Lowick come through big test

Percy Main...0 Lowick United...3

Northumberland County Women’s Football League

LOWICK faced their biggest test of the season so far on Sunday with an away fixture to last season’s runners-up and cup winners Percy Main.

The visitors fielded a strong side and had the luxury of four substitutes for the first time this season.

This gave the coaching team a headache with all 15 players vying for a starting berth in the first 11. Manager Andy Thorpe reminded the team that they all had a part to play and this proved to be the case as the match unfolded.

The first half was a cagey affair, with Lowick looking to use their energetic wide players Michelle and Robyn Stewart to break down the wing and cross for Mel Darling and Amy Hately to score.

Percy Main were playing a more patient, passing game, looking to play the ball through the Lowick midfield.

This caused some anxiety towards the end of the half when the Percy Main striker broke free with only the keeper to beat but Kris Weetch stood big and strong and the shot was missed to the left.

Lowick also came close with a shot off the post and a goal-mouth scramble prevented one of Kirtsie Tang’s excellent corners going in.

Right-back Rachel Nemo Thompson was immense at the back, covering every blade of grass to nullify the threat of the wingers.

The other defenders Cindy Crossman, Katherine Cass and Georgia Thompson also had an accomplished half.

Half-time: 0-0

The break saw four changes, with Stephanie Hay, Jodie Robinson, Katherine Russell and Oriana Frame coming into play.

This renewed energy and M Stewart’s switch upfront paid dividends in the 50th minute when Jenny Patterson played her in and she beat the keeper just to see her shot rebound off the crossbar to the waiting Hay, who headed then chested the ball before finishing with a right-foot volley.

This gave Lowick a real boost and they began to play some neat football in midfield.

Russell performed a drag-back and turn that would not have been out of place in the Premier League.

Unfortunately, she then suffered a knee injury that necessitated another change.

Hay grabbed her second goal on 60 minutes after more great work from M Stewart was snapped up bravely as the keeper dived at her feet.

Tang then started to stroke the ball around the park and laid it off to R Stewart, who played in Hay to hammer the ball from outside the box into the far corner of the net for a 3-0 lead after 75 minutes.

Lowick played out the last 15 minutes with the possession football for which they are renowned, the defence snapping up every chance that came their way. The game was played in the right spirit with both teams giving their all in an excellent advert for the game.

Lowick United now face two massive cup games away to higher league opposition, at Whitley Bay next Sunday and at home in the Round Two of the FA Cup on October 23 against Norton & Stockton Ancients.