Words: Jan Mitchell; Pictures: Alan Walker
A second half hat trick by Sophie Rotheram allowed the Magpies’ FA Women’s National League season to take off at Chester-Le-Street on Sunday.
Chorley started the first half brightly and had the better of the early chances with Beth Donoghue & Sophie Rotheram looking dangerous in possession and Kemp causing issues on the right.
The game became a little scrappy, CLS no 9 was their biggest threat but Megan Searson and Betti Worth got her measure early on and CLS created nothing to test Rachel Darbyshire in the Chorley goal.
Abi Fenton and Hannah Brindle were overlapping on the wings and further half chances were created, Mackay having the best of those and causing a good save from the CLS keeper.
Laura Walker and Lisa Topping worked hard in the middle of the pitch to break up the play but Chorley couldn’t find the breakthrough their play deserved. Totally against the run of play CLS scored with a header from a cross but the centre forward was off side.
The second half began fairly evenly with both teams looking for the opening goal, CLS looked dangerous from set pieces but Chorley were playing the better football. Rotheram forced a good save from a half volley from the CLS keeper.
Fenton was replaced by Emily Stocks who immediately had an impact on the game and Chorley began to dominate again, getting their just reward when Topping lofted a ball into the area and Rotheram placed the ball beautifully over the oncoming keeper into the corner.
The goal seemed to breathe confidence into the visitors and it wasn’t long before Rotheram got her second after heading in from a pin point cross again from Topping.
Unfortunately, it seems a game can’t go by without Chorley adding to their injury list and Abbir Mackay had to be replaced by Ellie Mills after a bad fall saw her injure her wrist. Mills’ fresh legs caused issues for CLS as she made an impact on the left. Rotheram’s hat rick came several minutes later when she hit a rocket of a shot from just outside the box into the top corner, which capped an excellent display from the forward.
Chorley: Darbyshire; Fenton, Worth, Searson, Brindle, Topping, Walker (c), Mackay, Rotheram, Kemp, Donoghue. Subs: Mills, Stocks, Pilling.
HT 0-0 / FT 0-3
Goals: Rotheram (3)
Next up: The away games keep on coming with Harrogate Town up next in the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday at Wetherby Road.