By Mackenzie Byrne http://kenzieebyrnesoccerviews.blogspot.com/
League leaders Loughborough Foxes overcame an early scare to defeat mid table, early season fliers, Solihull Moors Ladies 3-1.
Early signs showed that the visitors didn’t turn up to sit back and were on the front foot as Georgia Jones stretched the defence but didn’t trouble Amy Burle. A tame clearance saw opposition skipper Tanya Dickinson trying from range but there wasn’t enough in the shot to beat Burle.
Eventually, the visitors took the lead after twenty three minutes as Dickinson burst down the left wing and crossed the ball into Jones who looped the ball over Burle and headed it over the recovering defenders. Jones’ goal being the only goal Foxes have conceded first in the league all season.
Foxes didn’t give themselves any time to dwell on the set back and responded within 90 seconds of the restart. Chloe Young dribbled the ball past two defenders on the byline and squeezed the ball past the keeper into the far corner of the goal. Just the goal that Foxes needed to get them out of first gear.
Young nearly had her second from range but forced an excellent save from Solihull’s Number one. Conversely, Jones turned well on the edge of the box, but dragged her effort wide of the post in what was a good end to a competitive first 45.
Foxes’ manager Jenny Sugarman played her first hand of the game and introduced fresh faces at the break. Breakthrough youngster Tiana Hicks & top scorer Charlotte Cooper were introduced for Rebecca Knight and Laura Dexter. The latter raced past the defence seconds into the restart and could have made an instant impact but dragged her effort wide of the far left post.
Foxes began to turn the screw in the second half as chances from Young and skipper Shauna Chambers had the goalkeeper scrambling across the goal line only to see the ball trickle past the post. Fortunately for the hosts, Cooper, determined to notch her twentieth goal of the season, took her opportunity. Young played the ball into Cooper’s path, who took the shot early and tucked it beneath the on-rushing keeper. The visitors were aggrieved as it seemed as though Young handled the ball in the build up to the goal - their shouts were probably justified as many spectators agreed.
Cooper nearly had a second but saw her toe poke hit the frame of the goal and bounce away, but there was still time for Foxes to add a third and put the game to bed. Eva Rogers pounced on a loose pass and raced through on goal, played a one-two with the post before slotted the ball home.
Overall impressions of the match could be summed up by the five yellow cards, but we’ll save the final words to the changing room chatter, which suggested that this league game was the most pressed the Foxes have been for a while.
Foxes have now extended their unbeaten run to seventeen in the league with today’s victory. Elsewhere, results went in Foxes favour as both title rivals failed to win, with Sheffield United drawing 0-0 away at Long Eaton and The New Saints drawing 1-1 away at Birmingham & West Midlands. With games running out, Foxes need five points from their last five games in order to confirm their promotion into the Women’s Premier League Northern Division, or as known by next season FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division.
Next up for Foxes, away to Steel City Wanderers in two weeks time. Come & support the ladies in the home straight for the gold medal!