Our women’s team continued their pre-season schedule with a trip to Hull University on Sunday, to face Pinefleet Wolvreton AFC who ply their trade in the East Riding Women’s Football League.
Having finished third in the league last season, scoring 108 goals, it was hoped that our opponents would present us with a difficult test, and Pinefleet didn’t fail to disappoint.
The home team quickly set the pace of the game, and it was evident from the start that they had some very capable footballers, retaining possession, moving the ball well, and asking questions of the Mariners.
But we soon grew into the game and it wasn’t long before we started to impose ourselves on proceedings, in an evenly contested first half. But nevertheless, a half in which the home team finished one-nil up, scoring from the penalty spot when Mariners goalkeeper Chelsea Brittle was judged to have fouled the forward.
The challenge for the Mariners was to become even more difficult after the break, when Pinefleet doubled their lead with a long-range effort.
In a test of our resolve, we reduced the arrears when full-back Olivia Kershaw scored from a well-struck free-kick from 20 yards, after Howlett had been brought down by the goalkeeper outside of the box. Shortly afterwards Katie Howlett levelled the score, and was also unfortunate not to put the team in the lead. Having latched onto a through ball from Saskia Rawbone, her effort went agonisingly wide and the game ended 2-2 which was a fair reflection of the contest.
After the game manager, Dale Houlston was delighted with the attitude of his players. He said: “I think the girls know they’ve well and truly been in a game today against terrific opponents. Coming in behind at half time, we spoke about this being an opportunity to go out and answer a few questions about ourselves.
"It’s at times like that, you find out a few things about the attitude of your players in difficult situations. When their second goal goes in, then you are really looking out there for a reaction. It’s fair to say that we got that positive reaction, and it’s very pleasing to see how they got themselves back into the game. Once again it’s interesting to see the strengths of leagues around us, and it’s been very useful in building a picture of where the level of our new team may or may not be”.
Next up for Dale’s team are AFC Preston Ladies on Sunday. The friendly game will be played at the Holderness Academy (2pm).