Hartlepool United Ladies start league campaign with battling 3-3 draw at Wakefield

Hartlepool United Ladies, in their strip sponsored by Collier Wood, ahead of their league opener at Wakefield.
Hartlepool United Ladies, in their strip sponsored by Collier Wood, ahead of their league opener at Wakefield.

Hartlepool United Ladies are off the mark in the North East Women’s Premier League – at the first time of asking.

Pools fought out a 3-3 draw away to Wakefield Ladies in the first ever meeting between the sides.

The visitors started the brighter of the two sides and played practically the first 20 minutes in the opposition half.

After a series of half chances and snatched opportunities, Pools took the lead in the 22nd minute when a through ball from Jo Hurrell found Nicky Duckling, who shot at goal. The Wakefield keeper could only beat it away, and Jess Dawson volleyed it home from 15 yards out.

The home team levelled in the 26th minute with a bizarre goal. Pools lost the ball and the back four completely switched off - allowing a cross to come in which was turned past Becca Smith in the Pools goal.

Pools regained the lead within two minutes when Jade Pye fired home from 12 yards.

Wakefield levelled again in the 65th minute after a long ball was not dealt with by the Pools defence.

Wakefield then took the lead in the 71st minute after some bad marking.

It went from bad to worse when Faye Garside was sent off in the 80th minute, but even so Pools equalised in the 82nd minute when an Ash Leighton free-kick found Jussy Robinson who connected well to find the net.

Manager Andy Stuart said: “It was a below-par performance that wasn’t to our capabilities, but even so we created enough chances to win and probably should have.

“However, we can’t defend like that as a team and expect to win football matches.”

Pools’ next game is the FA Cup Third Qualifier Round away to Farsley Celtic on October 8.

Hartlepool United Ladies: Smith, Hurrell (Rackstraw 55), Garside, Robinson, Stuart, Basnett, Portas (Leighton 65), Dawson, Duckling, Pye (Lambert 65), Bartlett. Sub not used: Fiona McAlpine