City earn place in FA Women's Cup second roundExeter City Ladies earned a place in the second round of the FA Women’s Cup with a 2-1 away win at divisional competitors Cheltenham Town.
Victory against the Robins saw the Grecians’ name in the hat for the second round of the Cup, where Monday’s draw paired them at home against Premier League Southern Division side Lewes – that fixture will take place on Sunday 11th January.
Exeter had to do it the hard way at Newlands Park – some indecisiveness in defence gifted Cheltenham the opportunity to strike from the edge of the 18-yard box, and a chip beat goalkeeper Carley Barber as the hosts led by a goal at the break.
And the task looked even more difficult when striker Helen Kukor had to be replaced due to injury at half-time, and manager Gareth Young introduced Chloe Williams in her place.
However the visitors looked sprightlier after the break and Kirsty Caunter twice narrowly missed the target from the edge of the area, before rattling the crossbar from Tash Knapman’s corner.
In a midfield reshuffle, Vicky Barter pushed forward into the space previously occupied by Sophie Simpson, as she was replaced by Corinne Potts. It would prove decisive midway through the second period as a Carla Staddon pass from inside her own half found Barter just onside, and she chipped the advancing goalkeeper to equalise.
Two minutes later, the turnaround was complete as Knapman drew a foul 25 yards from goal – and she stepped up herself to beat the wall and goalkeeper in trademark fashion to put Exeter ahead for the first time.
Cheltenham tried to get back on terms with 20 minutes to play, but Exeter stood strong to secure a place in the next round against Lewes. The Grecians also found out their opponents in the FA WPL Plate competition on Monday – it will be West Ham Ladies that visit Exminster on Sunday 1st February.