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Leicester City WFC picked up the result of the day when beating Northern Division pacesetters Nottingham Forest 1-0 to book their place in the Fourth Round for the first time.
The only goal of the game came five minutes into the second half via a fine 20-yard strike from Zira Handley and the Leicester defence, with goalkeeper Laura Niblett in good form, stood firm from that point and sealed the victory for the Midland Combination leaders.
Leicester's opponents in the Fourth Round will be Millwall Lionesses, who narrowly got the better of Crystal Palace with a 2-1 local derby victory. Millwall went in front in the 41st minute when Stacy Whitehead scoring from close range and Dionne Lennon doubled the advantage on the stroke of half time when netting direct from a free kick inside her own half. Palace sought to get back in the game after the interval and went close when former Millwall winger Claire Williams was denied by a fine save from Claire Lacey and, although Beth Curtis gave Palace late hope by pulling a goal back, Millwall held out to take the win.
Middlesbrough also notched up an excellent victory against Premier League opposition, beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0. Nicky Duckling got 'Boro off to a great start when giving them the lead with an excellent individual goal in the seventh minute and the striker produced another clinical finish just after the half hour mark. 'Boro then withstood Wednesday pressure to earn themselves a trip to Chelsea in the Fourth Round.
Swindon Town are one of the other Combination League team which is definitely through to the last 32, also reaching this stage for the first time by getting the better of Plymouth Argyle in a dramatic penalty shootout, after the teams had battled out a 1-1 draw.
An own goal gave Swindon a first half lead which they could have increased on a number of occasions in the first half, but Plymouth fought back after the break and equalised through Helen Kukor. Swindon goalkeeper Robyn Levett pulled off a string of fine saves to keep her side on level terms and send the game into extra time. Two minutes into the extra period, Michelle Rich hit the post for Swindon and the same player also passed up a great opportunity went put through on goal. Both sides were looking desperately tired on a heavy pitch and good defending ensured that the match was taken to penalties.
All ten penalties were scored as were the first by each side during sudden death. Sam Quinn then gave Swindon a 7-6 lead but Kim Eke's shot came back off the underside of the bar and Swindon were through to the Fourth Round where they have landed a plum home draw against Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Rotherham Utd survived a very tricky tie at home to Northern Combination high fliers Rochdale, booking their place with a hard earned 6-3 victory. Rotherham's prolific strike force proved to be the difference on the day, Kerry Longstone was on target four times with Suzanne Davies adding the other two. Rotherham now await the winners of the tie between Chesham Utd and Portsmouth.
Lincoln City also came through an awkward tie, winning 1-0 away to Coventry City. The Lady Imps settled the tie in the 73rd minute when Kerry Smith followed up to score after Nic Stray's long range free kick had been parried but Lincoln goalkeeper Kay Hawke needed to make two excellent saves to assist her side, which had been reduced to ten players after Stacey Aisthorpe was sent off for a second bookable offence. Lincoln will now travel to the Midlands to play either Aston Villa or West Bromwich Albion.
Crewe Alexandra put an end to Copsewood Coventry's excellent Cup run, the Premier League side coming away with a 1-0 victory. Chloe Jones scored a second half goal to clinch the game for Crewe who will now host National Division opposition in the form of Cardiff City.
A first half goal saw Newcastle Utd to a 1-0 victory over Stockport County and a Fourth Round visit to either Preston North End or Curzon Ashton. Stacy Crooks finished off a fine passing move with a 25-yard finish and Newcastle almost added to their lead as Melanie Reay struck a post and Kelly Ridley was denied by a superb save from Stockport goalkeeper Jennie Cummins.
Sunderland maintained their excellent form of recent weeks by running out 5-1 winners over Tranmere Rovers. Sarah Danby netted two of the goals and she was joined on the scoresheet by Lucy Bronze, Natalie Gutteridge and Rachel Lee. Sunderland will have an intriguing home tie against Birmingham City for a place in the last sixteen.
A 4-1 victory away to West Auckland Town has taken Manchester City through to a tie at home to Watford. New signing Shelley James scored a hat-trick for City, whose other goal came through a powerful strike from Charlotte Farrell.
Barnet eased through to the next round with a 10-2 victory against Reading Royals. Stacey Sowden led the scoring with a hat-trick, Davina Smith and Claire Thomas each weighed in with doubles, and the Queen Bees' tally was completed by Lydia Bedford, Gemma Shepherd and Holly Sandow. The high riding Southern Division side have been rewarded with a plum Fourth Round tie at home to Everton.
Photo - Plymouth Argyle's Becky Atkins (grounded) and Kirsty Jones of Swindon Town get in a tangle while Plymouth midfielder Aoife Aherne looks on (www.jamesprickett.co.uk).
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