Women’s Football: Leeds Ladies back in the driving seat after putting brakes on slide

Leeds Schools FA Under-11s
Leeds Schools FA Under-11s
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LEEDS LADIES bounced back from the previous week’s 3-0 loss at Stockport County with Sunday’s 2-1 success at Norton & Stockton Ancient in the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division One, writes DAISY YOUNG.

Zoe Doherty gave Leeds a 1-0 lead at half-time after Georgia Wattam pulled off a superb penalty save to deny Norton an equaliser.

Jas Saxton then won and converted a penalty in the second half to notch her first goal for Leeds and seal the three points for the visitors.

Elsewhere, Hemsworth Ladies suffered another set-back in their pursuit of the West Riding County Womens League Premier League title after being held to a 3-3 draw by visiting Hepworth United Ladies.

The hosts found themselves 2-1 down at half-time and 3-1 behind just after the break with Hemsworth’s goal coming through Kelsey Stones.

Hepworth looked booked-in for victory leading 3-1 with two minutes to go but Kelsey Stone won a penalty which Katy Dewrow dispatched before Helena Kieley sealed a share of the points with a sublime piece of skill and shot which nestled in the bottom corner.

Brighouse Athletic moved third and just one point behind Hemsworth after their 3-1 victory over Altofts following strikes from Vicky Mladenovic, Becky Teale and Sheri Drake.

Tingley Athletic Firsts thrashed bottom-of-the-table AFC Gledhow 12-1 to move second.

But an early injury to Sammy O’Brien meant Bradford Park Avenue played most of their game against Brayton Belles with just nine players and they suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat. Jade Nelson hit the Avenue consolation.

Leeds Medics & Dentists moved up to fourth in the First Division after their 4-2 victory over Silsden AFC Firsts whilst Republica Internationale gained their first win of the season as they beat Oulton Athletic 6-0.

In Division Three, Wigton Moor’s superb season hit another high as they thrashed Dewsbury Rangers 11-0 to extend their lead. Silsden Development produced another big scoring victory as they beat Boroughbridge 9-0.

JUNIOR FOOTBALL

LEEDS SCHOOLS FA Under-11s took a break from their recent league and cup encounters to entertain West Brom DC and record a comfortable 8-0 victory.

Leeds welcomed back Ben Renshaw and Kron Abidu from injury and it was the latter who also must have missed the fact that the game was a friendly.

The Whites star helped himself to three goals inside the first 30 minutes with two long-range efforts and a close-range volley.

Ben Moss then kept up his recent goal a game streak when he reacted quickest inside the six-yard box to drill home a loose ball.

Abidu then turned his hat-trick into a nap hand before Bradley Wood completed the route by adding a late brace.

The boys moved the ball around the park well throughout the game and put together several passing moves that defied both the difficult playing surface and windy conditions.

The Leeds back line coped with anything that came their way leaving Harvey with his easiest game to date.

The midfield competed for the ball well all game to ensure the visitors never got going and Leeds enjoyed the lion’s share of possession which in turn gave the front line plenty of early ball in the final third.

It was only a lack of composure and awareness of team-mates in better positions that prevented the goal tally reaching double figures.

It will be back to more serious business next Saturday with a West Yorkshire League cup tie away to Scarborough where a place in the semi finals will be at stake.

Leeds hope Tom Douglass will have recovered from illness enabling the Whites to take a full-strength squad to the east coast which should give Leeds the best possible chance of progressing and keeping their hopes alive of winning some silverware for all their hard work and effort.

Elsewhere, Harrogate & Craven Schoolboys’ Under-14s’ 12-match winning streak dating back to September was finally brought to an abrupt end at Sheffield. Sheffield got off to the perfect start after capitalising on a goalmouth scramble after only four minutes.

Martin Wicks’ side soon settled into their stride and came close to finding an early equaliser when Liam Whyte’s powerful effort veered the wrong side of the woodwork.

The South Yorkshire outfit doubled their lead after half an hour when James Denton struggled to take hold of a curling cross in the strong headwind.

Thanks to a resilient defensive performance from Jack Golby, Harry Watson, Connor Davis and Freddie Dunsmore, Harrogate went into the interval confident of swinging the game back in their favour.

The visitors started the second half in a better fashion than the first with both Jorge Sikora and Max Gould doing their utmost to match the discipline and organisation of Sheffield’s midfield.

Indeed, as the game progressed Harrogate’s middle men continued to provide man-marked Whyte with several opportunities to start a much-needed comeback.

The wind was taken out of the visitors’ sails in the 51st minute when Sheffield extended their lead, courtesy of a perfectly placed header.

And although Whyte managed to find the back of the net for the 18th time this season, the fightback was short-lived as the hosts made it 4-1 from the restart and rounded off an impressive 5-1 victory with a fifth goal in the closing stages.

Coach Wicks refused to be too down-hearted after experiencing his first defeat of the season, and said: “Our opponents played some fantastic football, but we weren’t at our best and know we will need to lift our game when the two sides meet in the league in a month’s time.”

Ben Jones, left of Old Centralians and Matthew Martin of Swillington challenge.

Slideshow: Swillington v Old Centralians