Hartlepool footballer Lindsay Johnson and Everton reach Women’s FA Cup final against Arsenal

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Lindsay Johnson with her fellow Everton team mates after beating Arsenal in 2010. Picture by FRANK REID
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: Lindsay Johnson with her fellow Everton team mates after beating Arsenal in 2010. Picture by FRANK REID
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LINDSAY Johnson will be hoping to see history repeat itself after reaching her third FA Cup final with Everton.

The Hartlepool girl helped the Toffees reach next month’s showpiece after a 2-0 semi-final win at Notts County on Sunday.

It sets up Everton with a final confrontation with Arsenal on June 1 – six years after Johnson and Co beat the Gunners after extra-time at the City Ground in Nottingham.

The 34-year-old told SportMail that the Women’s Super League club had confounded the critics by reaching the biggest day in the ladies domestic game.

“We’ve been written off this season so to go and reach the FA Cup final has been brilliant,” said the central defender.

“Apart from me and a couple of others, we are a really youthful squad with quite a few 17-year-olds.

“But we are doing very well.

“We beat Liverpool 2-0 in the quarter-finals, which was a very sweet result, and then we won 2-1 at Notts County, who had beaten us in the WSL.

“People have pinpointed us as relegation favourites because we have lost two of our best players to Man City – Toni Duggan and Jill Scott.

“It’s a cliche but our club is going through a bit of a transition phase.

“A lot of money has come into the women’s game and that has opened up a lot of movement,

“But we don’t have loads of money at Everton so we’ve not been able to attract the big players we probably need.

“We’re rebuilding under our manager, Andy Spence, and I think because we’ve been dismissed in a lot of quarters we have a very strong team ethic.

“It’s great to reach the FA Cup final and I’m looking forward to it.

“I think Arsenal have been written off, a little bit like ourselves, so they probably felt they had a point to prove as well.

“The final is on June 1 at MK Dons which is quite a good stadium and is live on BBC 2, so it should be a great day.”

Johnson is making her third FA Cup final appearance – Everton lost in 2005 at Upton Park, but the former Manor College of Technology and Hartlepool Sixth Form student was player of the match.

But Lindsay and Everton struck gold five years later with victory over the Gunners at the City Ground.

Capped 43 times by England, the speedy centre-half is still doing the business in the twilight of her career.

“I’m still playing and still starting, so I’m happy,” he said.

“It’s getting harder as each year goes by, but I think as you get older you manage your game that little bit better.

“I still have my pace and no-one has outsprinted me yet.

“I’m just enjoying playing and to get to the FA Cup final again has been fantastic.”