Georgia Payton scored twice as Accrington Stanley Women continued their fine run of form with a 2-0 win against Carlisle United Ladies at the Stanley Sports Hub on Sunday afternoon.

A sixth league success on the bounce sees Stanley Women remain at the top of the North West Womens Regional League – Division One North on goal difference.

Kristian Perry’s side secured the victory despite missing several first team players due to injury, with only six regulars named in the starting line-up.

In difficult conditions on a very wet day at the Stanley Sports Hub, a young Stanley Women side started well, with great play in midfield from ‘player of the match’ Jordan Harding, creating several chances for Payton, Lily Metcalf and Sanah Mehdi, all of whom were denied by an in-form Carlisle goalkeeper.

Stanley Women kept pushing and took a deserved first-half lead, with Mehdi setting up Payton, who fired home to make it 1-0.

The visitors rarely threatened in the second-half, and despite several absentees, Stanley Women put in another strong performance across the pitch, showcasing the depth in their pathway, with younger players stepping up to the first-team.

Comfortable throughout, Perry’s side made sure of the three points when Metcalf’s strike was parried into the path of Payton, who pounced to tuck the rebound away and in the process net her eighth goal in just five games for the club.

Kristian Perry, First Team Head Coach at Accrington Stanley Women, said: “We knew today’s game against Carlisle would be tough, but to lose four first team players before the game topped with a poor pitch and bad weather conditions, it couldn’t have got any worse.

“Today’s squad worked hard and ground out the result we needed to keep the momentum going. It was difficult to play the football we like, but we still created lots of chances and can take some positives from the game. Well done to Ana and Melissa who made their league debut and first team debut respectively.”

Sami Smithson, Chair of Accrington Stanley Women, commented: “It’s days like today that really test the resilience and strength of character of the players. The women on that pitch today showed grit & determination to get the job done, get the three points in the bag and remain the league leaders.

They showed up today committed to each other and to the club, I couldn’t ask for any more than that. Well done!”

Accrington Stanley Women are next in action on Sunday 19th November, when they travel to Wythenshawe (Juniors) Football Club Women in the Lancashire FA County Cup – kick off is at 2pm.

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