Penalty hero Bob, builds way in to FA Cup First Round for City.

One of the toughest draws possible in this round of the FA Cup took place at Stockton Town FC, where the Tigresses travelled to play an in form and resilient Middlesbrough.

The early rounds were tight, with both sides trading jabs, working to find the weakness in the armour.

The best chances for City came from wide. First Hope Knight danced her way through a number of defenders before unleashing a strong strike across goal, which was dealt with well by the Boro stopper.

This was followed by a powerful run from Brookes down the right. Her cross evaded the killer touch, but on the clearance, fell to Ackroyd who struck it narrowly over.

Middlesbrough’s threat came on the break. Looking to capitalise on a mistake at the back, a deadly corner was whipped in and the header looped off the top of the bar.

From a long ball, the hosts striker won a tussle on the last line, and as she raced through, her shot squirmed wide of the far post.

The second half had more control from the side of City. Repeatedly and consistently they were able to win the ball back in the midfield and construct a number of good attacks.

Knight had three good chances on the angle, her initial strikes met well by the keeper, but each of the follow ups just unable to find the back of the net.

City also had a few shouts for penalties. Knight, Tanser and Hunt all has valid shouts for a foul in the opposition box, though the referee deemed it differently.

Boro had their chances too. A couple of threatening looking corners were brilliantly dealt with by the City defence and Keeper, Wattam (Bob) was making her second start for the club. As the time ticked down, the Boro striker capitalised on a loose pass across the back line, but as she raced through her effort flew way and beyond the post and bar.

Penalties it was.

Bob was the hero. Two excellent saves from Boro first and fourth penalties gave the way for City success.

Tanser, Hunt and Thompson stepped up for City and finished excellently, with Knight then able to steal the winner following Bobs exploits in goal.

“Today was about the result, obviously, but more importantly about the performance and getting back to how we want to play.

I’ve felt that in recent weeks, we have had to rely on problem solving instead of problem setting, and whilst it’s a good skill to have and to do well, we want to take games to teams and dominate, and in the main I think we did that today.

Boro are a very good side, who defend resiliently and make scoring very tough. We created good chances, and but for a couple of great saves, probably should have won it in the 90 minutes.

Happy to be in the first round, so let’s see where we go from here”.

City’s next game is away at FC United of Manchester in the FAWNL Plate 2nd Round.