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Women's Football News
Havant & Waterlooville captain Charlotte Brown says that her side are in confident mood ahead of this Sunday's F.A.Women's Cup Third Round tie against Cardiff City.
The South West Combination side have reached this stage of the competition for the first time and Charlotte told Women's Soccer Scene: "It's going to be tough, but it's a good challenge.
"Cardiff play in the league above us and some of our squad have never played at that level. However the game will show us what sort of standard we would need to reach if we were to go up."
Charlotte is under no illusions though about the task that faces them. "Cardiff are a very attacking team with quick players and international experience," she admitted. "We must defend well and take any opportunities we get on the day.
"We are confident that we can pull off a surprise - it will actually be a change for us to be underdogs, so the pressure is off and if we can take our chances, we can do it."
The Hawks booked their place in the Third Round with a 5-2 victory over fellow South West Combination promotion chasers Plymouth Argyle in their much delayed Second Round tie last Sunday. "Considering we hadn't played for four weeks, we played well," she recalled. "We controlled the game in the first half and were 3-0 up ahead at half time, Plymouth then pulled two goals back but we got 4-2 ahead and it was comfortable from then.
"We played really well as a team, Charley Wilson had a good game up front even though she didn't score on the day and Jodie Prince made a huge contribution by scoring the fourth goal with a screamer."
Due to the tie being played a week late, both Havant and Cardiff know their destination if they win the game - a mouthwatering Fourth Round tie away to Doncaster Rovers Belles. "It's a massive incentive for both teams," admits Charlotte. "A lot of our girls have never played against England players before or teams in the top flight. But Sunday's game is all that matters right now."
Havant & Waterlooville are in their first season in the South West Combination following promotion from the Southern Region League and they have forced their way into title contention in the last two months. "The team is showing its best form - we lost our first game but haven't been beaten since," says Charlotte. "We were expecting a mid-table position at the start of the season but are fourth at present and still in contention for promotion, so we are exceeding expectations.
"Everyone is taking points off each other at the moment and as many as six teams will feel they still have a good chance.
"We've got a good squad this season, a number of players have played at Premier League level but also a lot of young players have come through as well.
"Havant & Waterlooville are a very ambitious club and we have been promoted in every season so far since our formation. We have good ties with the men's club and they are very supportive of us. Our aim at the start of the season was to get promoted in two years and reach the Premier League. People are noticing us now after we have done so well in a short space of time and it would be nice to go a long way in the Cup, although the league is our main concern."
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