SLIDESHOW: Ladies lose but refuse to go down without fight

Laura Ivinson.
Laura Ivinson.

Morecambe Ladies FC kicked off the new season with a 5-4 defeat away at Chorley.

Chorley kicked off the new season and were the first to settle, Nat Parry created space for herself and blasted over the bar and then provided a cross, only for Janet Mitchell to put her effort over the bar.

Once again Parry created an opportunity for herself and her left foot shot flew past the far post.

Morecambe’s first effort came from Emily Hutton, shooting just wide after lone striker Emma Kay had set her up.

When Laura Ivinson broke down the Chorley play, she stated a counter-attack, finding Dannii Cross down the right-hand touchline, who then played the ball forward for Emma Kay to chase down and in the subsequent race defender Saskia Bowes somewhat clumsily brought the striker down.

The referee awarded a penalty and brought out the red card. From the penalty spot Hutton calmly slotted the ball home to make it 0-1.

It didn’t take long for Chorley to reorganise and Parry came close with a header, gathered safely by Jody Woodburn in the Morecambe goal.

Emma Kay and then Beth Fisher had efforts blocked following a penetrating Jo Norris free-kick into the Chorley box.

The home team equalised after 24 minutes, Charlotte Higginson battled for the ball in midfield and won it, poking a peach of a pass for Vicky Coope to take her time to pick out the top right hand corner of the Morecambe net, 

Five minutes later, with the Ladies appealing for an offside and back-pedalling, Parry raced down the right wing, sent over a cross to the back post where she found Kathy Bonner to guide the ball in despite Beth Fisher’s attempt to block on the line.

Chorley went further ahead in the 38th minute, with Morecambe on the backfoot again, the home side hit the post and the rebound was collected on the right and with a certain déjà-vu, the previous goal was repeated to mae it 3-1.

The Ladies came out for the second half with more urgency and purpose but fell further behind almost immediately.

With defenders caught in possession the ball fell to Rachel Wood whose mis-hit shot became a low-cross and Vicky Coope stuck her foot out to make it 4-1.From the kick-off Morecambe pulled one back as Emma Kay raced in to beat Joanne Phillips in the Chorley goal to slip the ball home.

The Ladies were now getting into the game, Emily Hutton crossed for Emma Kay to head wide, Hannah Paling and then Dannii Cross both appeared to be fouled in the box but the referee ignored the protests. Wood had been causing Morecambe problems down the left wing with her pace and when she managed to get a cross away under pressure from Beth Fisher the ball was laid back into the path of Ruth Harrison who had time and space to pick her spot, she sent a low drive past the diving Woodburn to make it 5-2.

Back came the Ladies though. Battling on the right Becky Whittingham, Jenny Keane and Laura Ivinson found space and found Kay who cut through the Chorley defence and blasted the ball past Phillips into the top of the net.

The Ladies put their passing game together with Whittingham and Paling directing traffic and with three minutes to go Becky Whittingham found Dannii Cross running in from the left and her pass set the ball up for Cross to lash the ball over the keeper into the top of the net.

Chorley then got back in numbers and left substitute Jennifer Wootten up to chase and harass the Morecambe defence.

The Morecambe attack pressed but couldn’t find a way through, shots from Keane, Hutton and Whittingham didn’t trouble Phillips.

There were more claims for penalties as tussles and tackles happened in the box but they were waved away as Chorley claimed all three points.