BRIDGWATER United Women are prepared and excited to take on Manchester United this weekend in the Fourth Round of the Women's FA Cup.

The much anticipated match kicks off at 2pm on Sunday, January 30 at Fairfax Park.

It will be a record breaking day for the club as around 2,500 people pack the park for this fixture, so you can expect a lively atmosphere off the pitch.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: The team celebrating the win over Crystal Palace (Pic: Debbie Gould)The team celebrating the win over Crystal Palace (Pic: Debbie Gould)

On the pitch, the favourites to win will be Manchester United but that suits Bridgwater; being the underdog will give them the chance to play without pressure and importantly, without fear of the opposition.

While Manchester United is a squad filled with international level players, this Bridgwater side has enough fire power and determination to pull of an upset.

If you have a ticket to the match, this preview may just help you learn a bit more about both sides as we break down players to keep an eye on in the 90 minutes.

To start, you have to look at Laura Holden, Bridgwater United’s attacking midfielder.

In the Third Round, Laura scored the only and winning goal against Crystal Palace but it was not only the goal that meant she stood out.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Laura Holden (Pic: Debbie Gould)Laura Holden (Pic: Debbie Gould)

Laura has an uncanny ability to get in between defensive lines to receive a pass and move play forward. 

She is a true club personality, as well as being a first team regular, she is also a community coach for the Club’s trust.

When she found out Bridgwater were facing Manchester United, Laura said: “We are Bridgwater and we aren’t nervous, we are more than ready to take them on!”

Moving on to captain Leah Burridge, a true box-to-box midfielder.

Leah is known for her leadership and ability to break down opposition attacks and turning them into Bridgwater possessions.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Leah Burridge (Pic: Debbie Gould)Leah Burridge (Pic: Debbie Gould)

She loves to make tackles and in the Crystal Palace match these tackles were so important; combined with Amy Goddard and Ffion Llewellyn at centre back, Bridgwater can be rock solid in defence.

“I have a good feeling going in to this match, we have been training well, we are ready,” Leah said.

In Bridgwater’s Somerset Cup semi-final against Keynsham, Leah scored a hattrick, showing she is important at both ends of the pitch.

In goal, Bethany-May Howard will have an important role on Sunday, but it will be a challenge she is more than ready for.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Bethany-May Howard (Pic: Debbie Gould)Bethany-May Howard (Pic: Debbie Gould)

In the FA Cup campaign so far, Howard is yet to concede a goal and has also kept seven clean sheets in the league this season already.

Her shot-stopping ability is top drawer and that is matched with her loud voice from the back, giving instruction and motivation to her teammates.

Bethany-May will have some saves to make on the day if Bridgwater are to win, but we back her to be able to keep Manchester out.

For Manchester United, it is hard to look past Ella Toone and Alessia Russo as two standout players.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Ella Toone (Pic: PA)Ella Toone (Pic: PA)

Ella has five goals and five assists in the league campaign so far this season and also picked up a hattrick for England in October in a World Cup qualifier.

Able to play anywhere in the United frontline, Toone is an explosive forward with a real eye for goal, and a player that Bridgwater will have to keep quiet.

Alessia Russo has only been with Manchester since 2020 but has proven her ability, scoring seven times in just 15 games.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Alessia Russo (Pic: PA)Alessia Russo (Pic: PA)

Another England international, Russo has three goals in two England appearances.

The dynamic and powerful forward brings a wealth of pace, and is a real threat to United’s attack.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: (pic: Debbie Gould)(pic: Debbie Gould)

Whatever happens on the day, one thing is certain, and that is women’s football fans in the South West of England will be treated to the best of local talent up against international talent.

It is bound to be an exciting game of football. Good luck Bridgwater!