Ladies Top Table At End Of 2018
Acle United Women ensured they finished on top of the table at the end of 2018 with a 5-0 demolition of AFC Sudbury at King’s Marsh Stadium on Sunday.
Forced to make three changes from last week’s defeat, Pasque, Flatt and Mungham-Gray returned to the starting line-up with Todd and new signings Faux and Hoy on the bench.
It was an uneventful start to the game with neither side troubling their opponent’s keeper and plenty of mis-placed passes by both sides until in the 8th minute a long ball towards the Acle area saw Bell in the Acle goal rush out to claim, but her momentum carried her out of the area and was penalised for handball. The resultant free-kick by the hosts cleared the bar.
Slowly the visitors started to get a foothold into the game and dominate possession and territory. Bullard was just unable to get on the end of a Birchall cross before seeing a shot pushed around the post after receiving a headed clearance from Parker.
In rare home attacks, both Shields and Parker at the heart of the Acle defence were able intervene without the home attack getting any shots at the away goal. At the other end, Birchall shot narrowly wide after being put clear by Scully, who was controlling the midfield.
The stalemate was finally ended a minute before half-time. Larkins threaded a ball past the home defence to Birchall whose shot was well blocked by the keeper and Flatt following up slammed the ball home to give Acle a 1-0 lead at the break.
Within two minutes of the restart Acle had doubled their lead. Larkins on the right flank played the ball inside to Pasque and continuing her run, received the return pass before unleashing a sweet shot which curled into the far top corner of the goal.
The visitors, now with their tails up, pushed forward at every opportunity, Flatt had a shot well saved by the Sudbury keeper, before a quick counter attack after a Sudbury corner saw Birchall fire over at close range from a Bullard cross.
Only the crossbar saved the hosts in the 58th minute after a flowing move involving Cooper, Bullard and Todd saw the ball laid back to Flatt whose shot came back off the bar before the keeper saved the rebound from Birchall.
However, shortly afterwards Bullard scored Acle’s third. Shields coming out of defence put Bullard clear on goal and the Acle wide player cut inside before firing the ball into the top corner of the goal.
By this stage Acle were totally dominating play. Hoy came on for her debut as the visitors continued to push forward and Bullard saw a shot come back off the crossbar. Two minutes later, Birchall who had been troubling the home defence all afternoon scored after being put through on goal by Larkins to give Acle a 4-0 lead.
Faux was introduced to the game for her debut minutes later as the visitors changed their formation to suit the new player. From a corner Parker headed just wide as Acle were now camped in the hosts half.
With a minute remaining, Hoy won a corner which was eventually cleared for another set-piece and from Larkins kick Birchall headed home to give the visitors a comfortable 5-0 victory.
Acle United Women: A Bell, A Larkins, N Cooper, B Scully, G Parker, C Shields, L Bullard, C Flatt, G Birchall, K Pasque, O Mungham-Gray. Subs all used: M Todd, E Faux, M Hoy.