(Crooks 53, Fraser 65)
Stuart Dick, at Coach Lane Campus, Benton, Newcastle
“LINK TO MATCH HIGHLIGHTS” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW9wt9pdMNs
Two goals of real quality saw Newcastle United’s Women continue their 100% record in 2013 at home to Preston North End on Sunday afternoon at Coach Lane, Benton. Prolific striker Stacy Crooks and substitute Elizabeth Fraser got the goals to give the black and whites a crucial three points.
The first chance of the game fell to the away side after miss placed clearance by Newcastle ‘keeper Laura Wareham. The visitors played the ball down the left before crossing to the edge of the box where a midfielder took aim, but fired well over the bar.
The visitors were on the front foot again after winning the ball in midfield before unleashing a ball down the right. Wareham ran out to take on the attacker but the Preston Winger got round the stopper and clipped a cross towards the net. Only a header off the line by Newcastle skipper Sarah Wilson kept the scores level.
From the clearance, Newcastle United countered, quickly moving the ball to the right wing to Dannika Purdham. The winger played a one-two with Stacy Crooks whilst running the two thirds the length of the pitch before a Preston defender managed to slide in and turn the ball behind as Purdham was about to shoot.
From the resulting corner taken by Purdham, the flicked forward by Wilson to Charlotte Potts 5 yards out, but another great block from the Preston defence forced the ball behind. It was Purdham again a few minutes later that nearly broke the deadlock. Crooks once more pulled deep and played a first time ball over the top to an onrushing Purdham who chipped the ‘keeper, only to see her effort fall agonizingly wide.
It was almost 1-0 to the visitors just before half time after a cracking effort from the Preston right-back. After some great build up in the middle of the field, the ball was rolled wide to the right-back who took a touch before hitting a 25 yard shot towards the top left hand corner. Wareham, however, was a match for the strike, tipping the ball onto the crossbar and back into play, a fantastic save.
Beth Gardner had an excellent chance as the clock neared half time. A long ball from the back was headed on by Crooks to Gardener, who was forced wide by the ‘keeper. Gardener hit in a cross which was cleared, with the ball met by Purdham, who hit a first time pass back to Gardener 12 yards out on the angle, the winger, however, could not keep her strike down.
Early in the second half, Newcastle won a free-kick on the wide right, taken by Wilson. The ball was headed around the box before the ball landed at the feet of Moly Collinson. Collinson turned on a dime before hitting a through ball with the outside of her right foot to Crooks who hit a first time right footed shot passed the ‘keeper and into the left hand corner.
The second goal came soon after thanks to an excellent run by Purdham. The winger picked the ball up in her own half and rode the reckless challenge of a Preston midfielder before running at the visitor’s backline. She juked passed one more before a 50/50 challenge saw her fall to the ground. The referee waved play on as the ball fell to Collinson. She rolled it to Crooks who chipped the ball to Elizabeth Fraser 30 yards out. Fraser hit a technically perfect half volley over the stranded ‘keeper and into the back of the net, a stunning strike at any level.
Some late Preston pressure saw the visitors hit the woodwork once more, this time from the left wing, but all in all a deserved win and clean sheet for Newcastle who rise to fourth after beating second places Preston.
NUWFC XI – Wareham, Lock, Havelock, Potts, Wilson (C), Armstrong, Purdham (Pyper), Crooks, Collinson, Teasdale (Fraser), Gardener (Campion) – Unused Subs – Sewell, Foster
Player of the Match – Dannika Purdham
NUWFC First Team Manager Michael Havelock “NUWFC got back into winning ways in the league with a comfortable and entertaining performance against a high flying Preston side. The players showed real guts and determination to play football, despite the tough conditions. Their hard work and will to be better shone through and enabled them to beat an established and experienced side. Goals from crooks and Fraser, were both top drawer and worthy to finish any match. 2013 has started well and his is hopefully the start of a run of good results for the girls who have proved that they have the talent, now they need to prove that they can be a successful winning team.
“NUWFC First Team Captain Sarah Wilson “This Sunday we had something to prove to a very strong Preston side sitting towards the top of the league. They took all 3 points from us comfortably during our last encounter. We had a bit of a shaky start to the game, with Laura Wareham making a fantastic save to tip the ball onto the crossbar and keeping us in the game. We created chances but didn’t test the goal keeper enough. We settled into the game throughout the second half, defended as a unit and finished our chances. Credit to all the girls it was brilliant team performance
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