leeds ladies lose at tranmere, but look forward to guiseley clashBack
Leeds Ladies captain Emma Bentley says that losing to Tranmere in the first round of the FA Premier League Cup won’t affect the positive mood at the reborn club.
Although Leeds took the lead in the 42nd minute through a Hannah Campbell header, Tranmere equalised before half-time and took a 3–1 lead in the second half. Against Stockport at the weekend Leeds had come back from 2–0 down to win 4–2, but although their fightback at Tranmere produced a first Leeds goal for Bianca Ross, they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Lauryn Colman saved an injury time penalty to keep the final score at 3–2, and in his match report at RITGK, Brendan Devereux claims the refereeing affected Leeds’ chances throughout.
“You’ve got to expect that sometimes you will play an away fixture and not get the decisions you hope for – those 50/50 split second decisions tend not to go your way,” says Emma. “Credit to the ref – when he booked Emily Starkie in the first half, he acknowledged that she wasn’t the last player and made the right choice to give her yellow and not red.
“No matter what ref we get or how good a game they are having, I always encourage the girls to play to the whistle and just get on with it. Once he’s made his mind up he isn’t going to change it. They can leave it to me and I’ll do the whinging at him – I’m good at that!”
Despite the result, Emma says there were plenty of positives to take from the game.
“It was a solid performance that continues to build on all the positive progress we have been making. We peppered their goal in the first half. If Sophie Varley had been half a foot taller she would have had a header go in, and on another day the chances we had would have hit the back of the net. Although we would have liked to progress further in the cup, our main focus has always been the league and consolidating our position there.”
The form of Bianca Ross has been one of the big positives for Leeds already this season, and one plus from the trip to Tranmere was a first goal for the new forward.
“Whenever Binx gets the ball she looks dangerous and you just know that she is capable of doing something special,” says Emma. “She let fly with a couple in the first half and their keeper did will to keep them out. But this looping left footer from the edge of the box left her with no chance. A stepover, a change of direction, a yard of space and a deadly shot – that’s exactly what Binx is about. I’m so pleased for her that she’s off the mark and I’m sure it’s the first of many. I’m just thankful that she’s running towards their defenders and not me!”
Leeds’ next game is at home against Guiseley Vixens, and although the derby match will be a tough test for Leeds, Emma says they’re looking forward to the game.
“The mood of the team is amazing. It’s as simple as that. It always has been. It’s a long time since I have felt such a special feeling within a team. No matter what is going on, on or off the pitch, every single one of those girls has each other in mind. To say we haven’t been together long we are such a tight knit group – we talk to each other every day.
“We are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead on Thursday and I have told the girls to expect a strong, experienced and organised side in Guiseley. They are always up for anything that is put in front of them and I am never in doubt that they won’t stop running until that final whistle. I know that on Thursday – win, lose or draw – we will come off that pitch just as we go on to it – United in all but name.”
Leeds Ladies v Guiseley Vixens takes place at Harrogate Railway’s ground next to Starbeck Station on Thursday September 4th at 7.45pm; entry is £2 and £1 for kids. After that home games move to Knaresborough Town, starting on Sunday 7th against Norton & Stockton Ancient. Follow LeedsLadiesFC and the LLFC Supporters Club on Twitter for updates.