Ladies football - Star draw with big title rivals

Vicky Gallagher had a good shout for a penalty turned down.
Vicky Gallagher had a good shout for a penalty turned down.
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Peterborough Northern Star Ladies remain in the hunt for the East Midlands Women’s League Premier Division title after drawing at main championship challengers Nettleham yesterday (April 12).

After suffering a shock 1-0 defeat to Ellistown the previous weekend, Star could have ideally done with a win over their biggest rivals. But boss Steve Iredale believes the season could still end on a positive note after yesterday’s 1-1 draw.

He said: “I’ve told the team to simply relax and make sure they win their last two games of the season, which I’m convinced could still end positively.

“The bottom line is that as long as we win our last two games of the season, which are both at home, then Nettleham will have to take at least 10 points from their remaining four games and with three of those games being away then that’s not a given.

“While obviously we wanted to win yesterday, it was just as important not to lose as that would have really handed the advantage to Nettleham.

“I was proud of the way we stuck to our task in awful conditions.”

With gale force winds making any sort of passing football near impossible, Star won the toss and elected to play into the cross-field wind for the first 45 minutes.

As expected the ball spent most of the time off the pitch and the home team enjoyed 80 per cent of possession without creating any clear-cut chances until three minutes before half-time when a hopeful and wind-assisted cross into the area was poked home by a Nettleham forward.

Iredale added: “It was disappointing to come into half-time conceding so close to the break but to be fair the players didn’t let it affect them and wanted to get straight back out onto the pitch to take their advantage of the wind.”

And that proved to be the case with Star camping in the opposition top third of the pitch for almost the entire 45 minutes.

Eventually they got their reward when Rachel Adkins equalised after 75 minutes.

And apart from one chance for the home team, it was one-way traffic as the visitors pressed for the winner.

Star had a penalty shout turned down in the last five minutes when Vicky Gallagher was taken out in the box and Samara Iredale saw a wind-assisted 40-yard free-kick whistle past the post. But the final score remained at 1-1 with the wind being the only real winner on the day.