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Women's Football News
Ipswich Town have gone through to the last sixteen of the Women's FA Cup and will face holders Manchester City following a stunning 4-1 victory away to Huddersfield Town.
Maddie Biggs hit a first half hat-trick and Natasha Thomas added the other for the Tractor Girls, before Lucy Sowerby netted a consolation for Town. The result dashed Huddersfield's hopes of reaching the Fifth Round for the second year in succession, whilst Ipswich are one of two National League clubs remaining in the competition and the last from Tier 4.
Manchester City had started their defence of the trophy on Saturday with a 3-2 victory against local rivals Manchester Utd. Ellen White scored a goal in each half to put City two ahead, before Lauren James reduced the arrears for United. Jill Scott restored the two-goal advantage and although a late own goal from Lauren Hemp gave United hope, they couldn't find an equaliser and it was City who went through.
Sunderland are the other surviving National League team after they were 2-0 winners over Watford. After a goalless first half between the respective leaders of the Northern Premier and Southern Premier Divisions, Keira Ramshaw opened the scoring within a minute of the restart and she sealed the win for the Wearsiders with her second, twenty minutes from time.
The Fifth Round draw has handed Sunderland a home tie with Birmingham City, who came through a tricky tie themselves with a 3-0 victory away to Sheffield Utd. Full back Harriet Scott was the unlikely heroine for the Blues as she scored twice, both headers, and set up the other goal for Lucy Staniforth to seal a fine result against the Championship high fliers.
Billericay Town bowed out of the competition, but with heads held high after taking Lewes all the way to a penalty shootout. Paula Howells gave the Rookettes the lead but Billericay hit back to equalise through Therese Addison and after extra time could not produce a winner, it was Lewes who triumphed 5-4 from the spot.
Lewes' reward in the draw was a big one as they received a plum tie away to Arsenal. The Gunners travelled to play last season's beaten finalists West Ham Utd and came through the test with a 2-0 win. Katie McCabe put the Gunners ahead on the quarter hour and they sealed the result midway through the second half, when Lia Walti volleyed in her first goal for the club.
Bristol City were taken to extra time by Durham Women, from the division below, before safely progressing with a 1-0 victory. City had the majority of play in aquatic conditions at Stoke Gifford, although the Wildcats always looked dangerous on the break, and they made the breakthrough in the extra period, when young striker Katie Robinson scored the only goal of the game.
The Vixens will be at home in the last sixteen to Everton who also went through at the expense of Championship opponents. The Toffees were 1-0 winners against a determined Bees side, the solitary goal coming through a spectacular 25-yard strike from Inessa Kaagman on the stroke of half time.
Former winners Chelsea meanwhile eased into the Fifth Round as they won 4-0 away to a valiant Charlton Athletic side. The home side held out until a minute before half time, when a neat finish from Drew Spence opened the scoring for Emma Hayes' side. Emily Murphy made it two shortly after the restart and Spence quickly netted her second from the penalty spot, following a foul on Charlotte Fleming in the area. Murphy rounded off the scoring when she grabbed her second goal, with six minutes remaining.
Chelsea have landed a home tie in the next round, to Liverpool whose resurgence continued as they defeated Blackburn Rovers 8-1. Rinsola Babajide spearheaded the victory with a four-goal haul whilst Niamh Fahey, Niamh Charles and Kirsty Linnett also got on the scoresheet, with an own goal completing the tally. Ellie Stewart scored a first half consolation for Rovers, from the penalty spot against her old side.
A crowd in excess of 4,500 attended at the St Mary's Stadium as Southampton FC Women hosted Coventry Utd, who were to run out 4-1 victors. Fiona Worts spearheaded the win for Coventry by hitting a hat-trick and Shannon O'Brien joined her on the scoresheet with a powerful 20-yard shot, before the FAWNL Division One South West leaders grabbed an injury time consolation through Rachel Panting.
Coventry have been rewarded with a home tie against Tottenham Hotspur who also got past high flying National League opponents, beating Barnsley 5-0. Rianna Dean was on target twice for Spurs, along with Siri Worm, Gemma Davison and Elisha Sulola.
Leicester City came through an awkward tie away to Burnley FC Women with a 3-1 victory. An evenly contested first half ended goalless but three goals in a fourteen minute spell after the break put the match firmly in Leicester's favour. Lachante Paul put them ahead within two minutes of the restart and they quickly added further goals through Annabel Blanchard and Paige Bailey-Gayle, before substitute Danielle Cooper netted a consolation for Burnley.
Leicester are now at home against Reading FC Women scored five times without reply against London City Lionesses. The Royals took an early lead through Fara Williams and Jo Potter made it two on the half hour. Maz Pacheco then increased Reading's lead a minute before half time. After the break, Lisa-Marie Utland put the Royals further ahead and Williams rounded off the scoring with her second goal, twelve minutes from time.
One of the most intriguing ties of the round saw Championship leaders Aston Villa play host to WSL side Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls got off to a flying start with Ini Umotong giving them the lead from the penalty spot, after she had been fouled in the area, but Villa responded quickly and Melissa Johnson equalised following a goalmouth scramble. Amanda Nilden then restored Brighton's lead and Aileen Whelan made it three just before half time. Villa did not give up and gave themselves hope with nine minutes remaining when Shania Hayles reduced the arrears but Brighton saw the game out for a hard earned 3-2 win.
The Seagulls will have to wait and see who their opponents will be in the last sixteen as they will be away to either Southampton Women or Crystal Palace whose tie was abandoned with twelve minutes remaining, due to a waterlogged pitch. Palace were however leading 3-0 at the time, thanks to goals from Ashleigh Goddard (2) and Siobhan Wilson, before it was decided that the game could not continue. The tie will therefore be replayed this coming Sunday (see match report).
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