SSFC Ladies looking forward after thumping cup win
South Shields progressed to the first round of the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday as they defeated Morecambe 5-0 with an impressive display.
Becki McMahon’s brace, as well as goals from Caitlin Bates, Jade Dryden and Gabby Pedersen helped the Ladies to their second consecutive victory under Ben Garrity’s leadership, and set up a future tie with Norton and Stockton Ancients.
Head coach Garrity said: “In my initial interview, I set out the aim for myself and the team of going down to Morecambe and coming back up to Shields in the hat for the next round. The lasses delivered and exceeded expectations.
“The way the ladies played – their work rate, desire, hunger to win and their togetherness shone through. With this group, when they have that, their quality just takes care of itself.
“Since taking over, I have asked the lasses to play with confidence, be brave on the ball and to go and express themselves. That’s exactly what they did on Sunday.
“We displayed some excellent phases of play and some excellent goals, whether it was a great strike or the build-up play beforehand.
“It is fantastic as a coach to see the things we are working on in training are now being implemented into games.”
Building on the Mariners’ victory at Farsley Celtic in his first game in charge, the Ladies kept their first clean sheet of the season, and Garrity feels the standard has now been set.
He added: “They all gave an excellent account of themselves and it’s definitely a standard set moving forward now.
“It was an overall complete performance as we also got our first clean sheet of the season, which was another target I set the lasses at the start of the game.”
Shields have been drawn at home to Norton and Stockton Ancients in the next round of the competition, a team that currently resides one tier higher than the Mariners.
However, the atmosphere among the squad is vibrant and Garrity is relishing the challenge.
He said: “We’re all looking forward to that game as they’re in the league above, but we need to keep our spirits high and go in believing we can come away with the win.
“I fully believe this set of girls are capable of anything they put their mind to.”
Garrity is looking to build on the momentum that the Ladies have gained in recent weeks, as they clash horns with Hartlepool on Sunday.
He continued: “We are looking forward to the next round of the FA Cup but our immediate focus is on our league game this Sunday against Hartlepool, which will be a tough one, just like every game is in this league, but it’s one we will be looking to take another three points in.”