REPORT: Leeds United Women 1-0 Durham Cestria

REPORT: Leeds United Women 1-0 Durham Cestria

Rousseau wins it late for Leeds!

FA Women’s National League Division One North

Leeds United Women 1 (Rousseau 88’)

Durham Cestria 0

Leeds United Women: Simpson (GK) (Kirkham 45’), Jakeman, Dobson, Turner, Elliott, Danby, Whitham, Smith (Pizzarello 29’), Smart (C), Rousseau, Brown (Sykes (46’). Subs not used: Beacock, Astle.

Durham Cestria: King (GK), Knowles (C), Bell, Mackie, Coulson (Miller 54’), Donald (Collingbourne 70’), Giles, Richardson, Atkinson, Dale, Neuefiend (Mainwaring 54’). Subs not used: Wise, Noble.

Venue: Bannister Prentice Stadium, Garforth

Referee: Christopher Lawson

Leeds United Women returned to winning ways in the FA Women’s National League Division One North with a 1-0 victory over Durham Cestria thanks to Jess Rousseau’s 88th minute goal.

A stop start game saw both sides struggle to gain real control throughout the 90 minutes, but a battling performance saw the Whites come out on top with the telling moment of quality in the 88th minute.

Simon Wood was forced to name a reshuffled side as Leeds continue to deal with injury woes, particularly in forward areas with Paige Williams this week receiving confirmation that she will face a lengthy spell out with a serious knee injury, and Macy Ellis still sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Ellie Dobson returned at centre back where she partnered new signing Lucy Turner, who made her full debut after joining this week. That saw Izzy Elliott move to left back and Olivia Smart move forward into a somewhat unfamiliar right-wing position.

The Whites started well and had two decent chances early on, first Rousseau forcing a mistake with her typical, relentless running, but she couldn’t beat Anna King in the Durham goal.

Dobson then saw a wonderful chance fall her way after Cestria failed to deal with a Sarah Danby free-kick but she fired straight at King from close range.

Leeds’ first injury on 25 minutes saw Kath Smith replaced by Charlyann Pizzarello, and Leeds lost a little bit of momentum after the delay. The visitors almost capitalised, on 26 minutes Jen Knowles couldn’t find the target with a free header after a dangerous cross from Cestria’s brightest spark Vicky Neuefiend.

The Whites were forced into another change right on half time as Carrie Simpson picked up a knock from a corner, with Skye Kirkham brought on in goal for her senior debut.

HALF TIME: Leeds United Women 0-0 Durham Cestria

The scrappy, stop-start nature of the game continued into the second half but both sides were battling, knowing the first goal could be decisive in what tends to be a low-scoring fixture.

Cestria had a bright spell after half time. Harriet Jakeman made a terrific last-ditch tackle to prevent Neuefiend advancing in on goal, before Kirkham made saves from Alisha Mainwaring’s overhead kick and Faye Dale’s strike.

There were further delays as Rousseau twice required treatment after picking up knocks but Leeds’ number nine would soldier on and as the game entered the late stages, Leeds managed to get themselves back on top and looked the side likeliest to grab a winner.

On 80 minutes, Emily Sykes dragged a decent chance wide, and five minutes later Smart’s wicked delivery was inches away from finding Rousseau’s head.

It would be Rousseau’s day in the end though as she struck the winner on 88 minutes. Danielle Whitham picked her out with a sublime pass and Leeds’ number nine did the rest, controlling and slotting past King to continue her hot streak in front of goal.

There would be one final nervy moment in added time for Leeds as Jordan Atkinson’s looping effort had Kirkham beaten but thankfully for Leeds, the upright came to the rescue.

The Whites hung on to claim a very impressive three points, returning to winning ways on home turf and making it five wins from the opening six games in all competitions this season.

They will look to take another three points in the league next weekend, as they make the trip to Chorley Women on Sunday, 2pm kick off.

FULL TIME: Leeds United Women 1-0 Durham Cestria