City secured passage into the fifth round of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup with a fine 4-0 victory over Durham at Maiden Castle.

Laura Coombs broke the deadlock early in the north east with a well-taken volley, before Jill Roord scored either side of half-time in an all-round excellent display by the Netherlands international.

Mary Fowler then rounded off the strong success over the Championship outfit with her first of the season on the cusp of full-time.

The victory was the perfect way to begin 2024 with the cup clash representing our first fixture of the calendar year.

And by advancing into the next phase of the competition, the Blues have now reached the fifth round for the seventh straight season.


Such was the intrigue for this FA Cup tie, spectators who were unable to get a ticket inside Maiden Castle opportunistically took advantage of the hill outside the ground to get a view on proceedings.

Those with a look at the action almost witnessed an early goal when City made use of our early possession as Jill Roord produced a breathtaking pirouette to enter the box, but her thunderous effort crashed off the crossbar.

However, Taylor’s side’s early pressure paid dividends soon after when Chloe Kelly drove down the right and lifted a ball into the box which Coombs excellently volleyed into the net.

The visitors showed no signs of ring rust despite not playing competitively for five weeks since our 4-1 Barclays Women’s Super League win over Everton in December.

And we almost doubled our advantage midway through the first half when Alex Greenwood sent an inviting, in-swinging free-kick towards the back post which just evaded the stretching Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw who had the goal at her mercy.

The Jamaican, the current leading WSL scorer, then had a golden chance to extend our lead when she latched onto a perfectly weighted through ball to face Naoisha McAloon one on one.

Instead of looking to shoot, though, she unselfishly squared to Lauren Hemp – but the ball across the face of goal was slightly overhit and the England international couldn’t squeeze it home from a tight angle.

Following our opener, Durham defended valiantly and were proving to be tough to break down, but Roord found the second goal we craved before the interval when she collected the ball inside the box and unleashed a venomous effort into the top corner.

Although 17 places in the English football pyramid stood between the two sides, Durham still packed plenty of quality and made things difficult for Taylor’s players with stubborn defensive action. 

The architect for both of City’s goals, Kelly looked to extend our lead further shortly after the interval with a dipping effort from range which McAloon had to palm away to remove the sting.

As the match continued to grow, so did Roord’s influence on proceedings and she netted her second against Claire Ditchburn’s side with 20 minutes remaining when beating the offside trap and coolly chipping the ball into the net. 

Towards the closing stages, Taylor utilised the options on his bench and one of our second half substitutes, Fowler, caused problems after her introduction. 

The Australia international weaved into the box and cut onto her right before her deflected shot looped into the air and was prodded home before the flag was raised for offside. 

However, the versatile forward wouldn’t be denied much longer and she scored her first goal of the season on the cusp of full-time when she danced into the box and slotted low into the bottom corner to finish the scoring.


The Netherlands international was once again at her scintillating best at Maiden Castle with an all-action display. 

Roord consistently influenced proceedings between both boxes with precise passes and tough tackles.

And her double was more than just rewards for her excellent performance against Durham.


Khiara Keating was protected between the sticks by a back four of Kerstin Casparij, Laia Aleixandri, Alex Greenwood (C) and Leila Ouahabi.

Yui Hasegawa anchored the midfield behind Jill Roord and Laura Coombs

Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw led the line between Chloe Kelly and Lauren Hemp who operated on the wings.

Durham: McAloon, Briggs, Wilson, Mcfadden, Salicki, Crosthwaite, Lambert, Bradley (Wilson 75’), Hepple, Andrews (Pritchard 56’), Noonan (Ryan-Doyle 75’).

Unused substitutes: Ayre, Wilson, Nicholson, Saunders.

City: Keating, Casparij (Houghton 81’) Aleixandri, Greenwood (Morgan 75’), Ouahabi, Hasegawa (Mace 74’), Roord (Park 68’), Coombs, Kelly, Shaw (Fowler 68’), Hemp.

Unused substitutes: MacIver, Stokes, Angeldahl, Blakstad. 


Our victory at Maiden Castle means we have secured passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The draw for the next stage will take place on Monday 15 January at approximately 19:30 (UK), with the draw taking place on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club and BBC iPlayer. 



City resume our Barclays Women’s Super League campaign in our next assignment as we welcome Liverpool at the Joie Stadium on Sunday 21 January.

The match will be broadcast live in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports and comprehensive coverage will be provided on the Man City App.

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