“The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus on your individual goals, and you can’t let yourself be beat because of a lack of effort.” - Michael Jordan.


Sunday saw Bradford City Women Under 21s visit Manse Lane, as we enjoyed almost the perfect playing conditions for the beautiful game.

At the start of the day, Knaresborough found themselves fourth in the table having only played two games; with Leeds City just above them, then Athletico, and at the top of the table were Bradford City, having won four out of four games.

I know anybody reading this match report, previous match reports and previews relating to our games against Bradford City, will probably get fed up of hearing about how much we respect the Bradford City players, management and set up. Well we don’t care…they really are a class outfit.

With this game being, in our opinion, one of the most important fixtures in the league campaign, we have approached it with a meticulous amount of training and preparation.

The match highlights will provide you the opportunity to see each of the six goals that we scored, so we don’t want to go into describing each and every one of them here, however, special note must be given firstly to Town’s fourth goal scored by Beth Padgett, who went on an amazing run through the middle of the Bradford City defence, and then put the ball in the back of the net with an emphatic finish.

The second goal of note was Town’s sixth, scored by Jess Flynn who finished off a wonderful team move, slotting the ball past the keeper at the back post. Simply wonderful ‘pass-and-move’ team football.

However, perhaps we are getting a little ahead of ourselves…

Town settled into the first 45 minutes the quicker of the two teams and it is fair to say that they dominated play throughout, scoring regularly and finishing the first half, four goals to the good. The score probably was a fair reflection of the performance that they had put in.

That’s not to say that Bradford City hadn’t offered anything during those first 45 minutes, they showed what good players they had, with the possession that they got and their ability to pass and move the ball up into the Knaresborough Town half.

It must be noted that Bradford city only had 11 players available for this game; it is a credit to them that they kept at the task, providing Boro’ with a really tough challenge throughout the 90.

If there were any thoughts that Knaresborough Town would repeat the first half and score more freely in the second, Bradford City were not going to allow that. The half time team talk galvanised them to regroup and change their tactics to try and counter Knaresborough Town’s possession.

City came out in the second half in a much more positive manner and pressed forward to try and get a breakthrough to reduce the deficit.

The second half was a much more even affair, with Bradford City enjoying far more possession and time in Town’s half, posing a few serious threats to the home team’s goal.

In fact, it was City that probably had two of the best chances of the second half, one being a firmly hit shot that was half saved by Ella Ritchie, the ball deflecting across the face of the goal and going just past the outside of the far post.

However, a cross from Beth Padget finished with a super header by Sarah Parkes; and Jess Flynn finishing off a wonderful team move, meant that it was Boro’ that registered two further goals in the second half to finish the game 6-0.

As we said in the preview, nothing is decided in October and this game is just another fixture in a long season. There are going to be many twists and turns in this competitive league and there are a number of teams that will be able to take points off each other in the race for the top two promotion spots.

Knaresborough Town Women’s win meant that they kept pace with Leeds City and Athletico, retaining the fourth spot in the league having played just three games. The loss for Bradford saw them surrender that top spot to Athletico [who won 5-1 away to Boroughbridge Ladies].

Looking at the table, things at this stage are finely balanced, with any of the top seven teams looking for one of those top two promotion spots. It’s that close…a win here and dropped points there, can and will make a huge difference to a team’s place in the table.

We are certain that the race for promotion will go down to the final games of the season and expect Athletico and Bradford City to be fighting for them.

Next up was supposed to be a home game against Leeds City, but with their involvement in the County Cup, that game has been postponed until later in the season, and instead we travel to Wortley, for what should be a really pulsating game of football against good opponents.


Goals: Lorna Wilkinson 2; Emily Crispin 1; Beth Padget 1; Sarah Parkes 1; Jess Flynn 1.

Player of the Match: Beth Padget; Goal of the Game: Jess Flynn.

Referee: Lauren Hope.