Cambridge Women pile on the pressurePosy Putnam

Cambridge Women’s 1sts took on Nottingham Trent 3rds in the second round of the Midlands Conference Cup on Wednesday, winning by six goals to one.

The match began with pressure on Nottingham Trent by the Light Blues. Fewer than four minutes in, Cambridge had their first real chance with Bethany Kanten’s powerful cross across the mouth of the goal - unfortunately no one was able to quite get onto the end of the pass. However, Cambridge’s dominance was rewarded with a goal within ten minutes by Kanten, again the key player, sending a well-hit and controlled shot into the back of the net.

Less than ten minutes later, Cambridge doubled their lead: high pressure by the Light Blues resulted in a well-deserved corner, which Kanten took. The pass was then received by Linnea Gradin, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.

"The match retained a highly physical element throughout"

Having well and truly established dominance, the match’s pace dropped. Despite Nottingham Trent players often appearing late in the box, leaving their forward with little support, the team in pink were able to get off a couple of speculative shots. Two shots were taken from just outside the box - one aimed directly at Cambridge goalkeeper Emily Hoyt and the other blasted too high.

The match retained a highly physical element throughout, with both teams committing to strong tackles and the occasional body check.

"Nottingham Trent's frustration began to show"

However, after thirty-five minutes, the style of play produced a nasty collision between Connie Buettner and a Nottingham Trent player, both players going down to the ground. The first half ended on a sour note as a Nottingham Trent player was carried off the pitch with a knee injury. These incidents served to disrupt the flow of the game which was somewhat subdued and tame as half-time arrived.

Cambridge started the second half two goals up and looking to add more to their tally. Within two minutes, Cambridge were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box that found Linnea Gradin, who superbly volleyed it into the back of the net for her second goal. Soon after, with Trent now two players down, Sophia D’Angelo and a teammate made a well-timed run to receive a practiced through-ball, rolling it into the back of the net. Bethany Kanten’s excellent curling shot into the top corner completed this Cambridge onslaught, by the sixtieth minute they were up 5-0.


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Nottingham Trent’s frustration began to show, their coach grew increasingly animated on the side-lines and demanded that the referee gave more fouls. With five minutes to go, Cambridge brought their tally to six goals. Ella Weston picked out Molly Woods with an excellent cross that the latter then poked into the back corner. However, Nottingham Trent kept fighting until the end - earning a consolation goal in the final minutes of the match. Unfortunately for the visiting team, their positive spell came only in the game’s dying moments.

Cambridge’s bright start to the season continues with this win, having already beaten both the Loughborough 3rds and Leicester 1sts in the BUCS Midlands 2A League.

This bodes well for the Conference Cup - as Cambridge come into the third round they will be faced with either the previously beaten Loughborough 3rds or the East Anglia 2nds.

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