Chester le Street Town Ladies maintained their position 2nd top in the FA WNL Divison 1 North League with a 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers Ladies.
The Bank holiday weather had been extremely kind, if a little too much, with extremely warm temperatures. Chester were straight out of the gate and very quickly settled in the game, dominating the early exchanges, with both Kacie Elson and Lizzy Thompson-Clarke showing the fullbacks a clean pair of heels. The front 4 doing a great job of pressing high and forcing errors and turnover from the defenders. For all the possession and chances created, the Cestrians had to wait until 35 minutes on the clock for the breakthrough. An absolute bullet of a header from a corner from Nichole Havery gave the Bolton keeper no chance. Chester continued to press home their advantage and we’re almost rewarded straight after, with the ball being scrambled off the line by the Bolton defence.
The second half continued where the first left off, with Chester dominating the play and starting to get the ball in behind the Bolton back four and turning them. Their pace and pressure paid off on 50 mins, a great ball in behind the left centre back and full back, Nichole Havery beat the offside trap and the outrushing goalkeeper, as she rounded the keeper and smashed it in for hers and the Cestrians second of the afternoon. It was all Chester le street now as they looked to put the game beyond doubt. The midfield of Anna Collin and Lucy Jackman, continued to create problems for Bolton’s back four, winning the first and second balls and playing pass after pass in behind the full backs for Thompson-Clarke and Elson to get on the end of. The Cestrian full backs Jess and Katie Ellison pressed higher up the pitch and also started playing clever passes into the forwards, giving the opposition very little respite.
On 78 minutes and totally against the run of play, from a very innocuous build up Bolton pulled a goal back. Although Chester le street were by far the dominant and dangerous team, it did make for a nervous last 10 minutes. On 90 minutes Nichole Havery beat the offside, through on goal and calmly slotted the ball in for her third of the game, only for the assistant referee to rule it off for offside. A very, very, harsh decision. A very good game of football, both teams contributing and working hard for 90 minutes in very hot conditions. Chester le street were deserved winners and could have scored more, their all round play and passing was very good and too much this time for Bolton.