Worksop control the game in convincing win over fourth-placed Millmoor.
Worksop Town Ladies continued their good form with a 3-0 victory over Millmoor. Leah Hardy scored in the opening stages and had an abundance of chances to extend the lead, but just felt it wasn’t going to be their day as they lacked that clinical edge – an unfamiliar trait. However, in the final ten minutes, Carly Rowlands and Shannon Brooks headed the Tigresses to three points.
The Tigresses had the first chance of the first half. In the fourth minute, Hardy saw her surging run from halfway end with the forward’s stellar effort being superbly pushed wide by the ‘keeper.
Ten minutes later, Ellie Chandler burst across the byline, but her drilled cross into the area was held by the Millmoor number one.
Moments later, the hosts took the lead. Rowlands ran into the area before dinking the ball over the defender and into the path of Hardy, who dispatched a lovely left-footed volley into the bottom corner.
The visitors had their first opportunity of the game just before half-time. The number 16 rose highest in the air, but unfortunately she could only glance her header wide from the corner.
The first half was very slow, as was most of today’s fixture. This may have been down to the glorious bank holiday weather.
The second half saw more chances than the first. Rowlands was played through on goal after a perfectly weighted over-the-top through-ball from Hardy. Rowlands carried the ball a further ten yards, out-muscling her marker, before firing just over the bar.
Millmoor broke shortly after the Tigresses’ dominance. The number 8 raced forward towards goal, seemingly clean through, however Stacie Sands rushed back to make two tackles in quick succession to deny the forward, before eventually clearing the ball over halfway.
The clearance from that chance fell to Chandler, who weaved her way through on goal before slipping in Leah Hardy. The prolific striker opted to return the favour and stroked the ball through instead of shooting, which allowed the covering defender to intercept and clear.
After the hour mark, Brooks had two chances to extend the Tigresses’ lead. From a corner, Brooks saw one header float wide of the upright before her secondary effort was blocked on the line.
Hardy almost bagged her brace with twenty minutes to go. Substitute Grace Sanderson cut the ball back from the right to Hardy, who hit a fine effort towards goal which curled just too much as the ball bent just wide of the far post.
The Tigresses finally broke the door and got the ball into the back of the net. Hardy fizzed in a superb corner toward the penalty spot where Rowlands powered a header past the ‘keeper.
Rowlands then almost went from goal-scorer to goal-provider on the stroke of the 90. She floated a ball towards the back stick where Chandler executed a great volley which was saved by the ‘keeper.
The Tigresses wrapped up the win in stoppage time. Again from a Hardy corner, skipper Brooks rose highest to head home from Leah’s delivery.
The full-time whistle went with the home side continuing their fine form.
Manager Rob Hardy said of the victory, “There were a few missed chances today. The pitch wasn’t easy to play on – it was hard and bobbly. Millmoor are a strong side to play against, but again I’ve lost track on the games we’ve played, I think 11 games in 23 days. We’ve had three games against Millmoor now and came out 7-4 winners if we count the aggregate score. Overall it was fantastic, a few aching limbs, but we can now get plenty of rest before the cup final on Sunday.
“The heat and the pitch conditions were the same for both sides, but we did struggle. Hayley Hirst was struggling with shin splints and a few were carrying knocks. In this heat, all 22 players and the subs have done fantastic to cope.
“Stacie Sands stepped in well today in the heart of defence. I thought that we would miss Molly Cartwright a lot, however she stepped in and marshalled the defence well.
“We’ll have a little training session next week as we haven’t had one in the last month due to the fixture congestion, so we’ll have a little stretch out on Thursday and get prepared for Sunday’s cup final against Harworth Colliery Ladies.
“We’re full of confidence. We’ve had a good run of wins. We’ll hopefully win these next two games. It’s a bit hard playing Sunday and Monday, so fingers crossed that we’ll go out and get the trophy on Sunday before playing Monday. Hopefully we’ll finish on a high and finish runners-up in the League.”
As mentioned, next up for the Tigresses is the Women’s Shield Final against Harworth Colliery Ladies – which will be held at Dronfield Town, 12pm kick-off next Sunday. They’ll be hoping to join our First Team, Under-19s and Under-15s Girls in getting silverware in this campaign.
By Devon Cash.