Scoring in the first minute, the Bees fast dominated their opposition until a defensive slip-up gifted Lia Cataldo an equaliser late in the first half. Playing their second match in four days, the fatigue clearly started to set in over the second half before a late winner from Lauren Pickett decided the tie. Overall the hosts had the edge throughout the game, something that Swindlehurst was pleased about.
“We were hoping to keep the momentum and try to get a second and a third but it didn’t come but we were still having the lion’s share of the possession and it almost became a little too easy and that’s when complacency kicks in. One little blip and the balls in the back of the net; it’s one-one and the it gave Millwall a foot in the game, so I was a little bit disappointed with that but overall I was happy with the game.”
Conceding just before the break, the words from the boss at half time were just to go back to their bread and butter.
“We just wanted to get back to doing what we were in the first 30 minutes, getting the ball down, smart decision making and if the chance come, a little bit of composure in and around the box.”
With the match leading towards a stalemate it was Pickett, fresh off of the bench, who made the difference on the night, having built a strong squad with commendable depth, there is always hope of picking out an impact sub’.
“I think there’s always hope when you look to the bench to make impact changes, Lauren Pickett came on and she’s had a couple of sighters and the one that counted was an unstoppable shot off of the top corner and in. I’m delighted for her and really pleased for the girls.”
The season ahead
After snatching a win so late in the game has rejuvenated the squad ahead of their weekend tie against title-favourites Manchester United, but Swindlehurst is keen to keep on and tweak where necessary.
“It does give you a boost and you finish on a high with how late the goal was, but there’s still areas we can improve on, so we go back to the drawing board. If we could have kept a clean sheet against Millwall the game would have been a lot more comfortable for us so there’s still a lot of work to do, I’m delighted with the three points and we move onto Manchester United next match.”
Although most think the Red Devils will run away with the title, the Bees have consistently been talked about as one of a handful of teams who can push on for the second promotion spot. A side that has come along leaps and bounds over the last few years, it’s clear the London club want to kick on and their manager will clearly have a large role in keeping them grounded.
“We look at the next game, we’ve got big ambitions at the Bees, we really want to be up there… I want to be up there, that’s how the team’s built. Obviously, there is pressure, but if anything, we put pressure on ourselves, so we’ve got to deal with it, but we try to stay as professional as possible and calm when the ball is rolling. And we won’t be doing anything like looking at the league table, we’ve just got to stay focused and keep working hard and improving.”