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Barnet manager Tracey Kevins saluted her team after their excellent 4-1 victory over West Ham Utd in the F.A.Women's Cup Third Round on Sunday.
The South East Combination leaders stunned their Premier League opponents with the result and Tracey admitted to Women's Soccer Scene that it was probably their best performance of the season. "It was a complete team performance, I am so pleased with how they performed," she said. "We were pleasantly shocked by the 4-1 win and I was delighted with our last goal, which started with our goalkeeper finding the full back and a good team move finished off by Stacey (Sowden).
"Not many people outside of our club would have given us a hope before the match, but privately we were very confident. We agreed that the West Ham match was an opportunity as a yardstick to show how we have progressed from last season, when we narrowly lost 1-0 to Chelsea at the same stage. To be fair to West Ham, they were extremely humble after the game and said that we deserved the win."
Barnet must now travel to the North West for their Fourth Round tie, as they have been drawn away to Manchester City. "Looking at the league tables, Manchester City are in a similar position in their division as West Ham are in theirs," says Tracey. "This will be a completely different match however and they have done well in the Cup this year.
"We are relishing being underdogs at the moment and that is how we will be against Man City. We are expected to win our league games because we are top of the table and the F.A.Cup is a great tonic for that. We shall approach that game in exactly the same way as we did for West Ham, they will have our total respect and we are taking nothing for granted."
Many of Barnet's headlines this season have been taken by prolific strikers Stacey Sowden (pictured) and Beth Curtis and, whilst praising her strike duo, Tracey also gives special mention to other members. "Stacey and Beth are good players who complement each other well but our back four have been excellent - on Sunday they were exceptional and restricted West Ham to only two shots, and our goalkeeper Jess Devoti also deserves praise.
"We have a very young squad of players, the oldest of which is only 23, and we were also proud to sign Leanne Small from Chelsea to add extra quality to our midfield."
This Sunday, Barnet return to league action with a match at Gillingham and Tracey is keen that they get their feet back on the ground quickly. "The league is bread and butter for us," she admits. "The worst thing that can happen is if we expect to win on Sunday as that could be dangerous."
The Bees currently lead the table from near rivals Northampton Town but Tracey expects more teams to challenge before the end of the season. "One of the beauties of the league has been the emergence of Colchester, a strong side who have come up and done very well," she says. "Ipswich Town are also a good side who are finding their feet again, and I consider it to be a four-horse race right now."
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