By Brendan Devereux
Last Sunday Leeds made the trip to Morecambe looking to right a wrong following the 3-2 home defeat on October 5th. Despite the fact that the match was played inside a cage the Leeds support where once again in fine voice & the team came out of the blocks on fire. Leeds took full advantage of the fact Morecambe only had 10 players at the start of the match & carved the Morecambe defence open on numerous occasions before they finally capitulated on 11 minutes when Bianca Ross picked up where she left off the week before & scored giving Leeds a well deserved 1-0 lead.
Controversy seems to follow Leeds Ladies around this season & on the 24th minute controversy reared it’s ugly head again when the referee decided to ignore a blatant offside despite his assistants flag. Morecambe's chance went begging fortunately but this left the Leeds bench & supporters in uproar leading to chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing”. The official seemed to take some offence to this & warned manager Jak Oldroyd that if the supporters didn’t shut up he would fine the club.
This led to a few questionable decisions to follow from the referees assistant who seemed to have his confidence knocked following the refs lack of faith in his previous decision. To cheer him up the Leeds faithful brought back the Kez linesman challenge which didn’t quite go down as well as it did the first time. Never the less Leeds pushed forward despite Morecambe at times thinking we were playing rugby & were rewarded with a second goal on the 41st minute when Hannah Campbell fed the ball to Bianca Ross who took her tally to 5 goals in her last 2 outings.
Leeds continued to pile on the pressure right up to the break & on the stroke of half time Hannah Campbell was back amongst the goals after a 3 game barren spell to send the Phoenix into the break with a 3-0 lead.
As the second half got underway the referee was back in the headlines as Erin White had left the field for treatment she was ready to return to the field & for some reason the ref refused to wave her back on & Morecambe picked the ball up in the middle of the park where Erin would have been & scored a screamer from 30 yards making the score 3-1.
Morecambe started throwing everything they had at Leeds but found no way through as Erin White & Jodie Hartley dominated the middle of the park & had the very solid back 4 of Starkie, Hannon, Hammill & Smart backing them up. With Starkie already having her obligatory shot from halfway Jak decided to give her a bit more attacking licence bringing on the returning Sophie Scargill on for Kez.
As the game was drawing to a close chairman Gary Cooper had his heart in his mouth having just forked out 3 lots of choccies, flowers & champagne for the 3 hat tricks scored last week when Bianca Ross broke through the Morecambe defence & with the last kick of the game put the ball just wide of the Morecambe post. She can be seen in the post match interview on the Leeds Ladies youtube channel admitting she did that on purpose to save Gary another pay out.
With back to back home games coming up against Tranmere in the FA Cup & league respectively Leeds can take some good momentum into these fixtures & the Phoenix can carry on rising.