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Women's Football News
Stockport County have hit a rich vein of form in the Northern Division and the Cheshire club are proving to be the surprise package among the leading teams.
On Sunday they defeated Tranmere Rovers 2-1 to move into second place behind leaders Lincoln City and club captain Kim Hines is confident that her team are capable of staying the distance.
"We had a dodgy spell at the start of the season," Kim admitted to Women's Soccer Scene. "But in the past few weeks we have played good football. On Sunday, we needed to pick ourselves up after losing to Aston Villa the week before, and get back on a winning streak.
"The conditions were bad, it was freezing cold but we produced a good all round performance. We scored two good goals and fought it out for a win, that is the sign of a good team."
Stockport lost their opening three games and were in the bottom two but four wins in five games has catapulted them to the opposite end of the table. "We had a good pre-season and did well," says Kim. "We stabilised the team and signed the players we wanted but we picked up a few injuries after the season began and had to keep changing the team about.
"Then, we beat Aston Villa - who were the leaders at the time - 6-1 and it was just like pre-season again. The team is more settled now, goals have come from all over the field and this has helped improve our confidence.
"Our goalkeeper Andrea Worrell has come on leaps and bounds this season and the back four have also been great. We now look good and creative going forward, confidence is high and we are playing really well."
Kim was one of those injury victims, damaging ankle ligaments, which will keep her out until around December, but she is delighted with the way the team has responded. "I'm overjoyed with the way they have been playing," she says. "Individual performances have been good but the team displays have been excellent."
Stockport are now preparing themselves for this week's local derby against Manchester City. "We beat them 1-0 a few weeks ago," says Kim. "It's always a close game against City as there is a lot of rivalry between the clubs. Everyone is looking forward to it - it will be a really good game but is likely to finish 1-0, hopefully for us!"
As for the long term, Kim feels that the team has the capability to maintain the form of recent weeks. "There is no pressure on us," she admits. "We have got nothing to prove to anyone, as no-one is expecting us to stay where we are. We just need to keep doing what we do on the pitch.
"Four or five weeks ago, we would have been aiming for the top half, but now we are pushing for a top three spot. To play in the Premiership is everyone's dream and we are no different.
"Stockport County are very supportive of the women's team, even though they do not have the financial resources of other clubs. For a club like Stockport to reach the Premiership would be fantastic for the area and an incredible achievement, and we'll try to get as close as we can to that."
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