MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 11:49:54| >> :120:5373:5373:
May 4, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at Academy Stadium
Attendance: 43,264
Man City WomenManchester City Women
3-0
W Ham WomenWest Ham United Women
Walsh (52'), Stanway (81'), Hemp (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Seven-time winner Gilly Flaherty previews Women's FA Cup final

Flaherty has won the FA Cup seven times already but she is desperate to help the Hammers end a fairy tale season with silverware.

Seven-time FA Cup winner Gilly Flaherty admits lifting the trophy with West Ham would trump the lot.

Flaherty, five times a winner with Arsenal and twice with Chelsea, joined a fledgling Hammers team which had only just turned professional last summer.

Manager Matt Beard had to hastily assemble together an entire squad, and the sum total of their ambition was to survive in their first season in the Women's Super League.

Yet somehow West Ham are not only comfortably mid-table, they also reached a first-ever Women's FA Cup final.

They will be huge underdogs when they take on mighty Manchester City on Saturday evening at Wembley in front of what will be a record crowd of around 50,000.

Despite her vast experience defender Flaherty, 27, will be captaining a side at Wembley for the first time – and she is dreaming of lifting the trophy.

"It would be the pinnacle of my career," she said.

"I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a few successful teams but to come here, there was some eyebrows raised when I left Chelsea to come to a club that was brand new, but I trusted Matt and his vision for the club.

"Us getting to the final in our first year proves it was the right decision."

City are unbeaten domestically this season and thrashed West Ham 7-1 earlier in the campaign, but Beard feels they will be the ones under pressure.

"We're delighted to be there and we're looking forward to the occasion," he said.

"Obviously it's a big game and a game we want to win. It's a big occasion but we've got a job to do.

"I said at the semi-final stage to get there would probably be like a fairy tale with everything we've been through, as a group, having six weeks to build a team and build this club.

"I think it puts more pressure on them. Someone sent me the odds and Manchester City were 5-1 on, and we're 11-1. But it's the cup final!

"If we can pull it off on Saturday it would be an unbelievable achievement."

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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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