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Stoke City 2-1 PNEWFC

23 February 2015


Stoke City 2-1 PNEWFC

23 February 2015

Preston North End Women lost for only the second time in 2015 on Sunday afternoon after going down 2-1 away to Stoke City.

Chelsea Flanagan's 25 yard effort had cancelled out Kate Asher's opener before Stoke captain Meg Bowyer sealed the win for the Potters midway through the second half.

PNE didn't have the best of starts to the game and were behind in the seventh minute.

Bowyer lofted the ball into the box and Asher brought it down on the edge of the area before firing into the back of the net via a deflection off Alison Taberner.

Stoke's lead didn't last for long though as the Lilywhites pulled level two minutes later.

Flanagan exchanged passes with Sarah Chadwick before curling a shot around a defender and into the top corner to level the score.

After a frantic opening ten minutes the game calmed down with the majority of play being broken up in the midfield and conditions worsening.

Both teams picked up yellow cards before the interval as Natasha Tezgel was booked for the home side whilst Laura Walker received a yellow card for North End.

The away side had a better start to the second 45 minutes as they looked to take the lead for the first time in the game.

Nikki Emery burst into the box from the left hand side and pulled back for Walker but her shot was blocked by Bowyer and cleared from danger.

The Stoke captain then added her side's second of the afternoon in the 65th minute.

A corner was swung into the box and met by Laura Garside, who was denied twice in quick succession on the line by Alice Forshaw and Walker.

Bowyer was lying in wait at the back post and slammed home the rebound from close range to restore the home side's one goal advantage.

The game seemed to go into a lull following Stoke's second goal with both teams getting weighed down by the boggy surface at Wellbeing Park.

Flanagan came close to an equaliser from an indirect free kick but put her effort just past the outside of Alice Langstone's post.

PNE manager Luke Podmore made his three substitutions late on, as well as a change in formation, and it was one of them who nearly rescued a point late on.

Emery showed great pace to beat her marker as she chased the ball to the by-line.

She managed to cut it back into the six yard area towards substitute Holly Rawcliffe but the ball held up in the mud and Stoke were able to clear.

The full time whistle sounded shortly after to condemn PNE to only their second defeat of 2015 ahead of two big semi-finals on Wednesday and Sunday respectively.

First up is Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday at AFC Darwen, 7.45pm kick off, before PNE take on West Ham United at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Sunday, 2pm kick off with free entry for all.

Both games can be followed on the team's official Twitter @PNEWomenFC if you can’t make it along.

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