Holders Knocked Out by Extra Time Goal
Holders Acle United Women were knocked out of the ERWFL League Cup after a 1-0 after extra time defeat at the hands of St Ives Town on Sunday.
Forced into changes after the withdrawals of Shields, Filby, Fullbrook and Birchall, the visitors reshuffled their side and Hoy was added to the squad to travel.
It was a slow start to the game as both sides were content to size each other out until Acle mounted the first meaningful attack. Scully’s long ball was headed on by Todd, but the home keeper got to the ball before Brister.
The visitors’ main source of attacks were coming down the flanks by Cooper and Bullard and from a Bullard cross Brister headed back to Todd but her effort on goal was just wide of the post.
There was drama in the 20th minute when Scully’s long ball was headed into the penalty area by Todd, whereby a St Ives defender played the ball to the keeper who gathered it. The resulting indirect free-kick played to Todd was shot wide of the target.
Most of the pressure was coming from the visitors but they were rarely testing the home keeper with the hosts relying on counterattacks. In one such quick breakaway, Acle conceded a free-kick 25 yards out and Bell was forced to turn the set-piece around the post for a corner which came to nothing.
The final action of the half saw Todd lob the ball just over the bar after Cooper had won possession in her own half as the sides went into the break goalless.
Straight after half-time, Cooper forced the home keeper into 2 saves as the visitors forced the early pressure. Cooper was in the thick of the action and after chasing a ball to the goal-line crossed to Bullard who lifted the shot over the bar from close range.
Acle had strong claims for a penalty when Cooper’s ball into the penalty area was handled, but the referee waved their protests away and awarded a corner, which was well held by the home keeper.
Minutes later the keeper was forced into another good save tipping Kindred’s shot over the bar. From the corner Larkins’ header was blocked on the line, before being cleared.
With around 10 minutes remaining Hoy was put through on goal but her shot was just wide of the target, then another loud appeal by Acle for a definite handball was turned down by the referee in the dying minutes as the game moved into extra time.
Extra time saw the hosts push further forward and with more confidence, although they were not testing keeper Bell. Both Hoy and Bullard had efforts which were just wide, before in the 14th minute of the first period the hosts stunned the visitors by taking the lead. A long ball punted forward saw a defensive mix-up just inside the Acle penalty area, with a St Ives striker given the chance to slot the loose ball into an unguarded net.
Despite playing 8 minutes added time during the 1st period of extra time and the whole of the 2nd period the visitors were unable to score in a game where they will rue the number of missed chances during normal time to seal victory.
Acle United Women: A Bell, L Goodfield, O Mungham-Gray, B Scully, G Parker, A Larkins, L Bullard, C Flatt, R Brister, M Todd, N Cooper. Subs all used: K Kindred, K Pasque, M Hoy.