Match report: United Women 3 London Bees 0
Manchester United Women have progressed to the quarter-finals of the SSE Women’s FA Cup, after comfortably beating London Bees 3-0 at Ewen Fields.
Two goals in five first-half minutes put the Reds in control after Ella Toone broke the deadlock before the half-hour mark, before Mollie Green notched up her 13th goal of the season six minutes later with a great turn and finish. Charlie Devlin then sealed the game with a delightful chip of the keeper with three minutes to spare.
Casey Stoney made four changes from Wednesday’s 7-0 away victory over Leicester City with Martha Harris, Aimee Palmer, Charlie Devlin and Lizzie Arnot coming into the fold.
The Reds, who beat Brighton & Hove Albion in the previous round, were up against a London Bees side which had appointed Rachel Yankey, a former team mate of Stoney, the day before.
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Check out our images from United Women's 3-0 cup victory over London Bees.
United made a positive start to the game when Martha Harris came close after five minutes. The 24-year old defender, who had made a bursting run forward, was played in by Green, however her shot from the right whistled past the far post.
Seconds later the Reds had the ball in the back of the net courtesy of Charlie Devlin, however she was judged to have been in an offside position.
Despite having the lion’s share of possession for the first 25 minutes, chances were few and far between for Stoney’s side.
Skipper, Alex Greenwood, whipped a delicious corner in from the right which skimmed the head of Jess Sigsworth, while Toone, who scored four in midweek against Leicester, had a header comfortably saved by Bees’ keeper Sarah Quantrill.
Just before the half-hour mark, United did find that route to goal and it was Toone, high on confidence after her performance during the week, that opened the scoring. The 19-year old was served up a brilliant ball over the top and, although her initial shot was saved from Quantrill, she made no mistake from the rebound to put the Reds into the lead.
The hosts very nearly had a second goal from a Greenwood set-piece: after winning a free-kick just outside the box, the skipper hoped to emulate her stunning strike from the league game on Wednesday, however her effort was superbly saved by the Bees’ stopper.
Green, though, ensured that United went into the break with a comfortable lead.
Lizzie Arnot produced a superb cross from the left and the midfielder had time to turn to get her shot away to increase the Reds’ lead with her 13th goal of the season.
After the interval, Stoney’s side continued to push for a third goal.
Sigsworth had an effort which was fired just wide of the far post, while Devlin couldn’t find the target from close range after a decent cross from Harris.
There was a change of goalkeeper midway through the second half. Emily Ramsey was given the chance to make her first United appearance when Stoney brought the substitute keeper on in place of Chamberlain, who hadn't been called into action up to that point.
United then had a great opportunity to make it three courtesy of Kirsty Smith. The midfielder was played in by Arnot and unleashed a venomous strike that looked destined to rifle into the the top-right corner, however it was punched wide by Quantrill.
The Reds were given a tap on the shoulder by the visitors with 20 minutes to play. A sloppy clearance allowed Ruesha Littlejohn to get her shot away, but it was fired high over the goal and out of the ground.
Lauren James almost produced a moment of magic with 10 minutes to go. The teenager attempted to curl one in from 18 yards, however her effort rattled the crossbar and stayed out. It was Devlin that found the elusive third goal with three minutes to go as she produced a fantastic chip over the keeper to put the tie to bed.
The draw for the last eight of the competition will take place on Monday, with the Reds next in action on Wednesday as they make the trip to Yorkshire to face Sheffield United Women at the Olympic Legacy Park in the FA Women’s Championship (kick-off 19:00 GMT).
United: Chamberlain (Ramsey 64); Harris, Palmer, M. Turner, Smith; Greenwood (c) (Hanson 77), Green, Toone; Sigsworth (James 60), Devlin, Arnot.
Substitutes not used: Turner, Galton.
Goals: Toone 27, Green 33, Devlin 87.
Referee: Adam Williamson
United's next home game is on Sunday 10 March as Leicester City Women pay a visit to Leigh Sports Village (kick-off 12:00 GMT). Match tickets are on sale at www.manutd.com/womenstickets.