Sunday 13th Jan 2013 (1064 Views)
United 2 Shaw Lane 1 - This previously postponed fixture was played just ahead of the expected snowfall and got United`s 2nds back into winning ways after 2 recent defeats.
United had a full strength squad unlike the previous weeks defeat at Handsworth so started clear favourites for the visit of bottom of the League Shaw Lane Aquaforce. United`s attacking 3-5-2 formation was met with spirited resistance but before long United were adding to what seemed a catalogue of missed chances which would go on throughout the game.
After half an hour the visitors forced the ball in at a corner to go into something of a shock lead through Kelly Dodd. United continued to create chances but having done the build up work usually had a shot too close to the Keeper. Another hit the post , Abbi Creed had a close range shot blocked on the line and amongst the action there was fine tackling at times by the visitors defenders too.
It was one of United`s new girls that finally set up the breakthrough , Nicola Masling`s through pass split the defence and Heather Craddock was through to place the ball home for 1-1 just before the break.
The second half was totally gripping as Shaw Lane were working very hard to earn at least a point and United desperately trying to get the win needed to keep any title hopes alive .
United needed all 5 subs to keep the high pressure on the visitors. Chance after chance went by. In the last 10 minutes Craddock was brought back on and got a flying close range header to a cross from Laura Smith ( pictured ). Somehow that went wide aswell and it looked like it was destined not to be United`s day.
But with a minute left Smith sent another cross into the box and Craddock again showed her class to get a neat finish to finally put United ahead for the first time. It was a heartbreaker for the visitors who gave everything and have clearly improved since that 5-0 loss earlier in the season. For United it was a victory for persiverance and everyone involved show great discipline and a will to win.
The 3 points lifted United back into 3rd place on goal difference with Wednesday. Pace-setters Handsworth still have a 7 point lead at this the halfway stage of the season as each team plays each other 3 times.
Next game is against 4th place Dearne at home on the 27th.
Team : PARSONS : HOYLAND , WARD , HOPKINSON : SMITH , WESTON , SHELTON . CREED , ROBINSON : CRADDOCK , GARNER . Subs : KEANE , WAGSTAFF , MASLIN , A.WILSON , Y.WILSON.