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Women's Football News
Becky Grocott says that Manchester City will be taking nothing for granted as they continue their charge for promotion from the Northern Division.
City sit eight points clear at the top following their 3-2 victory over Curzon Ashton on Sunday and Becky told Women's Soccer Scene: "It was a good win from a derby game. It's always nice to get one over your local rivals."
City had led 2-0 at one stage before Curzon staged a comeback and levelled the scores, but the league leaders took the points via a winner during the latter stages. "It was a difficult game but good that we won it," recalled Becky. "The first half was comfortable and we started the second half quite well and scored early, then Curzon pulled two goals back very quickly.
"We kept on pushing with the score at 2-2 and had a few chances. Sarah Danby came on as a substitute and ended up scoring the winner for us with fifteen minutes left."
Becky herself got the ball rolling during the first half by giving her side the lead. "We had a few chances before the goal, although nothing clear cut," she said. "My goal was bit of a tap in from a lay off by Krystle [Johnston] - but it was good to get a goal and they all count."
The win was especially important for City after having suffered a shock defeat to Mossley Hill in the F.A.Women's Cup the previous Sunday. "We had won seven on the bounce in the league, so the Mossley Hill defeat gave us a reality check," admits Becky. "Mossley Hill played well on the day and deserved the victory. It was one of those days for us but the way we came back against Curzon Ashton showed our resilience."
Next up for Manchester City this week is a home match against Leeds City Vixens. "They are a hard team to play against, especially on their own ground," says Becky. "They are a big, physical team which can play good football so they are not to be taken lightly. I'm sure it will be a good game to watch.
"We are the team to beat at the moment, because we are top of the league, and teams will raise their games against us and give us a battle. No game has been easy for us so far, most have been close - it is generally a pretty tight division. It looks like we are running away with it but it's not like that at all."
Becky is in her second full season of senior football, having moved up from the reserves during the last campaign. "So far it's going smoothly," she smiles. "I am the leading goalscorer at the moment but only one ahead of Krystle Johnston and Lindsay Savage. I scored ten goals last season and my aim is to match or beat that, and I am on target at the moment.
"I wouldn't have thought we'd be in this position at the start of the season. Hopefully we can carry on like this at a full head of steam. We didn't play for nearly two months because of the weather and it was almost like starting the season again last week, but we have been lucky that we have been able to train indoors."
City have been among the better sides in the division in recent seasons but they are now producing their first major challenge for promotion. "A few joined in the summer but it is more or less the same squad as before," says Becky. "The difference is that we have built up our confidence after winning games. Everyone is playing well as a team and that is the main thing for us.
"Early in the season we got knocked out of the League Cup and lost to Leicester but then we beat them in the league. It was a great result for us and really good for our confidence.
"If we take every game one at a time, and win those games, then we have a very good chance of going up. But it is all close around us and any team can beat each other in this division.
"Promotion would be a good step up for us and it would show that we are advancing. In our current position, we are looking good, but we know there is a long way to go and are taking nothing for granted."
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