PNE Women moved up to fourth in the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division with a 3-2 win against Sporting Club Albion Ladies on Sunday.
PNE started on the front foot and created a chance within the opening five minutes after Jade Parker intercepted a back pass before being denied by a good save from Sporting Albion goalkeeper Rebecca Thomas.
The away side’s pressured continued and they had another chance in the 12th minute but were once again denied by Thomas.
Chelsea Flanagan muscled her way into the area and got a shot on target but saw it palmed away by the Sporting Albion stopper.
Sporting Albion rarely troubled the Preston defence in the first half but did create a chance in the 17th minute.
Winger Hazanna Parnell managed to sneak her way into the area but dragged her shot well wide of Danielle Brown’s goal.
Following the flurry of early chances the game turned into a midfield battle with both sides flooding bodies into the middle before the game lit up moments before half-time.
As the game ticked into the 45th minute, Swarbrick was brought down in the area but referee Martin Ball waved away the appeals before awarding a penalty a minute later.
Parker had a goalscoring opportunity after turning her marker but couldn’t get a shot away after being dragged back by Kelly Darby resulting in a PNE penalty.
Captain Laura Walker took on the penalty duties and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to give the Lilywhites the lead before the interval.
The second half started similarly to the first with PNE creating a chance early on but Emery couldn’t get her shot on target after turning her marker on the edge of the area.
However it wasn’t long until the away side doubled their lead through Swarbrick in the 53rd minute.
Alice Forshaw went on a mazy run into the box before unleashing a shot that was tipped into the air by Thomas to leave Swarbrick with an easy finish from only a couple of yards out.
The goal kick started a frantic few minutes at The Grove with Sporting Albion reducing the lead a minute later.
Parnell burst through the Preston defence and found a way past Brown to make it 2-1.
The home side’s goal was followed by another chance for the Lilywhites as Emery came close to adding her second for the Club but was denied by the crossbar after looping an effort over Thomas.
Emery’s determination in seeking PNE’s third goal of the afternoon was rewarded in the 62nd minute after bringing down a wayward shot from Aimee Cleaver.
She brought the ball under control on the edge of the area before firing her shot into the bottom corner to restore PNE’s two goal lead.
Thomas then produced two further good saves in the final ten minutes to deny Flanagan on both occasions as she searched for her tenth goal of the season.
The home side further reduced North End’s lead late on as Parnell grabbed her second of the game with two minutes left after she struck a ferocious first time shot into the top corner but the Lilywhites were able to hold on for another vital three points.