Haverhill Rovers Ladies all set for this Sunday's Suffolk Women's Cup semi-final against Needham Market
Haverhill Rovers’ top scorer Joely Kirby has given her scoring boots an extra spit and polish ahead of this weekend’s Suffolk Women’s Cup semi-final against Needham Market.
The striker has found the net on 35 occasions, from just 16 outings in all competitions, to record an enviable scoring average of 2.2 goals per game – and she hopes to be able to make use of those statistics in Sunday’s match at Long Melford (2pm).
Both clubs are in their first season in competition and Kirby said Rovers Ladies were ‘delighted’ to have been drawn against their Suffolk Women’s League opposition, with Ipswich Town awaiting the winners in the final on May 7.
“(Playing Needham) definitely gives us the best chance of making the final,” she said. “They are having a great first season and are a good side, don’t get me wrong, but we see them as similar to us, so we are just hoping to give them a good game and see.
“I’m very excited about this weekend, but also nervous, it’s a big game and there’s a lot riding on it.
“But it’s also a nice feeling to be part of a winning team with a bright future, there’s a real sense that we’re going somewhere and everyone is prepared to work hard to get there.
“It’s definitely in the back of our minds, that we could get to play at Portman Road if we win on Sunday – it would be an awesome experience – but the focus is firmly on the game right in front of us first.
“I do feel pressure as the top scorer, but not in a bad way, I actually thrive under that expectation and I like that the girls look to me to score.
“It would be amazing to score the winning goal.”
She said the ‘secret’ to her success was the confidence given to her by her team-mates, who were always buoying her self-belief.
“We have become a close bunch and there’s no negativity,” she said. “The girls give me so much confidence, as does the support from the crowd. I’m not sure people realise how much of the cheering we can hear, it really pushes me on.
“I would love to see lots of people come along to watch and support us on Sunday, that would be incredible.”
The Cambridge Women’s and Girls League Women’s Championship South side go into the encounter on the back of a six-match winning streak in the league, which saw them most recently overhaul Cambridge Rangers 4-2 at home last Sunday.
With Kirby netting a brace, the striker – whose scoring tally is only bettered by Ketton Ladies’ Fran Kavanagh with 36 goals – is in fine fettle.