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Back-to-back cup competitions for Louis’ Needham side

Needham Market Women will this weekend compete for a place in the semi-finals of the Suffolk Women’s Cup, to kick off back-to-back cup contests.

The Suffolk Women & Girls League side will play host to divisional rivals East Bergholt United on Sunday (2pm) in the quarter-finals of the Suffolk FA competition, before travelling to Alresford Colne Rangers the following Sunday for the semi-final of the league’s KO Cup – the game was rescheduled from last Sunday due to bad weather.

Player-manager Freya Louis said their two opponents were the only two teams to inflict defeat on her ambitious side this campaign – with Bergholt proving to be incredibly consistent with 14 wins from 14 outings. But, with a narrow 3-2 loss when they met early in the season in October 2018, she is ‘far from discouraged’.

GOAL-RUSH: Needham Market Women celebrate an Abbie Wilkinson strikePicture: Ben Pooley (7168104)
GOAL-RUSH: Needham Market Women celebrate an Abbie Wilkinson strikePicture: Ben Pooley (7168104)

“If anything it’s given us more fire to come back harder,” she said. “It was a fantastic game, and we were gutted not to come away with a point.

“There is no reason why we can’t be the first to halt their progress. We’re going from strength to strength and the girls have received so much support both home and away.

“Bergholt are a very experienced team – the majority of the girls have grown up playing alongside one another and that’s a major advantage.

“Our recent high scores have definitely increased the girls’ confidence but we’re preparing for this match the same way we prepare before any match.”

She called on her squad to ‘step up’ for the fixture, as they navigate their first season – with their season still alive on three fronts.

“We learn from the mistakes and develop the positives from the previous game,” she said. “As a new team, it’s an incredible achievement to still be in the running for all three, the girls work so hard week in week out and they deserve the results they’re getting.

“But I’ll need all my players to step up on Sunday. Bergholt are a strong side, there’s no room for mistakes. We need all of them to feel the hunger of a cup game and I’m confident they will all rise to the challenge.”

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