluebirds.
A good start to the season for both sides in the Premiership. Newmarket Town Ladies currently 2nd in the table won their 1st 4 league games before suffering their 1st defeat against Cambridge United WFC Reserves who took over at the top 2 weeks ago. Drawn into Group F were on the road for their 1st 2 games against Championship South sides, Fulbourn Bluebirds and Isleham United Ladies winning their 1st game 9-0 the 2nd 3-0 hold the advantage over St Ives Town Ladies on goal difference.
St Ives Town Ladies are into their 2nd season as a club having formed for the 2015/16 season, recognise a few of their squad from the Sawtry Ladies side I covered on the blog in it's very early days. also a few players in the squad who used to play for Huntingdon Town Ladies too. With St Ives Town already having youth sides in girls football the platform was in place to form a women's team. Did well in their 1st season winning promotion up to the Premiership and of the 3 sides promoted from the Championship's North and South this season are doing well in 3rd place in the table. Have also played Isleham United Ladies and Fulbourn Bluebirds in their 1st 2 group F matches winning 4-0 and 4-1 at home to have 6 points, today a must win game if they wish to advance to the knock-out stages of the Cambridgeshire League Cup the 2 sides have met in the league already this season Newmarket Town Ladies winning 2-0 away from home.
|1||Newmarket Town Ladies||2||2||0||0||12||0||12||6|
|2||St Ives Town Ladies||2||2||0||0||8||1||7||6|
|3||Isleham United Ladies||2||0||0||2||0||7||-7||0|
The venue for today's match, Newmarket Town FC's Ridgeons Stadium. A brand new state of the art cork based 3G pitch. A very good playing surface and one of the best artificial surfaces I've seen. A covered stand with seating on one side of the pitch, along side the clubhouse and bar with hot food and drink available, Barry's Snack Shack served up one of the best cheeseburgers I have had in a while. A bright sunny end to November, a few dark clouds around and these would grow to make it chilly and gloomy over the course of the game.
Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI - Eloise Hope, Jasmine Woodfield, Olivia Orme, Jess Linger, Beth Woodfield (C), Abbie Marshall, Cindy Ponder, Abbi Griffin, Joeli Kirby, Nadine Basson & Lauren Deller.
subs - Lauren Blackaby & Molly Agnew
St Ives Town Ladies starting XI - Kira Markwell, Steph Ransome, Penny Ford, Molly Berryman, Molly Flack, Megan Stow, Sophie Marheineke, Georgia Stancombe, Amy Seymour-Shove, Hannah Seymour-Shove & Sasha Smith (C).
subs - Connie Liddiard, Chloe Stefanelli, Jade Carpenter, Leigh Chatten & Jorgie Hall.
(roll on roll off substitutes)
Newmarket to kick off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts with blue trim on the shoulders and sides blue shirts with yellow trim on the sides and yellow socks with two blue and white bands with St Ives Town lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. The home side look to attack from the off the ball played up through the middle looking for Joeli Kirby making a run on the left, Molly Flack stepping forwards to get her head on the ball clear for St Ives. Newmarket trying again on the right, Abbi Griffin on the ball getting down the line and putting a cross into the box, St Ives goalkeeper, Kira Markwell claiming confidentially at her near post.
Markwell is out to the edge of her area, clearing the ball as Cindy Ponder plays Kirby in up the left, puts the ball into the middle along the ground trying to pick out Lauren Deller running through the middle the St Ives goalkeeper getting to the ball 1st. A fast start to the match both sides looking to get the ball out to their wide players attack down the wings. A free-kick for Newmarket inside the St Ives half on the right side Jess Linger on the ball plays it long up into the box, the header clear putting the ball out for a throw on the right is by St Ives Molly Berryman.
|The Newmarket Town Ladies defence, Olivia Orme in the front of the picture, Jess Linger and captain Beth Woodfield|
beyond keep their eye on the in coming ball, pictured with St Ives Hannah Seymour-Shove
From the throw the ball is cleared out to the left comes to Newmarket, left back Olivia Orme looks to send it back in quickly towards the top of the area with striker Nadine Basson making a move from right to left across the D, colliding with the St Ives defender challenging her manages to get the ball on into the box races away behind for a goal kick before Kirby can chase it down. Ponder has a strike on goal from all of 30 yards out, the shot straight at Markwell who takes it cleanly. Coming forwards on the left side Griffin sends the ball high into the box, Deller arriving sees the ball over her shoulder hitting it on the volley trying to pick out the top corner curls wide of the mark.
