Women's Team

Siobhan Hodgetts-Still discusses friendly draw ahead of FAWNL run-in

Siobhan Hodgetts-Still.

Albion Women Head Coach Siobhan Hodgetts-Still believes her side fared well in a “tough” friendly encounter with FAWNL Southern Premier Division equivalents Cheltenham Town.

The Baggies drew 1-1 with the Robinesses in a behind-closed-doors affair, as Henna Butcher’s opener was cancelled out by a late volley from Mariam Mahmood.

And Hodgetts-Still believes her side were full value for the draw, but admitted the focus throughout remained on polishing their performance ahead of their final two league games against Stoke and Newcastle.

She said: “Performance-wise I thought there were some good spells. There were parts where you could maybe tell we hadn’t played for a bit. 

“We occasionally needed to be better in possession. Overall, it was a good run-out, there were some good moments in the game to set us up for next week.

“It was good to get minutes in the legs for players, but it was also about giving players opportunities. Some players won’t have started too many games so we’ve handed them a chance.

“It was a chance for those players to play. It’s against another tier three team so it was always going to be tough.

“They made it difficult for us, at times it was a 3-4-3 for them or a 3-2-3-2, we found it hard to play out at times. Once we worked it out, we did well and had some moments.

“We pushed on from the early stages. We hung on at the end there very well and it was a great goal from Maz.”

Ashlee Brown.

Albion face a clash versus Stoke City next Sunday at the bet365 Stadium before they host champions Newcastle United in Redditch on May 5 to round off the season.

Siobhan added: “All of the staff and players want to finish as high as possible. If we can go and get two wins, that’s the aim for the next two games.

“We want to look back at a league position that we can be proud of. That means we have to compete in these last two games and make sure we work well.

“It’s our penultimate game of the season. These opportunities and experiences are great for the players and the staff. We’ll all be buzzing and we’ll prepare in the right way for it.

“We had Stoke in the first game of the season, it was competitive but we managed to get the win. They’ve developed over the course of the season.

“It’s taken time, especially to embed our organisation. For us, the players have started to get it, we’ve had to be patient.

“Over the last 12 weeks, we’ve picked up some really good results. It’ll be a good display as to how we’ve progressed this season and will be a good match.”