FA CUP 1ST QUALIFYING ROUND
Lowick Utd...7 Cramlington Jnrs...2
LOWICK took their first steps in the FA Cup with a home tie against Cramlington Juniors on Sunday.
The pitch was in excellent condition with groundskeeper John Fairbairn working hard to give both teams a great surface to play football on.
Lowick started brightly with Michelle Stewart and the returning Amy Hately playing together upfront for the first time this season.
A tactical switch on 15 minutes saw Mel Darling, playing against her old team, moving into the striker role, allowing M Stewart to revert to her usual right-wing berth. This had an immediate impact with M Stewart running and crossing for Hately to open her account (1-0).
Two minutes later, Jodie ‘Poppy’ Robinson broke from right-back and unleashed a magnificent 35-yard drive that flew into the net to make it 2-0 to Lowick.
The combination of Robyn Stewart on the left, ably supported by captain Kirstie Tang and Jenny Patterson began to dominate the midfield and a Tang through-ball set M Stewart away to cross again for Hately to get her second of the game in the 26th minute (3-0).
Cramlington then hit back after hesitation in defence allowed the striker to finish from close range (3-1).
Straight from kick-off, Tang collected the ball and saw the keeper off the line and lobbed her from 25 yards (4-1). On 35 minutes, Darling hassled the back four of Cramlington and turned to score Lowick’s fifth (5-1).
Lowick looked solid going into the break with Katherine Cass playing particularly well, but keeper Kris Weetch misjudged a shot to allow Cramlington to come off 5-2 down at half-time.
The Lowick coaching team brought on Rachel Thompson for the second half to add an extra bit of pace to the back four.
Weetch had an almost immediate chance to make amends when a penalty was awarded for handball against Georgia Thompson. Weetch dived to her left to parry the penalty away with a magnificent save to keep the score at 5-2.
G Thompson then began to run with the ball and had a drive that took her the full length of the pitch to win a corner.
Patterson had to go off in the 60th minute to be replaced by Oriana Frame. This necessitated another tactical change with G Thompson moving into midfield and Darling dropping back to play 4-5-1 for the last 30 minutes.
M Stewart then made it a hat-trick of assists to give Hately her hat-trick in the 80th minute (6-2).
Darling then made way for Stephanie Hay who created an opportunity for R Stewart in the last minute to make the final score 7-2.
The match was watched by a crowd of over 50 who all enjoyed the free-flowing nature of the game and the excellent quality of the goals. Lowick are back to league action next week with a very tough game away to last season’s league runners-up Percy Main.
In the next round, Lowick United play at home to either North Shields or Norton & Stockton Ancients.