Ladies march on

West Ham United Ladies maintained the feel-good factor sweeping through the club by completing a 4-2 FA Women's Cup Sponsored by EON fourth-round win over Colchester United.

Nina Downham (pictured) scored twice and Emma Thomas and Kayleigh Xidhas once apiece as the Hammers moved through to a last-16 meeting with South East Combination League side Enfield Town.

Downham netted twice before half-time before their FA Tesco Women's Premier League rivals pulled a goal back through Emily Heaslip five minutes after the break.

West Ham refused to panic and reinstated their two-goal advantage when Thomas blasted home two minutes later, only for Helen Bass to halve the deficit again.

A thrilling tie was finally settled when youngster Kayleigh Xidhas - one of a number of fringe players to impress for the hosts at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane - headed Thomas' cross into the net on 62 minutes.


Manager Julia Setford was all smiles after seeing her side come out on top and remain on course for a memorable league and cup double.

"We changed a lot of things round and brought some players in and I thought everyone did fantastically. It didn't go as smoothly as I wanted it to in the first few minutes as it took a bit of time for people to settle in, but once we got into our stride and got our two goals it was pretty straightforward for us.

"I thought Nina was fantastic. She shows her qualities week-in, week-out. She's been through a bit of a dry spell recently, but once she got one it just went for her. It put us in great stead with two great goals.

"We've played Colchester five times this year and every time we've played them, they've given us a game, so we knew they would come at us and throw everything at us.

"They got their goal back, but we didn't panic and went straight up the other end and managed to get another one ourselves, so it settled us."

While the men will be in FA Cup action at Stoke City this coming Sunday, the Ladies will continue down the road to a final date at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena when they travel to Enfield Town on the same afternoon.

Kick-off at Brimsdown Sports and Social Club in Goldsdown Road, Brimsdown, is at 2pm.