Lincoln United Women’s kicked off their league campaign in style with a dominant 17-1 win over Sherwood FC, sending a big statement to the rest of the division.
The Whites dominated the possession of the ball throughout the whole game and it was very clear from the start that Sherwood would find it very difficult to keep up with Lincoln.
It only took four minutes for Abbie Murrell to register her first league goal of the season. A great run by Frankie Wilson from the right wing was completed with a pinpoint cross to Murrell, who showed her class with a brilliant touch and finish past the keeper.
Against the run of play Sherwood’s striker Hannah Stredder broke away from the Lincoln defence after collecting a loose ball and confidently struck the ball past Rosie Davidson in the Lincoln goal to gain an early equalizer.
Lincoln quickly regained the lead from a Frankie Wilson cross which conveniently looped right over the Sherwood keeper’s head.
The second goal seemed to take the bite out of the Sherwood players as Lincoln United dominated the rest of the play.
It did not take long for Lincoln to score their third, three minutes after the second goal. Lauren Churcher’s through ball to Murrell left her one on one with the keeper again, only this time she decided to take the ball past her and slot it into the empty net.
It only took 20 minutes for Murrell to complete her hat-trick and score Lincoln’s fourth goal of the game. Murrell showed some tidy dribbling on the edge of the box before hitting a powerful low driven shot into the corner of the goal, leaving the keeper with no chance of saving the attempt.
At 4-1 up after 20 minutes it was always going to be a long game for Sherwood especially if Lincoln kept up the same intensity throughout the rest of the game.
Churcher nearly opened up her goalscoring account for the season in the 22nd minute with a well struck free-kick which clipped the post. However, four minutes later Churcher made no mistake with a curling attempt into the far post from the edge of the box after some smart link-up play between herself and Demi Barai.
Abbie Murrell certainly had her shooting boots on in this game as she struck a powerful longshot from 30 yards out into the top right corner of the Sherwood goal which was applauded by both sets of supporters.
The Whites found great joy from longshots and exploited this all game.
The skipper Kirsty Dalzell saw a deflected shot on the edge of the box from Barai land in front of her stride as she struck a sweet long-range effort past the Sherwood keeper to make it 7-1 after 33 minutes.
Lincoln were awarded a penalty in the 39th minute after the Sherwood keeper brought down Churcher in the box. After winning the penalty, Churcher stepped up and slotted a cool penalty in the bottom-left corner and grabbed her second of the game.
United managed to score two more goals before half-time, another long shot from Murell and a Churcher header, completing her hat-trick, saw the whites go into the break comfortably at 10-1 up.
Lincoln made a few changes at half-time to freshen up the squad.
The Whites managed to keep the high intensity that they had in the first half with an early second-half goal from Churcher. She found space on the edge of the box before striking a long-range shot underneath the crossbar to claim her fourth goal of the game and Lincoln’s 11th.
One of the second half substitutes, Olivia Smith, stamped her mark on the game with a long-range shot into the roof of the net with just her first few touches of the ball in the 55th minute.
Another second half substitute, Amie Barnes-Ford, added to the scoresheet as she took the ball past the keeper and confidently finished from close range.
Tracey Duxbury-Mead scored her first goal of the season after another pinpoint cross from Frankie Wilson and she took her time before slotting the ball through the keeper’s legs from close range.
In the 85th minute another substitute, Millie Seaton, followed in Holly Newman’s shot that bounced off the post to grab Lincoln’s 15th of the game.
Duxbury-Mead and Murell scored two goals late in the 90th minute to complete a dominant performance from the Whites in the opening league game of the season.
Sherwood battled hard in the first ten minutes, but Lincoln United’s quality showed after the second goal went in as they scored 15 without reply.
Lincoln United are hoping to continue their fine start to the league with an away trip to Sleaford town in their next game.
Report by Nathan Matthie
Meanwhile, Lincoln United men’s first team won 6-0 at Sutton Coldfield.
The Whites produced a ruthless display to score three goals in both halves.
The result means Lincoln seal their second win in style in the Northern Premier League south east division this season.