Mansfield Town Ladies made it two wins from two as they continued their brilliant start to the season with a brilliant 4-3 win over Nettleham Ladies.
After scoring 13 goals between them on the opening weekend of the season, it was a tie that promised goals and it didn’t disappoint in this seven-goal thriller.
The action started early on with Nettleham getting the first goal after just eight minutes of the game had elapsed. The ball was crossed in from the left-hand-side and after a deflection it dropped to Kirstie Dallell, who stroked the ball home to give Nettleham the lead.
Mansfield hit straight back however as only three minutes later Abbey Hawkins was able to latch onto a ball over the top of the Nettleham defence before placing it into the bottom corner to level the scores.
Both teams then had a number of chances with Jemma Douglas having a shot saved by the away ‘keeper before Nettleham’s Shell Marshall saw her shot cleared off the Mansfield line.
Somewhat against the run of play, the Stagettes went ahead as Douglas was fouled on the left side of the box before picking herself up to head in the resulting Hannah Bodle free-kick.
As the game approached half-time, Stacy Aisthorpe was upended in the box by Douglas and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The penalty was converted by Holly Newman and meant that the Lincolnshire side went in to the break on equal terms.
It was Mansfield who started the second-half the better of the two sides as it took Abbey Hawkins less than five minutes to again beat Nettleham’s line of defence to a ball over the top, she then showed great composure to round the ‘keeper and smash it into the back of the net.
It was a lapse in what was a generally strong offside trap that lead to the goal but the Nettleham defence soon regained concentration as they managed to trap Mansfield offside on numerous occasions throughout the game.
As the game went on, the Stagettes became more relaxed and began to enjoy a prolonged spell of possession. Manager Lewis Saxby decided to freshen up the side by bringing on Rebecca Braithwaite and Androulla Kokkinou, a decision that nearly gained instant rewards as Kokkinou burst through before seeing the Nettleham stopper save her shot.
Abbey Hawkins must have thought her chances of getting a hat-trick were cursed as Katie Davison was able to collect her shot from a Braithwaite cross. However the striker was finally relieved when on 78 minutes, she was able to once again cut through the defence to chest down a Marie Wayne ball before turning and shooting into the bottom corner.
With the game coming to an end, Mansfield gave the Lincolnshire side a faint glimmer of hope as Aisthorpe scored a consolation for Nettleham in the 90th minute before the referee added on over eight minutes injury time. The Stagettes held on and came away with three points against a team who hadn’t been beaten in over a year.
The Stagettes are next in action on Sunday 27 September when they travel to Sleaford Town.
Stagettes: E Gascoyne, S Adams, J Douglas, H Bodle, M Wayne, R Davis, G, Hodgkinson, L Watton, E Allen, A Hawkins, R Mullen.
Substitutes: P Gadsby, M Bowley, R Braithwaite, E Potter, A Kokkinou
Nettleham: K Davison, S Futter, S Marshall, T Vengrindua, L Woodhead, S Aisthorpe, A Murrell, J Purnell, H Newman, K Dallell, C Limb.
Substitutes: D Marsh, J Maclean, S Priestley, H Pielichaty