Chester le Street Town Ladies commenced their 2019-20 League Programme with a journey to newly promoted Stockport County, in search of 3 points on the opening game of the season. Stockport started brightly for the first couple of minutes, playing out nicely from the back with some decent passing patterns and a bit of movement from the centre midfielders. However the warning signs were there for them as early as the 3rd minute as Nichole Havery burst into the box, but last ditch defending stopped a shot on target. On 5 minutes Havery got in behind and to the byline, Chaneece Reeves for Stockport managed to slide in to stop the cut back and Stockport scrambled the ball clear. The Cestrians took the lead on 8 minutes, pressure from Laura Hockaday forced a panicked pass back to the keeper, and Havery was on it and smashed the ball past the keeper Williams; to put the Cestrians 1-0 in front The Cestrians continued to press and attack Stockport, 14 mins and Laura Hockaday made room for a shot from the edge of the area into the hands of the keeper. The constant pressure and attacking from Chester le street denied Stockport any clear chances or shots on goal from open play. On 18 minutes they were awarded a freekick just outside of the box, but the free kick was blazed high over the bar. Stockport did try to rally for a 10 minute spell, but the compact back 3 and midfield blocked anyway through.
On 29 minutes the Cestrians were awarded a freekick on the right hand side of the box in line with 18 yard line, Lucy Jackman whipped in a great left footed shot, which the keeper Williams did very well to save. Katie Ellison on 39 mins, cut in from the right hand side and smashed a shot to far side of goal., producing an equally impressive save from Williams – who did very well not just to save but to catch in the dive, with Havery, Hockaday and Ellison in lurking the box for any rebound. The First half ending 1-0 to Chester le Street
Stockport came out with more purpose at the start of the second half however with 49 Minutes on the clock a big chance for the Cestrians to double the lead, Tiegan Hutchinson slid in a super pass to Nichole Havery, but her first time effort is just off target. On 62 minutes Havery again had a chance, great work to break the offside trap, 1 v1 with the keeper, but can only poke her shot straight at the keeper. However on 69 minutes it was 2-0 Chester le Street, again some fantastic goalkeeping from Williams to deny the Cestrians on three occasions before the ball was smashed home at the far post by Katie Ellison. The Cestrians continued to dominate until the final whistle to produce a very eventful first game of the season, packed with great attacking play, new formation, controversial decisions and great to see new rules being implemented.
Team: Stephanie Jones, Abigail Thompson, Brogan Prudhoe, Lynsey Longhurst, Katie Ellison. Jessica Ellison, Anna Collin, Lucy Jackman,( 72 mins Rachel Mellor) Tiegan Hutchinson,(85 mins Kim Wild) Laura Hockaday, Nichole Havery