By Mackenzie Byrne http://kenzieebyrnesoccerviews.blogspot.com/
Loughborough Foxes Women have extended their lead at the top of the Women’s Premier League Midlands Division One to nine points with an emphatic 5-1 victory over title rivals The New Saints Ladies.
Loughborough got off to the perfect start as Eva Rogers, unmarked at the back post, lashed her volley beneath the visitor’s keeper and opened the deadlock inside two minutes. The hosts had a bit of bite about their play and nearly doubled their advantage, but Tiana Hicks’ long range curler hit the outside of the post and bounced away to safety.
The visitors’ top scorer, Emily Ridge, pounced on hesitancy in Foxes' defence, and rounded Amy Burle to equalise for the Shropshire side. That’s the first goal Foxes have conceded in the league for an impressive 576 minutes.
Foxes pressed for a second, and came close through Laura Steele, Rogers and more notably Lindsey Tugby. Unfortunately, Tugby’s trickery was halted by an excellent fingertip save from TNS’ keeper. The scores were level and the game was finely poised at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half, Steele hit an absolute ripsnorter from thirty yards to put Foxes back into the lead, as she curled her free kick into the bottom left hand corner. Substitute Becky McGrother, making her debut, came on and caused problems at the back for TNS and forced a few quickfire saves from the travellers number one. However, the third was on the horizon and it was McGrother who grabbed it. An excellent finish capped off a fine run down the right hand side of the box.
Ridge pounced on another lapse of concentration at the back, but put the ball the wrong side of the post after rounding Burle, which could have made a nervy end to the match. Conversely, Foxes sensed there were more goals in the game and added their fourth and fifth goal of the match in the closing stages. Rogers crowned off a fine display with her second of the afternoon and McGrother also bagged a brace with a powerful header from a corner.
A thoroughly professional afternoon for the league leaders, even with four recognised first team players absent. A job very well done. Today’s three points sees Foxes go a dozen points clear of TNS, having played a game more, and nine points ahead of Sheffield United Ladies, both having played 16 games.