Under-strength Lowick struggle to match goal-power of table-toppers

Norton & Stockton Ladies 4 Lowick United Ladies 0

This was always going to be a tough match against table-topping opposition but, after a close game against the same opposition three weeks ago, Lowick headed down to Teesside full of confidence, even though they were short of a couple of regular starters.

The opening exchanges set the pattern for the whole game, with the home team having the majority of the possession, while Lowick defended in numbers and soaked up the pressure.

Although for the first 30 minutes Norton were restricted to long-range efforts, ably dealt with by Darling in the Lowick goal, the visitors struggled to retain possession and gave the ball away too often.

On 31 minutes, Norton were awarded a controversial penalty, for a dubious handball. Their forward, who had been for England U17 trials the previous day, coolly slotted home the spot-kick.

This set-back certainly brought out the best in Lowick and, for the remainder of the first half, Lowick upped the tempo, with Patterson driving forward from midfield and creating a handful of half-chances. Unfortunately, Lowick were unable to create any clear-cut opportunities and went into the break 1-0 down.

The second half saw Norton continue to dominate possession. The home team scored a second goal midway through the second half and this was the turning point. Fatigue began to set in and Norton scored two more goals in the last 10 minutes.