Knapman previews the historic cup tie
Exeter City Ladies’ star striker Tash Knapman is eagerly anticipating the side’s FA Women’s Cup fixture against Brislington, which takes place at St James’ Park this Sunday.
The 21-year-old sharpshooter joined the Grecians from rivals Plymouth Argyle at the end of October and has been in fine form ever since. The Ladies usually play home fixtures at Coronations Fields, the home of Topsham Town, but Tash is looking forward to making her first appearance at the Park and featuring at a bigger and better venue than normal.
“I played for Plymouth at Home Park last year against Tottenham, who I support,” said Tash. “That was the game that would have saved us from relegation, but we lost 4-1. I scored, which was good against Tottenham and I think we had over 300 people there.
“So playing at Home Park was good, but I’m really excited to be playing at St James’ Park. It’s just great to be going in the proper changing rooms with proper showers and stuff like that, which we’re not used to. Let alone playing on a really nice pitch, so I’m really excited.
“I’ve played in the FA Cup third round before with Plymouth, away at Derby where we lost 2-0. But I hope I can get far now with Exeter.”
At a glance, the gulf between the clubs looks insurmountable for the visitors. Exeter play in the South West Combination, and Brislington play three divisions below in the Somerset County Division One. However the Foxes romped their division last term by winning all 16 league fixtures in their inaugural season, and have continued by triumphing in their first five games this year – so the girls won’t be underestimating their opponents.
“We’re going to go and play the best we can. Obviously we’re quite nervous though. It’s always hard when you don’t know much about a team. But we’ll be up for it, and adding in that we’re playing at St James’ Park, everyone’s going to be that bit more fired up.”
Tash had to watch on from the sidelines last weekend as Exeter Ladies defeated their rivals from Plymouth on penalties in the Ambassador Cup. She scored twice for the Grecians when the sides drew 3-3 in the league last month, but she was cup-tied for the visit of the Pilgrims.
“I’d prefer to be playing every weekend,” she continued. “I was really disappointed not to be able to play against Plymouth. But hopefully that means I’ll be fresher and even more up for playing next weekend in the cup.”
Tickets for the Flybe Stand to see the FA Women’s Cup first round match against Brislington are available for just £3 for adults, £2 concessions and £1 for children, and kick-off is at 1pm. Come and cheer the girls into the FA Cup second round for the first time in their history!