Colchester to take on Arsenal

PUBLISHED: 14:45 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:58 04 March 2010

COLCHESTER United Ladies FC can settle into the Christmas holidays in the sure knowledge they have earned themselves an exciting New Year present. Their 1-0 defeat of Enfield LFC on Sunday means they will travel to Ladies National Premier champions Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round proper.

COLCHESTER United Ladies FC can settle into the Christmas holidays in the sure knowledge they have earned themselves an exciting New Year present. Their 1-0 defeat of Enfield LFC on Sunday means they will travel to Ladies National Premier champions Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round proper.

The U's ladies fielded a side bolstered by the return of Toni Smith, Kayley Morgan and Cerri Hughes. With the confidence of a good display against Cardiff City still fresh in their minds, it was Colchester who started the brighter, taking the game to the home side with strong runs from winger Kat Parnell causing Enfleld's defence problems from the outset.

Colchester had the better of the first half, going close on several occasions. Enfield were confined to breaks against the play but at half time though it was still goalless.

The second half ran to much the same pattern with Colchester taking up much of the possession and certainly having most attempts on goal. Free kicks by Laura Guyon and Kate Longhurst narrowly missed.

It was after a change that the breakthrough occurred with the ever hard-working Helen Bass being brought on. A strong run down the right by Bass was followed by an unselfish cross into the path of an intelligent and perfectly timed run by Longhurst who struck home without breaking stride.

Colchester held the lead for the remainder of the half and looked comfortable until the final ten minutes when Enfield began to pressure them at the back. U's Goalkeeper Nikkitta Runnacles was forced to make a save one-on-one and then a last-gasp strike by Enfield was scrambled off the Colchester line after which the referee blew for full time.

It was a well deserved win for the young Colchester side who will reap their reward at Arsenal Ladies at Boreham Wood ground on January 4.

After the game U's Ladies manager Dmitri Halajko said: “We have worked hard for this result both in training and during the games leading up to this one. All my players deserve the chance to play Arsenal and we look forward to that fixture with relish.”

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