- LCFC Women defeat Tottenham 3-1 after extra-time in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup
- The Foxes progress to the fifth round after victory at The Hive Stadium on Sunday
- Lydia Bedford said it was ‘a great feeling’ to come from behind and claim the win
- Shannon O’Brien, Sophie Howard and Esmee De Graaf were all on the scoresheet
The Foxes faced fourth-round elimination with 10 minutes of normal time to play at The Hive Stadium, trailing to Angela Addison’s 60th-minute strike, until Shannon O’Brien’s inspired leveller took the contest to extra-time.
Sophie Howard then edged Leicester ahead within 20 seconds of the restart courtesy of another stunning goal, and Esmee De Graaf finished the tie off with a stoppage-time third, to confirm City’s place in the fifth round of the competition for the third season running.
“I’m really proud of what the girls produced over the 120 minutes today,” a delighted Bedford told LCFC TV in her post-match interview. “I think the most important thing coming into this game for us was the performance. We said it was a free hit and the pressure of the league kind of disappeared today.
“But the fact that they produced a really good start to the game and performed as well as they did in the first half, and then managed to build on that in the second half and take it through to 120, was really big.
She (Sophie Howard) joked that she wanted to go upfront, it’s been a consideration for us and one that we haven’t used yet, but we thought, why not?Lydia Bedford LCFC TV
“I actually thought when they scored that we still had a chance to grow into the game. Their bench was reasonably light today whereas ours wasn’t and we knew we had subs who could come on and immediately impact and change the momentum.
“I’m pleased that they did that because on matchday, that is the role of our subs to come on and bring fresh legs and get the momentum back in our favour. It was a great finish from Shannon to get us level, which was key.”
Howard, primarily deployed as a centre-back or full-back, was moved into a centre forward position for the extra-time period, making an immediate impact by scoring a sensational lobbed effort.
At the other end of the pitch, some wholehearted defending also pleased Bedford, who was full of praise for the committed nature of the team’s performance across the pitch.
Howard: We Never Gave Up
Goalscorer Sophie Howard provided insight into LCFC Women's stunning FA Cup comeback win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The ex-England youth coach commented: “We’ve joked about it a few times since she (Sophie Howard) scored against Birmingham before Christmas. She said that she wanted to go upfront, it’s been a consideration for us and one that we haven’t used yet, but we thought, why not?
“This is the FA Cup, let’s go and enjoy it in extra-time and see what she can do. And it’s a fantastic finish from her.
“There was a lot of great play from Spurs, but we dealt with it well. They are a fantastic side who had a lot of the ball today, so that was key that we got our defensive shape right and we worked hard together and dealt with the overloads.
“I’m just really pleased with the whole team performance in making it really hard for them to play through us, because there were a few dicey moments that we dealt with, but that’s football, that’s going to happen and it’s key that you come back out of that, and you keep going.”
The confidence we’ll take from today is that we’ve competed reasonably well against one of the teams in the top half of the WSL, which is great for us.Lydia Bedford LCFC TV
Summer signing Connie Scofield, introduced during extra-time, made her long-awaited LCFC Women bow following injury, while 16-year-old Academy player Ava Baker was also handed minutes for the second time this season.
Baker played a part in the final goal, ensuring that the Foxes would notch three goals in a game for the first time in 2021/22, defeating the side sat fourth in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League in the process.
“Relief, it’s a weird feeling,” City’s manager expressed. “It was against the run of the play, you could say. We were ahead at that point, and I was still thinking we might need to go to penalties, but we knew we had that comfort blanket if they scored.
“So, to then go and walk one in at the other end is a great feeling, particularly when we’ve got someone like Ava Baker, who has just turned 16, to come on and contribute to that. She did a lot of running in those 15 minutes. And Connie Scofield today, that’s her debut for the Club, so there’s a few players who have come on and contributed to that.”
It's A Great Feeling, Says Bedford
LCFC Women manager Lydia Bedford was beaming after masterminding an FA Cup comeback to defeat Tottenham Hotspur in extra-time.
After securing a first win on the road under Lydia Bedford, City now face another away trip this weekend, taking on Birmingham City in a crucial top-flight clash at St. Andrew’s Stadium on Sunday (2pm GMT kick-off).
She added: “I said at the end, the confidence we’ll take from today is that we’ve competed reasonably well against one of the teams in the top half of the WSL, which is great for us. And we’ve started and finished the game well, which is also big for us.
“But it means nothing if we don’t go out and do our jobs properly next week against Birmingham. The girls know that, and they’ll live off today’s feeling, but they’ll be ready for it on Tuesday and we’ll be prepared for that game.”
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