Hull City Ladies welcomed German visitors FC Donop-Voßheide to Hull University this afternoon to celebrate the career of Tigresses legend Rebecca Beech. It was the final chance for the team to play together this season and they certainly put on a show!
Rebecca Beech was welcomed to the pitch by a Guard of Honour from the two sides before her Testimonial got underway.
The Tigresses named a quality side to take on their international visitors with a few new faces from the development squad and some older faces who have played with Beechy over the years. It took the Tigresses just four minutes to take the lead. Katie Thompson latched onto a through ball and made no mistake in hammering a shot past the goalkeeper. Two minutes later she could have scored again but this time her shot was well saved.
In the 9th minute Liberty Bott had a shot saved but that wouldn’t be the last of her impact in the first half. The Tigresses doubled their lead in the 11th minute through top scorer Hope Knight. She cut inside a defender and bent a shot into the bottom corner. It took Knight only three more minutes to double her tally for the day. A shot was blocked in the box, it fell to Knight who smashed it home from the middle of the box to make it 3-0 with barely 15 minutes on the clock.
Liberty Bott was enjoying another chance to start in the number ten role after being so impressive at Morecambe and she was running the show again today. Her passing game is really shining through at the moment and hopefully she can develop that more next season. She had another shot saved in the 21st minute and again in the 26th minute after some excellent work from Knight who got to the by line and pulled a pass back for Bott who had her shot blocked. She finally got the goal she deserved in the 31st minute and yet again it was a screamer. She picked up the ball in midfield and as she reached the edge of the box she picked out the bottom corner with ease to make it 4-0.
FC Donop-Voßheide have enjoyed a brilliant season themselves as they won their league but they weren’t at the same level as City Ladies today. They played with great spirit though and did force Amy Halloran into a save in the 44th minute but that was her first real action of the half.
HT Hull City Ladies 4-0 FC Donop-Voßheide
The second half saw the introduction of more former Tigresses including pocket rocket Emily Smith who moved on from City last pre-season to play for Doncaster Belles. She showed straight away exactly why she is playing at such a high level now. In the 50th minute she powered down the right wing and forced the keeper into a save and Meg Render saw her shot from the rebound blocked.
Just two minutes later Smith was at it again as she cut inside from the wing and beat three defenders before putting a shot just wide of the post. The Tigresses extended their lead in the 56th minute. Rebecca Beech saw a shot blocked and the rebound fell to Harley Skinner who made no mistake to make it 5-0.
That goal triggered a golden period for City who went on to score another three quick goals. The first was an own goal in the 63rd minute, Smith got to the by-line again and sent in a cross that was headed into her own net by a FC Donop-Voßheide defender. Three minutes later City scored again and on her special day Beechy finally got a goal! The veteran was on hand to finish off a neat move by City as she swept a shot home from the middle of the box to make it 7-0.
After initially looking like it would be a frustrating afternoon for Beechy it soon became business as usual for the prolific striker as she scored her second goal in the 70th minute. Her initial shot was blocked but she did well to dink the rebound over the keeper to make it 8-0.
The Tigresses really were on fire and they topped off a brilliant display with a 9th goal a few minutes from the end. Charlotte Lammiman finished off another slick passing move by chipping the goalkeeper to round off the scoring in style.
FT Hull City Ladies 9-0 FC Donop-Voßheide
At the end of the game the two sides played out a penalty shoot out and for once a German side were beaten by English opposition in a shootout! The whole game had been played in a great spirit and that continued as the coaching staff from the two clubs took penalties before the German side were presented with a signed ball and as manager Rachel Gay said this looks like a blossoming new relationship and hopefully the Tigresses will travel to Germany in the near future.
Today was all about Beechy and it was rounded off in the perfect manner as she was presented with a special award for her service to the club and a huge bunch of flowers from her daughter Millie.
The players will now enjoy a well-earned break for the next month or so before pre-season begins. The club’s awards night takes place on 15th June and we will be there to bring you all the news on the night!
Pictures: Scott Gay and Sam Shepherd
If you couldn’t make the game today but would like a copy of our special issue of The Tigress, commemorating the Testimonial from Rebecca Beech you can pick up a copy by following the link below.