Report: Warrington Town Women 1-4 Chester

Warrington Town Women were knocked out of the FA Cup after falling to a 4-1 defeat against Chester.

This FA Cup fixture was the first meeting between both sides of the 23/24 season and what a battle it was.

Despite the scoreline, it was a very close encounter between both sides with Chester taking control in the first half and Town fighting back in the 2nd but it was the Seals who grasped victory and progressed through to the next round of the Women’s FA Cup.

A big crowd came down to watch the game at Tetley Walkers Stadium and although the hosts lost, it proved to be a tough clash between two very good sides.

The game kicked off and just within the first two minutes the Yellows had their first big chance of the game as goalie Katie Donohue booted a long ball up to Chloe Green who headed it onto Nicola Chatterley – Chatterley kicked the ball but it was a comfortable save for Seals goalie Sophie Foster.

Chances then came for both teams; Chester fancied the long balls which Donohue was quick to claim. In the 22nd minute, Donohue made a very good diving save as she got a strong palm to Molly Wood’s powerful blast inside the box.

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In the same minute, the visitors took the lead; Rachel Lloyd had a go at net but hit the crossbar and luckily for the Seals, the ball bounced back into the box and right to Emma Gray who headed the ball home to give Chester a one-goal lead.

Not long after, the visitors doubled their lead in the 28th minute. Chester had a corner and they played it short to Molly Wood who curled her shot nicely into the bottom corner. Donohue made a great diving attempt and did get a hand to it but she was screened by the number of players in front of her and was too late to react.

A minute later, Kerry Baker made her Yellows debut as she replaced Sophie McDonald who suffered a lower leg injury. Baker had previously played for the team when we were under the name of Warrington Wolves but this was her first game under Warrington Town and what a game she had.

Baker persistently threatened the Seals defence with her through balls to the forwards but sadly we could only convert one of those chances. For the rest of the first half, both teams had chances but no more goals followed.

In the second half, Chester had the ball in the net in the 54th minute but the linesman had his flag up for offside.

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Yellows manager Kev Larkin made his second substitution as Carla Burton came on to replace Danielle Burns.

A few minutes later the Yellows got another chance but this time they made the most of it; in the 69th minute, Kerry Baker fed a lovely long ball into Sam Hassall who kept her cool and dribbled around the Chester defenders and into the box where she blasted the ball past Foster and into the net to get Town back into the game.

The Yellows then had four more great chances but luck wasn’t on their side; in the 71st minute, Baker played another beautiful ball into Hassall who whipped the ball into Chatterley – Chatterley got a touch to the ball but Foster made a good catch to stop the ball.

In the 79th minute, Hassall switched the ball across the field to Rachel Dickenson whose powerful shot nearly crept in after Foster mishandled it but she recovered quickly to stop the ball from rolling over the goal line.

In the 85th minute, Gia Portelli passed a long ball from the back to Baker who relayed it onto Lily Parsons – Parsons was through 1 on 1 with Foster and she hit a really good shot that was aiming for the top corner but Foster made an even better save as she got a hand to deflect the ball out for a corner. Baker took the corner and found Green in the middle who got a head to the ball and hit it just high of the net.

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Larkin, who recently won an award for grassroots coach of the year for the Liverpool FA, made his final change as Hannah Rhodes came on to relieve Rachel Dickenson as the Yellows pushed in the last moments of the game for an equaliser.

In stoppage time, Chester put the game away with two late goals.

In the 90th minute, Donohue made a save on Molly Wood but the rebound fell right back to her and she didn’t miss the second time – she slotted the ball into the far corner narrowly past Hannah Rhodes who made a sliding attempt to keep the ball out.

Two minutes later, Portelli fouled Molly Wood and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Wood converted her own penalty and moments later the referee blew the final whistle.

Despite pushing to the end, the Yellows couldn’t find an equaliser and two late goals sealed the deal for Chester who will play Leeds United away in the next round of the FA Cup.

The Yellows now turn their attention back to the league as we travel to Runcorn to play the Linnets who are in 3rd place in the NWWRFL Div 1 South.

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