Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Watford in the biggest shock of the day in the third round of the Women’s FA Cup. Wolves, who were top of the Midlands region of the fourth tier before every Women's National League division's season was curtailed last month, ran out 4-1 winners away Read More »
What is it? The 2020 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea. The 139th time the event has been held, for those who are counting. Arsenal have won the competition more times than any other team (13) with Chelsea in third with eight wins. It's also a repeat of the 2016-17 final,
England will launch a vaccine passport trial in a comedy club, a nightclub and FA Cup matches at Wembley in the coming weeks to determine how it can reopen the economy and host mass events safely. The government said a COVID-status certification system was being developed that would show whether a person had had a vaccine, a recent negative test or natural immunity from a positive test taken in the last six months. The trial, to be run at nine events including the FA Cup semi-final and final, will be used to assess whether large events can be held in closed settings without social distancing.
With a gigantic 160 league places between them, if Brighouse Town met Newcastle United in the men’s FA Cup it would represent one of the all-time great draws, pitting an eighth-tier minnow against a major Premier League brand. In the women’s game, they meet as fourth-tier equals. In fact, it's Brighouse who are the higher-ranked of the two women’s sides and therefore the favourites for Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup second-round meeting with underdogs Newcastle at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium. “A few reporters have been speaking to me about a ‘David v Goliath’ tie and I always laugh because, although Newcastle have got the name, we’ve not finished below them in these past four years that they’ve been in our division,” Brighouse manager Rob Mitchell told Telegraph Sport. “If people don’t know about the women’s game, they’re always taken aback and it’s quite funny to watch and listen to.” Second in the table this term, it’s not just the eighth-placed Newcastle that Brighouse are sitting above in the Women’s National League Division One North; Yorkshire neighbours Leeds United, Barnsley and Bradford City all find themselves below Mitchell’s successful side too, but he wants women’s teams' performances to be judged in their own right, not by how good their male counterparts are. “Whenever people in our division are trying to sell games or explain what league they’re in, they never say ‘Brighouse Town are in our league’, they always mention Newcastle or Leeds, that habit of connecting the men’s game to the women,” he added. “What matters is Newcastle are a good side, hard to break down and strong on the counter attack, so we’ve got to be wary of that. We want to go as far as we can and hopefully we can further enhance our name within the women’s game.” The Women's FA Cup is back... but competition's return is mired in controversy Lying in picturesque Calderdale, Brighouse is more famous for hillside scenery, an all-conquering brass band and being home to rock group Embrace, whose tune 'World at your feet' was England men’s official world cup song of 2006. In women's football, the club's reputation has been heightened by four consecutive years in at least the top three in their division, accompanied by repeated good cup runs. On Sunday, they will be trying to reach the third round for the fourth time in five years; recent campaigns have seen them knock out Burnley, Derby and Wolves. This term, coronavirus restrictions have delayed the cup since early January. Women’s teams in the third tier or below, classed as ‘non-elite’ by the Government, were unable to play or train until last Monday, March 29, but are now straight back into competitive action less than a week later in the cup. “The players have worked really hard with their Strava runs, online fitness work and their yoga, but while they are physically fit, when it comes to match fitness, they’re not there yet. They’ve only had two sessions after three months off,” Mitchell said. “To be asked to play at short notice, although we’re really happy we can play, it’s also a little bit of a tough ask on the girls. Now, if we want to keep playing, we’ve got to win.” Progressing in the cup will now be the only way sides like Brighouse can keep playing competitive football this Spring, because their league seasons have been curtailed for a second season running. That denied Brighouse a chance to earn promotion on the field, but they now hope to achieve it through an application.