Preston North End Women secured their place in the FA Women’s Premier League Plate quarter-final with a 1-0 win at Copsewood (Coventry) Ladies on Sunday afternoon.
The first half was mainly contested in the middle of the pitch with neither team creating many chances
Danielle Brown was alert to save Nicola Foskett’s effort in the 22nd minute before her opposite number, Nikki Duncan, pulled off a good save down low to her right to deny Yasmine Swarbrick.
Towards the end of the first half PNE were continually throwing players forward in search of a goal but their efforts failed to test Copsewood goalkeeper Duncan.
However, five minutes after the restart they got the reward for their waves of attack as Flanagan added her sixth of the season since joining from Manchester City.
Aimee Cleaver split the defence with an inch perfect ball which allowed Flanagan in behind the back four to finish with aplomb.
Despite taking the lead, PNE continued their pressure but were constantly thwarted by Duncan.
Alice Forshaw found herself free in the box in the 60th minute but her right footed effort was palmed away by the impressive Copsewood goalkeeper.
The home side’s only chance of the game came about in the 72nd minute when captain Laura Walker was forced into a goal-line clearance from Leah Williams before Foskett fired wide from six yards out.
The final ten minutes saw the game become more open with Copsewood pushing for a late equaliser whilst PNE slowed the tempo down and exploited the gaps left by the errant defence.
PNE’s Walker had the final chance of the game with eight minutes to play when she crashed a free kick against the post from just outside the area.
The result sees PNE progress into the quarter-final of the FA Women’s Premier League Plate where they will face one of: Exeter, Huddersfield, MK Dons, Radcliffe Olympic, Shanklin, Swindon or West Ham.
The draw takes place on Monday 8th December with ties being played on 1st February 2015.