Captain Robyn Gribble led from the front as City of Peterborough Ladies closed in on top spot in East Premier Division yesterday (January 20).
Gribble grabbed a hat-trick as City won 4-0 at lowly Maidstone to move to within two points of leaders Ipswich, who they host at Bretton Gate next Saturday (January 27). Anna Faux also scored at Maidstone while goalkeeper Holly Riches saved a penalty when the home side were just a goal behind.
City started the stronger of the two teams and gained control of the game early. However, Maidstone were quick on the counter-attack and City had to defend some early short corners.
There were a lot of attacks from both teams, but the stalemate continued with neither team able to convert their chances. City always looked like they were going to score however, and great play from Anna Faux who drove the baseline and beat the keeper on their near post with the aid of a deflection, saw City go 1-0 up.
Maidstone continued to pressurise City and they were required to defend another wave of penalty corners. A penalty stroke was awarded to Maidstone, but was expertly saved by player-of-the-match, Riches.
City started the second half with more intensity, knowing that there were plenty of goals left to score. The next goal came from a clearance from Kate Dixon and a sprint across the pitch by Gribble who beat a defender to the ball and struck home from the top of the ‘D’ to make it 2-0.
City continued to up their intensity and the difference in fitness between the two teams started to show. Jeorgia Carr made a run down the pitch and flicked the ball to Gribble who deflected the ball past the keeper to make the score 3-0.
The final goal came from a run down the wing by Ellie Bolsover, who slipped the ball to Tierney Augustine, who delivered a cross for Carr, but the ball then fell to Gribble who finished off her hat-trick.
Despite the scoreline, Maidstone continued to pressurise City on the counter-attack and they had a penalty corner disallowed. City also had to cope with being a player down due to Dixon receiving a yellow card towards the end of the game.