Workington Reds Ladies 1-5 Penrith Women
Reds Ladies will be sick of the sight of their neighbours from along the A66, after losing to them for the third time this season.
In the first meeting, Penrith knocked Reds out of the Women’s FA Cup then emerged emphatic winners a week later in a league encounter at Frenchfield.
So, the return league match at the Fibrus Community Stadium could have been billed as a revenge mission, as far as Workington were concerned.
And for forty minutes, it looked as though a diligent home side were, for once, going to get the better of their rivals from the east of the county. They had dominated the early exchanges and a one goal lead was scant reward for their efforts.
But when Penrith equalised in the fortieth minute, the psychological blow was almost tangible and all the confidence they had shown previously eroded instantly.
The Blues grabbed another a minute before the interval and strolled to victory without too much concern in a second half they had control of.
It had been so different for much of the first half. Hayley Bracken, who had scored in the two earlier meetings, was unlucky not to do so again. She broke through but her shot rebounded off the crossbar.
In their next attack, Reds opened the scoring.
Bea Barber scored a cracking goal in the last home game and she repeated the feat with another fine effort, giving Reds a 31st minute lead they thoroughly deserved.
Penrith equalised against the run of play when Sarah Smith forced the ball home from close range five minutes before the break.
Reds were still recovering from that blow when Penrith turned the game on its head after Stacey Harkness-Grant’s twenty-yarder flew into the top corner of the net.
The balance of power had swung in Penrith’s favour even before their third when Smith got her second of the afternoon on the hour mark. It got worse for Reds when Abbie Forster scored with a precise lob from an acute angle three minutes later.
Eleanor McDonald’s free kick narrowly cleared the Penrith crossbar and that prompted Reds’ best spell of the second half.
Barber’s firm shot was well saved by the visiting ‘keeper and a Bracken header was deflected for a corner.
But Penrith had the final say and, for the third time this term, scored a fifth against Reds – Jodie English completing a good afternoon’s work for the Blues.
Team: Laura Miller, Sophie Birkett, Holly Redmond, Naomi Foster, Eleanor McDonald, Chloe Henderson, Helen Wagstaff, Bea Barber, Morgan McGrady, Hayley Bracken, Liv Bennett. Substitutes – Rowan Williams, Hannah Geen, Linzi Donaldson, Alice Kemp, Keeley Holliday (all used)