So it’s time to draw the curtain on another season with Hitchin Town Ladies FC but sadly it was far earlier than we wished.

The Beds & Herts Women’s Football League season has come to an end and it has been a very successful one for us. At the end of the of the 2018/19 season Hitchin Town Ladies FC were promoted to Division One after a record season in Division Two. As a club we were looking at ways we could develop women’s football within Hitchin and we were informed of a team that could fold if they had no home to go to. We met with the management of the team and were proud to welcome our new team Hitchin Town Ladies Reserves FC.

Pre-season training arrived and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but each session we hosted we had 20 plus players training – one with nearly 40. The thought of three teams did cross my mind. As pre-season continued it was expected we would lose players to different clubs they were also training with. We established two teams with over 40 players signed on and were ready to go.

Hitchin Town Reserves Season Review:

Hitchin started their preseason playing at Hitchin Priory School and the results were mixed in preseason, including a heavy loss against Long Stratton Ladies. However the following Wednesday the ladies enjoyed a 5-2 win away from home against Bessingbury Park Rangers in West London.

Their season got underway away at Harvesters who were playing their first game in senior football. Harvesters capitalised on the two sin bins received by the Reserves. Hitchin lost their opening first competitive game of the season. The Reserves were then away to new comers to the league, Herts Vipers. Vipers were too strong for the Reserves and just showed why they should be competing in Division One or maybe competing within the Eastern Region. The Reserves picked up their first win under the umbrella of Hitchin Town Ladies FC when they ran out 4-2 winners over Whetstone Wanderers. The next five games didn’t go so well for the Reserves as they crashed out of the cup and picked up two points from the four league matches. The Reserves got back to winning ways with six wins in a row, overcoming a team in the Division above to progress into the next round of the Chris Renshaw Cup. It was refreshing to see a team spin a run of defeats into a formidable run of wins. Their journey within the Chris Renshaw Cup was ended by a heavy loss to Division One side, Northwood. Herts Vipers defeated the Reserves again but the result did not reflect on how the ladies played. The last game of the season for the Reserves was against Bedwell Ladies. Bedwell had doubled their lead within the 68th minute but the Reserves managed to score late in the game to hold Bedwell to a draw.

Hitchin finished the season in 7th position and with 21 points and in good steed for the future. Thank you to Jez & Jamie for the hard work you put in each week to coach, train and mange our Reserves team.

Hitchin Town Firsts Season Review:

It was our second ever time in Division One and surely it had to be better than the first time we were in Division One. In 2016/2017 Hitchin managed 6 points throughout the season with a goal difference of -38. The season got underway away to Royston Town Development and it was the Firsts who started their campaign with 6 goals and 3 points. The second game was against previous Division One winners Northwood. The Firsts were on course to secure three points but Northwood equalised within the denying minutes of the game. The campaign had started positively for the Firsts and we picked up another 3 points against Hartham Ladies FC.

The first defeat of the season was at the hands of Garston Ladies but we managed to turn things around against Watton in the League Cup. Royston came to Ickleford for the return fixture and it was the first time that the Firsts had completed the double over Royston. The next game was against local rivals Hitchin Belles who hadn’t had the best start to Division One since their promotion. The Firsts ran out 4-0 winners but then lost three league games in a row to Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and Northwood Ladies. The Firsts completed the double over Hitchin Belles and Hartham Ladies and picked up a point against Garston Ladies.

The last game of the season was away to Houghton Ladies and we picked up a further 3 more points. It was a shame that the season had been cut short as the Firsts had started to pick up momentum and there was still a chance for us to finish within the top four. I was so impressed with how they adapted from Division Two to Divison One. We finished the season fifth in the table with 23 points. What a proud manager I am!

I would like to thank on the behalf of Hitchin Town Ladies FC:

  • Hitchin Town FC, for the coverage on social media and the continued support of women’s football and the use of the club physio
  • The Arena, for the use of their facility during the winter months
  • Soul Shack, for their continued sponsorship of Hitchin Town Ladies Firsts
  • GSV Sports Management, for their sponsorship of Hitchin Town Ladies Reserves
  • Meah Curry Sauces, for their sponsorship of Hitchin Town Ladies Reserves
  • Crescent Hall, for their sponsorship of Hitchin Town Ladies Reserves
  • Munich Trophies, for their sponsorship of Hitchin Town Ladies Reserves
  • CE Painting & Decorating, for their sponsorship of myself
  • Ickleford Recreation Club for allowing us to return to our home
  • But most of all our supporters!

I would like to take this opportunity thank all those that are currently fighting COVID-19 on the front line! Please follow the government guidelines and Stay Home, Save Lives. We applaud all those who are working within the NHS, Emergency Services, Teachers, Posties, Farmworkers, Retail and many other Key Workers out there.

BY CALLUM ELLIS