Peterborough Northern Star Ladies ensured the East Midlands League Premier Division title race will go down to the wire after a 2-0 win against Grimsby on Sunday (April 19).
Although the city side need title rivals Nettleham to lose one of their three remaining games, Star boss Steve Iredale is still confident that as long as his team win their final league game this coming Sunday, then good news will prevail for his team.
He said: “If we win our last game of the season then we’ll have a superior goal difference to Nettleham meaning they’ll need to take seven points from their last three games – two of which are tough away games. So it’s not as straightforward as it may look.”
Playing on the 3G surface at The Grange, Star were never in any real danger of losing to Grimsby team that came to frustrate and deny any real goalscoring opportunities.
However, despite the visitors playing with a packed defence, it didn’t stop Star creating several good goalscoring chances that were missed by the forwards. Indeed it took skipper and full-back Jodie Bartle to show the way to the net when she opened the scoring after 25 minutes.
The domination enjoyed by Star can be reflected in the fact that keeper Aoife Bromley did not actually touch the ball once in the first 45 minutes but all Star had to show for their domination at half-time was Bartle’s solitary strike.
Iredale said: “On paper it should have been an easy win considering we beat Grimsby 6-0 on their pitch but with the title at stake then nerves will creep in and I think one or two players were guilty of rushing chances in the first half. Chances that they were putting away for fun in training were being missed when it looked easier to actually score.
“However, a few stern words were said by senior players at half-time – reminding players that this frivolous approach cost us the three points against Ellistown and the message sank in. In the second half the passing and shooting was better and we made the keeper actually work for her saves, Whereas in the first half we were missing the target altogether.”
Lorna Hart settled the nerves with a well placed 25-yard effort after 70 minutes.
However, it still needed a last-minute goal-line clearance from Larissa Fredericks to keep the scoreline to 2-0 after a rare break from the opposition.