Parker Header Seals The Points
Acle United Women moved to the top of the ERWFL Premier Division after a 1-0 victory at Haringey Borough on Sunday afternoon.
It was the hosts fielding a much-changed side from the reverse fixture in August who mounted the first attack but a cross from the right flank was comfortably cleared by the Acle defence. The visitors first effort on goal saw Parker shoot wide from a Scully free-kick.
Slowly Acle started to stamp their authority on the game. Todd had a shot saved after receiving the ball inside from Mungham-Gray, then a free-kick by Larkins was headed down by Todd to Bullard, but her shot was high over the bar.
Only the home keeper prevented Brister having an effort at goal after the Acle striker chased a through ball past the last defender, but the keeper was able to get to the ball before Brister. Minutes later, Acle made a change with Birchall replacing Mungham-Gray as the visitors looked to beef up their attack.
However, it was the hosts who almost took the lead on 33 minutes. Acle were penalised for an innocuous challenge just out the penalty-area and the free-kick clipped the top of the bar and out for a goal-kick.
Just a minute later, Acle took the lead. Bullard was brought down just inside the Haringey half and Parker rose above the home defence to head home Scully’s free-kick. The visitors continued to push forward and Bullard twice shot wide, but poor decision making and shooting from distance against the wind meant the home keeper was not unduly tested,
In the closing minutes of the half, Birchall had an effort tipped around the post, before after being fouled, hit the woodwork with the free-kick as Acle went into the break with a slender 1-0 lead.
Haringey went close in the opening minutes of the second half, when receiving the ball in the centre of the park, the midfielder ran straight through the centre without being challenged before shooting forcing Bell to concede a corner with a fine save.
It took time for the visitors to get going after the break and Cooper won possession to release Todd whose inside ball to Flatt was fired wide, then Brister was way off target with another long-range effort.
Despite their lowly league position, the hosts were causing Acle problems with their direct play and Cooper was forced into a good covering tackle to prevent a shot at goal, then a free-kick into the Acle goal-area saw a goalmouth scramble before the visitors hooked the ball clear.
As the half progressed there was a lull in play with neither side having any clear-cut chances on goal. The visitors made changes with Filby replacing Goodfield and Barham on for her debut with Bullard making way.
Acle stepped up the pace with 15 minutes remaining and Todd saw an effort deflected for a corner, before Birchall fired over the bar after receiving a clearance from Flatt’s free-kick.
Bullard was brought back on in the closing stages and laid the ball back to Todd whose effort was well saved before seeing a shot cleared off the line after the ball was headed on by Barham.
The visitors comfortably saw out the final few minutes to claim all three points in what was a lacklustre performance, which saw them move to the top of the table.
Acle United Women: A Bell, L Goodfield, N Cooper, B Scully, G Parker, A Larkins, L Bullard, M Todd, R Brister, C Flatt, O Mungham-Gray. Subs all used: G Birchall, R Filby, S Barham.