Sunday 12 February 2017

Match Report - Brandon Town Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies

  After a trip to The Hive yesterday to see the opening match in the FAWSL 2's new one off Spring Series competition between London Bees and Brighton & Hove Albion WFC, stayed local for this Sunday's women's football action travelling over the border into Suffolk to watch the Norfolk Women's Division One match between Brandon Town Ladies & Bungay Town Ladies. 

  With snow all around the country the ground already very wet it looked like ti was going to be another weekend full of postponements, even the FAWSL's new Spring Series didn't survive unscathed. Didn't have a Plan A this weekend not committing to game too early having seen 3 called off already this year. Had a short list and Brandon Town Ladies v Bungay Town Ladies was on it 20 minutes away the snow that was on my lawn was thawing rapidly even if it was still bitterly cold, extra layers on hit the road.

  Norfolk Women's Division One is a very competitive league although this season so far it is being dominated by Thorpe United Ladies who have won all 9 of their league games so far and excellent run of form has seen Kings Lynn Town Ladies overhaul newly promoted North Walsham Angels Ladies who lay 3rd going into this weekends match due to play each other this Sunday at North Walsham the game was postponed, giving an opportunity to 4th placed Bungay Town Ladies to move above them.

  Brandon Town Ladies go into today's game in 6th place in the table well clear of the bottom 2 sides, have had a frustrating season so far in the league with 3 wins 1 draw and 4 losses postponements and having players unavailable for some games hasn't helped them build any momentum. Have had a good run in the League Cup competition and will play today's opponents, Bungay Town Ladies away in the semi-finals of the competition. Today is their 3rd meeting in the league with Brandon winning 4-3 at the start of the season at home, then losing away 4-0 back on the 15th January.

  Bungay Town Ladies got off to a bad start in the league this season losing their opening 3 games. Recovered towards the end of 2016 winning twice in the league. Have had an excellent run in 2017 getting regular matches in winning 3 in a row in the league given a home win in the League Cup quarter finals. Spoke to manager Graham Purling during the summer at a pr-season friendly and he was optimistic about the squad the club had assembled this season. 

  Brandon Town Ladies play their home matches at the Brandon Leisure Centre, a multi-sports facility offering several full-sized football pitches. Despite the amount of rain and dusting of snow to hit the country over the past few days the pitch had held up well, looked muddy but had featured a game earlier in the day and despite being cut up it was surprisingly dry underfoot no standing water. A large pitch, it was a bitterly cold afternoon, gloomy with dark clouds all around.

  Brandon Town Ladies starting XI - Shannon Odebrecht, Melanie Talbot, Cassandra Carvalheira, Shanice Burch, Laura Grove, Chloe Slater, Carolyn Sarafian, Ruby Robertson, Frankie Torrance (C), Brooke Wickens & Elicia Cooper.
  subs - Hazel Shepherd, Lauren Riding & Emma Johnson.

  Bungay Town Ladies starting XI - Ruth Smart, Hannah Jones, Kelly Collins (C) Jessica Keeling, Charlotte Power, Inna Marx, Ella Hindley, Nicki Hazell, Lauren Purling, Laura Holden & Stephanie Cool.
  subs - Rebecca Rylott. 

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Both sides had a newly registered signing in their squad for today's game, Elicia Cooper starting in attack for Brandon Town Ladies. Rebecca Rylott, Bungay Town Ladies only available substitute. Bungay to kick-off the 1st half wearing sky blue shirts, black shorts and socks, with Brandon lined up opposite wearing yellow shirts and socks with blue shorts. The ball gets played long out to the right for Lauren Purling to chase early on winning a throw the ball is lifted up the line for striker Stef Cool getting into the box her ball forwards his cut out by Brandon's Cassandra Carvalheira behind for a corner kick. Headed out of the area by Brandon they look to counter attack on the right players from both sides racing back towards the Bungay goal as the ball is played into the feet of Brooke Wickens coming in off the wing to get into he area is challenged by Bungay's Charlotte Power winning the ball back for the visitors.

