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Match Reports

Match Report: FC St Helens Women 0 PNE Women 6

2 October 2022

Preston North End Women hit FC St Helens Women for six with an emphatic away in the Women's FA Cup second qualifying round at Windleshaw Sports Club.

Madison Hadley surpassed double figures in front of goal for the season by hitting another hat-trick, while Abbie Jones, Sam Ball and Eleanor Collins all struck their first goals of the campaign.

There weren't many chances of note for North End in the first 15 minutes, with the game being fairly even. 

There was largely a battle for the ball in the middle of the pitch as both teams didn’t utilise their wingers as much as they might have, and a head injury to Freya Hunt saw play stopped for some time as she received treatment.

That gave PNE time to regroup, which they did perfectly, as minutes later theye took the lead through a lovely cross from Jones for Hadley to slot the ball in the back of the net on 18 minutes.

From then on, the away team looked on top of the game, leaving St Helens struggling to challenge the defence. 

It was no surprise that six minutes later, North End doubled their lead. With Hadley finding herself one-on-one with the 'keeper, she calmly passed the ball beyond the St Helens shot-stopper. 

Jones on the left was causing lots of problems for the home side, playing balls into the box and helping the team get the ball further up the pitch. 

It wasn’t long before all Jones' hard work paid off after she got the ball and decided to take everyone on and have a go herself, as she smashed the ball over the 'keeper to score and make it 3-0 before half-time. 

Going into half-time, being in the lead gave North End the world of confidence.

The Lilywhites continued having chances in the second half with Sam Ball playing through several balls to Hadley, who was unable to take a handful of opportunities. 

Several minutes later, though, Hadley didn’t miss the target as she fired the ball into the top corner, leaving the 'keeper stranded and unable to do anything about it.

With their continued pressure, the only question was who was going to score next for the visitors.

The fifth goal came from Ball, who found herself in front of the goal and didn’t hesitate to find the back of the net.

PNE continued to put all the pressure on the home team, who unable to get the ball out from defence to create some sort of attack.

Within the last few minutes of the game, Collins struck a fantastic shot at goal which chipped the goalkeeper and leaft St Helens deflated, that the final meaningful act of a resounding 6-0 win for the visitors.

After the game manager, Nigel Greenwood said: "We're happy with the performance today, it was a fantastic performance from minute one to 93, they were superb. With it being a big FA Cup game against a team we didn’t know much about, we cannot really ask for more from the girls.”

“Today I think Maddie got three and three other goals came from different areas of the pitch, which is good for us. If Maddie or Liv [Askam] don’t score, we have got other options.”

The victory sees North End's journey continue in the Women's FA Cup; this victory following a 3-0 first qualifying round success against Atherton Labernum Rovers Ladies in the first qualifying round.

Greenwood continued: “It is coming on, the FA Cup, the girls have gripped that it is just as special in the women’s game as well as the men's game.

"We've got to be together as people are fighting for FA Cup games and the money involved and the prestige that is involved does bring you together. Absolutely every single one of them are all in it.”

Victory over FC St Helens Women has set up a third qualifying round tie for North End away at Bradford City Women on Sunday 23rd October.


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