Manchester United have made the semi-finals of the Continental Cup for the second year in succession with a narrow win at home to Brighton.
United got off to the perfect start at Leigh Sports Villiage with Abbie McManus giving the hosts the lead after 12 minutes.
Katie Zelem lofted a ball in from the left and it sailed past everyone in the box.
McManus got on the end of it at the back post to tap in for the Red Devils to take the lead.Embed from Getty Images
It nearly got even better for United as Jess Sigsworth hit the bar with a header just before the half-hour mark.
Danique Kerkdijk nearly gifted the home side a goal as she almost turned a cross into her own net. Her intervention luckily went over.
The game wasn’t all United though. Brighton had a few chances of their own in the first half, including a fantastic opportunity for Matilde Lundorf.
She found herself in more space than she was expecting and got free in the box by rounding Kirsty Smith.
All she had to do was put the shot on target to properly trouble Mary Earps but her effort was sky-high.
Brighton had their biggest chance of the game in the second half after Amy Turner brought down Emily Simpkins in the box.
Referee Martin Woods took his time with the decision but eventually pointed to the spot to award the Seagulls a penalty.
Ini-Abasi Umotong stepped up to take the penalty and hit the bar. Her effort cannoned back into the box but Brighton couldn’t do anything with the rebound.Embed from Getty Images
Brighton looked so much better in the second half. After a toothless performance in the first period, the Seagulls looked threatening in the second.
That didn’t stop them falling to United again though. Casey Stoney’s side doubled their lead when Jess Sigsworth put in a wonderful cross for Jane Ross.
Ross had acres of space and coolly slotted home.
Brighton looked like they could have been back in it when they were awarded their second penalty of the evening. This time substitute Kayleigh Green made no mistake and found the back of the net.
The visitors threw everything at United for the last ten minutes but some resilient defending was all the Reds needed to secure the win.Embed from Getty Images
Brighton fall in the last eight for the second season running as United make the semi-finals again.
Last season Brighton lost 7-1 to Manchester City at this stage so will see this as a massive improvement.
United went on to lose 2-1 to Arsenal in last season’s Conti Cup semi-finals. Casey Stoney will hope for a better result this time round.