FOOTBALL - Knowle Ladies beat Crusaders to advance in County Cup - The Solihull Observer

FOOTBALL - Knowle Ladies beat Crusaders to advance in County Cup

Solihull Editorial 18th Jan, 2023   0

DEMI Rolph scored twice as Knowle Ladies advanced to the quarter-finals of the Birmingham County Cup with a 3-2 win against Crusaders.

Rolph netted a quickfire brace at the start of the second period after Marian Byrne had opened the scoring only for Crusaders to score twice as Knowle clung on to claim a last eight spot at Hampton Road.

And Knowle will meet Wolverhampton Wanderers Women in the quarter-finals with the game to be played at Knowle on Sunday, February 19.

Crusaders player Katie Adams went close early on as she collected goalkeeper Katy Smirthwaite’s loose clearance only to send her lobbed effort wide.

And Knowle had the ball in the net soon after only for the assistant’s flag to rule out Rolph’s effort from Camile Abbotts’ pass as the first half ended goalless.

However, Knowle took the lead early in the second half when Emma Shaw’s pinpoint corner was met by the head of Byrne who thumped the ball into the net.

And Knowle doubled their lead when Rolph finished well from Jess Barlow’s pass after good work from Abbotts, Bex Clarke and Morgan Betteridge.

Knowle all but sealed the win when Rolph scored a spectacular bicycle kick from Betteridge’s cross with Crusaders goalkeeper Justine Lewis stranded.

However, Crusaders pulled a goal back when Adams lashed in a rebound after Smirthwaite had made a good initial save.

And Crusaders struck again when debutant Ellis Read finished off a flowing team move at the back post with Smirthwaite powerless to prevent the ball from finding the net.

There was late drama at both ends as Rolph found the net from Shaw’s free kick only to be flagged for offside before Crusaders also had a goal ruled out by the assistant’s flag as Knowle held on to reach the quarter-finals.


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