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Women's Football News
Four Regional League teams are through to the First Round Proper of the Women's FA Cup, two of which progressed at the expense of National League clubs in the Third Round Qualifying ties played on Sunday.
Crewe Alexandra were relegated from the National League at the end of last season and now play in the North West League, but enjoyed a great day as they won 2-1 away to Birmingham & West Midlands Ladies. Jess Dawson and Amanda Fallon gave Crewe a two-goal lead during the first half, which they held until deep into injury time when Laura Cooper netted a consolation for the home side.
Crewe's reward in the First Round is a tough one against Division One North leaders Barnsley, who were 3-0 winners at Leeds Utd. All of the goals were scored in the second half, Drew Greene giving Barnsley the lead before Lissa Woodhouse and Annie Ward added late strikes to ensure their side kept up their excellent start to the season.
Woodlands Ladies meanwhile caused an upset of their own with a 4-2 victory away to Bedworth Utd. In a thrilling first half, Jody Scott and Lauren Whiteman twice put Woodlands ahead with Jodi Hunter equalising on each occasion, but Scott gave Woodlands the lead for a third time just before the interval. The pacey striker went on to complete her hat-trick and a memorable day for the East Midlands League side.
Next up for Woodlands is an equally difficult task as that of Crewe as they face Billericay Town. Laken Duchar-Clark and Zoe Rushen scored the goals as Billericay won 2-1 away to Harlow Town.
Portishead Town got the better of Moneyfields on a penalties to reach the First Round for the first time in their history. Ruby Lowe gave Portishead a first half lead which was cancelled out after the break by Sheree Bell-Jack but the teams could not separated after 120 minutes. Portishead goalkeeper Chloe Fensome, who had made a magnificent save from Krystal Whyte in the last minute of extra time, went on to score in the resulting shootout and save one kick by Moneys, who also missed the target twice whilst Portishead converted all of theirs to ensure they go through to play either Southampton Women or AFC Bournemouth, whose tie was postponed.
The other all-Regional League affair went the way of Luton Town who beat fellow Eastern Region League side Bowers & Pitsea 3-0. Jess McKay scored twice and Rebecca Wilson-Kane added the other goal for Luton who must now travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Two early goals from the prolific Jade Cross set Wolves on their way to a 5-1 victory away to Sutton Coldfield Town before Philippa Wilson, Alice Keitley and Billie Haynes rounded off the scoring in the final twenty minutes.
One other tie went all the way to penalties; at Stockport County where visitors Brighouse Town triumphed 4-2 from the spot after the teams had battled out a 2-2 draw. Hanifa Douglas and Chloe Mapp were on target for Stockport, whilst Charlotte Blythe and Hannah Freibach replied for Brighouse and after extra time could not produce a winner, it was Brighouse who went through and they now travel to the winners of the postponed tie between Northwich Vixens and Liverpool Feds.
Chester-le-Street Town will make the short trip to either Norton & Stockton Ancients or Durham Cestria after they defeated Newcastle Utd 3-1. All of the Cestrians' goals came in the opening half hour with Kacie Elson, Nichole Havery and Laura Hockaday all getting on the scoresheet, whilst Newcastle's consolation came from Beth Gardener.
The New Saints made it safely through an awkward tie at Peterborough Utd with a 3-2 victory, Kim Bebbington netting twice and Laura Pennington adding the other. TNS will be at home in the First Round to Chorley who made the journey to the north east to play Hartlepool Utd and banished any hopes of an upset with an 8-0 victory. Ellie Mills hit a hat-trick after coming on as a second half substitute, Beth Donoghue contributed a brace and there was one apiece from Rebecca Kemp, Sophie Rotheram and Lisa Topping.
Abigail Murrell scored twice and Emily Atkinson was also on target as Lincoln City returned from Sporting Khalsa with a 3-1 win under their belts. Lincoln have been drawn away again in the next round to either Leicester Utd or Leek Town.
Actonians Ladies proved too strong for Fulham and an Alessandra Barreca hat-trick saw them to a 3-1 victory (see match report). This sets up an intriguing First Round tie against AFC Wimbledon, who came through one of the top ties in this round with a 2-1 success away to Enfield Town. Sophie Manzi gave Wimbledon a first half lead which was cancelled out before the break by Beth Lumsden, but Manzi was to have the final say as she netted her second and decisive goal in injury time.
Leyton Orient had been handed a tricky draw away to Queen's Park Rangers but the O's were to come through to test with a 2-1 victory thanks to Ellie Stenning and Otesha Charles. Orient must wait and see who their next opponents will be as they were away to the winners of the tie between Cheltenham Town and Exeter City.
Ipswich Town emerged as 6-1 victors from the East Anglian derby tie against Norwich City. Natasha Thomas was on target twice for the Tractor Girls along with Anna Grey, Paige Peake, Sophie Peskett and Maddie Biggs, whilst Norwich's consolation strike came from Aimee Durrant. Ipswich will be at home again in the next round to AFC Basildon, who came through a high scoring affair away to Cambridge City with a 7-3 win. Naomi Binding hit a hat-trick for Basildon and Kelly Wealthall added a couple along with Holly Turner and a spectacular 40-yard free kick from Gemma Abela, whilst City replied with a goal apiece from Laura Mills, Charlotte Gillies and Karly Tolentino.
Chesham Utd saw off the challenge of Wycombe Wanderers with a 3-0 victory. Gemma Fraser and Tash Smith gave the Clarets a two-goal lead at the break and Fraser rounded off the scoring late on with her second goal. Chesham must take on Southampton FC in the next round, the Saints easing through with an eleven-goal blast against Poole Town. Rachel Panting and Shannon Sievwright each scored hat-tricks and they were joined on the scoresheet by Sophia Pharoah, Shannon Albuery, Alisha Ware, Phoebe Williams and Charley Evans.
There are still five Third Round Qualifying ties to be completed, these will be played this Sunday with the First Round Proper ties set to take place the following week.
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