Women's Team

‘The girls fought for us’ | Siobhan Hodgetts-Still on Wolves defeat

Siobhan Hodgetts-Still.

Albion Women head coach Siobhan Hodgetts-Still believes her side can be ‘proud’ despite their penalty shoot-out defeat to Wolves in the Birmingham County FA Challenge Cup.

The Baggies stunned the hosts at Compton Park with two opening goals in 10 minutes through Simran Jhamat and Lucy Newell but were pegged back to 2-2 before losing on penalties.

Sunday’s loss meant Albion were knocked out of the cup at the semi-final stage, but Hodgetts-Still says there’s plenty of reason for belief in a largely promising showing.

She said: “We did well, for the neutral it was a great game to watch. I couldn't be more proud of the girls.

“To score two goals in the first 15 minutes was a dream start, both teams knew they were in for a good battle. The opener was a great team goal, straight on the attack from the first whistle, it got us on the front foot.”

Hodgetts-Still is also confident that Albion can use late heartbreak in the derby as a catalyst for further development in their performances.

“We’ve got to take some positivity from that now and take that into the league. We’ve taken a top team to a draw so we’ve got to take some positives from that.

Albion Women in action against Wolves.

“We’re disappointed but I’m proud of the players and they executed the game plan well. In the second half, Wolves had to come at us and they piled on the pressure.

“We were forced to make a couple of changes due to injuries and the girls adapted really well to a change in shape but on the day it wasn't meant to be. There were eight or nine minutes of extra time to get through and Wolves piled on the pressure.

“It's never easy to go out on penalties but fair play to the girls who stepped up to take one. It takes a lot of courage in a derby, even more so in a semi-final.

“We scored two great pens and their goalkeeper pulled off two great saves. The girls took everything on board and defended brilliantly to stick it out for a draw before the shootout.

“I couldn’t have asked for more from my team. The girls defended really well throughout to try and ride out the win but Wolves got a late equaliser to take the game to penalties.”

Albion are set to face Huddersfield Town in their next fixture in the opening weekend of March, where Hodgetts-Still expects to see another improved display.

“We’ll put a game plan together for Huddersfield and players having that confidence with the mentality they had today will be good. We can push on to get those three points in a big game.”