Review: Women’s FA Cup Review

The Women’s FA Cup fourth round generally went according to the script with the higher league side coming out victorious. 

Katie Robinson’s goal in extra-time was enough to send Bristol City through to the Fifth Round of the Women’s FA Cup in a dominant 1-0 win over Durham. The first half lacked many chances from both sides, with the teams struggling with the wet conditions at the Stoke Gifford Stadium. With the game at 0-0 and little chances being created, Tanya Oxtoby brought on Ebony Salmon and Katie Robinson to try and put the game into City’s hands, and the decision to make the double change well and truly paid off.

Burnley fell to a 3-1 defeat against Championship side Leicester City Women to bow out of the Women’s FA Cup. A strong first-half performance saw the Clarets causing problems for their higher league opposition but failed to take their chances with Leicester City punishing them with goals from Lachante Paul, Annabel Blanchard and Paige Gayle.

A stunning long-range Inessa Kaagman strike proved decisive as Everton booked their spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over London Bees at Southport FC. While Lee Burch’s side will take heart from the performance they couldn’t argue with the results and Dutch International, Kaagman’s well-stuck shot was deserving of winning the tie.

Ellen White’s double helped holders Manchester City into the Women’s FA Cup fifth round at the expense of local rivals Manchester United. White finished coolly after being gifted possession by Abbie McManus to put City in front and then turned in Lauren Hemp’s low cross to make it 2-0. Lauren James pulled one back before the Barmy Army were incensed that they failed to be awared a goal to level it 2-2 but Jill Scott settled it in City’s favour, despite Hemp’s late own goal.

As I touched on earlier, the most impressive performance of the round went to Ipswich Town, the fourth tier side played with no fear when taking on National League north’s Huddersfield Town and were comfortable winners. 16-year-old forward Maddie Biggs stole the show and must be player of the round after she scored her first senior hat-trick. Biggs’ goals were complemented by a goal from Ipswich’s top-scorer Natasha Thomas. Huddersfield replied through Lucy Sowerby in the early stages of the second-half but never looked like overcoming the deficit.

Photo by Ross Media

Friends of Since 71, Lewes overcame a cup scare at the hands of Billericay Town. The southcoast side went through on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after 120 minutes. The first goal came from substitute Paula Howells with Therese Addison capitalising on poor defending from Lewes to take the game into extra time. Ellie Leek and Howells scored their kicks although Rushen hit the post for Billericay. King, Rood and Rhian Cleverly all scored their penalties sending Lewes through.

Championship side Blackburn Rovers handed a debut to Ellie Fletcher against her former club while Rovers were without several first-team players, including on-loan midfielder Missy Bo Kearns and had just eleven senior players available. Liverpool were able to forget about their Super League troubles for a week when they demolished Rovers 8-1. Rinsola Babajide scored four in Liverpool’s hammering of Blackburn. After the game Rovers boss Gemma Donnelly told the media “We were under no illusions that today’s game was going to be super tough.”

First-half goals came from Fara Williams, Jo Potter and Maz Pacheco, and second-half efforts from Lisa-Marie Utland and a penalty for Williams secured a 5-0 against London City Lionesses.

Harriet Scott returned to her more familiar position of full-back and produced an eye-catching performance for Birmingham City, scoring with two headers and setting up Lucy Staniforth’s fierce blast in a 3-0 win at Sheffield United. The win ended a run of three matches without a goal for Tejedor’s side.

Jamie-Lee Napier made her first start for Chelsea as Drew Spence and Emily Murphy both bagged a brace at Chelsea overcame the Championship’s bottom side Charlton Athletic 4-0.

National League Division One North leaders Barnsley were well beaten at a Spurs side from three leagues above. A brace from Rianna Dean and a free-kick from Siri Worm put the Super League side into a winning position. Second-half strikes from Gemma Davison against her former club and a first senior goal for Elisha Sulola secured route into the fifth round for Spurs.

 

First half goals from Amy Goddard and Siobhan Wilson gave Crystal Palace a 2-0 lead against former FA Cup winners, Southampton Women at a wet and muddy Bypass Ground. In the 57th minute, Amy Goddard bagged her second goal, beating England youth international Rosie Kite from close range. With less than fifteen minutes left the referee, Chloe-Ann Anderson, blew her whistle to stop the game while she consulted both bosses. After a short break they came to a decision that should rightly be abandoned as the ground had heavily deteriorated during the game.

Their south coast neighbours Southampton FC (Saints) fell 4-1 to Coventry United, spoiling their debut performance at St Mary’s. The Championship side asserted their dominance midway through the second half with goals by Shannon O’Brien and then three from Fiona Worts. Former Lewes forward, Rachel Panting was able to add a consolation with a thunderous effort which left the keeper with no chance.

Photo by @tommulphotos

Championship table toppers Aston Villa were unable to overcome Hope Powell’s Brighton & Hove Albion. Ini Umotong coverted from the spot after being fouled. Although Villa fought back and equalised through Shania Hayles, only for Brighton to pull them themselves in front again through Amanda Nilden and Aileen Whelan.Villa went for broke in the second half and set up a tense finish when Hayles finished after a quick break although they weren’t able to find the decisive equaliser.

Katie McCabe and Lia Walti scored to send Arsenal into the fifth round with a 2-0 win at last year’s runners-up West Ham. McCabe found the top corner in the first half before Walti’s classy volley settled the game.

Sunderland sealed their place in the Women’s FA Cup fifth round with a 2-0 win over Watford on Sunday. The Black Cats took the lead as the first half came to a close through Jessica Brown. Keira Ramshaw then wrapped things up in the 79th minute to see the Lasses safely advance into tomorrow’s draw. Both teams are top of their respective Northern and Southern leagues and could be facing off in the end of season National League Championship Play-Off, which sees the winner promoted to the Championship next season. 

Stuart Barker
hellosince71@gmail.com