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Bristol City have reached the quarter finals of the Premier League Cup for their first time in their history, after beating Millwall Lionesses 3-2 last Sunday.
The West Country side produced arguably their best performance of the season to defeat their high riding opponents and City striker Lizzie Barratt, who gave a dazzling display in the victory, told Women's Soccer Scene that two early goals proved to be important. "We started off really well," said Lizzie. "In the first twenty minutes we had all the possession and got the goals. In the second half we went a little downhill as we've done in quite a few matches so far, but we deserved the win.
"We were getting back to our old form once again and passed the ball quickly, we looked like we knew where each other should be and it was good."
Fellow striker Toni Hemmings made the early breakthrough but she remained modest about her goal. "I just ran on to the ball, the defender came and tackled me at first but I hit it and it went in, to be honest," she said.
Toni has stepped up from reserve team football this season and has found Premier League football to be a new challenge. "It's a bit harder, a lot more physical than it was in the reserves," she admits. "The pace is a lot faster and it is a big change, but you have to adapt to it."
Since being relegated at the end of last season, City have endured mixed fortunes back in the Southern Division and Lizzie revealed that her team have found it difficult to adjust back to that level. "It's been hard because we've had to pick ourselves up as we were disappointed about getting relegated last season," she says. "We lost a few players, who are also friends, as well. We've got to pick ourselves up as a team and start rebuilding again, and start winning.
"We've been very inconsistent this season - playing magnificently well one week, then next week there are no changes to the team but everything is different."
City's next match is an important game against league leaders Portsmouth and Lizzie admits that the team are looking forward to that one. "The way we played today, I think it is a good time for it to come," she says. "We'll be fired up for it and we want to win. Portsmouth are the strongest team at the moment and it will be a hard, physical battle but if we stick to our guns, we should be able to do it."
"I still think we can get promoted," adds Toni. "Games like the one against Portsmouth are six-point matches, if we can that then we are right back in it. It's only early stages yet."
Toni also echoed City's desire to get back up in the top flight. "I know they didn't do very well (last season) but it is hard teams and you always want to play against the best," she smiles. "It always makes you want to try your hardest and get back up there straight away."
One major boost for City is the recent form of Lizzie Barratt. The speedy forward has been getting back to her best after a couple of frustrating seasons and she credits manager Wayne Roberts for her surge in form. "It was all about getting my confidence back and playing week in week out is helping," she says. "With Wayne and coach Bill Meehan helping me in training each week, it's all coming back now."
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