Hull City Ladies tasted defeat today as they were beaten 2-4 by Sunderland AFC Ladies. The Tigresses were not at their best today and came off the pitch disappointed not to get anything from the game. In some ways that shows just how far this club has come in a short space of time as Sunderland were a WSL team last season.
The tigresses got off to the perfect start as they took the lead after just four minutes. Amy Kay pinged a great ball over the top to Hope Knight, Knight cut inside her marker and hit a shot that was bundled in off the legs of a defender who was attempting to clear it. City had made a fast start and they got the reward for it to take a 1-0 lead.
After impressing from the bench Amy Blinkhorn was given a chance to start today and she almost made it 2-0 in the 18th minute. Knight was brought down 20 yards out and the Tigresses were given a free kick. Blinkhorn stepped up and hit powerful curling shot that the goalkeeper did brilliantly to tip onto the bar! That would have really set City up for the rest of the game but the heroics of the goalkeeper denied them.
Just a few minutes later Sunderland punished the Tigresses for their missed chances as they grabbed the equaliser. A ball across the box was tapped home at the back post by Bridget Galloway. Emily Hutchinson was given too much time and space to deliver the cross to Galloway who was unmarked, it was certainly a disappointing goal to concede.
The two teams had a real midfield battle for most of the rest of the half and both teams looked dangerous going forward and slightly shaky at the back. Sunderland had the next real chance in the 38th minute whey they hit the post and Jo Symington had to be on hand to throw herself in front of the follow up shot to prevent Sunderland taking the lead.
The first half seemed to go on forever and in the fifth minute of stoppage time Sunderland almost took the lead. Hutchinson hit a fierce drive that was brilliantly saved by Amy Halloran who had to make another stop a few seconds later to prevent the Tigresses going into half time behind.
HT Hull City Ladies 1-1 Sunderland Ladies
Just as City Ladies started the first half perfectly the visitors did the same in the second half. They took the lead in the 50th minute through their Captain Keira Ramshaw. She beat two City defenders before turning in the box to time and space to fire past Halloran to make it 1-2.
A few minutes later Hope Knight thought she had equalised when she unleased a shot from 20 yards out that left the goalkeeper helpless but luckily for her she saw the ball cannon off her right hand post. It would have been a brilliant goal and would have got City back on level terms, to add insult to injury Sunderland went up the other end less than a minute later and made it 3-1.
The visitors hit City on the counter attack and a cross from the right was headed back across the goal and into the opposite corner by Emily Hutchinson. That was a hammer blow for the Tigresses who could have equalised seconds earlier but they didn’t regroup quickly enough and Sunderland capitalised on that to take a comfortable lead.
Despite the disappointment of going 3-1 down the Tigresses didn’t give in and stepped up a gear. It took them just three minutes to get back in the game on the hour mark. Just as Knight was denied by the woodwork a few minutes earlier this time it happened to Amy Blinkhorn. She hit a dipping half volley from the edge of the box that hit the same post Knight had struck minutes earlier, this time though Knight was on hand to bury the rebound as it came off the post to make it 2-3 and get the Tigresses right back into the game.
Over the next 10 minutes City pushed hard to try and find an equaliser with Sunderland content to play on the break. They almost caught out the Tigresses in the 70th minute, Bridget Galloway got on the end of a cross and put the ball past Halloran and into the net but she was adjudged to have fouled Ellice Jackman in the build up so she was denied the goal.
Although City were pushing hard they couldn’t seem to create any clear cut chances to equalise and it was Sunderland who had the next real chance in the 79th minute but Amy Halloran did brilliantly to make a diving save down to her left to keep the Tigresses in the game. Sadly though in the 86th minute Halloran wasn’t able to deny Georgia Gibson who received the ball in acres of space and was able to slot the ball through the legs of Halloran to make it 2-4 and seal the win.
FT Hull City Ladies 2-4 Sunderland Ladies
The players came off the pitch at the end visibly disappointed in their performance. They weren’t at their best today and could have got a positive result had they been able to step it up a gear. This club had come a long way in a short space of time so as mentioned earlier to be disappointed to lose to a team like Sunderland is a positive sign. The fact is though this team is capable of more than they showed today and they will be looking to show that in upcoming games.
Our player of the match today was Amy Halloran. Despite the team conceding four goals Halloran denied Sunderland on several other occasions and made a number of excellent saves. Her distribution was good too as she looked to get the team attacking quickly.
We spoke to a disappointed manager Rachel Gay after the game and you can watch the video below.