(Crooks 53, Fraser 65)
Stuart Dick, at Coach Lane Campus, Benton, Newcastle
Two goals of real quality saw Newcastle United’s Women continue their 100% record in 2013 at home to Preston North End on Sunday afternoon at Coach Lane, Benton. Prolific striker Stacy Crooks and substitute Elizabeth Fraser got the goals to give the black and whites a crucial three points.
The first chance of the game fell to the away side after miss placed clearance by Newcastle ‘keeper Laura Wareham. The visitors played the ball down the left before crossing to the edge of the box where a midfielder took aim, but fired well over the bar.
The visitors were on the front foot again after winning the ball in midfield before unleashing a ball down the right. Wareham ran out to take on the attacker but the Preston Winger got round the stopper and clipped a cross towards the net. Only a header off the line by Newcastle skipper Sarah Wilson kept the scores level.
From the clearance, Newcastle United countered, quickly moving the ball to the right wing to Dannika Purdham. The winger played a one-two with Stacy Crooks whilst running the two thirds the length of the pitch before a Preston defender managed to slide in and turn the ball behind as Purdham was about to shoot.
From the resulting corner taken by Purdham, the flicked forward by Wilson to Charlotte Potts 5 yards out, but another great block from the Preston defence forced the ball behind. It was Purdham again a few minutes later that nearly broke the deadlock. Crooks once more pulled deep and played a first time ball over the top to an onrushing Purdham who chipped the ‘keeper, only to see her effort fall agonizingly wide.
It was almost 1-0 to the visitors just before half time after a cracking effort from the Preston right-back. After some great build up in the middle of the field, the ball was rolled wide to the right-back who took a touch before hitting a 25 yard shot towards the top left hand corner. Wareham, however, was a match for the strike, tipping the ball onto the crossbar and back into play, a fantastic save.
Beth Gardner had an excellent chance as the clock neared half time. A long ball from the back was headed on by Crooks to Gardener, who was forced wide by the ‘keeper. Gardener hit in a cross which was cleared, with the ball met by Purdham, who hit a first time pass back to Gardener 12 yards out on the angle, the winger, however, could not keep her strike down.
Early in the second half, Newcastle won a free-kick on the wide right, taken by Wilson. The ball was headed around the box before the ball landed at the feet of Moly Collinson. Collinson turned on a dime before hitting a through ball with the outside of her right foot to Crooks who hit a first time right footed shot passed the ‘keeper and into the left hand corner.
The second goal came soon after thanks to an excellent run by Purdham. The winger picked the ball up in her own half and rode the reckless challenge of a Preston midfielder before running at the visitor’s backline. She juked passed one more before a 50/50 challenge saw her fall to the ground. The referee waved play on as the ball fell to Collinson. She rolled it to Crooks who chipped the ball to Elizabeth Fraser 30 yards out. Fraser hit a technically perfect half volley over the stranded ‘keeper and into the back of the net, a stunning strike at any level.
Some late Preston pressure saw the visitors hit the woodwork once more, this time from the left wing, but all in all a deserved win and clean sheet for Newcastle who rise to fourth after beating second places Preston.
NUWFC XI – Wareham, Lock, Havelock, Potts, Wilson (C), Armstrong, Purdham (Pyper), Crooks, Collinson, Teasdale (Fraser), Gardener (Campion) – Unused Subs – Sewell, Foster
Player of the Match – Dannika Purdham
NUWFC First Team Manager Michael Havelock “NUWFC got back into winning ways in the league with a comfortable and entertaining performance against a high flying Preston side. The players showed real guts and determination to play football, despite the tough conditions. Their hard work and will to be better shone through and enabled them to beat an established and experienced side. Goals from crooks and Fraser, were both top drawer and worthy to finish any match. 2013 has started well and his is hopefully the start of a run of good results for the girls who have proved that they have the talent, now they need to prove that they can be a successful winning team.
“NUWFC First Team Captain Sarah Wilson “This Sunday we had something to prove to a very strong Preston side sitting towards the top of the league. They took all 3 points from us comfortably during our last encounter. We had a bit of a shaky start to the game, with Laura Wareham making a fantastic save to tip the ball onto the crossbar and keeping us in the game. We created chances but didn’t test the goal keeper enough. We settled into the game throughout the second half, defended as a unit and finished our chances. Credit to all the girls it was brilliant team performance”
Sunday’s Match Day Mascots were North Shields U11’s
Check out Stuart Dicks video of the 2 NUWFC goals
Newcastle United Women’s Football Club Reserves 0 v Leeds United Ladies Football Club Reserves 1
NUWFC Reserve Team Manager Gary Appleton “Sunday we played Leeds United on a very heavy Bullocksteads pitch, after a 2-0 defeat last time we played we prepared for a very hard physical game. Both teams started well with the first goal scoring chance falling to inform striker Toni Laurie who outpaced the impressive Leeds centre back to thunder a shot past the oncoming keeper but unfortunately for us crashed against the underside of the bar and down on the wrong side of the goal line. With the incoming Jade Blackburn unable to turn the ball into the net, both teams were pushing forward at every opportunity trying to claim the first goal but with both defences outstanding and both midfields battling out in the middle of the park goal scoring opportunities were at a premium. Leeds did manage to break the dead lock after 40 minutes due to a desperately unlucky own goal after a hopeful cross into the box being deflected past the outstanding goalkeeper Michaela Raine to make the half time score 1-0 to Leeds.
The second half started and finished the same as the first with Newcastle creating the better of the goal scoring chances and playing the better football but try as we might we could not break down a good organised Leeds United defence and the game ended in a frustrating and totally undeserved defeat. Credit again must go to all the team for their confidence in wanting to play good passing controlled football and a unbelievable work rate against a side who are top of the league and would agree themselves did not deserve to leave Tyneside with the points.
NUWFC Reserve Team Captain Amy Perch ‘This week saw us take on top of the table Leeds United. We knew it would prove to be a difficult battle following a close 2-0 defeat earlier in the season. The players were quick out of the blocks and started extremely brightly. We matched them in every area of the park and there was very little between the two sides- we arguably had the majority of possession and played the better football. Although we lost 1-0 to an unfortunate own goal, I hope that everyone will take heart and spirit from another fantastic performance. The graft and determination were second to none and the fact that there was nothing between the top and bottom league sides shows just how far we have come and just how tight our league is.’