After Sunday’s excellent victory over Barnsley Ladies in the league opener, Hull City Ladies were back in action last night in a friendly game to celebrate the opening of the new £3.5 million football hub at Hull University. The Tigresses also showed off the new strip they will be playing in this year and on first sight they looked resplendent.
The result of the match was unimportant and head coach, Danny Johnson used the match to give some game time to some of the younger members of the squad as well as some of the more established stars in a mix ‘n’ match team with frequent substitutions on both sides.
There wasn’t much between the two sides in the opening exchanges, though an early raid by the Vixens caused a stir in the home defence, Meg Render who was excellent in the first half stepped in with a timely tackle. After fourteen minutes City won the ball in midfield and youngster Natalie Bell turned and shot from the edge of the area to open the scoring.
Minutes later Katie Thompson who was energetic in her stint used her searing pace to skin the defence and send over a tempting right wing cross that just evaded Eleanor Robinson and cleared to safety.
With 20 minutes gone the Tigresses doubled their lead when captain Jo Symington saw her vicious shot parried but the impressive Thompson pounced to bury the rebound.
The Vixens came back into the tie five minutes later after a penetrating raid down the flank saw the ball land at the feet of the Vixens player who slotted the ball under the advancing home keeper.
Olivia Jackson sent a shot harmlessly over the visitors bar, and moments later Evie Barratt nearly set up Bell with a chance to score her second but she was unable to connect onto the pass.
Thompson then produced another moment of magic, after her surging run through the middle, see spotted the Vixens keeper off her line and smashed a bullet shot goalward only to rattle the crossbar. Guiseley looked to restore parity with a couple of raids into City territory but each time Meg Render was on hand to make the tackle.
Rachael Ackroyd combined early in the second period with Thompson but her two attempts on goal were thwarted by the Vixens defence.
Guiseley were settling into the game and only a timely tackle from Natasha Cooke prevented an attack and seconds later, Lianna Pondur in the City goal pulled off a fine save to keep her sides lead in tact. Pondur was again called into action a few minutes later when she charged out of her area to clear the danger with a perfect tackle.
Olivia Jackson in midfield for the Tigresses was a pest to the Vixens all game, her non stop chasing broke up numerous attacks for the visitors. Rachael Ackroyd was working tirelessly up front chasing down every lost cause as the Tigresses looked to extend their lead but to no avail.
Eden Pedersen caused a murmur in the Vixens defence when she made a lung bursting run down the right but just failed to latched onto the through ball.
With fifteen minutes left to play, Guiseley started to take a stranglehold on the game and after a mix up in the Tigress defence the ball fell to a Guiseley striker who’s shot was goalbound and in an effort to clear the ball, Ellie Tanser was unfortunate to have the last touch as the ball found it’s way into the net for the equaliser.
With six minutes left to play, Guiseley were awarded a free kick about twenty yards from the City goal. as the free kick evaded the wall, Pondur could only watch on as the ball bounced onto the Tigrersses crossbar.
With two minutes remaining Guiseley struck the killer blow, when a lovely weighted ball from midfield split the City defence and with a perfectly timed run, beating the offside trap slid the ball home to make it 2-3.
It wasn’t the end of the action though as with seconds to go, Pederesen floated over a perfect cross that the Vixens keeper flapped at before somehow managing to shovel the ball away for a corner, from which Rebecca Beech pulled a shot wide of the net with the last kick of the game.
Full Time: Hull City Ladies 2 vs Guiseley Vixens 3
The Tigresses attention will now turn to an early season top of the table clash when they travel to Chorley Ladies who had an identical 6-1 victory in their season opener.
Photo credit: Dave Hare.