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SSFC Women: 'Our biggest focus is now the league'

Up next for South Shields Women is Alnwick Town Ladies, and the team are using the Women’s FA Cup defeat against the side as motivation to win this Sunday.

The Mariners’ FA Cup journey ended in the second qualifying stage against this weekend’s opponents back in October, as Alnwick’s early double condemned Shields to a 1-2 defeat. 

Star defender Meg Archbold believes the side were ”missing the final piece of the puzzle” that day, but knew deep down it was always going to be a difficult tie. 

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” she said.

“Alnwick are a strong side full of experienced players who have played together for a long time. 

“We had a home crowd supporting us and were all excited to be at 1st Cloud after our emphatic win against Hartlepool. 

“Unfortunately, a second minute goal for Alnwick rattled us… we had an uphill struggle then to get back into the game. 

“We dwelled on the mistake and struggled to really get going. This led to a second mistake and Alnwick doubled their lead in the 21st minute. 

“The second half started and we came out much brighter. We had spells where we moved the ball with intent and got chances at goal that we just couldn't see through due to the Alnwick keeper pulling off some great saves. 

“We seemed to be missing the final piece of the puzzle which was the elusive three goals we needed to see us through to the next round.

“We kept searching for the second and third goals but ultimately it wasn't meant to be and we bowed out of the FA Cup feeling disappointed.”

And Josie Foster has reiterated that the focus now is on the league, with 14 big games left to try and secure automatic promotion, while also playing catch-up with the teams in the mix. 

She said: “Our biggest focus is now the league. 

“We’ve played them now and know what to expect, but we take each game week by week and work hard as a team to get the results we need.”

Shields will be hoping for a bright start to 2024 after their last four games were postponed, and supporters can expect more details on the venue and kick-off later this week.

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