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Women's Football News
Krystle Johnston described her F.A.Women's Cup hat-trick against Preston North End as one of the best moments of her career and is setting her sights on a Fifth Round tie with top flight opponents.
The Manchester City striker's treble included an extra time winner and she told Women's Soccer Scene: "I really enjoyed getting the goals. I've not really been putting the chances away this season so it was a good confidence boost for me."
Krystle was delighted with each of her three goals. "The first one came when I slid the ball in from a difficult angle and was an equaliser to make it 2-2. The second came from a distance straight after half time and gave us a good start to the second half and we started passing the ball around well from then. But the best one was my hat-trick goal, from a free kick which came across the area and I hit it first time, it flew into the top corner."
That final goal gave City a 4-3 victory and their second Cup win in a row from a match which went the distance. "Our fitness is very good and that stood us in good stead," says Krystle. "It helped us that we played extra time the week before and I think we just wanted it more. In the second half of extra time, the defence played really well, our captain Lindsay Savage is a brilliant leader and she kept things tight with Charlotte Farrell next to her, Charlotte will put a tackle in anywhere - she's our tank!
"It was a bit nervous and, although we didn't play very well in the first half and found ourselves behind at half time, we were a lot better in the second half and during extra time.
"We did particularly well to win as we were without Katie Brusell who is one of our best players. She is our top goalscorer so far and to win without her is a big boost, and it is good that she will be back for the next round."
City's opponents in the Fifth Round are as yet unknown as they play the winners of the tie between Everton and WFC Fulham. "Hopefully it will be Fulham," smiles Krystle, "but playing against Everton would be a great challenge - I played against Arsenal in the Cup last year for Stockport and I managed to score that day.
"We are trying to build a team to get into the top division within the next couple of years - we have a lot of young players including a couple of 16-year-olds and it would be a great experience for them to face Everton. We have played them in summer tournaments and always done well against them, so they would be familiar opponents if we had to play them.
"Our goalkeeper Andrea Worrall used to play for Everton so she is hoping to face her old club. To have her experience in goal is a great advantage to us and she did especially well in the penalty shootout against Newcastle, in fact she scored one as well as saving one."
City are having a good season in the Northern Division and the signs are good that they can stay amongst the leading teams. "Sunderland will probably win it as they play the best football," Krystle admits. "We can get back into it ourselves if we keep winning but our manager Leigh Wood is still building the team and looking to the future. We have a lot of young players but also some experience, so there is a good balance in the team.
"Sarah Penney has come into the team and plays up front alongside me, and we are starting to get a good understanding with each other. She is only 16 and a confident player who has scored a few goals, she is definitely one for the future.
"Manchester City are a huge club with teams at all ages and we are developing well. Even though we are doing well in the Cup, everyone is taking the league seriously and we want to concentrate on that, starting with our game against Reading on Sunday."
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