Leeds started off life in their new home for the season at Knaresborough in a very positive manner. Right from the off Leeds showed the class they possess when after 3 minutes Carey “Kez” Huegett cut open the defence with a lovely through ball which found Shelbey Morris one on one with the keeper as Shelbey fired a shot towards the goal the keeper just managed to get a fingertip to the ball which took away the pace allowing the defence to come and clear agonisingly off the line. This was to be the story of the first half as time and again Leeds pace through Shelbey and Hannah Campbell coupled with precise passing from Kez and Erin White had the Chester-Le-Street defence at sixes and sevens.
The hard work paid off as on the 40 minute mark Hannah Campbell was once again clean through on goal and made no mistake as she scored her third goal of the season to give Leeds a much deserved lead. Five minutes later it was the turn of Shelbey Morris who when put through deftly opened her account for the season to put the phoenixes 2-0 up.
The main consensus from the stands at half time was that Chester-Le-Street were fortunate to be going into the break only two goals down and the potential for a rugby score was very much on the cards. Leeds started the second half much the same way as the they ended the first and the turning point came in the 51st minute as Hannah broke down the right and put in a lovely cross that found an outstretched Kez get on the end of it only to see it whistle past the post at 3-0 Chester-Le-Street would have been dead and buried.
As Leeds were sitting comfortable peppering the opposition net with shot after shot against the run of play Chester-Le-Street managed to pull one back on the 65th minute with debutant goalkeeper Erin Boswells first touch of the game was to pick the ball out of her net. All of a sudden the momentum had changed Leeds were still creating chances but were lacking some of their first half pace with Shelbey Morris being replaced by Bianca Ross. Chester-Le-Street were now pushing forward in numbers and 15 minutes from time managed to snatch an equaliser.
Leeds continued to show their never say die spirit and pushed for a winner right until the final whistle. As the fledgling phoenix continues its early stages of flight more lessons were learned as coming away from this with a draw seemed to hurt the players and staff more than the previous defeat to Guiseley. We continue on though with signs of great promise on evidence and travel away to Sheffield this Sunday knowing that goals are a plenty in this team and that every defence in this league should fear us. Final score Leeds Ladies 2-2 Chester-Le-Street Ladies..
Reporter – Brendan Devereux Photography– Alex Knight