Calverton Ladies continued their good start to the league season with a win against newly-relegated Grimsby Town Ladies.
Calverton started with a strong side, playing in an attacking 3-5-2 formation. Much of the first 45 minutes saw CMW dominate, with wingers Erin Smith and Jenna Stocks providing much of the attacking power, finding space well and delivering the ball to forwards Hayley Brown and Shantay Wright.
Calverton were dealt a blow when a niggling calf injury to Smith meant that she had to be brought off on around 20 minutes; disappointing for Calverton after her very bright start. She was replaced by Steph Morrell, who has just moved into the ladies age group with Calverton.
CMW continued to forge great attacking chances. Shantay Wright held the ball up well in forward positions while Hayley Brown, supplied with great dribbling and passing from Jenna Stocks, penetrated the Grimsby defence on several occasions, but was unable to find the net after some good defending.
The breakthrough came on 35 minutes, when Stocks again knocked a perfect through ball to the feet of Hayley Brown in the area, who took one touch to create space before dispatching the ball with her left foot to the bottom right corner - a well deserved lead for the dominant CMW side.
The second half began as the first had ended - CMW pressuring well high up the pitch having moved to a 4-3-3 formation, Steph Morrell joining the front line.
A clear-cut chance led to the second CMW goal, when Hayley Brown found herself one on one with the keeper and attempted to finish in the bottom right corner. It hit the inside of the upright, before bobbling across the line and hitting the left post. A fantastic run from defence by Laura Billam saw her latch onto the loose ball, beating opposition players to knock the ball high into the net on the line - her delight was clear from her celebration.
At this point C,W looked comfortable, but Grimsby began to attack more frequently. Their striker found herself with space on the edge of the box and produced a great strike that dipped into the net out of reach of keeper Sarah Wright to halve the deficit.
The score line less comfortable now, Grimsby continued to press, but midfielders Louisa Payne and Shell Morphus challenged with heart and defenders Jenna Smith, Charlotte Chubb, Laura Billam and Deb Hetherington did a fantastic job of stifling the attack, claiming balls and making intelligent interceptions to break up play.
Calverton again went two goals clear when intricate passing play in midfield saw strike Steph Morrell find space in the area. She shot early, caught the keeper off guard and finishing capably into the bottom right.
Jenna Stocks, who had a great game on the left was replaced by Yasmin Gishy on the 65 minute mark.
Again Grimsby fought back and Calverton were unfortunate to concede again after an accurate shot from a Grimsby strike bounced off the inside of the left post and nestled into the net.
Anxiety might have crept in after losing their two goal cushion, however CMW continued to to defend with spirit, with Deb Hetherington continuing to thwart attacks down the left and moving the ball forward with precision. The goal that finally confirmed the win for Calverton came from a speculative clearance-cum-long ball from, Hayley Brown which was latched onto by Steph Morrell and dispatched into the top left corner with a stunning half-volley - her two-goal haul a great reward for her energy and persistence after she was brought on, and proof (if needed) that she is a great asset to any team at Ladies' level.
A shine could have been put on the score line when Louisa Payne found space in the box but unfortunately her shot was saved the the Grimsby keeper.
Overall, a very pleasing result against a team that is likely to perform well in this league. A special mention must go to Jenna Stocks, who was creative and skilled in midfield, earning her the deserved accolade of Player of the Match.