November update from the Carlisle United Ladies team
The reigning Cumberland County Women’s Cup winners have picked up where they left off last season with a strong start to the 15/16 campaign.
United are once again playing in the North West Women’s Regional League this season and their campaign will see them taking on local rivals as well as traveling further afield to the likes of Stockport County, Preston North End and Bury, amongst others.
United Ladies are now seven games into their season, having enjoyed a mixed start to the term. Tracy Gannon’s side got the season underway with a tough FA Women’s Cup tie against higher-ranked Burnley, and they pushed their opponents all the way. United were unlucky to see two goals ruled out for offside and despite Chelsie Browbank restoring parity early in the season half and ‘keeper Clare Edmondson pulling out a string of high class saves, were unlucky to fall to a three one defeat.
The season started in ernest the following weekend with a short trip to Workington Reds. The impressive Jess Hawkins led the United scoring in a five one victory with a brace, as the Lady Cumbrians dominated possession and played some good passing football from back to front. Browbank was also on target for her second of the season, with Kathryn Kelly and Lorrena Walker completing a victory margin that could have been much higher had the woodwork not come to the hosts’ rescue on five occasions.
Buoyed by this result, which put United second in the early table, the Lady Cumbrians traveled to Preston North End Ladies hoping for more of the same. A scrappy encounter at the UCLan Sports Arena left the visitors frustrated but added another point to the league tally with a clean sheet, and it didn’t take United long to find their scoring boots once again.
Gannon’s team welcomed newly promoted Haslingden to Creighton at the end of September and put in their best performance of the season with a five nil victory. United once more saw a number of names on the scoresheet, but it was Browbank who continued her form in front of goal with a brace to take her tally for the season to four. Gillian McGimpsey opened her account for the term in also adding a brace with new signing Emma Blenkinship competing the five.
After the high of the Haslingden victory, it was back to earth to start October with a narrow one nil defeat at Kendal Town, with a last minute goal denying the Lady Cumbrians. The result meant United went into the next game against Leigh RMI still feeling the frustrations from the defeat with a Stacey Harkness goal not enough as Gannon’s side went down by the same scoreline as their Burnley defeat earlier in the season.
The trip to Frenchfields to take on Penrith brought the first meeting of the sides since United were victorious on penalties in the County Cup Final. The hosts ran out to an assured victory on the day with set pieces the undoing of United despite the team pushing right up until the final whistle. This theme of never giving up is one familiar to the team who will be looking to put recent defeats behind them and get back to winning ways in the coming weeks.
With the league season now well underway, thoughts will soon start to turn to the cup competitions as United look to emulate runs which took them to the Semi-Finals of the League Cup and saw them lift the County Cup last season.
It is also an exciting time to be a supporter of the team with a new player sponsorship scheme just launched that will see fans be able to support their favourite player.
United Ladies play their home games at Creighton Rugby Club on Sunday afternoons. Entry is free and all support is welcome at the 2pm kick-offs. You can keep up to date with how the team’s season is progressing by following them on Twitter, @CUFCLADIES, or liking them on Facebook.