Superb Stewart helps women’s footballers to six of the best

A hat-trick from striker Gabby Stewart allowed York to put six past the University of Leeds seconds in a comfortable victory

Image: Peter Iveson

Image: Peter Iveson



The University of York women’s football team made it three wins on the bounce this Wednesday with a sublime performance against the University of Leeds second team in which they ran in six goals without reply.

It went right for the home side on a chilly 22 acres right from the off as a superb cross from Sarah Milner on the right led to a wounding own goal for Leeds. But for a period of pressure after the opener York were totally in control. They struggled in blustery conditions to deal with the ranging kicks of the away team’s goal keeper, whose excellent performance belied the six goals conceeded. Leeds could not capitalise on the defensive indecision though and were soon made to pay.

The second goal on the 25 minute mark effectively killed the spell of Leeds resistance in spectacular style. Bethan Pugh stole the ball just inside the Leeds half rode two challenges and blasted into the roof of the net from sixteen yards. It was a superb individual effort and settled any nerves caused by Leeds’ efforts to restore parity.

Images: Peter Iveson

York went in two goals up at the break and came out hungry to increase their lead. Milner caused havoc on the Leeds left all day and was the stand out player of the game by a considerable margin. On a number of occasions her incisive running and searching distribution looked to have undone the opposition and she was only kept at bay by a couple of impressive saves from the Leeds keeper.

Eventually something have to give and Gabby Stewart was the grateful recipient, evading the offside trap to finish superbly. Stewart was a formidable presence up front, running with pace and verve consistently. She earned every goal in what would turn out to be an excellent hat-trick. She turned provider for left midfielder Bea Rye on the hour mark, curling a beautiful pass into the left hand channel for the pacy winger to run onto and finish confidently.

Stewart’s final goal was the pick of the lot, a driven left footed finish from the edge of the area that completed a crushing display. Captain Katy Ballantyne drove her team for the full ninety minutes, and will be pleased with the response of her players after manager Josh Fisher left his management post last week. If they are able to keep key players fit then they will be safe with some to spare this year.