Loughborough Foxes need extra time to earn cup win
SSE WOMEN’S FA CUP SECOND ROUND LOUGHBOROUGH FOXES WOMEN 3 GILLINGHAM LADIES 1 (AET)
LOUGHBOROUGH Foxes needed extra time to progress to the third round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Gillingham Ladies.
Loughborough Foxes were by far the better side in the first half and should have been ahead in the opening 10 minutes. Laura Steele whipped in an inviting cross to the back post, however Rebecca Knight was unable to guide her header on target.
Foxes opened the scoring through Charlotte Broad. Another set piece caused havoc in the Gills box and Broad powered her header into the top corner following a Steele corner.
Foxes could have been two up at the break albeit from superb goalkeeping from Gills Number one, Shanley Courtney. Millie Chandarana’s deflected effort looked as though it was over Courtney but her reflexes to push the ball over the bar prevented Foxes from extending their lead.
The Gills responded as they did in the league fixture seven days ago. They thought they were back in the game after bundling it over the line. Luckily for the hosts the linesman ruled out the goal for offside.
The Gills were however back in the game on 65 min- utes as Alice Bussey finished off a counter attack with an excellent finish into the far corner of the net.
Foxes were pressing to retake the lead and had a fantastic chance to go a goal ahead from the penalty spot. Chloe Young was tripped inside the area and Steele stepped up but fired her effort over the bar.
Foxes kept knocking on the door. Courtney pulled off a double save to keep the visitors in the tie. Becky McGrother hit the foot of the goal after pouncing on Courtney’s slip, and it looked as though it wasn’t going to be the host’s day.
The match went into extra time and Knight put the game beyond Gillingham. Knight rose high to nod home a superb cross from substitute Pip Cassidy four minutes into extra time.
Knight added her second and Foxes third 10 minutes later with another nodded effort from a Steele left footed cross and held out for the vital win.
Foxes were the better side but were made to work extremely hard for their place in the next round of the cup by a very resilient Gillingham side. In the third round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup they will travel away to face FAWNL Division One South East side Billericay on January 6, 2019.
Foxes turn their attention to the League Cup next Sunday where they travel to Wales to face Cardiff City Ladies.
The SSE Womens FA Cup.