St Ives are working hard to close the ball down, Megan Stow winning possession in the middle gets it forwards, helped on St Ives captain, Sasha Smith leading the attack is fed in down the right on the run hits a shot from the edge of the box in low towards the near post, Eloise Hope in the Newmarket goal makes a comfortable save. Georgia Stancombe brings the ball down the right, loops a cross up into the Newmarket area Beth Woodfield Newmarket's captain heads the ball away from danger.
Orme getting forwards with the ball on the left for Newmarket plays the pass in field getting Basson onto the ball running through the centre, rolls it forwards into the box with Ponder getting up field to her right, Markwell off her line quickly gets to the ball and slides in to claim. Griffin up the right wing for Newmarket crosses early the ball along to top of the St Ives area for Deller who attempts to bring it down and turn to shoot, Flack is on her shoulder the defender doing well to prevent the shot the ball going out for a goal kick.
|St Ives Town Ladies, Megan Stow is beaten to the ball by Newmarket's Abbi Griffin|
A little to casual at the back from Hope as the goalkeeper with the ball at her feet loos to pass it out of her area inside to Woodfield, St Ives, Hannah Seymour-Shove bursting forwards latching onto the ball drives into the box, Hope recovers quickly and getting across throws herself into a full long dive to make the blocking save as Seymour-Shove shoots. Hope makes a good catch inside her six yard box moments later not put off as Hannah Seymour-Shove throws herself forwards trying to get onto the end of a Stancombe cross put in from the right.
|Newmarket Town Ladies, Nadine Basson|
Basson plays the ball on for Kirby on the left, a little long, Kirby does well to keep it in before she can get her head up and cross, Steph Ransome gets back at her and tackling wins the ball for St Ives, Newmarket prevent the break keeping the ball on the left rolled into Basson left corner outside the box curls a ball over the defence dropping into the six yard box, Markwell down low makes the save pushing the ball out to the right, Penny Ford getting it away as Griffin closes her down.
Ponder wins the ball in the middle of the park gets the pass into Kirby on the left in behind squares a cross along the floor into the six yard box, Markwell down to see it into her gloves before Basson or Deller can arrive. Griffin tries her luck from 25 yards out a curling effort lacks the height to trouble Markwell. Newmarket make a double switch, Kirby and Ponder come off, Lauren Blackaby and Molly Agnew come on.
GOAL! Newmarket have been pressing forwards looking for the opening goal of the match, however it is the visitors who get themselves in front 25 minutes into the 1st half, Sophie Marheineke along side Stow in the middle of the park has been getting the tackles in to win the ball break up play, gets forwards carrying the ball on towards the Newmarket box has Stancombe ahead of her looking to get in behind the defence threads the pass into her run taking it on into the box, Hope comes rushing out goes to ground Stancombe takes the ball past her and sends it into the empty net beyond 0-1.
Newmarket get straight back on the attack from the restart Abbie Marshall playing the ball into Griffin who looks to play the ball into Agnew on the left top of the area looks to cut inside, Ransome defends well to deny her a goal scoring opportunity. Orme up field passes the ball into Deller central back to goal outside the box, looks to lay it to Agnew on the left coming into the box again Ransome puts in the challenge. A great ball over the top with Basson getting in behind the St Ives defence hits the falling ball on the half volley outside the box the shot straight at Markwell the keeper dropping forwards onto the bouncing ball.
