Match Report | West Women 3-1 Crewe Alexandra Women – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

Match Report | West Women 3-1 Crewe Alexandra Women

We’ve experienced something of a disjointed start to the season, leading to mixed performances and results on the pitch. Today, at home to Crewe, it felt like everything clicked, giving way to some of the best individual performances and undoubtedly the best team performance of the season.

It didn’t exactly start out that way, as Crewe took an early lead on 4 minutes, a 25-yard effort sailing over Leah and into the net.

West responded well and steadily worked themselves into the game, although goal chances were few and far between. That changed on 15 minutes when Rachael Dunlop sent a lovely through ball to Sophie Bracegirdle, whose cross was turned in brilliantly by Sophie Woods. 1-1.

Crewe very nearly regained the lead on 18 minutes, carving out a good chance, denied by an excellent Leah Dolan clearance in the 6 yard area.

West were imposing themselves on the game from this point, and on 25 minutes took the lead. Hannah Mitchell played a ball through to Rachael Dunlop and she rounds the keeper and finishes calmly. 2-1 to West.

A minute later and West almost had a third. The brilliant Dunlop rattling the crossbar from the right side of the area.

On 32 minutes further excellent play from West saw Dunlop with another shooting chance, this time scooping over the bar with the goal at her mercy.

With half time approaching, both teams had long range free kicks that narrowly missed the target.

On 44 minutes, another brilliant run from Dunlop saw her fouled on the edge of the area. The free kick came to nothing, but these runs were becoming a constant threat to the Crewe backline, and they were struggling to deal with them.

2-1 to West at half-time and looking good.

The 2nd half started cagier and both sides worked themselves into decent positions without scoring. One thing that carried on from the 1st half was Rachael Dunlop running at the Crewe defence, and this became more and more impressive as we entered the final quarter of the game.

On 66 minutes a run led to a shot just high/wide, a minute later she forced a good save from the Crewe keeper, and then on 71/72 minutes, brilliant runs and crosses to match weren’t converted. Crewe had chances of their own and a similar story as good crosses were missed by forwards,

Things still looking good for West, but it felt like Crewe were still a threat , particularly through the pace of their 7 through the middle. They made changes on 73 and 77 minutes, and West made their first change on 79, Kath Jones replacing Hannah Mitchell.

A minute later, and West scored the goal of the game, At the risk of repeating myself, Rachael Dunlop made a brilliant run through the middle of the defence and hammered the ball past the keeper from 20 yards. 3-1.

There were further changes for West in the final ten minutes. Megan Clarkson on for Vicky Kerr who had put in an excellent shift, and Paige Chalmers replacing Sophie Bracegirdle with a minute to go.

That was the last action of the game, and West could celebrate a thoroughly deserved 3 points. An excellent team performance, the change to 4 at the back giving greater balance and cover, and the attacking flair exemplified by Rachael Dunlop leading from the front.

Team: Fish (GK), Dolan, Caddick, Wilman, Hodges, Bracegirdle (Chalmers 90′), Mitchell (Jones 79′), Kerr (Clarkson 85′), Frisby, Woods, Dunlop.

Subs: Vyas

Attendance: 45