Hartlepool United Ladies made it through to the semi-final of the Durham FA Women’s Cup with a battling win over South Shields at Grayfields on Sunday afternoon.
Having enjoyed a good recent record against Shields, Andy Stuart’s girls approached the tie with confidence and were able to have the larger share of possession during a tight first half.
Although Pools pressed their visitors back for the majority of the opening period, they struggled to create clear-cut chances with most of their threat coming from set-pieces.
However, the breakthrough finally arrived early in the second half when Shields failed to deal with another dangerous corner and Jussy Robinson lifted the ball back in to the box for Sarah Rowbotham to nod Pools in front.
The goal galvanised Pools and they continued to dominate after that, making it 2-0 not long afterwards when Sarah Bartlett got space on the right and she delivered a perfect cross in to the area for Jess Dawson to smash home from eight yards.
Despite creating more chances, Pools failed to add to their tally and their mission to defend their two-goal lead was made more tricky in the 87th minute when left-back Faye Garside was sent-off after getting involved in a scuffle with a visiting player.
A breakdown in communication at the back then allowed Shields to nick a goal back and set up a nervy finish but Pools did well to regain their composure and see the game out.
“I was quite disappointed with the performance, especially after a great result last week and a strong week of training,” Stuart commented.
“However, the result was the most important thing and it’s a good achievement for us to be in the last four of the competition but we know the semi-final will provide us with very tough opposition.”
Full Time: Hartlepool United Ladies 2 South Shields Ladies 1
Pools: Richardson, Duffy-Smith, Garside, Robinson, Rowbotham, Stuart, Duckling, Basnett, Pye, Bartlett, Dawson.
Henderson, Ingold, Smith, Hurrell, Cowan, Portas.Subs: