Hartlepool United Women won for the second time in four days on Sunday afternoon, defeating Ripon City 4-3 at Grayfields. Goals from Demi Fielding, Atalia Robinson, Zara Johnson and Lauren Gray helped Pools to secure their second win of pre-season.
The home side enjoyed the better of the opening minutes with Liv Bell and Emily Stuart both having shots blocked. The early pressure told and Craig Bage's side took the lead just five minutes in.
Pools broke with pace through Jess Bage down the right hand side, Bage played through Demi Fielding and the striker hit a powerful effort that was too strong for the Ripon keeper to handle.
Fielding had an opportunity to double hers and Pools' goal tally four minutes later. Liv Bell played Fielding through on goal and the forward was inches away from rounding the goalkeeper and tapping into an empty net.
Ripon hit back and went down the other end to equalise. Chloe Bethell got the better of Laura Keogh down the wing and struck an effort from range past Pools' goalkeeper to make it 1-1.
Pools weren't disheartened by the equaliser and regained their lead in the 16th minute. Liv Bell found Atalia Robinson unmarked in the box and the Pools number six hit a curling first time strike into the top corner.
After a somewhat scrappy spell in the game, Pools extended their lead to 3-1 with an attacking move of real quality. Bell and Robinson linked up well to send Lauren Gray down the right, Gray squared low across the box for Zara Johnson to tap in at the back post.
Ripon again hit back with a spell of pressure before the break. A looping shot looked to be bouncing over the Pools goalkeeper and into the net but Laura Keogh was on hand to clear. The away side enjoyed a few more half chances prior to the interval but Pools looked good value for their 3-1 lead going into the break.
The second half was a more subdued affair for Pools who took advantage of the opportunity to give their substitutes minutes on the pitch. Bage's side went 4-1 ahead in the 52nd minute, Lauren Gray hit a powerful free kick that sailed above the Ripon goalkeeper and into the roof of the net.
Pools were looking relatively comfortable but created less than they had done during the first 45. The closest the home side came to extending their lead came during a mad spell halfway through the second half. Within the space of two minutes, Pools had the ball cleared off the line three times.
First, Michaela Garvey looked to hook the ball in from close range but her shot was headed over the bar by a player on the line. From the resulting corner, Atalia Robinson swung the ball into the box and Demi Fielding's driven header was again blocked on the goal line.
Shortly after, it was Robinson's turn to be frustrated. The striker beat the Ripon goalkeeper to a long ball and looked set to guide the ball into the net but an away defender raced back to clear.
Pools let their guard down in the last ten minutes and gifted Ripon two late goals to make it 4-3. In the 84th minute, Louise Wilson danced through some stand-offish Pools defending and drilled a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Just before the full time whistle, the impressive Chloe Bethell got her second of the game. Pools were caught napping while clearing their lines and Bethell intercepted a clearance to shoot high into the back of the net.
Line-up: Triallist, Triallist, Murtha, Stuart (c), Keogh, Gray, Bell, Bage, A Robinson, Fielding, Johnson
Subs: Forster, L Smith, Geary, Garvey, Pearson, Thornton