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F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Aston Villa continued their excellent Cup run when they defeated Sheffield FC 2-1, Katie Wilkinson and Olivia Fergusson both scoring for the second successive round. In the last eight, they must make the trip across the Midlands to Notts County, who eased past Tottenham Hotspur with a 4-0 victory, goals coming from Fiona O'Sullivan (2), Sophie Walton and Ellen White.
Although this is a new chapter for Notts County Ladies, as they enter their second season in the FA Women's Super League, there have been chapters gone before them. The club was founded in 1977 by Bill Godward and his daughter Tina. It wasn't an easy ride for the team who suffered relegation from the First Division within their first five years. However, the club remained strong, and despite just losing out on bouncing back to the First Division, the club travelled abroad to compete in a tournament in Holland in 1982. The competition was a success for the club, with the ladies finishing a highly respectable third among prestigious clubs of the time, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Unfortunately for Bill and his daughter Tina, after ten enjoyable years, the team folded.
In 2014 came a new era for the club, under the guidance of Notts County chairman Ray Trew. After a successful bid to join WSL 1, the club have ambitious plans within women's football, already having a core squad of players who train full time. Playing their home games at Meadow Lane, Notts County have one of the biggest home stadiums of any WSL side, boasting the highest attendance of any side so far this season.
Unfortunately in their first season they were hampered by long term injuries to a number of the first team squad and they ended up in sixth place, although they did reach the semi finals of the F.A.Women's Cup.
The team is managed by Rick Passmoor, assisted by Colin Walker and Bob Widdowson is Coach. One of their winter signings, Laura Bassett, wears the captain's armbands and the squad contains several England internationals, including Ellen White who recently made a welcome return from a long term knee injury.
Notts County (from): Carly Telford, Juliana Draycott, Alex Greenwood, Amy Turner, Fern Whelan, Laura Bassett, Laura-Jayne O'Neill, Rachel Unitt, Sophie Bradley, Danielle Buet, Desiree Scott, Dunia Susi, Leanne Crichton, Sophie Walton, Ashleigh Plumptre, Aileen Whelan, Ellen White, Fiona O'Sullivan, Jess Clarke, Rachel Williams, Jess Sigsworth.
Aston Villa (from): Caitlin Leach, Hayley Crackle, Hannah George, Sherry McCue, Maisie Baker, Jade Richards, Olivia Fergusson, Maddy Cusack, Katie Wilkinson, Sarah Mayling, Alicia Robinson, Lucy Porter, Chloe Beattie, Katy Moran, Emily Owen, Elisha N'Dow, Abi Cottam, Beth Merrick, Natasha Baptiste, Kerri Welsh, Jess Myers, Lauren Haynes.
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