It was semi-final time for County at Stockport Sports Villlage as the Hatters took on Cammell Laird in the Cheshire FA Ladies Cup, with a place in the final at stake. Manager, Ronnie Green, faced his second game with depleted coaching staff as Development Squad manager, Roseanna Emerson, slotted in alongside Green and assistant Paul McKiernan.
The squad saw some rotation, Nicola Connor returned alongside Jodie Hancock in the centre of defense, Chaneece Reeves and Abi Hayes started in place Kath Jones and Jeneyah Webb. Shellby Wolstencroft also returned to the bench for the first time since October.
County started brightly, with Masa Butler creating threats down the left. It didn't take long for the Hatters to take the lead as Chloe Mapp curled the ball home from just inside the box to open the scoring after 8 minutes. The visitors came close just minutes afterwards, getting through one-on-one with the goakeeper but Lauren Blackett was there to snuff out the danger.
County doubled the score around the twenty minute mark, Abi Hayes' attack was thwarted but the ball fell to Chloe Mapp just outside the box how directed the ball into the back of the net to get her brace.
County got their third shortly afterwards, Chloe Mapp was taken down by two defenders but managed to play a good ball through to both Masa Butler and Abi Hayes with just the keeper to beat. Hayes took the ball and placed the ball beyond the goalkeeper to get her eighth goal of the season.
Mapp got the fourth to complete her hat-trick, a good ball from the left was met by a neat backheel volley from twelve yards out, leaving the opposing 'keeper with no chance of reaching the ball.
HT | County 4-0 Cammell Laird. (Mapp 8', 29', 32, Hayes 21').
After the break, Chaneece Reeves got herself on the scoresheet. Chloe Mapp made a good run down the left and played a ball into the far post, where Reeves was awaiting, who tuck it home - injuring her knee in the process.
Manager, Ronnie Green then made two changes, Jasmin Limb replaced Masa Butler while Shellby Wolstencroft replaced Chaneece Reeves. This meant that the Hatters essentially had five strikers on the field, with Mapp, Hayes and Douglas filling that number. Hayes and Douglas dropped into central midfield roles while Mapp moved just behind the two substitutes.
The Hatters continued to pile on the misery for the visitors as Chloe Mapp got her fourth of the game, a free-kick from the edge of the area which dipped over the wall and into the bottom corner to make it 6-0.
Defender, Jodie Hancock, scored her fourth of the season (putting her joint fourth in terms of goals scored this season) following a Claire O'Reilly free-kick. The ball was looped in and taken well on the chest of the centre-half, before she unleashed a quality volley from the penalty spot to get her first and County's seventh of the game.
The goal prompted Green's final substitution as full-back Hanna Wilson was replaced at right back by Rachel Mason to the sound of "there's only one Rachel Mason" from a section of the home support.
The game seemed to be fizzling out as the end looked to be in sight when Jasmin Limb got on the scoresheet twice to make it nine goals to County.
The 19 year old got her third and fourth of the season in the dying seconds. The first, a neat effort from the end of the box. The second followed a shout from the opposition for handball, before Limb got through on goal with the goalkeeper and tucked home.
FT | County 9-0 Cammell Laird. (Mapp 8', 29', 32', 63', Hayes 21', Reeves 52', Hancock 75', Limb 89', 90+2')
TEAM | Blackett, Wilson (Mason), Hancock, Connor, O'Reilly, Reeves (Limb), John, Butler (Wolstencroft), Mapp, Douglas, Hayes.
ATT | 33
POTM | Chloe Mapp
Match Photos are available here.
It was a dreary day in Woodley for County's home tie with Fleetwood Town Wrens. County came in off the back of a strong win against Merseyside opposition, as did the visitors who had played a part in knocking Tranmere Rovers off top spot last week.
The starting eleven saw the return of Chloe Mapp in her regular role up top, replacing Abi Hayes alongside Jeneyah Webb. The Hatters' top scorer had been away with a chest problem for a number of weeks, making sporadic appearances from the substitutes bench over the past few fixtures. Rachel Mason kept her place alongside captain, Jodie Hancock, with club captain Nicola Connor on the bench. Chaneece Reeves made her return to the squad, finding herself on the bench alongside Connor, Hayes and Jasmin Limb.
Some slight confusion before kickoff involving the referee and the warmup was quickly forgotten as County looked to assert dominance early against an organised Fleetwood back line The Fylde coast side regularly found themselves under pressure from goal-kicks, something the Hatters failed to fully exploit early on.
