|Ladies & Girls
Cambridge City 2 : 1 Acle United
For the final league match in their inaugural season in the Eastern Region Women's Football League - Premier Division, City Ladies entertained Acle last night under the lights at Jubilee Park, the home of Huntingdon Town FC. This match was an important fixture for both sides. City needed to win to secure the runners up spot - whilst third placed Acle needed to win to give them an outside chance of leap frogging City and pipping Billericay to the title.
For the opening twenty minutes, City showed their intent to take the game to the visitors - an abundance of possession and great build up play, but unfortunately no real opportunity in front of goal. Midway through the first half, City keeper Tee Mhundury made a decisive save when she had to come swiftly off her line to smother an Acle attack. Unfortunately though, five minutes later she was unable to repeat it, when City were caught on the break with a similar ball from Acle and the visitors were able to find the back of the net. City were unfortunate to go into the break behind, but such was the prize for winning the game that it was very likely that more goals would follow.
The second period saw City playing towards their favoured clubhouse end. In a similar vein to the first half, City were not afraid to push players forward in the knowledge that their back four were having a very good game, keeping things tight and making sure the correct decisions were made with regards distribution. With time creeping on, the game started to open up more. Acle needed more goals to improve their goal difference, whilst City needed to produce something from somewhere to get themselves back into it. And find something special they did! A City attack was thrawted down the right and the ball fell to Bronte Rapley who was no more than 10 yards into Acle's half. Connecting on the half volley, the ball sailed over everyone, including the Acle keeper. Rapley has a habit of doing this. Game on. It was now double or quits for both teams and somehow all players seemed to find the next gear. Acle were pushing forward, but were becoming more frustrated when things didn't work out. Seeing their title quest fading away, three Acle players were dismissed in an 'interesting' eight minute period when they allowed their frustrations to spill over. With one last push and deep into added time, City surged forward one final time and after a goalmouth scramble, Ellie Cullum was on hand to tap in a loose ball. City now in front. A couple of minutes later and the referee blew for full time on a very entertaining match and a fantastic league campaign. Job done!
The result means that City were confirmed as runners up to Billericay, who pipped City to the title by one point. This is an amazing achievement for the City Ladies. They came so close to securing their third title (and promotion) in three years. Fantastic work from the management team of Tim Rapley and Darren Wood.
Preparations now turn to next Thursday (10th May) when the Ladies face Cambridge United Women at Histon FC in the County Cup final.
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