UNIVERSITY OF YORK WOMEN’S FOOTBALL 3-3 UNIVERSITY OF HULL
Images: Philippa Grafton
York’s women’s football team surrendered a two-goal advantage to draw their first game of the new season 3-3 against Hull. York had led 3-1 in the first half but were pegged back by the visitors in what was a hard-fought encounter.
Hull dominated possession in the early stages and wasted several chances to open the scoring, before York took a surprise lead after ten minutes through striker Rose Hooks, who latched onto a long free-kick and fired past the Hull keeper.
However, the score was level again just two minutes later as Hull equalised in spectacular fashion; York’s defence had cleared a free kick but the opposition’s winger was allowed space on the edge of the box to strike a looping volley past Megan Phillips in the York goal.
Not to be subdued, the home side retook the lead almost immediately, the impressive Bea Rye hurdling a series of challenges on the right flank and seeing her cross turned into the net by a despairing Hull defender.
York were now dominant, with Hooks causing a multitude of problems for the visitors’ defenders. Indeed it was she who made it 3-1 just before the half-hour mark from the penalty spot. Hooks won the spot-kick herself, drawing a foul just inside the area after running onto a long ball, and got up to slide the ball confidently into the bottom corner.
But Hull were handed a lifeline shortly after; Phillips allowing a low cross to slip through her grasp, with a Hull striker on hand to slide the ball into the empty net at the far post.
With both sides now desperate to grab the next goal, there was a whole host of missed opportunities at both ends. Hooks and Ruth Welford both scuffed chances to score a fourth, before Phillips came to the rescue at the other end, pouncing on a rebound after Hull had hit the post.
The second-half failed to live up to the frenetic pace set before the interval, and chances were few and far between. Welford blasted just wide of the post after a neat one-two with Hooks, but, with Rye marked tightly on the right, York lacked a creative spark.
Hull equalised once more with 20 minutes to play, as the York defenders allowed a cross to come in unchallenged and left a striker unmarked at the back post to head into the goal.
The match finished 3-3, with neither side able to push on to any great effect in the final stages and a string of injuries taking their toll on the game, but newly appointed York captain Rachael Carpenter was optimistic about her side’s prospects at full time.
“Obviously I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, as we’ve won against Hull for a few years in a row,” she remarked. “It’s a bit gutting as the new captain not to have a win under our belts, but we’ve got a lot of Freshers in the team and there’s a lot of hope for the season to come.”