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Baker helps Cambridge rise
 Women's Football News 15 Dec 2014
Baker helps Cambridge rise - 15 Dec 2014 - Women's Football NewsBedford Ladies 0 Cambridge Women 1
Cambridge Women battled their way to a hard earned single goal away win at Bedford Ladies & Girls' Wootton Blue Cross FC home in the FAWPL South East Division One, a result which lifted them to fourth in the table. 
A Laura Baker free kick just before the break proved decisive in this encounter where both goalkeepers distinguished themselves with crucial saves in a highly committed and even contest. Bedford, in their first season at this level, gave their all to try and get through a strong defence but could not find the key to an equaliser.
Cambridge started with confidence and an attacking threat. Home keeper Lauren Webb saved well from an early Dawn Mallett shot and then turned away a fierce near post effort from Emma Jenkins. The home team grew into the match and started to move the ball with greater fluency and chances started to come. Eden Washington had an effort on goal well held by Verity Crook, then Tasha Fensome put over a good cross from the left which led to a shot just over by Cyeanne Eaton from the edge of the area on the half hour.
Cambridge's Sophie Thompson was denied by Webb moving quickly off her line to clear but the clearest chance so far came on 40 minutes. A perfect through ball by Bedford's Chloe Scott sent Fensome clear in front of goal but Crook somehow managed to divert her finish just wide of the post.
The value of Crook's save was doubled when the visitors won a free kick on the edge of the Bedford area two minutes later. Baker sent a low shot beyond Webb into the bottom left corner to give Cambridge an interval lead.
Crook kept Cambridge ahead on 48 minutes when Scott lofted a 25-yard effort which the keeper rose to tip onto the bar and to safety at full stretch. The corner was cleared from under the bar and Cambridge looked to push on and extend their advantage. In fact both defensive units were very alert and the game became deadlocked with chances hard to find until the last few minutes.
Fensome was the main threat for the hosts, her pace twice taking her clear of the Cambridge defence. On the first occasion, Crook was quickly out to gather the ball, then the striker was adjudged offside as her stinging effort was tipped over by the Cambridge keeper. At the other end, a great run and cross by sub Becky Russell was met at the far post by Baker, who was unable to finish on the volley from a tight angle.
A final corner for Bedford came to nothing and Cambridge nearly doubled their lead deep into added time when Mallett was denied by an excellent Webb save at point blank range. Cambridge had defended very well and both teams had worked very hard throughout but the visitors had taken the honours to overtake Luton Town and Enfield Town and move into fourth place.
Bedford Ladies and Girls is an all-female club established in 1998 and the adult team has progressed to their highest ever level this season after a good FA Women's Cup run and taking the Eastern Region League title last season. Cambridge Women have been playing at Combination and FAWPL Division One level for a number of seasons and are competing well this time around under manager Steve Edwards. 
Bedford Ladies & Girls: Lauren Webb, Chloe Scott, Sophie Britton, Suzie Darby, Lottie Burton, Nicky English, Becca Vass, Tasha Fensome, Cyeanne Eaton, Eden Washington, Maisie Wyatt. Subs: Charlie King, Shannon Carroll, Hannah Stoodley.

Cambridge Women: Verity Crook, Emma Jenkins, Liv Abbott, Kayleigh-Anne Burt, Becca Fay, Faith Hewitt, Laura Bright, Laura Mills, Dawn Mallett, Laura Baker, Sophie Thompson. Subs: Becky Russell, Hannah Bodily, Carrie Bennett.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Becca Vass closed down by Laura Bright
(middle) Becca Fay slides in on Cyeanne Eaton
(bottom) Emma Jenkins and Maisie Wyatt in a chase for the ball

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