by Rob McKay · 09/10/2018
West Didsbury & Chorlton bowed out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup as they were beaten by Women’s National League time Bolton Wanderers at Brookburn Road.
West started brightly as Rachel Dunlop saw an effort deflected away for a corner after just six minutes. The visitors responded with an effort of their own at the 10-minute mark as Kelly Halligan fired over from the edge of the area. West went closer again on 14 minutes as El Powles saw her free kick tipped onto the crossbar by Bolton goalkeeper Dee Tomkins. Halligan went close again for the visitors as she broke the offside trap but fired wide at the near post.
The Bolton forward made no mistake on 35 minutes as she broke the offside trap, despite Claire Jefferson’s best efforts to delay the striker was able to stroke the ball into an empty goal. The goal didn’t slow the pace of the game with both sides creating chances without troubling the opposition goalkeeper.
As the half time whistle approached Dunlop brought another excellent save from Tomkins in a moment that proved pivotal in the outcome of the game allowing the Wanderers to double their lead when Rachel Hindle stroked home unmarked from close range after El Powles had made a world class block on the line. Despite the linesman initially flagging for offside it was over-ruled by the referee (correctly) to give the visitors a 2-0 lead at half time.
The second half saw another pivotal moment in the game as West were denied a penalty for hand ball but the referee waved away the protests. Bolton counter attacked and Halligan doubled her tally for the day with a finish at the near post down the left hand side. Bolton made it 4-0 on 55 minutes as Saffron Newhouse fired into the roof of the net from a tight angle from the edge of the penalty area.
West didn’t give up and continued to look for a way back into the game with the Bolton back line were forced to hold firm. To the home sides credit, they continued to create chances with the best seeing substitute Elizabeth Livesey denied at point blank range from the Bolton goalkeeper Tomkins. Jefferson was also called into action to make an excellent block at her near post.
Despite the score-line, a valuable lesson in clinical finishing, West can take great credit from their performance against a side from two divisions above as they bowed out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup for another year.