By Martin 'Badger' Chadwick
Leeds Ladies FC played host to Tingley Reserves at Knaresborough this Sunday afternoon in what was a fairly one sided match. The extremely windy weather made a change from the beautiful sunshine we are used to at Knaresborough but that just meant the fans had to sing louder than normal if such a thing is actually possible.
Tingley lined up without a recognised keeper and although the score line was very unflattering she did make a fair few top drawer saves and stopped a hell of a lot more than she let in.
Leeds Ladies were aware of the keeper situation before the game began and wasted no time in diving upon the advantage when Hannah Campbell had the first shot of the game on the 4th min. Captain Emma Bentley had been moved out of the back line and allowed to return to her natural position of striker and it was evident been up front is where she likes to be when on the 10th min a trademark flick from Kez was met by a Bentley chip that was just a step too far ahead of birthday girl Bianca “Binx” Ross and went just wide of the post as the Tingley defence was still wondering where the ball was.
To be fair to Tingley whilst they were outplayed and outmatched all over the park they didn’t lay down but instead fought for every ball and really made Leeds work hard to break the deadlock which came on the 17th min courtesy of Binx.
The Leeds Ladies Supporters Club were in full song as usual and the humour really shone when Bentz missed a sitter on the 26th min and glared at the fans as we all started to sing “she’s forgotten how to score!”
Tingley still refused to roll over and despite constant pressure from a deadly looking strike trio of Bentz, Binx and Kez it took until the 36th min for Leeds to build upon their lead thanks to a sweet strike from Kez. Three minutes later Bentz scored to make it 3-0 and put all three strikers on the score sheet by halftime.
Halftime saw the supporters club joined by their honorary president and newly crowned European featherweight champion Josh Warrington who kindly posed for photos with fans and talked quite openly and candid about his recent fight.
The second half started pretty much were the first left of with Leeds bombarding the Tingley goal and were rewarding for their efforts on the 46th min when Binx made it 4-0
The 63rd min saw the fans Player of the Month for September Emily von Starkie substituted after yet another fantastic solid performance to make way the return of Leeds legend Fiona Berry. As the fans cheered her first appearance in a Leeds ladies shirt a collective scream of despair could be heard from strikers throughout the league as they faced the realisation that playing against Leeds ladies is really gonna hurt now!
Tingley were very tired from a hard game and couldn’t hold the phoenix at bay anymore. Bentz scored on the 65th and 68rd min to take the score line to 6-0 and be the first Leeds Ladies player to score a hat trick this season.
At the beginning of the season club chairman Gary Cooper promised the players that anyone scored a hat trick and he would buy them chocolates, flowers and a bottle of champagne out of his own pocket and was extremely happy to see the first hat trick of the season. Oh how that was gonna change.
Kez scored on the 75th min to take the score line to 7-0 and Gary Cooper was starting to worry it could be an expensive day having to reward two hat tricks. He was right to worry as Kez completed her hat trick and took the score line to 8-0 on the 88th min.
With a few minutes of the game remaining the fans chants turned from the players on the pitch to the club chairman with chants of “Coopers going bankrupt” and “Gary’s gonna cry, Gary’s gonna cry, One more from Bianca Ross and Gary’s gonna cry” whilst Gary was urging everyone NOT to pass to Binx . Unfortunately (for Gary) no body listened and Binx did indeed score on the 97th min to take the score line to 9-0, complete her hat trick and force a crying Gary Cooper to explain to two of his daughters that Christmas is cancelled this year.
It was great to see a comprehensive thumping score line for the Phoenix, a great battling attempt from Tingley which they should be proud of themselves for and just for a change a wonderful performance from the referee!
So the Phoenix soars into the next round of the county cup and turns her gaze back to the league with a trip to Morecombe on Sunday. As always the supporters club will be running a minibus to the game , find us on Facebook and twitter for more details as and when they are available. I urge all of you to come join us and enjoy watching as the #Phoenixrises