The Adobe Women's FA Cup

Northampton Town edge 12-goal thriller in Women's FA Cup

Sunday 22 Oct 2023
Northampton Town sealed a 7-5 win against Coventry Sphinx

Jade Bell’s hat-trick helped Northampton Town into the Women’s FA Cup first round with a topsy-turvy 7-5 victory over Coventry Sphinx.

 Teams across the country battled it out in the third round qualifying, with the Cobblers’ 12-goal thriller one of the stand out results on an action-packed day that saw a few games fall foul of bad weather.

Sphinx twice took the lead before the break but two goals each from Bell and Kim Farrow helped ensure the hosts went in 4-3 ahead at half time.

The visitors hit back again to tie things up at 4-4 but strikes from Vicky Barrett and Alex Dicks created a precious two-goal lead before Bell completed the scoring late on to seal her hat-trick.

“It’s first on Match of the Day isn’t it,” said Northampton joint-manager Josh Oldfield.

“Not so pleased with the goals we conceded but some good goals created, some good play at the top of the pitch and ultimately we deserved to go through.

“Credit to Coventry, I thought they were really good in how they went about things and made things difficult for us. They were full of running, full of energy, full of character.”

The Cobblers were amongst a number of fourth-tier teams to progress to the first round proper, as teams from the FA Women’s National League entered the competition for the first time.

Leek Town sealed progression in emphatic fashion with a 10-0 win over Solihull Sporting while AFC Bournemouth were 13-2 winners against AFC St Austell.

Portishead beat United Services Portsmouth 9-1 and Leeds United put seven Chester.

Peterborough United got past league rivals Cambridge City 10-2 but it was a more difficult afternoon for a number of fourth-tier clubs, who required penalties to seal their place in the hat.

Chester-le-Street got past Tranmere 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw while Norton & Stockton Ancients recorded the same score line to beat Bury FC.

Sheffield FC were also held, drawing 2-2 with Shrewsbury Town before triumphing 4-3 on spot kicks.

There were also some fourth-tier fallers such as Middlesbrough, who lost 3-0 to fellow Division One North side Hull City, while Norwich City beat London Seaward 3-1 thanks to goals from Shannon Shaw, Megan Todd, and Freya Symonds.

There was also Devon derby victory for Exeter City as they beat Torquay United 7-0, Sarah Stacey and Zoe Cunningham both netting hat-tricks.

Elsewhere, Mancunian Unity beat Penrith AFC 5-3 to qualify for the first round for the first time, with Kaitland Harter at the double.

There was late drama at Rotherham United, as two late strikes from Maddy Wilson got the Millers past Long Itchington 3-2 after going into the break behind.

Hannah Fuller’s hat-trick helped Wroxham past Leyton Orient 5-1 while Worcester City netted three times late on to get past Anstey Nomads by the same score. 

Image courtesy of Northampton Town
By FA Staff