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Fulham FC Foundation are through to the Second Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup or the first time in their history when they held their nerve to beat Enfield Town on a penalty shootout.
We talked to two of Fulham's players from their second successive victory over a Premier League side, midfielder and vice captain Jade Pilley and striker Helen Ogle, who reflected on a memorable day for their club as well as looking forward to the prospect of taking on Lewes in the next round:
WSS: Congratulations on a fantastic result on Sunday, how does it feel to have knocked out another Premier League side?
JP: Amazing. The atmosphere between the girls is extremely positive and infectious at the moment, resulting from us already making history for Fulham FC Foundation Ladies by getting through to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. But the journey behind it has been our motivation and inspiration to continue with our success with beating previous teams within the Premier League. So to come up against yet another Premier League team, who are currently sitting mid-table, feels great. To come from behind with less than five minutes to go, the girls really came together to show just how much it really means to us as a team.
WSS: How much character did the team show in coming back from 3-1 behind?
HO: We showed immense character to come back from trailing two goals behind with less than five minutes to go until the final whistle. When the own goal went in to bring the score back to 3-2, we realised we had a chance as long as we played with the momentum and confidence we had shown throughout the game. It was an incredible feeling to score the goal to bring us level and take us into extra time! The goal was well worked, coming from Megan Lovelock's free kick just outside the area. Captain Verity Snow headed back to the edge of the box for me to volley home!
WSS: Just how nerve wracking was the penalty shootout, and how pleased are you for Paige Hersey who saved two kicks?
JP: Let's be honest, no one likes a penalty shootout, especially after having fought so hard for 120 minutes. Paige Hersey, who has just turned 17, has made a massive step up from having being the reserve goalkeeper and playing only a handful of first team games. Paige had a great game on Sunday and for her to step up into the first team, playing in the First Round of the FA Cup and fighting hard to then having such a massive moment on her shoulders must have been nerve wracking. But I couldn't fault her at all - if anything, I admire her bravery and commitment that she showed. With a small prep talk beforehand from myself and First team Coach Dave Newland, Paige was set and ready to go and went out with confidence. She proved exactly why she deserves her spot within the first team. We're extremely proud of her.
WSS: How pleased are you to draw Lewes in the next round?
HO: It's great to have another home tie for the next round. We have a fantastic facility in Surrey Sports Park, which will again proudly play host to the FA Cup. We know Lewes will be a tough test, being a Premier League outfit, but I'm confident we can take recent performances and belief with us into the game.
WSS: This week you have to play Camden Town in the league, are you confident that the team will have their feet back on the ground?
JP: Yes, I'm positive that the girls are confident going into Sunday's game against Camden Town after sitting on such a high this week. We just need to ensure that we do not become complacent and will be digging deep to get three points in the bag before the Christmas break.
WSS: Do you think that the cup run will help the team improve their league position?
HO: Yes! We had a disappointing start in the league this season, however recent results have been promising and we have the talent and ability right across the squad to compete with top opposition. Confidence is key, which is building game by game.
WSS: Have the games against St Nicholas and Enfield shown the potential of the team and what they are capable of?
JP: Absolutely. After having a wobbly start with both the movement of players and management, we have really come together as a team and worked with constant change. So to have come as far as we have in the FA Cup just goes to show the potential we have within our team and how much we are capable of achieving at present and in the future. After beating teams that play in leagues above us, it's clear to see how much work and effort we put in as a team and the determination we have to continue our run in the FA Cup.
Our thanks to Jade and Helen!
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