Pride Park 5-3 Wirksworth Colts
By Louise Golby
Above: Tash Allderidge tussles with Wirksworth’s Sarah Stimpson in a previous encounter between the two sides. Photo: Shaun Hardwick
A hat trick for Summer Evans and goals for Allderidge and Lewis-Wilson gave Pride Park a 5-3 win over Wirksworth Colts.
With several players missing some changes had to be made to the starting lineup, but the team looked raring to go as they returned to a very cold Moorways Stadium for the second home game of the season.
Both teams made a good start. Enjoying possession all over the pitch Pride Park took a little longer to settle into the game but ultimately got the first real chance to score. The corner was swung in but the oncoming Bleu Lewis-Wilson couldn’t connect and it gave Wirksworth a chance to gather themselves.
The visitors were able to capitalise and broke down to the other end of the pitch. Georgia Williams beat her defender and picked up the ball in space before slotting it into the back of the net to take the lead.
However, Pride Park didn’t let that faze them and they equalised just four minutes later. A stunning free-kick from captain Tash Allderidge flew straight into the back of the net and with 20 minutes played the game was level. This was a milestone goal for Allderidge as it was her 50th for the team.
Just after half an hour Pride Park made a couple of early substitutions as a way of managing minutes for players who are returning from injuries. Jess Page and Hannah Kwiatek were replaced by Otty Baker and Izzy Wilsoncroft.
For the last 10 minutes of the half Wirksworth created a number of good chances that challenged the Pride Park defence. A shot from outside of the box cannoned off the crossbar but was well collected by keeper Jade Howell as they made a number of last-ditch attempts to be ahead at the break.
The home side looked in control as the second half began, controlling the ball and creating several chances before going ahead after 10 minutes. After going close earlier in the match Lewis-Wilson picked up a through ball in the box to tuck the ball into the net.
Wirksworth kept going close, but thanks to a save from the bottom of the post they were unable to score and it was Pride Park who added a third. In her first of the afternoon Evans used her knee to push the ball into the net after a good run and cross by Baker. An unconventional but effective technique that extended her teams lead.
After what could be described as ‘pin-ball’ football, the game kicked up a gear in the final 15 minutes, with four goals before the whistle.
Wirksworth clawed one back through Williams before Pride Park broke down the other end and after slick build up and combination play between Lewis-Wilson, Baker and Laight, an Evans header dipped over the keeper and into the net.
Just before 90 minutes Evans got her third of the game. She danced around her defenders to put the ball past the Wirksworth keeper and seal the win for the home side.
In some last minute dramatics Wirksworth pulled one back deep in injury time, as Williams stooped low to divert a cross past Howell to complete her hat-trick but their efforts weren’t enough to take anything from the game.
Pride Park return to league action next Sunday when they travel to Belper Town (1:30pm).