Bringing the ball forwards Bungay centre back Charlotte Power evades a Brandon tackle
  The action is end to end in the early minutes both sides contesting the ball hard in midfield Wickens plays a great crossfield pass from right to left picking out captain Frankie Torrance on the wing drives forwards looking to get into the box, no way past Bungay right back, Hannah Jones who stands her ground times her tackle well. Both sides looking to exploit the wide players, Inna Marx sends the ball out to Nicki Hazell on the left pushing on crosses as reaches the top of the area the ball angling towards the near post caught by Brandon Town Ladies goalkeeper, Shannon Odebrecht. 

GOAL! The opening goal of the match comes after just 6 minutes of play, Brandon pressing forwards in attack lose possession the ball is played direct through the middle both Cool and Laura Holden are in through on goal as Odebrecht comes racing out to the edge of the area with Cool closest the keepers clearance doesn't go far striking Holden inside the D, gets a shot away, Odebrecht doing well to get a glove on the ball palms it into the ground isn't under control Holden gets to it 1st to send the ball centrally into the back of the net 0-1 to Bungay.

Laura Holden scores the opening goal for Bungay Town Ladies
  Brandon attack from the restart getting a throw deep on the left played into Carvalheira her cross from 35 yards out is a good one coming in high Ruby Robertson gets up to head the ball can't direct her effort on target as it bounces wide across the six yard box. Wickens in possession on the right plays the ball in field to Carolyn Sarafain the midfielder in front of the centre circle decides to have a pop at goal on target is straight at Bungay goalkeeper Ruth Smart who takes it cleanly into her body. Making progress with the ball on the right Brandon have a throw players drift across as the throw is taken is Elicia Cooper squares the ball in towards Torrance outside the area in front of the D, back to goal hits the half volley on the turn her strike bouncing wide past the far post. 

  Another good crossfield ball from Wickens on the right picks out Torrance on the left cuts inside rolling the ball in field to Sarafain outside the area shifts the ball before hooking a shot in towards goal, again her effort drops into the keepers gloves back on her line. Robertson gets back on Cool as she breaks for the Brandon area, tackling concedes the corner kick played in from the right by Hazel his headed clear of the area by Laura Grove coming back out to Hazell sweeps a cross into the box Jones gets her head to the ball 10 yards out sends her effort over the crossbar.

Brandon Town Ladies, Carolyn Sarafain
  Picking the ball up from a throw on the right 30 yards out Ella Hindley turns inside carrying the ball towards the Brandon box, scoops the ball up off the turf sending a shoot in towards goal, isn't too far over as it dips late over the bar. Hindley with a run through the centre of midfield lays the ball on for Purling on the move up the right wing, Shanice Burch comes across to tackle her gets a knock as she puts the ball out for the throw deep in the corner up okay after treatment. A few crunching challenges about the pitch Marx and Sarafain clatter into each other from to try and win a 50/50 ball (poor thing). Pressure on the ball from both sides, Bungay are a little more successful with the final ball isn't coming off for Brandon. The visitors winning another corner on the right the ball is lifted into the centre of the goal Odebrecht calls and take well before being bundled over by the onrushing Bungay attacker to get a free-kick. 

Bungay Town Ladies, Lauren Purling
  A corner from Bungay on the left sees Brandon goalkeeper Odebrecht pull off a superb save the best I suspect I'll see this year! Initially doesn't do so went coming into the crowd at the near post to punch the ball away, instead knocks it down into the ground, players scramble for the ball is squeezed out to Hindley inside opposite the far post, I'm standing on half way behind goal as she shifts the ball with her 1st touch has an open goal to aim at hits the ball goalwards should be a certain goal, however out of no where Odebrecht appears throwing herself full stretch low across her goal-line to glove the ball away for the corner an excellent piece of goalkeeper, had it been Karen Bardsley the Vine loops would be in there thousands as it is you will just have to take my word for it!

