IT has felt like life in the fast lane for goalkeeper Hope Lawson after since she signed at Wanderers Ladies.

After two long away days at Newcastle United and Chester-le-Street, the former Penrith shot-stopper says she is now adjusting to the step up in class in the women’s game.

One of a handful of new signings in Chris Knights’ side, Lawson has found herself travelling up and down the motorways for longer than she has spent on the pitch. But the new arrival feels her game is already improving from playing in a higher division.

“It’s been great to experience playing at this level and it’s been a good challenge for me,” she said. “It is a great feeling to be back playing regular football following a break, so I am really enjoying it at the moment.

“The main difference is the pace of the game at this level, that and the travelling.

“My first two games for Bolton have been Newcastle United away and Chester-Le-Street away but it has been made easier by the fact that all of the girls are so welcoming and are constantly encouraging me.

“I feel as though I am a part of the team and I am really benefitting from the specialised training that I am getting and the scenarios that we go over.

“I feel like I am developing well and that I am starting to implement what I am learning into the games.”

Wanderers were back up in the North East for the second consecutive weekend and would find that the match went in a similar direction as the previous outing to Newcastle.

The Whites started slowly, offering the home side an early advantage. Megan Elliot slotted home just 13 minutes in after Bolton had failed to clear their lines.

Chester-Le-Street continued to display their attacking intent following the opener and would have extended their lead had it not been for new keeper, Lawson. Following a flurry of important saves, she was finally beaten when Laura Hockaday fired a loose ball into the roof of the net in the 34th minute.

Wanderers began to respond following the second when a handful of half chances fell to Safron Newhouse and Rachel Hindle but there would be no time for a reply before the break. The home side went in at half time with a two-goal advantage and set Bolton an uphill battle for the second half.

Wanderers started the second period on the front foot, much like Chester-Le-Street had started the first half. Some neat passing in midfield allowed Safron Newhouse a run down the wing to put a cross into the box which looped inches above the head of oncoming Rachel Hindle.

Bolton would continue their attacking when Natalie Bell whipped a corner into the far post, almost scoring directly had it not been for the hand of the Chester-Le-Street goalkeeper. When called upon, Wanderers stopper Lawson made more strong saves to keep her side in with a chance of getting anything from the game. Despite their best efforts, there would be no time for a comeback and the two early Chester-Le-Street goals condemned Bolton to a second away defeat in a week.

Having seen many of the home games called off earlier in the season, due to the recent bad weather, Wanderers Ladies now play six of their last seven league games of the season at home. Only a league away trip to Bradford City Women and a cup final trip to the County Ground in Leyland remain for the Wanderers.

The home advantage may well be a big factor in the Wanderers’ fight for survival in the FA Women’s National League.

Wanderers Ladies: Lawson, Malpus, Cook, Leigh-Connor, Brown, Holmes, Newhouse, Bell, Foster, Hindle, Bailey.