Exeter City Women head to North Somerset on Sunday where Portishead Town will provide the opposition as the Grecians will be seeking a place in the FA Cup Third Round for only the second time in the past twenty years.
Portishead have enjoyed a strong start to the season, building on last season’s creditable 8th place finish. Good summer recruitment has seen the acquisition of former Bridgwater United players Ellie Strippel and Ellie Bell, talented Ffian James signed from Barry Town and Rhian Robbins returns further south after her brief spell at Cheltenham Town at the end of last season.
After a tough start, with heavy defeats against Cardiff and AFC Bournemouth, Town picked up wins against Larkhall Athletic and Maidenhead United. A home defeat to Moneyfields dented momentum, but a thumping win over Southampton Women’s FC coupled with a penalty shootout victory at Moneyfields saw the North Somerset side consolidate their league position and advance in Cup Competition.
The two teams met in early October, the Grecians winning by three goals to nil on a wet and windy evening. Two goals from Sarah Stacey and one from Connie Pengelly saw City pick up the points, but Portishead have been in strong form since. Big wins against lower league opposition in County Cup and FA Cup ties has seen Town score twenty-two goals in three games, underlining their growing strength as a team in the National League.
Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side enjoyed a fantastic FA Cup run last season as they reached Round Four and will be hopeful of further progress on Sunday. City are in good form, with eight successive wins, and will be hoping the weather stays clear over the weekend for this eagerly anticipated fixture to go ahead.