Elland Road falls short of full marks while Leeds United keep impressive spotless record

My Leeds United Women teammates and I could not have asked for a better day when we played Alnwick Town in a Division One North clash at Elland Road.

By Catherine Hamill
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 6:00 am

We scored six goals and got a clean sheet in front of a crowd of nearly 1,400 fans, including the club’s director of football Victor Orta.

I was absolutely knackered by the game. It didn’t help that we had played the County Cup final three days previously - my legs were already in bits and the pitch is huge.

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I think we played a bit better for it, as we had more space to pass it around nicely, and as a centre-back it meant I had time on the ball to run out from the back, which isn’t something I’m able to do on other pitches.

It felt really professional having the score up on the board in the stadium, too. At one point my centre-back partner Bridie Hannon asked the referee how long was left so I turned to her and said, ‘it’s been 35 minutes and 16 seconds, it tells you right there!’

I came close to scoring with a header from a corner, which would’ve been something - to not score all season and then bag a goal at Elland Road - but it wasn’t to be!

I was particularly pleased that we didn’t concede. The game was mostly comfortable but they broke through a couple of times when we were 1-0 up, so it was a relief that they didn’t get a goal. I’ve played three times at Elland Road now and we’ve never conceded there, so it feels nice to keep that record up.

Laura Bartup bagged four goals in Leeds United's 6-0 win over Alnwick Town. Pic: LUFC.

Elland Road holds another record - by far the best showers we’ve had this season.

It’s always a bit of a risk when you play away from home and you’re wondering whether the water’s going to be cold or not.

Kathryn Smith and I are always rating changing room showers after games. I’ve even kept a little note of whose are the best and the worst - they get scored out of ten based on their cleanliness, spaciousness, the temperature of the water etc.

The Elland Road showers scored a nine out of ten. It wasn’t quite full marks, just with not finding a place to hang up my towel - I’m a harsh marker.

Kathryn Smith on the ball during Leeds United's 6-0 win over Alnwick Town at Elland Road. Pic: LUFC.

Kathryn, meanwhile, managed to get herself a bath, with bubbles and everything. If I had known the bath was an option I might have had one, but I take long enough in the shower so the lights would probably have been turned off by the time I’d got out of the bath!

I guess I could bump Elland Road’s rating up to a ten since, unlike at a few other grounds we’ve visited, there was food left over for me after I’d taken my time in the shower.

We don’t rate the post-match food in the same way, but we’ll always have a word about whether it’s nice or not. Elland Road put on a great spread for us. Proper lasagne - with the kind of beef you’d eat on a Sunday, not something pulled out of the microwave - with wedges, garlic bread, banana bread and fruit.

It was lovely, and the staff serving us in one of the stadium’s hospitality suites were really nice as well.

Leeds United skipper Catherine Hamill at Elland Road. Pic: LUFC.

All in all, we had a great day at Elland Road.