FOLLOWING a four-week break, Whitby ladies hockey team were glad to return to a home fixture, against Northallerton.
Northallerton have always been the wildcard within the league and with three girls missing due to county commitments, Whitby were unsure how the game would go.
Whitby took quite some time to settle into the game but Lisa Mussett, Beth Sanderson and Jo Braithwaite soon had the ball under control, working it around the midfield and the Northallerton players.
Whitby had most of the possession but Northallerton were defending solidly with Whitby struggling after hard work to find spaces in the circle. Beth Grason and Nicola Kent were unlucky on several occasions when their strikes were blocked by the defence and a superb keeper - no matter what Whitby threw at the keeper, she kept the ball out.
Northallerton made some positive breaks with their centre midfield penetrating the midfield and finding unmarked players in their 25m area. Kirsty Dixon stepped out of goal at RD owned the right defence and kept the rival left wing out of the picture.
Karen Sanderson made some good tackles and interceptions on the CF and LI and worked well with Alex Bagnall at left defence.
Whitby then turned the tables and had all the possession but even after several short corners, could not get the ball in the net.
An injury just before half-time stopped the game with a Northallerton player taken to hospital.
Whitby took advantage of this depletion and Lisa Mussett dived to get the first goal of the match.
Beth Sanderson was stepping up the pace, becoming an attacking midfielder and after a fantastic three-man worked passing sequence, found Beth Grason who coolly slotted the ball into the far corner.
Match fitness was evident in both teams so Whitby starting moving the ball around more and throwing the ball deep to the awaiting forwards.
Beth Sanderson scored a skilful goal when she took on three players from the base line to reverse flick it into the net.
Northallerton still had plenty of fight left but when Lisette Vincent Jones slapped the fourth goal home, the gap became too large.
Player of the match: Beth Sanderson
Whitby 4 Northallerton 0