Jemma Purfield’s header helped Southampton secure the south coast derby day bragging rights with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Portsmouth in the third round of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup.
The Saints star popped up in the 74th minute to expertly nod home at the back post and book her side’s place in the last 32.
With Barclays Women's Championship teams entering the draw in the third round, second-tier side Southampton required just 16 minutes to make their mark on the prestigious competition when they went ahead through a Portsmouth own goal.
- Third round proper
- Sunday 10 December 2023
Pompey fought valiantly for a shock winner but it was the higher-ranked Saints who found it, with Purfield rising highest in the box to rifle her team into the fourth round.
Charlotte Whitmore struck the winning penalty as Plymouth Argyle triumphed in a dramatic tie settled by a shoot-out against Oxford United.
The Pilgrims had looked down and out on two separate occasions but scrambled their way back into the contest with two last-gasp levellers in both normal and extra-time.
First, Fern Orchard netted in the 94th minute to cancel out Lacy-Jai Liggett’s opener and take the game half an hour deeper.
And after Zoe Barratt’s extra-time penalty had looked to propel Oxford into the fourth round, Imy Crawford struck with just eight minutes remaining to tee up a nerve-jangling shoot-out.
Oxford’s solitary miss from the spot proved fatal as Whitmore stepped up to fire home and keep her side’s Adobe Women’s FA Cup hopes alive.
Isobel Goodwin’s hat-trick heroics helped Sheffield United battle past Rugby Borough 3-2 in extra-time.
With the scores between the Barclays Women’s Championship Blades and FA Women's National League Southern Premier Division hosts locked 2-2 at full-time, Goodwin struck her decisive third at the start of final 30 minutes to avoid a potential upset in the Midlands.
Elsewhere, there were three different hat-trick scorers for Burnley in their rampant 11-0 win at West Midlands Regional Women's Football League side Coundon Court.
Aimee Kelly, Laura Elford and Brenna McPartlan all grabbed trebles as the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division Clarets progressed against their significantly lower-ranked opponents.
Elise Hughes was another third round hat-trick hero as she helped haul FA Women’s Championship side Crystal Palace to a 6-0 win over Chatham Town.
And another second-tier side to advance were Watford, whose 16-year-old teenage sensation Laila Harbert also netted a treble in their 6-1 win against Southampton Women FC.
Charlie Wellings’ double helped fire fellow Barclays Women’s Championship side Reading to a confident 4-0 win over Cheltenham.
Chloe Williams’ stunning strike was one of the highlights in Blackburn Rovers’ 4-0 win over Darwen.
And for Barclays Women’s Championship Durham, captain fantastic Sarah Wilson was one of five different scorers in a rampant 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion.
Fellow north-east side Newcastle United also delivered a five-star display against Stoke City.
And Sunderland completed a triumphant day for three of the region’s leading clubs with a scintillating 7-0 win over Durham Cestria.
Chester-le-Street Town fared less fortunately, however, losing 5-1 at home to Derby County.
Barclays Women’s Championship side London City Lionesses soared to a 6-0 win over Billericay Town, while Moneyfields battled to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Millwall Lionesses.
Charlton Athletic enjoyed a successful trip to the south coast with a 6-0 win at AFC Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest beat Boldmere St. Michael’s 3-1, while second-tier Birmingham City battled to a 2-0 win at MK Dons.
And elsewhere, three third round matches fell foul to the weather as Luton Town against Keynsham Town, Ipswich Town against Lewes and Hull City against Wolverhampton Wanderers were all postponed.