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Nina Downham was understandably delighted after her two goals saw West Ham Utd on their way to a surprise 2-1 victory over Bristol Academy in the F.A.Women's Cup.
The former Chelsea striker's delight was also tinged with relief as the double strike marked her first full appearance for more than a season following a long term shoulder injury, having made only a handful of substitute appearances since joining the Hammers.
"I'm obviously delighted with the result today and to go through to the next round," Nina told Women's Soccer Scene. "I don't normally score with my head, so that was nice as well.
"I've only scored about two headers in my whole career so I've probably doubled that tally today!"
Gemma Shepherd, who had a fine game in midfield for the Hammers, was full of praise for the whole side. "I think it was the best team performance I've ever been involved in," she smiled. "We played a friendly match last week and that probably blew away the cobwebs, we also prepared well during the week. Collectively, everyone won their battles and we worked well as a team - it was a massive team effort."
The second half saw Bristol Academy have the majority of possession as they sought an equaliser but West Ham stood firm against their top flight opponents. "One of the keys to our success this season is that we have had a really solid defence and the fact that we got two goals stood us in good stead," added Gemma.
"We needed to withstand a lot of pressure but were very disciplined and stuck with it and got our reward."
However there was a scare for the Hammers as the game went into injury time as the home side had a goal disallowed for offside. "I think I covered my face with my hands and thought, 'Oh no, not another thirty minutes'," admitted Nina, "but thankfully it didn't count and I was really happy to come away with the result."
West Ham will be in Cup action again this Sunday as they will play at home to Barnet in the Fifth Round and the winners will face one of Norwich City, Yeovil Town or Nottingham Forest in the quarter finals. Both players are looking forward to the prospect of taking on the Southern Division leaders, who will be familiar opponents.
Nina in particular is relishing the opportunity of playing against one of her former clubs. "I played a few games for Barnet so it will be nice to go back there and hopefully get a win," she said. "There's no reason why we can't do so and hopefully on Sunday we'll have a smile on our faces again."
"The league table doesn't lie and the fact they have only lost one league game tells a story," added Gemma, "but that league game they did lose was to us, so we'll go into the game with a lot of confidence. There is a history between the two clubs so I think it will be a good clash."
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