Hepworth Development Travelled to Leeds University Womens 2nds with very little known about their opponents even basic details as their correct postcode and shirt colours.
Having finally worked out the information supplied was not accurate the squad finally arrived in dribs and drabs and hastily assembled and figured out where to go as the home side despite being new to the league seemed somewhat absent of offering out a welcoming hand.
After receiving some worrying news and seeking guidance the squad decided it was best to continue and play the matchall be without a decent warm up period but it was Hepworth who set the early pace. The attacking playu pinned Leeds Uni back in theie own half for long periods unable to break free and all the early chances went the way of |Hepworth, but they were unable to take advantage of all their possesion. And as often happens it was Leeds Uni who broke free beating the offside trap to score first on 20 minutes.
Hepworth didnt sit back and imeadiately stepped things up a gear pushing their opponents back. The cracks were begining to appear but they still found it hard tom break down the Uni teams defence though they were not helped by some overzealous flag work or their touchline and some bizarre officiating from the home appointed official. Whom seemed to let every foul throw go and every clumsey challenge go also, despite the numerous appeals from players. Hepworth thought they had got the breakthrough they wanted when not even this official could deny a penalty as for the umpteenth time a player was up ended from behind only this time it was clearly in the box and he would have had a tough job explaining why he couldnt give it. Nikki Swift makin her debut stepped up to take responsability but unfortunately her well struck spot kick came back off the post and Leeds survived.
The team kept pressing and got themselves back in the game when after a good one two Captain Claire Berry released Phoebe Lodge who struck a 3o yard effort over the keeper to equalise on her league debut.
Turning around equal Hepworth started as they had in the first half attacking and took the game to their opponents on a somewhat small, poor and difficult pitch that had more humps than a caravan of camels crossing the Sahara. But it was no supprise that the uneven pitch would cause problems and injuries a plenty mix that with some strange clumsey tackles, and decisions then it would prove rather costly should Hepworth not score again first. And so it happened as Hepworth pushed forward they were caught on the break again as Leeds Uni took a 2-1 lead. Try as Hepworth did they just could not breech the defence a second time but it was not through lack of effort or trying as they peppered their opponents goal with shots in wave after wave of attacks.
The defeat was not dissapointing as this was the first league game this young and talented squad had played and are still gelling together, they dominated possesion, played some fantastic football and gave it their all. The only dissapointing points were a lack of information regarding the fixture which caused chaos, a lack of facilities, an awful pitch with some strange officiating which lead to a player leaving the match with a fat lip from a punch and one player going to A & E with several fractured ribs from a late challenge on the final whistle. A highlight must have been the impropromtu group song and hand clapping mid game from our opponents after an attack which was like being back in nursery school again.
Player wise this was an impressive display from every player in their first match from Emma Taylor in goal to the defence of Maya, Rachel, Kate and Mollie as Claire Berry lead the team well supported by Pheobe, Nikki, Chloe and the ever young Claudia with Abigail making some good runs up front along side Sophie. Unfortunately Lauren after a great pre season game the week before, had to come off as her legs were like jelly. This squad will bounce back hopefully in the league cup local derby at home v Golcar on the 4th of October.
We had no overall player of the match with Phoebe,Nikki and Emma all in a three way tie.