WOMEN'S TEAM | Dixson and Charlton eyeing FA Cup upset

David Brenchley reports

The conditions are right for the Charlton women’s team to cause an SSE Women’s FA Cup upset against FA Women’s Super League side Sheffield FC on Sunday, according to captain Kim Dixson.

The Addicks come into the game in top form, having kicked off 2017 with two 5-0 victories over teams in their division, before routing Worthing Town 8-0 in the Ryman Women’s Cup on Thursday.

And, with Sunday being their opponent’s first competitive game since November, home advantage and the benefit of match fitness, Dixson believes it is there for the taking as long as they have the belief.

“Anything can happen in the FA Cup – it will be their first competitive game so we have to be at it from the off and make sure we start well,” she said.

“Hopefully we’ll be fitter than them and, first and foremost, we can compete and then hopefully we can start playing football and go from there.

“Being at home is massive for us – we don’t lose many games here. We’re used to the pitch; it’s bobbly and in last couple of games it’s got worse. There’s a game on Saturday, so it will cut up more and hopefully that will help us.

“We all believe we’ve got a chance and that’s what we have to have because if we don’t then we’re not going to get anywhere on Sunday.”

Having been prominent title challengers in the FA Women’s Premier League South for the last few seasons, the squad all have ambitions to be FAWSL players.

And in the past two seasons they have put their credentials on the line in the prestigious competition, losing out in valiant efforts both times. Two years ago, Everton narrowly prevailed in the quarter-finals on penalties after a 1-1 draw and a year ago they were knocked out by Durham in the fourth round, losing 3-1.

Dixson added:  “All of our team want to be in the Women’s Super League. It’s hard to get there in this league because it’s so competitive but we know we can compete with the top teams, we just need to show it on the day.

“Playing Women’s Super League teams recently – Everton, Durham – we weren’t outplayed. We missed some very, very good chances against Durham when it was 2-1 and against Everton we went out on penalties.

“Every time we’ve played a Super League team we’ve come out with our heads held high and hopefully on Sunday we’ll do exactly the same. Win or lose, hopefully we’ll breed confidence from it either way.”

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