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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Women's FA Cup: The history
Fulham celebrate their 2-1 win over Doncaster in last year's final
Fulham won the Cup in 2002

Although the Women's FA Cup has only been run by the FA since 1993/94, the competition's origins date back to 1970/71.

The premier knockout tournament in the women's game was called the Mitre Trophy until the FA took over the running of women's football from the WFA in 1993.

This will be the 10th Women's Cup Final under the auspices of the FA.

The first, played at Scunthorpe United FC on 24 April 1994, finished Doncaster Belles 1 Knowsley United 0.

The Belles, who had appeared in 10 finals of the old "Women's FA Cup", won with a 38th-minute header from civil servant Karen Walker before a crowd of 1,674. 147 clubs had entered the competition.

The holders lost out to Arsenal in the following year's semi-finals and the north London team went on to win a thrilling final against Liverpool 3-2 in front of 3,000 at Tranmere Rovers FC.

Croydon dug in to hold Liverpool over two hours of the 1996 final at Millwall FC (1-1) and then lift the Cup after an exciting shoot-out (3-2).

And more than 3,000 at Upton Park saw Millwall Lionesses beat Wembley 1-0 in 1997.

Lou Waller's header early in the second half was enough to win the Cup for Millwall.

Arsenal had already beaten Croydon to lift the League Cup in 1998 and the sides met again a few weeks later in the FA Cup Final at Millwall FC.

Sian Williams of Arsenal, winners in 2001
Arsenal's Sian Williams in 2001

It was to be no fairytale end for Hope Powell, captaining Croydon for the last time before retirement, as Kelley Few bundled in an injury-time winner.

A record crowd of 6,450 watched as Arsenal retained the Cup at Charlton's Valley in 1999.

An Arsenal team full of internationals assumed control from the start against Southampton Saints and the only surprise was that the odds-on favourites didn't win by a wider margin than 2-0.

Croydon completed one half of the Double after beating Doncaster Belles 2-1 in the 2000 final at Sheffield United FC.

Pauline Cope's penalty save from Belles' Karen Walker at 1-1 proved to be the turning point.

And Croydon midfielder Gemma Hunt, whose twin sister Carly missed the final through injury, hit the winner through a crowded goalmouth.

A massive attendance of 13,824 (still the record) was at Selhurst Park to see Arsenal beat Fulham in 2001 with Angela Banks' 52nd-minute strike.

And Fulham were back at Palace last year and this time they were winners.

Goals from Yankey and Katie Chapman (still a teenager) beat Doncaster Belles 2-1. There were 10,000 in the ground and 2.5 million watching live on BBC One.











Previous Women's Cup finals
25 Apr 03  |  Football

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