Alex Ladies Battle To Well Earned Point At Hull City
Laura Garner's first half goal gives CALFC a well deserved 1-1 draw at early leaders Hull City Ladies
A determined defensive performance saw Crewe Alexandra Ladies come away with a well deserved point on Sunday afternoon after a 1-1 draw at early title favourites Hull City Ladies.
CALFC, who were looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season, weathered an early Hull storm as the current league leaders began the game on the front foot with Laura Goom clearing a header off the line from a corner.
After absorbing Hull pressure during the opening 20 minutes with some excellent defending, the Alex Ladies then got a foothold into the game, having more of the possession and looking to create chances from the likes of Laura Garner and centre forward Emma Lambourne.
As Hull seemed to run out of ideas going forward, CALFC took advantage firstly going close with a long range Leanne Derry effort which was saved by the keeper before a corner wasn’t cleared and the loose ball was fired home by Garner to give the Alex Ladies a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Hull started the second half in a similar fashion to the first, creating chances but failing to find the target and when they did, Crewe goalkeeper Hannah Holloway was on hand to make a string of fine saves. Eight minutes after the hour mark the home side were back on level terms when an effort from the corner of the area curled into the top corner.
Despite being pegged back, CALFC didn’t let their heads drop and every single player continued to defend with tremendous desire and commitment which frustrated Hull resulting in loose passes and wayward shots. Crewe may have taken all three points in the closing stages however through balls from Georgina Stebbings, Garner and Amanda Fallon just evaded Lambourne in the final third as the game ended 1-1.
The result maintains CALFC’s unbeaten start, with a trip to Mossley Hill Ladies to come next weekend.
On a windy afternoon in Hull, the home side looked to catch the Alex Ladies out inside five minutes after getting some joy on the left hand side however goalkeeper Hannah Holloway made a solid save from the full back before a rebound was fired wide. The early pressure continued from Hull as CALFC attempted to settle and a Laura Goom clearance off the line prevented us from going a goal down after nine minutes.
Holloway and the Crewe back four were being thoroughly tested but were standing up to the challenge and passing it with flying colours as the home side were forced into errors and missed the target with a large majority of their shots, a similar theme to the rest of the game.
As the first half progressed, CALFC got more of a foothold on the game and enjoyed a good spell of possession with Laura Garner and Emma Lambourne looking to link-up.
In the final 20 minutes of the first half, Crewe were looking the better and by far more clinical of the two sides. Following a long range Leanne Derry effort which was saved by the keeper, Garner gave CALFC a 1-0 half-time lead with our opening effort from inside the box when Hull failed to clear a corner and the attacking midfielder was on hand to fire the loose ball into the bottom right hand corner.
The second half began in a similar fashion to the first with Hull having possession but sending numerous chances either wide or over the bar as CALFC made their one and only substitution of the day with Abbie Chapman replacing Charlie Hignett. Just after the hour mark Hull were awarded a soft free-kick on the edge of the area however a low effort under the wall was read brilliantly by Holloway who made a nice diving save.
After 68 minutes the home side were level when the left winger found just enough space to curl a shot into the top right corner giving Holloway no chance. Despite conceding the Alex Ladies didn’t let their heads drop and continued to show fantastic fight and determination which was summed up by the expertly timed tackling and interceptions of CALFC’s back four of captain Katie Nuttall, Loren Cooper, Kirsty Stafford and Leanne Derry.
As with the first half, Hull found themselves in good attacking positions during the final 20 minutes however excellent pressure from the Crewe midfield of Georgina Stebbings, Goom, Garner, Amanda Fallon, Hignett and Chapman forced errors while shots from inside the box and headers from corners continued to miss the target and looked more likely of finding the back of the net on the pitch behind our goal.
Inside the final ten minutes after another Hull opportunity was wasted, CALFC almost had the chance to take all three points however a number of through balls from Garner, Stebbings and Fallon just evaded Lambourne as the striker would have been in on goal.
The referee blew the final whistle on a superb defensive performance by the Alex Ladies who picked up a well deserved point away from home in a game which was apparently going to be a walkover for Hull. The result shows that CALFC have a squad who shouldn’t be underestimated this season no matter how big an opponent may "think" they are.
Next up for the Alex Ladies is a trip to Mossley Hill on Sunday at 2pm for our second FA Women’s Premier League away game in successive weeks.