Image Credit: [Leeds University Union Women’s Association Football Club]
In a competitive fixture, the women’s second football team suffered a narrow defeat to arch- rivals Leeds Beckett.
There was a nervy start for both sides, with University of Leeds retaining more possession, forcing Beckett defenders deep into their own half.
However, despite a few sloppy passes at the back from Beckett, we couldn’t seem to break through on goal.
As the half hour mark approached, Beckett were able to catch Uni Of on the counter-attack and took the lead after their centre forward whipped the ball into the top right hand corner. Notably, this was their first shot on target of the game, despite 6 weeks of pre-season training in comparison to the University’s sole week of training.
This was something centre back Ellie Waring pointed out to us, as she claimed that ‘the University had gelled well on the pitch considering the small amount of time they’d had to train together.’ This was proven in the 32ndminute, when two subs were made for Uni Of, in an attempt to drive forward. We then saw more encouraging play from the University of Leeds, as they continually pressed Beckett, restricting their threat in the final third.
As half time approached, both teams were looking to seize initiative. In the 42ndminute, captain Molly Rogan had the chance to break down the right wing and struck the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net.
This seemed to spur life into the Beckett side, who hit the crossbar minutes before half time. Following this was a superb strike that goalkeeper Jade Fakokunde couldn’t keep out despite getting a hand to it, meaning our rivals had the upper hand going into the break.
As the second half commenced, Beckett had more chances and were enjoying more possession. Despite the University of Leeds being spurred on by the home ground, they couldn’t prevent an 85thminute goal from Beckett, who now led 3-1.
The importance of the game was clear, with both sides battling fiercely right up to the the final whistle. Although Beckett secured the victory, the fact the Uni Of Leeds are three leagues below our rivals in the Football League shows we were the underdogs, although you wouldn’t be able to tell on the pitch.