NWLA – Big victories for Oxton and Mellor

Mellor 9 – 3 Heaton Mersey
The pitch was almost frozen but the teams were keen to play due to so many previous games being cancelled. Because of the hard ground, it was almost like playing on Astro; the tempo of the game was quick and it took a while to master the ground balls. Mellor started the game with a long possession and settled play around the goal and it was difficult to get through Mersey’s solid, zone defence. After the first goal scored by Mellor’s Paisley Knox, Mersey were back in it from the draw with a fast break and a goal. Mellor’s Katie Spence scored a fantastic goal from a free position. Mersey quickly retaliated and scored 2 goals in the next 2 minutes giving them the lead. Mersey held the lead for a short period of play, playing some absolutely superb defence not letting Mellor anywhere near the net. Mellor then maintained possession and scored another 3 goals before ending the half 4 – 2 to Mellor. Mersey came back out fighting strong – determined not to let Mellor win, they started the second half the same way they started the match, holding off the Mellor attack. Mellor took the ball out wide and focused on movement which got them a few cuts and goals from feeds behind. Hayley Bowker had a great game in the Mellor midfield converting the fast breaks into goals. Mellor’s Christie Mearns gave an outstanding performance, saving two shots from Mersey which were open goals whilst running back to reposition, she was Mellor’s MVP. The score line didn’t reflect the level of play from Mersey who had a great performance. Mersey’s MVP was Vic Raymer and their top goal scorer was Charlotte Raymer. Paisley and Hayley were top goal scorers from Mellor with 2 each.

Stockport 31 – 0 Stoke 
Despite weather conditions, Stoke managed to get to Stockport for their match up. Stockport were accommodating to the newly-formed Stoke side by agreeing to play 10-a-side due to Stoke losing a few players on the morning of the game. Conditions were freezing but Stockport found their momentum early on and were able to score easily against a disorganised Stoke defence. Stockport have struggled in the league this year but this game gave them the opportunity build on their movement in attack, showing some lovely skill and teamwork around the goal. The game was stopped 5 minutes early as it started to snow. Despite the large goal difference, Stockport showed great sportsmanship; offering to field less players and helping to develop newly qualified Stoke umpires was really appreciated by Stoke. MVP for Stoke was Gabby Wroe for her excellent effort in defence.

Oxton 15 – 9 Timperley
Timperley travelled to Oxton, both teams happy to be playing despite the frozen temperatures in other areas of the region. The game started fiercely, with Timperley getting on the scoresheet first. Their momentum continued and Timperley were able to make some great turnovers in defence leading to fast breaks and goals in attack from Nicola Swallow and Fab Johnson. Within the first quarter Timperley were 4-0 up. However, Oxton soon started to up their game and responded with some great goals from Sophie Brett and Liv Wimpenny. The midfield was highly contested with ground balls sometimes taking minutes to secure! Oxton worked well around their attack to find gaps in the Timperley defence. Emily Kealey was on top form and her feeds to other attackers led to a number of well-worked goals. The score at half time was 8-5 to Oxton. It was all still to play for in the second half. Timperley’s attack became a little more desperate as their shot started missing the target. The ground was getting softer and softer as the game went on and midfielders at both ends struggled to get back and redefend resulting in more fast breaks. Oxton’s shots were almost unstoppable, and they started to expand their lead quite quickly. Steph Hallows has a great game in Timperley’s midfield, both her and teammate Emma Economou fought hard on the draw but were unable to convert enough goals in the second half. Timperley awarded Sophie Brett as Oxton’s MVP for her phenomenal finishing. Timperley’s top goal scorer was Nicola Swallow with 4, and a special mention to Fab Johnson on her first goal of the season.