Report: Sunderland 1 United Women 2
Manchester United Women are into the last 16 of the FA Cup after a 2-1 victory away to Sunderland this afternoon.
The Reds were pegged back in the 67th minute after Gabby Holmes’s free header from a corner was directed into the top corner – but that didn’t last long, with Parris restoring our lead just two minutes later in emphatic fashion.
Despite Sunderland’s best efforts to get back into the game, United held firm in the latter stages to secure the victory.
The first of which fell to Rachel Williams inside 10 minutes. The move began with a wonderful solo run from Hannah Blundell, who lifted a pass into the path of Williams but she couldn’t quite poke it beyond Claudia Moan in the home goal. Martha Thomas stretched to try and convert the loose ball, but her effort looped just over.
Millie Turner came close to breaking the deadlock in the aftermath of a dangerous corner that saw Maya Le Tissier play a great ball into the box, but Turner’s effort was hooked over the bar.
Vilde Boe Risa dragged an effort just wide of the post on the half-hour mark, but just eight minutes later, we were ahead thanks to Parris. Boe Risa lifted a great pass into Thomas, who played it to Ona Batlle – the Spaniard showed great skill to make space for a cross into the box, with the oncoming Parris converting to give us the lead.
Our no.22 almost scored again just moments later, following up with the rebound from Boe Risa's saved long-range effort, but Moan pulled off a fantastic double save to keep the deficit to just one.
Despite retaining a healthy amount of possession, we found ourselves pegged back by the hosts in the 67th minute after Gabby Holmes converted an inswinging corner to level the score against the run of play. Minutes later, debutant Estelle Cascarino came close to restoring our lead with her first touch of the game, after great intricate football from the Reds in and around the box.
But another fantastic goalscoring opportunity was carved out in the same phase of play which would see Parris score her second of the game. Williams held up the ball well on the edge of the area before playing the ball into Parris, with the latter finishing emphatically into the top corner.
Cascarino had another great chance to put the game to bed after a sweeping move from the Reds, involving Spanish duo Batlle and Lucia Garcia, but her effort was well over the bar.
Despite Sunderland pressing for a second equaliser, the Reds saw the game out well and put our name into the hat for the next round of the competition, for which the draw will take place on the BBC's Sportsday programme between 18:30 and 19:00 GMT tomorrow.
Next up for Skinner's side is a return to WSL action, with Everton the visitors to Leigh Sports Village next Sunday (5 February).
Sunderland XI: Moan; Westrup, Morgan, McCatty, Holmes; Brown (Dodds 75), Herron (Watson 34), Brown, Scarr; Joice; Ejupi.
Unused substitutes: Cowling, Ede, McInnes.
Goals: Holmes 67.
Bookings: McCatty 56.
United XI: Earps; Batlle, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Boe Risa; Thomas (Cascarino 68), Toone, Parris (Garcia 83); Williams.
Unused substitutes: Baggaley, Thorisdottir, Mannion, Tounkara, Ladd, Leon, Russo.
Goals: Parris 39, 69.
Bookings: Toone 45+3.