MATCH REPORT | Crewe Development 0-3 West Women

A much changed West side registered its first ever win at the Cumberland Arena with a hard fought win over a talented Crewe Alexandra Development side.

West headed to Cheshire without Elizabeth Livesey, Sarah Penney and Jo Turner from their starting line-up over last weeks’ 2-1 win over Liverpool Marshall Feds Reserves.  With just 13 players available West Manager Paul Caddick handed starts to Leigh McFadyen and Nat Callaghan up top for just the second time this season whilst he was boosted by Lauren O’Neil’s recovery following her half time withdrawal last weekend. There were also welcome returns to the match-day squad for Leanne Joyce and Jess Hartley.

Played at home of Crewe FC, on their 4G surface, the opening minutes were played in a furious tempo that never relented throughout the 90 minutes. Crewe created the game’s first chance inside the opening seconds as a low ball flew across the West back three before being pulled back to see a low shot cleared away by Shauna Edmondson.

West responded quickly as a perfect through ball from Chaneece Reeves released McFadyen one-on-one producing a fine save from Crewe goalkeeper Bridie Harding with an early shot from outside the area. The game was still just three minutes old when Callaghan and McFadyen combined at the edge of the area with the latter forcing another good save from the Alexandra goalkeeper.

A breathless opener continued as Claire Jefferson was called into an acrobatic save to pluck a hard shot out of the area from the home side’s first corner.  Two minutes later, they tried their luck again as an effort curled just wide of the post from the edge of the area. Jefferson was called into action again as she did brilliantly to make a point blank save at her near post before beating the Crewe centre forward and smothering the loose ball.

As the game found its rhythm it remained an end-to-end affair but West began to take control. On 27 minutes Vicky Kerr almost opened her account in spectacular style as she saw the keeper off her line and went to lob her from 35 yards.

Crewe remained dangerous on the counter but it was almost in this manner that West almost took the lead on the stroke of half time as McFadyen latched onto a ball over the defence but was again denied by Harding who raced off her line to block the West strikers shot.  The only surprise as half time came was the fact that it the score-line was 0-0.

As the second half began it was West who were the sharper side as Reeves forced Harding into an excellent save down to her right with a low shot from the edge of the area on 48 minutes.  Callaghan came close on 55 minutes as she hooked a volley from 30 yards over her shoulder with her effort just evading the crossbar.

West continued to create and McFayden saw a close range effort deflected wide on 57 minutes before Vicky Kerr saw her effort well held after she’d done superbly to win possession back. At the other end Crewe remained dangerous with a number of efforts but couldn’t trouble Jefferson in the West goal.

The deadlock was finally broken on 67minutes the deadlock was broken as Jami Hodges drove down the left and into the penalty area before pulling the ball back into the path of Callaghan who slammed the ball into the bottom corner.  Callaghan made it 2-0 shortly afterwards, collecting a pass from Ellie Caddick, before firing it into the bottom left hand corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Callaghan completed her hat-trick in just nine minutes as West were awarded a penalty after Hodges had been upended from behind in the area. Callaghan coolly stepped up and drilled her finish into the same corner as the previous two; her last touch before being substituted.

To the credit of the home side they refused to give in as they continued to try and force their way back into the game with a number of good chances but back line held strong to earn a deserved clean sheet with an impressive showing. Makeshift centre half for the day Shauna Edmondson almost capped it off with a fourth in stoppage time as her left footed volley from Hartley’s corner was cleared off the line.

It was a superb team performance from West with strong contributions from everyone in the team with the three points lifting to them within 2 points of Curzon Ashton in second with 6 games in hand.

Team: Claire Jefferson, Ellie Caddick, Shauna Edmondson (c), Lauren O’Neill, Sophie Bracegirdle, Jami Hodges, Vicky Kerr, Emily Croasdale, Chaneece Reeves, Leigh McFadyen (Leanne Joyce), Nat Callaghan (Jess Hartley).

Goalscorers: Nat Callaghan (3),

Player of the Match: Chaneece Reeves

Attendance: 32

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