Eventually the back line was broken as Hanifa Douglas played in Masa Butler who tucked home from the close range. The joy was short-lived however as the referee blew for offside, ruling out a potential opener for County.
The Hatters' closest chance of the first period, aside from the disallowed goal, came a quarter of the way into the game as a Claire O'Reilly corner was met at the far post by Rachel Mason who headed goalwards but couldn't direct it on target.
HT | County 0-0 Fleetwood
In the second half, County looked more lively in front of goal, with the visiting 'keeper doing well to keep out efforts from Webb and Mapp early into the second period. Sophie John continued to be a nuisance for the Town midfield, playing in some good passes to her peers further forward.
Hanna Wilson made some darting runs down the right and creating chances in the middle with some difficult crosses for the Town defense to deal with. The turning point of the game came 15 minutes from the end as Abi Hayes and Chaneece Reeves replaced Jeneyah Webb and Masa Butler respectively.
The deadlock was eventually broken as Abi Hayes took the ball on the edge of the box before being fouled. The referee played advantage however and the ball rolled towards Chloe Mapp who unleashed a wonderful effort into the top corner, giving the 'keeper no chance and giving the Hatters the lead.
FT | County 1-0 Fleetwood (Mapp)
SQUAD | Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock, Mason, John, Jones, Butler (Reeves), Mapp (Connor), Douglas, Webb (Hayes)
UNUSED SUBS | Limb
ATT | 25
Match photos are available here.
Following last week's abandonment at home to Warrington Wolverines, attention turned to league action again as the Hatters faced a tough trip to Merseyside on Sunday.
Merseyrail Ladies, formerly Bootle, were the opponents on the day as County looked to make it 11 wins in the league from 11 games. The home side have a good record at John Bosco's Art College, having been unbeaten at home this season before Sunday, including holding title challengers FC United of Manchester to a 4-4 draw in January.
The squad featured the return of captain Nicola Connor who found herself on the bench following a couple of strong performances from Rachel Mason in her absence, Chloe Mapp returned to the squad after being unable to play last weekend due to a chest problem. Hanifa Douglas replaced Jasmin Limb in the starting XI while Jeneyah Webb and Abi Hayes started the game up front.
The Hatters started brightly with Claire O'Reilly and Hanna Wilson making good runs down the left and right flanks respectively. That said, Merseyrail presented a strong threat to County in return, coming close to scoring early on on more than one occasion.
The deadlock was broken when Jeneyah Webb took the ball on the right and made a push towards goal, before chipping a shot over the onrushing goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The 'keeper then made a unthinkable error on the far side of the pitch, taking one too many touches and being dispossessed by Webb. Webb had an open goal and looked to straighten her positioning before unleashing a shot, however the striker was tackled by an incoming defender. The referee adjudged it to be a penalty and pointed to the spot, the defender being booked for her troubles.
Hanifa Douglas stepped up to tuck the ball into the bottom right-hand corner, just out of reach of the 'keeper, doubling County's lead.
After doubling the lead, the Hatters seemed to lose focus, conceding a close range goal following a set-piece to make it 2-1 at the break.
County started the second period well, with Jeneyah Webb finding space a number of times up top for County. A great run through the midfield from Sophie John opened up space for Webb who ran towards goal was brought down by the goalkeeper. The referee pointed to the spot again, awarding the Hatters their second penalty of the afternoon.
Douglas stepped up again to take the penalty, but this time her effort struck the woodwork and was cleared away.
The penalty miss could have been a decisive moment in the game as just 15 minutes before the close of play the home side got a corner. A misjudgement of marking in the box allowed one of the Merseyrail players to get in ahead of Jodie Hancock and head past Blackett and Wilson on the line and into the back of the net to equalise.
With just minutes remaining the Hatters got themselves a corner. Play was delayed as the referee ran over to the away dugout for a discussion with the coaching staff before Claire O'Reilly whipped in one of her trademark corners. Nicola Connor, who had come on as a fourth striker alongside Webb and fellow substitutes Mapp and Limb, couldn't get to the ball. A melee insued and the ball fell to Jodie Hancock who coolly put the ball home from the penalty spot to give County a late lead. The home side were adament there was a foul in the build-up but the goal stood and County took all three points from Merseyside, going top of the league in the process.
