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Yeovil Town goalkeeper Beth Howard is sure that her team rose to the occasion despite losing 1-0 to Leeds United in their Premier League Cup tie in front of a large attendance at Huish Park.
The Glovers attracted a crowd in excess of 600 for the game and the 17-year-old told Women's Soccer Scene: "I think the crowd really helped us going forward at the end. We could hear them when the players had the ball they were really good.
"The goal was preventable and we had the better chances but didn't take them. I thought we played well though, considering Leeds are a good side."
Beth admitted that the goal, scored by Tanya Rich early in the second half, had been a blow which took time to recover from. "We slowed down a bit but we got up again then when Gobby [Laura Wensley] got injured it rallied us and picked us up," she said. "We were definitely the better team from then and deserved at least to take the game into extra time. I think we were unlucky."
The injury to Laura Wensley - a double leg fracture - took a little gloss off the occasion for the home team, due to a delay in excess of 20 minutes when both teams left the pitch, but Beth insists that it gave the team inspiration: "When we came back in [to the dressing room] we said that we could try playing for Laura and help her by getting through to the next round, although in the end we wanted it anyway.
"We had the better opportunities but failed to hit the target really. I think the save at the end from Jade Radburn was the only one she [Jules Draycott] had to make but I don't think we should be let down by that.
"They defended well and restricted the number of chances we had. I still think we played better but I might be biased!"
Having played County League level side Colne Valley in the F.A.Women's Cup seven days earlier, Yeovil experienced both sides of the coin as both favourites and underdogs. "It's been two extremes," admitted Beth. "We went into the Colne Valley game as favourites, the pressure was on us to deliver there so we knew what it would be like for Leeds.
"I think Leeds expected it to be a bit easier than it was but we pushed them all the way."
This season is Beth's first in senior football and she has recently had to step in to fill a large void in the Yeovil side as Rachel Simkin - who was also on the bench for Bristol Academy's FA WSL games last season - has left to join the RAF. "I only came into the team this season as I had been with the Somerset Centre of Excellence but I watched a few games and followed them," she said.
"They have come a long way, we've got some new players and developed a lot of younger players as well. I think we can compete with the best teams and this game showed that.
"It's great playing for the first team, especially when you play the National sides - we've played Cardiff as well - the tempo is just crazy but it is really good, a lot different from Centre of Excellence football!"
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