MANCHESTER WOMEN’S FUTSAL endured an afternoon of frustration at the Northgate Arena in Chester as they were well beaten 14-1 by Morecambe Futsal.
With the Blues only having five players available to choose from, the Blues knew that they were in for a tough game as Morecambe were coming into this match top of the Super League North and undefeated this season.
Leah Hartshorne got the only goal of the game for the Blues, meanwhile Nikki Berko, Gemma Newson and Elizabeth Hamer grabbed multiple goals between them for Morecambe to help them on their way to victory, Rachel Warren and Caroline Wilcock were also amongst the goals.
Team Captain and Women’s co-ordinator Leanne Skarratt could not hide her disappointment with the result, but she was proud with the performance from her players.
“Obviously it’s a demoralising score line. I think we started off well and we could have had three or four goals ourselves, but with only five players tiredness began to set in and physically they had the upper hand. They started steamrolling us, but we’ve got to be proud of the performance that we put in with the players that we had.”
Skarratt continued, “it has been a big set back for us losing our goalkeeper, myself having to go in goal is not an ideal situation. On another day with more players available, it would have been a different story. The score line would have been much closer, and the game would have been much tighter.”
Nikki Berko gave Morecambe the early lead with some quick passing and a fine finish which left our step-in goalkeeper Leanne Skarratt with no chance.
Manchester created some opportunities of their own with a cross field pass by Leah Hartstone which found Beth Tattersall, which brought Morecambe goalkeeper Kenzie Rowe into action as she palmed the ball away.
Morecambe soon doubled their lead as the Blues were caught on the counter-attack, Nikki Berko squared to Elizabeth Hamer to finish into the empty net.
With the lack of substitutions available to them, the Blues tenaciously battled hard to try and find a way back into the game before it got away from them, opportunities from Leanne Skarratt from range and Andrea D’ Azevedo Santos came and went but the women weren’t giving up without a fight.
It was soon 3-0 as Hamer got her second goal of the match, Gemma Newson brought the ball down with her chest and spotted Hamer’s run before she finished well into the bottom corner.
A defensive lapse from the Blues sent Gemma Newson through on goal for Morecambe and she finished brilliantly into the top corner to make it four.
Nikki Berko secured a first half hat-trick as she drove through the heart of the Manchester defence to the edge of the box and finished well past Skarratt.
Berko was then involved in Morecambe’s sixth goal as a ball over the top found Gemma Newson on the move and she scored her second goal of the game with a tidy finish.
Manchester got one back as Leah Hartshorne battled hard through the challenges and her deflected shot found the back of the net to give the Blues a life line.
Morecambe then scored again straight after the break as Gemma Newson struck from the edge of the box, but a stroke of fortune seen the ball strike the woodwork and off the leg of Leanne Skarratt and into the net.
Nikki Berko was all over the court as she was involved yet again for Morecambe, this time supplying Rachel Warren with a tap in from close range to make the score 8-1.
Gemma Newson got another goal soon after through an unforced error from Manchester, she was through one-on-one against Skarratt and fired low to give Morecambe nine.
Rachel Warren then scored another for Morecambe as her low drive went in off Skarratt who was unable to keep it out to make it 10.
Nikki Berko got her name on the score sheet once more as she hit a first time shot from a long ball which ended up right in the corner of the net. A good finish from the Morecambe forward.
More intricate build up play came about for Morecambe as Caroline Wilcock rolled the ball into the path of Elizabeth Hamer who scored from 10 metres out to make it 12.
Gemma Newson got the better of Beth Tattersall as she turned inside and unleashed a rocket of a shot into the back of the net, she would then fire home once more with a few minutes from time to round off a comprehensive victory for Morecambe as they remain undefeated.