FT | Merseyrail Ladies 2-3 County. (Webb, Douglas (P), Hancock)
TEAM | Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock, Mason, John, Jones (Connor), Butler (Limb), Douglas, Webb, Hayes (Mapp).
POTM | Sophie John
ATT | 33
Match photos available here.
County's first game in Cheshire FA Cup this season saw them host the first team they played this season, Warrington Wolverines. In the previous fixture, played at Grappenhall Sports Village in September, County came away as victors in the SSE FA Cup.
A few changes we made to the squad for the fixture this weekend, with Chaneece Reeves, Hanifa Douglas, Nicola Connor and Chloe Mapp all missing from Ronnie Green's squad. Jasmin Limb made her first start for the Hatters alongside Abi Hayes, while Jeneyah Webb dropped to an attacking midfield role.
The Hatters took the lead early in the first period as Hanna Wilson made a charging run down the right after the Wolverines' attack was broken up. Her cross found Limb who, with a quick turn, opened herself up to rifle home from close range, getting her first goal for the club just nine minutes into her full debut.
The opening 15 minutes continued to be positive for County, who made a number of close chances for themselves. A great corner from O'Reilly was very nearly tapped in by Sophie John at the far post, the midfielder not quite being able to reach the ball as it looped over her head.
Some good work from County then saw the ball to Abi Hayes inside the box, who cut it inside to Limb. After an awkward first touch, her second saw her place the ball home from close range, getting her second goal of the game and her second in blue and white in the process.
Defensively, County were solid, Lauren Blackett made her presence known behind the back four while Hancock and Mason did well to keep the visitors at bay.
HT | County 2-0 Warrington (Limb 9', 32')
The second half also started brightly, County made the most of their early possession but couldn't find the back of the net for a large portion of the second period.
Another good run down the right opened up space for Hanna WIlson who, following a pass from Webb, was able to play a magnificant ball into the box where Masa Butler latched onto it to get her first goal for County and put the Hatters three goals to the good.
The goal prompted Green's first tactical change of the game, Jasmin Limb came off for Melissa Von Bargen as Jeneyah Webb moved up front to allow the aforementioned Von Bargen to slot in behind the front two.
County got their fourth through another cross, this time from the left as O'Reilly opened up space to play the ball into the six-yard box where Abi Hayes was to place it home with her left foot. The Hatters looked comfortable at this point and could now allow for some substitutions as Butler signalled to come off with an ankle problem.
However, the substitution could never be made. A good bit of play from County down the right saw the ball played into the box, which Von Bargen chased along with one of the Wolverines' defenders. The ball overran both players as the defender slid in from behind, catching Von Bargen and seeing the ball go out for a dead ball.
It was apparent almost immediately that something wasn't right as Von Bargen stayed down, clutching her ankle in agony. The referee halted play as all the coaching staff ran on to offer her support. An ambulance was called and, after ten minutes, the game was abandoned at 75 minutes played.
FT | County 4-0 Warrington (Limb 9', 32', Butler 63', Hayes 72')
TEAM | Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock (C), Mason, John, Jones, Butler, Limb (Von Bargen 63'), Webb, Hayes.
UNUSED SUBS | Stokes, Ahmed.
POTM | Hanna Wilson
ATT | 24
For a full match gallery, click here.
A blustery wind and an uneven playing surface made for difficult conditions for the quarter final match between Rylands FC Women and Stockport County Ladies Development.
County opened the scoring midway through the first half with a breakaway goal following a good save by the County keeper, Niamh Attfield. This was quickly played out by Holly Stokes to Imy Williams who ran half the pitch and netted past Rylands ‘keeper into the far corner.
Following the break Rylands soon levelled the score with a well worked set piece free-kick from the edge of the box that wrong-footed the County defensive wall.
The rest of the second half was quite evenly balanced but County finished the 90 minutes the stronger team.
No extra time is playable in this competition so it was straight to penalties to decide who went through to the semi-final.
Katie Vickers opened the scoring for county, then Attfield pulled off a flying save to her right to deny Rylands their first spot kick.
All following penalties were converted with Williams, Niamh Nolan, Abbie Turner and Jess Tonge netting for County to complete a 3-5 win in the shoot-out and progressing to the semi-final where they will play AFC Stockport Ladies.
After a difficult game in the last round against Wigan at home, the Hatters landed another home tie in the Argyle Sports Cup, hosting Division One North side, Bury, at Stockport Sports Village.
