St. Ives Town 1-4 Wroxham
by Richard Giles
Above: Grace Birchall’s hat-trick – her third of the season, saw her rack up a half century of goals for the Tier Five ERWFL Premier leaders. Photo: Ben Gilby.
The Yachtswomen moved to the top of the Eastern Region Women’s Premier after a 4-1 victory at St Ives on Sunday afternoon.
Although boasting a 100%-win record in the league this season, Wroxham got off to the worst possible start. A cross from the right flank was turned past Cyan Fullbrook in the away goal by Tia Everdell to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Stunned by this reverse, the visitors pushed forward and won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, with the set-piece just clearing the bar. From the resultant goal-kick, Wroxham gained possession and Becky Russell’s shot hit the woodwork before being cleared.
The visitors were forcing St Ives to defend deep in their own half and Alice Parker who received a long cross from Kayleigh Holloway, fired just over the bar before Lauren Bullard saw a header saved by the keeper. Holly Walker then ghosted in at the back post, hit a half-volley just over the goal. At the other end, Fullbrook comfortably saved a free-kick.
Leading goal scorer Grace Birchall replaced Walker, and within ten minutes had a hand in the equaliser. Receiving a long free-kick from Hope Strauss, Birchall was brought down in the penalty-area and Bullard converted the spot-kick.
Just five minutes later, Wroxham took the lead. Bullard chasing down a long ball from Jess Horn, squared to Birchall who slotted past the keeper. Another substitution led to the visitors extending their lead. This time, Dana Smith, on for Gracie Squire, sent a looping ball over the defender for Birchall to score her second goal and give Wroxham a 3-1 lead at half-time.
The second half saw the visitors pushing forward straight from the start and forcing a corner which was cleared, before Russell saw her shot produce a great save from the home keeper pushing the ball over the bar.
Holloway was the next player to force a good save from the St Ives keeper, having cut in from the right flank, she saw her shot tipped past the post, for a corner which was headed clear by the hosts.
Most of the play was taking part in the hosts half and a free-kick from Parker saw the keeper save with her legs and the ball went out for a corner. From the corner, taken by Smith, Birchall running towards the near post planted a header past the keeper to complete her hat-trick which now takes her to the fifty goals mark for Wroxham.
Wroxham comfortably saw out the remaining twenty minutes to maintain their unbeaten start to the season with five wins from five games to take advantage of Wymondham Town’s inaction to top the table.
ST. IVES TOWN: Conyard, Everdell, Flack, Ford, Hicks, Jefferson, Lydon, Seymour-Shove, Smith, Stancombe, Stephenson. Subs: Burnley, Lyons, Noble.
WROHAM: Fullbrook, Strauss, Parker, Horn, Scully, Holloway, Russell, Walker, Squire, Bullard. Subs: Birchall, Cooper, Smith, Long, Pleavin.
Scorers: Birchall 3, Bullard.