Ladies relishing Colchester tie

West Ham United Ladies need no extra motivation going into Sunday's Essex FA County Cup semi-final with old rivals Colchester United.

The Hammers were beaten on penalties by the U's in last season's final, while two of the West Ham's recent signings, Hannah Gowland and Lily Mellors, will be facing their former club.

Manager Julia Setford said she and her squad are relishing the opportunity to get one over their Essex neighbours and FA Women's Premier League Southern Division counterparts when they travel to Shrub End Community Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon.

"We don't have to get anybody up for this game," Setford confirmed. "We had a great training session in the week and all the girls are buzzing for the game on Sunday.

"Hannah and Lily want to win this game, that goes without saying, and they want to play well and score some goals for us. For us all, getting through to the final is the job in hand and I am confident we can do it. It's a massive game for us.

"It is always our aim to be the best team in the county and, if we want to prove that we are, we need to win this competition every single year. We let ourselves down in the final last year and we need to pick it up this year. It's a big, big task but one we are certainly up for."

West Ham and Colchester have monopolised the County Cup in the past five seasons, with the Hammers lifting the trophy in 2009 and 2011 and the U's doing so in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

While Setford will likely name her strongest XI this weekend, the manager admitted she has a selection headache after last weekend's 13-2 quarter-final victory over Witham Town.

April Bowers scored four times and Gowland and Kelley Blanchflower netted hat-tricks, but substitutes Sam Rowland - who also scored - and Zoe Lipley-Hinton also impressed.

"Last weekend was brilliant," said Setford. "We knew that it was going to be a game where I could put players in who have not played too much recently, but it didn't make much difference because we have such a strong squad.

"In the second half we let ourselves down and conceded two silly goals, which the girls were not happy about, but overall we showed some great play and some great finishing. I was delighted, really.

"Sam is starting to come good and Zoe is back from injury and it is difficult to ignore her work-rate and commitment, which are really good. Our three strikers (Bowers, Gowland and Blanchflower) are in form, but the others are definitely pushing them.

"At the back, Vicky King sat out against Witham and Lily came in at right-back and did really well in a new position. They are giving me problems all over the park in terms of who to pick, which is good!"

Sunday's tie kicks-off at 1.30pm. For directions to Shrub End Community Sports Centre, click here.