Former Preston North End striker Nigel Greenwood – now first team coach of the women’s team – praised the performance of forward Lucy Swift as she scored all five goals in an emphatic victory against Chorley FC Women’s Development side.
Swift helped North End to come back from an early deficit and lead 2-1 at the break and she helped herself to three more after the half-time interval.
That was despite Swift playing in an unfamiliar central striker’s role with her having being deployed out wide more recently, most commonly in a right wing back role.
Greenwood said: “It came about through a change we made to make, she’s been playing right back lately.
“She’s been doing a great job at wing back so that we could try to get more players forward. Through the unavailability of two forwards, we didn’t have any other option but to put her straight down the middle and it turned out to be a great decision because their back four just couldn’t handle her.
“We got the ball forward quicker and over the top to her and she just ripped through them the whole game.
“She scores goals from wide positions [anyway]. We like to get it wide and get the ball in the box and we use her pace on the wings usually. Through having to use her down the middle, we’ve fallen upon a good tactic.
“The centre halves couldn’t handle her pace. They played a high line which played into Swifty’s hands because the space was in between the ‘keeper and their back four.
“It was a bit of a change in the way we play but it’s another way we can use Swifty in the future if we’re struggling for the goals.”
Greenwood – who enjoyed two spells at Deepdale in the mid 1980s and early 1990s – also highlighted the change of surface as being an enabling factor in allowing the Lilywhites to play in behind but suggested it was also a factor in their slow start to the game.
“We controlled the game apart from the first ten minutes. We started off a bit sloppy. It was our first home game back on grass.
“We train on astro-turf and have played on astro-turf for most of the season. It’s a different game and we do tend to make slower starts on grass.
“It’s different and we can get the ball forward a bit quicker on grass.”
Next up for the women’s team is a trip to Blackburn Community Sports Club on Sunday, a side flying high in the league, but one against whom North End claimed a creditable draw earlier in the campaign.
“Blackburn are still unbeaten, they’re one of two or three teams that could win the league. We’ve beaten Haslingden, who are a few games behind, they were unbeaten before we played them.
“Hopefully we can do the same to Blackburn. We’ll go into it with a bit of confidence that we can go there and get a win.”
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