Hull City Ladies made it back to back wins and moved up to seventh place in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division table with an impressive 4-2 win over Sheffield FC Ladies. The Tigresses really hit their straps today and scored some excellent goals.
The first sight of goal came through Hope Knight. She picked up the ball in midfield and as she got to the edge of the box she hit a shot but it was straight down the throat of the Sheffield keeper.
The Tigresses wouldn’t have to wait long to take the lead though. City Ladies won a corner and Amy Blinkhorn came to take it. She has already shown her quality from dead ball situations this season and she found a familiar target in the box once again. Blinkhorn’s cross was headed home by Ellice Jackman in almost a carbon copy of her goal at Doncaster a few weeks ago. The Tigresses led 1-0 and deservedly so on the balance of the opening 15 minutes.
Sheffield have been an inconsistent side this season but they do have some quality players and they tried to get back into the game after going a goal down. In the 32nd minute they almost equalised but Amy Halloran was on hand to make a fine save in a one on one situation to deny the visitors an equaliser. Jo Symington eventually got the ball clear and the Tigresses breathed a sigh of relief. That scare seemed to motivate the Tigresses and they doubled their lead in the 34th minute. Harley Skinner continues to show she has a bright future and she scored a brilliant individual goal to make it 2-0. She hit a powerful first time drive from the edge of the box that found the top corner to make the lead more comfortable for City Ladies.
To their credit the visitors ended the half strongly and they were almost gifted a goal in the 40th minute. A short back pass to Halloran was pounced on but a heavy touch took the ball wide and Halloran did well to get back in time to clear the ball off the line. Unfortunately this was a hint of things to come as the visitors got back into the game on the stroke of half time. A cross from the right went over the head of Jackman and Lisa Giampalma was on hand to head the ball in off the post to give Sheffield a foothold in the game going into the break.
HT Hull City Ladies 2-1 Sheffield FC Ladies
It was a quieter start to the second half but that suited the Tigresses as they looked comfortable on the ball and dominated the midfield area. Hope Knight is looking extremely dangerous in the number ten role and she had the first sight of goal in the second half when she hit a shot wide from the edge of the box but it took a deflection which led to another corner. Blinkhorn combined with Jackman again with yet another pin point cross but this time the centre back was denied by a brilliant save by the Sheffield keeper who did remarkably well to tip it over the bar.
Just a few minutes later the Tigresses effectively sealed the game. Another corner and yet another brilliant cross by Blinkhorn led to a header by, you guessed it, Ellice Jackman. Again the keeper did well to get a strong hand to it down low but the ball fell to Rachael Ackroyd who fired it over the line to make sure of the 3-1 lead. We thought it was Ackroyd’s goal but apparently she didn’t agree and said the goal was Jackman’s so the centre half had a brace which was no less than she deserved.
Ackroyd was unselfish again a few minutes later when she was released down the left and as she entered the box she looked to find substitute Misty Russell with a dinked cross but it had just too much on it and went for a goal kick. Then a couple of minutes later another precise ball from Blinkhorn released Ackroyd down the right this time and this time she took the shot herself and was unlucky to see it go across the goalkeeper and inches wide of the post. The Tigresses were purring now and were creating chances at will, largely thanks to Amy Blinkhorn and Hope Knight in midfield. The two combined this time and that resulted in a shot by Knight who could only fire a shot over the bar.
The fourth goal had been coming for a while and when it finally came in the 86th minute it was worth the wait! A clearance by Sheffield was hoofed up into the air and it came down with snow on it, it went that high up. That didn’t bother Blinkhorn who waited for it to drop before hitting a sublime first time volley into the bottom corner. An unbelievable finish by the best player on the pitch by some distance today. Take a bow Amy.
With the score now at 4-1 the result wasn’t in doubt but Sheffield didn’t give up and after hitting the post in the 90th minute they got a consolation goal deep in stoppage time through Lisa Giampalma again. It was slightly frustrating to see the Tigresses concede again but the visitors didn’t have time to get back into the game and the Tigresses eased to victory.
FT Hull City Ladies 4-2 Sheffield FC Ladies
At times today the Tigresses were as good as they have been all season. The midfield in particular stood out as they ran the show. Emma Westmorland has been consistently good for a few weeks now and she got stuck in from the first minute with some excellent tackles to turn over possession. Hope Knight looked dangerous throughout and on another day she could have added to her goal tally for the season. She linked up well with Smith and Skinner on the wings as well as Ackroyd up front and is making the number ten position her own.
Our player of the match though was Amy Blinkhorn. She was superb today. Her range of passing is first class and she got numerous attacks going. She looks dangerous every time the Tigresses get a corner and her crosses from corners provided two assists for Ellice Jackman today, not for the first time this season. We were going to give her the award anyway but the goal she scored put it beyond any doubt. It was a one in one hundred strike but she absolutely nailed it and has added her name into the hat for the goal of the season award.
The Tigresses are now up to seventh in the league table with 16 points from 11 games which is some achievement. They look safe already and are now setting their sights even higher as they look to fight for a place in the top 6. They will hope to continue picking up points next week when they welcome Middlesbrough to Hull Uni.
We spoke to a delighted manager Rachel Gay after the game and you can watch the video below.