MATCH REPORT | Curzon Ashton 3-11 West Women

West kick started their Manchester Women’s Challenge Cup with an emphatic 11-3 victory away to last season’s semi-finalists Curzon Ashton.

Manager Paul Caddick was able to hand a full debut to Amy Vyas, as well as a first appearance of the season for teenage goalkeeper Katherine Ormerod. In addition. there was also a first appearance for Katy Wilman on the bench however West were without Captain Shauna Edmondson and Ellie Caddick through injury.

West got off to the worst possible start as they conceded immediately from the kick off as Parris Walsh was played through and coolly slipped the ball under the onrushing Ormerod after less than 15 seconds. West responded on five minutes as Jami Hodges burst down the left, skipping a challenge before picking out Elizabeth Livesey’s whose first-time effort struck the foot of the post.

West drew level on nine minutes as Vicky Kerr’s long-range effort was palmed into the path of Livesey who tucked home the rebound. The second came on 14 minutes as Curzon failed to deal with a Hodges cross allowing Livesey to drive home her second.  West stepped through the gears as Chloe Spencer curled a free kick just over on 22 minutes before Sophie Bracegirdle hit the post for a second time after she was played in by Rachael Dunlop.

The third goal arrived on 33 minutes as El Powles picked out Bracegirdle on the right wing from a deep free kick before playing in Dunlop squaring to Livesey to tap home for her hat-trick. A fourth almost arrived seconds later as Bracegirdle saw her effort cleared off the line from Hodges cross from the left.

West added their fourth before half time as Katherine Ormerod was called into action to palm away a hard shot at the near post before West countered with Bracegirdle finding Dunlop with a superb pass allowing the West number 9 to power beyond the Curzon keeper.

West added a fifth on 49 minutes as a Spencer cross found Bracegirdle at the far post before pulling it back for Dunlop to turn home for her second.  To Curzon’s credit they pulled a goal back almost immediately as they dispossessed the West defence allowing Amy Smith to drill home to make it 5-2. They came close to reducing the lead to two on the hour mark as Ormerod made a point blank save before Amy Friel cleared the second attempt off the line.

Substitute Vicky Frisby almost made it 6-2 following a terrific combination play from Dunlop and Livesey but it was the West striker who collected her fourth when Powles free kick cannoned off the cross bar with Bracegirdle teeing up Livesey at the edge of the penalty area.

The seventh arrived moments later as a throughball from Spencer released Dunlop down the right with a perfect through-ball as the striker picked out Nat Callaghan who volleyed home with her first touch on 65 minutes.  Curzon made it three themselves four minutes later as a corner was allowed to squeeze past the near post and deflected in by the boot of a West defender.

West continued to switch through the gears as they finished strongly. Chloe Spencer made it 8-3 with arguably the pick of the goals finishing over the goalkeeper’s head from 20 yards out for her second goal in as many games. Spencer then turned provider as she slot in Dunlop who did well to turn her marker before drilling past the keeper for her share of the match ball.

It was 10-3 on 83 minutes as Spencer again slot in Dunlop who raced into the penalty area placing her low effort beyond the Curzon goalkeeper.  Dunlop, having collected four then made the 11th as she cut down the right picking out Callaghan whose shot somehow hit the goalkeeper but Hodges was on hand to see home the rebound to round off a comprehensive victory.

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