Luton Town Ladies’ FA Cup journey ended in the second round following a 3-1 defeat at Billericay Town on Sunday afternoon, writes Charlie Jones.
After two weeks off, Luton welcomed back several first team players after injury, notably Zara Carroll and Amy Summerfield.
It was a scrappy first half, as Billericay dominated possession, but Luton’s defence stood firm to any attacks.
Despite Billericay’s dominance, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 57 minutes.
Aurora Ryan closed down a loose ball back to the keeper, who kicked it straight at her, the Luton player converting from close range.
Hatters’ lead didn’t last long though as after some smart work down the left-hand side by Zoe Rushen, she crossed for Karen Stefanou to find the corner of the net.
Both sides then had chances to win it as Carroll played in Summerfield who found herself racing away, denied by a sliding last-ditch challenge.
It was Billericay’s turn to push forward as a cross fell to Rushen 10 yards out, Rachel Carter making an excellent block.
With no more goals in the 90 minutes, the game went into extra time.
Luton were the better side in the first half, but as they pushed on for a winner, the Hatters were caught out.
Broghan Kelly picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and fired a lofted effort that flew into the top corner.
With five minutes to go, Luton tried to find an equaliser, only to come unstuck.
Billericay broke forward after a loose ball in the midfield and Jay Blackie finished low into the right hand corner to put her side into the third round.
Town’s player of the match was Rachel Kosky, while they are back in FA Women’s National League Division One South East action on Sunday, when they visit Norwich City Ladies.