After reaching the quarter finals for the last two seasons, Aston Villa Ladies went into this year’s competition with confidence.
The claret and blues were handed a favourable third round draw, where they went into the tie as favourites. Cambridge United Women of the Southern Premier League visited the new home of Villa Ladies – The Lamb, looking to progress into the next round.
However, it was the hosts who came out on top emphatically. Goals from Maddy Cusack, Beth Merrick, Chloe Dale, Chloe Jones, two from Mollie Rouse and debutant Alice Hassall secured a thrashing of the Us to ensure Villa’s place in the fourth round.
Check out the video below as Villa Ladies fans are in agreement that the game against Cambridge United was their favourite game of the 2016/17 Women’s FA Cup run.
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The draw for the fourth round saw an old face resurface. Coventry United Women, Villa’s next opponents, have much in common with the Lionesses.
Several of the 22 players have played for both teams during their playing careers so far, including Aston Villa Ladies’ skipper Katy Moran who was returning from six months on the sidelines.
In what was a cagey affair, Villa came out on top with a 0-1 victory over their local rivals. With both sets of fans enjoying some friendly banter between themselves in the terraces, the atmosphere transferred to the pitch with feisty periods of play between old friends, who are now arch enemies.
Moran got the deciding goal with a beautifully taken half volley against her former side. The 25-year-old, on her return to the first team, sealed Villa’s place in the fifth round.
Yet it wasn’t meant to be for Aston Villa Ladies.
With Women’s Super League 1 opposition joining the competition at this stage, it was almost inevitable that the claret and blues would draw a team from the highest league in women’s football.
The Black Cats provided tough competition and came out of the 90 minutes with the victory.
Unfortunately for Villa, despite equalising twice to get back to level playing fields – the quality of WSL 1 Sunderland was all too much.