Challenge Cup underway

The Eastern Region Women’s Football League Challenge Cup got underway on Sunday as sides looked to make a perfect start to their cup campaigns. Here’s a round-up of all the action from the opening gameweek; 

Group A

AFC Dunstable Women 5-1 Haringey Borough Women 

AFC Dunstable returned to action with a huge win as they thrashed Haringey Borough by 5-goals to one. Both sides were fighting towards the bottom end of the table but it was the hosts who came out of the blocks the quickest to pick-up their first three-points. Gemma Darvill, Chelsea Jeffrey, Tia Steadman, Lori Wilson-Phillips and Hannah Ring were on target as Borough only responded once, sending them to the bottom of the group after one-game. 

Wroxham Women 1-3 Cambridge City Ladies Development 

Wroxham were on the wrong end of an upset as Cambridge City Development beat Premier Division side Wroxham in the opening Challenge Cup game. A goal from Kayleigh Holloway wasn’t enough as Carla Penny scored a brace and Grace Stanley added another for the visitors. Dunstable and Cambridge lead the group, with Wroxham and Haringey Borough already playing catch-up.


Group B

Harlow Town Ladies 7-0 Wodson Park Ladies 

A superb second half from Harlow Town saw them ease past Wodson Park in the opening game of the Challenge Cup. There were seven different scorers in the thrashing as Hannah Porter, Chloe Bassett, Ash Deacon, Ellie Manning, Georgia Box, Amy Drew and Olivia Steele all chipped in with the goals. The victory was the large margin of the weekend and puts the Hawks firmly at the top of the group.

King’s Lynn Town Ladies 2-3 Bedford Ladies 

King’s Lynn Town narrowly missed out on a draw as Bedford beat them in a 5-goal thriller. The hosts scored twice against their Premier Division opposition but it wasn’t enough as the top-side had enough for the victory. Bedford join Harlow on three-points after one-game, with plenty still to play for, for King’s Lynn.


Group C

Bowers & Pitsea Ladies 3-0 Stevenage Women Development 

Bowers & Pitsea stepped up against lower opposition and completed a professional job as they won by three-goals to nil. Sarah Wilson was on target twice while Sophie Rhodes also scored as the hosts picked up the full three points. The win puts Bowers top by a point, ahead of Haverhill Rovers. 

Haverhill Rovers Ladies 4-4 Royston Town Women (Pens 10-9)

Spoils were shared in the other Group C game as Haverhill Rovers drew against stronger opposition in Royston Town. Goals from Amy Cooper, Yasmin Pratt, Charlotte South and Sammy Tinsley weren’t enough as Jenna Wright was on target with a brace and Charlotte Westrope and Stacey Roper were also on target for the hosts. Like the Conti Cup, sides have the chance to play for a bonus point with every draw and it was the Division One side who picked up the first one of the competition. The two points put Haverhill just ahead of Royston and just behind Bowers.


Group D

St Ives Town Ladies 2-0 Needham Market Women 

St Ives Town avoided an upset in their opening game as they beat Division One side Needham Market. Ruth Fox was on target twice for the Saints as they beat Needham 2-goals to nil, putting them towards the top of the table. 

Wymondham Town Women 4-0 Colney Heath Ladies 

Wymondham Town were victorious in their opening game as they brushed Colney Heath aside with a 4-0 win. Chelsea Clarke scored a brace while Laura Nicholls and Hannah Waters were also on target as the hosts over the 10-player Magpies. The win puts Wymondham in control at the top of the group, going into the other three games.