Ladies Suffer Sheffield Setback

Meg Bowyer & Kelsey Richardson

STOKE CITY LADIES slipped to a second consecutive defeat at Sheffield on Sunday despite having a number of chances in a 2-0 loss. 

Head Coach Tim Dudding was able to recall captain Meg Bowyer, Ashleigh Hayes, Hannah Keryakoplis and Kelsey Richardson to the starting line-up that lost at Nottingham Forest in midweek but the hosts had the first sight of goal when Ellie White tested Stacey Wright’s handling in the opening seconds. 

After an end-to-end opening 10 minutes, the Potters controlled the majority of the first half and were denied the lead when former Stoke City RTC goalkeeper Elizabeth Hobson raced off her line to brilliantly deny Hayes.

Hobson then made a smart stop from Keryakoplis before Beth Roberts ran down the left wing but the wing back could only fire off target.

The Potters came close to breaking the deadlock in the first minute of the second half when Ella Pemberton created space before crashing a shot against Hobson’s crossbar, whilst Holly Housley and Lisa Giampalma spurned good opportunities for the hosts. 

Roberts was getting some joy on the left wing and when her dangerous cross was only cleared back into her path it looked like Stoke would score, but the teenager’s shot was blocked on the line.

Stacey Wright was forced into an impressive double save in a pulsating fixture, but there was nothing she could do to prevent Sheffield taking the lead 20 minutes from time. Giampalma won the ball and squared it to substitute Ellie Hawcroft who expertly fired past Wright to net her first senior goal.

City were shaken and the game was all but over as a contest just three minutes later when the hosts capitalised on a wayward pass and Giampalma clinically put Sheffield two goals ahead.

The inspirational Hobson was determined to keep a clean sheet and she made four brilliant saves to deny the Potters a lifeline in the final exchanges at The Coach and Horses Stadium as Stoke fell to their second defeat of the campaign.

The Ladies return to home action next weekend when they take on Norton & Stockton Ancients in the FA Women’s National League Cup.

Stoke City: Wright, Hudson (Hughes 81), Roberts, Hyde, Bowyer, Owen, Pemberton (Chipman 70), Richardson, Tezgel, Keryakoplis, Hayes (Kivel 89). Unused: Bolton, Wellings.

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