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Women's Football News
SSE Women's FA Cup - Road to the Final
Stoke City ended the fine Cup run of Whitley Bay in the last round when goals from Ashleigh Hayes and Abby Hunt gave them a 2-0 victory after the match twice had twice previously been postponed. This result earns the Northern Division title chasers a plum Third Round trip to former Cup winners Everton, who enter at this stage.
Everton Ladies started life as Hoylake WFC in 1983. They merged with Dolphins YC to become Leasowe and then added Pacific to their title in a sponsorship deal. In 1987-88 they came to prominence by winning the North West League and reaching the 1988 Women's FA Cup final, losing 3-1 to Doncaster Belles. Despite the loss, they were back the following year and this time they beat Friends of Fulham 3-2. By 1991-92 they had won the regional league five years in a row and when the regular national competition was expanded the season after, they were admitted to Division One North and promptly finished top to join the FA Women's Premier League.
In 1995, they officially became known as Everton Ladies Football Club and continued to make their mark. In 1997 they reached the final of the Premier League Cup, only to lose 2-1 to Millwall Lionesses. The following year, Everton were crowned National Premier League Champions.
In 1999 they reached the League Cup Final again, but were on the wrong end of a 3-1 result to Arsenal. In 2005, Everton reached the FA Women's Cup Final but were defeated 1-0 by Charlton Athletic. Two years later, they ended the Premier League campaign in second place, which bagged them a European debut in 2007-08 because Arsenal, who won the league, had already won the UEFA Women's Cup. Everton reached the second group stage during the debut in Europe.
Moving forward to 2009 and once again the big battle at the top was between Arsenal and Everton. On the last day of the season, Everton needed only a draw against Arsenal in the last match of the season to win the FA Women's Premier League, but they lost 1-0 to finish runners-up on goal difference. A year later, Everton got a bit of revenge on the Gunners when beating them 3-2 to win the FA Women's Cup - with Natasha Dowie scoring the winner.
In 2011 the Club advanced to the quarter finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League; where they had their best run so far but were halted by German side FCR Duisburg. That same year they became one of the eight women's football clubs who founded FA WSL1 in March, finishing in third place in each of the first two seasons. However in 2014, after 26 years of top flight football, they were relegated into the WSL 2. That same year they reached another FA Women's Cup Final, going down 2-0 to Arsenal. Last season they missed out on promotion by a single place, finishing in third.
After a brief spell away, Andy Spence has returned as manager ahead of the new season and Michelle Hinnigan will once again captain the side. The vast majority of last season's squad have re-signed and the signs are optimistic ahead of the campaign.
Everton (from): Kirstie Levell, Alex Brooks, Ellie Stewart, Faye Bryson, Gabrielle George, Laura Mellin, Claudia Walker, Danielle Turner, Jess King, Kelly Jones, Jenna Dear, Lauren Davies, Megan Finnigan, Michelle Hinnigan, Millie Turner, Sasha Rowe, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Emily Hollinshead, Simone Magill.
Stoke City (from): Natalie Hall, Anne-Marie Atherton, Meg Bowyer, Nicola Hudson, Cassie Hyde, Courtney Jones, Faye McCoy, Louise Roberts, Abby Hunt, Natasha Lilly, Millie Elson, Courtney Owen, Lucy Ridgway, Laura Garside, Ashleigh Hayes, Jamilla Palmer, Alice Langstone, Hannah Keryakoplis.
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