Exeter City Women will rekindle an old rivalry on Sunday as they head to Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup Second Round, City aiming for a place in the third round for only the second time in the past twenty years.
The two sides have met with regularity over the past few seasons, particularly in Cup Competitions. Town knocked the Grecians out of the FA Cup in 2018 at the Second Round stage, before a penalty shootout victory at the Sports Hub in 2020 sent City tumbling in the First Round. The Robins dominance in this fixture continued in 2021/22, two league wins in their march to the Title and a victory in Gloucestershire to dump the Grecians out of the League Cup Plate in a Quarter Final clash.
Tom Davies side have enjoyed a steady campaign in the Southern Premier Division to date, wins over London Bees, Billericay and Milton Keynes have consolidated their league position in seventh, while the previous round’s 3-0 victory at Cardiff City Ladies was an impressive statement from Davies’ side.
Phoebe Poole, a summer signing from Cardiff City has impressed with seven goals this season, she has been supported in the hunt for goals by Emily Allen (3) and Emily Owen (4.) Teenage forward Una Lue hit a brace against Cardiff last time out, she will be a threat the Grecians will be familiar with after a hat trick at the Sports Hub against the City Reserve Team back in September. Town have also recently added the experienced Natasha Harding to their squad, Harding’s career includes 100 Caps for Wales and spells at Manchester City, Liverpool and Reading.
Sunday’s clash represents the perfect opportunity for City to find top gear, although their form has been outstanding in raking up eleven consecutive wins, there have been some comfortable afternoons along the way and this weekend will be anything but. With AFC Bournemouth on the horizon, Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side will be looking to make a statement with victory against higher league opposition and to do so against a team that they may just be due a positive result.