A LAST-MINUTE equaliser on 22 Acres kept the Women's 1s Football Team in with a chance of survival in the BUCS Northern 1A League.
In our last edition of Nouse, we alluded to some of the poor results the team have had this season, perhaps being a bit too harsh. Who knows? Nonetheless, they seem to have done their best to shut us up since. Although they lost 5-1 away to Northumbria, they responded with an impressive 7-2 away win over Aberdeen in the cup last weekend. It was the most goals they've managed in a game since February 17th 2016, when they thumped Manchester Met 2s 16-0 in the Cup. Perhaps even more impressing, the last time they scored more goals in a BUCS away fixture was in December 2014, when they destroyed Yorkshire rivals Bradford 11-0.
York got off to a bright start, and had the better chances in the opening ten minutes or so. However, they found themselves trailing after 12 minutes, down to what looked like a slight deflection from close range that the keeper could do little to keep out. All of this was forgotten immediately after kick-off though, as within 40 seconds the home side were back on level terms. As soon as the whistle initiated the restart, York broke down the right side, catching the Sheffield defence off guard. The remainder of the first half was a tense affair, but York had the better chances to put themselves in front. Sheffield's right back was struggling to stick with the pace of the home team, and was turned and left confused on more than one occason.
The second half certainly didn't get off to a positive start, as Sheffield regained their lead on 47 minutes. A fantastic chip was teed up to be rolled in, but once again, there was little the York keeper could do. The Women's 1s showed they weren't going down without a fight though, and there heads remained high and focused. As the second half rolled on, the game became more and more physical, peaking when one of the Sheffield midfielders was completely crunched and had to leave the field for some treatment. The visiting manager was getting more and more animated on the sideline, almost as though he knew what was to come. The away side made some changes as the game closed out, but these would backfire.
In the dying, dying moments, York drew level. A goalline scramble in the muddy Sheffield penalty area allowed the ball to ping around in all directions, eventually being tapped over. The visitors were furious, adamant that there had been a foul. However, the referee, who had an excellent game, was having none of it. The whistle blew, earning York a monumentally important point as they look to stay in the division.
The draw means they move on to four points but stay in fifth, three points above Manchester Met. There are two games left in the season; a difficult away trip to league-leaders Leeds, but also a rearranged relegation six-pointer against Manchester Met following its postponement last month. It will be a difficult task for the Women's team to stay up, but one that certainly isn't impossible. Sheffield's remaining game is against Northumbria, who are 2nd and pushing for promotion. Should they lose that, and York pick up points against Leeds and Manchester Met, then who knows. As their official Twitter account werre happy to point out to us, in terms of League status, they are one of York's best teams, and are certainly giving a good account of themselves against much bigger sides with more funding in their division.
York's next fixture is on Wednesday against Nottingham Trent 1s in the Cup. They are top of the Midlands 1A Division by 16 points, but it's the Cup, so anything could happen...