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Match Report: Bradford City Women 2 PNE Women 0

24 October 2022

Preston North End Women were knocked out at the third round qualifying stage of the Women’s FA Cup after two goals in the second half saw them defeated by Bradford City AFC Women.

Despite the wet conditions, PNE left everything on the pitch, with only a penalty minutes into the second half breaking the deadlock, before the Bantams – a side playing two divisions above North End – made sure of the win from a set-piece late on.

From the first whistle, North End looked to dominate possession, and they looked strong with the ball. With good passing spells and communication on the pitch, it was a fantastic start.

Early on there was a chance for Liv Askam, but her shot was saved and pushed away for a corner.

Maddson Hadley found herself one-v-one with the goalkeeper not long afterwards, but the Bantams stopper made herself big and pulled off an impressive save to deny the away team the opener.

The chances continued to flow for the visitors, as Askam played a ball through to Alice Lonsdale who made the run into the box, but the shot was straight at the keeper.

Bradford began to get back into the game as the half wore on, with goalkeeper Justine Elliot making some phenomenal saves to keep her team in it.

Elliott made one particularly strong stop to parry a shot and then grasp the rebound, but the ball was kicked out of her hands and into the back of the net. Bradford started celebrating the goal before the referee intervened, as Elliott had had two hands on the ball.

Minutes later, PNE regrouped as Hadley went through on goal again, but couldn’t convert beyond the goalkeeper.

At half-time it was 0-0 and all to play for in the second half.

Early on in the second half, Ella Radcliffe went into a 50-50 challenge in the box and the referee awarded a penalty as the opposition player went down following contact from both players.

There was nothing Elliott could do about the penalty as the Bradford taker found the net.

An even second half saw North End introduce Abi Cookson to the action on the hour mark, before a later double change with Rose Stuttard dand Carmen Troiano emerging from the bench in a bid to provide the team with fresh legs.

The visitors’ best chance of the second half came Hadley’s way as she did well to latch onto a ball forward which forced the goalkeeper off her line, with Hadley’s lob from distance dropping agonisingly wide of the post.

The equaliser unfortunately would not come and Bradford extended their lead with only minutes remaining as PNE failed to clear from a free-kick and a close-range finish sealed the hosts’ passage into the Women’s FA Cup first round.

The Bantams will go on to face Middlesbrough away from home in the next round, while North End will look ahead to another lengthy away trip this weekend – facing Workington Reds Ladies will be PNE’s first league outing in over six weeks after competing in three different cup competitions more recently.

PNE line-up: Elliott; Greenwood (Troiano, 75), Jaques, C. Woodhead, Radcliffe, Lonsdale (Cookson, 60); Hunt, K. Woodhead; Sutcliffe (Stuttard, 75), Hadley, Askam.

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