The phoenix continued to rise last weekend as a successful trip to Sheffield resulted in Leeds Ladies returning home with all there points. Leeds were pretty much in charge of the game straight from kick off with two chances on goal in the opening three mins. Hannah Campbell and Shelby Morris terrorised the wings and Sheffield had no way of containing them. Throw Bianca “Binx” Ross and Carey “Kez” Huegett in to mix and Sheffield really were struggling. Leeds continued this constant pressure and were finally rewarded on the 17th min when Hannah Campbell struck from the edge of the area to put leads into a well deserved 1-0 lead and take her goal tally to four goals four games (first game of the season is the only game she has failed to score in) and remain the clubs top goal scorer.
Sheffield response to going a goal behind was to fall over at every opportunity and then lose the capability of standing back up again. This horrific example of team wide time wasting really became frustrating but Leeds Ladies captain Emma Bentley was on hand to cheer up the fans as she took advantage of a Sheffield “injury” in the 34th min to lead Leeds Ladies in a rendition of the hokey kokey in the middle of the centre circle. If the referee didn’t get the message then he certainly did when Kez asked him “Just how much more time wasting are you was gonna allow as it nearly past my bedtime”
Hannah Campbell was brought down on the edge of the area on the 38th min but refused to give up the fight for the ball and swung her leg out to poke the ball just pass the keeper and ultimately inches wide of the far post. In some unsettling scenes the keeper had injured herself whilst in the 50/50 tussle with Hannah Campbell and couldn’t stand yet for some unfathomable reason wasn’t substituted till half time!
So 1-0 at half time and a feeling amongst the fans that this game should finish with a cricket score or at least 4-0 to Leeds. That was a sentiment echoed by the Leeds Ladies too as they started the second half with the same pressure as before and a beautiful little through ball from Kez sent Shelby Morris breaking away from her defender and calmly slotting home on the 53rd min
We all started to wonder if the Sheffield squad suffered from some form as narcolepsy as they continued to fall down and take power naps completely killing of any pace and flow the game had. Things got comical in the 68th min as Kez ben her usually cheeky self that makes her a fan favourite was booked for waving at a Sheffield player as the took a free kick! The free kick was retaken and a good delivery into the Leeds area led to Sheffield scoring to make it 2-1
The final 20mins of the match was all Leeds yet again as the Ladies hit the inside of the post twice and the underside of the cross bar as well. The fans on the side line were debating if the were magnets in the post and ball or if there was a Jedi hiding in the bushes under the employ of Sheffield as nothing Leeds did seemed to breach the invisible force field around the Sheffield goal. Erin White took a nasty tackle to the knee on the 89th min which resulted in a pretty harsh red card for the Sheffield player in question and brought a pretty feisty end to the game has she refused to leave the pitch but instead argues with Leeds Ladies. With the situation looking like it could become a brawl any minute captain Emma Bentley expertly took control and calmed the situation down.
With the final whistle award Leeds Ladies a 2-1 victory the fans were happy with three points if not some what disappointed that Sheffield narcoleptic players and hidden Jedi robbed us of an emphatic win. Those three points now put Leeds Ladies into second in the league and confidence almost as high as the soaring phoenix itself
Reporter – Martin Chadwick Images – Alex Knight