Updates from the first three games of the seasonCarlisle United Ladies 2 - 3 CMB Ladies
The opening game saw the ladies kick off their 2014 season with an FA cup draw against CMB Ladies at United's home ground at Creighton. The Lancaster County Champions will also be a league competitor for United so it was an opportunity to see what the opposition were like.
The first half was unsettled and, with five new players in the United team, Carlisle looked nervous and took a while to settle. CMB looked the better side in the first 20 minutes as they passed the ball well and kept themselves very organised.
Despite this Carlisle took the lead on 30 minutes with a well worked goal. A clearance from the United defence saw the Blues hit CMB on a counter attack. The ball was played through the ranks to Steph Wharton who calmly turned the defender to go one on one with the keeper. She calmly sent her the wrong way and slotted the ball home into the other corner.
United were caught napping at the restart when CMB hit back straight away with a well worked equaliser. Carlisle then made a mistake which let CMB in for their second.
Carlisle started the second half much the brighter with Jess Hawkins making her debut. She showed signs of becoming another good asset for the Carlisle squad.
United continued to dominate and they retained good possession and created plenty of chances. Unfortunately they couldn't quite find the equaliser despite hitting the post on no less than three separate occasions.
Credit has to go to CMB, who kept going, and they grabbed their third goal against the run of play with just ten minutes left to play.
United didn't let head drops and they grabbed a second, to tighten the score, with almost the last kick of the game.
Squad - Ryan, L Ullyart (Martin), McGimpsey, Mallin, Owen (Hawkins) Adam (Smethurst) Simpson, Robinson(C), Walker, J Ullyart, Wharton.
Workington Reds Ladies 1 - 3 Carlisle United Ladies
United's first league game took the ladies to Borough Park on Wednesday night with something to prove following the disappointment of the CMB result.
The visitors started much brighter and stronger, despite the 40-minute delayed kick off, and were unlucky not to score when Steph Wharton struck a lovely shot from distance. In-form Workington and former-Carlisle keeper Miller took the save well.
Wednesday's game saw Harminson return to the team and her pace down the wing created problems for the Workington defence. United's first goal came from a lovely ball from Harmison for Wharton to pick up. She took a past the last defender and side stepped the keeper to slot the ball home.
Workington worked hard but the United defence held strong, limiting the Reds to shots from outside the 18 yard box. United's keeper Edmondson, back in the team fresh from Holiday, handled all that came her way.
United then struck again with their second goal of the evening when Steph Wharton received a perfectly weighted pass from Robinson. The defence was split and Wharton kept her cool for a second time to leave the keeper with no chance.
Carlisle continued to press and Robinson was denied her first goal of the season when she rattled a great corner delivery into the back of the net. The referee spotted an infringement and the goal was disallowed.
It was end to end after the break and a lively Workington side created plenty of opportunities as they pushed for a goal. United's defence stood up to the onslaught and cleared their lines to protect their keeper.
Tired legs started to affect both teams as the pace of the game slowed and the Reds were awarded a dubious penalty when one of their girls took a tumble in the box. Heading away from goal it appeared to be a stumble from tiredness, as much as anything else, as she went shoulder to shoulder with Mallin. Reds Donaldson stepped up to beat Edmondson even though the keeper went the right way.
The goal gave the hosts a lift but United got their second wind and started to edge it in terms of possession and domination. They got their reward on 80 minutes when left back Ullyart won the ball and spotted Walker in space in midfield. She played Simpson on the overlap and a great delivery allowed Harmison to finish off a great move and secure a well earned win on the road.
United - Edmondson, L Ullyart, McGimpsey (Martin), Mallin, Hawkins, J Ullyart, Robinson (C), Walker, Harmison, Smethurst (Simpson) Wharton. Subs - Adam.
Accrington Ladies 4 - 0 Carlisle United Ladies
United's third game of the week took them to Accrington for a Sunday kick off in what was always going to be a tough game. Stanley are tipped to take the title this year having narrowly missed out on promotion last season.
United took a blow to their game plan when Katie Simpson limped off, with 20 minutes played, and Accrington sensed an opening as they took advantage of the change in team shape.
United were on the front foot after the break but good free kick efforts from Mallin and Browbank were just a matter of inches away.
Accrington grew stronger as the half ticked on and their second goal, on 60 minutes, took the wind out of the Carlisle sails. The home players could see this and they struck again with almost their next attack.
United had brief spells in the opposition half but it became harder as Accrington introduced three sets of fresh legs to the mix. Three tough games in just eight days took their toll and Stanley killed the game off with their fourth of the day on 80 minutes.
United - Edmondson, L Ullyart, Mallin, Hawkins, Martin, Adam, Simpson (Wharton), Robinson, Walker, J Ullyart.