MARC SURTEES believes his Woodley United Ladies side are capable of giving Maidenhead United Ladies a run for their money on Sunday.
Maidenhead compete two levels above Woodley in the league pyramid, but the pair collide in this weekend’s Berks and Bucks FA Senior Cup semi-final at York Road (2pm).
Woodley have had their taste of higher level opposition this season, losing 14-1 at AFC Wimbledon in the Women’s FA Cup.
But Surtees feels his team are in a better shape to compete this time around.
“We have been to watch Maidenhead and we’ve got a feeling we can give them a good game,” said the Woodley boss.
“Unfortunately we’ve got a couple of key players missing but we’ve still got a strong squad to go with.
“We’ll put on a good show, we’ve got a gameplan and hopefully the ladies will stick to that.
“I would say I’m quietly confident.”
He added: “We’re confident we can give them a good game and that’s the important thing.
“We’re not going there thinking oh my god, here we go again.
“I think we’ve learnt from earlier in the season. Wimbledon were going well whereas Maidenhead aren’t in a similar position to that.”
Woodley certainly head into the game on good form, winning six matches in a row including Sunday’s 3-0 Jubilee Cup group game win over Oxford City Nomads thanks to goals from
Rosie Page-Smith, Tatty Master and Mollie Haines.
That victory books their spot in the quarter-finals while the title challenge is also going strong with United just one point behind leaders Barton Rovers with a game in hand.
“Confidence is up,” said Surtees.
“We’re playing well as a team and they’re working hard for each other, which is the important thing.
“There’s a good spirit in the team. Everyone is getting on and there’s a lot of team-work in there.”
If Woodley are to pull off a shock they will no doubt need Page-Smith to continue her fine form.
The striker is on a nine-match scoring streak, stretching back to early November and is the leading scorer in Southern Women’s Division One North with 17 goals in 16 games.
“She is doing really well,” said Surtees.
“She takes her chances well and it’s consistency. She doesn’t need many opportunities to hit the back of the net.
“That does obviously put confidence in the team and with May Hamblin as well following close behind her, we’ve got good options there.”
While Woodley go to Maidenhead as underdogs, the club does have some pedigree behind it in terms of success on the county level.
“It is a good competition,” explained Surtees.
“As a team Woodley United Ladies have got history in it having won it at U16 level, U18 level twice and then Ladies. I think it was the Ladies Junior Cup we won as well.
“So there’s history there but this is probably the toughest one yet.”