"Fire in your belly" - Leeds United Women prepare for Yorkshire derby under the lights

The Whites host Barnsley tonight at the Global Stadium, Tadcaster.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 4:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 4:08 pm
Leeds United prepare to play at the Global Stadium.

Leeds United Women sit sixth in the Division One North table after three games.

Last week they earned a 1-0 win on the road against struggling Alnwick Town. In a calamitous defensive lapse the Northumberland side, who are trying to keep up with the pace in their first season in tier four, allowed full-back Olivia Smart's cross to trickle into the side netting and decide the game. After Leeds inflicted their third consecutive defeat, Alnwick find themselves in 11th place, just one point clear of the drop.

The only team below Alnwick are tonight's opponents, Barnsley, who are yet to put to a point on the board.

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Last weekend, the Whites' South Yorkshire neighbours let go of a half time lead to lose 3-2 to FC United of Manchester, who are having more success in finding their feet during their first season in Division One North. Tonight the Reds will hope to take something away from their visit to the Global Stadium in order to lift themselves off the basement.

Meanwhile, the Whites will look to protect their 100% home record and continue climbing the table - they could go third with a win.

For two of Leeds' squad, there'll be a little more than Yorkshire bragging rights to play for. Ex-Reds skipper Kathryn Smith joined from Barnsley this summer, and top-scorer Laura Bartup also played for Barnsley before arriving at Leeds.

“When you play against a former club you always have that little bit of extra fire in your belly,” Bartup revealed to the club website. “And a derby match always means more.

Leeds United Women applaud before the Julie Chipchase memorial game.

“I am always up for every game, but when it is against a team you used to play for as well, you want those points more than anything."

The striker, who scored three in eight appearances last year, is yet to net this season, and there'd be no better occasion for her first league goal than bagging against her old club in a Yorkshire derby under the lights.

“We know every game in this league will be tough,” Bartup said. “Nobody underestimates anyone.

“We’ve got a good squad, and I believe we can have a six point week if we play as we’re capable of doing!”

"It would be amazing to see more fans come down and support us," she added. "They've been brilliant so far and we are looking forward to playing in front of them again."

This evening, Leeds United Women kick off at 7.45pm at the Global Stadium, Tadcaster. Tickets are £5 for adults, while under-16s go free.

Both tonight's game and Sunday's clash with Liverpool Feds will be available to stream live for free on LUTV.