Title triumph for Aylsham
Aylsham Ladies have won the Norfolk Women’s and Girls’ Football League Division One title after beating Acle.
Their nerves were jangling and tension was running high before the last league match of the season kicked off, as they met their opponents, Acle in the match that would decide the final league positions.
Points at the top had been so close that a win for Aylsham would confirm them as league champions, but a loss would place them in third position and see their opponents take the title.
The game began in a frantic fashion with all the players determined to prove their supremacy.
Strength of character was going to be among the deciding factors here. Aylsham had a couple of early corners but Acle were very strong in the air and managed to clear the danger.
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It was Aylsham who scored the first goal after the goalkeeper could not hold on to a free-kick and Georgie Bobbin was on hand to fire the loose ball into the net. Acle equalised quite soon after when the ball broke to the striker who curled the ball into the corner of the Aylsham net. The score at half-time was 1-1.
The second half started at a quick pace with both teams posing a threat going forward. It was a very physical game with both teams tackling strongly. In the Aylsham defence, Di England was on top form with several crucial headers and tackles and behind her the Aylsham goalkeeper Sam Ede made many fine saves.
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Aylsham then took the lead when the ball bounced to Annie Smith halfway inside the Acle half. Without a second thought she volleyed it goalwards and to everyone’s delight it sailed over the keeper’s head into the net – an extraordinary goal. There was 20 minutes left for Aylsham to keep the lead. Both teams had chances but the defences held strong.
Emma Gillespie in the Aylsham defence was as solid as ever. There was one last corner for Aylsham to defend and in a packed box, Aylsham just about managed to get the ball away as the final whistle sounded, greeted by huge cheers.
Aylsham Ladies have one more match this season – the cup final on May 15 against the same opponents – Acle.
Aylsham is grateful for the support given throughout the season, to family supporters for vocal encouragement, Ashley Hunton, Steve Grice and Patrick Bobbin who have shared their expertise by running the line, individual team members for providing refreshments for each home match and to Coral Gillespie and Carolyn Atherton for serving the refreshments.
Also grateful thanks go to all of the referees, Flick Farraway for showing great leadership qualities as captain, Abby Timmins for the difficult job of managing the team whilst playing and to Heidi Clark (chairman) and Steve Grice (ladies’ representative) for their loyalty and support by attending matches regularly and offering not only sound advice but first aid cover, and finally to sponsors Aylsham Computers who have sponsored the team throughout the season. The efforts are very much appreciated by all the team.
Team: S Ede, S Bunn, D England, E Gillespie, F Farraway (captain), D Kelly, M England, G Bobbin, A Roberts, H Demmen, A Timmins (manager), A Smith, G Atherton.
A picture of the team will be printed in a future edition of the North Norfolk News.