Ipswich Town Ladies targeting historic FA Cup upset against Charlton
PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 December 2017
Ipswich Town Ladies manager Ralph Pruden believes his team can cause an FA Cup upset against 2005 winners Charlton next month to set up a potential Fourth Round tie against one of the Super League giants.
The Tractor Girls – who are chasing promotion in the fourth-tier of women’s football – won a penalty shoot-out against South East Division One rivals Stevenage on Sunday to reach the Third Round for the first time in years.
Yesterday they were handed one of toughest possible draws, a home game against an Addicks side who are currently topping the Southern Premier Division a step above in the pyramid, but some outstanding form in 2017/18 means belief is high.
With his side having won eight of their last nine games, Pruden said: “It’s a tough draw, but we’re at the Goldstar Ground (Felixstowe, Sunday, January 7) and hopefully we can get the same sort of attendance and atmosphere which helped us in the earlier rounds.
“We’ve already beaten a higher level team in the Premier League Cup this season (1-0 at Basildon), so that performance gives us the confidence that we can compete.
“The big boys like Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea go into the hat for the fourth round, a stage this club has never reached before, so there’s a huge carrot there. It would be amazing to test ourselves against one of those top level professional teams.”
Ipswich have thrashed rivals Norwich 8-1 and 5-0 this campaign and already racked up 56 goals in 16 games across all competitions.
“First and foremost we’ve got really good quality,” explained Pruden, whose side host Haringey Borough on Sunday. “The attitude is spot on, they all work hard for each other and there is a focus on what we want to achieve. Momentum is growing every week.
“When we get in a tough situations, like we did at the weekend (1-0 down), we have this inner belief which drags us through.”
He continued: “Promotion is something we’ve definitely got an eye on, but we know it will be a big ask because there are three or four teams aiming for that and another two or three that are capable of beating anyone on their day.
“It’s going to take a remarkable level of consistency. We have 12 league games left we’ll probably need to win 10 of them.”