On a grey and dull day, minds went back to 5 months ago when Leeds Ladies FC beat Mossley Hill Ladies on our home patch 7-1. The fans were coming into this game hoping for more of the same. The conditions meant the Ladies could not play the smooth passing football that has given us many plaudits recently. The pitch was also on a slant, so that added more difficulty to the game.
The Ladies also welcomed back Helen Wagstaff who had returned from the States, and it was plain to see to all that she had a massive impact on the game.
The game was a scrappy affair for the first 18 minutes or so. Both teams failed to get hold of the ball properly and we saw more throw-ins and goal-kicks than actual play on the field. However, this all changed on the 19th minute when Mossley struck first to make it 1-0.
From the kick-off after the goal, Leeds upped their intent and within 6 minutes, they were on level terms when Demi Pringle took a shot, and when the goalkeeper spilled it to Harriet Jakeman, she smashed the ball home. It was 1-1 on the 25th minute and the game showed signs of sparking into life. But it was home advantage to Mossley just before half-time when their striker put another past Aimee Routledge to make it 2-1.
Half-time came and went and the second half kicked off. Leeds were coming out all guns firing and it took them only 3 minutes to level the scores once again when Pringle forced another great save (she WILL get her first league goal soon!) but Simona Petkova (who had only landed in the country 12 hours beforehand along with Greek ace Veatriki Sarri) put in the rebound for a sublime goal. 2-2.
This time, it was Leeds who were in the ascendancy. Bringing Sarri on as a substitute caused all sorts of problems for Mossley, and on the 60th minute mark, she headed home a superb cross from Jakeman and pushed Leeds into the lead 2-3.
Leeds were simply not done there. More impressive attacking play from the likes of Petkova, Jakeman and Sarri, coupled with the impressive defensive duties of Cath Hamill, Jodie Hunter, Megan Maxted and Eden Pedersen meant Mossley could not find a way through. Three superb saves from Routledge (all three on the goal-line and one which Routledge had to push out for Maxted to clear off the line!) ensured Mossley were not going to get another goal.
On 81 minutes, Sarri slotted home a fantastic cross from Arianne Parnham to make it 2-4 to the away side and the Ladies sealed the win in stoppage time when Jakeman struck the ball onto the underside of the crossbar. That shot went in to make it 2-5. The referee blew the full-time whistle and the fans who travelled from Leeds (and further) cheered. A fantastic day for the first team who put in a very, very good performance.
It’s a difficult decision for me to pick my own Player of the Match, as everyone in the team performed brilliantly. The official Player of the Match went to Helen Wagstaff who slotted in like she had never been away, but I think Harriet Jakeman deserves the TIAT Player of the Match for her sheer work ethic and her well taken goals.
Next week sees us take on Blackpool away, and it will be a very tough game, but I think three points will be coming home with our White Winners!
I’d like to add that the entire team deserve a massive round of applause from all on social media.
And, a massive special mention to both junior teams who played in the morning. The u15’s took on Horsforth, and I was able to attend most of that one. The final score there was 6-1 to Leeds. The u16’s played straight after at the same field (Temple Newsam) and won 5-0 against Queensbury. Credit to the coaches who have done an absolutely wonderful job. Horsforth are top of the league in the u15’s table so that win for Leeds was a doubly special one. Massive well done to all involved at the juniors.