FA Cup run comes to an end for brave Acle Ladies

Acle Uniteds Kate Pasque foils a Luton attack during Sundays FA Cup clash which the Hatters won 3-1.

Acle Uniteds Kate Pasque foils a Luton attack during Sundays FA Cup clash which the Hatters won 3-1. Photo: Richard Giles - Credit: Archant

Luton Town 3 Acle United Ladies 1

Acle’s fine FA Cup run finally came to an end when they were defeated 3-1 by FAWPL side Luton Town at Stockwood Park Athletics Stadium on Sunday.

Forced to make one change with McGuire unavailable, Acle welcomed Bullard back into the starting line-up, with Bovington handed a place on the bench.

Acle got off to the worst possible start, going behind after just 36 seconds.

Losing possession from the kick-off the ball was played to Fensome, whose cross was converted by Byron, despite Nixon’s valiant effort.

Byron almost scored a second minutes later in a carbon copy move, but this time Nixon saved.

At the other end, Ladbrooke forced the Hatters’ keeper into a save after good work from Goodfield.

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The hosts were having most of the possession and territory and Paul made a fine covering tackle to prevent a free run at the Acle goal by Fensome, before Nixon produced a very good save to deny Fensome again.

A long-range free-kick from Scully created a goalmouth scramble before Evans eventually saved, before Scully had to be replaced by Thomas after suffering a calf injury.

Acle’s main attacks were coming down each flank from Bullard and Goodfield, but their crosses were well dealt with by Carter. However, five minutes before the interval a cross from Thomas was met by Thurtle, who rose above Platt to give Acle an equaliser and send the sides in level at the break.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first with the home side having the lion’s share of possession but stubborn rearguard action from Acle was keeping the Hatters at bay, until Fensome converted on 53 minutes.

Fensome almost doubled the lead minutes later with a shot that looked destined for the top corner, but Nixon was equal to the shot, tipping it around the post, before Paul denied Luton with a goal-line clearance.

However, it was not all Luton. Thomas was denied by substitute keeper Staples and a goalmouth scramble was eventually cleared by the Hatters defence.

Another Acle attack saw a Luton player climb on the back of Goodfield and clearly punch the Acle winger in the side; incredibly the referee issued only a caution.

Another goal-line clearance by Paul prevented a third goal by Luton but with 15 minutes remaining that goal finally came with Jiminez converting Fensome’s cross.

The final minutes saw Acle tire when thwarting the Luton attackers and tempers were raised after a clash between Paul and Bayne saw both players cautioned.

The hosts ran out 3-1 victors, but Acle can be proud of their effort against a higher league side.

The Ladies return to league action on Sunday with a home game against Colchester Town with kick-off at 2pm.