LTHC Ladies 1st XI 6 vs Newark Ladies 1st XI 2

MRHAWL – Midlands Feeder East

Saturday 16th March 2019

With just three matches remaining in the league season and a tight run race for promotion, Loughborough Town Ladies 1st XI welcomed Newark Ladies 1st XI on Saturday knowing a win was essential to keep their campaign on track. Having beat Newark 7-0 in the reverse fixture in November, Town were quietly confident as the game started in windy conditions.

Town’s confidence was evident as they enjoyed the early possession in the game but Newark also showed sparks of life with some quick forwards threatening to cause Town issues in defence. However after five minutes it was Town who broke the deadlock and took the 1-0 lead. Shana Featonby weaved her way into the Newark circle with some impressive 3D skills before slotting the ball across the face of the goal where Emily Hill was waiting to smash the ball into the roof of the goal.

Spurred on, Town continued to press high but their eagerness left them exposed at the back, allowing Newark several chances on goal. Town keeper Harriet Galpin produced a string of fine saves to deny Newark the opportunity to draw level. However, it was Town who capitalised on their chances – a penalty corner routine seeing Hannah McCleery’s effort turned in at close range by Featonby past the outstretched sticks of several defenders.

Town threatened to run riot as the half came to a close – forwards Georgina Godfrey and Alex Hardy seeing their efforts blaze just wide of the goal.

Town’s third goal was a spectacular effort by Emma Weir. Connecting with a deflected ball in the circle, Weir’s instinctive volley flew past the dumbfounded Newark keeper and into the net. However, Newark still posed a threat despite centre-backs Izzie Limb and Gabrielle Morgan’s best efforts. Town’s post denying Newark the opportunity to claw a goal back in the dying seconds of the half.

Town were again energetic from the restart and within minutes enjoyed further rewards as frustration began to creep into the Newark defence, resulting in a penalty corner for a defender not backing off on a free hit. A perfect routine saw a slap from Emily Burgwin beautifully deflected up and over the Newark keeper by Ashleigh Godfrey to bring the score line to 4-0.

Joint player of the match Burgwin then claimed her first of the morning with an incredible drive from the Town defensive circle up to the other end of the pitch, her slap from the top of the circle watched into the goal by a confused Newark keeper.

Now behind by 5 goals, Newark began to attack with more intensity and again Town’s defence was tested. Katherine Laws produced a solid performance at half-back to deter many Newark attempts, earning her joint player of the match. However, despite their best efforts, Town were finally undone by a Newark fast break, with Galpin finally defeated by a well worked baseline run and close range deflection.

With the score 5-1, Town were still motivated to make sure of the three points although not long remained on the clock. Katie McKinlay worked tirelessly in midfield to disrupt Newark’s passages of play and Town were rewarded when another shot by Alex Hardy was stopped on the line by a Newark foot. Emily Burgwin stepped up to take the resulting flick and calmly slotted the ball low to the keeper’s right to take the score to 6-1.

As the clock ran down, Newark’s frustration became ever more evident, a green and a yellow card within seconds of each other seeing the opposition down to 9 players in the final 5 minutes. Town’s hunt for yet another goal intensified knowing that they had the advantage of two extra players on the field. However, a fast break from Newark coinciding with the return of one of their players from suspension saw the visitors draw a penalty corner in the final minute of the game. Despite Town’s efforts, a well-worked routine saw the defence beaten and Newark pull the score back to 6-2. However, the fight back came too late for Newark with the final whistle blowing immediately after the goal.

Town’s 6-2 win sees them maintain 2nd place in the league with a huge crunch game against University of Nottingham 2nd XI next Saturday.

Categories: Match Reports