C&K BASILDON Ladies are not daunted by their FA Cup Second Round Cup date with West Ham.
In fact, they believe they have the tools to humble the Hammers and cannot wait for Sunday’s encounter at the Selex Club, Basildon.
Secretary Peter King said: “We feel that if we turn up on the day we can beat them and make the Third Round.”
And he backed C&K bosses John Hinz and Steve Tilson to put out a team capable of grabbing victory thanks to a balanced squad bristling with individual skill.
King said: “There is no doubt that we have the players capable of winning this game.
“We’re on a high at the moment.
“We’ve completed 14 of our 20 league fixtures and we’re still in the three cup competitions, including being through to the semi-final of the League Cup.
“When you take into account that even our Reserves are unbeaten you see the strength we have at this club.
“There is bound to be a good crowd there on Sunday so we’re looking forward to playing.
“Basildon is a bit of a natural West Ham magnet area and we think locals will want to come along and see a decent match.”
However, the Basildon stalwart said that he was well aware that, in football, nothing was guaranteed and in the FA Cup last year Basildon suffered a painful exit at Leafield in Birmingham when they were beaten 6-0 by the then league-topping team.
This time around, Basildon squared up to KIKK United in the First Round of the FA Cup on December 1. But they were made to work hard by their rivals.
Goals came from Sara Sinclair and Amy Nash sealed the deal, although KIKK hit back with a late consolation strike deep into injury time.
King said that it was true that C&K had grown in strength over the last 12 months thanks, in part, to the break up of the Colchester United Academy set up which meant brought new players to the new town.
He said: “Sara came from Enfield She’s a natural striker, following the ball into the box and knows where to put herself to get goals.”
But King was also quick to support his team’s “rock solid” midfield which he credited with being a big part of the team’s success.
Basildon Ladies now play in the Women’s South East Combination League which is step three of ladies football.
And King said the promoted outfit had noticed the difference in the way the league was played.
“At this level you need a good strong midfield. This is the key to winning matches. You need big strong players who can stand up and we have three players who have patrolled the midfield and dominated that area.
“Jenny Brown-Wealls, Carly Eagles – who was with Millwall just three seasons ago – and Zoe Rushden, who was the vice-captain at Colchester United, are key for us,” he added.
Such was the strength of the Basildon team, that even “natural striker” Nicky Carty was having to battle to get a place in the team.
King, who would not be drawn on predicting a scoreline for Sunday, said that there were other off the pitch reasons for C&K’s success – including having their own physio, Paul Smith, and specialist treatment room at the club.
“Paul came to us from Woking and has been great at looking after the players. Thanks to him we have not lost too many players to injury and that means we can keep the squad strong.
“We’re all looking forward to Sunday,” he added.