Women's FA Cup fourth round: Billericay's 39-year-old heroine among tales to watch

Steph Houghton
England skipper Steph Houghton led Man City to last season's Women's FA Cup
Women's FA Cup fourth round: 25-26 January
Live coverage: Man Utd v Man City Date: Saturday, 25 January Kick-off: 12:45 GMT Venue: Leigh Sports Village Watch: Live on the BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website & app.

Saturday's Manchester derby grabbed the headlines following the Women's FA Cup fourth-round draw, but Sunday's 15 other ties promise plenty of passion, drama and possible upsets.

Teams from the Women's Super League and Championship - England's top two divisions - enter the cup at this stage and are joined by nine teams from the lower leagues.

Five clubs from the fourth tier, including eight-time winners Southampton, have made it through five ties already in the competition this term.

With final preparations for the weekend's games under way, who might spring a surprise and who has already written themselves into their club's history books with a moment of cup magic?

Billericay's 39-year-old match-winner

Lindsey Morgan
Lindsey Morgan's late goal in a 3-2 comeback win sent Billericay through to round four

The lowest-ranked side left in the competition, Women's National League Division One South East outfit Billericay Town, have been grateful to late goals from a cup heroine who has been rolling back the years.

While Rochdale's Aaron Wilbraham grabbed headlines, aged 40, for his late equaliser against Newcastle in the men's third round, Billericay's captain Lindsey Morgan was going one step further.

The 39-year-old has headed late winners from corners in both of the past two rounds, including in Billericay's dramatic 3-2 comeback win over Actonians in the third round.

"The cup brings those special moments," she told BBC Sport. "In the 93rd minute, with the craziness of the celebrations, it was unbelievable for the team.

"It wouldn't have mattered if it was me or someone else scoring. It's an unreal feeling to win it that late on, especially after coming from behind. and we made history for Billericay."

Morgan previously spent a decade at West Ham before joining Billericay four years ago and is now the team's longest-serving player, as well as their oldest.

A former Royal Mail worker and now a part-time cleaner away from football training and bringing up her young son, she added: "We have police officers, teachers, office workers and university students.

"We're a mixture of ages. The youngest player in our team is 16. With that age gap, for me to keep doing what I'm doing is amazing and a dream come true."

Morgan's side travel to second-tier Lewes on Sunday [13:00 GMT] and Morgan added: "We're the underdogs. Lewes will be a tough test but we'll give it our best shot.

"Everyone was saying 'do you want Man City?' but now we've actually got a tie we can fight for. There's bound to be an upset somewhere - we hope it's us causing the upset. We're just enjoying the ride."

How unbeaten Barnsley fought back from 'rock bottom'

Of the sides outside the top two divisions, only Barnsley were drawn to face a WSL side and the Yorkshire club got a humdinger - Tottenham Hotspur, away.

Unbeaten this season and top of the fourth tier's Northern region, Barnsley are aiming high with a five-year plan and have already proposed plans to build their own stadium specifically dedicated to women.

They were 3-0 winners away at Leeds United in the third qualifying round, on their way to reaching the fourth round proper for the first time.

"I took over just over 18 months ago when we were rock bottom. We stayed up by one goal scored in 2017-18," chief executive Steve Maddock told BBC News.

"We had a five-year plan from when we took over, to get to the Championship. If we get promoted this year, it's definitely on. We know the size of the task to accomplish that but the people and companies of Barnsley are right behind us.

"To be unbeaten in the league and [in the fourth round of the cup], it's a big deal. It's massive exposure for us and fantastic for everybody involved.

"We're looking at taking 200 away fans down to Tottenham. At least now, the WSL teams will have heard of us."

How many lower-tier sides could progress?

There are guaranteed to be at least two teams from below the second division in Monday's fifth-round draw.

That's because third-tier Northern and Southern leaders Sunderland and Watford are going head-to-head on Sunday, while third-tier Huddersfield host fourth-tier South East leaders Ipswich Town.

Additionally, Burnley - also of the third tier - host mid-table second-tier outfit Leicester City, while two clubs from Southampton are at home to Championship sides too.

Southampton - the club affiliated to the men's Premier League side - will host Coventry United, while eight-time cup winners Southampton Women's FC take on Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, there are just two all-WSL ties, with West Ham hosting record 14-time winners Arsenal after Saturday's Manchester derby involving the holders, Man City.

This year's final will be held at Wembley on Saturday, 9 May and will be live on the BBC.

Steve Maddock was speaking to BBC News' Oli Constable.

You can watch Saturday's Manchester derby live on the BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport website & app, along with live text commentary online.

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