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F.A.Women's Cup - Road to the Final
Reading FC Women survived a scare before emerging as 5-3 winners over Gillingham to book their place in the Fourth Round. Nikki Watts and Melissa Fletcher both netted twice, with Kelly Chambers adding the other to earn the Berkshire side a home tie with Charlton Athletic.
The club was formed in 2000 when Croydon Ladies, who had won the League and FA Cup 'double' the previous season, came under the umbrella of the Addicks. Charlton have enjoyed great success in the Cup, winning the trophy in 2004-05 as Eniola Aluko's goal gave them a 1-0 win over Everton in the Final at Upton Park. They had been beaten finalists in each of the previous two seasons and again in 2006-07. During this period they were Premier League runners-up on two occasions, missing out by a point to Arsenal in 2003-04, and two times Premier League Cup winners.
However the men's team's relegation from the Premiership in 2007 had serious repercussions for the club and they lost almost all of their established players. Paul Mortimer took over as Technical Director and the women's team moved under the umbrella of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust, but they were relegated the following season to the Southern Division, where they have remained since.
The rebuilding of the club has continued since then and the team, still under the guidance of Paul Mortimer, now contains a number of talented youngsters who have come through the Academy and Centre of Excellence. Katie Flack is first team captain and the return of Kim Dixson to midfield is a big boost. Gemma Bryan, who is not available for Sunday, currently tops the Southern Division goalscoring charts.
Reading will go into the match, at Tadley Calleva, as favourites but will be familiar opponents to Charlton, who will be looking to spring an upset and add to their excellent Cup pedigree.
Reading FC Women (from): Grace Moloney, Harriett Scott, Kelly Chambers, Gemma Sims, Megan Alexander, Nikki Watts, Linda Hirons, Stacie Donnelly, Mikaela Howell, Natasha Caswell, Melissa Fletcher, Charlotte Chard, Amy Shaw, Francesca Kirby, Jasmine Brewster.
Charlton Athletic (from): Megen Lynch, Sarah Smith, Katie Flack, Stef Simmons, Becky Duggan, Megan Chandler, Rachael Ahern, Pam McRoberts, Ellie Bailes, Charley Clifford, Grace Coombs, Ciara Sherwood, Kim Dixson, Fliss Gibbons, Francesca Ali, Jenny Newman, Sam Rowland.
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