Lichfield City Ladies left it late but tasted the magic of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup for the second season running as they booked their place in the Third Round Qualifying.
A year after Katie Thornhill’s last-gasp equaliser allowed the Spire Girls to make it through to the Second Round Proper, they were at it again, this time against Knowle LFC.
Trailing 3-2 deep into injury time, Tilly Astell levelled the scores before Chloe East-Goodman held her nerve with the 10th and final penalty in the shootout to send Lichfield through.
Did someone say 3-2 down with 30 seconds to go? 👀— Lichfield City Ladies (@LichfieldLadies) October 1, 2023
It couldn’t happen again could it?
TILLY ASTELL on 90+5!!!! ⚽️
Chloe East-Goodman fires home the 10th penalty in the shoot out and City are through!
Great game! #SpireGirls #City 🔵⚽️ https://t.co/ISvTsfVs1e
They were one of a number of teams who made it through thanks to a shootout, with one of the best coming as Dussindale and Hellesdon Women edged out Mulbarton Wanderers 6-5 on penalties after a 3-3 thriller.
Dussindale keeper Tyla Cole had already made one save from the penalty spot in normal time, before Dussy came through the shootout.
There was another comeback tale in Devon where Plympton Ladies overcame a two-goal half-time deficit against Saltash Borough to force a shootout, with the home side taking it 5-4 after Codie-Al Cleugh’s equaliser.
Among the other entertaining clashes of the round, arguably none could top the nine-goal affair played out by Workington Reds and Penrith AFC.
In the end, it was visitors Penrith who snuck through, running out 5-4 winners away at Fibrus Broadband Community Stadium.
Meanwhile, Tara Harrison finally settled Port Vale’s clash with Redditch Borough, her second-half strike sealing a 3-2 victory.
The Valiants had made a dream start with two goals in the first five minutes from Sian McHugh and Rosie Tompkinson, only for Redditch to pull level by half-time through Katie Potter and Leanne Foyle.
Harrison put Port Vale back in front early in the second half, and the home side held on, thanks in part to a late missed penalty from Redditch.
Among the more one-sided games, Millwall Lionesses, Bury FC and Wakefield AFC all hit double figures, as did Thrapston Town, Marine Academy Plymouth and Sticker Ladies.
The Third Round Qualifying will be played on Sunday 22 October with a place in the First Round Proper on the line.
More results from the Second Round Qualifying are available here.