Blackpool FC Ladies picked up all three points in the derby game against local rivals Preston North End, winning a hard-fought battle 2-0.
After a goalless first-half, an own goal and a Lauren Oatley effort proved the difference between the two teams in the second period.
The opening opportunity of the game fell to the visitors, with April Oldfield clearing a corner. Claire Kilner, Charlotte Banner and Sian Dillon all produced shots on target as Steph Findlay in the home goal was called into action, clearing a North End effort for a corner. A subsequent through ball for the North End striker was then gathered.
A Pool corner then skimmed off the head of Jones for a throw-in, with the visiting keeper then saving well from Banner. Dillon then had an effort wide and just before the interval the closest effort of the half saw the North End striker hit the woodwork but the ball bounced into the arms of Findlay.
Into the second half a Dillon cross was struck wide by Charlotte Gill. Oatley then had an effort wide and saw the PNE keeper safely gather a through ball in front of her. The keeper then produced a good save from Dillon. The deadlock was broken on the hour mark, a Kilner free kick headed into her own net by the unfortunate North End captain Joanne Coupe.
Banner then made way for Danni Cross, the latter soon involved in the action, playing a ball through from which Dillon shot on target. A Cross effort then went wide of the mark. In search of a further goal to settle the game, Oldfield looked to have extended the lead but the crossbar prevented her from doing so.
Gill then made way for Emma Perrett. The alert North End keeper then came out well in front of Dillon, with Kilner’s effort going wide from an Oatley pull back. With 10 minutes remaining it was Oatley who gave Pool the desired second goal, her cross looping over the keeper, despite her getting a hand to it, and into the back of the net.
With Mariella Hemingway replacing Barlow for her first-team debut, The Seasiders maintained the two-goal advantage until the final whistle and claimed the points to maintain the challenge on second-placed Tranmere and league leaders Morecambe.
A visit to Tranmere is next week’s fixture, which kicks-off at 2pm at Ashville FC.
Team: Findlay, May, Turnbull, Jones (Capt), Barlow, Kilner, Oldfield, Gill, Banner, Dillon, & Oatley. Subs – Cross, Perrett, Hemingway, Sanderson & Lyng.