This week saw the area finals of the npower U13 Girls Cup. Representing Leeds United was St Aidan’s Church of England High School. On an extremely blustery day at Oakwell Stadium, the home of Barnsley FC, the girls took to the astro turf in high spirits. Despite difficult conditions, the girls played some good football, and showed exceptional desire and attitude. The first two games resulted in 0-0 draws, with Leeds United creating the better chances. The third game saw a comfortable 3-1 victory, with a brace from Lauren Leaver and an outstanding goal from Emma Dawson who received the ball approximately 30 yards from goal and rocketed her shot into the top corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance. A draw in the final group game saw Leeds United progress through to the semi-finals as group runners up.
The semi-final was played against Huddersfield Town. In a nail-biting encounter, one goal was enough which came direct from an Emma Dawson goal kick. Some solid defending from Olivia Hood and Hannah Kalirai ensured that Leeds United kept a clean sheet and progressed into the final. The winner of the final would see themselves playing at Wembley Stadium. Opponents were York City, who like ourselves had enjoyed an unbeaten run to the final. It was a tense game in which both teams created chances. It looked as though we were heading towards a golden goal settlement, until with one minute left on the clock York City scored a vital goal which was enough to send them to Wembley.
The result left the girls and staff bitterly disappointed, being so close and yet so far! The girls representing St Aidan’s and Leeds United were a credit to themselves, their school and the club. Fingers crossed we go one step further next year!