Burnley FC Ladies face a trip to Cardiff City in the third round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup as they look to continue their history-making run in the competition.
The Ladies’ team had never previously gone as far as the first-round proper.
But after winning at Alnwick Town and then knocking out Stoke Ladies – who play two levels above the Clarets – on penalties, Burnley will now travel to South Wales to face Cardiff on Sunday, 7 January.
Cardiff also play two divisions above the Clarets in the Women’s Premier League Southern Division, but boss Matt Bee is hoping for another upset to set up a possible glamour tie in the fourth round when the FA Women’s Super League clubs join the competition.
“That would be the dream,” said Bee, Female Football Development Officer at Burnley FC in the Community, whose team is in the tier five North-West Women’s Regional League.
“To progress and get one of those teams, hopefully at home, would be massive.
“Any club from the top league would make it a big game and it would be great for our players, from the seniors and down through the girls’ teams, to see them play.”
Bee, who joined the Clarets last season after working at the FA Girls Centre of Excellence in York, is working hard to raise the standard and profile of female football under the Burnley Football Club banner.
And he sees the FA Cup run as the perfect way to promote the team’s prospects.
He added: “Promotion is the target and climbing up the leagues is something we need to do, being part of a Premier League club. I make no secret that the WSL is the target.
“But the FA Cup gets very important exposure and we want to make the most of that by going as far as we can.
“The team did really well to compete with Stoke and get through. It will be difficult at Cardiff, but we will be doing everything we can to try and get through another round.”
Full third-round draw:
Cardiff City v Burnley
Fylde Ladies v Plymouth Argyle
Keynsham Town v Brislington
Huddersfield Town v Lewes
Leicester City v Bradford City
Newcastle United v The New Saints
Blackburn Rovers v Portsmouth
Derby County v Brighouse Town or Wolverhampton Wanderers
Ipswich Town v Charlton Athletic
Crystal Palace v Coventry United
Middlesbrough v Liverpool Marshalls Feds
Chichester City v Luton Town