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Women's Football News
SSE Women's FA Cup - Road to the Final
Norton & Stockton Ancients ended the Cup run of Penrith AFC in the Fourth Round Qualifying by beating them 4-0. Goals from Nyci Thorns (2), Chelsea Beetch and Vicki Hutchison saw Norton go through to the First Round where they will play against Hull City, who defeated Leeds Ladies 6-0. Becky Beech hit a hat-trick, Katie Thompson weighed in with a brace and Ellie Harding was also on target.
Hull City LFC was formed in 2001 and played in the Yorkshire & Humberside League before being promoted to the North East Women's League in 2005-06. Just two years later they were Champions of that league and were promoted to Northern Combination, but only stayed for two seasons and were back playing in the NEWPL. In 2011-12, the club merged with Beverley Town Ladies under manager Rachel Gay and gained promotion to the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division One after finishing Champions in the 2014-15 season. The club has grown significantly over the last four years, hence the need for the creation of a reserve team, who play in the FA Womens Premier League Reserves Division.
The club has come a long way from just focusing on one team, with now having a Reserves squad, a Player Development Centre run by Head Coach Danny Johnson and the club are on demand in the community with all players attending different events in their spare time, whether it is visiting schools, handing medals out at presentation nights, visiting charity events etc and having mascots at every home fixture. Many young girls wear the club colours and are adding these to their Christmas lists, which just shows how far the club has grown and is continuing to do so.
Manager Rachel Gay has been at the club since taking over in 2011, gaining promotion to the Premier League and the club has grown significantly and is continuing to grow. Gay said: "We have a fantastic team of volunteers at the club that are all pulling in the same direction. Working with the team is like a football family down at the club, it is very hard work having to balance your day to day job, but rewarding at the same time. I have a great bunch of extremely talented players that I know can push on for promotion this year."
Rachel is assisted by Head Coach Danny Johnson and coach Tom Shields, whilst Stacey Hubbard manages the Reserves with Sarah Spence as Assistant and Dave Pendleton as Head Coach. Also part of the dedicated team behind the scenes are Scott Gay (Director of Media), Leon Sewell (Goalkeeper Coach), Alan Sylvester (Matchday Physio) and Paul Bradford (Team Physio).
Special mention goes to Karen Cooke, the Club Secretary who does a lot behind the scenes that no-one really gets to see, but without her hard work and dedication the club would not flow as smoothly as it does.
Influential England U19 international midfielder Sophie Stamp is at the club and has had an impact on the youngsters, as they really look up to Sophie as a role model and are learning from her experience, together with Emma Bentley (ex-Leeds captain), ex-Sheffield Utd defender Natasha Cooke and ex-Leeds and Doncaster Belles striker Sarah Owen who bring so much experience to the side on and off the field. The longest serving player at the club Rebecca Beech, who has been at the club for fifteen years and has been top goalscorer every season since she joined, a fantastic achievement. In the 2015-16 season Beech went to play for WSL2 side Durham Women, but the travel proved too much in the end with her balancing a family and work life.
The University of Hull are the club's main sponsor from where they train and play from with their fantastic sports facilities, they are incredibly supportive and are extremely interested in women's football, and are in constant contact.
Norton & Stockton Ancients (from):
Rachel Chisnall, Aimee Stabler, Heather Johnson, Kate McGuire, Alix Peoples, Vicki Hutchinson, Sian Williams, Becca Davison, Anna Mawston, Sam McGovern, Lizzie Rodger, Kate McSorley, Chelsea Beetch, Natalie Robson, Emily Wilson, Nyci Thorns.
Hull City (from):
Amy Halloran, Emma Bentley, Ellice Jackman, Natasha Cooke, Katie Thompson, Rachael Cooke, Jo Symington, Sophie Stamp, Rebecca Beech, Ellie Harding, Sarah Walters, Emily Smith, Sarah Owen, Emma Westmorland, Elisha Robinson, Jazz Whitwell, Misty Russell, Amy Wilson, Cassie Milestone, Cauren Webb, Evie Hepworth.
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