Newcastle East End...0
LOWICK played only their second home league fixture of the season against East End who were looking to move up from their mid-table position.
And they made the most of their chances with an 8-0 victory that propelled them to the top of the table on goal difference.
Lowick had an almost full squad to choose from, with just Meg Kyffin missing out for this game and they were looking to keep up their unbeaten start to the season.
After four minutes, Amy Hately held up the ball and fed it out to the right for Michelle Stewart to cross into the path of Robyn Stewart, who slid in to finish (1-0).
Straight from kick-off, Lowick pushed forward again with Stephanie Hay combining really well with Hately resulting in Hately driving a shot that the keeper did brilliantly to palm wide.
Captain Kirstie Tang took the corner which Hately flicked on for Hay to score (2-0).
The game settled a little with Lowick playing their passing brand of football to great effect.
The back four of Jodie Robinson, Cindy Crossman, Jennie Brewis and Katherine Cass were spreading the ball well with Robonson and Cass looking to spring forward and support the wing-play of the two Stewarts.
This wing-play led to Lowick’s third goal, with Michelle Stewart running on from Jenny Patterson’s through-pass to round the keeper and score with a delicate pass into the net (3-0).
Kris Weetch in the Lowick goal was rarely tested but came out of the box well to deal with a couple of through-balls.
In the 30th minute, Tang received the ball in the middle of the park and set off on a mazy run that saw her pass three or four East End players then round the keeper to score Lowick’s fourth.
Sally Dawson came on for Hay and made an immediate impact, forcing the keeper into another excellent save. She was not to be denied, however, and scored her first for the club five minutes later after being fed by Patterson (5-0).
Michelle Stewart was replaced by Katie Rudge for the final 15 minutes of the half, with Rudge playing a little narrower in a tactical change as Lowick looked to Robyn Stewart to push onto the East End right-back.
This paid dividends, with Robyn Stewart scoring her second and Lowick’s sixth with five minutes of the half remaining (6-0).
Two more changes were made at half-time, with Rachel Smart and Sarah Simms coming on for Tang and Hately.
East End drove on in an effort to get a goal but were thwarted by the resolute defence and some good saves from Weetch. Lowick brought back on Hately, Tang and Stewart after 20 minutes.
This again changed the shape of the game as Tang controlled the midfield with some exquisite technique and quick feet to dazzle the opposition. The pace of Michelle Stewart also told as she fed off Hately’s hold-up play to score her second and Lowick’s seventh in the 70th minute (7-0).
The pressure began to tell and only the heroics of the East End keeper kept shots from Hay, Smart and Patterson out of the goal. With five minutes to go, Michelle Stewart hit her hat-trick with a smart drive that gave the keeper no chance.
At the final whistle, both teams had given their all in an entertaining game. The player-of-the-match was Tang, although it was difficult to choose as it really was a whole team effort.
With Ashington losing away to Prudhoe, Lowick find themselves at the top of the league.
Lowick’s next fixture is at home on Sunday, kick-off 1.30pm, against Cramlington United in the quarter-final of the County Cup.