Ladies maintain unbeaten record with victory over Shifnal at home
LEEK Town Ladies were back on home soil after two away games and hosted Shifnal Town Ladies at Harrison Park where they chalked up a 2-0 win in the West Midlands League Division One North.
Both teams started well with end to end football in the opening minutes but no clear cut chances. The game settled down and Leek started to play some good football. Jules Kendrick found Chantelle Gallagher on the edge of the Shifnal box and she worked herself a shooting opportunity which narrowly missed the target.
Leek continued to drive forward with Rehanne Mellor and Bethany Cottrell causing problems on both flanks. It was Mellor who pulled the ball back into the path of Laceymay Smith on 20 minutes whose strike was just over the bar.
Gallagher also had a long range effort which she saw go just wide of the target.
Shifnal then put a good attack together which was stopped with an excellent tackle by Naomi Salehancock with Katie Maya playing the ball out of defence and starting Leek off on the attack again.
From a Shifnal goal-kick Cottrell headed the ball into Gallagher who turned and beat the defender on the left hand side of the penalty area before firing into the bottom right hand corner of the net to open the scoring for Leek.
Leek continued to push forward and won a free-kick just outside the Shifnal area and with a great strike from Smith beating the keeper to put Leek 2-0 up.
Leek had been on top for most of the first half but Shifnal came out for the second half with purpose and forced the Leek defence to work hard to keep them out. The midfield area became very competitive with Rhian Morris in the thick of things breaking up play.
Shifnal attacked down both flanks and full-backs Emma Smith and Simone Kelsall performing well to prevent wide attacks. Leek then introduced fresh legs with Alice Painter, Alana Copeland and Michaela Lockett joining the match. Leek were almost in when Lockett combined well with Gallagher but good defending by Shifnal prevented the shot.
It was good to see Katie Gibbons returning from injury on 75 minutes.
A mix up in communication between Leek defender and goalkeeper saw Shifnal presented with a great opportunity which ended the wrong side of the post for them. 5 minutes later and Shifnal were awarded a penalty which did seem harsh, Leek keeper Hannah Austin made a great save.