Hannah Cain

Winning Run Continues As LCFC Women Beat Liverpool In FA Cup

Hannah Cain's second-half strike sealed a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Farley Way Stadium on Sunday to send LCFC Women into the fifth round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup.

There were three changes to City’s starting XI from the 2-0 win over London City Lionesses a fortnight ago, which sealed the FA Women’s Championship title, with defender Sophie Howard as well as strikers Natasha Flint and Libby Smith coming into the line-up.

Goalkeeper Demi Lambourne, meanwhile, returned to the bench for the first time after recovering from a long-term injury which has kept her out of most of the 2020/21 campaign.

Despite chances proving to be few and far between in the early exchanges, it was the Foxes who enjoyed the territorial advantage, with Esmee De Graaf's blocked effort being the highlight of a fraught opening 15 minutes.

Flint was unfortunate not to hand her side the lead on 18 minutes, though, when Ashleigh Plumptre's pass fell right into her path, but Reds shot-stopper Rachel Laws bravely came out of her goal to get in the way of Leicester's No.20.

Elsewhere, last-ditch defending is all that prevented Amy Rodgers from opening the scoring for the visitors, while Howard had the crossbar shaking when she applied a fearsome header onto Charlie Devlin's precise cross.

Missy Bo Kearns' block on Devlin's free-kick was the last action of note in a tense first half, but City retained their dominance of the possession after the interval. First Cain fired over before Devlin saw a curler saved once again by Laws in the early stages of the second half.

The hosts could have taken the lead soon after when Flint took down a high ball and attempted to lob Laws, but it bobbled wide, before also sending a low drive narrowly wide of the far post.

City's reward finally came on 72 minutes, though, as Flint pressured Laws and won the ball, allowing Cain to roll it into an empty net and give Leicester a slender lead.

Keen to avoid extra-time and the possibility of penalties, the Foxes had to be resolute in the latter moments, with Kirstie Levell making an outstanding stop to deny young Reds substitute Lucy Parry, but City were ultimately able to hold out for the victory.

Major moment

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Hannah Cain
Hannah Cain

Hannah Cain benefits from the hard work of Natasha Flint to put Leicester ahead in the second half.

With 18 minutes of time remaining, the match was finely posed at Farley Way Stadium. Leicester were arguably in control, but didn't have a goal to show for it against a stubborn Liverpool outfit.  

Their hard work and high press paid off handsomely, however, as Natasha Flint hurried Rachel Laws into a rare error which eventually offered Hannah Cain with the chance for a simple, match-winning finish.  

Who impressed?

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Esmee De Graaf
Esmee De Graaf

Dutch full-back Esmee De Graaf was impressive once again for City on Sunday.

A sixth clean sheet in a row in all competitions, form which has been so important in Leicester winning 12 league games in a row, was another fine reward for City's defensive players on Sunday.

Esmee De Graaf, in particular, stood out for the home side in Quorn, making crucial tackles, like an excellent challenge on Ceri Holland late on, while also advancing up field and posing an attacking threat as well. 

Where does it leave us?

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Remi Allen
Remi Allen

Experienced midfielder Remi Allen delivers instructions on the pitch during the latter moments.

An away tie awaits at Barclays FA Women’s Super League outfit Manchester United Women in the fifth round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup on Sunday 16 May.

The Red Devils, who are currently fourth in the top tier, sealed a 6-0 fourth-round win over FA Women's National League North side Burnley at the County Ground on Sunday.

Coming up…

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Natasha Flint
Natasha Flint

Top goalscorer Natasha Flint goes close for the Foxes at Farley Way Stadium.

The Foxes travel to The Dripping Pan in East Sussex to face Lewes Women next Sunday for their penultimate FA Women's Championship outing of the season (2pm kick-off).

Charlton Athletic Women are the visitors on Sunday 2 May on the final day of the league campaign (2pm kick-off), before City's trip north in the Women's FA Cup.

The details…

City: Levell; Howard (Cataldo 89'), Tierney, Plumptre, De Graaf; Allen, Barker (c); Devlin (Fergusson 89'); Smith (Paul 60'), Flint (O'Brien 75'), Cain (Farrow 89').

Subs not used: Lambourne, Riglar, Everett, Thomas.

Goals: Cain 72'

All times BST.

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