Ones and twos both hit the top with easy wins

Stockton Ladies I 1

Alnwick Ladies I 6

Alnwick moved to the top of their league with an impressive victory away at Stockton on Saturday.

The Alnwick girls started brightly from the first whistle and were on the scoreboard after just three minutes when a neat pass through from Cook found Blackett who fired an unstoppable ball into the corner of the goal.

Stockton were not to be rocked by the early score though and quickly re-established their defence to prevent any similar success for the Alnwick girls for the next 15 minutes.

Despite some great cutting runs by Oates and Allen in midfield, the attacking play was denied the reward of a score due to some excellent saves from the Stockton keeper and some well-timed interceptions by their defence.

Alnwick had enjoyed much of the possession though and eventually found a way through courtesy of some swift passing play up the right wing from Richardson at the back through Graham in midfield and finished with a cross from Britton on the wing in towards the goal area, where Blackett was waiting to slot the ball home and double the Alnwick lead.

Stockton rallied at this point though and despite some strong saves from Pope in goal and solid tackles from Payne, the Stockton ladies persisted and were rewarded with a deserved goal to take them into half-time just one behind.

Alnwick returned to the pitch and picked up their pace with almost instant reward as a well-timed run with the ball from Cook saw her lay off a perfectly weighted pass to the ever-dangerous Blackett who duly completed her hat-trick.

Alnwick continued to press forward, a superb hard hit from Allen found Pettifer with space on the right wing, she then engaged in a swift exchange of passes with Blackett,who finished the move off with a neat flick to take her tally to four.

Horn made a strong tackle to win back possession after a solid Stockton attack and she released the ball cleanly up the left wing to Oates. Murray made an arcing run into the goal area and collected a strong pass and she drove in with perfect accuracy to take the total to five.

Stockton never gave up and created some strong pressure at the opposite end as they looked to add to their own score for the match.

The final word went to Alnwick via the stick of Murray, who received a well-executed cross from Britton on the right and swept the ball home to make it six for the visitors.

The win sees Alnwick move to the top of the table on goal difference, although some tough games await in the coming weeks.

Team: D Pope, S Horn, N Richardson (c), A Payne, R Allen, A Cook, T Graham, J Oates, C Britton, R Murray, G Pettifer, A Blackett. Player-of-the-match: Angela Blackett.

Alnwick II 5 Newcastle IV 1

The Alnwick seconds started the game with high motivation.

There was lots of quality passing throughout the team, this led to the first goal as the ball was passed down the wing by L Brown to E Straker who crossed it in for J Broom to sweep it into the back of the net.

The game flowed well with two further goals in quick succession from S Dawson.

At the interval, Alnwick knew that the opposition would come out fighting, but they wanted to keep going, taking inspiration from the previous goals, to carry on the brilliant play.

After the break, another goal was scored by J Broom after L Taylor in midfield had carried it up the pitch through the opposition.

Newcastle then managed to score from a period of possession, despite defenders trying to avoid the Newcastle players shooting.

Knowing the opposition had scored, Alnwick felt that another goal was needed.

Towards the end of the second half numerous penalty corners were given in favour of Alnwick, and S Dawson secured her hat-trick scoring the final goal of the match.

Overall, Alnwick played a well-rounded game against a positive opposition.

Team: S Dawson, S Fairbairn, E Straker, L Brown, E Fairbairn, J Broom, L Taylor, A Liddle, L Taylor, J McMeekin, H Stoker. Player-of-the-match: L Taylor. Opposition player-of-the-match: J Broom.