Peterborough Northern Star Ladies battled to a convincing Northants County Cup win on a gluepot of a pitch yesterday (January 18).
They travlled to play lower level opponents Thrapston Town Ladies and made smooth progress into the semi-finals with an emphatic 5-0 win.
Playing on a really muddy pitch that had been churned up badly in the central third by an earlier game, Star found it difficult to produce their normal short passing game as either the ball or the player seemed to get stuck in the mud.
The home team defended resolutely as well and kept Star at bay for quarter-of-an-hour. But the defence was breached after 16 minutes when Vicky Gallagher was given enough time on the edge of the box to be able to chip the keeper into the top corner of the net.
Ten minutes later a well worked free-kick on the edge of the box, with the referee unintentionally playing a decisive part, allowed Sofia Aragosa to power the ball into the back of the net from 25 yards.
Some excellent saves by the Thrapston goalkeeper stopped Star increasing their lead and it was 2-0 at half-time.
Just before half-time Star were forced to make a change when keeper Aoife Bromley pulled her hamstring making a simple clearance. Luckily for Star, this was one of the few occasions former keeper Sarah Hudson had been available. She was actually playing left-back at the time and a quick switch was made.
In the second half Star suffered another injury setback when Gallagher was carried off the pitch with suspected ankle ligament damage.
Star were down to a basic 11 fit players but it didn’t stop them adding three more goals.
Full-back Larissa Fredericks capped a memorable day by scoring her first ever goal in senior football after making a 60-yard run to finish off after being set up by Donna Nicholls.
Sophie Hurst and Nicholls added further goals to make it a comfortable 5-0 win for the city team who now move into the semi-finals of the competition they last won in 2013.
Star boss Steve Iredale said: “Although we play two leagues higher than Thrapston the pitch was a great leveller. The county cup is a competition we take seriously so we’re pleased to move into the semi-finals.”