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Women's Football News
On Sunday, Whitley Bay became the third Regional League team to knock out a Premier League opponent and reach the Second Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup when they beat Tranmere Rovers 3-2.
We talked to Bay goalkeeper Jess Geoghegan, who played an important role during the victory, and she praised her team's efforts in beating a team from a level above whilst looking forward to the challenge of taking on Stoke City in the next round:
WSS: Well done on a great result, how hard did the team have to work for the victory?
JG: Thank you!! Immensely hard, every player wearing a Whitley Bay shirt gave 110% and nothing less. It wasn't just the playing ability, we wanted it more. I think that was obvious during the match.
WSS: Did you always feel that you were going to win the game?
JG: We went into the game with a positive attitude and one intention, to win. I think I speak for all the girls when I say this, there wasn't one point during the game where we were able to reduce the tempo. I think the score reflects this, it was a high intensity game. We couldn't become complacent - that's when mistakes happen. We remained disciplined and focused until the final whistle was blown. So, to answer your question… no, I personally didn't. Anything can happen in football.
WSS: What do you think it is about Whitley Bay which makes them play so well in the FA Cup each year?
JG: I think it's the build up to the game; everyone talks about the FA Cup. It's a chance to play against teams in higher leagues, to get challenged and make a statement - not just as a team, but individually too. Going into games as the "underdogs", you don't have as much pressure, but you're also wanting to prove a point. I also think our supporters help enhance our performance.
WSS: Now you are up against Northern Division high fliers Stoke City, how much is the team looking forward to the challenge of playing them?
JG: Stoke are a very quick and athletic side, it's going to be a tough game! The team is really looking forward to playing them. This game is what the competition is all about, playing the best. If we play to our absolute best, we have a chance, believe me. We have nothing to lose, all the pressure is on them. Everyone expects them to turn us over. They won't fancy travelling to Whitley on a cold January day on a bobbly pitch, bring it on!
WSS: Before the Stoke match, you have to play York City in the league, how important is it to get the league campaign on track?
JG: Crucial! We haven't started the best this season, but we are looking to improve and pick up more points, and I am confident we will do that. York is always a challenging game, one of the league games we enjoy the most. If we win, it will definitely enhance our confidence for the Stoke game, and hopefully we will carry that momentum through for the rest of the season.
WSS: Do you still think you have a chance of challenge for the league, if you can win your games in hand?
JG: I think we have to remain positive. We have the ability, determination, drive and attitude to do so, so why not? Win our remaining games, and then yes, 100% we can. A big ask, but anything is possible. Brighouse and Barnsley are our biggest competitors, they're playing really well at the moment.
WSS: It has been a good period for women's football in the north east with the success of Sunderland and Beth Mead, Newcastle and Middlesbrough both doing well, how pleased are you to be a part of that success with this cup run?
JG: Previously playing for Newcastle, I am over the moon they're doing well, I saw how much effort went in to that club, especially from Phil Eadon, and it's nice to see them carrying his legacy on. I also back Sunderland ladies, massively! Hats off to them. They have worked their way from the bottom all the way to the top, a massive inspiration for young players in the North East. I couldn't think of a better club who deserves it more than them, definitely the team to watch next season. The club has been really put in the spotlight after such a great win for the team, and we are really happy with the interest shown in us. Of course it's great for all the North East teams to be doing well as it creates interest in the women's game and hopefully long term will increase participation. Hopefully this success will continue for us all.
Our thanks to Jess!
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