Harrogate Town Ladies moved up to second place with two games in hand after a convincing win over a feisty South Shields side.Town had been busy over the last week bolstering the squad with three new signings; Rebecca Jeffels. Molly Havard and Monique Watson, who were all thrown into the starting XI.
With 15 minutes played, Town took the lead through Nat Eustance after Captain Abbey Smith played the ball into Watson who set Eustance free on the left wing. She beat her player, cut inside and launched a trade-mark looping effort over the South Shields goalkeeper from all of 25 yards.
Half an hour gone, and South Shields found the equaliser, their tricky winger darting past Cass Lane and Smith before sliding through the legs of the onrushing keeper.
The ever-reliable Teagan Sorokan restored Town's advantage before the break though, following up Watson's effort to tap into an empty net.
After an extended interval due to a half time hailstorm, went 3-1 up when Havard latched onto a Carey Huegett long ball and exquisitely lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box with her weaker foot – a first class finish and fully deserved goal on her debut.
Hannah Freibach then gave Town a three-goal cushion with half an hour to play after great work from Watson yet again. Watson fizzed the ball into Hannah on the right wing where she drove past the defender and smashed the ball home at the near post.
With 20 minutes to go, Watson got the debut goal her performance deserved, capping off a player of the match performance. After going close twice prior, Town's standout performer made no mistake when picking the ball up on the edge of the 18-yard box and drilling home.
South Shields pulled a goal back shortly after with a Lindsey Whitton own goal, the defender unable to get out of the way as the ball ricocheted off her chest into the back of the net.
Harrogate Town Ladies are back Home on Sunday 20 February as they go head-to-head with Wakefield Trinity in a local derby! 2pm Kick off at Rossett Sports Centre!