Wetherby Athletic fall short in Leeds United giant-killing bid

Alex Daniel Photography
Alex Daniel Photography

Underdogs Wetherby Athletic Ladies could not rustle up a giant-killing victory against Leeds United Ladies as they crashed out of the West Riding County Cup last week.

But Athletic garnered plenty of positives after a spirited display saw them lose the semi-final 3-0 at the West Riding County FA base on Fleet Lane.

Defending champions Leeds went into the game as favourites, but it was clear from the outset that they were not in for an easy game.

And Wetherby striker Debra Slater made a couple of good runs at the Leeds defence, but couldn’t find a way through.

However, on 17th minute, Leeds took advantage of a long ball through the Wetherby defence and striker Emma Bentley rolled it into the net.

Despite this early advantage, Wetherby did not back down and held Leeds at 1-0 for the remainder of the first half, with Charlotte Adams and Emma Guilder impressing on the wings.

Adams had a goal disallowed for a foul on the Leeds ‘keeper before United’s goalie was lucky to stay on the field after clattering into Slater.

On 63 minutes, Slater then forced a save from her rival after striking a superb volley towards the bottom corner from a ricochet in the box. 

But Leeds weathered the Athletic storm and sealed progress into the final with two late goals.

Athletic manager Mike Robinson said:“I’m so proud of this team.

“We gave one of our more spirited performances today, against the current cup holders, and didn’t look out of place playing at this level.

“Everyone worked hard. We can continue to build on this.”

Athletic’s chairman Angus Taylor added: “Wetherby played out of their skins and put in a fantastic performance.”

Athletic survived a scare to beat bottom side Handsworth Ladies 4-3 in North East Regional Ladies Southern on Sunday.

The second-placed side lie three points below leaders Brighouse and are without a game this Sunday.