Steel City Wanderers 5 The New Saints Ladies 6
Report by Andy Williams
A late winner and a second half Laura Morris hat-trick saw TNS show their own steel as their charge for the title was almost blunted Sunday by Steel City Wanderers in a remarkable game which saw goals traded aplenty.
It was Steel City who started the sharper and who struck first when on eight minutes they sliced open the TNS defence with a long forward ball that was lofted over the advancing Del Morgan. The warning signs had been there!
TNS gradually came back into the game and were awarded a penalty on 25 minutes when Emily Ridge was body checked chasing down a misplaced pass. Charlotte Canlett coolly converting the spot kick for 1-1.
This gave TNS renewed confidence so it was no surprise when the second goal came; an incisive move saw the ever impressive Laura Morris centre for Kim Bebbington to nod home from six yards. 1-2 TNS
But a spirited Steel City equalised just on half time following a defensive mix up in the TNS defence which saw the ball ricochet past the helpless Del Morgan.
Steel City started the second half with the same drive, going close early before a wonderful piece of individual skill from captain Charlotte Canlett saw her beat three defenders before out smarting the goalkeeper with a smart finish. 2-3 TNS
Almost immediately TNS extended their lead with Emily Ridge feeding Laura Morris for her first, a cool finish one v one. 2-4 TNS
The lead was extended by Morris on 64 minutes when she turned home her own rebounded effort for her second of the afternoon. 2-5 TNS
Steel City were not finished though, showing a spirited response they replied with a three goal repost in eight dizzying minutes which turned the game on it’s head. 5-5
However TNS showed spirit of their own and were the team to have the final word and capture the all important points. The game seemed to be heading for a draw after Emma Roden saw her sharp turn and finish smothered by the goalkeeper.
But it was Laura Mortis who completed her hat-trick smashing in off the bar after Canlett saw her effort come back off the post. 5-6 TNS, three points, and relief!
Andy Williams added his personal thoughts: The dressing room is a mix of emotion at the moment – pride, disappointment and relief. Pride in coming from behind to score six and win, disappointment in conceding so many avoidable goals, and relief in getting over the line in the end.
As we expected Steel City made it very difficult for us today, but ultimately we stood up to the test and got our just rewards. If I’m honest it was nervy towards the end, but our desire saw us through.”