Peterborough Northern Star Ladies bounced back from their county cup final shock to beat Sandiacre 2-0 at the Mick George Arena yesterday (March 29).
In a game played in all sorts of weather conditions – gale-force winds, heavy rain, hailstorms and sunshine - the city team returned to winning ways to maintain their push for the East Midlands League title.
Playing with the wind and rain behind them in the first half, Star pinned Sandiacre in their own half. But they were guilty of over-elaborating in the 18-yard box and several chances went begging.
Full-back Larissa Fredericks made several bursting runs down the left flank and delivered plenty of crosses that just needed a touch to send them into the back of the net. But it never happened and it was 0-0 at the break.
The second half kicked off in slightly calmer conditions and Star continued to apply most of the pressure.
Eventually captain Jodie Bartle broke the deadlock, driving home into the corner of the net from just outside the box after 50 minutes.
Substitute Lorna Hart doubled the lead with a shot from a tight angle five minutes later. That really made the game safe as the visitors showed no real inclination to try to claw their way back into the game but were happy to keep the scoreline down.
The victory took Star back to the top of the East Midlands League on a day that saw title rivals Eastwood Ladies go down 2-0 at Grimsby.
The title race now looks to be a straight two-horse race between Star and Nettleham Ladies and the two teams meet on April 12.
Afterwards Star boss Steve Iredale said: “Although the scoreline only says 2-0 it was a lot more comprehensive than that. After last week’s disappointment it was important to get back into winning ways very quickly and to be fair it was clear as soon as the ladies got into the dressing room before the game that the attitude would be spot on for the game.
“The weather made it difficult to play any real football but the result was really all that mattered. Three more points and five more cup finals to negotiate.”