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Women's Football News
Enfield Town are set to take on Colchester United in the Third Round of the F.A.Women's Cup this Sunday and there is an extra incentive on offer for the winning side.
After the original tie was postponed last week, the draw for the Fourth Round has been made in the meantime and the prize on offer for the winners is the ultimate test in women's football - an away tie against the mighty Arsenal.
The match has already presented a chance for South East Combination leaders Enfield to pit their wits against Premier League opponents and midfielder Beth Lovell told Women's Soccer Scene: "Playing a team from the division above is a good test for us.
"It is a good chance to see how we fare against a side from the level we want to be playing at and, obviously, having drawn Arsenal in the next round is an added motivation."
First of all, Colchester stand in Enfield's way and Beth is anticipating a tough challenge. "We know that Colchester have two good strikers in Helen Bass and Kate Longhurst, so we will have to cope with that the best we can," she admits. "They went up from our league the season before last and deserved to be promoted that year. When we played them, they were strong in midfield and a hard working team.
"However we are optimistic that we can give them a game and get through to the next round. Luton beat a team from the same division in the Cup last week and that gives confidence to sides at our level, proving that it is possible to win.
"Hopefully we can get at Colchester and contain their strikers, which seems to be their strength. It could be a very open game as both teams like to attack."
Beth also admits that the prospect of playing Arsenal in the next round has raised the stakes for Sunday's game. "Everyone likes to pit themselves against the best teams," she says. "If we can get through to play Arsenal, it would be our cup final and a good day for all of the players. It would be a daunting task, but one that everyone in our team would enjoy."
Enfield will approach the match against Colchester in excellent form, having won all of their last seven league matches to go top of the table. "We've had a strong season so far, so we will take confidence into this game," says Beth. "We've been strong defensively but have added more goals to our game.
"Our formation is fairly attacking and younger players have come into the team and they have a lot of pace. In the last round of the Cup, we played Queen's Park Rangers who are top of their equivalent league at the same level and beat them 3-0, so that proves we are going in the right direction.
"Results have been better than we've anticipated and we are where we want to be at this time of the year. It is a wide open league though and there are some tough games ahead as four or five teams are probably in the running at the moment.
"This is my fifth season at Enfield and probably the strongest team we've had since I have been at the club. I am now playing in a midfield trio and have scored four goals so far, so it is working well."
Whilst recognising that the Cup matches are big occasions, Beth insists that Enfield will not take their eyes off the major prize - promotion to the Premier League. "The F.A.Cup is good for the club as it raises our profile," she says, "it is a good source of income for the club if you do well.
"However we want to reclaim our Premier League status, everyone at the club would like to see us back at that level. This season, with a mixture of older players and youngsters, we have a good chance - but we are aware that, such is the tightness of the league, a few other clubs are thinking the same thing right now."
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