Saints bow out of the Women's FA Cup

By SFC Media time Sun 26 Jan Saints vs Coventry United
Photo by Isabelle Field | Rachel Panting
Sun 26 Jan 1PM
Womens FA Cup
Coventry United
Rachel Panting [90+3']
Shannon O'Brien [55'] Fiona Worts [59'] [65'] [90+1']
Referee: Tom Ellsmere | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 4,510

Southampton FC Women were defeated 4-1 by Coventry United in their St Mary's debut, meaning an end was bought to their FA Cup run.

A dominant spell midway through the second half saw Coventry gain a healthy lead; Shannon O'Brien with the first before a double from FIona Worts.

The visitors added a fourth in stoppage time as Worts claimed her hat-trick, before Rachel Panting gained the loudest cheer of the afternoon with her consolation for Saints; a thunderous effort which left the keeper with no chance.

Coventry United had the first chance of the game; Hayley Crackle heading towards goal following a free kick which Rendell held onto comfortably after just six minutes.

Ella Morris gave the Saints faithful something to cheer in the opening stages with a trademark, pacy run down the left wing; her eventual cross narrowly missing Panting’s darting run into the box.

20200126 SFC Women v Coventry
Ella Pusey sizes up a first-half chance (Photo: Isabelle Field)

Coventry soon had another glimpse at the Saints goal; Shannon O’Brien rising highest from a corner but missing the target.

It was a very end-to-end opening 15 minutes, Pusey seemingly put clean through but her shot was drilled narrowly wide.

Pusey had another glorious chance to put Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side ahead just shy of the 20-minute mark, played in by Ware and skipping past the keeper but denied by a last-ditch challenge.

Rendell was then called into action, glancing a header from Amber Hughes over the crossbar following a Coventry breakaway.

20200126 SFC Women v Coventry
Rachel Woods in possession. (Photo: Isabelle Field)

The game turned into more of a midfield battle as the half wore on, with both sides evenly matched in terms of physicality and skill.

Saints further tested the Coventry defence in the 33rd minute; Caitlin Morris heading goal wards, but ultimately just over, following a Sievwright corner.

With five minutes to go before the break Pusey was involved again for Saints, latching onto a deep cross from Ware but her eventual shot eventually being blocked.

Seconds later, another chance for Saints’ number nine who, with the keeper rushing towards her, opted for the lob which went just over.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: during the Women's FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton Womens FC and Coventry United Ladies at St Mary’s Stadium on January 26, 2020 in Southampton, England
Ella Morris bursts away from her opponent. (Photo: Tom Mulholland)

The second half started just as the first ended, another opportunity for Pusey after being brilliantly played through by Ella Morris.

Pusey was in one-on-one, but under pressure from the onrushing keeper had the ball nicked away from her feet at the vital moment.

Panting then had an effort from just outside the penalty area; firing a fierce effort towards goal which keeper Sue Wood fumbled but then collected. 

Then, against the run of play, Coventry took the lead with a sublime strike into the far corner courtesy of O’Brien, leaving Rendell with no chance.

20200126 SFC Women v Coventry
Pusey beats the ground in frustration following an early second half chance. (Photo: Isabelle Field)

Saints had a chance to respond through Pharoah, but her effort was drilled just wide of the near post.

It would prove to be costly for Saints, who soon went 2-0 behind; Worts finding space in the box and doubling Coventry’s lead just shy of the hour mark.

In a spell of dominance Coventry added a third, Worts with her second of the game hitting an effort across goal in the 65th minute.

With the visitors in control, the chances dried up for both sides as the rain continued to fall heavily over St Mary's.

Saints never game up though; substitute Woods firing in a cross which came inches away from meeting the head of Panting in the middle with five to play.

With the game drawing to a close, Worts completed her hattrick to make it 4-0, hitting an effort across the face of the goal with seconds remaining.

But there was still time for a special moment; Panting picked up the ball and let fly, beating a helpless keeper and giving St Mary’s its loudest cheer of the game.


Video: Le Tissier surprises Saints stars
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Kayla Rendell (GK)
Ella Morris
Kirsty Whitton
replace Rosanna Parnell (83′)
Phoebe Williams
replace Shannon Albuery (69′)
Ella Pusey
Shannon Sievwright (C)
Sophia Pharoah
Caitlin Morris
Alisha Ware
replace Rachel Woods (80′)
Rachel Panting goal
Charley Evans
Rosanna Parnell
Kelly Fripp
Sara Luce
Rachel Woods
Shannon Albuery

Coventry United

Sue Wood (GK) (C)
Sian Johnson
Nicci Miles
Marie Gauntlett
replace Kate Evans (80′)
Simran Jhamat
replace Becky Anderson (69′)
Shannon O'Brien goal
Amber Hughes
Hayley Crackle
replace Fion Morgan (83′)
Helen Dermody
Bethan Merrick
Fiona Worts goal goal goal
Kate Evans
Katy Morris
Fion Morgan
Becky Anderson
Lucy Gardner
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