Stevenage FCW v AFC Sudbury Women
Stevenage lose out to visitors Sudbury in first fixture of the New Year
9 January 2023
Goals from Kelsey Millen and Emily Schofield were not enough for Stevenage FCW this weekend as AFC Sudbury avenged their narrow defeat in the reverse fixture last August.
The weather may have been a foreshadow of events to come as the ladies came out to a deluge of rain. However despite the dark and gloomy weather, Stevenage provided a bright start. Amy Makewell broke free into the left side of the box and rolled a tasty ball across goal for Millen to slot home at the far post.
Jodie Bellinger, Vicky Neal and Millen all saw chances come and go whilst Celine Ray kept the impressive Holly Kennard at bay down the other end.
Boro’ would come to regret those missed chances. After a superb piece of defensive covering from Neal in the early stages of the second half, Sudbury had to settle for a corner. Sophie Jeffery sent that in and Kaylee Dodd rose at the far post to level the scores.
Neal saw a volley from a Hannah Nebbitt corner saved before another Jeffery corner was awarded. This time the ball cleared most players, but Jess Allen was at the far post to take the ball and strike it home.
Just after the hour mark, Becky Shephard hit the bar from a floated effort from the right side of the pitch and Millen sent the ball just wide once it was worked back to her. Sudbury took advantage of the let off and when Kennard had the ball on the left flank she attempted to cut inside only for the ball to land at the feet of Leonie Bezant who shifted the ball and fired the ball high over Ray for the third of the game.
That was the end of the game for Ray who was hurt and with no substitute goalkeeper, Webster needed to fill in. Stevenage fought hard and narrowed the deficit with a superb bit of work from Makewell who again teed up the goalscorer – this time Schofield – by sending the ball to the far post for her to fire home.
Any dreams of a comeback were dashed with just under ten minutes remaining. Boro’ failed to deal with a ball sent to the left and Kennard topped off her performance with a lofted effort that Wesbter had no chance of saving.
Susan Uwaifo and Schofield both had late opportunities to get Stevenage back in the game, but Sudbury held on for a win that will be hard for the Stevenage players to swallow with Luton only able to draw at King’s Lynn.
Stevenage XI: Ray, Re, Webster (c), Neal, Nebbitt, Swarres, Bodily, Shephard, Millen, Makewell, Bellinger
Subs: Schofield, Farmer, Uwaifo, Greenwood
Goals: Millen, Schofield
Sudbury XI: Weller, Provan, Egan, Bezant, McHale, Harrison (c), Kennard, Newley, Jeffery, Allen, Dodd
Subs: Creaton, Smith, Edwards, Donley, Lambe
Goals: Dodd, Allen, Bazant, Kennard