Moors Ladies Beaten In Season Opener

In a game that saw new Spennymoor Town Ladies manager, Billy Shackleton, return to his former club, it was hosts Hartlepool United Women who took all three points on Sunday afternoon.

Shackleton had the majority of a strong squad to choose from, but for the absences of a couple of players, including influential forward Autumn College who picked up an injury and missed out.

The game started slowly, with both sides finding it difficult to carve out clear chances. Moors captain, Alex Saunders, looked lively early on, connecting well with fellow central midfielders, Katy Hemmingway and Courtney Mole. However, despite looking for the right ball on a number of occasions, a key chance couldn’t be created.

It was the hosts, Hartlepool who struck first in the 35th minute. A darting run forward and a cool finish from the Pools forward Atalia Robinson, who calmly slotted away her first goal of the afternoon, beating Nicole Scott at her near post.

Moors looked keen to equalise but were frustrated in their attempts before the break as Alex Saunders’ half volley flashed across the face of goal with no visiting player gambling.

After half time it was all Spennymoor. Again, Saunders in the midfield looked to link up play, with new signing Holly Middleton making some key runs in behind the Pools back line. Eventually, after 58 minutes, the leveller did come with Hemmingway heading home from a Kira Whittle long throw.

A lapse in concentration immediately after the goal cost Moors as the home side re-took the lead. A cheap free kick was given away in a dangerous position and Robinson sensationally struck into the top corner to give Moors keeper Nicole Scott little chance.

Moors battled on throughout the half, with a couple of players coming off with knocks – both Middleton and fellow new signing, Meg Foster were forced off.

It was good work from two substitutes that gave Moors their equaliser though, which arrived in the first minute of injury time. Hannah Knox clipped an enticing ball into the area for Drew Seymour to knock home at the back post and level the score up at 2-2.

It looked as though the points would be shared at that point, only for Pools to pinch victory just 80 seconds later when Robinson completed her hat-trick with a looping strike from the edge of the area which found the top corner.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Moors who may feel they deserved to take at least a point from the opening day encounter, but it was an encouraging performance against a team relegated from a higher level last season.

Full Time: Hartlepool United 3 Moors 2

Moors: Scott, O Mole, C College, C Mole, Welch-Davison, Hemmingway, Saunders, Salkeld, Foster, Brown, Whittle.
Subs: Knox, Seymour, Farrugia, Middleton.

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