Mary Fowler’s rare day out ends on bittersweet note as Manchester City suffer shock FA Cup defeat

Mary Fowler has found the net during normal time and in a penalty shootout, but her efforts still proved in vain as Manchester City were knocked out in a Women’s FA Cup quarter-final shock.

The Matildas ace, who spends most of her time as a late-impact sub for City these days, must have been delighted to at last land the rare chance of a full game in a big last-eight tie at Tottenham’s Brisbane Road home on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

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But it turned into a bittersweet afternoon for Fowler, despite the 21-year-old striking a landmark goal for City — the 800th in their short history as one of England’s powerhouse women’s clubs — in just the sixth minute.

Spurs, taking advantage of City spurning a host of chances, came back to grab an equaliser in the 96th minute through captain Beth England, courtesy of a mix-up in the visitors’ defence, to take the game into extra time.

It eventually came down to penalties, but though Fowler converted calmly to keep City in the tie at 3-2 down, the damage had already been done.

Mary Fowler scored in the opening 10 minutes. Credit: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Spurs keeper Rebecca Spencer had already made two saves in the shootout from England pair Alex Greenwood and Chloe Kelly.

Amy James-Turner then scored the winning penalty as Spurs won the shootout 4-3 to reach the semi-finals for the first time.

Fowler had been given her chance because City had played just 72 hours earlier in their League Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea.

Her career is at somewhat of a crossroads with Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson imploring City to give her more minutes in the wake of her strong form for her country.

The Aussie started really sharply against Tottenham, linking up in a neat one-two with star striker Khadija Shaw before firing home via a big deflection.

But despite a good performance, the young Matildas star will have rued another volleyed opportunity that she wasted in the first half.

In another quarter-final, FA Cup holders Chelsea enjoyed a welcome 1-0 win at Everton, who fielded Matildas midfielder Clare Wheeler.

Their latest FA Cup success came at the end of a week that had begun with Blues’ star player Sam Kerr pleading not guilty to a charge of “racially aggravated harassment” of a London police officer in January 2023, and the club throwing their full support behind her.

Substitute Catarina Macario scored three minutes after her second-half introduction to send Chelsea through and keep alive their hopes of a unique trophy “quadruple’‘.

Chelsea join Spurs, Manchester United and Leicester City, who have Matildas fullback Courtney Nevin in their ranks, in the last four.

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