St Ives Town Ladies hosted old adversaries Newmarket Town at Westwood Road on Sunday knowing that a point or better would guarantee them the ERWFL Div 1 title in their first season at this level. And although they left it late, it was Saints who won the game and claimed the 3 points, along with the league title.
As was to be expected, Newmarket came out of the blocks fast in their attempt to secure a top 3 finish and the game started at a frenetic pace, with both teams pressing well and giving little time for either side to settle into a passing rhythm. Newmarket had the better opportunities early on to break the Ives back line and keeper Kira Markwell was quick off her line to stop the deadlock being broken on a couple of occasions. Newmarket also threatened from corners, but again Markwell was brave to collect the ball amongst players with minimal fuss. Ives chances were often thwarted by the flag being raised for offside, but they had the best opportunity of the half when they finally broke through the Newmarket defensive line, and a pull back from the right touchline found Hannah Seymour-Shove 3 yards out, but leaning back her shot rose quickly and cleared the crossbar. So the score remained 0-0 at half with opportunities at a premium for both teams.
Second half the Ives started more positively, and the introduction of Ruth Fox raised the tempo as passing moves started to flow a bit more. Katie Stancombe was also making life difficult for the Newmarket full backs as Saints began to apply a bit of pressure. Newmarket keeper Dominika Szary was in excellent form, and her high start position made sure any loose passes behind the visitors defence were quickly dealt with. But as always, Ives kept on working hard and trying to create opportunities. And with the clock ticking towards full time, Emily Smith became the hero on 87 minutes when she expertly controlled a bouncing through ball before smashing her shot past Szary for the goal that sealed the title. Cue the wild celebrations from the Ives players, coaches and supporters that took a full minute to stop and the game restarted from the resulting kick off! And even more celebrations when the final whistle sounded a few minutes later! St Ives Ladies are now Champions of the Eastern Region Women’s League Div. 1 in their first season at this level, and completes 3 promotions in 4 years. But with how well the team are performing at this level, nobody would rule out more success in the near future.
Report by Darren Marjoram. Photos by Gary Reed Photography.
|April 28, 2019
|Eastern Region Women's Football League - Division 1
|St Ives Town Ladies
|Newmarket Town Ladies