Chester le Street Town Ladies welcomed Stockport County Ladies to Moor Park for their first home game of the new decade. The Cestrians last game was away to Bolton Wanderers where they came away with a point; after being cruelly robbed of all three points, with a 95th minute equaliser from the home team.
The game started evenly with the ball being contested in the midfield area. The closest either team came to breaking the deadlock in the first 10 mins came to Stockport, they managed to get an angled shot across the goal, but Steph Jones got across the goal quickly to tip the ball behind for a corner.
Stockport broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, starting out wide from a throw in the ball was played down the line; the Chester le Street defence should have easily dealt with it, but failed to clear their lines. The Stockport winger was allowed to cross the ball into the box and their striker managed to get a quick shot on goal, low and into the bottom right hand corner.
10 minutes later Chester got the equaliser; Stockport’s keeper; Jessica Linford, pulled off 3 magnificent saves in rapid succession to deny the Cestrians a certain goal. The last one landed at the feet of Jess Ellison 12 yards out and she smashed a volley high into the net. A great bit of play and a deserved goal for the Cestrians, but really cruel on the Stockport keeper.
Close to half time and Chester start to apply more pressure, a throw in from Katie Ellison to Laura Hockaday and a neat pass to Anna Collin split the Stockport defence. A great ball into the far post evades the strikers and the Stockport keeper makes another good save.
Half time and the teams go in with the score even 1-1.
Chester le Street were awarded a free kick on 56 minutes after one of Stockport’s defenders had elbowed Nichole Havery in the back whilst going for a header. Havery stepped up to take it but smashed it into the wall and the ball trickled into the keeper’s hands.
60 minutes and some more positive play from Chester, this time down the left wing. Jessica Ellison played a great ball into Laura Hockaday who laid it off for her strike partner Havery. She managed to keep the move going with a great ball towards the far post; unfortunately, Hannah McStay-Fenn was just unable to get a touch on the ball as she slid in, to turn it into the back of the net. The warning signs were there and the Cestrians were enjoying playing down the pitch.
Chester took the lead on 64 minutes as Katie Ellison fired the ball into the far-left top corner of the goal from a free-kick from 35 yards out. An absolute corker of a shot, giving the very capable Linford no chance in the Stockport goal; a fantastic way to go in front and fully deserved for Chester.
3-1 to Chester on 70 minutes, Lynsey Longhurst grabbing her 2nd goal of the season from a corner. Stockport were unable to deal with the cross and Longhurst was able to get her head on the ball and put it into the net.
The Cestrians continued to apply pressure on Stockport as the opposition just seemed to tire as the game went on. Mcstay-Fenn went close again, this time managing to get onto a ball with a first time shot with her left foot, but the ball flew high and wide. Substitutes Jess White and Elizabeth Thompson-Clarke both had good chances but couldn’t convert; both looking hungry for goals.
Havery and Hockaday again provided some very good link up play and then laying the final ball off for Lizzy Clarke; she got another shot away but the keeper made another good save for Stockport.
Havery grabbed the Cestrians 4th and final goal of the game following some lovely build up and combination play down the right. A great pulled back pass to the 6-yard line and with just the keeper to beat; Havery got a tame shot away straight at the keeper, which managed to squirm under her body and slowly rolled over the line.
Final score 4-1 to the Cestrians.