Hartlepool Ladies sealed a fine 3-2 win against Boldon CA Villa in the Durham FA County Cup at Grayfields.
The visitors are top of Durham league 1 and having a good season, so it was always going to be a tough game.
Hartlepool took the lead after 12 minutes with the move of the match.
From a throw-in, five players were involved in a passing sequence that saw the ball fall at Amy Cowan’s feet, and she fired hom from five yards out.
Boldon levelled with an attack down the left. The ball was pulled back to the edge of the penalty area where a striker superbly volleyed home.
The visitors then went ahead when a defensive error allowed a shot to squeeze past the home keeper.
Hartlepool tried to get back on level terms before the break but a combination of good defending and bad decisions kept it at 2-1.
The first 12 minutes of the second half started as the first had finished, so three changes were made in an effort to take control of the game.
Boldon were very committed but the resistence was finally broken in the 83rd minute when Lottie Portas burst forward and shot from 25 yards, catching the goalkeeper out and finding the bottom corner.
Hartlepool’s superior fitness was starting to count and they looked like scoring with each attack.
A fine run and shot from Jussy Robinson saw the bar rattled in the 87th minute.
Pools then grabbed the win.
After a series of corners, Jess Dawson drove to the bye-line before delivering a cross the saw Laura Wilson in the right place at the right time to tap in the winner.
Manager Andy Stuart said: “A series of injuries and absences affected the team’s shape and hit the performance, which saw us put in an unusually poor defensive performance.
“On the plus side, it was pleasing to see the substitutions having the desired impact, in goals and the level of performances. All credit to the girls for getting a well-deserved win but with the big games coming every week now until Christmas, we need to be more focussed and to play with greater concentration.”
Pools’ next game is on Sunday away to South Shields at Monkton Stadium (1.30pm).
Hartlepool United: Geoghan, Duffy Smith, Garside, Bates, Bartlett (Wilson 57), Lambert (Biggs), Cowan, Robinson, Pye (Portas 57), Rowbotham, Dawson. Subs not used: Ingold, Ord