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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
The origins of Sawbridgeworth Town Women's Football Club started back in 1986 when a ladies' five-a-side league was formed in Harlow by Helen Offord who was employed by Harlow Council as a sports development officer. One of the original teams that was formed was Harlow Bears. Towards the end of the 1989 league a group of girls/women asked if it was possible to form an eleven-a-side team. After selection trials over a six week period a group of 22 players formed Harlow Town Ladies Football Club.
Over the years Harlow Town had always been there or there about when it came to trophies as for the first six seasons they were involved in one or other of the League Cup competitions. Winning the League Cup in the 1991-92 season and the Lisa Slater Memorial Shield in the 1993-94 season and the biggest prize to date, winning the Essex County Cup in the 1995-96 season. As with all ladies clubs it seems that it is inevitable that players move on and during the close season of 95-96 Harlow saw its fair share of movement out of the club of many good players for one reason or another.
Although Harlow Town F.C. had shown great interest to continue the set up with the unaffiliated Ladies team of the same name they were not forthcoming with regard to a closer relationship. Bishop's Stortford FC became aware of the situation and the then general manager of BSFC (John Radford ex-Arsenal) approached the management of the ladies club and offered the chance to become the ladies section of BSFC, after discussions the management of the ladies club felt that it would be in the best interests of the club as a whole that Harlow Town Ladies Football Club change its name and become as a whole Bishop's Stortford Ladies Football Club.
This lasted until 2001 when Sawbridgeworth Town FC approached the club, who were now playing home matches at their ground, and after discussions a decision was made to accept their offer. At the start of the 2001-02 season, Sawbridgeworth Town Women's Football Club was the new name of the club. Promotion to the Premier Division was narrowly missed in 2005-06 but during this period, they enjoyed greater success in the League Plate, reaching the Final three years in a row. After two narrow defeats on the first two occasions, they lifted the trophy in 2007 after beating Stevenage Borough on a penalty shootout.
In 2012 they finally won promotion to the top division but unfortunately could not sustain their status and were relegated back to Division One South at the start of this season.
The team is managed by John Day and long serving member Jackie Stott is club secretary.
Stevenage Borough Ladies were formed in 1998 and have always played their football in the Eastern Region League, establishing themselves in that league over the years. They were in the lower divisions for much of the early years before finishing as runners-up in Division One in 2006-07, also reaching the League Plate Final in the same season. They were also runners-up in Division One South the following season, winning promotion to the Premier Division where they remained ever since.
In 2009, a reserves team was established, incorporating the team managed by Dave Potter since Under-14 level. During that time, both teams have had good success, both teams being divisional winners and runners-up, both League Cup winners and both County Cup runners-up.
Last season was the best to date for the club, finishing fourth in the Premier Division as well as joining forces with Stevenage FC, to become Stevenage Ladies and they are hopeful that this will open more doors for women's football in Hertfordshire.
Josie North is the first team player manager and the team is captained by Justine Emmins. Dave Potter, who has been with the club for more than ten years, undertakes the role of Secretary.
Sawbridgeworth Town (from): Ann Anstey, Shavaun Barnum, Jill Bartholomew, Aimee Bean, Jackie Day, Dempsey Favell, Hannah Fowler, Kay Foy, Chloe Godleman, Shannon Hardinges, Kelly Holesworth, Adele Hughes, Georgia Jackson, Hayley King, Karen Lau, Chloe MacDonald, Rebecca Maybury, Emma Parker, Chloe Pledger, Claire Poulton, Louise Terrey, Claire Thompson, Claire Tyrell, Rebecca Tyson, Jemma Whiteman.
Stevenage Ladies (from): Keri Green, Emily Wheeler, Abi Cartwright, Laura Shearwood, Kelly Milton, Alex North, Dominique Godbeer, Amy Notschild, Josie North, Justine Emmins, Donna McGuigan, Hollie Jardine, Cally Fearon, Amy Josland.
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