Impetus’ relationship with Wroxham Women dates back to the end of 2020 when the Eastern Region Women’s Football League Premier Division side became our first partner club and their defender Harriet Meers became the first player that the site sponsored ourselves. Shortly afterwards, we also linked up with their local girls club Bure Valley Youth. Due to the pandemic we’ve hadn’t been able to get up to the Norfolk Broads to meet the clubs in person. Until yesterday. Impetus editor Ben Gilby reports.
Above: Wroxham Women and Bure Valley Youth pictured together after yesterday’s match. Photo supplied to Impetus by: Bure Valley Youth FC.
Yesterday was the opening round of the 2021/22 East Region Women’s Football League Premier Division (Tier Five) and Wroxham Women, consistently one of the top sides in the competition welcomed fans back to their well appointed Trafford Park ground for their game against Luton Town.
Impetus’ features on Wroxham over the past eight months have revealed an exceptionally warm, friendly and welcoming club to our readership across the world. Yet when you are able to experience it in person, that friendliness was emphasised several hundred times over.
The Yachtswomen have strengthened well over the summer with players such as former Norwich City and West Ham United Academy defender Alice Parker and Cambridge United star Amber Cantwell being added to an already impressive squad.
Bure Valley Youth team were at the game, with their youngsters gleefully walking hand in hand with Wroxham players as the teams came out onto the pitch. The old saying says that “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Yesterday, the Bure Valley girls experienced the connection they have with the senior Wroxham Women team. They saw what they can be and dreams were made plus future ambitions stored away.
The game opened with Wroxham having plenty of the ball but not quite managing to penetrate the Bedfordshire side’s backline, a frustration added to when Luton took the lead when Fiona Constable’s corner was met with a powerful header from Olivia Abraham.
But this Wroxham side showed character and determination. With Impetus‘ sponsored Harriet Meers strong in the tackle and in the air, Parker finding some impressive cross-field passes and the Yachtswomen’s hugely impressive striker Grace Burchall showing a consistently exquisite first touch, the home side became ever more prominent in the game as the vocal support from the ‘Blue Wave Band’ in the covered terrace went up a notch.
Burchall hit a hat-trick, with her third goal being a particularly impressive effort. If it was not for three outstanding saves from Luton keeper Hannah Payne the score-line could easily have got beyond the Hatters.
Luton captain Jess McKay was then shown a straight red by referee Ryan Starkey for a tackle on Burchall. If anything this inspired the visitors to rally and Abraham brought it back to 3-2 with her second of the game.
Wroxham finished the game stronger and gained a fourth goal which made the score line feel a bit more representative on the balance of the game. Once more Birchall was involved with the ball squared across to Lauren Bullard who took a couple of touches before shooting home.
Post match, the Bure Valley youngsters loved the opportunity to mingle with the Wroxham players and have photos taken. It was a day that two hugely important parts of the #ImpetusFamily came together and showed just what the ties of women’s football can achieve.
Below are two post match photos – to see Ben Gilby’s full gallery of almost 80 shots from the game, visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ImpetusFootball/photos/pcb.124162433275343/124160559942197/ and don’t forget to like and follow the page when you visit!
If you are ever on holiday in the Norfolk Broads, then there is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than at Trafford Park to watch the Yachtswomen. You are assured of a friendly welcome.