Women’s first team coach David Rawcliffe reflected on the 1-1 draw against Morecambe Reserves as being a game of frustration.
The Shrimps took a first half lead before Abi Cookson equalised for the Lilywhites almost immediately after the half-time restart, but the visitors were unable to complete the turnaround with a second goal as the spoils were shared.
Rawcliffe felt the hosts’ opener after half an hour brought North End to life and was pleased with their improvement after the break.
He told PNE.Com: “From our perspective, it took us a while to get going. We were fairly slow starters.
“Morecambe scored with a good finish into the top corner, our ‘keeper didn’t have a chance with it. As it has done before, that woke us up a little for the last ten to 15 minutes of the first half, which was a lot better than the first 30 minutes.
“At half-time, we made some changes to try to improve the tempo and changed some personnel too to freshen it up a bit, we asked the girls to raise it and get us back in the game.
“We started the second half really well and came out of the blocks quickly, scoring within a minute-and-a-half of the restart. Within five minutes, we’d had a couple of chances that we really should have taken to get us ahead.
“For the first 15 to 20 minutes, we put them under real pressure without finding that finish. That’s our Achilles Heel at the moment. The game then became quite open and in the end the draw was probably a fair result in terms of the opportunities created.
“We had another right at the end but we couldn’t quite take it. It was a frustrating game because we felt it was there to be won, but Morecambe defended well, counter attacked well and we just couldn’t find the finish.”
While Rawcliffe might have hoped for more against Morecambe, the point maintains a solid run of form for the women’s team – with five wins, two draws and only two defeats in their last nine league outings.
“The positive is we didn’t lose and that keeps our run going,” Rawcliffe continued. “The frustration is we want the team to move on and move up the league.
“The girls played very well in the second half. We want to be more aggressive, more clinical and keep the tempo going. We will continue to work on that.
“Since October, we’ve put in some good performances and we want to keep those standards high, we have to keep the bar high so the girls have something to aim for and to be successful at this club.”