Ladies’ fightback just comes up short against division pacesetters
S’port Coun Ladies Dev 2 Runcorn Linnets Ladies 1 LINNETS Ladies suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of the Cheshire Women’s League Premier Division leaders Stockport County Ladies Development but they can be proud of their performance in the second half.
Two sloppy goals in the first eight minutes of a game which had been dominated by the home side before the break proved to be their undoing.
The game began brightly for the visitors who forced the first corner of the contest after only 20 seconds.
But as on previous visits to the Stockport Sports Village, the home forwards twice weaved their way virtually unopposed through a static Linnets rearguard, and before you could blink, Runcorn were staring at a long afternoon.
Although Stockport had the majority of the shots on goal during the opening period, you could sense Linnets had woken up and were slowly creeping back into the game as the half drew to a close.
The results of constructive half-time exchanges of opinion in the Runcorn dressing room were evident to see when the second half resumed.
Runcorn were more tigerish in the tackle with their physically taller opponents.
Becky Barker, Mandy Kennedy and Chelsea Gillies worked tirelessly to win the ball back in the middle of the park.
Runcorn had found a new determination, which nearly got the better of them as Barker and Gillies accidentally clashed heads, reducing the visitors to nine players for a few anxious minutes.
On 58 minutes, Runcorn substitute Marcia JonesSacharewicz capitalised on a mistake in the Stockport defence, delightfully chipping the goalkeeper to bring Linnets back into the game.
This was Linnets’ best spell of the encounter as Gillies volleyed inches past a post.
The home side continued to shoot at Megan Pickering’s goal but without the venom to trouble her.
In the 75th minute, Runcorn were denied an equaliser as the Stockport goalkeeper saved brilliantly from a Gillies shot.
Four minutes later, Stockport should have sealed the game but the home forward blazed high over the crossbar when open at the far post.
Such was the Linnets’ transformation in the second half, however, the home side endured a nervous last 10 minutes and they could not deny they were the most relieved team at the sound of the final whistle. ●
Linnets markswoman Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz.