Late Winner By Star Takes The Points
A goal in the 88th minute saw Acle United Women suffer their second league defeat of the season at Peterborough Northern Star.
The early stages of the game saw Acle push forward pressing Peterborough back into their own half. Birchall had a shot saved, before Kindred saw her effort collected by the home keeper from a Birchall cross.
At the other end, Mungham-Gray conceded a corner which Bell in the Acle goal tipped around the post before the next corner was comfortably cleared by Pasque.
The home keeper was by far the busiest of the two keepers and Todd receiving the ball from Birchall saw her shot tipped over the bar and from the corner a shot was deflected for another corner, which landed on top of the goal.
All of Acle’s early pressure finally paid off in the 11th minute. Mugham-Gray cut out a long ball, and found Birchall, who beat her marker and cut inside and glided the ball wide of the keeper to give Acle a 1-0 lead.
The visitors almost doubled their lead 5 minutes later. Larkins starting and finishing a move down the right-hand side which saw the keeper conceded a corner. At the other end, a quick long ball by the hosts on to the right flank caught out Acle defence, but the resultant cross went behind the goal.
Slowly the hosts came more into the game, although it was against the run of play which saw them equalise. The attacker out-pacing her marker and beating Bell at the near post with a shot into the roof of the net. However, within 5 minutes, Acle had regained the lead, with the home side penalised for handball in the penalty area. Birchall duly stepped up to convert the spot-kick and complete her brace.
The visitors made two substitutions, with Flatt and Cooper replacing Kindred and Mungham-Gray and were forced to make a third shortly afterwards with Larkins going down after a challenge to be replaced by Goodfield.
An attack down the left by Birchall saw the Acle player brought down on the wide left and the free-kick into the area saw Parker’s shot blocked before being cleared, before Cooper defending at the other end put in a fine covering tackle to snuff out a good chance for the hosts, but it was the visitors who went into the break with a narrow 2-1 lead.
Within 30 seconds of the restart, Acle had doubled their lead. Brister’s shot was tipped around the post and from the corner, Todd’s shot hit the post, rebounding to Pasque who converted past the keeper. However, straight from the restart, Peterborough reduced the deficit, with a carbon-copy of their first goal, with Acle now holding a 3-2 lead.
As the half progressed, there were few chances created by either side as play was condensed into the midfield, until midway through the half, the hosts were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out, which crashed against the woodwork before going out for a goal-kick. Acle were awarded a similar free-kick shortly afterwards but the shot sailed over the bar.
Birchall almost completed her hat-trick with 13 minutes remaining but her shot across the face of the goal grazed the far post before a free-kick into the area saw Todd’s volley saved by the keeper.
The hosts pushed forward in the latter stages looking for an equaliser and were awarded a free-kick in-line with the centre of the goal for an innocuous challenge in the air by Acle. From the set piece Bell in the Acle goal was beaten to level the scores.
With 2 minutes remaining, Acle were dealt a sucker punch when a rebound from Bell fell into the path of the Peterborough striker to score into an empty net and secure all three points for the hosts.
Acle United Women: A Bell, A Larkins, O Mungham-Gray, B Scully, G Parker, K Pasque, L Bullard, M Todd, R Brister, K Kindred, G Birchall. Subs used: C Flatt, A Rowland, L Goodfield, N Cooper.