Sunday 6th October
Women’s FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying
2nd Round Qualifying of the Women’s FA Cup this weekend, 48 ties in total scheduled on Sunday with the FAWNL Division One sides entering the competition. 13 of those ties involving sides covered by Women’s Football East. The weather playing it’s part putting pay to 3 ties with the matches between Norwich City Women & Cambridge United WFC, Ipswich Town Women & Royston Town Women along with Cambridge City Ladies v St Albans Ladies called off with waterlogged pitches. That left 10 ties and it was to one of these I travelled on Sunday the rain all but gone as I arrived at the Harlow Arena to watch Harlow Town Ladies v Wroxham Women.
The pair currently one and two in the ERWFL Premier Division promised to be a cracking tie and proved to be the case with a late winner deciding it in extra-time. Harlow starting brightly Becky Shephard firing in a rocket to make it 1-0 early on. The hosts dominant during the first half Wroxham taking a while to get going soaking up pressure got themselves back on level terms late in the half striker Grace Birchall running onto a long ball forwards to run in behind race into the box and smash her shot into the bottom corner.
All square at the break Harlow beginning the 2nd half as they started the first on the front foot. Chloe Bassett with a strike from outside the area creeping inside the post to see the hosts retake the lead. Wroxham made changes to personnel and position paying off as they started to come back into it more competitive the game opening up chances created Emily Leach on the keeper coming away with the ball to score into an empty net to make it 2-2. Neither side able to find the break through 3rd goal in regular play the game heading to extra-time.
In the extra period of play it was advantage Wroxham going ahead for the first time in the match Birchall brought down just outside the area a free-kick inside the D blasted goalwards a deflection taking it wide of the the keeper giving no chance a save. Harlow fired up particularly captain Kaydee King to get back on level terms a free-kick similar to Wroxham’s seeing goalkeeper Amy Bell produce a tremendous save Harlow though scoring from the resulting corner. Sent long past the far post King getting her head on the ball sending it in despite a goalmouth scramble. 3-3 after the 1st period of extra-time Harlow finishing the game strong getting players in and around the Wroxham box taking strikes on from distance Fran Gamble shooting from 20 yards out left side of the box firing the ball in late on to send Harlow into the next round.
Another all ERWFL clash in 2nd Round Qualifying saw Division One North side Newmarket Town Women at home to Luton Town Ladies from the league above. The Premier Division side amongst the front runners in the table. Zara Carroll the star of the show first half scoring a hat-trick for Luton getting the ball rolling heading in from a Jess McKay corner. Her 2nd goal coming from a free-kick the ball smashed into the top corner. Carroll completing her hat-trick scoring from another McKay corner. Luton safely through in the finish scoring a 4th goal with Funmi Babalola on target following good work from Dionne Manning.
A couple of upsets in the amongst the results too. Bowers & Pitsea Ladies showing good form since promotion to the ERWFL Premier Division this season were drawn away to FAWNL South West Division One side Maidenhead United Women. The Essex side getting an early lead 1-0 inside 10 minutes Ebony Moore with the run down the wing crossing in the ball turned into the back of the net for an own goal. More than matching their higher league opponents goalkeeper Violet Hickman with a crucial double save to keep it at 1-0. Bowers & Pitsea with a good chance to double the lead early 2nd half remained 1-0 as Maidenhead came on strong, the lead doubled midway through the half Sophie Dowman’s strike deflected to loop over the keeper and in. A nervy close to the game the hosts pulling it back to 2-1 off a free-kick that struck the crossbar the rebound back in off the keeper Bowers & Pitsea holding on to win and extend their historic FA Cup run.
A cup upset to for East Midlands Regional Premier Division side Peterborough United Ladies knocking out FAWNL South East Division One side Stevenage FC Women. A sluggish start from Peterborough with Stevenage having the better of the opening period growing into it however the visitors when ahead on the half hour Keir Perkins cross met by Donna McGuigan an ex-Stevenage player to make it 1-0. That the advantage at the break. Peterborough creating opportunities in the 2nd half, Stevenage goalkeeper Te’a Oldroyd with some fine saves the hosts creating chances themselves striking the bar equalised in the 65th minutes Cara Breckenridge scoring after Peterborough failed to clear a corner. Both sides looking for the winner it came 10 minutes from tine Perkins crossing in again this time met by Megan Parrett to smash the ball into the roof of the net to win it 2-1 and send Peterborough into the next round.
