Man City Women sealed their place in the next round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup with a 3-0 win over FA Women’s Championship leaders Tottenham Hotspur Ladies. A Steph Houghton free kick, a goal each from Lauren Hemp and Gemma Bonner as well as an Ellie Roebuck penalty save, ensured the visitors went into the hat ahead of the draw.
The Blues started off well with Hemp making a good run down the wing, defender Ashleigh Neville doing well to hold off the forward but the youngster found back up in Nikita Parris; however she lost out to Neville. Caroline Weir was there to win possession back from former London Bess captain Emma Beckett, playing a give and go sequence with international teammate Claire Emslie however Renee Hector cleared Weir’s cross.
A Tottenham throw in taken by Megan Wynne found Beckett, the defender passing to youngster Rianna Dean, the forward playing through Coral Haines but the former Birmingham player had the ball cleared by Bonner.
The visitors played the ball around at the back before Demi Stokes found Parris and the forward made a brilliant run down the left, making it also to the by-line only to be fouled by Wynne. City were awarded a free kick which Weir stepped up to take, the attacking midfielder swinging the ball into the area but Spurs captain Jenna Schillaci got her head to it and cleared it.
Less than a minute later, the Blues won a corner following Hemp’s run down the wing with Emslie stepping up this time, Jill Scott getting her head to the ball but it was cleared by Beckett and then Neville.
Hemp then made another run down the wing, beating her marker and getting a cross into the area for the arriving Parris; the forward’s header firing straight at keeper Chloe Morgan.
Around the fifteen minutes mark, Bonner stepped up to take a free kick awarded to the Blues, choosing to play it to Houghton and around the back, Emslie making a run down the wing under pressure from Neville. Gemma found the ball again and found Weir, Claire making the overlapping run and getting a cross into the box, Lauren doing well to collect and turn only for her shot to be blocked by Hector; Parris waiting but shooting at the keeper.
The Blues were awarded a free kick late in the first half after Hemp was fouled by Sophie McLean, captain Steph Houghton stepping up to send the ball around the wall and into the bottom left of the net to give City the lead. Two minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, Gemma finding Claire with the Scot running the wing and sending a cross for Lauren to collect, the forward winning possession back from Hector to chip the keeper.
Nick Cushing’s side could have had a third goal before the break, Houghton’s long ball collected by Caroline however she lost quickly possession to Josie Green, Tottenham’s possession not lasting long as Hector misjudged the pass and Hemp capitalised on a loose ball; Morgan clearing.
Weir could have also netted another as her cross, found its way goal-wards and bounced off the post before the home side cleared any danger.
A half time substitution for City saw Jill Scott make way for Georgia Stanway, the midfielder possibly having picked up a knock with Stanway getting involved almost immediately. The forward stepped up to take a free kick, which saw Ashleigh Neville go into referee Matthew Russell’s book, sending a low effort towards the box but it bounced in front of everyone and went behind for a goal kick.
Another free kick for the visitors this time taken by Keira Walsh, was received by Weir with the twenty three year old’s shot blocked by Hector; bouncing out for a corner. Caroline stepped up to take the set piece, her ball finding the head of Jen Beattie which was saved and then spilled by Chloe Morgan, Bonner there to exploit her mistake and poke the ball home for City’s third goal. A mistake by Beattie then saw Megan Wynne win possession for the home side, Houghton covering the ball under pressure from Rianna Dean, the England youth international winning possession and taking a shot at her England teammate Ellie Roebuck; the keeper saving comfortably.
The Blues could have scored a similar goal to their third if play hadn’t been called back for offside, Houghton sending the free kick at the keeper with Morgan losing control of the ball again, Nikita Parris arriving and poking home however the linesman called the forward offside and the goal was disallowed.
The side then came under pressure when Wynne made a run down the wing, her cross met by the head of Dean but thankfully her effort went behind.
Roebuck was called into action when Georgia Stanway fouled Josie Green, the home side awarded a free kick which Emma Beckett stepped up to take, her effort forcing a brilliant fingertip save from the young City keeper. The following corner, taken by captain Jenna Schillaci was cleared by Caroline, Lauren making a run to start a counter attack only to be fouled by Wynne.
With about fifteen minutes to go, Tottenham were awarded a penalty as Georgia Stanway pushed Angela Addison in the box, the Spurs player stepping up to take the spot kick however she was denied by an excellent save from Ellie.
The resulting corner was taken by Beckett, substitute Megan Campbell getting her head to it to clear before going back to Roebuck under pressure from sub Lucia Leon.
City won three corners close together other a few minutes later, Weir playing it short to Claire with her teammate’s cross creating a scramble in the box, City players and the Spurs goalkeeper going up for the ball; Hector putting it behind. Emslie took the subsequent corner, once again causing mayhem in the area however Chloe Morgan sent it long. Caroline stepped up for the third set piece after her shot took a deflection, Leon heading away with Emslie collecting and passing for Gemma only for the defender to lose control and put it out.
The travelling Blues fans calls for a Megan Campbell throw in in the final moments of the game were answered when the Irish defender stepped up to take it. Her throw met the head of Lauren Hemp, her effort bouncing off the post, Bonner, Stanway and Bremer all trying to get it back in before Morgan cleared in the last action of the game.
Man City Women have a busy week as they take on Everton Ladies at home in the WSL on Wednesday 20th February, kick off 7pm and then Arsenal Women at Bramall Lane in the Continental Cup Final; kick off 12:15pm with the game being broadcast on BT Sport 1.
The MCWFC OSC have booked seats in F6 so if you would like to sit with them then make sure you buy tickets for either that area or near there while Man City are also putting on a free coach and if you would like to reserve a space, email the club and let them know.
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies
Chloe Morgan, Josie Green, Sophie McLean (Anne Meiwald 72’), Renee Hector, Bianca Baptiste (Lucia Leon 74’), Rianna Dean, Jenna Schillaci ©, Megan Wynne, Emma Beckett, Ashleigh Neville and Coral-Jade Haines (Angela Addison 61’)
Subs (not used): Emma Gibbon, Sarah Wiltshire, Jessica Naz and Ryah Vyse
Bookings: Neville 48’ and Wynne 67’
Man City Women
Ellie Roebuck, Demi Stokes, Gemma Bonner, Jen Beattie (Megan Campbell 51’), Steph Houghton ©, Jill Scott (Georgia Stanway 46’), Lauren Hemp, Nikita Parris (Pauline Bremer 60’), Caroline Weir, Claire Emslie and Keira Walsh
Subs (not used): Karen Bardsley, Janine Beckie, Esme Morgan and Tessa Wullaert
Goals: Houghton 37’, Hemp 39’ and Bonner 51’
Bookings: Weir 34’ and Stanway 69’
MCWFC OSC POTM: Steph Houghton
Referee: Matthew Russell