Manchester United reached the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals after seeing off the plucky challenge of Championship side Lewes 3-1 at the Dripping Pan.
Lewes were the lowest ranked side left in the competition at the quarter-final stage and they went behind when Rhian Cleverly’s own goal put the Women’s Super League title challengers in front just eight minutes in before Vilde Boe Risa doubled the lead after the break.
The hosts got back into the game soon after when an error from Mary Earps saw the ball fall to Emily Kraft on the edge of the box, with the forward lobbing the ball over the United goalkeeper’s head.
But substitute Nikita Parris ensured the visitors reached the next round with a tidy finish from a tight angle in the 89th minute.
Holders Chelsea sealed their spot in the last four by beating fellow WSL side Reading 3-1.
Goals from Jess Carter and a penalty from Maren Mjelde put Chelsea in the driving seat going into the break before a great pass threaded through from Johanna Rytting Kaneryd found Alsu Abdullina, who squared the ball to Guro Reiten to add a third for Chelsea five minutes after the restart.
The Royals earned a consolation through Sanne Troelsgaard in the 70th minute, but Chelsea were able to see the game out as they look to defend their title.
Birmingham were the other remaining Championship team in the competition, but they were knocked out by Brighton following a 2-0 win at St Andrew’s.
Two goals within four minutes were enough for the visitors as Poppy Pattinson put the Seagulls ahead from a corner and Danielle Carter converted from the penalty spot.
Aston Villa completed the semi-final line-up in Sunday’s late game, beating three-time winners Manchester City 2-1 after extra time.
Captain Rachel Corsie gave the home side in the lead after 20 minutes when her on-target header from a corner took a slight deflection off Esme Morgan and flew beyond goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.
Deyna Castellanos equalised before half-time with a looping header and although Corsie missed a good chance to win the tie with the last action of normal time, Villa were not to be denied and Rachel Daly tapped home the winner from close range in the 97th minute.
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