Abi Cookson scored two minutes from time to see the women’s team edge past Morecambe Reserves with a deserved 3-2 win.
Liv Askam netted twice in the first half with a Morecambe reply sandwiched in between, but a second Shrimps equaliser soon after the break threatened to see the contest end level.
But after Freya Hunt’s fine long-range strike was tipped onto bar late on, Cookson followed in for the winner with the visitors unable to prevent the ball from crossing the line.
North End started brightly as Lucy Swift, again starting in a lone striker’s role after scoring five last time out, had a smart left-footed shot saved inside 30 seconds.
The hosts again went close when a downward header from a corner was saved at the second attempt by the Morecambe goalkeeper.
It was still within the opening ten minutes when PNE took the lead, though, as Askam converted from close range after a loose ball from a corner.
The Lilywhites looked in control but were pegged back around midway through the half when the visitors sent a cross to the back post from the left-hand side which was duly converted in the centre.
And Morecambe could have taken the lead when a volley was sent agonisingly wide of the post not long after which prompted a double change from the hosts.
North End still saw more of the ball and the chances and deservedly regained their lead when Askam struck again with a fine individual effort as she strode through the centre and fired left-footed into the roof of the net.
That saw North End ahead at the break, but the visitors drew level again before the hour mark from a free-kick from distance.
Not long after, one of the Lilywhites’ first half substitutes, Rachelle Smith, went down and had to be carried off the pitch – with all at North End wishing her a speedy recovery.
Lucy Swift’s shot from wide on the right was taken down in a decent area by Courtney Macpherson but she was called back for offside, and another of her efforts was blocked shortly after, following Askam again stinging the goalkeeper’s gloves.
Shots from range saw one dipping effort well saved by the Morecambe ‘keeper while Courtney Woodhead struck just over her crossbar.
The Lilywhites continued to pile on the pressure as Askam’s half volley bounced up in front of the ‘keeper late in the day and was again saved by the ‘keeper.
Her heroics looked like they might continue two minutes from time when Hunt hit a brilliant effort on the bounce towards goal but her effort from just outside the box was tipped onto the bar.
However, Cookson was well positioned to finish on the rebound, despite the best efforts of the Morecambe defence to hack clear with the ball having already crossed the line.
First team coach David Rawcliffe said: “The girls thoroughly deserved it, we dominated large parts of the game and got off to a great start after five or six minutes going 1-0 up. It was a little bit sloppy defensively from the whole team letting them get back in it.
“We said at half-time that we were in a battle. We were unfortunate with the equaliser again but I thought the team really responded well, it was a really tough game and there’s nothing better than a last-minute winner because we kept going and going and going.”
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