Why individual moments of brilliance have a big role to play in Leeds United's season

I felt my Leeds United Women teammates and I deserved to come away with a 2-1 win over Durham Cestria on Sunday afternoon.

By Catherine Hamill
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 6:00 am

We performed a lot better than recent weeks, managed to cut out mistakes and keep our discipline.

With my usual centre-back partner Bridie Hannon recovering from an injury, right-back Rebekah Bass shuffled along our back line to join me in the middle of the pitch.

Read More

Read More
14 brilliant photos of an emotional Elland Road crowd watching Leeds United clai...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Bridie and I have played together for so long that we have a great understanding of each other, but I thought as a reformed defence we operated quite smoothly on Sunday.

Everyone understood their roles, stuck to them, and communicated well - it was comfortable and organised.

We didn’t panic when Durham took the lead. Lately our heads have gone down when we’ve conceded, and that can make it really hard to come back from.

It was a bit of a flukey goal, a free kick that took a big deflection. We didn’t deserve it, but these things happen in football and the way we responded was great.

Laura Bartup (right) celebrates scoring with her Leeds United team-mates. Pic: LUFC.

At half-time, we had a really positive team talk and then came out and got two goals.

We didn't give them much space - as soon as they got the ball we were on them.

When it comes to keeping up the pressure on your opponents, individual moments of brilliance can make all the difference.

Paige Williams came on around the hour mark and went straight into a really good tackle.

Leeds United defender Rebekah Bass on the ball against Durham Cestria. Pic: LUFC.

When someone does that, it riles up the whole team and makes you think, ‘I’m going to get involved!’

It sets an example to follow and puts the other team on the backfoot a bit, too.

Not long after Paige came on the pitch, Laura Bartup scored the equaliser, so I think it’s fair to say she made a strong impact on the game.

We need plenty more of that now, especially with a six-pointer against second-placed Newcastle coming up on Sunday.

Leeds United midfielder Kathryn Bass strikes the ball during the Whites' 2-1 win over Durham Cestria. Pic: LUFC.

There’s no question that we’ll be looking to improve on our performance against them a fortnight ago, which resulted in a 6-2 defeat.

We know what we’re looking at. They’ve got a very pacey front three, and we’ll be ready for them.

It’s about being disciplined again, keeping with our players, and showing desire. Hopefully our win against Durham will help us go out with a spring in our step.

When you look at the league table now, it looks like it’s quite far to catch up with the top of the table.

We’d have to win every one of our last eight games and hope that Newcastle and Liverpool Feds lose a few to have a chance of promotion.

It’s disappointing that, with only one team promoted, it gets to this point of the season each year and you’re not really sure what you’re playing for.

Leeds United women captain Catherine Hamill celebrates with her teammates. Pic: LUFC.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I think the league structure of the women’s pyramid needs looking at.

The positive is that we can go out there - perhaps with a bit less pressure - see what happens, and get as many points on the board as we can.

Fortunately we’ve got the final of the County Cup against Brighouse Town to look forward to on Thursday April 7.

It should be a good game - we haven’t played Town in a couple of years since they moved into a different division.

They’re a strong team who put themselves about and have taken on a couple of quick wingers since we last met.

It’ll be a tough game, but we’ll all be up for it.

A lot of the girls love an evening game under the lights, and it’s the first final we’ve played in for about six years. It’ll be a great occasion.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.