Amber Hughes is up for the cup – and how! The experienced striker, signed in the summer following her departure from Championship club Coventry United, has hit six goals in National League Cup and FA Cup ties in the last fortnight.
Hughes followed up her brace in the 7-0 League Cup win against Northern Premier Division rivals Hull City with a four-goal haul as Midland Division team Sporting Khalsa were handed a 7-1 FA Cup beating last week.
So it will be a case of Borough beware when the in-form striker steps out to face Leicestershire County League outfit Nuneaton Borough Ladies in tomorrow’s Birmingham County Cup encounter at the Etone Sports Field.
And the same note of caution will doubtless be sounded at Nottingham Forest on Sunday week, when the Northern Premier Division side visit Castlecroft for an FA Cup second round tie eight months after Wolves knocked them out of the competition at the same venue – and at the same stage – last season.
Hughes, who with both Coventry and her previous club Forest won County Cup winner’s medals, is looking forward with relish to the two matches as Wolves enjoy their extended break from a so far successful league campaign.
“I love playing in the Cups and especially scoring goals,” says the 28-year-old striker. “We’re going great in the league and winning Cup ties helps keep the momentum going, so we definitely want to keep our run going as far as we can in all three of the Cup competitions we’re involved in.
“We’ll be expected to beat Nuneaton as they play at a much lower level than us, but we’ll have to be on our game to make sure. Last week at Sporting Khalsa we found it difficult to get into the match and went a goal down, but once we got our game together we took control – we have to do from the kick-off this week.
“It will be a tougher game against Forest in the FA Cup. I enjoyed my three years playing for them while I was at university and they’re a good club.
“I wasn’t here at Wolves when we beat them on penalties in last season’s FA Cup, but we beat them again in the league earlier this season and we’ll take confidence from that. They’re one of the better teams in our division and they’ve got a strong attack, but we’ll certainly see it as a winnable game.”
Hughes hit a goal in each of her first two appearances of the season, but a couple of games later she sustained a hamstring injury which kept her out of action for two months before she came back with a bang in that 7-0 win against Hull.
Now she’s looking for more goals as she aims to help keep her team’s season-long unbeaten run going in the National League as well as Cup competitions.
“It’s been good to come back from injury with a few goals,” she says. “It was frustrating to be out of action after joining this great club and then really enjoying our start to the season. Hopefully I can kick on now and get the goals that can help us to have the success we’re all working for this season.”