NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY WOMEN’S FOOTBALL LEAGUE – Lowick United Ladies FC...7 Cramlington Juniors...0
LOWICK came into this game looking for revenge after previously being put out of the County Cup quarter-final by the ever-improving Cramlington Juniors.
Lowick started quickly with the returning Michelle Stewart testing the keeper as early as the third minute.
Captain Kirstie Tang and Jenny Patterson were looking to dominate the centre of midfield and use the wing-play of Robyn Stewart to move the ball quickly out wide.
Stephanie Hay returned upfront, ably supported by Sally Dawson, and their movement led to the opening goal in the 12th minute as Michelle Stewart ran wide and crossed the ball for Robyn Stewart to finish with her left foot just on the line.
Rachel Thompson then replaced Hay up front and with her strength and fresh legs was able to really cause Cramlington all sorts of problems.
Thompson scored Lowick’s second on 25 minutes, finishing off a lovely, flowing move that involved the whole midfield four. Holly Mackenly then came on for her debut on the right of midfield, replacing Dawson and involving a switch that saw Michelle Stewart move into a centre-forward position.
This paid dividends almost immediately with Michelle Stewart running onto a brilliant pass from Tang to round the keeper and score the third for Lowick in the 30th minute.
The back four of Jodie Robinson, Cindy Crossman, Jennie Brewis and Katherine Cass were looking solid, providing a line that the Cramlington forwards were struggling to breach.
Keeper Kris Weetch handled everything that got through and proved invincible during the game.
Tang scored a spectacular fourth for Lowick. Seeing the keeper off her line, she curled a 30-yard shot into the top left corner of the net to great celebrations from the crowd.
Just before half-time Michelle Stewart added her second and Lowick’s fifth with a brilliant team goal involving Mackenly, Tang, Patterson and Robyn Stewart all combining in a sweeping move that ended in a goal after six or seven excellent passes.
Half-time: Lowick 5 Cramlington 0.
Rachel Smart came on at the start of the second half in another reshuffle to give the players some respite as the temperature soared into the 80s. She held the ball up well and fed Thompson, who nearly scored her second with the keeper saving well.
Patterson also went close with a header that the keeper just got her fingertips to.
As the game wore on, Lowick settled into a pattern that would prove beneficial, Tang and Patterson slowing the game down and keeping possession as the heat began to take its toll.
Some great build-up play saw Robyn Stewart add her second with a thunderous left-footed drive that the keeper could only parry into the net.
With time running out Michelle Stewart got her hat-trick from a defence-splitting pass from Tang that saw her use her pace to round the keeper and roll the ball into the empty net.
Players-of-the-match: Kirstie Tang and Robyn Stewart.
Lowick remain unbeaten in the league and face a tough home game next week against second-placed Forest Hall.