Report: Leeds United Women 0-2 Chester le Street Town

Whites beaten in final league match.

kath smith.jpg

FAWNL Division One North

Leeds United Women 0

Chester le Street Town 2 (Ashton 33’, Ellison 40’)

Leeds United: Simpson (GK), Smart (C) (Astle 83’), Dobson, Hughes, Danby, Rousseau, Smith (Elliot 63’), Firth (Gibril-Keating 83’), Turner, Melrose (Jakeman 88’), Pizzarello. Sub not used: Megeary (GK).

Chester le Street Town: Banks (GK), Jamieson, Third, Prudhoe (C) (Darrington 90’), Hunt, Ellison, Donzo, Hockaday, Donegan, Gray, Ashton (Plender 84’). Sub not used: Henderson.

Referee: Oliver Holland

Booked: Prudhoe (Chester le Street)

Venue: Bannister Prentice Stadium, Garforth

Leeds United Women fell to defeat in their final match of their league campaign, with two Chester le Street Town goals before the break proving to be the difference in Garforth.

The visitors started brightly and looked to use the pace of forward Jolie Donzo, with Chester le Street's number nine enjoying success down the left.

Under pressure from the retreating Jess Melrose, Donzo first dragged a low strike wide of the near post after latching on to a long pass, before lashing over from the edge of the area after good skill saw her create a yard space.

After negotiating the early pressure from the away team, Simon Wood’s side began to stamp their authority on proceedings, with sharpshooter Jess Rousseau becoming more involved as the Whites searched for an opener.

After picking the ball up midway inside the opposition’s half, the striker charged through on a marauding run, dancing past multiple blue shirts before being brought down inside the area.

Referee Oliver Holland waved the appeals away as it ran through for Sarah Danby to strike, but good defending from Brogan Prudhoe cleared the danger.

The game began to grow open with both teams using pace to break, as Donzo then forced Carrie Simpson into a smart save to deny the forward’s low drive.

The Whites countered immediately, with Kath Smith floating a superb delivery into the path of the onrushing Alice Hughes, but the midfielder was unable to direct her volley on target.

In possession, United looked strong down their right and the trend continued when Melrose picked out Molly Firth who dummied first time, skipping past her opposite number before swinging a dangerous delivery in for Rousseau. The striker looked set to head home, but desperate defending from Emma Hunt saw Chester le Street clear.

The County Durham outfit took the lead just after the half hour mark when Jenny Ashton reacted quickly to fire past Simpson. Ellie Dobson had initially made a superb block to deny the forward, but the ball landed at rather fortuitously at Ashton's feet who had the simplest of tasks to drill home.

Five minutes before the break and Phil Hubbard’s side had another, when midfielder Katie Ellison was well placed to bundle the ball into the back of the net as she raced onto Donzo’s low cross from the left.

HALF TIME: Leeds United Women 0-2 Chester le Street Town

The Whites responded brightly after the break, with Chester le Street having left-back Anya Donegan to thank for preserving her side’s clean sheet.

Rousseau had produced a fine piece of skill to wriggle free inside the area, shooting low and seeing her goalbound effort hooked off the line by the defender as United piled on the pressure.

An in-swinging Danby corner then created a big chance for the hosts, but neither Dobson nor Hughes were able to get any meaningful contact on the ball as the opportunity went begging.

Despite United knocking on the door for a route back into the tie, Simpson had to be alert down the other end to prevent Chester le Street adding a third, making a superb diving save to deny Donzo's close-range header, before Lucy Turner made a crucial block to clear the forward's follow up effort.

More chances came and went for the lively Donzo, with Simpson again standing tall to block after an incisive, one-touch move had sent the forward in behind.

Wood's side still continued to search for a lifeline and went close once more, with Dobson rising highest to meet another dangerous Danby corner, but the defender couldn't guide her header on target.

With just over 10 minutes to play, Firth was inches away from getting on the end of Rousseau's pass which flashed across the face of goal, with the ball evading the midfielder at full stretch as she looked to halve the deficit.

Smart had two sights of goal before the full-time whistle, but Paris Banks was equal to the powerful drives as the visitors held on to take the three points back north.

The result sees Leeds United finish the FAWNL Division One North season in sixth place.

FULL TIME: Leeds United Women 0-2 Chester le Street Town

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