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F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Whitley Bay came through the closest of battles in the Third Round Qualifying, their match against Darlington RA going all the way to penalties before Colin Phillips' side emerged as victors.
Whitley are now one stage closer to repeating their heroics of last season when they got as far as the Fourth Round but they find another formidable barrier in their way, in the shape of Blackpool Wren Rovers.
After being relegated from the Northern Combination last season, Blackpool Wren Rovers have started the new season in blistering form in the North West League, winning all four league matches so far as well as reaching this stage of the Cup. The club is hoping to recapture its Combination status at the first attempt and get back to level they were at the start of the millennium, when they came agonisingly close to Premier League football by finishing as runners-up in successive seasons.
Steve Walmsley, former boss of Manchester City, took over as manager during the summer and he has made a string of impressive signings including the likes of Nikki Berko, Amy Butterworth and Kat Forshaw from his former club. Rovers have a blend of experience and youth with 18-year-old Laura Went as Vice Captain, Sam Jones and Jaz Cripps are ex-Arsenal Academy players while Emma Semple arrived from Preston North End, Michelle Brindle from Darwen Ladies and Amy Foxcroft from Burnley. Caroline Wilcock is captain and is a member of the Wilcock family who have been the backbone of the club for many years, including sisters Shirlee and Sam, who is the club Secretary.
The match takes place at Blackpool Wren Rovers FC and the home side are likely to go into the match as favourites due to their higher division status, although you can never bet against Whitley Bay in this competition!
Blackpool Wren Rovers (from): Mireille Zozi, Jasmine Cripps, Laura Went, Emma Semple, Shirlee Wilcock, Rachael Linton, Michelle Brindle, Caroline Wilcock, Laura Kinley, Sam Jones, Natalie Jackson, Amy Butterworth, Amy Foxcroft, Kat Forshaw, Nikki Berko, Angela Hynds.
Whitley Bay (from): Charlotte Furno, Laura Wilson, Siobhon Davies, Kerry Davison, Louanne Gascoigne, Helen Lackenby, Stacey Naples, Roisin Turnbull, Helen Graham, Rachel Kay, Lynsey McLean, Natasha Ratcliffe, Nikki Smith, Sarah Waldie, Laura Darmody, Laurel Davidson, Kirsty Hunter.
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