Basingstoke Town Women’s team manager Nathan Cookson gives a review on the 2020/21 season
It was a strange season for the return of the Ladies side to Basingstoke, we started out on the 6th of July in the rain with about 25 players at the first session. We started in small groups of 6 due to COVID restrictions, where all players had to still socially distance for the whole session.
Luckily not long after restrictions started to ease, we could go into full contact sessions and continued and we played our first few pre-season game against Rushmore Community and Newbury with some promising performances shining through.
We started our league campaign at home back at Winklebury Football Complex where we hosted Mudeford Phoenix. It was a hard fought game and which we drew 1-1 against a good young side. The next game was against Wight Eagles, from the Isle Of Wight, which was a great end-to-end game where we came back from 3-1 down to earn a 4-4 draw. One thing that the team has done consistently throughout the season is they’ve never given up, even with the odds stacked against them. This showed in our home game against Hamble where we again came from behind to win with a last minute rocket to claim all 3 points and get our first win of the season.
Next up, we travelled to the Isle of Wight and due to injuries and player availability, we only had 11 players who travelled with us but again we fought until the end and came out 1-0 winners after a great, well managed performance.
In our final game before lockdown, we beat Winchester Uni 4-2. October is breast cancer awareness month so we donated the money from our fines to the charity, raising over £80.
We returned for a short spell back playing in December and in the early Christmas period, the team volunteered with Basingstoke Foodbank, based in Festival Place, helping pack hampers to go to local families in need.
Whilst still in lockdown, over February, the girls ran a total of 362 miles – the combined distance to all our away games, which also included a 4 mile swim for our Isle of Wight crossing (completed by Tulga). This raised over £200 for NeighbourCare Basingstoke who offer support for elderly people to remain in their own home.
Following the winter lockdown, we returned to training on 1st of April and we restarted our fixtures on the 11th of April and, after a couple of early losses to Liphook and AFC Varsity respectively, we beat Liphook 5-2. On Sunday, AFC Varsity visited Winklebury for the return fixture and we ran out 4-3 winners.
It was great to see a great number of fans at our last home game vs Porchester! I felt we put in a great performance against a great side who had already won the league and went onto finish the season unbeaten. Our 2-2 draw was the only points they dropped all season.
Our last game of the season was a really good team performance and we ended it with a 7-0 victory over Hamble; it was great to see some traveling fans too! Katie Randell (Giggsy) got 2 of the goals making her not only the top scorer for our side but also the top scorer in the league – well done Giggsy!
I feel it’s a shame to finish the season now as I feel we have really hit some from! Hopefully, we can carry that into next season!
We are recruiting for the coming 2021/22 season so if you or anyone you know would be interested in playing for the Ladies team please email email@example.com. We are also recruiting for our under 11s and 12s girls sides.
Please also keep an eye on our Basingstoke Town FC Women social media pages for more updates.
Basingstoke Women FC Manager