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Women's Football News
F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
After a long delay, Cardiff City Ladies won their Third Round tie 1-0 away to Bradford City thanks to a penalty from Lauren Townsend. The Southern Division leaders earned themselves a home tie against London Bees, who progressed with a 3-1 victory at Leeds Utd.
There are many ancestral spirits behind the newly-formed London Bees, but its earliest roots date back to a group of ladies working at Transport for London's district line. In the 1970s the women, looking for a team to play football, banded together and entered the Hounslow & District League - forming the platform for a remarkable rise. Named in honour of their workplace, District Line Ladies FC appeared in leagues across Greater London before tasting promotion to the Women's FA National League Southern Division in the early 1990s.
It did not take long afterwards before the squad merged with Wembley FC - becoming Wembley Ladies FC and reaching their zenith in an FA Cup final defeat to Millwall Lionesses in 1997. Meanwhile Barnet Ladies FC, established by Barnet director Graham Slyper in the mid-80s, had become officially affiliated with the men's club. It prompted another merger in 1998 after Wembley's FA Cup finalists began to leave the club, including teenager and eventual England legend Kelly Smith.
Barnet FC Ladies have been a virtual mainstay in English football's top tier ever since, winning the Premier League Cup in 2011, before London Bees, a brand new franchise, was welcomed into the Women's Super League fold for 2014.
Former secretary Gill Jones was one of the pioneers as a district line employee and she admits it has been an extraordinary path to success. The newly formed London Bees won their first ever competitive fixture on Sunday 23rd February, beating Leeds United 3-1 in the FA Women's Cup Third Round with goals from Lily Agg, Anneka Nuttall and Dawn Mallett.
Managers Lydia Bedford and Rebecca Sawluk have been putting together a squad ahead of the new WSL season and Dawn Mallett has been handed the captain's armband. There are still some players remaining from the old Barnet club including long serving players Cherie Rowlands and Charlotte Herson.
This game is set to be a fascinating clash between an in-form Cardiff City side and a relatively unknown quantity in London Bees, a new squad gelling together. The tie will be played at Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
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, Hannah Mills, Annie Pritchard.
London Bees (from): Cherie Rowlands, Sophie Harris, Vanna Lee, Aoife Hurley, Anneka Nuttall, Dawn Mallett, Sydney Hinchcliffe, Emma Davies, Megan Goss, Chontelle Lawrence, Dani Oates, Billie Brooks, Charlotte Herson, Katherine Huggins, Emily Clements.
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