Bristol Academy v Everton Ladies
Everton Ladies were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller as they were knocked out of the FA Women's Cup by Bristol Academy on Sunday.
The Blues headed to the Stoke Gifford Stadium on the back of a 7-0 win over Oxford United in the previous round, with the Vixens standing in the way of a semi-final place.
But it would be the hosts that squeezed through to the final four with a 3-2 win despite a Toni Duggan's brace. Andy Spence's side also found themselves down to 10 players following a red card for young forward Nikita Parris.
Everton found themselves behind after as little as 24 seconds, as Bristol's close-season signing Natalia Sanchon headed home from close range in the very first attack.
The Blues fought back and Michelle Hinnigan forced Siobhan Chamberlain into a good save from a 30-yard free-kick, before captain Jill Scott clipped the post moments later.
At the other end, Rachel Brown was on form to deny Sanchon and Angharad James in quick succession.
But Duggan levelled the scores on 32 minutes with a fine solo effort. Cutting in from the left-hand side, the 21-year-old created enough space to curl past England teammate Chamberlain.
Early in the second half, Sanchon grabbed her second of the afternoon to restore Bristol’s lead. Attacking Natasha Harding's cross at the near post, the former Rayo Vallecano forward neatly clipped the ball beyond Brown.
And just after the hour-mark, it was 3-1. Amy Kane felled Harding in the box and another Spaniard, Laura Del Rio, stepped up to score from the spot.
The Blues' challenge increased even further minutes later, as Parris was dismissed on 67 minutes for dissent.
But Duggan struck again to offer hope moments after, firing in expertly from the edge of the box.
Chances for both sides followed, but the game finished 3-2 to the hosts, ending Everton's hopes of lifting the FA Women's Cup this term.
The two teams meet at Stoke Gifford Stadium again this Thursday, as the Blues' WSL season finally gets underway.