Blooming great as Whitby beat leaders Roses

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Whitby ladies kept up their promotion chances with a 4-3 win over Durham Clubs League second division leaders Richmond Roses on Saturday.

Whitby created scoring opportunities early in the match and a series of short corners led to the first goal from Beth Sanderson’s neat strike low in the bottom corner.

A period of intense pressure by Richmond followed and they hit two goals in rapid succession.

But it didn’t take Emily Webster long to put level for Whitby, with a well-placed short distance ball from left of goal to right corner, out of the keeper’s reach, and after a good drive up the pitch from Dani Halley.

Richmond’s midfielders and forwards combined well and if it wasn’t for some alert goalkeeping by Kirsty Ann Dixon, Whitby might have been chasing the game again.

Instead, Frances Livera exploited a weakness in Roses’ defensive line when she blasted the ball from outside the circle to a defender’s stick and got the deflection she was looking for.

Buoyed by being in the lead, Halley and Webster put on a skills display resulting in another goal by Webster.

Despite hard work in midfield by Nicola Kent and Sarah Thompson and strong defending by Zara Noble on the right, Richmond edged closer with a barrage of attacks and a number of short corners.

A sweep inside the circle travelled off the ground and was not initially headed for the goal but caught a painful deflection off a hand into the goal for a late comeback to 3-4.

After that, Richmond tired and Whitby regained just enough control of the game to see them home.

Promotion now depends on the outcome of the game on 20 April between Durham School and Stokesley.

Stokesley need to win to snatch promotion from Whitby, provided Whitby take three points from their remaining game against Bishop Auckland

Whitby ladies thank the Roses for match teas and the umpires for leading the game.

Players of the match were Dani Halley and Kirsty Ann Dixon, although all players deserve credit.