The first piece of silverware in the Women’s National League season is set to be decided on Sunday when Stourbridge FC Women take on Leeds United Women.
The match will be contested at the ARMCO Arena in Solihull as it was last season when Nottingham Forest claimed their hands on the trophy after securing a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon. However, this season will see a new name added to it as Stourbridge and Leeds United battle it out that we will see a Tier four side crowned champions for the first time since 2019.
The Glassgirls come into the final in a rich vein of form as they currently top the Women’s National League Division One Midlands having beaten Long Eaton 16-1 on Wednesday evening to lead the table by seven points over their nearest rivals Doncaster Rovers Belles who have played a game less. 28 goals have been scored in the previous three games with victories over Wem Town (7-0) and then reaching the final of the Birmingham FA County Cup by beating Burton Albion 5-0. Their route to the Plate final has seen them overcome Peterborough United, Hull City, and Crawley Wasps.
Manager Andy Fisher told the Stourbridge website that their opponents Leeds United would present a far more formidable challenge on Sunday. “We’re going to have our work cut out, make no mistake. They have already beaten two good Tier three teams in this competition, including West Brom, and they will be confident I’m sure. But we’re in good form, scoring a few goals, and everybody is in a good place right now. It’s been a very busy time for us with those midweek games, but we’re really pleased with the way we’ve come through the last couple of weeks.”
He also added that the supporters would play a massive part in the final against a Leeds United side who will have their own backing behind them. He praised the fans for always getting behind the team at War Memorial Ground and wants to see more of the same on Sunday
“Our supporters are brilliant, they have been all season. It’s not every day – certainly for a club like Stourbridge – that you get the opportunity to support your club on a national stage, so let’s make the most of it!”
Leeds United Women currently sit fifth in the Women’s National League Division 1 North table, the equivalent tier of their opponents. They do have the chance to claim third place and maybe even catch the top two of Durham Cestria and Newcastle United having games in hand on the teams above them in the league.
It will be their sixth domestic final since 2006 having reached the final of the FA Cup twice losing to Arsenal on both occasions. They have had to overcome West Bromwich Albion and AFC Fylde to reach the Plate final. In the FA Cup this season, they reached the fourth round of the competition eventually being beaten by Arsenal 9-0 having previously won against Stoke City in the previous round.
Defender Cath Hamill said to the FA website ahead of the game that the team will not be burdened by the past history of the club and is looking forward to competing in their first final in over a decade. She added “It would be massive to win it. Personally, that’s what I really want to achieve, to win something as a team and to experience it all with the girls who you train week in, week out with.”
It is set to be an exciting final at ARMCO Arena to see who will be crowned champions as beforehand will see Newcastle United and Portsmouth battle it out in the National League Reserve Plate final.
The ARMCO Arena – B92 9EJ
Kick Off – 3:30 pm
Tickets – Adults £5 – Concessions (OAPs/U16s) £2.50 – U10s – Free
Live Commentary – Switch Sport Radio from 15:25 pm (GMT) – For more information please visit https://www.switchradio.co.uk/sport