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Innes: Only way is up for SSFC Women

Player of the match Monica Innes credited the team’s character and resilience as a major factor in SSFC Women’s 1-1 draw against Bradford City on Sunday.

Zoe Norton gave Shields the lead in the 20th minute when goalkeeper Tiffany Whelan got a hand to her strike from near the box, which sailed into the top corner.

But Kanisha Underdown pulled it back with only a handful of minutes to play in stoppage time when Aliyah Nolan’s free-kick was parried at point-blank range.

Nonetheless, the result showed a different side of South Shields Women, and it certainly bodes well heading into this week’s home tie against Barnsley.

“Overall, as a team I think we have shown how strong we are in terms of battling with each other, keeping our heads and pulling together as a unit,” Innes reflected.

“It was a very late goal conceded and that could have gone either way; we could have panicked and lost our heads, but we kept positive, stayed compact and took the point we very much deserved.

“Everyone on the pitch showed resilience, we put our bodies in, and we kept our heads high.

“Scarlett (Gowans) made some great saves that kept us in the game numerous times, through the whole game we battled together and kept each other going against what was a decent opponent.”

In terms of lessons to take from last week’s feisty-at-times encounter, sheer determination is enough to guide Shields forward, according to Innes.

She added: “I think the lesson we’ve learned as a whole is that coming together and everyone working for each other is a massive factor in taking points against the teams we play.

“In games like we had on Sunday where sometimes decisions aren’t 100% accurate, it is hard to keep that positivity and head space, but we proved to ourselves we can do it and will continue to do it throughout the remainder of season.

“Personally, I felt it was a game where I was at my best in terms of reading the game and staying strong defensively as well as making the right choices in going forward.”

Finally, she reserved some special praise for the coaching team who have made this all possible.

“We are proving week-in week-out that what we do in training and then apply on the pitch is working, so shout out to the coaches for putting us through the high intensity training sessions we’ve had. We’re only going one way now and that is up.”

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Carol Howard
Carol Howard
Oct 25, 2023

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