Harrogate Railway Ladies yet again missed out on any points losing 6-4 away to AFC Preston, the first half was a calamity of individual mistakes and an overall lack of team commitment to tackling and drive.
By half time the score was 5-1 to Preston, and in fairness they deserved it, strong in attack and collective in defending. Each team had a dubious penalty awarded and for Railway it was Jodie Hodgson who slotted home from the spot.
After the half time team talk the Railway ladies knew what they had to do, but Preston started the stronger again and 4 minutes into the second half went up 6-1. Something seemed to stir in the railway team and finally after 52 minutes they showed what they can do, passing well, strong challenges and showing true commitment to the game of football. Emma Landsall worked well down the left with Louise Donnelley, Paige Swales and Jade Holt working well from midd field.
It was on the 70th minute when Louise put Emma through as a one on one with the keeper and she calmly slotted home under the keeper’s body,6-2 and the fight was on. Ten minutes later and all the pressure was against Preston, Sandra (sonic) Clark, on the right passed into the middle for Paige to feed into the path of Emma Landsall to drive home for her second, 6-3.
Railway really were buzzing now and really felt they could pull this back but the clock was ticking fast, 83 minutes Preston broke down the middle only to be stopped by full back Laura Savage, Laura cleared the ball out to the left off midd field, Emma then crossed across to the right where Fiona Salter delivered an excellent lob from 30yards out to make it 6-4.
Railway pressed hard but with half a dozen shots, two saved, one hit the bar and others wide, in all Railway only showed up for 20 minutes of this game, a shame as they are more than capable of better performances than this, only three games played so still a long way to go this season.
The managers are sure things will improve knowing that one good result will lift the confidence of the team and come Christmas they will be in a comfortable place in the league.
Report by Simon Mercer