It was another cold, wet and windy day down at the Bournbrook pitches for a top of the table clash between Leeds Beckett and Birmingham Women’s 2nd XI. Leeds Beckett sat comfortably at the top of the table with Birmingham in second place. These two sides had met the week before in a cup fixture where Leeds Beckett beat Birmingham 2-0 and also during the first half of the season where Beckett won 1-0. A win for Birmingham would consolidate their second position in the table.
Birmingham came out hard and fast, playing a high pressing game, which Leeds Beckett were not prepared for as within the first five minutes Birmingham were able to take an early lead. The goal came from a breakdown in play allowing Birmingham to capitalise on the lack of Leeds Beckett defence, as Naomi Bennett scored with a lovely finish to make it 1-0.
However, it wasn’t long before Leeds Beckett retaliated and demonstrated just why they are at the top of the table. Ten minutes in they scored a scrappy goal which tied the scores up at 1-1. Birmingham remained strong and held the majority of the possession, launching wave after wave of attack on the Leeds Beckett defence.
And the home side’s pressure eventually told- Brum’s attacking players demonstrated their skill and quick hands by rapidly dodging and weaving past the Beckett defence with ease and slotting the ball into the top right hand corner of the net in order to put Birmingham back in the lead at 2-1.
Nearing the end of the first half Leeds Beckett had more chances at goal but Birmingham kept calm and maintained their structure and defence. Unfortunately in the final five minutes a short corner was awarded in favour of Leeds and they capitalised on it making the score 2-2 at half time.
In the second half Leeds Beckett came out hard, wanting to finish their season on a win as champion of their league. Birmingham did the same, constantly fighting for the ball and being clinical in their decision making and passing.
Birmingham went a woman down with less than ten minutes to go in the match, due to a missed tackle by a Lions player resulting in the wiping out of a Leeds Beckett player and subsequently a green card.
Leeds Beckett their one player advantage immediately, as moments after the card was awarded, Leeds Beckett scored to put them in the lead for the first time this match. With a player down Birmingham’s structures loosened creating gaps for the Leeds Beckett attack which allowed them to capitalise and have a clear shot at goal from the top of the D.
Unfortunately for Birmingham they were not able to equalise and when the full time whistle blew the score was 3-2 in favour of Leeds Beckett. Birmingham played well throughout the match and had many opportunities to score, so was unlucky to concede a goal so late in the second half as the score does not show how well the Birmingham 2nd XI team played.
Image credit to instagram user @AMYT1408