By Brendan Devereux
Leeds Ladies hosted Liverpool Marshalls in a top of the table clash this past Sunday, the sun was shining & as always the fans were in fine voice (much to the oppositions chagrin). As seen in recent matches Leeds got straight out of the blocks and hit the ground running. It was plain to see early on that the front four were going to cause Liverpool no end of problems. Leeds hard work paid off after 11 minutes as Hannah Campbell broke free only to see her shot saved but the rebound fell to Carey 'Kez' Huegett who showed her Le Tissier like quality and hit it on the half volley to give Leeds the lead. This was unfortunately short lived as Liverpool hit Leeds on the break and a handball missed by the officials gave the Marshalls the equaliser.
In another bizarre incident missed by the referee Shelbey Morris was put in a headlock that Bret 'The Hitman' Hart would have been proud of. Leeds were dealt another blow shortly after when Jemma White was forced off with an injury. Leeds strength in depth was evident as both Erin White and Vicky Fytche were warming up as a replacement for those of you unaware that's like seeing David Batty injured while Vinnie Jones & Billy Bremner are on the bench. Leeds were unlucky not to go in to the break in front as once again Hannah Campbell broke free while her shot beat the keeper it agonisingly just went centimetres wide of the post.
As the second half had barely got underway when Leeds were hit with another injury & Shelbey Morris was forced to leave the field to be replaced by Vicky Fytche. The game tightened up as both teams pushed forward trying to take the lead at halftime Emma Bentley must have been watching the Leeds United vs Bournemouth goals as on several occasions she made box to box runs trying to outdo Bellusci & get on the score sheet. With Leeds lacking pace since the departure of Shelbey Morris the goal threats seemed to come from Kez who had the keeper sprawling with long range efforts on numerous occasions and one had the keeper beat only to thunder back off the crossbar.
Just as it seemed as a draw was the most likely outcome Liverpool threw everything they had at Leeds and as a cross came in it fell to a Liverpool player who saw her shot deflected heartbreakingly past Lauryn Colman. This was clearly a big scalp for Liverpool as they celebrated like winning the cup final with one player even giving the Leeds fans a bit of grief.
Despite the loss Leeds can take pride in the performance with player of the match Bridie Hannon looking like she has been centre back her whole life, Lauren Griffiths dominating the midfield and the sheer class of Kez when she has the ball you always feel a goal is imminent. Attention now turns to 2 games in 4 days as local rivalry is renewed when Leeds travel to Guiseley on Thursday evening before hosting Morecambe on Sunday this result is merely turbulence in the rise of the Phoenix.