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Loughborough Foxes made club history on Sunday by reaching the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup for the first time, after winning a nail biting penalty shootout against Lewes.
We talked to Foxes midfielder Shauna Chambers who was delighted at the prospect of facing Millwall Lionesses in the next round, whilst also recognising that the club has important games coming up in all competitions:
WSS: Congratulations on the win on Sunday, how does it feel to be in the Fourth Round for the first time in the club's history?
SC: Thank you! Getting to the Third Round was a first for us too, so reaching the Fourth Round really is a great achievement. Progressing two stages further than ever is a good reflection of how far we have developed as a club over the past couple of years. To think we started playing on an old farm and we are now in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup against a WSL2 team is brilliant!
WSS: Was the game as closely fought as the scoreline suggests?
SC: Absolutely, you can't get much closer than a game going all the way to sudden death in the penalty shootout. It was a tough game where both teams had spells on top and had chances to take the lead.
WSS: Just how nerve racking was the penalty shootout - and what was it like when you knew you had won?
SC: It was pretty intense, especially as both teams were scoring solid penalties. I think jubilation and relief sums up the moment we realised we had won. After the team putting everything into 120 minutes of football and then for all five penalties to be scored, the win meant so much more.
WSS: Now you have to play Millwall Lionesses in the next round, what do you think about the prospect of taking on a WSL team?
SC: We have no doubt that this will be a very tough game and challenge us in many ways, but it's exciting too. It's a great position for us to be in and we are hoping to get a decent crowd down to give us an extra boost. Of course we will be the underdogs, but everyone knows that an FA Cup upset is always on the cards!
WSS: You are of course still in the League Plate, what are your thoughts ahead of this week's quarter final against Enfield Town?
SC: We know Enfield won't be easy to beat and we know that no game is an easy game. We will be treating the game with the respect it deserves and are determined to book our place in the semi finals of the League Plate. Whilst doing this, we also need to use the game to fine tune aspects of our last few performances to make sure we continue to improve.
WSS: Presumably though, survival in the league is the biggest priority, do you think that the cup results will help you in that respect?
SC: Staying in this league is most definitely our priority. We worked very hard to get here and don't want to give it up so soon. We've had a great start to 2016 and we feel that things are starting to come together. We are enjoying winning and hopefully it's a habit we can carry into our league fixtures. We have lots more to give and no one has seen the best of Loughborough Foxes yet!
WSS: How tough has the team found it at the higher level this season following promotion?
SC: Of course we have found the step up tough, but we really don't feel out of our depth. Our manager Jen and all of the coaching team have had us working very hard to implement changes and tweak aspects of our game. We've improved immensely and feel we have been unlucky not to pick up more points so far. Although we now have a fair bit of pressure on us, we are confident that we can pick up points in some of our upcoming games and are embracing the challenge ahead.
Our thanks to Shauna!
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