DUCKLING SETS POOL ON THE ROAD TO WIN

Hartlepool Ladies in action against Cramlington
Hartlepool Ladies in action against Cramlington

Hartlepool United Ladies powered past Cramlington Ladies 4-1 in the league at Grayfields on Sunday.

The home side was keen to extend their winning run, and after scoring 14 goals in their two previous meetings, the omens looked good.

Pools started in their usual manner of applying a high tempo and pressing tactic to put their opponents on the back foot.

A series of corners early on saw the pressure pay off when recent signing Nicky Duckling scored a spectacular volley into the top right corner on the eighth minute.

Pools dominated the rest of the half but again a tale of poor finishing and bad luck meant the score stayed the same up to half-time.

The second goal came from Jade Pye in the 50th minute after a neat turn and finish into the bottom corner.

The 58th minute saw the goal of the game.

A sweeping four-player pass-and-move phase ended with the ball at Sarah Rowbotham’s feet inside the box and she easily beat the goalkeeper from 15 yards.

Cramlington kept working hard to stay in the game and got their reward in the 79th minute when a hopeful shot from 20 yards out found its way to the near post and past the despairing Abbey Marshall.

Pools were playing some lovely controlled football and creating chances at will, and the fourth goal was scored by Hannah Lambert when she raced through and lobbed the goalkeeper from 20 yards.

Pools finished strongly, trying to add further goals, but were unable to add to their total.

Manager Andy Stuart said: “Job done. To finish second we need to win the remaining four games.

“It is certainly in our range and that may give us an outside chance of promotion via a play-off if there is the expected league restructure.”

Pools are at home to Redcar on Sunday (Grayfields 2pm).

Hartlepool United Ladies: Richardson, Wilson, Duffy Smith, Robinson, Rowbotham, Stuart, Portas (Dawson 35), Basnett, Duckling (Biggs 52), Barlett, Pye (Smith 52).