Fantastic Fowler nets a treble in Ladies’ opening day victory

Great start for Chesterfield Ladies.
Great start for Chesterfield Ladies.

​A hat-trick from Imogen Fowler was the standout performance for the Blues on her second debut for Chesterfield.

In the opening stages of the game both teams battled hard to retain possession and find their feet. Ilkeston had the best chance of the early stages of the match when their number nine was slipped through on goal but dragged her shot wide of the target.

The course of the first half soon changed though with a quick-fire brace of goals from the Blues. The first goal of the season came from Fowler, who gained possession 30 yards from goal and looped a fantastic effort over the goalkeeper and into the top right corner in the 21st minute.

Shortly after the restart, Maddi Frances-Creaser received the ball in her own half and played a long ball over the top of the Ilkeston defence which Georgina Williams latched onto. She rounded the keeper and slotted into an empty net, continuing her fine goal scoring form from last season.

A third goal for Chesterfield arrived in the 32nd minute with another incredible strike from Fowler. The ball dropped to her on the edge of the 18-yard box and she found the top right corner again with a first-time volley giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Ilkeston managed to pull one back in the 35th minute through good fortune. A long-range shot was parried by Blues goalkeeper Becca Baker and landed at the feet of their right sided attacker who tapped the ball home into an empty net.

Following half-time, Ilkeston piled the pressure on the Blues and were rewarded in the 59th minute when Baker got a glove to a long range effort but couldn’t prevent the ball trickling over the line.

Ilkeston continued to increase the pressure for the remaining half hour of the match and gave Chesterfield little time on the ball, making it difficult to play the passing football they wanted to.

Chesterfield weathered this storm though and managed to seal all three points in the 89th minute. A cross from the left-hand side was met by a dink over the goalkeeper from Fowler who sealed her hat-trick in the final minutes.

Chesterfield Ladies will hope to build on a strong start to the season as they host Rotherham United Women next Sunday in their first home game of the season.