No surprises in quarter finals
There will be a strong looking semi final line up in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after the weekend’s four quarter final ties did not produce any surprises in terms of results.
First in action on Friday night, Arsenal played host to the last remaining team from the FA Women’s Championship, Coventry Utd. The Gunners - who are still challenging for a possible three trophies - were made to work hard by a well organised Coventry side who frustated them on a number of occasions until the 38th minute, when Stina Blackstenius headed them in front from a Nikita Parris cross. After the break, Beth Mead fired in the second moments after coming on as a substitute and Parris then turned goalscorer, slotting home from close range. Coventry continued to battle and were not disgraced on the night, but Arsenal were to round off a 4-0 victory when Vivianne Miedema drove in a powerful strike from the edge of the area.
Ipswich Town carried the flag for the FA Women’s National League and gave a good account of themselves in going down 1-0 to West Ham Utd. The Hammers were in no mood to be on the end of an upset though, and nearly took the lead on the half hour when Lucy Parker rattled the bar. Three minutes later though, Lisa Evans opened the scoring as she latched onto a through ball and slotted past Sarah Quantrill. West Ham continued to control the match from this point against their valiant opponents and although they were unable to add to their goal tally, they were able to see the game out without any major scares and book their place in the last four for the second time.
Manchester City took on Everton in a repeat of the Final from two seasons ago at the Academy Stadium and eased their way into the semi finals once again with a 4-0 victory. City carried the game forward in the early stages, going close when a deflected shot from Lucy Bronze struck the post, but ten minutes before half time, they went in front when Lauren Hemp scored from close range. Hemp was to add a second early in the second half when she flicked home at the near post from a corner, and Caroline Weir made it three on the hour with a powerful 25-yard strike. Ellen White wrapped up the win when she scored the final goal in injury time.
Holders Chelsea are in the semi finals once again after they defeated Birmingham City 5-0. Birmingham defended stoutly under Chelsea pressure during the first half but their resistance was broken moments before the half time whistle, when Magdalena Eriksson headed Chelsea in front from a free kick. Chelsea took a firm grip on the tie shortly before the hour when Drew Spence drilled in the second and Spence turned provider for the third, her back heel setting up Beth England to score. Niamh Charles extended her side’s lead three minutes later and England completed the scoring with her second.
The draw for the semi finals has pitched Arsenal against Chelsea, whilst West Ham Utd will host Manchester City in the other tie. The details of the dates and kick off dates will be confirmed in due course.