FA Women’s National League Division One (South-East)
Team: Melling, Curr, McCrea, Owen, Blodgett, Lewin, Petit, Hill, Stanley, Akerman, Searle
Subs: Carolan, Shephard, Webster, Cohen, Nygaard-Parsons
AFC Sudbury took the place of Sudbury Wanderer’s in Division Two of the Eastern Region Women’s Football League in 1999. They dropped out of the league a couple of years later, but they managed to take their place in Division One North in 2010.
They were promoted at the end of the 2014-15 season and further success followed in 2021-22 and 2022-23.
As the match got underway, Katie Akerman received a booking following a hearty challenge on an opponent. Then, Kasha Petit went down requiring some attention after the ball had hit her full in the face.
The home side certainly had the best of the early stages, but Rangers began to grow into the game.
Ellie Searle stormed into the box and her shot narrowly evaded the upright.
The R’s took the lead on 22 minutes after Ellie Searle had won the ball on the left-flank. She then proceeded to the byeline where she squared it to Grace Stanley for a routine tap-in.
Rangers were now in the ascendancy and another goal looked likely. After the ball was headed on to Grace Stanley, the R’s striker advanced before curling her shot just wide of the target.
However, at the other end, Renai McCrea made a superb interception to thwart the danger, after she had swiftly cut across from the left to the opposite side of the pitch.
Then, Jess Allen broke free and forced Nicole Melling into making a very good stop. And from the follow-up, Jo Blodgett was well-positioned to clear the ball from in front of the goal-line.
Just before the interval, Grace Stanley’s cross found Katie Akerman who then screwed the ball wide of the post. Half-time: 1-0.
Rangers doubled their lead shortly after the break. A great ball found Ellie Searle, which resulted in a smart finish.
As Steve Quashie pushed Renai McCrea forward, he dropped Ellie Searle back into a more defensive position.
Jess Allen’s half-volley was well-saved by Nicole Melling. But it was the away side who scored next after a lovely through-ball found Grace Stanley, who went on to drill the ball into the net.
Zoe Cohen and Emilia Nygaard-Parsons were brought on and shortly after Rangers scored a fourth goal. Emilia Nygaard-Parsons deftly back-headed a deep cross beyond the keeper.
Next up for Steve Quashie’s side was a trip to Dorking for a Capital Women’s Cup clash.