Women kickstart season with Swindon draw
AFC Bournemouth Women kickstarted their National League campaign with a 1-1 draw away to Swindon on Sunday afternoon.
Katie James bagged for the Cherries on her debut, before the side were pegged back late on after a Sophie Mitchell strike.
Following the tightly contested affair, manager Steve Cuss gave his thoughts to afcb.co.uk.
“We probably have mixed feelings,” he began.
“Obviously, we have the disappointment of conceding in the 90th minute, that was difficult to take but it’s all part of the learning curve.
“Overall, we probably didn’t do enough to win the game, but to get a point away from home in our first National League outing, we have to settle for that.”
Cuss went on to pick out some positives as his side made their first outing in step four of the women’s football pyramid.
“I think there was good parts and I was particularly pleased with the first half.
“I thought some of our passing and approach play was good. I would have liked to work the goalkeeper a bit more in the first half, but we were pretty dominant in that period.
“In the second half, we were under the cosh a little bit and we had to defend. Again I was relatively pleased and I thought we defended well, but of course we’ll be disappointed with the goal.
“We made some poor decisions in the build-up to it and ultimately, at the level we play at, we got punished for it.”
With a long season ahead, Cuss concluded by explaining the challenges his side will face throughout the season as they now compete in a higher league.
“All games this season are going to be challenging for us.
“With the level that we’ve played at, I’ve got to say we’ve never really experienced being 1-0 up going into the dying minutes of the game, so that was a new one for the players.
“I’m sure we’ll learn from it, we’ll certainly talk about it as a group and try to address some issues. If we’re then in that position again, we can deal with it better.
“I think that’s part of where we’re at as a group, we have to learn and be on that road together as a squad.
“We’re going to be in that difficult situation that we haven’t been in before, so it’s important that we learn from these experiences and work on them.”