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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Leeds United finally brought Yeovil Town's Cup run to an end by beating them 4-0, Carey Huegett scoring twice along with Emma Lipman and Hayley Sharp. This earns them a quarter final trip to Lincoln Ladies of the FA WSL, who reached this stage by knocking out last season's finalists Chelsea through a Jess Clarke goal.
Lincoln Ladies FC was formed in 1995 out of an initial Lincoln Ladies trial team by Stewart Donnelly, and such has been the success, there are now six teams; U-14s, U-15s, U-16s, U-18s, Reserves and 1st Team with plans to increase this to eight teams in future seasons. In 1995 the Ladies started playing in the Unison East Midlands League and apart from one season, gained promotion each year until reaching the Northern Division of the Premier League in 2002 led by the long standing manager Glen Harris.
In 2004 Rod Wilson took over from Glen and steered the Lady Imps to fourth in the league, the highest position ever reached until then - and in 2006-07 they finished in second place, just five points behind Liverpool. The following season, Lincoln led the table all season, losing only three games along the way, only to be pipped to the title by Nottingham Forest on the last day of the season. They also reached the FA Women's Cup semi finals, going down to record breaking Arsenal in front of a crowd of over 3,000 at Sincil Bank.
Lincoln have attracted regular support to games played at Sincil Bank Stadium and Collingham, seeing over 1,500 spectators attend high profile encounters. The Club has played at various grounds including Lee Rd, Moorlands and Collingham. They played one season, 2002-03, at Sincil Bank becoming the first women's side to play a full season at a professional League ground.
As support from Lincoln City FC dried up, it became apparent that the club would have to stand on its own feet financially. Fantastic Sponsorship from Lincolnshire Cooperative, Sports TV and others kept the team afloat for five years until it was decided in 2008 that as the only thing a team like ours has to sell is its name and therefore we accepted an offer from OOH Media PLC and became OOH Lincoln Ladies. The Club also gained Charter Standard status that year.
In 2011 OOH Lincoln Ladies FC were awarded a place in the FA WSL and reverted back to just Lincoln Ladies FC. With a host of new players and back room staff the club hoped to push their way to the top half of the league and really bolster ladies football not just in Lincoln but nationally.
In the first season Lincoln saw themselves finish fourth in the new league, their highest ever finish in women's football leagues and supplemented this by reaching the semi finals of the new Continental Cup. They struggled in the first half of the season but a string of wins in the second half of the season showed the threat they offered. Rod Wilson subsequently stepped down as Manager and Glen Harris took up the new position. Lincoln went on to finish fifth (joint fourth) in the 2012 season, the highlight being a great run of games against Arsenal, seeing a draw and victory at Ashby Avenue. Again Lincoln reached the semi finals of the Continental Cup.
Another new managerial appointment was made for this season - Rick Passmoor, for whom this match will be an emotional one as he steered Leeds to their solitary major trophy to date, the Premier League Cup in 2010. Many of the Lincoln squad need little introduction, including England captain Casey Stoney and fellow internationals Karen Bardsley, Sophie Bradley and Jess Clarke, formerly of Leeds. Other player set to line up against their old club are Carla Cantrell - who played for Leeds during the winter, Remi Allen and Sophie Walton.
However one Lincoln player who deserves a special mention is midfielder Megan Harris, who has been with the club for eighteen seasons. Last season she gained national recognition when she won the FA WSL's Goal of the Season award.
Lincoln will go into the match at Sincil Bank as hot favourites to reach the semi finals for the first time in six years but Leeds have a great record in the competition and can rise to the big occasion, so should not be underestimated.
Lincoln Ladies (from): Karen Bardsley, Sophie Barker, Martha Harris, Meaghan Sargeant, Casey Stoney, Sophie Bradley, Bonnie Horwood, Emily Roberts, Megan Harris, Remi Allen, Sophie Walton, Carla Cantrell, Jess Clarke, Precious Hamilton.
Leeds United (from): Jules Draycott, Emma Lipman, Stacey Emmonds, Rachel Lee, Hayley Sharp, Billie Murphy, Danielle Sheen, Clare Sykes, Carey Huegett, Olivia Thackray, Tanya Rich, Nat Staneff, Rebekah Bass, Faye Birkby, Abbie McIver, Georgia Robert, Abi Lee, Carly-Ann Walsh, Gail Pennington, Erin White, Emma Coates.
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