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Women's Football News
It was a weekend of home comforts in the SSE Women's FA Cup Fifth Round as all eight teams drawn at home progressed through to the quarter finals.
The closest of the eight ties was undoutbtedly the Merseyside derby as Liverpool edged past Everton with a 2-1 victory after extra time. The Reds took the lead with just eight minutes on the clock when Natasha Harding turned home a cross from Caroline Weir but Everton battled back after the break and Simone Magill levelled the scores midway through the second half. This took the game into the extra period and the tie was settled with twelve minutes remaining, Ali Johnson crossing for Shanice van de Sanden to head home the winning goal for Liverpool.
West Bromwich Albion were one of the two Premier League clubs remaining in the competition and they gave a good account of themselves when losing 2-0 to Birmingham City. Indeed, they nearly went in front when a powerful strike from Abi Cottam was tipped onto the post by Ann-Katrin Berger but Birmingham responded quickly with Paige Williams rattling the bar at the other end. Just before half time, Jess Carter opened the scoring with a glancing header and another header led to the Blues' second goal on the hour, Ellen White marking her debut by nodding home a Williams cross.
Holders Arsenal began their defence of the trophy by scoring ten times without reply past Tottenham Hotspur. Danielle van de Donk hit a hat-trick for the Gunners, Danielle Carter weighed in with a brace and there was one apiece from Dominique Janssen, Kim Little, Chloe Kelly, Beth Mead and Katie McCabe.
Chelsea also had a smooth passage as they defeated Doncaster Rovers Belles 7-0. After Crystal Dunn had given them an early lead, Ji So-Yun netted a quickfire brace before a Leandra Little own goal and Ramona Bachmann put Chelsea further ahead before the break. Katie Chapman and Drew Spence added more goals in the second half to complete an emphatic start for the former winners (see match report).
Manchester City meanwhile made it safely through with a 1-0 victory over Reading FC Women in one of the two all-WSL 1 ties. The reigning Champions found it difficult to break through a resolute Reading side and Mary Earps made a number of good saves but with seven minutes remaining, Lucy Bronze drilled home the only goal of the game to seal victory for her side.
The other clash between two WSL 1 sides also turned out to be close as Notts County, beaten finalists two years ago, won 3-2 against Yeovil Town. County took the lead midway through the first half when Jade Moore bundled the ball home following a corner and this advantage was doubled after the break when Kirsty Linnett curled home her first goal for the club. Lucy Quinn reduced the arrears for Yeovil from the penalty spot but moments later, the two-goal deficit was restored when a clearing header from Hannah Short struck the unfortunate Bow Jackson and looped back into her own net. Kelly Snook then fired home from the edge of the area to give the Lady Glovers late hope but they could not force an equaliser and County move into the last eight.
Sunderland also survived a close call in their tie against Aston Villa, getting past the WSL 2 side with a 3-2 win. Victoria Williams put the Wearsiders into a first half lead but minutes later, Villa were level thanks to a Natasha Baptiste header. Sunderland were to go back in front ten minutes before half time through a Hayley Sharp header, however once again Villa responded well and grabbed another equaliser through a well taken goal from Lucy Shepherd. The tie was settled at the midway point in the half when Sunderland were awarded a penalty for handball and Lucy Staniforth stepped up to score what proved to be the winner.
Bristol City eased into the last eight with a 5-0 victory over Millwall Lionesses. Millie Turner marked her debut for the club by giving them an early lead and Lauren Hemp added a second with a low drive. Turner then scored her second with a powerful header from Olivia Fergusson's cross. In the second half, young striker Hemp completed her double via a cross-cum-shot which swirled past Sarah Quantrill in the wind and Jodie Brett rounded off the scoring late on, following up to score after Claire Emslie's free kick had been parried.
Photo - Bristol City striker Lauren Hemp gets in a shot past Megan Wynne of Millwall Lionesses.
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