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Keynsham Town full back Hannah Davies believes that her team can use Sunday's SSE Women's FA Cup Fourth Round tie against Reading FC Women as the starting point for what is set to be a busy second half of the season.
Keynsham have beaten higher division sides like C & K Basildon and Fylde Ladies in their cup run so far, however this time they have the tough task of facing Kelly Chambers' FA WSL side at Woking but Hannah told Women's Soccer Scene it is an occasion they are looking forward to. "Everyone at the club is buzzing and it is the reason why all of the players in the team at Keynsham play football, to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the country who have a lot of internationals," she said. "This is definitely one of the more challenging games we will play this season but also hopefully it will be one of the most rewarding."
On hearing the draw, and finding out the task ahead, the initial reaction of the Keynsham players is summed up by Hannah. "Excited!" she smiles. "It's what everyone at the club has worked so hard for, on and off the pitch, and it is no more than club deserves.
"We were hoping for one of the "big guns" when we made it through to the Fourth Round and we certainly got what we hoped for!"
As well as the Reading tie on Sunday, Keynsham are heavily involved in four competitions in total including a challenge on the FAWNL Division One South West title. They have gone into nearly every match they have played this season as favourites, so it will be a different feeling when the boot is on the other foot this week.
"We are massive underdogs because Reading have internationals at all levels throughout their squad and a lot of quality," Hannah admits. "It is also on their pitch, so they will be big favourites and people will not expect us to win, but their recent results have not been the best and maybe it might be the best time to play them."
The Keynsham squad contains a lot of top flight experience, none moreso than former England internationals Justine Lorton and Corinne Yorston whilst players such as Ellie Curson, Keka and Kerry Bartlett have also played at the highest level in their career.
"The game will be a good experience for the younger players in our squad, if we are going to make the step up to the next level, this is what we would have to face," says Hannah. "The whole team has come on leaps and bounds this season and we will only benefit from a game like this. With role models like Justine, Corinne and Ellie, the team will only go in one direction regardless of the result on Sunday."
"We have a lot of belief in what we can still achieve this season. There is still a lot to play for and we are confident. The business end of the season is where the trophies and the medals are handed out and we want to be right in the thick of things. But for the time being, we will continue to treat every game like a cup final, which is a good way to look at it.
"We have to make sure we are on it every minute, in every game and that starts at Reading in the FA Cup on Sunday."
The match will be played at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, the home of Woking FC with a 2pm kick off. Entry to the match is free.
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