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28 February 2022

"We were well prepared for a shootout"

Joe Sheehan, Town Women manager, said he "couldn't believe" what he had seen as the Tractor Girls progressed to the quarter-final of the Vitality Women's FA Cup with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Southampton yesterday afternoon.

Following a cagey affair at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, Anna Grey broke the deadlock in the 110th minute before Saints goalkeeper Kayla Rendell netted a dramatic equaliser as the tie went to penalties.

The Blues progressed with a 4-2 win thanks to two stops from Sarah Quantrill, and will find out their quarter-final opponents on Tuesday morning, with the draw being held at 9.15am.

"I'm still coming to terms with what we saw," Joe, whose side were cheered on by a club record 1,167 supporters, said.

"It was a proper cup scrap, and a very competitive game. It went to extra-time and just when you thought we had won it with a really good goal, their 'keeper scores a stunning header. I couldn't believe it.

"To be honest, we knew chances would be few and far between in the match. We were well prepared for a shootout.

"We knew the order of players for the shootout, and, despite their last-gasp equaliser, we reset and were ready to go again.

"It's all a bit of a blur and everyone will be caught up in the emotions still. It was an incredible day for everyone, though, and I am so pleased."

FIRST SET (44).jpg

Sarah Quantrill, who had little to deal with in the 90 minutes, was the hero in the shootout as she denied Saints with two impressive stops.

Reflecting on the match and the shootout, she said: "We had to dig in deep and it feels amazing.

"It was a bit of a nervy game and we thought we had done it with Anna's strike, only for their goalkeeper to put a header in the top corner.

"That deflated us a bit, but huge credit to the girls as they regrouped and went again. It was a penalty shootout, so we knew either team could take it still.

"The fans certainly played their part as well. It was a terrific atmosphere and I don't think I even heard the whistle for the last penalty to be taken."

Sarah Quantrill.jpg

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