Hull City Ladies Reserves took on Middlesbrough Women’s Reserves with the away side securing a 1-2 victory in a hard fought game.
Hull City Ladies started brightly, with Olivia Sellars having the games opening shot of the game, a speculative effort from the left side drifted wide of the right post and out for a goal kick in the second minute. Middlesbrough had a good effort which trickled wide moments later, not threatening Megan Cooke in between the sticks. Lois Damms also had a shot blocked right on the edge of Middlesbrough’s eighteen yard box but it was blocked well by one of the Middlesbrough defenders.
Middlesbrough had a good front three, number 9 was especially threatening at times with precise and direct dribbles at the Hull defence. Girls Elite Academy Graduate Rachel Sennitt defended excellently throughout the game despite Middlesbrough’s strong attack, hardly putting a foot wrong under periods of pressure from the visitors. She headed any threat away and was convincing in the tackle.
The best chance of the half came in the 15th minute. The away side’s number 15 made a good run down the left side and put a good cut back into their striker on the left side of the 6 yard box. Their forward then hit a powerful shot from close range , which rattled the cross bar. An early let off for the reserve Tigresses.
Boro continued to put pressure on a resilient Hull back line but could never really push through into Cooke’s box. Shots came in from distance as Middlesbrough pushed for an opening goal as they struggled to break down our back four.
After the Teeside team’s period of dominance, City’s reserves fought back hard and created some great chances to get ahead. Olivia was yet again in the centre of the Hull City attack, most notably creating a great chance for Lois in the 40th minute. Receiving the ball down the left, Sellars played a neat ball into Damms through a tight space between Middlesbrough defenders. Lois meets the ball slightly too near to the keeper and the shot struggles to get over the Boro number one. This was the game’s last promising chance before the referee blew for half time.
It had been a good half for the home side. Being solid against an offensive team and handling long balls and direct dribbling well. Also creating some good chances and would feel unlucky not to have got a goal over the line in the first half. Bob Wilkinson set up the team well, keeping them positionally disciplined in the first 45.
The second half kicked off with Middlesbrough winning a corner in the 49th minute. After a good ball in from the right side, city failed to clear their lines and Middlesbrough’s winger smashed the ball in from close range to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
City continued to push for an equaliser. Left back Amy Drury made a late burst into the Boro box in the 51st minute, shrugging off the centre back and cutting in on her right foot. She let off a shot on her weaker foot but it was comfortably saved by the opponents number one. A really positive response from the reserves.
City took another hit in the 60th minute though. A brilliant curving effort off the right foot of Middlesbrough’s number 9 found the top right corner of the goal, looping over Meg Cooke to add a second to the scoreboard. This was a fantastic finish from arguably Middlesbrough’s best player on the day.
This goal kick started a really strong period of pressure from Hull City Ladies Reserves and five minutes after Middlesbourgh’s second, substitutes Mary Lisle and Joseline Becerra combined for the Tigresses first goal of the afternoon. Mary sent Joseline through with a great through ball and the sub striker side footed the ball well into the bottom right corner to get City well and truly back in the game.
The push for the equaliser continued, with most of the Hull chances coming through corner kicks. Drury put in some really inviting balls into the back post but unfortunately her brilliant crosses weren’t quite met by a City head.
After a few more long shots and crosses from corners. The referee blew his whistle for a 2-1 Middlesbrough win. Although this spelt a loss for the reserve Tigresses, the team still fought well and kept themselves in the game until the final whistle. Only losing thanks to a near perfect effort from a Middlesbrough striker. There are a lot of positives to be taken from the game, including hard tackling and good defence from the whole team and our positional awareness and organisation.
Written By Alfie Lord