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Women's Football News
Southampton FC Women produced an outstanding result to reach the last sixteen of the Vitality Women's FA Cup for the first time in their history, winning 2-1 away to Championship side Lewes.
The Rookettes had a chance to take the lead just after the half hour when they awarded a penalty but Ini Umotong's kick was saved by Saints goalkeeper Kayla Rendell. Five minutes later, the visitors took the lead when Georgie Freeland fired home following a free kick. Lewes pressed hard after the break and Umotong was to atone for the penalty by bundling home the equaliser but Southampton were to have the last say, a spectacular 30-yard effort from Rachel Panting finding the top corner for the winning goal.
Southampton, who are now the last remaining team still playing in the fourth tier, have landed a plum reward in the next round as they will travel to Birmingham City, who ended the hopes of Coventry Utd with a 5-1 victory. Claudia Walker put the Blues in front after three minutes but Coventry hung on until midway through the second half, when Christie Murray made it two. Walker increased Birmingham's lead with her second, before injury time saw a blitz of goals with Sarah Mayling scoring either side of a consolation for Coventry from Georgia Stevens.
Chelsea had kicked off the round of matches on Friday night by beating London City Lionesses 5-0. Niamh Charles, Jess Carter and Melanie Leupolz put Chelsea three goals ahead at the interval, before Drew Spence added a second half double.
Chelsea will now be up against last season's beaten finalists Everton in what is undoubtedly the tie of the Fifth Round. Everton got through in dramatic fashion, following a scare, by narrowly winning 2-1 against Durham Women. The Wildcats took the lead just after half time through Molly Sharpe, with Poppy Pattinson bringing the Toffees back on level terms, then with extra time looming, Nicoline Sorensen scored from a Jill Scott cross to take Everton through.
Holders Manchester City meanwhile began their defence of the trophy by scoring eight times without reply past Aston Villa. Chloe Kelly netted twice along with Ellen White to put City three ahead at half time and after the break, Janine Beckie, Georgia Stanway and Rose Lavelle also got on the scoresheet by Kelly completed her hat-trick and Sam Mewis netted the final goal.
City will be at home again in the last sixteen to West Ham Utd, who were 11-0 winners against Chichester & Selsey. Emily van Egmond bagged a four-goal haul for the Hammers during the first half and the other strikes came from Kenza Dali, Gilly Flaherty, Katerina Svitkova, Nor Mustafa, Cecilie Redisch, Kate Longhurst and Anouk Denton.
Arsenal were another team to record a large win on the day, finding the net ten times against Gillingham. Jill Roord led the scoring for the Gunners with a hat-trick, Beth Mead contributed a brace and there were further goals from Vivianne Miedema, Kim Little, Anna Patten, Danielle van de Donk and Jordan Nobbs.
Next up for Arsenal will be a home tie against Crystal Palace, who defeated London Bees 3-0. All of Palace's goals came during the first half, Siobhan Wilson giving them a fifth minute lead, Coral-Jade Haines making it two with a sweet strike from the edge of the area and Cherelle Khassal breaking through to lob home the third.
Tottenham Hotspur meanwhile came from behind to win 3-2 after extra time away to Reading FC Women. Fara Williams gave Reading an early lead, with Spurs hitting back through Rachel Williams and Alanna Kennedy, before Rachel Rowe levelled the scores again. Jessica Naz put Tottenham back in front three minutes into the extra period, and they held on from this point.
Tottenham will be at home in the Fifth Round to Sheffield Utd, who had a smoother passage as they scored nine times without reply away to Middlesbrough. Rhema Lord-Mears and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk both hit hat-tricks for the Blades, whose other markswomen were Rebecca Rayner, Maddy Cusack and Lucy Watson.
Three FAWNL clubs had been drawn against FA WSL opponents, the third being Burnley FC Women who played host to Manchester Utd. The Clarets gave a good account of themselves but it was United who ran out 6-0 winners and take their place in the last sixteen. Millie Turner gave United an early lead and they went on to add further first half goals through Ella Toone, Lucy Staniforth and Amy Turner, before Kirsty Hanson rounded off the scoring with a second half double.
United have a home tie in the Fifth Round against FA Women's Championship title winners Leicester City, who edged past Liverpool with a 1-0 victory, Hannah Cain netting a second half winner for the Foxes.
A closely fought all-FA WSL tie between Brighton & Hove Albion and Bristol City was settled by a second half penalty from Inessa Kaagman, which gave the Seagulls a 1-0 win. Brighton have another home tie in the next round against Huddersfield Town, who are one of two National League side left in the competition. Laura Elford gave Huddersfield the lead on the quarter hour against Derby County who equalised straight away through Emily Joyce. Ellie Gilliatt missed from the penalty spot for the Ewe Rams and Huddersfield took advantage, restoring their lead through an own goal and Elford then netted her second. Hannah Ward gave Derby late hope by pulling one back but Huddersfield saw the game out to reach the last sixteen for the second time in three seasons.
The other surviving fourth tier side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, bowed out of the competition but only after going down 5-2 to Blackburn Rovers. Alisha Miller put Wolves in front early on, with Blackburn hitting back to lead at the break thanks to Maria Edwards and Saffron Jordan. Tash Fenton made it three for Rovers, with Lowri Walker then reducing the arrears for the home side, but Georgia Walters then struck twice with a penalty and 30-yard strike to seal the win for Blackburn.
There will be at least one Championship side through to the quarter finals, as Blackburn were drawn at home to Charlton Athletic who were 2-1 extra time winners away to Oxford Utd. Beth Lumsden gave Charlton a first half lead which was cancelled out shortly afterwards by Daisy McLachlan, before a 25-yard shot by Katie Godden in the extra period sent the 2005 Cup winners into the last sixteen (see match report).
Bristol City's Katie Bessell takes on Maya Le Tissier of Brighton & Hove Albion (Will Cheshire).
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