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-
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 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 - https://www.alexdanielphotos.co.uk/p828217534/hf05597ab