Hartlepool United Ladies continue their SSE FA Cup campaign on Sunday with a tricky trip to Farsley Celtic Ladies in the Third Round of Qualifying.
Andy Stuart’s team coasted through the last round with a 9-0 win at Chester-le-Street St Cuthberts but know they face a much sterner test this weekend.
They opened up their North East Women’s Premier League Premier Division season with a 3-3 draw at Wakefield a fortnight ago as they look to acclimatise to a new level after two successive promotions.
A break from the cut and thrust of the league is always welcome though and Stuart will take his squad to West Yorkshire on Saturday evening to ensure the perfect preparation.
“Farsley Celtic are a bit of an unknown quantity because they’ve just been promoted the same as us,” explained newly-appointed Ladies skipper Justine Robinson.
“We had a really good FA Cup run last year when we ended up being narrowly beaten by Middlesbrough so we’d like to have another good run this season.
“Even though it’s only quite local we’ll go the night before because we like to have that team bonding night; we’ll have a meal and then the Manager will make sure we’re in bed for 9pm!”
Boss Stuart will run the rule over the fitness of Caitlin Bates, Jenni Duffy and Sarah Rowbotham; Chelsea Basnett is out for three weeks but Emily Stuart is back to fitness and has made two starts after overcoming a back problem.
The tie will take place Throstle Nest on Sunday (2pm kick-off) and we’ll have a full report here on the Official Website early next week.