Much of the focus of this weekend has been on the national cup competitions, with games being played in the WPL Cup, WPL Plate and FA Cup. Here we take a quick look back at the eight games played in those competitions.
The WPL Cup and WPL Plate both reached the quarter-final stage this week. In the Cup, Charlton Athletic needed a penalty shootout to get past West Bromwich Albion. Kit Graham had given Charlton a first-half lead, before Amy Dicken equalised just after the half hour mark. Neither team managed another goal before the end of extra time and Charlton won the resulting shootout 4-2, with Grace Coombs scoring the decisive spot-kick.
Tottenham Hotspur were 4-1 victors in their all-Southern Division tie with Crystal Palace. Nikita Whinnett opened the scoring in the first minute, then scored again six minutes later to double the Spurs lead. Wendy Martin made it 3-0 before the break, then in the second half a Roschelle Shakes goal gave Palace an opportunity to get back into the game. They couldn’t capitalise however and Bianca Baptiste put the result beyond doubt by scoring Tottenham’s fourth.
The two Division One sides remaining in the cup were both eliminated: Chester-le-Street lost at home to Blackburn Rovers, thanks to Rovers goals from Lynda Shepherd (23 mins), Jess Holbrook (78) and Saffron Jordan (in injury time). Chester had equalised from the penalty spot on the hour mark, but their Northern Division opposition proved to be too strong for them. Liverpool Marshall Feds also ended their involvement in the competition when they were beaten 2-0 by Cardiff City.
In the Plate, Keynsham Town put in a sterling performance to pull back a two-goal deficit against Leicester City Women to send their game into extra time, but Shaun Cossens’ goal for Leicester with a penalty shootout just five minutes away saw the West Country team knocked out of the tournament. In the only all-Division One tie, Actonians sent Radcliffe Olympic home empty-handed – Two goals from Carla Williams and one from Melissa Jung enough to send Actonians comfortably through to the semi-finals.
Tranmere Rovers were thumped 7-0 at home by Huddersfield Town in what was the competition’s biggest win of the weekend. Emily Heckler, Kate Mallin and Danielle Biglin gave Huddersfield a 3-0 half-time lead before two more goals from the ever-prolific Heckler, one from Katie Nutter, and a second for Mallin completed the rout.
Luton Town and Lewes will have a second attempt to get their quarter-final tie played next Sunday, after heavy overnight rain left Luton’s pitch unplayable, forcing the game’s postponement.
The re-arranged FA Cup first round tie between Southampton and Swindon Town ended in probably the biggest upset of this stage of the competition. Southampton Women, currently top of the Southern Region Women’s Football League, shocked their Premier League visitors with a goal in each half to send them into the second round, where they will meet fellow first-round giant-killers Cambridge United.
Team of the week
A dominant performance by Huddersfield and the superb, though ultimately unsuccessful, comeback by Keynsham are both worthy of a mention here, but for their win against a team two divisions higher up the league pyramid this week’s team of the week is Southampton Women.