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The Football Association Women’s Challenge Cup Competition, commonly referred to as the FA Women's Cup, is the top cup competition for women's football clubs in England – designed as an exact equivalent to the FA Cup created 99 years earlier.

The competition began in 1970–71 as the Mitre Challenge Trophy, organised by the Women's Football Association (WFA).[1] There were 71 entrants, including teams from Scotland andWales.[2]

Since the Football Association (FA) took over direct control of English women's football in 1993, the semi–professional teams affiliated with male FA Premier League and Football Leaguecounterparts have dominated the re–branded competition. Arsenal won in 2004, beating Charlton Athletic 3–0 in the final on 3 May. On 2 May 2005, Charlton made amends for the disappointment of the two previous years, by beating Everton 1–0. Arsenal regained the trophy on 1 May 2006, beating Leeds United 5–0. Wins in 2007, 2008 and 2009 gave Arsenal a record ten titles.[3]

The FA Women's Cup often shared sponsorship with its men's equivalent (for 2006 to 2011, E.ON). The current cup holders are Arsenal. They beat Bristol Academy 3–0 in the final atKeepmoat Stadium on 26 May 2013.[4]

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Format

Format[edit]Edit

As with the men's tournament, clubs from higher leagues do not have to enter the qualifying rounds or first rounds proper.[5]

  • entering at Fifth Round Proper (round of 16): FA WSL teams
  • entering at Third Round Proper: FA Women's Premier League National Division
  • entering at Second Round Proper: FA Women's Premier League North & South Divisions
  • entering at Third Round Qualifying: Combination Leagues

All other clubs have to go through the preliminary round, first and second rounds qualifying, which are played on a geographical basis.

List of finals[edit]Edit

The finals so far:[6]

Year Winners Score Runners up Scorers Venue
1971 Southampton 4–1 Stewarton & Thistle (Scottish) Southampton: Davies (3), Cassell Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1972 Southampton 3–2 Lee's Ladies (Scottish) Southampton: Judd (2), Lopez Eton Park

Attendance: 1,500

1973 Southampton 2–0 Westthorn United (Scottish) KenwayHale Bedford Town FC

Attendance: 3,000

1974 Fodens 2–1 Southampton Bedford Town FC
1975 Southampton 4–2 Warminster Dunstable Town FC
1976 Southampton 2–1 a.e.t. QPR Bedford Town FC

Attendance: 1,500

1977 QPR 1–0 Southampton Staley Champion Hill

Attendance: 3,000

1978 Southampton 8–2 QPR Slough Town FC
1979 Southampton 1–0 Lowestoft Waterlooville FC

Attendance: 1,200

1980 St Helens 1–0 Preston North End
1981 Southampton 4–2 St Helens Knowsley Road
1982 Lowestoft 2–0 Cleveland Spartans Loftus Road
1983 Doncaster Belles 3–2 St Helens Sincil Bank
1984 Howbury Grange 4–2 Doncaster Belles Sincil Bank
1985 Friends of Fulham 2–0 Doncaster Belles Craven Cottage
1986 Norwich 4–3 Doncaster Belles
1987 Doncaster Belles 2–0 St Helens City Ground
1988 Doncaster Belles 3–1 Leasowe Pacific
1989 Leasowe Pacific 3–2 Friends of Fulham Old Trafford

Attendance: 941

1990 Doncaster Belles 1–0 Friends of Fulham Coultard 61' Baseball Ground

Attendance: 3,000

1991 Millwall 1–0 Doncaster Belles Baldeo 65' Prenton Park

Attendance:4,000

1992 Doncaster Belles 4–0 Red Star Southampton Prenton Park
1993 Arsenal 3–0 Doncaster Belles Curley 45', Ball 45', Bampton 80' Manor Ground, Oxford

Attendance: 3,547

1994 Doncaster Belles 1–0 Knowsley United Walker 38' Glanford Park

Attendance: 1,674

1995 Arsenal 3–2 Liverpool Prenton Park
1996 Croydon 1–1 a.e.t. (3–2 pen.) Liverpool Liverpool: Burke 22'

Croydon: Powell 38'

The New Den

Attendance: 2,110

1997 Millwall 1–0 Wembley Waller 51' Upton Park

Attendance: 3,015

1998 Arsenal 3–2 Croydon Arsenal: Spacey 17', Yankey 52', Few 90+3

Croydon: Broadhurst (pen) 10', Powell 55'

The Valley
1999 Arsenal 2–0 Southampton Saints Hayes (o.g) 14', Wheatley 41' The Valley

Attendance: 6,450

2000 Croydon 2–1 Doncaster Belles Croydon: C.Walker 40', G.Hunt 67'

Doncaster: Exley 40'

