Ten-goal thriller felt like a defeat - but we will take point and move on - Catherine Hamill

Football gives me such highs and lows. On the lows, you can wonder if it’s worth it. Then you’ll get a win, and you think it’s the best thing ever.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 6:00 am
Bang in form: United women striker Laura Bartup scored a hat-trick against Durham Cestria to go top of the divisional scoring charts. Picture: James Hardisty

Drawing 5-5 with Durham Cestria at home on Sunday after being three goals up at half-time was definitely a low.

Going into the game, we were only just in first place by goals scored, so we wanted to get all three points to open up a gap between us and the teams below.

Even though we were looking for a win, we still felt a little bit as though we’d got away with it when the game ended, as we very nearly lost it.

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On target: Rebecca Hunt scored for Leeds in their 5-5 draw with Durham Cestria. Picture: James Hardisty

If the game had gone on any longer, we might have.

Durham are probably one of the toughest teams we’ve played against, which is good going given that they’re quite a young side.

It’s always quite a tight game between us and Durham. They’ve never beaten us, but they’ve always been a threat and yesterday it showed more than ever.

If you give that team an inch they’ll take a mile. We let them into the game and ended up conceding more goals on Sunday than we have done all season put together.

But when you suffer a tough result, you reflect more on where you went wrong and what you can improve on. I think it makes you focus more and work harder.

We always watch a full-match replay, and some weeks it’s easier than others.

It’s like going through it all twice – you play 90 minutes, then when you watch it back it’s like being there all over again, so if you have regrets about certain things you did or didn’t do, or could have done differently, then it can be uncomfortable.

I do like a contested game, but the second half on Sunday wasn’t much fun at all. Durham were on us constantly and we weren’t getting many chances to play.

Having that much pressure in the final stages of the game is not something that we’re really used to this season, as often it’s the other way around. But in the last 10 minutes, all we wanted to do was kick the ball out. You’d prefer not to play like that, but sometimes it’s got to be done.

It did feel a bit like a loss at the final whistle. I can’t believe we were so far ahead – at three goals up, you should not be losing that lead. But that’s one positive from Sunday s we didn’t lose, so we keep our unbeaten home record.

Every team has these sorts of results, but the way the league is set up adds extra pressure. With only one team getting promoted at the end of the season, it’s all or nothing.

Now we’re only one point ahead of second-placed Liverpool Feds, so our draw was a good result for them, and for Newcastle United who aren’t far behind us in the fight at the top of Division One North.

But we have been in much worse positions. A few seasons ago, we were near the bottom and we got ourselves out of it, so it helps to look back and realise how much better a place we’re in now.

We’ve gained so many more strong players since then, too, so there’s no reason why we can’t do it – everyone’s got the mindset to get it over the line.

We’ve just got to keep going.