Acle Ladies have to settle for runners-up position

Acle Ladies receiving their league runners-up medals. Picture: Richard Giles

Acle Ladies receiving their league runners-up medals. Picture: Richard Giles - Credit: Archant

Acle United Ladies completed their season as runners-up in the ERWFL Premier Division after a 4-1 defeat at Haringey, a scoreline which flattered the hosts.

With Hooper missing the game through injury, Acle were forced into playing striker Wells in goal for this crucial game, with the winners picking up the league title and promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League.

It was the visitors who started the better of the two sides and their early dominance paid off after 13 minutes. Larkins found Scully, whose ball for Todd to chase saw the Acle striker play the ball past the onrushing keeper to give the visitors a deserved lead.

However, the lead lasted just a few minutes, Haringey’s captain levelling from a free-kick, although Wells got her hands to the ball.

Acle were forced to make their first change on the half hour mark when Scully twisted her knee on the artificial surface and was replaced by Knights.

Five minutes before the break the hosts took the lead. Playing an advantage after an Acle player had been fouled midway in their own half, the visitors lost possession almost immediately and the referee allowed play to continue which saw a shot fired across Wells into the far corner.

It was an even start to the second half, with both sides pushing forward. Larkins had a free-kick cleared and then Burton was just unable to get on the end of a Larkins cross to the far post. Bullard was introduced by Acle for the final 30 minutes as the visitors looked to get the point they required to secure the league title. A dangerous run from Larkins down the right flank saw her shot cleared over the bar by a Haringey defender while a Larkins effort was just wide of the post.

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With 15 minutes remaining, Wells pulled off an excellent save from a deflected shot after a corner, but two minutes later the home side were awarded a penalty. Wells made the save but was unable to stop the rebound.

Larkins was pushed further upfield for the closing minutes and was soon in the action, heading on a cross to Todd, but the effort just cleared the bar. With Acle chasing the game the visitors scored a fourth in added time.

Acle Ladies: J Wells, A Larkins, L Goodfield, C Shields, L McGuire, A Rowland, A Ladbrooke, B Scully, K Pasque, M Todd, R Burton. Subs used: L Bullard, B Knights. Unused: J Copeman.