Cross relishing Luton cup tie

Wolves will be stepping into the unknown when they kick off their first ever meeting with Luton Town Ladies in Sunday’s FA Cup first round tie.

What is already established ahead of the match at Castlecroft is that the Hatters have reached this stage of the competition with four emphatic qualifying round victories in which they scored 20 goals and conceded none.

So, it was no wonder that Nikki Baker, manager of the Eastern Region Premier Division outfit, told talkSPORT that she and her team would “fancy our chances” when the first round draw was made live on the radio station.

Despite being a tier below Wolves in the women’s football pyramid the Hatters should certainly pose a serious threat to the progress of Dan McNamara’s team, as central defender Emma Cross readily admits.

“Luton are obviously a good team,” says Cross. “They’re high up in their league and the FA Cup results they’ve had to date speak for themselves.

“It’s going to be exciting to play against a team we’ve never met before and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of keeping them out.”

Wolves have been pretty successful in keeping this season’s FA Cup opponents out, conceding just one goal while scoring 15 in the two qualifying round ties – against Shifnal Town and then Sutton Coldfield Town – that they have played.

Luton should provide a stiffer test, which has no doubt been confirmed by McNamara after the Wolves boss watched them in action last Sunday.

Cross, whose hot-shot twin sister Jade has hit five of those 15 FA Cup goals, says: “We knew nothing about Luton until Macca saw them last week, so the insights he’s brought back will hopefully benefit us.

“We’ll go into the game confident, as we always do, but the fact that Luton are in a lower league than us doesn’t mean we’ll take anything for granted.

“We’ll treat the game as if we were playing against a team at our level or higher – that’s how we went into the matches against Shifnal and Sutton, and we have to show that focus and commitment again.”