Women's FA Cup: Chichester and Lewes ready for Liverpool and Everton ties

Chichester City
Chichester City players have been spreading the word about Sunday's visit of Liverpool in person

Chichester City and Lewes have welcomed the chance to "test themselves" as they prepare to host Merseyside giants Liverpool and Everton respectively in Sunday's Women's FA Cup fifth round.

The third-tier Sussex clubs are both at home to top-flight, full-time opposition in the Reds and the Toffees.

"Everyone here is a volunteer. There are no wages spent at all," Chichester manager Matt Wright told BBC Sport.

"I was over the moon when we got Liverpool. It's a huge draw."

Wright added: "They're a big name, which means we'll draw a good crowd in and they're a good opponent so it'll give us a good benchmark of where we're at compared to them.

"There's a huge divide at the moment between the resources in the Super League and the Premier League and we're probably at the bottom-end of the resource ladder."

Captain Emma Alexander added: "To be able to play against England internationals, the girls are excited to have that opportunity to show what they're about.

"A lot of our girls have played at high levels and probably could play higher, so it's a good opportunity for them."

'Reaching the last 16 is unbelievable'

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The football club with no gender pay gap

Chichester are seventh in the Women's Premier League South, seven points and three places below Lewes, who won 3-0 at Keynsham Town in round four.

The semi-professional outfit generated headlines in July when they announced they would be giving their women's team the same budget as their men's team.

"To have this kind of run if fantastic. It's a real confirmation that we're doing the right thing," Lewes director Charlie Dobres told BBC Radio 5 live.

"It's the first time Lewes FC has ever been in the fifth round of the FA Cup, men's or women's. This is a very famous trophy and to be in the last 16 is unbelievable for us.

"Everton is a great draw. We were happy to get a home draw. It will be really interesting to test ourselves against them."

Liverpool and Everton are among seven WSL 1 sides still in the competition, after top-flight clubs Bristol City, Reading and Yeovil all went out in round four on 4 February.

Another top-flight club, Chelsea, are at home to WSL 2 leaders Doncaster Rovers Belles at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.

The tie will pit the Blues against the six-time cup winners, who have reached 13 finals, and Chelsea defender Anita Asante has respect for the Belles' history.

Anita Asante
Anita Asante recently returned to Chelsea from Swedish side Rosengard

"They've had a long tradition in the women's game and we know they're going to be a robust and physical team," she told BBC Sport.

"Every team you meet, no matter what league they're playing in, it's going to be a tough game and we know we have to be at our best.

The 32-year-old, who helped Arsenal win a quadruple of trophies in 2006-07, played at Wembley with the Great Britain team at the 2012 Olympic Games.

This season's Women's FA Cup final will be held at Wembley on Saturday, 5 May, as the national stadium hosts the fixture for the fourth consecutive year, and Asante would love to return.

"The atmosphere and the experience, just to be in that ground, is unbelievable," she recalled.

"If we can get there as a team and share in that experience together, it'd be amazing."

Sunday, 18 February's fifth-round fixtures (all 14:00 GMT):

Arsenal v Millwall Lionesses

Cardiff City v Charlton

Lewes v Everton

Sunderland v Aston Villa

Chichester City v Liverpool

Birmingham City v Manchester City

Chelsea v Doncaster Rovers Belles

Durham v Leicester City

You can now add WSL 1 notifications for line-ups, goals, kick-off, half-time and results in the BBC Sport app. Visit this page to find out how to sign-up.

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