After Hull City Ladies season was expunged on the 30th March, the Tigresses remained in the Women’s National League. After playing six games this season, due to Lockdown 2, the current season has been suspended but we look forward to the season resuming soon. 

Hull City Ladies currently sit in 10th place with one win, two draws, and three losses, but the Tigresses have improved under Costello this season.

In five pre-season fixtures, HCL won three pre-season matches. The Tigresses kicked off pre-season with a 2-0 victory against Wakefield Trinity, their 1st game in 154 days. Then HCL secured back-to-back wins, a 4-1 win against Harrogate Town Ladies, and a 3-1 win against Barnsley Women.

The Tigresses went into the season on the back of two defeats, after losing 6-1 against a strong Manchester United Women Under 21’s and a 2-1 loss against Brighouse Town Ladies. Adi Costello said after the United game: “Performance is more important than the result, it’s pre-season, we’ve learned a lot today and we can take a lot away from that.

Game One: Middlesbrough 1 – 1 Hull City Ladies 

Hull City Ladies secured a well-deserved point on the opening game of the season away against Middlesbrough Women in a hard-fought game.

It was 196 days since the Hull City Ladies last competitive match as Ellie Tanser opened the scoring with a poached goal before Boro equalised through Libby Dixon.

The Tigresses were unlucky not to take all three points time in stoppage time. It was a great ball from Aaliyah Allen to Rebecca Beech who turned the defender inside and out and produced a cracking shot which was brilliantly saved by Rosie Todd who tipped into onto the woodwork which earned her side a draw.

Costello said after the game: “Massive belief from the girls that unlike when I took over if we would have gone 1-0/2-0 down that would have been it, but now there’s a massive belief in the girls that until the final whistle goes we can score as we saw there, we were pushing for that winner.

We were unlucky at the end but I thought we played well, bet you most people would have said Hull at home that would have been an easy game but we’ve shown people today that it won’t be easy and we’re going to fight and fight to the 90th minute and beyond that if they add time on, played well today.”

Game Two: Hull City Ladies 2 – 1 Sunderland Ladies 

Hull City Ladies started their home campaign in spectacular fashion as the Tigresses clinched a huge 2:1 victory against Sunderland.

It was a clinical Hull City Ladies performance as they secured their first victory of the season and their first win in 212 days.

Katie Thompson opened the scoring in the first half after a brilliant ball from Suey Smith found Thompson, who made no mistake to fire the Tigresses ahead with Hull City Ladies’ first shot on goal.

Florence Pegrum extended the Tigresses lead in the second half after a fantastic counter-attacking move from HCL, Keira Ramshaw scored a late penalty for the visitors late on but Hull City Ladies held on under pressure to secure all three points.

The Tigresses got high praise from their manager but rightly so after beating a very good side who were unbeaten last season in FA Women’s National League.

Costello said: “One thing we said after the Middlesbrough game is that hard work carried us through, they were long periods of that game, we were under pressure but hard work carried us through, in that game when they scored that penalty, they was still 10 minutes to and hard work carried us through and that’s what we have to do.

Work hard, believe in yourself, believe in the person stood next to you, believe in yourself as a team, and be brave. You could have not asked for more today, there are people out there who have to play Wednesday and they can hardly walk now, they’ve done that much running for the team, fair play and hat’s off to everyone in the squad.”

Game Three: Hull City Ladies 1 – 2 Huddersfield Town Women

Hull City Ladies suffered their first defeat of the season as Huddersfield Town Women came from behind to win on a wet & windy night at Haworth Park.

The Tigresses scored the game’s opening goal as Katie Thompson dispatched her penalty. Huddersfield equalised from Laura Elford’s header, four minutes from half time and they completed the comeback when Elford scored her second of the evening 10 minutes after half-time.

“Disappointed, beaten by the better team on the night, you’ve got to hold your hands up at times, Huddersfield played well, it wasn’t the case that we were unlucky we were beaten by a better side tonight.

We’ll go again, just spoken to the girls in the dressing room and what’s your feeling, it’s a disappointment, I said why, they said it’s because we didn’t play,” Costello said.

Game Four: Fylde Ladies 4 – 2 Hull City Ladies

In a game which was played behind closed doors with no fans in attendance, for the first time this season, Hull City Ladies were beaten 4-2 against Fylde Women in a game of two halves. It was a frantic first half with five goals with only one goal in the second as Fylde secured all three points.

The Tigresses levelled the scoring twice during the games from Jo Symington’s and Emily Smith’s goals but Emily Hollinshead, Faye McCoy, Jodie Redgrave, and Jess Holbrook goals earned Fylde all three points.

HCL levelled the score just four minutes after Fylde’s second goal and Hull City Ladies’ goal of the season so far. Emily Smith picked the ball up the halfway mark, beat the full defence and cooly slotted home from close range.

“It was good to see football continue, Fylde have done a brilliant job, the pitch was fantastic with the rain we had, it’s an incredible pitch, it’s good football has been played, you have to play football,” Costello said.

Game Five: Hull City Ladies 0 – 4 West Brom Women

Hull City Ladies suffered their heaviest defeat of the season against a very good West Brom side. It was a 4-0 win for West Brom as goals from Keeley Davies, Trina Greaves, Jade Arber, and Natalie Murra sent the Baggies fourth in the FA Women’s National League.

Costello said: “We had the desire in that Huddersfield game, we were just beaten by the better team but the desire was there, Fylde two weeks ago we was beaten by the better team on the day but the desire was there, that’s the bit what was lacking today.”

Game Six: Nottingham Forest Women 2 – 2 Hull City Ladies 

Hull City Ladies earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest Women, despite conceding twice in stoppage time, under the circumstances it was still a fantastic and spirited Tigress performance.

It was a thrilling match at Eastwood Football Club, goals from Emily Smith and Rebecca Beech put the Tigresses two goals up, but goals from Annabel McKechnie and Rosie Axxten clinched a draw for Forest.

With nine minutes of injury time and the Tigresses down to 10 after Suey Smith limped off, Forest goals came on the 92nd and 95th minute. As HCL fought every minute and for every ball.

Costello said: That’s the best we’ve played this year, the girls were absolutely superb, we were 2nil up till the 91st minute then they had a penalty, seven minutes of added time and with playing with 10 players because Suey had to come off.

For 12 minutes we played with 10 players, two 16-year old’s in the team, one in goal and one playing holding midfield, we were absolutely class today, the best we’ve played, better than we played against Middlesbrough and Sunderland, that was a very good performance.”

Following the FA announcement, all our fixtures are suspended until Wednesday 2nd December.

We want everyone to stay safe during these challenging and uncertain times and hopefully, we can return to playing football again soon. 

“It’s the Hull City Ladies Revolution, get part of it, tell people in the City of Hull that you want to watch a good game of football then be part of this as these girls grafting and working so hard,” said Costello.

We look forward to welcoming fans once again to Haworth Park. “We need the fans, let’s get some noise, you heard how noisy their fans were today, we want that noise for our girls next week, but that was class, people were singing, we want a bit of noise back at Haworth Park, let’s get some fans down,” said Costello. 

Photos by Kevin Greene and Tony King