We spoke to manager Zoey Shaw following Sunday’s penalty defeat to Chorley in the FA WNL Cup determining round.
Izzy Whittle scored a pair of equalisers to force the game to extra time, but the side ultimately went out on penalties and will now compete in the FA WNL Plate.
Shaw: “I think we got off to a bit of a slow start and that’s something the girls and I will have to work on. We need to come out of the traps from the off because if not we concede and we’re chasing the game.
“But I think we did well to get ourselves back into the game. We did well with our attacking set pieces with Izzy to get the first equaliser, and then we started to play football, but the moral of the story is it was a little bit too late in the 90 minutes.
“We grew into the game and I was saying to the other staff on the bench that when we’re in a fight and there’s something on the line like when we get into the last ten minutes and we’re trailing or there’s going to be penalties, that’s when we step up and play our best football.
“But the girls have got to find something within themselves to get that from the start and that’s going to be our focal point for the next couple of sessions in training.
“I said to the girls after the game we have no excuses: everyone’s back, there’s nobody missing. But what I was impressed by was the desire to keep going.
“Chorley are a good side. Just because they’re in the fourth tier, they’ve played together for many years so they know where each other are on the pitch. They’re capable of quick football, and they’ve got that experience, and our girls are gaining that.
“I’m not going to keep saying ‘they’re young’ or ‘they’re going to learn’, because they play football just like anybody else. It’s just about playing themselves in the next game.
“Liv Cook had an outstanding game, as did Emily Batty. That save she made on that penalty, it was going in all day. Izzy Whittle had a good game and I thought Emily Burgin, when she came on straight from the RTC, for a player of her age, she rose to the occasion. She changed the game when she came on, and if players can do that then we’re doing something right.
“I said to the girls that I wasn’t disappointed in their performance, just in the result, that it went that way towards to end, because with penalties it’s anyone’s game.”