Ellis brace seals superb cup victory.
FA Women’s National League Plate
Leeds United Women 2 (Ellis 43’, 88’)
West Bromwich Albion Women 1 (Mahmood 90+6’)
Leeds: Simpson (GK), Hindle, Hamill, Bass (C), Smart, Price, Williams (Underdown 89’), Smith, Ellis, Woodruff (Soares-Martins 85’), Brown. Unused subs: Sykes, Beacock.
WBA: Clarke (GK), Brown, George (C), Loydon, Walklett (Evans 69’), Embley (Green 80’), Crackle (Stamps 55’), Tudor, Timms (Robinson 85’), Warner, Straker (Mahmood 55’).
Venue: So-Trak Stadium
Referee: Matt Merriman
Booked: Smith, Bass (Leeds), George (WBA)
A fantastic double from Macey Ellis was the difference as Leeds United Women advanced to the Third Round of the FAWNL Plate with a 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion Women.
A real battle at the So-Trak Stadium saw defences on top for the majority of the game, but a gritty performance along with two moments of brilliance from Ellis was enough for Leeds to claim a victory against higher-league opposition for the second time this season.
Baggies substitute Mariam Mahmood scored deep into added time to make the final moments nervy for Leeds, but the visitors didn’t have any time to salvage an equaliser.
Leeds dominated possession in the first half but couldn’t find a breakthrough, both Ellis and Amy Woodruff had threatened in behind but were caught offside on a few occasions by the visitors’ organised back line.
Woodruff did manage to get in a couple of times only for her final touch to desert her at the crucial moment.
A cagey first half looked to be heading into the break goalless before Ellis sprung the offside trap on the stroke of half time, before slotting confidently past Charlotte Clarke.
HALF TIME: Leeds United Women 1-0 West Bromwich Albion Women
With Leeds in the ascendancy, the Baggies came out strongly in the second half and this time had more of the ball as they hunted an equaliser, but Leeds defended their box resolutely with Cath Hamill and Rachel Hindle making notable blocks and clearances.
Even with limited possession in the second period, the Whites remained a threat on the break with Woodruff’s hold up play and Ellis’ break. Paige Williams had a brilliant opportunity to make it 2-0 on 66 minutes after Woodruff unselfishly laid it off in the box, but the midfielder dragged her shot wide.
West Brom’s best chance of the game - prior to their goal - fell on 84 minutes to substitute Leanne Robinson. Phoebe Warner broke into the box down the right and pulled the ball back, but Robinson fired over from six yards.
The visitors would regret that missed chance as Leeds broke on 88 minutes, Ellis’ pace again proving too much for the Baggies defence, she raced clear and steadied herself, to coolly slot past Clarke and make it 2-0.
Mariam Mahmood did halve the deficit deep into added time but West Brom had left it too late to stage a dramatic comeback.
FULL TIME: Leeds United Women 2-1 West Bromwich Albion Women