The second weekend of The Sportist’s 2013 football roundup and there’s still no league action to talk of, meaning we’re looking at the latter stages of the FA Cup. Despite the timing, though, Easter miracles were in distinctly short supply.
One small miracle, perhaps, as fresh from midweek Champions League victory, Arsenal Ladies finally got to play their much-delayed fifth round tie against Nottingham Forest having seen it postponed for the past fortnight due to the distinctly un-springlike weather. Travelling to Nottingham on Sunday afternoon, the Gunners made short work of Forest, dispatching the hosts 7-0 after a blistering first forty-five minutes which saw goals from Danielle Carter, Jennifer Beattie, Jayne Ludlow, Ellen White, Jordan Nobbs and Steph Houghton take an insurmountable 6 goal lead at the break. The second half saw Shelley Kerr’s team ease off the pedal somewhat, but Carter still found time to add her second goal of the game late on. Since taking charge in the close season, Kerr’s record as Arsenal manager reads: played 3, won 3, scored 11, conceded 1. Anyone who felt a quieter close-season transfer window for the Gunners might weaken their 2013 challenge is being put firmly in their place n the early stages of 2013. Arsenal will now face Birmingham in the Quarter Finals with a semi-final against Liverpool the prize for the winner.
7-0 away victories were clearly the scoreline of the weekend, with Everton Ladies also hammering Oxford Ladies at the Kassam Stadium, a game which included a hattrick for England starlet Toni Duggan. Brooke Chaplen, Michelle Hinnigan (2) and Nikita Parris added the extras to take Andy Spence’s Evertonians through to a quarter final tie against Bristol Academy.
The winners of that tie will face Lincoln Ladies who themselves produced a clinical display, seeing off former FA-Cup finalists Leeds United Ladies 4-0. Rick Passmoor’s team took the lead through Precious Hamilton after fifteen minutes and doubled their lead through the same player shortly before half time. Second half strikes from Remi Allen and Carla Cantrell put the gloss on the win with Passmoor defeating the club that he so nearly led to success in 2008.
Liverpool Ladies booked their date with the Semi Finals but were made to fight exceptionally hard to see off a Sunderland side who demonstrated the lengths that Liverpool still have to go to to challenge fully this season, despite their pre-season transfer additions. Lillie Fenlon-Billson opened the scoring for the Reds in the eighth minute before top-scorer Beth Mead levelled things up from close range. The game seemed destined for extra time, before Katrin Omarsdottir struck a controversial 85th minute winner, Sunderland appealing desperately for a handball in the buildup.
Women’s football takes a bit of a breather now for a couple of weeks, which is convenient as this writer is heading off for a couple of weeks in sunnier climes. Presumably when this column returns, we’ll be basking in positively balmy 5 degree temperatures with no more postponements, cancellations or any such rubbish to contend with.
We can dream, right?
Nottingham Forest 0 – 7 Arsenal
Oxford 0 – 7 Everton
Lincoln 4 – 0 Leeds United
Sunderland 1 – 2 Liverpool