by Mike Curry · 07/03/2023
Report by Ieuan Evans
West were coming into this game still seeking their first win of 2023 and looking to make amends for both the result and performance last time they faced Darwen, a 3-1 defeat in the Lancashire County Cup semi-final.
The opening 15min of the game saw both teams enjoy spells of possession but with few chances created.
Darwen had a goal disallowed for offside on 20 minutes, and this sparked West into life. Their braver play eventually paid off in the 27th minute when Taylor Gunn ran towards the byline to reach a through ball and cut it back across the box, Shauna Edmondson on hand near the penalty spot to slot it across goal into the bottom corner. Two minutes later, West capitalised on their momentum and scored again. A first time pass by Becca Simpson split the two Darwen centre-backs and sent Taylor Gunn through 1v1 against the keeper to double the lead.
H-T: West 2-0 Darwen
Darwen changed their shape in the second half and committed more players forwards, putting pressure on West. West however remained disciplined and reduced Darwen to crosses and shots from distance.
Darwen had most of the possession but it was West who came closest to scoring again when counter-attacking. They failed to capitalise on these chances though and as fatigue was starting to show, West sat in deeper and ventured forward less. Despite this they continued to frustrate Darwen who were struggling to find a solution to West’s defensive block.
Against the run of play it was West who would go on to score again on 82min. Taylor Gunn flicked on a throw-in to the edge of the box which Sophie Bracegirdle rifled into the net with a first time volley, for her second goal in two games. Darwen did go on to score a consolation goal with the last kick of the game, denying West a deserved clean sheet.
F-T: West 3-1 Darwen
Team: Dickin (GK), Blöchl, Mason, Vyas, Dolan, Simpson, Edmondson (c), Veryard, Bracegirdle, Gunn, Mundell
Scorers: Edmondson, Gunn, Bracegirdle