Moors Ladies booked their place in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup after producing a gutsy display to see off Wakefield at The Brewery Field on Sunday.
The visitors – also in NERWFL Premier Division – looked just as motivated as Moors to progress to Round One and that meant for a captivating encounter in front of another good crowd.
It was Wakefield who settled better in the early stages and Moors keeper Sophie Miller was put to the test as the West Yorkshire outfit got on the front foot.
However, Moors began to get a foothold and could have gone in front on 12 minutes when a wonderful through ball from Autumn Colledge set Lily Jackson through on goal but the young forward took a heavy touch and the Wakefield keeper got there to block the shot.
Jackson wasn’t to be denied though. Minutes later she scampered onto another pass from Autumn Colledge and this time made no mistake, firing an unstoppable shot from 20 yards which flew into the net via the inside of the post for 1-0.
Shannon Reed was a driving force for Moors in midfield, and she could have got her name on the scoresheet early in the second half but drilled a shot just wide of the target.
However, Wakefield began to look dangerous, and some neat football was opening up the Moors defence which led to a leveller on the hour when a low ball was put across the six-yard box where it was inadvertently turned into her own net by Holly Middleton.
Moors’ response was clinical. Reed lifted a superb ball over the top for Caitlin Bates and the forward took her time to steady herself before lashing a finish past the Wakefield keeper to restore the lead.
Billy Shackleton’s side were then forced to defend with real determination as the visitors piled forward in search of another equaliser in what remained of the cup tie.
But they didn’t bargain on finding Miller in inspired form and she made a wonderful save to her left to deny Wakefield a goal and also dominated her box with a number of brave punches.
Wakefield came very close to equalising when a shot from distance cannoned into the cross bar, before Moors repeated the trick at the other end when substitute Courtney Mole’s thunderbolt came back off the woodwork.
The last word was saved for Miller though as she went down brilliantly to her left to make an outstanding save at her near post right at the death to earn the Player of the Match award and help send Moors in to the First Round Proper of the FA Cup.
“I’m really proud of this team,” admitted Shackleton afterwards.
“We’d said we wanted make the First Round Proper when we sat down together to set targets in pre-season and we’ve done it the hard way by beating two very good sides.”
The draw for the First Round was made on Monday and Moors have been handed another tough draw away at Blackpool.
Full Time: Moors 2 Wakefield 1
Moors: Miller, McGovern, Welch-Davison, C Colledge, Middleton, O Mole, Reed, Drinkald (C Mole 69), Bates, L Jackson (Knox 84), A Colledge.
Subs not used: Foster, Grayson, Hemmingway.