Preview: Harlow Town Ladies vs Royston Town Women

Following last Sunday’s frustrating draw, Harlow Town Ladies will look to bounce back as they go up against Royston Town Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup. Both sides will battle for a place in the First Round Proper of the competition, guaranteeing an Eastern Region Women’s Football League side in the Proper Round’s of the cup.

Harlow Town have already made it through 4-rounds in the FA Cup. They began in the Extra Preliminary Round as they beat Runwell Sports 6-0 on the road with braces each for Olivia Steele and Georgia Box as well as goals from Chloe Bassett and Daisy Jenkins before facing Colney Heath in the Preliminary Round. The Hawks fought back from 3-2 down to claim a 4-3 win with goals from Olivia Steele, Chloe Bassett, Georgia Box and Vicki Wotton. In the First Qualifying Round, Harlow came up against Bowers & Pitsea Ladies as a single Georgia Box goal was enough to see them through before it was a 5-1 win against St Ives. A brace from Georgia Box as well as goals from Olivia Steele, Kaydee King and Tayla Handscombe were enough for an easy victory over the Saints.

Last season, Harlow made it through to the Third Qualifying Round. They began in the Preliminary Round with a 8-0 win over AFC Sudbury before they were 3-1 winners over King’s Lynn Town. In the Second Qualifying Round, they were narrow victors over Wroxham Women as they won 4-3 after extra-time to progress through to the final Qualifying Round but it was in that round that the run came to an end as they were defeated 3-1 by National League side Billericay Town Ladies.

Royston Town Ladies began their FA Cup run in the Preliminary Round as they beat Peterborough United 4-2 on penalties following a 4-4 draw. Goals from Gemma Croucher, Samantha Edgar, Yasmin Pratt and Emma Slater weren’t enough against the East Midlands Football League side as they had to gain victory on spot-kicks. In the First Qualifying Round, the Crows were drawn against Brett Vale Ladies with them winning 8-0 with four goals from Yasmin Pratt, a hattrick from Gemma Croucher and a goal from Charlotte South whilst they prodcued a shock in the Second Qualifying Round as they defeated Stevenage Women 5-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. Gemma Croucher was on target with a brace while Yasmin Pratt got the other goal but Stevenage scored to hold the lower league side to a draw with Stevenage missing 2 of their penalties.

Last season, The Crows only reached the 2nd Qualifying Round. They began in the Preliminary Round against Wodson Park, winning 4-1, before they faced Colney Heath Ladies in the First Qualifying Round. Royston were 5-2 victors, progressing through and picking up a tie against National League Ipswich Town but their run came to an end with a 7-0 loss to the Tractor Girls.

The clubs have already played each other this season as the Hawks were 5-1 winners at home at the end of September. Ellie-Paige Baskett scored for the Crows but it wasn’t enough as a brace from Tayla Handscombe as well as goals from Ellie Manning and Amy Nash helped Dean Perrett’s troops onto a strong win. This is the FA Cup though and the magic of the cup will certainly play a part. Both sides will be hoping to reach the First Round Proper and continue on their run. This is going to be a good game.