Fleetwood Town Wrens Ladies earned their spot in the first round qualifying of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after beating Darwen Ladies in a penalty shootout at Poolfoot Farm.
Dave Butler and his side expected a tough test against a team that are in a higher division and certainly got that, as both sides contested in the middle of the park early in the game.
The visitors took the lead 20 minutes into the game as they pounced on a loose pass in their box. Darwen countered and their attacker tried an audacious chip from 25 yards, which looped over the keeper – opening the scoring on the day.
Ten minutes before the half, Fleetwood drew level as a corner was whipped in from the left, towards Emily Slater, who headed home from eight yards.
Town were then on the front foot for the rest of the first half as they pressed, trying to get their second, but Darwen stayed strong in their defence – meaning the game was level at the break.
The start of the second half was Fleetwood’s, as they managed to create three gilt-edged chances, with one of them hitting the crossbar, but none of them would find the back of the net.
With seconds to go, Darwen had the final attack of the game, yet again capitalising on a misplaced pass, but their shot from distance was off target.
The game went straight to penalties, and the goal scorer E.Slater stepped up first, slotting her penalty away. Sophie Slater narrowly missed the second, but Dawn Gordon, Ellie Parkinson, Lauren Oatley and Katie Haydock netted to secure the side spot in the next round against Morecambe.