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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Curzon Ashton ran out 5-0 winners away to Liverpool Feds on Sunday, Nicki McLeod scoring twice along with Shelley James, Becky Lee and Emma Lambourne and only Aston Villa stand between the Lancashire side and a third appearance in the quarter finals.
Villa got to this stage of the competition by holding their nerve in a penalty shootout in the last round against Reading FC Women, in which they won 5-4 after the sides had finished level at 1-1 after extra time.
Aston Villa LFC 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 its name in 1996 to become the officially recognised ladies team of Aston Villa. Their greatest achievement to date is reaching the Premier League Cup Final in 1995, as Villa Aztecs, where they were beaten 2-0 by Wimbledon. They have won the Northern Division title twice but are back at this level once again following relegation from the top flight on each occasion. During the past few seasons, they feel they have underachieved and seen many players and staff leave the club.
The 2008-09 season saw a new start for the club as it is run as one of the Football in the Community programme's many concerns. With input from both full and part time staff, the women's section now has all of the support structures in place to move forward. Last season saw Villa collect their first piece of silverware for a number of seasons by winning the Birmingham County Cup.
This season, Villa are looking to push on from last season's sixth place finish and they currently sit in the same position, but with games in hand on teams above them. The team is managed by Martin Harrison with James Moore as Fitness Coach and Simon Noakes as Goalkeeper Coach. Long serving defender Kelly Saggs, who is a regular on the scoresheet, is captain. Erin Vaughan is a Welsh international whilst strikers Natalie Gibson and Carly Davies are two prolific strikers at National Division level.
The game takes place at Curzon's Tameside Stadium home and, although Villa will start as narrow favourites due to league positions, this should be a good battle with a big prize on offer - a quarter final with Chelsea or Millwall Lionesses.
Curzon Ashton (from): Lauren Bracewell, Liz Baird, Courtney Blair, Kate Bryan, Carla Cleworth, Sarah Cummings, Ashley Ellams, Amanda Goodwin, Isobella Hayes, Charlotte Higginson, Kim Hines, Kate Hooley, Shelley James, Emma Lambourne, Rebecca Lee, Nicola Maylett, Hannah McDonough, Nicky McLeod, Gail Pennington, Jodie Redgrave, Sophie Riley, Laura Ross, Leanne Smith, Sophie Turrell.
Aston Villa (from): Nicola Kuch, Christina Johnston, Natalie Courtney, Megan Wilton, Erin Vaughan, Jenny Lowe, Kelly Saggs, Alexa Passingham, Louise Fellows, Natalie Reay, Chloe Dale, Natasha Merritt, Kelly Clarke, Emma Follis, Dani Petrovic, Jo Dunne, Natalie Gibson, Chantelle Reeve, Carly Davies, Keeley Lowe, Kimberly Farrow.
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