Preview: Harlow Town LFC vs Ipswich Town WFC

Harlow Town Ladies will welcome Ipswich Town to the Harlow Arena on Sunday in the First Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup as they look to match their best run in the Cup by reaching the Second Round.

The Hawks have already played 5-games this year in the Cup, beginning in the Extra Preliminary Round. The first game of the season was a 6-0 victory over Runwell Sports from the level as braces from Olivia Steele, Georgia Box, Chloe Bassett and Daisy Jenkins helped Harlow through. In the Preliminary Round, a tough tie against Colney Heath ended in a 4-3 victory as goals from Olivia Steele, Vikki Wotton, Chloe Bassett and Georgia Box pushing them into the Qualifying Rounds. The Qualifying Rounds saw Harlow come up against 3 more fellow league sides as they faced Bowers & Pitsea, St Ives Town and Royston Town. A lone goal from Georgia Box was enough for a narrow win before the Hawks eased past the Saints as a Georgia Box brace as well as goals from Tayla Handscomb, Kaydee King and Olivia Steele helped them onto a 5-1 win. The toughest game came in the Third Qualifying Round, as a penalty shootout was required to beat Royston Town. A brace from Fran Gamble and a goal from Georgia Box weren’t enough as the Crows fought back from 3-0 down to level at 3-3. The Hawks progressed 4-2 on penalties as Sarah Walker made a huge save before Paige Rolfe sent her effort over the bar to allow Kaydee King to send the Harlow through.

The club have already done one better than they did last season. After being AFC Sudbury 8-0 in the Preliminary Round, Harlow went on to beat King’s Lynn Town 3-1 before beating Wroxham 4-3 after extra-time, setting up a tie against Billericay. The run was brought to an end against the Blues as the Hawks lost 2-1.

Ipswich Town began their run in the Second Qualifying Round as they were drawn against Peterborough Northern Star. The Tractor Girls eased past the tier 5 side as Natasha Thomas scored a quadruple while Amy-Leigh Abrehart, Zoe Barratt, Eloise King, Molly Sutherland and Georgia Allen all got in on the scoring too. The Blues reached the First Round after they beat their rivals Norwich City as Eloise King, Paige Peake and Sophie Peskett were on target.

Their incredible run last season is no secret as the Tractor Girls fought their way to the Fifth Round Proper to face Women’s Super League side Manchester City. They began in the Second Qualifying Round as they beat Royston Town 7-0 before they eased past rivals Norwich City, winning 6-1. Ipswich added to their run with another comfortable victory as they beat AFC Basildon 5-0 to set up a tie with Chichester City in the Second Round. City were no match for the Blues though and a 6-0 victory lifted them into Third Round Proper. A trip to National League Southern Premier Division side Portsmouth as a 1-0 scoreline was enough to send them through. A trip up North in the Fourth Round as they faced Huddersfield Town saw them win 4-1 before they got a dream tie against City but their run was brought to an end by the eventual-winners as City eased past them with a 10-0 victory.

A win for the hosts could see them match their best run after they reached the Second Round Proper during the 2017/18 season but were defeated by Luton Town. It will be a tough game for both sides but should be an entertaining game.