Archive for Luton Town Ladies

WFAC; Billericay Town Ladies 3-1 Luton Town Ladies (aet)

Billericay Town Ladies – 3

Luton Town Ladies – 1

(after extra time – score at ninety minutes 1-1)

02.12.2018

Luton Town ladies were beaten in extra time on Sunday in the SSE Women’s FA Cup at Billericay Town, but did take their high flying hosts all the way inside the ninety to take the game into an additional thirty minutes where they went behind to a wonder strike before a late third sealed the game with some very tired legs unable to halt the run of Blues skipper Jay Blackie. A healthy crowd at the impressive AGP Arena saw the visitor’s take the lead after soaking up almost sixty minutes of pressure when Aurora Ryan chased down a back pass that was never reaching Billericay keeper Alex Baker, but the lead lasted just six minutes as Karen Steffanou equalised and the game drifted out to stalemate, but the home side found the goals in added time to proceed.

The Essex side had the majority of possession early on, a fifth minute cross from their right saw captain Blackie fire wide of Luton keeper Kezia Hassall’s right hand post, followed closely by Zoe Rushen & Amy Nash combining well in the corner to square to Lindsey Morgan who lifted high over the top. The visitor’s first chance saw a corner swung in by Zara Carroll met by Erica Byron who headed over, straight back up the other end a cross intended for Nash was brilliantly blocked by skipper Rachel Carter allowing Hassall to pounce on the stunned ball.

She was soon back in action having to dive to her right to push a fierce drive from Rushen away for a corner, Billericay looked almost certain to score when Georgia Box dinked a looping cross into the back post where a defender hesitated allowing Rushen to win the header but the ball sat in the mud in the six yard box giving Hassall the chance to simply pick up. The best chance of the half came seven minutes before the break when a superb cross from Lucy Jones found Rushen but her deft side footed effort didn’t have enough contact and she just helped it on its way out to safety.

There was still time for a pass through the Luton backline that saw Box inches away from opening the scoring, Rushen then curled a shot over from the eighteen yard line. The Bedfordshire side were almost gifted an opener in the final minute when a poor back pass saw Dionne Manning have a clear sight of goal, it seemed to take a moment for the striker to realise the opportunity presented to her but she advanced a yard ahead of firing straight at Baker. H/T: 0-0

Billericay were a constant threat to the Luton defence

The first effort after the break saw Morgan from the edge of the box fire wide, and Blackie receiving possession in midfield drove forward ten yards before shooting straight into the gloves of Hassall, the keeper then had to dive bravely at the feet of Morgan just as the home skipper looked odds on to connect with a cross from the right. A free kick to Luton saw Carroll lift the ball into the penalty area where Ryan got a brilliant header in that Baker had to gather with both hands underneath the top corner of her goal frame, then somewhat unexpectedly the away side took the lead on fifty-eight minutes.

A back pass from the Billericay left back did not have enough power on it and despite Baker advancing Ryan was down her throat in a flash, the keeper attempted to clear but the ball rebounded off the attacking player towards the empty goal where she ran on to fire home. Luton were lifted by the break through and looked for more, Manning slipped a ball through for Olivia Abraham and as she lined up to shoot a great sliding tackle came in and the chance was gone, then on sixty-four minutes the hosts equalised.

A Billericay attack wasn’t cleared allowing Nash to lift a hopeful ball over her head and as a defender tried to clear it fell nicely for Steffanou to hit it with the outside of her left boot past the despairing dive of Hassall into the far bottom corner. Luton tried again to regain the lead when Jess McKay tried her luck from twenty-five yards but it was always wide of the right hand post, whilst at the opposite end a pull back to Danica Dougal saw her blaze high over the top, a free kick then to the home side on the wing was floated across the box where it eluded everyone in orange but two blue shirts running in couldn’t quite get to it leaving it to bounce harmlessly away.

Amy Summerfield fed a ball wide to McKay who then curled inches wide of Baker’s far post, moments later a carbon copy of the opener almost gave the hosts the lead, a short back pass allowed Nancy Butler to nip in and Hassall’s clearance cannoned off the substitute, she went wide to collect before firing back across the open goal mouth and wide, and a counter attack from a Luton breakdown saw a pass slid through for Rushen to hit first time over the keeper which brushed the top of the netting as it cleared the crossbar.

Luton celebrate opener

A free kick saw Carroll clear the blue defensive line but Baker was behind it all the way and in the dying minutes Lucy Jones sent Morgan away down field however she was inches from connecting but Hassall was out to gather quickly, and a corner in added time almost saw the visitor’s snatch it when Byron headed over at the back post. F/T: 1-1

Two minutes into extra time Rushen drove forward from midfield before shooting over the Luton bar, a cross then cleared by their defence fell to Nash who had time to control ahead of flashing across goal and wide of the far upright, and a great move that saw Butler in between the orange centre halves deserved more than striking the woodwork although a raised flag would have denied anyway, whilst Manning saw a shot deflect off a blue sock for a corner at the opposite end.

Eleven minutes into extra time Billericay took the lead for the first time, hesitation in the away defence allowed Butler to find recently introduced Broghan Kelly who first time from twenty yards fired into the top corner giving Hassall no chance whatsoever. The visitor’s tried to get back in the game, McKay drove forward twenty yards but fired wide, Manning then slipped a delightful pass through for McKay who toe poked inches wide.

