Hockey: Doncaster ladies close in on National League return

Charlotte Dodds
Charlotte Dodds

Doncaster’s ladies are closing in on a return to the National League after a five-year absence.

A comfortable 5-1 win over bottom side Neston& South Wirral strengthened the Town Field side's grip on third place in the Northern Premier Division.

The top four teams, rather than just the champions, will be promoted to the National League as part of a competition re-structure.

Doncaster were relegated from the National League in 2014, ending a 22-year stay at the top level.

It took just four minutes for the home team to break the deadlock against struggling Neston.

A pass across the area by Bexx Woods bounced off the goalkeeper's pads and fell invitingly for Amelia Milton who slapped the ball into the goal. 

Doncaster doubled their lead on 20 minutes when a flowing move down the left and an excellent cross into the area found Sarah Thorpe on hand at the back post to tap the ball home. 

The hosts made it 3-0 on 27 minutes when some excellent skill and close control by Thorpe ended with a pass to Helen Karditsas who, after seeing her initial shot saved, picked up the rebound and skilfully fired home.

Doncaster made it 4-0 just before half time through an unmarked Jay Noddle who deflected the ball into the goal from a well-rehearsed short corner routine.   

Neston managed a consolation goal on 38 minutes with an well executed short corner.

But the home side had the final say on 67 minutes when another short corner routine straight off the training pitch was deflected in by Charlotte Dodds.

Doncaster, who are now six points clear of fourth-placed Alderley Edge, host Liverpool Sefton on Saturday (noon).

- Jonathan Redfern put Doncaster ahead in their Conference North derby with Sheffield Hallam on Saturday but the hosts fought back to claim a 2-1 win.

Goals from skipper Josh Oades and Matt Gibson sealed a 2-0 win at bottom side Alderley Edge on Sunday.

Doncaster host Durham University on Saturday (2pm).