Update from the CUFC Ladies team
After two months without a game, due to the bad weather and floods, the Ladies team returned to league fixtures this week with an away game at Haslingden.
The pre-match arrival at the changing rooms definitely lightened the mood and also helped to get rid of a few nerves as we found that our changing rooms had sprung a few leaks and had flooded in parts overnight. Buckets and wet floor signs were there to greet us and Haslingden were very apologetic.
However, the girls took it in great spirit and our response to the apologies was: “Believe us, that’s not a flood!” We have to thank Haslingden for the way they made us feel at home.
We knew we were in for a tough game as Haslingden are a well organised team. United started well and we stunned our opponents with a well-worked goal with just six minutes on the clock. McGimpsey took the ball with her back to goal and turned the defender before sending a great pass towards Owen. She allowed it to run across her path before she sent a crisp shot into the bottom corner.
The response was immediate from Haslingden as they moved the ball quickly, just four minutes later, before bagging an equaliser with an unstoppable finish.
United dusted themselves down and continued to press forward and they were rewarded with their second goal when Ullyart let one fly from 25 yards. The keeper parried it but Simpson was on hand to sweep the loose ball into the waiting net.
The next goal was always going to be crucial and sharp thinking from Browbank and Owen made sure it went the way of the Cumbrians as they closed the keeper down as she tried to release the ball quickly. Hesitation allowed Owen to nick it and she kept her cool to calmly slot it into the gaping net.
A healthy 3-1 half time lead wasn’t to be taken for granted and both teams stood up to the physical encounter as they battled for second half supremacy. United lost Ullyart when she picked up a knock, but a quick change of personnel allowed the team to settle back into its shape.
The action swung from end-to-end as Haslingden threw players forward and it was a relief for United when they put the result beyond doubt with their fourth goal. A patient build-up drew the hosts out of their defensive formation and a weighted pass from Hawkins sent Browbank through the back line. She went one-on-one and bided her time before comfortably threading a shot into the far corner.
Manager Tracy Gannon said: “This was a great team effort from everyone. Every player gave us everything they had today. You can't ask for any more than that. We were always going to be rusty, with the lack of games and training, but everyone stayed positive. If anyone was seen to be struggling their team mates lifted them up got them through it.
“It's been a tough few months for the team and the club in general. Today was not just important in terms of getting a fixture under our belts, but it was also important to get a good performance by way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last few months.
“The League officials were fantastic in the way they allowed us to postpone our fixtures so that we could recover from the floods, and it has been overwhelming to get so many calls from teams across the region who have been on the phone and offered us kit and equipment to help to see us through to the end of the season.
“It's been really heart warming and humbling. The Ladies would also like to say a massive thank you to the Unisun men's team who loaned us their kit for this game. It was another great gesture and one we really do appreciate.”
United - Edmondson, Martin, Mallin, Ullyart, Adam, Simpson, Hawkins, McGimpsey, Blenkinship, Browbank, Owen. Sub – Morley.
Player of the match - Cally Martin