Two quick-fire second half goals ended Chorltonian Ladies unbeaten run as Warrington Wolverines ran out 2-1 winners at Grappenhall Sports Club.
Chorltonian’s were without Amy Friel, Carrie Hancock, Aisha Yallop, Lyndsey Turner and Helen McTague following last week’s 0-0 draw at home to Stockport County Blues. However they were boosted by the return to the starting line-up of Ellie Taylor, Sarah Cuthbert and Jordanna Shaw with goalkeeper Claire Jefferson returning to the bench.
Despite the much changed line-up it was the visitors who started brightest when Ellie Caddick’s free kick found Shaun Edmondson at the far post on six minutes forcing a superb save from Wolverines goalkeeper Kim Griffiths with a header at point blank range. Edmondson was quickest the rebound and saw her rebound headed clear by Wendy Booth. A minute later another Chorlts set piece from Caddick evaded Elizabeth Livesey at the far post.
Chorlts went close again on 13 minutes when a great ball from Jo Malcomson releases Shaw down the left, riding a late challenge before finding Malcomson again in the box whose effort flew just wide of the post. Warrington’s first chance of the game came on 15 minutes when Booth lifted a hard effort just over the bar from 25 yards out. The visitors continued to push for an opener as Jamilla Hodges wonderful run down the left, playing in Shaw whose hard right footed effort was palmed away by Griffiths one-on-one.
The home side’s best chance of the half came just before half time when Chorlts conceded possession in midfield as a ball was played out wide to Rachel Dickenson in turn playing in the Warrington striker but she couldn’t hit the target through on goal.
Just as it looked as if the two teams would go into the half Shaw won possession inside the Warrington half finding Edmondson whose pass inside the Warrington full back played Shaw back in as she finished coolly under Grifiths at the near post to give Chorlts a deserved half time lead; it was her 7th goal of the season.
Chorlts started the second half buoyed by the momentum as Shaw again forced the Wolverines to surrender possession before bursting down the right but unable to pick out Hodges waiting in the penalty area. At the other end a low cross from Dickenson was pulled back to the edge of the area with Cuthbert called into action to make the lunging block. Chorlts goalkeeper Nat Callaghan was called into her first save of the afternoon on 54 minutes when she saved well at her near post.
On 55 minutes the impressive Leanne Joyce fired just over from the edge of the area following a superb first touch to bring down a Caddick corner. At the other end a rocket of a free kick from 30 yards was turned round the post by Callaghan.
Having kept three clean-sheets in the last four games it was always going to take something special to breach Chorlts and it arrived, for the second time this season, through Booth whose first time effort looped over Callaghan from 25 yards out to bring Wolverines level on 68 minutes. Three minutes the title-contender’s comeback was complete as they broke from a Chorlts attack down the right hand side finding Booth at the edge of the area allowing Sam Hassall to slot home into the bottom right hand corner.
With the game stretched both teams searched for another goal but despite a late penalty appeal for handball turned away for Chorltonian Ladies neither side forced either goalkeeper into a further save as the Wolverines secured three points to put further pressure on the top two in the North West Women’s Regional Football League.
There’s a big mid-week of NWWRFL action ahead as Chorlts now host FC United of Manchester at Brookburn Road on Wednesday whilst Warrington Wolverines take on league leaders Merseyrail Bootle as just six points separate the top three teams.
Warrington line-up: Griffiths, Heap, Parkinson, Booth, Collins, Dobson, Coele, Sheldan, Hassall, Dicksenson, Chatterley.
Subs: Faux, Hood, Unsworth.
Goalscorers: Booth, Hassall.
Player of the Match: Wendy Booth.
Chorltonians line-up: Callaghan, Price, Malcomson, Cuthbert, Taylor, Caddick, Edmondson, Livesey, Joyce, Shaw, Hodges.
Subs: McFayden, Jefferson.
Player of the Match: Shauna Edmondson.