Extra time, penalties, a cupset (but just one) and even an abandoned match, here’s what you might have missed from the FA Cup fourth round.
Three of the sixteen ties were won by one goal with both Manchester City and Brighton holding on to 3-2 advantages against Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively. The Manchester derby the only match played on Saturday and brining about much debate about disallowed goals. The following day, part-time Aston Villa clawed themselves back into their clash with the Seagulls but ultimately fell to the WSL team
It was no day at the beach for the London Bees as they fought on a sub-par sandy pitch in Southport, Inessa Kaagman’s lone strike enough to put the Toffees into the hat tomorrow.
90’s not enough
Deadlocked and scoreless after 90 minutes in Bristol, Durham pushed the Robins to extra time, finally surrendering a goal at the start of the additional half hour, Katie Robinson’s effort the winner in the West Country.
Going one better than Bristol and Durham, fourth tier Billericay took Championship side Lewes all the way to penalties following 1-1 draw after 120 minutes. The two teams still locked four penalties into the shoot-out, Zoe Rushen’s effort from 12-yards that cannoned off of the post all to split the two as the next five spot kicks flew in.
Having hit form and taking advantage of their higher ranking, Leicester City cruised to a three-goal advantage away to Burnley before the Clarets pulled one back, though it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
The only all tier three match saw WNL North table toppers Sunderland host Watford (currently second in WNL South) and it was the hosts who came out on top after goals either side of the break. Similarly one of the two all-WSL clashes saw Arsenal claim victory with goals from Katie McCabe and Lia Wälti, extending the Hammers’ frustrations against the Gunners.
Enjoying the only cupset of the round, fourth tier Ipswich Town showed their mettle to better Huddersfield at the John Smiths. The plaudits scooped by Tractor Girls’ goalkeeper Nikita Runnacles, who pulled off a string of saves to keep the hosts out as well as 16-year-old hattrick hero, Maddie Biggs whose first-half triple gave Ipswich an unassailable lead.
Struggling for goals in the league, Liverpool had little trouble finding the back of the net in Bamber Bridge as they saw off Blackburn Rovers with ease, Rinsola Babajide’s quartet of strikes something the Reds will hope translate over to WSL.
Despite the chance for an upset or two, there was little surprise about how the rest of the matches panned out as Spurs hit Barnsley for five at the Hive – including a first senior goal for Elisha Sulola. On the other side of the capital, Chelsea finally broke Charlton’s resolve with an opening goal on the stroke of half-time before adding three more in the second half as three miles down the road, Reading hit London City Lionesses for five.
Further south, Southampton FC (the team associated with the men’s team that play in the Premier League) sagged against Coventry United in front of a crowd of over 4,500 fans at St. Mary’s.
In Chesterfield, Championship title chasers, Sheffield United had another frustrating afternoon against a team from the Midlands as WSL mainstays, Birmingham City eased to a 3-0 win with Harriet Scott impressing for the visitors.
Finally, after 78 minutes on a swampy pitch with visiting Crystal Palace three goals to the good, their match against Southampton (Women’s F.C.) was abandoned. The official line given to womensfootall.co.uk is as follows:
In accordance with FA Women’s Cup rule 11(b), the matter shall be considered by the Women’s Football Board who were [at the time of asking] in the process of obtaining the referee’s report and observations from both clubs in order to consider and make a decision as soon as possible – with a view to making a ruling one way or the other before the draw.
The full results
Manchester United 2-3 Manchester City
Aston Villa 2-3 Brighton and Hove
Everton 1-0 London Bees
Bristol City 1-0 Durham AET
Lewes (5) 1-1 (4) Billericay
Burnley 1-3 Leicester City
Sunderland 2-0 Watford
West Ham 0-2 Arsenal
Huddersfield Town 1-4 Ipswich Town
Liverpool 8-1 Blackburn Rovers
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Barnsley
Charlton Athletic 0-4 Chelsea
London City Lionesses 0-5 Reading
Sheffield United 0-3 Birmingham City
Southampton FC 1-4 Coventry United
Southampton *0-3 Crystal Palace – abandoned
The draw will be made live on Sportsworld on the BBC News Channel at 6.40pm on Monday evening.
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