Hartlepool United Ladies progressed to the fourth qualifying round of the Women’s FA Cup with a solid 3-1 win over Farsley Celtic Ladies on Sunday.
From the off, Pools almost went 1-0 up within 90 seconds as Jess Dawson sent a shot inches over the bar, sending a clear message to Farsley that they were up for the game.
Pools scored their first goal in the fifth minute when some fine work from Faye Garside, saw her send over a great cross that wasn’t cleared by the home defence.
When the ball broke loose, Lottie Portas was on hand to drill the ball home from 12 yards out and Pools were ahead.
Pools went further ahead in the 33rd minute when good play down the right saw the ball played into Nicky Duckling.
Duckling then side-stepped her opponent before smashing home past the despairing goalkeeper from 15 yards out.
Duckling was on the scoresheet again minutes later when she controlled and volleyed a cross, that was pulled back by Caitlin Bates, into the top corner leaving the home goalkeeper no chance.
Farsley played a system of 4-5-1 when trying to get back into the game, playing the long-ball game.
However, Pools’ defence were able to control this and Becca Smith in goal was a spectator for most of the half.
The second half was a strange affair because Pools didn’t force the game but chose to sit back, controlling the game and inviting Farsley on.
A few good chances were created, but none were taken and it could have proved dear as Farsley had a couple of good opportunities to score, but some superb saves from Rebecca Smith kept them at bay.
However, Farsley did score a consolation goal in the 85th minute when a hopeful free-kick was misjudged by the Pools keeper and she was beaten with the ball going under the bar.
Hartlepool manager Andy Stuart said after the game: “It was a tough game, but a well deserved win.
“We picked up a few injuries from the game that hopefully won’t affect the next two games as they are both difficult, Durham home and Farsley away.”