The Vitality Women's FA Cup ball. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
The Vitality Women's FA Cup ball. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Vitality Women’s FA Cup: ‘Players are responding to the challenges’ says Darrel Evans

Pre-match thoughts from the Darrel Evans and Georgia Graham ahead of their FA Cup fixtures this weekend.
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The Vitality Women's FA Cup ball. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
The Vitality Women's FA Cup ball. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

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Third Round Qualifying weekend of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup is upon us as games kick off on Sunday 24th of October. Football in Berkshire’s Women’s Football Correspondent, Abi Ticehurst, spoke to the manager’s ahead of their games.

Ascot United Ladies are set to host Oxford City Women are home at the Racecourse, while Caversham United Women are away to Queens Park Rangers at
The Powerday Stadium. Maidenhead United Women also enter this round to join the two Berkshire sides and are away to fellow National League outfit Chesham United.

Squad atmosphere

Darrel Evans (DE): The atmosphere in the squad has never been better, we have had a good start to the season and are on target for high aims for the season that we have set ourselves. To add to the good start in the League we have reached the 3rd qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the first time and now to have the opportunity to try and get Ascot United Ladies into the First Round Proper is a big motivation for everyone.

Georgia Graham (GG): The girls are absolutely buzzing for the game on Sunday, the anticipation has been building ever since the draw was made. Naturally there are some nerves too but that’s to be expected and certainly not a bad thing!

Darrel Evans, Ascot United, Head of Women's Football Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Darrel Evans, Ascot United, Head of Women’s Football Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Venue draw

DE: For me personally when the draw was made all I hoped for was a home draw so yes and I think I can say safely that we are all looking forward to playing at home. The benefits is we know we will be playing on a great surface that we are familiar with and will we have great support on the day. And then there is the Ascot mascots, having our younger junior players at the club getting involved and supporting the team is always great to see.

GG: We are very much looking forward to the trip to London, the team and supporters are travelling up together on the coach. It feels like a proper occasion, hopefully the Goats fans make plenty of noise and inspire us to a positive result!

Preparation

DE: Ideally we would have liked a game last Sunday as we were without a fixture but on the positive side that has given us four training sessions to focus on this game with no distractions. I have to give great credit to Head Coach, Alix Todd, and Goalkeeper Coach, Jamie Ashdown, who have been working with the players on the areas we are wanting to improve on whilst reinforcing all the good things the team are doing and the players are really responding to the challenges given to them. All the work is done now and hopefully we will see all the hard work put in by everyone at training replicated on the pitch on Sunday.

GG: The team had a great result last weekend in the Berks & Bucks Women’s Trophy, so confidence is high. Preparations in training have been going well, the girls have been working really hard. We know Sunday’s game is going to be tough but we are ready.

Georgia Graham, Caversham United Women manager. Photo: Oakmist Photography / https://www.oakmist.co.uk
Georgia Graham, Caversham United Women manager. Photo: Oakmist Photography / https://www.oakmist.co.uk

Anything else?

DE: We are looking forward to welcoming Oxford City to the Racecourse, we played there a few weeks back and they were great hosts and we will return that hospitality. This is a big landmark fixture for the Ladies team so we are looking forward to a great atmosphere with a bumper crowd to witness a great game of football that will be tense, nervous with plenty of drama and goals that the FA Cup brings and of course fingers crossed a win for the Yellawomen.

Fixture details

  • Ascot United Ladies v Oxford City Women
  • Queens Park Rangers v Caversham United Women
  • Chesham United Ladies v Maidenhead United Women

Third Round Qualifying will take place on Sunday 24th of October. Third Round Qualifying winners will receive £600, whilst the losing side will collect £150.

Ascot United Ladies
Ascot United Football Club, SL5 7LJ
2pm kick off
Cafe and Ascot Sports Bar both open (Card Payments only)
Free Entry and Parking

Manchester United vs Liverpool on big screen in Ascot Sports Bar after the game 4:30pm KO

Caversham United Women
The Powerday Stadium, Perivale, Greenford, UB6 8TL
2pm kick off
Adults £3 U16’s Free

All the rest of the women’s fixtures across the county this weekend here.

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