The Bolton side, who won their first ever Women’s Premier League match and narrowly missed out on a draw in their first away game, blew away a Leicester side in their first ever Premier League Cup match.
The ladies dominated possession from start to finish, yet again creating an abundance of chances. And, in only their third game at this level, they made their chances count as they overcame their Midlands opposition in a one-sided affair.
Two goals apiece from strikers Mitch Kirkman-Ryan and Saf Newhouse saw both strikers at the top of the league goalscoring charts, both doubling their tallies to four for the season.
Two in the first half from Kirkman-Ryan were followed by a brace from Newhouse in the second period, while a last minute own goal completed the rout.
Manager Chris Knights was understandably more than enthused with the build-up play from front to back that was missing from last week’s narrow defeat.
The Ladies are back to home league action this Sunday, with the visit of Morecambe to the Kensite Stadium in Atherton, in a 2pm kick off.
Other Ladies teams in action
Bolton Ladies Reserves began their league campaign with the visit of Newcastle United on Sunday, but slipped to a 3-0 defeat against a side that finished third division last season.
The Reserves, playing at Little Lever School, put out an extremely young starting eleven under new manager Scott Strang. The wind and rain also made for difficult playing conditions and both teams were struggling to create clear cut chances were not forthcoming. While Bolton’s chances weren’t helped by debutant Ellie Hunt was forced off with injury after 10 minutes.
Newcastle struck after 16 minutes when their striker was first to a through ball to poke past Chloe Williams in goal. Bolton were unlucky not to get back into the game as they created a trio of chances before the break, with 16-year-old debutant Hope Fitton driving just wide of the near post, then Shellby Wolstencroft hitting a 30-yard free-kick inches wide of the upright and a 30 yarder from open play being gathered by the Newcastle keeper.
Wanderers could consider themselves unlucky to behind, but within minutes of the second half their deficit was doubled as their centre half got the ball stuck under her foot and the Toon striker pounced on the error for 2-0. Midway through the second half goalkeeper Williams was adjudged to have brought the United striker down for a penalty and was also carried off injured in the incident. Stand in keeper Wolstencroft couldn’t prevent the Newcastle striker completing her hat-trick from the spot kick.
Bolton were now down to 10 for the final quarter but surprisingly started playing their best football of the game, keeping the ball better and finally finding their passes. They nearly got a goal back when a Duckworth effort landed on the roof of the net, but alas they had to resign themselves to an opening day defeat.
With a number of girls being asked to play out of position, manager Strang is hoping for more balance in the squad once players return. Next up is Brighouse Town away in the League Cup.
Under 21s start life with a win
Bolton Ladies Under 21s were also in action on Sunday, and recorded a 3-2 win at Burscough in their first open age season.
The girls started well in wet and windy conditions, with some good passing play getting in behind the Burscough defence. A couple of clear early chances and a missed open net meant the good start play went unrewarded and, as the first half wore on, Burscough’s physical approach started to trouble Bolton. A tremendous triple save from Katie Kefford stopped the hosts from going in front, then five minutes before the break Burscough took the lead as a good ball split two defenders and the centre forward finished well.
The girls came out for the second half trailing with 1-0 but were well in it as they were kicking with the wind. They started brightly, with the hosts’ experienced defence dealing with everything thrown at it, but the pressure soon told.
As the half reached the midway point, debutant Michaela Halsey picked the ball up on the left hand side and beat three defenders before unleashing a shot that beat the keeper at the near post. The girls pushed on and some great flowing football saw Maddie Blackburn put the girls in front, only for a defensive mix up to allow Burscough to level things up.
Rather than going into their shells, the Under 21s attacked and with eight minutes to go some good approach play saw them win a corner. It was swung out to the far post and swept in for a winner by another debutant, Caitlin Clancy.
The hosts pushed forward but Bolton held firm and were even unlucky not to get a fourth with a shot hitting the crossbar. This was a first win for the 21s at this level and a pleasing start.
Bolton Community side win thriller
The Community team, promoted to Division 1 of the Greater Manchester County League, were on the right end of a nine goal thriller as they last year’s runners up Reddish North End 5-4.