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Women's Match Reports

Women: Pools defeat Alnwick in vital victory

20 May 2024

Women's Match Reports

Women: Pools defeat Alnwick in vital victory

20 May 2024

Hartlepool United Women took another big step towards their fight for survival in the NERWFL Premier Division by defeating Alnwick Town 1-0. Lottie Portas’s early strike was the difference maker on Sunday afternoon’s pivotal game at Grayfields.

Pools appointed a new manager during the week, Matt Gatiss. In his unveiling interview, he set about his intention to secure four points in his side’s remaining two games to give his side the chance of staying up.

The new boss got off to a dream start as Pools took the lead just 27 seconds in. Portas glided past an Alnwick defender’s challenge before hitting a precise low shot into the bottom corner.

Gatiss’ side now had the lead, and what would be a key three points for survival, to defend. They weren’t content to just sit back and soak up pressure though, Zara Johnson went close twice in the first half but was unable to direct her shots on target.

Alnwick were always going to cause problems and Pools were well aware of this, having been on the end of a heavy defeat in the reverse fixture. Ella Field was called into action in the Hartlepool goal, reacting well to tip a free-kick wide in the 19th minute.

Chloe Young caused problems down the wing for Pools throughout and she went close after striking the post from inside the box.

The second half was a nervy affair for a Pools side who couldn’t afford to let their lead slip. Field was again required to make two saves, including one from close-range in a packed goalmouth.

Pools still saw chances to double their lead and could count themselves unlucky not to have done so. Portas could have had a second but fired just over from a well worked set-piece, while substitute Ella McIndoe also tested the goalkeeper.

Both sides struck the woodwork before the end of the game. Alnwick fired a warning shot in the 73rd minute, hitting the post from a curling 20-yard effort. Zara Johnson then could have wrapped the game up for Pools but her shot grazed the top of the crossbar and went over.

Hartlepool saw out the final few minutes to grab a crucial win for their chances of survival. With relegation rivals Harrogate and Redcar having now completed their fixtures, Pools now need just one point to see themselves over the line in their final game next Sunday against Sunderland West End at Grayfields.

Pools: Field, K Robinson, Stuart, Pye, C Geary (May 77), M Johnson, Basnett (Bell 67), Morrison, Portas, Pearson (McIndoe 46), Z Johnson


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