leeds ladies 2-3 hull city ladies: leeds demand a reactionBack
Leeds Ladies lost in the league for the first time since March as the division’s new side Hull City ended Leeds’ run of eight consecutive league wins.
After a poor first half by Leeds under the floodlights at Garforth Town, Hull should have led by more than their 1–0 advantage at half-time, but in torrential rain Leeds fought back in the second half and were unfortunate that their two equalisers came to nothing after a harsh penalty and an own goal gave Hull the victory.
“We cranked it up a bit more in the second half and I was disappointed to concede the penalty and an own goal,” says Leeds captain Emma Bentley. “I think the way we fought in the second half could have earned us a draw. We didn’t deserve anything for the first half, but in the second half we might have earned a point.
“I don’t know why we couldn’t lift it before half-time. I’ve watched the footage back of the first half and it’s really disappointing. The honest answer is that we let ourselves down, and we let down the people that came to watch us play, and I’m sorry for that.
“We didn’t play the way we can play, and we let Hull dictate and play their game instead of us playing ours. We need to take responsibility for our own performances and our own desire and make sure that we don’t drop our standards again.”
Leeds couldn’t get going in the first half, and were constantly under pressure from a Hull side that packed midfield and didn’t give Leeds a moment on the ball. Hull had the ball in the net after a free kick fell to an unmarked player just in front of goalkeeper Lauryn Colman, but the goal was ruled out for offside; they took a deserved lead just after half an hour when, after a corner was scrambled clear, the ball was curled into the top corner from just outside the area.
Leeds managed to get into half-time only a goal behind, and despite the heavy rain that began to fall while they were in the changing rooms, came straight out of the blocks in the second half looking determined to make up for the first half. They quickly found an equaliser; less than two minutes had been played when Erin White, continuing her return from injury, played a through ball to Rachael Ackroyd, who caught the Hull keeper off her line with a chip from twenty-five yards out.
Two minutes later, however, Hull were ahead again, after the referee awarded a penalty when the ball struck Vicky Fytche’s hand. There was more spirit in Leeds in the second half, though, and after the addition of Demi Pringle and Shelbey Morris to the attack they deserved their second equaliser. With fifteen minutes left White again sent Ackroyd clear, and this time she crossed for Morris; her first shot was saved, but she reacted first to the loose ball to make it 2–2.
Leeds looked more likely to add to the scoreline until the referee awarded a foul against Sophie Thompson for jostling with a Hull player waiting for an aerial ball to fall; Leeds’ Bridie Hannon made an unfortunate contact as the ball was crossed from the free kick that sent it into the net and put Hull decisively back in front.
“What hurt more than conceding a late goal was the lack of desire in the first half,” says Emma. “We pride ourselves as a team on how we fight and battle but we didn’t see that. Starting at forty-five minutes is too little too late.
“I was gutted after this game. As captain, I have to stand up and admit that we went wrong and we weren’t at the races. I have to take it on the chin and face up to it. But I’m also the one that has to demand a reaction from the girls and make damn sure that it doesn’t happen again.
“Hull City’s celebrations at the end of the game may not have been great to watch or hear, but I hope it fuels the girls for when we go back there in a couple of weeks.
“And before that we travel to Mossley Hill this Sunday where there has to be a reaction. It’s time for people to stand up and be counted now. To stake a claim for their shirt and take responsibility for their own fight, their own passion and their own will to win.”
Leeds travel to Mossley Hill on Sunday 6th September, then return to Garforth Town for two consecutive home games: against Morecambe on Sunday 13th September and Stockport County on Sunday 20th; kick-off at all games is 2pm. Follow them on Twitter for fixtures and updates. Sign up for email updates and match reports from Moscowhite here.