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Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 19:43 GMT
Birmingham shock Doncaster
QPR's Marcus Bignot who also manages the Birmingham women's team
Marcus Bignot had a memorable weekend
BBC Sport Online's Tony Leighton rounds up the action from aremarkable day of women's football.

England Under-19 striker Katy Ward hit a hat-trick as Northern Division Birmingham City pulled off the shock of the season with a 4-3 Premier League Cup semi-final win over Doncaster Belles.

The result completed a great weekend for Birmingham manager Marcus Bignot.

On Saturday, playing for Queens Park Rangers against Bury, he had scored in a 3-0 win which kept the Hoops in the Second Division's play-off places.

Then, on Sunday, his Birmingham side came from 3-1 down to snatch a famous victory which made them the first team this season to reach one of the major women's Cup finals.

They will meet the winners of next Wednesday's semi between Fulham and Arsenal.

The final is to be played at Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park on 10 March.

If Fulham knock out the holders in midweek it will mean a second Cup meeting of the season with Birmingham, who entertain the Cottagers next Sunday in a delayed FA Cup fourth round tie.

Several of the fourth round ties postponed from last week were played this weekend, with five of the six National Division teams involved all moving into the next round.

The one side to fall were Sunderland, who went down 4-2 to National Division rivals Tranmere Rovers.

Star of the show was England winger Sue Smith, who hit all four Tranmere goals.

Premier League Cup semi-final
Doncaster Belles 3-4 Birmingham City

Prolific scorer Katy Ward took her season's goal tally to 28 in a sensational performance by the Northern Division leaders, who remain unbeaten in all competitions this season.

The game looked beyond them when they went 3-1 down in the first 18 minutes, Donny's goals coming from Jody Handley, Mel Garside and Michelle Barr.

But Ward hit her second goal just before the interval.

Then, after a Jodie McGuckin equaliser midway through the second period, the tiny Blues striker hit the winner with a superbly struck 30 yard free-kick 16 minutes from time.

"It's a weekend I'll never forget, that's for sure," said Bignot.

"The girls perhaps lacked a bit of self-belief early on today, but I went up there believing we would win the game and the girls believed it too once we had got to half-time.

"This is the greatest day in the history of the Birmingham City women's team - but hopefully there are more days like this to come."

Premier League National Division
Everton 1-2 Brighton

There was also a shock in the top flight's only game of the day, second from bottom Brighton winning at third-placed Everton whose right back Jeanette Hill was sent off in the 25th minute.

The depleted home side then took the lead through Sara Whewell, but Emma Meade levelled the scores and Holly Grogan headed the winner in stoppage time.

"Jeanette kicked out at an opponent and she had to go," said Keith Marley.

"It was totally out of character, but it was ridiculous."

Women's FA Cup Round Four

Tranmere's four-goal Sue Smith took the FA Cup scoring plaudits.

But there was also a noteworthy feat by Andi Bell of Northern Division side Garswood Saints, Bell hitting a hat-trick in a 5-0 win against Redhill.

Midfielders Jayne Ludlow and Ciara Grant hit two goals apiece as Arsenal ran up a comfortable 7-0 victory over Loughborough Students.

The Gunners' fifth round opponents will be Leeds United, though Northern Combination Newcastle gave their National Division visitors a hard time before Leeds went through 4-2 after extra time.


Fourth round results
Charlton Athletic 3-0 Bangor City
Garswood Saints 5-0 Redhill
Loughborough Students 0-7 Arsenal
Newcastle 2-4 Leeds United (a.e.t.)
Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Langford (a.e.t - Langford won 4-2 on penalties)
Tranmere Rovers 4-2 Sunderland

The draw for the fifth round of the women's FA Cup sponsored by AXA is as follows:

  • Barry Town v Brighton or Doncaster Belles
  • Coventry City v Birmingham City or Fulham
  • Garswood Saints v Enfield
  • Southampton Saints v Oldham Curzon
  • Arsenal v Leeds Utd
  • Langford v Charlton
  • Lincoln City v Everton
  • Tranmere Rovers or Wolves

    Ties to be played on Sunday, 27 January.

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