Sutton's women's team reached the first round of the Women's FA Cup but needed to come from two goals down and win a penalty shootout before being able to celebrate their progress.
Sport London E Benfica, a division below Sutton in the London & South East Regional League but chasing for promotion, stunned U's with two goals in three minutes inside the first quarter of the game, but as the men's team had done on Saturday Sutton responded immediately as Ella Meehan headed home (below) after returning skipper Katie McIntyre had headed a free kick across goal. By half time U's were level, Sophie Modak registering her first of the season with a cross-cum-shot from the left that landed in the net.
For much of the second half the sides could not be separated, but with eighteen minutes to go Sutton appeared to have completed the turnaround as Laura Murtagh lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and then beat the two covering defenders to make it 3-2. Benfica kept battling away and with four minutes to go their outstanding player scored her second of the afternoon to tie it up at 3-3 and send the game to penalties.
Sutton were faultless from the spot, with Darcy Wells, Chloe Francis, McIntyre and Caitlin Savage all netting while Benfica's third penalty was well saved by Zoe McNulty (below). When the fifth one, unfortunately taken by the player whose goal had sent the game to the shootout, went wide U's were through without having to take their fifth penalty.
Team: Z McNulty, C Savage, J Backhurst, E Meehan, S Modak, K McIntyre, F Colepio(sub K Kabadaki)(sub E Spear), A Bowles, C Francis, D Wells, L Murtagh.
The first round is on Sunday November 12th. Next week we make the journey to the outskirts of Brighton to face Saltdean in a league game at Hill Park, kick off 2pm.
The reserves lost 1-0 at Croydon this afternoon and are at home to Woking next Sunday, venue to be confirmed this week. There was no development side game today and they return to action next Sunday away to Guildford Saints at Kings College Guildford.