Acle Ladies close gap at the top with comfortable win over Sudbury
- Credit: Archant
Acle United Ladies completed the double over AFC Sudbury after a comfortable 4-0 victory at the King's Marsh Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors made one enforced change with new signing Amy Bell deputising in goal for Cyan Fullbrook, who was unavailable.
On a bitterly cold afternoon, neither side tested their opposing keeper until the 8th minute when Ciera Flatt's shot was saved by the home keeper. At the other end, Anna Larkins easily cut out a quick break by the home side.
A promising move by Acle was cut short after Megan Todd strayed offside, the ball being moved across the back four before Larkins played the ball inside to Laura Holden, whose first-time ball found Todd.
Todd was in the thick of the action again minutes later, beating her marker and playing in Kirstie Kindred whose shot was well held by the keeper. However, Acle's pressure finally paid off in the 23rd minute. Acle gaining possession on the left flank with Kindred playing the ball across the centre to Holden whose through ball split the home defence and Todd easily beat the home keeper from 10 yards.
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Acle pushed forward at every opportunity and Holden was just unable to get on the end of a Amber Rowland corner, then another cross from Todd was scrambled clear.
In a rare Sudbury attack, Bell caught comfortably under pressure from a corner, before a second corner was easily cleared by the visitors.
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Acle were dominating possession and able to build up attacks down the flanks. Todd was put away by Larkins and Kindred's shot was just wide of the target after the ball was played inside by Todd as the visitors went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
It only took 90 seconds after the interval for Acle to extend their lead. Larkins picking up a loose ball, cut inside and her low cross to the far post was converted by Grace Birchall, then Flatt had a shot comfortably saved after being set up by Kindred.
Rowland and Flatt were controlling the centre of midfield forcing the hosts to use the flanks, where Larkins and Olivia Mungham-Gray were comfortably dealing with any attack as Acle continued to dominate the game.
Birchall was put clear by Rowland in the 57th minute, but a Sudbury defender did enough to hurry the Acle forward who saw her shot go just wide of the goal. At the other end, a poor kick by Bell allowed the hosts to win a corner but from Acle's clearance a shot was high and wide of the goal.
In a rare Sudbury attack, Larkins put in a fine covering tackle to prevent a clear shot at goal from six yards from the hosts and the resulting corner was easily cleared.
With almost 15 minutes remaining, Acle extended their lead. Larkins throw-in to Todd saw the Acle winger cross from the by-line and Holden nipped in to beat a defender and keeper and steer the ball home at the near post to give Acle a 3-0 lead.
Only the woodwork prevented Acle from scoring a fourth when Flatt's free-kick smash against the bar after Birchall had been brought down 20 yards out, however only a minute later Acle sealed a 4-0 victory when the home keeper was unable to keep out Birchall's 25-yard shot, to move within a point of second-placed Cambridge City and with a game in hand.
Acle United Ladies: A Bell, A Larkins, O Mungham-Gray, B Scully, C Shields, C Flatt, M Todd, K Kindred, L Holden, L Bullard. Subs used: A Rowland, R Brister, G Birchall, Unused: R Burton.