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Crewe Ladies 3-1 TNS Ladies
Midland Women's Combination League
Sunday 12 February 2006: Away
TNS Ladies suffered another dent in their title challenge after this defeat away to title rivals Crewe. It was their third straight league defeat but they can take heart that it was a better performance than in their recent seven-goal mauling away to Derby County.
Both teams enjoyed good spells of possession in an exciting game played mostly in the midfield area, and although the Cheshire side were slightly stronger, TNS played some neat football without any real reward.
Crewe took the lead in the third minute when Caroline Sloane picked up a loose ball on the left and beat her marker before firing past TNS keeper Sarah Martin into the top corner from just outside the box. TNS battled back and levelled in the 25th minute when Natalie Poole's right wing cross was headed out by defender Beth Ragdale as far as Sally Jones who sent a screamer from the edge of the box past Crewe keeper Kelly Roberts into the top corner for a spectacular goal.
Crewe went back in front in the 35th minute when Paula Lambert's right wing corner found Ragdale whose header was brilliantly saved by Martin before Una Harkin was quickest to react and fired home from close range.
Constant rain caused the pitch to deteriorate after half time and as a result the game became less of a spectacle but was still entertaining as both teams tried to gain an advantage. Crewe's third goal came in the 75th minute when defender Lisa Harrison made a great overlap on the left before cutting inside to find Tracy Sloane just outside the box, who switched the ball to her right foot and sent a ferocious 20 yarder into the top left hand corner for her 18th goal of the season.
[David Figg]
13 February 2021