AFC ladies make history to chase FA Women’s Cup glory

CLEARING LINES: Match action from AFC Sudbury Ladies' 5-1 win over West Billericay in the FA Women's Cup www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk/buyaphoto
CLEARING LINES: Match action from AFC Sudbury Ladies' 5-1 win over West Billericay in the FA Women's Cup www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk/buyaphoto

WOMEN’S FA CUP

THIRD ROUND QUALIFYING

AFC Sudbury 5

West Billericay 1

A convincing win at The MEL Group Stadium saw AFC Ladies make history by progressing to the first round proper of the FA Women’s Cup.

Their reward is another home tie where they will face London Corinthian Ladies on December 9 (1pm).

A brace from Jodie Sharp and strikes from Chloe Mills, Emma Squirrell and Kayliegh Steed saw Clive Golding and Jemel Fox’s side cruise through and make it 13 goals scored in three games in the prestigious competition.

AFC Ladies made a lively start and with only nine minutes played took the lead with a cutting ball opening up the defence for Squirrell, who tucked the ball away from a tight angle.

The advantage was doubled five minutes later as Natalie Golding sent Sharp clear through on goal to slot coolly past the on-rushing keeper.

Billericay looked shell-shocked, but their pacey forward kept AFC alert at the back, with keeper Helena Brodie required to make a brilliant save down low at the post.

Chloe Mills scored a well-deserved goal after 37 minutes, cutting in from the right to curl a shot into the bottom right-hand corner with the outside of her foot.

West Billericay started the second half much brighter and posed a sustained threat which had been missing in the first half.

AFC were able to ride the early storm though and showed great composure at the back before extending their lead from a goal out of nothing on 65 minutes with a composed finish from Steed.

West Billericay had a chance to clinch a goal back when a mix-up at the back led to Brodie handling a back-pass, but the free-kick into the box failed to clear the AFC wall.

With 15 minutes remaining Sharp produced a brilliant solo run from halfway, finishing it with the ball hitting the back of the net.

Billericay got themselves a fortunate consolation goal with a corner into the box hitting Steed, who could do little to stop the ball being diverted in off her into the net.

On Sunday it is a return to league action in Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One North as AFC Ladies, currently second behind Lowestoft Town, travel north to face Norwich City Reserves (2pm).

SUFFOLK WOMEN’S LEAGUE

Ipswich Valley Rangers 1 Long Melford 4

Melford took the points against bottom-of-the-table Rangers despite a scrappy second half performance.

Melford started brightly, playing some neat football, and didn’t take long to take the lead with a goal from Lana King soon followed by another from Jess Clark, who got her second before the break.

The Melford defence restricted Rangers’ chances, with player-of-the-match Lizzie Anderson having a particularly good game.

Melford couldn’t reach the same standards after the break and Rangers deservedly pulled one back.

Penny Everett did add a fourth but the second half was a scrappy affair with Melford not playing particularly well.