Elsewhere it was relatively straight forwards for the FAWNL South East Division One sides with 5 beating lower league opposition. One all South East Division One tie saw Kent Football United hosting Actonians Ladies. Due to meet in the league the week before the weather putting pay to the fixture. A tough start to life at the higher level for Kent Football United without a point on the board after 4 played the FA Cup a distraction. Started brightly enough Actonians coming into it getting the lead midway through the first period with Carla Williams striking to make it 1-0 her first of the season. A 2nd goal coming 5 minutes later with midfielder Melia D-Santos also scoring her first of the season. A 2-0 lead for the visitors at half-time a mountain to climb for Kent Football United on the hour as Megan Burrows received her marching orders sent off. Actonians 3-0 up soon after Lafa Ucha scoring from a corner. Kent Football United kept going and were rewarded with a goal late in the game Amy Russ firing in a shot with 10 minutes left. Actonians progressing into the next round 3-1 winners.
The FA Cup throwing up names you’re not always familiar with apparently their are two Ashford sides one in Middlesex the other in Kent. AFC Wimbledon Ladies were away to the one in Kent this weekend Ashford Ladies. Wimbledon 4th in South East Division One getting the upper hand on their lower league opponents taking the lead inside the opening 15 minutes Georgia Heasman crossing for Liz O’Callaghan to score her first goal of the season. Quickly became 2-0 with defender Hannah Billingham scoring from a corner again her first of the season. Wimbledon creating chances going further in front on the half hour Sophie Manzi with a low strike to make it 3-0. Heasman another to open her account for the season seeing Wimbledon leading 4-0 at half-time. Katie Stanley and youngster Charlotte Flood introduced at half-time both going on to score Flood her first goals for the side netting a brace with Stanley making it 7-0 to see Wimbledon safely into the next round.
Enfield Town Ladies were hosting lower league opposition Islington Borough Ladies in 2nd Round Qualifying of the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday. The FAWNL South East Division One side going in front with the half hour fast approaching defender Claire Ford scoring to make it 1-0 with her first of the campaign. Striker Katherine Long doubling the advantage with 5 minutes left in the first period. The lead made more comfortable midway through the 2nd half with Danielle Smith opening her Enfield account for the season. Long scoring a 2nd and her fifth of the season late in the game to see Enfield comfortably progress.
A tough test for Phoenix Sports Ladies on Sunday in the Women’s FA Cup as they travelled to Canvey Island FC to play AFC Basildon Women. The game was off at one point but soon back on and good for Basildon as the Essex side won comfortably to reach the next round going through 8-2 winners. Kelly Wealthall in good form in front of goal since joining the club scoring a hat-trick to give her 9 for the season. Cerys Adams scoring a brace her first goals for the side. First goals of the season too for Sarah Wilson and Grace Gillard along with a goal for Holly Turner.
Leyton Orient WFC joint 3rd leaders in the FAWNL South East Division One away to Abingdon United WFC in the Women’s FA Cup this Sunday. Flu hitting the squad Leyton Orient with a small squad of 12 making a slow start Abingdon taking the lead with Molly Lygo firing in a long range strike. Egle Trezzi with the equalising goal midway through the first half from a corner. Leyton Orient growing stronger as the game progressed taking the lead with 7 minutes left in the first half Sophie Le Marchand curling in a shot. A 3rd scored in the final minute of the half, Otesha Charles continuing her good form in front of goal to make it 3-1 at half-time. Charles with her 8th goal of the season 10 minutes into the 2nd half seeing Leyton Orient into the next round 4-1.
Billericay Town Ladies sharing the lead in FAWNL South East Division One drawn away to Dartford Women in 2nd Round Qualifying. The Essex side with goalscorers throughout their side proving too strong an opponent for Dartford winning comfortably 8-0 to book their place in the next round. Both Zoe Rushen and Karissa Rodney netting two goals each now on 7 goals each for the season. Jay Blackie with her 5th of the season too getting a goal with first goals of the season for Hannah Smith, Ellie Nicholls and Courtney Lumley.
Women’s FA Cup 3rd Round Qualifying draw
ties to be played Sun 27th October
Peterborough United Ladies v The New Saints Ladies
Bowers & Pitsea Ladies v Luton Town Ladies
Harlow Town Ladies v Billericay Town Ladies
Cambridge City Ladies or St Albans Ladies v AFC Basildon Women
Ipswich Town Women or Royston Town Women v Norwich City Women or Cambridge United WFC
Enfield Town Ladies v AFC Wimbledon Ladies
Actonians Ladies v Fulham Women
Queens Park Rangers Women v Leyton Orient WFC