After 4 straight defeats and not scoring since 25th November Chester-le-Street Town Ladies needed to be able to find the back of the net again and get a win. Due to the recent results morale seemed to be low so a win would definitely lift the spirit within the team.
One of Norton’s players is former Chester player Maddy Atkinson who was with the club last season, quite a few of the current Chester players knew how much the referee’s liked to have a ‘word’ with Maddy during games, would this be a factor in this meeting?
Kacie Elson made her return to the team after serving a 3 match suspension, just by looking at her you could tell that she was keen to get back playing. Also goalkeeper Robyn Parker was not available so that meant that Rachel Mellor was to be in between the ‘sticks’, this is a position that she is not unfamiliar with as she has often had to be the emergency keeper during games of previous seasons. Jade Clark got her first start of the season as centre half in place of Rachel.
Within the first 10 minutes Chester had a few decent chances at goal already they were looking like a far better team than in previous games. On 18 minutes there was some good play between Katie Ellison and Kacie Elson, Kacie managed to take a shot from within the left side of the 18 yard box but the Norton keeper easily saved it.
23 minutes and Kacie this time plays some great inter passing with Nichole Goundry-Havery, Nichole takes a shot at goal and scores the opener. Finally Chester are back scoring goals!
A few times during the first half Laura Hockaday had shots from about 25 yards out one of which looked to be going well over the cross bar but dipped at the last second and hit the actual cross bar.
On 34 minutes the referee gave a penalty to Chester and booked Norton player Maddy Atkinson the referee did have a ‘word’ with her. Confusingly though the referee changed his mind and decided it wasn’t a penalty but in fact a free kick from just outside the 18 yard box. Lizzy Thompson-Clarke takes the free kick but it goes wide of the target.
At half time Chester lead 1 nil but they could have had a few more goals for certain, Norton also did have a couple of chances but stand in keeper Rachel Mellor dealt with all instances.
On about 52 minutes Chester had a corner from the right side, Hockaday had a good header at goal but the keeper was able to parry it away only as far as Kacie Elson who also had a header but the Norton keeper managed to keep a hold of the ball and cleared it.
Immediately after Norton had an attack on the Chester goal, one of their players headed the ball in the box but it was dealt with by Rachel Mellor.
On 33 minutes Norton was awarded a free kick approx 33 yards way from goal, the ball seemed to just go past all of Chester’s defenders into the back of the net, 1-1.
The challenge was now on for the Cestrians to battle back and get back into the lead to get a well-deserved win on the night.
65 minutes and even skipper Anna Collin fancied a shot at goal as she took one from about 25 yards out which was saved by the keeper.
On 78 minutes Kacie Elson was taken down inside the 18 yard box, penalty awarded. Up steps Nichole, she already scored early on can she get another goal…………………….of course she can! Chester go into the lead for the second time 1-2. Cmon!!
The last few minutes of the game became nerve racking as Norton tried to push on for a late equaliser however it just wasn’t enough as Chester-le-Street Town Ladies went home with the 3 points.