Manchester Stingers took another step closer to retaining the Manchester FA Women’s Cup with a hard fought 1-0 win over Curzon Ashton to reach the semi-finals.
The opening moments saw both sides attempt to come to grips with the tough surface conditions and it was 13 minutes before the games first chance as Stingers Alyson Hastie turned and shot from the edge of the area forcing goalkeeper Alex Moon to push her effort around the post. A minute later Stingers went close again as the impressive Chloe Spencer’s cross came off the top of the crossbar. Stingers early pressure cont inued as Nicola Armstrong’s effort from the edge of the area was pushed away by Moon into the path of Haystie but Moon was quickly able to smother the ball.
Stingers began to show their divisional difference as a low cross was almost turned in by the boot of a Curzon defender on 25 minutes. The deadlock was broken on 28 minutes when Spencer’s left footed corner curled in from the left hand side and deceived Moon at the near post to give Stingers a deserved lead.
Stingers went closer on 32 minutes when Armstrong curled an effort just wide of the post and might have had a penalty three minutes later when Hastie was tripped inside the penalty area. However the referee remained unconvinced and Stingers went into the break with a single goal lead.
The second half became a much scrappier affair as both teams cancelled each other out in the opening stages. However it was Curzon who began to grow into the game as Sian Payne was called into a good save to deny Megan Shandley on 62 minutes. On 73 minutes Curzon went closer again as Jess Dake rounded Payne only to see her effort cleared off the line by Angela Ashloti. Curzon, growing in confidence, went in search of an equaliser that would force extra time and Amelia Flood forced Payne into another good save on 89 minutes.
An incredible 15 minutes of additional time were added on at the end as Curzon again went close through a Nicole Howell header from a corner. However Stingers were able to hang on and secure their place in the semi finals. Credit must also go to Curzon Ashton who forced their higher division opponents to earn their victory as well as giving them a late scare.
Elsewhere FC United of Manchester dismantled Leigh RMI 7-1 to canter into the Semi Finals whilst last year’s finalists City of Manchester cruised past Manchester Rovers by the same score-line. The other quarter final saw Middleton narrowly defeat Greater Manchester Women’s side Beechfield United 3-2.
The draw for the semi finals will be made on Tuesday and will be aired live on Periscope via the Manchester FA’s twitter page.
Manchester Stingers: Payne, Spencer, Connell, Carr, Ashloti, Powles, Haystie, Haywood, Murphy, Armstrong, Ireson
Curzon Ashton: Moon, King, Tindell, Howell, Dake, Wilkinson, Espie, Flood, Speight, Shandley, Smith