Ladies First Team vs. Charlton Athletic (2 : 0)
FA Women's Cup
Sheffield FC Ladies made it through to the next round of the SSE Women's FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic WFC, in spite of an unconvincing display away from home.
Sheffield were then dealt an injury blow as captain Carla Ward had to leave the field of play, and was replaced by Emma Lipman. With the half drawing to a close, Sheffield looked to get forward more, but struggled to break down an extremely hard working Charlton team, and the half ended with the teams locked at 0-0.
After the much needed half-time break, Sheffield came out looking to up their performance, and on the 48th minute, a free-kick swung in beautifully by Hannah Dale was met by the unmarked Sophie Jones who powered a header past the despairing Charlton goalkeeper.
Still looking rusty in their first competitive game of the season, the WSL side then started to gain more control of the game. Charlton still threatened on a number of occasions, and goalkeeper Draycott was called on again to pull off a couple of brilliant saves to deny Charlton a deserved equaliser.
Sheffield then got a second on 76 minutes as substitute Hannah Cain and debutant Natasha Flint pressed Charlton in midfield, winning the ball back quickly, and putting Flint into acres of space 25 yards out to compose herself, before smashing a bullet shot into the top left hand corner.
In spite of Charlton's attempts to force a way back into the game, Sheffield controlled large parts of the remaining 10 minutes to ensure it was their name going into the hat for the Fourth Round draw on Monday morning.
After the game, Sheffield manager Zoe Johnson admitted: “It wasn’t our greatest performance, but there are positives to take. It was fantastic to be able to give two first team debuts to Holly Housley and Kenedy Owen, as well as our new signing Natasha Flint."
"Charlton made it very difficult for us, as we knew they would, and played some very good football. For us, it was good to blow off some cobwebs in our first competitive game of the season, and we will learn some lessons before we move into the Spring Series next week.”
Joining Sheffield in the draw for the SSE Women's FA Cup Fourth Round will be the following 11 other teams who also all won through this afternoon: Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Millwall Lionesses, Leicester City WFC, Durham, Coventry United, West Bromwich Albion, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Nottingham Forest, Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion.
The draw will take place at Wembley Stadium at 11:40am on Monday 6 February.
Photos courtesy of Keith Gillard.