Linnets Ladies are on cloud nine after another ruthless performance
Runcorn Linnets Ladies 9
Sale United 0 RUNCORN Linnets Ladies passed their half century of league goals for the season in yet another comprehensive home victory.
Eight games in, the Linnets’ Cheshire Women’s League Division One goal difference stands at plus 49 (56 for, seven against).
They lie fourth, three and two points respectively behind the high-flying Development teams of Stockport County and Altrincham and one adrift of third-placed West Kirby, who have played only seven.
Sale Ladies proved more dogged and resilient than other opponents of late and played some attractive football themselves in an entertaining contest.
Sale tested Megan Pickering early on, but the home goalkeeper gathered comfortably before Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz played in Becky Barker for the opener on three minutes.
That became 2-0 minutes later, when Jones-Sacharewicz glanced in a Lucy Wieland corner at the near post.
On 12 minutes, Chelsea Gillies was the provider as Barker added her second for a 3-0 lead.
Sale showed determination, defending resolutely until Jones-Sacharewicz made it 4-0 with a turn and shot four minutes before the break.
Manager John Pickering introduced new signing Milly Critchley, along with Lile Ashley, on 56 minutes.
Within seconds, Tempany Carlson had got in front of a defender to turn in a Wieland cross, making it 5-0.
On 64 minutes, Beth Graham took the field for her first appearance since re-signing for Linnets, playing at right-back with Gabby Evans switching to the left.
Sale should have pulled a goal back after 67 minutes but a visiting striker dragged her shot wide, when it looked easier to score.
Ashley made it 6-0 with a rasping shot from the edge of the box in the 68th minute with the hard-running Critchley feeding Gillies for the seventh goal moments later.
Substitute Ellie Isherwood smashed a shot against the visitors’ bar before Ashley scored her second (and the Linnets’ eighth) on 77 minutes.
It took a brilliant save from No.1 Pickering to keep out the visitors as the game drifted into the final 10 minutes.
Barker, having returned to the pitch, capped a fine individual and team performance with a tremendous solo goal to chalk up her hat-trick on 83 minutes.
There was still time for Ashley to strike the woodwork at a late flag-kick.
Manager Pickering will want to ensure all feet stay firmly on the ground.
The most pleasing aspects now are the amount of chances the midfield players are providing for the forwards and the defensive efforts, which have yielded five successive home clean sheets.