Harrogate Railway Ladies had a return match against Sheffield Wednesday today in the league and came away with their first three points, winning 3-1.
After losing last week to Sheffield the Railway Ladies new what was expected from them to claim their first points of the season. It took only 2 minutes for Railway to break down the left with Louis Donnelly, crossing into the box but centre forward Nicola Hadley was just not quick enough to latch onto the ball. Sheffield responded well to this and soon had their own chances at the other end but Rails keeper, Rocky, was in good form again and stopped some cracking shots.
Working from the back line Railway were impressive with the passing and the tackling creating chances from both the left and the right side and it was on the 27th minute when, player of the match Emma Lansdall, picked out Louis Donnelly who yet again broke down the left, crossed in and Nicola drove the ball home,1-0.
Railways confidence was on a high and soon after the restart caused panic at the Sheffield back and forced the keeper to come way out of her box and only managed to clear to Ali Purvis who went for the open goal from 30 yards out and to have it cleared of the line by the defender. Sheffield found their feet and on 40 minutes had a great chance only to be blocked at the last moment by Jenny Huddleston, 6 minutes later Railway won the ball in midfield were Jodi Hodgson lifted the ball over the top and Nicola read the bounce perfectly and as the ball came down 22 yards out she saw the keeper of her line and lobed it over the top and into the net, 2-0.
The second half was just as exciting as the first with both teams working hard, passing well and putting in some strong tackles; the next goal would certainly have a impact on the out come. And it was Railway that scored, on the 77th minute Ali Purvis broke down the right, she found the feet of Chloe Elphick who beat the last defender and slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, 3-0.
Railway could now sense the win was theirs to have and with the manager shouting at them to keep concentrating, as Sheffield weren’t giving up, it was only 3 minutes of the re start Sheffield won a free kick just outside the box, the ball was struck sweetly above the wall and Rocky was a yard to far of her line and it went just under the top bar,3-1. Sheffield pressed hard for the last 10 minutes but the resilient Railway defence held onto the end.
A truly great team performance with mistakes kept to a minimum the Railway Ladies finally proved to themselves that they can get the results needed to survive in this league.
Report by Simon Mercer, photography by Caughtlight Photography