Harrogate Railway Ladies may have lost the chance at winning the West Riding Ladies Premier league after loosing 3-1 at league leaders Keighley yesterday (1 April 2012).
In a game that was going to be tight for both teams, and a practice for the league cup final in may, Railway had the momentum in the first half making the best passing on the 3G pitch. Full back Sandra Clark and left back Ali Purvis both worked hard when Keighley constantly tried to knock a long ball whenever they had possession. Issy Rowe was back in midd field along side Paige Swales and both put some good passes out wide to Dee Swales (right) and Nicola Hadley on the left, who in turn sent in cross after cross but striker Hannah Campbell was having a tuff time with two full time markers making it very hard to score. Railways keeper Emma Prest also had a tuff time when she took 3 fouls on her before the referee finally gave Keighley’s forward a verbal warning! For leaving her foot in on each occasion.
Half time 0-0
The tempo was lifted for the second half as were the level of strong tackles, Railway needed to win to keep the pressure on Keighley but as they pushed forward so they became stretched at the back and when Keighley countered 0n the hour Railway gave away a free kick just outside the box. When the free kick was delivered it was carried on the wind and dipped just under the cross bar 1-0.
Railway didn’t panick but re organised and pressed forward again, with the two players of the match Nicola Hadley and Fran Ireland, linking up railway came close to a equalizer. On the 70th minute Railway conceded a penalty, Emma dropped to her left but the ball just squeezed past her fingers 2-0. Keighley felt sure victory was there’s and kept the pressure on the rail defence and only 7 minutes later the referee gave a howling decision saying Railway had handballed in the box, this led to a string of complaints from the railway team, leading to Kat Purvis being yellow carded. Keighley’s Forward stepped up to the spot and calmly put it in the back of the net3-0. Railway were seathing at the decision and instantly upped their game with only 13 minutes to play and forced some good saves from the Keighley keeper. On the 82nd minute Hannah finally got clear of her two defenders broke out to the right and put in a pin point cross for Dee Swales to run onto at the far corner and drive the ball in 3-1.
This was not enough though and Railway can now only take revenge when both teams face each other in the cup final on May 7th at Ossett