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Southampton Women went through to the Third Round Qualifying of the Women's FA Cup on Sunday with a 2-0 win against Marine Academy Plymouth, avenging their surprise defeat to the same opponents at the same stage last season.
We talked to Southampton defender Kellie Warren, who was understandably delighted with the win and the way the team has started the season overall, and is looking forward to a derby tie in the next round:
WSS: Well done on the win on Sunday, how difficult a task was it against a team from the level below?
KW: Thank you, we made it difficult for ourselves. We created so many chances but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. Fair play to MAP though, they continued to push us right till the final whistle. Keeping a clean sheet was also massive for us.
WSS: After going out to the same opposition in the cup last season, how pleasing was it to put the record straight this time?
KW: Obviously it's very pleasing, we struggled last year to finish our chances too but this year we were defensively stronger. So we are very pleased with the result this year.
WSS: The draw for the Third Round Qualifying has paired you with AFC Bournemouth, that should be a good occasion and a South Coast derby?
KW: That will be a great game! They are a strong team, with a decent set up and are doing well in their league, so we are looking forward to that and hopefully get a decent crowd with a good atmosphere around the ground.
WSS: Would you welcome a good run in the FA Cup, is that a big priority for you this season?
KW: Yes of course we would! Experience for the players and the youngsters coming through and also brings some money into the club. It would definitely be exciting to play against one of big WSL teams too, so we will do our best.
WSS: This week it's the League Cup and you play AFC Basildon, what kind of game are you expecting against them?
KW: Any league cup game will be tough opposition, so we are prepared to face a strong AFC Basildon this weekend but are very much looking forward to it.
WSS: You made a number of new signings during the summer to strengthen the squad, how have they settled in since joining?
KW: The new girls have settled in well. Some of the players we've signed, we have played against for a few years, so it's actually nice to have them on the same team to strengthen our squad
WSS: You have been so close to promotion over the last two seasons, are you confident that you can go one better this time around?
KW: Well, that's the plan! We are confident in ourselves that we can go on and win the league this season with the group of girls we have.
WSS: The early signs are showing that the title race could be a close one between at least three teams, can you see it staying that way?
KW: It does seem that it will be a lot closer this season that the previous two. We don't expect that to change but most importantly we focus on us, the games we've got ahead and getting the three points on the board each league game, to keep us in the title run.
Our thanks to Kellie!
Photo by John Bilcliff
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