Date: 7th April 2018 at 10:57pm
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York City Ladies target a record eighth County Cup when meeting Redcar Town Ladies in the final at North Riding FA Headquarters in Stokesley on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 2.00pm).

That would secure a third successive triumph for the current holders of the trophy for the second time in their twenty-three-year history having already featured in ten of the twelve finals to date.

The Minsterbelles defeated neighbours Pocklington 3-0 in their recent away semi-final courtesy of a second-half hat-trick from striker Alice Turner, who had been a substitute for their reserves beaten only on penalties by City’s first-team in last year’s memorable final.

Photo: Ian Parker

Highly-rated defender Josie Hewson is appearing in another County Cup final

That made it three straight victories and four games without defeat for an improving York side, and followed a hugely important 4-1 home league success against RACA Tynedale, when Lucy Lendhill (2), Anna Whitehead and Lindsay Jordan were each on target.

The always dangerous Lendhill had also struck both goals prior to that as the hosts came from behind to overcome Boldon Villa CA 2-1 in the League Cup second round at Haxby Road.

City’s travelling squad for the north-east certainly appears strong and includes a number of multiple County Cup winners despite the unavailability of highly-rated goalkeeper Chloe Precious and fast-raiding winger Jazz Whitwell. Four-goal striker Ellie Regan is another notable absentee due to her university commitments.

Photo: Ian Parker

Belles midfielder Nikki Brown breaking through the opposition ranks

While the Belles will start as favourites against opponents a couple of divisions lower than themselves, Redcar, who are presently in the same league as City’s semi-final victims Pocklington, already significantly knocked out the higher-ranked Boro Rangers in the last four of the competition.

They currently lead the North Riding Premier League having won twelve of their fifteen games so far while losing just once; that’s despite not being in competitive league action since the end of February following a succession of postponements.

One player to definitely watch out for from within their ranks is the prolific Jess Round, who has already scored an incredible 39 goals while providing twenty-seven assists in just fifteen games this season. She claimed the opening goal in their semi-final victory ahead of then laying on a second for Beth Enderwick.

Photo: Ian Parker

Striker Lucy Lendhill will be leading the challenge for honours

Aside from the big cup final occasion, there’s also three important league fixtures taking place, which include both of the sides immediately below City Ladies in the North East Regional Premier League being in action..

Bottom club Wakefield travel to RACA Tynedale while Castleford White Rose are hosting high-flying Hartlepool United, with Farsley Celtic taking on Wallsend BC in the remaining fixture.

York City Ladies (from): Leigh Bamford, Emily Garland, Josie Hewson, Abbi Webster, Laura Midgley, Jess Barnes, Charlie Shaw, Nikki Brown, Beth Clayton, Sara Renfrew, Lindsay Jordan, Anna Whitehead, Megan Bramham, Kayleigh Davis, Alice Turner, Lucy Lendhill

Redcar Town Ladies (from): Claire Campbell, Ellie Turner, Tyler Sharp, Emily Fewster, Paula Lowe, Heather Power, Jenny Dixon, Beth Enderwick, Jess Round, Georgie Horn, Louise Arden, Michelle Coleman, Rachel Darby, Yasmin Cook, Emma Bolton.

Link: Belles targeting new record trophy haul

Link: Belles maintaining Cup tradition despite tough season

Link: Lindsay going well after first City Ladies goal