Penrith AFC Ladies just missed out on rewards following a very entertaining encounter at Frenchfields Park against a strong Stockport County outfit.
Stockport started brightly and took the game to Penrith in the early stages however Penrith gradually gained confidence and were growing into the game. Their incisive counter play was causing problems for the Stockport defence and Penrith created a couple of early opportunities.
Penrith took the lead in the 14th minute when Georgia Smethurst’s in swinging corner was headed home by Charlotte Smith.
As expected Stockport upped their intensity immediately and were putting pressure on the defensive live. Initially Penrith were coping well however in the 26th minute Penrith were caught short defensively on the left side and Stockport showed how clinical they can be when the resulting cross was turned into the net.
The game was now end to end with both teams threatening. Just before the halftime break a Stockport corner caused confusion in the Penrith area and at the loose ball ricochet onto the arm of a Penrith defender and Stockport were awarded a penalty which they scored from.
The 2nd half proved a superb advert for NW Regional league. Both teams excellent attacking football. Penrith squandered several good chances and were left to rue these when Stockport again clinically dispatched a 3rd goal in the 58th minute.
Penrith were not finished though and produced a well worked goal of their own. Good interplay between Sarah Smith and Rebecca Buchanan created space for Sharina Robinson who fired into the bottom corner.
Penrith continued to search for the elusive equaliser while at the other end keeper Michelle Jones produced a string of fine saves to keep Penrith in the game.
In the end Stockport saw out the game to claim the points but Penrith can take many positives from their performance.
Penrith welcomed debutant Lauren Ullyart into the team.
This Sunday Penrith return to FA Cup action as they face a daunting trip to National League team Brighouse Town.
PENRITH: Jones, Smethurst, Han Fawkes, Ullyart, C.Smith, McCormick, Johnston(Buchanan), Nutter(Coulthard), Robinson, Hopton, S.Smith.