Stanton Ilkeston 0-5 Pride Park
by ‘Doug Outt’ (9/11/22)
Above: Beth Jones celebrating a goal for Pride Park in a previous match. Photo: Shaun Hardwick.
Pride Park returned to Derbyshire Ladies League action on Sunday with a trip to Stanton Ilkeston. Just as the game was getting underway, heavy rain started and the pitch was soon both slick on the surface and heavy underfoot.
Despite the conditions Pride made a strong start, with Eliot Sayavong testing the home keeper, before – twice in quick succession – the Ilkeston shotstopper could only parry Beth Jones’ shots into the path of Summer Evans who converted from close range – but both times Evans had strayed just offside. Nevertheless, it seemed like a goal was coming and it was duly delivered by Tash Allderidge, the skipper scoring direct from a free-kick from the edge of the area with 16 minutes played.
Pride continued to dominate and the only puzzle is how they didn’t add to the score, particularly just after twenty minutes as Jones was through one-on-one on with the keeper who blocked the defender-cum-striker’s effort, the ball fell to Hannah Kwiatek – her shot was blocked on the line, then Evans picked up the rebound, rounded the keeper, but saw her shot cleared off the line.
Exquisite through balls by Annie Laight and Kwiatek put Jones and Evans respectively through, but the keeper held Jones’ shot and tipped Evans’ effort round the post. The Pride continued to pepper the Stanton goal with shots, with Kwiatek and Evans drawing saves out of the keeper, and as the first half ended Jones lifted a shot over the Stanton number one only to see it come back off the crossbar.
The first half had been dominated by Pride, only to be denied by Stanton’s keeper who was in outstanding form – but Pride picked up where they left off and only three minutes into the second half the home custodian could do nothing about Jones’ cannon of a shot from outside the area to make it 2-0.
Five minutes later Allderidge added a third from the spot after Ella Kew had been brought down, and Jones added a fourth as the hour came up, through one-on-one and slotted the ball wide of the keeper, before completing her hat-trick (her second in successive games) after being played in by a superb pass by Rachel Weaver.
Jones could have had another hat-trick in the second half, prodding one chance just wide, denied at point-blank range by another superb save by the keeper after good work down the left by Kew who shot just wide after being put through by Sayavong.
Pride will be pleased to get a first clean sheet of the season, which had appeared momentarily under threat a couple of times – a moment of indecisiveness at the back giving Stanton a shooting opportunity but it was put wide, and another strike from close range hit wide of the goal, but otherwise, the defence wasn’t troubled, although Stanton battled to the end. Overall, it was a commanding performance that was good to watch and a well-deserved three points.
Pride return to Cup action next week, with the First Round of the Derbyshire Challenge Cup against Amber Valley at Moorways (1.30pm).