  A powerful run on the ball from Brandon's Wickens through the middle moves to the right looking to make the angle for a shot, Bungay captain Kelly Collins gets back at her to slide in to tackle and win the ball back. The counter attacking football keeps coming Brandon's Chloe Slater on the move up the pitch plays it on for Carvalheira ahead of her on the left has Sarafain keeping pace with her lays the ball off into the middle, into the midfielders stride she 30 yards out she goes for the 1st time shot her strike whistling over the bar.

Brandon Town Ladies, Brooke Wickens

  Brandon make a change up top bringing off Cooper and sending on Hazel Shepherd  as Bungay win a corner with Purling played in down the right the ball is played into the six yard box deep knocked out towards the edge of the area Jess Keeling up from the back gathers for the visitors stabs a shot in towards goal his held on the line by Odebrecht. Hazell with a good run up the right side for Bungay lays the ball into Hindley on the move towards the Brandon area gets a shot away as she is closed down by Burch bounces wide of goal. 

  Brandon have upped the tempo as the 1st half moves into the last 5 minutes but have yet to test Smart in the Bungay goal. A throw on the right side is played into Brandon's Shepherd 25 yards out from goal driving forward looks to play in Torrance making a run from the left into the area, Jones throws out a long leg to intercept the ball. One last attack in the 1st half for Bungay Purling on the left forwards for Cool to chase hits the shot from outside the area runs all the way along the ground to be scooped up safely by Odebrecht inside her six yard box. 
Half-time Brandon Town Ladies 0-1 Bungay Town Ladies

 An high paced and exciting 1st half of football, Bungay Town Ladies with the narrow advantage have created the better chances in front of goal. Is bitterly cold however and I can' blame them for wanting to keep the ball moving. A shortened half-time interval as both sides stay by the side of the pitch. The visitors getting into some good attacking positions Purling and Hazell a threat out wide, Holden just 16 with some dynamic runs through the middle supporting Cool in attack. Brandon with some good build up play their final ball just not finding it's mark. 45 minutes left to play.

  A change for Bungay at the start of the 2nd half with Rylott coming on in place of Hazell going into a wide right position. Brandon get the 2nd half underway, Bungay get possession and attack down the right keeping the ball in the final 3rd before the ball is played inside to Cool outside the box slicing across the ball be strike races wide across the area out for the goal-kick. Sarafain gets forwards for Brandon the ball put into her feet by Wickens goes to strike the ball from outside the box a nick off a Bungay defender diverts the shot straight into Smart's gloves. Both sides continue to press the ball keeping up the pace of the 1st half. Shepherd is played on down the right wing by Carvalheira her cross in to the area intercepted by Collins.

Lauren Purling & Carolyn Sarafain
   Holden picking the ball up from deep goes on a run through the middle heading for the Brandon box is tracked all the way by Slater who slides in to take the ball play it back to her keeper. Torrance and Wickens link up on the left side the through ball from Torrance just a little too heavy for Wickens running into the box Smart coming off her line can get there 1st. Up the other end Odebrecht is quickly out of her area to kick the ball as Rylott plays Cool in behind the defence. 

Brandon Town Ladies, Chloe Slater

  Bungay break from a Brandon corner the ball played out to Purling on the left side Talbot gets across diving in to put the ball out for the throw. Purling takes a knock in the challenge but is up on her feet from the throw the ball is worked down the line by the visitors finally being played into Purling just inside the box on the left turning she is caught as a Brandon defender lunges in to try and win the ball, the referee stops play Purling clearly coming off the worse, after treatment can't continue and is substituted Hazell returning to the pitch. Brandon also make a switch Cooper returning to the pitch in place of Shepherd.

  Holden nips in to win the ball from the Brandon back line has Cool and Rylott either side of her as she heads towards the box tries to pick out Rylott to her right the pass a little too heavy Rylott keeps it in play before winning a throw level with the box, the ball is played down to Marx's feet puts the pass inside for Holden who seeing the ball into her body turns and hits the ball on the volley her shot angling in at head height towards the ear post, Odebrecht has it covered takes the ball cleanly.

  Brandon have a free-kick wide right outside the box after Hazel handles the ball, Slater over the set-piece sends the ball high into the area Hindley heads the ball clear for Bungay they counter attack the pass out towards Hazel on the left side travelling with the ball turns infield heading for the area pulling the trigger 25 yards out the shot straight at Odebrecht the keeper claiming the ball on her goal-line. 

