Harrogate Railway Ladies returned to Bradford Park this week in the League Cup after a 5 week break due to bad weather and the Christmas hols.
With Bradford the only team to beat Railway this season, they certainly felt they had the upper hand and it showed, 3 minutes gone, 2 corners and Bradford were in front by two goals, Railway were reeling and to add to it, an atrocious call by the referee after 5 minutes called for a penalty against railway.
Rails keeper Emma Prest dropped to her right saved the shot and managed to jump on the loose ball, a brilliant save , with this railway lifted them selves and started to take the game to Bradford. The midfielders worked hard on a very muddy pitch but it paid off after 23 minutes when captain Jodi Hodgson managed to play a lovely through ball to Hannah Campbell who went one on one with the keeper and drove it into the far right corner, 2-1.
Bradford had the down hill advantage in the first half and used it well knocking balls over the top for the 2 forwards to run after and on the 36th minute claimed their 3rd goal. Railway were not put off and replied instantly, as Ellie Macleod past out wide for right back Ali Pervis to take the ball down the line and put in a great cross for Hannah to claim her 2nd on 38 minutes, 3-2.
The second half was a great contest between the two teams but railway had a point to prove and became as physical as Bradford winning the loose balls and closing down fast, with rails keeper pulling of some great saves, the railway Ladies got more and more confident playing out to the left and right forcing some fine saves from Bradfords keeper.
Railway had to wait till the 52nd minute for the equalizer which came from midfielder Issy Rowe, with a great strike from just out side the box,3-3. Rail pressed for the winner constantly shooting, hitting the post and bar 3 times in the last 15 mins but to no avail, full time 3-3.
Extra time was played, 15 minutes each way, Bradford looked tired and when Hannah got the ball 2 minutes after ko, she went on a solo run right through the middle, rounded the keeper and calmly put the ball in the net, 3-4. This really took the steam out of Bradford and Railway pressed hard and duly got there reward after 14 minutes played, Issy picked up a fantastic cross, delivered from left winger Nicola Hadley and struck her second of the game, 3-5.
The second half saw Railway dominate the 15 minutes and as Issy claimed her 3rd , making it 3-6 with only 3 minutes left to play Railway ladies had booked their place in the next round.
Next week sees the ladies away against Bradford City Ladies in the county cup, a very different level of football altogether.