Update from the Carlisle United Ladies team
Carlisle United's Ladies team manager Tracy Gannon brings us another update on two very good results for the team.
Carlisle United Ladies 3 - 1 Kendal Town Ladies
The Ladies were looking forward to their first home fixture in five weeks and went into the game looking to build on the performance from their game against CMB.
Carlisle started off well and both teams made it a contest with some strong challenges and some good football.
United broke the deadlock with a great first half goal on 26 minutes when Jess Hawkins crossed the ball to Lorrena Walker on the edge of the box. Walker took it down and lifted it over the centre back before striking a left foot volley into the bottom far corner of the goal.
The game was end to end and Carlisle grew in strength as the clock ticked on.
Kendal came out fighting after the break and they grabbed an equaliser with a slick move down the wing. The wide player cut inside and rifled a shot home from the edge of the box.
It was suddenly all to play for and Blues peppered the box with decent deliveries and their persistence and dogged determination paid off when they reclaimed the lead. Adams slid a lovely ball through the back line and Walker did the rest as she faced the keeper and calmly slotted it over the line.
Carlisle worked hard to keep their lead intact as they closed ranks and stopped Kendal from building up a head of steam. Good use of the ball kept the visitors stretched and the hosts were rewarded with another goal when a pinpoint through ball invited the in-form Jess Hawkins to have a go. She took a touch to get the ball out of her feet and calmly chipped the keeper to double the United advantage with just 15 minutes left to play.
United continued to press Town in the deep areas and they almost wrapped things up when Hawkins released a snap shot only to see it cleared off the line. Wharton went close as the Blues kept the half chances coming and Walker was denied a hat trick by a good save from the keeper.
A good overall United performance brought a deserved three points and kept spirits high for the away trip to face Leigh RMI.
Man of the Match - Jess Hawkins
Thank you to Match Sponsor - System People
Leigh RMI 3-4 Carlisle United Ladies
Another trip down the M6 saw United travel to Leigh on a day when the weather was blowing a gale, to say the least.
The wind was a big factor and it became a frustrating affair as United struggled to get to grips with the conditions.
Leigh took the lead when a challenge from McGimpsey dumped Whittaker inside the box. Whittaker dusted herself down and coolly slotted it into the bottom left hand corner just out of Edmondson’s reach.
Leigh deserved their lead but United's heads didn't drop as they set about formulating a response. Their first attack from the restart brought a throw in and a launched delivery from Walker. Jess Hawkins watched it as it dropped over the home defence and she made no mistake when she trapped it, turned and poked it into the bottom corner.
It stayed tight through the first half but a stern half time team talk from manager Tracy Gannon resulted in much more focus and determination after the break.
The team worked hard to keep the ball on the floor in the face of the awful weather and Carlisle took the lead for the first time in the game when Harmison carried it forward and shot from just outside the area. The keeper parried it but Faye Comber, who made her debut on the day, arrived on the follow up to register a neat finish.
Keeper Edmondson sparked another attack with a great goal kick and it was moved quickly and accurately for captain Shay Robinson to control. She wasted no time in making up her mind and a 25 yard shot whistled into the back of the net.
The wind blew harder and Leigh capitalised when their stopper launched a huge kick. The defence lost the flight of the ball but the Leigh forward bided her time before stepping in to go one on one. Edmondson did well to close the gap but the damage was done and the deficit reduced to just one goal.
The home side suddenly had the momentum and poor marking from a 20-yard free kick levelled the scores when two players were left unmarked. The defence tried to recover but it was once again too late to prevent the inevitable.
It was nerves all round with just ten minutes left to play but the lead was restored just two minutes later when Chelsea Browbank bagged a stunning first goal of the season. She attacked down the wing and rattled a blistering shot into the roof of the net when a gap opened up.
Leigh threw everything forward but United held out for a full time whistle which couldn’t come quickly enough.
Man of the Match - Philippa Harmison