Southampton Women’s FC were looking to beat higher league opposition, for the second time in their cup run, to progress to the 4th round of the FA Cup. This higher league opposition came in the form of West Bromwich Albion Women, who were looking to make it 5 wins in a row in all competitions. In the next round, they would join the 8 other winning teams from Round 3, and the 23 Super League and Championship teams, and could see themselves facing one of the biggest teams in English Women’s Football.
West Brom appeared the stronger team in the opening exchanges, as Southampton struggled to find their rhythm. Their first shot on goal was tipped over the bar well by Southampton keeper Rose Kite, however they were able to create several other chances.
As the pace and physicality of the game increased, West Brom continued to push for the opener, whilst Southampton began to grow in confidence. A fantastic block from defender Kellie Warren steered the ball clear of an open goal and ensured the score remained level.
Despite it looking like the visitors who would open the scoring, it was the home side who put themselves 1-0 up in the 34th minute. Philipa Holden found Erin Bloomfield in the box, who was able to slot the ball into the back of the net with her left foot.
After no real chances for either side, Southampton went in for half time 1-0 up, after a much stronger final 10 minutes. There were 2 substitutions at the break as Jane Yeates and Laura Vokes came on for Southampton. This marked Vokes’s 100th appearance for the club.
The second half began much like the first, with West Brom creating the best chances. However, Southampton were given the chance to further increase their lead when they were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute. Bloomfield converted from the spot to make it 2-0, and bag herself a brace.
Just over 10 minutes later, Yeates all but secured Southampton’s place in the next round as she scored their 3rd goal of the afternoon. However, West Brom were able to pull one back in the 76th minute, as Southampton failed to clear a corner and Trina Greaves found the back of the net.
Bloomfield had the chance to make it 4 for Southampton, and bag herself a hat trick, however failed to capitalise when 1 on 1 with the keeper; who was able to gather the ball from her feet.
West Brom continued to push their way back into the game, but Southampton’s defence stood firm. Kite got down well to deny a last minute shot, after having a brilliant game in goal.
The game ended 3-1 to Southampton, who after beating higher opposition once again, progress to the 4th round.