Fresh off the back of some great news for the visitors, who will be moving to their male counterparts' 12000 seater stadium, Gigg Lane, Bury came to Woodley in high spirits. The home side saw a few changes to thei lineup, first starts for Rachel Mason and Masa Butler, along with a first start since October for Jeneyah Webb. Reeves, Connor and Mapp dropped to the bench, the latter still struggling following her early substitution in last week's game at home to Accrington dropped out of the starting side in the warm-ups.
It was a bright start as usual for County, as Webb tried to make her impact on the game early. Masa Butler made some early breaks down the left, playing a lovely ball into the far post which just evaded Hanifa Douglas.
Butler made a similar run just moments later and played a brilliant ball into Webb, but the striker couldn't get onto the end of the ball.
County continued to pile on the pressure but couldn't break through a strong Bury back line. The deadlock was eventually broken as a long ball over the top fell to Abi Hayes, who couldn't get the ball out of her feet quickly enough ans was dispossessed, only for the defender's block to fall to Douglas who curled it home from the edge of the box to make it 1-0.
The visitors levelled soon after, a good counter attack down the right was played across the face of goal. Hesitation from Blackett allowed the Shakers to poach the ball as a shot was whipped in from distance to level the scores at 1-1.
HT | County 1-1 Bury. (Douglas 29')
It was a tense opening to the second period as County continued to struggle to break down the Bury defense. The majority of chances for the Hatters came down the left as Butler and Webb tried to make nuisances of themselves.
The visitors consistently played a high front line, attempting to catch County on the break. The counter attack was quick and effective but a lack of cutting edge prevented them from taking the lead in the second period.
The Hatters took a late lead through Jeneyah Webb - a well worked free-kick allowed the striker to move into the box and placed the ball beyond the goalkeeper to win the tie for County. Following the final goal, new signing Jasmin Limb was able to make her debut, coming on in place of Abi Hayes with three minutes remaining.
FT | County 2-1 Bury. (Douglas, Webb)
TEAM | Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock, Mason, John, Jones, Butler, Douglas, Webb, Hayes.
SUBS | Mapp, Von Bargen, Limb, Reeves, Connor.
POTM | Butler
ATT | 38
County have been drawn at home to Sir Tom Finney or Warrington Wolverines in the Quarter Finals.
For a full gallery of photos, click here.
Following last weekend's win over league leaders, Tranmere Rovers, attention turned to the lower half of the table as the Hatters hosted strugglers, Accrington. County have been dominant home or away this season and so went into the game as hot favourites.
Kath Jones returned to the squad, but found herself on the bench, while development players Holly Stokes, Jess Hill and Rach Mason were called into the squad as substitutes.
The Hatters started the game at pace, with Melissa Von Bargen making a nuisance of herself in midfield with a number of strong tackles. Following a poor goal-kick from the visitors' 'keeper, Von Bargen intercepted a pass just outside the box and slotted through to Chloe Mapp who tucked home to continue her run of goalscoring this season.
The striker then went down clutching her chest, prompting an immediate substitution for Holly Stokes. The club's top scorer left the pitch in tears, it was later determined that the high winds and freezing temperatures had caused a flare up of Mapp's asthma.
The visitors had the fair share of the possession in the first half, but struggled to really threaten the County defense. A ball to Von Bargen in midfield was controlled well, but upon turning the Liverpudlian found herself under pressure, losing the ball before the striker lifted a lofted shot into the air which, when carried by the wind, went over the head of Blackett and into the back of the net.
From there, the visitors continued to pile on the pressure, Sophie John and Chaneece Reeves worked tirelessly in the middle of the pitch to keep the ball from reaching the County back line. The deadlock was eventually broken again though as Reeves made a marauding run down the right before playing in low drive for Abi Hayes to latch onto, making it 2-1.
Reeves got in on the goals herself for the second week in a row as she attempted to play a ball into Hayes once more. This time the ball, carried by the strong winds, looped up and over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net from some distance.
HT | County 3-1 Accrington
After a somewhat poor half from all accounts (despite the scoreline), the Hatters came out for the second half with a point to prove. A number of early chances fell the way of the home side as Hanna Wilson continued to make piercing runs down the right. Some early pressure allowed for a few early set-pieces and it was from one of those set-pieces that Holly Stokes got in on the action. An O'Reilly corner from the right was missed by the defenders at the front post, allowing for the 16 year old to put it home from close range, making it 4-1 to the girls in blue.
