HOW IT HAPPENED
By Nik Brumsack at Meadow Park
Caitlin Foord's brace, plus goals from Mana Iwabuchi, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Nikita Parris saw us advance beyond Tottenham Hotspur to reach the semi-final of the Women’s FA Cup in style on Wednesday evening.
On an evening where Tobin Heath made her first start since joining the club late last week and Jordan Nobbs returned from injury, we recovered from conceding early to blow away our north London rivals in an irresistible first-half display.
The Jonas Eidevall era has started in scintillating fashion - this was our eighth successive win under our new boss. We fell behind in a match for the first time under his leadership, but came roaring back with a performance full of attacking prowess. We’ve now scored 31 goals since Eidevall took charge.
For all the palpable excitement around Meadow Park at kick-off, the visitors started brightly - and within three minutes, they had the lead, with Rachel Williams arrowing a fine left-foot shot into the far corner after we were unable to clear a set-piece.
The early setback forced us into action, with the dangerous Heath instrumental to much of our attacking play. She could have had a penalty when sent tumbling to the floor after combining well with Nobbs, but still managed to dig out a cross which neither Iwabuchi or Parris could turn home in the ensuing scramble.
The pressure was mounting - and it came as no surprise when we drew level on the quarter-hour. Again, Heath was involved, latching on to Lia Walti’s defence-splitting pass before cutting the ball back to the edge of the area. It fell nicely for Iwabuchi, who took a touch to set herself before curling her shot beyond former Gunner, Rebecca Spencer.
Just after the half hour, the turnaround was complete. Heath’s free-kick wasn’t cleared, allowing Wubben-Moy to power home a shot via a deflection.
Four minutes later, we were 3-1 in front - Foord clinically firing home to cap an intricate team move down the flank.
And there was still time for Parris to beat Spencer to a free-kick and glance home a header as we went into the break in complete control.
Eidevall shuffled his pack somewhat after the break as we saw the match out - Heath and Nobbs were replaced just after the hour, with Viki Schnaderbeck making her first appearance since November 8, 2020 in the closing stages.
Foord added further gloss on the scoreline late on, finishing a flowing team move with aplomb to put the seal on a comprehensive win over north London rivals.
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