Hartlepool United Ladies kept up the pressure at the top of the North East Women’s Football League Premier Division with a 3-2 win over second-placed Wallsend Ladies on Sunday.
Andy Stuart’s women roared in to a 3-0 lead during a dominant first half at Brierton but they allowed their visitors back in to it and there were some nervy moments as they held on for three points.
There were less than ten minutes on the clock when the Ladies went in front as Jess Dawson burst through the Wallsend defence, rounded the keeper and finished clinically to make it 1-0.
Dawson was proving a real handful down the left flank and she doubled the lead midway through the first half when she again ran clear of the visiting backline to rifle the ball in to the back of the net.
The talented attacker then turned provider as a low ball in to the front post was turned home by Chelsea Basnett from close range to make it 3-0 inside half an hour.
However, Wallsend rallied as half time approached and grabbed a lifeline when a cross from the left was nodded down in to the box and brilliantly finished by the striker to make it 3-1.
And the visitors got off to the perfect start in the second half when they pulled a second goal back just five minutes after the restart to make things nervous for Stuart’s side.
Dawson forced the keeper in to a fine block as she searched for her hat-trick, while skipper Justine Robinson almost scored with an audacious back-heel flick from a corner which came back off the cross bar.
Caitlin Bates could have wrapped things up after going through on the right side of goal but fired a left-footed shot over. Minutes later, Bates cleverly wriggled past two defenders on the edge of the box only to steer a left-footed shot agonisingly wide of the far post.
However, Pools did enough to hold on for the win which helped move them above their visitors on goal difference in the table as the race continues for another promotion.
“Despite not having had a game for numerous weeks we made a great start to the game,” explained Stuart afterwards.
“There was some excellent football on display, in particular from our wingers and strikers as we took a three-goal lead.
“We took our foot off the gas and let Wallsend back in to it so all the Ladies had to dig deep to take the three points and Becca Smith in goal made some crucial saves in the second half.”
Full Time: Hartlepool United Ladies 3 Wallsend Ladies 2
Pools: Smith, Bartlett, Robinson, Stuart, Garside (Ingram 60), Bates (Lambert 25), Basnett, Portas, Dawson, Pye (Hurrell 70), Duckling (Rackstraw 70).
Subs not used: McAlpine.