Hull City Ladies continued their excellent run of form to demolish Liverpool Marshall Feds 3-0 at Hull Uni today and consolidate their position at the top of Northern Division One.
Boasting the only 100% record before today’s game Liverpool Feds came flying out of the blocks and immediately had Rachel Gay’s side on the back foot, dominating the early possession and repeatedly pressing the Tigresses, but the home side coped well to soak up all the early pressure and on 13 minutes came close to taking the lead.
Gamestar Rachael Ackroyd who led the line superbly all day and chased and harried the visitors was played through by Emma Westmorland but the Feds keeper raced out to close down Ackroyd and make a fine save, the rebound fell to Sophie Stamp who’s looped effort bounced on the crossbar. It was City keeper Amy Halloran who was next in action on 16 minutes when the Feds won a freekick but the effort was hit straight at the home stopper.
Impressive captain Jo Symington then went a mazy solo run to the box but her hurried shot was easily saved. The Tigresses were now growing into the game and 24 minutes in some excellent inter play between Ackroyd and Hope Knight created the first goal. Ackroyd played a sublime ball into the path of Knight who powered into the box and unleashed a rocket of a shot that beat the keeper all ends up but it cannoned of the near post into the path of Stamp who coolly slotted the ball home.
The Tigresses were now in the ascendancy and after good work down the left they won a corner, Katie Thompson floated in a lovely ball which Symington met at the near post with her head but it flew just over the bar. Thompson’s turn to test the keeper came on 32 minutes after she surged through the middle and fired a dangerous looking shot in but it drifted just wide of the post.
Feds best chance of the half came on 40 minutes when left winger Amy Seagraves came inside and unleashed a cracking shot but Halloran was equal to the effort and pulled off a stunning save. Thompson then made a surging run to the byline, she cut back to Knight who’s shot flew over the bar.
Half Time: City Ladies 1-0 Liverpool
It was the Tigresses who started the brighter in the 2nd period as Knight raiding down the left flank turned her defender and fired goalward but her shot looped over the bar, though from our angle it looked in as it rippled the roof of the net. The rock solid Tigress defence was holding firm, restricting the visitors to long range efforts. Symington went into the referee’s notebook on 55 minutes for a mistimed challenge.
On 58 minutes the influential Stamp released Ackroyd with a fantastic pass over the top, the striker pulled the ball back into the path of the onrushing Knight but she was beaten to the ball by the keeper by a whisker. On 66 minutes Halloran came flying out of her area to punt the ball away as the Feds looked to pounce.
Moments later came the move of the game as Knight found Ackroyd with a pinpoint defence splitting crossfield pass out on the right who in turn played it back first time to Stamp who from 16 yards out smacked it into the roof of the net for a brilliant goal.
That was to be Stamp’s last action has she was replaced by Natalie Bell who was quickly into the thick of things as she spotted the run of Knight and spread the ball wide but her shot was inches away from the 3rd goal.
Try as they might the Feds couldn’t find a way through the resolute Tigresses who suppressed anything thrown at them. Ackroyd was replaced by Rebecca Beech on 83 minutes for a richly deserved rest, she had worked her socks off all afternoon. A minute later the Bell/Knight combination worked wonderfully again as the former found Knight with a brilliant pass and without breaking stride she stepped inside and unleashed an unstoppable shot underneath the advancing keeper.
The final action again involved Bell who robbed the Feds of the ball, found substitute Olivia Jackson who played the ball onto Beech who rifled a shot just over the bar.
Full Time: Hull City Ladies 3-0 Liverpool Marshall Feds
A thoroughly professional display by the Tigresses against a very dangerous side was enjoyed by a healthy crowd and everyone involved. Watch Rachel Gay’s reaction to the win in the interview below.
Today’s other Northern Division One results:
Bolton Wanderers Ladies: 5-2 Chorley Ladies
Brighouse Town Ladies: 5-1 Mossley Hill Athletic Ladies
Chester le Street Town Ladies: 2-5 Barnsley FC Ladies
Leeds United Ladies: 1-3 Morecambe Ladies
Newcastle United Womens FC: 2-0 Crewe Alexandra Ladies
Photos courtesy of Dave Hare & Sam Shepherd