 GOAL! 20 minutes into the 2nd half and Bungay double their lead pressuring the ball as Brandon try to play it out from the back Holden wins the tackle takes the ball on into the area before prodding it forwards for Cool right side of goal close range rolls the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net 0-2.

 Shepherd returns to the action for Brandon winning a corner on the right side bring players forwards, Hindley defends for Bungay winning the near post header giving away 2 more corners before the visitors break from the 3rd the ball played long out to Cool on the left on halfway gives it to Holden who surges forwards moving left has Hazell with her their runs taking them across each other Holden leaves it for Hazell who strikes the shot from outside the box the ball flying narrowly over the crossbar. 

Laura Holden looking to get past Chloe Slater
  The sun finally makes an appearance late in the day breaking through the clouds, Bungay attack the ball played into Cool's feet outside the area to the right has Hindley making a run towards the area lays the ball into her path Hindley striking the shot 1st time gets plenty of power behind the shot is straight at Odebrecht again and the keeper makes the save. Brandon bring the ball forwards through the middle Shepherds strike is deflected out for a throw level with the top of the area played into Sarafain's feet the midfielder turns and looks to curl a shot in towards goal from inside the D, dips late but not enough to take it below the crossbar. Bungay get the ball up the other end Hindley steals the ball inside the box as it comes in from a throw-in works room for a shot left side the ball is held by Odebrecht as Cool looks to pounce on any follow-up.

Bungay Town Ladies, Ella Hindley

2 goals for Bungay Town Ladies
Stef Cool
 GOAL! Bungay don't let Brandon out of their final 3rd from the previous attack closing players down outside the box, it's Holden who regains possession moving towards the top of the area left of the D rolls the ball into the area for Cool who on the opposite side to wear she scored her 1st goal does exactly the same placing the ball across the keeper from inside the six yard box to score her 2nd a see Bungay take a 0-3 lead with around 15 minutes left on the clock.

  Marx gets hold of the ball for Bungay some 30 yards out from goal time to line up a shot, places her strike wide across the Brandon goal. Bungay are finishing the game strong Purling her knee bandaged up returns to the field in place of Rylott. Brandon keep going forwards when they have the ball getting to the top of the Bungay area the final ball just won't fall to an attacker, Jones blocking a strike from outside the box by Shepherd. Torrance rifles a shot in from the wide left position, Smart coming across to cover her near post can see the ball wide into the side netting.

 Wickens marked by 3 players wide right wins Brandon a throw the ball played into her wide of the box helps it inside to Slater looking to play it across the face of goal, the ball is too close to Smart, spilt however the corner is given away. The delivery from the corner drops into the crowded six yard box Smart can't get hold of the ball dropping down a shot comes in too many bodies in front of goal the ball blocked spins out to the right the shot angled in towards goal Smart gets down sharply on her goal line to make the save. 

 A chance for Cool to claim her hat-trick late in the match as Holden picks up the ball and carries it forwards has Hazell with her, Holden rolls the ball to her, Hazell lays it on for Cool to her right squeezes the ball past the defence to get into the box, can only pick out the goalkeeper as she gets a shot away. 

Full time - Brandon Town Ladies 0-3 Bungay Town Ladies

  A 3-0 win for Bungay Town Ladies sees them keep their winning run in 2017 going and the 3 points moves them level on points and above North Walsham Angels Ladies into 3rd place in the Norfolk Women's Division One table. Kept up a high tempo throughout the 90 minutes closing the ball down getting forwards always looking a threat creating the better chances in front of goal. A good contest that highlights just how competitive the league is.

SWF Blog - Player of the Match

 With a 1st half goal and 2 assists in the 2nd half the SWF Blog - Player of the Match today is Laura Holden, the 16 year old playing just her 2nd game for Bungay not letting Brandon settle on the ball, getting the tackles in to win the ball and carry it forwards.

  My thanks to both clubs for their assistance today.

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