Bristol Academy hope for cup tie go-ahead
Women's football: Bristol Academy hope to get their stop-start FA Women's Cup campaign going again this weekend.
Gary Green's side suffered their third postponement of the competition when their fifth-round tie against Birmingham City was called off last Sunday because of waterlogging at Oaklands Park, Almondsbury.
It has been rearranged for this Sunday (2pm) and if the weather should intervene again, the match will be moved back a further seven days – the Academy's scheduled Premier League clash with Blackburn on February 8 has already been postponed because the Lancashire club are on county cup duty.
The delay has at least given the Bristol club more time to get back to a near full-strength squad, although they have suffered another injury blow with Kerrie Manley facing a lengthy spell out with cruciate ligament damage.
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"We could have done without that – although we are getting other key players back," said Green.
"That could make us the most under-estimated team left in the competition because people who have watched us won't have seen us at full strength yet."
If the Academy can overcome the Blues this weekend, they will face a long trip to Sunderland in the last eight on February 22.
Keynsham Town are another club whose fixture list has been decimated by postponements in recent months, but they returned to Southern Division action in style with a 2-0 win in their first visit to Ipswich Town.
Barrie Newton's side travelled on the day before the game for the first time, and the manager devised a plan to combat Ipswich's sloping pitch and a strong wind.
He played five in midfield up the slope and a 4-4-2 formation going the other way.
It paid off as Keynsham looked to be heading into the interval at 0-0 – but things got better two minutes before the break when Ana Bruni nodded home after Helen Bleazard's cross had been parried.
Keynsham controlled the second half and even though Hari Sabic put a spot-kick over the bar, the visitors sealed victory 20 minutes from time when Dana Hinton's shot came off the woodwork and Sabic made amends with a tap-in.
"There was added spice because the game was watched by an England scout, who would have gone away impressed with several players in our squad," said Newton.
"With the weather accounting for all other games in our division, the win has pushed us up from seventh to third, which is the progress we are striving to make."
Keynsham have a quick chance to complete a double over the Tractor Girls this weekend when the East Anglian club visit the Crown Field for the return game – a rearranged fixture because Keynsham's original opponents Portsmouth have a cup game.
In the Gloucestershire County Women's League, runaway Division One leaders Cleeve West Town left the chasing pack further behind with a 9-0 win at Tetbury.
In Division II, Leanne Burge netted a first-half hat-trick to help AEK Boco to an 8-1 win at Mitcheldean. Bryony Harris (2), Lorna Miller, Sasha Ferris and Vicky Barlow were also on target.
FA Women's Cup, rd V: Aston Villa 0 Leeds Carnegie 3; Bristol Academy v Birmingham City p/p; Sunderland 5 Barnet 0; Manchester City 0 Everton 4; OOH Lincoln 3 Nottingham Forest 1; Middlesbrough 0 Arsenal 4.
FA Premier League, Southern Div: Ipswich Tn 0 Keynsham Tn 2; Cardiff City 0 Truro City 2.
SW Women's League, Premier Div: Frome Tn 6 Taunton Tn 2; Gloucester 3 Cheltenham Tn 3; Larkhall v Stoke Lane p/p; Poole Tn v Bristol Ladies Union p/p.
Div I (North): Bishops Lydeard 1 Chippenham 1; Keynsham Tn Dev v Oldland Abbotonians p/p; Swindon Spitfires 1 Swindon Tn Res 5; Weston St Johns Res v Downend Flyers p/p.
Gloucestershire County Women's League Div I: Cam Bulldogs 3 Bristol & West 1; Cheltenham CS 0 Yate Tn 5; Newent Tn 3 Dursley 3; Tetbury Tn 0 Cleeve West Tn 9.
Div II: Bitton v Cheltenham Res p/p; Forest of Dean 3 Longlevens 0; Mitcheldean 1 AEK Boco 8; Swindon Supermarine v Abbeymead p/p.
FIXTURES – SUNDAY
FA Women's Cup, rd V: Bristol Rovers v Birmingham City.
FA Premier Div: Doncaster Rovers v Watford; Everton v Nottingham Forest.
Southern Div: Charlton Ath v Truro City; Keynsham Tn v Ipswich Tn, West Ham Utd v Colchester Utd.
SW Women's League, Premier Div: Bristol Ladies Union v Cheltenham Tn; Cullompton v Larkhall; Stoke Lane Ath v Frome Tn; Taunton Tn v Poole Tn; Univ of Exeter v Gloucester City.
Div I (North): Bishops Lydeard v Cirencester; Downend Flyers v Oldland Abbotonians; Swindon Tn Res v Chippenham Tn.
Gloucestershire County Women's League Cup, rd I: Abbeymead v Cam; Bitton v AEK Boco; Bristol & West v Cheltenham Tn Res; Cheltenham CS v Swindon Supermarine; Forest Green Rov Res v Cleeve West Tn; Mitcheldean v Forest of Dean; Newent Tn v Yate Tn; Tetbury Tn v Dursley Tn.