MATCH REPORT | West Women 3-0 Curzon Ashton
West Women returned to winning ways with an impressive 3-0 home win against high-flying Curzon Ashton.
Following the previous weekends FA Cup exit manager Paul Caddick made two changes to the starting XI as Jami Hodges and Amy Friel were drafted into the starting line-up in place of Jo Turner and Lauren O’Neill who dropped to the bench.
The change in personnel also saw a change of shape for West who opted for a back three and it had the desired effect as the home side took the lead on three minutes when Curzon failed to clear Shauna Edmondson’s throw in allowing Elizabeth Livesey a shot on goal before Leigh McFadyen coolly fired in from close range having beaten goalkeeper Alex Moon to the ball inside the six yard box.
The goal galvanised West who went close again when Chaneece Reeves spotted Moon off her line from 35 yards out but her scooped effort flew inches over the cross bar on 6 minutes. Five minutes later West threatened again as Edmondson saw her free kick curled just over the bar from 20 yards out.
West weren’t to be denied any doubled their lead on 16 minutes when Livesey coolly lifted the ball over her marker before confidently firing the ball beyond a helpless Moon from the edge of the penalty area. West were now full on confidence and a good move down the right released Reeves who saw her effort roll just wide of the foot of the far post.
Curzon were still dangerous and it took a quick reaction from goalkeeper Claire Jefferson to race off her line to deny Mercedes Holmes who fired her effort into the side netting at the near post.
West continued to threaten as a Vicky Kerr free kick was whipped into the near post and headed just over the bar from Reeves who’d reacted quickest to it. The third arrived on 38 minutes as Livesey’s free kick was initially blocked on the line but substitute Emily Croasdale pounced on the loose ball to drill home the rebound.
West might have added a fourth before the break as Sophie Bracegirdle led a West breakaway by playing Livesey through on goal but, taking her shot early, couldn’t direct her effort towards goal.
The tempo of the first half was played at nothing less than break neck speed and it was no surprise that the opening stages of the second half maintained that as the visitors look to find a way back into the game whilst West looked to put them to bed.
A tremendous duel in the midfield ensured that the first chance of the second half didn’t materialise until 60 minutes when a pull back from the goal-line and shot was bravely blocked on the line by Friel. The game immediately burst into life again as Reeves was released through one-on-one at the other end only to be denied by a superb save from the boot of Moon down to her right. The visitors began to show their quality as an effort flashed just wide of the post before Jefferson was called to make a superb point blank range save at her near post after West had failed to clear the danger from a corner on 65 minutes. The back three of Lyndsey Turner, Ellie Caddick and Friel were influential at the back as they kept the Curzon attack at bay limiting their chances in front of goal.
The game continued to be end-to-end and on 68 minutes a terrific run down the left from Jami Hodges saw her low cross pulled back into the path of Livesey who saw her effort also blocked on the line despite two attempts to force it over.
West changed it up as Nat Callaghan and Jess Hartley came into the action with the former firing an effort just wide of the post from the edge of the penalty area on 75 minutes. With three minutes remaining West almost added their fourth as Croasdale did tremendously down the left before forcing Moon into another excellent diving save across her body before Kerr was denied a goal-line tap in by an equally excellent tap in.
Hartley, in an unfamiliar role as striker, went close again in the final seconds as a wicked whipped in cross flashed across the six yard box however West were well deserving of their three points and their third clean sheet in four league games this season with a terrific team performance as well.
West: Jefferson, Friel, J.Turner, Caddick, Bracegridle, Hodges, Kerr, Reeves, Edmondson, Livesey, McFadyen.
Subs: Croasdale, Callaghan, Hartley. Subs Not Used: J.Turner, O’Neill.
Goalscorers: McFadyen, Livesey, Croasdale.
Curzon: Moon, Ogden, Bailey, Wilkinson, Wild, Angus, Crooks, Chan, Smith, Holmes, Shute.
Subs: Hayes, Speight.
Referee: Kevin Kay