Preston North End Women finished 2014 with a 2-1 win against Newcastle United Women to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.
Goals from Chelsea Flanagan and Paige Forster secured the three points despite Newcastle finding a way back into the game through Robyn Parker at the start of the second half.
The opening forty five minutes had a very slow tempo to them with neither team creating many noteworthy chances.
PNE’s first shot on target came in the 15th minute when Flanagan tried her luck from the edge of the area but was denied by Newcastle goalkeeper Megan Borthwick.
However it was Flanagan who opened the scoring in the 36th minute after she latched onto Forster’s lofted through ball.
The former Manchester City striker spotted Borthwick off her line and elegantly lifted the ball over her and into the back of the net to give Preston the lead.
Newcastle were level eight minutes after the restart when the ball fell kindly to defender Robyn Parker.
Jessica Havelock’s low free kick was deflected into her path and she applied the finish from close range to level the scores.
It wasn’t long until PNE regained the lead though, as Forster added her first goal of the season.
A corner wasn’t fully cleared and Forster brought it down on the edge of the area before getting a shot away that nestled in the bottom corner; Newcastle goalkeeper Borthwick leaving the ball thinking that it was going wide.
The next chance of the game fell to the home side but it was wasted with the unmarked Beth Gardener firing over from eight yards out with only Danielle Brown to beat.
North End pushed for their third goal of the afternoon late on but were constantly denied by Borthwick as she made up for her earlier mistake.
First, she pulled off a fantastic double save to deny Sarah Chadwick before clearing substitute Emily Hutton’s header off the line from the resulting corner.
Borthwick was involved in the action again in the 86th minute to deny Flanagan before making two separate saves to prevent Hutton getting on the scoresheet for the second game in a row.
The final whistle followed shortly after her second save from Hutton and it meant that PNE moved up to seventh in the FAWPL Northern Division after securing their eighth win in nine games.