Consett Ladies’ amazing run in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup came to an end today with a 2nd Round home defeat by Stockport County Ladies.
But manager Matt Gatiss’s Steelers can hold their heads high after the 6-1 loss to a team who play their football three divisions higher.
They had beaten Birtley Town, Hull United and Warrington Wolves in their best-ever run in the competition, and were the lowest-ranked side left in it.
But a well-drilled Stockport side proved a step too far – for now – for a spirited Consett side, who never gave up in front of another bumper attendance of 252.
The visitors took the lead after 11 minutes when Maria Figueiredo pounced on a loose ball, and on 24 minutes Levi Rathburn made it two with a tremendous strike into the top corner.
Kenzie Bentley put Stockport well and truly in control with two poacher’s finishes on 30 and 38 minutes.
Consett refused to lie down, and were unlucky not to pull a goal back when Steph Curry rifled a shot just over on 40 minutes, and Emma Hewett rattled the bar a minute later.
But the Steelers got their reward for their perseverance in the 42nd minute when Emma Hewett bravely challenged the Stockport keeper for a ball in the air to head home and reduce the arrears, pictured.
It remained 4-1 at the break, but Consett had another good chance at the start of the second half when Curry saw a shot well saved by the visiting keeper.
The home side’s tails were up, and a second goal would certainly have made things interesting, but the more experienced Stockport side quashed any hopes of a comeback with some excellent game management.
Two more late goals from Harriet Houghton (80 minutes) and Maria Figueiredo again (84 mins) made the final scoreline a slightly flattering 6-1, though the visitors were worthy winners.
As they left the field the exhausted Consett side were given a warm round of applause from a crowd who appreciated how well they had done to get this far.