Welcome to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s FA Women’s Championship game v Aston Villa Ladies.

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Supporter of the match

Chairman’s notes

Lewes v Manchester United

Today’s opponents

Red Box Project

Pentacle Drummers

Sophie O’Rourke

Matchday Poster

Previous match highlights

Match photos

Sponsor a Lewes Player

This season’s fixtures at the Dripping Pan

Today’s teams

Credits and legal info


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Supporter of the Match – Lewes v Aston Villa:  Juliet Eve

Who are you?

I’m Juliet Eve, and I live and work in Lewes as a cranialsacral therapist.

Why did you come to the match?

Well, two reasons. One, that my friends were going. And, two, because it’s an
amazing and incredible club. It’s incredible that my local women’s team is the
first in the world to be paid the same as the men, and it’s amazing that I actually
became an owner last year and hadn’t been to a match yet! This is my first

I’m also very happy that with my ownership card I got a huge discount off of my

What did you like about the experience today?

The sense of community, the really great atmosphere, seeing children running
around and cheering the team on, and dogs being allowed in. I really enjoyed
getting into the match too – and it was very exciting being behind the goal when
our team equalised. I’ll definitely be coming back to the Dripping Pan!

Why should people support Lewes FC Women and women’s football?

Because historically women’s football was really, really popular at the beginning
of the Twentieth Century, and then, it was banned until 1971! Outrageous! So
politically it’s important to support. And also, it’s really important role modelling
for girls – encouraging them to get out, be into football, and also to play football
and do something really positive with themselves.

Thanks to Juliet, pictured with her Lewes FC cup cake.


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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s Women’s Championship clash against Aston Villa, the first time our two clubs have met.  We hope the fans, players, management and officials from Birmingham enjoy their afternoon in East Sussex and that their travels back up north are problem-free.

Obviously, the biggest talking point this week has been our decision to part company with manager John Donoghue.  It was not a decision we took lightly – as a club John was only the second manager we have ever had and was instrumental in us winning the club’s first national title, the FAW Premier League Plate two seasons ago.  However, performances in the past couple of months had been disappointing, culminating in the defeat at Durham two weeks ago that saw us 5-0 down at half-time.  Every manager is reliant on his squad and unfortunately we have suffered injuries to influential players, especially in the back line which meant we had to play some players out of position but as an ambitious club with an ambitious budget, we want to be improving with every game and we couldn’t see that happening in the short to medium term. We are playing in the second tier of English football and should be competing with teams who have less resources than us at their disposal.

This season, there will be no relegation from the Championship so there is an argument that we have a ‘free pass’ and defeats don’t matter.  On the contrary, they matter even more as we need to be fully prepared on and off the pitch for a very competitive 2019/20 season where existing and new clubs will build their squads in the summer.  We need to get ahead of the curve and whoever comes in will have the second half of the season to put their plans in place.  We are not in this league to make up the numbers.  Our ambition is to be a Super League team.

John is an excellent coach, professional and meticulous in his planning and we couldn’t have asked for a better successor to Jacquie Agnew.  But we now need to start thinking about the next phase in our development of our Women’s teams and the process of finding a new manager, which is already underway.  In the meantime, I’ve asked Jack Heaselden, our UEFA B-Licenced coach, to step in as caretaker manager and assist coaches Adam Wolecki and Radd Reynolds for today and next week’s trip to Sheffield United.  John will continue in his role as head of our Academy.

I am sure many of you will have seen the story about referee David McNamara being banned after forgetting his coin for the toss in the televised game between Manchester City and Reading, opting to use Rock, Paper, Scissors instead.  What I find quite amazing is that he has been banned – in a time where it is hard enough to find people willing to follow the route to being a referee.  Surely, a formal word would have been enough but what I find even more amazing is that he or one of his assistants didn’t simply go and ask someone in the crowd or on the benches – how long would that have delayed the kick off by?  30 seconds at most?  It is fair to say it doesn’t reflect well on the game, but I wish sometimes people thought before acting.

Enjoy the game this afternoon and get right behind the team.

Come on you Rooks!


Twitter: @theballisround


Lewes FC Women will make history on Sunday 2nd December 2018 when they play Manchester United Women at The Dripping Pan for the first time, and the richest club in the world comes to Lewes to challenge the first club in the world to pay its women the same as its men. 

 Adding to the sense of occasion will be Guest of Honour Helen Pankhurst, Great Granddaughter of Suffragette Emmeline.

