Pools Women’s Team roared back up to second in the NERWFL Premier Division table on Sunday with a thrilling 4-3 win over rivals South Shields at Grayfields.
Having been without a game for three weeks, Craig Devon’s team were keen to make up for lost time and were looking to build on the positives from their slender defeat to runaway leaders Durham last time out.
Devon opted to tweak the formation to give Pools a more attacking edge and they began the game well on a rain-soaked pitch and got their rewards midway through the first half when Jade Pye got on the end of a corner to make it 1-0.
However, the lead lasted only three minutes as Shields offered a spirited response to take advantage of a defensive mix-up to level the game up.
The equaliser seemed to irritate the Pools players though and they raced down the other end of the field to restore their lead just a minute later when Lucy Hammond-Garrington fired home.
Skipper Justine Robinson – having reverted to her favoured Number 10 role – took the game by the scruff of the neck at the start of the second half, driving forward and then brilliantly chipping the visiting keeper from twenty yards to make it 3-1 on 55 minutes.
Just three minutes later Robinson was on the scoresheet again, this time collecting the ball on the edge of the box before skilfully dribbling around the helpless defenders before slotting home.
At 4-1 up Pools were able to make some changes but that led to a drop in concentration which threatened to let Shields back in to the game when they grabbed a goal back to make it 4-2 on 80 minutes.
And there were even more nerves when the away team made it 4-3 with five minutes left but Pools held firm to collect three points and leap back up to lead the chase behind Durham.
“It was a frustrating day in some ways because we showed our very best abilities but also our worst habits,” admitted Devon afterwards.
“It was a day of mistakes and lapses in concentration across the team which caused our own downfall at times – but thankfully it was three points won and we can now work on areas to improve.
Full Time: Pools 4 South Shields 3
Pools: Campbell, Bartlett (Carter 75), Stabler, Stuart, Duffy-Smith, Rowbotham, Lambert (Smith 55), Robinson (Ingram 65), Hammond-Garrington (Portas 55), Pye (Hampson 65), Bates.