With just eight games to go this season before today it’s fair to say the pressure is starting to ramp up and there seemed to be signs of that today. Playing on a sloping pitch against bottom of the table Mossley Hill Ladies, the Tigresses couldn’t get going and ended up battling to earn a point in a frustrating 1-1 draw.
Mossley Hill are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table and you could sense that from the first whistle. They were on the front foot from the start as they really took the game to the Tigresses. Despite the early pressure it was Jo Symington who had the first sight of goal but she pulled a shot wide.
In the 11th minute the home side thought they had taken the lead but Amy Halloran was clattered in the build-up when she attempted to claim a low cross and the referee blew for a foul. City were struggling to string any fluent passing moves together and Mossley seemed to be a yard quicker. They were winning all the second balls and generally frustrating the Tigresses.
Despite the slow start to the game the Tigresses still managed to create some half chances. Ellice Jackman shot over the bar when the ball fell to her from a corner. Hope Knight then sent in a brilliant cross from the right, Nat Bell met it with a glancing header but it went straight to the keeper. Emma Westmorland was arguably City’s best player in the first half and she had a hand in the next move when she found Rachael Ackroyd with a through ball, Ackroyd then found Knight who could only shoot over the bar.
After this brief period of Tigresses pressure the home side wrestled control back in the game and took the lead in the 25th minute. Their striker managed to shrug off the challenge of Ellice Jackman before slotting a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. That gave the relegation fighters a real lift and it was a goal they had been pushing for.
Despite being well off the pace in the first half the Tigresses had two brilliant chances to equalise before half time. Firstly, Ellie Tanser was denied by a point blank save from the goalkeeper after she did well to react to the ball falling to her from a cross. Nat Bell was the next to have a chance when she prodded a shot past the goalkeeper, but it didn’t have much pace on it and it was cleared off the line.
HT Mossley Hill 1-0 Hull City Ladies
With the words of Rachel Gay and Danny Johnson no doubt ringing in their ears the City Ladies players stepped it up in the second half. They could have equalised after only three minutes in the second half when Nat Bell was denied by another point blank save.
Although City were getting their foot on the ball more in the second half the home side still looked dangerous on the counter and Amy Halloran had to be on hand a couple of times to deny them. After 65 minutes Mossley thought they had doubled their lead. A corner wasn’t cleared, and a goalmouth scramble ensued. The ball was prodded towards the goal and the Mossley players were convinced it had crossed the line, but the referee wasn’t interested and their appeals were waved away.
After a bright start to the half you could tell the Tigresses were getting frustrated again. The effort was there especially in the second half but it was beginning to look like they would get no reward for it. Sophie Stamp came off the bench and certainly made an impact as she calmed things down in the midfield and got City attacking with more pace which led to the equaliser.
City won a free kick on the right, Eden Pedersen swung a brilliant cross into the box and it was only half cleared. The ball fell to Rachael Ackroyd who smashed a first time shot into the back of the net to get the Tigresses on terms with 15 minutes left.
After finally getting back level the onus was now on the Tigresses to go and find a winner. They kept going and kept trying everything to find that one golden chance you want in those situations, but it never came. Hope Knight came the closest to getting the winner when she hit a curling shot from the edge of the box that was easily saved.
FT Mossley Hill 1-1 Hull City Ladies
It’s fair to say it was a frustrating day at the office today and Rachel Gay said as much in her interview that you can watch below. The Tigresses battled hard for a point but were off the pace especially in the first half and this is a game they will have been looking to win. Luckily the title race is still in their hands, but they will need to improve next week when they travel to Bolton.