Vitality Women’s FA Cup reaches First Qualifying stage

Tilehurst Panthers in action. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Tilehurst Panthers in action. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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The Women’s FA Cup first kicked off in 1971, known then as the Mitre Challenge Trophy originally. There were 71 entrants that included teams from England, Scotland and Wales. Southampton dominated the first decade(ish) winning the competition 8 times in 11 years. 

Southampton’s 1978, 8-2 victory over QPR was played at Slough Town Football Club’s Wexham Park Stadium. 

The 80’s saw the Doncaster Belles crowned champions four times and runners up three times while Arsenal began their reign in 1993, having nabbed themselves the cup no less than 14 times and been runners up twice. Since 2015, the final has been played at Wembley, in line with the men’s competition. 

The format of the cup is all clubs in the fifth tier or below are drawn to either play in the Extra Preliminary Round or have a bye to the Preliminary Round. Thereafter, there are three qualifying rounds before the First Round Proper. All rounds up until the FA WSL and Championship teams enter in the Fourth Round and are played on a geographical basis e.g. north/south.

Ascot United have entered the cup three times having reached the 2nd qualifying round every time. The Yellawomen were knocked out by Swindon Supermarine in their previous fixture.

Tilehurst Panthers are in the competition for the first time this year.

Woodley United entered the FA Cup for the first time last year and reached the first round qualifying. The Kestrels were knocked out by AFC Wimbledon.

The Berkshire Vitality Women’s FA Cup First Qualifying Round fixtures are as follows: 

  • Ascot United LFC v Denham United Ladies FC
  • Eastbourne Town LFC v Tilehurst Panthers LFC
  • Fulham FC Women v Woodley United LFC

We’d like to wish all the teams competing the very best of luck on Sunday. In other FA Cup news, Maidenhead United Women see themselves exempt to second round qualifying, whilst Reading FC Women will make their first appearance in the competition when they enter at the 4th round qualifying.

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