Gloucester City Women have reached the Third Qualifying Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time, following a 2-0 win over Bath City Women – in front of a record crowd at the TigerTurf Stadium.
Goals from Kally Lloyd and Rakiya Morgan-King were enough to see Gloucester claim victory in a fairly scrappy cup tie, as an attendance of 187 looked on.
The attendance is the third time this season that Gloucester City Women have broken their own record, having seen crowds of 142 and 150 in their two previous home matches.
Alongside the crowd numbers, City have now beaten their best run in the Women’s FA Cup, which came in the 2021/22 season, when they were beaten at this stage by Ilminster Town.
The hosts started fast, with Maggie Neall sending a free kick over the bar inside the first three minutes.
Then on 11 minutes a corner was swung into the box and Kally Lloyd’s header looped up and landed over the line, despite a scramble of bodies trying to keep it out.
The goal settled City down and it should have been made two soon after, but Meg Prout did everything right bar the finish after shrugging off a defender, before sliding an effort off the foot of the far post.
Prout went close again just before half time, but skied her effort from Lloyd’s pull back.
Beth Davies dribbled forward from midfield on the brink of the break, but her effort was deflected wide for a corner.
It hadn’t been a typically efficient City performance, but they were ahead at the break.
Paige Todd found herself in down the left moments after the restart, but flashed her effort across goal, before Lloyd found herself in a similar position on the right hand side, but had her effort blocked by the feet of Bath City keeper, Sadie Farley.
Farley was called into action again just after the hour mark, as she palmed a header away as City went in search of their second.
Todd skipped past her marker again moments later after cutting the ball across goal from the byline, substitute Kacie Anderson somehow turned the ball wide from about two yards.
The longer the game stayed 1-0, the more nervy the TigerTurf Stadium became in the final quarter of an hour – especially after Bath began to push further forward.
Tara Taylor tested Ashli Whitbury with a curling effort from the edge of the box.
With five minutes left on the clock, Todd found space down the left again and crossed for Morgan-King, who produced a great first touch to create space to blast home past Farley.
The victory earns Gloucester City Women a place in the hat for the Third Qualifying Round draw, with the next round on Sunday 22 October and takes their earnings for this season’s cup run to a guaranteed £5800 as it stands.
Next up for Gloucester City Women is a tough test with the visit of Bitton Ladies to the TigerTurf Stadium, next weekend.
Gloucester City Women: Whitbury, Golding, Neall, Davies, Lloyd, Todd, Slanina-Wertz, Fuks, Ross, Esplin, Prout
Subs: Ambrey, Kantorowicz, Lewis, Morgan-King, Anderson, Simmons, Hancock
Bath City Women: Farley, Wells, Bellotti, Gray, Harris, Taylor, Harvey, Key, Goater, Wright, Sabic
Subs: Black, Jefferies
C Martin Roofing Player of the Match – Ainsley Fuks (Gloucester City Women)