Football is primarily a team-game, but moments of individual brilliance can sometimes have a big effect on the final result. Wednesday’s BUCS fixture between Leeds women seconds and Teeside was a clear example of this, where the Teeside number nine ran the show, scoring four goals and playing a prominent part in the other goals that were scored by the away side.
The match, nonetheless, started even enough. Leeds attacked the Teeside defence from the beginning, managing to hit a couple of early shots which tested the keeper early on. The away side did the same, where they blazed three shots over the bar in the space of around five minutes. It was end to end stuff. It certainly seemed like this would be a game decided by the smallest of margins. However, this was not to be the case today. The away side opened the scoring with a lovely goal from their number 9. Leeds, though, replied instantly with a goal from Charlie Kenyon after Annie Ackroyd’s shot had hit the bar. So far so good for the Gryphons. However, the turning point in the match came when Teeside’s number nine scored a couple of goals in quick succession to make the score 3-1 after nearly 30 minutes played, and, also, to complete her hat-trick. She was not done there though. Scoring to make it 4-1, the half-time score seemed an unassailable margin to comeback from. Could the Gryphons at least reduce the deficit?
An early goal in the second half did nothing to help Leeds’s cause. 5-1 down, the team were still smiling, still trying to play, still giving it their all for the University and their team-mates. The away side scored a sixth goal before Shay Alraban slotted home a coolly placed penalty in the bottom corner for the home side. Teeside scored their seventh goal of the match late on before Shay Alraban scored her second goal of the match in the last kick of the game with a sublime chip over the goalkeeper to end the match 7-3.
The reality is that the score line does not accurately portray the quality of the Leeds side. Indeed, the Gryphons just so happened to face a fantastic attacker in red-hot form, with several of her four goals coming from solo-efforts. Had she not been playing, the score would undoubtedly have been a lot closer. It is a sporting cliché, but sometimes you really do learn more from your defeats than your victories. The Gryphons did not win the match, but they did play some good football, create some good attacking moves and defended well for the most part, the goalkeeper Izzy Lowen also made some fantastic saves. It is still early on in the season, and they will do well to take the result, but not the performance, out of their head onto the next match vs local Yorkshire rivals Bradford on Wednesday at 2PM on Weetwood playing fields.
Photo Credit: Target