Peter King, Chairman of Essex’s highest-ranked women’s side, C & K Basildon, is wary of opposition ‘raising their game’ in the BBC Essex Women’s Cup, and he highlighted his desire to avoid any potential slip-ups after the pairings for the Semi-Finals was broadcast live on Wednesday (24th January).
King pulled out the home clubs during the on-air draw, while Nick Alliker from BBC Essex drew the away sides, with those all aiming to reach a showpiece final at Aveley FC’s new Parkside stadium on Thursday 29th March. One Quarter-Final is yet to be completed between Little Thurrock Dynamos and Corringham Cosmos, both of whom have battled all the way through from the Preliminary Round to join the seeded teams.
And it was Little Thurrock (Eastern Region Women’s League) or Corringham (Essex County Women’s League) who Peter’s FA Women’s Premier League squad will host in the final four. Elsewhere Brentwood Town, 2-0 victors at Billericay Town in the last round, entertain Writtle in an Eastern Region derby. Writtle won at Harlow Town by the same scoreline.
It’s been another strong season domestically for C & K Basildon. Their Women’s Cup record has also been excellent in the last few seasons - their triumph last year was the fourth time they’d lifted the trophy - and Peter explains that they’ll be aiming to repeat those achievements. “We’ve never hidden the fact it’s a cup competition we particularly like,” he claimed.
“It’s our County Cup competition - and, when we first won it in 2013, we were playing a team in Colchester United who were two divisions above us. They were actually in the FA Women’s Premier League and we were in the Eastern Region. I think people generally consider it to be one of the greatest cup upsets in recent history, certainly in the women’s game. We immediately fell in love with it.”
“We let it go the following year to West Ham, of course, but then we’ve won it three times on the trot. It’s a nice end-of-season thing. It’s [the final] always held just before Easter. When we’ve been lucky enough to win it - and last year was a real struggle against Billericay I’ll tell you - we’ve always enjoyed the occasion. It’s for the girls now to lift silverware.”
And King knows the squad, coached by former Southend United Manager Steve Tilson, need to ensure there are no upsets: “People will immediately start looking at their position in the leagues and ours and think it’s going to be something simple. We know full well from previous semi-finals, and previous finals as well, that these teams really raise their game.”
These matches are scheduled to take place on Sunday 18th February and all the BBC Essex Women’s Cup information you need to know can be found online at www.essexfa.com, on Twitter by following @EssexCountyFA and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
BBC Essex Women’s Cup Semi-Finals (Sunday 18th February)
Brentwood Town vs Writtle
C & K Basildon vs Little Thurrock Dynamos or Corringham Cosmos