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PNEWFC 3 Penrith AFC Ladies 1

1 May 2022


PNEWFC 3 Penrith AFC Ladies 1

1 May 2022

Preston North End Women overturned an early deficit to end their season in style as first half strikes from Lucy Swift, Olivia Askam and Charlotte Greenwood earned them a 3-1 victory against Penrith AFC Ladies.

The game had looked set to be a decider for which of the two sides would finish in fourth place in Division One North of the North West Women’s Regional League, but both teams dropping points last weekend meant the position was already secured for North End.

There was no lack of competitiveness from either side in the game, though, with a bright start seeing Swift strike just wide of the near post from the left-hand side of the box, before her cross from the same flank looked threatening as it went just over the crossbar.

The visitors took the lead after a quarter of an hour, though, with Jess Nelson striking from the edge of the area after the Lilywhites failed to clear their lines.

The home side were back level within six minutes, though, when Nicole Sutcliffe combined with Swift, who turned cleverly in the box and shot back across the goalkeeper and into the far corner with her effort going in off the inside of the post.

PNE upped the tempo from there as Beth Wilson had a shot from distance edge just past the post after Swift had seen another effort saved.

The Lilywhites turned the game on its head seven minutes from the end of the half after a sensational run through midfield and into the box from Askam, which resulted in her being brought down in the box and the referee pointing to the spot.

Askam stepped up confidently from 12 yards and although the opposition goalkeeper guessed the right way, she was able to squeeze her effort inside the bottom left-hand corner to put the home side ahead.

There was no let-up from North End, though, who deservedly extended their lead before the break when Wilson squared it from the left-hand side for Greenwood to apply a smart first-time finish from ten yards in the middle.

The visitors came out much stronger after the break, but the first chance of the closing 45 minutes fell North End’s way again, as Wilson was brilliantly denied by the opposition ‘keeper from close range at a corner.

Penrith could have pulled one back with two glorious chances either side of the hour mark, which saw a cross from the right put on a plate at the back post, where the attacker couldn’t provide the finishing touch, and minutes later an outside-of-the-foot shot from ten yards trickled past the bottom corner and to safety.


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That came in arguably Penrith’s best spell of pressure, but the Lilywhites continued to create at the other end, with Swift drawing a good save from distance with the goalkeeper out of position, and Macpherson heading straight at the away stopper from the resulting corner.

Abi Cookson could have made it four 15 minutes from time when she flicked Wilson’s low cross onto the post, while Greenwood and substitutes Fran Lyons and Hannah Cubbin went close in the final moments, but North End were good value for their 3-1 triumph.

Speaking to PNE.Com post-match, first team coach David Rawcliffe said: “It was our last game of the season and we wanted to finish it strongly. It’s a great first half performance in particular.

“We were unlucky just to concede the first goal, there was a little bit of sloppy defending from our perspective, but at the end of the day it’s how we react to that and I thought the girls reacted well to get an equaliser straightaway almost.

“Particularly as the half grew, I thought we got stronger. The passing particularly through midfield was really, really good. We played on the speed that we’ve got up front and out wide.

“Two goals in the last minutes of the first half made a big difference going in [at half-time] at 3-1. We said to the girls at half-time to keep it tight, that they would come at us in the second half, which they did, but we held firm and we defended well and it’s a great way to finish the season.”

The league season may be over for the women’s team but they still have a final outing of the campaign to look forward to at Deepdale next weekend!

PNEWFC will take on Hindley Juniors Women in PR1 on Sunday 8th May and fans are invited to watch, free of charge, for the 6pm kick-off – full details are available by clicking here.

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