A dramatic showdown on Sunday saw Pilkington Women lose 3-4 at home, with a goal in the 80th minute from Laura Holmes securing three points for the Birkenhead team.
The first half was mainly dominated by the Pilks with Carla Landers smashing it into the bottom right in the first five minutes. She quickly followed only ten minutes later by heading it into the net, thanks to Nic Franey’s cross into the box. The girls in green were running away with the lead after only 15 minutes – making the score 2-0.
In the 40th minute, Wirral Phoenix caught the opposition keeper out of the box. Despite being chased down by green shirts, Nadia Molinari kept her composure and took the score to 2-1.
The action continued in added time when Franey made it 3-1 by smashing it into the bottom left corner, with help from Lia Pierce’s distribution from goal.
At the start of the second half, it was clear that Phoenix were fighting back to get the win. A handball in the penalty box worked in their favour as they were awarded a penalty. It was an easy finish by Laura Holmes to take make it 3-2.
Unlike the first half, supporters were beginning to see a different side to the Birkenhead team. They had another opportunity with a rare indirect free kick after an illegal back pass but every Pilkington player lined up in goal and successfully defended their narrow lead.
In the 75th minute, Becky Tebb finally equalised. The game was anyone’s to win, unlike the domination in the first half.
With only 10 minutes left, Laura Holmes took it home for the fans as a cross into the box landed nicely for her. She coolly thumped it in to make it 3-4 for her side.
It was well fought between the two, but it was Wirral Phoenix in the end who got the win and continued their unbeaten run. Pilkington however, will have to continue the search for their first home win of the season.
Pilks Head Coach, Debs Dilworth was disappointed and felt they deserved at least a point. She said: “We had a stunning first half, we controlled the game.”
Speaking of what led to the downfall, she said: “I think that we stopped passing. We stopped playing the game that I like us to play which is a possession-based game and that causes an issue. Then we dropped in our concentration.”
Debs said that the team will be looking to work on fitness levels and passing work ahead of their game against Tranmere Rovers (Cheshire) on the 31st at Shaftesbury Youth Club.
By Amy Forsythe and Hana Basir