This goal prompted a substitution, Kath Jones coming on the place of Melissa Von Bargen on the right of a three-woman midfield. Jones provided a different attacking threat for the visitors to deal with as she linked up well with Wilson out wide a number of times.
A quality ball in from the right was then met by Holly Stokes on the edge of the six yard box with a sweet volley, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside.
It was another set-piece that gifted the home side their fifth as yet another ball into the box from O'Reilly was met by Sophie John who directed the ball goalwards. Jodie Hancock leaped in front of the ball, which looked destined for the top corner, and knocked it in on the line. A dubious goal, but following a check with the goals panel, has been given to the centre-back.
The Hatters moved within a win of top spot with their win over league leaders, Tranmere Rovers, this weekend. The victory at Ellesmere Port Sports Village was County's ninth win out of nine in the league this season, moving them three points off the lead with five games in hand. A return to the squad for Jeneyah Webb from injury gave manager Ronnie Green a dilemma with his attacking options.
Chloe Mapp, who started the game on 24 goals in all competitions this season, Abi Hayes, the centre-back who has transitioned well as a striker with four goals in two games, and Holly Stokes, the development squad's most recent first team addition, all provide real competition for Webb's place. The returning striker had to settle for the bench in her first game back, as Hayes and Mapp started the game at the forefront of an attacking 4-3-1-2 formation. Kath Jones was also unavailable, meaning Melissa Von Bargen was able to make her first start in the blue and white.
It was a cagey start to the game for both sides, with the majority of the opening exchanges struggling to find their way through either side's defense. Some early corners from the Hatters showcased the visitors' aerial threat from set pieces. It was eventually the hosts that took their chances, catching the Hatters on the break to take the lead.
The Rovers then used this momentum to come close again with a sweeping ball across the face of Lauren Blackett's goal but wasn't met by the on-rushing attacker.
After a tough 40 minutes for County, the moment that the side needed came to fruition when Abi Hayes broke through on goal, curling a looping effort up and over the goalkeeper to level the scores for the Hatters, getting her fifth goal in three games in the process.
Things then got even better for the visitors when a good run from Hanna Wilson down the right allowed her to cross the ball into Chloe Mapp who took the ball down well on her chest before unleashing a quality strike into the top corner and giving County the lead on the stroke of half-time, this goal being her 25th of the campaign.
The start of the second half was much stronger from County, as Claire O'Reilly made a nuisance of herself on the left hand side. It was a set-piece tht proved decisive again as a free-kick from the right was arched over the defensive line and onto the head of Nicola Connor who thundered the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1.
The game began to get heated amongst the Tranmere players following an altercation with one of the referee's assistants, this lead to the one and only caution of the game.
County's fourth goal came through Chaneece Reeves follwowing some good buildup play between Von Bargen and Wilson, before the latter played an excellent ball into the six yard area for Reeves to knock past the goalkeeper. The home side did get a second, a well worked free-kick which wrongfooted Blackett and found it's way into the far corner from distance.
Masa Butler replaced Von Bargen and came close herself from close range after a darting run down the left. One the whole, it was a game of two halves for County, after a cagey first period the side came out with more flair and positivity and truly put the game beyond Tranmere in the second half.
FT | Tranmere Rovers 2-4 Stockport County (Hayes 42, Mapp 45+1, Connor 60, Reeves 73)
TEAM | Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock, Connor, John, Von Bargen (Butler), Reeves, Mapp (Stokes), Douglas, Hayes (Webb).
UNUSED SUBS | Attfield, Porteous-Williams.
POTM | Chaneece Reeves
ATT | 42
After the side's 9-0 thrashing of Accrington last weekend, it was cup action at Stockport Sports Village against Wigan Athletic for County. As finalists last year, the Hatters aim to go one step further and win the entire competition. Since the loss to Middlesbrough in December, the side have added a new midfielder, Melissa Von Bargen, as well as seeing the return of Masa Butler from injury.
A slight delay to the kickoff of the game halted things pre-match, with the referee being delayed in transit to the game. A familiar approach to the game from manager Ronnie Green saw the regular 4-3-1-2 formation in action again, the opposition fielding an equally attacking lineup to start the game.
Upon starting the game, a number of good runs from Douglas down the left opened up space for Mapp and Hayes in the middle of the park. Both sides of the pitch showed real attacking intent with Reeves and Wilson making runs from the right. One good bit of play on the right from Reeves saw her play a driven cross into the six-yard box, which was knocked home by Mapp to give County the lead.
