'An incredible day' - Tractor Girls boss Sheehan on FA Cup history-makers
- Credit: Ross Halls
Ipswich Town Women's boss Joe Sheehan says he's still coming to terms with the fact that his history-making side have reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time.
Sheehan's squad showed character in droves to see off fierce league rivals Southampton at the Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe yesterday, winning a penalty shoot-out 4-2 after the game ended 1-1 following extra-time.
But that doesn't tell the full story. Anna Grey's cracking strike looked to have won the game for the Tractor Girls in extra-time, only for Saints keeper Kayla Rendell to score with a header after coming up for a corner on the brink of full-time.
In that shoot-out, Town stopper Sarah Quantrill was the hero, saving two spot kicks to send the Blues through. They'll discover their quarter-final foes tomorrow morning, with Super League giants Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City all potential opponents.
Sheehan said: "I can't believe it, incredible.
"I'm still coming to terms with what we've just watched. It was a competitive game, a right cup scrap, goes to extra-time then just when we thought we'd scored a really good goal their goalie scores a worldie of a header.
"The whistle goes, we go to a shoot-out and we win the game. Incredible."
He added: "We knew that chances would be few and far between and it would be tight - we'd planned for a shoot-out all week.
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"The manner of the equalising goal, the last kick of the game takes it to a shoot-out, but we'd prepared for that all week - we knew the order, we knew who was going to take them. It was almost 'reset - we're happy with this.'
"The way it happened wasn't ideal but we were confident going into the shoot-out that, as long as we could stay composed, we knew we could win the game."
Of the celebrations and achievement, Sheehan said: "It was all a bit of a blur to be honest. I was just caught up in the moment, the emotions - it's an incredible day for us and I'm so pleased."
Shoot-out hero Quantrill added: "It's amazing, what a day.
"All the girls have dug so deep, and to get this club into the quarter-finals as well, we couldn't have asked for much more.
"My heart was ok going into the shoot-out, the girls were quite calm as well - they kept coming over and saying 'you've got this.'
"I was quite confident."
The stopper also praised the Town fans - a record crowd of 1,167 watched the game.
"I don't think I even heard the whistle for the last penalty!" she said. "The fans have been amazing, they've been with us all season, so just keep coming back and keep supporting us."
- The draw for the quarter-finals takes place at 9.15am tomorrow, live on BBC One.