by Rob McKay · 10/05/2018
West Didsbury & Chorlton rounded off their first ever campaign in the NWWRFL Division One South with an exhilarating 4-2 win over Stockport County Blues at Manchester College.
Despite their being very little to play for in terms of league position the game, aided by the 3G surface, started at a terrific tempo that failed to relent throughout the 90 minutes.
West were buoyed by the return of Sarah Penney to the starting line-up and she almost opened the scoring with her first chance as she latched onto a wide ball before rolling an effort just wide of the foot of the post.
West went closer again on 25 minutes when Vicky Kerr’s first time effort curled just wide of the post following the ‘home’ sides best move of the match to that point. Five minutes before half time Amy Friel, playing in the unfamiliar role of left wing, slotted a perfect through ball to Penney but she fired her effort into goalkeeper Fran Singleton’s hands.
The deadlock was broken just before half time when Vicky Kerr curled an effort into the side netting from 25 yards out, a wonderful strike, to give West a deserved half time.
The goal galvanised West and they doubled their lead three minutes after the break when a wonderful flowing move started by Penney saw Chaneece Reeves finish off the inside of the post from the edge of the penalty area. On 52 minutes it was 3-0 as Penney picked out Reeves from deep inside her own half with the West number eight laying the ball off to Sophie Bracegirdle to fire home.
To their credit, Stockport refused to go quietly and pulled a goal back as West failed to clear their lines from a Stockport free kick as the rebound was lobbed into the top corner by Hellen Molloy.
Despite the setback West had found their groove and quickly made it 4-1 as more terrific play from Penney picked out Bracegirdle who added her second firing beyond Singleton into the roof of the net. Penney, who was deservedly awarded player of the match after the game, was then denied by a great save to add the fifth.
West continued to push forward and create chances with substitute Anna Carson-Parker almost heading home from a corner in the final moments. In spite of Abbey Stevenson pulling it back to 4-2 in the final minute thanks to an excellent finish West finished the season on a high with a superb second half display to complete a league and cup treble over their determined opponents.