Harrogate Railway Ladies steamed to the top of the table today after a 6-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday, a minute’s silence was held in respect to Remembrance Day before the start.
The first half was a close-run game with both teams having their chances with Rails defence again proving too strong to beat and at the other end it was down to Sheffield’s keeper to keep out the railway strike force with some outstanding saves. Railway were looking slick with the passing and moving from midfield out to the sides and some great crosses going in from the left and right sides. It took till the 44th minute before Railway finally beat the keeper, again a break down the left with Louise Donnelly who crossed in to the far post where Lorna Cooper was waiting to strike home from 10 yards out,1-0.
At the start of the second half Sheffield were looking the stronger team for the first ten minutes, putting some great pressure on the Rails back line and testing Charllote (Rocky) Donnelly in goal. Railway finally found their feet and got going again, breaking out from just outside their own penalty box, Rails Catherine Coupland beat two players then feed the ball out to Emma Lansdall who went driving forward and as she did the Sheffield keeper came running out to meet the ball, Emma knocked the ball to her left to go around the keeper the keeper dove to her right saved the ball but was 6 yards outside her box the referee had no choice but to give a straight red. The free kick that followed was taken by Jodi Hodgson and what a great free kick, it beat the wall and went just inside the left post,2-0. With Sheffield now down to ten players Railway up the pressure and 6 minutes later Jodi became the supplier of the cross that found Nicola Hadley rising above all others to head home the third goal,3-0.
Railway then seemed to lose concentration and respect for the opposition because after the re start Sheffield relentlessly pushed for their own revival and it duly came 3 minutes later with two quick goals in 7 minutes, this they deserved, and the railway management were not happy about how they were conceded, and changes came from the bench. Kat Edmund came on over on the right side and had a great impact, passing on the info from the side lines she then went on a run down the right put in a lovely cross for Nicola to strike home making it 4-2. On the 78th minute Nicola found herself one on one with the keeper and she Cooley slotted the ball under the diving keeper to make it 5-2 and bagging her hattrick.
Sheffield then went down to nine players after their left-wing player gave verbal abuse to the reff as he had awarded a foul to Railway, she received a yellow card 6 seconds later the same player then kicked the ball out of the ground in bad temper and so got a second yellow for decent which followed a red card. The game was nearly over when Lorna Cooper found the net for her second and Rails 6th.
Next week the Railway Ladies are away against Farsley Ladies first team in the county cup, this will be a true test on how they can play against a great team in the premier division.