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Miller: SSFC Women "didn’t perform anywhere near our full potential today"

South Shields Women head coach Alex Miller was left frustrated as her side didn't "perform anywhere near our full potential" against Spennymoor Town Ladies.

The Moors ran riot - they won 8-2 in front of a crowd of just under 300 at The Brewery Field on Sunday.

Katy Hemmingway grabbed a hat-trick, Hannah Knox netted a brace, and the Mariners were unable to compete with Spennymoor from start to finish.

“It was an extremely frustrating game,” she reflected. 

“We didn’t perform anywhere near our full potential today and credit to Spennymoor, they most definitely capitalised on that. 

“There were glimpses of the lasses trying to get a grip of the game and play to our strengths, but it just wasn’t happening for us today.”

It was a bad start for the lasses when they fell one behind within 10 minutes. Hannah Knox’s free-kick lashed off the crossbar and hit Scarlett Gowans’ back before going in. 

They did manage to net an equaliser however, through the ever-dependable Sophie Curle and her goal was something worth celebrating on an otherwise disappointing afternoon.  

Miller added: “We were disappointed to concede so early on in the game, especially when I thought we had the brighter start from kick off. 

“It’s a valuable quality to possess to be able to stay calm when things are going against you, and I think the lasses displayed this for our first goal.

“However, it was frustrating that we couldn’t maintain this for the duration of the game. 

“Sophie is a quality finisher who is relentless when in front of goal. It was great to see Eve and Sophie linking up again to create this goal.”

In training during the week Shields focused on set pieces, knowing they would come up in the game but time and time again they were beaten at corners and at free-kicks.

She continued: “Conceding so many set piece goals today was a real bitter pill to swallow. We knew that Spennymoor were strong with their set pieces, so worked on this during the week - really successfully too. 

“Unfortunately that success didn’t carry over to today’s performance which was very much to Spennymoor’s delight.”

The highlight of the second half from a Mariners’ perspective was undoubtedly Jaz Elliott-Wood hitting a screamer from far out to make it 6-2. 

“Jaz has always got a goal like that in her locker, but I think it definitely took us all by surprise when her shot nestled into the goal today!”

But Miller insists now isn’t the time to forget about what’s happened, believing it’s a real learning experience for the team.

She followed up: “We’re not going to forget about today, it’s not an option to do that. But we will use the feeling from today’s defeat to fuel our progress over the coming week.

“No one wants to experience this again, so we take that, use it to learn from our mistakes and pick ourselves back up. 

“We know we are better than our performance today. We go back to our high standards and positive attitudes, and start again!

Next up for South Shields Women is Hartlepool United Women. More details will be shared closer to matchday - the reverse tie saw Shields score their biggest victory this season: 9-0! 

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