Sunday 26th August
FA Women’s Cup
An early start to the season for a number of clubs with this years FA Women’s Cup seeing a record number of entrants meaning a Preliminary Round that featured 53 ties across the country including 6 involving teams in the East. There were a few casualties though due to the early start and it also being a Bank Holiday weekend getting a team together a challenge. Wymondham Town Ladies advancing through to First Round Qualifying without kicking a ball with there opponents Moulton Ladies withdrawing. That saved them getting a soaking however as the whole of the region was experiencing heavy rain come kick-off time Sunday afternoon.
Of the 5 ties in the Preliminary Round that were played in the East, Beccles Town Ladies were one of the lowest ranked sides making their debut in the competition, this time last season they hadn’t even kicked a competitive ball. Now they were at home taking on Essex Premier Division side Chelmsford City Ladies. It was to the Suffolk where Women’s Football East headed to watch the game. The promised rain arrived at kick-off and was persistent throughout. A slow start, Beccles centre backs cutting out Chelmsford’s forward passes, up the other end a shot flashing across the face of goal, was goalless at the break.
Chelmsford started the 2nd period lively attackers Georgia James and Lisa Overall moving around well to try and stretch the Beccles defence and the pair combined early on to hand Chelmsford the lead James on the left delivering a perfect cross to Overall making a near post run a deft header sending the ball over the keeper into the back of the net. Beccles had chances to draw level whilst their goalkeeper Chloe Pearce kept them in it at the other end including saving from the penalty spot in the closing minutes. Chelmsford getting the narrow win will face ERWFL Premier Division side AFC Sudbury Ladies at home in next weekend First Round Qualifying match. The link to the full match report can be found by clicking on the following link http://womensfootballeast.com/match-report-342/
Elsewhere in the FA Women’s Cup Preliminary Round, St Ives Town Ladies were at home taking on Corby Town Ladies. Having gotten off to a great start in the league St Ives Town expected a tougher test this time around and so it proved with the game heading all the way to extra-time the sides goalless after 90 minutes. The winning goal scored in extra-time and it was St Ives Town celebrating as Katie Stancombe struck her first goal of the season to send the hosts through and another tough tie in First Round Qualifying at home against Peterborough United Ladies this coming Sunday.
It was the first competitve match of the season for both Royston Town Ladies and Hertford Town Ladies as they were drawn together in the Preliminary Round of the FA Women’s Cup. Royston playing in the ERWFL Premier Division hosting Division One, Hertford the higher league side proving too strong with 3 players all opening their season with a brace, Francesca Smithers, Hayley Elderd and Joanne Rutherford on her return to Royston. Samantha Edgar also claiming a goal for Royston in a 7-1 win. Royston will now be away to Bishops Stortford Ladies in First Round Qualifying this coming Sunday.
A good run in the FA Women’s Cup for Newmarket Town Ladies last season dispatching 2 higher league sides before being stopped by Wymondham Town Ladies in extra-time. Newly promoted to the ERWFL themselves this season Newmarket faced a tough test in the Preliminary Round drawn at home against Premier Division, Cambridge City Ladies. The ERWFL Premier Division side doing the business to progress, Charlotte Gillies and Carla Penny with the goals in each half to secure the win. Cambridge City will now be at home to Riverside Ladies in First Round Qualifying this coming Sunday.
The last tie featuring sides from the East in the Preliminary Round was an all Essex affair with Frontiers Ladies from the Essex Women’s Premier Division hosting ERWFL Premier Division side Brentwood Town Ladies. The higher league side progressing with Georgia Holdaway following up her opening day brace with a hat-trick this Sunday to move her onto 5 goals already this season. Leah Cowan returning to the Brentwood side following a lengthy sell out with injury last season was also on target for her 1st goal of the season in a 4-0 win. Brentwood will now be at home against Harlow Town Ladies in First Round Qualifying on Sunday.
The draw for First Round Qualifying of the FA Women’s Cup on Sun 2nd September featuring sides in the East is as follows –
Peterborough Northern Star Ladies v Northampton Town Ladies
St Ives Town Ladies v Peterborough United Ladies
Wymondham Town Ladies v Roade Ladies
Kettering Town Ladies v Acle United Women
Cambridge City Ladies v Riverside Ladies
Histon Ladies v Thrapston Town Ladies
Leigh Ramblers Ladies v Bowers & Pitsea Ladies
Corringham Cosmos v Bungay Town Ladies
Brentwood Town Ladies v Harlow Town Ladies
Chelmsford City Ladies v AFC Sudbury Ladies
AFC Dunstable Ladies v Watford Ladies Development
Bishops Stortford Ladies v Royston Town Ladies
Colney Heath Ladies v Houghton Athletic Ladies