AFC Bournemouth Women play Portsmouth in the next round of the FA cup on Sunday 28 November
After an underwhelming victory against Bournemouth Sports in the FA Cup, Steve Cuss’s Bournemouth side have the opportunity to rectify this against Portsmouth in the next round.
In what will be a record-braking game for Cuss’ side, the Cherries will be facing a strong Portsmouth side from a higher division. However, they will feel they have the psychological edge having signed Pompey’s captain, Jade Bradley, only ten days ago. Bournemouth’s star striker, Becki Bath, also made the move along the south-coast to Bournemouth in the summer of 2021.
Bradley spent four years at this weekend’s opposition, having been named vice-captain at the start of the 2019/20 season, and was then named club captain from August 2020. She scored 12 times in 68 games and has assisted four times in 10 games this season; she also won the Hampshire Cup this year.
The midfielder’s debut came in the side’s 2-1 win against Bournemouth Sports in the previous round of the FA Cup. Bradley’s impressive first start did not go under the radar.
Cuss sympathised with Bradley saying: “It was a tough situation for any player to come in as she’d only had one training session with the team. We felt it was right to put her straight in and I thought she did really well.”
He also added: “She was unlucky not to score in the first half and she showed a great range of passing and it only got better as she got used to the players as well.”
The victory over Bournemouth Sports was a momentous one as the club made history by reaching the second-round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history
The signing of Bradley could not have come at a better time for the club. Abby Jones, Bournemouth’s right-back, revealed how influential she has been in the build-up to Sunday’s clash when she said: “It’s been really helpful for me playing right-back because I need to know if their wingers want to cut in on their right foot or go down the line with their left. It’s been really helpful because we now know what formation we play which has helped the way we train.”
Cuss agreed with Jones’ raving report by saying: “We’ve got that bit of knowledge which has been useful” however, however he was quick to make it clear that the team can’t rest because of Bradley’s knowledge: “It’ll be about what we do on the day, and we know that. We’re playing against a very good side, and we’ve got to make sure that we perform.”
Jones who has been out of action for a couple of weeks after pulling up short in a training
session on November 12th has been declared fully fit by The Cherries boss after saying: “She’s had a little bit of illness since then as well, but she’s fit and ready to go. We’ve got a fully-fit squad apart from Hannah Francis who’s got a longer-term injury.”
With Bournemouth’s psychological edge of Bradley and Bath anything could happen this Sunday. You don’t want to miss a moment.