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Women's Team striker Jess Battle praises teammates after reaching record-breaking milestone

Women's Team striker Jess Battle praises teammates after reaching record-breaking milestone

Just over a week ago, FCUMW striker Jess Battle became fastest in the team’s history to 50 goals. The Reds’ number 9 brought it up with the first of her two strikes in a 6-1 win at Warrington Wolverines, a week-and-a-half ago. Despite it being a personal accolade, Battle insists that it is the hard work and commitment of her teammates that has ultimately helped her reach the milestone. "I’m really happy to achieve a record at the club for my goals however I have my team mates around me to thank for it. It’s their assists and teamwork that has enabled me to achieve this record. Goals contribute to winning games so I’m just happy to get as many as I can to ensure we win as many games as possible".

Seven days after reaching the milestone in record time, Battle added another five goals to her FC tally in United’s latest league win at Crewe Alexandra LFC Development Squad on Sunday. After going into the half-time break level at 1-1, the Reds came away with an impressive 9-2 victory after a superb second half showing. Battle scored four of the eight in the second half and believes that the half-time team talk was pivotal in the Reds’ rejuvenated second-half showing. "I think to be fair to the opposition, they came out fighting for a result with so much energy and pressure on the ball. We discussed at half time to keep going as we are and to switch the play across the pitch more and maintain our resilience. This resulted in the opponents tiring more easily, minimalising the pressure which rewarded us with more goal opportunities enabling us to score so many in the second half".

Battle’s five goals on Sunday made it 37 in all competitions for the striker in her first full season at Broadhurst Park. Our top scorer this season had the coaching staff and her colleagues on the pitch to thank for helping her reach such an impressive number at this stage in the season. "Firstly Luke [Podmore] definitely has been an integral part to my form this season. I’m a confidence player and have been known in the past to put my head down easily but with his encouragement and support it’s been almost impossible to do that. He has helped me greatly. He shows so much belief in me which just makes me want to perform as well as I can for him and my team. Mark [Partington] has also been a great assistant in game situations when I’ve got my head down and has talked to me and made me think positively about it. My team mates also go without saying, they are amazing to play with and the way we play as a team definitely suits me as a player which has helped lots. Finally I think the fact I enjoy playing for this team more than I have any other team helps massively and again the coaches and my teammates contribute a huge amount towards this".

A particular positive for Podmore’s side over recent weeks has been the blossoming partnership, on the pitch, between Battle and the skipper, Kirsty Chambers. The captain assisted all four of the striker’s efforts in the second half on Sunday and Battle admits that the left winger is always a pleasure to play with. "It’s great to play alongside Kirst [Chambers] on the pitch and I think this season especially, we have linked up well and built a great partnership together and been able to understand how each other play. It’s funny as we used to play against each other when we were younger and our teams were the biggest of enemies but that’s all forgotten about now!"

To go with Battle’s five goals on Sunday, new signing Alice Forshaw scored her first FC goals, grabbing a hat-trick in her first FC start. This followed fellow new signing Chelsea Flanagan’s first United goal in the Warrington win, a week earlier. Battle believes that both are great additions to the side. "I knew Alice from my previous club Fylde so I already knew that she was a good player and I was therefore excited to play with her again - I knew she would bring a lot to the team. Chels [Flanagan] as well as Al [Forshaw] has played at a much higher level and brings experience and again more talent to the team. I know that playing alongside her will only improve me as a player".

Next up for the Reds is a first midweek game of the season at Altrincham FC Ladies, in the league, tomorrow night. Altrincham are the only side to take points off United so far this season but Battle believes that the Reds need to move on from the reverse fixture and go into tomorrow night’s game knowing that they are good enough to get a positive result, on this occasion. "I think that we just need to go into the game like we do every other game with a fresh mindset, leaving what happened last time in the past and not letting it affect how we play. We know we are good enough and more than capable to get the three points, we just need to believe in ourselves".

Despite the Reds’ attention firmly being on tomorrow night’s trip to Altrincham, there is just the small matter of a County Cup final awaiting on Friday night as we attempt to defend the trophy against Premier division side, Manchester Stingers at Brookburn Road. The striker is looking forward to playing for more silverware under the lights, later this week. "I can’t wait to play in another cup final with FC and this time it will be to retain the cup we won last year, which will hopefully make it an even more special occasion. I have faith in us as a team to hopefully retain this cup and add another trophy to our cabinet".

You can see Battle and her teammates play the first of two midweek games in the next few days as we head to Mersey Valley Sports Club (M33 5SL) to face Altrincham FC Ladies, in the league, tomorrow night - 6.30pm kick-off.

We hope to see you there!

By Mikey Partington

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First Posted ~ 21:55 Tue 10 Apr 2018
News ID ~ 7843
Last Updated ~ 18:33 Fri 13 Apr 2018