The draw for the semi-finals of the Lincolnshire County Cup has been made and Town’s women will host local rivals Cleethorpes Town.
Dale Houlston’s side booked their place in the draw with a comfortable 10-0 romp against Grantham Town on Sunday.
Grantham play their football at the same tier seven-level as the Mariners, but in the Nottinghamshire Ladies League.
They were very much an unknown quantity, and Dale Houlston’s team arrived not knowing what to expect. “We’ve arrived genuinely not knowing what to expect,” Dale said. “I didn’t have a chance to watch them leading up to the fixture, and looking at their results this season they’ve had a mixed bag of results against teams both above and below them.
“So we really didn’t have a clue what sort of a test it would be. Whist we obviously wanted to progress into the semi-final, we wanted a decent game of football to test ourselves in too. I think that’s been the story of our season so far. We’ve continued to do really well, we are flying, but we’ve been crying out for a real ding dong of a game. I’m fearful that me saying this every week might be getting a bit nauseous, and every week I am saying time and again that I mean absolutely no disrespect to our opponents, and that sentiment is genuine.
“I think it’s important that we keep emphasising this, because as a club, even though this is a starting point for us on our journey, we are very supportive in wanting to see more and more women’s teams evolve and more opportunities for girls to progress into adult teams. So it’s the same message again this week. We are really grateful to Grantham for the fixture, they’ve worked very hard in the game, and they are a great group of people that played the game in good spirit all the way to the final whistle. It’s important that we recognise that and applaud it”.
On his team’s performance, Dale said: “We have played some smashing football today, and I’m extremely pleased that we’ve kept our discipline and focus, and that can sometimes be difficult to do once it’s clear what the outcome of the game is likely to be. We’ve passed the ball well, and we’ve kept the ball for long periods and we had lots of positive possession. I can’t fault the girls today for their application”.
Dale made a number of changes with three new faces in the starting line-up. The Town boss was delighted with their debuts. “Yes they’ve come in and done really well.”
Town's semi-final tie will be played on February 16th. Venue to be confirmed.
The Lincolnshire County Cup final will be played at Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium.