MATCH REPORT: Workington Reds Ladies  2-1  Preston North End Women

Reds Ladies produced their best performance of the season to topple the league leaders in a game which became feisty at times.

They emerged narrow, but deserved winners in the Division One North fixture at the Fibrus Community Stadium, ending a three-match losing streak.

A determined start saw Reds quickly into their stride and two early attacks saw Morgan McGrady’s shot just clear the bar and a Hayley Bracken effort hit the side netting.

It was top scorer Bracken who broke the deadlock in the twenty-first minute.  Eleanor McDonald and Helen Wagstaff were involved in the build-up, culminating in the talisman guiding the ball into the corner of the net with PNE ‘keeper, Justine Elliott helpless.

Bea Barber broke through the visitors’ defence but sent her shot wide as the hosts enjoyed a period of dominance.

Bea Barber

North End equalised, against the run of play, five minutes before half time.  A free kick from their own half should have been dealt with by Workington’s defence but Madison Hadley’s determination won her the ball and she promptly sent a dipping shot over Laura Miller and into the net.

Their only other effort of note saw Abbie Jones’ well struck effort hit the post.

The two number nines both went close in the early stages of the second half.  Bracken headed wide via a McDonald corner and Hadley’s shot was firmly struck but confidently held by Miller.

It took an early contender for ‘goal of the season’ to restore Workington’s lead as Barber’s superb individual effort proved to be the winner.

She set off on a positive run, leaving three defenders in her wake, and then sent an unstoppable shot into Elliott’s net after sixty-two minutes.   

Reds had conceded fourteen goals in their previous three matches but they were strong defensively on this occasion with the back four solid throughout.

McDonald, Sophie Birkett, Wagstaff and Liv Bennett were inspirational on the day with the rest all making positive contributions.

Team: Laura Miller, Sophie Birkett, Naomi Foster, Eleanor McDonald, Natalie Hooper, Helen Wagstaff, Hayley Bracken, Bea Barber, Sophie Douglas, Liv Bennet, Morgan McGrady.  Substitutes – Alice Kemp, Megan Hay, Hannah Geen, Linzi Donaldson, Keeley Holliday.

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