By Chris Routledge
This was a day all the players, coaches and supporters had been looking forward to for a long time. Unfortunately due to a request from Chester Le Street the match had to be played behind closed doors.
Manager Chris Hames had been very pleased with the limited pre-season games and hopeful for a good start to the season against a very physical opponent who had consistently finished high in the league table.
City started the first half on the front foot and both Harriet Jakeman and Sophie Hawkins were causing all sorts of problems on the wings, there were a couple of half chances for both teams but defences worked well and shots were either blocked or from range giving both keepers plenty of time to collect them with ease. The only goal of the game came after 35 minutes, Chester were awarded a free kick some 25 yards out, this was crossed into the back post, the ball seemed to catch the wind and spectacularly sailed into the top corner, totally wrong footing keeper Routledge in the City goal. I don’t think for a minute it was meant to be a strike on goal but it was a great example of putting the ball into a dangerous area and you never know your luck.
Half-time - Bradford City Women FC 0-1 Chester Le Street Women FC
The second half was pretty much the same as the first, City working hard in midfield and Chester Le Street utilising the longer pass and some very pacey physical strikers, however with defences on top and chances being very limited there were no further goals.
To sum up the afternoon it was a good run out for both sides with very few chances but the first half strike gave Chester Le Street all three points. Hames was naturally disappointed as were the players but they all know that goals win games and this is where City need to sharpen up.
Full-time - Bradford City Women FC 0-1 Chester Le Street Women FC
Hames came away from the game with plenty of positives and a few negatives to work on before City’s next game, he said: “Naturally we are disappointed by the result, we of course wanted to start with points, but Chester Le Street are a good side that will cause everyone problems this season.
“Without the ball we looked solid and gave away very few chances from their design. There were only a handful of shots on goal, and none that we didn’t have control over.
“With the ball we were disappointing. But you can see what we are trying to do, and we did try to do that throughout, it just wasn’t carried out very well. That will improve as we keep working and keep developing our game.
We’re looking forward to the next one and improving each week, and those results coming
Next week barring any Covid-19 related postponement City make the long trip to Newcastle to play Newcastle Utd before hosting neighbours Leeds United at Eccleshill on September 29 th
Link to photos - https://www.alexdanielphotos.co.uk/p314261861