A VERY windy day saw conditions challenging for both teams and their chilly supporters in this tough match on Sunday.
Newcastle University came into this game with eight wins from their 10 matches so far this season and looked to keep their positional league advantage on Lowick United, who were playing catch-up after their recent successful FA Cup run.
Lowick welcomed back some of their more experienced players, with captain Kirstie Tang and striker Amy Hately returning after missing last Sunday’s game. Mel Darling made her second appearance in goal with continued injury to Kris Weetch keeping her out.
Lowick started brightly against a youthful and very fit Uni side. It took a while for the players to get used to the conditions but Hately made the breakthrough after 12 minutes with a finely-taken goal from a Robyn Stewart cross (1-0).
The Uni then started to press with some fine passing moves. They were hampered, though, by the very strong wind that was blowing in Lowick’s favour and found it hard to get the ball out of their half.
Lowick doubled their advantage in the 24th minute through Robyn Stewart, who followed up to slid in at the far-post after a Hately strike that the keeper did well to save (2-0).
At the other end, Lowick showed their defensive prowess with Georgia Thompson clearing any threats and keeper Darling handling well when called upon.
Jodie Robinson took a heavy knock in the 30th minute, resulting in a huge bump on her eye. She was taken off as a precaution and Michelle Stewart made her appearance from the bench.
The team reshuffled, leading to Katherine Russell dropping to right-back from her midfield role to cover very effectively.
At half-time, the lead looked to be slim, with the conditions favouring the Uni in the second half.
The team talk from the coaching staff emphasised Bill Blyth’s mantra with the need to ‘keep the ball on the deck’ with the gusting wind a big factor.
The team took this to heart and began to play some of their best football of the game with young Becky Robinson going close on a number of occasions.
Jenny Patterson combined well with Tang and they began to boss the midfield, ably assisted by the non-stop running of Hately and R Stewart.
The ever-dependable Cindy Crossman was replaced by Robinson with 25 minutes of the game remaining and made an instant impact, feeding Tang who played an exquisite slide rule pass to play in Robinson who crossed for R Stewart to score her second of the game to make it 3-0.
The Uni did not give up, however, and kept playing their football, only two outstanding saves from Darling keeping them out.
Hately, M Stewart and Robinson all had chances to add to the score before Robinson scored with a cheeky back-heel in the 85th minute to make the final score 4-0.
The game was played with, and in, great spirit with the excellent referee Andy Rooney having little to do.
Next up for Lowick United is another home league game against North Shields on Sunday, December 4, kick-off 1.30pm. All supporters are welcome.