A double from Jade Henderson helped Notts County Ladies under-16s storm to a 4-1 quarter-final League Cup victory over Gedling Southbank.
While the hosts were sitting in second place going into the encounter at Newstead Recreation Ground, Gedling were in mid-table, but the prospect of a semi-final place was a good leveller.
This certainly proved to be the case in the first period when Southbank defended well in the first 25 minutes as the young Magpies pressed hard.
Eventually, however, the breakthrough came as captain Ellie Betteridge threaded through to Faye Wheatley who played in Polly Lees-Collier and her shot found the roof of the net.
No matter how they tried, County were unable to double their lead before the break, meaning the game remained delicately poised.
Gedling were quick out the blocks in the second half and struck a leveller on the counter attack when a move down the right side led to a shot being spilled and their striker stroked home the rebound.
A little shell shocked, the home side soon found another gear with Betteridge taking the game by the scruff of the neck and driving the ball forward at every opportunity.
County regained the upper hand when Faye Wheatley’s drive rebounded off the keeper for the quick-thinking Kelsea Marriott to pounce and pop it into the bottom corner for 2-1.
And it was 3-1 when Marriott’s stop turn deep into the corner allowed her to play in Faye Wheatley who slipped the ball inside Henderson to lob the keeper.
The young Magpies wrapped up the game with Henderson’s second as she won the ball from a goal kick, skipped round a defender and smacked the ball into the top corner.
The victory secures the stripes with their second semi-final place of the season as they take on Nottingham Forest next week in the Notts FA Shield.
Player of the match went to Megan Weston who made some crunching tackles in the second period.