Preston North End Women beat Workington AFC Ladies 3-1 at home to improve their chances of finishing fourth this season.
The Lilywhites, after having a week off, hosted Workington at UCLan Sports Arena and came out on top after a tough game.
They got off to a very good start, with Liv Askam having a one-on-one chance with the ‘keeper, but she couldn’t take advantage as she placed the ball right into the keeper's path.
All the chances were coming North End’s way. It was therefore no surprise that after seven minutes, Beth Wilson scored a beautiful goal placed into the corner with the ‘keeper left standing in the middle of the goal with no chance of saving it.
Freya Hunt was captain for this game as Courntey Woodhead couldn't attend the fixture and lead the girls well.
Workington grew into the game, catching PNE out on the attack a few times. Luckily for the Lilywhites, they had Rose Stuttard in goal, who always looked confident and made sure nothing got past her in the first half.
Not long after, a handball in the box meant the home team had an opportunity to extend the advantage, with Liv Askham stepping up to take the penalty awarded for her team. She looked calm and composed as she stepped up to take the penalty she converted from 12 yards to double the lead.
Nicole Sutcliffe was causing problems for Workington, making some excellent runs and crossing the ball into the box, and she was very unlucky not to get a goal in this game.
Going into half-time, it was probably the break the Lilywhites needed as the leaders looked to be struggling a bit losing possession and not being able to find their own players in good space.
Half-time provided the Lilywhites with a much-needed break and they were revitalised after a team talk at the interval, getting off to a great start as they extended their lead once again.
It was Askam who got her second goal of the game after the Workington ‘keeper had made a great initial save, but the Lilywhites’ midfielder pounced to score from the follow-up after the ball was parried right into her path.
For the rest of the game, the ball was very much back and forth with a lot of attacking stages from each team. It was no surprise that Workington got a goal after a high ball was played into the box and the visitors were the only ones on the end of it.
That seemed to wake up the home team as they started to improve their passing to each other to keep possession, with many chances in the latter stages that could have led to a much higher final goal tally – but the scoring ultimately finished at 3-1.
After the game, PNE Women First Team Coach Dave Rawcliffe gave his view on his side’s performance.
“I thought we played really well from the off, they were up for it right from the start. We battled hard today and put a stamp on the game.
“We seemed to get stronger throughout the first half and at half-time I said to the girls, keep going, keep battling and keep in shape.”
The Lilywhites currently sit in fourth place in the table, which Rawcliffe believes is a realistic finishing position for his side to aim for.
“We’re delighted with fourth, that is the aim of this season. There are two games left and we need to take today into next week.
“If we do this, I think a top four finish in the first season will be excellent from the girls.
“Half-time provided the Lilywhites with a much-needed break and they were revitalised after a team talk at the interval, getting off to a great start as they extended their lead once again.
It was Askam who got her second goal of the game after the Workington ‘keeper had made a great initial save, but the Lilywhites’ midfielder pounced to score from the follow-up after the ball was parried right into her path.”
For more from the women's team, visit pne.com/pnewfc.