All square in difficult conditions
United had to make do with a point in a six goal thriller at Padiham, writes Richard Mallinson.
The Cumbrians made the better start in the poor conditions and were unlucky not to take the lead on 5 minutes when Sharina Robinson’s shot flew just past the post.
United continued to grow into the game and despite the boggy surface, they played some neat interplay and flowing football which created chances for Mairaid Kinsella and Chelsie Browbank.
It was however to be the home side who would take the lead on 15 minutes when a corner was half cleared and the ball was bundled into the net from 10 yards giving United keeper Clare Edmondson no chance.
United were not to be undone though as they continued to edge the encounter with further chances for Robinson, Browbank and Mallinson.
The home side were restricted to half chances and long range efforts with Edmondson being more than a match for their efforts.
United deservedly drew level on 30 minutes when the ball was released to Browbank on the left who cut in and shot from an acute angle; the Padiham keeper struggled to hold onto the ball and Mallinson was on hand to toe poke in from 6 yards.
Ten minutes later and it was 2-1 to United when Browbank was again released down the left and her 20 yard effort beat the keeper as the ball smashed into the net.
United couldn’t find a third before the break but they managed to soak up the pressure which the home side put them under.
The first half performance was excellent by United as they also coped really well with the strong wind which was in Padiham’s favour.
United started the second half brightly and continued to create chances with the wide players and attackers causing problems for the Padiham defence following strong defending and good passing by the midfielders.
United deservedly made the score 3-1 on 60 minutes when defender Gillian McGimpsey advanced with the ball into a forward position and finished well from 25 yards. At this point the conditions worsened and the pitch became very boggy which hampered United’s play a little however Browbank did manage a couple of strong runs down the wing.
The home sides experienced team were not to be undone though and on 76 minutes, an excellent piece of skill by Justine Wallace gave her the space to smash the ball past Edmondson from 30 yards to reduce the arrears.
Wallace was voted last seasons league player of the season and her quality can make a difference in a game. She was well contained in this fixture by Becky Adams however this spontaneous piece of skill brought Padiham back into the game.
The home side continued to press and got level on 82 minutes when a Padiham midfielder lost her marker and ghosted into the box and was on hand to produce a smart finish.
United didn’t cave in though and went in search of a winner however it was not to be and the points were to be shared.
Overall this was an exciting game and a one in which United would have taken a point before the game. There were some encouraging performances all over the pitch which bodes well for the remaining games.
United: Edmondson, Walker, Owen, Mallin, McGimpsey, Browbank, Adam, Ullyart (Harmison), Robinson, Kinsella, Mallinson.