Sunday 2nd December
FA Women’s Cup
December begins with the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup, with the FAWNL Northern & Southern Premier Division sides entering the competition. Nine of those ties featuring sides from the Southern Premier aswell as those reaching this stage from South East Division One, no sides from the Eastern Regional league or below making it this far. Wet weather prior to Sunday’s matches seeing a few games affected across the fixture list including two FA Women’s Cup ties with Crawley Wasps Ladies v Chichester City Ladies & Watford Ladies v Buckland Athletic Ladies called off.
Elsewhere there were a couple of upsets aswell as two further ties needing extra-time to seal the win. AFC Wimbledon Ladies from South East Division One causing an upset as they carried their recent good form into the FA Women’s Cup to knock-out Southern Premier Division side, Portsmouth FC Ladies on Sunday. Caroline Bisson scoring direct from a free kick in the 28th minute to see Wimbledon leading 1-0 at half-time. Closing in on the hour and Wimbledon doubled their advantage Bisson with the assist as Georgia Heasman fired the ball home to make it 2-0. Portsmouth unable to find a reply as Wimbledon booked a spot in the 3rd Round.
Also causing a shock in that they knocked out higher league opposition in the FA Women’s Cup were, Keynsham Town Ladies. In great form this season however with a 100% record in the league 8 wins from 8, in South West Division One would have fancied their chances with a home tie in the 2nd Round up against C&K Basildon Ladies, the Essex side struggling for points at the wrong end of the Southern Premier Division. A high scoring game with the sides sharing 11 goals, C&K Basildon on the scoresheet for 3 of them couldn’t keep Keynsham out at the other end as they rattled in 8. Laura Williams with Keynsham’s first in the 16th minute. Kerry Bartlett is way out in front as top scorer for Keynsham with over 30 goals already this season from 14 appearances. Was amongst the goals once again in the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup scoring a 1st half hat-trick. Bartlett adding another on the hour, after Justine Radburn had found the back of the net for Keynsham’s 5th goal. Into the final 15 minutes of the game and Keynsham added two more goals Christina Vega Leandro and Ellis Hillman scoring in quick succession. Keynsham through to the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup with an 8-3 win.
One 2nd Round tie saw an all South East Division One line-up with 2nd placed Billericay Town Ladies hosting bottom side Luton Town Ladies. The Essex side finding it tough to break down a young Luton side in the 1st half. 0-0 at the break. It was the visitors who would go on to open the scoring the the 2nd half, 12 minutes played Aurora Ryan charging down the goalkeeper, winning the ball and taking it past her to score. Karen Stephanou making just her 2nd appearance since joining Billericay over the close season from C&K Basildon scoring her first goal just 7 minutes later from inside the box to level the scores. 90 minutes up the sides drawing 1-1 the tie heading into extra-time. Broghan Kelly another new arrival for Billericay in the summer scoring her 1st goal for the 1st team to put the hosts into the lead, a great strike from outside the box. 3 minutes later Jay Blackie played through to run at the Luton goal and send the ball past the keeper to put Billericay 3-1 up and see them make more history in reaching the 3rd Round for the 1st time.
Milton Keynes Dons Ladies were at home in the 2nd Round the Southern Premier Division side facing a potential tricky tie up against Southampton Women, riding high in 2nd spot in South West Division One. The hosts settling quickly with an early goal, Leah Littlechild crossing the ball for Leah Cudone to score inside the opening 5 minutes. The same combination with 7 minutes left to play in the 1st half saw Milton Keynes Dons double the lead Littlechild’s cross headed in by Cudone, 2-0 at half-time. The lead made more secure with a little under 20 minutes left Littlechild getting on the scoresheet herself adding a 3rd goal. Littlechild once more having a hand in the 4th goal too as she sent the ball into the box with 4 minutes left for Cudone to score and complete her hat-trick.
Oxford United Women, 5th in the Southern Premier Division had to wait to find out who their eventual opponents at home in the 2nd Round were as the 1st Round tie between Cambridge City Ladies & Cambridge United Women was made to be replayed. City winning the 1st game 2-1 after extra-time the FA upheld a complaint by United about the smallness of their pitch sending it into a replay. At United’s Mildenhall Town FC home, the South East Division side winning the game 2-0 to set up the 2nd Round trip to Oxford. Ellie Noble firing Oxford into the lead on the half hour it was quickly 2-0 with captain Lauren Haynes on the scoresheet. Florence Fyfe adding a 3rd goal for Oxford soon after the restart. Oxford making a new signing leading up to this Sunday’s cup tie, Evie Gane rejoining the club after a spell with Aston Villa making her debut with a goal in the 65th minute to seal a 4-0 victory.
Three ties from the 2nd Round played on Sunday featured an all Southern Premier Division line-up. Loughborough Foxes Women were hosting Gillingham Lades in the FA Women’s Cup the two sides having met in Kent a week ago the game ending all square at 2-2. There had to be a winner this time around, however that needed extra-time to be decided with the sides drawing 1-1 after the final whistle. Charlotte Broad having put Loughborough into the lead in the 19th minute. Gillingham getting back on level terms 20 minutes into the 2nd half with Alice Bussey on target. Rebecca Knight winning the game for Loughborough in the extra half hour netting twice in the 1st half of extra play, 3-1 the final score.
Queens Park Rangers Women travelled west to Wales on Sunday to take on Cardiff City Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup, the 2nd Round tie all square at the break with QPR doing well to keep their opponents out. Cardiff eventually getting the break through in the 57th minute Grace Horrell new to the action the substitute making an immediate impact supplying the cross for Cori Williams to score. Cardiff with a strong 2nd half performance quickly found a 2nd goal Nia Rees getting one on one with the keeper to score. Gwennan Davies with a fantastic volleyed goal to make it 3-0 and open her account for Cardiff. Horrell on the scoresheet herself wrapping up a 4-0 win in stoppage time.
Lastly Southern Premier Division leaders, Coventry United Ladies were at home in the 2nd Round of the FA Women’s Cup taking on Plymouth Argyle Ladies for the 2nd successive Sunday. Their previous trip one to forget for Plymouth as they were heavily beaten 9-1 in the league. A much closer score this time around. Coventry awarded a penalty, Chenise Austin sending a coolly struck low ball past the keeper to make it 1-0. Helen Bleazard played through to take the ball into the area struck the ball hard to find the back of the net to level the scores in the 17th minute for Plymouth. 1-1 the score at half-time. Coventry creating chances in the 2nd half retaking the lead through Amy Wathan 10 goal in 14 games now as she headed in a near post cross to make it 2-1 and see Coventry’s long unbeaten run continue.
The draw for the 3rd Round of the FA Women’s Cup made on Monday, the ties scheduled for the first Sunday of the New Year, 6th January the winners receiving £1000 are listed below:-
Cardiff City Ladies v Bolton Wanderers Ladies or West Bromich Albion Women
Derby County Ladies v Stoke City Ladies
Huddersfield Town Ladies v Leeds United Ladies
Middlesborough Women v Watford Ladies or Buckland Athletic Ladies
Billericay Town Ladies v Loughborough Foxes Women
Hull City Ladies v AFC Wimbledon Ladies
Coventry United Ladies v Crawley Wasps Ladies or Chichester City Ladies
Nottingham Forest Ladies v Milton Keynes Dons Ladies
Oxford United Women v Blackburn Rovers Ladies
Keynsham Town Ladies v Fylde Ladies