A strong performance was in order against one of the league's top sides for our development squad this afternoon as they hosted Runcorn Linnets at Stockport Sports Village. Rosie had a few first team players at her disposal, with Nicola Connor and Abi Hayes taking up roles at centre-back, while Hanifa Douglas started the game up top. Shelby Wolstencroft, who came off the bench to score in the FA Cup last week, was also included in the substitutes.
The visitors started brightly, with an early shot expertly saved by Niamh Attfield in the County goal. However, it was the Hatters who struck first, taking the lead through Emma Massey following some good work on the left from Hanifa Douglas. The lead was then doubled through Douglas, following a cross-cum-shot from Holly Shute on the right which rebounded off the woodwork into the feet of the awaiting striker.
A fairly quiet first half followed, with County having the majority of possession but not being able to make anything of it.
HT | County 2 (Massey 4', Douglas 8'), Runcorn Linnets 0.
A strong start to second half for the Hatters came with early chances for Shute, Douglas and Porteous-Williams. Strong defensive blocks from Hayes and Connor kept the visitors at bay. Linnets came close from distance, but another good stop from Attfield kept it at 2-0.
Runcorn, sporting a striking orange kit, eventually broke through via a looping shot from Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz (try saying that five times fast) which found it's way over Attfield and into the goal.
FT | County 2 (Massey 4', Douglas 8'), Runcorn Linnets 1 (Jones-Sacharewicz)
Player Of The Match: Nicola Connor
A full photo gallery is available here.
Tonge, Connor, Hayes, Vickers
Shute, Porteous-Williams, Hill, Ahmed (Replaced by Wolstencroft 31')
Douglas, Massey (Replaced by Gallagher 63')
After a long trip to Penrith last weekend, the girls face another long journey, this time to the North-East, as Bishop Auckland hosted an FA Cup clash.
The side lined up as a flat 4-4-2 to begin the game, with Jeneaya Webb and Chloe Mapp leading the line up top.
The Hatters started quickly, with Hanna Wilson breaking down the right to cross in to Chloe Mapp, who tucked home from close range after just 22 seconds. Following this, another break down the right from Wilson, who played the ball through to Chloe Mapp, who crossed the ball into Katie Brusell, who was stood in acres of space just five yards from goal. A strong header from Brusell and it was 2-0 after just under 70 seconds.
A break from the home side saw them register their first shot of the game, which went wide of Blackett's goal. But the shot was quickly overlooked as there were cries of pain from the halfway line. Jade White, who had started the game in the centre of midfield was down clutching her knee. A short break followed and Geo France replaced White.
On the 20 minute mark, Chloe Mapp got her second, and County's third, quickly followed by Chloe's hat-trick to give County their fourth of the game.
Katie Brusell then struck a sweet shot from the edge of the box, curling away from the goalkeeper and into the goal to make it 5-0 after 40 minutes.
Just before the break, and another run from the right saw Chloe Mapp work her way into the box before being fouled for a penalty. Mapp stepped up to take the spot kick and put it home to make it 6-0 at half-time.
HT | Bishop Auckland 0-6 County (Mapp 1, 20, 29, 45, Brusell 2, 40)
The second half started slower than the first, as the home side looked to make their first real attempts on goal. A mix-up at the back between Hayes and Blackett, who were both expecting the other to clear the ball, lead to Bishop's first corner of the afternoon.
County's second change saw Shelby Wolstencroft replace Chloe Mapp.
The Hatters continued to break down both sides, with Wilson and O'Reilly being pivotal players once again as they made strong runs in behind the defence.
As the game neared to a close, Jeneaya Webb got in on the goals, as County broke down the right once more, giving County a seven goal cushion. The eighth and final nail in the coffin for Bishop Auckland's cup dreams came through Shelby Wolstencroft, who took the ball down in the box before hammering home to make it 8-0.
We wish Bishop Auckland luck with the rest of their season, kudos must go to their goalkeeper who, despite conceding eight goals, made some superb saves to keep the score in single figures.
FT | Bishop Auckland 0-8 County (Mapp 1, 20, 29, 45; Brusell 2, 40; Webb 85, Wolstencroft 90)
For a full match gallery of the game, click here.
Another Win For The Development Squad
Rosie Emerson's Development Squad won 4-0 in a 'local derby' game against AFC Stockport this weekend. Imogen Porteous-Williams earned herself the match ball with a hattrick for the girls in blue, with Emma Massey getting in on the goals herself.
Another strong outing once again from a very strong development side.
First team manager, Ronnie Green, has had his say on this weekend's
FA Cup fixture against Bishop Auckland, plus last Sunday's trip to the Lakes.
Ronnie also noted that there are some travel arrangements in place for this Sunday's trip to Durham.
The First Team travelled to Penrith this weekend, winning 3-2 thanks to goals from Chloe Mapp (2) and Clare O'Reilly. This result puts The Hatters top of the league after two games - the side travel to Bishop Auckland next week in the FA Cup.
The Development Squad hosted Sale United at Stockport Sports Village, winning 9-3 on the day thanks to goals from Emma Massey (4), Holly Shute (2), Reannan Collier Holt (2) and Immy Porteous-Williams
Following their opening day victory over Mossley Hill on Sunday, the Hatters are faced with a long trip up the M6 to the Lake District as they play Penrith AFC.
