The New Saints Ladies clinched the West Midlands Regional Women’s League title with one game to spare as they overcame Wednesfield Town Ladies 6-0 at Amos Lane.
The Shropshire side knew going into the game that three points from their remaining two league fixtures would secure the league title and promotion to the FA Women’s Premier League. The first chance, for the Saints, came after just four minutes for the Saints.A cross from Laura Morris from the right hand side saw a miss hit shot to the back post by Emily Ridge before Charlotte Canlett was unable to get a clean connection on her attempt. The Saints then came close through Morris just after the ten minute mark. A weighted chipped through ball from Amy Tomei saw Morris’s half volleyed shot fire across the face of the Wednesfield goal. The visitors dominance would soon pay off and in the twentieth minute, Kate Huntbach won the ball back before the ball worked it’s way up the pitch, that saw Emily Ridge and Amy Tomei play a one two before Sam Berry played in Ridge, who managed to bounce the ball off the Wednesfield Goalkeeper before slotting the ball into the empty net. With eight minutes left of the half, a cross field ball from Sam Berry saw Charlotte Canlett fouled inside the penalty area. Captain Amy Tomei stepped up from the spot and fired into the net down the middle, doubling the Saints lead.
The Saints looked dangerous straight from the second half kick off. A cross from Emily Ridge was met by Charlotte Canlett at the back post who could only direct her shot straight at the goalkeeper. The Saints then had a goal disallowed four minutes later. A thirty yard strike from Laura Morris rattled the crossbar before Charlotte Canlett set up Emily Ridge who flicked the ball past the goalkeeper but was in an offside position. Two minutes later and another chance for the Saints, a cross from Amy Tomei was met by Sam Berry on the edge of the six yard box, as she shot a well timed sliding tackle stopped the shot from going goal wards and out for a corner. The league leaders then piled on the pressure. Emily Ridge fired a header straight at the goalkeeper, then a Ridge cross was cleared off before Sam Berry was able to get any contact on the ball. Ridge then came close again, Louisa Anderson and Maddie Jones combined on the left hand side again Ridge wasn’t able to get any contact on her shot. Jones herself then came close to scoring, after latching onto a through ball from Emily Ridge, Jones cut inside before firing her shot over the crossbar.
Despite the Saints frustration, from not being able to find the back of the net, with ten minutes to go a long through ball from Hannah Yates beat the defenders and Emily Ridge half volleyed the ball past the out rushing goalkeeper to add the Saints third goal. Two minute later and Ridge completed her hatrick, Katy Huntbach won the ball back before Hannah Yates and Michelle Pasco combined to play in Maddie Jones who rounded the goalkeeper before pulling the ball back for Ridge to slot into the empty net. Laura Morris then came close, again Michelle Pasco’s through ball beat the defence but Morris’s shot was ballooned over the crossbar, much to the delight of the Wednesfield players. With six minutes to go a corner from Maddie Jones was only half cleared to Michelle Pasco who’s shot was pushed away by the goalkeeper before the resulting play fell to Charlotte Canlett on the edge of the box. Her first time shot found it’s way into the bottom left hand corner of the net to see the Saints tally reach five for the afternoon. With less than three minutes to go Chloe Wilkinson won the ball at half way, Michelle Pasco found Charlotte Canlett, her cross then found Laura Morris who fired a shot across the face of the goal and into the side netting. Deep into injury time and Maddie Jones drove down the left hand side before cutting inside. The resulting shot rattled the crossbar and was cleared to safety. The final whistle saw jubilant scenes from the players and supporters who had made the journey to Amos Lane.
After the game manager Joe Thompson commented, “What a feeling, this for me is the best feeling you can have in football. I am so pleased for the Players, each and everyone of them have played their part in every game this season. They have worked so hard this season and to put in a performance like that today, it’s a real credit to them. I hope they enjoy the moment and we go again Wednesday in perpetration for the League Cup Final.
The Saints now face Lye Town Ladies next Sunday in the League Cup Final at Stone Dominoes FC, 3.30pm kick off.
|The New Saints Ladies Line Up|
|10||Sam Berry (Maddie Jones 68′)|
|5||Nicola Walford (Chloe Wilkinson 74′)|
|18||Amy Tomei © (1) (Michelle Pasco 80′)|
|7||Laura Morris (1)|
|9||Emily Ridge (3)|
|6||Charlotte Canlett (1)|
|3||Chloe Wilkinson (Nicola Walford 74′)|
|15||Michelle Pasco (Amy Tomei 80′)|
|25||Maddie Jones (Sam Berry 68′)|