Harrogate railway Ladies 6 : 2 SWLFC 1st
4. Emma Otley, 6. Sophie Eyre, 7. Emily Higgins, 10. Channy Rymer, 11. Stacey Buxton,
12. Amy Beck, 14. Brooke Marsden, 15. Jasmine hughes, 16. Ali Cutting, 18. Paige Lewis,
22. Sophie Trotter,
A bare 11 players travelled to Harrogate due to holidays, injury and with no keeper due to Emily's sending off last week. The team lined up with midfielder Sophie Eyre once again volunteering to go in goal.
The first half played out with there not being too much between the teams, Emily Higgins played Stacey Buxton in on goal and the ball was put wide on 5 minutes, a great passing move led to Emily hitting the ball over the goal when it looked like she would score and it was Emily again through on goal this time the ball rolling agonisingly just wide of the post.In return Harrogate also had their chances with Stand in keeper Sophie having a stormer saving on two occasions one of which a great double save. The only two disappointing moments of the first half which set the scene for later events was when a blatent push in the back on Amy Beck by the Harrogate keeper was waved on by the referee with even the opposition bench stating "they had seen them given before" . The second and more frustrating incident was when the Harrogate keeper came rushing out of her area to clear a loose ball with Stacey Buxton closing down, although unintentional and with Stacey not in any way in a goal scoring situation the keeper clattered Stacey to the ground but once again the ref waved play on. The exact same offence that we lost our keeper to a red last week. It wasn't worthy of a card but no free kick???????. With half time approaching and our girls getting frustrated with a number of indifferent decisions it looked to be heading to stalemate at half time. Fair play to Harrogate they had a great move on 44 minutes which saw the striker put the ball past Sophie from 10 yards out.
Half time: 1-0.
The Owls went out for the 2nd half knowing the game was still there to be won and started the far stronger team looking to get back in the game. The game changed totally on 54 minutes when a Harrogate player broke down the left with Sophie charging out of her goal, the player played the ball to Sophies right but Sophie stuck out a hand to divert the ball, unfortunatley she was just outside the box on the far right of the goal area. The ref imediatley blew and called Sophie over, Sophie acknowledged the mistake expecting a yellow but the ref waved the red card. There were other defenders in the area and the ball looked to have been going wide with the ref not in a position to have deemed it a goal scoring opportunity. Brooke Marsden to her credit offered to go in goal, but she will be the first to admit she is not a keeper. From the resulting free kick, not hit particularly well Brooke unfortunatley spilled the ball into her own net giving Harrogate a 2-0 lead. This lifted the opposition and with our girls frustrated with the ref Harrogate took a 3-0 lead 2 minutes later with another soft goal this time a header that looped over Brooke and into the back of the net.
Our girls then rallied and with a player disadvantage got back into the game with two goals on 65 & 70 minutes from Stacey and then Emma, it could have been 3-3 justs moments later when Emma hit the crossbar with a long range free kick. With the Owls pushing forward and looking the stronger team Harrogate caught Wednesday on the break and a mix up in defence saw the striker hit the ball in off the post past a helpless Brooke in goal 4-2.
The goal that finally killed off our ladies was the 5th with the striker appearing to be a long way offside, again waved on by the ref and with a 1 on 1 with the keeper the ball was put away clinically 5-2. There was still time for more controversy with 10 minutes to play, Channy Rymer was penalised for a foul when clearly playing the ball before catching the player, first argued with the ref and was rightly booked, unfortunatley and with no complaints for the Owls this time Channy then kicked out at the ball launching it out of the ground to be shown a 2nd yellow and the Owls were down to 9 players. In the dying seconds Harrogate added insult to injury taking full advantage of the numerical advantage and played a great ball across goal that was once again duly dispatched for a final score of 6-2.
Full Time: 6-2
Well where do i start, first of all fair play to Harrogate, they played well, didn't let the controvesy effect them and they took their chances very well and in the end thoroughly deserved the victory although the final score line did flatter slightly. I on the other hand need to apologise as I allowed myself to get too involved with the referee's performance (the less said about both aspects the better) and our girls will feel disappointed that some of them also let it affect their game. The game did not have one bad challenge during the whole 90 minutes but the sending off changed the game. I genuinley believe we would have won the game had it not been for that and whilst I have no complaints with the 2nd red I strongly disagree with other reports that state the first red was "a clear goal scoring opportunity" the ref was no where near the area of play and from the angle could not see for definate wether the ball was heading for goal and there were defenders heading back into the penalty area. Also lacking in other reports of the game were the missed penalty appeal and fee kick early in the game that should have gone our way.
So we have had 3 red cards in two weeks and now on our 3rd choice volunteer keeper, we have only had one red card and I think 5 yellow cards in the 8 years I have looked after this team so today was a lesson learnt that we need to detatch ourselves from things that happen on the pitch that we can't affect and concentrate on the things that we can.
Next week a home tie in the County Cup against Barnsley Reserves who are flying high at the top of the SHWCFL league. Lets hope for a better day.
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