Bristol Academy bidding to reach semi-finals of Women's Cup
Bristol Academy will be bidding to reach the semi-finals of the FA Women's Cup for the sixth time in nine years when they travel to Sunderland this weekend.
But coach Gary Green is expecting a tough test on Wearside against a club who are favourites to be joining his side in the National Division of the FA Premier League next term.
Sunderland are currently second in the Northern Division, just two points behind leaders OOH Lincoln but with three games in hand.
"It's a massive game for us," admitted Green. "It's a long way for us to go and they are going very well in their division. They have a good mixture of experience and youth and I think they have won their last 12 games.
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"The game is being played at Sunderland's Academy ground so it should be a good pitch and we are confident of progressing – without being over-confident."
Green felt the Academy should have taken something from last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to title-chasing Everton, who made it 12 wins in a row with their victory at Almondsbury.
The Merseysiders went behind to a Gwen Harries goal after 14 minutes before fighting back through Natasha Dowie's hat-trick.
"We deserved something from it but gave away a couple of soft goals – their third came from a penalty that was given after one of their players dived," said Green. "We had our moments but didn't take a couple of other chances."
Keynsham Town host the game of the weekend in the Southern Division. They lie second and play leaders Charlton Athletic at the Crown Field knowing a win would leave them three points adrift of the Londoners with a game in hand.
Michelle Purse scored twice in each half as Stoke Lane Athletic beat Taunton Town 8-2 in the Premier Division of the South West Women's League. Zoe Hales, Jade Gamlin, Faye Slade and Jade Daly were also on target for the Bristol club.
Oldland Abbotonians booked themselves a home semi-final against Forest Green Rovers in the Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup after a comprehensive 14-0 win over Abbeymead.
The visitors arrived with only 10 players but Oldland's assistant boss Steve Lavis was full of praise for their efforts.
"They showed a fantastic attitude and gave everything, despite the scoreline. You couldn't fault them," he said.
Gemma Summers scored five of Oldland's goals – taking her tally to 10 in the last three games – with Lisa McCormick (4), Jo Lenton (2), Hazel Lomas, Beth Dale and Jess Cole also on target.
Cheltenham Town will be at home to Cleeve West Town – 6-0 winners over Forest of Dean – in the other semi-final on March 15.
Results and fixtures
FA Premier League National Div: Blackburn 0, Arsenal 4; Bristol Academy 1, Everton 3; Fulham 0, Leeds Carnegie 2; Liverpool 1, Chelsea 1.
Southern Div: Barnet 3, Ipswich Town 0; Brighton 1, Colchester 3; Portsmouth 2, Truro City 2.
SW Combination: Reading Royals 1, Swindon Town 2; Weston St Johns 0, QPR 3.
SW Women's League Premier Div: Bristol Ladies Union 1, University of Exeter 3; Larkhall Ath 2, Poole Town 2; Stoke Lane Ath 8, Taunton Town 2.
Div One (North): Downend Flyers 0, Keynsham Town Dev 1.
Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup quarter-final: Gloucester City 1, Forest Green Rovers 5; Cleeve West Town 6, Forest of Dean 0; Oldland Abbotonians 14, Abbeymead 0; Longlevens 1, Cheltenham Town 10.
FA Women's Cup quarter-finals: Chelsea v OOH Lincoln; Blackburn v Everton; Arsenal v Leeds Carnegie; Sunderland v Bristol Academy.
FA Premier League National Div: Fulham v Doncaster; Liverpool v Nottingham Forest.
Southern Div: Crystal Palace v Colchester; Ipswich Town v Brighton; Keynsham Town v Charlton Ath; Truro City v Portsmouth; West Ham v Cardiff.
SW Combination: AFC Bournemouth v Chesham Utd; Forest Green Rovers v QPR; Oxford City v Yeovil Town; Reading Royals v Team Bath; Weston St Johns v Plymouth Argyle.
SW Women's League Premier Div: Cheltenham Town v Bristol Ladies Union; Gloucester City v Frome Town; Taunton Town v Stoke Lane Ath; University of Exeter v Poole Town.
Div One (North): Cirencester v Swindon Town Res; Keynsham Town Dev v Downend Flyers; Oldland Abbotonians v Weston St Johns Res; Swindon Spitfires v Bishops Lydeard.