This Sunday sees a run of three games in a week that could define a momentous season for Hull City Ladies.
Rachel Gay’s side conclude a run of four successive away games when they travel to the Cumberland Arena to take on Crewe Alexandra Ladies FC, (kick off 2pm). In the previous three games the Tigresses have shown great resilience, grit and determination to maintain an unbeaten league record and consolidate a healthy lead at the top of Northern Division One, where they are currently five points clear of Liverpool Feds having played one game fewer and 10 points above third placed Brighouse Ladies who have two games in hand on the Tigresses.
The determination and will to win was personified last Sunday when the girls travelled up the A1 to take on Chester-le Street in a crucial game. CLS have always proved worthy and awkward opponents for the Tigresses and were themselves going into the game defending a 3 game winning streak so we knew it wasn’t going to be plain sailing and so it proved.
Despite dominating large parts of the game it looked like City would be coming away frustrated and annoyed, especially as their two main rivals had won, but this team expertly managed by Gay and supremely coached by Danny Johnson don’t know when to give up, so with 90+ minutes on the clock, top goal scorer Hope Knight launched one last attack and surged into the box and was fouled! Up step substitute Katie Thompson who showed nerves of steel to bury the spot kick and claim the priceless 3 points.
The emphasis immediately turned to this Sunday’s game, with coach Johnson telling us immediately after the important result, “training and analysis this week will be geared up to beating Crewe, before we look any further and Rachel and I will pick a team we feel is best suited to winning that game”.
Its not very often that a cup final is not necessarily the most important game of any week, but this may be the case next week, because next Wednesday (25th April) the Tigresses take on AFC Preston in the final of the ERCFA senior women’s cup, a trophy they will be defending after victory in last year’s final, but the following Sunday (29th) is the most important game of the year.
Team selection for the cup final will be interesting with the massive game with Brighouse just four days later, but as Rachel and Danny have reiterated on numerous occasions this season they have a fantastic squad and whoever plays are more than capable of producing an outstanding performance when called upon. Every player in the Tigress squad know they are not guaranteed a place in the match day line up and they have to maintain an exceptional standard of consistently good performances to get in, so whoever features will have earned their place on merit.
Then comes the game we have all been waiting for. Brighouse at home, title decider, promotion winning game, whatever it’s billed as it’s MASSIVE and the likelihood is whoever holds their nerve or performs best on the day will be playing in a higher division next season. Having seen nearly all the City Ladies games this season including a brilliant 0-1 win at Brighouse thanks to Tash Cooke’s headed winner, we are in no doubt that this will be Hull City Ladies, but if it goes as close as last Sunday’s game we may well need medical attention at the final whistle.
So we URGE and encourage anyone and everyone to join us to roar the Tigresses to victory.