The Tigresses continue their rich vein of form with a professional performance over Handsworth.
It was a tough game for the hosts as they really needed to grind out the win against a hard-working and stubborn Handsworth side. Braces from Ellie Chandler and Leah Hardy ensured that the Tigresses picked up all three points.
The Tigresses started well immediately as they could have taken the lead from kick-off. The ball was floated into the path of Ellie Chandler, who took the ball in her stride before cutting it back for Brook Chapell who shot first time, but saw her effort gathered down low by the ‘keeper.
A quarter into the game, Leah Hardy almost opened the scoring when the forward slipped in between two defenders and advanced goalwards. Leah fired on target, but the ‘keeper was on hand to block the shot with her midriff.
Just after the half-hour mark, Chapell almost broke the stalemate. After Worksop played some great interlocking passes, Chapell took the ball past her marker before seeing her shot bend too much as it went just wide of the far post.
Moments later, Carly Rowlands dispatched a low-driven volley at goal which in the end proved to be an easy catch for the Handsworth number one.
The worrying signs that it might not be Town’s day were squashed as in the 37th minute, as they got their noses in front.
Chandler brought down a cross-field ball from Ellie Sheehan before producing a well-struck half-volley which flew beyond the reach of the goalkeeper.
Just before the break, Shannon Brooks and Brook Chapell both had punts from range. The former saw her effort caught and the latter saw her thunderous effort sail high and over the bar.
The half-time whistle went with the home side narrowly in front.
Ten minutes into the second period, Rowlands took aim from thirty yards, but her fierce drive nestled on top of the net.
On the hour mark, Worksop doubled their advantage. The Tigresses played an interchange of neat one-touch passes which ended with a slick through-ball to Leah Hardy, where the top scorer coolly slotted her shot across the goalkeeper and into the inside side-netting.
The visitors had their first chance of the game in the 67th minute as the number 15 broke into the area from the right, before drilling her shot against the frame of goal from a tight angle.
Chandler almost got her second goal of the afternoon with twelve minutes to go. She steam-rolled through the centre, but as she entered the area, she was met by the ‘keeper who rushed out and blocked.
As we entered the last ten minutes, Worksop seemed to dismantle the strong defensive bonds of the visitors as they scored twice to put the game to bed.
Rowlands darted away from her marker and headed goalwards, but the ‘keeper rushed out and slid in. The ball fell to the feet of Chandler who set herself before rifling the ball into the net for her brace.
Hardy soon followed suit as she too got her brace by jinking past several chances before rounding the goalkeeper and rolling the ball into an empty net.
Manager Rob Hardy said after the win, “Again, we took our time to get into top gear and throughout we still never managed to get into top gear. They defended deep to limit us from scoring goals. We took our time to break them down, but we got three points, four goals, and a clean sheet.”
“We kept the ball well. We need to be more cute when making the balls through and know when to keep it and when to release it.”
“Hopefully we will have Stacie [Sands] back from a broken toe. Lisha [Pearson] will also be back. We just need to learn to kick on from the first whistle and make our way through the gears when it is too easy.”
By Devon Cash