Ladies main­tain un­beaten record with vic­tory over Shif­nal at home

Leek Post & Times - - SPORT -

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.

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