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Women's Football News
A late goal by Emily Owen saw Aston Villa beat WSL 1 newcomers Sunderland 2-1 in the Third Round of the F.A.Women's Cup.
Sunderland, beaten finalists six years ago, had gone into the tie as favourites and went in the lead after twenty minutes when Beth Mead set up Keira Ramshaw to score. However, Villa were back on level terms by the half hour through an Abby Holmes own goal following a Hayley Crackle free kick. The game remained in the balance throughout the second half and extra time was looking imminent but with two minutes remaining, Owen volleyed home from a corner to hand Villa a memorable victory.
Coventry City were the only Premier League side to eliminate a WSL side and they did so in style, beating Oxford Utd 3-0. Destiney Toussaint netted two first half goals for the Sky Blues before being sent off before the break, but Coventry went on to seal the win with another strike from Helen Dermody (see match report).
Derby County battled through a tough tie away to Regional League opposition in the last round and they were forced to do so again on Sunday, winning 4-2 away to Eastbourne Town after extra time. Amy Perry headed Derby in front with Jaley Sansom, the hero of the last round, equalising. Eastbourne then took the lead through an own goal and another upset was looking a possibility but Derby hit back almost straight away and Sam Griffiths levelled once more. The second half could not provide a winner, despite intense Derby pressure, and the match was taken to extra time. Eastbourne's resistance was finally broken when Perry scored her second goal and Cara Newton sewed matters up for Derby with the fourth goal, which means they have equalled their best run in the competition.
Carshalton Athletic also bowed out of the competition but were far from disgraced when losing 5-2 to Keynsham Town, who seem to be reserving their best form for cup matches. Keynsham had raced into a three-goal first half lead and went on to book their Fourth Round place thanks to a double from Leanne Lapham, plus other goals from Olivera Markovic, Pilar Garcia and Katarzyna Rusek.
The game of the day was probably staged at Blackburn Rovers where Portsmouth returned home with a 5-4 victory under their belts. Ini Umatong gave Portsmouth an early lead with Sophie Jones equalising four minutes later and after Charley Wilson had put Pompey back in front, Jones levelled again when heading in from a Jess Holbrook free kick. Two minutes into the second half, Molly Clark put Portsmouth ahead for a third time and this time they doubled their lead when Umatong scored her second with a cross-cum-shot. Georgia Stanway renewed hopes for Blackburn when pulling a goal back but it was Umatong's day and she completed her hat-trick with a goal on the counter attack. Still Blackburn came back again with Holbrook scoring in injury time but Portsmouth - quarter finalists last season - held out to win a thriller of a match.
Morecambe staged their tie with Stoke City at the Globe Arena but it was the visitors who were to emerge as 3-2 winners from another entertaining contest, courtesy of another late winner. Ashleigh Hayes headed Stoke in front from a Hannah Bailey cross to give her side the lead with only two minutes on the clock but Morecambe were back on level terms on the half hour when Megan Doherty scored from a Becky Whittingham corner. The Shrimps then went in front early in the second half through Jennifer Keane but Stoke stepped up the pressure and equalised with fifteen minutes remaining, Courtney Jones slotting home from the spot after Laura Garside had been fouled in the area. Both sides had opportunities to go back in front until the dying minutes when Hayes fired home her second to bring victory to a jubilant Stoke side.
Watford came through a tricky tie against Brighton & Hove Albion with a 2-1 victory. In a well contested tie between John Salomon's new look side and the ambitious Seagulls, Fliss Gibbons had an early goal disallowed for Brighton and the game was goalless at the interval. Two minutes into the second half, Anneka Nuttall marked her debut for the Golden Girls by slotting home a cross from Megan Wynne to give them the lead but Brighton hit back strongly and Gibbons was denied by a fine save from Cherie Rowlands. The Seagulls did eventually level when Sophie Perry drilled home from fifteen yards but substitute Sasha Adamson was to decide matters in Watford's favour with a left foot strike which went in off the post.
Yeovil Town had a smoother passage into the Fourth Round, winning 4-1 against a valiant Lewes side. Yeovil did have an early goal disallowed for offside but were soon in front when Corinne Yorston bundled home from close range. Helen Bleazard then scored a brilliant second, controlling a clearance before lobbing the stranded goalkeeper from the halfway line, before Cherelle Khassal renewed hopes for the Rookettes by pulling a goal back. However, the two-goal advantage was restored just before half time when Ellie Curson scored from the penalty spot. Curson then turned provider for the only goal of the second half, cutting the ball across goal for Ann Marie Heatherson to find the net on her debut for the club.
Tottenham Hotspur produced an impressive performance to run out 5-1 winners over Preston North End. Maya Vio scored twice along with Kate O'Leary, Wendy Martin and Lucia Leon while Preston, who had been one of the Premier League's form teams, netted a consolation through Sarah Chadwick (see match report).
The other seven ties all fell victim to the weather and will be played next Sunday.
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