Ben Rhydding Ladies 0 Stourport Ladies 2
Ben Rhydding face a crucial away game against fellow Investec Women's Conference North strugglers Boots on Saturday and know it is a game they cannot afford to lose if they are to retain their National League status.
Fourth-placed Stourport had beaten Ben Rhydding earlier in the season, but the Ilkley side were optimistic of turning the tables on their home pitch.
The two sides set off with a high work rate and Jodie Bridger made some excellent runs in a centre half role which provided lots of space for full backs Rachelle Le Bourdon and Tanisha Janzen.
Rhydding were looking the most likely side to score with Rebecca Dallas’ smooth skill causing problems for the visitors.
However, a breakaway run from Stourport resulted in a penalty corner in the tenth minute.
A well-paced injection was fired to the top of the circle and was struck into the congested penalty area.
Stourport’s Sarah Cavendish got a great deflection which lobbed Rhydding’s Charlotte Smith in goal.
Rhydding were not pertur-bed, and maintained their structure, especially through Sarah Bell and Jess Purvis in the midfield.
They were able to link up with forwards Laura Smith and Kate Hesketh who made darting runs to leave Stourport’s defence standing.
Three minutes before the half-time whistle blew, Stourport won a short corner after a well-worked passing move down their right.
It fell to Cavendish again on the left hand side of the goal this time, who slotted it home into the backboard.
The second half saw strong challenges from both sides, and Rhydding were guilty of holding on to the ball too long.
Stourport seemed to be getting frustrated with several of their shots missing the desired target.
Good low defending from Eleanor Trafford and Helen Fisher meant that their opponents were forced wide.
A yellow card was given to Trafford for not moving back five yards before challenging the player with the ball, meaning Rhydding were down to ten players for the next ten minutes.
Rhydding picked up the slack and tightened up their structure in the middle.
Excellent work rate from Hesketh and Rachel Doherty meant that Stourport were suddenly on the back foot, and a goal looked likely, but Ben Rhydding were unable to find the finish they required.