This was a much-anticipated game between the top two teams in the league, with Bradford City Women’s U21’s being one of the pre-season promotion favourites.
It was the home team that struck first, with Grace Adams sending in a dangerous cross from a corner, and Fatimah Lapin rising at the back post to head in and make it 1-0 to Knaresborough Town.
Both teams vied for control of the midfield, however, it was Town that looked more dangerous in attack. There was an unfortunate coming together on one of the Town forays into the City penalty box that led to the Bradford stopper having to go off for treatment.
34 minutes into the game Beth Padgett won the ball just outside the Bradford City box, worked her way through the away team’s defence and with a composed finish slotted it past the keeper. 2-0 to Town.
A couple of minutes later, Grace Adams flashed a beautiful pass across the face of the goal and yet again, it was Fatimah Lapin who got to the ball for her second goal of the day. 3-0 to Knaresborough Town.
A frantic last few minutes of the first half saw Fatimah head in from a corner to earn her hat-trick and make it 4-0 to Town. However, the scoring wasn’t finished there and Bradford finally got on the scoresheet deep into injury time to make it 4-1.
Bradford City Women U21’s were finishing the half the stronger and Town welcomed the whistle for half time.
Any worries of a City fightback in the second half were quickly dismissed when Fatimah popped up to score our fifth and restore a four goal lead.
A miscommunication at the back, meant that keeper Ella Ritchie picked up what was deemed to be a back pass and this led to a Bradford City free kick inside the Town penalty box. The resulting free kick was hit exquisitely up over the wall, and into the corner of the goal to get one back for City. The score was now 5-2.
Fatimah, continued to pose questions of the Bradford defenders and it was a challenge on her that led to the ball running through to Eva Jenkins, who made no mistake in her finish to the top corner of the City goal to make it 6-2.
Sarah Parkes then made it seven for the home team, before Bradford City got their third to make it 7-3.
Then for the goal of the game. Rachel Carmichael unleashed an unstoppable shot from a short run outside the box that received great roars of approval from the watching fans. Town had won the game 8-3 and in doing so, leapfrogged their opponents to take the top spot in the league.
Player of the match: Fatimah Lapin; Goal of the match: Rachel Carmichael.
Our goal-scorers; Fatimah Lapin: 4, Sarah Parkes: 1, Eva Jenkins: 1, Beth Padgett: 1, Rachel Carmichael: 1.
Match Report by Connor Doherty