Pools Women’s Team took another step towards clinching the NERWFL Premier Division runners-up spot on Sunday as they twice came from behind to beat Tynedale at Grayfields.
With their rivals for second place South Shields without a league game at the weekend, Pools seized the opportunity to move three points clear with a hard-fought 5-2 victory on home soil.
Skipper Justine Robinson led the way with two goals in the triumph, as Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ side recovered from a slow start to take all three points.
It was the hosts who looked more of a threat in the opening stages and some clever movement and hold-up play from Tynedale Number 10 was causing all sorts of problems for Pools’ defence.
On 25 minutes that pressure told when the visitors stole in front as the striker raced through on goal and despatched a brilliant finish in to the top corner from just outside the box.
Tyndale continued to set the pace of the game but Pools hit back with an equaliser against the run of play six minutes before the break when Robinson ran through on goal to finish.
However, the away team were back in front almost immediately at the start of the second half when Pools were undone by a long ball through the middle which was once again neatly tucked away by the centre-forward.
It took the introduction of substitute Laura Wilson – who returned to the Club last week – to spark Pools in to life on the hour when first Sarah Rowbotham struck the crossbar with a 20-yard drive before a Caitlin Bates’ shot came back off the foot of the post.
On 65 minutes the leveller arrived though. Great work by Aimee Stabler saw Bates released through on goal and she kept her composure to fire past the keeper for 2-2.
After that, Pools finally began to find their usual rhythm and Robinson did well to tee-up substitute Lucy Hammond-Garrington who found the net to give Gibbon-Hayes’ outfit the lead for the first time in the game.
Wilson and Rowbotham began to really pull the strings in midfield as Pools looked to turn the screw on their tiring opponents, and it was Wilson who added the fourth goal on 73 minutes with a great finish from a wide position.
It was now a more comfortable situation for Pools and they were even able to grab a fifth goal a minute from time when Robinson fired an unstoppable shot in to the top corner to cap an excellent performance.
“It was a very frustrating game to be part of because we were poor for long spells and didn’t play with our usual flair and intensity,” admitted Gibbon-Hayes afterwards.
“Credit to the Tynedale Number 10, she was unplayable at times and asked us a lot of questions.
“I thought the introduction of Laura Wilson changed the game – she was composed in possession, got us playing and allowed Sarah Rowbotham and Justine Robinson to get on the ball more.
“All the subs played a part and that competition for places is something we want to have within the squad.
“The positive is that we were are 20% of the standard we know we can reach but still managed to win the game.”
Full Time: Pools 5 Tynedale 2
Pools: Smith, Bartlett (Hampson 77), Stuart, Duffy-Smith, Stabler, Rowbotham, Ingram (Wilson 56), Portas (Smith 62), Robinson, Bates, Pye (Hammond-Garrington 62).
Photo Credit: Lisa Stabler