FOXES RELISH MILLWALL TRIP TO THEIR LAIR
THEY have found points tough to come by in the league, but Loughborough Foxes are unbeaten in 2016 and captain Vicky Brackenbury believes that is a sign of things to come.
The Foxes powered their way to promotion in the FA Women’s Premier League Midlands Division One last season, winning 16 of 22 games, to earn their place in the third tier.
This season has proved to be something of a rude awakening, however, with Loughborough picking up just one win in 13 league outings to date and sitting inside the dreaded bottom two of the Northern Division.
Cup football has provided some much-needed respite since Christmas, with the Foxes progressing to the final of the Leicestershire County Cup and the last eight of the Women’s Premier League Plate.
And, after they booked an FA Cup fourth-round tie with WSL 2 side Millwall Lionessess – thanks to a penalty shoot-out victory over Lewes last weekend – Brackenbury has a brand new outlook on the season as a whole.
“We have been struggling to get to grips with [promotion],” said the 33-year-old.“But we are undefeated in 2016 and long may it continue.
“It is massively exciting to be drawn against Millwall. Any footballer wants to test themselves against higher-league opposition, to see what they are made of.
“We have a home tie, too, which is nice.
“You never know what can happen. You go into any match thinking you can win it and the game against Millwall will be no different.
“I don’t see why we couldn’t cause an upset. We don’t hit and hope – we play nice football and it will be an opportunity to show that.
“With this run of form, everything seems to be falling into place and I’m confident we will stay in the league.”
Last weekend’s clash with Lewes was a nervy one, with both sides knowing that Millwall would lie in wait for the winner.
The Foxes came out on top, following a 1-1 draw after extra time. Each of the first ten spot-kicks were scored, before Becky Langley struck the winning penalty in sudden death to take them further in the FA Cup than the club has ever been before.
“I have had plenty of shootouts in my career but in the FA Cup to go through on penalties to the furthest point the club has ever been, was quite high pressure,” continued Brackenbury.
A cup tie with Millwall next weekend is not the only exciting development for the skipper, who begins a new job in Wolverhampton this week as a project manager for the local authority.
Brackenbury’s journey to and from training every Tuesday and Thursday evening will significantly increase, but it’s nothing the experienced midfielder cannot take in her stride.
“I don’t get any special treatment as captain so I will have to make a few allowances,” she added.“It will be a bit of a shock to the system!”
MARATHON: Loughborough won on penalties