After the break a corner to the home side was headed narrowly wide by Dougal from close range, Kelly then fed to the left of the area flashed a shot a couple of yards wide of the back stick, then with three minutes left the tie was sealed when a Luton attack broke down and the ball played up to Butler who sent Blackie bearing down on goal, evading a tired looking challenge she poked past Hassall to confirm the win. F/T: 3-1

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

After the match Sports Shots caught up with Luton manager Nikki Baker: 

For matchday photography, please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmnYvbsb

FAWNL; Luton Town Ladies 0-2 Enfield Town Ladies

Luton Town Ladies – 0

Enfield Town Ladies – 2

30.10.2018

Luton Town Ladies were beaten by two first half strikes on Tuesday night at a floodlit Kenilworth Road, by a very well organised Enfield Town side that got their goals and then spent the rest of the game happily defending what their hosts threw at them whilst occasionally threatening to add to their tally. If a small lapse of concentration was to fault for the first goal, the second came from some very quick thinking by the Enfield skipper Nuala McKevitt who intercepted a goal kick and very quickly arrowed a return into the top corner giving Luton keeper Angelika Kopec no chance whatsoever. A healthy crowd turned out to cheer on the Bedfordshire women on what was a rather chilly evening but they were beaten by a team that showed far more experience than the youthful looking side hosting them in this FA Women’s National League fixture.

An early Enfield cross from their left by full back Danielle Smith saw Kopec warm her hands before any danger materialised, at the other end Jess McKay got the better of her marker to send a fierce drive towards the near post which saw Enfield custodian Caoime O’Reilly having to get down well to smoother. A Luton corner then broke down and the ball shifted up the opposite end very quickly, just to the right of goal striker Molly Peters fired across goal forcing a fine two handed save from Kopec, followed by Eliza Diaz cutting across the eighteen yard line and forcing the home keeper down to her near post to block.

Luton won a free kick some twenty yards from goal for which Zara Carroll took responsibility, lofting the ball over the Enfield penalty area it eluded everyone to bounce away for a goal kick, and just as the game seemed to be panning out fairly even the visitors scored twice inside eleven minutes to floor their hosts. The first on twenty-one minutes came via a good run down the left channel, as it looked like space would evaporate the ball was pulled back into the box where Sasha Kelly lifted across the goal face and into the top corner.

Luton Town ladies with members of the junior section

Just past the half hour mark a poor clearance from the home side only found McKevitt thirty yards from goal, looking up and spotting Kopec slightly to the right of goal she hit the perfect drive into the opposite top corner. Luton then had the better of the remainder of the first period, Dionne Manning worked tirelessly down the flank to set up McKay who fired over the crossbar, ahead of a goal mouth melee that saw Enfield defenders throwing themselves in front of shots to block to ensure their lead was kept intact.

Manning again did well out wide to send Rachel Kosky down the left and into the box, she squared into the middle where Aurora Ryan was inches away from connecting although a raised flag eventually stooped play, before a great one-two saw McKay collect a pass back from Kosky who got away inside her marker to head for goal, rather than shoot she squared where it was cleared for a throw, that was launched into the box finding its way up to Erica Byron who opted to chest down but the ball bounced out for a goal kick before she could shoot. H/T: 0-2

A throw to Enfield deep inside the Luton half at the start of the second half saw McKay slide in to tackle and win possession, she sent the ball long down the left channel for Manning to scamper after & although losing her marker she was heading away from goal when she tried a delicate chip over O’Reilly which with a lack of height only found her waiting gloves, and moments later the same combination worked again to see Manning fed in behind the backline where she drove first time over the crossbar.

As much as Luton battled, Enfield defended well

Just past the hour mark McKay seized upon a loose ball in the middle of the pitch and driving forward she fired straight at the keeper, moments later a ball laid across the eighteen yard line saw Byron screw her effort away from the intended target. Whenever the hosts looked as though they were on the verge of getting back into the game their guests reminded them of their potential to score again, a superb four pass move saw them feed Peters to the left of goal and her top corner bound shot was brilliantly tipped away by Kopec.

A seventieth minute corner to the away side saw Sheryce Slater fizz her cross right through a congested six yard box yet somehow no one got a touch and it rolled harmlessly away for a goal kick, whilst a Luton throw from Kosky found McKay inside the penalty arc but she could only fire over the top. Some superb defending then kept the scoreline intact when Kosky down the right aimed for the centre where there were three orange shirts waiting but a last gasp sliding block from Claire Ford managed to divert for a corner.

As Luton looked to be getting some serious pressure going two serious injuries disrupted the flow of play, first Enfield then the hosts lost a player each after lengthy treatment on the pitch, once play was back underway substitute Naomi Stirling latched onto a ball over the visiting defence but off balance and going away from goal she could only direct straight at O’Reilly. In the dying moments of the game Enfield went close twice, firstly when Peters fired wide then Katherine Long firing across goal and narrowly wide of the back post with Kopec struggling to cover. F/T: 0-2

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

After the game Sports Shots caught up with Luton Town manager Nikki Baker: 

For match photography please click on this link: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmv6D6uq