Bramall Lane

Attendance: 3,434

2001 Arsenal 1–0 Fulham Banks 52' Selhurst Park

Attendance: 13,824

2002 Fulham 2–1 Doncaster Belles Fulham: Yankey 55', Chapman 56'

Doncaster: Handley 58'

Selhurst Park

Attendance: 10,124

2003 Fulham 3–0 Charlton Athletic Moore 18', Hills (o.g) 36', Williams (o.g) 61' Selhurst Park

Attendance: 10,389

2004 Arsenal 3–0 Charlton Athletic Fleeting (3) 23', 25', 83' Loftus Road

Attendance: 12,244

2005 Charlton Athletic 1–0 Everton Aluko 58' Upton Park

Attendance: 8,567

2006 Arsenal 5–0 Leeds United Ward (o.g) 3', Fleeting 34', Yankey 35', Smith (pen) 73', Sanderson 77' The New Den

Attendance: 13,452

2007 Arsenal 4–1 Charlton Athletic Charlton: Holtham 2'

Arsenal: Smith 7', 80', Ludlow 15', 45'

City Ground

Attendance: 24,529

2008 Arsenal 4–1 Leeds United Arsenal: Smith 54', 83', Ludlow 58', Sanderson 60'

Leeds: Clarke 68'

City Ground

Attendance: 24,582

2009 Arsenal 2–1 Sunderland Arsenal: Chapman 32', Little 90'

Sunderland: McDougall 90'

Pride Park Stadium

Attendance: 23,291

2010 Everton 3–2 a.e.t. Arsenal Arsenal: Little (pen) 43', Fleeting 54'

Everton: Dowie 16', 119', White (o.g.) 45'+2'

City Ground

Attendance: 17,505[7]

2011 Arsenal 2–0 Bristol Academy Little 19', Fleeting 32' Ricoh Arena

Attendance: 13,885[8]

2012 Birmingham City 2–2 a.e.t. (3–2 pen.) Chelsea Birmingham City: Williams 90', Carney 111'

Chelsea: Lander 69' Longhurst 101'

Ashton Gate

Attendance: 8,723

2013 Arsenal 3–0 Bristol Academy Houghton 2' Nobbs 72' White 90' Keepmoat Stadium

Attendance: 4,988

Performance by club[edit]Edit

Club Winners Runners-up Winning Years
Arsenal 12 1 1992–93, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–112012–13
Southampton 8 3 1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1980–81
Doncaster Belles 6 7 1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1993–94
Everton[A] 2 2 1988–89, 2009–10
Millwall 2 - 1990–91, 1996–97
Croydon 2 1 1995–96, 1999–2000
Fulham 2 1 2001–02, 2002–03
Fodens 1 - 1973–74
Q.P.R. 1 2 1976–77
St Helens 1 3 1979–80
Lowestoft 1 1 1981–82
Howbury Grange 1 - 1983–84
Friends of Fulham 1 2 1984–85
Norwich 1 - 1985–86
Charlton Athletic 1 3 2004–05
Birmingham City 1 - 2011–12
Liverpool - 2
Leeds United - 2
Bristol Academy - 2
Stewarton & Thistle - 1
Lee's Ladies - 1
Westhorn United - 1
Warminster - 1
Preston North End - 1
Cleveland Spartans - 1
Red Star Southampton - 1
Knowsley United - 1
Wembley - 1
Southampton Saints - 1
Sunderland - 1
Chelsea - 1

From 2000 until 2008, the Cup winner competed with the FA Women's Premier League National Division winners for the FA Women's Community Shield.

A. ^ Everton L.F.C. were previously known as Leasowe Pacific.[9]

Media coverage[edit]Edit

In the late 1980s[10] and early 1990s[11] television coverage of the WFA final was provided by Channel 4.

In recent years the final of the tournament was covered by BBC TV, presented by Celina HinchcliffeRebecca Lowe, Ray Stubbs and Jake Humphrey, the punditry team was usually current players like Sue Scott and commentary usually by Steve Wilson and Lucy Ward or Faye White. The final was also simulcast on BBC Radio Five Live. In 2009 the final was moved to ITV1 with commentary from Jon Champion and Lucy Ward. Sky Sports secured a three year deal for live coverage from 2010 until 2012.[12] The Women's FA Cup Final for 2013 is returning to the BBC as people had discontent that Sky broke away from the penalties last year and only showed it on the red button.

Sponsorship[edit]Edit

Sponsors of the original WFA competition (1970–1993) included Mitre,[1] Pony wines and Mycil.[11]

Below is a list of sponsors of the FA competition:

From 2007, Tesco obtained additional branding and advertising rights through their partnership agreement with the FA.

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