Women's FA Cup: Reay excited for 'challenging' tie

Melanie Reay is relishing the challenge as her Sunderland Ladies side take on top flight Birmingham City in the Women's FA Cup.

The Black Cats are currently enjoying a 20-game unbeaten run, but face a challenge to keep that going with top tier Birmingham traveling to Eppleton Colliery Welfare on Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

The Lasses have made it past Middlesbrough, Fylde and Watford for a fifth round spot. Birmingham defeated Championship side Sheffield United as they joined the competition in round four.

Former Ladies' captain and current England International Lucy Staniforth returns to Hetton, as does the Blues' new signing Emma Kelly. 

Reay has her side well prepared to face FA Women's Super League opposition, but expects a huge test.

"We are preparing for the game exactly the same as any other game," she said. 

"We have spoken about the game and the challenges we will face but the squad is looking forward to it.

"It will be our biggest challenge this season and the team are certainly ready," she continued.

"I am looking forward to seeing how we cope against a team who play at the highest level.

"This is the first time for a while the players will face professional athletes who train everyday, so that presents another challenge he need to deal with.

"We are well aware of the strengths Birmingham possess but we have worked hard to put a game plan in place that we can follow."

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