The FA Continental Tyres Cup got underway on Saturday evening with a late goal giving Sheffield United the win at Aston Villa, while Crystal Palace took an extra point from the shoot-out with Spurs after the game finished level in 90 minutes.
Saturday 18 August
FA Continental Tyres Cup
Group 1 North: Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield United
Group 1 South: Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Palace won shoot-out 5-3) (Att: 372)
Super-sub secures Blades victory
Sheffield United made a winning debut in the Conti Cup, thanks to an 85th-minute goal from veteran Tania Marsden.
Jade Pennock side-footed wide from only six yards out for the visitors and Villa’s Nadine Hanssen was denied from point-blank range by goalkeeper Nik Hobbs.
Chloe Dixon rifled an effort inches wide of the home goal but 5 minutes before the break the Blades scored, as Dan Cox headed home a corner.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half and the scores were levelled from another flag-kick, with Hanssen diverting the ball home from close range.
Rebecca Rayner thumped a header against the Villa bar and Sian Rogers denied Beth Merrick a goal against her former side but Marsden then found the net with a cool finish after being played through by Rayner.
Blades boss Carla Ward commented: “I’m delighted for Tania because that’s her 280th game, so to come on and score that goal shows what she’s all about. A lot of people wrote her off but she’s come on and showed why we kept her on.”
Palace make Spurs pay the penalty
Tottenham Hotspur missed a penalty in normal time and after the match was drawn, Crystal Palace gained a second point from a shoot-out success.
Angela Addison’s early free kick skimmed the Eagles’ crossbar and Renee Hector’s flick from close range forced home keeper Megen Lynch into a good save, before Ashlee Hinks drilled a set-piece inches over.
Tottenham took the lead on 37 minutes when Addison’s cross was blocked but it fell kindly for Josie Green, who drilled it high into the net.
Spurs were also denied by the bar minutes into the second half from a Megan Wynne cross, which was then cleared by Jade Keogh.
The scores were level on 64 minutes as Kallie Balfour ran round the keeper to tap home, after her shot squirmed through the legs of Chloe Morgan.
Spurs had the chance to quickly restore their advantage when Addison was brought down in the box but her powerful spot kick rebounded off the post and was fired wide.
Bianca Baptiste brought a fine save from Lynch but with the game ending all square, an extra point was up for grabs in a shoot-out.
Hincks hit the decisive penalty, while the unfortunate Hector was the only one to miss from the spot.
Click here for Sunday’s Conti Cup fixtures and preview