Sunday 3rd February
FA Women’s Cup
It was another weekend where the weather tried to take centre stage yet again over half the fixtures across the East and beyond falling by the way side. Snow and frozen pitches the feature. Nevertheless their were some big games played and none more so than in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup. February beginning with the sides from the FAWSL and Championship entering the competition 16 ties across the country six taking place that feature sides currently playing in the leagues on Women’s Football East and those that have progressed to the Championship and FAWSL itself.
The 4th Round action beginning on Saturday with FAWSL leaders Manchester City Women drawn at home to Watford FC Ladies playing in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. Manchester City dominating the chances first half but frustrated Watford going in at half-time the score goalless. The hosts patient kept going getting closer the deadlock eventually broken just past the hour with Nikita Parris putting them into the lead, the England international doubling Manchester’s advantage just 7 minutes later. The win secured in the final five minutes Pauline Bremer finally getting on the scoresheet out for a lengthy period with injury, hit the woodwork and had a goal ruled off for offside in the first half scoring the 3rd goal for Manchester to see them advance.
It was the FA Women’s Cup where the match action on the website came from this weekend a road trip south of the Thames to watch AFC Wimbledon Ladies from FAWNL South East Division One take on FAWSL side Bristol City WFC. Some 35 league places between the sides the biggest gap between sides in the last 16. Wimbledon reaching this stage having previously beaten higher league opponents in the previous two rounds Portsmouth FC Women and Hull City Ladies playing in the Southern and Northern Premier Divisions. Bristol a tough test with the FAWSL now a fully professional league.
A good crowd of 500 in attendance Wimbledon playing at Carshalton Athletic FC on a 3G surface. Bristol getting off to a flyer taking the lead after just 12 seconds! A diagonal ball finding new signing Abi Harrison on the left she ran in behind taking the ball into the box and shooting to score her first goal for the club. The post kissed moments later Wimbledon were on the back foot goalkeeper Edie Kelly carrying an injury pulled off some fantastic save it was all Bristol camped inside their opponents half on 23 minutes the lead was doubled, Poppy Pattinson getting in behind left side a cross put along the face of goal met by Katie Robinson at the far post for 2-0. In midfield Carla Humphrey and Poppy Wilson were playing well for Bristol combined for their 3rd on 36 minutes Wilson beating two players top of the area to get into a scoring position and fire the ball into the back of the net.
A 3-0 lead for Bristol at half-time their opponents no registering a shot up the other end needed to show more positive intent 2nd half. Did so the game more open Bristol comfortable though defending their lead. Captain Jess Trimnell with a shot from distance wide across goal for the hosts, Bristol seeing Kelly tip s long range shot over her crossbar. Wimbledon drawing the 2nd half 0-0 saw their historic cup run come to an end, Bristol safely negotiating the first hurdle.
It was an all Championship tie in the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup a London derby too with Crystal Palace Ladies hosting league leaders Tottenham Hotspur Ladies. In great form with plenty of attacking options in their squad Tottenham creating opportunities took the lead in the 40th minute with Jessica Naz capitalising on the follow up to score after Rianna Dean’s strike was pushed out by the keeper. The lead doubled deep into first half injury time with full back Ashleigh Neville putting the ball into the back of the net. A 3rd goal coming 10 minutes into the 2nd half with midfielder Coral Haines sending the ball home Tottenham advancing to the 5th Round.
Three goals too for the winning side in the match between West Ham United Women of the FAWSL at home to FAWNL Northern Premier Division leaders Blackburn Rovers Ladies. The visitors taking an early lead with Natasha Flint capitalising on a mix-up to put Blackburn into the lead in the 14th minute. West Ham drawing the scores level right on the stroke of half-time with Adriana Leon scoring to make it 1-1. That how it remained going into the final 20 minutes, Brianna Visalli striking to put West Ham in front in the 72nd minute. That goal quickly followed by a 2nd of the game for Leon to make the lead more comfortable for West Ham and see them into the draw for the 5th Round.
It was a double header in Crawley with two games from the 4th Round of the FA Women’s Cup on Sunday, starting off with Brighton & Hove Albion WFC of the FAWSL hosting Manchester United Women for the FA Women’s Championship. A close first half between the sides seeing them drawing 0-0 at the break. The deadlock broken 6 minutes into the 2nd half with Lauren James getting the goal to put the visitors in front. Bright awarded a penalty, Manchester United goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain pulling off a fantastic save to keep the lead intact the tie settled in injury time with James getting her 2nd of the game to put Manchester United through to the 5th Round.
The was followed by Crawley Wasps Ladies versus Arsenal Ladies, 33 places between the sides Crawley Wasps riding high in FAWNL South East Division One with a 100% record Arsenal in the hunt for the title 2nd in the FAWSL. A great crowd of 1500 in attendance. Captain Kim Little firing Arsenal into the lead getting herself in the box to fire a low shot into the back of the net. 16-year-old Ruby Grant one of five debutants starting for Arsenal doubling their lead. 2-0 to the good at half-time. Frankie Gibbs pulling off some great saves to deny Arsenal from going further ahead. Grant getting her 2nd and Arsenals 3rd saw the woodwork deny her hat-trick but a further chance fell her way and see celebrated her 3rd goal wrapping up a 4-0 victory for Arsenal. Like AFC Wimbledon Ladies a great FA Cup run for Crawley Wasps Ladies.
The draw for the 5th Round of the FA Women’s Cup made yesterday the last 16 know who they will face with several ties postponed taking place this coming Sunday, the 8 ties to be played Sun 17th February are as follows :-
Liverpool FC Women or Milton Keynes Dons Ladies v Millwall Lionesses or Lewes FC Women
Bristol City WFC v Durham Women FC or Cardiff City Ladies
Reading FC Women or Keynsham Town Ladies v Yeovil Town Ladies or Birmingham City Women
Chelsea Women v Arsenal Women
Manchester United Women v London Bees
West Ham United Women v Charlton Athletic Women or Huddersfield Town Ladies
Stoke City Ladies or Aston Villa Ladies v Loughborough Foxes Women or Sheffield United Women
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies v Manchester City Women