Report: PNE Ladies 2 Blackpool Girls & Ladies 3
Blackpool Ladies returned to the top of the table after a hard fought derby victory over Preston North End Ladies.
Lauren Oatley opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with Preston drawing level before the interval. The lead was restored by Jenni McGill but this was quickly cancelled out with another Preston equaliser.
Claire Kilner grabbed the all-important fifth and decisive goal with 15 minutes of the game remaining.
An even start to the game saw both teams produce efforts wide with Sian Dillon then going close. A ball played down the line by her was met by Danni Cross who played the ball back to Dillon, only for her effort to fly wide of the target.
Good link up play between Kilner, Oatley & Dillon saw a subsequent attempt also go wide.
A North End free kick on the halfway line was headed goal bound, but the attempt was safely gathered by Steph Findlay in the Blackpool goal. Findlay was again called into action producing an excellent save at the feet of North End striker Jenny Coupe.
At the other end Dillon intercepted a poor defensive clearance, rounded the keeper but then saw her effort cleared off the line by the Preston centre-half.
Oatley then forced the keeper into an excellent save, although she could do nothing about a subsequent effort on the half-hour, which was finished proficiently.
Pool’s lead was however to be short lived; an attack down the Preston right found their speedy striker who produced the finish beyond Findlay, who despite getting a hand to the shot could not keep it out of the net.
North End then somehow managed to clear the ball in a goalmouth scramble with Findlay gathering a Preston attempt at the second time of asking as it bounced off the post and into her arms.
She was then alert to gather in front of the advancing Coupe with that being the final action of an end-to-end half.
The first chance of the second period fell to April Oldfield who had an attempt from distance, with Oatley then unlucky to see her effort from the rebound hit the post and go wide.
Emma Perrett then replaced the injured Cross with Pool soon getting their second goal of the game. Captain Sarah Jones played a perfect pass out wide to McGill, who was now playing in a more advanced position, and she made no mistake with her finish.
Again, the lead did not last for long with a North End corner somehow finding the back of the net direct from the dead ball.
Pool pressed for a goal to win the game with the home keeper doing well to gather in front of McGill and able to gather again as Oatley’s effort fell kindly to her off the crossbar.
With 15 minutes remaining she could do nothing however, about Kilner’s effort as she fired home emphatically in a crowded box.
Pool searched for a further goal but North End still looked for an equaliser with a dangerous cross from the by line going across the box but fortunately for Pool it evaded everyone.
Blackpool managed to see out the remaining minutes of the game and thus securing a well-earned three points.
Team: Findlay, Whittaker, Banner, Jones (Capt), McGill, Kilner, Gill, Oldfield, Dillon, Oatley, Cross.
Subs: Perrett, Lambshead & Latham.
Manager Dave Kelly:
"I am very pleased with the performance today. The players have worked really hard on the fine detail of their performance in training and it was great to see that in today's performance.
"We created a number of chances, two off the line, hit the post and the bar. On another day we could have made the score line even more convincing. I'm delighted with Sian Dillon and Claire Kilner, they have worked so hard recently and that showed in today's performance."