Report: Villa Ladies 1-0 Everton Ladies
Left back Hannah George's second half goal was the difference in a well-contested game and set up a mouthwatering last eight meeting with top-flight Chelsea.
There was a let off for the home side just 12 seconds in, though - Danielle Turner showed good pace down the left, her strike hitting the woodwork.
This seemed to be the wake up the call the home side needed as they started to dictate play.
A super through-ball from Katie Wilkinson picked out one of last season's breakthrough stars Amy West, who was pulled back.
From the resultant free-kick, Wilkinson hit one of her trademark efforts which was clawed away by Everton stopper Alex Brooks.
Both Mollie Rouse and Beth Merrick went close with drives as Villa looked the more potent in attack.
On the half hour mark, the impressive Wilkinson played in Rouse and her firm strike was inches off target.
Clearly buoyed by her earlier attempts, Rouse was again in the thick of the action - her cross scrambled behind, skipper Katy Moran heading the resultant corner behind.
All their hard was almost undone by a crisp attacking move moments later.
Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah met Turner's left-wing cross but could not quite steer her close-range effort past Jess Myers.
In what continued to be a physical battle, the claret and blues continued to dominate in the second 45 minutes.
Moran rose highest from a corner and was unfortunate to see her header hit the crossbar.
Yet, they remained undeterred and took a deserved lead just shy of the hour-mark - George heading home Merrick's cross following a sustained spell of Villa pressure.
And they continued in the same vein, persistence and hard work winning a host of set pieces and keeping their opponents at bay.
Andy Spence's side, widely tipped as favourites for the second-tier title, could have levelled in the latter stages.
Boye-Hlorkah capitalising on some hesitation in the Villa backline - goalkeeper Myers alert to nip in.
Villa showed strong game management, breaking where possible and decreasing the tempo when needed.
The visitors had a glorious chance to take the contest into extra-time four minutes from the end of the 90 - Boye-Hlorkah heading Gabby George's cross inches wide.
Sheer commitment and bodies on the line from the hosts helped Joe Hunt's team over the line to record a deserved victory and they now await the last eight draw.
The two teams meet again on Thursday evening in their WSL 2 opener at Widnes' Select Security Stadium.
Villa Ladies now travel to WSL 2 side Chelsea for their quarter-final tie.
The match takes place on Sunday April 3, at Staines Town FC's Wheatsheaf Park, kick-off 2pm.
Villa Ladies: Myers, Crackle (Harper 74), Bryant, Richards, George, Cusack, Moran (C), West, Merrick, Rouse, Wilkinson. Unused subs: Beattie, Baptiste, Tallis.
Everton Ladies: Brooks, V. Jones, D. Turner, Boye-Hlorkah, Hinnigan (C), K. Jones, Brougham, Johnson (Magill 77), Walker, M. Turner (Finnigan 58), George. Unused subs: Davies, Dear.
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