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Sutton United 3 Maidenhead United 4 (after extra time)

12 November 2023


Sutton went out of the Women's FA Cup this evening in a thrilling game in which they at one stage led higher ranked Maidenhead 2-0 before eventually succumbing in extra time, but even then having a goal disallowed in the last action of the game.

Chloe Francis gave Sutton the lead after 16 minutes with a superb free kick from just outside the area after Kaydence Kabadaki had been fouled, and U's might have had more before the break, with Ella Meehan hitting the underside of the crossbar with a shot from just inside the penalty area, and a long range shot from Emma Spear almost being fumbled in to the net by visiting goalkeeper Rosie Willmott-Joyce. At the other end Maidenhead threatened on several occasions, but put their shots too close to Zoe McNulty, who was only extended once when she pushed away a shot from Simone O'Brien.

Sutton were out of the blocks quickly in the second half, and doubled the lead when Francis was put in on the right by Spear and whipped in an inviting cross which was neatly converted on the volley by Darcy Wells. There was almost a third immediately as Wells had another effort scrambled away, but Maidenhead struck back and within seven minutes were level, O'Brien shooting home after a strong run by Imogen Fisher, and then setting up Natalie Cowell for a fine finish in to the top corner of the net.

Sutton came closest to a winner in the remainder of the 90 minutes when Fern Colepio met a Francis corner with a header that rebounded off the post in to the hands of Willmott-Joyce, while at the other end Caitlin Savage produced a superbly judged tackle on the edge of the penalty area to deny Izzy Stockton a clear run on goal, but neither side was able to grab the decisive goal and so extra time followed, with the first period giving little hint of the excitement of the last fifteen minutes. Within twenty seconds of the start of the second period Fisher fired Maidenhead in front after U's had conceded possession from their own kick off, but Sutton took only three minutes to level as Savage's high ball in to the six yard box was cleared as far as Jaz Backhurst, who thumped a shot back through the crowd in to the net.

However it took Maidenhead only three more minutes to regain the lead, substitute Macey-Nikiah Walters scoring with her first touch from close range after Fisher had gone clear on the right and crossed low. Maidenhead defender Gemma Bloor then suffered a nasty looking knee injury as the game went in to stoppage time, requiring lengthy treatment before being helped off, and the clock was showing 130 minutes when one last corner for U's led to a Francis cross being carried over the line by Willmott-Joyce under pressure from Katie McIntyre, but after the referee had originally appeared to give the goal, her assistant indicated that McIntyre had fouled the keeper and Maidenhead were awarded a free kick, the final whistle sounding as soon as it had been taken and McIntyre's protests falling on deaf ears.

Sutton: Z McNulty, C Savage, S Modak, F Colepio, E Meehan, K McIntyre, E Spear(sub A Tyrer)(sub T Hooper), K Kabadaki(sub J Backhurst), L Murtagh, D Wells, C Francis.

Next week we are at home to Steyning in the first round of the League Cup, kick off 2pm.

The reserves recorded a fine 2-1 win today away to Beecholme Belles, all the goals coming in the second half. Pia Williams and Amy Wright were the Sutton scorers. The reserves have no game next week.

The development side's game against Guildford City was postponed and they are away to Fulham Under 18s next week in the Capital Junior Cup, venue to be confirmed.

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