Emmeline, the activist and leader of the Suffragette movement and originally from Manchester, features on Lewes FC Women’s poster for the match. Helen will be attending her first women’s football match and will address the crowds at 12.45pm before the match kicks off at 2pm.

Lewes FC made headline news last summer when it became the first club in the world to pay its male and female semi-professional teams equal pay as part of the club’s Equality FC Campaign. Lewes is one of only a few UK clubs where the men’s and women’s teams play on the same pitch. Helen was delighted to learn of Lewes’ pioneering move to close the gender pay gap and said “I don’t currently support a football team, but I’m with you all the way in terms of believing this is very important’. Helen will speak in the terraces before the match, from 12.45 until 1.05pm, just before the players come onto the pitch to warm up. She will talk about how far we’ve come since the Suffragettes, and is very happy to take questions afterwards in the Rook Inn, Lewes FC’s bar, where she will also have copies of her book ‘Deeds Not Words’ available to buy and sign. 

Director Charlie Dobres said: “There is a real sense of this being a moment in society when people are saying ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to gender inequality. It’s fantastic that Lewes FC can play its own small part in this by doing the right thing in football, the most male-dominated of sports. We also offer a place, a football match, where people can come along, voice their support for gender equality and meet like-minded people.


Aston Villa

Aston Villa Ladies Football Club was formed in 1973 as Solihull FC. When Aston Villa asked for help in forming a ladies team in 1989, Solihull responded.

The club agreed to change their name in 1996 to become the officially recognised ladies team of Aston Villa. In 1998 the Senior Team won promotion to the Northern Division of the FA Women’s Premier League.

Also reaching the 1995 League Cup Final. After a few seasons in the Women’s Premier Northern Division finishing mid table Aston Villa took full responsibility of the Ladies team in 2007 and have fully integrated them into the Aston Villa family.

The ladies won promotion from the Northern division in 2010-11 season to the National Division, 2011-12, the ladies team finished 3rd in the National division their highest ever finish.

Aston Villa won the FA Women’s league cup, 2012-13 in its final year of the winter pyramid.


Aja Aguirre


Aja Aguirre is set to compete with Sian Rogers for the starting spot in goal for Aston Villa Ladies during the 2018/19 season.

A smart shot-stopper, the Canadian born ‘keeper joined Villa in early 2018 from Nottingham Forest after Rogers was ruled out through injury.

Sian Rogers


Sian’s football career began at her local club, Kewford Eagles when she was about 6 where she stayed for 2 years. Sian then joined Wolves’ Centre of Excellence playing through the age groups to U14. During this time, she also got her first call-up for England, joining an U15s training camp.

Her next move was to Birmingham City, joining at 13 and continuing up to the Development team where she was part of the successful FA Cup squad.During that time, Sian was part of the England U17 squad that went to the Euro final and she got asked to join Arsenal.

For the 2 years Sian was at Arsenal, she tasted further success winning the FA Development Cup again as well as the League, also getting to train full-time with some amazing players and going to another England U17s Euro finals. Sian has also played for England U19s and since joining Villa has recently moved up to the U20s squad.

Alice Hassall

Alice H

Alice started off in football at 8, with a local club, Haddenham Juniors F.C. and despite spending most of her time on the bench she fell in love with football! After moving to MK Dons, Alice progressed through the Centre of Excellence into the senior game before having spells at Arsenal and Notts County.

Alice is studying Sports Technology at Loughborough University and is currently on placement working with a technology company looking at innovations in video assisted referring and goal line technology.

Asmita Ale

Asmita A

Promising defender Asmita Ale has come through the ranks at Aston Villa, culminating in her first team debut in the 2017/18 season.

A composed influence on the team, Ale can play in either full-back position and is keen to get forward at every opportunity.

The teenager’s promise has seen her become a youth international for England.

Elisha N’Dow

Elisha N

After starting out playing football in the garden with her brother and in her school team, Elisha came straight to Aston Villa Centre of Excellence at 11. Initially she trialled as a right winger but soon converted to a defender and has played there ever since.

As a Villa fan, representing her team makes the experience even better and with international recognition with England from U15 to U23 level, Elisha is looking to progress her career to even higher levels.

Evie Gane

Evie G

Evie Gane joined Aston Villa Ladies in September 2018 having previously played for Reading Women and Oxford United Women.

Gane has also earned age group recognition at international level, with a total of seven caps to her name for Wales U19s and U17s.

Gemma Davies said: “She’s got a huge amount of potential at such a young age. It’s a really exciting addition for us.