|Georgia Stancombe pictured getting back to help in defence|
gives St Ives Town Ladies the lead
|St Ives Town Ladies|
GOAL! 4 minutes after going in front, St Ives double their lead. The visitors launching a counter attack with Marheineke getting forwards again the ball is played up field, a back heel to help it on Marheineke plays it on trying to pick out Smith as the Newmarket defence try to clear, Smith gets in to challenge win the ball top of the area shifts the ball to her right and curls her shot around the keeper into the goal beyond to score 0-2.
|St Ives Town Ladies|
captain Sasha Smith
St Ives enthused by 2 quick goals press forwards Smith out to the left strong on the ball drives into the box, Beth Woodfield stands her ground and wins the tackle before a shot can be released. Another double switch for Newmarket with Ponder and Kirby back on for Basson and Deller. Agnew bursting down the left wing sends in a low cross for Newmarket into the six yard box Markwell calls and gathers as Berryman misses her attempted clearance in front of her.
Marshall with the ball at her feet for Newmarket on the right plays the diagonal ball into the box with Kirby breaking forwards into the area, hits the shot puts the ball wide behind the goal. Ponder gets in behind the St Ives defence on the left squares the ball along the six yard box too many bodies to get through before the cross can reach Kirby at the far post the ball is cleared out of the box Griffin 1st to it 25 yards out goes to shoot sends her strike over the bar.
Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-2 St Ives Town Ladies
A free-kick for St Ives in the middle, Liddiard on the ball sends it long into the box, runners breaking into the area, bounces on into Hope's gloves before it can be attacked. A 2nd change for St Ives, Leigh Chatten comes on replacing Ford at left back with a little under 20 minutes left of normal time. Griffin gets a corner for Newmarket on the right the ball put in near post is cleared behind by Berryman for a 2nd corner going longer this time flies across the six yard box Blackaby leaping can't get her head on the ball.
A 2-0 lead for St Ives at the break as the 2 sides head to the dressing room. A busy 1st half, the advantage with St Ives now hold onto the lead and they will progress to the knock-out stages of the league cup at Newmarket's expense. Have put in alot of work 1st half defending well at the back, Markwell confident behind her defence. Their goals coming as Newmarket were pressing for the lead themselves, had created more chances in front of goal, it's the ones that cross the line however that count and St Ives took both their goals well to do that.
Has got decidedly chilly as the sides come out for the 2nd half the sky full of dark clouds the light starting to fade. St Ives to kick-off the 2nd half Deller is back on for Newmarket. The home side press early a strong run on the ball from Griffin on the right wing whips the ball into the box trying to pick out Deller trying to bring it down is closely marked by Flack the ball is pushed out of the area with Linger getting forwards strikes the shot looping into the air is touched by Markwell. A corner on the right put in towards the top of the area, players making runs the ball isn't picked up runs through to Blackaby who hits a shot up and over the crossbar.
|Abbie Marshall on the ball for Newmarket Town Ladies|
Ford tackles to win the ball for St Ives at the back up field into Stow on for Smith a quick break the ball in passed into Stancombe racing in behind from the right shoots early the ball flying wide at the near post. Newmarket bring Ponder back on replacing Linger who has taken a knock. Pressure from Deller forces an error form the St Ives defence outside the box gets the ball and rolls it into Kirby inside the box closed down gets it squared centrally to Marshall who shoots puts the ball straight at Markwell the keeper getting her gloves wrapped around the ball. Basson returns to the action for Newmarket with Agnew coming off.
A delay in play as Stancombe comes off the worst as she and Ponder come together inside the box as the ball is punched away by Markwell in front of the pair as Griffin lifts a cross into the box. A free kick to Newmarket outside the box to the right as Deller's run is impeded. Ponder on the set-piece sends the ball up towards the far post, Markwell with the call backpedalling plucks the ball out of the air. St Ives make their 1st chance of the match Marheineke the player coming off Connie Liddiard comes on. Another foul in the middle of the St Ives half gives Ponder another opportunity to put the ball into the box, central lifted up into the air Markwell isn't challenged as she catches the ball.
