Cup semi-final heartache for Saints

By SFC Media Sun 23 Feb Sunderland vs Saints
Photo by Isabelle Field | Ella Morris
Sun 23 Feb 2PM
FA WNL Cup
Sunderland
1
Southampton
0
Potts [56']
Pusey [40'] Parnell [90+1']
Referee: Victoria Davison | Venue: Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground | Attendance: 0

Southampton FC Women battled hard, but ultimately lost out 1-0 at higher division Sunderland in the semi-finals of the FAWNL Cup.

The only goal of the game came in the 56th minute as Charlotte Potts rose highest to head home a corner for the hosts.

Saints more than matched Sunderland for the duration, having just as many efforts on goal as the Black Cats and standing strong for the majority.

Much like last Sunday’s National League visit to Exeter City, Saints had more than just the opposition to cope with as high winds played their part throughout the afternoon.

Sunderland, sitting unbeaten at the top of the division above Saints, controlled most of the early possession, but Kayla Rendell remained untroubled as both sides wore themselves in.

Georgie Freeland loses her marker.

The Black Cats had the opening chance of the game courtesy of Bridget Galloway, who hit her half volley just over the Saints bar just shy of the 15-minute mark.

After a period of sustained pressure a chance then fell to Neve Herron for the home side, who clipped the ball over her defender and hit a low effort which Rendell did well to match.

Next came a low drive from the hosts’ Maria Farrugia, who had her angle shortened by the backtracking challenge of Kirsty Whitton, meaning Rendell was able to collect.

Saints had their first chance of the afternoon in the 25th minute; Ella Morris went on a rampaging run through the middle, clipping an effort into the path of Ella Pusey who volleyed towards goal, forcing Claudia Moan into a fine save over the bar.

Minutes later Saints came even closer; Rachel Panting finding space on the edge of the box and hitting a fierce effort which left the crossbar shaking.

Ella Pusey battling for possession during the first half.

Soon it was Sunderland’s chance to test Saints once again; midfielder Keira Ramshaw letting fly from just inside the penalty area which Rendell did well to hold on to.

The game continued in this open manner as the first half drew to a close, Pusey almost being played through three minutes before the break, but for the quick feet of Sunderland keeper Moan.

Another chance fell to Herron on the stroke of half time, who found space inside the penalty area to the left of the six-yard box and had her eventual effort well saved once more by Rendell.

With both sides having chances and both defences remaining stubborn for the most part, neither side could complain at the scoreline being level at the break.

Phoebe Williams stands over a free-kick.

The end-to-end nature of the first half spilled over into the start of the second, with both sides looking for that illusive breakthrough.

Sunderland had a free-kick with just under 10 minutes of the second 45 played, which found Galloway at the back post, who could only head in to the hands of Rendell once more.

Minutes later, from a corner kick, Sunderland threatened again from a set piece and this time took the lead; a left sided corner was whipped in and met by Potts, who headed powerfully into the net to make it 1-0 after 56 minutes.

After an initial good response from Saints, the hosts were the ones to go closest first; defender Grace McCatty striking the post from a rebound after a good save.

Ella Morris whips in a cross.

The remainder of the second half was contested well in midfield, with only half chances for both sides as they looked for that all-important next goal.

Pusey had a looping effort from range which looked at one stage to be catching out keeper Moan, but eventually made its way over the bar.

Panting then had a darting run down the left wing in the 80th minute, skipping past her marker but unable to find a cross with Pusey and Shannon Albuery waiting in the middle.

Saints continued to press their higher division opponents during a physically tough second half; Morris firing in two successive crosses with five minutes to go but Sunderland standing firm under the pressure.

The hosts held onto their slender lead, meaning, despite a valiant performance, Saints exited the FAWNL Cup at the semi-final stage.

Their attention now returns to the National League, where Maidenhead United visit AFC Totton’s Snows Stadium on March 1st.


Sunderland

13
Claudia Moan (GK)
2
Neve Herron
5
Charlotte Potts
6
Louise Griffiths
7
Keira Ramshaw (C)
8
Mollie Lambert
9
Bridget Galloway
10
Georgia Gibson
19
Megan Beer
21
Grace McCatty
24
Maria Farrugia
Katie Barker (69′)
1
Allison Cowling
4
Faye Mullen
14
Katie Barker
16
Erika Warren

Southampton

1
Kayla Rendell (GK)
2
Ella Morris
4
Kirsty Whitton
Shannon Sievwright (69′)
5
Rosie Parnell
7
Georgie Freeland
Shannon Albuery (78′)
8
Phoebe Williams (C)
9
Ella Pusey
16
Caitlin Morris
17
Alisha Ware
Sophia Pharoah (83′)
19
Rachel Panting
22
Charley Evans
10
Shannon Sievwright
12
Sophia Pharoah
21
Rachel Woods
24
Shannon Albuery

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