REPORT: Wetherby Ath Ladies 3 v 0 Ripon City Panthers JFC Ladies
Two Wins From Two For Wetherby Athletic Ladies In Cup.
Wetherby Athletic Ladies claimed their second win in the Supplementary Cup, when they defeated Third Division Leaders Ripon City Panthers JFC Ladies 3-0 at The Ings.
With the sun behind them, Wetherby fashioned the first attack when Amie Slinger latched onto a long clearance from defence. Turning her marker, the winger saw that Louise Ross had made a run into the area and poked the ball towards her, however Ripon’s keeper was quickly off her line to intercept and claim the pass.
Ripon’s right back went on a lovely 60 yard run that saw her sidestep several Wetherby challenges. Laying the ball off to a colleague, the final shot curled wide of Katy Poulter’s goal.
Following some neat interplay between Jane Kemshall and Rachel Carmichael, Wetherby won a succession of corners that were ended when Jane Potter’s fierce shot flew just wide. However, Wetherby did have a legitimate call for obstruction turned down, when Sarah Holmes was blocked as she ran into the area.
Both teams were battling hard for possession in the midfield and it turned into quite a tactical game as neither could gain the upper hand for a while.
Breaking quickly, Ripon exploited space on the Wetherby left and as they drove towards the area, it need a crucial intervention by Karen Nixon to step them from getting into the area.
A through ball released Lucy Crann and as she outsprinted the defence and slipped the ball past the advancing keeper, it looked like the opening goal to Wetherby, however the ball bounced just wide of the far post as well!
Another break down the right saw Abbie Sayers and Holmes combine to free Crann. Putting in a deep cross, the Ripon keeper managed to push the ball away from the advancing Ross.
An inswinging corner by Holmes needed a back header from a Ripon player to clear, although as the header looped over, it crashed off the top of the bar, much to the visitor’s relief!
Wetherby had a second penalty decision turned down when Crann’s shot appear to strike the raised hand of a Ripon defender. Despite the protests, the referee waved play on and Ross’s shot was collected by the Ripon keeper.
The opening goal finally arrived in the 19th minute after Wetherby had withstood some heavy Ripon pressure. Breaking down the pitch, the ball fell to Kemshall who rode a couple of tackles before her lay off was only half cleared. Picking up on the ball was Crann whose shot deflected off the head of Ross and wrong footed the keeper as it went into the net.
Wetherby were left to rue an offside decision as they had the ball in the back of the net three minutes later! However as Crann headed Slinger’s pinpoint cross into the net, the referee judged that the striker had moved too early.
Wetherby were now enjoying more freedom in the centre and a lovely reverse pass by Ross freed Crann. As she raced into the area, the keeper produced a brave save at her feet to smoother the ball.
The chances were starting to rack up for The Tangerines and both Ross and Kemshall went close, but on both occasions, Ripon’s keeper was the hero as she produced quality saves.
The score became 2-0 after 30 minutes when Crann met Ross’s cross and fired past the custodian from just outside the six yard box.
Ripon were looking good in midfield and several darting runs down the right nearly afforded them shooting opportunities, but Wetherby’s defence, marshalled well by Jemma Carmody intervened each time and kept Poulter’s goal safe.
A double save by Ripon’s keeper kept the score at 2-0 just before half time when she, and not for the first time, bravely dived at Kemshall’s feet to divert the ball wide. Reacting first, Kemshall spun and fired in another hard shot, which the keeper pushed wide again. As the ball fell at Holmes’s feet, the first shot was scuffed and the second one flew just wide of the goal.
The second half started with Wetherby winning three corners in succession, several half chances fell to the hosts, with Potter unlucky not to divert a ball home. In the end, Kemshall fired over from a narrow angle.
Ripon nearly pulled a goal back in the 50th minute when they attacked well down the right wing. As Poulter came out to narrow the angle, the ball was slipped past her, but it went just wide of the back stick.
Just as with the first half, midfield supremacy was evading both teams and a real battle in the centre of the pitch was occurring.
Eventually the ball broke down the right for Ripon and a quick cross saw a fierce shot flash past Wetherby’s upright. Moments later and a free kick for the visitor’s took Poulter a couple of attempts before she was able to smoother it completely.
Having ridden the storm, Wetherby came forward with Sophie Crann winning a vital tackle in the heart of Ripon’s backline. As the ball spun loose it was picked up by Holmes who slipped it past another defender and as she hit a hard shot, the keeper spread herself well and deflected the ball clear.
Ripon attacked well down the right and as the winger dribbled past a couple of tackles, she was dispossessed by Carmody at the vital moment.
With Ripon on top, it took another good catch by Poulter to prevent the visitors from scoring in the 72nd minute.
Wetherby managed to get a foot back in the game and several smart runs down the wings from Sayers, the Crann sisters, Kemshall and Carmichael nearly saw the third goal scored, but some good defending or off target shots prevented this from happening.
In the end, the third goal did arrive in the 85th minute when the sisters combined and Lucy found Sophie in the area. Originally knocked out of her stride by a tackle, she recovered well to slam the ball home past the keeper from close range.
With the referee looking at his watch, Wetherby launched one final attack when persistence in the area from Sayers won a corner and from the set-piece, Ross took control of the ball and tried to curl a shot into the far corner. However, standing tall, Ripon’s keeper watched the ball into her gloves before the whistle signalled the end of the game.
A much more tactical affair then the Boroughbridge game and one where Ripon were unlucky not to have at least one goal. However determined defending and surging counters proved to be key for Wetherby today and they will be delighted with the result today.
Report by Pete Arnett.
Wetherby Athletic Ladies Of The Match (Chosen by the team) – A very good performance today by Lucy Crann saw her nominated as today’s Lady of the match. Her running and partnership with Louise Ross and Jane Kemshall were very evident today and she certainly deserved her goal.
We knew that Ripon can score goals so one of the main aims from today's game was to limit their chances and try and keep a clean sheet. Which we did and great credit to the whole team for not allowing them a clear cut opportunity.
Ripon are a great team with a fantastic team spirit, and playing really well in their division so we knew it would be a tight game. Which it was for long periods.” Will Cowie