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It has been a good week for C & K Basildon, who followed up an Essex County Cup Final victory in midweek with a 6-0 victory over Norwich City, which keeps them two points clear at the top of South East Division One.
We talked to C & K captain Claire Lacey, who reflected on the two wins as well as looking ahead to their run in when they will be chasing a place in the Southern Division next season:
Well done on a good win on Sunday, was it a performance worthy of a 6-0 win?
Thank you! Well, Sunday was definitely a different outcome from the away fixture against Norwich City, which we somehow threw away after taking a 3-0 lead at half time, and only taking home a point from a 3-3 draw (which had a little something to do with the lack of organisation and decisions from the officials...but we won't dwell on that one!), so we were adamant we weren't going concede in the manner we did at their ground, or at all, which was the outcome on Sunday. Yes the performance was worthy of the six goal victory and if I'm honest, with respect, it was a long time coming after missing out in the League Cup final to Norwich last season by a late goal, an unexpected defeat at their ground in the league last season, and of course the away fixture this season! So, I think it's fair to say that the victory felt good and the fact that we didn't concede showed how resilient we were in our defending, and how hungry we were offensively.
Was the margin of victory particularly important because goal difference could well be a factor?
Yes of course, at the half time break we went in at 0-0 and had several chances which could have seen us go in with a 3 or 4 goal lead, but I recall saying to myself as I walked in at the break, "this is not happening today, we are not giving away any points today" (obviously I can smile a bit about it now!). We came out in the second half with a purpose and with the ignition of some flair from Maegen Doyle coming on as a sub, there was a spark of urgency. After the first goal went in from Sara Sinclair within the first few minutes, it felt like the first half was the calm before the 'goal' storm. Sara ended up with a hat-trick and Maegen got a well deserved goal for the enthusiasm and creativity she brought to the second half. Let's hope that goal difference is not a factor and we perform well enough to get the results, so it doesn't come to that.
All in all it was a very good week for the club, after winning the county cup a few days earlier?
Yes, Thursday evening's county cup final was a brilliant night for all involved at the club. For the players, our loyal supporters that have been there for us throughout the season, all the staff, the ever supportive and proud figurehead that is Peter King. We have all been a major part of our success so far. We as a club have already made history this season by reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup against Sheffield FC which was a very good experience for all. Let's hope we can turn that good week into a very good season.
This week you are up against Cambridge who gave you a tough game recently, are you expecting the same again?
Well let's hope not eh, the game was quite close and finished at their ground with us taking a 2-1 victory away with us. I'm not one to make excuses, but that was literally our first league game in months as we had played seven consecutive cup games from November through to February, which included two fixtures against Sheffield in both the FA Cup and League Cup - so I was basically saying 'give us a break'! Never expect anything, you can never judge how a game will turn out. We have had three very good consecutive wins and the continued good performance is key, that's what I'm expecting again.
You have got a crucial match against MK Dons coming up, will it be difficult not to focus too far ahead to that one?
We have four very important matches coming up which are all crucial, two of them are against MK Dons. The focus is on each game we are due to play, so it will be on the Cambridge match this week and that's the way it is before every game. We know what we need to do in these final four fixtures so we will leave it up to match day.
It is now down to a three horse race, can you see it going all the way to the last game?
If I were a neutral, I'd say the league looks to have a very exciting finish, seeing as one of the horses are Crystal Palace who also feature in one of our final four fixtures. So again we know what's expected of us and will be determined to continue our good performances in every game until the last day of the season, "and may the odds be ever in your favour".
You have had a rapid rise up the pyramid in recent years, what would it mean to the club and the players if you can go up to the Southern Division?
Well, I have already mentioned the fantastic figurehead at the club, and without Peter's continuous support, dedication and belief in our club, we wouldn't be where we are today. The club is only in its 8th competitive season and has grown in every aspect every season. There have been many divisional promotions over the last several seasons and cup finals won specifically in the last few seasons. With the club's successes so far, and as I said the historical moments that have already been achieved this season alone, I know it would be a major achievement to be promoted into the Southern Division. I know that we have something very special within our squad togetherness, and as captain this is one of the most important factors in a team that wants to be successful.
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