Continuing our fantastic partnership with the Leeds Ladies, We All Love Leeds are happy to announce that we will now be publishing match reports of every game of their season as the phoenix continues to rise.
Brendan Devereux takes a look at Leeds Ladies second league loss of the season at home to Stockport.
After an impressive comeback victory against Morecambe last week Leeds entertained Stockport at Garforth this past Sunday. Manager Gaz Lee made a few changes to the starting line up with Georgia Wattam returning in goal after injury, Emily Starkie in for the injured Vicky Fytche and Beth Smith replacing Rachel Ackroyd in attack.
The Stockport tactic was evident from kick off quite simply stop Leeds from playing, whether that be constantly appealing every little decision or by persistent fouling.
This was the story of the first half with the only chance of note falling to Beth Smith who beat the offside trap & just fired wide on 20 minutes. Stockport were definitely not shy of going hard into nearly every tackle and the crowd had their hearts in their mouths when skipper Emma Bentley went down under a crunching tackle and had to receive lengthy treatment on the sidelines.
As the teams came out for the second half, we saw a bit of a tactical switch with Beth Smith dropping into the midfield & Zoe Doherty pushed up front. Leeds seemed to have a bit more life in them after some early second half subs with Demi Pringle coming on for Shelbey Morris and Caitlin Gunnell making her debut, replacing Catherine Hammil. It was Stockport who struck first however when Hanifa Douglas pounced on some uncertain defending to fire the visitors into the lead.
This finally seemed to light a fire under Leeds with Doherty & Pringle both causing constant problems to the Stockport back line. On the 70th minute it was Pringle who after beating two players was scythed down inside the area winning Leeds a penalty, up stepped Captain Faithful, who coolly slotted the penalty home to level the score.
In the 89th minute Leeds thought they had won the game when Pringle burst through on goal with her shot beating the keeper only to bounce agonisingly off the post. With Leeds pushing for a winner they were vulnerable to a counter and into injury time that’s exactly what happened, with Leeds outnumbered at the back Grace Campbell fired past Wattam to give Stockport all three points.
It's back to the drawing board for Gaz & his team and with Hull away on Wednesday, there will be some hard work going in this week. Leeds haven’t got as far as they have in a year by sitting & licking their wounds though and I’m sure we will see that Keep Fighting spirit as Leeds look to get their title challenge back on track.
By Brendan Devereux