Hull City Ladies got their season off to a rip-roaring start as they hammered Barnsley Ladies 6-1 at Hull University. After finishing third last season and narrowly missing out on the promotion the Tigresses will be looking to go one better this season. They certainly gave a real statement of intent today with a brilliant attacking display.
It was a pretty even start to the game but the Tigresses soon started to build some pressure. The first chance of the game fell to Ellie Harding in the 11th minute. She found herself through one on one with Barnsley goalkeeper Georgia Wattam who managed to tighten the angle enough to put Harding off and it ended up being an easy save for her.
City Ladies didn’t have to wait long to take the lead though. In the 19th minute Rebecca Beech got on the end of a brilliant ball from Eden Pedersen and kept her composure well to tuck the ball into the bottom corner to give the Tigresses an early advantage. 1-0.
The game was feisty early on with some challenges flying in and Hope Knight went into the book in the 22nd minute for persistent fouling. Luckily the game would only get better for Hope. A couple of minutes later City Ladies extended their advantage. Beech turned provider this time as she prodded a ball through to Ellie Harding who knocked it past the onrushing Wattam before going around her and tucking it into the empty net. 2-0
The Tigresses had their tails up now and were looking confident. Hope Knight was starting to stamp her authority on the game and could have scored in the 26th minute. Beech flicked the ball around the corner to Knight and she saw her shot saved. She didn’t have long to dwell on that disappointment though as just three minutes later she poached her first goal.
The Barnsley defence got in a bit of a pickle and that allowed Knight to nip in between them and tap the ball into the empty net to leave the Barnsley defenders with faces as red as their shirts. 3-0
The result was probably already assured as the Tigresses were well on top and playing some excellent football. They further extended their advantage in the 36th minute when Knight got her second of the game. This was the goal of the game as was made with some brilliant midfield link up play. Captain Jo Symington played an exquisite pass around the corner that released Knight and she bent her shot around Wattam and into the bottom right hand corner. A superb goal to top off a fantastic half for the Tigresses. 4-0
HT Hull City Ladies 4-0 Barnsley Ladies.
The second half was more even with Barnsley trying to find a way back into the game. City ladies never really looked threatened but Barnsley did have one good chance in the 61st minute. A scramble in the box from a corner resulted in the ball falling to centre half Kristie Ward who stabbed a shot goal wards but it lacked power and was easily saved by Amy Halloran who had little else to do all game.
The visitors did find a goal in the 75th minute and it was a good one. A foul on the edge of the area gave Barnsley a free kick in a dangerous area and Nikki Hogg stepped up and bent the free kick into the top corner to give the visitors a consolation goal. 4-1
This angered the Tigresses who clearly wanted to keep a clean sheet but they were soon back on the front foot. Sophie Stamp, a former England U21 international, had been influential all game and should have grabbed herself a goal but she could only fire her shot over the bar.
It wasn’t long before the 5th goal went in though and Hope Knight got her hat trick. She was again the beneficiary of a defensive mix up by Barnsley. Rebecca Beech challenged Wattam who spilled the ball and Barnsley failed to clear. Knight pounced on the ball and smashed it into the empty net to claim the match ball. 5-1
The result was already impressive but there was time for it to get even better for the Tigresses and Hope Knight. Incredibly she grabbed her fourth of the game just before the end. She bent her run to beat the offside trap and she hammered the ball into the top corner. An emphatic finish to match an equally emphatic performance. 6-1
FT Hull City Ladies 6-1 Barnsley Ladies
What a way to start the season! The Tigresses played some excellent football again today and took their chances extremely well. Hope Knight was on fire in front of goal and took her four goals well while Sophie Stamp earns our player of the match award after running the show in midfield.
This win sets up next week’s league game nicely as the Ladies travel to Chorley who were also 6-1 winners today.
FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division 1 Results
- Bolton Wanderers Ladies 3-1 Leeds United Ladies
- Chorley Ladies 6-1 Mossley Hill Ladies FC
- Liverpool Feds 4-0 Chester Le Street Ladies
- Hull City Ladies 6-1 Barnsley Ladies
- Newcastle United Women’s Football Club 3-5 Brighouse Town Ladies
Photo Credits: Yvonne Shepherd