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Bristol City booked their place in the quarter finals of the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup with a 3-1 victory away to Lewes.
The Robins have found points difficult to come by so far this season in the league but they went into the match needing at least a draw to make sure of a place in the last eight and three goals in ten first half minutes put them in a commanding position. Jemma Purfield opened the scoring and then strikes in quick succession from Emma Bissell and Ebony Salmon left them three goals ahead, before Rhian Cleverly pulled one back for the Rookettes after the break.
Crystal Palace are in the driving seat to join City in the quarter finals as one of the best placed runners-up, thanks to a 6-1 win against London Bees. Amelia Hazard did give the Bees an eighth minute lead but it went downhill for them after there; Coral-Jade Haines equalised from the penalty spot and Bianca Baptiste quickly put Palace in front, before an own goal and Cherelle Khassal increased their advantage ahead of half time. Baptiste netted her second just before the hour and Amy Taylor rounded off the scoring in injury time.
The Group A decider went all the way to a penalty shootout to decide the winners and it was Aston Villa who took top spot against Durham Women, after the teams had shared a 1-1 draw. Emily Roberts put the Wildcats ahead in the fourth minute via a cross-cum-shot but Villa battled back after the break to equalise through a free kick from Emma Follis, to take the match to penalties. Sian Rogers had been in fine form in goal for Villa during the match and she took this into the shootout with two saves to help her side triumph 4-3 from the spot, which gave them the extra point they needed to win the group whilst Durham are well placed to take one of the best runners-up spots.
In the other group match, Sheffield Utd rounded off their matches with a 4-0 victory away to Coventry Utd. Leandra Little headed the Blades in front after nine minutes and Katie Wilkinson added a second just after the half hour. Jade Pennock made it three midway through the second half, with Melissa Johnson rounding off the scoring.
Arsenal, five time winners of the competition, look to have gone out this time around after battling out a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. The Gunners twice took the lead through Vivianne Miedema and Caitlin Foord, with Spurs battling back on each occasion with equalisers from Ria Percival and Shelina Zadorsky to take the game into a penalty shootout. After the first nine penalties all found the net, Alex Morgan fired the last one over the bar, meaning that Arsenal took the extra point on the night but it was not enough to take them past Chelsea, who win the group even though their match against London City Lionesses was postponed.
The Manchester derby also went all the way to penalties - Manchester City and Manchester Utd were meeting each other for the second time in five days and once again they could not be separated, the match finishing goalless. In the end it was United who won from the penalty spot but City finish in top spot in Group C having won their two previous matches.
The other group match saw Everton record their first victory, 1-0 against Liverpool. Izzy Christiansen settled the derby with the only goal of the match, scored in the sixth minute.
West Ham Utd picked up the result they required to make sure of winning their group, 4-0 against Charlton Athletic. It was a big night for Charley Clifford, who set a new appearances record for the Addicks with her 273rd game for the club, but it was the Hammers who went ahead early on with a third minute goal from Emily Van Egmond. Leanne Kiernan then netted twice, either side of half time, before Martha Thomas completed the scoring midway through the second half.
Reading FC Women will have to wait and see if their 2-0 victory away to Brighton & Hove Albion will be enough to see them through in second place. Natasha Harding kept up her recent good run of form by heading the Royals in front on the quarter hour, with Amalie Eikeland firing in the other goal during the second half.
Photo - Emma Bissell heads Bristol City in front against Lewes (Will Cheshire).
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