By Lloyd Webb
Alex Scott says the personal disappointment she experienced in the 2004 Women’s FA Cup final has benefitted her in the long run.
The defender replaced hat-trick scorer Julie Fleeting late on in the 3-0 win against Charlton to allow the striker to receive a standing ovation.
"Arsenal were always the safe bet to get to finals and everyone knew Arsenal Ladies were probably going to win. It’s not like that anymore"
Scott - who has won the FA Cup seven times - says the incident acted as motivation to achieve further success in the competition.
“My memory of it is that Vic Akers brought me on,” she told Arsenal Player. “Julie Fleeting scored a hat-trick and, because I was a striker back then, Vic told me to warm up.
“In my head I knew I should have been happy because we were going to win the FA Cup final, but I knew that I was only coming on for Fleets to get an ovation.
“It did make me a stronger player though, because I vowed that would never happen to me again."
Scott is chasing her eighth FA Cup success, but she says the competition has becoming increasingly difficult to win.
"When you look through history, Arsenal were always the safe bet to get to finals and everyone knew Arsenal Ladies were probably going to win. It’s not like that anymore,” she said.
“The level of competition in women’s football means every team, regardless of where they are in the league, has a player with real star quality so you don’t know which way the game’s going to go.
"We’d like to win it, but the standard has improved and that’s why I came back from America to be in this league.”
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