Barnsley Women’s Football Club returned to winning ways after beating Bolton Ladies Football Club 7-2 in what was the Reds’ first home game of the season.
By Josh Allen
The girls were looking to bounce back from a disappointing start to the 2020/21 season – a 1-0 away loss to Chorley Women Football Club.
Manager Andy Glossop made three changes from Sunday’s defeat, with Betty Cheetham coming in for Becky Troake at the back, plus two changes up top as Courteney Csomor and Emily Pierrepont replaced Millie Kenyon and Lissa Woodhouse, who pulled up in the warm-up.
It was a bright start from the home side, as right-wing-back Molly Johnson got forward well but fired her shot over. The side did not dwell on that, as captain Kath Smith latched onto a Darcie Greene ball and tucked it under the onrushing Bolton goalkeeper after just three minutes.
The full throttle start continued when the first corner of the game was met with a Bolton head, beating Micha Boyes – inside four minutes.
What was most notable difference between this performance and last week’s, was the steel and tenacity that the side showed – exemplified by Natalie Watson in midfield, who won the ball back in the lead up to Emily Pierrepont’s first of three goals, delicately dinking the ‘keeper for this one.
The girls did the dirty side of the game better this week, but also linked up with more fluidity and purpose. This was the case for the third goal on 23 minutes, when Smith clipped a left footed ball over the top for Darcie Greene, who slipped it past the Bolton stopper.
Half time was nearing, and Glossop’s side kept doing what they did best – keeping hold of the ball and wearing their opponents down – and the fans erupted as they thought Pierrepont had bagged her second of the game. Offside denied this – for now at least.
The goals kept on coming in the second half as there were three in five minutes, first from Greene, another for Pierrepont, plus Bolton’s second of the game.
Very little happened for almost 20 minutes, until Pierrepont made sure she was taking the match ball home. Following a 69th minute substitute, her new strike partner Millie Kenyon (on for Csomor) converted with her stronger left foot.
Captain Smith showed why she is worthy of that role when she made it seven for The Reds as she fired into the top left and put the finishing touches on a much improved, positive performance.
After the match, Glossop said: “We were more clinical in the final third, but it wasn’t just that – I felt the movement and creativity in the final third were better.”
When asked about her contribution, Player of the Match Pierrepont said: “It feels really good, to say it’s my first start of the season… it’s good to get three goals and help the team get the win.”
Up next for Barnsley is Brighouse Town AFC Women at home on Tuesday 29 September, before travelling to Liverpool Feds WFC on Sunday 4 October.