Preston North End Women were knocked out of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup on Sunday afternoon by top of the league Sheffield FC Ladies.
Melissa Ball scored PNE’s only goal of the game as they were defeated 4-1 at Irongate, the home of Bamber Bridge FC.
With only a day of rest between the game and Friday’s cup win, Mark Read made two changes to the starting eleven as Katie Anderton and Sophie Jones came in for Gemma Watson and Paige Forster.
Jones didn’t last long though, as she suffered an ankle injury in the sixth minute and was carried off by the physio; Forster replacing her.
Two minutes later Sheffield scored the first of their four goals as their top goalscorer Jodie Michalska skipped past two players, rounded Danielle Brown and placed it in the back of the net for her 15th goal of the season.
1-0 became 2-0 in the 19th minute as Michalska had her second after good work from Sheffield captain Carla Ward on the right hand side of the area.
Michalska was a constant thorn in the side of PNE all afternoon and could have sealed her hat trick in the 26th minute but she fired wide after taking the ball past Brown.
The second half started in confusion as the referee blew for a foul on Anderton in the area but awarded an indirect free kick instead of a penalty.
Manager Mark Read was furious with the decision and was sent to the stands for his protests.
Brown prevented it from being 3-0 in the 63rd minute as she got down low to prevent Lisa Giampalma, but she couldn’t do anything to prevent Michalska getting her hat trick a minute later.
PNE had a glimmer of hope late on as Forster played in Ball and she placed the ball in the bottom corner, but any chance of a fight back was killed off four minutes later when Sheffield sealed the game through Kirsty Richardson.
Kerry Parkin split the defence and sent Richardson one on one with Brown.
Richardson took a look up on the edge of the area and slotted the ball round Brown to make it 4-1.
PNE will look to regroup ahead of next week’s game away to Bradford City and can now fully concentrate on the league.
PNE: Brown, Stanfield, Bayley, Carroll, Tabrner, Walker (c), Foster (Charlesworth 54), Anderton, Ball, Jones (Forster 6), Savage (Rawcliffe 54)