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Women's Football News
Last season's beaten F.A.Women's Cup finalists Bristol Academy are out of the competition this time around after losing 2-1 to Chelsea after extra time.
Chelsea got off to a flying start and took the lead in the opening minute of the match when Ji So-Yun scored on her debut for the club. Both teams exchanged chances with Natasha Harding going close for Academy and Mary Earps touching a Yuki Ogimi shot onto the bar at the other end, before Academy levelled the scores just before the half hour when Natalia Pablos Sanchon slotted home from the penalty spot.
The game remained tight with neither team managing to make a breakthrough and the pattern continued through the first period of extra time. However with ten minutes remaining, Chelsea netted a decisive second when Rachel Williams bundled home an Eniola Aluko cross from short range to send her team into the Sixth Round.
Holders Arsenal are safely through to the quarter finals following a 2-0 win against Gillingham. Shelley Kerr handed debuts to Leah Williamson and Christie Murray but the Gunners struggled in the first half to break down a well organised Gills defence, with goalkeeper Faye Baker in fine form. However after the break, Kelly Smith was tripped in the area and picked herself up to score from the resulting penalty. Smith herself added the second with ten minutes remaining with a smart left foot strike to seal victory for her side.
Birmingham City kept up their winning start to the season as they defeated Doncaster Rovers Belles 3-1 in their first match at the Autotech Stadium. Remi Allen opened up the scoring for the Blues in the eighth minute but the Belles kept themselves in the game and levelled midway through the second half when Leandra Little turned home a cross by Jess Sigsworth. The game looked to be heading towards extra time when, with two minutes left, Birmingham regained the lead in fortuitous circumstances as a clearance rebounded off Kirsty Linnett and back into the net. The Blues did make the game safe though with a 30-yard strike from Jo Potter to complete a hard earned win.
Notts County were another WSL1 side to be given a hard game by Premier League opponents as they edged out Coventry City 2-1 at Meadow Lane. Dunia Susi gave County the lead midway through the first half but a typically strong defensive performance by the Sky Blues ensured that things remained tight. Caitlin Friend struck the bar after the break but the second goal came when Susi bundled home from close range from Rachel Corsie's goalbound header. Coventry did not give up and pulled a goal back in injury time through Karen Clough but it is County who progress to the quarter finals.
Everton were handed a tough draw away to Cardiff City Ladies but Andy Spence's young side came through the test with a 3-1 victory. Vicky Jones gave the Toffees an early lead when she converted Alex Greenwood's cross and Everton were two ahead by the interval, Michelle Hinnigan scoring from the penalty spot after a foul on Nikita Parris. Cardiff gave themselves hope after the break when Lauren Townsend powered home a superb 30-yard free kick and pressed hard for an equaliser but Parris restored the two-goal advantage with an equally good strike from long range. Cardiff should have been awarded a penalty late on for a foul on Gwennan Harries but at the other end, Sophie Dando made a string of fine saves for the home side.
Champions Liverpool also came through a tough test as they defeated Sunderland 2-0. The Reds gave a strong performance and were rewarded when they took the lead six minutes before half time, Martha Harris latching onto a mishit clearance to mark her debut with a goal. Natasha Dowie tucked home a Gemma Davison cross for the second just before the hour to complete a good start for her side.
Manchester City meanwhile progressed to the last eight with a 2-1 win against Reading Women. City took the lead in the eighth minute when Toni Duggan converted a Krystle Johnston cross but Reading were quickly back on level terms when Kirsty McGee equalised. City continued to have more of the play, with Reading looking dangerous on the break, but the game was settled twelve minutes from time as an Issy Christiansen shot was parried by Nicola Davies and Duggan followed up to score her second and decisive goal.
Portsmouth are the lone Premier League team remaining in the competition, reaching the quarter finals for the first time in their history by coming from behind to beat Durham Women 2-1 and ending WSL2 interest in the competition. Beth Jennings had given Durham the lead but Gemma Simmonds and Charley Wilson hit back to give Pompey victory (see match report).
Photo - Lucy Whipp gets in a shot for Everton past Cardiff City Ladies defender Hannah Daley.
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