“She’s another young player, only 18, but she has good pedigree and she’s been around at Reading and Oxford.

“She’s a versatile player, who can play anywhere down the right-hand side as a full-back, right winger or wide right forward. She’s attack-minded, which is great.”

Hayley Crackle

Hayley C

Hayley joined Aston Villa Centre of Excellence as a 9-year-old and has been with the club ever since. She was capped by Northern Ireland at 19, making her debut against Poland.

Hayley completed a Sports Therapy degree at Coventry University, going on to complete her Masters degree in Strength & Conditioning. She currently works as a Strength & Conditioning coach with Derbyshire County Cricket Club and also runs her own business in the Sports Therapy/S&C field.

A lifelong avid Villa fan, Hayley’s ambition is to inspire young footballers and be a role model to girls setting out in the game.

Hollie Gibson

Hollie G

Hollie Gibson came through the Stoke City Ladies Regional Talent Club before moving to Villa in July 2018.

The skilful defender has a wicked left foot and is an exciting addition to the squad.

Jade Richards

Jade R

Richards has established herself as one of the feared centre-backs in WSL2 with her speed across the ground, composure with the ball at her feet and a towering presence at the heart of the defence.

She came through the claret and blue centre of excellence and also had a spell at Birmingham City Ladies.

Jade also spent time in America in the summer of 2015.

Ria Elsmore

Ria E

Ria started playing football at the age of 8 for a local boys’ team, Tower FC before moving to Hednesford Town Girls two years later. She quickly moved on to West Bromwich Albion’s Centre of Excellence, playing there for 6 years before joining Aston Villa Ladies U17s where she has progressed through the development team and now is a member of the first team squad.

Ria’s immediate ambition is to gain valuable experience with the first team but she always considers it an honour to captain the Development team when called upon.

She is in her second year at Aston University studying English Language and Social Policy.

Amy West

Amy W

Villa fan Amy’s first football memory was watching her brother play and kicking a ball around on the side-lines with her dad. She joined Lichfield Diamonds when she was 7 and despite winning most games, would get upset if she didn’t score!

When Amy was 9, she joined Aston Villa’s Centre of Excellence and has represented the club she loves ever since!

Amy is currently studying Business Management at the University of Birmingham and lists her football ambitions as helping to create an enjoyable and successful environment for younger girls to get into the game and flourish.

Aoife Hurley

Aoife H

Arsenal fan Aoife started her career at Fulham Centre of Excellence before signing for London Bees and playing there for 4 seasons.

She is currently working towards a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University.

Aoife’s playing philosophy is to win as many games as possible!

Jodie Hutton

Jodie H

Jodie began playing football for an all-girls team, Marlborough Rovers, combining that with playing for a boys’ team, Heather St. Johns.

Aged 9, Jodie signed for Aston Villa Centre of Excellence and went on to represent England at U15 & U16. She has quickly progressed into the 1st team squad this season and continues to follow her goals of playing at the highest level she can achieve and representing England again.

Jodie is currently studying Sports Science at Loughborough College and would like to coach young players and share her experiences with girls looking for a career in football.

Nadine Hanssen

Nadine H

Nadine Hanssen became the club’s first ever overseas signing when she put pen-to-paper in July.

The talented Dutch midfielder joined from KRC Genk and has previously played for PSV Eindhoven in her homeland.

Classy in possession, Hanssen will hope to make a big impact in her first season in English football.

Phoebe Warner

Phoebe W

Phoebe Warner is an exciting prospect who has come through the youth ranks at Aston Villa.

A composed midfielder, Warner made her senior debut during the 2017/18 season and will look to increase her game time over the 2018/19 campaign. She has also played international youth football for Republic of Ireland.

Sophie Haywood

Sophie H

Sophie Haywood joined Aston Villa in July 2018 after she completed a four-year football scholarship at Texas A&M University in America.

Back on home soil, the rangy midfielder will look to become a regular in Head Coach Gemma Davies’ starting XI.

Alison Hall

Alison H

Alison Hall joined Villa in summer 2018, linking up once again with Head Coach Gemma Davies, who she’d previously worked with at the University of Birmingham.

A clinical finisher, Hall made the short move across from Coventry United.

Ashlee Brown

Ashlee B

Ashlee started out in football aged 8, playing for Perrywoods before moving to a mixed boys/girls team, Woodbourne F.C. She stayed in mixed football until 11 before having to move to a girls only team at Dudley Utd.

