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Prolific trio make the difference as SSFC Women defeat Hull United

South Shields Women kept their promotion hopes alive with a 4-1 win against Hull United Women at 1st Cloud Arena on Sunday.

The lasses fell behind courtesy of a wonder strike from Lois Damms, but restored parity minutes before the interval thanks to Annece Legg’s finish.

After the break Shields kept up the momentum they had built up during the first-half and that deadly duo up top, Eve Gatens and Sophie Curle, did what they did best to put the game beyond any doubt.

Curle struck first, before Gatens tucked in the Mariners’ third - and what a strike that was! 

There was plenty of time for Curle to grab another before the final whistle, after she knocked the ball around and past Rosie O’Rourke, then coolly into the bottom corner. 

Head coach Alex Miller made two changes from the team which started against Hartlepool United Women three weeks ago; Monica Innes returned and Sophie Greener was moved onto the bench.

It would be fair to say the lasses had the better start out of the two teams, but the visitors certainly threatened when it mattered and they created a handful of chances for Shields keeper Scarlett Gowans to react to.

Zoe Norton pinged a through-ball along to Eve Gatens who was on the end of it, but Megan Cooke was on hand to get to it.

Gatens herself launched an effort into the box, and some were wondering whether the following clearance by Jade Newlove might accidentally have pushed it into their own net. 

Nevertheless it was a bright start, only compounded by chances for Curle (who narrowly missed the post with a glancing opportunity in which she weaved through the Hull United backline) and May, who couldn’t reach the end of Curle’s cross from the right.

Hull United took the lead against the run of play but it was an extraordinary finish from Damms. 

A team is sometimes best judged on how they react to setbacks, and Shields kept at it, they remained focused and the lasses were eventually rewarded for it in the 40th minute.

Jaz Elliott-Wood shifted play down the left-hand side and met Gatens who managed to scoop the ball perfectly into Legg’s feet. She made no mistake, and rolled it into the far-right corner.

The second-half can be summed up with two goals, in three minutes for the prolific pair of Gatens and Curle. Norton’s pass found Curle who danced past O’Rourke and Chloe Robinson, and beyond Cooke.

If the visitors’ goal can be described as a wonder goal, then it’s only fair that Gatens’ goal should be too! 

Olivia Mole laid it off, and Gatens managed to find the top corner from range; sensational. 

By this point Shields firmly controlled the game and any Hull United attacks were dealt with swiftly by the resilient line of defence.

Curle got her second by knocking the ball past O’Rourke, beating her with pace, before dispatching it into the bottom corner.

Five games remain now for South Shields Women before the end of the season, and four of them are at home. Stay tuned for venues and timings, and follow the team for all the latest updates! 

South Shields Women: Gowans, Innes, May, Legg, Gatens, Curle, Wootten, Norton, Elliott-Wood, White, Mole. 

Substitutes: Ali, Greener, Emery, Taylor, Foster. 

Hull United Women: Cooke, Brown, Damms, Holmes, Newlove, O’Rourke, Sharp, Tankard, Wilshere, Robinson, Cone. 

Substitutes: Ibbotson, Lisle, Adamson.

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