Lowick United...4 Percy Main...0
Northumberland County Women’s Football League
LOWICK went into this game against their nearest rivals and cup winners Percy Main knowing that a draw or a win to maintain their unbeaten league run would secure their first ever title.
Nerves were order of the day before the game, with Lowick having only 11 fit players available.
They won the toss and decided to play into the wind for the first half. The nerves were soon dispelled and Lowick began to play their brand of pressing and possession football. Indeed, it was almost 20 minutes before Percy Main were able to get into the Lowick half. Jenny Patterson and Kirstie Tang were immense in midfield, ably supported by the wing-play of Michelle and Robyn Stewart.
The closing down and eagerness to win the ball led to Lowick’s opener from Patterson in the 30th minute with a fierce right-footed drive that beat the keeper.
Patterson (and the whole crowd) thought she had a second but the referee pulled back play for a foul on the edge of the box.
Georgia Thompson and Stephanie Hay were full of running upfront, pulling the defenders out of shape and this led to M Stewart bursting through, only to be fouled in the box for a penalty just before half-time.
With no-one wanting to take it, 16-year-old Thompson bravely stepped up only to see her shot well saved by the Percy Main keeper. As the half-time whistle sounded at 1-0, Lowick knew that their fate was in their own hands.
The second half began as the first half ended with Lowick straight on the attack again pushing and pressing the Percy Main team back into their own half.
Any rare attacks were superbly dealt with by Cindy Crossman and sweeper Robyn Pick.
In the 50th minute, M Stewart ran at the defence and turned inside and unleashed a magnificent drive that curled into the top right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
Her team-mates mobbed her as she scored her 28th goal of the season. She scored her 29th shortly after with a great burst of speed to beat the keeper to the ball after a brilliant through-ball from Tang.
Hay added the fourth in the 80th minute to seal the win and the first ever championship for Lowick United Ladies.
At the final whistle, there were great celebrations with the whole team, fans and coaching staff getting sprayed with the obligatory champagne.
Avoiding defeat in their final fixture away to Forest Hall would mean that Lowick United were unbeaten in the League all season.Player-of-the-match: Jenny Patterson.
Forest Hall...2 Lowick United...4
LOWICK came into this final fixture knowing that if they avoided defeat they would go the whole league season unbeaten.
Forest Hall had only lost three home games this season and were pushing to finish fourth.
Lowick won the toss and decided to play into the strong wind.
The game started well for Lowick and they took an early lead through Michelle Stewart who latched onto a through-ball to round the keeper and fire into the net after 15 minutes.
The defensive system that Lowick have adopted recently kept every long ball at bay with Cindy Crossman and sweeper Robyn Pick dealing with everything that came their way.
Full-backs Katherine Cass and Jodie Robinson supported with great coverage and running.
Michelle Stewart doubled Lowick’s lead in the 35th minute with another run, breaking through the defence and rounding the keeper again to finish with aplomb.
Half-time saw the introduction of Meg Kyffin, who last played in November. She settled back into the defence after Robinson suffered a knee injury. This caused a little confusion and Forest Hall took advantage of some indecision to pull a goal back.
Lowick responded almost immediately, with Michelle Stewart crossing for Tang to score her 12th of the season and Lowick’s third of the game. Again a chance to clear the ball was missed and Forest Hall scored their second to make it 3-2. Lowick and, in particular, M Stewart were not to be denied though and she broke through again to score her hat-trick goal to make the final result 4-2.
This truly has been incredible season for Lowick United Ladies, who won their first ever trophy.
Lowick United finished the season in style, unbeaten in the league after 20 games with 17 wins and three draws, scoring 102 goals and conceding just 20. Michelle Stewart was the league’s top-scorer, getting 32 goals with captain Kirstie Tang, Amy Hately and Robin Stewart all getting 12.
Thirteen different players scored for the ‘Invincibles’ this season, even coach and reserve goalkeeper ‘Mozza’ getting one in the cup. The team also played football the right way and finished the season without one caution.
Management team Andy Thorpe and Dawn Purvis were proud of the team’s unique achievement and are already planning to defend the trophy.
Andy said: “Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement this season. It has been a magnificent effort from all the coaching team, supporters and most importantly the players who have made the club very proud.”
Player-of-the-match: Michelle Stewart