Sunday afternoons in Alnwick have never been so good, more so if you play for the Ladies Football Team managed by Peter Hately – and now they face Leeds United Ladies.
Last season, in which was their debut in the Northumberland County League, Hately’s girls not only completed a League & Cup double, they reached the First Round Proper of the Women’s FA Cup, one of only four Tier Seven clubs to do so.
Then they overcame Washington, Redcar Town and Rotherham United en-route to the First Round before succumbing to Burnley, now, having overcome a local challenge in Durham Cestria (who they also opposed in the NERWFL Cup First Round, losing 3-1) 2-1 in the 1QR a few weeks back, an own-goal and Kirstie Tang seeing them progress, the draw was what dreams are made of.
“We honestly believe that we’ve got half a chance and that this isn’t the walkover people may expect it to be,” began Ladies manager, Peter Hately.
“It’s all about building momentum in the women’s game and building the profile of the sport, and of Ladies football here in Alnwick at the same time.
“We know it’s a challenge but we’re up there with some of the best in the region so let’s keep the momentum going.”
The side, who were only formed eighteen months ago following the disbanding of Lowick, re-appeared at Alnwick as Georgia Thompson led them to last season’s League & Cup double, as well as the local Gazette’s Sports Personality of the Year award, just for added measure.
Although pre-season has been mixed, they’ve had plenty of positives, including a narrow reversal when opposing a strong Newcastle United Development side, Jenny Patterson at the double in a 3-2 loss.
Games like that though continue to stir Alnwick as they look to progress again this season in the North-East Regional League Northern Division, the league campaign due to finally begin on September 30 at home to Cramlington United.
First though it’s consecutive cup matches with Georgia Thompson, their double-winning captain, adding: “We went into that cup game with Cestria knowing they were a team higher placed than us.
“Kirstie (Tang) scored a brilliant free-kick though and we managed to keep them at bay.
“We worked our socks off to get that win which was massive and we were hoping for a big team in the draw, and at home and there’s nothing more we could have asked for really, so let’s see what we can do.”
Alnwick Town Ladies host Leeds United Ladies in the Second Qualifying Round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup AT St James Park, Alnwick today, kick-off 2pm.