LEEDS University Women’s football 3rd team lost narrowly to Newcastle 2nds at Weetwood on Wednesday. However, this was not reflective of Leeds’s performance, with the Gryphons dominating throughout the second half and coming close many a time to scoring a goal of their own.
Having beaten their opponents last week 14-0, Newcastle were viewed with some trepidation in the run up to the fixture. At the start of the game, Leeds perhaps let this show in their play, giving the Newcastle side too much respect and time on the ball. However, luckily for Leeds, Newcastle hadn’t seemed to have spent much time on shooting practice, with the majority of their chances sailing over the crossbar. In addition, the Leeds back four were excellent, often striding across the box to put in a last-ditch challenge
However, 25 minutes in, Newcastle broke the deadlock. Their winger made a run down the left-hand side, cut in, and scored straight into the bottom corner of the goal. This goal was deserved, but after this Leeds really came into the game.
The Gryphons didn’t let their heads drop, and Newcastle seemed to relax having scored a goal. For the remainder of the first half, Leeds’ play improved massively, with the side pushing further and further into Newcastle’s half. The opponents occasionally looked threatening on the counter-attack, but when the whistle blew for half-time, Leeds had successfully dealt with an early onslaught and were ready to fight in the second-half.
And this is exactly what they did. Leeds completely dominated the next 45 minutes. The majority of attacks came from the wings, with the Newcastle defenders unable to deal with the new burst of energy in the Leeds midfield. This was not the case with the Leeds defence however, with a stable back four allowing Newcastle little joy. Leeds’ best chance came in the 60th minute, with a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper seeing the ball go just wide of the empty net. Unfortunately however, Newcastle got an undeserved goal in the 70th minute, essentially taking victory away from Leeds. On a rare foray into the Leeds half, a shot from Newcastle was parried by the Leeds ‘keeper. However, the loose ball fell to the opponents, and the resulting shot saw the ball just trickle over the line before being dragged back by the goalkeeper. With the obvious lack of goal-line technology, the referee gave Newcastle the goal.
Despite this disappointment, Leeds kept looking for the goal which they truly deserved. However, the full-time whistle confirmed Newcastle’s 2-0 victory. Nonetheless Leeds’ performance was very encouraging, and seeing as Newcastle are one of the best sides in the league this season, victories for Leeds 3rds look likely in their upcoming fixtures.
Featured Photo: The Gryphon