The Vitality Women's FA Cup

It was an entertaining Easter Sunday of action in the Vitality Women's FA Cup

Sunday 04 Apr 2021
Guyanan international Charles left it late to keep Gillingham's Vitality Women's FA Cup journey alive

Otesha Charles’ second-half double fired Gillingham to a pulsating 3-2 victory over Crawley Wasps on a jam-packed Easter Sunday of Vitality Women’s FA Cup second round action.

The sides were level at a goal apiece at the break but Guyanese ace Charles proved the visitors’ Cup hero to haul them into round three.

Lilli Maple scored for the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier League side before half-time after Naomi Cole had put the Sussex hosts in front.

2020-21 Vitality Women's FA Cup
  • Second Round Proper
  • Sunday 4 April 2021
Tash Stephens then re-established Crawley’s lead shortly before the hour mark but it was the experienced Charles, 27, who came to Gillingham’s rescue to keep their Cup odyssey going.

The striker scored after 70 minutes to tee up a heart-thumping finale and with just seven minutes left on the clock, fired home again to trigger jubilant scenes in Crawley.

Wolverhampton Wanderers were involved in a similarly thrilling clash in the West Midlands as they beat Nottingham Forest on penalties.

The two teams couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes as goals from Nyah Edwards and Jade Cross for the hosts cancelled out Rosie Axten’s double.

And it was goalkeeper Bec Thomas’ heroics that hauled the Black County outfit into the third round, saving Olivia Cook’s penalty – after Kelly Darby had scored – to break Forest hearts at the death.

That was the only shoot-out of the day on Easter Sunday but Brighouse Town and Burnley both required extra-time to battle past Newcastle United and Fylde.

Both clashes were locked at 0-0 after 90 minutes but Nic Worthington’s penalty proved decisive for Burnley in Lancashire.

And Brighouse put three past Newcastle in extra-time as goals from Drew Greene and two from Amy Woodruff propelled them to a hard-fought victory.

Elsewhere, West Bromwich Albion toppled Lincoln City 5-2 as five different goalscorers saw the Baggies emulate the five-star exploits of their male counterparts on Saturday.

Sam Allardyce’s team had beaten Chelsea 5-2 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League just 24 hours earlier and goals from Jade Arber, Natalie Murray, Emily Owen, Shannon Stamps and Jess Davies saw Albion’s women’s side follow suit.

Derby County eased past Loughborough Foxes 6-0 in another high-scoring affair, while Leyton Orient won 4-0 at Hounslow and Sunderland beat Sheffield 5-1.

Chichester & Selsey beat Kent Football United 3-1 while Middlesbrough saw off Hull City by the same scoreline on Teesside.

Yeovil United beat Keynsham Town 1-0 away from home, Billericay Town edged past Ipswich Town 2-1 and Portsmouth beat Cheltenham Town 2-0 after extra-time.

Oxford United beat Cardiff City 1-0, Watford toppled MK Dons 3-1 and Southampton ended Plymouth Argyle’s Cup hopes with a 3-0 win on the south coast.

And that capped a thrilling Easter Sunday of Vitality Women’s FA Cup action, with the third round proper now scheduled to take place next weekend.

For a full list of all the second round scores, click here.

By FA Staff