Exeter City Women will look to retain the Devon Premier Cup on Friday evening when a victory over Torquay United would see successive County Cup wins for the first time in the team’s history.
The Yellows have had a successful season, securing fourth spot in the South West Premier Division. United have also enjoyed success in the cups this year, not only reaching Friday’s showpiece Final, but also reaching the FA Cup First Round. After a fantastic seven game winning run, the conclusion to the season did not go as hoped, defeats to Sherborne and Ilminster, alongside a draw with St Austell, left the East Devon side just short in the hunt for promotion.
United have been a team full of goals this season, netting sixty three times in their eighteen league fixtures. Ellie Bishop has led theway with eighteen goals, with the pacy Beth Everson hitting ten. There will be many familiar faces to Exeter supporters in Yellow on Friday evening, most notably Esme Kilburn-Thompson, who hit both goals in last season’s victory over Plymouth Argyle. Danni Wyatt, Jana Richards, Katie Barriball and Leah Brooks have all had spells with City, whereas Ocean Latto, alongside Kilburn-Thompson and Barriball, is part of the Exeter College Women’s Programme coached by Grecians manager Aaron Wakley.
City’s passage to the Final has seen a mixture of emotions, a convincing twelve goal semi-final victory over Feniton followed a thrilling first round win over Plymouth Argyle at St James Park. The 1380 crowd were treated to a thrilling contest where Zoe Cunningham’s free kick was cancelled out by a Zoe Watkins’ goal, taking the tie to penalties. Abbi Bond was the City heroine with two saves to win what was a fantastic advert for Women’s football in Devon. United eased into the Final with victory over Liverton with Ellie Bishop (2), Everson and Wyatt all on target.
Whilst the season has been an undoubted success, cumulating with Friday’s Final, the Yellows have seen a change in manager in recent weeks, Grant Fisher departing to be replaced in the interim by Steve Elswood.
Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s team will go into the contest on the back of some excellent performances, a seven goal win at Poole was followed by a complete team performance in a five goal win over AFC Bournemouth on Sunday. City currently play a league above United and will go in as favourites, however the Yellows certainly have enough quality in their ranks to make certain that the Grecians will need to be at their best to retain the trophy.