FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies need penalties to reach fifth round of Women's FA Cup - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies need penalties to reach fifth round of Women's FA Cup

Coventry Editorial 1st Feb, 2022   0

COVENTRY UNITED LADIES needed penalties to see off Billericay Town Ladies and advance to the fifth-round of the Women’s FA Cup.


After a goalless 90 minutes, Katie Wilkinson put the Red and Greens ahead in extra-time only for a Lucy Jones’s penalty to take the game to a shootout.


And on-loan defender Natalie Haigh scored the winning penalty after both Zoe Rushen and Mia Lockett missed for National League Division One South East side Billericay.


Coventry have been drawn away at local rivals West Bromwich Albion in the fifth round with the tie to be played on the weekend of February 26.


The game was played in front of a record crowd of 415 for a women’s match at Billericay’s New Lodge ground and was dominated by Coventry throughout.


Olivia Fergusson hit the woodwork before Billericay goalkeeper Alex Baker made the first of many saves to deny Katy Morris’s follow up.


Jay Bradford’s side spurned further chances with Fergusson denied again by Baker and Fran Orthodoxou shooting wide from the edge of the penalty area.


Billericay keeper Baker continued to thwart Coventry when she made a superb double save to keep out Wilkinson’s curling effort and Becky McGrother’s rebound attempt.


And the Red and Greens were denied an opener after the break by referee Nicolet Bria despite Fergusson’s shot appearing to bounce down over the line off the crossbar.


The home side nearly snatched the win in the final minute when Ellie Jeffkins struck the crossbar after more heroics from Baker as she denied Wilkinson before Fergusson shot wide.


There was still time for Coventry to hit the post at the other end through Fergusson with Baker jumping onto the loose ball as it headed goalwards.


And Natalie Johnson was then played in one-on-one with Baker for the game’s final chance only for the Billericay keeper to once again keep the scores level and take the game to extra-time.


However, Coventry finally made the breakthrough on 100 minutes when Wilkinson coolly finished past Baker after beating a Billericay defender to a loose ball.


And they looked to have booked their place in the next round when Mollie Green’s effort beat Baker only for the ball to be cleared off the line by a Billericay player.


The home side then remarkably drew level out of nothing on 116 minutes after Rushen was fouled in the box and Jones rolled the resulting penalty past Olivia Clark to send the game to a shootout.


Jones was successful again from the spot for Billericay with Wilkinson on target for Coventry before Lockett missed to hand United the advantage.


And Charlie Estcourt put Coventry ahead before Kerry Stimson restored parity only for Elisha N’Dow to restore the Red and Greens lead.


Rushen’s miss for Billericay then gave Haigh the chance to win the game for Coventry and the defender duly scored to send United into the next round.


Coventry are next in action away at Women’s Championship leaders Liverpool on Sunday, February 6 with kick-off at 2pm at Prenton Park.

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