Chelsea is the hero for PNE ladies

Aimee Cleaver plays the ball forward
Aimee Cleaver plays the ball forward
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Preston North End Women secured their place in the FA Women’s Premier League Plate quarter-final with a 1-0 win at Coventry outfit Copsewood Ladies.

Chelsea Flanagan scored her sixth goal of the season since joining from Manchester City, five minutes into the second half to seal a place in the last eight.

The first half was mainly contested in the middle of the pitch with neither team creating many chances.

PNE keeper Danielle Brown was alert to save Nicola Foskett’s effort in the 22nd minute before her opposite number Nikki Duncan pulled off a good save down low to her right to deny Yasmine Swarbrick.

Towards the end of the first half, PNE were continually throwing players forward to search for a goal but their efforts failed to test Copsewood keeper Duncan.

Five minutes after the restart, Preston got the reward for their waves of attack as Flanagan found the net.

Aimee Cleaver split the defence with an inch-perfect ball which allowed Flanagan in behind the back four to finish with aplomb.

Despite taking the lead, PNE continued their pressure but were constantly thwarted by Duncan.

Alice Forshaw found herself free in the box in the 60th minute but her right-footed effort was palmed away by the Copsewood goalkeeper.

The home side’s only chance of the game came about in the 72nd minute when captain Laura Walker was forced into a goalline clearance from Leah Williams, before Foskett fired wide from six yards out.

The final 10 minutes saw the game become more open with Copsewood pushing for an equaliser, whilst PNE slowed the tempo down and exploited the gaps left by the defence.

Walker had the final chance of the game with eight minutes to play when she crashed a free-kick against the post from just outside the area.

The draw for the quarter-finals take splace on December 8, and PNE will face one Exeter, Huddersfield, MK Dons, Radcliffe Olympic, Shanklin, Swindon or West Ham.