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SSFC Women lose 'fiesty affair' with Bradford City

South Shields Women’s promotion bid was dealt a blow by Bradford City Women as the Mariners lost 1-2 in a feisty affair at Harton Welfare.

Mia Jacobs netted a brace fairly early on in each half which prevented Shields from launching an unlikely comeback, though Sophie Curle brought one back for the lasses late on.

Annece Legg almost hit the strike of the match to level things up (foreshadowing a potential repeat of the away game’s stoppage-time equaliser) but her effort slammed off the crossbar.

Matt Gatiss made one change from last week’s side which thrashed Redcar Town Ladies 7-0, with Jen Wootten slotting in for Josie Foster.

Both teams were well up for the occasion which appeared to excite the Shields faithful and they both created their fair share of chances before the Bantams opened the scoring.

Maria McKenna and Aaliyah Nolan played nicely together within the first five minutes and opened up an opportunity in the box, but the latter’s first touch was misguided and caused no danger for Shields’ Scarlett Gowans. 

For Shields, the same could be said for Jaz Elliott-Wood, Eve Gatens and Sophie Curle who passed it together through on goal - Kadie Dobinson caught it with ease before Gatens had a chance to reach it.

And just one minute later Zoe Norton launched a piercing ball down the left-hand flank which met Curle, although Bradford’s Daniella Trickett was able to stop her in her tracks before it became particularly dangerous. 

The visitors took the lead in the 20th minute courtesy of a wonderful goal by Jacobs. She won an aerial duel against Jen Wootten before she carried it past Alliyah Ali before aiming low and far into the right-hand corner.

After that goal the game settled down with both sides creating half-chances which didn’t amount to much. It was imperative for Shields that the break came and went, and when it did, it brought about some significant switches in the second-half. 

Skipper Becki McMahon headed a Bradford chance away before their captain Monika Stube laid it off to Kanisha Underdown to try from far out. Gowans made no mistake in collecting it first time.

Trickett, playing up as high as Shields’ 18-yard box, managed to guide a looping cross above and over McMahon, though Monica Innes was on hand to clear it - but a wide gap opened up for Jacobs to find her second goal of the afternoon. 

Curle did well to get one back for the lasses and the collective message afterwards was to keep pushing.

Legg almost made herself the hero for a second week running, if only her bullet shot hadn’t smashed off the crossbar.

There are plenty of lessons to be taken from today heading into the lasses’ next game against Sunderland West End Ladies next Sunday. More details will be shared during the week.

South Shields Women: Gowans, Ali, Innes, May, Legg, Gatens, Curle, Wootten, McMahon, Norton, Elliott-Wood. 

Substitutes: Greener, Emery, Taylor, White, Foster. 

Bradford City Women: Trickett, Ramsden, Buckle, Markey, Underdown, Nolan, Stube, Jacobs, Fernie, McKenna, Dobinson. 

Substitutes: Foster, Hayhurst, Barraclough, Paley. 

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