AFC LadiesMatch Report
Away | Suffolk FA Womens Cup Second Round
Sunday, November 20th, 2011 | Attendance
Haverhill Rovers Ladies 2 - 3 AFC Ladies
*After Extra Time
Man of the match
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AFC travelled to Haverhill in a cup match hoping to overturn the disappointing 1-4 home league defeat suffered earlier in the season. Victory in the tie would see the winning team through the quarter final stage of the Suffolk County Cup. With no recognised keeper and a squad of only 12 due to injury, AFC faced an uphill challenge to overcome an experience Haverhill side.
AFC made the perfect start to the match when they opened the scoring on 3 minutes. Jodie Sharp’s persistence paying off for the second week running when she chased down a seemingly nothing ball on the edge of the box, before firing a shot into the top left hand corner. Haverhill should have been level on 15 minutes, a blisteringly quick run down the left wing saw a cross flash across goal where the required touch on goal was somehow missed. Sudbury’s upbeat opening to the match subsided in the later stages of the half, causing a wave of Haverhill pressure as Sudbury were guilty of sloppy passes and giving possession away to easily. Haverhill gained a corner in the closing minute of the first half and almost levelled, only for Jodie Sharp to clear the resulting shot off the goal line.
Half time score: Haverhill Rovers 0 – 1 AFC Sudbury
The second half opened with Sudbury going close from a Charlotte Churchman header going the wrong side of the post. Haverhill had their clearest chance of the match when a forward was first to pick up a Sudbury goal kick just outside the box, only for the resulting shot to end up wide. Haverhill were however soon level, Sudbury failed to stop a Haverhill player’s strong run in the box which resulted in a clean finish from close range.
The sides continued to create half chances as both teams went in search of a winner. With minutes remaining Haverhill were presented with a chance to snatch victory when with just the on-rushing keeper to beat, a shot was launched over the crossbar. On 90 minutes Sudbury looked to have sealed victory when Jodie Sharp’s long range effort deflected off a defender and looped over the keeper into the net. However with seconds remaining in time added on Haverhill delivered an equaliser to send the tie into 30 minutes of extra time.
After 90 minutes: Haverhill Rovers 2 -2 AFC Sudbury.
Despite having had victory snatched away in the dying seconds of normal time, it was Sudbury who had the momentum in extra time as they stepped up a gear and applied the pressure early on. AFC came close from a free kick that was headed off the line. Despite Sudbury’s dominance the scores remained level as the teams changed ends.
Sudbury remained on top with shots reigning in on the Haverhill goal, one requiring the keeper to tip the ball round the post with an excellent save. Emma Squirrell then produced some excellent work to shake off a number of defenders yards from goal, only for the resulting shot to be straight at the keeper. With time running out AFC searched for a winner, as the prospects of penalties with no permanent keeper loomed. With 7 minutes left to play a penalty was awarded to Sudbury for a handball in the area. Jodie Sharp stepped up to take the spot kick and dispatched the ball down the centre to score her hat-trick and give Sudbury the lead for the third time in the match. Charlotte Churchman came close to ensuring the victory late on with another header going just wide. With fog closing in, Sudbury managed to hold out for the remaining minutes and clinch victory in a hard fought match.
Full time score (aet): Haverhill Rovers Ladies 2 – 3 AFC Sudbury Ladies.
An excellent result for Sudbury which saw a team effort battle on for 120 minutes, having little respite with only 1 player available on the bench . The match also saw a successful debut appearance for Leanne Cullivan who re-signed for the club this week. The result puts AFC through to the quarter final stage where they meet current holders Ipswich Town Women on January 15th.
Next week Sudbury will return to league action with another long away trip to Taverham.