Brighton and Hove Albion secured safe passage to the Vitality Women’s FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win over Birmingham City.
Poppy Pattinson put the Seagulls into the lead midway through the first half with a sensational goal straight from a corner largely against the run of play after Blues had already struck the woodwork.
Amy Merricks’ side doubled their lead just three minutes later from the penalty spot through Danielle Carter.
The home side had double the shots of their opponents, but could not find the back of the net, hitting the post no fewer than five times in a deeply frustrating afternoon for Darren Carter’s side.
It was a tense opening ten minutes with both sides sizing each other up with a spot in the last four on the line, but the game burst into life in the 11th minute, when Jade Pennock’s long range effort came back off the bar.
Locked in 🔒@BHAFCWomen progress to the #WomensFACup semi-finals 🤩 pic.twitter.com/iQeEYKsZuy— Vitality Women's FA Cup (@VitalityWFACup) March 19, 2023
Five minutes later and Pennock was again causing Brighton problems, striking the ball well but it was saved well by Megan Walsh to keep the game goalless.
Largely on the book foot in the opening exchanges, Katie Robinson had Brighton’s first real chance also come off the bar 20 minutes into game, before Lucy Thomas denied her a few moments later.
Despite their early dominance though, the Blues could do nothing about Pattinson’s audaciously struck corner, and found themselves a goal behind after 28 minutes, before Carter compounded their misery with a second shortly after.
Raise your hand if you're in the #WomensFACup semi-final...🙋♀️❤️🔥 #BHAFC pic.twitter.com/le3beIIpWK— Brighton & Hove Albion Women (@BHAFCWomen) March 19, 2023
In the second half, Birmingham will have wondered how they did not score, with serious pressure mounting on Brighton’s defence.
Walsh was again busy in the opening moments of the second period, making a smart save to deny Jamie Finn’s looping effort, before Pennock hit the bar again shortly after.
At this point Carter and the home supporters would have been wondering what they had to do to hit the back of the net, and it was not for the lack of trying as their shot count went into double figures, eventually hitting 14.
Luck remained on the side of the away side though, as replacement Ashley Hodson’s effort cannoned off the bar in the 70th minute, the fifth time the Blues had hit the uprights.
That proved to be the last clearcut opportunity for Birmingham, with Walsh working hard to maintain her clean sheet as the Seagulls booked their place in the semi-finals.