Harlow Town Ladies return home for their next Challenge Cup fixture as East Bergholt United visit the Arena on Sunday.
The Hawks won on their return to action in the Eastern Region Women’s Football League Challenge Cup as they eased past Division One South side Wodson Park, scoring without reply. The first half ended 1-0 as Hannah Porter headed in the only goal before Chloe Bassett, Ash Deacon, Ellie Manning, Georgia Box, Olivia Steele and Amy Drew chipped in with a further six-goals in the second half to make it a comfortable performance for the ladies.
The girls were due to travel to Norfolk to face King’s Lynn Town in the second game of the group stage but due to county cups, the game was postponed until May 16th with the Hawks getting a week off from any action and preparing for Sunday’s game.
Like Wodson, East Bergholt United play in the ERWFL Division One South division and found themselves 3rd out of the 7-sides, having won 2, drew 2 and lost 3 during the 2020/21 season. Bergholt picked up 2-points in their opening three-games as they drew with Hutton and Millwall Lionesses but lost to Wodson Park before they faced consecutive losses against AFC Sudbury and Stevenage Women Development. On their return to action in December, they picked up two-wins on the spin, beating Millwall 4-1 and Hutton 3-2.
While the Hawks have been in competitive action in the Challenge Cup since the return of action, East Bergholt have patiently waited to feature in the competition with their last game ending in a 7-1 win over Suffolk side Henley Athletic.
Speaking ahead of the game, manager Dean Perrett spoke about his sides prep for the game, their focus after a small break and his ambitions for the competition.
“It’ll be good to be back in action this Sunday. We didn’t have a game last weekend due to County Cups being played so we’re looking forward to being back. The girls are excited and they trained well during the week. With 3-points of the board already, it will be able putting on another good performance on Sunday and keeping up the run.”
“The 7-0 was a good result in the end. We grew into the game against Wodson and the rust got blown off as we started to control the game. We were more clinical in the second half where we rushed those same chances in the first 45. We probably broke them down the same in both halves but it was about taking the chances we created and that’s what we did in the second half.”
“We don’t know much about East Bergholt apart from the fact they are in the league below. I’ve been told by a few people that they are a tough side and tough to break down, so I’m sure they’ll come at us. We just need to make sure we are switched on and the intensity is there.”
“Having no game wasn’t ideal as we wanted to keep the momentum going and keep playing after being out for so long. The girls have remained focused and have been training well instead. They are feeling sharper and they’ve been picking up match sharpness in training so hopefully they can take that into Sunday, and we’ve prepared like we normally do.”
“Our group is tough. Bedford have already won 2/2 so they sit top and fair play to them. This will be our second game so hopefully we can join them. Going to Bedford next week may be crucial in who finished top-of-the-group and we know that if we can get out the group, we have done well. Everyone has had a four-month break so it’s very much a level playing field and if we can pick up three points this week, we’ll be level on points with Bedford, going into our game with them.”
The game at the Harlow Arena will again be playing behind closed doors but you can keep up to date with the action by following our twitter (@HarlowLadies).