Hull City Ladies made it safely through to the Third round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup this afternoon with a clinical 5-0 away win at Long Eaton United. After losing at Stoke last week the Tigresses had some players back today and they showed their class to overcome a spirited performance from their lower league opponents.
The Tigresses were purring right from the start of this game and they could have opened the scoring after just two minutes. It was a great team move started by Harley Skinner who played a ball inside to Rachael Ackroyd who then played a neat through ball to Hope Knight. She hit a cross from the by line that was agonisingly too strong for Misty Russell who just missed it at the back post. That move gave an early indication of the impressive attacking performance the Tigresses would put in today.
Despite missing the early chance, Misty Russell was looking very lively early on. She exploited a poorly distributed goal kick in the twelfth minute but the goalkeeper did well to deny her with a save. Russell, playing wide on the right today, wouldn’t have to wait long to open the scoring. Amy Blinkhorn put in a cross from a free kick on the left and Hope Knight managed to knock the ball down into the path of Russell who made no mistake from 6 yards out in the centre of the box. She placed her shot into the top corner to give the Tigresses an early 1-0 lead.
Despite dominating the early exchanges of the game and deservedly taking the lead the Tigresses almost gifted Long Eaton a way back into the game. They tried to play out from the back and a misplaced pass was pounced on by the Long Eaton Striker. Amy Halloran was caught in no man’s land and could only watch as the ball cannoned off the post and away to safety. That was a big let off for the Tigresses.
The next 15 minutes were quite scrappy with both sides creating a couple of half chances. Hope Knight saw a shot from range easily saved while at the other end the home side created a similar opening but could only shoot wide. The Tigresses always looked the more likely to score and they duly doubled their lead in the 34th minute. After opening the scoring earlier in the half Misty Russell turned provider this time. A great ball in midfield released her down the right, she picked out Rachael Ackroyd in the box with a precise cross that Ackroyd headed past the keeper and into the corner to make it 2-0.
Russell was having a brilliant first half and she was at the centre of another move that could have led to another goal in the 40th minute. Hope Knight played a one two with her that resulted in Knight finding space in the box but she could only hit her shot wide. The Tigresses really were playing well now and put the icing on the first half cake just before the break. Hope Knight unleashed a shot from range that was brilliantly saved by the Long Eaton goalkeeper. She scrambled to try and gather the rebound but Rachael Ackroyd showed her poachers instinct to fire the ball home just before the keeper could get there. That made it 3-0 and gave Ackroyd her third goal in the last two games which will be a timely confidence boost for her.
HT Long Eaton United 0-3 Hull City Ladies
The Tigresses had the first chance of the second half and Ackroyd almost had her hat trick. She got on the end of a cross and prodded the ball towards goal but she was denied by a smart save from the keeper. The Result never really looked in doubt after the first half but the hosts didn’t give up and had a couple of chances to get on the scoresheet. In the 51st minute Ellice Jackman did brilliantly to bust a gut and time a last ditch tackle perfectly to deny the Long Eaton striker who was baring down on goal. From the resulting corner the wind caught the cross and a it resulted in Amy Halloran having to clear the ball off the line as a number of players scrambled for it.
The Tigresses extended their lead and put the result beyond all doubt in the 67th minute. This was another quality goal with left winger Harley Skinner this time providing the assist. The Tigresses broke with pace and Skinner showed good pace to beat her marker before finding Hope Knight unmarked at the back post with an early cross. Knight hit a shot first time that went across the keeper and into the net to make it 0-4. That was a fine team goal and epitomised the Tigresses attacking prowess today.
That wasn’t the end of the scoring for City Ladies who were on fire at times today. Knight bagged herself a brace with a fine solo goal. She picked up the ball in midfield and powered her way into the box before beating the goalkeeper at her near post with a low shot, making it 5-0 to the Tigresses.
It could have got even better for Ackroyd or Knight with a couple of minutes to go. Both were denied a hat trick in the space of five seconds. Firstly Knight hit a long rage piledriver that rattled the crossbar, the rebound fell to Ackroyd who despite being forced wide fired a shot on target but she was denied by another superb save from the goalkeeper. It was a shame both players were denied a hat trick but the result was never in doubt and the Tigresses saw out the final few minutes comfortably.
FT Long Eaton United 0-5 Hull City Ladies
The Tigresses were at their clinical best throughout much of today’s game. They attacked with pace and power and could have scored even more goals if not for some excellent goalkeeping. They were facing lower league opposition but they went about the task in the right way and dominated their hosts.
It was a fine team performance today and the continuing goal scoring form of Rachael Ackroyd was very pleasing to see but our Player of the Match today was Misty Russell. In the first half she was sensational. She scored the opening goal and set up the second while also being at the centre of several other attacking moves. She gave the defence a torrid time throughout and was involved in everything today. Well played Misty!
The Tigresses will find out tomorrow who they will face in the third round with the ties due to be played on Sunday 6th January. Next week they turn their attention to another cup game this time the FAWNL Cup last 16 clash with Bolton Wanderers who are a very tough side as they showed in both games against the Tigresses last season.
We spoke to a delighted Hull City Ladies Manager Rachel Gay after the game and you can watch the video below,