Preston North End Women were beaten 3-1 by Workington Reds Ladies last weekend, as they kicked off their North West Women’s Regional League Division One North campaign.
Several new players were brought into the club during the summer, alongside new first team coaches Nigel Greenwood and David Rawcliffe, who have been working with the existing management team of Andy Lyons and Dave Dewhurst.
With plenty of hard work put in during pre-season, there were a number of positives to take from the opening day fixture.
Early goals in both halves did see PNE on the backfoot, before they equalised in the second half through captain Courtney Woodhead, giving the visitors belief they could get something from the game.
At that stage, the Lilywhites looked the most likely team to score next, but they were unfortunately caught on the counter attack for the home side’s third goal, as Workington sealed a 3-1 victory.
However, PNE’s reaction to going behind proved a positive point, and they showed a lot of promise with good spells of continued pressure.
First team coach Greenwood, a former North End striker who has joined the women’s coaching staff from Sir Tom Finney Ladies alongside Rawcliffe this summer, highlighted some areas in which the side will look to improve after defeat at Borough Park.
Nigel said: “I'm a little bit disappointed obviously with the first league game. We started both halves poorly and that probably cost us the game. They scored in the first five minutes of the first half and then in the first two minutes of the second half, and that did for us really.
“We did come back and scored to make it 2-1 and then we had the better of the game for 20 minutes, we looked like we were going to score the next goal.
“Unfortunately, with us pushing forward, they managed to get another one, which made the scoreline look a bit unfair with the 3-1 result.”
Nigel added that the reaction from the women’s team after going two goals down was a reason for encouragement.
“We’re pleased with the reaction to going down. We have something to build on.”
“We don’t really know Workington and they could be the strongest or weakest team in the league. Until five, six, seven games in, we don’t really know how we are going to stand.
“We said at half-time we were disappointed with the start and we did get a reaction from them at 2-0 down. We said to them that they didn’t get their heads down, they didn’t give up, and they got themselves back into the game, but the third goal killed us.
“We want to build on that 20 to 30 minutes we had in the second half. The girls have shown what they can do. The next game is the FA Cup at Runcorn, another big game. We've just got to work and train on Thursday on the positives from Sunday."
The women’s team are next in action when they travel to Runcorn Linnets Ladies in the Vitality Women's FA Cup First Qualifying Round this Sunday, with a 2pm kick-off.