Jamie Denley
WBA are into the next round of the draw after an entertaining game against Sutton Coldfield Town

West Bromwich Albion Women 4 Sutton Coldfield Town Women 1

Sutton Coldfield Town’s County Cup journey comes to an end with West Brom clinical from set-pieces in a 4-1 encounter.

The hosts, at their new home of Coles Lane, extended their run to 19 goals in three games courtesy of three second-half finishes.

Sutton Coldfield dealt with Albion’s high-pressing system effectively in the first minutes as they looked to assert themselves in the game. The first real chance of the match came in the fourth minute, with Evie Gallop firing wide for the Baggies before Town striker Niamh Deasy missed the target from distance. Both teams looked to find the opening with long through balls to their frontlines yet were experiencing more luck from set-pieces. Midfielder Trina Greaves looked lively from them too, heading wide from a promising free-kick 30 yards out.

Ruth Graham was key for the away side with Albion threatening, shutting down Greaves in a promising move before clearing multiple crosses away from goal. The defender provided some dangerous deliveries from long free-kicks in the first half but the Sutton Coldfield attack failed to test Bastock. The momentum for Albion grew after 20 minutes with a great chance falling to Stamps, poking narrowly wide from ten-yards out. Town failed to deal with the pressure, forcing a corner from a poor clearance.

The Baggies took full advantage in the 27th minute, with Sutton Coldfield failing to clear the resulting corner before Freya Smith took control and rolled it into the bottom-right hand corner for her first senior goal in blue and white. Albion wasted no time in looking for a second, with Stamps going close again, hitting the side-netting after a smart run split the defence. Sophie Levick was at the centre of most of Town’s attacks, linking up well on the edge of the box but resulted in nothing. West Brom ended the half on top, with Greaves going close again with a great delivery from Walklett before volleying over from close range.

The Royals persisted with the long balls, attempting to break the Albion high-line with Deasy pressing well. Town started the second half the brightest with chances from a series of corners while Deasy’s deflected effort found Kingscott who fired just wide of the left-hand post. Albion began to show more attacking intent just shy of the hour mark, with a short corner by George finding Gallops on the edge of the box, ending with Walklett forcing a strong save from McElroy at her near post. Town didn’t learn their lesson, failing to deal with the delivery once again with a scramble in the box ending with Owen tapping home for Albion’s second.

Sutton Coldfield responded well with a good move from Imogen Fisher leading to a corner. West Brom didn't clear their lines properly following the delivery, with Fisher’s deflected effort finding its way past Bastock. Sugarman’s side soon regained control, with Stamps volleying narrowly wide minutes after conceding. The increased pressure resulted in more corners, with another inviting delivery finding Greaves who poked in from another goal-mouth scramble. Confusion as to whether there was a foul in the build-up but Albion’s two-goal advantage was quickly restored.

 Emily Owen grabbed her second of the game and the Baggies’ fourth a couple minutes later - a great ball in by Stracker finding the defender to put the team comfortably ahead. The flurry of goals was met by a five-minute stoppage as McElroy went down injured under a collision with an Albion player, with an outfield player subbed in between the sticks for the remaining minutes.

The hosts continued to look lively in the last quarter of an hour but Sutton Coldfield kept their shape well, while looking to exploit spaces in the opposition defence on the counter. Town continued to build several attacks from deep but lacked the cutting edge to break down Albion’s defence. While West Brom were worthy of their win, Sutton Coldfield gave a strong account of themselves as they continue their impressive rise through the football pyramid. In regular play, they dealt with Albion’s high-press and high volume of crosses but looked vulnerable from set-pieces, with the Baggies clinical enough to secure their spot in the next round of the Women’s County Cup.

WBA Women (4-4-2): Bastock; Davies, Smith, Owen, George; Loydon, Greaves, Gallop, Straker; Walklett, Stamps. SUBS: Brown, Embley, Beck-Esson, Langley-Wright, Congrave.

Sutton Coldfield Town Women (4-4-1-1): McElroy; Kingscott, Graham, Kerr, Jones; Fisher, Roberts, Lampitt, Leigh Fowler; Levick; Deasy. SUBS: Hemans, Payton, Morris, Fryer.