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F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Watford took over the baton in the Fourth Round but had to work extremely hard to do so, needing extra time before ending the brave challenge of Manchester City with a 4-1 victory, having scored a late equaliser to avoid an upset and send the game into the extra period.
Now Watford have a home tie as they bid to reach the quarter finals for the first time in their history, against Newcastle Utd who got to this stage with a fine 3-1 win away to fellow Northern Division side Preston North End.
Although Newcastle's league season will have been a little disappointing when compared to their expectations, they possess a squad of players who are capable of giving teams a very hard match. There was a change of manager over the holiday period with Rob Atkin becoming Head Coach, with a wider brief on player recruitment, and Neil Baistow taking over the manager's role, assisted by Melanie Reay.
The Newcastle squad contains a mixture of youth and experience, including former Doncaster Belles defender Julie Twaddle. Ruth Sutcliffe is one of a number of talented younger players and other key squad members include the likes of Stacy Crooks, Vicki Greenwell, Sarah Bennett and Naomi Robson.
If Newcastle can knock out their National Division opponents, they will emulate their feat of two years ago when they reached the quarter finals, where they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool.
The game takes place at Letchworth and Watford will start the game as firm favourites but they received a scare in the last round and Newcastle, with a good Cup pedigree, should not be written off.
Watford (from): Marie Hourihan, Dominique Sinclair-Chambers, Hayley Kemp, Cori Daniels, Lisa Burrows, Emma Thomas, Sally Wade, Emma Beckett, Mikaela Howells, Ellen Maggs, Helen Lander, Ashlee Hincks, Kelly Hughes, Charity Weston, Kat McKenna, Kathleen O'Toole.
Newcastle Utd (from): Helen Kane, Elaine Sedgewick, Vicki Greenwell, Kelly Ridley, Jo Cartwright, Rachel Coleman, Stacy Crooks, Sarah Bennett, Nikki O'Donnell, Naomi Robson, Ruth Sutcliffe, Julie Twaddle, Hannah Chisholm, Sam Etherington, Rachel Furness.
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