Hartlepool United Ladies booked their place in the First Round Proper of the SSE FA Cup with an excellent 3-1 win at Farsley Celtic on Sunday afternoon.
Andy Stuart’s side had a good run in the competition last term and will be among those in the hat for the Round One draw after this impressive victory on the road.
Pools got off to a lightning quick start and were on the front foot from the first whistle, almost scoring inside ninety seconds when Jess Dawson fired a shot just over the bar.
It set the tone and Pools were in front on five minutes; Faye Garside did well to find space to cross from the left and, when the home defence didn’t deal with the delivery, Lottie Portas was there to drill it home from twelve yards.
Just after the half hour mark it was 2-0. More good play in wide areas saw the ball come in to the box from the right and Nicky Duckling side-stepper he marker to smash a brilliant finish past the helpless keeper from fifteen yards.
The game was effectively over before the break when Duckling snatched her second of the afternoon, rifling a shot in to the top corner after good work in the build-up from Caitlin Bates.
Pools gave their hosts a little encouragement by sitting back on their lead in the second half and Farsley Celtic pushed forward, forcing a couple of good saves from keeper Rebecca Smith.
With five minutes left the home side did get on the scoresheet when Pools fail to deal with a free-kick in to the box but it was too little too late and it was Stuart’s team that progressed.
“It was a tough game but a well-deserved win,” said Stuart afterwards.
“It’s great to be in the next round but it came at a cost because we picked up a couple of injuries so hopefully they will settle down quickly as we have some difficult games coming up.”
The Ladies are back in action this coming Sunday when they host Durham Cestria before making a return trip to Farsley Celtic the following weekend.
Full Time: Farsley Celtic Ladies 1 Hartlepool United Ladies 3
Pools: Smith, Cowan, Garside (Ingram 40), Robinson, Stuart, Basnett, Portas (Rackstraw 70), Bates (Hammond-Garrington 75), Duckling, Dawson, Duffy-Smith.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Pye.