Rachel Lee reacts to emphatic cup win over Leek Town Ladies
Written by Joseph Nelson
Newcastle United Women cruised past Leek Town Ladies in the FA Women's National League Cup determining round, winning 6-0 at Druid Park on Sunday.
Katie Barker and Georgia Gibson both scored hat-tricks as Becky Langley's side demonstrated the same defensive resilience and clinical finishing that sees them currently sitting second in the FA Women's National League Division One North.
And, having been held to a 1-1 draw at home to Chorley Women in their last league game, midfielder Rachel Lee believes that the victory over Leek Town Ladies was necessary to get the Lady Magpies back on track.
She said: "Everyone loves a cup run so it's great to get off to a strong start and put in a strong performance after the disappointing result against Chorley last week. It feels good to bounce back with a win and hopefully we can continue building momentum again."
The resounding victory against Leek Town Ladies meant that Langley's ladies have kept three clean sheets so far this season, and that defensive resilience is something that Lee and the rest of the Newcastle Women squad take great pleasure in.
"We take pride in our performances," said Lee. "We make sure that we concentrate for the full 90 minutes, and clean sheets are a huge part of our game. Massive credit needs to go to Grace (Donnelly) and the back four; they've been absolutely solid so far this season."
She went on to outline the Lady Magpies' targets in cup competitions this season. "I'm backing us to go on some good cup runs," she said. "As players we want to win trophies and cup competitions are a great opportunity for us to do that. The County Cup and the League Cup are great opportunities for us to win silverware this season, and we may even surprise a few with a giant-killing in the FA Cup!"
Following Sunday's fixture, Newcastle United Women now have a two-week wait until their next match, away to Liverpool Feds Women in the FA Women's National League on Sunday, 26th September but, despite the small break, Lee reiterated that Langley and her staff will ensure that the squad's standards do not drop.
She said: "We will be training in the break between these fixtures. It will also give a few of our players a chance to recover from knocks they may be carrying. Everyone dreads a weekend without a game and I'm sure there will be plenty of running planned for us, so for me the next game can't come soon enough!
"We will analyse our performance from Sunday and look to build on that. We will look at what we can do better both individually and collectively. We are always looking for ways to improve our game and by putting in lots of hard work in training and analysing our opponents, we will be raring to go by next Sunday."
Setting her sights beyond the next fixture, Lee also declared her belief that current form - coupled with continual analysis and improvement - will allow Newcastle Women to continue to challenge for league success for the duration of the season.
She said: "Our focus is to win every game and it is important we don't look any further beyond that. Every single game is massive, and strong performances are paramount to any potential success we may have. If we put in the right level of performances every week and all stick together then there's no reason we can't be there or thereabouts come the end of the season."
Photograph courtesy of Colin Lock/@Tyneside_NUWFC
"Everyone loves a cup run so it's great to get off to a strong start and put in a strong performance after the disappointing result against Chorley last week. It feels good to bounce back with a win."