Hull City Ladies are top of the league tonight after a 1-0 win away at early pace setters Brighouse Town. The Tigresses were unbeaten going into the game and they continued that fine start to the season today thanks to Natasha Cooke’s first half goal.
The Tigresses started brightly and dominated the first half. Their first chance came in the 11th minute when Hope Knight hit a cross into the box that almost floated over the goalkeeper and in. It fell to Sophie Stamp who played it back to Meg Render who saw her shot cleared.
They wouldn’t have to wait much longer to open the scoring. A corner from the right was swung into the box by the excellent Katie Thompson and Natasha Cooke rose amongst a sea of bodies around the penalty spot to head the ball home. Brighouse 0-1 Hull City Ladies
The Tigresses were purring now and continued to dominate their high flying opponents. Meg Render saw a shot tipped wide by the goalkeeper before Captain Jo Symington hit the post. This wouldn’t be a only time she would hit the woodwork as in the 32nd minute she hit a dipping shot from 25 yards that crashed against the post. That would have been a great goal!
The woodwork was wobbling for the third time in the half when Symington again hit the post this time directly from a corner! Brighouse then broke quickly from the corner and Amy Halloran had to be on hand to make a save from Becky Kendell. The final chance of the half fell to Hope Knight who saw a shot well saved by Steph Jones in the Brighouse goal.
HT Brighouse Town Ladies 0-1 Hull City Ladies
The second half was more of a battle between the two sides with Brighouse trying to play themselves into the game. They had the first half chance in the 52nd minute when Kendell put a long range shot wide. Just two minutes later the Tigresses should have put the game to bed. Meg Render and Katie Thompson combined well down the right as they had done in the first half and Thompson was released to the by line. She pulled the ball back to Sophie Stamp who hit her shot agonisingly over the crossbar.
After absorbing a lot of pressure from Hull the hosts started to play some decent football and in the 62nd minute they were frustrated when they were denied by an excellent defensive header from Ellice Jackman.
The Tigresses were tiring and needed some fresh legs on the pitch so Liberty Bott was sent on in place of Rebecca Beech. Bott had a chance to seal the win in the 82nd minute when Ellie Tanser found her with a deep cross but she could only fire her shot well over the bar. Four minutes later it was Hope Knights turn to try and win the game. Thompson did brilliantly to nick the ball off the goalkeeper and crossed for Knight who saw her header cleared off the line by a retreating Brighouse defender.
The Tigresses had seen a lot of chances pass them by in the game and they were almost punished for their misses in stoppage time. Brighouse midfielder Zoe Doherty saw a dipping shot go just over the bar. Then in the 95th minute there was an almighty goalmouth scramble in the City box and at least two shots were blocked on the line before it was finally cleared. The referee finally blew his whistle 7 minutes into stoppage time to signal a hard fought victory for the Tigresses.
FT Brighouse Town Ladies 0-1 Hull City Ladies
Player of the match: Katie Thompson. The right winger was excellent all game as her and Meg Render ran the Brighouse left hand side ragged all game. She also provided the assist for Cooke’s goal to top a brilliant all round display.
Some words were exchanged between the two managers at the end with the Brighouse boss accusing Rachel Gay’s side of playing negative football. As Rachel rightly pointed out though City got the win which is all that counts. We interviewed a delighted Tigresses boss after the game and you can see the video below.
With Liverpool Feds not playing and City’s win at Brighouse the Tigresses top the Women’s Premier League Division 1 North ahead of Wednesday nights home game with Leeds United Ladies.