Read the thoughts of Bees Head Coach Lee Burch’s post-match thoughts after we fell to a 1-0 defeat to Everton at the Pure Stadium
His initial thoughts:
It was a tough game today, we know how good Everton have been this season and how good they can be on the day. They had a fair amount of possession and it’s taken a couple of good saves to keep the score down. In the end it’s taken a fantastic goal to knock us out of the cup.
I’m really pleased with the players, they executed the game plan well and worked really hard. Unfortunately, we were forced into a couple of changes which didn’t help personnel-wise. I can’t fault anybody today, everyone was brilliant.
On the team effort and narrowly losing out to WSL opposition
There are players who have come into the side today and carried out slightly different roles. Everton are flying, they beat Reading 3-1 last week who are a top side themselves. They had a very strong side out today, pretty much full strength but they can also bring very good players into their team as well. We knew it was going to be a tough day but I’m pleased with the players as much as I can be following a loss. It was a moral victory in some respects.
On an improved second-half showing and restricting the host’s threat
We tried to restrict them to long-range efforts and they, of course, did have a couple of good ones, the one before half time has won them the game. Sarah had to make a couple of saves and one onto the post in the second half. But there were also a couple of scrambles from crosses but that happened for both sides.
We did grow into the game in the second half as far as the quality of the runs and the balls forward into certain areas caused them some issues. We just needed that one chance, Courtnay had one, who was excellent today but she dragged it wide. Lauren (Pickett) had one right at the end but the keeper got a good angle on it. Then we threw the kitchen sink in the last couple of minutes. In the end, it just didn’t drop in the right place for us.
We knew how the game could go, it’s pleasing compared to some of the games we have had against other WSL sides where we have let things slip.
On an improved performance against a top-flight side
When you look at those big defeats that we have had in the Conti Cup playing Arsenal and Brighton they have been midweek fixtures which have killed us. But today we are on more of an even footing because it’s a Sunday game, like when we played Bristol City, which was 2-0 until they scored right at the end which put some gloss on it. I think when the Championship sides play WSL sides on a Sunday it’s generally closer because you have more time to prep.
You don’t end up dying in the 60th minute, you can get through to the 80th before things start to hit you. But we really pushed them all the way in the end, they are a really good side, with some good staff and top players. Other teams have come here and been beaten worse than we have today.
On taking a positive month into Palace
It’s a huge game for us, it’s probably been the one blip on our radar in terms of a result so the girls will be right up for it. We need to obviously go away and assess a couple of the girls who have had to come off today. Billie Brooks and Amelia Hazard had to come off today with injuries so hopefully with the weekend off next week the players won’t be feeling this too much.
Hopefully, we can get everybody back for a big game against Palace, but we need to use the last three games as three different results but three positive performances in different areas.
On the performance of Sarah Quantrill
She’s one of the best ‘keepers in the top two tiers. I have said for a long time she is the best goalkeeper in the Championship, I have obviously worked with Sarah for a long time. In the last two games, she has had to marshall and ger those clean sheets. If there ever was a performance to consolidate your player of the month nomination it was today!
She made some big saves today but it’not just those saves where she tips it onto the post, it’s the marshalling of the defence and coming out to claim crosses. Her kicking too on a difficult surface today, the pitch was really poor but she dealt with that well. Every shot she is having to deal with sand coming up in her face and she keeps getting up and dealing with that. I’m really pleased with Sarah she’s been excellent for us.
You can listen to the full interview below: