By Chris Routledge
With the weather still affecting the pitch at Eccleshill this week’s game was switched
to an away game at the last minute, credit to both Norton and Bradford management
for organizing pitch and minibus for traveling up to Middlesbrough Collage, virtually
in the shadow of The Riverside Stadium
Going to play this game on a very cold day with a strong wind blowing across the
pitch against a side who are dogged and know how to get results was not going to
be easy. City had to dig in really deep at times take a few bumps and bruises but all
in all City were deserved winners on the day.
In the early stages, neither team could get any sort of flowing football going, City
were playing against the wind and tried to keep the ball on the floor, whilst Norton
utilized a longer ball style of play. It was City who struck first though, Norton - who
played a very physical game - gave away one free-kick too many and Ellie Prothero’s
free-kick from the edge of the area seemed to evade everyone and beat the Norton
keeper at her near post.
Half time - Norton & Stockton Ladies 0 - 1 Bradford City Women
City came out in the second half thinking the job was done but after a couple of
scares Norton got the equalizer, a well-struck shot from the edge of the area.
Despite City having the majority of the play and a strong penalty shout after a nasty
collision saw Harriett Jakeman suffering a large cut above her eye, they had to wait
till the 80th minute before Charlotte Stuart headed in from a well-taken corner by
debutant Sophie Hawkins who had been a second-half substitute.
With the clock running down Norton equalized from a disputed penalty and it was all
looking like déjà vu as the penalty was dispatched so scores were level again. City
had other ideas though and in the final minute of normal time there was more
controversy as the referee awarded City a corner when all the Norton players
claimed a goal kick. Hawkins put in another good ball to the near post and City
captain Katy Woodcock smashed the ball home from two yards out.
Full time - Norton & Stockton Ladies 2 - 3 Bradford City Women
After the game Manager Chris Hames was really pleased to go ahead and be
pegged back is tough psychologically, particularly with how the season had been
going, but to then fight back and go ahead and win seeing out a nervy eight minutes
of injury time showed great character.
Hames said “it was the best football the team had played as a group and whilst still
ugly at times they showed glimpses of what they are capable of. It was a full team
effort. The starting eleven and the subs, all had an impact on the way the game
went. It’s now important for the team to continue this level of fight into the next
Next up for City is another away trip, this time to Merseyside to take on Liverpool