Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI pull clear of Vitality Women's Conference North drop zone
Helen Goacher’s team dug deep for a 2-1 away success at Brooklands Poynton on Saturday, recording back-to-back victories for the first time this season in the process.
The first half of the campaign was a real struggle for the Ainsty Road outfit and yielded just the one triumph in nine outings.
But, after a two-month winter break,’Gate returned to action late last month and recorded a 3-1 home win over fellow strugglers Timperley thanks to goals from Lucy Wood (2) and Charlotte Crossman.
And they followed that result up at the weekend as they put seven points between themselves and the drop zone by edging out the division’s bottom side.
Having taken some time to settle, Harrogate eventually worked their way into the contest and started to dominate possession as the first half wore on.
So, it was very much against the run of play when Brooklands took the lead after a misplaced ’Gate free-hit presented the ball to a home forward, who ran 50 metres before firing a fine finish into the bottom corner.
The visitors bounced straight back, however, and equalised within a minute. Niamh Clements attacked down the right and crossed for a well-positioned Lexi Ramshay to finish on the reverse stick.
Harrogate continued to boss possession during the third quarter without creating any clear cut chances until player of the match Clements produced another moment of individual brilliance in the final third.
Dibbling past two defenders in the Brooklands circle, she then squeezed a shot goal-wards, which looped into the top corner of the net.
At this point, Harrogate lost their composure and put themselves under pressure due to some poor decision-making and a sequence of basic mistakes.
As the seconds ticked towards the final whistle, Brooklands forced a sequence of seven successive short-corners, but some heroic defending by Tilly Hall, Lucy Wood, Harriet Evans, Abi Van Tonder and goalkeeper Sarah Mirtaheri enabled ‘Gate to cling on for the victory.
This Saturday, Didsbury Northern, who sit just one place and one point higher than Goacher’s team in the table, are the visitors to Ainsty Road.