FA Women’s National League – Division One South East
Venue: Park Lane
2019 – 20 Season: Match 45
Saturday 8th December 2019 – 2.00pm KO
Basildon: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Stevenage: White & Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
AFC Basildon hit six in brilliant battle with Stevenage at Park Lane
AFC Basildon 6 – 4 Stevenage
Mini-Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
A rare Sunday match saw me join fellow Non-League correspondent Pete Dudley (Twitter: @ped1980) in travelling to Canvey Island’s Park Lane for this FAWNL Division One South East match between AFC Basildon Ladies and Stevenage Women.
This match gathered pace quickly, certainly assisted by a very early goal as Alex Bailess struck high into the net past Stevenage goalkeeper Grace Brooks after skipper Mollie Debell’s initial effort was blocked. The home forward pair of Holly Turner and Kelly Wealthall were causing the visiting defence problems with both having chances to add to the hosts’ goal-tally. Basildon did double their advantage with 26 minutes gone as Turner manufactured some space behind the Stevenage defence and slotted home, with only Brooks to bypass.
It nearly got better for the hosts nine minutes later as Wealthall glided an effort narrowly wide of the goal frame. Credit to the visitors though as they halved their deficit eight minutes before the interval as skipper Amy Makewell raced beyond the home backline before confidently firing home to make it 2 – 1. The half did not end there though as with moments remaining, Wealthall did get on the score-sheet, evading her marker before curling her effort well into the corner.
Half-Time: AFC Basildon 3 – 1 Stevenage
The second half had something to live up to though Basildon did have the majority of the possession and with it, the attacking play. Stevenage did have the odd foray forward and as we began after the interval, they had substitute Erin Pope to thank for a superb strike finding the far corner from a narrowing angle. The hosts responded immediately and after seeing one well-struck drive crash off the woodwork, they did restore a two-goal advantage as a cross by Holly Turner was spilled by Brooks and Wealthall was there in the ‘right place, right time’ to grab a tap-in on 49 minutes. It was a case of ‘deja vu’ only three minutes later as Wealthall happily grabbed a hat-trick, thanks to another close range finish.
Both sides were showing good energy levels, particularly the home side and skipper DeBell exemplified that from right-back. There was a late flurry of goals to send the crowd home happy as first, Makewell grabbed a second as as a powerful free-kick evaded the home custodian, who was somewhat distracted by Pope in her eye-line. That made it 5 – 3 though it only stayed that way for five minutes before a good header at the near-post by Jodie Osborne was too powerful for the unfortunate Brooks to save, despite getting a glove on it.
The scoring literally ended with the last kick of the match, somewhat fittingly as Ashleigh Deacon’s low strike added a fourth for the visitors who may look back on their first-half performance with some frustration. All in all though, despite the chill of a December afternoon, the quality on show from both sides was a terrific advert for the Women’s game and credit has to go to both teams. Basildon remain 6th after this win, their fifth of the season while Stevenage stay 8th. Thanks also to the club for their kind comments post-match.
Full-Time: AFC Basildon 6 – 4 Stevenage
Goal-scorers (Basildon): Alex Bailess [1’], Holly Turner [26’], Kelly Wealthall [44’, 49’ & 52’], Jodie Osborne [88’]
Goal-scorers (Stevenage): Amy Makewell [37’ & 83’], Erin Pope [46’] & Ashleigh Deacon [90’+1]