leeds ladies let lead slip to chester-le-streetBack
After ending the game against Guiseley Vixens on Thursday night in such style that the defeat felt like a win, Leeds Ladies were hoping to keep that momentum going against Chester-le-Street on Sunday.
Despite starting as strongly as they’d finished against Guiseley, a disappointing second half let Chester back into the game and it was hard to feel deflated by the 2–2 final score.
“We probably should have come away with more,” says Leeds captain Emma Bentley. “And Sunday I think is the first time where we have to look to ourselves more than refereeing decisions or the rub of the green.”
Leeds dominated the first hour, with Carey Huegett’s clever through balls continually releasing Shelbey Morris to run at the Chester defence. They had to wait until the 40th minute for an opening goal, however, and it was woman of the match Hannah Campbell who broke the offside trap and finished calmly for her third goal in three games.
“Hannah is a quality player – lethal in front of goal,” says Emma. “She’s improving in confidence this season: coming out of her shell and really starting to believe in herself, and she can now see what we all see. She’s brilliant.”
The opener was quickly followed by a second from Morris, who evaded two Chester defenders to get the goal her performance deserved.
At 2–0 Leeds looked comfortable, but they lost their way after two changes in the second half. Jemma White and Shelbey Morris were replaced by Jodie Hartley and Bianca Ross, and Morris’ pace was missed in the last half an hour as Chester fought their way back into the game.
Chester hit Leeds twice on the break to level the scores, and despite a late chance for Huegett Leeds couldn’t reassert themselves. Although club chairman Gary Cooper says in his report at We All Love Leeds that the point gained could eventually prove vital, going from leading 2–0 to drawing 2–2 felt like two points lost at the end of the game.
“It’s hard to see where it went wrong,” says Emma. “Maybe the changes cost us a bit of momentum. There were a couple of individual errors and we need to be much more disciplined as games go on – focusing on game management and making the right decisions on and off the ball to see out the game.”
The Leeds side – and the club as a whole – is still taking shape this season, and on Sunday included debutants Erin Boswell in goal and Lauren Griffiths in midfield, while Jemma White and Jodie Hartley were making their first appearances of the season. Leeds Ladies FC has come together quickly after a turbulent summer, but what has also come quickly are expectation levels – expectations Emma is determined to meet.
“We have very high standards,” she says. "Those standards come from the chairman right down through the management, coaches, supporters and most of all ourselves. There is no point doing a job unless it is going to be done to the best of our ability.
“We set those high standards personally – when they are not reached it can be disappointing but that just means we are always striving to be better.”
Leeds’ next match is a visit to Sheffield United Community LFC at Killamarsh Juniors Athletic Club at 2pm on Sunday September 14th; after they return home to Knaresborough to face Norton & Stockton Ancients on Sunday September 21st at 2pm. Follow Leeds Ladies FC and the LLFC Supporters Club on Twitter for updates.