Match Preview as Lincoln Ladies head to Curzon Ashton by Dan Mooney
Curzon Ashton V OOH Lincoln Thursday night (8pm)
OOH Lincoln Ladies head to Curzon Ashton on Thursday night (8pm) knowing a win would secure second place in the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division.
It is believed that nearest challengers Leicester City must finish second to be promoted into the rump National Division next season, after they missed out on the new Super League. But the Foxes languish five points behind Lincoln and have just two games left.
To be runners-up to Liverpool, Super League bound OOH Lincoln have three games left in which to accrue two points. A home and away double header with relegated Luton Town will follow the match at Curzon.
Lady Imps boss Rod Wilson explained that Thursday night’s opponents have done their homework ahead of what is, for them, something of a grudge match.
FA bosses booted Curzon out of last season’s Women’s Cup, after the Lancastrians fielded an ineligible player in their shock 1-0 win at Lincoln.
Wilson said: ‘Curzon Ashton were at Flixton on Sunday, filming our game with Man City.
‘They fell out with us last year because they beat us in the cup with an American playing for them.
‘She was a good player but didn’t have international clearance. We took it to an FA tribunal at Soho Square, and they got thrown out.
‘Now there’s no love lost between the clubs. But we bring in foreign players all the time and know the processes. It was our right to appeal.’
Fatigue could also be a factor for Wilson’s ladies after two games in three days. The Lady Imps won 1-0 at Derby County on Thursday then drew 1-1 at Manchester City on Sunday.
They were only spared a third game in six days when Curzon Ashton’s men qualified for the UniBond Division One play-offs.
The male team required the Tameside Stadium on Tuesday for their semi-final with Colwyn Bay, so the ladies game with Lincoln was put back until Thursday.
Wilson said: ‘In my experience of women’s football, it’s very difficult for players – at our level – to play on Thursday night then Sunday.
‘So playing Thursday, Sunday two weeks running is going to be immense. All we can do is give it a go.
‘We can’t catch Liverpool, so in a way the players have got nothing to lose. It won’t be easy but they just have to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in as best they can.’
Zuzana Pramukova is eligible to play under the terms of her loan to Rotherham United, but may miss out through work.
The in-form Slovakian striker headed last Thursday’s winner at Derby and also scored for Rotherham on Sunday.
With key trio Jade Radburn, Megan Harris and Jodie Michalska still unavailable, Wilson may opt to rotate his squad.
Youngsters Paige Crossman and Anna Faux could be involved again after impressive recent displays.
Wilson added: ‘Amanda Barr came back in at Man City and did ok, but she’s not fit enough after being out for a long while.
‘Kirsty Richardson also came on and played her part last week but isn’t up to full fitness either.’