It’s fourth round Vitality Women’s FA Cup time for Southampton FC Women this weekend, with a trip to Lewes FC on Sunday.
Lewes FC vs Saints
Vitality Women’s FA Cup, fourth round
The Dripping Pan Stadium
Sunday 18th April, 2pm BST
LIVE (UK viewers only) on Facebook, mobile app and southamptonfc.com
As the wins keep coming so do the games for Saints, who progressed to Sunday’s fourth round following an impressive win over Yeovil United last week.
The deadlock was broken on the half hour mark, as Shannon Sievwright let fly from range and put Saints ahead with a superb effort.
Yeovil posed a tough task for Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side, as to be expected for a side in the division above, but Saints made sure of progression during the final 25 minutes.
First came a close-range strike from Sophia Pharoah, who latched onto a low cross at the back post to make it 2-0, before Rachel Panting’s near-post finish confirmed a successive 3-0 cup victory.
Next up comes a tough trip to Championship side Lewes, who enter the tournament for the first time at this fourth-round stage.
Unlike Saints’ division the Championship did not curtail, meaning Lewes have been in competitive action since September.
They currently sit fifth in the division, ten points behind fourth placed Liverpool and only two ahead of sixth place London City.
WATCH THE GAME LIVE
You can watch Saints bid for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup LIVE this weekend thanks to our partners Virgin Media.
With coverage starting at 13.55pm BST from the Dripping Pan Stadium, we’ll then bring you all the action over on our Facebook page, official mobile app and southamptonfc.com.
So join your commentator Ian Wilding and support the side as they bid for a spot in the last 16 of the competition, as part of bumper day of action on our channels.
PLAYER FOCUS: Sophia Pharoah
With five goals this season, including one in the last round of this competition, midfielder Pharoah is proving herself to be one of the main attacking threats in Spacey-Cale’s side this season.
But away from the goals, it’s clear that like the rest of the team the 20-year-old is excited to be back into a routine, with eyes firmly set on the FA Cup and progression in the tournament.
“It’s been really good being back and almost like we’ve never left”, she said. “The mood is really positive after the last two wins, which has definitely lifted the spirits.
“The Yeovil match was a very physical game but obviously that’s where we want to be competing against teams like that. I think it showed we can compete too.
“With my goal it was a case of right place, right time after a lot of running into the box. I definitely need to add more goals to my game, that’s something to aim for.
“This weekend it will be a tough game, similarly to Yeovil Lewes will be quite physical. But we’re in no doubt that we can go out and perform, play our football.
“With the league being cancelled it’s good to have some competitive games so we want to keep this run going. Friendlies are good but playing competitively, you have that little bit extra determination to go win.”
With three weeks training now under their belt, Spacey-Cale and her side are right back into the swing of things at Staplewood following their long lay-off.
But with that comes an extra desire to progress in the FA Cup and continue playing competitively, something the manager has instilled into her players since their return.
“It’s nice to be in a routine and know there are things we are training towards,” said the manager.
“On the pitch against Yeovil we played some really good football in parts and nullified their strengths. Then we played to our strengths a little more.
“Both games we scored three goals and got clean sheets. I thought our organisation on Sunday was really good as it gave us a really strong platform to build our attacks from.
“Lewes have carried on playing, so they’ve been in week-in, week-out. But we’ve got a freshness about us. We want to be challenged, we want to see where we’re at, we want to play against teams with a semi-professional or professional set-up.
“We believe in ourselves, we know that we’re capable, but we’re also aware of what Lewes’ strengths are. We’ve got to go in there with no fear and belief in what we can do."