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Hail The Invincibles

Unbeaten Women's Team takes league title

13 May 2024

Club News

Hail The Invincibles

Unbeaten Women's Team takes league title

13 May 2024

Colchester United's Women's Team have gone through their first league season unbeaten to take the Essex Women's Division Two title.

The U’s Women closed the season’s league campaign with a 3-0 win over Sudbury Sports Women, the side finishing in second place.

Goals in the second half from Newstead, Ager and Morgan sealed the deal against undoubtedly the toughest opponents in the division, battling an onslaught of attacks and soaring temperatures at Sudbury’s MEL Group Stadium.

After a quick break in the opening minute, Greenleaf shot just wide of its target, supporters were led to believe another one-sided match was on the cards for the U’s.

Sudbury were quick to put the idea to bed though, with a turn of play that battered the visiting defence. Pacey attackers supplied by aerial deliveries and equally-quick wingers put significant pressure on the U’s back four for some time, ending with a shot at goal in the fifth minute for Devall to comfortably handle.

As the visitors began to gain composure, the balance of play rested more with them on either wing, Ager and Jenkins turning their opposite numbers to take the ball close to the box and send deliveries into a waiting Cahill and Greenleaf.

Jenkins sent a dangerous ball into the box in the seventh minute, demanding a clearance punch from the home keeper.

Ager had little time to collect the loose ball, sending a first-time rocket that soared beyond the crossbar, a warning signal to the home team that shots wouldn’t be taken just by the strikers.

Physicality was equal on both sides across the pitch, resulting in quick passes to maintain possession and hinting at the first goal being at either end as a result of the mounting pressure.

Sudbury’s initially-favoured route one supplies increasingly found their way to the right wing, demanding a lot from Pope and Jenkins.

As time wore on, the U’s appeared to have more variety in their methods of play. Gamble and Newstead in particular found themselves in the thick of heavy challenges and quick footwork, but ably managed to find outlets to bring the ball under control to seek other attacking options.

Sudbury came out stronger after a water break midway through the first half and it took some time for the U’s to match the attacks.

A deep cross in the twenty sixth minute required a well-timed collection from Devall, the first of many that would come for the remainder of the match.

Sensing they had the upper hand, Sudbury piled more pressure on the U’s by chasing down loose balls and not allowing players any time on the ball.

This visibly rattled a number of players, often resulting in unsuccessful passes or releasing the ball into open space for the home team to reach.

The Half-time whistle appeared to be a welcome sound for the U’s especially, with the score remaining goalless.

A few changes at the start of the second half included bringing on Morgan to take her spot in centre midfield, Gamble dropping back to bolster the back line.

Mowatt saw a lot of action at right-back after replacing Farrow, but her tenacious attitude saw her win a lot of challenges and outsprint the opposition.

Morgan continued to make a difference through the spine of the pitch, winning challenges and sending through-balls to a waiting Gamble and Cahill.

The fifty-ninth minute saw Morgan brought down in the box after beating a backtracking defender to a loose ball beyond the keeper. Newstead comfortably sent the ball past the keeper to put the U’s in front.

Heads briefly dropped among the home team after that opener, but it wasn’t long before they were back with strong attacks on either wing.

But for crunching tackles from Paton and covering support from Gamble, the right wing in particular was Sudbury’s favoured attacking route.

With the focus on getting an equaliser, less attention was given to Morgan’s threat in the middle, leaving her available for supplying the front line.

A U’s counter eventually paid off in the seventy-fifth minute following a perfectly-weighted ball from Morgan to Ager.

Flanked by two defenders, Ager used quick feet to create an opportunity to send the ball past Sudbury’s keeper and double the U’s lead.

With the heat playing its part in slowing players down, pacey balls began to run out of play rather than be chased down, resulting in closer passes and more dribbling.

Sudbury’s attempts to break through a wise U’s became more varied as the closing minutes drew nearer, but again allowed the U’s to clear the ball to a largely unmarked midfield in the centre circle.

Jenkins was supplied with a great run along the right wing in the eightieth minute, squaring the ball perfectly for Ager to unleash a left-foot strike to the far post, only denied by a superb full-stretch dive from the home keeper.

Tired legs among the home team allowed an increasing amount of attacks in the final ten minutes of the match, and eventually Morgan intercepted another Jenkins through-ball to skip past the keeper and tap the ball into an open goal.

As the minutes passed, the U’s dominated more of the match and it appeared clearer heads and more composed football enabled the win for the U’s.

With the final whistle sounding, the score at the end of both halves fairly described their balance of play.

Particular mention has to go to Sudbury’s keeper who pulled off outstanding saves throughout the match and delivered superb supplies to all areas of the pitch.

The win meant an entire season undefeated  in Division Two for the U’s, with a goal difference of 120.

Not only were they unbeaten in league fixtures, they won every one and finshed the campaign on maximum points.

Their last match of the season will be 19th May, where they take on Southminster United Ladies at the Len Salmon Stadium in Basildon in the League Cup Final.

Starting XI: Adams, Ager, Cahill, Devall, Farrow, Gamble, Greenleaf, Howlett, Jenkins, Newstead, Pope

Subs: Clark, Paton, Mowatt, J Morgan, L Morgan

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