On a typical cold winters day at East Durham College, Hartlepool hosted fellow unbeaten side Alnwick Town.
Pools started on the front foot and looked to stretch the Alnwick defence, eventually taking lead on 18 minutes when skipper, Justine Robinson, found a pocket of space in the box to rifle home into the bottom corner.
This gave Pools a lift and they went further ahead on 28 minutes, Robinson raced into the box and was brought down by the keeper, Abbey Lyle kept her cool and sent the keeper the wrong way to the delight of the pools fans.
Pools were dominating in the middle of the park with Robyn Ingram a real driving force, Alnwick stuck at it and pulled a goal back just before half time, a needless foul from Pools in a wide area gave the Alnwick midfielder an opportunity to fire home from 25 yards.
Pools weathered an early storm from Alnwick and raced into a 3-1 lead when Duffy-Smith expertly turned past two players and released Foster to race through and finish clinically for her 8th goal of the season. Pools looked a real threat and Robinson nearly made it 4-1 but was denied by an outstanding defensive block after rounding the keeper.
Alnwick pulled another back as the hailstone pelted down again the midfielder fired another 25 yd rocket of a free-kick. Alnwick pressed for an equaliser but Pools held firm for a huge three points.
Let’s hope 2021 is much kinder and finally the year Hartlepool United make the FA Women’s National League.
Photo: Colin Lock