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Royston Town Ladies 1 Acle United Ladies 3: Acle through to semi-finals of the League Cup

Acle keeper Cyan Fullbrook tips a Royston free kick over the bar. Picture: Acle FC

Acle keeper Cyan Fullbrook tips a Royston free kick over the bar. Picture: Acle FC

Archant

Acle United Ladies advanced into the semi-finals of the ERWFL League Cup with a 3-1 victory at Royston Town after trailing 1-0 at the break.

On a wet pitch in cold and damp conditions, it was the visitors who mounted the first attack of the game. Megan Todd beat three players before passing to Kirstie Kindred on the right, whose cross was claimed by the home keeper.

Although play was mainly confined to the midfield in the early stages, a quick short corner by the hosts almost caught out Acle, with the eventual cross being flicked just over the bar by the home striker. Shortly afterwards, a long range free-kick by Royston was tipped over the bar by Acle keeper Cyan Fullbrook.

The hosts midway through the half were slightly on top with Acle struggling to get their game going. A flowing move by the visitors involving Todd, Laura Holden and Kindred was cut short when the return ball to Holden was cut out, then Holden’s ball towards Todd was claimed by the home keeper.

A spell of Acle pressure saw Amber Rowland loop a ball over a defender which was cleared for a corner, which was claimed by the keeper, then Todd was put clear on the right flank but her shot from a tight angle was straight at the keeper.

Six minutes before the break, the deadlock was finally broken. A free-kick from Royston slipped out of Fullbrook’s grasp and the home striker was the quickest to react to slide the ball home to give the hosts the lead.

Just before half-time, Holden fed Todd whose effort was saved, then the same player shot just wide after Lauren Bullard’s shot was saved, as the hosts held a slender lead at the break.

It was the hosts who had the first opportunity in the second half after Acle had conceded a free-kick in the centre of the pitch 25 yards out from their goal, however, Royston’s set-piece was straight at keeper Fullbrook.

Acle had come out after the break with more purpose and on the hour mark found the equaliser. The ball being played out wide on the right to Todd, who crossed from the by-line to find Holden at the far post who slotted past the home keeper.

Two minutes later, the visitors almost netted a second, but Kindred fired just wide, then Naomi Cooper intercepted a poor goal-kick and fired just over the bar.

With 20 minutes remaining, only a fine save at the feet of a Royston striker by Fullbrook prevented the hosts from retaking the lead, however just three minutes later, it was Acle who scored a second goal.

Cooper received the ball wide on the left, played it around past the keeper and shot goalwards. Kindred and a defender tussled for the ball and the loose ball was side-footed home by Todd.

Fullbrook was again called into action as the game reached its final stages as she rushed out of goal to deny the opponent as the hosts looked to force the game into extra time.

A minute from the end of normal time Acle made the game safe with what was the best move of the game. Cooper moved up the left flank, fed Kindred who played a one-two with Rebecca Burton. Using the outside of her foot, Kindred flicked the ball to Kate Pasque who fired into the top corner from 20 yards.

After around five minutes of added time referee Hallett, who excellently controlled the game, ended the proceedings with Acle coming out 3-1 victors and a home game against Billericay in the semi-final.

Acle United Ladies: C Fullbrook, N Cooper, O Mungham-Gray, C Flatt, C Shields, A Larkins, M Todd, A Rowland, K Kindred, L Holden, L Bullard. Subs both used: K Pasque, R Burton.

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