Victories in Double Header leaves West Women on verge of first title
West Women’s team put one hand on the NWWRFL Division One South title with a come from behind 3-2 win at home to Warrington Wolverines on Sunday.
Thanks to a congested fixture schedule West were forced to play a two game double header against the Cheshire based side with two games at Brookburn Road restricted to 30 minutes each way. Following a narrow 3-2 win away to Altrincham in midweek thanks to goals from Shauna Edmondson (2) and Elizabeth Livesey; two victories in front of the home support would render West needing just a single point from their remaining five games to secure the league title.
In the first game West got off to the perfect start as Vicky Kerr arrowed a bullet of a shot over the Warrington goalkeepers head from 25 yards out. West continued to press for a second goal with Livesey forcing a strong save at the near post after a good run down the right from Sophie Bracegirdle. Livesey saw a second effort go wide after a fine cross from Chloe Spencer but the score remained 1-0 at half time.
West made it 2-0 two minutes after the restart when Bracegirdle found space down the right before scooping an inch perfect effort over the goalkeepers head and inside the side netting at the far post. Warrington pulled a goal back a minute later as they capitalised on a mistake in the West back-line before Vicky Frisby restored West’s two goal lead moments after that when she rolled an effort into the bottom corner.
West rang the changes and Jami Hodges immediately interjected herself into the game bursting down the left and, despite being fouled, pulled the ball back allowing Spencer to turn home for her 12th goal of the season. Hodges was involved in the fifth goal as she waltzed into the penalty are with the Wolverines goalkeeper only able to parry the wingers right footed effort into the path of Bracegirdle who tapped home on the line to ensure a 5-1 win in game one.
Game Two began in opposite to the first game as this time Warrington took an early lead as they capitalised on a mishit clearance scoring one-on-one at the second time of asking after Claire Jefferson had made an excellent save to deny the first effort.
West looked for a reaction and almost levelled four minutes later when Warrington were forced three times to block an effort on the line from Edmondson who tried to turn home a Kerr corner. West did level on 16 minutes as an inch perfect through ball released Spencer who deceived her defender by cutting in on her left foot before finishing beyond the Warrington goalkeeper.
Warrington retook the lead shortly before half time as West failed to deal with an attack down the right before an unstoppable effort found the top corner from outside the area; a fantastic strike to give Wolverines a half time lead.
Galvanised at half time, West rallied and levelled seven minutes after the restart as Bracegirdle was released down the right with a perfect cross field pass, her first touch cleared her of her marker before she fired a hard effort beyond the keeper at the near post. Bracegirdle then turned provider three minutes later as the leading West appearance maker again was afforded space down the right before pulling her cross into the path of Livesey who finished first time into the bottom corner to make it 3-2. Bracegirdle had a chance to make it four minutes later as she was denied by another great save from the Warrington goalkeeper but West were able to see out the game and secure a second vital three points.
A point at home to Northwich Vixens on Wednesday, 6:30pm KO, will ensure West lift the NWWRFL Division One South title for the first time.
West Development now just need a solitary win in their final game at home to Swinton on April 28th to secure the GMWFL Division Two title following a 4-0 win at home to AFC Oldham. A fantastic strike from Anna Carson-Parker, her 19th of the season, gave ‘The Devs’ a half time 1-0 lead. In the second half West extended their lead through long range efforts from Alisha Palmer and Maya Germain before Ali Johnson rounded off the scoring with a close range effort.