Ladies football - Star crush league leaders in cup quarter-final

Donna Nicholls scored twice for Star.
Donna Nicholls scored twice for Star.
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Peterborough Northern Star Ladies cruised into the semi-finals of the East Midlands League Cup yesterday (February 8) with an emphatic 4-0 away win at Eastwood Ladies.

A close game was expected seeing as Eastwood top the league table with Star a close second, but Star controlled the game from start to finish.

From the opening whistle Star virtually camped in the home team’s half with the midfield trio of Sofia Aragosa, Vicky Gallagher and Abby Young either creating numerous chances for their forwards or breaking up anything the opposition tried to create in response.

Star should have opened the scoring after just five minutes when a shot from winger Donna Nicholls was parried by the goalkeeper and then rolled along the line before being cleared to safety by a home defender.

Further chances came and went before Gallagher opened the scoring after 20 minutes finishing off a slick passing move.

The half-time score of 1-0 did not reflect the city side’s dominance with keeper Aoife Bromley not called on to make a single save in the first 45 minutes.

The expected onslaught by the home team for the second half didn’t materialise and Nicholls put Star firmly in control with a second goal after 60 minutes and Sam Iredale really put paid to any chance of a recovery with a third after 70 minutes.

Nicholls then finished off the game with her second and the team’s fourth after 85 minutes to complete a perfect day for the city team who now move into the semi-final draw.

Star boss Steve Iredale was suitably impressed by his team’s performance and by the commitment they showed in getting the result.

He said: “From the moment we met up in the morning to travel to Eastwood there was a determination about the players to get the result. We had ‘match heads’ on from the outset.

“Something just told me that there was no way we were going to lose and that became clear after just a few minutes play. Even though the pitch was a total muddy mess, nobody moaned. They just got on with the job in hand.

“I think it was our best team performance since beating Daventry in the county cup final nearly two years ago.

“However, in the big picture it’s just a quarter-final win and it means nothing if we don’t win the next game. However, if the players continue to commit and give the same effort then there’s every chance that this will be a successful season.”