Ashlee joined West Bromwich Albion’s Centre of Excellence a short time later before moving to Birmingham City Centre of Excellence 2 years later. After progressing to the BCLFC 1st team squad and attending numerous England U19 & U20 training camps, Ashlee joined Aston Villa Ladies in August 2017.

She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Therapy from University College Birmingham in September 2017.

Kerri Welsh

Kerri W

Kerri Welsh is the Club Captain of Aston Villa Ladies, handed the role by Head Coach Gemma Davies in summer 2018.

The creative midfielder has battled back from the third ACL injury of her career and is a key member of the squad.

Having arrived in B6 to link up with the academy side, she graduated to the first team set-up ahead of the 2015 campaign.

Tanisha Smith

Tanisha S

Tanisha Smith is a powerful striker with the potential to progress during the 2018/19 season.

Another graduate from the club’s Regional Talent Club, the homegrown forward is a goal threat and will cause problems for any defence on her day.



“We’re delighted to report that the Red Box Project – the charity that places free sanitary products in schools for girls to take quietly if they cannot afford them – raised £148 at the turnstiles at our last home match v Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.

Here are three of our players voicing their support for the initiative:

Lewes FC Women are also proud and delighted to sponsor a catwalk event at Komedia in Brighton this week in aid of the Red Box Project.
The brilliant initiative places boxes of free sanitary items in schools for girls to take quietly. They do this because 1 in 10 girls in the local area regularly miss school as they can’t afford to buy towels and tampons.
The Fashion Show was conceived and organised by Sister Society, a feminist group in Brighton, who contacted lots of local female designers to kindly donate their wares for sale.
Our team sponsored the show because of our commitment to gender equality, and our determination to help create a level playing field for girls and women wherever we can.
Two models, Finn and Bea, volunteered to show our Kappa shirts, with the Rooks’ signature red and black stripes, in solidarity with our cause for equality. A whopping £900 was raised, and a lot of fun had!”



Stuck for a gift idea?

We’ve got the perfect present for you, your family or your friends.

Why not invest in Lewes FC? It’s only £30.00 to become an owner and you can get all kinds of local discounts with an ownership card.

What’s more, your investment will fund the only football club in the world, which treats its women’s and men’s team equally.

If you want to support gender pay parity, don’t just hope for change, own it!

Click here to find out more.


We are delighted to welcome Pentacle Drummer to the Dripping Pan today.

For a flavour of what to expect this afternoon when the band greet the players onto the pitch, have a look at the video below and visit their page on Facebook.


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A British teenager who has been playing in the top women’s league in Iceland has joined Lewes Football Club.

Nineteen-year-old Sophie O’Rourke played for Grindavík until the end of the Icelandic season in September but has now signed for Lewes FC Women where her versatility will be highly valued. Although she prefers playing on the wing, she can also play at full-back. Sophie describes herself as “a fast player who works hard”.

Sophie, who will wear the number 20 shirt, was born in Reading on June 3rd 1999. She became interested in football at a very young age and used to play with her brother as she “always wanted to join in and liked being a wee mascot.”

She started playing for a boys’ team at the age of six. She then played for Reading Girls in a Sunday League before joining the Reading FC Centre of Excellence. After that, she joined Reading Women’s Development Squad and then got involved with the first team.

In July she joined Grindavík for first-team match experience because her coach at Reading played football with a coach from Grindavík and knew there were opportunities for players of Sophie’s calibre in the land of fire and ice.

Sophie lived in Grindavík itself, which is a fishing town on the Southern Peninsula of Iceland. She stayed in a converted garage and, like the locals there, ate a lot of fish but admits she wasn’t tempted to try the Icelandic delicacy, fermented shark.

Sophie said the locals were very kind so it made the whole experience easy: “The Icelandic people were very friendly and made me feel welcome. They were very nice and made sure I had everything I needed”.

Even though, Sophie could only say a few Icelandic words, such as ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘thank you’, her teammates spoke very good English so it wasn’t too difficult to communicate.

She said that playing for Iceland was a very rewarding experience but the weather could be challenging at times: “It was very cold in Iceland but I got a lot out of the experience as it was very competitive in the top league.”

She also found some time to explore the country as training was usually in the evening so she was free to roam during the day. Sometime she would go up to Reykjavik, or further afield. From September, she would go out and see the Northern lights in the sky and said she “never got tired of watching them”.

