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Women's Football News
Cardiff City are hopeful of another good F.A.Women's Cup run after battling their way past Keynsham Town in the Third Round on penalty kicks.
The South Wales side have reached the quarter finals twice in the last five years and goalkeeper Rhian Nokes was instrumental in their victory over Keynsham, making a number of excellent saves during the course of the match before producing the vital stop during the penalty shootout to clinch her team's place in the next round.
"I thought the game was very well contested," Rhian told Women's Soccer Scene. "Both teams were looking dangerous in attack but both also looked very solid in defence.
"Either side could have won the game in normal time as they both had good chances, but no-one could find the winning goal. I thought we were unlucky to be reduced to ten players but we overcame the task and showed great team spirit in doing so, with everyone chipping in all over the pitch in attack and in defence."
The 19-year-old, who has been capped six times by Wales, took a very modest view on her match winning save before revealing an extra reason for being happy that the game had been decided. "The penalty shootout was very exciting but at the same time, very nerve racking," she admitted. "With Keynsham missing an early spot kick, it gave us the upper hand.
"We were leading 4-3 and with one penalty left for Keynsham to take, I knew that all the pressure was on the Keynsham player to score. I knew if I dived the right way, I had a chance of saving the penalty and luckily for me, I did go the right way to save it to become a hero and put Cardiff into the draw for the next round.
"It was an added bonus for me to save the kick as I was due to be Cardiff's fifth penalty taker and was a lot more nervous about taking a penalty than having to try and save them!"
After taking a little time to find their feet at the start of the season, Cardiff have hit good form in recent months to lift themselves into second place in the Southern Division table. Now in the F.A.Women's Cup, they will play away in the Fourth Round to either Leeds City Vixens or Sunderland and, whichever team they face, Rhian is anticipating a good contest.
"The draw has given us another long early morning start from Cardiff," she said, "but has also paired us with a team of a similar position, so it should be a very close and well contested game to get us back into the football spirit after the Christmas break."
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