Nicholl impressed by opposition

WOMEN’s manager Alison Nicholl admits her team were beaten by “a very good side” as they were swept aside by Larne at Inver Park…

A four goal haul by the hosts had them well on their way in the first-half, with two further strikes making it a 6-0 win for the east Antrim side.

Nicholl remarked that she was impressed by the movement of their counterparts as several members of her squad were absent due to exams.

“We were beat 6-0 by a very good side,” she said.

“Their movement and rotation was excellent. They have made a couple of very good signings in particular Hollie Johnston from the Crues. Their strength and depth of squad is really good which is testament to the great setup at Larne.

“We had four starting 11 players missing due to exams plus another three which left us with no substitutes at all.

“Larne dominated the game and Caitlin Talbot was who stepping into goals for the first time this season for us was outstanding. She made several great saves in the first half. Shairee and Lizzie in centre half also made several critical tackles.

“The first half ended 4-0. We started the second half much more brightly but ten minutes in Storm Ballantyne was on the end of a bruising tackle and had to go off leaving us with ten men. She came back on after ten minutes which was very brave as they are a very big physical side.

“We had some good spells of possession but just couldn’t be a threat in the final third.

“The midfield of Chloe, myself and Chelsea Moore dealt well with the rotation of players in the second half and worked very hard. Chloe got injured at 76 minutes and we had to finish the game with ten men again.

“They found us very hard to break down and their fifth goal didn’t come until we were down to 10 men. It was a rattling shot from the edge by Johnston giving Caitlin no chance.

“We continued to frustrate them and their sixth and final goal was approximately five minutes from the end.”

Nicholl alluded to the positives despite the defeat as the Bannsiders face derby rivals Ballymena United next.

“The positives is that Vanessa Somerville made her debut at right back and worked very hard. Katie McFetridge also made her’s up front and put in a good shift.

“Hopefully when they come to play us at home we can get full strength side and squad out and give them a better game. We have also drawn them in the first round of the divisional cup at home which was a tough draw to get.

“I’m hoping more will be available next week for home game against Ballymena although there are still exams then also.”