Last weekend’s Women’s FA Cup third round offered us a chance to forget those post-Christmas hangovers and provide us with a much-needed fix of women’s football.
Progression passed, this round would provide the opportunity for tier three and four clubs to have a glamour tie against Super League or Championship opposition. The exposure and finances that this would bring could be of huge benefit to clubs which are often provided minimal funding, even when associated with a wealthy men’s side.
The games between Fylde and Sunderland and Billericay Town and Actonians were postponed due to bad weather and will be replayed this weekend.
Burnley progressed through to the last 32 in a hard-fought game against a strong Nottingham Forest. Nic Worthington cancelled out Sarah Agger’s equaliser after Bolu Fisher initially gave Burnley the lead after 63 minutes.
Huddersfield Town overcame a 2-0 half time deficit to win 3-2. Loughborough Foxes’ Becky McGrother put her side ahead just after the 30-minute mark, adding a second just before the half time whistle.
It wasn’t until the 66th minute that Huddersfield pulled one back through Lucy Sowerby’s header. Once the momentum swung in their favour they were able to equalise through Ellie White and clinch the victory through Kate Mallin.
Barnsley are currently sitting top of the National League North Division One (fourth tier) and were able to overcome their fellow league rivals Brighouse Town 1-0, the only goal of the game coming from a Kath Smith penalty after Laura Bartup was tripped.
Free scoring Portsmouth put in an under-par performance and fell to a 1-0 defeat against lower league opposition Ipswich Town. Paige Peake followed her goal in the last round with a free-kick from wide which snuck into the far corner without a touch.
The Golden Girls of Watford continue their great form to overcome quality opposition in Plymouth Argyle. Wales international Helen Ward and Danielle Scanlon grabbed a goal each, while Katie O’Leary scored a hat-trick.
The city of Southampton will have two sides in the fourth round as both Southampton FC (Saints) and Southampton Women, both tier four sides, beat tier three sides Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion respectively.
Southampton FC travelled away to Cardiff City, a team possessing a number of international players, although weakened by the loss of Chloe Lloyd and Jordan Guard who have both moved to Yeovil Town.
Jasmine Turner gave her Cardiff side the lead, only for Ella Pusey to tap in and equalise after a superb run from Ella Morris. Kirsty Whitton put Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side into the lead when she scored from Phoebe Williams’ corner and that is how it finished.
Southampton Women, eight-time winners of the competition back in the 70s, knocked out West Bromwich Albion 3-1 after a brace from Erin Bloomfield and a goal from Jane Yeates gave them a comfortable lead. There was still time for West Bromwich to fight back but they could not trouble England youth international Rose Kite in the Southampton Women’s goal.
Follow Stuart on Twitter @_ChuBarker