Hartlepool United Ladies all but secured the runners-up spot in the North East Regional Womens Football League with a brilliant 3-0 win at Blyth Town Lions on Sunday.
It was a crucial result for Andy Stuart’s girls as they increased their advantage over third-placed York City Reserves and fourth-placed South Shields Ladies to six points.
Recent bad weather meant Pools hadn’t been in action for a fortnight but they made up for lost time turning in one of their most powerful performances of the season.
“That was a game which was a potential banana skin for us,” admitted Stuart.
“We knew we needed the three points to secure our position in second place but Blyth are a strong side who have made some good signings recently so it was always going to be tough.
“All credit to the girls because they delivered a very good performance and, if there is anything to be critical about, it’s that we didn’t convert more of our chances.
“But I can’t grumble about any of the performances really, all of the players were outstanding.”
After a goalles first half, Pools made their dominance count 10 minutes into the second period when Lottie Portas latched on to a cross and smashed a shot low and hard into the net.
On 65 minutes Pools increased their lead through Jade Pye, who converted from close range after a slick move involving five players.
Five minutes later Hannah Lambert smashed home a cross from the right after great work from Sarah Bartlett.
Pools: Richardson, Cowan (Biggs 67), Duffy-Smith, Garside, Rowbotham, Stuart, Portas (Bartlett 65), Basnett, Duckling (Pye 60), Robinson, Dawson (Lambert 55). Subs not used: Hurrell.