Hull City Ladies left it very very late to seal another vital win in their quest for promotion. They travelled to Chester le Street today for their third straight away game and knew they had to win to keep up the pressure on title rivals Liverpool Feds and Brighouse. For large spells of the game it looked like we would be returning home disappointed, as we did from Mossley Hill, but a late goal changed all that…
As they often do, the Tigresses started the game on the front foot and had the first sight of goal in the fourth minute. A corner from the left was headed over the bar by Natasha Cooke. Just two minutes later City thought they had taken the lead when Rebecca Beech slotted home a first time shot from a Hope Knight through ball, but the flag was up and the goal was ruled out for offside.
The Tigresses dominated the opening 15 minutes and had another sight of goal when Ellie Tanser did brilliantly to turn her marker in midfield and she found Beech with an accurate pass, unfortunately Beech’s shot lacked such accuracy and skewed wide.
When City Ladies failed to open the scoring, the hosts began to get a foothold in the game although they never threatened the City goal. They did manage to restrict City Ladies to half chances though with Hope Knight shooting wide when the ball fell to her in the box in the 22nd minute.
The Tigresses created one more significant chance before half time. A long ball forward was missed by the Chester-le-Street defender who attempted to head it away. The ball skimmed of her head and fell to Beech who was in on goal but she seemed to rush her shot and put it wide, so the teams went in goalless at half time.
HT Chester le Street Ladies 0-0 Hull City Ladies
The second half was one way, traffic from the start although the home side almost scored a freak goal right at the start of the half when the striker managed to beat Amy Halloran to the ball, but Amy Kay was on hand to clear the shot.
The Tigresses continued to take the game to the hosts but many of their moves broke down in midfield. Their next chance came after 61 minutes when Ellie Tanser took a rare chance to drive through midfield, but she slashed at her shot and it went wide.
That half chance signalled a period of dominance for the Tigresses. Eden Pedersen was back in the starting 11 today and she almost provided an assist thanks to a brilliant cross from the right but Rebecca Beech could only shoot wide under pressure from the centre back.
Six minutes later Hope Knight had a shot blocked in the area as the Chester-le-Street defenders were throwing themselves at everything. Rachael Ackroyd then had a sight of goal but she sent her shot narrowly wide of the near post.
The final 15 minutes were frantic to say the least. Katie Thompson and Sophie Stamp were sent on by Rachel Gay and they provided fresh impetus which would prove instrumental against a tiring Chester-le-Street defence. Thompson had a chance immediately after coming on when she took a free kick 20 yards out but she pulled it wide.
Knight then floated in a cross from the left that was met by Beech but easily saved before Beech took a free kick and although her shot was on target it was easily held by the goalkeeper. Another free kick led to a header from Cooke being saved before Ackroyd had a shot that went agonisingly wide when it looked destined for the top corner.
We had just about resigned ourselves to a 0-0 draw when the Tigresses were awarded a 90-minute penalty. Knight was kicked on the shin in the box right in the eye line of the referee who had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Thompson stepped up and showed nerves of steel to put the ball to the keeper’s right and into the back of the net!
The hosts barely had time to kick off and try and launch an attack before the referee blew his whistle. What a way to win!
FT Chester le Street Ladies 0-1 Hull City Ladies
Phew! Moments like that are what make champion teams and the team’s celebrations at the end showed how much that late winner meant especially when the players found out that Liverpool and Brighouse had both won. City deserved the win and to get the three points in that manner made the victory just that little bit sweeter. Fair play to the team they gave it everything today and got their reward!
We spoke to a relieved but delighted manager Rachel Gay after the game and you can watch the video below.