MATCH REPORT | Northwich Vixens 2-2 West Women
West Women’s 12 game winning streak came to an end as they were held to a 2-2 in challenging conditions away to Northwich Vixens.
Having been forced to switch the tie due to a Vets game at Brookburn Road the ground-staff at Lostock Gralam made a tremendous effort to get the game on. West were without Vicky Frisby, Katy Wilman, Amy Friel, Chloe Spencer and Amy Vyas as they lined up with an unfamiliar back line of Vicky Kerr, Captain Shauna Edmondson and Ellie Caddick.
In difficult conditions the opening stages of the game were largely scrappy as West were limited to just half chances. It took 22 minutes for West to test the Vixens keeper as Vicky Lomas was denied. Two minutes later Lomas broke the offside trap racing through one-on-one before squaring the ball for Rachael Dunlop to tap into an empty net but the referee incorrectly ruled the goal out for offside.
West upped their tempo as Dunlop went close with an effort as she turned her marker before spotting the Vixens goalkeeper off her line but her chipped effort whistled just over the bar. West’s pressure finally paid off on 37 minutes as Hannah Mitchell released Lomas who twisted and turned past the Vixens defence before sliding the ball home into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 as Dunlop reacted quickest to a Vixens goal kick before promptly firing beyond the Vixens keeper into the net from 20 yards out. At the other end Vixens long ball game worked to great affect with Sorcha Bramhall racing through only to be denied by a superb save from goalkeeper Leah Fish. From the save West countered and should have made it 3-0 only to be denied by the surface as Dunlop skidded on the surface before she could fire the trigger.
The conditions continued to deteriorate in the second half, as the rain continued to fall and the wind picked up, West’s excellent first half passing display waned into a battle of attrition. The home side were rewarded on the hour mark for a sustained period of pressure as a swung in corner was turned home by the boot of a West defender; the first goal West had conceded since December 9th 2018.
West responded positively to the goal as Elizabeth Livesey clipped the crossbar from 25 yards out. Dunlop tried to take the game into her own hands as more than once she skipped past multiple defenders only to be denied by the Vixens goalkeeper. Substitute Abi Littler went close as she was denied from close range at the near post after a lovely move down the left-hand side. The visitors went close themselves flashing a pair of efforts wide of the post with Fish again called into action to calmly take a chipped effort.
With three minutes remaining Vixens capped off their comeback as the ball became stuck in the mud at the edge of the area allowing Kerry Baker in before slotting into the corner to give the home side a share of the spoils.