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Women's Football News
Coventry City 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 0
A goal in each half proved to be the difference as Coventry City booked their place in the F.A.Women's Cup Fifth Round at the Ricoh Arena.
The two teams had met seven days earlier in the league with Coventry 1-0 winners on that occasion and things were just as tight this time around in a well contested encounter.
As the teams settled down, the first chance came Coventry's way with Hayley Ladd feeding Rebecca Anderson whose shot was saved by Toni-Anne Wayne. Moments later, there was a scare for Brighton as Wayne was almost dispossessed by Maz Gauntlett but she recovered well to save bravely, resulting in her needing treatment.
Brighton hit back to produce their best chance so far as Tammy Waine broke down the right and crossed for Kirsty Barton who shot narrowly wide. At the other end though, it needed more bravery from Wayne as she smothered at the feet of Natalie Brace following a good low cross by Anderson.
With the strong running Waine up front, well supported by the skilful Paula Howells, Brighton passed the ball around confidently but were finding it hard to break down a strong Coventry defence, well marshalled by Natasha Lynch, and full back Annabel Johnson putting in some good tackles.
After a good spell from Brighton, Coventry took the lead slightly against the run of play five minutes before half time. A Gauntlett corner was not cleared and after Brace's shot was charged down by Cally Beaumont, the ball bobbled around in front of goal until Ashleigh Neville's shot was deflected in, despite Charlie Carter's best efforts to keep the ball out.
It could have been two moments later, first Gauntlett's shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner, Kim Walton rose highest but her header flew straight at Wayne.
Brighton started the second half well and pressed for an early reply with Lucy Somes making a couple of good runs at the Coventry defence but once more, the home side ensured that goalkeeper Sue Wood was well protected.
The introduction of the speedy Destiney Toussaint gave the Sky Blues' attack an extra dimension and evidence of this came midway through the second half. Brighton won a corner and Howells' kick found its way to Charlotte Young whose goalbound shot was blocked. Coventry broke away immediately with Toussaint racing at the Brighton defence before sliding a pass into the path of Neville to score but the winger had gone just too early and the goal was ruled out for offside.
Coventry went close again two minutes later as Neville broke down the right and cut the ball across for Nikki Miles who looked destined to score but the midfielder was denied by a brilliant saving tackle from Carter.
There was a contentious moment as Brighton were awarded a free kick as the ball found Charley Boswell in front of goal where - fortunately for the referee - her shot had been saved by Wood.
Brighton were now fully committed to attack but just couldn't break Coventry down and the home side made the game safe with a minute left on the clock. Ladd, who a few minutes earlier, had a 25-yard shot saved, slid a through ball for Miles whose run was perfectly timed and she kept her cool
to place her shot past Wayne.
Coventry City: Sue Wood, Annabel Johnson, Beth Poppleton, Nikki Miles (sub Stav Williams 90mins), Natasha Lynch, Kim Walton, Ashleigh Neville, Hayley Ladd, Maz Gauntlett (sub Destiney Toussaint 55mins), Rebecca Anderson (sub Georgie Malpass 67mins), Natalie Brace. Subs not used: Emily March, Libby Piggott.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Toni-Anne Wayne, Cally Beaumont (sub Claire Capon 70mins), Yasmin Poole, Kirsty Barton, Rebecca Thompson-Agbro, Charlie Carter, Lucy Somes (sub Charley Boswell 72mins), Charlotte Young, Tammy Waine, Paula Howells, Amy Potkins (sub Rosie Kmita 64mins). Subs not used: Amy Green, Rebecca Simmonds.
(top) Tammy Waine shields the ball from Annabel Johnson and Hayley Ladd
(middle) Destiney Toussaint is surrounded by Charlie Carter and Claire Capon
(bottom) Nikki Miles scores the game clinching second goal
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