|Kira Markwell in goal for St Ives Town Ladies|
Amy Seymour-Shove with a run on the left takes the ball in behind the Newmarket defence cuts back inside plays the ball into Smith top of the area, a good 1st touch to take the ball away from her marker then spinning to meet the ball as it drops to the floor plays her shot straight at Hope well placed in her goal. One Seymour-Shove to the other as Hannah getting hold of the ball in the middle lays it forwards to Amy on the left getting forwards wins her side a corner, the ball is attacked at the near post, everyone misses it but despite the melee in front of her Hope claims well.
|Georgia Stancombe with Newmarket Town Ladies, Molly Agnew|
Newmarket's Marshall moving forwards with the ball lays the pass inside to Ponder 35 yards from goal shoots as the ball runs across her body the ball bounces a yard wide of the St Ives goal. The floodlights are switched on the clouds making it very dark above, Griffin is tackled by Chatten as she tries to go past her down the right the ball runs out for a corner, a change for St Ives before it is taken Chloe Stefanelli on for Ransome. Flack defends the corner heading away at the near post. Another change for St Ives, Smith coming off, Jade Carpenter entering the pitch.
|Newmarket Town Ladies, Lauren Blackaby with St Ives Town Ladies, Amy Seymour-Shove|
Newmarket push on searching for a goal to get themselves back into the match with less than 5 minutes left the ball is played into Deller back to goal inside the D, shifts it well between her feet to find a yard of space on the turn can only pick out Markwell in the right space to claim hold of the ball in goal. Newmarket bring the ball on down the right the diagonal ball into the box is sent in low Basson breaking into the area throws herself at the ball trying to get onto the end of it as Markwell coming forwards closes the space down the ball hitting her as she and Basson come together. Basson stays down is in alot of discomfort another lengthy spell for treatment, having suffered from a nasty knee injury in the past it is a concern as she is carried off the pitch can't continue, Agnew is readied and sent on. St Ives make another change too Jorgie Hall coming onto the pitch replacing Hannah Seymour-Shove as the game moves into injury time.
GOAL! Late in the game St Ives score a 3rd goal to ensure the victory and it comes from an error at the back from Newmarket have a throw at the back the ball is thrown to Hope top of her area on the left, at her feet doesn't get rid of it as Carpenter moves to challenge for the ball nips in to get her toe on the ball, moves down the line the angle inside the area acute she opens up her body opting for placement as Hope backpedals trying to get back in her goal, sends the ball curling up towards the top corner and in to make it 0-3. A good finish.
Hope knows it was her error holds up her hand in acknowledgement, harsh but you have to move on goalkeepers make fair more saves than errors anyone will tell you. The game moves into injury time. Newmarket keep pushing forwards the ball is with Griffin on the right running onto the ball strikes it early 30 yards out her shot/cross flashing across the face of the St Ives goal. Marshall win seconds left plays the ball on for Griffin moving in from the wing hits the ball with the outside of her boot the ball flying across the six yard box and wide at the far post as the final whistle blows.
Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-3 St Ives Town Ladies
A 3-0 win for St Ives Town Ladies sees them top Group F and advance to the quarter finals of the Cambridgeshire Women's League Cup will be joined by Cambridge United WFC Reserves, Bar Hill Ladies and Wisbech St Marys Ladies with the other 4 groups to be decided next Sunday. Recent history shows the league cup is a wide open competition and on today's performance St Ives Town Ladies should fancy their chances. Put alot into the game defended well, Newmarket starting well creating opportunities but not breaking the St Ives defence down the visitors growing in confidence and 2 well taken goals seeing them hold the advantage a half-time. A good all round team performance keeping Newmarket at bay 2nd half nicking a goal late on to make sure of the win.
Disappointment for Newmarket going out of the league cup and a blow to see Nadine Basson leaving the pitch on a stretcher will be missed hoping it's not too serious an injury and wish her all the best and for a speedy recovery. My thanks to both Newmarket's Luke Worley and St Ives, Darren Majoram for their help with the teams today.