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SSFC Women bounce back in style against Pools

South Shields Women were launched into the promotion fight once again as they brushed past Hartlepool United Women 5-2 at Grayfields. 

Head coach Alex Miller rewarded Ellie White with her first start since the trip to Barnsley back in January and she duly delivered with a brace en route to being named player of the match. 

Sophie Curle netted her eighth and ninth goals for Shields; she has scored in each of her five games since joining the Mariners last month.

Sophie Greener got in on the action as well before the interval. Hartlepool replied through Jade Pye and Robyn Foster but weren’t able to control much else of the game.

A handful of changes were made to the side which suffered a heavy defeat against Spennymoor last week. Josie Foster was shifted to the bench while Olivia Mole made her first start for the club, having come on as a substitute last time out. 

Monica Innes missed out while the likes of Meg Archbold and Ebony Longstaff took time to recover from setbacks and weren’t involved.

Shields started well, with some nice defensive work between Jen Wootten and Jaz Elliott-Wood as they outfought Robyn Foster who was through on goal. 

Curle had perhaps the best chance of the opening 10 minutes when her shot was cast off target but it would do little to damage her confidence later on.

White gave the Mariners a well-deserved lead when she was on the end of a fortuitous Greener delivery. Annece Legg and Eve Gatens combined exquisitely to lay it on a plate for the aforementioned pair to do their thing.

Greener pinged a through ball into White who was on the end of that pass but Atalia Robinson managed to get there in time. 

Jade Pye equalised for the hosts a matter of minutes later when she struck a free-kick hard, and precisely, at Shields’ Scarlett Gowans. She couldn’t keep ahold of it and the scores were level. 

Nevertheless the visitors continued to push for a second - Elliott-Wood tried one of her trademark free-kick routines but her effort was guided over and away unfortunately.

Wootten played a wonderful ball through to Curle, who did what she does best, to give Shields their second of the afternoon.

Two became three before too long, and what a piece of play it was. Natalie May spun and weaved her way past numerous blue and white shirts before Curle and Greener challenged Robinson at close range. There was a scramble at the goalmouth, but Greener won that battle. 

Shields were in full control over the game at the break and the second half largely continued that, but the team were at risk when the Pools brought one back a few minutes afterwards. 

White calmed any potential worries when she netted her second of the afternoon, and before too long Curle did the same thing. Five goals, three points and one more victory in the bag! 

The lasses have a week off over Easter before they get back into league action on April 7th against Wallsend BC Women. 

Given the top six sides in the division are separated by just five points, every point and game counts at this stage of the season and a string of home games coming could motivate the team to finish as high up the table as possible. We would love to see your support!

Hartlepool United Women: Robinson, Geary, Stuart, Z. Johnson, Basnett, Morrison, Pye, M. Johnson, Garside, Foster, Thompson.

Substitutes: Thornton, Rackstraw, Coleman, Fielding. 

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

Substitutes: Ali, Emery, Taylor, Foster. 

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