Opposition: Penrith AFC
Last Game: 2-1 v Sir Tom Finney LFC
Home Ground: Frenchfields Park, Penrith, Cumbria. CA11 8UA.
The Hatters will be looking to continue their unbeaten run in competitive games this season with more points from this Sunday. The game is a 14:00 kickoff.
Following two wins in her first competitive games as Development Squad manager, Rosie Emerson looks to make it three from three with a win this weekend at home to Sale. Having beaten Chester at home by an astonishing eight goals to nil, with a quartet of goals from Holly Stokes plus a single Abi Turner goal and an Imi Porteus-Williams hat-trick , she opened her managerial account with a real success against strong opposition.
This was then followed by another successful outing in Knutsford as the Development Squad beat Egerton 3-1, coming through a Niamh Attfield penalty save and goals from Massey (2) and Collier-Holt.
The side will be looking to continue their strong form with a home tie against Sale this weekend at Stockport Sports Village, which is a 14:00 kickoff.
Following a strong win away at Warrington last weekend, the Hatters faced a home fixture with Mossley Hill in the first league game of the season.
County, sporting blue and white, got the game going in quick fashion, getting in behind the Athletic defence more times than one, but were unable to make any real attempts at goal. A free-kick just outside the County box represented the first real chance for the visitors. The set piece looped into the box and through the hands of goalkeeper, Blackett, before being tapped in from close range by Rachel Davison.
County continued their momentum however and, just like last weekend, it was Chloe Mapp who put home the equaliser. This all came from a strong run from Hanna Wilson down the right as she whipped the ball into Mapp, getting her third assist of the season in the process.
HT | County 1-1 Mossley Hill Athletic
Following the break, County took the game to Athletic, as Grace Wardle cut inside and tucked a quality shot just inside the far post to make it 2-1. The Hatters had the majority of possession, coming close through Mapp and Jones a number of times, but were unable to get that ellusive third goal.
It was Mossley Hill who got the game's fourth, as Ashley Taylor slotted it past Blackett to make it 2-2. What followed was a decisive moment in the game, as Parker and Webb were introduced to the game in place of the two goalscorers, Mapp and Wardle.
Seconds later, County got a chance to take the lead once more, with a free-kick from near the halfway line. The ball was chipped in by O'Reilly as Connor stretched to reach it. However it was Parker who got the definitive touch at the far post to make it 3-2.
A few close chances for both sides, including one shot hitting the woodwork for County followed. Douglas came on in place of Jones, giving the Hatters another set of fresh legs up front.
All three substitutes came close in the dying minutes, but it was a Jade Parker with the best of the bunch, curling in a wonderful effort from the edge of the box to secure victory for the home side.
FT | County 4-2 Mossley Hill Athletic
On the whole, a good second half for the Hatters ahead of two long trips up north over the coming weeks, away at Penrith next weekend, then away at Bishop Auckland the following week.
Click here for the full match photo album.
Warrington Wolverines 1-4 Stockport County LFC - SSE Women's FA Cup
A tradition for the side over the past few years continued as the opening game of the season took place in the FA Cup. The Hatters were hoping to improve on the previous year, when they suffered a shock defeat to Bootle.
It was a good start, with County having the early possession, Chloe Mapp got one on one with keeper early on, but putting ball wide. County continued to pile on the pressure for 25 minutes, having a number of close range efforts, most falling to Mapp and Brusell.
The build up of possession was voided by a surprise goal for Warrington on the 29 minute mark as the Wolverines' striker went around Blackett and tapped into an open goal, giving the home side the lead.
The Hatters continued to press however and a number of chances falling to Mapp, Brusell and Jones just before the break gave the girls in white some hope. Following an attack from the hosts,
Clare O'Reilly picked up the ball from a stray pass and pushed down the left, before cutting inside to play the ball towards the penalty spot where Chloe Mapp rushed onto it. The ball trickled past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net to make it 1-1 at the interval.
HT: WWFC 1-1 COUNTY
In the second half, the Hatters really increased the pressure a level, getting in behind with the pace of O'Reilly, Jones and Wilson. O'Reilly was particularly effective on the left, playing balls into the box with high frequency.
One of those crosses, knocked back to the edge of the box by a defender, was picked up by Jade White who beat the defender and struck the ball into the top left, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Another cross, this time from the right, was whipped in minutes later as Nicola Connor outjumped the Wolverines' defenders and headed the ball (although I've been reliably informed by a number of players that it was a glancing shoulder). This header went up and over an out of position goalkeeper, who clawed to keep the ball out but was unsuccessful - giving County a two-goal cushion.
Katie Brusell then put the final nail in the coffin, as she put the ball in the net from close range, to make it 4-1 to the Hatters.
Another interesting tidbit of information from the dying minutes of the game. Abi Hayes, who typically plays as a CB for the Hatters, was placed on the right of a front three amd created a real nuisance of herself to the opposing defenders, coming close a number of times, as as well putting the ball in the net (only to be disallowed for a foul).
FT: WWFC 1-4 COUNTY
On the whole, a strong showing in the FA Cup. I'm sure Ronnie, the coaching staff and girls will be looking at the cup draw very closely to see who we're drawn against next. We'll let you know as soon as we find out!
Team: Blackett, Wilson, Hancock, Connor, O'Reilly, White, John, Jones, France, Brusell, Mapp.
Subs: Hayes, Webb, Wardle
Click HERE for the full gallery.