We welcome Charlton Athletic to Meadow Park on Sunday afternoon, with a place in the SSE FA Women’s Cup semi-final up for grabs.
Although they were perennial finalists during the early noughts, FA Women’s Premier League Southern Division side Charlton have only ever won this competition once - but they head into Sunday’s game in good form and with plenty of confidence.
Their 5-1 win over Cardiff City a fortnight ago was the latest in an impressive run of nine wins in a row, dating back to the start of November.
In those nine games, they have scored 45 goals - including an 11-0 thrashing of Swindon Town four months ago - and only conceded eight times.
They reached Sunday’s quarter-final with convincing wins over Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff, but it did take extra-time victories for them to edge past Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers.
A WORD FROM THE BOSS
“Charlton are a bit of an unknown but you can be sure we’ve done our research on them. This is an SSE Women’s FA Cup quarter-final but they’ll be treating it like a final. We just need to be very cautious and smart, and make sure we play our football,” Joe Montemurro said.
“We want to win every game no matter who it is. We need to be professional and we need to be smart. We’ll have to manage the game well and I believe we’re playing with a good structure that will take us to the next level.
“You’ve got to manage all the different emotions and situations that are put to you, and the one who manages it better is the one who goes through and wins on the day.”
LAST TIME WE MET
We last faced Charlton Athletic back in September 2008, when Rachel Yankey’s hat-trick inspired us to a League Cup first-round win at Meadow Park.
The former winger scored from Alex Scott’s cross less than a minute into the game, before our current club captain provided another assist for Gilly Flaherty just 10 minutes later.
Kim Little then scored direct from a corner, with Kelly Smith making it four moments later. Kimberley Dixon and Rosie Webb then reduced our advantage, but Yankey struck twice in quick succession to secure our progression to the second round.
We would go on to lift the trophy that season, with Smith scoring a hat-trick during our 5-0 win over Doncaster Rovers Belles in the final, as we won our 10th Women’s League Cup under Vic Akers.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
We will be providing live updates on our Twitter account - @ArsenalWFC
Kick-off is at 2pm (UK time)
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