Women go top of the league after beating Leeds

Two second half goals from Sarah Milner gave York the win in a thrilling 4-3 victory against Leeds seconds in the women’s football…


BUCS Northern Conference Women’s 3B, Wednesday 12th November 2008

Two second half goals from Sarah Milner gave York the edge in a thrilling 4-3 victory against Leeds seconds. With the score at 2-1 with only twenty minutes remaining, influential performances from Milner and substitute Caroline Braskén formed the basis for an impressive York comeback.

Milner was the woman-of-the-match, working hard throughout and constantly looking dangerous outside the box. On 75 minutes this hard work was rewarded, as she managed to slip past a tight Leeds defence and calmly level the score.

She followed this with a goal that typified everything York did well in the second half. Braskén and the equally impressive Jennie England skilfully linked together down the left hand side and then found Milner in space at the edge of the penalty area. Her finish was sublime, giving Leeds’ substitute goalkeeper no chance and handing the lead to York with five minutes remaining.

Leeds looked stunned and the home side extended their lead barely a minute later, when a poor goal kick went straight to the feet of striker Malan à Dunga, who put the ball past the already embarrassed keeper. The victory should have been sealed but, as York continued to pour forward, a lack of marking allowed Leeds to pull a goal back. It was all too late, however, as shortly afterwards the referee blew his whistle to finish an exciting end-to-end half of football.

Womens Football v Leeds, 12-11-08 Photo: Justyn Hardcastle

York came off best against county neighbours Leeds yesterday

(Justyn Hardcastle)

In contrast, the first half had been cagey, with the Leeds defence looking secure and organised. Despite good penetration down the left flank, York’s strikers were unable to break through and create clear chances. Leeds looked the better of the sides, hitting the post after 20 minutes and always looking more likely to score.

The York keeper Hayley Smith worked hard to keep Leeds out, but a powerful strike from the opposition striker on 40 minutes put the visitors ahead. The away side continued to push forward and the York team greeted the half time whistle with relief.

The second half saw York bring on Braskén for Becky Segal and shortly after switch striker Claire Curtis with Catherine Sinclair-Jones. This meant that York were now playing 3-5-2 and the game opened up as a result. Braskeri’s introduction was immediately effective as, with her first significant touch, she audaciously lobbed the keeper and put York back in the game. Although Leeds regained the lead barely a minute later, the trio of Milner, Braskén and England continued to dominate the midfield, and this soon translated to goals.

The York captain, Carey Kalym, said she was pleased with the win, and Jones, the team’s coach, said that he was “very impressed”. He added that York had made a “good start to the season. The attitude is right and there’s a real buzz around the team”.

This win puts York joint top of the BUCS Northern Conference 3B with a game in hand, and if they continue to put on spirited performances like this, they should expect to enjoy continued success.

York team line-up: 1. Hayley Smith (gk), 2. Charlotte O’Shea, 3. Amelia Dulee-Kinsolving, 4. Jessica Gregson, 5. Sarah Milner, 6. Sarah Stallard, 9. Malan à Dunga, 10. Claire Curtis (Catherine Sinclair-Jones), 11. Carey Kalym (c), 12. Jennie England, 15. Becky Segal (Caroline Braskén)