Ladies make all in epic win to avoid the drop

After a difficult season the ladies’ team last night hosted Barnsley Ladies in possibly one the most important game in the clubs history. With new players and a high volume of frustrating injuries making the season a rollercoaster ride, the ladies faced the prospect of relegation if they were unable to seal a vital three points from the final game of the season.

With two teams facing the drop this season it came down to the last game for the ladies’ fate to be decided, with Sheffield United Blades having played all 22 fixtures and sitting two points clear of Guiseley nothing more than a win would save the team from dropping into the North East Regional Northern League which they were promoted from in the 2007/2008 season.

With previous fixtures against the Tykes resulting in a 2-0 cup defeat and 3-0 away defeat Guiseley were certainly going in as underdogs, however Barnsley were to see a different side to the team this time out.

With a full bench Guiseley started the game with passion and fire in their bellies, Laura Danskin played her first game at centre half and cemented a strong partnership with captain Katie Matthews to show a strong defensive backline alongside right back Caroline Cropp and left back Neely Murrell.  Both Cropp and Murrell have played out of position for most of the season and showed their true adaptable qualities by putting in a solid performance and showed sheer drive and determination to keep the tricky Barnsley forwards at bay.

The ladies used the width of the Nethermoor pitch to their advantage with balls finding in form winger Julie Richardson to cross in a pinpoint ball to meet Lindsey “skip” Hopton who made no mistake of smashing home for the opener. “Skip” has recently moved from midfield to forward adding to her goal tally and forging a dangerous partnership with top goal scorer Caroline Hulme.

Guiseley continued to press and defend as a team with great play from Alarna Fuller and Abi Garland in the centre of midfield, with balls being fed through to Richardson and Sarah Lawn on the left wing.  Lawn worked well with Neely Murrell to stop Barnsley playing their trademark balls down the wing with Murrell working well with Richardson also to switch balls into dangerous areas.

Guiseley doubled their lead after 30 minutes with a wonderfully worked goal by Caroline Hulme who made a darting solo run, coolly finished by slotting the ball past the advancing keeper.

The ladies entered the break 2-0 up with Barnsley causing little threat.

With passion flowing through the Guiseley veins and a motivating halftime rallying from manager Phil Riley the girls went out firing with more dominating passing play. Barnsley struggled to break through the Guiseley defence but did cause a threat with a few long range firing shots hitting the bar and angle to give Guiseley a warning shot, although goalkeeper Katie Jesson looked to have it covered with yet another solid performance. With Sarah Lawn now coming into her stride and using her pace she took the Barnsley defence on a blistering run and calmly slotted past the Barnsley keeper to put Guiseley 3-0 up and giving the team some breathing space.

However Barnsley did peg a goal back with a fearsome and unstoppable strike to make the score now 3-1. The goal made Guiseley take note of the importance of the game and battled on in true warrior fashion.

The team seemed to never run out of steam and were able to add fresh legs which had been a reoccurring issue, often playing with a squad of 11 with no options for substitutions.  Amy Parker made way for Caroline Hulme, followed by Polly Flides replacing Caroline Cropp going in at right back.  The final change came just after a trademark free kick from Abi Garland which was blocked by the Barnsley defence but was destined for the bottom corner.  The final change came with Carley Nicholson making way for Garland who along with Alarna Fuller formed a solid partnership, giving freedom to the wingers to press until the final minutes.

With the final whistle blown, the Guiseley players were jubilant and celebrated in style. With the final league table not showing the true story of the ladies season, with many games ending in unlucky and undeserved defeats the ladies will bounce back and go into the 2012/13 with confidence and determination to prove to all the teams that GTown are force to be reckoned with!

Player of the match went to Julie Richardson for the second game in a row but I’m sure most who watched the game will have said the winner was team spirit on the night.

The ladies now look forward to enjoying the end of season presentation evening and will be competing in various 5 a side tournament’s before preseason commences late July.

Next Up:

3:00 pm
Pre-Season Friendly

Guiseley vs Huddersfield Town