Report by David Brenchley
Page last updated at 11:37PM BST, Tuesday, 09 April 2013
Katie Hardaker is targeting a hat-trick of Kent FA Women’s Senior Cup final victories when the Charlton women’s reserve team take on Gillingham in Sevenoaks Town on Wednesday - KO 7.45pm.
Hardaker captained the Addicks reserves to a Kent Cup final win two years ago, beating Millwall Lionesses on penalties.
At the end of that season, she moved to Gillingham and was part of their first team who defeated Charlton’s second string 2-1 last April to make it two in a row.
And after re-joining the Addicks earlier this season, the 22-year-old hopes the competition remains kind to her as she bids for three successive winners’ medals.
She said: “[Winning the Kent Cup with Charlton] one of the memories I have kept and will always remember. It was such a good achievement, not only for the club, but for me being captain.
“The girls’ work rate was absolutely outstanding then and no doubt it will be this time around, as it has been all season.
“I was in the Gills set up last year but it was a close game and I’m sure the girls will be looking to get one back on them and I’m on the other side now.
It promises to be a test for Charlton’s reserves, as they are playing the Gills’ first choice team, having already disposed of their reserves in the first round of the tournament.
The Addicks have already beaten Colchester United’s first team when they put their strongest side out in a reserve Premier League match.
Hardaker believes that, the way her side is currently playing, they are a match for anyone – and will be spurred on by the chance of winning a double, as they currently sit top of the Premier League.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us, ” she added, “ being a reserve team, but the standard we’re playing at the moment and the spirit the team have is good going into this game.”
“We are all looking forward to it, it’s another Kent Cup final for me and we have the chance to win the double as well. It’s a really good opportunity for the club.
“It will be a tough game because they have a lot of great players in their setup and they have been playing well towards the end of their season.
“We have had a lot of games recently, so it’s going to be tough on us, whereas they haven’t got a game until next week so they’re going to be fresh.
“We will need to recover properly this Sunday and get our heads in the right mindset for next week.”