Northampton Town Women secured an important and well-deserved 2-0 win at home to Lincoln City in the FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands on Sunday afternoon.
Jade Bell scored both of the Cobblers’ goals as they overcame second-placed opposition and climbed out of the relegation zone, despite playing with 10 players for the final half-an-hour.
The opening stages were even with the hosts creating the clearest chances, Vicky Barrett heading wide from Zoe Boote’s corner before the captain played Alex Dicks over the top and the forward’s half-volley was blocked by a defender.
The first goal was always going to be vital in such a close game, and Northampton scored it following a great passing move 10 minutes before the break.
Barrett played the ball out wide to Beth Artemiou, she played a one-two with Kim Farrow and set Bell through on goal, and the forward capitalised on a loose backpass to finish despite a touch from the ‘keeper.
She doubled her tally and the Cobblers’ lead just a few minutes later, touching the ball past the Lincoln stopper, sprinting round her and passing into the empty net.
The hosts had seized control of the contest and were relatively comfortable in the second period, despite going down to 10 players on the hour mark.
Artemiou was on the receiving end of a late challenge and was shown a straight red card for her reaction, the tackle only earning her opponent a booking.
The 10-players stood strong and remained largely untroubled in the time that remained, limiting Lincoln to half-chances whilst still creating opportunities of their own.
Bell thought she had completed her hat-trick and extended her side’s lead with three minutes of normal time remaining.
The visiting ‘keeper dropped the ball under pressure from substitute Rachael Mumford and Bell tapped in on the line, but the referee eventually blew for a foul having initially awarded the goal.
It did not matter, though, as Northampton held onto their two-goal advantage to continue their 100% start to 2023 and extend their unbeaten run in the league to four games.
Josh Oldfield and Liam Williams’ side are currently scheduled to travel to Stourbridge next week.
Their opponents have only failed to win once in the league so far this season, and had built an eight point lead at the top of the table before the start of play on Sunday.
Cobblers: Jo Daniel, Sara Wait, Vicky Barrett, Bianca Luttman, Zoe Boote (sub TJ Warren 90), Favour Omenazu, Fay Noble (sub Rachael Mumford 78), Beth Artemiou, Kim Farrow (sub Abbie Brewin 66), Alex Dicks (sub Georgia Tear 84), Jade Bell (sub Abbie Reboul 90)