Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies stand in Newmarket Town Ladies' way of place in League Plate final
Manager Shane Lebbon believes his Newmarket Town Ladies side have the opportunity to put the ‘icing’ on what has been an ‘incredible season’ on Sunday.
Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One rivals Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies, who Newmarket beat 3-2 at the weekend in dramatic circumstances, will be the visitors to the Bloorie.com Stadium (2pm), where the victors will secure themselves a place in the League Plate final against Histon on May 12.
And with Newmarket – promoted at the end of last season – looking good for a top three finish, Lebbon admitted that a cup final would round things off nicely.
“It would be the icing on the cake if we were to get to the final,” he said.
“It has been an incredible season so far. We have just kept on overachieving all year long.
“At the start of the season nobody would have thought that we would be third in the league and be one game away from a cup final – we would have taken that if someone offered it to us in September.
“And the girls really deserve it. They have been awesome all year and have really taken onboard what we have asked them to do.”
While last Sunday’s triumph over the same opposition will have little bearing on the outcome of the weekend’s semi-final, Newmarket can at least take confidence from the manner in which they ended their four-game run without a win.
Annabel Cuthbert put visiting Newmarket in front but after Hoddesdon hit back with two goals of their own either side of the break, the away team then lost goalkeeper Dominika Szary to a red card which will rule her out of Sunday’s game pending the outcome of a planned appeal.
Defender Yasmin Woodfield had to don the gloves but was largely untroubled while up the other end Newmarket rallied, with Cuthbert scoring twice more to seal the victory, the second of which came with just 20 seconds remaining.
“We were the better team throughout and it was a very harsh decision to lose our goalkeeper. While her body was outside of the box, her hands and the ball were inside it,” added Lebbon.
“We dominated the game and even after we got level at 2-2 we still pushed for a winner and were rewarded.
“It will be a different game this time and we know how tough it will be, but the level of performance we put in on Sunday has to give us some confidence.”
Katie Webb (cup tied) will not be available for the game.