MATCH REPORT | Curzon Ashton 4-5 West Women
It was a day to remember for West as they came from three goals down to earn a vital three points away to Curzon Ashton at St Matthews RC College.
Missing Sarah Penney, Claire Jefferson, Ellie Caddick and Lauren O’Neill there was an element of make-shift about West’s defence as Amy Friel was welcomed back into the starting line-up to partner Captain Shauna Edmondson and Jo Turner in defence. There was also a return to the side for Hanifa Douglas up front and Vicky Kerr in midfield as she partners Lyndsey Turner.
The opening stages were played in a flurry of long passes on the huge surface as both sides look to gain a foothold in the game.
Curzon took the lead on 17 minutes when Paris Welsh free kick was diverted past goalkeeper Katherine Ormerod courtesy of a deflection in the wall.
West responded and were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes for a shove in the back on Hanifa Douglas. However stand-in Curzon goalkeeper Jess Duke guessed correctly and diverted Vicky Kerr’s penalty away from goal before making an excellent save from Lyndsey Turner’s effort on the rebound.
Curzon took full advantage of the let-off from West and doubled their lead when Amy Smith intercepted a pass directed towards Friel before taking it past the defender and slotting home to make it 2-0 on 26 minutes. It was 3-0 shortly thereafter as West again surrendered possession in front of their own goal before Keeley Goodwin sprinted clear to slot past the helpless Ormerod in the West goal.
West didn’t surrender and were back in the game shortly before half time when Douglas reached a Leigh McFadyen flick on before firing an unstoppable effort beyond Duke in the West goal.
Half Time galvanised West as they came out of the blocks quickly and pulled a goal back on 53 minutes with their best move of the game. The impressive Chaneece Reeves picked out Sophie Bracegirdle with an exquisite pass who picked out Emily Croasdale who in turn laid off to Douglas who found the net with a terrific first time effort.
A minute later West were level. Edmondson’s free kick was flicked on at the near post by Reeves, finding Croasdale who took a touch before firing a close range effort into the roof of the net.
At the other end Ormerod produced an outstanding save to turn a Goodwin effort round the post but the Curzon striker suffered for her bravery as she was forced to leave the game through concussion following a long delay.
When the game restarted it was West who were the quickest to find their rhythm as Edmondson lifted a ball over the Curzon defence for Douglas who completed her hat-trick with a perfect chip over the Curzon goalkeeper.
West, now in their stride continued to take the game to Curzon with some excellent football in the final third. They made it 5-3 on 80 minutes when Kerr’s corner found Edmondson whose initial effort was cleared off the line before Lyndsey Turner reacted quickest to the loose ball to fire it high into the Curzon goal. Comeback complete.
Leoni Harland made it 5-4 with 7 minutes remaining as a free kick snuck through the defence, falling to the Curzon striker who made no mistake in drilling it into the bottom corner. Despite the goal it was West who looked more likely to score as they endured more than 10 minutes of injury time. Eventually referee Steve Darlow blew for full time whistle as West extended their run to six consecutive wins to solidify their position in second place.
Team: Ormerod, Friel, Edmondson (c), J.Turner, Bracegirdle, Hodges, Kerr, L,Turner, Reeves, McFadyen, Douglas.
Subs: Croasdale, Clarke, Callaghan. Subs Not Used: Carson-Parker.
Goalscorers: Douglas (3), Croasdale, L.Turner.
Player of the Match: Hanifa Douglas.