First win in three for Lancaster at Brooklands Poynton
Lancaster 1s claimed their first win in three games on their trip to Cheshire against Brooklands Poynton Ladies 2s last Friday.
And with leaders Newcastle Uni losing to Ben Rhydding, Lancaster are now just one point off the top of North Division One.
Lancaster started brightly with Libby Thwaites, Julie Walker and Nat Clark working hard upfront and pressing the ball deep into Brookland’s half.
Nicola Conway and Ali Standeven-Johns provided the support in behind and after 15 minutes Lancaster took the lead when after a slick passing move, Conway saw her shot deflected in at the far post by Thwaites.
Lancaster continued to work the ball well and player of the match Ella Bookless was fantastic down the right hand flank.
She was composed and tenacious defensively whilst also causing real problems for Brooklands when she raced forward at every opportunity.
Lauren Thompson provided a great outlet on her debut and was a real handful all game.
Brooklands were given a lifeline when a loose pass let them in and they scored, totally against the run of play.
With the score 1-1 going into half time, Lancaster didn’t let their heads go down though.
The defensive pairing of Heather Shackleton and Cath Foy were once again outstanding, solid in the tackle but also providing an outlet going forwards.
Hayley Standeven-Johns worked hard all game and used her speed to good effect, flying forward, and with Bookless and Beth Andrews joining in the attack, Lancaster had plenty of opportunities but they found Brookland’s goalkeeper in excellent form.
It looked like it could be a game of missed chances but with 15 minutes to go Conway found the back of the net with a ferocious strike from a penalty corner into the net.
Brooklands responded well and tried to get back level but goalkeeper Leighan Bleasdale stood firm.
Into the last 10 minutes and Lancaster looked the fitter team with Thwaites and Thompson jumping back to win the turnover ball and releasing it forward.
Shackleton took a quick free hit which won Lancaster another penalty corner which Conway cooly slotted home.
Lancaster kept possession well for the final five minutes and saw the game out to win all three points.
Lancaster 2s travelled second in the league to Longridge 2s last Friday, and they came away with a 1-1 draw.
Lancaster started the brighter of the two teams with Katie Oliver, Kate Roberts and Louise Didsbury making great leading runs down the wings releasing the Lancaster forwards.
Lancaster had a number of early chances but were unable to break the deadlock.
Half way through the first half Lancaster won a short corner, Ellie Walton calmly pushed the ball out to Jo Hayes who was positioned at the top of the D.
A well worked routine saw Hayes shoot off target and Ellie Walton calmly tapped the ball in from close range.
Longridge continued to attack but the Lancaster defence of Meg Tudor, Helen Gates, Katie Benter and Lottie Horner remained strong, whilst goalkeeper Rebecca Halliwell made a number of key saves to keep Lancaster in the lead going into half time.
At the start of the second half Lancaster continued to have the majority of the possession with Helen Trotter controlling play from the midfield.
Longridge caught Lancaster on the break a number of times, however the Lancaster defence were able to recover.
Goalkeeper Halliwell saved a number of one on ones, while Longridge earned a barrage of short corners but these were either saved or put wide.
With 10 minutes to go Longridge found an equaliser with some very scrappy play leading to a goal.
Longridge were spurred on by this and continued to press, and as the final whilst went they had a short corner which was cleared off the line by Lottie Horner, earning Lancaster a draw.
Lancaster’s third team showed no mercy right from the first whistle against Preston Ladies 2s, and were 3-0 winners.
After being initially tested by a break from Preston, which saw keeper Sarah Hart take both the ball and opposition player out of the picture, Lancaster were on the offensive for the full 70 minutes.
Well worked passes from Laura Smith, Amanda Bamforth, Olivia Taylor and Alison Gardner made light work of getting the ball to the midfield where Helen Trotter, Lauren Allwood, Kate Roberts and Beth Davey tidily delivered the ball to the forwards.
Debutant Isla Tomlinson made some fantastic runs down the right wing, tiring the Preston defence which unlocked more space for Lancaster to attack.
The first goal came from a machine-gun barrage of shots at the Preston keeper who was finally defeated by a Bea Burak shot that was edged over the line by Diana Taylor.
Two more elegant Lancaster goals came in the second half from Helen Trotter and Bea Burak to secure the win.