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Brighouse Town have been one of the major title contenders in FAWNL Division One North over the past few seasons and the signs are that they will there or thereabouts again after their 3-2 victory over Chester-le-Street Town on Sunday took them to within one point of leaders Barnsley.
We talked to Brighouse midfielder Kayleigh Bamforth, who praised the team's never say die attitude after coming from behind to win against Chester-le-Street and is expecting a hard fought promotion battle in their division this season:
WSS: How tough a game was it on Sunday, having to come from behind to get the win?
KB: We started the game well but went behind against the run of play, I think we felt confident that we could still win the game. Even when we went behind again to make it 2-1 we had belief that we would come back and that proved true, we needed that half time break to regroup and focus on how we can score at one end and stop a good Chester-le-Street side hitting us on the break at the other end. I think we managed this really well in the second half, took the game to our opponents and saw the game out.
WSS: Does it say a lot about the team's character that you managed to turn the game around in your favour?
KB: I think we have a bit of a ‘never give up and go till the end' attitude which we've proven In quite a few games this season. We've not been overly lucky when it comes to injuries and availability so we have had to fight for every point, being able to come from behind to win just adds that little bit more belief that we can overcome adversity and turn difficult situations into positive outcomes.
WSS: Did Sunday's game have extra importance for you in that it was a chance to close the gap on leaders Barnsley?
KB: We aren't really thinking about other teams, we just want to keep winning and putting points on the board, the league table at this stage of the season isn't a concern as there will be lots of twists and turns along the way. As mentioned before, injuries, form and availability will play a big part in results so we're just concentrating on us and taking it one game at a time.
WSS: This week it's the FA Cup and a trip to Liverpool Feds. You beat them 2-1 earlier in the season in the league, are you anticipating another close game this time?
KB: Liverpool Feds are a fantastic side and like to move teams around with their passing brand of football. We managed to win the game last time out but again had to wait until the last few minutes to gain all three points, we remained patient and created a couple of opportunities, it always helps when you have a player like Aimi Beresford because she is a nightmare to play against and can score spectacular goals from what seems like an impossible position! Hopefully we can gain another positive result and get our name in the hat for the next round.
WSS: You've already come through two tough away ties so far, particularly at Stockport, do you think those games will stand you in good stead for this week?
KB: We went in to the Stockport game without three key players, our captain Annabelle Cass, Aimi Beresford and our goalscorer Charlotte Proud, so we knew it was going to a difficult one. We didn't play at our best if I'm really honest but despite that we went in at the break 1-0 up and probably could have scored a few more. Fair play to Stockport, they came out in the second half and deservedly went in front, they were the better side for long spells and took their chances. Thankfully Charlie Blythe managed to score in the last minute and we managed to win on penalties.
WSS: The League Cup draw this week has paired you with Derby County, how much is the team looking forward to that game when it comes?
KB: We've played Derby a couple of times before in the past and managed to win on both occasions. I don't think it will be quite as straight forward this time, they have invested heavily in their playing squad and recruited really well, it hasn't quite clicked for them yet but they have a lot of quality and will be expecting to win the game so we will have to be at our best to try and stop that from happening. That game is in the back of our minds as we have the FA and County Cup games before then but we'll certainly be ready for the challenges ahead.
WSS: In the league at the moment, yourselves and Barnsley have opened up a gap on the teams below you but can you see anyone emerging from the pack to make a challenge?
KB: I think as mentioned before, we will have a few twists and turns along the way. Durham have done a bit of a Burnley, coming up from the division below and doing really well, Leeds have recruited well, Liverpool Feds are always a threat too so I don't think you can take anything for granted, I know we may have had a decent start but we also feel like we could have done even better in the games that we've drawn.
WSS: You have been so close to promotion in the last few seasons, how much would it mean to the club if you can go all the way this time?
KB: Obviously we've missed out in the last few seasons and with Barnsley in good form, it's looking like being very close this time round. Promotion would be an unbelievable achievement for us as a club and something we strive to achieve, it's a shame in women's football we only have one side promoted because the standard of teams in our league are worthy of moving up - this has been proven in previous seasons with teams from our division beating sides from the league above in the cups and Burnley currently flying high once again this season. That being said, we don't take anything for granted and hopefully we can fight till the end and have a bit more of that determination and character we've shown already to get the job done.
Our thanks to Kayleigh!
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