The ladies continued their perfect start to the season with a dominant 7-0 win against City of Liverpool Ladies FC at Mersey Valley, in a match that saw Elina Parker make her comeback from retirement in her first ever match as a goalkeeper, and kept a clean sheet. Due to injuries and ongoing vacations the visitors were unable to field a full team and opened the match with ten players. Their task was made even harder when one of their players had to leave the field due to an injury right before half-time, forcing them to play the rest of the match with only nine players.
It did not take more than 11 minutes before Altrincham were able to break the deadlock through Laura Dodds who easily placed the ball in the corner underneath the goalkeeper, after a great ball from Gail Simpson. Altrincham kept the pressure on, and only a great save by the City of Liverpool goalkeeper denied Altrincham a 2-0 lead when Laura Dodds headed the ball down to Laura Kelly. From close range she hit the ball well, but the goalie reacted quickly to push the ball over the crossbar. Six minutes later, after 27 minutes Laura Kelly did get a deserved goal. Laura Dodds were the creator again, when she came alone with the goalkeeper. Unselfishly she passed the ball to Kelly, who could put the ball into the open net, finishing another great team goal.
Dodds wanted even more, and about a minute after Kelly had doubled the lead, Dodds made it three. It was a long-range effort that bounced right in front of the City of Liverpool goalkeeper, over her and into the goal for Dodds’ second goal of the match. And there was more to come.
Right before half time Dodds had the ball on the flank and passed it on to Nadine Sproule who calmly chipped the ball over the goalie and into the far corner. Only minutes later Dodds completed her hat-trick with another long-range effort. This time the goalkeeper couldn’t do anything other than watch the ball fly into the net, with a great goal that made the half time score 5-0.
The second half was barely five minutes old when Jade Hesketh was played through, and alone with the goalkeeper she was as calm as you’d like, rounded her and placed the ball into the open net for the sixth Altrincham-goal of the match. The ladies kept the pressure on for the second half and moved the ball nicely around in what was a hard-fought match, with multiple tough duels from both sides.
The hosts had plenty of chances to score more in the second half, including two shots in the post. First it was Bliss Molyneaux who was certain that she scored Alty’s seventh goal of the day when a shot from inside the box hit the inside of the post and rolled on the line before the ball was cleared away. Only minutes later Imogen Paul won the ball, ran forward before testing her shot-foot. Unfortunately for her, the shot hit the outside of the post, and went out of bounds. But the scoring was not over yet either, as Laura Dodds was not finished scoring. With a brilliant long-range effort, she scored her fourth goal of the game when she placed the ball into the top corner from about 25 yards, which was a great ending to what was a professional match from Altrincham FC Ladies.
Report by Odd Sindre Tonning
Picture courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography