It’s a break from the Women’ Championship this weekend as Millwall Lionesses welcome fellow Championship team Lewes FC Women to Princes Park for this Fourth Round tie.
The two sides have already met twice this season in the Women’s Championship and League Cup at Princes Park, and this FA Cup fixture completes the hat-trick for home matches for the Millwall Lionesses against Sunday's opponents. Unfortunately for the Dartford based side, it is the team from the Dripping Pan who have won both and Chris Phillips will be eager to ensure that there is not a third home defeat at the hand's of the South Coast side.
Although both find themselves at the foot of the Women’s second tier, the constant improvement from Phillips’ young side week-on-week and the recent appointment of Fran Alonso at Lewes has made both those sides entertaining and enjoyable to watch. This game has all the makings of being a cup classic and with all eyes on the Women’s FA Cup after Lewes’ recent Equality promotion, both sides will be eager to stay in this competition as long as possible.
One of the veterans of the Lionesses squad, Georgie Giddings was one of only a small handful of players who remained with Millwall after last season’s unforgettable WSL2 campaign and is a vital and pivotal part of the team.
Although traditionally a midfield general, Giddings has found herself in the back-line in recent weeks and her versatility and ability to adapt has seen her form effective partnerships with the likes of Fran Ali, Beth Lumsden and Ylenia Priest. Giddings’ defensive display against Arsenal in the Continental Tyres League Cup in particular received many plaudits and she has also been awarded with the captain’s armband in the absence of club captain, Leanne Cowan.
Giddings plays with a style that displays nothing but composure, organisation and self-discipline and she is a fine role model for her younger team mates around her to gain experience from. Even though she is not primarily known for being a flair player, Giddings can add this to her game when she needs to and proves why she is a dangerous opponent for the opposition.
Lewes made the perfect start to life in the Championship on the opening day with the 3-0 league win over the Lionesses and continued to look good in their opening games, but as games became more enduring and demanding, they have struggled for form recently and find themselves near the feet of the division.
One of the most inspiring clubs in terms of its work in women’s football, Lewes FC have helped its women’s side climb to the second tier as they now look to become an established Championship side and fight to improve week on week.
Goals aren’t hard to find in this team with Leeta Rutherford and Rebecca Carter going forward. Lewes play a very attacking game which will put a lot of pressure on Millwall's back-line, a reason they scored three without reply in their first visit and were victorious in the Continental Tyres League Cup. Defensively they are physical and won’t allow strikers to get in behind, so it will be about making the pass at the right time for the Lionesses.
From the South and playing their games at the Dripping Pan, they’ve built quite the community which has helped them to get to where they are today.
Team: Lewes FC Women
Competition: FA Cup
Venue: Princes Park
Date: Sunday 10th February