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Women's Football News
Preston North End are this week preparing for one of the biggest games in their history, a Premier League Cup semi final away to Doncaster Rovers Belles.
The game will take place this Sunday on the main pitch at the 15,000 capacity Keepmoat Stadium, with a kick off time of 2pm.
The Belles, in the qualifying rounds defeated Tranmere Rovers and Nottingham Forest before going on to secure a 3-0 victory in the quarter finals against Watford. Preston's route to the last four saw them first defeat Newcastle United 2-1 in the Preliminary Round, followed by victories against Curzon Ashton and Brighton & Hove Albion. Their quarter final was a long away trip to face Portsmouth, from where they returned as 1-0 victors courtesy of a Gemma Watson second half strike.
This is the first time Preston have reached this stage of the competition and although they go into the fixture as underdogs against National Division opposition, they are confident that the recent improvement in their league form will stand them in good stead having gone unbeaten since their quarter final success. Assistant coach Anthony Chattell, who guided the ladies through their quarter final tie, comments: "Obviously the girls have been looking forward to this game since the draw was made. It will be the kind of challenge the team look forward to and it's their opportunity to show how good a team they are.
"They are a great set of players to work with and I know they are ready to go all out to reach the final."
The Belles however will be anxious to reach their first final for 12 years and, with players returning from international duty to participate, must undoubtedly be favourites. Preston however with a fully fit squad will be hoping to achieve a cup upset spurred on by the prospect of a place in the Final against the winners of the other semi final tie, Chelsea or Arsenal. A North-South final is therefore guaranteed with the Lilywhites determined to make sure it is the North West who are represented.
Preston North End Chairman Derek Shaw has sent the women the following message: "I'm delighted to see that the PNE women's team have reached the semi final of such a prestigious national competition and I hope they can pull off a massive achievement on the day and make it through to the Final itself.
"Undoubtedly a lot of hard work has gone into reaching this stage and I wish Chris Stammers, Anthony Chattell, the players and committee all the very best as they try to obtain one of the most significant results in their recent history against a highly renowned side in the women's game.
"What with the mens' side also facing a hugely exciting FA Cup tie against Liverpool very soon, it promises to be a very exciting month ahead for all North Enders, and I hope we can all be smiling by the end of it."
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