Sophie left Iceland in September when the season was coming to an end and had a trial with Lewes FC Women. She was keen to play for the Rooks because she wanted to launch her career in women’s football in England:

“I just wanted to set up my career and try to fight for a place in the team. I really want to make a name for myself.”

She was also drawn to Lewes FC because of its Equality FC campaign: “That was definitely part of the attraction. I think it’s great that a club can help support the women’s side as their support will help us achieve our goals for this season and, hopefully, a lot more clubs will join us and help grow women’s football even more.”

Sophie has a number of objectives in her new role: “On a personal level, I would like to achieve a regular place in the first team and help the team get some good wins, goals and assists. And I would like to help Lewes FC Women achieve a good finish in the table and would love to help take the team into the Super League.”

She said she has a strong work ethic and technical ability. She added that you can always improve your technical skills but your work ethic is something which is ingrained.

Her ultimate ambition is to play at the highest level of women’s football and challenge herself as much as possible. She would like to play at international level for England or Ireland (but doesn’t have an Irish passport as yet!)

Her greatest inspiration growing up was Frank Lampard as she supports Chelsea. She has always looked up to him as a great role model and leader, both on and off the pitch.

Even though Sophie loved playing in Iceland she said she was really happy to be coming back to play in England: “I am happy to be in a familiar climate as I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold!”

Lewes FC Women play their next match at home at The Dripping Pan v Aston Villa Ladies on Sunday 18th November, kicking off at 2pm.

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Each poster will feature an inspirational woman from the visiting team’s locality, along with a Lewes FC Women footballer.

Joan Armatrading

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The singing legend and equality icon Joan Armatrading has sent a message of support to Lewes FC for our equality campaign and has tweeted our match poster to thousands of fans.

Joan Armatrading, who hit the charts in 1976 with her song “Love and Affection”, sent the poster for today’s match against Aston Villa to more than 144,000 followers as she is featured on it.

The idea behind the posters, created by local artist Christ Arran, is that they depict an inspirational woman from the opposition team’s area and a top player from Lewes FC Women.

Joan Armatrading, who grew up in the Birmingham area, and Lewes FC midfielder Sarah ‘Kempo’ Kempson are shown on the poster.

The three times Grammy nominated British singer songwriter’s team wrote: “It is very important to get the general public to understand how vital it is to embrace equality and with people like you, and the team, setting an example it will eventually filter through. Keep up the excellent work!”

Buy the poster in our online Club Shop


Here are the highlights from our home game against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies:

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Photos from our FA Women’s Championship games against Tottenham Hotspur taken by James Boyes.

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01 Faye BAKER
12 Charley BOSWELL
03 Natasha WELLS
15 Georgia ROBERT
07 Victoria CARLETON
04 Kate McINTYRE (C)
19 Danielle LANE
09 Rebecca CARTER
16 Samantha QUAYLE
13 Nina WILSON
10 Charlotte OWEN
18 Rosie PAYE
14 Sarah KEMPSON
20 Sophie O’ROURKE


01 Sian ROGERS
03 Asi ALE
05 Elisha N’DOW
14 Hollie GIBSON
07 Alice HASSALL
23 Nadine HANSSEN
11 Amy WEST
12 Jodie HUTTON
10 Kerri WELSH
17 Sophie HAYWOOD
22 Evie GANE
16 Tanisha SMITH
09 Alison HALL
20 Phoebe WARNER
24 Ash BROWN


The FA Women’s Championship strongly supports recent FA statements that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse, whether it be based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, ability or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association. (The FA 0800 085 0508/Kick It Out 020 7253 0162)

Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979.

Honorary President Terry Parris
Chairman Stuart Fuller
Charlie Dobres, Eddie Ramsden, Stuart Fuller, John Peel, Barry Collins, Jackie Gilligan, Ed Briggs, Jon Ruben
Club Secretary Barry Collins
Operations Manager Duncan Thompson

Life Members
Mr and Mrs Brook, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter.

General Manager Jack Heaselden
Marketing and Media Manager Rosy Matheson

Women’s Manager Vacant
Assistant Manager Adam Wolecki

Goalkeeping Coach Radd Reynolds

Physiotherapist Becky Cunningham
S & C Coaches John Edwards, Jordan Niblock
Kit Wrangler Joe Gander

DS Manager Zak Dove
DS Coach Alan Dove
FS Manager Kelly Newton
FS Coaches Charlotte Bennett, Greg Cross

Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editor Aidan Hother
Progcast content team Ash Head, James Boyes
Progcast designer Barry Collins
Club Photographer James Boyes