West Women returned to winning ways thanks to a narrow 4-3 victory at home to Warrington Wolverines.
West were buoyed by the returns of Vicky Kerr, Ellie Caddick and Claire Jefferson into the match day squad after lengthy absences. There were also timely returns for Chaneece Reeves, Hanifa Douglas and Sarah Penney who’d missed the trip to Liverpool Marshall Feds with Jo Turner and Katherine Ormerod sadly missing out through injury.
Despite a delayed kick off due to the referee’s failure to turn up West started brightly and were 1-0 up inside three minutes when Sophie Bracegirdle was released down the right, her cross found the late arriving Kerr who announced her return by firing a terrific effort back across goal and inside the post. It was the West midfielders’ first goal since joining in the summer.
Despite the mid-week travel and delay Warrington reminded the home side why they are one of the league’s best sides when they brought themselves level on 17 minutes. Captain Shauna Edmondson was caught in possession allowing Nicola Chattersley to race through on goal, keeping her cool to slot past Jefferson into the bottom right hand corner.
The two teams were level for just three minutes as Kerr turned provider as her wonderfully whipped in cross found Douglas whose header was blocked on the line before making sure and drilling home the rebound.
Kerr wasn’t content, having been involved in the first two goals, and added her second of the season just after the half hour mark as the Wolverines failed to clear a West corner allowing Kerr to curl a 25 yard effort over the goalkeepers head.
West were in control and had chances to further extend their lead before half time as Reeves curled a low Kerr cross just wide of the post before Douglas clipped the inside of the post following an exquisite chip from Lyndsey Turner’s through ball.
After the high intensity of the first half, the hasty arrival of a referee at half time, the second half took longer to get going as the visitors looked to find their way back into the game. To their credit they did so just before the hour mark as the West defence was split by a ball down the middle allowing Chattersley to round Jefferson before rolling it into the empty net.
West restored their two goal cushion on 66 minutes; a West set piece fell to Edmondson 25 yards out and she gave the Warrington goalkeeper no chance power an effort into the roof of the net; a fantastic strike.
Warrington weren’t going to go quietly and immediately pulled a goal back from the kick off, another ball through the defence allowing Chattersley to slot home for her hat-trick. It was almost a virtual carbon copy of their second goal.
The last twenty minutes were played at an increasingly fractious pace, a far cry from your standard end of season game, with both sides trying to secure another goal as both goalkeepers were forced into saves. The final moments were overshadowed as Jami Hodges was stretched from the field having suffered a serious knee injury. However, West hung on to secure another three points and a third impressive win against a very determined Warrington.
Team: Jefferson, Friel (Caddick), Edmondson, O’Neill (Price), Bracegirdle (Croasdale), Hodges (Penney), L.Turner, Kerr, Reeves, Douglas (McFadyen), Penney (Callaghan).
Goalscorers: Kerr 2, Douglas, Edmondson.