The Latics were level shortly after. A long ball over the top lead to a miscommunication between Hancock and Blackett, the former passing back to her goalkeeper, only for the ball to race past Blackett and be tapped in from near range by the onrushing striker.
The game wasn't level for long, as a good cross from the left following a darting run from O'Reilly saw Chloe Mapp direct an inch-perfect header towards goal to make it 2-1 with her 24th goal in 14 games this season.
Wigan then drew level again as O'Reilly fell just outside the home box, the visitors were quickest to react with a good looping effort from the right which dipped over Blackett, hit the woodwork then bounced into the goal to draw the sides level at 2-2.
Some good individual work from Douglas through the middle put the Wigan backline under pressue, one mistake by the centre-back put Douglas through on goal, who chipped a lovely shot over the 'keeper and into the goal to regain the lead for the Hatters.
HT | County 3-2 Wigan
Some early chances for Hayes and Mapp in the early minutes of the second half forced some strong saves from the Wigan goalkeeper, who was without doubt the standout performer for the visitors on the day. It was a lacklustre second half for both sides, with County getting inside the opposition more often but coming up short more times than not thanks to some heroics from the goalkeeper.
As the half drew to a close, a couple of substitutions were made, with Stokes replacing Mapp and Von Bargen replacing John. A corner, whipped in from the left, fell to Abi Hayes, who opened up some space and placed the ball into the back of the net to extend County's lead to 4-2. It was the centreback-turned-striker's fourth goal in two games.
A final change saw Rachel Mason make her home league debut for the first team this season in place of Abi Hayes as the Hatters switched to a 5-3-2 formation for the final five minutes.
FT | County (Mapp 2, Douglas, Hayes) 4-2 Wigan
Team: Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock, Connor, John (Von Bergan 75'), Jones, Reeves, Mapp (Stokes 67'), Douglas, Hayes (Mason 86').
Unused Subs: Massey, Butler.
POTM: Hanifa Douglas
Att: 54 (18 away)
After away wins over Warrington, Bishop Auckland, Chesterfield and Chorley en route to their tie against Middlesbrough, the Hatters travelled to Billingham Town FC for their hotly-anticapted clash on Teeside.
County were without a number of first-team players, Katie Brusell, Jeneyah Webb and Jade White still out with injury. Chaneece Reeves and Shellby Wolstencroft were late withdrawals, both dropping out of the squad on matchday, while Emma Massey was also unavailable. This allowed for call-ups for Imogen Porteous-Williams and Yasmin Ahmed, with the former starting the game. The side were also two coaches short, with Dave Billington and Chris Cookson unable to travel for personal reasons, meaning Peter Attfield took goalkeeping coach duties pre-match.
A quick break from kickoff got the game underway, as Chloe Mapp started the game with a long ball over the the right flank, which was duly met Hanna Wilson in a good position. The early pressure from the visitors almost lead to a goal, with Abi Hayes striking over the bar from close range.
The home side then took control of the game, having the majority of the ball for the majority of the first period, while also coming close a few times themselves with a number of good chances. If not for some brilliance from Blackett in the County goal, the home side could have very much been ahead by the halfway mark.
HT | Middlesbrough 0-0 County
The second half seemed to be much of the same, however County began to make good runs in behind. Hayes was making life difficult for the 'Boro defence. The traditional 4-3-1-2 formation became, at times, a flatter 4-3-3 as the Hatters continued to try and break down the Reds.
County very nearly took the lead through Jodie Hancock as the home 'keeper fumbled a corner, which was well whipped in by O'Reilly. Both Hancock and Connor we stood by the far post however neither of them were able to direct the ball goalless.
Boro eventually broke the deadlock on the counter. A good ball through found the feet of the attacker, but Lauren Blackett was there to make the block. Blackett then lost control of the ball, resulting in a simple tap-in for Eleanor Dale, giving the home side the lead.
From then on, Boro continued to pile on the pressure, coming close a number of times before referee, Andy Himsworth, called an end to play and an end to County's FA Cup exploits this season.
FT | Middlesbrough (Dale 70') 1-0 County
Squad: Blackett, Wilson, O'Reilly, Hancock, Connor (C), John, Jones, Porteous-Williams (Replaced by Ahmed), Mapp, Douglas, Hayes
Unused Sub(s): Attfield
POTM: Sophie John
For a full gallery of images, click here.
For the manager's interview, click below.