mossley hill 0-1 leeds ladies: jepson goal underlines leeds responseBack
Leeds Ladies went to second place in the league after fighting hard for three points at Mossley Hill, to put the midweek defeat to league leaders Hull behind them.
Nicolle Jepson scored the decisive goal in a 1–0 victory, her first goal of the season capping a series of hard-working performances in the Leeds attack.
Neither side was able to show much attacking prowess on Sunday in a game that became a midfield battle, with plenty of tackling in midfield but not many chances.
Leeds timed their goal to perfection, taking the lead three minutes into the second half. Emma Bentley controlled a loose ball in midfield and lifted the ball forward to Shelbey Morris, whose deft flick put Rachael Ackroyd into space on the left wing; Ackroyd volleyed a cross into the penalty area and a let in Jepson, who snuck in between defender and goalkeeper to finish.
“I was so happy to see Kolo score,” says Leeds captain Emma Bentley. “She’s been deserving that one for a while now. I think I was more excited than she was when it went in!”
Emma had called for a reaction after the 3–2 defeat to Hull on Wednesday night, and with no time to dwell on that scoreline the trip to Mossley Hill was an early opportunity to get that game out of Leeds’ system.
“We didn’t train on Thursday after the Hull game, so the next time we were together was Sunday morning when we turned up for the Moseley Hill game. It was good to have another game so quickly; the bus trip down to Mossley was great, the girls all came together and the spirit was great.
“We planned to start quickly and get at them. We haven’t started well in games this season and it’s something that we need to work on. We also planned to play our own game. We have seen more than once this season that teams have lined up to try and shut out what they think we are going to do. I think that’s a big compliment to us that teams are really doing their homework and worrying about what we might bring.”
Mossley Hill’s plan looked to be to keep the game in an overloaded midfield, and put pressure on from there; a plan that worked to an extent, as it restricted the opportunities for Leeds’ forwards to break.
“It was similar to how Hull played against us,” says Emma. “Determined not to give us any time on the ball. But they were a lot tougher than Hull — they kicked harder! Erin White had a good old scrap against their captain last season and it was the same this time too.
“My legs are in bits — but as well as my bruises, the remnants of someone else’s boots across my new white boots is not impressing me! That just shows we gave as good as we got. It was tough in there to be honest. There was no time on the ball and in the first half because they had more players in midfield there was even less time to think.
“Because of the fragile way we’ve been playing in the last couple of games I can’t say I enjoyed this fight as much as when we went to Mossley last year, but we came out on top in the end.”
The full-blooded commitment from both teams made it difficult for any individual players to assert themselves, and there were few spells of quality football. The win came down to a team effort, but Emma was left frustrated that Leeds weren’t able to show more of what they can do.
“I’m pleased to have got back to winning after the Hull result, and I’m proud of the girls for grounding out that win after a tough week. But I still stand by what I’ve said about the football we’re playing not reflecting what we’re truly capable of.
“I’m always happy to win, and I’ll take scrappy 1–0 wins until the end of the season. But I also want the fans who come to see us at Garforth to really enjoy what they see, and I want us to reward their support by showing them the quality we have in this side in the next few games.”
Leeds Ladies play two consecutive home games on the next two Sundays, at Garforth Town: against Morecambe on Sunday 13th September and Stockport County on Sunday 20th; kick-off for both games is 2pm. Follow them on Twitter for fixtures and updates. Sign up for email updates and match reports from Moscowhite here.