Salford City Lionesses made it three wins from three in the GMWFL Division 1 after a 7-0 win over Sale Ladies.
It was a perfect start to a brisk autumn afternoon in Partington as Chelsea Wharton opened the scoring after two minutes. A foul on the edge of the area resulted in a free kick being awarded, and up stepped Wharton to lash her second goal in two into the roof of the net.
Just a minute later Salford won possession back from the kick off and Beth Tattersall broke away down the right-hand side before crossing the ball to the back post where Phoebe Duckworth was arriving. Her initial header looked to be heading wide before a deflection off a defender took the ball goalwards, but Charlotte Haywood moved down to her right to keep the ball out.
It wouldn’t be the first time Haywood would make a good save in the 90, but for now and in the eighth minute she could only watch as Tattersall flashed a shot across the face of goal. In the 11th minute, Sale hadn’t learned their lesson as Lauren Taylor took out Fliss Winters and Salford were awarded another free kick at the top of the area, but this time Haywood made a remarkable diving save and Sale cleared the danger.
Wharton nearly turned creator a minute later as she played a ball over the top which dropped nicely for Duckworth, but as she lined up to shoot Chloe Starlins slid in with a well timed challenge to take the ball clear. Salford came forward again and Laura Tobin was denied by Haywood before putting the follow-up wide.
The hosts continued to press, but were thwarted by a well organised Sale defence time and again until the 28th minute when Tattersall scored. The captain didn’t give up putting the pressure on Sale as they tried to clear a ball into the area, and it bounced invitingly for Tattersall to loop a header over Haywood.
Three minutes later she made it 3-0 as she tucked away a shot from a tight angle after breaking through down the left.
Haywood was kept busy and with 10 minutes to go in the first half she produced a wonderful double save to deny Annabel Ainscough and then Tobin, before Ainscough was again denied at the near post.
The visitors did manage a half chance before the break as Ellen Thornton was caught in possession by Cat Thompson in the 43rd minute. The striker looked up and tried her luck from 30 yards but Stacy Partridge pushed the ball away to safety.
Half Time: Salford City Lionesses 3-0 Sale Ladies
Like in the first, the Lionesses made a brisk start to the second half and within 30 seconds the game was kicking off again after Abby Bennett scored her first home goal of the campaign, finishing off a sweeping move forward and Tattersall’s ball in from the right-hand side.
She then returned the favour for Tattersall, on for a hat-trick, as she threaded a lovely through-ball into the area for the captain, but Haywood was out quickly to throw herself at Tattersall’s feet to claim the ball and set Sale on the break. Thompson drove forward with possession and hit a shot which Jess Duke saved comfortably.
10 minutes into the second half Emma Cann scooped a ball over the top which Bennett – making a quick start to the second period – latched onto. Her initial shot was saved by Haywood, but the ball ricocheted back down to Bennett who took it wide and converted from a narrow angle.
A harmful five minutes ended in Salford leading 7-0, firstly Ainscough bagged her first Lionesses goal as Salford broke forward from a Sale corner and she struck a sweet shot from the top of the area. Sale then fell to bits from the restart as Salford regained possession and Duckworth broke down the middle before hitting a rasping shot from the top of the area that left Haywood with no chance of reaching.
Tattersall had another hat-trick chance in the 64th minute, but was denied by Haywood before Jade Boulton hit a shot wide from the resulting corner. The Sale keeper was kept busy as Cann had a shot in her stride saved by the keeper, and with 10 minutes left she hit a volley wide. The final chance fell for Tobin who hit a shot from distance with Haywood off her line, but Sale’s keeper recovered and that was that for the afternoon.
The sides meet again in the next round of the League Challenge Cup in a few weeks.