Preston North End Women made it five wins on the bounce with a comfortable victory over Sporting Albion Ladies at Bamber Bridge on Sunday.
PNE dominated much of the opening play and created a few half chances for themselves, but both Sophie Jones and Gemma Watson were denied by Rebecca Thomas in the Sporting Albion goal.
Becky Grocott then had a penalty appeal turned down in the 19th minute when she was taken out in the area but referee Kat Davey waved away her appeals.
Sporting Albion took the lead two minutes after the penalty appeal when Eloise Gerhold headed in from a looping cross, but PNE didn’t let their heads drop and were back on level terms almost immediately after the restart.
The ball was played out wide to Jones and she took one touch before floating it over Thomas to level the score at 1-1.
Shortly before half time, Thomas had to make a reaction save to keep the scores level after Sporting Albion nearly converted Jones’ cross into their own net.
North End took the lead thirteen minutes into the second half when substitute Keeleigh Savage tapped in from close range after Melissa Ball was originally denied by the goalkeeper.
Following the second goal, more and more pressure was applied to the Sporting Albion defence before it cracked open with a swift PNE counter attacked.
Watson broke free and there was never any doubt in the next motion as she sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 3-1 to the Lilywhites.
Watson nearly had her second in the space of five minutes when she chipped Thomas from the edge of the area but her effort hit the bar and bounced back out.
However, Watson did get her second goal in the 87th minute when she won and scored a penalty to secure the win.
After being brought down in the area by Kelly Darby, she brushed herself down before slotting the ball in the bottom corner to make it 4-1.
The win sees Preston North End Women rise to fourth in the FA Women’s Premier League and gives them plenty of confidence ahead of next week’s tough trip to league leaders Sheffield FC Ladies.
PNE: Brown, Stanfield, Carroll, Walker (c), Taberner, Charlesworth, Forster, Ball, Watson, Jones (Savage 52), Grocott (Foster 59)