Our women's team face what is perhaps the toughest challenge they have had to date on Sunday, when they travel to FA Women's National League side Holwell Sports FC, in the second qualifying round of The Vitality Women's FA Cup. Having already made light work of Ollerton Town and Leicester City Ladies FC in the previous rounds, the challenge of trying to beat Holwell from two leagues above Town is going to be a very tough job.
We caught up with manager Dale Houlston for his thoughts on how preparations have gone ahead of the big cup tie. He told us: "Well we have prepared as well as we can for what is going to be a difficult task. I think asking any team to go and play a cup tie against opposition from two leagues above is a big ask, but that is the beauty of The FA Cup isn't it. Although Holwell haven't enjoyed the best start to their season, they will still be a strong team and I am sure they will be very anxious for us not to be a banana skin. For our part, we are very happy to go into the game as the underdogs, and to put ourselves to the test to see just how good, bad, or indifferent we are, when it comes to playing teams at that level. Whilst the pressure is all on them really in terms of expectations, I can tell you that my players aren't just going there for a day out. We are a competitive group of people and I think that if there is a cup upset to be had, then our girls' are well up for trying their best to cause that upset. Whatever the outcome it's another great learning opportunity for us to try and gauge where we have got to in an incredibly short period of time.
"I have done some work on how I feel we are best able to play against Holwell. We've tweaked a couple of things here and there and so we have a game plan that I hope will serve us well. For me personally, it is probably the biggest senior game I've managed. I might not be too young in years, but I'm still quite young in terms of managing senior games, so as you might imagine I am loving having the opportunity to go up against these in this beautiful competition".
On the injury front Town will be without pacey wing-back Darcie Proud who struggled in training this week. Leah Wray and Chloe Wilkinson rejoin the squad following a period of isolation, and Olivia Leslie has been given the green light by Lincoln City to be involved in The FA Cup competition for Town this season.
Spectators are welcome and kick off is at 2pm at Howell Sports FC, Welby Road, Melton Mowbray, LE14 3RD