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Women's Football News
Arsenal began their defence of the F.A.Women's Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win away to Lincoln Ladies to take themselves through to the quarter finals.
Ellen White scored the only goal of the game after 16 minutes and the Gunners defended strongly to hold on to their lead and book their place in the Sixth Round.
In the other all-FA WSL game, Birmingham City progressed by running out 3-0 winners over Liverpool. The Blues gave a debut to new signing Rachel Unitt from Everton and the England full back was quickly involved, crossing for Jodie Taylor to head them in front. Izzy Christiansen lobbed home from 30 yards on the hour mark to increase Birmingham's lead and Maz Ballard completed the victory in the dying minutes.
Last season's beaten finalists Bristol Academy made it through with a 3-0 victory over Leeds Utd. Nikki Watts marked her return to the club by firing Academy into an early lead and Jemma Rose added a second with a powerful 25-yard strike shortly before half time. Spanish striker Laura Del Rio rounded off the win by scoring the final goal during injury time.
Everton, who won the Cup two years ago, ended the hopes of Northern Division side Manchester City by storming to a 5-1 success. Everton inflicted most of the damage in the first half, Michelle Hinnigan giving them a fourth minute lead before Toni Duggan struck twice before the interval. Krystle Johnston gave City renewed hope midway through the second half as she pulled a goal back but Duggan completed her hat-trick and Fara Williams rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot.
Chelsea progressed to the quarter finals but were pushed all the way by Brighton & Hove Albion before emerging as 3-0 winners. The Seagulls held on until ten minutes from time when Dunia Susi, on her return to the club, headed Chelsea in front. Two of the Blues' new signings made the game safe with further goals, firstly Helen Bleazard scored the second and Suzanne Lappin also got on target.
The game of the day was at Barnet where Doncaster Rovers Belles came through a tricky tie with a 2-1 extra time victory. Barnet have a great record in the Cup in recent seasons and looked to be on their way to another big win when Abbie Prosser put them ahead after two minutes. Belles debutant Sue Smith levelled matters shortly afterwards with a 25-yard effort but the game was marred just before the half hour when the England winger was carried off after an awkward fall. Both sides had chances to win the game but just as penalties were looming, Leandra Little popped up to score in the last minute of extra time to send the Belles through.
Blackburn Rovers produced the shock of the round to run out 5-1 winners at Charlton Athletic and become the only side from outside the top two divisions to remain in the competition. After a goalless first half, Hannah Forster (2), Beth Donoghue, Danielle Sheen and Katie Anderton all scored for Blackburn with Gemma Bryan replying (see match report).
Sunderland also came through at the expense of Keynsham Town, thanks to a 5-1 victory. Beth Mead scored twice with Kelly McDougall, Natalie Gutteridge and Jordan Atkinson also on target, while Naomi Clipston grabbed the home side's consolation (see match report).
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