Deadly Dawson gets Hartlepool Ladies back on track
Hartlepool United Ladies bounced back from last week's County Cup semi-final loss to see off Guisborough Ladies, winning 3-1 at home in the Durham FA Women's County Cup.
The game kicked off with Pools taking the game to their opponents and exerting early pressure.
However, a defence well drilled in the offside trap kept Pools’ forwards at bay.
Against the run of play it was the visitors who went ahead in the 35th minute when a back pass failed to reach goalkeeper Abbie Richardson and the Guisborough forward took her chance well.
There was no need to panic as indications were that Pools would be too strong for their opponents over the course of the game and their lead was short lived when top scorer Jess Dawson scored two quick-fire goals in five stunning minutes to edge the home side ahead going into the half-time break.
The second half saw Pools continue to dominate and they created a number of chances that were squandered which meant Guisborough were still in the game.
Jade Pye, who was a second half substitute, was looking lively and shooting at every opportunity.
And it was no surprise when she extended Pools lead in the 60th minute with a close-range finish after some good work down the right.
Pools created many opportunities and were on top for a majority of the half, but as in the first half, poor finishing and a mix of stubborn defending and fine goalkeeping meant that no further goals were added and Pools secured a 3-1 win.
Manager Andy Stuart said after the game: “We have struggled since the Boro game to get a steady squad out.
“And with lack of regular games due to weather, then work and injuries playing a part too, it’s been a bad second half to the season.
“Last week’s performance away to Chester-le-Street Town in the County Cup semi-final epitomised this.
“With five games left, the goal is to win each game and finish as runners-up, hopefully, that will be the case.”
Hartlepool United Ladies FC: Abbie Richardson, Laura Wilson, Jenni Duffy Smith, Jo Hurrell (Becs Smith 45th minute), Sarah Rowbotham, Emily Stuart, Lottie Portas, Chelsea Basnett, Nicola Duckling (Jade Pye 45th minute), Sarah Barlett (Hannah Lambert 45th minute), Jess Dawson.