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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
The much delayed Third Round tie between Portsmouth and Sheffield FC was finally played last Sunday and it was Sheffield who progressed with a 3-1 victory, thanks to a Jodie Michalska double and Leanne De Silva. This earns the Yorkshire side a trip to the South West to play Keynsham Town, who made it through to this stage by beating Gillingham 4-1.
Keynsham Town was formed in 1993 when a group of girls wanted to play football at their local primary school but were unable to do so. One of those girls was Barrie Newton's daughter Linette and he formed a team, initially known as the Super Strikers, and they were very successful at junior level before moving into senior football in 1999, linking up with Keynsham Town.
They entered the South West Women's League and won promotion to the Premier Division in 2001. After two years, they carried off the league title and moved up into the South West Combination. They stayed at that level for two more season and enjoyed their best ever season in 2004-05, winning the South West Combination title with a 100% record and becoming the first team to complete the league and cup 'double' when beating Chesham United in the Ambassador League Cup Final.
This brought Premier League football to the town of Keynsham and they have remained in the Southern Division ever since, a notable achievement seeing they do not carry the name of a Football League or top non-league club. They came closest to promotion two years ago when they finished in third place but this season has been a different story. A run of bad results dropped them to the bottom of the table and although they have experienced an upsurge in form in recent weeks, their Premier League future still hangs in the balance.
The club has never had the best of luck in the FA Women's Cup in recent years but, perhaps coincidentally, they are currently on their best ever run in the competition and are one stage away from reaching the last sixteen for the first time.
Last summer, the club's pitch at Crown Field was dug up and a brand new 3G playing surface was laid in its place. Overseen by Barrie Newton, the facilities and surroundings at the ground were also greatly improved and the new artificial pitch has won widespread praise by visiting teams throughout the season.
Barrie Newton is still the First Team manager, having been in charge at the club for 19 years, and he is assisted by Mark Ranahan with Nick Parsons as Coach. Ellie Ward undertakes the role of physio but the backbone of the club has been secretary Pam Newton, who has the task of administrating several teams at levels through the women's and girls game.
The team is captained by former Bristol Academy and England Under-19 defender Louise Hutton, who resumed her career after a number of years out with injury and is a rock at the centre of defence alongside Becky Tweed. Kayleigh Sage has been a regular goalscorer in recent seasons as has fellow striker Leanne Lapham despite a series of bad injuries. American Ashley Reinecke is a key player in midfield and Tracey Rouemaine a good servant at full back, while young wingers Kelly Aldridge and Polly Wardle both look to have good futures in the game.
The match takes place at the Crown Field (2pm) and although league positions would suggest that Sheffield will go into the match as favourites, Keynsham's recent upsurge in form means that a close and entertaining game is in prospect.
Keynsham Town (from): Amber Thornell, Agnieszka Ziolek, Tracey Rouemaine, Louise Hutton, Becky Tweed, Ashley Reinecke, Naomi Clipston, Audrey Moore, Katarzyna Rusek, Kelly Aldridge, Kayleigh Sage, Polly Wardle, Brianna Oeser, Leanne Lapham.
Sheffield FC (from): Jess Horsley, Kate Wood, Natasha Cooke, Ellie Gilliatt, Mel Cook, Natalie Crofts, Nicolle Jepson, Kayleigh Mitchell, Lisa Giampalma, Carla Ward, Kerry Parkin, Melissa Sherwood, Georgia Ward, Leanne De Silva, Clare Holmes, Lauren Davids, Helen Wakefield, Gina Benjamin, Jodie Michalska, Amy Beanland.
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