Pride Park 5-1 Underwood Villa
by ‘Doug Outt’ (2/2/23)
Above: Summer Evans (blue) who hit a hat-trick for Pride Park in their 5-1 win, pictured in a previous match. Photo: Shaun Hardwick.
Pride Park started a run of three home Derbyshire Ladies League Division One (tier seven) fixtures looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance and result in their Cup game two weeks ago by hosting Underwood Villa. The vistors had come out on top in the reverse fixture at Bracken Park in October, winning by the odd goal in seven.
Pride started well; Summer Evans had already had one attempt on goal when she opened the scoring to finish off a well-constructed move. Sophie Ayton won the ball in the centre of the pitch and her pass to Sophie Robinson was laid off to Steph Eadon for a one-touch pass off into the path of Tash Allderidge in the right channel. As the goalkeeper came out Tash slipped the ball past her for a simple finish for Summer Evans in the centre after eight minutes.
Pride maintained the pressure and had tested the visitors’ goalkeeper a few times before the second goal came after another fluid move, starting on the left and involving eight quick passes ending with Tash Allderidge steering past the keeper after 17 minutes.
The home side had been in control but out of nowhere, Villa pulled a goal back after 25 minutes – their first opportunity – and it was created by Pride playing out from the back but playing into pressure, allowing Villa to win the ball high up, and a good finish from outside the area reduced Pride’s lead.
The goal, or perhaps the manner of conceding, knocked Pride out of their stride and gave Villa encouragement. The visitors mounted a couple more attacks with shots on goal but it remained 2-1 at the break.
Pride resumed after half-time as they had started the game and extended their lead three minutes after the restart after Steph Eadon cut back from the byeline for Summer Evans to finish from close range.
There was no let up as Summer Evans and Steph Eadon each had several attempts on goal, including a couple each during a melee just before the hour in which the Villa keeper and defenders did well to block shots but left everyone all wondering how Pride didn’t score – before determined play down the left flank by Ella Kew created time for Eliot Sayavong to cross for Summer Evans to control the ball and swivel to lash an unstoppable shot past the keeper for her hat-trick after 66 minutes.
Pride completed the scoring after 77 minutes when Steph Eadon, after threatening to score several times, deservedly got on the scoresheet. Regaining possession in midfield, the ball was switched wide to Otty Baker – her pass infield to Summer Evans was played into the path of Steph Eadon and although the keeper got a hand to Steph’s shot, she couldn’t keep it out.
There was almost a sixth for Pride from a corner with ten minutes to play, but Summer Evans’ header was cleared off the line. Otty Baker also had an audacious attempt to lob the keeper with a first-time shot from a clearance as full time approached, and with two minutes to play Villa had their only shot on goal of the second half, as Pride bounced back from a disappointing game two weeks ago with a resounding win.
It was an improved performance all round by Pride Park with the ball, and significantly better without it, apart from a drop-off in the last twenty minutes of the first half. Steph Eadon, eased back in after hamstring injury, and Summer Evans are developing a good partnership, and there were strong performances from youngsters Sophie Roberts and Ella Kew. Pride’s next opponent is Stanton Ilkeston, next Sunday (12th) at Moorways, kick off 1.30pm.
Match highlights are now live at https://www.prideparkfc.com/videos/highlights–pride-park-v-underwood-villa-20230129-186668.html and there’s a great selection of photos taken during the game by Shaun Hardwick in the gallery at https://www.prideparkfc.com/photos/underwood-villa-20230129-1048057.html