Sasha Haw was the hero for Netherton Town as her second-half goal clinched a helter-skelter encounter against Leigh Ramblers 5-4 in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup first round qualifying.
The Peterborough club had to do things the hard way on home soil, going 3-0 behind within 20 minutes before producing a rousing comeback to keep their Cup adventure going.
- First Round Qualifying
- Sunday 4 October
Both teams played out a frantic first half as Leigh raced into an emphatic lead but a quick-fire Emily Johnson double reduced the deficit to a single goal by the half-hour mark.
And the two sides somehow went into the break with the scores level, as Yas Green netted once more for the hosts to cap a breathless opening period at the Grange.
The visitors soon regained their lead just after half time but another strike from Green on 52 minutes made the score 4-4 with well over half an hour to play.
Both teams battled hard for the all-important winner and it was Haw who came to the rescue for the hosts, scoring on 70 minutes to edge Netherton in front for the first time and keep their name in the hat.
That was just one of several topsy-turvy encounters on first round qualifying weekend, as Spennymoor Town also overcame Wythenshawe Amateurs on penalties after a similarly pulsating 3-3 duel in the north-east.
Both sides exchanged goals at regular intervals but once the game went to spot-kicks, the hosts held their nerve to spark memorable scenes at the Belle View Stadium.
Newmarket Town also edged out AFC Sudbury on penalties in the battle of the Suffolk sides after an entertaining 3-3 draw, while Oadby & Wigston beat Rise Park 5-2 to progress to the next round.
Several games fell foul of the weather but Blyth Town were another team to battle the conditions and emerge triumphant after a high-scoring encounter, toppling Brighouse Sports 3-2 away from home.
Steph Ord was the hero for the visitors as she netted twice either side of Olivia Bruce’s impressive strike, with striker Ord leaving it late before breaking Brighouse hearts at the eleventh hour.
FC United of Manchester beat Wakefield Trinity 4-1 on home soil to keep their Cup ambitions alive, while Morecambe proved too strong for Workington Reds as they clinched a 5-2 victory.
Beaumont Park enjoyed an away day to remember as they left Lincoln Moorlands Railway with a 3-2 win, while Coventry Sphinx picked up an impressive 4-1 win at Crewe Alexandra.
Elsewhere, there were emphatic triumphs for Peterborough Northern Star, Grimsby Town, Portishead Town, Dartford and Ashford Town as they progressed to the next round with ease.
And there were also strong wins for Fulham, Denham United, Stourbridge and Redditch United as the Vitality Women’s FA Cup continued to deliver in style.