Pools Women stormed up to second place in the NERWFL Premier Division table with an impressive 3-1 win at Ossett United on Sunday afternoon.
Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ in-form side have now won four in a row in the league to move within four points of leaders Harrogate Town, on whom they still have three games in hand.
A heavy pitch at Ingfield Stadium made things difficult for both sides on Sunday and it was Ossett who began the brighter, striking the underside of the cross bar with an early effort on goal.
However, Pools reacted quickly and immediately broke upfield and the ball was worked in to the path of Kate Hampson who hit an outrageous shot from thirty yards which dipped over the goalkeeper and in to the far corner of the net for 1-0.
Pools drew confidence from the early breakthrough and piled on more pressure, with Jenny Duffy-Smith swinging in several corners to test the home side’s defence.
The hosts withstood the barrage and struck back on 11 minutes when the home striker raced through on goal and finished clinically past keeper Becks Lillystone.
Justine Robinson saw two efforts go narrowly over as Pools looked to recover the lead and they grabbed their second goal on 25 minutes as skipper Robinson made it third time lucky with a neat finish in to the net.
Robinson could even have extended the advantage further moments later when she skilfully flicked the ball over two Ossett defenders’ heads before pushing her shot just wide.
Ossett hit the woodwork again nine minutes before half-time but Pools held their lead until the break and knew they had plenty of work ahead to protect it in the second half.
Fortunately, things became a little more comfortable just before the hour-mark when Robyn Foster’s brilliant cross was deflected in to the net by an Ossett defender to make it 3-1 to Pools.
Sav Robson could have made it 4-1 but fired just over, while Hampson came close to getting her second of the afternoon but was denied by a smart save from the keeper.
Ossett threw caution to the wind during the closing stages and pinned Pools back but Gibbon-Hayes’ side held firm and saw the game out to collect three more crucial points.
“That was a huge win on the road for us,” Gibbon-Hayes admitted afterwards.
“Ossett played some good football and caused us some problems on a really heavy pitch but the girls showed great character because you could see last weekend’s game had taken a lot out of them.
“We had to change shape towards the end because of Ossett’s domination but we defended well as a team to protect our lead and get the result we needed.
“A special mention must go to Kate Hampson who has really stepped up this season and her goal to open the scoring was just incredible.”
Full Time: Ossett United 1 Pools 3
Pools: Lillystone, Bartlett, Stuart, Duffy-Smith, Hanratty, Rowbotham, Robson, Ingram (Gutcher 72), Robinson, Foster (Hammond-Garrington 66), Hampson.