CUP COUNTDOWN #2 – LADIES SEEK FA CUP SUPPORT ON SUPER SUNDAY
Ascot United Ladies play their biggest game for several seasons this weekend when they entertain Oxford City Ladies in the third and final qualifying round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Sunday (Racecourse, 2pm).
Fans and players from other sections of the club are expected to come down to support the Ladies on ‘Super Sunday’, especially as there is a similarly big game in the shape of Man Utd v Liverpool screened in the clubhouse afterwards from 4.30pm! And all this comes a day after the Yellamen’s FA Vase match at Wallingford Town – preview of that is here.
Darrel Evans’ (pictured) side are bidding to make further history by reaching the First Round proper having already gone further than before, and standing in their way is a fellow Southern Region Women’s Premier Division side who Ascot defeated on the road (5-2) earlier this season.
Evans’ side had last Sunday off following a morale-boosting draw with league-leaders Moneyfields Women a week earlier, and he looks set to name a strong side with Laura Spark, Georgia Luckhurst-McCord, Emma Hutton, Frances Henderson and Maddie Robertson all looking to be included, whilst Maddie Woods is also back in training as her rehabilitation continues. And, also look out for in-form striker Sarah Leonard, who has added extra arsenal this season having netted nine goals in just four outings.
Visitors ‘City are winless in the league, but come into the game undefeated since losing to Ascot and off the back of a thumping 8-3 win over Procision Oxford in the Oxfordshire County Cup last weekend. And, the Ascot defence will be looking to keep close tabs on top scorers Jessica Biggerstaff (8 goals in 6) and Ellie White (5 in 6).
The match is also a throwback to ten years ago and Ascot’s first ever match in the Women’s FA Cup – against Oxford City in 2011/12.
As a reminder, The Southern Region Women’s Football league is the fifth tier of the Women’s Football Pyramid (Super League -> Championship -> National League North/South -> National League 1 -> Regional Leagues).
The winners of the 85 third qualifying round ties on Sunday will join 27 teams from the third-tier National League North and South in the 1st round proper on 14th November. Championship sides enter in the third round and Women’s Super League sides enter in the fourth round, so Ascot or Oxford must win three more rounds after Sunday to have any chance of facing Vivianne Miedema or Fran Kirby! However, last season, no fifth-tier side even passed the first-round stage…but who knows what the FA Cup will throw up…!
For the connoisseurs of the Ladies’ game, remember that last season’s Women’s FA Cup semi-finals have been deferred into this season due to COVID, and will take place on Sunday 31st October, with the final scheduled for 5th December.