With Rachel Gay enjoying a well earned holiday, Danny Johnson took the helm for Hull City Ladies for the final preseason fixture before the league campaign starts next Sunday.
In a late fixture change Guiseley Vixens who were promoted from the FAWPL Northern Division One last season replaced York City Ladies as the opposition on a lovely sunny day down at Hull University.
Both teams started the game with tempo and energy and it was the visitors who had a couple of shots but neither troubled Amy Halloran in the City goal. As the game settled into a rhythm the Tigresses started to make their presence felt and mid way through the first half the breakthrough came.
City were awarded a free kick on half way, captain Jo Symington chipped over a lovely ball to the lively Hope Knight who skipped past the defender and produced a brilliant cross to the back post that right back Eden Pedersen coolly met with a header past the Guiseley keeper. There was a delay in play as a visiting defender received treatment for an injury picked up trying to stop the goal.
The Tigresses enjoying a good amount of possession started to trouble Guiseley, Clark set up Hope Knight for a shot, but the keeper wasn’t to be troubled on this occasion. Emily Smith’s influence was growing on the game as she first fed Rebecca Beech for a shot that was put out for a corner and swiftly after a good run down the wing her effort was again put behind but the Tigresses couldn’t capitalise.
It wasn’t long to wait for City’s second goal when good work from Lydia Clark 20 yards out caused confusion in the heart of the Guiseley defence and Symington muscled her way through on goal and fired her shot low into the left hand corner of the net.
Minutes later a Guiseley attack was thwarted as the Tigress defence held firm from a corner and as the half drew to a close Beech saw an shot fail to trouble the keeper and they went into the break with a two goal advantage.
Guiseley started the second half with a bit more purpose but it was the Tigresses who were first to bear their teeth, Clark was caught offside but a minute later some great inter passing ending with the impressive Knight who unleashed a shot from distance that scraped the bar. The Vixens continued to press but the Tigress defence was been superbly marshalled by Natasha Cooke who was a rock all afternoon. On 55 minutes Beech played a lovely first time pass out to the right for the on rushing Pedersen who delivered a teasing cross into the box, but it just evaded substitute Liberty Bott.
Beech then tried her luck but her effort was dealt with easily, Vixens then nearly capitalised on a slip up in the City defence but the danger was averted with some good work of Cooke and goalie Halloran.
On 60 minutes Bott linked with fellow sub Rachael Ackroyd but her weak shot was easily saved. Another error at the back called Halloran into action again who dealt with the danger and she found Meg Render with a lovely pass. 5 minutes later City Ladies had a penalty shouted waved away after some lovely one touch football involving Ackroyd, Bott and Knight with the latter’s goal bound shot hitting a defender but not a penalty.
The Vixens were starting to pressurise the Tigresses and on 70 minutes Halloran made a brilliant save with her feet to keep her clean sheet in tact. City weathered the storm and came back with efforts from Smith and Ackroyd and on 82 minutes Bott put the icing on the cake with a beautifully worked goal. Meg Render delivered a fantastic pass through the Vixens defence and Bott timed her run to perfection, despite shouts for offside to drill home the shot.
In the final few moments the Tigresses had chances through an Ellie Harding 20 yard shot and an Ellice Jackman header but the game ended 3-0 to the hosts, who played some lovely neat football on the day and thoroughly deserved the win.
Photo Credits: Dave Hare and Yvonne Shepherd.
Below is a brief highlights video from today’s game. Apologies for missing the 1st goal.