After two cup wins, Peterborough Northern Star returned to East Midlands Premier League action with a bang yesterday (February 22).
The city side travelled to Grimsby and ran out comprehensive 6-0 winners to keep their title hopes very much alive.
Having played on two muddy pitches the previous two weekends, Star were quite happy to play on a 3G pitch even though they had to brave swirling winds and driving rain.
The home team started off strongly with the wind behind them, belying their lowly league position and putting Star under pressure.
However, it was Star who struck first after 15 minutes. From their first real attack, midfielder Abbey Young arrived late into the box to finish off a threaded pass from Vicky Gallagher.
Five minutes later it became 2-0 when centre-half Samara Iredale reacted first to the Grimsby keeper punching the ball into the air from a corner and nodded into the unguarded net.
Sophie Hurst made it 3-0 after 30 minutes with a simple tap-in from a Jodie Bartle cross and Donna Nichols made it four before half-time after being supplied a finish by Bartle.
“The half-time team talk was made with the players huddled round the radiators in the changing room trying to thaw out,” said Star boss Steve Iredale.
“As I pointed out, looking on the bright side we at least had the wind and rain behind us in the 2nd half!”
Iredale made it 5-0 after 60 minutes with a close range volley that nearly took the defender who tried to block it into to the back of the net, again after a corner was not cleared, and after winger Bartle was upended in the box the centre-half was given the chance to complete her second hat-trick of the season with the penalty kick.
Iredale was full of praise for his team.
he said: “We were missing three regular starters today and we had four players who weren’t able to train during the week due to injury. Before the game I would have taken any win but to score six without reply is a bonus. Hopefully the injured players will be fit for this weekend’s game against Long Eaton. Every game now, whether it be a league or cup game, is shaping up to be important and we’ll need a squad of players to compete on all fronts.”