Bradford City WFC 1, Leeds United 1

Report by Chris Routledge

Another wet and windy night at Eccleshill, home of Bradford City Women, saw the

visit of local rivals Leeds United Women, the pitch had taken plenty of water with the

heavy rain during the day but was deemed playable by the referee after a late pre-

match inspection.

The early stages of the game were a real battle of attrition with some hard tackles

seemingly made worse by the slippery surface, both teams having some wayward

shots but neither causing too much problem for either keeper. The first real

noticeable action from the game came on 25 minutes, City winger Charlotte Gill was

brought down from behind in the Leeds area earning City a penalty. Great chance for

City to take the lead but Sophie Hawkins blazed over from 12 yards, letting Leeds off

the hook.

The game continued to be highly competitive and Leeds were in the ascendancy and

on 35 minutes they were given a penalty, the offence was clearly outside the penalty

area, confirmed by marks in the pitch, but on nights like this when visibility is poor

the referee gave an honest decision having thought the offence occurred in the area.

Rebecca Hunt stepped up and scored from the spot giving Leeds the lead.

As the half was coming to a close and the phrase a tale of two penalties was coming

to mind, the referee awarded a third penalty, this time against a City player for a

suspected swinging arm in the area as Leeds forward Laura Bartup fell to the floor

holding her face. To their credit though the referee’s assistant consulted with the

referee and the decision was reversed deeming it to be unintentional.

The second half was again highly competitive but City grew into the game and were

on top pressing Leeds back. Chances came for Hawkins and Gill and City were

awarded a number of corners and free kicks which seemed their best chance of an

equaliser. The equaliser came on the 83 rd minute when a Zoe Roberts free kick was

fumbled by the Leeds keeper falling at the feet of substitute Harriet Jakeman who

prodded it home. Although City pressed for the winner the game finished with both

teams taking a point.

This was a great game and a great advert for women’s football with Leeds edging

the first half then City the second and witnessed by over 100 spectators on the night,

the biggest crowd of the season by far.

Photos by Alex Daniel -

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