Northampton Town Women returned to Sixfields Stadium and secured a 3-2 win over Lincoln City in the FA Women’s National League Plate first round on Sunday afternoon.
Alex Dicks, Beth Artemiou and Favour Omenazu scored the Cobblers’ goals in front of 1,011 supporters, an attendance that breaks the team’s record set when they hosted Loughborough Students last season.
Heavy rain made it difficult for either side to settle on the ball in the opening stages, the visitors sending two efforts off target early on.
Northampton grew into the contest and began creating chances after the half-an-hour mark, Dicks coming inches away from scoring with a header from captain Zoe Boote’s cross.
The forward made amends when she opened the scoring midway through the first period. Holly Mayfield was quick off her line to start a Cobblers break, and Abbie Reboul fed Dicks who kept her composure to finish.
Mayfield was involved again a few minutes later, this time diving onto Lucy Farrow’s effort from just inside the area as Lincoln looked to respond to falling behind.
Dicks nearly doubled her tally after half-an-hour when she beat visiting ‘keeper Lana Timson to Fay Noble’s inswinging corner, but her header was narrowly wide.
Another corner was awarded which Boote almost curled in at the near post, but Timson managed to push the ball away as it headed towards goal and Omenazu was unable to follow-up from close range.
Lincoln began controlling possession as the opening 45 minutes came to a close, but they failed to mount any serious threat to Mayfield’s goal in this period.
The Northampton ‘keeper had to be alert to prevent Jess Rousseau’s deflected cross from beating her at the near post early in the second half.
Mayfield made another save from Leah Hardy’s shot across goal on the hour, but there was nothing she could do to stop Abi Ringrose’s long-range strike which brought the visitors level soon after.
Despite Lincoln’s second half dominance, the Cobblers restored their lead a few minutes later when Artemiou finished from Noble’s through ball to round-off a fine passing move.
But the visitors equalised again with less than a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, Lucy Farrow converting the rebound after substitute Amy Kay’s long-range effort hit the post.
The drama continued as Northampton took the lead for a third time within a minute, Omenazu nodding in from a looped cross.
Lincoln pushed forward in search of yet another equaliser, but they failed in their pursuit and ended the game with 10 on the field after a player was sent-off for dissent in added time.
Cobblers: Holly Mayfield, Zoe Boote, Sara Wait, Bianca Luttman, Abbie Brewin (sub Gracie Williams 84), Rachael Mumford (sub Kim Farrow 68), Fay Noble, Beth Artemiou (sub Ella Bailey 74), Favour Omenazu, Alex Dicks (sub Mia Richards 90+1), Abbie Reboul (sub Vicky Barrett 46)