By Chris Routledge
City were back on familiar territory this week, at home to Chester Le Street, City lost the away fixture by a single goal earlier in the season but were hopeful that they could improve on that. In the end it really was a tale of two penalties that were going to be costly for the home team.
City were under strength again having players unavailable and there were four changes from last Sunday’s squad, both Louise Willoughby and Paris Durrant making their first start of the season stepping up from the reserves team. This also left City with no substitutes so it was going to be vital that everyone put a good shift in.
City started brightly and there were limited chances for either team, most of the play being in the middle third. On 26 minutes though Monika Stube was the beneficiary of a great lay off and drilled the ball into the net giving the home side a well-deserved lead, that was the only real chance for either team in the first half.
Half time - Bradford City Women 1- 0 Chester Le Street
The second half kicked off with City playing down the slight slope and with the wind, this made it easier to use the option of a longer ball down the flanks for wingers to run on to. Most of the play was in the middle third and with around 10 minutes to go it looked like there would be no further goals, however the referee saw a foul on the edge of the area, the opposition player with her back to goal fell to the floor and was awarded a penalty. City keeper Routledge saved the penalty but could not hold on to the slippery ball and it fell kindly for the attacking team who scored from the rebound. City did not get down-hearted and within a couple of minutes they were back in the lead coming from a great cross from Ellie Prothero, Amelia Hunt volleying in at the near post.
This was not to be the last of the action, in the final minute the visitors were awarded another penalty, the ball bounced up from Zoe Roberts foot to hit her arm and the referee awarded another penalty, this was dispatched as the visitors levelled to take a share of the points.
Manager Chris Hames was extremely happy at the performance but was disappointed with penalties conceded especially the second which he thought was harsh, the laws of the game had been changed this season to prevent this type of incident being penalised.
Full time - Bradford City Women 2 - 2 Chester Le Street
Hames said: “That was proper football today. Two teams, 22 players, fighting for every inch, and both teams wanting the win. I loved it!
“It was by far our best performance so far, full commitment to fight to get what we want out of games. The goals were taken excellently, and the two young lasses who came in, both stepped up brilliantly. I’m so proud of everyone.
“I felt we deserved the win, and to have that taken away from us definitely hurt. But it’s a good hurt, a hurt that just makes us hungrier for the next game and the next chance to get 3 points
“If we give that every week, we will do just fine in our battle”
City’s next game is a trip to Yorkshire rivals Barnsley on Sunday February 9th.
City line-up: Routledge, Woodcock, Roberts ©, Sales, Prothero, Norde, Willoughby, Hunt, Stuart, Stube, Durrant
Photos by Alex Daniels - https://www.alexdanielphotos.co.uk/p885696892