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Pre Match Preview – Billericay – FA Cup Second Round

It seems an absolute age since we were heading to our last Ipswich Town Women’s game, just short of 4 months ago. Since then, we have had the arrival of a new Assistant Manager as Charlie Baxter joins Joe Sheehan in the dugout.

With fans not allowed to attend games yet, we’ll be relaying on the media teams to provide our Tractor Girls fix via streams over the coming rounds, if we see off the Essex side this Sunday at New Lodge.

Pre Match Chat –

All eyes on this result as fans look ahead to a tasty tie against Oxford or Cardiff in the next round and then the possibility of hosting Charlton in the 4th round. The 4th Round brings in elite rules, meaning, if Joe Sheehan’s side make it that far, the game is likely to be played at Portman Road. The downside to this is fans are unlikely to be allowed inside elite stadiums by this point and it will be another no entry for Town followers.

Team Talk –

Town captain Amanda Crump is back in training following her spell on the side-lines after having her 2nd child, although not expected to return to action until pre season. Midfielder Eloise King is 50/50 having picked up a knock in training. Maria Boswell is also out of action while Keeper Meollo is also 50/50. Towns u21s played a midweek league fixture against West Ham at Playford Road which saw Striker Maddie Biggs pick up a brace and continue her push for a start. With King likely to be out of action, this could pave the way for other players to make their mark.

The Opposition –

This will be Towns second appearance at New Lodge this season, having already beaten the Essex side here at the start of the season. It was a tough game but they still managed to grind out all 3 points from their visit. Billericay sat in 11th place in the league when the season was curtailed, having picked up 3 points from 3 games. Not to let that fool you as other teams in the league had played a lot more games than Billericay with some playing 7 by the time the season was stopped. Despite Town beating them in the last visit, Billericay were the better side in the first half and could have go into the break ahead. It’s going to be important the girls go into this game fully focused and not to underestimate the challenge Billericay will pose.

Players To Watch –

Town’s Natasha Thomas is currently sitting on 99 career goals for the club and will have every intention of hitting the big 100 before this cup run comes to an end. Georgia Allen has been the creative spark for Ipswich this season and Billericay will do well to keep tabs on the Midfielder. Georgia changed the game in the first meeting this season and really opened up the middle of the park.

From the Squad –

Looking ahead to this Sundays meeting, we caught up with Midfielder Abbie Lafayette to get her thoughts going into the FA Cup clash.

There’s no more league games this season, does that give you more motivation to give the FA Cup more focus?

AL – Yes Defiantly! we want to do well again this season and it’s something we believe we can do, so hopefully we can show that with a good strong performance on Sunday.

We faced a difficult game against Billericay last time, we’ll have to be on the top of our game to make sure we progress into the next round?

AL – Yeah we know it won’t be an easy game but our main focus is on us and playing well and getting a good result in order to progress into the next round.

Is the key to this game the way the team prepares and approaches it given it’s been some time since we were last in action?

AL – The circumstances have been different this time around but we will prepare for this game like any other game to the best we can and try bring back some normality on match day.

How do you feel about the prospect of coming up against Charlton in two rounds time?

AL – It would be a good opportunity to play against a team who are where we want to be in a few seasons time, also it will give us a good understanding of where we are as a club.

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