Ladies report: Lasses exit the FA Cup

Birmingham City made it past a valiant Sunderland Ladies to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-final.

Lucy Staniforth scored with six minutes left before getting sent off for her celebration on her return to Eppleton Colliery Welfare.

Megan Beer and Louise Griffiths returned to the team in place of Jessica Brown and Faye Mullen.

The visitors dominated early on, but Brianna Visalli and Rachel Williams couldn’t finish from two early crosses. 

Sunderland worked their way into the game, with the sides looking evenly matched for spells of the first half. The hosts defended excellently throughout the contest, breaking up a number of Birmingham attacks. 

Claudia Moan had an outstanding afternoon, and denied Staniforth just after the half-hour mark, stopping a shot from range.

Emma Kelly went closest in the first half, shooting just wide of the post from the edge of the area with 10 minutes remaining. 

Moan denied Staniforth once again on the stroke of half time, this time saving a free-kick from the Birmingham midfielder. The former Sunderland captain would also fire over with the last kick of the half. 

Sunderland started brightly in the second half. Georgia Gibson and Keira Ramshaw had shot blocked though.

Claudia Walker had two chances just before the hour mark, hitting wide and forcing another smart save from Moan. 

Neve Herron almost found the top corner but her shot curled just wide from the edge of the area as she cut in from the left. 

The breakthrough final came for the Super League club, as Staniforth’s free-kick final got the beating of Moan.

Staniforth was sent off for her celebration and Sunderland pushed hard in the eight additional minutes, but it wasn’t to be. 

The Blues head into the Cup quarter-final, while Sunderland turn attentions back to a huge league clash with Middlesbrough on Thursday.

Sunderland Ladies: Moan, Herron (Barker 72'), Potts, Griffiths, Ramshaw ©, Lambert, Galloway, Gibson, Beer, McCatty, Farrugia

Subs not used: Cowling, Mullen, Warren, Woolston

Birmingham City: Brooks, Scott, Holloway, Harrop, Mayling (Brougham 90+8'), Scofield (Whipp 62'), Staniforth, Kelly (Grant 62'), Williams, Visalli, Walker

Subs not used: Hampton

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