By Brendan Devereux
Leeds Ladies made the trip to the steel city this Sunday although by half time the fans thought they had come to the glass city. Straight from kick-off Leeds stamped their authority on the game as within the first 7 minutes Leeds had broken down the Blades defences & had 3 shots all narrowly miss the target. Leeds were in fine flow & it appeared Sheffield had no answer until after every tackle then a player went to the floor requiring treatment which broke Leeds flow & the game became a very stop-start affair.
Undeterred Leeds pushed on at every opportunity & 17 minutes in it was none other than leading goal scorer Hannah Campbell who tore through the defence before unleashing a shot from the edge of the area to give Leeds a very well deserved lead. Time & again as Leeds got a foot on the ball a Sheffield player went down which lead to one of the funniest things I’ve seen as the Leeds players forming a huddle while all the supporters began singing the Hokie Cokie.
Just before half-time it was perhaps a case of the Blades who called wolf as Hannah Campbell went 1 on 1 with the keeper & managed to poke it past her the ball trickled agonisingly wide as both players came clattering together. The Sheffield keeper was receiving treatment for some time which angered the travelling support as this tactic had been a recurring theme of the first half only to find out the injury was a suspected torn ACL & we wish her all the best in her recovery.
Leeds started the second half in the same ilk as the first as on the 53rd minute Kez with one of her trademark defence splitting passes put through Shelbey Morris who made no mistake & doubled the Phoenixes advantage. As Sheffield’s constant time wasting tactics began to grown on the players nerves a bizarre decision came from the referee as he decided to book Kez for waving while a free kick was being taken. As the free kick was brought forward Sheffield hit a high one into the Leeds area & managed to pull one back against the run of play.
Determined not to repeat last week’s result Leeds pushed on for a third to kill the game & were unlucky not to get the killing goal as Kez hit the post shortly followed by Bianca hitting the cross bar. The refs poor decisions were to have the final say in this match as Sheffield hit Leeds on the break in the 89th minute & their striker caught Erin White slightly late & the ref was the only person in the ground that seemed to deem the incident a red card offence.
The Phoenixes came away with all 3 points & a performance from start to finish. With Lauryn Colman looking comfortable between the sticks, Bentz & Erin a formidable defensive pair, Starkie & Hamill looking like veteran wing backs, Jemma White & Woman Of The Match Lauren Griffiths bossing the centre midfield & Hannah, Shelbey, Binx & Kez looking like scoring every time they had the ball. It is onwards & upwards for this soaring phoenix as we turn our attention to visit of Norton & Stockton this coming Sunday. So come down & be part of something special at Knaresborough, Manse Lane kick off is 2pm.