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Leeds City Vixens v Huddersfield Town
 Women's Football News 8 Dec 2012
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Leeds City Vixens ended the Cup run of Abbeytown with a 4-0 victory, Abi Housecroft leading the scoring with a four-goal haul. Their reward is an all-Yorkshire First Round tie against Huddersfield Town, also of the Northern Combination.
The club was originally founded on 15 June 1988 as Huddersfield Ladies FC and joined the North East Regional League Division Two where, in their first season, they won the league Cup and were promoted to Division one as champions. Over the next few seasons there were signs that an exciting team was beginning to emerge and season 1992-93 saw them 3rd in the league and runners-up in the League Cup to a very experienced Doncaster Town. Rumours of Town's exciting style of play began to attract players from elsewhere during the close season and the 1993-94 season began with a 2-1 victory over Doncaster Belles whose side included at least eight players who were to go on to win the WFA Cup that year. The average age of the side was 20 and the team were recognised across the region with several players winning representative honours at open age and Under-21 levels.
At the end of 1992-93 season, Huddersfield ladies merged with Huddersfield Town Juniors, becoming Huddersfield Town Ladies FC. The immediate benefit was that the new club boasted competitive teams at open age (2), Under-16, Under-14 and Under-12 levels. Season 1993-94 saw the first team carry all before them, losing only once all season and winning the League championship, the League Cup, the Yorkshire cup, Arco 7-a-side cup, the regional 5-a-side trophy and at Woking they were crowned National 5-a-side champions. Leading scorer was Tina Brammar whose 103 goals earned her an entry in the Guinness Book of records. With strike partner Jacky Knight also chipping in with over 50 goals, both girls were duly called up for England during the season and went on to win their first international caps.
The following season saw the 1st team retain the league championship, winning all 16 league matches and scoring 101 goals in the process, only conceding 14. Although failing to retain the Knockout Cup, Town held on to the Yorkshire Cup, beating a strong Newcastle side 5-3 in the final. In the WFA Cup, the club reached the quarter finals, only to go out to Bristol City by the odd goal in seven in injury time. However the club were elected to the Women's Premier League through success in the play-offs.
In the following season Town were runners-up in the division to Tranmere. However in subsequent seasons, they were never able to mount a sustained challenge although this was in part offset by good runs in the WFA Cup. Eventually Town were relegated twice over successive seasons to the Yorkshire & Humberside Premier League. However, in the same period a lot of time and effort was invested in producing a new crop of talented young players from within our own junior ranks. Last season saw the team, containing several teenagers; qualify for the more prestigious North East Premier League. As the juniors gained experience, under the guidance of former England World Cup Player, Clare Taylor, so the results improved, with the team going on long unbeaten runs over the second half to the season and reaching three semi finals.
During the 2006-07 season, Town's first team finished in second place in the first season of the North East Premier League and reached the final of the West Riding Cup, losing 2-1 to a controversial Bradford City goal.
For the last two or three years Town Ladies have been re-building. Managed for the last ten years by Micky Booth, he commented recently that this is the strongest squad of players that he has managed, with many more to come through the junior ranks. The first team squad of 2010/2011 had an average age of only 21 and celebrated their best season for many years. They lost narrowly to Rotherham United in the final of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup and from there they went on to win the league and cup double, beating Whitley Bay in the League Cup final and coming from 17 points behind Barnsley to snatch the league title in the last game of the season, gaining promotion to the Northern Combination league where they are now in their second season.
Town Ladies became officially linked with Huddersfield Town AFC in March 2010 and today wear the official Town kit. Micky Booth remains in charge, assisted by Gary Middleton, while top goalscorer and captain is Emily Heckler who has 28 goals so far this season in 13 games. Emily played some FA WSL games earlier this season for Doncaster Rovers Belles and is a former England Under-19's player. The longest serving player is 23-year-old midfielder Kate Mallin who started at Under-12s and has remained with the club since then. Goalkeeper Laura Carter also started as a junior but had a few season with Wakefield Ladies.
The match takes place at Yorkshire Amateur FC and with the two teams currently locked in mid-table in the Northern Combination, a very tight and interesting local derby is in prospect - too close to call!
Leeds City Vixens (from): Fran Hall, Charlie Blythe, Ashley Grindrod, Carla Baxby, Alex Hindwood, Camille Clarke, Shauna Legge, Beth Smith, Abbie Housecoft, Jade Henry, Elly Dove, Katie McBrinn, Shauna Messinger, Emma Johnson, Abby Jackson, Becky Kendell, Daisy Young, Sarah Dobby.

Huddersfield Town (from): Laura Carter, Vicky Abbott, Dominique Balmond, Kate Mallin, Sharone Buckle, Faye Chadwick, Hollie Barker, Rachael Wood, Abbie Mullen, Emily Heckler, Lyndsey Burtonwood, Debbie Hastings, Charlotte Oates, Laura Windle, Katie Nutter, Sofie Armitage, Katy Ballantyne, Raegen Cartledge, Claire Pearson, Siobhan McElhinney.

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