SSFC Ladies seal impressive win at Hartlepool
South Shields twice came from behind to beat Hartlepool United 4-2 in an entertaining pre-season encounter on Sunday.
It was an impressive victory for the Mariners which they will hope to use as a springboard heading into the new campaign.
Things did not start too well for Scott Curtis’ side, though, with goalkeeper Scarlett Gowans called into action early on as she produced a great save.
Hartlepool did take the lead shortly afterwards as a powerful shot towards goal was too hot to handle, and the striker pounced and put the effort away.
Shields nearly found an equaliser soon afterwards as Jade Dryden played a ball across the box, but Gabby Pedersen’s effort at the far post was just wide.
Eve Gatens then had a chance to level the scores as Dryden played another great pass, but the effort was stopped on the line.
The Mariners did find an equaliser as Megan Archbold lifted a ball into the box, Isla Maggs headed it over the goalkeeper and Pedersen tapped into an empty net.
Pedersen nearly put Shields in front soon after as she connected with a loose ball at the far post and saw it come back off the woodwork.
A hectic few seconds followed as Alex Miller’s header looked to be heading in until the goalkeeper made a great save. Hartlepool countered, but Gowans made an excellent save to keep the scores level.
Gowans made another fantastic save as she parried a shot wide while at the other end, Shields nearly took the lead as Gatens found space on the wing and played the ball inside to Maggs, but the goalkeeper made a brilliant save.
It was end-to-end-stuff and only seconds later, Hartlepool went in front. A mazy run into the box took a few Shields players out of the game, before the ball was squared for a tap-in.
Archbold nearly levelled the game from distance for the Mariners, but the goalkeeper did well to parry over the bar.
Only a few moments after that, Archbold did score in the most bizarre fashion. A searching ball over the top took a wicked bounce which deceived the goalkeeper and bounced into the net.
Shields took the lead late in the game as Maggs challenged the goalkeeper to a loose ball, won it and tapped into an empty net.
Gatens put the result beyond doubt with seconds to go. A lifted ball over the top of the Hartlepool defence saw Gatens released one-on-one, and she slotted under the goalkeeper.
After the game, head coach Curtis said: “I’m pleased that we came back as it showed the character of the squad to go the full 90.
“It was disappointing to start slowly again, but I was very pleased at the strong finish.”