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Town Dominate in United Derby Win


By Rosie Bonass

01 May 2017 11:11

Defender Asia Brown scored her first goal for the Hatters as they surpassed local rivals Cambridge United in a 4-2 victory on Sunday at Luton Town Men’s training ground.

Joanne Rutherford scored her 11th goal of the season for Town before Emma Jenkins equalised for the Yellows just before half time.

Young striker Jodie Bellinger came off the bench to fire Town ahead once more before Erica Byron and Asia Brown extended the lead.

United, who are in second place in the league, then scored on the stroke of full time through Evie Gallop.

The Hatters are now equal on points with Old Actonians Ladies in 5th place with a game in hand against Norwich City.

Town looked the stronger team from the kick off and they created some early chances as Byron delivered an exquisite ball into the box after four minutes to Rutherford who miskicked the ball from six yards.

Moments later, Lucy Webster did what she does best and went on a dangerous run with the ball and her tricky feet got her past three United players before her strike from an acute angel eventually hit the side netting.  

At the other end of the pitch, United had two opportunities to take the lead but Jess Devoti superbly stopped a free header from Becky Taylor and then pushed behind a testing strike from Gallop.

Rutherford eventually gave Town a well-earned lead in the 37th minute as she lapsed on to a short back pass from United skipper Laura Bright and slotted the ball past out running goalkeeper Verity Crook into an empty net.

Four minutes later, United equalised after Jenkins fired the ball in the roof of the net from distance that left Devoti with no chance.

Cambridge hit the wood work immediately after the break as Gallop found some space outside the box and cut inside to fire the ball towards the bottom left corner but her attempt rattled the post.

Town regained the lead in the 52nd minute after Rutherford delivered a terrific ball into the box that substitute Bellinger headed in at the far post.  

Three minutes later Byron made it 3-1 to Town after Carrie Bennett failed to clear the ball and Byron took advantage of her defensive error and fired it into the back of the net.

Brown extended the advantage in the 88th minute after some good build up play on the wing by Rachel Kosky led to Brown scoring her first goal in a Hatters shirt as she curled the ball into the top left corner from 16 yards.

United scored their second of the game just before the full-time whistle as Laura Mills played in a good ball to Gallop who chested it in from close range.

After the derby win, manager Nikki Baker said: “I am delighted as this is always a tough game. Cambridge are above us in the league and beat us last time around so to score four and beat them in the way we did was outstanding.

“I am really pleased with the fight we showed to compete all the way through in all areas of the pitch. 

“We have taken points off all of the top four by beating Cambridge, MK Dons and AFC Wimbledon and we drew with Gillingham.

“It is disappointing that we threw away a couple of silly games otherwise we really could have been right up there”.

The Hatters face Lowestoft Town next in the league on Sunday.