Editor’s Note: Again, special thanks to Chris Routledge to get this report on BOTH the developmental squad and the first team, if you have any questions about the two opponents, check out the preview that we ran on the two LULFC preseason matches.
The second round of preseason games saw Leeds United Ladies first team host Stoke City Ladies while the development squad traveled to East Yorkshire Carnegie. Both were very strong opposition and would be a real test for both Leeds teams.
The first team was playing at Batley Sports Centre on the astro turf, coach Lewis had selected a squad which only had a couple of outfield subs and a substitute keeper, with many players unavailable this week it would be a test of fitness, this really hit home when Leeds realised Stoke had brought what seemed like 2 full teams, one for each half. Leeds played some great football, playing the ball around a lot more comfortably in this, their second game. The highlight was a goal from Jess Holdsworth smashing home her first goal for Leeds, there wasn’t much else in the game but tired legs couldn’t sustain the early work rate and Leeds ended up losing out 4-1.
The development team over in East Yorkshire were assembled from a team consisting of juniors, a few of which were playing under 15s football last season and all but one of the other players were either new to Leeds or players looking to return to Leeds after playing for other clubs. With only 1 sub and the sunshine beating down fitness would be a telling factor in this game too. Carnegie started strongly and were looking to consolidate the form that saw them win all their league games last year only conceding 4 goals all season. Carnegie went 1 up on 15 minutes having started the stronger, Leeds looked like they might crumble as Carnegie were strong and aggressive, the referee had to speak to a couple of their players throughout the game due to their attitude, but Leeds did hold strong and the first half finished 1-0. Second half followed the same pattern and Leeds conceded 3 more goals, only having a few chances to score themselves.
Coaches were in the main pleased with the performance. Getting match fitness was the important factor and it was great to see captain on the day Fiona Berry play a full game after a year out injured.