Accrington Stanley Women returned to the Wham Stadium in style as they defeated league leaders Preston North End Women 3-1.

Over 700 supporters attended the North West Womens Regional League – Division One North game, and they witnessed a fantastic performance by Stanley Women, who now move up to fourth in the table after securing their third win in five games.

Goals from Cara McCormick, Lily Metcalf and Millie Dooley secured the three points for Kristian Perry’s side, as they defeated a Preston side which had maximum points from their first four games and currently sit top of the table.

Ahead of the game, Accrington Stanley Women offered free tickets to supporters, as they returned to the Wham Stadium for the first time since April’s historic match against The Isle of Man National Women’s Team which ended in a 1-1 draw.

On Sunday a fantastic crowd once again cheered on the Reds as they made a ferocious start to the game, finding themselves 1-0 up within six minutes, as Cara McCormick’s in swinging corner bypassed everyone and into the back of the net, despite the last ditch attempt to clear off the line by a Preston defender.

An early goal, McCormick’s third of the season, was just what a young Stanley side needed to settle into the game, and they went onto dominate the first 20 minutes with captain Millie Jardine controlling the midfield.

Preston grew into the game as the first-half came to a close, but efforts from Alicia Scott and Emma Dobsworth were both comfortably saved by Stanley keeper Tanya Nash.

It was actually Stanley who came the closest to scoring just on half-time, but Sanah Mehdi’s powerful drive was well held by Preston keeper Justine Elliott.

Only two minutes into the second-half and Preston were level, with Dobsworth poking in from close range following a Preston free-kick.

Despite that early setback, Stanley Women continued on the front foot and on 60 minutes and just minutes after coming on as a substitute, Lily Metcalf drove forward and calmly slotted the ball past Elliott to the delight of the home fans.

A young, hungry side, including debutants Niamh Corrigan, Maisy Dooley and Millie Dooley, Stanley Women didn’t want to settle for just two and after player of the match, Corrigan, got in down the left hand side, her fantastic low, driven cross was smashed home by Millie Dooley to make it 3-1 and secure all three points for the Reds.

Kristian Perry, First Team Head Coach at Accrington Stanley Women, said: “What a super performance today, every single one of them shone on the pitch. The players implemented the game plan which we had worked on in midweek at training, and we went out there and absolutely smashed it.

“It was a super performance from the four Under 18’s who played for us today, with two grabbing goals and one an assist. I am really proud of all of them.”

Sami Smithson, Chair of Accrington Stanley Women, said: “What a fantastic performance and what a fantastic afternoon. What an atmosphere, all the kids have been here cheering on our team, watching them win and scoring three fantastic goals.

“I am really proud of the team and really proud of our community, and for Accrington to show up and cheer on our team. Thank you very much!”

Accrington Stanley Women will return to the Wham Stadium on Sunday 8th October against Fleetwood Town Wrens Ladies Reserves, with kick off at 2pm.

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