MATCH REPORT | Warrington Wolverines 2-5 West Women

West Didsbury & Chorlton made it three consecutive league wins as they saw off a strong Warrington Wolverines side on a freezing cold day in Orford.

It was a bitterly cold day with the wind taking charge of the game’s opening moments as both teams struggled to dictate the tempo. However they were boosted by the timely returns of Sarah Penney and Jo Turner to the starting line-up whilst Lucy Clarke returned to the bench.

West slowly gained the upper hand territorially; but it wasn’t until the 15th minute that either goalkeeper was called into action when a pull back from Sophie Bracegirdle found Penney whose first time effort was curled into goalkeeper Kim Griffiths hands.

Despite the bright start it was Warrington who took the lead on 20 minutes when a counter attacking long back was flicked on allowing Sam Hassall through, who despite Lauren O’Neill doing well to hold the Warrington attack up and saw her terrific lobbed effort evade Claire Jefferson and bounce high into the West goal.

The goal failed to knock West out of their stride and they were level two minutes later when Nat Callaghan and Penney combined in the final third to play in Jami Hodges. Hodges raced into the penalty area and saw her effort across goal deflected into the roof of the net to restore parity. West were almost ahead immediately as a low effort towards goal was diverted just wide of the near post by Chaneece Reeves.

The West pressure continued as Penney saw a terrific first time effort on the turn just evade the top of the crossbar before the impressive Jo Turner curled an effort just wide from 20 yards out.  Despite this pressure the two sides went into the break level.

The second half was barely seconds old when Warrington almost re-took the lead as Nic Chatterley was allowed to bare down on goal unmarked but her first time effort failed to hit the target.

West almost took the lead themselves on 52 minutes as Penney was released through one-on-one with her low shot only partially saved by the Warrington keeper before a superb last gasp tackle on the line prevented a certain goal.  It was only a brief respite as West took the lead a minute later when Nat Callaghan made it four goals in two weeks as her long range effort deceived Griffiths in the Warrington goal as the wind bent it inside the post.

Warrington brought themselves level again on 60 minutes as Wendy Booth, the first ever female goalscorer at Brookburn Road, powered home a header from a corner; it was her 7th goal in 5 meetings against Chorlts and West in the last two seasons. The battle in midfield between her, Shauna Edmondson and Vicky Kerr a highlight of the game.

The game took another twist on 62 minutes as relentless pressure from West saw Ellie Caddick win the ball deep into Warrington’s half before playing in Leigh McFadyen whose effort was saved before Penney reacted quickest to round the keeper and drill the rebound into the empty net.

West made it 4-2 on 75 minutes as an inch perfect pass from Bracegirdle picked out McFadyen on the shoulder of the defender, her first touch brought out Griffiths but her shot was too powerful for the Wolverines goalkeeper albeit Penney slid home on the line to make sure West earned their fourth.

To the credit of Warrington they continue to press to find a way back into the game with Jefferson called upon to make a smart save low down to her right but she was otherwise untroubled required only to be quick off her line to collect a number of through passes.

McFadyen was again involved in the fifth goal as she latched onto an under-hit back pass only to clipped by the onrushing Griffiths inside the area.  Penney sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to collect the match ball, also her fourth goal in two games since arriving from GMWFL side Barrhill. A special mention was deserved for McFadyen who’d had a hand in all three of the new arrivals goals having replaced Callaghan just before hour mark.

It was almost six immediately as substitute Lucy Clarke did superbly well to hold up the ball before playing an inch perfect pass into the feet of McFadyen but Griffiths saved well at her near post.

The win takes West up to third, two points behind second place Liverpool Marshall Feds with six games in hand. The three points also meant that, with half their games remaining, West surpassed Chorlts points total from last season.

Next up for West sees them welcome Crewe Alexandra Development to Brookburn Road this Sunday, 2pm KO

Team: Jefferson, Caddick, O’Neill, J.Turner, Bracegirdle, Hodges, Edmondson, Kerr, Reeves, Callaghan, Penney.

Subs: Clarke, Joyce, McFadyen.

Goalscorers: Jami Hodges, Nat Callaghan, Sarah Penney (3).

Player of the Match: Sarah Penney.

Photo Credit: Simone Whitehead

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