The Ravenettes took to the field on Sunday for the first time in four weeks, when they entertained Hinckley Ladies. The game was due to be played at Hinckley but was switched to Owen Street when the Hinckley pitch was deemed unplayable due to waterlogging. Strong winds over the weekend helped the cause and left Coalville's pitch in very good condition.
The Ravenettes selected a squad of 15 players, which meant league debuts for this season for both Rachel Pickwell and Zoe Canning.
Coalville started strongly and straight from the kick off, Jess Vale and Alex Wawrzycka combined to forge the home sides first attack, but it came to nothing. Hinckley hit back and Louise Davies had to be at her best to produce a strong covering tackle. The first shot of the game came from the home side. Rachel Coote drove forwards down the left and released Siobhan Mullen. Her final shot was just wide of the target though.
More pressure from the home side resulted in the opening goal on 7 minutes. Wawrzycka slid the ball out wide to Mullen who crossed for leading scorer Clair Dolman to slot the ball home. At this point, Hinckley had not threatened, but with their first attempt, they drew level. Coalville lost possession of the ball in their defensive third and failed to win it back quickly, leaving the visiting number 14 to hit a speculative, looping shot from 30 yards that dipped over Cartwright on 11 minutes.
The Ravenettes knew that they had to lift their game to avoid the away side building momentum and taking the game to them. Ashleigh Simons was having success down the Coalville right and produced a couple of telling crosses, whilst Megan Williams was regularly tormenting the Hinckley left back with some strong runs.
A second Coalville goal looked imminent and it duly came on 26 minutes, when Rachel Coote released Siobhan Mullen and she raced through to slot the ball home.
Louise Davies then had to be on her toes to cut out a Hinckley through ball before Ash Simons raced past three defenders, but her cross came to nothing. Megan Williams produced a strong run and shot that failed to trouble the Hinckley 'keeper. Both Jess Vale and captain Nat Jackson were really starting to take control of the midfield and it was the former that set up Dolman, but her shot was straight at the 'keeper. Simons then crossed from the right for Wawrzycka whose first time shot was blocked and the rebound saved by the Hinckley goalkeeper. Coalville almost extended their lead just before half-time when Wawrzycka struck the upright with a fierce strike.
Half-time : Coalville Town Ladies 2 Hinckley Ladies 1
Hinckley came out for the second half looking to soak up pressure. They dropped deeper and deeper, keeping 8 or 9 players behind the ball, which made it hard for Coalville to break them down.
The home side produced several fruitless corners, although Nat Jackson did see her shot cleared off the line from one of them. There was just no way through a compact Hinckley back line, as Coalville were reduced to either striking from distance or getting the ball out wide. Wawrzycka hit a fierce shot that went wide and Dolman then curled a shot on to the roof of the net.
Coalville needed a third to seal the points and it came from a familiar source. The Hinckley 'keepers kick fell to Clair Dolman and she drove forward before unleashing a powerful strike in to the top corner on 71 minutes.
As the Hinckley players tired, Coalville were able to turn the screw, but couldn't add to their score. Dolman went close before the end as did Wawrzycka. Megan Williams' pace was too much for the Hinckley defenders, but Coalville were unable to capitalise on her good work.
Full-time : Coalville Town Ladies 3 Hinckley Ladies 1
Player Of The Match : Jess Vale
Manager Tony Moore was delighted with the result,but felt that his side could have been more clinical in front of goal. "Conditions were tough. It was very windy and Hinckley came with a game plan. They sat deep, looking to hit us on the break. Credit to the girls though. We found a way through and got the three points"