You really can't beat the excitement of a cup draw. Admittedly it does take the shine off it somewhat when its not broadcast live, but never the less its still an exiting time for any football supporter. In the case this excitement was even greater, as the Women's FA Cup 5th round day is the first game of the season for WSL sides. Joining the 8 WSL clubs in this stage were 8 others sides who have battled through the previous rounds. All bar Oxford United play their football atl Premier League level.
Now the great god of cup draws can work in mysterious ways at times. To use a footballing cliche you would want a home draw. Knowing our luck i was expecting us to be drawn away at either Yeovil or Cardiff. Or maybe we could do what we have been rather good at in recent draws, and be paired with Arsenal. Or maybe we could be paired with manager Rick Passmoors (and many of our players) former club; Leeds, that would have been fun wouldn't it? Well in the end none of these predictions came to fruition as you can see below.
Full Women's FA Cup 5th Round draw.
Sunderland v Manchester City
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Doncaster Rovers Belles v Bristol Academy
Cardiff City v Birmingham City
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Oxford United v Everton
Lincoln Ladies v Chelsea
Leeds United v Yeovil Town
So it's our old pals from Chelsea first up at the Bank. The side we ended last season against with a bad tempered game at their gaff, when the Imps ran out 3-2 winners. I am pretty sure that there will be a few fireworks when the sides clash on March the 17th. And I would imagine that a couple of the Chelsea players may not be looking foward to crossing swords with Lincoln after their antics during and after the game in Twitter land. For this week only Lincoln have dropped ticket prices for the game to £4 (£6 on the day) for adults so head over to Lincolnladies.com to snap up your ticket today. Personnally, i think its a decent draw for Lincoln and a game that gives us a great chance to progress. It will also give us a great opportunity to improve our FA Cup record in the WSL era. In the past two seasons we have yet to score a goal in the competiton, let alone win a game. High time to change all that i think.
Lincoln's record in the FA Cup since the FAWSL begun.
2011 5th round Sunderland 1-0 Lincoln
2012 5th round Lincoln 0-1 Arsenal
Elsewhere in the draw, the game that sums up the magic of the cup is 4th tier Oxford United hosting WSL side Everton (feel free to insert any naff FA cup cliche you feel free here). The other tie that drew my attention was the Nottingham Forest v Arsenal tie. Although i can't see Forest winning the game, it gives the club a great chance to put themselves in the spotlight and help their bid to join WSL in 2014. If you want my tip for an upset, then i would say the Villa v Liverpool tie could be the one for you. Villa sit 4th in the National Premier division and will be taking on a Liverpool side that seem to be signing anybody with a pulse at the moment and will take a while to gel. Whereas Villa are in midseason and in good form. Having written all this and knowing my recent record with predictions i imagine a good number of you lumping on a Chelsea-Forest-Liverpool treble.
The other FA Cup news was that Doncaster's Keepmoat stadium has been chosen to host the final. So i will be at the final regardless of who is there and cover it on here. The final is to be played on May the 26th which is just 4 days after the Women's Champions League final, for which we already have tickets booked.
While i am loosely on the theme of the blog, it's about time i share with you my ideas for it this year. As with last year i will be doing the fan blogs from all the Lady Imps games (home and away) Plus England's home matches. For the Imps games i would like to ask a fan each week just a couple of questions and their opinions on the match if you would like to take part give me a shout, dont be shy it saves me having to pester you and hunt you down...
I am also planning on doing previews of the games with fans of other WSL clubs. Recently i have been contacting people about this, and have a decent range of guests lined up who really know their stuff about the various clubs in the League and Women's football in general; for which i am incredibly greatful (you know who you are!) But i still need a few more though contributers if you would like to get involved. This will hopefully give us Imps fans a bit more knowledge of other sides and the Ladies game and hopefully form some interesting pre game articles. As the season goes on i really would love to grow the blog even more and maybe even do the odd interview with a player (when i have plucked up the courage to ask). I do have something lined up with a player who plays her football in the lower tiers of the pyramid and has experience of playing abroad.
I have been pondering some ideas for the blog over the winter and one thing i would like to set up at somepoint would be a Lady Imps/Ladies football podcast. However i would need help with this because if it was just me rabbiting on every week it would get very boring, very quickly. Again if you would like to help out or if you know anything about Podcasting then get in touch. You know you want to folks. Plus if you have any ideas on how i can impove this blog again please get in touch.
Some of these ideas will work some won't. But unless i try them we will never know. Lets see hows it goes. We will have fun along the way regardless.