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Holders battle through
 Women's Football News 15 Sep 2008
Holders battle through - 15 Sep 2008 - Women's Football NewsEverton began their defence of the Premier League Cup with a hard earned 2-1 victory over Birmingham City in the tie of the First Round.
Jill Scott netted the only goal of the first half, nine minutes before the interval, but Birmingham hit back after the restart and quickly equalised through Amy McCann. The game was settled midway through the second half as Emily Westwood grabbed the winner for the Toffees.
In the other all-National Division tie, Nottingham Forest emerged as 4-2 winners over Liverpool, who took a ninth minute lead with a goal from Jo Edwards. Andi Bell levelled three minutes later and Natalie Clarke sent Forest ahead before half time. Bell and Catherine Lawson added further goals after the break with Gayle Formston netting a late consolation for the Reds.
Watford were given a huge scare by Crystal Palace on their way to a 3-0 extra time victory. Although Watford hit the woodwork three times during normal time, Palace passed up a glorious opportunity to cause an upset when they missed a penalty in the dying minutes. In extra time, Jodian Clarke gave Watford the lead before they added further goals through Helen Lander and Sarah Wiltshire.
Cardiff City came close to knocking out a National Division side but were scuppered by a late winner from WFC Fulham. On the club's return to their home at Leckwith, it was Fulham who took the lead through Lou Lloyd but Cardiff were back on level terms before half time with a goal from Natasha Harding. With eight minutes remaining, Gemma Fraser netted a decisive strike to clinch victory for the Whites.
Arsenal swept into the Second Round with a 6-2 victory over Charlton Athletic. Rachel Yankey gave the Gunners a first minute lead with Gilly Flaherty adding the second and further first half goals coming from Kim Little and Kelly Smith. Kimberley Dixson reduced the arrears for the Addicks before Yankey netted twice to complete her hat-trick. Charlton did not give up and scored a second goal in the dying minutes through Rosie Webb.
Bristol Academy emerged as 3-0 winners in their local derby tie against Keynsham Town although it needed two late goals to secured the victory. Michelle Green fired Academy ahead midway through the first half but good Keynsham defending kept them in the game until the final ten minutes, when two clinical finishes from Gwennan Harries finally ended their resistance.
Leeds Carnegie gave a morale boosting win, 1-0 against Northern Division leaders Manchester City. Leeds, who have a good Cup record in recent seasons, moved through with the only goal of the game from Jess Clarke in the 22nd minute.
Chelsea came through a potentially tricky tie with a 4-0 victory over Barnet. Claire Rafferty put the Blues ahead after eight minutes and the lead was doubled early in the second half by Lianne Sanderson. Dunia Susi netted two late goals to wrap up the win for Chelsea.
The game which yielded the highest number of goals on the day was at Blackburn Rovers, where the home side defeated Rotherham Utd 7-2. Natalie Preston scored twice in the opening twenty minutes for Rovers and although Claire Needham pulled one back, Nicky Harding added a third just before the interval. Emma McDougall bagged a double either side of a Kerry Longstone goal and Katie Anderton completed the scoring for Blackburn by netting twice late on.
Two of the potential Northern Division title challengers came face to face and a close battle ensued with OOH Lincoln beating Sunderland 3-1 after extra time. Sophie Wallis put Lincoln ahead after five minutes but a goal early in the second half from Sarah Danby ensured the extra period. Jodie Michalska restored the Lady Imps' lead in the opening minute of extra time and Amanda Barr sealed the victory with ten minutes remaining.
A five-goal blitz in extra time saw Leicester City progress at the expense of the Aston Villa with a 6-2 win. Hannah Smith's early goal for Leicester was cancelled out late in the second half by Carly Davies, sending the game into the extra period. Remi Allen put Leicester back in front with Kimberley Farrow levelling once more for Villa, but Allen netted again before Smith went on to complete a hat-trick against her former club and Louise Fellows rounded off the scoring.
A late goal saw Portsmouth through with a 2-1 win away to West Ham Utd. After a goalless first half, Lauren Murphy opened the scoring for Pompey and despite Lindsey Morgan levelling for the Hammers, Lisa Langrish settled matters with the winner with three minutes remaining.
Brighton & Hove Albion withstood a late comeback for a 3-2 victory over Truro City. Kim Stenning and Stacey Parkinson gave the Seagulls a two goal lead at half time and Tammy Waine added a third midway through the second half. Leanne Lapham and Dawna Dennett both scored in the last five minutes to give Truro renewed hope but Brighton held out for a place in the last sixteen.
Six first half goals sent Millwall Lionesses on their way to a 7-1 success against Ipswich Town. Carly Eagles and Emma Whitter put Millwall two ahead inside the opening ten minutes with Charlotte Gurr adding a third. Whitter and an own goal further increased the advantage and, although Kayleigh Harwood pulled one back for Ipswich, Whitter completed her hat-trick before half time. A second half goal from Leanne Champ completed the Lionesses' tally on the hour mark.
There were plenty of goals at Preston North End where the home side defeated Curzon Ashton 5-3 in a high scoring local derby. Sarah Berry, Louise Cafferkey and Sam Cadwallader sent Preston into a three goal lead with Amanda Goodwin reducing the arrears on the stroke of half time. Kelly Dean pulled another goal back for Curzon after the break but Anisha Bateman gave Preston some breathing space. Georgina Stebbings gave Curzon late hope before Berry made the game safe for Preston with her second goal.
The remaining tie between Tranmere Rovers and Doncaster Rovers Belles was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and will be played next Sunday.

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