Preston North End Women staged a remarkable comeback on Sunday as they netted two stoppage-time goals to win 4-3 against Workington Reds Ladies.
In a topsy-turvy affair, the Lilywhites found themselves looking at a 3-2 defeat heading into the 90th minute, but late goals from Madison Hadley and Beth Wilson helped keep the team’s promotion dream alive.
The game was even for much of the first half with both sides having opportunities to open the scoring but both goalkeepers made good saves to keep it goalless.
The game came to life in the 42nd minute when a through ball to Hadley saw the North End striker put the home side in front.
Workington continued to threaten and the lead was short lived, when – in the fifth minute of additional time – Workington broke down the left-hand side and converted to even things up at half-time.
North End started the second half well and created a few half chances, but it was the away side who took the lead in the 55th minute with an excellent strike from outside the box.
The Whites pressed for an equaliser but Workington continued to hold firm, and caused the home side problems on the counter attack.
However, the equaliser did come in the 73rd minute when, following great work by Wilson, Hadley converted the cross.
Hopes were raised and the home side went looking for the winning goal, but it was the away side who thought they had won it with five minutes left on the clock, when a break down the left saw a strong effort beat Elliott in the home goal.
North End pushed everyone forward as they searched for an equaliser and, with the pressure mounting, Hadley secured her hat-trick in the 90th minute, lobbing the away ‘keeper as she came to close the striker down.
As the game was coming to a close, North End were awarded a free-kick when Wilson was brought down on the side of the box. With the game almost up, Katie Woodhead delivered the free-kick, resulting in a goalmouth scramble, before Wilson calmly took her chance to cause huge celebrations as North End earned a valuable three points in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Speaking after the game, joint Manager David Rawcliffe said: “It is difficult to put into words after that finish, but we are absolutely delighted with result.
“Workington played really well and I know they will be disappointed as they could have come away with the three points on another day.
“We talked to the team before the game about having pride, passion and belief, and it was that belief that saw us win it.
“We weren’t at our best today but at this stage of the season, it is all about getting the points and to win it with two late goals like that was an incredible feeling for everyone.”