A PENALTY shoot-out success gave Coventry United Ladies their first victory of the season in their Continental Tyres Cup group A opener.
United won 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time with Blackburn Rovers, with the Red and Greens winning an extra point as a result.
The outcome, albeit not a victory in 90 minutes, means Jay Bradford’s side provide a response to the defeat against Lewes on their return to Butts Park Arena the previous weekend.
Rovers looked dangerous in the early stages and threatened through Natasha Fenton, who forced her header wide of Sue Wood’s goal.
The Coventry United keeper was eventually brought into action, palming away Saffron Jordan’s attempt in style.
But with Dayna Chong clipping the heels of Jordan inside the penalty area to earn the visitors a spot kick, Wood was unable to perform similar heroics when being beaten by Ellie Stewart’s effort from 12 yards.
Rosie Axten almost sent both sides in level at the break, but for the post to keep out her effort after intercepting a misplaced back pass by a Blackburn defender.
The close shave swung momentum in the hosts’ favour after the break, so it was no surprise when Amber Hughes levelled things up with 20 minutes remaining.
Receiving a lay off from Shannon O’Brien, Hughes proceeded to fire the ball beyond Danielle Hill and into the net.
The goalscorer was unlucky not to make it two for the afternoon when whipping a header goalwards from Beth Merrick’s cross, but Danielle Hill was equal to it with a stunning stop.
From the resulting corner, O’Brien then tested Hill a second time in the space of a minute, but the Rovers stopper ensured parity as the game ebbed out to a draw.
With an extra point to play for in the shoot-out, Wood kept out the first two penalties, while Hill stopped Hughes’ opening spot kick before later denying Hayley Crackle.
Jade Formaston made it 4-3 to Coventry in sudden death, allowing Wood to keep out Kayleigh McDonald and clinch another invaluable point.
The ladies visit Sheffield United in the FA Women’s Championship on Sunday (2pm).
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