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Women's Football News
Morecambe have made a great start to the season in the North West League and lead the table by three points following their 5-2 win against rivals Blackpool Wren Rovers on Sunday.
Morecambe vice captain Hannah Paling talked to us about her side's title prospects as well as their F.A.Women's Cup Third Round Qualifying tie against Chorley this week:
Do you think that the result in beating Blackpool Wren Rovers on Sunday is the team's best result so far this season?
Yes as they are our closest rivals in the league, before that game it was only goal difference that separated us. It was a must win game really.
Did you feel that it was a deserved result on the day?
Yes, we had a great first half going 5-0 up and even though we didn't have much of the ball in the second half, we held on. You could say that one player coming on for the opposition changed the game but we dealt with her as best we could, credit to her as she is a good player! The weather conditions didn't help, but we worked hard off the ball as a team.
The win puts you three points clear at the top with a number of teams chasing, can you see it being a close title race this year?
Yes it could be close between us and three other teams maybe. There's a long way to go yet and other teams always drop and gain points unexpectedly as the season goes on, this being through injuries, schedule of games, new signings and other factors. We have to go into each game with the same mentality (win) and be careful not to get complacent.
You went so close in three horse race last season, is the team extra determined to go one better this time around?
Very much so - because of what happened last season, we want to gain promotion even more now. It was pretty much a case of the two results against Blackpool and Tranmere that cost us promotion and we do not want that to happen again; well that and having to play four games in about ten days! We definitely have a team strong enough to play in the league above.
This week you take a break from the league to play Chorley in the FA Cup, how much is the team looking forward to the challenge of higher league opposition again?
We always enjoy games like these, it tends to bring the best out of our players. Everyone loves a cup game, plus being in the league below takes the pressure off as we are the underdogs.
Are you expecting Chorley to be prepared for revenge after you knocked them out last year?
Yes, we seem to be their bogey team, we've played them about 4 or 5 times and they have never beaten us (touch wood). So yes I think they will be up for the game more than ever!
Your team had a fantastic Cup run last year to the Third Round, where you gave Coventry City a good game, would it mean a lot if you could have a repeat run this year?
Of course, we would love to get through to the next round and play a team from a higher league. The game against Coventry was a great experience and I think we gave a good account of ourselves. Like I said before, I know we can perform at a higher level and are capable of giving some of the bigger teams a good game.
Presumably though, the league is the main priority?
Yes, it has to be. As much as you want to progress in the cup, it's important to focus on the league. As I mentioned before we have a strong squad that should be playing at a higher level. You don't learn anything by beating teams 10-0 and neither do they. Results in the cup have proved that we can compete with the league above if not higher. Maybe one day they will look at changing it so that two teams go up, that way the leagues may even themselves out a little. But for now only one go up and hopefully this will be our year!
(Photo - Martin Cordingley)
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