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Cardiff City Ladies v St Nicholas
 Women's Football News 11 Jan 2014
 
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
St Nicholas notched up their fourth win in the Cup this season and their most impressive to date, beating South West Combination high fliers Forest Green Rovers 1-0 with a goal from Becky Rexworthy. They have been rewarded with a trip over the Severn Bridge to play Cardiff City Ladies of the Premier League.
 
Cardiff City were founded in 1975 as Llanedeyrn Ladies Football Club after a local charity match. After a few years in the South West League and a lot of success gained in five-a-side competitions, in 1981 the club decided to change its name to Cardiff. Later that season they won the All England five a side trophy, becoming the first club to take the trophy outside of England, a record still held today. In 1984 the club were the South West League champions and have over the years won many domestic cup competitions.
 
In 1993, Cardiff Ladies linked up with the League of Wales club Inter Cardiff and that same season was the start of an enjoyable association with Cardiff Athletic Stadium which still to this day is the clubs home ground having moved across the road to the brand new recently built stadium.
 
In 1992-93 the FA of Wales took an interest in women's football for the first time, by inaugurating the Welsh Women's Cup. Cardiff were successful in getting to the final to be held at the prestigious National Stadium as a curtain raiser to the men's Welsh Cup Final, being the first women's game ever to be staged there. Cardiff lost 1-0 to Rhyl in an exciting game supported at the end by thousands of noisy Cardiff City supporters. Cardiff first won the Welsh Cup in 1995 against Bangor after a penalty shoot. Over the years the club has provided many Welsh International players, at both under 19's and senior level now they are also the pivotal club at under 17 level.
 
At the beginning of 1997-98, the club severed all connections with Inter Cardiff and changed their name to Cardiff County, forming links with Cardiff County Council, until 1999 when they changed their name once more to Cardiff City, but remained an independent outfit. The same season they were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history, but unfortunately could only sustain their position for two seasons and were relegated in 2001. Success in the Combination league came in the League Cup before they were promoted once again in the 2003-04 season, this time with a 100% winning record - the first in the league's history, regaining their status in the Premier League Southern Division.
 
For the first time in its history Cardiff were promoted to the FA Premier National League in 2005-06 season. Unfortunately the club was relegated back to the Southern Division after enjoying two seasons playing amongst the top 12 teams in the country, but two years later they returned after a dramatic end to the season and an unbeaten run of games that got them into second spot in the league and promotion back to the National Division.
 
The club owes a lot of their success to the organisation and management of their committee. They run a thriving junior section playing in the South Wales Girls League, at under 16's, 14's, 12's as well as a mini section at under 10's This is a sound investment as players stream quite confidentially into the senior squad. The club also runs a successful reserve section who play in the FA Midland Reserve League.
 
Jamie Sherwood took over as manager from long serving Michele Adams, briefly assisted by Jessica Fishlock, and he helped guide the team to eighth place. This year they are in the hunt for the Southern Division title and have a strong squad captained by Kayleigh Green. Several of the squad are Welsh internationals including Nicola Cousins and Lauren Townsend plus Michelle Green, who is her country's most capped women's international.
 
Several of the players have come up from their vibrant junior sections, Nicola Cousins has been with the club since she was 11 years old whilst Zoe Atkins and Kayleigh Green have been present since they were 14.
 
Special mention must go though to club secretary Karen Jones MBE, who has been with the club since its formation and has been a huge servant both to her club and the women's game.
 
Cardiff City Ladies will start as strong favourites for the tie but St Nicholas will approach the game in confident mood and should not be underestimated. 
 
Cardiff City Ladies (from): Sophie Dando, Lauren Townsend, Nicola Cousins, Kelly Aldridge, Louise Hutton, Kayleigh Green, Kelly Isaac, Michelle Green, Paige Stewart, Naomi Clipston, Beth Lloyd, Cori Williams, Hannah Daley, Zoe Atkins.

St Nicholas (from): Elise Soper, Jade Gamlin, Gemma Rallison, Serena Smith, Natalie Coles, Mel McIlwraith, Rianne Lewis, Jennifer Jones, Abi Winnett, Charlotte Davis, Amy Jefferies, Alice Blunsdon, Becky Rexworthy, Jess Wilson, Jo Gay, Ruby Bagge, Ava Byrne, Amy Ford, Adele Hooper.

 
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