Ladies lose out in extra time
United were knocked out of the NW Regional Plate competition following an extra time defeat to Leigh RMI, Richard Mallinson reports.
Leigh have proved to be a nemesis for United this season with all three encounters between the teams being extremely close however the Lancashire side have came out on top on 2 of three occasions.
The pitch at Creighton was given the go ahead thanks to some dry weather over the weekend however the game was played in constant rain on Sunday afternoon.
Leigh started the brighter of the two sides and looked sharp and it was evident that they had managed to play the previous few weeks whereas United’s games had been postponed.
The visitors dominated the first 20 minutes and took the lead on 22 minutes when a defence splitting ball was finished well by the Leigh striker.
As has often been the case this season, United have played better football when they have been behind and this was once again the case.
United grew into the game and created a couple of half chance before the scores were levelled on 40 minutes when Philippa Harmison found the net.
The conditions worsened in the second half with persistent rain making the Creighton surface heavy. Both sides tried their best to make the most of the conditions and it was United who looked the brighter of the two sides.
United pinned the visitors back with plenty of possession but they just lacked a cutting edge to find the net.
Leigh always looked a danger on the break with a constant outlet in advanced positions, this again is something that has been a constant through the three meetings between the sides.
United thought that they were going to progress to the next round when a 20 yard Gillian McGimpsey shot found the net on 89 minutes.
This was not to be the case as Leigh won two consecutive corners in added time and from the second, the ball was floated to the back post and a Leigh player lost their marker and headed in from six yards.
United regrouped for extra time but the late goal had inspired Leigh and they came out on top in the extra time. United struggled to deal with crosses across the box and set pieces and Leigh took the lead on 100 minutes when Wood again headed into the net.
Following the change around, United created a couple of opportunities but the wind was knocked out of their sails when Leigh scored a fourth on the break as United pushed for an equaliser.
Following an off the ball incident, United won a penalty however the condition of the penalty area resulted in the penalty being missed. It just wasn’t to be United’s day,
United can take plenty of positives out of the game and were only 10 seconds away from winning the tie in normal time.
Credit goes to Leigh though who have built a competitive squad with a blend of experience and youth and it’s probably fair to say that their experience won the game on the day.
United return to league action next week as they entertain second placed Manchester City. City are second in the league on goal difference so this will be a test for United however United matched City in the reverse fixture narrowly losing 5-3.
United: Ryan, Smith, Adam, Mallin, McGimpsey, Coupland (Dickson), Mallinson, Robinson, Nixon, Ullyart (Martin), Harmison. Subs: Gannon, Brennan.
Player of the Match- Becky Adam
This game was sponsored by ‘Ally & Neil’s Tours’ with money which was raised at the Sunderland FA Cup Fixture. 50% of the raffle proceeds from their travelling supporters were donated to Carlisle United Ladies. A fantastic gesture which was very much appreciated by all of the girls.