Darwen Ladies reporter
Date: 14th April 2005
Darwen Ladies gained revenge away at Rochdale on Thursday
evening in the NWWRFL Premier league. It was a very entertaining
game to watch with both teams determined to compete for the
runners up spot in the league.
The opening 10 minutes saw Darwen pushed back by Rochdale who
seemed to be winning all the second ball in midfield and Darwen found
themselves having to defend several corners. Rochdale should have
taken the lead during this period of pressure but a low shot from inside
the box seemed to beat keeper Horrocks but slowed up in the mud of
the goalmouth allowing Frith to clear the ball.
Darwen then began to make more of a game of it and on 15 minutes a
great pass down the right flank by Welsh allowed the overlapping Fleck
to deliver a low cross which was met by Craig who clipped the ball into
the top corner of the net. Certainly against the run of play and from then
on Darwen gained in confidence and began to play some very fine passing
football on a quagmire of a pitch. Wallace led the forward line feeding wide
balls to left and right where Craig, Fleck and Widdicombe were a constant
threat to the Rochdale fullbacks. Welsh, Wallace and Fleck forced good
saves out of the Rochdale keeper and with 8 minutes to go to the break and
against the run of play again Rochdale made it 1:1. Hesitation in the Darwen
defence saw a Rochdale forward take the ball round the adavancing keeper
to slot home into an empty net.
Half-time: Rochdale 1 - Darwen Ladies 1
The second half saw Darwen almost score inside the first minute but a
smart save from the Rochdale keeper kept the scores equal. Rochdale
got no joy trying to come down the Darwen centre as Frith, Ralph and
sweeper Wilde cleared everything that came at them. Balls down the
flanks were another route trying to use the speed of their England u19's
winger but Darwen coach Nick Greenwood had tasked Darwen striker
Darby to mark her all game. Using her pace the Rochdale flyer barely
managed to break free as she was thwarted by Darby or sweeper
Wilde. Even changing wings proved unsuccesful as Darby switched with
Darwen created by far the better chances in the second half but the Rochdale
keeper looked very steady in her handling and held several shots from Welsh,
Wallace,Widdicombe and Ramsden and pushed a block buster of a shot from
Darby over the bar.
With 20 minutes to go Darwen made it 2:1 when a defensive slip similar to the
Rochdale goal in the first half saw Fleck take the ball wide of the keeper and
place her shot into an empty net.
This was a great performance by Darwen and a great team effort from keeper to
the forward line. Having lost to Hopwood two weeks before when Darwen only had
10 players and two of those were carrying injuries this was a big morale booster.
If Darwen can win their last 3 fixtures then they will finish second in the league but
it will be very tough with so many games to play so quickly.
Final score: Rochdale 1 Darwen Ladies 2
About Darwen Ladies
Darwen (between Blackburn and Bolton) have been
the most successful girls and ladies club in the North West in the last 4
seasons. Lancashire league champions at U14's twice, U14 Cup runners-up
twice, U16's cup winners twice and U16's league runners up. The ladies have
had 3 successive promotions as champions in the North West Women's Regional
League and now play in the Premier division. Everton, Preston, Manchester
United or Burnley don't come close to that record.
New players - junior or senior are welcome with a Development / Reserve team
playing in the Lancashire County league. Contact Club Secretary - Peter Arbuary
joining? Email the Club -