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Chesterfield Ladies lose season finale

todayMay 9, 2023 15

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Chesterfield Ladies conceded a dramatic late goal as they lost 4-3 away at Anstey Nomads Women in their final game of the 2022/23 season.

A brace from Gina Camfield in her last ever game before retirement plus a goal from Hannah Baker was not enough to avoid defeat in a very eventful and controversial game.

Both teams enjoyed numerous phases of momentum throughout the game and on another day the Blues could have ended up as the winning side in what was a very unpredictable match.

Blues goalkeeper Nic Watson made an outstanding block in the seventh minute to deny the hosts from taking a very early lead. However, the deadlock was broken by Anstey only four minutes later when a long range effort looped over Watson and found the back of the net in spectacular fashion.

The visitors responded well though and quickly grabbed an equaliser after 15 minutes played. Gina Camfield, who played superbly in her farewell to the game, found time and space to fire an effort on target which was too hot to handle for the Nomads goalkeeper and the ball hit the back of the net to make it 1-1.

The Blues had a number of opportunities to take the lead shortly afterwards. Camfield almost scored again in the 17th minute when her lobbed effort was well saved by the Anstey goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Sophie Marshall saw a stinging effort palmed away to safety before Kel Fidler guided a close-range shot wide of the post in the 23rd minute.

Chesterfield deservedly took the lead in the 35th minute when Camfield expertly slotted the ball into the back of the net from 15 yards out to secure her 13th goal of the season and make it 2-1 to the visitors.

Anstey fired a warning though five minutes before the interval. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Nic Watson made another terrific save to thwart the hosts and keep the Blues in front at half-time.

The second half was a frantic affair and featured a number of hotly contested decisions from the referee.

Controversy struck just two minutes after the restart during a phase of play where Chesterfield were down to ten players following Kel Fidler’s sin bin just before the half-time whistle. Watson looked to have been clearly fouled by an Anstey forward which saw the ball spill out of Watson’s hands and into the path of another Nomads player who easily rolled the ball home from ten yards out to make it 2-2. Despite the protests of every Blues player and member of staff while Watson received immediate medical attention, the referee saw nothing wrong with the incident and allowed the equaliser to stand.

With Chesterfield on the ropes, momentum suddenly swung in favour of the hosts and they ended up taking the lead in the 61st minute to make it 3-2. A penalty was awarded in the 61st minute when Amy Pashley tripped an Anstey forward and the spot-kick was swiftly converted to give the Nomads the advantage.

With 20 minutes remaining, Blues goalkeeper Nic Watson had to be substituted due to the painful injury she picked up at the start of the second half. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, full-back Lily Naylor volunteered to go between the sticks for the final quarter of the game.

Just like the first half, Chesterfield Ladies responded well after going behind and deservedly found another equaliser in the 76th minute thanks to an excellent strike from Hannah Baker which found the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-3.

The visitors had two huge opportunities to take all three points in the closing stages of the match. Substitute Lucy Graham came extremely close to scoring her first ever senior goal for the club when her 15 yard effort hit the post in the 78th minute.

Stoppage time in Chesterfield’s final game of the season couldn’t have been any more dramatic. The Blues came agonisingly close to ending the season with a victory when Millie Standen’s close-range shot hit the side netting. Hearts sank though when it was Anstey who claimed all three points deep into injury time. A long range free-kick was seemingly kept out by Naylor before the teenager was clattered to the ground following a rough challenge by an Anstey forward. The assistant referee ruled that the ball had just crept over the line before Naylor was barged over and so a heartbreaking decision to award a goal stood and Chesterfield Ladies went on to lose the game 4-3.

Despite a frustrating defeat to mark the end of the season, cheers and applause rang out after the final whistle was blown as a guard of honour was held for Gina Camfield, Emmi Cook and Lydia Pascoe who had all just played their last ever games for the club. It was a hugely fitting moment too when it was revealed that Gina Camfield had won the player of the match award in her last game before hanging up her boots.

Chesterfield Ladies team: Watson, Cook, Warren, Pashley, Pascoe, Fidler, Standen, Baker, Camfield, Marshall, Purdy.

Used subs: Graham, Naylor, Hopkinson, Ratcliffe.

Unused sub: Falleth.

Following the game Chesterfield Ladies coach Mitch Wilson spoke to North Derbyshire Radio’s Senior Sports Reporter Matthew Rhodes.

Written by: NDR NEWS

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