By Mackenzie Byrne http://kenzieebyrnesoccerviews.blogspot.com/
Loughborough Foxes started the year off with a bang after beating fellow title chasers Burton Albion Ladies 2-0. The result sees Foxes leapfrog leaders The New Saints in the table with a game in hand.
The first half was a bit lacklustre and definitely lacked quality. This wasn’t helped by the fact that both sides had to wait half an hour for another pitch as the university pitch was deemed unplayable due to a frozen patch by the dugout.
Burton Albion’s goalkeeper made some decent saves this afternoon with her first and second coming from point blank range as she denied both Laura Steele & Victoria Brackenbury from breaking the deadlock. Foxes’ best chance of the first half fell to Tiana Hicks after a nice through pass from Eva Rogers, however, Hicks rolled her effort the wrong side of the post. Moments after the keeper was called into action again, this time denying Becky Matlock from close range. She had earned her clean sheet bonus in the first half. Burton’s best chance of the half came in the last five minutes, as Jordan Atkins broke on the counter attack but her effort was tame and comfortable for Amy Burle. The game was goalless at the break.
Burton started the second half the stronger of the two sides and should have opened the scoring inside four minutes. A long pass saw Atkins race past two Foxes’ defenders but Burle stood firm to keep the scores level. Foxes pressed for an opener and it nearly came through their right back. Jodie Bartle rattled the crossbar on two occasions - once from twenty yards with her left foot and the other a header following a corner. It had that feel that it was going to be one of those days for the hosts, however, with under twenty minutes to go Foxes’ had their opener. Midfielder, and current top goal scorer, Chloe Young lofted the ball over the goalkeeper from 25 yards - outstanding. A goal worthy of winning any football match. Foxes weren’t done there as Laura Dexter added her name to the scoresheet and put the game beyond Burton Albion. Dexter shifted the ball past two defenders and fired the ball past the goalkeeper at the near post. Tidy finish and curtains on the match.
Foxes are now seven points ahead of promotion rivals Burton Albion having played the same number of fixtures and a point ahead of The New Saints with a game in hand. A good start to 2018 for the Foxes with their tenth win in eleven, and another clean sheet to their name, having only conceded three league goals all season. Long may it continue!