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F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
West Ham United are through to the Fourth Round after winning their local derby tie 5-0 against Queen's Park Rangers with striker Natalie Grafton scoring a hat-trick.
The Hammers must now face a team from their own division for a place in the last sixteen, as they must play Colchester United who reached this stage with a 3-1 victory over Luton Town at the third attempt, following a postponement and an abandonment.
Colchester have made a rapid rise up the women's football ladder in recent seasons after originally being promoted to the South East Combination in 2002. Relegated two years later, they made an immediate return by winning the Eastern Region League in 2004-05 and going on to carry off the South East Combination Championship last season, to reach the Premier League for the first time.
This season, Colchester's playing record is a little bizarre as they have struggled to win matches at home but have recorded victories in each of their five away matches! They currently sit in mid-table as they seek to consolidate their new status.
The first team is managed by Dmitri Halajko with Steve Bartlett as Coach. Helen Bass, signed during the summer from Ipswich Town, has 13 league goals to her name this season and is partnered up front by England under-19 international Kate Longhurst. Many of the Colchester squad are products from their Female Football Academy. Last season, the U's reached the Fifth Round of the Cup where they lost to Birmingham City, having knocked out Aston Villa on the way.
Harlow Town FC will host this tie and it is set to be a close battle between two teams who are level on points in the league, West Ham having won their league meeting 2-1 earlier in the season.
West Ham Utd (from): Paris Smith, Toni-Louise Munro, Jessica Barling, Grace Coombs, Hannah Gilmour, Carly Roache, Julia Setford, Jay Blackie, Tracey Duxbury, Natalie Grafton, Danielle Hoy, Lindsey Morgan, Sam Pittuck, Claire Rogers, Natalie Crinean, Katy Ling.
Colchester Utd (from): Nikita Runnacles, Rosee Golding, Hannah Porter, Laura Guyon, Danielle Griffiths, Amy Quinn, Toni Smith, Leesa Haydock, Kate Longhurst, Helen Bass, Emma Dunmore, Carman Joyce, Paige Chappell, Laura Rhodes, Emma Wake, Charlotte Twydell, Catherine Hyndman.
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