Alex Greenwood admits it was a day of contrasting emotions after the full-back delivered a star performance against childhood club Everton to help Notts County into their first-ever FA Women's Cup Final.
Greenwood, 21, set up goals for fellow England internationals Jess Clarke and Ellen White before Danielle Buet’s free-kick sealed the Lady Pies’ trip to Wembley on Saturday 1 August.
“It feels unbelievable,” said Greenwood. “We played really well in the second half and deserve to be going to Wembley.
Everton 0-3 Notts County
The FA Women's Cup
Sunday 3 May
“I was nervous, I’m not going to lie. Coming back to a club I’d been at since I was six years old was tough mentally. I still have a lot of feelings for Everton but I’m a Notts County player now and I’m buzzing that we’re in The Final.
“We have a lot more experienced players than Everton but don’t take anything away from them. They were solid in the first half, but in the end our experience told.
“The FA Cup is historic and for the fans it is so special. We did it as much for them as for us.”
Lucy Whipp was inches away from giving Everton the lead within the first minute, clattering the bar with a dipping strike from distance.
But Notts County should have scored when White won the ball in a dangerous position on 14 minutes, only for Rachel Williams to shoot tamely at Megan Walsh.
Clarke then went close on the half-hour, but got the breakthrough just 42 seconds into the second half – heading Greenwood’s cross into the bottom corner.
Greenwood was again the provider on 56 minutes, White meeting her free-kick with a diving header.
And Buet sealed victory on 81 minutes, when her free-kick beat everybody and nestled into the corner.
And though the semi-final proved a step too far for FA WSL 2 side Everton, captain Michelle Hinnigan insists her side did themselves proud at Goodison Park.
“Walking out at Goodison Park as captain was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had in my football career,” said Hinnigan.
“It was a brilliant occasion making it through to the semi-final but ultimately I think the best team won. Notts County showed their quality and experience all over the field.
“We’ll take it as a positive playing at Goodison Park, but we also need to reflect on what we did wrong – all their goals were from set plays so we need to shape up there.
“We got off to a flyer, we knew to get stuck in and when Lucy Whipp hit the crossbar we knew we were in for a good game. But a few of our heads went down when they scored so early in the second half.”