LADIES FOOTBALL: Gallagher grabs three as Star beat Brummies

Vicky Gallagher hit a hat-trick for Northern Star.
Vicky Gallagher hit a hat-trick for Northern Star.

Peterborough Northern Star brushed aside Birmingham and West Midlands 4-1 yesterday (November 1) in the FA Women’s Premier League at Chestnue Avenue.

The match started at a high tempo and Star could have taken the lead inside two minutes but Cassie Steward grazed the outside of the post.

But Star didn’t have to wait long for an opener as Vicky Gallagher slid in at the back post to help Cassie Steward’s shot over the line on 10 minutes.

Star doubled their lead in the 26th minute as Abbey Young bravely headed home from a deep Samara Iredale free-kick past an oncoming Danielle Petrovic in the Birmingham goal.

Gallagher notched her second and Star’s third just after the hour mark as she cut in from the right-hand side and fired her effort across goal and into the far corner.

Birmingham got one back as Natalie Courtney broke the offside trap for the first time in the match and lobbed the ball over stand-in goalkeeper Jess Farchica, who was excellent throughout.

The visitors were clearly frustrated with their performance, especially Courtney, who was judged to be offside a whopping ten times, and that showed as they picked up four yellow cards and one red in the closing moments of the game.

However, there was still time for Gallagher to bag the match ball as she skinned three defenders, left them for dead and put the ball into the net to complete her hat-trick.

Star played very well and limited the visitors to very few chances as they extended their unbeaten run to four games.

And in those four games they’ve conceded just two goals compared to 16 in the three previous games.

Star boss boss Steve Iredale said: “I did have my worries going into this game as we were without a recognised keeper. But Jess Farchica stepped in to take the gloves and did a great job.

“The team performance today was exceptional. As a team we’re having to realise that going gung-ho at this level can really hurt you sometimes and today the players, in particular Stef Pepper, Chanade Henderson and Leah Barnes, did the jobs that we asked of them.

“We protected Jess in goal, restricting Birmingham to only three shots on target in the whole game, and this gave the forwards the base to hurt Birmingham on the counter attack- which we obviously did.”

This Sunday (November 8), Star are at home again in the FA Cup against Hemel Hempstead Town (1pm kick off).