DURHAM WOMEN’S no-fear attitude will prove crucial if they want to keep their historic SSE Women’s FA Cup adventure alive, according to England legend Sue Smith.

Durham are in unchartered territory this season, having reached the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time.

That match, against Everton, was postponed on Sunday due to the adverse weather, with the rearranged fixture now due to take place this weekend.

That did mean, however, that the Wildcats were in the hat for Monday’s semi-final draw.

A clash against either Charlton – the lowest ranked team left in the competition – or more likely Arsenal, 14-times Women’s FA Cup winners, potentially awaits on April 15 if they can triumph this Sunday.

And Smith, twice a runner-up with Leeds United, believes Durham should not stray from their current playing style despite the size of the occasion.

“You would say Everton are the favourites but you cannot write off Durham,” said Smith, who is a leading women’s football television pundit. “They might be the underdogs but they are playing a lot of good football and you never know what can happen in the cup.

“Arsenal would likely be their next opponents and they are used to winning and know how to come through the big games.

“It’s a step into the unknown for Durham but that might help them. They should be high on confidence and need to retain that belief. They have no fear and that is really refreshing to see.”

This year, both semi-finals will be broadcast live on the BBC, with Smith believing it is further proof of the progress of the women’s game, after a record Wembley crowd of 35,271 for last year’s final.

“The SSE Women’s FA Cup is growing each year and that’s really pleasing to see,” she added.

“We had over 35,000 people come watch at Wembley last year and hopefully we can get even more this time around. For the players, the chance to run out at Wembley for the final is something very special. It’s the date in the women’s footballing calendar that people look out for.

“And now with both semi-finals being shown on the BBC it’s a chance to show off the game even more which is great.”

* Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday 5th May at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For more information about tickets and SSE’s involvement in women’s football visit www.sponsorship.sse.com.