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Women's Football News
On-loan Colchester United striker Kate Longhurst hopes Essex Women's Cup silverware for the U's can ease the memory of narrowly missing out on the FA Women's Cup with Chelsea last season, although she still treasures the goal she scored live on TV in the Final against Birmingham City.
Chelsea were edged out on penalties in the national competition after a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate and Kate had emerged as a substitute to fire her team into the lead on 101 minutes. Now lining up in Colchester colours while the FA WSL is in its close season, she's keen for the U's to launch a run in the County Cup.
"It was a good feeling - the most memorable goal I've ever scored - and it's something you dream of," she said of finding the net in front of nearly 9,000 spectators and the TV cameras. "But obviously we didn't win the game, so I would have taken winning rather than scoring. If Colchester make it to the final of this competition I might be back at Chelsea by then, but if I'm still here maybe I'll get the chance to win the Essex Women's Cup instead!"
United are currently in ninth position in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division, and Kate continued: "I don't think the club are in the right position in the league - they've had quite a few injuries so they're struggling a little bit. But, now players are starting to come back, hopefully we'll be able to pick up a few wins and get ourselves back on track."
Kate hopes a run in the County Cup will spur the team on, but they have to overcome Barking away if they're to make it to the semis. Kate added: "Any team we'd have been drawn against would be a tough game. We've played Barking a couple of times before so we know what they bring. They work hard and they'll make it a difficult game. We managed to avoid West Ham, so hopefully the players will be happy with that draw! But it'll still be quite tough."
The U's have always had a pedigree in all age groups, and Kate has been able to see plenty of stars blossom through her links with the club's Under-17s and 19s. Colchester provide coaches for Essex's Female Player Development Centre, and she explained: "Standards are rising all the time at the PDCs. We work closely with grassroots, and try to get round to schools to take sessions there and increase participation. It keeps getting better every year."
Kate was a special guest at BBC Essex's studios for the Women's Cup quarter final draw, pulling out the home sides, while Ben Fryer from the BBC Essex Sports Team was responsible for the away teams. Holders Colchester, along with 2009 and 2011 winners West Ham United, entered the cup at this stage, and the Hammers face a home game against Witham Town, who caused an upset last time by knocking out Chelmsford City.
Two teams who scored six goals in the last round - Billericay Town and Hutton - will be in the hunt for more goals when they meet each other in the last eight. C & K Basildon host East Thurrock United, who won an incredible match 5-4 against neighbours Little Thurrock Dynamos in the last round. These matches are due to take place on 20th January.
The Women's Cup was one of six county competition draws taking place on the same day, with the Senior Cup, Women's Trophy, Sunday Veterans Cup and the Under 16s and 14s Girls Cup draws all being revealed on www.essexfa.com. Updates are also released regularly on Twitter from @EssexCountyFA.
Essex Women's Cup supported by BBC Essex quarter finals (Sunday 20th January):
West Ham United v Witham Town
Barking v Colchester United
Billericay Town v Hutton
C & K Basildon v East Thurrock United
Essex Women's Trophy quarter finals (Sunday 20th January):
C & K Basildon Res or Chelmsford City Res vs Southend Manor
Redbridge Under-18 v Barking Under-18
Essex Allstars v Leigh Rockets
Lawford Ladies v Takeley
Essex Under-16 Girls Cup semi finals (Sunday 27th January):
Tigers v Hutton or Eastern Avenue
West Ham United v Redbridge
Essex Under-14 Girls Cup semi finals (Sunday 3rd February):
Clacton United v Assandun Vikings or Tigers (Black Socks)
West Ham United v Leigh Ramblers
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