Lori Hudson struck an 11-second opener to help the Belles’ under-18s on their way to a 7-0 victory over Dronfield Town Reds, writes Chris Wright.
That win sees the under-18s consolidate second spot in the Sheffield & Hallamshire Girls County League following their penultimate home game of the season against nine-man Dronfield.
For the second week running, Hudson scored almost from the kick-off. Although this week it took her an extra two seconds as the referee timed her strike at 11 seconds into the match.
Hudson’s opening was crafted by Holly Housley who had dribbled from the centre circle with the ball, evaded the attentions of several players before coolly passing to the right for Hudson to fire in.
Whereas Housley had got the previous week’s opener, she had to settle for the second goal on three minutes; something that Hudson had done seven days previously.
Housley’s goal came thanks to a brilliantly crafted piece of work from Jess Lacey who seems to be getting back to her imperious best.
Hudson, who managed a 30-minute hat trick against Rotherham United Whitehill last weekend, managed to bag her three goals within 23 minutes against Dronfield.
Her second was a fine solo effort and the third came from a great assist via a Megan Gower cross.
On the stroke of half time, the impressive Gower got her own name on the scoresheet as a Sophie Thompson cross found its mark for an easy tap-in from point blank range.
Elsewhere, Gabby Marriott created and spurned a host of fine attempts on goal as she was pushed into an unfamiliar striker role.
Despite the lack of a goal from the chances created, there was enough in her performance to suggest that she may well have found a new role with her pace and deft footwork.
And although she conceded five goals, Dronfield’s ‘keeper Phoebe Moore did much to keep the score down with a succession of smart saves.
The second half had promised many more goals but delivered only two - both from the feet of Laura Green.
The first came within 15 seconds of replacing Hudson as she met a Dannii Thompson corner at the nearpost and the second was finished off after being put through.
To their credit, the visitors never stopped running and left the pitch with heads high and dignity intact.
This wasn’t a vintage performance on a bobbly pitch with a lot of bounce and uneven numbers but there was plenty of effort and endeavour.